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1.Chief Cabinet Secretary: According to the Situation to Determine “Taiwan Emergency Is a State of Existential Crisis”

Former Prime Minister Abe from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said on BS NTV’s “In-Depth News” on the evening of Dec. 13, “If there is an emergency in Taiwan, there is no doubt that it will become a ‘state of material influence, NHK reported. If there is an attack on a U.S. naval vessel, it could become a ‘state of existential crisis,’ in which the right of collective self-defense could be exercised,” he said, indicating his recognition that an emergency in Taiwan could become an “existential crisis” that threatens Japan’s existence.

In this connection, Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno said at a press conference after the Cabinet meeting, “It is difficult to give a general answer to the question of what situations fall under the category of ‘important influence situations’ or ‘existential crisis situations’ because they are judged objectively and rationally in accordance with the specific circumstances of each situation that has actually occurred.

2.Ruling and Opposition Parties Call for Diplomatic Boycott of the Beijing Winter Olympics

Asahi News reported on Tuesday that with regard to the U.S. administration’s decision not to send any government officials to the Winter Olympics in Beijing next February, there have been many calls from the ruling and opposition parties for Japan not to send any government representatives. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, however, refrained from saying so in his reply to the Diet on Dec. 13.

At the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives that day, Sanae Takaichi, the LDP’s policy chief, asked about the government’s policy, but the prime minister only said, “I will make my own decision in light of the national interest, comprehensively taking into account various circumstances such as the purpose and spirit of the Olympics and Paralympics at an appropriate time.

3.Former Prime Minister Abe Criticizes Communist China Again on Taiwan Situation

According to Jiji Press News, Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a video address at an international forum held in Taipei on Dec. 14 by Taiwanese, U.S., and Japanese think tanks, stressing that “when an economic giant like (Communist) China pursues adventure in its military, it becomes suicidal, to say the least”. He again criticized CCP’s increasing military coercion with the goal of unifying Taiwan.

Mr. Abe said, “We should strongly tell (Communist) China that it should not pursue territorial expansion. We should tell them that they should refrain from actions that provoke and often corner their neighbors.” He strongly rebuked Communist China for its increasing military activities in Taiwan, the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture, and the South China Sea. He also called for the unity of the democratic camp, including Japan, the United States and Taiwan.

4.Toyota to Invest 8 Trillion Yen in EV and Raise Sales Target

Jiji Press News reported that Toyota Motor Corporation announced its goal on Dec. 14 to increase the number of electric vehicles (EV) sold worldwide to 3.5 million by 2030, which do not emit carbon dioxide (CO2) when driving. The company will introduce 30 EV models by 2030, and its luxury car Lexus will be an EV-centered brand. The company will invest 8 trillion yen in electrification, of which 2 trillion yen will be invested in automotive batteries, 500 billion yen more than the previous plan. Toyota’s global sales are on the order of 10 million units per year.

5.144 Newly Confirmed Cases in Japan

On the 14th, 144 new cases of the CCP Virus were confirmed in Japan. The number of deaths was one, and the number of people in serious condition increased by one from the previous day to 27. By prefecture, Tokyo had the highest number of infections with 24, an increase of five from the previous Tuesday. According to the metropolitan government, the average number of newly infected people in the past week was 18.1, 113.8% of the previous week’s total, Jiji Press News reported. The number of severely infected people according to the metropolitan government’s standard was four, the same as the previous day.

6.All Nippon Airways, Rakuten Apply for Third Round of Vaccinations to Be Conducted at Workplaces

On Dec. 14, Kyodo News learned that All Nippon Airways, Rakuten Group and other companies have applied to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare for the third round of workplace vaccinations for the CCP Virus vaccine, which is scheduled to begin next March. In addition to employees and their family members, some companies are also considering vaccinating their business partners and neighbors. However, there are some who say that the number of people who want to be vaccinated at workplaces cannot be foreseen because local governments are now ready to inoculate them.

KDDI (au) has applied for workplace inoculation, saying that they hope to implement it as early as next March. In addition to employees and their families, Rakuten is also considering inoculating nearby residents. Bridgestone plans to offer vaccinations at 17 sites across Japan, including its business partners.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Seentiz Homma (帆間知津)
Proofreading: π&π