1. COVID-19 Updates In Japan
l The previous 5th wave of infection in this year caused so far the largest ever number of infection cases and death tolls, and it was said to be attributable to the government’s lack of tight control of the border against the Delta variant’s first arrival in the end of last year. With this bitter lesson of his predecessor, the Kishida Administration swiftly decided to close the border right after finding the first infection case of the Omicron variant in the country. So far, the number of new Omicron cases are just four as of Thursday.
l The booster shots began last week for doctors and nurses etc. The government announced that the third vaccination would be accelerated without waiting for 8 months of interval.
<As of 10 pm of December 9th>
The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 1,728,787 and 18,382 respectively.
The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 165 and 1.
79.0% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 77.3% have done for the 2nd.
2. Tight Border Control Boosted Kishida’s Approval Rating
According to Yomiuri’s monthly survey, which was conducted from December 3 through 5, Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating jumped by 6 points to 62% from November. Its disapproval rating declined by 7 points to 22%. 89% of the respondents approved the government’s immediate border control actions, which are so far contributing to containing the spread of the Omicron variant. With regard to the 55.7 trillion yen economic stimulus package that PM Kishida decided to launch last month, 53% expressed their approval.
In the meantime, 53% disapproved the social policy of providing everyone of 18 years old and below with 100,000 yen as opposed to 39% approving it. The ruling LDP increased approval rating by 2% to 41% from the previous month while major opposition parties’ approval rating went down as follows:
Japan Restoration 10%→8%
3. Preemptive Attack Capability Mentioned In PM Kishida’s Speech
An Extraordinary Diet session was called upon on December 6, and PM Kishida delivered his general policy speech. As for national security, he announced that his administration would strengthen nation’s self-defense capability by updating the National Security Strategy by revising the National Defense Programs Outline and the Mid Term Defense Programs by the end of 2022.
In his speech, he said the government would not eliminate any options including acquiring preemptive attack capability against enemy missile sites that may pose imminent threat against Japan.
4. Space Debris Cleaning To Be Promoted As New Business
Yomiuri reported on December 9 that the government of Japan had come up with a guideline with regard to “services on orbit”. The services assume repairing or refueling functioning satellites to extend their lives as well as cleaning space debris including nonfunctioning satellites by physically removing them out of orbit toward the atmosphere. The guideline is intended to take a lead for common international rule making to be a global standard.
Any Japanese companies who would like to be a government authorized servicer in the space need to apply for the authorization by showing their agreement with international satellite operators, which have to comply with the laws of the nations of such operators, and proving that their services are not intended or utilized for any military purposes.
Applicants also need to demonstrate that their services are cyberattack proof.
5. Experts Ponder How To Make Imperial Family Sustainable
Princess Mako, the first child of the Prince Akishinomiya got married last month, and it means she simultaneously left the Imperial Family member status (she is now a regular citizen). Facing the declination of the number of the Imperial Family members through such departures of princesses, and less and less number of new birth within the royal family, the government presented to an expert committee three options of countermeasure to keep the Imperial Family from shrinking further. The first option is to allow all the princesses to keep the royal member status even after getting married.
The 2nd option is to enable the Imperial Family to adopt the men who belong to the Imperial lineage, yet whose families had left the Imperial Family after the war for various reasons.
The 3rd option is to make all the men who belong to the Imperial lineage Imperial Family members by law.
The expert committee seem to have objected the 3rd option, so reportedly the first option and or 2ndoption will be seriously explored by the experts.
Have a pleasant weekend!