1. COVID-19 Updates In Japan


l     Thanks to the convergence of new cases throughout Japan, the Suga Administration lifted the state of emergency of all the 21 prefectures today. 

l     The Cabinet Office announced on September 8 that Japan’s GDP for the quarter of April through June increased by 0.5% in real term (1.9% annually).  

As for consumers’ confidence with regard to the present economy and its prospect, the Cabinet Office’s data of August shows            weak or declining trends. 

l    Governors of the 21 prefectures that were under the state of emergency allow restaurants, bars and pubs to resume serving alcohol today up to 8 pm or 8:30 pm. Likewise, the restrictions of events and entertainment are being loosened step by step. The government will demonstrate vaccine passport based shopping, dining and traveling etc., and conclude the efficacy and plan to go back to normal life.


<As of 12 pm of September 30th> 

The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 1,701,904 and 17,665 respectively.  

The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 1,576 and 42.  

70.03% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 59.26% have done for the 2nd. 


  1. Kishida To Be The Next Prime Minister


The LDP’s presidential election was held on September 29, and the former chairman of LDP’s Policy Research Council Fumio Kishida won the competition against the three contenders, Mr. Taro Kono, Ms. Sanae Takaichi and Ms. Seiko Noda to be the 27th President of the party.   


He will be elected to be the next PM on October 4 at an extraordinary session of the Diet. At the first round of the election, Kishida had a largest ballots (256(33.6%)), followed by Kono (255(33.5%)), Takaichi (188(24.7%)) and Noda (63(8.3%)), but no candidate could gain a majority vote, so a runoff was held between Kishida and Kono on the same day resulting in Kishida’s winning 60.2% of the total votes (380 from the active Diet members and 47 from the 47 prefectural representatives). 


Following are some of Kishida’s campaign promises:  



Establish a new agency to administrate health emergency situations.  

Open field hospitals to minimize “medical refugees” meaning infected people who cannot be hospitalized due to the lack of the availability of the beds.



New capitalism to fit in Japanese society meaning a little more proactive government’s roles of wealth distribution by giving tax breaks to corporations that share more with their employees as well as significantly increasing the pay for medical and care workers.  

Also, by sharing the burden of educational and housing cost of the families with small children, Kishida would like to kick in consumption driven economic growth.

He also promised to place administrative eyes on the distribution of profit between prime contractors (large corporations) and their vendors (mostly SME) so that SME employees should benefit as well.  

He also promised to establish an economic national security strategy and its administrative minister to control and regulate the outflow of sensitive technologies and products.


<Growth Engines>  

Besides the growth engine of consumption driven economy by the “fair distribution of wealth”,  he promised to propose a 10 trillion yen worth science and technology innovation fund to nurture Japan’s innovation driven growth engine. Also, he announced Digital Garden City Concept to activate local economic engines with digital transformation to mitigate the current Tokyo centric economy.   


<Diplomacy and Security>  

He is committed to promote the Free and open Indo Pacific Concept with the United States and the two other Quad member nations.  He also promised to establish a new advisor position for PM with regard to human rights issues in the world. He is committed to promote the DFFT together with the U.S. and EU.  


  1. BoJ To Release Climate Change Finance


The Bank of Japan decided to launch a new initiative to facilitate Japanese financial institutions to provide finance to Japanese corporations for the purpose of climate change countermeasures. The BoJ will begin providing to Japanese banks etc. financial facility in coming December with the interest rate of 0% through 2030. Financial institutions who wish to receive this BoJ’s climate change loan are required to disclose the target as well as past achievement of investment and loan, and risk management method for climate change countermeasures. The level of disclosure shall comply with the global standard that was formulated by major nations and regional financial authorities.      


  1. New Cyber-Security Strategy Set


The Japanese government held a cyber-security strategy headquarters meeting on the 27th and came up with its next cyber-security strategy, which oversees the governmental cyber-security policies for three years to come. The new strategy, for the first time, articulates China, Russia and North Korea as the nations who cause cyber-attacks to Japan, and states that the Japanese Self Defense Force’s cyber-defense capability needs to be strengthened drastically.  It also touches upon the necessity of strengthening the collaboration with the U.S., Australia, India and the ASEAN nations.  


The strategy recommends to consider establishing a cyber-operations’ commanding function and actual working units at the police organization. As a new agency “Digital Agency” was launched this month under the Suga Administration, the new agency is expected to provide basic policy with regard to how cyber-security should be implemented for new information systems that the nation and local governments will introduce from now on.  


  1. Government To Develop New Air Traffic Control For Helicopters, UAM And Drones   


Yomiuri reported on September 25 that the government of Japan is inviting manufacturers of communication devices and those of drones, Urban Air Mobility (flying vehicles) and helicopters to develop new air traffic control technology together.  Drones tend to fly at the altitude of 150m above the ground or below, while UAV is anticipated to fly between 100 m and 250 m above the ground. Helicopters tend to fly 300 m to 400 m above the buildings.   


However, for taking-offs and landings or for emergency flights, those rotor planes may fly across each other in the air.   

The new air traffic control technology is to avoid any accidents between those flying rotor planes with each other by collision or contact  


Please continue to have a safe and pleasant weekend!