Fireworks light up the night sky during the “Omagari Hanabi Spring Festa” in the city of Daisen, Akita Prefecture, northeastern Japan, on April 30, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo
The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.
Coast guard searches sunken Hokkaido boat operator’s office
SHARI, Japan – The coast guard searched Monday the office of the operator of a tour boat that sank off Hokkaido with 26 people aboard over a week ago as well as the house of its president, suspecting the tragedy was caused by gross professional negligence.
The 1st Regional Coast Guard Headquarters will look into the documents it collected from Shiretoko Yuransen in Shari, Hokkaido, and the company’s president, Seiichi Katsurada, in an attempt to speed up the process of understanding the incident to build a case against the operator.
Japan plans to send foreign minister to S. Korean pres. inauguration
TOKYO – Japan plans to send Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi to South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol’s inauguration ceremony next week, deciding not to consent to Seoul’s wish for Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to attend, government sources said Monday.
Seoul had hoped for Kishida’s presence at the May 10 event to help improve bilateral relations that have soured over historical disputes which stem from Japan’s 1910-1945 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.
Yen’s rapid fall not seen as positive for Japan economy: polled firms
TOKYO – None of Japan’s major companies see the yen’s recent rapid fall as positive for the domestic economy, even as the currency’s weakening typically benefits its export-oriented economic structure, a survey showed Monday.
In a Kyodo News survey covering 125 companies, of which 109 such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Softbank Group Corp. gave valid answers, 31 percent said the yen’s recent slide was negative and 36 percent said it was neither positive nor negative.
Japan, Thai PMs meet over Ukraine crisis, defense cooperation
BANGKOK – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha met Monday to discuss the war in Ukraine and bolstering bilateral defense and economic cooperation.
Russia’s invasion of its neighbor has been one of the major agenda items for Kishida on his five-nation tour of Southeast Asia and Europe, which has already taken him to Indonesia and Vietnam.
51% of Japan kids get 1st smartphone at elementary school age: poll
TOKYO – Children in Japan are receiving their first smartphones at an increasingly early age, with 51.6 percent of parents reporting giving them to their kids in elementary school, according to a recent survey.
The rate was up 11.5 percentage points from the previous poll in 2019, said Mobile Marketing Data Labo, an information technology market research firm in Tokyo.
Japan energy giant Eneos to exit natural gas project in Myanmar
TOKYO – Japanese energy giant Eneos Holdings Inc. said Monday it will exit from a natural gas project in Myanmar due to political turmoil in the Southeast Asian country.
Eneos’ subsidiary, JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corp., has a 40 percent stake in a Tokyo-based joint company taking part in the project.
Baseball: Struggling Suzuki gets big hit in Cubs win
CHICAGO – Seiya Suzuki went 1-for-4 and doubled in an insurance run to end a 17-plate appearance hitless skid and help the Chicago Cubs snap a three-game skid in Sunday’s 2-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
The hit came off last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Corbin Burnes (1-1), in the sixth with two outs. Suzuki pulled Burnes’ third straight curveball down the left-field line to plate the runner from first.
FOCUS: Russian invasion shows urgent need for U.N. reform
TOKYO – With Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine showing up the United Nations as a malfunctioning world body, the time to push anew for drastic reform may have come for Japan and many other nations.
Even minor changes to the system of five permanent Security Council members holding veto power is likely to be difficult due to that very power itself. But experts say the world can make a start by first tackling more realizable goals such as expanding nonpermanent seats on the council and boosting the role of the General Assembly as a forum for expressing international opinion.