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Kyodo News Digest: Sept. 10, 2022

A celebratory event is held in Pyongyang on Sept. 8, 2022, a day before the 74th anniversary of North Korea’s founding. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

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


Indo-Pacific nations agree to enter economic initiative negotiations

LOS ANGELES – Ministers from countries involved in a U.S.-led Indo-Pacific framework agreed Friday to start formal negotiations on building a rules-based economic order in the fast-growing region where China is expanding its clout.

The 14 member states of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework will engage in rule-setting talks to create economic opportunity, improve labor conditions and promote sustainability in the region, Japanese trade minister Yasutoshi Nishimura said after a two-day IPEF meeting in Los Angeles.


FOCUS: China’s Senkaku passages a decade-long friction point with Japan

BEIJING – Tensions remain high over the Japan-controlled, China-claimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea as Beijing continues to regularly send vessels into nearby waters, with Sunday marking 10 years since Tokyo brought most of the islets under state control.

The Senkakus, which China calls Diaoyu, have been a thorny and long-running issue in bilateral relations. Despite repeated protests from Tokyo, Beijing, which has also aggressively asserted territorial claims in the South China Sea, continues to send vessels to waters around the islands in a bid to shift the status quo.


Japanese emperor plans to attend Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral

TOKYO – Emperor Naruhito plans to attend the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II in Britain, Japanese government sources said Saturday.

Empress Masako, who has long been battling a stress-induced illness, is also expected to attend the ceremony depending on her condition, the sources said.


3 bodies found in Russia after Hokkaido boat tragedy arrive in Japan

SAPPORO – Three bodies recovered by Russia that are believed to be those of people missing from a tourist boat that sank off Hokkaido in April arrived in Japan on a coast guard vessel Saturday.

The bodies, discovered between May and June, were handed over to the Japan Coast Guard by Russian authorities the previous day following DNA tests conducted in Russia. The tests based on data sent from Japan showed the bodies were those of two of the passengers and a crew member of the sightseeing boat Kazu I, which sank in bad weather on April 23 leaving 15 dead and 11 missing.


U.N. panel urges Japan to end segregated education of disabled kids

GENEVA – A U.N. panel dealing with the rights of people with disabilities urged Japan on Friday to end special education that segregates children with disabilities from those without, as part of its recommendations for the country over its policies for the disabled.

The U.N. Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities expressed concerns over how an increasing number of disabled children cannot attend regular schools and called on the Japanese government to adopt a national action plan on quality inclusive education.


FOCUS: U.S. midterm voting may affect fate of Indo-Pacific Economic Framework

LOS ANGELES – With the U.S.-led Indo-Pacific Economic Framework evolving as a vague economic cooperation initiative, President Joe Biden seems to have succeeded in avoiding politicizing trade at home ahead of the November midterm elections.

But depending on the outcome of the elections, when control of Congress will be at stake, the Democratic president may shift to an “ambitious” trade approach and strive to make the fledgling IPEF initiative into a more substantial regional economic engagement amid China’s growing clout, some trade experts say.


FEATURE: Kayaking eco-tour brings unique cleanup effort to World Heritage Site

KUSHIRO, Japan – A group of Japanese environmentalists conducted a weeklong sea kayak eco-tour over the summer to collect garbage that had washed ashore on the Shiretoko Peninsula in Hokkaido, putting people power to work in preserving the precious World Heritage site.

The tide carries massive amounts of ocean debris and accumulates along the craggy peninsula that juts out into the Sea of Okhotsk. Although local governments and others are involved in current cleanup efforts, it has been rough going due to the delicate operation needed to protect the environment from further human damage.


Tennis: Kunieda, Kamiji into U.S. Open wheelchair singles finals

NEW YORK – Japan’s Shingo Kunieda and Yui Kamiji reached the finals of the men’s and women’s wheelchair singles, respectively, at the U.S. Open on Friday after cruising to straight-sets wins in their semifinals.

Top-seeded Kunieda eased past compatriot Takuya Miki 6-1, 6-2 and is one win away from becoming the first player in the men’s wheelchair singles to complete the Grand Slam in a calendar year.


Read More:Kyodo News Digest: Sept. 10, 2022