Kyodo News Digest: Nov. 23, 2021
Written by tokyoclub on November 23, 2021
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
SEOUL – Former South Korean President Chun Doo Hwan, who seized power after a military coup in 1979 and suppressed a pro-democracy civil uprising by force the next year, died at his home in Seoul on Tuesday, Yonhap News Agency said. He was 90.
The former army general had been fighting chronic illnesses such as multiple myeloma, a type of blood cancer, according to Yonhap reports citing his aides.
WASHINTON – The U.S. State Department said Monday it is “closely monitoring” developments regarding Chinese tennis star Peng Shuai, whose whereabouts have been in question after she accused one of China’s former vice premiers of sexual impropriety.
“We share the concern that has been expressed around the world as we all want her of course to be safe,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told a press conference, adding, “Rest assured we are closely following her and the situation.”
TOKYO – The Japanese government is considering using its stake in Shinsei Bank to vote against its launch of a defense against a hostile takeover by online financial group SBI Holdings Inc., sources familiar with the matter said Monday.
As the combined stake held by SBI and the government amount to around 40 percent, it appears unlikely that Shinsei Bank can win approval for the steps with majority backing at an extraordinary shareholders meeting on Friday, the sources said.
SINGAPORE – The U.S. dollar briefly climbed into the lower 115 yen range in Asian trading Tuesday, the highest level since March 2017, as expectations for an early interest hike by the Federal Reserve grew with Jerome Powell reappointed as chairman of the central bank.
The dollar rose after fetching 114.82-92 yen in New York and 114.21-23 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Monday. Tokyo markets were closed Tuesday for a national holiday.
WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden said Monday he plans to keep Jerome Powell as chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve for a second four-year term, tasking him with putting the world’s largest economy on a recovery track from the coronavirus pandemic while tackling worsening inflation.
The president also said he intends to elevate to the post of Fed vice chair Lael Brainard, who has been a board member of the central bank and was a leading candidate to replace Powell.
SYDNEY – Australia on Monday signed an agreement with the United States and Britain formalizing access to classified nuclear submarine information under their so-called AUKUS security partnership.
The Exchange of Naval Nuclear Propulsion Information Agreement is the first embodiment of the three-way arrangement announced in September under which Australia looks to acquire nuclear-powered submarines amid China’s growing maritime power.
BEIJING/SINGAPORE – China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have upgraded their ties to a “comprehensive strategic partnership,” President Xi Jinping said in a rare appearance at a special online summit on Monday.
The meeting commemorating the 30th anniversary of dialogue between China and ASEAN this year was held with Beijing eager to boost its clout in the region with security tensions with the United States escalating in nearby waters.
TOKYO – Tokyo reported six new COVID-19 cases Monday, the fewest since May 31 last year, reflecting the continued downtrend in infections across Japan.
With more than 76 percent of the country’s population now fully vaccinated, new cases nationwide fell to 50, the lowest level this year.
Japan’s Kishida, Thai PM affirm close ties in phone talks
TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke by phone with his Thai counterpart Prayut Chan-o-cha on Monday, voicing his desire to boost cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific region.
Prayut congratulated Kishida on taking office and expressed hope for stronger bilateral relations during the roughly 30-minute call, according to Japan’s Foreign Ministry.
Baseball: Buffaloes’ Yamamoto wins 1st Sawamura Award
TOKYO – Yoshinobu Yamamoto, the 23-year-old ace pitcher of the Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes and the Olympic gold medal-winning Japan national team, won the Eiji Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive starting pitcher for the first time on Monday.
“It really is a historic award. I’ve always thought it would be great to win it at some point in my career,” Yamamoto told a press conference.