Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues

TOKYO – Candidates to become Japan’s next prime minister all said they would have better policies to fight the pandemic and reduce the income gap during television debates on Friday, but they were split on diversity issues from same-sex marriage to married couples having separate surnames. Whoever wins the Liberal Democratic Party presidency on Sept. 29 will become prime minister because of the LDP’s majority in the lower house of parliament, and campaigning began in…

"Japan PM candidates differ on same-sex, women rights issues"

Study rewrites understanding of modern Japan’s genetic ancestry

– An analysis of ancient DNA is transforming the understanding of the genetic ancestry of Japan’s modern-day population, identifying a crucial contribution from people who arrived about 1,700 years ago and helped revolutionize Japanese culture. Research published on Friday showed that the people of Japan bear genetic signatures from three ancient populations rather than just two as previously thought – a more complex ancestry for the archipelago nation of roughly 125 million. The researchers analyzed…

"Study rewrites understanding of modern Japan’s genetic ancestry"

Olympics-Beijing 2022 Games to have rigorous COVID-19 measures-IOC

BERLIN – The Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will have tight COVID-19 countermeasures in place to ensure the safety of all participants, the International Olympic Committee said on Friday. Just over a month after the closing ceremony of the Tokyo 2020 Games, IOC President Thomas Bach said in an open letter that next year’s Winter Games would also require strict measures amid the ongoing pandemic. “While the pandemic is far from over, I would like to…

"Olympics-Beijing 2022 Games to have rigorous COVID-19 measures-IOC"

Factbox-EU priorities in Indo-Pacific shift to counter China

BRUSSELS – The European Union set out a formal strategy on Thursday to increase its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power, although Australia’s decision to cancel an arms contract with France may complicate cooperation. [L1N2QI0R7] Here are the main focus areas of the EU’s strategy: – TRADE: The EU will work to finalise trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand, seek a deal with India and strengthen stronger ties with countries where…

"Factbox-EU priorities in Indo-Pacific shift to counter China"

UK regulator refers Sony’s purchase of AWAL for in-depth probe

– UK’s competition regulator on Thursday referred Sony Music Entertainment’s purchase of London-based independent record label AWAL for an in-depth probe after the buyer refused to offer any undertakings to alleviate competition concerns. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said that the wholesale distribution of recorded music in the UK was highly concentrated at present and if the deal had not gone ahead, Sony and AWAL could have competed more strongly with each other.

"UK regulator refers Sony’s purchase of AWAL for in-depth probe"

After Australia arms deal flop, EU to launch Indo-Pacific plan

BRUSSELS – The European Union will set out a formal strategy on Thursday to boost its presence in the Indo-Pacific and counter China’s rising power, although Australia’s decision to cancel an arms contract with France may complicate cooperation. Led by France, Germany and the Netherlands, which first set out ways to deepen ties with countries such as India, Japan and Australia, the 27-member bloc wants to use the plan to show Beijing that it is…

"After Australia arms deal flop, EU to launch Indo-Pacific plan"

Asia supercharges vaccination efforts after slow start, U.S. lags

TOKYO/SINGAPORE – Several Asian nations are quickly ramping up vaccination campaigns from shaky starts to combat growing COVID-19 infections, as supply shipments roll in and people overcome hesitancy in hopes of easing curbs and freeing up travel. Japan and South Korea have passed the United States in terms of those who have received at least one dose and are fast catching up with the second. And Australia, which is targeting high vaccination rates in its…

"Asia supercharges vaccination efforts after slow start, U.S. lags"

VW’s SEAT to extend assembly curbs in Spain into 2022 on chip shortage

MADRID – Volkswagen’s Spanish unit SEAT plans to extend partial car assembly suspensions at its plants near Barcelona well into 2022 because of global semiconductor supply bottlenecks, the company said in a statement. “The deterioration in the supply of semiconductors now requires reorganizing, planning and adopting new labour protocols,” SEAT said, adding it had started negotiating a furlough plan with local unions to cancel some working shifts between Sept. 27 and June 30, 2022. The…

"VW’s SEAT to extend assembly curbs in Spain into 2022 on chip shortage"

Taiwanese electric scooter maker Gogoro to go public via $2.35 billion SPAC deal

TAIPEI – Taiwanese electric scooter maker Gogoro, which is partly backed by Singapore state investor Temasek, said on Thursday that it will go public through a merger with a blank-check company in a deal that sets its enterprise value at $2.35 billion. Gogoro – which has been pushing to expand overseas – will merge with Poema Global Holdings Corp, a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), and list on NASDAQ. “The NASDAQ will validate further and…

"Taiwanese electric scooter maker Gogoro to go public via $2.35 billion SPAC deal"

Japan’s Mitsui and partners to exit Mexico’s gas power project

TOKYO – Four Japanese companies, including Mitsui & Co, have agreed to sell their entire stakes in Mexican power plant operator MT Falcon Holdings to British fund Actis GP LLP for an undisclosed figure, the companies said on Thursday. The divestiture from Falcon, which runs 2.23 gigawatts (GW) of gas-fired plants, comes amid a growing global trend away from fossil fuels in the race to cut harmful carbon dioxide emissions and slow climate change. Trading…

"Japan’s Mitsui and partners to exit Mexico’s gas power project"