1.Japan Reached a New High of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) Infections 30,000 per Day
FNN reported on January 18 that 32,196 new cases of CCP Virus (COVID-19) infection were reported across Japan. This is the highest number of cases ever recorded in Japan in a single day and the first time over 30,000. The previous highest number was 25,990 on August 20 last year. That’s an increase of about five times in the past week. As of yesterday, the seriously ill cases in Japan reached 261, an increase of 18 from the previous day and the eighth consecutive day of increase. This is the first time since October 20 last year that the number of seriously ill people in Japan has reached 260.
2.Japanese Government to Apply “Measures to Prevent the Pandemic” to 13 Prefectures
NHK reported on January 18 that the Japanese government has decided to apply priority measures to 13 prefectures from the 21st of this month to the 13th of next month to prevent the spread of the CCP Virus (COVID-19), which will be discussed at a government subcommittee meeting on April 19. If the decision is made as planned, the area to which the priority measures will be applied will be expanded to 16 prefectures. On April 19, the government will consult with the Subcommittee on Basic Response Policies, which comprises experts in infectious diseases and other fields and report to the Diet before making an official decision at the task force.
3.Garbage Collection in Tokyo’s 23 Wards Prepared Not to Stop Even if Workers Become Infected
NHK reported on Jan 18 that as the infection is spreading rapidly again, 6 garbage collection workers have already been confirmed to be infected. Preparations are underway to decide in advance the number of replacement workers and make a list of them so that the factory will not be shut down even if there are more infected than in the fifth wave. In the 23 wards of Tokyo, general waste from households and businesses is incinerated at 21 cleaning plants of the “Tokyo 23 Wards Cleaning Partial Affairs Association,” and the average amount of garbage brought in each day is 8,000 tons. Even if one plant stops, another plant will take the garbage instead, so the collection will not stop immediately, but if more than half of the plants stop for a week or more, the collection may have to be stopped.
4.Bank of Japan Maintains Large-Scale Monetary Easing Measures
TBS reported on Jan 18 that the Bank of Japan voted by a majority of 8 in favor and 1 as opposed to maintaining its current massive monetary easing program, which focuses on guiding short-term interest rates to minus 0.1% and long-term interest rates to around 0% at its meeting until today. The Bank also raised its forecast for the inflation rate in fiscal 2022 from 0.9 percent to 1.1 percent. Furthermore, regarding the current state of the Japanese economy, the report stated that “the recovery is becoming clearer as the impact of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) infection gradually eases.”
5.Toyota’s Market Capitalization Exceeds 40 Trillion Yen for the First Time
According to Asahi News, on the morning of the 18th, Toyota Motor Corporation’s stock price rose on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Its market capitalization exceeded 40 trillion yen for the first time. In addition to its expected solid earnings outlook for the fiscal year ending March 2022, the strategy announced last December to boost global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) significantly is attracting investors’ expectations. The stock price surpassed the previous day’s highest price since the company’s listing (2,442 yen) and temporarily rose to 2,475 yen. For the fiscal year ending March 2022, as of November, operating income is expected to be 2.8 trillion yen (up 27.4% from the previous year), and net income is expected to be 2.49 trillion yen (up 10.9%).
6.H3 Rocket’s First Launch to Be Rescheduled
Asahi News reported on Jan. 17 that the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries have decided to postpone the first launch of the H3 rocket, which had been targeted for the end of this fiscal year. The launch has been delayed once due to a problem with the new engine, and it will be postponed again. The H3 is a giant rocket that aims to compete in the global commercial launch market. The development of the new LE9 engine, with its high output and low cost, was intended to halve the launch cost of the H2A, which is estimated to be about 10 billion yen. However, during a combustion test of the engine in May 2020, cracks appeared in the inner wall of the combustion chamber, and some of the turbines also cracked.
【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Seentiz Homma (帆間知津)
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