1．Large-Scale Inoculation Operated by Japan Self-Defense Forces in Tokyo
NHK reported on Feb. 1 to speed up administering the third dose of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) vaccine. The Japanese government is making final preparations to increase the quota for the large-scale vaccination by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) in Tokyo from next week onwards to 5,000 people per day from around the 10th of this month, according to an interview with a Ministry of Defense official. However, some issues are still to be resolved, such as securing SDF personnel and civilian nurses to run the program, and the Ministry of Defense is currently working on a more detailed vaccination quota and schedule.
2．Japan Foreign Minister’s First Meeting with New U.S. Ambassador
According to NHK, on Feb. 1, Foreign Minister Hayashi met with Rahm Emanuel, the new U.S. ambassador to Japan, for the first time. They shared concerns about the increasingly severe security environment due to North Korea’s missile launches and confirmed that Japan and the U.S. would work closely to address various issues. U.S. Ambassador said that in addition to China’s intimidating attitude, Russia is also a clear threat to peace and security, as it has increased its military presence near Ukraine’s borders. In addition, North Korea is challenging the region’s stability by launching missiles. The two ministers shared their concerns about the increasingly severe security environment. They confirmed that they will realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific” while further strengthening the alliance between the two countries and that Japan and the United States will work closely together to address various issues.
3．January: Sales of New Vehicles Down 14% Y/Y
NHK reported on Feb. 1 that according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and other organizations, 329,699 new vehicles were sold in Japan last month, down 14.2% from the same month last year. Of these, 207,123 were registered vehicles, including standard passenger cars, trucks, and buses, down 12.4%, and 122,576 were mini vehicles, down 17%. As the situation of the CCP Virus (COVID-19) pandemic worsened, major manufacturers were forced to reduce production one after another last month because they could not procure enough parts due to the spread of the infection among their customers, which also affected their sales. This is the seventh consecutive month in which the number has fallen below the same month of the previous year, driven by the shortage of semiconductors followed by the rapid spread of the pandemic.
4．CCP Won’t Stop Changing the Status Quo, One Year After Enforcement of Maritime Police Law
Jiji Press reported on Feb. 1 that it had been one year since Xi Jinping’s regime enacted the Maritime Police Law, which stipulates the authority of the maritime law enforcement agency, the Maritime Police Bureau, to use weapons. The “jurisdictional sea area” defined as the scope of the law is vague, and Japan and other neighboring countries are increasingly concerned that the law will continue to change the status quo by force. Vessels of the Maritime Police Bureau frequently operate in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. There are indications that preparations for new maritime actions are underway. Vessels of the Maritime Police Bureau are frequently active around the Senkaku Islands in Okinawa Prefecture. There are indications that practices for a new maritime action are underway.
5．Japan’s House of Representatives Adopts Resolution of Concern over Human Rights Situation in Communist China Ahead of Winter Olympic Games Opening
Ahead of the opening of the Beijing Winter Olympics, the House of Representatives adopted a resolution expressing concern about the human rights situation in China, including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the Tibet Autonomous Region, by a majority vote at its plenary session on February 1, NHK reported. The resolution was submitted by Diet members from the Liberal Democratic Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party, and other parties, and was voted on at a plenary session of the House of Representatives on January 1, and was adopted by a majority vote of the Liberal Democratic Party, the New Kōmeitō, the Constitutional Democratic Party, the Japan Restoration Association, the National Democratic Party, the Communist Party, and other parties. The resolution points out that “in recent years, the international community has expressed concern about the serious human rights situation in China, including violations of religious freedom and forced imprisonment in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Tibet Autonomous Region.”
6．Missing F-15 Crashes 1 Minute After Takeoff
The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on February 1 that an Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter jet disappeared in the Sea of Japan near Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa Prefecture. The Air Self-Defense Force has set up an accident investigation committee to investigate the circumstances. The aircraft took off from the base in a four-plane formation around 5:30 p.m. on January 31 for a night combat exercise. During the ascent, the plane turned to the right and headed for training airspace over the Sea of Japan. About a minute later, an Air Self-Defense Force air traffic controller watching the direction of the aircraft’s takeoff saw an orange light and tried to communicate with the plane via radio, but there was no response.
【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】
Translator: Seentiz Homma (帆間知津)