Kyodo News Digest: December 11, 2021

Lighting illuminates JR Futaba Station in Fukushima Prefecture City in Futaba, northeastern Japan, near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on December 10, 2021. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

The following is the latest list of news highlights selected by Kyodo News.


US, Australia, and others push for human rights export controls

WASHINGTON – The United States announced on Friday that it has agreed to work with Australia, Denmark and Norway to establish a “code of conduct” for the application of export control tools to prevent technologies are not misused by authoritarian governments.

The launch of the Export Control and Human Rights Initiative, which Britain and France have also expressed support for, was announced at a two-day virtual summit hosted by the President American Joe Biden to advance democracy in the face of the challenges posed by what he considers autocratic countries like China.


US inflation hits 39-year high of 6.8%, fueling faster Fed cut

WASHINGTON – The Consumer Price Index rose 6.8% in November from a year earlier, marking the largest increase in more than 39 years amid recovery from pandemic-induced economic slowdown coronavirus, data from the US Department of Labor showed on Friday.

The pace of increase in the CPI, which measures the prices of a wide range of goods and services, widened from 6.2% in October, adding pressure for the Federal Reserve to step up its reduction. its massive bond buying program.


US sanctions target human rights violations in China, Myanmar and North Korea

WASHINGTON – The US Treasury Department on Friday announced financial sanctions against 15 individuals and 10 entities for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses and repression in countries like China, Myanmar and North Korea.

He also imposed a restriction on investments in Chinese company SenseTime Group Ltd., accusing the company of developing facial recognition programs used to identify Uyghur Muslim minorities facing oppression from the Chinese government.


Britain lifts post-Fukushima restrictions on Japanese food imports

TOKYO – The British government has started the process of lifting restrictions on imports of agricultural products from Japan, a measure imposed in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, which could remove obstacles to such imports as early as next spring , the Ministry of Agriculture announced on Friday.

In its assessment of the potential health risks of Japanese food imports, Britain concluded that removing import restrictions would not affect domestic consumers.


SBI Holdings’ stake in Shinsei Bank approaches 48% after takeover bid

TOKYO – Online financial group SBI Holdings Inc. increased its stake in Shinsei Bank, approaching the upper limit of its 48% takeover bid and closing a three-month bid that at one point became hostile, a rare event in Japan’s financial sector, sources familiar with the matter said on Friday.

SBI now plans to seek approval to form a bank holding company by year-end to take a controlling stake in the mid-sized Japanese lender through additional share purchases, have indicated the sources.


Toyota to shut down more lines, 9,000 cars in 4 factories will be affected

NAGOYA – Toyota Motor Corp. announced on Friday that it would partially suspend operations of more domestic lines in December due to supply chain disruptions in Southeast Asia caused by the coronavirus pandemic, expecting a delay in the production of 9,000 cars in total in four factories.

The automaker will suspend another line at its Tahara plant in central Japan and its Miyata plant in the southwest from Monday to Wednesday, halting production of 5,500 units after announcing Thursday it was suspending a line each in the two factories.


Japan Cabinet adviser resigns amid criticism for accepting COVID grants

TOKYO – Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Friday that Nobuteru Ishihara, a former secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, had resigned from his recently appointed post of Special Cabinet Adviser amid criticism that a political party he directs had received grants for COVID-19 assistance.

This development, a blow to Kishida who appointed Ishihara to the post just a week ago, comes as the political group received around 600,000 yen ($ 5,300) in grants related to the pandemic last year.


Japan sets fiscal plan for fiscal 2022 focused on incentives to raise wages

TOKYO – The ruling coalition in Japan on Friday approved a fiscal plan for fiscal 2022 to encourage companies to raise wages through tax incentives, aimed at boosting household incomes in a country plagued by low inflation and to help stimulate consumption held back by the coronavirus pandemic.

Large companies that raise wages by 3% or more and small businesses that increase them by at least 1.5% will be eligible for tax cuts, as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s government tries to keep its promise campaign of a redistribution of wealth to support the middle class.

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