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Kyodo News Digest: Dec. 22, 2022

Tokyo’s Marunouchi business district is illuminated with pink lights and a skating rink is set up for the Tokyo Michiterasu event on Dec. 21, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Japan to extend 60-yr nuclear reactor life, build advanced reactors

TOKYO – Japan decided Thursday to allow nuclear reactors to operate beyond their current limit of 60 years and replace aging facilities with new advanced ones, in a major policy change to cut carbon emissions while ensuring energy supplies amid disruptions from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The government plans to raise about 20 trillion yen ($152 billion) through the issuing of “green transformation” bonds to boost investment in decarbonization projects, as it estimates that public and private investment of over 150 trillion yen will be necessary over the next 10 years.


3 admit to charges of bribery in securing Tokyo Olympics sponsorship

TOKYO – A former chairman and two other senior officials of major business suit retailer Aoki Holdings Inc. admitted in court Thursday to having bribed a former Tokyo Olympic organizing committee executive to become a sponsor for the sporting event held last year.

Hironori Aoki, 84, along with two others, was charged with providing a total of 28 million yen ($210,000) to Haruyuki Takahashi, 78, who had influence over the committee’s marketing division, charged with sponsorship selection.


Winter bonuses at Japanese firms rise for 1st time in 3 yrs

TOKYO – The average winter bonus at large Japanese companies rose for the first time in three years, up 8.92 percent from a year earlier to 894,179 yen ($6,800), the country’s most powerful business lobby said Thursday.

It was the sharpest increase since the current calculation method was adopted in 1981, with the rise reflecting the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Japan Business Federation, known as Keidanren.


Japan average temp in 2022 highest on record, 4th straight year

TOKYO – Japan’s average temperature in 2022 was its highest ever for the fourth consecutive year, preliminary figures released by the country’s weather agency showed Thursday.

Average temperatures nationwide were 0.7 degree higher than those of the 30-year period until 2020. The rising numbers have been attributed to climate change, and are the highest since 1898, the first year for which comparable data are available.


Ex-ruling lawmaker faces summary indictment over misreporting funds

TOKYO – Japan’s prosecutors on Thursday issued a summary indictment against former ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Kentaro Sonoura, along with his two former secretaries, for improperly reporting political funds.

The latest scandal could force the LDP led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to face headwinds in a string of local elections in the spring as well as in a by-election to select a replacement for Sonoura, who quit Wednesday, as a House of Representatives member.


Japan, India to stage 1st joint fighter jet drill in Jan. near Tokyo

TOKYO – Japan said Thursday it will hold its first-ever joint fighter jet drill with India in January near Tokyo, as the countries have been strengthening security ties amid China’s growing maritime assertiveness in the Indo-Pacific region.

The plan for joint air combat training was first agreed between foreign and defense ministers of the two nations during their inaugural “two-plus-two” security talks in New Delhi in November 2019.


Japan to discuss rules for state funerals for dignitaries

TOKYO – The Japanese government pledged Thursday to start discussing the conditions and rules for holding a state funeral, as public opinion was divided over one held for slain former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in September.

The promise came after the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida released a collection of opinions from 21 experts, including scholars of law, politics and diplomacy, on Abe’s funeral.


G-7 foreign ministers to meet online to discuss Ukraine war

TOKYO – The foreign ministers of the Group of Seven industrialized nations are set to hold an online meeting on Thursday to discuss how to deal with Russia’s prolonged aggression against Ukraine, the Japanese government said.

The G-7 talks will come a day after U.S. President Joe Biden met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Washington and announced new military assistance for the Eastern European country, including provision of the Patriot air defense system.


Read More:Kyodo News Digest: Dec. 22, 2022