1.  COVID-19 Updates In Japan


    l  Thanks to the convergence of new cases throughout Japan, most of governors of the 47 prefectures are loosening the restrictions that have been imposed on restaurants, bars, entertainment places and event places for operating hours or alcohol serving etc. 

    l  The media is reporting that people’s outside activities in terms of human flow or stay on the streets and shops etc. are doubling after the end of the state of emergency. We do not see so far any sign of the 6th wave yet.

    l  During the Diet session, PM Kishida answered to a question that his administration will get ready for booster shots (3rd vaccines) to begin in December this year.


    <As of 12 pm of October 14th> 

    The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 1,713,691 and 18,068 respectively.  

    The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 619 and 33.  

    74.47% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 65.78% have done for the 2nd. 


    2. Kishida Receives Lukewarm Welcome From The Public


    According to NHK’s monthly public survey, 49% of the respondents said they would approve the newly born Kishida Cabinet, while 24% said they would not. The approval rating jumped by 19% from last month when PM Suga was still in charge. However, when the former prime minister inaugurated his cabinet in September last year, the approval rating was 62%.  It could have been higher if Kono were elected as the public surveys for the LDP Presidential election revealed Kono as most popular candidate. Or, Kishida might have been recognized as a sort of successor of Abe/Suga’s policies inheriting some downward trend of the preceding administrations’ popularity. 


    Anyway, Kishida dissolved the House of Representatives yesterday, setting the general election on October 31.   

    The same survey found the approval rating of LDP increased as follows:

                LDP      41.2% (+3.6 points from September)

                CDPJ     6.1% (+0.6 points)

                Komei    4.1% (+0.5 points)

                Communist 2.7% (-0.2 points)


    Following are the top 6 areas of concern that may dictate the respondents voting  behavior:

    l  Economy and fiscal policies            33%

    l  Social insurance policies                 23%

    l  Pandemic countermeasures            20%

    l  Diplomacy and security                     8%

    l  Environment and energy                   6%

    l  Constitutional amendment                 3%


    3. Japanese Supply Chain for mRNA


    Yamasa, one of the top soy sauce brands in Japan plays a critical supply role for the novel corona virus vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna, Yomiuri reported on October 13. Yamasa supplies pseudouridine, which is intended to replace one of mRNA’s components, namely uridine.  Without pseudouridine, human body’s immune system recognizes mRNA as foreign object causing inflammation. 


    Pseudouridine helps mRNA stay inside the human body without being attacked by the immune mechanism. Yamasa, an around 400 years old soy sauce maker diversified its business into bio medical fields in 1970s.  Yamasa started exporting pseudouridine in 1980s mostly for research purposes.   Thanks to the corona vaccines requirements, the company has been expanding its supply of pseudouridine by some tens of folds.  AGC, a Japanese major glass manufacturer supplies plasmid DNA that is used for Pfizer’s vaccine production process. Plasmid DNA plays the role of a mold to copy mRNA genetic information.


    4. New HondaJet Aims At Coast-To-Coast Flight Demand In U.S.


    On October 12, Honda Aircraft Company, one of Honda’s subsidiary companies in the United States announced a new project to enlarge its HondaJet.It is originally a small 8 seater business jet, but the projected plane is to accommodate 11 passengers.The body length is to be stretched from the present 13m to 17m or longer.  It would also extend its cruising range by 1.8 times (up to 4,860 km) so that a new HondaJet will be able to make a non-refueling flight between the east coast and the west coast of the United States. This announcement was intended to tap the water to know potential demand for a decision to launch the project.  

    In the small business jet category, HondaJet has been the most delivered aircraft in the world for four years in row since 2017. 


    Have a great weekend!