1. Biden Wants Japan to Increase Defense Spending
U.S. President Joe Biden said in a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in October that he wants Japan to increase its defense spending as the two allies deepen their ties amid the rise of China, Kyodo News reported 27. Biden’s remarks came after Kishida showed an eagerness to bolster Japan’s defense spending, kept at about 1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product in light of a constitution that renounces war. The issue is expected to be discussed at the next meeting between Biden and Kishida and during security talks between the two countries foreign and defense ministers.
2. Japan to Tighten Entry Rules for Three More African Countries
Japan will add Mozambique, Malawi, and Zambia to its list of countries subject to stricter entry rules from Sunday after a new variant of the Chinese Communist virus was discovered in South Africa, Kyodo News reported Nov. 27. The Japanese government wants to ensure that “border control measures are firmly enforced,” a day after it began requiring travelers who have recently visited Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, or Zimbabwe to spend ten days at a government-designated facility upon arrival. During these ten days, travelers from the designated countries must be tested for the CCA virus on the third, sixth, and tenth days after arrival.
3. Resumption of Duplicate Payment Problem with “LINE Pay”, 25,000 Payments Refunded
LINE Pay announced that it has recovered from the problem that caused some users to receive double payments, NHK reported on Nov. 27. Starting at around 8:30 p.m. on the 26th, LINE Pay experienced a system glitch that caused some users to receive duplicate payments. At 6:20 p.m. on the 27th, LINE Pay recovered from the system glitch and refunded 25,000 cases of the same prices to users. The reason for the duplicate payments was that sales data provided by the credit card company was imported twice in the amounts of some people who used a prepaid card called LINE Pay Card.
4. The Finance Minister Says He Was Unaware of High Administrative Costs for 100,000 Yen Benefits
The Asahi Shimbun reported on November 27 that the administrative cost of the childcare family benefit decided by the Kishida cabinet is 120 billion yen. Opposition parties have been increasingly critical of the government’s complex approach to welfare, which has led to increased administrative costs. The government is using vouchers in the second round, which will cost an additional 90 billion yen. Members of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan will question the government on this issue in a special session of the Diet. On the other hand, the finance minister stressed, “By paying with coupons, we can ensure that the money will be used for children… The form of coupons is a means to ensure that the benefits do not go into savings. “
5. Japanese Prime Minister Says Enemy Bases to Strengthen Defenses
On Saturday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan would strengthen necessary defense forces and consider all options, including acquiring enemy base strike capabilities, Kyodo News reported Nov. 27. All options will be on the table when Japan revises its foreign and security policy, including the idea of giving the Self-Defense Forces the ability to strike enemy bases. The idea of Japan having such an attack capability is delicate because the SDF has strict limits on its use of force under a constitution that renounces war.
6. “Zero Interest Zero Collateral Financing” Faces Critical Moment as Bankruptcies Due to CCP Virus Continue to Rise
The number of bankruptcies in the two Kansai prefectures in the first half of the fiscal year 2021 was 750, the lowest level in two decades, thanks to various government-led support measures, Reuters reported on November 26. However, bankruptcies due to the impact of the CCP virus continue to occur, such as a decline in sales due to requests not to go out. As of November 8, the total number of companies in the Kansai region that have gone bankrupt due to the outbreak has reached 433. With the declaration of the state of emergency and lifting the requirement to shorten working hours, economic activity will gradually begin to normalize. However, it will be time to repay the so-called “zero interest and zero mortgage” loans, and government support measures will slowly come to an end. Competition among competitors will intensify in several sectors, including food and beverage and tourism. If profitability does not return, the number of bankruptcies could rise again.
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