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1. Toyota Motor Suspends 8 Plants in Japan, 30,000 Vehicles Affected by Shanghai Lockdown

According to Kyodo News, Toyota Motor Corporation announced on May 10 that it will suspend operations of 14 lines at its 8 plants in Japan from May 16 to 21 due to parts delivery difficulties caused by the lockdown of Shanghai, Communist China due to the CCP virus (new coronavirus COVID-19). The 8 plants include Motomachi Plant (Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture), Gifu Auto Body Industries’ main plant (Kakamigahara City, Gifu Prefecture), Toyota Auto Body’s Inabe Plant (Inabe City, Mie Prefecture), and Toyota Motor Kyushu’s Miyata Plant (Miyawaka City, Fukuoka Prefecture), which will suspend operations for two to six days.

2. Kishida Administration’s Signature Policy, the Economic Security Law Is Enacted

Reported by TBS NEWS on May 11, Economic Security Bill, a key policy of the Kishida administration, was passed and enacted by the plenary session of the House of Councilors. Economic Security Bill includes, among other things, authorizing the government to investigate suppliers and their inventories to ensure a stable supply of semiconductors and other critical goods against the backdrop of Communist China’s rise in the high-tech sector. The bill also provides for imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up to one million yen in cases where a business has made a false notification to the government when installing critical infrastructure equipment.

3. PM Kishida and Finnish Prime Minister Agree to “Continue to Respond Firmly to Russia

PM Kishida said, “Russia’s aggression against Ukraine is an act that shakes the very foundations of the international order, not only in Europe but also in Asia. At this juncture in history, unity with Finland and other countries that share common values is required. We would also like to work together toward a free and open Indo-Pacific”. Prime Minister Marin responded, “We share common values. Russia’s war against Ukraine has brought about major changes not only to European security but also to the global environment. I believe that Communist China is planning how to use its power”, reported by NHK on May 11.

4. Matsuno Chief Cabinet Secretary: Outdoor Masks, Not Required If Distance Is Kept

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno stated at a press conference on May 11, “It is not necessary to wear masks outdoors as long as you can keep a sufficient distance from others. The risk of heat stroke is particularly high when temperatures and humidity are high”. Haruo Ozaki, chairman of the Tokyo Medical Association, proposed a review of the use of masks outdoors. Dr. Matsuno stated, “Even outdoors, people need to wear masks when conversing with others closely.” but added, “We would like to consider whether or not to revise this rule, considering the infection situation and the scientific opinions of experts”. 

5. House Foods Raises Prices of Vermont Curry and Other Products for the First Time in 7 years, 5-10%

House Foods announced on May 11 that it will raise the prices of 181, including curry roux “Vermont Curry,” by 5-10% starting from deliveries on August 15. The company cited soaring raw material prices and rising distribution costs as the reasons. This is the first-time price increase for home-use products in about seven years since February 2015. The suggested retail price of “Vermont Curry” (230 grams) without tax will increase from 318 yen to 349 yen. In addition to “Java Curry,” “Hokkaido Stew,” ” Tomato Hayashi Rice Sauce,” and other roux products, the company will also raise the prices of “Flûche” and the retort pouch foods “Cockless Curry” and “Curry Marche”, reported by Yomiuri News on May 11.

6. Foreign Minister Hayashi: “Resumption of Embassy operations in Ukraine will be considered after assessing the situation there.”

In response to the move by Western countries to resume embassy operations in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, Japanese Foreign Minister Hayashi expressed his intention to comprehensively consider how to respond to the situation at Japanese embassies in Ukraine, while keeping a close eye on the situation. At a press conference, Foreign Minister Hayashi stated, “Japan is currently using the Japanese Embassy in Poland as a base, doing its best to provide information to Japanese residents, ensure their safety, and support their departure. Regarding the reopening of the embassy in Ukraine, we will closely monitor the situation in the region and consider the matter comprehensively”.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】

Translator: Tagomi

Proofreading: Tagomi