Politics | 5

In a public opinion poll conducted by NNN and Yomiuri Shimbun from February 16 to 18, 52 percent of respondents said they did not support any political party, a 4-point increase from the previous January survey.

Since the end of January, North Korea has successively launched three types of ground-attack cruise missiles, including a new type of anti-ship cruise missile.

In an effort to streamline the distribution of subsidies to low-income households, Japan's Digital Agency has commenced the provision of a new system that allows both residents and local governments to complete procedures entirely online.

Starting in April, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has compiled a draft operational policy for the introduction of "ridesharing," where private drivers use their own vehicles to transport passengers for a fee.

Yoko Abe, the mother of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, passed away on February 4th in Tokyo at the age of 95. Born in Tokyo in 1928, Yoko Abe grew up in a prominent political family, being the daughter of Shinsuke Kishi and the niece of Eisaku Sato, both of whom served as Prime Ministers of Japan.

In a recent social media post, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a provocative statement regarding Japan's stance on the Northern Territories dispute. Medvedev suggested that "Japanese should commit hara-kiri" in response to Prime Minister Kishida's remarks on the territorial issue.

The Chinese government is considering resuming the visa exemption for short-term stays of Japanese citizens in China, which has been suspended, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on January 29. In addition, the ministry called for Japan to take some measures for Chinese visitors to Japan.

Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso has stirred controversy with his remarks in Fukuoka on Sunday, referring to Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa as an "old lady" and "not what you would call a beautiful one."