Kyodo News Digest: Nov. 13, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on November 13, 2021
The Taliban’s foreign minister Amir Khan Muttaqi makes a speech in Islamabad, Pakistan, on Nov. 12, 2021. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
TOKYO – Japan’s new Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed Saturday to realize an early visit to the United States by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida for his first summit.
In Hayashi’s first talks with a foreign counterpart since assuming the post Wednesday, the two top diplomats also agreed to bolster bilateral alliance and make efforts toward a free and open Indo-Pacific region amid China’s assertiveness, the Japanese Foreign Ministry said.
WASHINGTON – U.S. President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will meet Monday evening in a virtual format, the White House said, while tamping down expectations of any “major deliverables” coming out of their first bilateral summit amid tense relations between the two countries.
The two leaders, who have talked twice over the phone since Biden became president, will discuss ways to “responsibly manage the competition” between the United States and China, as well as ways to work together where their interests align, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday.
TOKYO – The envisaged three-way split-up of Toshiba Corp. is expected to give more clarity to the business outlook and could spur realignment of its domestic peers as a logical step to respond to shareholders’ pressure for a more-focused corporate structure.
The symbolic move, announced Friday, ends one chapter for household name Toshiba, marking a departure from its traditional broad portfolio of industrial and consumer businesses, a practice that has come under intense scrutiny by its shareholders.
TOKYO – Leaders of 21 Pacific Rim economies including Japan, the United States and China agreed Friday to advance integration through free trade agreements as they seek to drive the post-coronavirus global recovery.
In a joint statement following a virtual summit, the leaders of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum also vowed to work together to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and promote clean energy in order to achieve sustainable growth.
U.S. to start talks with Japan on imported steel, aluminum tariffs
WASHINGTON – The U.S. administration of President Joe Biden said Friday it will start talks with Japan over tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move that may lead to easing the duties that were imposed on imported items under his predecessor Donald Trump.
“The United States and Japan will seek to resolve bilateral concerns in this area (of steel and aluminum),” the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative said, just ahead of next week’s visit by USTR Katherine Tai and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo to Japan.
SAPPORO – The northern Japan city of Sapporo intends to review its bid for the Winter Olympics and Paralympics in 2030, looking to reduce costs by up to 90 billion yen ($790 million) or 20 percent of the total, sources familiar with the plan said Saturday.
Sapporo, which hosted the 1972 Winter Olympics, decided to drastically slash the cost of holding the Winter Games in light of criticism of the snowballing expenses incurred by the Tokyo Games this summer.
TOMASZOW MAZOWIECKI, Poland – Japan’s Nao Kodaira came second in the World Cup opener on Friday in the women’s 500 meters, with Tatsuya Shinhama also claiming a runner-up finish in the men’s race over the same distance.
Kodaira, the 2018 Winter Olympics gold medalist, clocked 37.74 seconds, falling 0.13 behind American winner Erin Jackson who claimed her first win in the World Cup at the meet in Poland.
TOKYO – The world’s first operational dual-mode vehicle, essentially a bus capable of running on roads and railway tracks, is set to enter service next month in the Shikoku region, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands.
Asa Seaside Railway Corp. in Tokushima Prefecture said it will roll out the DMV on Dec. 25, having cleared safety checks by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.