1. Panasonic to Withdraw from TV Production in Europe at the End of March next Year
On the 21st, Panasonic announced its plan to withdraw from TV production in Europe by the end of March 2022. The company will consolidate its production bases to cut costs in its TV business and get out of the red, Yomiuri News reported on Friday. Of the approximately 800 people working at the Czech factory, the only TV production base in Europe, most of them about 400 TV-related employees will be laid off. TVs, which is estimated to be 1 million units a year, will be outsourced to other companies, and sales will continue. The company’s only TV factories will be in Malaysia and Taiwan. Global sales of televisions used to be on the order of 20 million units per year, but in fiscal 2020, they fell to about 3.6 million units.
2. Joint Chiefs of Staff: “We Will Watch with Interest the Activities of CCP’s and Russian Naval Vessels in the Vicinity of Japan”
NHK: On the 18th of this month, Maritime Self-Defense Force aircraft and naval vessels confirmed that a total of 10 Chinese and Russian naval vessels were passing through the Tsugaru Strait at the same time. Tsugaru Strait is an “international strait,” which means that foreign vessels, including warships, are internationally allowed to sail through it. At the press conference on 21st, he said, “We will watch the activities of Communist Chinese and Russian forces in the vicinity of Japan with a high level of interest, and we will take all possible measures to guard and monitor the sea and airspace around Japan.
3. Last Month’s Supermarket Sales Exceeded the Previous Year’s Due to Higher Vegetable Prices
NHK reported Thursday that last month’s sales at significant supermarkets across Japan surpassed the previous year’s level for the first time in two months, thanks to so-called “Home Needs” and higher prices for vegetables due to bad weather, which boosted sales mainstay foodstuffs. According to the Japan Chain Stores Association, sales at 11,855 major supermarkets nationwide last month totaled 1.051 trillion yen, up 3.2% from the same month the previous year and the first increase in two months compared with existing stores. By product, sales of vegetables increased by 4.8% due to higher prices, sales of clothing were down 14.2%, while sales of cosmetics, detergents for clothing, and antiperspirants were down 8.3%.
4. Japan Seeks to Make Online Insults Punishable by Prison Terms
According to Kyodo News Thursday, A plan to introduce prison terms as part of stricter penalties for online insults in Japan was approved Thursday by an advisory panel amid a growing need to tackle cyberbullying, the Justice Ministry said. The board also discussed amendments to the criminal procedure law so that defendants will be required to wear a GPS device while on bail if deemed a flight risk. Its proposals were submitted to Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa the same day, according to the ministry.
5. 345 Cases Confirmed CCP Virus Across Japan and 16 Dead
According to NHK, On the 21st, 345 cases of the CCP virus infection have been announced nationwide so far. Sixteen deaths have been reported: 6 in Osaka Prefecture, 3 in Okinawa Prefecture, 2 in Tokyo, 2 in Kanagawa Prefecture, 1 in Chiba Prefecture, 1 in Saitama Prefecture, and 1 in Yamaguchi Prefecture. The number of people confirmed in Japan is 1,716,477, including 1,715,765 in quarantine at airports and 712 passengers and crew on cruise ships. Therefore, a total of 1,716,477 people, including 1,715,765 confirmed cases in Japan and 712 passengers and crew on cruise ships, have died.
6. Weak Yen Morphs into a New Threat to Japan with Surging Energy Costs
Kyodo News reported on Thursday that the yen’s weakening raises prices of imported products such as oil, putting Japan at serious risk at a time when the resource-scarce county saw import prices rising at the fastest pace in four decades last month. Wholesale prices have also been gaining sharply, testing the tolerance of Japanese companies that have opted to absorb higher costs rather than pass them on to consumers. Some food and gasoline prices are already beginning to tick up to put pressure on consumer spending. Since early October, the Japanese currency had fallen by nearly 4 yen against the dollar when Fumio Kishida became Japan’s new prime minister with a pledge to ensure growth and redistribution.
【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Seentiz Homma (帆間知津)
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