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1. Japanese Prime Minister Says He Is Determined to “Impose Strong Sanctions on Russia”

PM Kishida met with Charles Michel, president of the European Council, and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, the Yomiuri News reported on May 12. It was the first time in three years that the regular summit was held face to face. At the start of the talks, PM Kishda strongly condemned Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which has shaken the foundations of the international order, and said that Japan and the EU are imposing strong sanctions against Russia and will respond with firm determination. They also agreed to cooperate further to realize a “free and open Indo-Pacific Ocean.

2. Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Confirms for the First Time New Variant BA.4 and BA.5 of CCP Virus (Covid-19) in Airport Quarantine

ANN reported on May 12 that the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare announced the first cases of infection with the new variant BA.4 and BA.5 of CCP virus (new coronavirus covid-19) were confirmed in airport quarantine. The person confirmed to be infected with BA.4 is a man in his 50s with staying in South Africa who arrived at Narita Airport on the 22nd of last month. In addition, two men in their 60s who arrived at Narita Airport on the 29th of last month were also confirmed to be infected with BA.5. They had stayed in Zambia and Spain. All three men had received three doses of the vaccine and had completed their recovery without any symptoms.

3. NTT Cross Profit Exceeds 1 Trillion Yen for the First Time

NTT officially announced the promotion of Akira Shimada (64) to president, replacing Jun Sawada (66) former president, Kyodo News reported on May 12. Mr. Sawada will assume the role of chairman with representation from June 24. NTT also announced the appointment of the presidents of its subsidiaries, NTT East and NTT West. Meanwhile, NTT announced consolidated financial results for the year ended March 31, 2022, with cross profit up 28.9% year-on-year to ¥1,181 billion, thanks to solid performance in its corporate business and other areas. This is the first time the company’s cross profit has exceeded 1 trillion yen.

4. SUBARU to Operate a New Electric Vehicle Plant in Japan Starting in ’27 in a Bid to Spread Electric Vehicles in the U.S.

Subaru will build a new electric vehicle (EV) plant in Japan, Reuters reported on May 12. The plant will be built near the company’s Gunma Manufacturing Division (Ota City, Gunma Prefecture), where entire cars are produced, to start operations in 2027 or later. The plant will ensure production capacity to cope with the rapid future spread of electric vehicles in the U.S. market, the company’s primary market. This is the first official announcement of a new plant dedicated to producing electric vehicles in Japan.

5. Nissan Motor Co. Made a Profit for the First Time in Three Years, with a Final Profit of 215.5 Billion Yen

Nissan Motor Co. announced its overall group results for the last fiscal year, with sales up more than 7 percent from the previous year to 8,424.5 billion yen and a final profit of 215.5 billion yen, NHK reported on May 12. Last year, production fell due to a shortage of semiconductors and other factors, but profits improved by unit margins improved by selling at lower discounts in the U.S. and other places where demand for cars is high, in addition, the weaker yen is also worked positively. On the other hand, sales for the current fiscal year are expected to be 10 trillion yen. However, the final profit forecast of 150 billion yen is expected to be lower than the previous forecast due to soaring raw material prices.

6. Food Oil Giant J-Oil Mills Posted Its First Operating Loss in the Last Fiscal Year

NHK reported on May 12 that J-Oil Mills’ overall group results for the last fiscal year showed sales of ¥201.5 billion, up 22% from the previous fiscal year, mainly due to five price increases for its major food oils. However, the operating result showing profits from core businesses was a loss of ¥21 million, as a series of price increases were not enough to compensate for sharply rising raw material costs such as soybeans and rapeseed well as soaring transportation costs. It was the first time the company had fallen into an operating deficit in a single fiscal year since 2004 when the three former major manufacturers merged to form the current company.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】

Translator: Totoro

Proofreading: Tagomi