Kyodo News Digest: October 24, 2022

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Performers applaud Japanese Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako (on monitor) during the opening ceremony of arts and culture festivals at the Okinawa Convention Center in Ginowan, the island’s prefecture Southern Okinawa, October 23, 2022. (Kyodo) == Kyodo

Here is the latest list of news digests selected by Kyodo News.

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The yen climbs to the 146 level against the dollar at the start of trading in Tokyo

TOKYO – The yen fluctuated widely against the U.S. dollar on Monday morning in Tokyo, surging to the 146 level after weakening in the 149 area.

The yen had returned to a downtrend after surging late last week following intervention by Japanese authorities to lift the currency from a 32-year low.

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2 rival Koreas exchange warning shots near maritime border

SEOUL — North and South Korea exchanged warning shots along a disputed western maritime border in the Yellow Sea early Monday, their militaries said, adding further strain to relations between the two countries and the region at large.

South Korea’s military said it fired warning shots early in the morning after a North Korean commercial vessel crossed the Northern Demarcation Line, a border drawn by US-led UN forces after the Korean War.

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South Korean foundation could pay wartime damages to Japanese companies

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan and South Korea are discussing a proposed foundation funded by contributions from Korean companies to compensate plaintiffs for war work on behalf of accused Japanese companies, diplomatic sources said on Sunday.

The expected compromise agreement follows South Korean court orders for the liquidation of local assets of Japanese companies to pay for damages. Japan maintains that all claims arising from its colonial rule were settled “completely and finally” under a 1965 bilateral agreement.

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Chinese President Xi begins rare third term with allies dominating leadership

BEIJING — Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Sunday began his third five-year term as general secretary of the ruling Communist Party under a new loyalist-dominated leadership, as he accelerates his concentration of power even after becoming the personality strongest policy in decades.

The four new members of the Communist Party’s highest decision-making body – the seven-member Politburo Standing Committee – are allies of Xi, raising fears that Xi’s leadership could become more authoritarian without too much internal opposition and no longer causes tensions on a global scale, in particular the Taiwan Strait.

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Putin, Kim congratulate Xi as he begins 3rd term as China leader

TOKYO — Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday extended congratulations to Chinese leader Xi Jinping after beginning an unprecedented third five-year term as general secretary of the ruling Communist Party.

Putin said in a telegram that he looked forward to pursuing “comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation” with China, and that Xi’s firm grip on power has “fully confirmed your high political authority, as well as the unity of the party you lead,” according to a dispatch from the Tokyo-monitored Tass news agency.

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The Emperor of Japan opens the 50th anniversary festivals. year of return from Okinawa

GINOWAN, Japan – Emperor Naruhito said on Sunday he was “sincerely happy” that arts and cultural festivals are taking place in Okinawa this year, marking the 50th anniversary of the return of the southern island prefecture in Japan.

The emperor said in a speech at the opening ceremony in Ginowan of the festivals that he hopes the events will “deepen the understanding of Okinawa among the public.”

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FOCUS: China’s state-run economy could put Japanese companies in a tough spot

BEIJING — As Chinese leader Xi Jinping increasingly advocates the country’s one-state-led market economy as he consolidates his power at the just-concluded key Communist Party congress, foreign companies , including Japanese companies, may face other challenges in China, such as tech leak fears.

Beijing’s strict “zero-COVID” policy, its pursuit of greater autonomy in manufacturing amid rivalry with the United States, and the promotion of “common prosperity” that could lead to coercive reduction of the income gap, have all contributed to increasing the uncertainty of doing business with China, critics say.

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Film event in Tokyo highlights rainforest conservation

TOKYO — An event in Tokyo featuring short films on rainforest conservation will be screened next Saturday, with organizers expressing hope to raise awareness of the issue as part of efforts to reach a wider audience in Asia.

Films for the Forest, a project organized by the American non-profit organization Rainforest Partnership, will present 10 works from several different countries, including Japan, Brazil and Malaysia.


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