Kyoto News Digest: December 14, 2023

People walk on snow in Beijing on December 13, 2023. (Kyoto) ==Kyoto

Below is a recent list of selected news briefs from Kyoto News.


Japan’s prime minister has promised to reshuffle ministers on December 14 over a fundraising scandal

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Wednesday vowed to replace several ministers embroiled in a political fundraising scandal, shortly after an extraordinary parliamentary session ended.

His ruling Liberal Democratic Party has come under intense scrutiny recently, amid allegations that its largest wing raised hundreds of millions of yen in political funding reports and failed to declare hundreds of millions of yen in party income, creating a secret fund.


The Fed has kept key interest rates at a 22-year high, hinting at a cut in 2024

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Federal Reserve on Wednesday left its benchmark interest rate on hold at a 22-year high of 5.25-5.50 percent for the third straight time, but officials suggested borrowing costs will fall next year amid signs inflation is cooling. .

The central bank’s quarterly economic projections, released after a two-day policy meeting, showed the median forecast for the federal funds rate at the end of 2024 was 4.6 percent, representing three quarter-point cuts from current levels.


ASEAN, Japan to boost maritime security cooperation amid China’s rise

JAKARTA – Leaders of ASEAN and Japan will agree to strengthen defense cooperation, including in the maritime sector, when they meet in Tokyo this week, according to a draft report obtained by Kyodo News, a counterpoint to China’s growing assertiveness in the South China Sea.

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The leaders’ commitment to „strengthening security cooperation” will be reflected in a joint vision statement released after a three-day summit starting Saturday to mark 50 years of friendship and cooperation between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.


UN climate talks have adopted a deal to divest from fossil fuels

DUBAI – After two weeks of talks in Dubai, the UN climate conference on Wednesday adopted a deal to transition countries from fossil fuels to deal with the effects of climate change.

Known as COP28, the UN summit on climate change. The agreement at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention marks a step forward from their previous commitment to reduce unrestricted coal power.


Dollar slips to 142-yen range in NY after Fed keeps rates steady

NEW YORK – The US dollar fell to the 142 range against the yen in New York on Wednesday after the country’s central bank kept key interest rates unchanged and even hinted at cuts next year.

The dollar traded at 145.34-44 yen at 8:40 a.m. in New York, but took a steep dive following the Federal Reserve announcement, which spurred dollar selling and yen buying amid expectations that borrowing costs may be in a gap. short


Rugby: Eddie Jones returns as Japan head coach

TOKYO – The Japan Rugby Football Union announced on Wednesday that Eddie Jones has been reinstated as head coach of the Japan national rugby team following the departure of Jamie Joseph.

The 63-year-old Australian, who will hold a press conference on Thursday, will take over on January 1 and lead the team through the 2027 World Cup in Australia.

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Japan pledges $3 million to provide education for refugees

GENEVA – Japan will contribute about $3 million to a global fund to provide education for refugees, as Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa on Wednesday pledged more support for those displaced amid ongoing wars in Ukraine and the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

„We cannot significantly improve the situation by providing food, water and shelter to vulnerable people. We must adopt a future-oriented, medium-to-long-term approach,” Kamikawa told the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.


China wants stable relations with Japan on Nanjing Massacre anniversary

NANJING, China – China has called for more stable relations with Japan as it marks the 86th anniversary of the 1937 massacre in Nanjing by Japanese troops.

Li Hongzhong, a member of the ruling Communist Party’s political committee, attended the memorial service. He said the massacre was „a dark side of human history” but the two neighbors should try to stabilize their relations and „contribute to peace in Asia and the world”.

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