1.Japan Confirms Second Omicron Case
NHK reported on Dec 1, a man who entered Japan from Peru has been confirmed to have been infected with a new variant of the CCP virus, the Omicron variant. This is the second case in Japan to be confirmed to have been infected with the Omicron variant. According to Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the man arrived at Narita Airport on November 27 from Peru via Doha, the capital of Qatar in the Middle East, and was tested positive at the quarantine station at the airport. National Institute of Infectious Diseases was analyzing the genes of the specimen. As a result, it was confirmed that he was infected with the Omicron variant. All 114 people are in close contact and are asked to stay in accommodations for 14 days after entering Japan. Their health and whereabouts are continuing to be checked, said by Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.
2.Japan Asks Airlines to Forgo New Reservations
NHK reported on Dec 1, to further tighten border measures against the Omicron CCP virus variant, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLITT) is asking all airlines to stop taking new reservations for all incoming international flights until the end of December. That includes Japanese nationals who live abroad but do not have reservations will effectively be unable to return to their home countries. “This is a precautionary measure for emergency evacuation”, explained by MLITT. Flights departing from Japan can still be booked as before, but in response to the request, ANA and JAL have stopped accepting reservations for arriving flights from Dec 1.
3.Prime Minister Kishida: Make the “Tax System for Raising Wages” an Effective System for Enterprise Support
NHK reported on Dec 1, regarding the tax reform for the next fiscal year, Prime Minister Kishida met with LDP Tax Commission Chairman Miyazawa and instructed him to make the “wage increase taxation”, which is the focus of the tax reform, into an effective system that will lead to an increase in everyone’s salary. Prime Minister Kishida said, “I would like you to consider a tax system that will lead to higher wages and help the economy move toward new capitalism and instructed to make it an effective system that will lead to an increase in each person’s salary”. After the meeting, Miyazawa told reporters, “We are still in the middle of the process and nothing has been decided yet, but I reported the situation to Prime Minister Kishida.”
4.Japan’s Prime Minister Holds Televised Meeting with Cambodian Prime Minister, Conveys Desire to Strengthen Defense Exchange
NHK reported on Dec 1, Prime Minister Kishida met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen via videoconference on December 1 and conveyed his desire to strengthen defense exchanges between the two countries considering the 30th anniversary next year of the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to Cambodia as part of UN PKO. Considering Cambodia’s chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year, the two sides agreed to cooperate in realizing Japan’s vision of a free and open Indo-Pacific and concerning CCP’s increasing expansion into the East China Sea and South China Sea, also confirmed that two sides will work closely together to respond to the situation.
5.Nippon Ham to Raise Prices of Sausages and Other Products Due to Hiking Raw Material Prices
NHK reported on Dec 1, a major food manufacturer, “Nippon Ham”, announced that it will raise the prices of 424 items (about 60% of all products) such as ham and sausages when delivering them to its customers or reduce the content volume due to the hiking prices of raw materials. The price increase will be between 5% and 12% and will be effective from the delivery date of February 1 next year. The company attributed this to the soaring purchase prices of raw materials such as beef and pork due to rising global demand, as well as rising electricity and logistics costs. Nippon-Ham commented, “We have been rationalizing our operations to absorb the increase in costs, but it was extremely difficult to absorb everything. “
6.Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings to Separate Its Petrochemical Business and Strengthen Its Battery Business
NHK reported on Dec 1, to respond to the global trend toward decarbonization, Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corporation, a major chemical manufacturer, has announced that it will separate its two businesses that use fossil fuels and coal, including its petrochemical business, and will consider the possibility of integrating them with other companies. This was announced by John Mark Gilson, President of Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings, at a management policy briefing on the 1st. In the future, the company plans to strengthen its business for batteries, for which demand is increasing. President Gilson’s reasons for separating the two businesses are that future growth is unlikely domestically and that they emit a lot of carbon dioxide, which needs to be reduced globally. The two businesses account for about 20% of the group’s total sales, which were about 3.2 trillion yen, and the company plans to strengthen its health care business and materials such as lithium-ion batteries, which are essential for electric vehicles.
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