1.    COVID-19 Updates In Japan


  •  It seems the present infection wave is reaching its end, and the number of new cases is declining in the past two weeks throughout Japan. 
  • The central government started to accept as a test case small tour groups of foreign visitors this week to learn potential risk points of infection out of tourists moving patterns and how to ensure preventative measures including the rules to be followed by those foreign tourists.  In fact, the government decided yesterday that, effective on June 10, it would accept the entry of foreign tourists from 98 countries on a package tour basis.
  • The government also decided to double the capacity of accepting foreign visitors (no tourists) from the current 10,000 a day to 20,000 effective on June 1. 


<As of 8 pm of May 26> 

The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 8,746,216 and 30,480 respectively.  The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 31,010 and 42.  81.7% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 80.5% have done for the 2nd and 58.2% for the 3rd. 


2.  Japan To Increase Regional Security Strengthening Efforts


During the meeting with American President Biden of May 23, PM Kishida clearly stated that he is committed to a substantial increase of Japan’s defense spending and to acquiring counter-attack capability to keep up with the regional security requirement.  

The two leaders agreed to collaborate with each other to materialize a world without nuclear weapons, and to work on China jointly for more transparency of its nuclear weapons and nuclear disarmament. 


On the following day, PM Kishida had a separate meeting with newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, who visited Tokyo to attend the QUAD summit meeting.

The two agreed to revise the Japan-Australia Joint Declaration for security cooperation of 2007 to strengthen the relationship for regional security.  


The two leaders shared the concern against China’s conclusion of security agreement with the Solomon Islands in South Pacific Ocean, and agreed to strengthen collaboration in the South Pacific region as well. 


On the same day, PM Kishida separately met with Indian Prime Minister Modi, who also came to Tokyo for the QUAD summit meeting.  The two prime ministers agreed to coordinate a very first joint fighter exercise between the Japanese Self Defense Force and the Indian military forces.  The two leaders also agreed to hold the 2nd 2+2 meeting as soon as possible.      


3.  Chinese And Russian Military Presence Near Japan Escalated 


According to Japan’s Ministry of Defense, two Chinese bombers (H6) and two Russian bombers (TU95) jointly flew from Japan Sea through East China Sea from the morning to the afternoon of May 24.  


Later, the two H6s were taken over by two other Chinese bombers and flew through the gap between the Okinawa’s mainland and Miyako Island together with the two TU95s toward the Pacific Ocean.  

A Russian information gathering plane was also found on the same day off the coast of Hokkaido flying toward off the coast of the Noto Peninsula.  Since it was the day of the QUAD summit meeting in Tokyo where PM Kishi welcomed U.S. President Biden, Indian Prime Minister Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as a chair, the Japanese government delivered its grave concern to China and Russia through the diplomatic channels.  


Chinese Ministry of Defense announced that it conducted joint strategic flight operations with the Russian counterparts on May 24 in the air over Japan Sea, East China Sea and Western Pacific Ocean.  


It explained that these flight operations are conducted based on an annual plan implying that they didn’t mean to demonstrate it in front of the four premiers of QUAD.  

In the meantime, the Chinese first aircraft carrier Liaoning conducted its onboard fighters’ taking-off and landing exercises more than 300 times from May 3 through 20 off the coast of Okinawa and east of Taiwan.  Night exercises were included as well.  Defense experts analyze that the exercises were intended to simulate their military operations such as intercepting American fighters and attacking the U.S. bases in Okinawa when China invades Taiwan.


Besides, Chinese strategic bombers intruded Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone a couple of times this month.  


4. Japan To Join First Movers Coalition


The Kishida Administration announced on May 24 that it would participate in First Movers Coalition (FMC) as a strategic partner nation.  FMC was established jointly by the United States and World Economic Forum, which organizes the Davos meetings, in November last year when COP26 was held. Member companies of FMC are expected to take a lead to procure new technologies and products to reduce CO2 emissions.  


To be more precise, members will set a procurement goal to be achieved by 2030 in eight fields including air transportation, ocean transportation, steel, and truck transportation.  

For example, some of member companies may introduce the next generation air fuel “SAF”,  or switch 30% of their truck fleets to EV and so forth.  


METI will urge Japanese companies to join FMC so that they will be able to explore new sustainable and eco-friendly business opportunities, Yomiuri reported.



Have a wonderful weekend!