1. COVID-19 Updates In Japan


l  The number of newly infected people has been continuously increasing since the last report, exceeding 2,500 a day, which is the highest ever since the pandemic. The beds occupancy rates of hospitals in major cities that had been accepting COVID-19 patients are rapidly growing, and the concern of the collapse of the medical care system is looming. 

l  Due to the ongoing surge of the infection, especially in some specific cities, the Suga Administration is now asking residents of Sapporo and Osaka to practice self-control over applying for the Go-To Travel subsidy program.  Then, Suga and Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Yuriko Koike met on December 1 and agreed to ask the residents of Tokyo, whose age is 65 or higher, or who have any underlining disease for the self-control.   

l  A research group of Yokohama City University held a press conference on December 2, and announced its research results, one of which was the data that 98% of 376 people, who recovered from the new corona virus infection, retained neutralizing anti-body even 6 months after recovery.  The more the symptom of the original infection was serious, the stronger the anti-body was. The research group will continue checking the 376 people through one full year after their individual recoveries.

l  Several statistical data were released by the government organs on December 1. Some showed recoveries and the other showed worsening as follows: 

Ø  Unemployment rate of October got worse by 0.1 point from September to 3.1%.

Ø  Ordinary income of all the industries except for financial and insurance industries for July to September declined by 28.4% from the same period last year to 12,398.4 billion yen. This is the 6th consecutive decrease of such a category of income.

Ø  October’s active job opening ratio improved by 0.01 point to 1.04 from September.  This is the first uptick since April last year.

Ø  October’s industrial production index went up by 3.8% to 95.0 from September. This is the 5thconsecutive increase in row. Automobile production is now at a higher level than before-corona.


  1. Japanese Government To Replace China Made Drones With Indigenous Ones


Citing national security concern, the government of Japan solidified a policy to replace its around 1,000 small drones with new ones, which will be indigenously developed to meet high security requirement, Yomiuri reported.Most of the current inventory of the government operating drones are made by DJI, the Chinese drone giant.


Considering the importance of the missions of government owned drones including defense, police, social infrastructure health check, surveillance, and search & rescue, the government needs to eliminate any possibility of cyberattacks to its drones’ control systems, intrusion of the drone operating networks or any other interference by foreign actors or terrorists by keeping their drones’ supply chain under control.


  1. Two More Aegis Destroyers To Be Procured In Place Of Aegis Ashore


In the wake of its decision to cancel the Aegis Ashore procurement due to the concern of missile boosters’ falling over some populated areas, the Minister of Defense solidified a plan to procure two more Aegis Destroyers with the SPY-7 phased array radars onboard.  


In fact, the two SPY-7 radars are the ones, which were contracted with the U.S. manufacturer originally for the Aegis Ashore. The defense ministry had kept the contract for the two radars intact despite the cancellation of the Aegis Ashore, and had been studying an alternative platform to install the radars.  

The ministry will present its decision to the National Security Council next week, and with NSC’s acknowledgement, the Suga Cabinet will approve the two new Aegis ship procurement.  

Presently, the Japanese Maritime Self Defense Force operates 8 Aegis destroyers.    


  1. Japan To Promote Agriproducts Exports


It was revealed on November 27 that the Suga Administration is building a strategy to intensively promote 27 Japanese agricultural products and processed food items for exports to specifically targeted markets.

Seven out of the 27 are listed as follows:


                       Result of 2019  Target of 2025  Targeted countries/areas


Beef                 29.7 B JPY       160 B JPY        Hongkong, Taiwan, United States 

Apple               14.5                   17.7               Taiwan, Hongkong, Thailand 

Grape                3.2                   12.5               Hongkong, Taiwan, Thailand 

Rice                   5.2                   12.5               Hongkong, U.S., China 

Scallop             44.7                   65.6               China, Taiwan, U.S.  

Yellowtail          22.9                   54.2               U.S., China, Hongkong 

Sake                23.4                   60.0               U.S., China, Hongkong   


  1. Government To Support Beyond 5G (6G)


Yomiuri reported recently that an additional economic stimulus package to be announced next week by the Suga Administration would include a plan to establish a fond to financially support R&D of “Beyond 5G (6G)”.  


In its plan, 6G is expected to be 10 times faster than 5G in communication speed, one tenth of the latency of 5G, 10 times more than the number of simultaneous accesses of 5G and one hundredth of the power consumption of 5G.