1. COVID-19 Updates In Japan
l The experts are suggesting that Japan, throughout the nation, is heading into the 8th wave of infection anticipating its peak will come around middle of January next year.
l Japan National Tourists Organization announced on November 16 that the number of foreigners who visited Japan in October went up by 22.5 times to 498,600 in comparison with a year ago. Korean people visited most (122,900), followed by the visitors from the United States (53,200), Hong Kong (36,200), Taiwan (35,000) and Thailand (34,100). JNTO explained that the surge is attributable to the significant loosening of the border control that was made last month, and to athe weakening yen.
<As of 8 pm of November 18>
The cumulative number of infected and dead in Japan are 23,638,752 and 48,199 respectively.
The number of new cases and death in the nation for the day was 84,272 and 110.
81.4% of the population have finished the first dose of the vaccine, while 80.4% have done for the 2nd and 66.6% for the 3rd.
2. Kishida’s Approval Rating Shows New Bottom
NHK’s monthly survey that was conducted from November 11 through 13 revealed that the Kishida Cabinet’s approval rating renewed the lowest since he took the office last year.
It was 59% when the ruling LDP triumphed the general election in this July.
In 4 months, it dropped down to 33% this month.
Its disapproval rating went up to 46%.
Confronting the issue of the former Unification Church and a series of inappropriate statements of his cabinet members, his indecisive attitude quite disappointed the public.
The approval rating is entering a red zone and whether Kishida’s favorite field of diplomacy would help him regain his political capital is yet to be seen.
3. Japan-China First Top Meeting In Person Since 2019
Taking the opportunity of this year’s APEC Summit Meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, PM Kishida met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on November 17.
It was the first top meeting in person between the two nations ever since December 23, 2019 when late Shinzo Abe met Xi in Beijing and invited Xi to visit Japan in March of 2020 as a state guest.
Xi’s visit to Japan was not materialized due to the breakup of the pandemic in February 2020.
Recognizing the issues of the Senkaku Archipelagos, Taiwan Strait, China’s gas field development in the East China Sea, China’s human right abuse and North Korean nuclear missile and the significance of the economic relationship with China, PM Kishida told Xi that the two nations share significant amount of responsibility in the region and in the world for peace and prosperity, so the two should accelerate to build a constructive and stable relationship with mutual effort.
Xi replied that the significance of China-Japan relationship remains unchanged, and China wishes to build a relationship with Japan, which meets the demand of new era.
4. Nuclear Power Plant’ Lifetime May Go Beyond 60 years
Yomiuri reported on November 17 that Nuclear Regulation Authority gave a consent to the draft of new rule to extend the operational life of nuclear power plant beyond 60 years from the beginning of the operation.
The original rule defines the lifetime of the power plant as 40 years in principle and only one time extension is permitted for 20 more years subject to sever security and safety tests.
The new rule allows nuclear power plant’s operation to be extended beyond 30 years through application and safety/security check every 10 years.
It is the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to ultimately decide on the new rule and it is expected to do so within this year.
5. Highest Inflation Rate Marked Since 1982
Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced on November 18 its monthly inflation index (food prices excluded), which revealed a 3.6% increase from the same month last year.
It is the largest increase ever since February of 1982.
Import prices of natural resources and raw material for industries have been soaring due to the supply chain disruptions caused by the pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as the yen depreciation.
Have a wonderful weekend!