Kyodo News Digest: December 2, 2021


Below is the latest list of selected news summaries from Kyodo News.


Japan pauses booking incoming flights after criticism

TOKYO – The Japanese government on Thursday reversed its decision to completely stop bookings for inbound flights by the end of the year after criticism that the measure against the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was going too far.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida admitted that the transport ministry’s announcement the previous day had created confusion and told reporters that he had instructed officials to “properly take into account” people’s desire to travel home.


Women’s Tennis Ass’n suspends all tournaments in China because of the Peng Shuai case

TOKYO – The Women’s Tennis Association announced on Wednesday that it would suspend all tournaments in China, including Hong Kong, raising its stakes with Beijing on charges of sexual assault by Chinese professional tennis player Peng Shuai against a former Chinese vice-premier.

The move by the major tennis organization could deal a blow to the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, which the communist-led Chinese government under President Xi Jinping was keen to use to bolster national prestige, foreign policy experts said.


Figure skating: Grand Prix final is canceled due to Omicron threat

TOKYO – The final of the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating is canceled due to the appearance of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, the Japan Skating Federation announced on Thursday, which is likely to have an impact on the whole world of the sport.

The Grand Prix Final, in which the six best points earners in each discipline from six Grand Prix tournaments are represented, is the second most prestigious annual event in the sport after the World Championships.


Ehime nuclear reactor in western Japan put back into operation after a two-year standstill

MATSUYAMA, Japan – Shikoku Electric Power Co. restarted a nuclear reactor on Thursday in Ehime Prefecture, western Japan, which had been offline since December 2019 due to regular inspections and a subsequent court order.

The utility restarted the Ikata Nuclear Power Plant’s No. 3 reactor after an injunction by the Hiroshima Supreme Court in January 2020 that banned the reactor from operating for safety reasons was overturned in March.


US toughens COVID-19 test rules for international travelers

WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s administration said Thursday it would tighten coronavirus testing rules for those entering the US due to concerns about the new variant of Omicron, giving international travelers a negative within a day of their scheduled departure Have to send the result back.

The new safety protocol, which will be rolled out early next week, is part of a series of measures the government has planned to help the nation cope with the ongoing pandemic without closing schools and businesses.


Japan’s envoy called for a meeting in China on the Taiwanese remarks made by ex-Prime Minister Abe

BEIJING – A senior Chinese diplomat has convened an emergency meeting with the Japanese ambassador to China to protest former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s comments on Taiwan-related issues, the government said Thursday.

Deputy Foreign Minister Hua Chunying met with Hideo Tarumi on Wednesday evening, hours after Abe said at a virtual event that any emergency related to the self-governing island would be an emergency for Japan and the Japanese-American security alliance.


Japan’s largest union calls for 4% pay rise in wage negotiations

TOKYO – Japan’s largest trade union organization on Thursday decided to call for a 4 percent wage increase in its annual wage negotiations early next year to help ensure a fair redistribution of wealth, a goal also pursued by the country’s prime minister.

Sluggish wage growth is being blamed in part for weak domestic demand in Japan, and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is calling for a pay rise of over 3 percent next year for companies recovering their profits to pre-pandemic levels in order to deliver on his promise of economic growth and growth Achieve wealth distribution.


Baseball: Ohtani’s mentor Kuriyama becomes Japan’s manager

TOKYO – Former Nippon Ham Fighters skipper Hideki Kuriyama has been named the new manager of Japan’s Samurai Japan national baseball team, NPB Enterprise Inc. announced on Thursday.

Kuriyama won two Pacific League pennants and a Japan Series in his 10 years with the Fighters, overseeing Shohei Ohtani’s professional development as both a batsman and a thrower.


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