South Korea reviews export screening in nod to Japan
Nikkei -- Nov 30
South Korea is expanding its screening team for strategic exports by 50% to 45 members on Jan. 1, in response to Japanese concerns that chipmaking chemicals shipped to the country were being leaked for military use.

The move represents an olive branch in the countries' trade spat, which began when Japan imposed tougher controls on South Korea-bound shipments of chemicals vital to semiconductor production in July. The countries has since taken each other off their whitelist of trusted trade partners.

Japan has set three conditions for reinstating South Korea to the whitelist: a restart of policy discussions, greater South Korean oversight on trade, and better South Korean controls on exports of products and materials with military uses.

Though Japan and South Korea remain divided over the third condition, they are making inroads on the first two. They have agreed to hold a senior-level meeting on trade from Dec. 16 to 20 in Tokyo. The two sides will hold preparatory talks in Australia on Wednesday.

News source: Nikkei
Jan 21
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide defended the government's policies against the coronavirus while answering questions about his recent policy speech in the Diet. (NHK)
Jan 21
The chief of Japan's COVID-19 vaccination program on Wednesday denied media reports that vaccinations for the general public may start in May, as the country battles a third wave that has brought record numbers of infections and serious cases. (Japan Times)
Jan 20
Taro Kono, newly appointed as minister in charge of rolling out COVID-19 vaccines, said Tuesday he would tackle the challenge with a complicated logistics plan to deliver an effective blitz of vaccinations quickly. (Japan Times)
Jan 19
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga told reporters Monday that a new ministerial position has been created to ensure the smooth rollout of Japan's vaccination program. (Nikkei)
Jan 18
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has vowed that he will be on the frontline of the fight against the coronavirus to overcome the difficulties. (NHK)
Jan 18
Finance Minister Taro Aso pledged Monday to rejuvenate the economy, which has been badly hit by the spread of the coronavirus, and advance structural reforms for the future after the pandemic. (Japan Times)
Jan 16
A Sapporo court on Friday ruled as unconstitutional the now-defunct eugenics protection law that mandated the government stop people with disabilities from having children, but it rejected a claim for damages sought by a man in Sapporo. (Japan Times)
Jan 16
Tokyo prosecutors on Friday indicted former agriculture minister Yoshikawa Takamori on a charge of receiving bribes from a major egg producer while in office. (NHK)
Jan 15
The government's new program to provide one-off cash benefits of up to Y400,000 to pandemic-affected small companies will cover not only suppliers for eating and drinking facilities but also ryokan Japanese-style inns and taxi operators, the industry ministry has said. (Japan Times)
Jan 14
Japan's Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has declared a state of emergency for seven more prefectures, to curb the spread of the coronavirus. (NHK)
Jan 13
The Japanese government is considering giving greater legal authority to prefectural governors in an effort to respond to the spread of the coronavirus more effectively. (NHK)
Jan 12
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Tuesday the government will expand a state of emergency declared over the coronavirus pandemic to Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures. (Japan Times)
Jan 10
A South Korean court ordered Japan on Friday to compensate 12 women who were forced to work as sex slaves in wartime Japanese brothels, in a ruling that could rekindle diplomatic and history feuds between the two countries. (aljazeera.com)
Jan 09
U.S. Army Medical Department Activity-Japan medical personnel administered the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at Camp Zama, Japan Ja. 6, 2021. (Defense Flash News)
Jan 09
The governors of the greater Osaka area will urge Japan's national government to expand its coronavirus state of emergency to include their prefectures, as the localities set daily records for the spread of infections. (Nikkei)
Jan 08
Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has declared a state of emergency in the greater Tokyo area after a record number of coronavirus cases were reported in the capital and across the country. (theguardian.com)
Jan 06
The Japanese Ministry of Defense (MoD) has announced plans to begin mass production of an extended-range version of the domestically developed ASM-3 supersonic, air-launched, anti-ship missile (ASM). (janes.com)
Jan 05
Japan's government is planning to issue a state of emergency for a second time to contain rising coronavirus cases in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures. (NHK)
Jan 05
Japan plans to declare a state of emergency in Tokyo and three neighboring prefectures this week, possibly on Thursday at the earliest, and lasting for about one month to curb its largest-yet surge of coronavirus cases, government officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
Jan 03
Although Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike and her counterparts of three neighboring prefectures have requested an emergency declaration by the state over the coronavirus epidemic, the central government remains skeptical about whether a declaration would effectively curb the spread of the contagion. (Japan Times)