Kyodo News Digest: Nov. 11, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on November 11, 2021
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
WASHINGTON – The United States and China on Wednesday vowed to step up their cooperation in tackling climate change, including work toward reducing methane emissions, in a joint declaration issued during U.N. climate talks in Britain.
U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres welcomed the agreement between the world’s two largest carbon dioxide emitters, calling it “an important step in the right direction.”
TOKYO – Fumio Kishida was re-elected Wednesday as Japan’s prime minister by parliament after the ruling coalition won the general election last month, with his government making a fresh start to the work of reviving the coronavirus-hit economy and reducing income disparities.
Kishida retained the lineup of his first Cabinet, formed on Oct. 4 when he took office, except for naming a new foreign minister — Yoshimasa Hayashi, a former education minister known for his close ties to China.
TOKYO – A senior Japanese diplomat on Wednesday expressed concerns over China’s “increasing military activities” and called for self-restraint on Beijing’s part in a virtual meeting with his Chinese counterpart, the Japanese government said.
Takehiro Funakoshi, head of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau at Japan’s Foreign Ministry, raised issues including repeated entry into Japanese waters by Chinese vessels near the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea administered by Japan but claimed by China, which calls them Diaoyu, according to the Japanese ministry.
TOKYO – A Japanese health ministry panel approved Wednesday the administration of third booster shots of U.S. pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc.’s COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 and over, starting with medical personnel from December.
The move came as overseas studies showed antibodies that protect against the respiratory disease decrease over time in all age groups, with the effectiveness of vaccines lasting around six months.
TOKYO – Japan plans to increase hospital capacity for COVID-19 patients by the end of November to accommodate more than 35,000 people, up 30 percent compared to the level amid a virus resurgence this summer, the government said Wednesday.
The government measures to combat COVID-19, which will be finalized on Friday, also include plans to provide coronavirus vaccines for children under the age of 12. In the event of another wave of infections, free tests will be conducted for asymptomatic cases.
SEOUL – The ruling Democratic Party candidate in South Korea’s upcoming presidential election signaled alarm at Japan on Wednesday, saying he is “of course opposed” to the idea of a military alliance among the United States, South Korea and Japan.
Citing an ownership dispute with Japan over South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan, Lee Jae Myung said at a media event, “Is Japan a perfectly friendly state that can be trusted at all times?”
Thailand’s Constitutional Court bans calls for monarchy reform
BANGKOK – Thailand’s Constitutional Court on Wednesday banned pro-democracy leaders from calling for reform of the monarchy, ruling that they had attempted to overthrow the country’s constitutional monarchy.
The ruling against lawyer Arnon Nampa and two other prominent figures in the largely student-led movement concerned their speeches and actions since August 2020, including at a rally that month on a university campus in the Bangkok suburbs.
FUKUOKA – An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 hit off Japan’s Okinawa early Thursday, but there is no threat of damage from a tsunami despite possible sea-level fluctuations, the weather agency said.
The quake occurred at 12:45 a.m., registering 3 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7 on Miyako Island in the southern Japanese prefecture of Okinawa, with the focus south of Okinawa Island at a depth of about 10 kilometers, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.