Japan Media – Q Ax http://q-ax.com/ Sat, 18 Sep 2021 01:03:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 http://q-ax.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/q-ax-icon-150x150.png Japan Media – Q Ax http://q-ax.com/ 32 32 LDP’s deep pockets invite questions from the press http://q-ax.com/ldps-deep-pockets-invite-questions-from-the-press/ http://q-ax.com/ldps-deep-pockets-invite-questions-from-the-press/#respond Sat, 18 Sep 2021 01:03:30 +0000 http://q-ax.com/ldps-deep-pockets-invite-questions-from-the-press/

On August 31, Tokyo Shimbun published two articles on money and politics for the upcoming election season. One focused on the Political Funds Control Act, which places restrictions on political donations but does not require recipients to report how those funds are spent. Individuals cannot give money directly to politicians. They must give it to the party or to a political group. Then the money is distributed to member politicians.

According to Tokyo Shimbun, this feature of the law accompanied reforms adopted in 1994 to limit plutocratic tendencies by clarifying where political funds come from, but the spending was not discussed. This system remains the same after almost 30 years, although some political parties find that it actually lacks transparency. On the one hand, it is difficult to eradicate political wrongdoing within the Diet, because parties are not legally obliged to declare how they spend their money and therefore it is difficult to accuse anyone of embezzling money. funds.

In the second article, Tokyo Shimbun focuses on public funds, that is, money given by the central government to political parties for “political activities”. Who or what receives the money in the party is reported, as well as the amount spent – but not how the money is spent. One of the reasons the Japanese Communist Party does not accept government grants is this lack of transparency.

For its part, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party says it is clear on how it is spending these funds, but Tokyo Shimbun says the LDP only reveals who receives the contribution. After that, we don’t know where the money is going.

The Tokyo Shimbun articles were researched with the help of Yoichiro Tateiwa, founder of the investigative journalism group InFact. Tateiwa, a former reporter for the public broadcaster NHK, asked each political party about their use of funds, and his own ongoing series for InFact investigated the secret connection between money and politics.

Parts of the series address what Tateiwa calls the “dark” nature of PDL’s fundraising practices. What is striking about the LDP system is that the Secretary General receives a very large sum of money compared to other members of the LDP. According to InFact, Toshihiro Nikai raised around 3.7 billion yen between 2016, when he became Secretary General, and 2019. The same is true for former holders of the post of Secretary General.

In response to Tateiwa’s questions, the LDP said its members correctly spent money on behalf of the party in order to “expand the party”, draft the legislature and do research. The secretary general receives more money because of the nature of his role in the party, not for his individual political needs.

When Tateiwa visited Nikai constituency in Wakayama Prefecture, what he saw and heard corroborated this claim. In the most polite terms, he wrote that the place looked depressed, and one person he spoke to said that while they support Nikai, the Secretary General is not doing the area any favors, even when his constituents demand it.

So what is Nikai spending this money on? Since the LDP is not required to report where the spending is going, no one knows for sure. Trying to find out, Tateiwa met someone with links to the LDP who agreed to discuss the matter after obtaining assurances from Tateiwa that he would not use any statements that could be attributed to that person. In a note, Tateiwa says InFact’s editorial policy is not to use anonymous sources, but he made an exception in this case.

When asking the source why Nikai has so much money at his disposal, the source mentioned two terms, “mochidai” and “kōridaiPolitical code words for money used to help determine election results. The source said the amounts were even larger in the past, and Tateiwa explains that in 2001 the LDP was frightened by a group of citizens who attempted to bring criminal charges against the party for embezzlement, but prosecutors found “no suspicion” of wrongdoing.

While the amounts have declined somewhat since then, they still remain huge, and Tateiwa wonders if the money should be taxed as miscellaneous income. According to the source, if the tax agency so requests, the LDP can simply say they are using the money for tax-free political activities. And since the law on the control of political funds does not require it, the party does not have to show – even to the tax agency – where the money is going.

The source says that such a large amount of money can have a big effect on the outcome of an election, and that is the job of the secretary general. But when Tateiwa urged them to report these funds as campaign expenses, which is mandatory, the source said they were and then tried to get up to leave. Pushing further, Tateiwa questioned, indirectly, about the money Nikai gave PLD MP Katsuyuki Kawai for his wife’s election campaign in the Upper House in July 2019. Kawai was later convicted of voice purchase. Did this money come from the political activities fund? The source said they didn’t know, but “it would be natural to think of it that way.”

Associate Professor Shinichiro Tanaka of Chiba Business University told Tateiwa that the Political Funds Law has been revised several times over the years, but always within a framework that serves the PLD, which is the party in the power almost continuously since 1955. As a result, the objective of the law, which is to ensure transparency, has not been achieved. Tanaka believes the new digital agency can make things better, as it could speed up and unify reporting practices that are now done on paper and differ from prefecture to prefecture.

However, the problem is not a problem of will, it is a problem of intention.

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Apple and Google remove ‘Navalny’ voting app in Russia http://q-ax.com/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/ http://q-ax.com/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 22:16:25 +0000 http://q-ax.com/apple-and-google-remove-navalny-voting-app-in-russia/

The Russian government has been increasingly blunt in recent days about its willingness to use threats of arrest to prevent use of the app.

“With the participation of Apple and Google, specific crimes are committed, the scale of which can only increase in the coming days”, declared Thursday Vladimir Dzhabarov, member of the upper house of the Russian Parliament. “Persons contributing to the evasion of liability of their parent companies in the territory of the Russian Federation will be punished. “

It remains to be seen whether Friday’s concession by Apple and Google will turn into a watershed moment as America’s tech giants stand ready to withstand pressure from the Kremlin. Amid Russia’s crackdown on dissent this year, Silicon Valley’s most popular platforms have remained freely accessible, allowing journalists and activists to continue to get their message out. On YouTube, for example, Team Navalny’s investigations into the corruption of the Russian elite regularly garner millions of views.

But Friday’s move could embolden the Kremlin as well as governments around the world to use the threat of suing employees to leverage companies. It presents a test of Silicon Valley ideals around free speech and an open Internet, balanced not only against profit but against the safety of their workers.

Deletions of Facebook and Twitter posts, YouTube videos, and other internet content happen quite regularly as businesses seek to comply with local laws around the world. In China, Apple has removed apps that counter government censors, including software that would allow Chinese users to access the open global Internet. A 2016 court ruling in Russia led Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn from their app stores after LinkedIn failed to comply with a law requiring data about Russian users to be stored within the country’s borders. country.

But Friday’s deletions by Google and Apple have little precedent given election issues and Mr Navalny’s high-profile campaign against the Kremlin, said Natalia Krapiva, legal adviser to Access Now, a civil society group. tracking down internet censorship. “It’s really a new phenomenon to attack app stores,” Ms. Krapiva said.

While companies would prefer to be seen as impartial platforms, Ms. Krapiva said industry leaders should speak out more forcefully to defend free speech and an open internet, especially if employees across the Internet company were threatened with criminal prosecution.

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‘On the World Stage’: Chorley Prepares to Host G7 Speakers’ Conference | Lancashire http://q-ax.com/on-the-world-stage-chorley-prepares-to-host-g7-speakers-conference-lancashire/ http://q-ax.com/on-the-world-stage-chorley-prepares-to-host-g7-speakers-conference-lancashire/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 09:06:00 +0000 http://q-ax.com/on-the-world-stage-chorley-prepares-to-host-g7-speakers-conference-lancashire/

When Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, suggested to Lindsay Hoyle, her British counterpart, to organize the G7 Speakers’ Conference in “her district”, she might not have realized with it. what enthusiasm the Lancastrians would adopt the idea.

Hoyle said Pelosi asked, ‘We’re still going to London, can we get out of London?

And what do the townspeople think of the influx of international visitors, along with the inevitable heavy police presence and road closures? “They say” Flashing Linds, I didn’t think you’d have them here! “Said Hoyle, who has served as an MP for the constituency since 1997, although he first represented the town at the age of 22 in 1980 as a councilor. A department store, Maidens, has adapted its window to recreate the Parisian boutique of Paul Smith, in order to welcome international guests.

Speakers from each of the G7 countries will discuss how to keep parliaments open while ensuring member safety and ensuring that the “democratic process remains intact” following the violent attack on Capitol Hill in the United States, a shootout against the Canadian parliament in 2014, and the murder of a British policeman at the Palace of Westminster in 2017.

Hoyle hopes the conference “will also put Chorley on the world stage”, ensuring the town will become “part of the overseas tourist circuit”. After being greeted by a town crier, delegates will discuss thorny issues such as the role of social media in open parliaments at Astley Hall, a historic Grade I listed house, surrounded by a lake and historic forest, where trees will be planted to represent each participating country.

US House President Nancy Pelosi arrives for a meeting with Boris Johnson in Downing Street ahead of the G7 conference in Chorley. Photograph: Leon Neal / Getty Images

Astley Hall is halfway through a renovation, and until a few weeks ago there was scaffolding outside, with its Jacobean plaster ceilings and Elizabethan courtyard closed to all visitors. The speakers’ conference paid “more attention to staying on schedule,” said Peter Wilson, deputy head of the Chorley council. “We are very proud of our historic asset of Astley Hall – the true jewel in the crown, which is a hackneyed expression but is actually very apt.”

What will Hoyle serve his counterparts in the legislatures of Canada, France, Japan, Germany, Italy and the United States? He was delighted to give a nod to a local story (although some historians doubt its veracity) that during a visit to the region in 1617, King James I was so in love with a roast beef that he drew his sword and knighted him “Sir Loin”.

“I said” let’s give them a taste of Lancashire beef – the sirloin that was knighted at Chorley – the face we have Morecambe bay shrimp, Lancashire cheese, Chorley cakes… we have to real things that people remember. I think it’s important for them and for me to show that there are excellent agricultural products in Lancashire, ”he said.

Hoyle is also keen to show Pelosi the connections Chorley has with America, most notably as the birthplace of Myles Standish, a passenger on the Pilgrim Mayflower ship, one of the first settlers of the New America. An American flag rises above the standish bench at St Lawrence Church, where delegates will attend a Sunday service.

“The flag itself in Saint-Laurent is rather threadbare,” Hoyle explained, as it is the same flag offered to the church when American soldiers stationed at the town’s military base left to fight on the beaches. of Normandy. “I understand that President Pelosi is going to present a new flag to the church. So, you know, those kinds of connections are reestablished as well ”.

And will his menagerie of wild animals named after politicians be introduced? No, said Hoyle. Boris the Parrot, Maggie the Turtle and Dennis the American Cat will be in the care of the Speaker’s father, former Labor MP Doug Hoyle. “He’s the zookeeper,” Hoyle said. “I have to keep them on their best behavior.”

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Kono considered top contender as Japanese Prime Minister’s race about to start http://q-ax.com/kono-considered-top-contender-as-japanese-prime-ministers-race-about-to-start/ http://q-ax.com/kono-considered-top-contender-as-japanese-prime-ministers-race-about-to-start/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 22:20:00 +0000 http://q-ax.com/kono-considered-top-contender-as-japanese-prime-ministers-race-about-to-start/

TOKYO, Sept. 17 (Reuters) – Candidates for Japanese prime minister officially kick off their campaigns on Friday, with popular Vaccine Minister Taro Kono set to be the main candidate to replace Yoshihide Suga.

The leadership race of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) took an unexpected turn two weeks ago when Suga announced he would step down, sparking a heated fight.

The winner of the September 29 elections will become prime minister by virtue of the party majority in the lower house of parliament.

The LDP’s image has been tarnished by public perceptions that Suga messed up his handling of COVID-19. After a year in office, the members of the party aspire to a new face to lead them to victory in the legislative elections expected within two months.

The popular Kono, whose resume is strewn with jobs including foreign affairs and defense portfolios, takes on former Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, Sanae Takaichi, who held the post of the Home Office, and Seiko Noda, a former Minister of Gender Equality.

Unlike last year’s race, grassroots PLD members will join lawmakers in voting.

Media-savvy and US-trained Kono, 58 years old for a Japanese prime minister, is widely regarded as the frontrunner due to his popularity with the public, who regularly choose him as their favorite for the post of prime minister . Investors have also recently warmed Kono at Kishida’s expense.

His chances were boosted this week when PLD heavyweight Shigeru Ishiba, who is popular with the party base and who had considered his own candidacy, lent his support to Kono.

But Kono has a reputation for being a maverick, and elders of the faction-dominated LDP might prefer the soft-spoken 64-year-old Kishida, who is from one of the party’s conciliatory factions, in because of the perception that he might be better than Kono at reaching consensus. .

Takaichi, 60, who aims to become Japan’s first female prime minister, is a disciple of former prime minister Shinzo Abe, Japan’s oldest prime minister and a member of the most conservative wing of the PLD.

Noda, 60, who joined the race on Thursday after securing the support of the 20 lawmakers required to throw his hat into the ring, is seen as a long shot. But it could have a disproportionate impact on the race by making it more difficult for a candidate to win a majority in the first round.

On economic policy, where Japan is struggling to recover from successive waves of the coronavirus, Kono wants any other stimulus to prioritize renewables and the expansion of 5G grids, while Kishida says the Japan should strive to adopt a new form of capitalism to reduce income disparities.

Reporting by Elaine Lies; Editing by William Mallard

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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No specific terrorist threat to Singapore despite Japanese advice: ISD, Singapore News & Top Stories http://q-ax.com/no-specific-terrorist-threat-to-singapore-despite-japanese-advice-isd-singapore-news-top-stories/ http://q-ax.com/no-specific-terrorist-threat-to-singapore-despite-japanese-advice-isd-singapore-news-top-stories/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 04:06:34 +0000 http://q-ax.com/no-specific-terrorist-threat-to-singapore-despite-japanese-advice-isd-singapore-news-top-stories/

SINGAPORE – The Department of Homeland Security (ISD) said on Tuesday (September 14) that it had seen no specific or credible intelligence on an imminent terrorist threat to Singapore.

This is despite a recent advisory issued by the Japanese Foreign Ministry to its citizens in Southeast Asia, including Singapore, warning of a possible terrorist attack in overcrowded places.

In response to media inquiries, ISD said it had contacted its Japanese counterparts.

“They don’t have specific intelligence either,” he said.

But the department urged members of the public to remain vigilant and promptly call the ISD counterterrorism hotline at 1-800-2626-473, or report through the SGSecure app, when they encounter suspicious people or activity.

A notice posted on the Japanese Foreign Ministry’s website on Sunday said there was “information of a growing possibility” that a suicide bomber could target places where large numbers of people congregate, such as places of worship. including in Singapore.

He said residents of Japan should continue to strengthen their vigilance against terrorism and take measures such as monitoring the latest information and following instructions from local authorities.

If they visit a place “easily targeted by terrorism,” such as tourist, religious, “Western” or government facilities, they should be careful of their surroundings, the advisory added.

Similar notices were sent to Japanese citizens in Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Myanmar.

Security agencies in other ASEAN countries have also responded to the warning.

Malaysian media reported on Tuesday that Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the advice issued by the Japanese embassy was unfounded.

The Philippine National Police and Armed Forces said they had not received any reports of possible terrorist attacks linked to the Tokyo warning, other reports said.

A spokesperson for the Thai Foreign Ministry said the Japanese Foreign Ministry had not disclosed the source of the information that had led it to issue the alert, or what specific locations in the region l The alert was referring, the Bangkok Post reported.

Japanese citizens are urged to “stop unnecessary and non-urgent travel” to Singapore, according to the Japanese Foreign Ministry on its website.

They are also advised to refrain from traveling to other parts of Southeast Asia, such as Malaysia and Thailand, for any reason.

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Regular press conference by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on September 14, 2021 http://q-ax.com/regular-press-conference-by-foreign-ministry-spokesperson-zhao-lijian-on-september-14-2021/ http://q-ax.com/regular-press-conference-by-foreign-ministry-spokesperson-zhao-lijian-on-september-14-2021/#respond Tue, 14 Sep 2021 11:27:49 +0000 http://q-ax.com/regular-press-conference-by-foreign-ministry-spokesperson-zhao-lijian-on-september-14-2021/ Regular press conference by Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on September 14, 2021

Sputnik: According to the Washington Post, the United States will host the COVID-19 global summit on September 22. Will China attend the meeting?

Zhao Lijian: I have noted relevant reports and have no information to offer at this time.

Associated Press of Pakistan: The China-ASEAN Expo was successfully held in Nanning and concluded yesterday. Pakistan participated as a special partner country for the second time this year. What’s your comment ?

Zhao Lijian: The 18th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) ended on September 13. Pakistani President Arif Alvi gave a video speech at the opening ceremony and Pakistan attended the meeting and exhibition as a special partner country for the second time. China appreciates this.

The Expo is an important platform for deepening China-ASEAN cooperation. In recent years, as China-ASEAN relations have improved, the influence and appeal of CAEXPO has also been strengthened. It has propelled and witnessed the continued deepening of the economic integration of the two sides, accelerating economic and trade cooperation with greater connectivity and closer cultural and people-to-people bonds.

As strategic cooperation partners at all times, China and Pakistan have enjoyed deep economic and trade cooperation in recent years. China has been Pakistan’s largest trading partner for 6 consecutive years. We are ready to work with Pakistan to jointly advance high-level bilateral relations, deepen cooperation in various fields including economy and trade, build a closer Sino-Pakistani community with a shared future in the new era, and contribute to common development and prosperity in the region.

Beijing Youth Daily: A group of 177 Stanford faculty members sent an open letter to the US Department of Justice on Monday, criticizing the “China Initiative” launched by the Trump administration in 2018. They said that “the Chinese initiative has deviated considerably from its goal. mission; this undermines the competitiveness of the United States in research and technology and fuels prejudices which, in turn, raise concerns about racial profiling. »Do you have a comment?

Zhao Lijian: The media revealed that the so-called “China Initiative” sets targets before investigating the cases. Such disregard for judicial justice will only lead to cases involving unfair, false or erroneous charges. At the end of March, none of the so-called China-related case examples posted on the Justice Department’s website involved intellectual property theft or commercial theft, with accusations ranging from fraud to false declaration through tax evasion. This joint letter signed by faculty members once again proves that more and more people in the United States have realized that the so-called “China Initiative” is essentially a tool for enabling anti-China forces in the United States. United to abuse the concept of national security to contain and suppress China. The initiative not only seriously affected Sino-American relations, but also worsened racial discrimination in the United States and caused serious damage to the Asian-American community.

We urge the American side to heed the righteous appeal from all walks of life to the United States, seriously correct its mistakes, and stop interfering with normal China-United States exchanges and cooperation in scientific fields. , technological, cultural and others.

MASTV: In the countdown to the presidential election of the Japanese Liberal Democratic Party, candidates frequently refer to China. Former Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, one of the candidates, said yesterday he would create the post of special adviser on human rights issues to address alleged human rights violations by China in Xinjiang if elected. Earlier, Sanae Takaichi said she would continue to visit Yasukuni Shrine if elected. What’s your response to that?

Zhao Lijian: China’s position on Yasukuni Shrine is consistent and clear. China’s internal affairs cannot allow any foreign interference. Japanese politicians should stop making China a problem. Enough with such senseless political hype.

Bloomberg: President Joe Biden will welcome the leaders of Australia, India and Japan to the White House next week for talks that will include tackling China’s growing influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Does the ministry have a comment on this Quad meeting?

Zhao Lijian: China believes that any regional cooperation mechanism should follow the trend of peace and development and help promote mutual trust and cooperation among countries in the region rather than targeting a third party or undermining its interests . Forming closed and exclusive “cliques” targeting other countries goes against the grain of the times and deviates from the expectations of countries in the region. He therefore won no support and was doomed to failure.

I would like to stress that China is not only a major engine of economic growth in Asia-Pacific, but also a strong advocate of regional peace and stability. China’s development is a force for world peace and a boon for regional prosperity and development. The countries concerned should reject the obsolete zero-sum mentality and narrow geopolitical perception, properly consider China’s development and respect the aspirations of the people in the region, and do more to promote the solidarity and cooperation of the countries in the region.

The Paper: On August 29, two days after the terrorist attack at Kabul airport, the United States carried out a drone strike in Kabul. He claimed that two terrorists were killed. However, US media have reported in recent days that their field investigations revealed that those killed in the airstrike were not terrorists, but 10 innocent civilians. It was an intelligence error. Some media have commented that the incident has once again shattered the myth that the US military and US intelligence agency are omnipotent, calling on the international community to hold those who committed the crimes accountable. Do you have an answer to that?

Zhao Lijian: There have been numerous media reports that the United States has mistakenly killed innocent civilians in Afghanistan and international public opinion demands that the United States be held accountable. In the face of widespread skepticism and condemnation from the international community, the United States should not seek to cover up its mistake and get away with it. Instead, he should investigate and establish the truth and give a responsible explanation to the Afghan people and the international community.

Prasar Bharati: Recently, China allowed chambers of commerce in Germany, France and Italy to bring their employees and family members back to China. So my question is, what are the criteria that China adopts to grant visas to people from certain countries while blocking visas for 11 countries including India in the last 10 months? When will China issue visas to Indian nationals?

Zhao Lijian: The global COVID-19 situation remains serious and complicated. Referring to the practices of other countries, China adjusts its management measures for inbound travelers according to the evolution of the epidemic situation. China stands ready to maintain close communication with all parties and do the job related to international travel well on the premise of ensuring effective control of the outbreak.

Follow-up: what do you mean by the stages per country concerned? COVID cases are found in many countries, not just the 11 countries or India for that matter. So, do you think there is no way to allow people to enter China by following the proper COVID protocols?

Zhao Lijian: China and the countries concerned have agreed to launch an expedited arrangement for round-trip travel linked to the resumption of work and production. This is a mutually beneficial agreement reached between China and the affected countries in light of the epidemic situation and the need to resume work and production.

Follow-up: Do you think such an arrangement can be made between China and India as well?

Zhao Lijian: I think we should let diplomats from our two countries discuss it. India can also talk to China if it has such needs.

Bloomberg: South Korea recently joined a small list of countries that can launch a missile from a submarine. How much concern is South Korea’s missile technology development of concern to China and will Foreign Minister Wang Yi raise the issue during his visit to Seoul?

Zhao Lijian: China has taken note of the relevant reports. We hope that the countries concerned can together contribute to regional peace, stability and development. China and the Republic of Korea are important neighbors. State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will soon be visiting the Republic of Korea. The two sides will have an in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of mutual interest.

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If you provide it, they will come: Japanese youth are not as hesitant about vaccines as politicians thought http://q-ax.com/if-you-provide-it-they-will-come-japanese-youth-are-not-as-hesitant-about-vaccines-as-politicians-thought/ http://q-ax.com/if-you-provide-it-they-will-come-japanese-youth-are-not-as-hesitant-about-vaccines-as-politicians-thought/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2021 01:00:07 +0000 http://q-ax.com/if-you-provide-it-they-will-come-japanese-youth-are-not-as-hesitant-about-vaccines-as-politicians-thought/

Last month, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government set up a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site at a public facility in the Shibuya district specifically to treat people between the ages of 16 and 39 who might otherwise have problems with their health. obtain vaccination reservations by conventional means.

The site was ready to administer 200 doses per day, but on August 27, the first day, around 300 people were already lining up long before the site opened, forcing staff to hand out reservation tickets and turn away anyone who came over. late.

The next day, an even larger crowd turned up and only 1 in 6 remained vaccinated. The site adopted a lottery system that Web magazine Litera called in “prehistoric times” because it required contestants to be physically present to get a number. This led to curious images of people lining up and looking at their phones to see if their number had been chosen. Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike exacerbated the absurdity factor by complaining that people queuing for vaccinations were breaking social distancing protocols.

The metropolitan government’s miscalculation was based on the assumption that young people don’t want to be vaccinated, but that’s only true if you compare them to other demographics. Litera cites an Aug. 26 survey that found that between 19% and 16.7% of people in their 20s and 30s, respectively, do not plan to be vaccinated, compared to 12.1% of men in their 50s and 30s, respectively. 10.5% of women in their forties.

As Litera points out, the idea that young people are somehow opposed to vaccination informed much of vaccine minister Taro Kono’s coronavirus-related work over the summer. In June, he appeared on an online variety show with pop star Kyary Pamyu Pamyu to promote immunization for young people. In July, he collaborated with popular YouTuber Hajime Shacho (4.5 million views) to do the same. On Twitter Spaces, he had a conversation with X Japan frontman Yoshiki about vaccines, and also gave a press conference to arts agency Yoshimoto Kogyo asking for their help in “sending a message” to the people. young Japanese people to make sure they get vaccinated.

Litera says these movements are performative rather than promotional. The magazine thinks Kono is more interested in selling his new book, but since no one in authority has clearly explained his reasons for believing that young people are avoiding the vaccine, it is questionable whether Kono’s activities are in fact selfish. While the real story about vaccines is the authorities’ failure to deliver enough and timely doses to all who want them, a story the mainstream media has not explored in depth. If Kono had checked social media, he would have found young people desperate not to be able to make reservations for the shoot, mainly due to the deployment schedule, which prioritizes the elderly.

Asahi Shimbun’s August 27 report on the vaccination site presented a portrait of young Japanese people nearly at their wit’s end about their inability to secure reservations. Two people interviewed by Asahi on the Shibuya site said they read on social media that the line was forming in the middle of the night and immediately rushed to get in. A 26-year-old employee of the company told the reporter: “It is not true that young people do not want the vaccine. It is because there is no chance of getting one. A 23-year-old woman who said she had not originally planned to get the vaccine changed her mind because she feared she would develop severe symptoms and have to stay home due to the crisis in medical services. After receiving her vaccination coupons in the mail, she had tried to make reservations at designated facilities but failed.

There were even two high school students, including one whose mother drove her to Shibuya from Shiki in Saitama Prefecture and who told Asahi, “If I am infected, a hospital cannot help me.

These people were obviously attentive to the news, which is replete with disastrous and sometimes contradictory stories about the gravity of the situation this summer due to the spread of the delta variant, a virus more virulent and more dangerous than the one in general. year. A Tokyo Shimbun report from August 30 highlighted the increase in deaths from COVID-19 among people trying to recover at home, some of whom were rushed to hospital when their condition suddenly worsened but could not arrive on time. In Tokyo and three surrounding prefectures, 31 people died in such circumstances between August 1 and August 29. Of the 19 people who died in Tokyo, 18 were unvaccinated and two were in their 30s.

An August 25 report by Asahi Shimbun was even more detailed, describing a dozen recent cases of people dying, whether they had any underlying conditions and what type of treatment, if any, they received. Of the 12, one was under 40.

These reports show that young people are no longer invincible, if they ever were. Conventional wisdom last year was that healthy people under the age of 40 had little to fear from COVID-19, which may have given rise to the later belief that young people were reluctant to get the vaccine, but the situation has changed. In addition, the real emergence of vaccines in the meantime has made it clear that vaccination is the only way out of the pandemic.

The Shibuya vaccination pop-up site has since started taking bookings online, which means that the people who run it have come to realize not only that most young people want to be vaccinated but also that, contrary to the stereotype Attached to older Japanese people, they can more easily find their way around a phone app or website. The mission now, of course, is providing them with the injections they so crave.

See www.philipbrasor.com for addenda to Media Mix contributions.

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Xi’s “Common Prosperity” Campaign Sparks Rare Debate in China http://q-ax.com/xis-common-prosperity-campaign-sparks-rare-debate-in-china/ http://q-ax.com/xis-common-prosperity-campaign-sparks-rare-debate-in-china/#respond Wed, 08 Sep 2021 03:04:30 +0000 http://q-ax.com/xis-common-prosperity-campaign-sparks-rare-debate-in-china/

In a country that regularly censors opposing views, pressure from Chinese President Xi Jinping for “common prosperity” has sparked something unusual: a heated public policy debate.

On the one hand, those who share the views of blogger Li Guangman, whose comment last month calling Xi’s regulatory crackdown a “profound revolution” was widely published by mainstream state media. He proclaimed that “the capital market will no longer become a paradise for capitalists to get rich overnight” and “anyone who blocks this human-centered change will be rejected.”

Counter this argument, those like Hu Xijin, editor of the nationalist newspaper Global Times, who refuted Li’s article saying that the planned changes were the result of unified policies of the main leaders. The goal, he said, was gradual social progress rather than a radical campaign that amounted to a sort of second cultural revolution.

Divergent views in China’s tightly controlled media space – in which journalists are routinely locked – indicate internal confusion over how far Xi plans to go to curb “the disorderly expansion of capital.” The result has been a series of seemingly contradictory statements that are giving investors a boost as listed companies in China collectively see their value plummet by trillions of dollars.

Any discord within the Chinese administration raises questions about a power struggle, especially since it all comes before a twice-decade leadership reshuffle in which Xi is expected to be granted five more years in power. . Even more fundamentally, it represents uncertainty over how China can balance two key goals: creating more balanced growth to bolster party support among the masses, and spur the technological breakthroughs needed to overtake the United States as tensions rise. global increase.

Victor Gao, interpreter of Deng Xiaoping, the former Chinese leader who inaugurated market-based policies in the 1980s that unleashed the country’s economic potential, called the debate on common prosperity “very sensitive” and said warned that messages from key leaders could be “exaggerated” as they filtered through China’s sprawling bureaucracy.

“We must guard against the danger of exaggerating this campaign for common prosperity,” Gao told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday, adding that it could stifle business and hurt China’s competitiveness. “Personally, I don’t want to see a situation where, for example, the pursuit of common prosperity will harm innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, because that is exactly what China needs now and in the future. coming years.”

In recent weeks, more and more senior Chinese officials have sought to reassure companies that they are not sweeping the private sector. Vice Premier Liu He, Xi’s chief economic aide who led China’s trade talks with the United States, said on Monday that policies to support the private economy have not changed “and will not change.” not in the future ”.

In China, what started last year as pressure to control big tech monopolies has since spread to a wave of industries, culminating in a decision in July to ban tutoring companies from making profits. . | REUTERS

But it’s easy to see why people are confused. What started last year as a push to curb big tech monopolies has since spread to a wave of industries, culminating in a decision in July to ban tutoring companies from making a profit. Following measures to tackle health care costs, working conditions for employees and tax evasion among high net worth individuals, Xi last week “reviewed and approved” more actions to tackle the monopolies, fight against pollution and strengthen strategic reserves.

The government’s efforts to reshape the country’s youth complicate matters. China has placed limits on the number of hours children can play video games, and Xi on September 1 told young executives in a speech that good Communists “will never be cowardly cowards.” Two days later, China’s broadcasting regulator decided to ban movie stars with an “incorrect” policy, cap wages and curb fan culture – especially “sissies and other aesthetics. deformed ”.

“Worshiping Western Culture”

In his commentary on the “deep revolution”, Li noted that “the cultural market will no longer be a sissy star’s paradise, and news and public opinion will no longer be able to worship Western culture.” . The language has prompted some commentators to compare the play to the first dazibao – or a large print poster – which sparked the Cultural Revolution under Mao Zedong, which led to massacres and economic destruction that lasted for a decade until his death in 1976.

Li’s article likely caught the attention of middle-level left-wing officials who ordered it to be posted on major media websites, including the People’s Dailiy, Xinhua News Agency and CCTV, said. Feng Chucheng, partner of the Plenum research firm in Beijing. . But, he added, Hu likely issued the rebuttal when leaders realized this was being misinterpreted as the return of the Cultural Revolution.

“The whole bureaucracy is fragmented and most of the people who make it up don’t have the full picture,” Feng said. “So when it comes to sudden political announcements by the top leader such as common prosperity, there is indeed a lot of betting and guessing.”

In a comment, blogger Li Guangman noted that
In a commentary, blogger Li Guangman noted that “the cultural market will no longer be a sissy star’s paradise, and news and public opinion will no longer be able to worship Western culture.” | BLOOMBERG

Lack of clarity

When Hu’s article was published, a Hong Kong-based Chinese official shared the link with Bloomberg News and encouraged its wide dissemination, saying his interpretation of events in China was “closest to the center of power.”

Ambiguous messages can also bring benefits. Chinese tech giants have pounced on themselves to donate large sums of money to help the campaign for common prosperity, while other companies are taking preventative measures to avoid the government’s wrath.

“It’s that experimentalism mentality,” said Dan Wang, chief economist at Hang Seng Bank China. “More clarity will emerge over time, but at the moment I don’t think the central government wants to have a clear definition of it.”

But a lack of clarity also comes with risks. An article published by a liberal Chinese economist, who warned that excessive government intervention would lead to “common poverty”, is no longer available online.

The timing could be tied to major Communist Party meetings – one in November and the party congress next year – in which Xi would like an assertion of his policies and more time in power, according to Steve Tsang, director of the Communist Party. Chinese Institute of the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies.

“Disagreement exists among leftists over how far and how fast the party should go in the direction of the left, and whether the left turn is good or bad for China,” he said. “I see elements of resistance and discomfort but no organized opposition.”

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Osaka throws racket, loses US Open game to 18-year-old Fernandez http://q-ax.com/osaka-throws-racket-loses-us-open-game-to-18-year-old-fernandez/ http://q-ax.com/osaka-throws-racket-loses-us-open-game-to-18-year-old-fernandez/#respond Sat, 04 Sep 2021 03:01:45 +0000 http://q-ax.com/osaka-throws-racket-loses-us-open-game-to-18-year-old-fernandez/

NEW YORK (AP) – Naomi Osaka slammed her racquet against the court at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Moments later, she threw away her gear, sending it bouncing and skidding halfway towards the net. Then came a full peak near the baseline.

Osaka’s game was off. His cool was gone. In the end, the crowd booed her for taking too long between points, turning their backs on the court.

Soon enough, Osaka’s US Open title defense ended in the third round with a 5-7, 6-7 (2), 6-4 loss on Friday night to Leylah Fernandez, an 18-year-old Canadian. years old ranked 73rd and had never been so far in Grand Slam competition.

saka? She came with a 16-game winning streak in major tournaments and four career trophies, all on hard courts. But it was Osaka’s first Slam tournament since she pulled out of Roland Garros ahead of the second round to take a break for her sanity – she also missed Wimbledon, before competing in the Olympic Games in Tokyo, where she lit the cauldron – and maybe free time was an issue.

Another possible factor in her failure to close matters as she served for the victory over southpaw Fernandez at 6-5 in the second set: Osaka had not competed since Monday. This is because the woman she was to meet in the second round, Olga Danilovic, withdrew because she was ill.

Osaka, who left the field after seven games to change outfits and put on a yellow highlighter dress, was quite good in the first set. She grabbed 12 of the last 13 points, including the last nine, with a love break to go up 6-5, and a love grab with the help of a pair of aces at 112 mph and 114 mph to end it.

Seemed on track for a similar conclusion in the second set, leading 6-5 and serving. But when she sailed a wide forehand, Fernandez had her first break of the game to make it 6-all.

And so began the downward spiral of Osaka. She fell behind 5-0 in the ensuing tie-breaker, missing shots and displaying her frustration as she has sometimes done in the past – throwing her racquet.

Chair umpire Alison Hughes did not sanction Osaka at that time, although a warning was issued later for hitting a ball in the stands.

Specifically, Osaka was not at its best. She walked off the pitch with a white towel draped over her head after the second set and never really managed to move her game forward.


More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Japan launches state agency to accelerate digitization http://q-ax.com/japan-launches-state-agency-to-accelerate-digitization/ http://q-ax.com/japan-launches-state-agency-to-accelerate-digitization/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 05:47:28 +0000 http://q-ax.com/japan-launches-state-agency-to-accelerate-digitization/

Tokyo, Sep 1 (EFE) .- Japan on Wednesday launched a state agency to reform its digital systems, including to speed up government services, as the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed technology delays in the ‘administration.

Among its functions, the digital agency will oversee the overhaul of central and local government IT systems, which are highly decentralized and in most cases unintegrated, and introduce regulations at the national level to protect personal data in the context of exchanges. increased information expected.

About 600 staff, about a third of whom are civil servants, will be headed by Minister of Digitization Takuya Hirai, while Hitotsubashi University Professor Emeritus Ishikura Yoko will be in charge of day-to-day operations.

Besides digital reform in government, the agency is also seeking to promote digitalization in the private sector.

Japan has robust telecommunications systems compared to other countries, but the rare digitization of “online” government services, decentralization of systems, and customs such as requiring residents to go to town hall to request services. and government benefits caused him to fall behind. .

Less than 10 percent of Japanese administrative procedures can be completed entirely online, according to data from the Japan Research Institute.

Added to this is the reliance of many utilities on fax machines for communications and the use of buffers required in many document signing procedures, a feature that the agency seeks to eradicate.

Stamps and paper documents have long been considered an important part of the country’s trade union and business culture, despite the fact that Japan embarked on a digital transformation almost two decades ago, with its “e-Japan strategy” January 2001.

The launch of the government agency comes a year after its initial announcement by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who since coming to power in September has made digitization one of the pillars of his policy. EFE

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