Aug 5th, 2017


1)    New Justice Minister Yoko Kamikawa said Friday that the ministry is considering submitting a bill to lower Japan’s legal age of adulthood from 20 to 18 in the extraordinary Diet session likely be convened this fall.

2)   Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, seeking to repair his tattered approval ratings by reshuffling his cabinet, said Thursday he would focus on bread-and-butter issues such as jobs, a pledge he’s made in the past only to prioritize conservative issues such as amending the constitution.

3)   Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated that he will let his party and the Diet decide the timeframe for his plan to submit a draft of constitutional amendment to the Diet. But some governing party members say Abe should not push forward the matter quickly at a time the rate of support for his cabinet is falling.

4)   Japanese business leaders have welcomed the new lineup. They say the incoming ministers have the experience to make policy, but insist much remains to be done.

Japan Business Federation Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara told reporters that the new Cabinet needs to refocus on the economy.

He said business leaders want the new Cabinet to go back to the Abe administration’s top priorities: mounting an economic recovery and escaping deflation.

5)   North Korea has renewed its demand that the United States change its policy of hostility toward Pyongyang.

North Korea’s state-run media on Wednesday carried a statement issued by a spokesperson for the Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee. It serves as liaison between North Korea and South Korea.
6)   Japan has agreed to step up cooperation with India in developing the country’s strategically important northeastern region.

Government officials and representatives from both countries reached the agreement at a meeting in New Delhi on Thursday. It focuses on road building and other infrastructure projects.
7)   Mexico’s foreign secretary has indicated that his country could quit the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, if upcoming renegotiations on the accord end up unfavorable to Mexico.

8)   US scientists say they have successfully corrected disease-causing genes in human embryos with genome editing technology.

Researchers from the Oregon Health and Science University, collaborating with other institutes, published their work in the British science journal Nature on Wednesday. It is the first report of genome editing on human embryos outside China.

9)   US President Donald Trump’s plan to limit the number of legal immigrants is drawing rebuke not only from the Democratic Party but also from some members of his own Republican Party.

Trump on Wednesday unveiled an immigration reform bill drafted by 2 Republican senators.

He says that many green card holders with permanent resident status are low-skilled workers and are depriving American workers of jobs.

10)   Some employees at an IT company in the US state of Wisconsin are having a microchip that contains personal information implanted in their hands.

The chip allows employees to open doors and log onto computers by simply waving their hand.
Workers can also buy products from in-house stores.