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1. President Biden Arrives in Japan

FNN reports that President Biden arrived at U.S. Air Base Yokota in Japan on a private jet around 5 p.m. on May 22, when his Japanese foreign counterpart greeted him. 23, President Biden will have a formal face-to-face summit meeting Prime Minister Kishida. On the 24th, he will attend a four-nation summit that includes Australia and India. At the U.S.-Japan summit, the leaders are expected to discuss responses to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the growing maritime expansion of Communist China, with the United States participating in Japan’s defense with nuclear and conventional forces.

2. Japanese Foreign Minister Stresses Importance of Continuing Russia Sanctions by G7 and Other Countries

According to NHK, on May 22, Japan’s foreign minister noted that regarding the situation in Ukraine, “the basic rule of the international community is not to change the current situation by force unilaterally, but Russia, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, must assume the most significant responsibility for world peace and stability, and now directly invades other countries. He also added that the international community needs to pay close attention to the Russian military’s detention of Ukrainian ‘Azov Battalion’ soldiers to ensure that inhumane acts do not occur in the future.

3. Biden Says IPEF Independent of TPP

According to Yomiuri Shimbun, on May 21, U.S. President Joe Biden, at a press conference after the U.S.-South Korea summit on May 21, talked about the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF), a new economic bloc to be established under U.S. leadership, saying, “The IPEF is different from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), it will be a new economic framework. The IPEF is a new economic zone but contains half of what the TPP contains.” This is a call for the validity of the IPEF and a rejection of a return to the TPP. Biden also stressed that it would have international implications because it establishes new rules for international taxation.

4. Logistics Crisis Will Hit Japan May Lose 36% of Its Capacity

The convenience of online shopping has been reconfirmed amid restrictions on going out due to the CCP virus (Covid-19), the Times reported on May 22. However, the shortage of truck drivers has become more acute due to declining birth rates and an aging population, and wage levels that are 10-20% lower than other industries while working about 20% more hours. This will reduce the annual transport capacity of trucks and other commercial freight vehicles from 2.92 billion tons in 2003 to 2.03 billion tons. On the other hand, logistics demand is expected to increase, with an annual demand of 3.17 billion tons in the same year, leaving a supply-demand gap of 1.14 billion tons.

5. Senior Government Officials Suggest Postponing the Discussion on “Financial Income Tax”

According to a TBS report on May 22, regarding the review of the tax on financial income from the proceeds of the sale of stocks, the deputy chief official said, “The message we should send to the market, investors, and the public now is ‘why not try to invest rather than save,’ and we want to consider a form of review that will not harm this.” The current tax rate on financial income is a flat 20 percent, which has been criticized as a “privilege for the rich,” Prime Minister Kishida made no mention of financial income tax in his May 5 speech in London, England.

6. Major Private Railroad Companies in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area Are Considering a Series of Fare Hikes

NHK reported on May 22 that some major private railroad companies in the Tokyo metropolitan area are considering fare increases due to the spread of the CCP virus (Covid-19), which has led to a decrease in passengers. Fare increases require the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism approval. Keio Railways is considering raising fares as early as the second half of the next fiscal year, while Keihin Electric Express Railway Co. Tokyu has already received approval to raise regular fares by 13 percent from March next year.

【Himalaya Japan Galaxy- Alpha Planet】

Translator: Totoro

Proofreading: Tagomi