1) The governor of Niigata Prefecture has voiced his opposition to the restart of Tokyo Electric Power Co’s (TEPCO’s) Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear plant, adding it may take a few years to review the pre-conditions for restart.
2) Sushi entrepreneur Kiyoshi Kimura paid top price at the first auction of the new year at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market on Thursday, bagging a prized bluefin tuna for an eye-watering 74.2 million yen ($636,000).
The head of the Sushizanmai chain is now the proud—if temporary—owner of a 212-kilogram fish.
3) The Japan Gerontological Society has proposed that a person should be defined as elderly from age 75 instead of 65.
It announced the proposal in Tokyo on Thursday. Currently a person aged 65 or older is defined as elderly.
4) Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga has announced Tokyo’s countermeasures against the erection of a statue symbolizing those referred to as comfort women in front of the Japanese Consulate General in Busan, South Korea.
Suga announced the temporary return to Japan of its ambassador to South Korea and the Consul General at Busan. He added that Japan will also suspend bilateral talks on the resumption of a currency swap agreement, postpone bilateral high-level economic talks and cancel the participation of Japanese consulate general officials in events linked with Busan City.
5) The newly-elected US Congress convened on Tuesday. The majority Republicans intend to review President Barack Obama’s health care act.
The Republican Party retains control of both chambers after the election last November.
In the first session Tuesday, the Republican Senate Budget Committee chairperson submitted a bill to repeal what’s known as Obamacare.
6) US President-elect Donald Trump says Toyota Motor should pay heavy taxes if it goes ahead with its plan to build a factory in Mexico.
Trump released a message on Twitter on Thursday. It reads “Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for US. NO WAY! Build plant in US or pay big border tax.”
7) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe asked business leaders on Thursday to support a sustainable economic recovery by raising employee wages in the new year, in keeping with their policy of the last few years.
“I thank you for the high-level wage increases over the past three years,” Abe said in a speech at a New Year reception hosted by major business lobbies.