Kyodo News Digest: June 11, 2024


Iga Swiatek of Poland kisses the victor’s trophy in Paris on June 9, 2024, a day after winning the women’s singles title at the French Open tennis tournament. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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

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Japan seeks wage hikes, over 1% GDP growth as population shrinks

TOKYO – Japan will exhaust “all policy tools” to sustain wage hikes that will be crucial in finally ending deflation, and pave the way for the economy to consistently grow over 1 percent even as its population is projected to shrink rapidly, a draft government policy blueprint said Tuesday.

In the latest economic and fiscal policy blueprint, the government views the coming years until fiscal 2030 as a critical period for Japan, already one of the world’s fastest-graying societies, to address labor shortages and boost its growth potential through strategic investments.

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“Flesh-eating” bacterium cases hit record high in Japan

TOKYO – Streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, a potentially deadly disease caused by a “flesh-eating” bacterium, is spreading rapidly in Japan, with cases in the first half of this year already surpassing last year’s record, a national infectious disease institute said Tuesday.

There have been 977 cases of the disease caused by the bacterium called streptococcus pyogenes which is often associated with strep throat but occasionally leads to limb necrosis and multiple organ failure.

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Japan plans to require more firms to disclose gender pay gap data

TOKYO – The government said Tuesday it is considering expanding the scope of companies required to release gender wage gap data, aiming to address the pay disparity between women and men in Japan, one of the biggest among major economies.

Under a policy blueprint to promote women’s economic empowerment, all companies with more than 100 employees would be expected to release such data. The scope currently covers firms with over 300 employees, numbering around 17,800 companies.

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South Korea fired warning shots after North Korean soldiers crossed border

SEOUL – South Korea said Tuesday that its troops fired warning shots on the weekend after soldiers from North Korea briefly crossed the countries’ border.

According to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, about 20 North Korean soldiers crossed the Military Demarcation Line in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday and returned after warnings were broadcast and shots were fired in the air by the South Korean side.

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Football: Japan cruise past Syria to end 2nd-round q’fiers in style

HIROSHIMA – Japan thrashed Syria 5-0 on Tuesday to complete the Asian second round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers with six straight wins and no goals conceded in Group B.

Ayase Ueda, Ritsu Doan, Yuki Soma and Takumi Minamino all netted, while Syria also conceded an own goal, as the already-qualified Samural Blue cruised at Edion Peace Wing Hiroshima, the new home of Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Japan boss Hajime Moriyasu’s former club as a player and manager.

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Gov’t declares dead 7 crew missing since April SDF chopper collision

TOKYO – The Defense Ministry on Tuesday declared dead seven crewmen listed as missing since two Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force patrol helicopters collided and crashed during a night drill in the Pacific in April.

The death toll from the collision rose to eight, with only one body recovered so far.

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North Korean missile facilities updated to raise morale: think tank

WASHINGTON – North Korea has been refurbishing its ballistic missile operating bases, with a particular weight on replacing outdated housing and improving food availability, a U.S. think thank said Monday.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies, which released satellite images of three such bases in North Korea, said that the observed changes made during the past five years indicate “a concerted effort to continue improving the quality of life and morale of the Strategic Force troops and their families.”

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Over 30 sent to hospital for pepper spray use at Tokyo Korean School

TOKYO – More than 30 students were taken to hospitals Tuesday after being accidently exposed to pepper spray inside a classroom at the Tokyo Korean School, emergency workers said.

They were complaining of eye pain following the incident reported at around 9:55 a.m. but their symptoms are minor, the rescue workers said.

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Japan syndicate member deported from Philippines, arrested over theft

MANILA/FUKUOKA – A member of a Japanese criminal syndicate based in the Philippines was deported and arrested during his flight back home Tuesday on suspicion of conspiring to steal cash cards in Japan, Fukuoka prefectural police said.

Takayuki Kagoshima belongs to the “JP Dragon” syndicate, which allegedly had ties to a crime ring led by a Japanese man using the pseudonym “Luffy,” according to Philippine immigration authorities and the police. The Luffy-led group is suspected of being responsible for burglaries across a wide area of Japan from 2021 to 2023.

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Mayoral candidate’s “Slam Dunk” flyer may have violated copyright law

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan – A flyer for a candidate in a mayoral election north of Tokyo that resembled a poster for an animated movie based on the “Slam Dunk” manga series may have violated copyright law.

The flyer listing the policies of Mikio Kobayashi, who was defeated in Sunday’s mayoral election in Kanuma in Tochigi Prefecture, showed five men, including ruling Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Toshimitsu Motegi, wearing basketball uniforms.


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