Kyodo News Digest: July 9, 2024

People walk amid scorching heat in the western Japan city of Nara on July 8, 2024. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo


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


Japan MSDF members suspected of falsely receiving diving allowances

TOKYO – Members of Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force have been suspected of fraudulently receiving allowances for diving training and duty, a Defense Ministry source said Tuesday, in a move that could deal another blow to the scandal-hit MSDF.

The sum of the alleged improper benefits paid to the MSDF members, who had not actually engaged in diving work, is expected to total tens of millions of yen, with the force set to discipline dozens of the personnel concerned, according to the source.


MUFG Bank probed on employee’s alleged involvement in insider trading

TOKYO – Japan’s securities watchdog has conducted a probe at the headquarters of MUFG Bank, one of the country’s megabanks, over an employee’s alleged involvement in insider trading, sources familiar with the matter said Tuesday.

The employee allegedly gave a family member information about at least three clients’ prospective tender offers before the bids became public.


Crew failure to keep lookout behind April SDF chopper crash: ministry

TOKYO – Japan’s Defense Ministry said Tuesday crew failing to keep a lookout was among the causes for two Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters colliding in April over the Pacific in an incident that claimed the lives of all eight personnel aboard.

The two SH-60K choppers may have mistaken the distance between them and taken no maneuvers to avoid contact until they collided during a night drill to detect submarines, according to the investigation results released by the ministry.


Ex-senior diplomat in Tokyo becomes de facto U.S. envoy in Taipei

TAIPEI – Raymond Greene, the former U.S. deputy chief of mission in Tokyo, assumed the role of de facto U.S. ambassador to Taiwan on Tuesday, according to the top American agency on the island.

It is Greene’s third posting in the territory, having last served as deputy director of the American Institute in Taiwan between 2018 and 2021. He most recently served at the U.S. embassy in Japan from 2021, AIT said in a statement.


Chinese man in Japan arrested over Yasukuni shrine graffiti incident

TOKYO – A Chinese national living in Japan was arrested on Tuesday for allegedly conspiring with two others to spray-paint the word “toilet” in English on a stone pillar at the war-linked Yasukuni shrine in Tokyo earlier this year, police said.

Jiang Zhuojun, 29, is suspected of purchasing the spray paint and playing other roles to vandalize the pillar engraved with the shrine’s name near the entrance.


Nikkei ends at new record high as hopes build for strong earnings

TOKYO – Tokyo’s Nikkei index closed at an all-time high on Tuesday, driven by growing expectations for strong corporate earnings in the United States and Japan.

The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average logged its biggest daily point gain since April 24, ending up 799.47 points, or 1.96 percent, from Monday at 41,580.17. The broader Topix index finished 27.94 points, or 0.97 percent, higher at 2,895.55.


Japan, Philippines sign defense pact amid growing China concern

MANILA – Japan and the Philippines on Monday signed a bilateral defense agreement to facilitate joint exercises for closer security cooperation, amid China’s growing assertiveness in regional waters.

Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa and Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro signed the Reciprocal Access Agreement in Manila. Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. witnessed the signing following his meeting with Kamikawa and Japanese Defense Minister Minoru Kihara.


NATO to set up new command in Germany to improve support for Ukraine

WASHINGTON – NATO members will announce a set of “robust” measures in support of Ukraine at their annual summit this week, including the establishment of a new military command in Germany, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The plan is aimed at leveraging NATO’s institutional strengths to coordinate training and help Ukraine develop its future force, Michael Carpenter, senior director for Europe at the National Security Council, said at a press briefing on the eve of the three-day gathering in Washington.

Video: Blooming hydrangea in Japan’s Tokushima

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