Kyodo News Digest: October 22, 2022

Performers dance at the Onikenbai traditional festival in Kitakami, northeast Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, August 6, 2022. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

The following is the latest list of select news summaries from Kyodo News.


The yen briefly rises to 146 against the dollar amid intervention speculation

NEW YORK — The yen’s value fluctuated from a fresh 32-year low in the upper 151 zone to the 146 zone against the US dollar on Friday amid speculation that Japan intervened again in the currency market to ease the flagging to support currency.

In New York, the yen has been steadily selling against the dollar, briefly hitting 151.94 this morning. However, it later rose more than 5 yen to 146.20.


Toyota’s global production in FY2022 falls below target due to chip crunch

NAGOYA-Toyota Motor Corp. said on Friday that its total global production in the year to March is likely to fall below its original target of 9.7 million units due to an ongoing semiconductor shortage, with the automaker expected to revise its forecast downwards.

The company did not provide a revised target in its press release and is expected to provide a statement when it reports its results for the first half of fiscal 2022, which ended in September, on November 1.


The head of the International Criminal Court is “eager” to set up the first regional office in Japan

TOKYO — The International Criminal Court is considering building a new regional office in Japan — the first of its kind outside The Hague — to establish a stronger presence in Asia, a region underrepresented among the court’s 123-member court, its head said Friday.

“Personally, I would be very committed to the ICC having a permanent presence in the region, particularly in Japan,” said ICC President Piotr Hofmanski in an interview with Kyodo News in Tokyo during his first visit to Japan since taking office in 2021.


US defense chief says communication with Russia is crucial amid war

WASHINGTON — US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin told his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu on Friday the importance of maintaining lines of communication amid Moscow’s war against Ukraine, the Pentagon said in its second phone call since the invasion began.

Details of the discussion were not shared by a Pentagon spokeswoman who later spoke to reporters. She said the call was initiated by Austin and that the United States welcomes the “open line of communication.”


Shanghai Party leader Li is likely to join China’s top leadership

BEIJING, April 12 /PRNewswire/ — Li Qiang, chairman of the ruling Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai, is expected to step into the country’s top leadership this weekend after the end of a key party congress held twice a decade, multiple Chinese sources familiar with the matter have said on Friday.

Hong Kong media have reported that President Xi Jinping’s close ally, 63, is a potential candidate to succeed Premier Li Keqiang, 67, who is due to retire next spring.


US budget deficit halved to $1.4 trillion. on less COVID-19 spending

WASHINGTON — The U.S. fiscal 2022 budget deficit fell by half from a year earlier to $1.38 trillion on lower spending to fight the coronavirus pandemic and record receipts amid a strengthening economy, Treasury Department data showed on Friday .

The $1.38 trillion decline in the deficit for the fiscal year ended Sept. 30 is the largest one-year decline in U.S. history, the department said.


Sport Climbing: Tomoa Narasaki leads podium finish at Japan World Cup in Iwate

MORIOKA, Japan — Tokyo Olympian Tomoa Narasaki overcame fatigue and high temperatures to lead a Japanese men’s podium at the season-ending Bouldering and Leading World Cup in Morioka on Friday.

Narasaki climbed last on the lead lap with 156.4, finishing ahead of back-to-back World Cup bouldering champions Yoshiyuki Ogata with 138.4 and Kokoro Fujii with 132.6 at Iwate Prefectural Sports Park Climbing Stadium.


Japan has only 60% of the needed interceptor missile inventory: Estimate

TOKYO — Japan has only about 60 percent of the missile stockpiles deemed sufficient to intercept enemy ballistic missiles, the defense ministry said Friday in a call for urgent replenishment amid military threats from North Korea and China.

In a rare move for the ministry, a ministry official told reporters the estimated sufficient ammunition rate as Prime Minister Fumio Kishida intends to update the government’s long-term security and diplomacy policy by the end of this year and secure larger defense budgets to boost the defense capabilities of the to strengthen the country.


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