Kyodo News Digest: February 1, 2022


The following is the latest list of select news summaries from Kyodo News.


Hawkish Ex-Tokyo Governor Author Ishihara Dies Aged 89: Source

TOKYO – Author and former Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, who left his mark on Japanese politics as a staunch hawk and whose nationalist views have often ruffled the feathers of Japan’s neighbors, has died, a source close to him said Tuesday. He was 89.

The writer-turned-politician-turned-legislator-turned-legislator provoked a bitter diplomatic row between Japan and China in 2012 by announcing a plan for the Tokyo metropolitan government to buy much of the disputed Senkaku Islands, the being claimed by China, by a Japanese private owner.


The Japanese lower house expresses concern about human rights in China

TOKYO – Japan’s lower house on Tuesday passed a rare resolution expressing concern over the human rights situation in China’s Xinjiang region and Hong Kong, underscoring its focus on the issue just days before the start of the Beijing Winter Olympics.

While the House resolution on “serious human rights situations” in Xinjiang and elsewhere did not directly blame China or use the term “human rights abuses,” it called for Beijing’s accountability and called for the constructive involvement of the Japanese government.


Japan approves Sado Mine bid for World Heritage Site despite South Korean protests

TOKYO – Japan on Tuesday decided to nominate a complex of gold and silver mines on Sado Island for the 2023 UNESCO World Heritage List, defying protests by South Korea over the nomination of the site linked to war work.

Attempting to register the mine, one of the world’s largest gold producers in the 17th century, could face hurdles as troubles dating back to World War II continue to riddle relations between the two countries.


Japanese Hayashi condemns the ongoing violence in Myanmar after the coup

TOKYO – Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi on Tuesday condemned violence in Myanmar that has claimed many lives since a military coup on February 1 last year.

“We strongly condemn the violent situation that is causing many deaths despite repeated calls from the international community,” Hayashi said in a statement, urging the military to act with restraint and seek a peaceful solution to bring stability.


Japan’s job vacancy for 2021 has fallen for the third straight year amid pandemic

TOKYO – Japan’s job vacancy rate fell for the third straight year in 2021 as companies continued to feel the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and offered fewer job vacancies, government data showed on Tuesday.

The ratio was 1.13, the Department of Health, Labor and Welfare said. While that still meant 113 job openings per 100 jobseekers, it was down 0.05 points year-on-year, after a 0.42-point slump in 2020.


The search for the missing fighter jet crew in the Sea of ​​Japan continues

TOKYO – Search operations resumed Tuesday after an Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter jet with a crew of two disappeared from radar over the Sea of ​​Japan the previous evening.

The ASDF, the Maritime Self-Defense Force and the Coast Guard have mobilized search planes, helicopters and ships in front of Komatsu Air Base in central Japan’s Ishikawa Prefecture.


Sony is acquiring US gaming company Bungie for $3.6 billion

NEW YORK – The video game unit of Sony Group Corp. announced Monday that it will acquire US company Bungie Inc., developers of the popular Destiny shooter series, for $3.6 billion.

Sony Interactive Entertainment LLC said in a statement that the acquisition will give it access to Bungie’s “world-class approach to live gaming services and technology expertise,” a move that will further intensify competition in the gaming industry.


Baseball: Fans return as 12 NPB teams begin spring training

TOKYO — Spring training for the 12 Nippon Professional Baseball teams began Tuesday, and fans watched the action at baseball stadiums for the first time in two years.

Last year, fans were locked out during spring training because of COVID-19 precautions, but this year teams are allowing fans to return under new safety protocols.


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