The Weekly Observer: March 28-April 1

Note from the compiler:

Greetings and thank you to anyone who reads this weekly newsletter!

I hope this is a helpful resource to stay abreast of the latest developments in Japan and an entertaining list of news that interests a wide range of readers. My aim has been to be both informative and professional in the way I compile the news every week.

Here is this week’s newsletter. Be sure to check this week’s special edition (updated) on Ukraine too!

As usual, the longer version has bookmarks so you can skip over sections that are not of interest.

The lineup:
1. Omicron BA.2 to Completely Replace Other Strains in April
2. Minister in Charge of Promoting Vaccinations to Resign
3. TICAD Ministerial Meeting

4. Japan-U.S. Developments (Japan-U.S.-ROK defense chief of staff talks; Japan-U.S. monetary authorities to communicate on currency issues; Naha Port Facility relocation plans revealed; PM Kishida and Ambassador Emanuel visit Hiroshima)
5. 2022 Diplomatic Bluebook to Criticize Russia
6. Foreign Policy Developments (Kishida Cabinet imposes additional sanctions on North Korea; Japan to hold “2+2” meetings with India and the Philippines in April; Foreign Minister Hayashi to join NATO meeting in April; Ambassador to Korea meets president-elect; Funakoshi-Sung Kim talks; G7 foreign ministers statement condemning North Korea’s ICBM launch)
7. Defense/Security Developments (MOD establishes new position “global strategic intelligence officer”; ATLA to establish new cyber security standards; ASDF formally deploys mobile radar on Yonaguni Island; MOD to consider attack drones; GOJ analysis of DPRK ICBM launch differs from popular analysis; GSDF establishes a new electronic operations unit)
8. Government to Craft Economic Package by the End of April
9. Diet Proceedings (amended Police Act establishes a new Cyber Police Division; amended Employment Insurance Act; CDP legislation to establish new visa status for all evacuees from war and other atrocities)
10. House of Councillors Election Updates (DPP-Rengo talks; DPP to reciprocally endorse candidates with Tomin First; LDP leaders to meet regularly ahead of election; LDP and DPP may cooperate in Yamaguchi’s SMD; CDP and DPP both looking to send candidates to Kagawa’s SMD)
11. Ruling Coalition and DPP to Conclude Talks on Rising Oil Prices Next Month
12. State of the Economy (BOJ Tankan survey; Kishida-Kuroda meeting; Feb.’s retail sales decrease; unemployment rate improves)
13. Other Political Developments (new FY, new systems in place; pension amounts to decrease starting April; electricity bill to be hiked; GOJ aims for 95 percent 5G coverage by the end of 2023)
14. Other Noteworthy News (BOJ Attempts to Combat Rising Long-Term Interest Rates; Bain to Attempt Privatization of Toshiba)
15. Nihon Keizai Shimbun Poll (3/28)

–Rintaro Nishimura

Image: Captain76 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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