Sept 8th, 2018


1)   Floods, typhoons, earthquakes and a record-shattering heat wave. The summer of 2018 has been an unusually destructive and deadly one in Japan, even for a country prone to natural disasters:

2)   A group of hackers has been planning to target the American and Japanese public by emailing fake offers of tickets to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in order to steal private information, a Singaporean security firm reported Thursday.

3)   North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has given his first time line for denuclearization, aiming for the end of U.S. President Donald Trump’s first term, Seoul officials said on Thursday, prompting thanks from Trump who said they would “get it done together.”

4)   Burt Reynolds, the handsome film and television star known for his acclaimed performances in “Deliverance” and “Boogie Nights,” commercial hits such as “Smokey and the Bandit” and for an active off-screen love life which included relationships with Loni Anderson and Sally Field, has died at age 82.

5)   A powerful typhoon ripped through western Japan on Tuesday, leaving at least two dead and many injured, while strong winds and high waves closed Kansai International Airport and caused a ship to smash into a bridge linking the airport with the main island.

6)   A powerful earthquake paralyzed Hokkaido on Thursday, killing at least nine people, triggering landslides and knocking out power to its 5.3 million residents.

The death toll from the 6.7-magnitude, pre-dawn quake was likely to rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides. About 33 people were missing and 300 were injured, public broadcaster NHK said.

7)   Nauru President Baron Waqa is seeking a formal apology from China for what he calls the insolent behavior of a Chinese official at an international forum.

Waqa said on Tuesday that a Chinese diplomat demanded to speak when another country’s prime minister was due to give a speech. He slammed the move as bullying. He said bigger countries should not disrespect Pacific island nations, adding that China just needs them for its own purposes.

8)   A Russian presidential aide says President Vladimir Putin is considering visiting Japan in June next year.

9)   The US trade deficit with China for July hit a record high. The Commerce Department says the deficit stood at 36.8 billion dollars. That’s up 10% from the previous month and the gap is widening at its fastest pace since 2015.

Washington is expected to announce a third round of additional duties as early as this week. The trade deficit with Japan was 5.4 billion dollars, up 2.9%. Analysts say Tokyo could face more pressure from Washington to boost imports of American farm produce.

10)   The operator of Chinese online payments giant Alipay has revealed his future business plans. They include attracting more tourists to Japan.

 “We want to offer visitors to Japan a cashless experience, and work together with business partners to contribute to the Japanese economy.”

11)   The operator of Kansai International Airport on Sept. 6 apologized for inconveniencing thousands of travelers after being overwhelmed by a powerful typhoon and announced plans to partially resume domestic flights from the next day.

12)   The Tokyo District Court on Sept. 5 accepted the written statement of a former Tokyo Electric Power Co. executive who claimed that his boss abruptly postponed tsunami prevention measures at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in 2008.

Tsunehisa Katsumata, 78, former TEPCO chairman, former TEPCO Vice President Sakae Muto, 68, and Ichiro Takekuro, 72, former TEPCO vice president, are on trial on charges of professional negligence resulting in death and injury from the 2011 nuclear disaster.