1) Japan’s prime minister will spend Friday afternoon meditating while staff at some of the country’s biggest firms are also quitting work early—in time for a bit of shopping or maybe a boozy train ride.
Welcome to Premium Friday, Japan’s latest bid to tackle two perennial problems—sluggish consumer spending and notoriously long working hours blamed for a national health crisis known as “karoshi,” or death from overwork.
2) Residents near the U.S. Kadena Air Base in Okinawa were awarded about 30.2 billion yen ($267 million) in a court ruling Thursday, marking the largest damages payment levied against the Japanese government in a suit over noise from a military installation.
The Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court, however, turned down a request by 22,000 nearby residents to ban nighttime and early morning flights at the biggest U.S. air base in East Asia.
3) “White-hat” hackers who spot a security vulnerability in a computer system or network may be one of the most sought-after professions in Japan today with technology firms struggling with increasing threats of cyberattacks.
In an effort to strengthen education on system security and train ethical hackers, a state-run Japanese college has launched a bug-hunting contest among its students
4) Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his wife Akie has resigned as honorary principal of a soon-to-open elementary school after revelations that its nationalist operator had bought central government-owned land at far below its appraised value.
5) Workers at Yamato Transport Co have asked the delivery service firm to limit the volume of packages accepted from clients amid labor shortages, sources close to negotiations between management and labor said Thursday.
The two sides will negotiate ways to deal with tough working conditions, particularly delivery truck drivers’ long working hours, in this year’s spring wage talks as the growth of online shopping services has led to a surge in the number of parcels.
6) U.S. President Donald Trump is yet to name an ambassador to Japan. Which is more important for incoming ambassadors: To be well connected to their head of state or to have a good knowledge of the country where they are being posted?
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Be well connected to their head of state.
B) Have a good knowledge of the country he or she is being posted to.
C) Both, if possible.
7) The Trump-Abe summit just concluded was, in both formal and informal terms, a ringing confirmation of the U.S.-Japan alliance. It also stressed the transcendent importance of U.S.-Japan relations as a whole in American global diplomacy.
Trump also pointedly thanked Japan for hosting U.S. armed forces, and made no mention of “burden-sharing,” departing markedly from his campaign-trail skepticism of Japan’s contributions to mutual defense.
8) North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un’s half brother was assassinated with a lethal nerve agent manufactured for chemical warfare, Malaysian police said Friday.
Releasing a preliminary toxicology report on Kim Jong-Nam’s murder at a Kuala Lumpur airport, police said the poison used by the assassins was the odourless, tasteless and highly toxic nerve agent VX
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