The Weekly Observer: April 18-22

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 April 22) on Ukraine too!

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

The lineup:
1. Government Balancing Concern for New Strain with Economic Activity
2. Government Plans Fourth Vaccination
3. G20 Finance Ministers & Central Bank Governors’ Meeting

4. Japan-U.S. Developments (Suzuki-Yellen meeting; Kishi schedules U.S. visit next month; senior security officials meet to discuss Solomon Islands; SDF conducts joint exercise with U.S. last week; PM Kishida meets U.S. senators)
5. Diplomatic Bluebook Revealed
6. MOFA Releases Domestic Public Opinion Poll on Japan’s Diplomacy
7. South Korea to Send Policy Consultation Delegation Next Week
8. Foreign Policy Developments (Hiroshima to host G7 summit next year?; Chancellor Scholz to visit next week; Kishida-Ardern summit; Quad donates vaccines to Thailand)
9. LDP OKs Defense/Security Document Proposals
10. Defense/Security Developments (India denies SDF aircraft entry; MOD spots Russian and Chinese vessels navigating waters near Japan; MOD to move forward with Nishinoomote SDF base construction; GOJ reacts to North Korean missile test)
11. LDP Compromises on Emergency Stimulus Package
12. Diet Proceedings (legislation promoting energy-saving homes; HoR Commission on the Constitution discusses ad regulations; Ishin submits legislation to abolish added tax on gas tax; Diet passes legislation revoking Russia’s MFN status & raising tariffs)
13. BOJ Offers to Buy Bonds Again
14. State of the Economy (METI advisory panel draws up recommendations for businesses to reform employment system; March CPI stats; BOJ to raise inflation outlook at monetary policy meeting next week; 2021 trade balance; IMF downgrades Japan’s economic growth in 2022)
15. House of Councillors Election Update
16. Other Political Developments (GOJ finalizes strategy on quantum tech and AI; Nikkei finds most of reported expenses for COVID-19 can’t be traced; METI to bolster support for the battery industry; METI to financially support materials industry go carbon neutral)
17. Other Noteworthy News (Ishikawa By-Election on Sunday to be Preliminary Battle Ahead of Summer Election; Wakayama Drops Out of IR Race)
18. FNN/Sankei Poll (4/18)

–Rintaro Nishimura

Image: Captain76 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

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