1．Japan Defense Ministry Says 2 North Korean Missiles Fired on Jan. 14
According to Yomiuri, on Jan 16, the Ministry of Defense announced the analysis showing that the two ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on the 14th are believed to be the same type as those launched from a train last September. According to the announcement, two ballistic missiles were fired eastward from northwest North Korea by around 2:50 p.m. on Jan 14 and are estimated to have fallen outside Japan’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near the country’s eastern coast. The Ministry of Defense is conducting a detailed analysis of the missile, which has external similarities to a short-range ballistic missile launched in May 2019.
2. Japan-France Foreign and Defense Ministerial Talks ‘2+2’ to Be Held Online Within This Week
According to Yomiuri reported on Jan 16, The Japanese and French governments are coordinating to hold the so-called “2 plus 2” ministerial talks on foreign affairs and defense online within the week. Japanese government, mindful of CCP China’s increasing moves to expand its maritime presence, has shared its recognition of the need to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” and hopes to further deepen cooperation in the field of security between the two countries by confirming the promotion of joint training by the Self-Defense Forces and the French Forces in the region, as well as cooperation in economic security.
3. 84 Listed Companies Call for Voluntary Retirement
According to Sankei reported on Jan 16, The number of listed companies that solicited voluntary retirement in 2021 reached 84, according to a survey by Tokyo Shoko Research. This is the second year in a row that the number has exceeded 80 companies. In addition to companies that have been affected by the spread of the CCP virus (or COVID-19) infection, there are many cases of companies that have decided to recruit in anticipation of a worsening business environment in the future. About 40% of the companies recruited were in the black in their most recent full-year results. In addition to the pharmaceutical and other industries that were conspicuous even before the pandemic, the trend of “restructuring while black” to improve management efficiency by reducing personnel while in good performance is spreading to other industries, such as the chemical industry, which is trying to break away from its dependence on petrochemicals as it decarbonizes.
4. Global Logistics Stagnates Under Pandemic, Transport Costs Soar
According to Kyodo, with the spread of the Omicron variant, the stagnation of logistics is becoming more serious around the world. While the volume of cargo is increasing due to the “spending from home” under the CCP virus (or COVID-19), the port functions are significantly deteriorating due to the shortage of cargo handling labor and the tightening of quarantine caused by the spread of the infection, and the congestion on container ships is becoming chronic. Transportation costs have also soared. In the U.S., container shipping continues to be congested at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach on the U.S. West Coast, which are hubs connecting with Asia. Officials believe that the volume of containers has increased due to a recovery in consumer confidence, and that this has exceeded the processing capacity of the ports.
5．IT Industry Moves to Allow Workers to Work Anywhere in Japan
According to NHK, while telework is spreading in the corporate world, the IT industry is beginning to eliminate restrictions on where people can live and work anywhere in Japan. The aim is to increase the freedom of working styles and to attract talented people. Since September last year, Mercari, which has made telework a principle, has been offering its approximately 1,800 employees a system that allows them to freely choose where they live and work within Japan without any restrictions. Yahoo will eliminate the requirement of residency from April this year so that employees can work anywhere in Japan. NTT is also planning to eliminate the need for relocation on the premise of telework, and is beginning to increase the freedom of working styles to motivate employees and attract talented people.
6．Japan Airlines Cancels 27 Flights
According to Asahi news, Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a tsunami warning and advisory in the early morning hours of Jan 16, following the eruption of the Tonga Islands, and Japan Airlines announced that it would cancel a total of 27 flights to and from Sendai Airport, located in the coastal area, and Amami Oshima and Tokunoshima airports in Kagoshima Prefecture. The number of passengers affected is said to be about 530.
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