1. COVID-19 Updates In Japan
l A largest ever economic package in the amount of 55.7 trillion yen (US$484.3 billion) was approved by the Kishida Cabinet members on November 19. The fiscal spending will include cash infusion to the families that had been hit hard by the pandemic or have a child or children up to high school students. It also provides small business owners who had been raided by the covid-19 with one time support cash as large as 2.5 million yen (US$21.7 k) per business. In order to launch one of PM Kishida’s campaign promises to achieve higher share of distributions to employees, the economic package includes salary increase for childcare workers, senior care workers and nurses from February next year. Tourism, dining and event stimulus coupons, namely “Go To Campaign”, “Go To Eat”, and so forth are also covered by this stimulus package.
l The government starts the booster shots next week for the medical community.
<As of 10 pm of November 25th>
The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 1,727,193 and 18,366 respectively.
The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 119 and 2.
78.66% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 76.45% have done for the 2nd.
2. Government’s Petroleum Reserve To Be Released For The First Time To The Market
In response to the sounding of the Biden Administration of the United States, the Kishida Administration decided this week to release for the first time the government’s oil reserve to the market. According to Yomiuri, Japan’s Petroleum Reserve Law requires the government of Japan to store oil for the amount equal to or more than the amount of Japan’s daily petroleum import times 90 days.
The same law requires Japanese oil companies to save the amount equal to or more than the amount of Japan’s daily petroleum consumption times 70 days. In the past emergencies such as oil crises, only oil companies’ stock were released to the market, while the government’s reserve had never been spent before.
As of the end of September, the amount of the reserve had reached 145 day worth amount of Japan’s daily oil consumption. Commercial oil companies’ reserve as of the end of September also reached 90 day worth amount of Japan’s daily oil consumption. Average retail price of gasoline in Japan as of November 15 hit 168.9 yen per litter (US$5.56/gallon), highest ever price since 2014.Whether the release amount is sufficient to reduce the oil price or not, is yet to be seen.
3. Satellites Based HGV Surveillance Network
Yomiuri reported on November 22 that the Japanese government solidified a policy to establish a satellite based observation network called “Satellite Constellation” by launching three small satellites into orbit in the middle of 2020s, and by demonstrating how the network could contribute to assigned missions. At this moment, intended missions include not only disaster situational awareness and ocean surveillance but also the detection and tracking of Hypersonic Glide Vehicle that China and Russia are intensively developing like DF17.
4. Tokyo Ranked #3 Under Annual Metropolitan Ranking
Institute of Urban Strategies of the Mori Memorial Foundation, a think tank of Mori Building Company announced on November 24 its annual ranking of world metropolitan cities titled “Global Power City Index 2021.” London was ranked #1, followed by New York and Tokyo was ranked 3rd. Tokyo was also in the 3rd place in 2020 and 2019.
The index is described by the institute as follows:
“Given the global competition between cities, the Global Power City Index (GPCI) evaluates and ranks the major cities of the world according to their “magnetism,” or their comprehensive power to attract people, capital, and enterprises from around the world. It does so through measuring 6 functions—Economy, Research and Development, Cultural Interaction, Livability, Environment, and Accessibility—providing a multidimensional ranking. The GPCI is able to grasp the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of global cities in a continuously changing world not only through a ranking, but also through analyzing that ranking’s specific components”.
Under a sub-functional category of “Flexibility of Working Style”, Tokyo was ranked 41st in 2020 among the 48 major cities, but it’s ranked #2 this year thanks to the pandemic driven varieties of working style such as shared office etc.
Have a pleasant weekend!