Kyodo News Digest: October 25, 2022

Mount Daisen (background) is covered with the first snow of the season on October 25, 2022 in the city of Daisen in western Japan’s Tottori Prefecture. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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

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Ex-Health Minister Goto replaces Japan’s church economic chief

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Tuesday appointed former health minister Shigeyuki Goto as economic revitalization minister, replacing Daishiro Yamagiwa, who resigned after facing a wave of criticism over his ties to the Unification Church.

Goto takes up the post on Tuesday evening, just three days before the government is due to decide on an additional stimulus package to cushion the impact of rising prices and the coronavirus pandemic.

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Japan discusses guidelines for Unification Church investigation

TOKYO – The Japanese government on Tuesday began discussing guidelines for its investigation into the Unification Church, moving one step closer to questioning the controversial religious group with a view to possibly asking a court to withdraw tax benefits.

The discussions came after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida last week ordered an inquiry into the church based on the “right of inquiry” under the Religious Bodies Act, in response to public pressure to deny ties between members of his ruling party and to address the group, often referred to as a sect.

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South Korea’s Yoon says preparations for 7th North Korean nuclear weapons test are complete

SEOUL – South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Tuesday North Korea has completed preparations for its seventh nuclear test as its country remains on alert over further provocations by Pyongyang.

North Korea “appears to have completed its preparations” for a nuclear test, Yoon said during a speech to the National Assembly, amid mounting speculation that North Korea will soon conduct its first nuclear test since September 2017.

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Japan ready to tackle volatile yen moves by speculators: minister

TOKYO — Japan’s foreign exchange market interventions are aimed at addressing volatile swings caused by speculators, and the country stands ready to act if necessary as quick moves cannot be discounted, Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki said on Tuesday.

Suzuki dismissed claims that the government and the Bank of Japan are moving in opposite directions, with the former entering the market to stem the yen’s weakness while the central bank pursues ultra-low interest rate policies needed for acceleration is held responsible for the currency collapse.

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50 die in Myanmar junta airstrike on concert by ethnic rebel group

YANGON — At least 50 people, including artists and civilians, have been killed in an airstrike by the Myanmar military on a recent music concert held by an ethnic rebel group, local media reported on Monday.

The attack, which was swiftly condemned by the United Nations, which has sought to hold those responsible accountable, occurred Sunday night during the event in an area controlled by the Kachin Independence Army in Myanmar’s northernmost Kachin State.

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Japan vows to work closely with Britain under next PM Sunak

TOKYO – Japan said on Tuesday it will maintain close cooperation with Britain under the government of next prime minister, Rishi Sunak, a day after he won the race to lead the ruling Conservative Party.

“Britain is a global strategic partner (to Japan) that shares fundamental values, so our nation will work closely with its next government and continue to strengthen the Japan-Britain relationship,” Cabinet Chef Hirokazu Matsuno said at a news conference.

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The US warns Russia of the consequences of using “dirty bombs”, nuclear weapons

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday warned of the consequences Russia would face if it used a “dirty bomb” that causes radioactive contamination or other nuclear weapons against Ukraine, amid fears Moscow could risk a further escalation of the war by false claims of provocation from Kyiv.

Over the weekend, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu addressed the defense ministers of the United States, Britain and France to discuss Ukraine’s possible use of a dirty bomb, a claim the three countries denied.

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FOCUS: PM could survive despite minister’s resignation via Unification Church

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida appeared to have been forced to accept the resignation of the scandal-ridden economy minister, who was accused of close ties to the controversial Unification Church, as approval ratings for his cabinet show little sign of improvement.

Daishiro Yamagiwa resigned Monday after being slammed for failing to explain his ties to the religious group, often labeled a cult. Whenever new rumors about his connections with the organization surfaced, he reiterated that he had “no recollection”.



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