1.Forage prices soar
The price of forage has soared, casting a shadow over dairy farmers, although the price of it fell slightly (by $11 a ton) from October to December at the JA Japan Farmers Association. However, the increase in the previous 12 months was $140. A year ago, the price of forage was slightly less than $500 per ton, but now it has risen to about $640.
2. LDP lost one of two House of Councillors by-elections.
Japan’s ruling LDP lost one seat in Shizuoka Prefecture in last Sunday’s election for two House of Councilors by-elections. This drew criticism from within the party as well as from Prime Minister Fumio Kishida. Japan will hold a general election for the House of Representatives in a week’s time. This loss in Shizuoka Prefecture is a red flag for Kishida. When he took over as prime minister a month ago, he promised to strengthen countermeasures against the CCP virus and implement a “new capitalism” that would put the country’s economy on a growth track while increasing the income of laborers.
3. Japanese automakers delay new car deliveries due to Communist virus epidemic and semiconductor shortage
Japanese automakers such as Toyota and Honda have been forced to significantly reduce production due to the spread of the CCP virus in Southeast Asia and a shortage of semiconductors, which has added to the delay in new vehicle deliveries. For car owners who wanted to replace their cars when their car inspections were due, it became more difficult to purchase new cars and customers began to flow into the used car market rapidly, leading to high prices for used cars. Frustration spread in dealer over the loss of customers. Toyota’s Yaris required a five-month wait for purchase at the end of September, compared to two or three months six months ago. SUV’s HARRIER required an extended period of up to six months.
4. Japan resumes receiving foreign scholars of Japanese studies
The Japan Foundation (Tokyo), which is dedicated by the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has decided to restart accepting Japanese research scholars from foreign countries. This exchange was forced to be interrupted due to the impact of the CCP virus epidemic. The fund said on the 24th.Oct that a total of 55 researchers from Europe, US and other Asia countries will come to Japan on the 28th of this month. In addition, the fund is working with various parties to adjust to accept another group of researchers in middle of November and December. In Europe countries and US, Japan’s strict travel restrictions has been criticized.
5. Japanese truck sales weak, below previous year for two consecutive years
The trucking industry summarized the sales of general trucks (medium and large trucks with a load capacity of 4 tons or more) from April to September 2021, down 1.7% from the same period of the previous year to 40,560. As the April to September period, it is lower than the previous year for the second consecutive year. Some plants had to suspend production lines due to delays in the supply of parts as a result of the re-expansion of the CCP virus outbreak. For sales, the outlook also lacks transparency. In terms of vehicle types, large vehicles decreased by 1.5% to 26,001. Medium-sized vehicles were down 1.9% at 14,559.
6. Japan hopes to reach institutional agreement on CO2 emission targets
For Japan, the discussions at COP26 are crucial. Japan has set a target of “0 carbon emission by 2050,” which is a 46% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to the target for Heisei 25 years (2013) and Reiwa 12 years (2030). If the rules for implementing Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, a market mechanism for emissions trading, which is a part of emissions reduction, are not agreed upon, Japan will face a difficult and hard way to reach the target, and environmental diplomacy will be put to the a tough test.
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