1. Japan’s PM Candidates Focus on Tourism and Agriculture to Garner Support
At an online plenary session, all four candidates — Taro Kono, former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, former Interior Minister Hayao Takashi and former Gender Equality Minister Soko Noda — acknowledged the importance of tourism and agriculture, issues critical to revitalizing the regional economy, Kyodo News reported Sept. 25. Kawano said Japan needs to promote inbound tourism that has a “good impact” on the regional economy, and that one challenge facing the country is how to attract affluent tourists. Kishida said tourism has “great potential” for the regional economy. Takashi and Nagano, who has aspirations to become Japan’s first female prime minister – are banking on the power of Japan’s popular cultural forms, such as anime and movies, in attracting tourists.
2. Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga Said “It’s Important for the U.S. to Return to the TPP”
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who is visiting the United States, said Tuesday morning that he believes it is essential for the United States to return to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), but gave no details about Wednesday’s Japan-U.S. summit or the Japan-U.S.-Australia-India TPP summit, the Sankei Shimbun reported Sept. 26. He also said he would not join the next Cabinet and that the new prime minister would be elected in the LDP presidential election on the 29th of this month. Asked if he would cancel the emergency declaration issued to 19 prefectures at the end of this month because of the improving situation of the CCP virus infection, he said, “The problem is improving. We will decide after listening to the opinions of experts. “
3. Japan Reviews Medical System Ahead of Possible Sixth Wave of Outbreak
In addition to requiring existing medical facilities to ensure enough beds, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare plan to increase the number of temporary medical facilities such as gyms and enhance coordination of personnel, officials said, Kyodo News reported Sept. 25. During the last resurgence of the outbreak, the daily number of infections nationwide peaked at about 25,800 on Aug. 20. While prefectures plan to raise their numbers to double the third wave, some areas have seen more than triple the number. Even in countries where vaccination programs were introduced earlier than Japan, infections have been increasing, so a resurgence should be expected in the future.
4. Tourism Industry Wants Relaxation of Restrictions
The Mainichi Shimbun reported on September 25 that the tourism industry, which has been facing severe pressure of not going out, is looking to the government’s plan to ease restrictions on activities. The background is the progress of vaccination and the beginning of preparations to open a business to those already vaccinated. On the other hand, there is great concern about the possibility of a resurgence of infection due to the “relaxation,” and it is a challenge to balance this with measures to prevent disease.” We have received many inquiries from clients, and the response has been overwhelming. ” In response to the government’s relaxed policy, a major travel agency in Osaka City opened an application page on September 15 to offer special tours for people who have received the vaccine. The company said the tours to Kyoto and Nara are top-rated during the autumn foliage season. A spokeswoman for the company said, “We hope that customers who have been vaccinated will take more thorough measures to prevent infection while enjoying the tours.”
5. Leaders of Four Countries Meet to Strengthen Economic Security Through Semiconductor Supply Cooperation
According to Sankei Shimbun, on September 26, at the quadrilateral leaders’ meeting, the four countries confirmed their cooperation in creating a supply chain for advanced semiconductors. This is not only to counter the fast-growing semiconductor market in the Communist countries but also because of the severe shortage and unstable supply chain of semiconductors that threaten the economic security of each country. The joint document confirms that the four countries will focus on a “robust, diverse, and secure” supply chain for semiconductors and other materials. The outcome document also specifies a “joint initiative” to enhance the security of the semiconductor supply chain. Furthermore, the four countries will support secure and competitive production and supply of semiconductors and critical components.
6. Leaders of the Four Countries Will Meet Regularly, but the Change of Japanese Prime Minister Makes It Crucial to Rebuild Trust
The Quadrilateral Economic Cooperation Council of Japan, the United States, Australia, India, and Japan agreed to make their meetings more regular, as requested by Japan, and confirmed the expansion of cooperation in infrastructure and other areas the Sankei Shimbun reported Sept. 26. The next prime minister, who will be decided after the LDP presidential election on the 29th, will be tasked with rebuilding Trust with leaders of other countries and putting cooperation into practice. A senior government official stressed after the meeting. Unlike forward-looking Japan and the United States, India and Australia, with their all-encompassing diplomacy, have not always been proactive. However, they have gradually shifted their focus due to conflicts and caution with the Chinese communist state.
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