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Fumio Kishida

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Calling all allies: Here’s what happened on Biden’s mission-driven tour of Asia

  • In a news conference held on Monday in Tokyo, President Biden gave an unequivocal “yes,” when asked if the U.S. would get involved militarily if China were to attack Taiwan.
  • Tensions have grown between China versus the U.S. and Taiwan amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, during which the looming question of whether China would be next to invade Taiwan has led to nations scrambling to reinforce ties with allies.
  • Beijing diplomat Yang Jiechi responded with the warning, “If the U.S. side insists on playing the Taiwan card and goes further and further down the wrong road, it will certainly lead to a dangerous situation.”
  • Biden’s visit to the Indo-Pacific comes at a critical time in which the President appears to be rallying the support of allies to trump China’s reach in the region.
  • Biden also met with leaders from South Korea, Australia and India to discuss economic strategies that would encourage less of a dependence on China as a trading partner.

In a news conference held Monday in Tokyo, President Biden gave an unequivocal “yes,” when asked if the U.S. would militarily step in if China were to attack Taiwan.

In the joint conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, a reporter asked Biden, “You didn’t want to get involved in the Ukraine conflict militarily, for obvious reasons, are you willing to get involved militarily to defend Taiwan if it comes to that?”

Japanese PM Kishida asked German Chancellor Scholz to remove comfort women statue in Berlin

comfort women statue
  • Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida asked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to remove a statue in Berlin honoring Korean comfort women.
  • Japan’s chief cabinet secretary stated on Wednesday that the request was made when Kishida and Scholz met during late April in Tokyo.
  • The statue was built by a pro-Korean civic group in Mitte of central Berlin in September 2020 and was approved for installation for one year.
  • Japan has previously protested the extension of the statue’s installation and repeatedly requested that the Mitte district remove the permit allowing the statue to stay.

Over a year after the installation of a comfort women statue in Mitte of central Berlin, Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida asked German Chancellor Olaf Scholz to remove the statue.

“Comfort women” is a euphemism for the women from mostly Asian nations who were enslaved into brothels by the Japanese military during World War II. 

Rescuers recover body of 3-year-old girl from Japan tourist boat sinking, raising confirmed dead to 11

  • Authorities have recovered 11 bodies so far from the sinking of a Japanese tourist boat on Saturday at Shiretoko National Park in northern Hokkaido.
  • The Japanese Coast Guard found a 3-year-old girl’s body late Sunday and confirmed the news on Monday. The bodies of her parents are still missing, said the Coast Guard.
  • Kazu 1, operated by Shiretoko Pleasure Cruise, was on a scenic three-hour tour at Shiretoko National Park when the crew sent a distress call saying their boat, which was carrying 26 people, including two children, was sinking.
  • The Transport Ministry has reportedly launched an investigation into the operator’s safety standards, as the tour was conducted despite the weather forecast of high waves and strong winds.

The death count as a result of a tourist boat that sank in northeastern Japan rose to 11 after rescuers confirmed they found the body of one of the two children who were on board.

The Japanese Coast Guard confirmed on Monday that they had found the body of a 3-year-old girl passenger, whose parents are still missing as of late Sunday.

China, South Korea condemn honoring of war dead at WWII shrine by Japan PM and over 100 lawmakers

Yasukuni Shrine
  • Over 100 lawmakers paid their respects this week at the Yasukuni Shrine, honoring millions of war dead, while Prime Minister Kishida sent a ritual offering.
  • The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a representation of Japan’s brutal occupation, and both countries were quick to condemn the offering from Kishida and the visit from lawmakers.
  • South Korea’s foreign ministry expressed “deep disappointment and regret” over the respect for the shrine, while a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Japan had an “incorrect attitude towards its own history of aggression.”
  • Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that visiting the shrine at this time is even more important because of the war in Ukraine.

Japan’s Prime Minister Fumio Kishida sent an offering on Thursday to Tokyo’s Shinto Yasukuni Shrine for the war dead, while a group of over 100 lawmakers visited the shrine on Friday.

The shrine is seen by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan’s brutal history of occupation.

Japanese lawmaker doesn’t back down after peers laugh at her push to protect teens from porn industry

femalelawmaker
  • A video showing Japanese lawmaker Ayaka Shiomura being laughed at by her colleagues during a session of the Japanese parliament recently went viral on social media.
  • On March 28, the representative from the Constitutional Democratic Party was mocked after proposing a bill aimed at protecting 18- and 19-year-olds from recruitment into the adult video industry.
  • The lawmaker suggested that by lowering the legal age for adulthood in Japan from 20 to 18, a change which took effect on April 1, teens were at risk of signing contracts without parental approval.
  • Prior to the new age amendment, parents were able to intervene on behalf of teens who were coerced into joining a production or who willingly joined but eventually changed their minds.

A lawmaker in Japan was laughed at after highlighting how the new legal age of adulthood could lead to the exploitation of teenagers.

On March 28, Representative Ayaka Shiomura of the Constitutional Democratic Party proposed a bill aimed at protecting 18- and 19-year-olds from recruitment into the adult video industry during a session of the Japanese parliament.