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Tokyo's excess deaths far higher than COVID-19 count, data shows

Tokyo's excess deaths far higher than COVID-19 count, data shows

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- The Japanese capital may have suffered more than 200 excess fatalities from pneumonia and other causes early in the outbreak, possibly dwarfing the period's official coronavirus death count of 16.Even more deaths could have been undercounted in April, whose numbers will not come out until next month.The National Institute of Infectious Diseases tracks fatalities from flu-like illnesses by collecting data from public health departments around the country. The tallies include those who died from pneumonia.Excess fatalities are calculated by...

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2d ago
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Privacy in a pandemic? Contact-tracing apps gain global popularity

Privacy in a pandemic? Contact-tracing apps gain global popularity

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Governments are trying to strike a delicate balance between public safety and privacy in an attempt to convince citizens to embrace contract-tracing apps, which have gained popularity as a tool for stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.More than 60 countries and regions have introduced the apps in their fight against the pandemic, although the penetration rate -- or percentage of the population using the tech -- remains below 50% in many places, leaving their effectiveness in question.“Governments should strive to increase...

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3d ago
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Korea Inc. ditches Japan chipmaking materials for homegrown supply

Korea Inc. ditches Japan chipmaking materials for homegrown supply

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SEOUL/OSAKA -- South Korea's chip and display makers have turned to homegrown chemicals to fill the vacuum after Tokyo imposed export curbs, which may deal a bigger blow to Japanese companies in the long run.After being shut out of a crucial part of their supply chain, South Korean companies have had to seek other avenues to keep production levels humming. , the world's leading producer of liquid crystal displays, began using etching gas produced by South Korea's SoulBrain to manufacture panels in November.LG had previously used an ultrapure etching...

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3d ago
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Japan weighs lifting Tokyo's coronavirus emergency May 25

Japan weighs lifting Tokyo's coronavirus emergency May 25

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe confirmed Thursday that the state of emergency remains in place for metropolitan Tokyo and Hokkaido, while that status will now be lifted for Osaka, Kyoto and Hyogo prefectures.The government and an expert panel made the decision based on whether the number of new weekly cases fell to a benchmark of 0.5 per 100,000 residents, among other factors, such as medical care capacity and testing capacity.Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures of Kanagawa, Saitama and Chiba are considered a single area. Based on a...

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5d ago
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US weighs $180m advanced torpedo sale to Taiwan

US weighs $180m advanced torpedo sale to Taiwan

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TAIPEI (Reuters) -- The U.S government has notified Congress of a possible sale of advanced torpedoes to Taiwan worth around $180 million, a move likely to further sour already tense ties between Washington and Beijing, which claims Taiwan as Chinese territory.The United States, like most countries, has no official diplomatic ties with Taiwan, but is bound by law to provide the democratic island with the means to defend itself. China routinely denounces U.S. arms sales to Taiwan.The U.S. State Department has approved a possible sale to Taiwan of 18...

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5d ago
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Japan maps out how to begin accepting foreign travelers

Japan maps out how to begin accepting foreign travelers

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan is preparing to gradually ease its entry restrictions on foreign visitors, with business travelers and researchers being the first to get the green light.No timeframe has yet been set; determinations will be based not only on Japan containing the virus but on how well other countries and territories have doused the coronavirus threat.Taiwan, Vietnam and some parts of Europe that have had few infections and have strong economic ties with Japan will be early candidates.Besides approving visitors from certain regions, Japan's government is...

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5d ago
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US attacks China's Communist Party as pandemic clash boils over

US attacks China's Communist Party as pandemic clash boils over

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.NEW YORK -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo verbally pummeled China's leadership as "ideologically and politically hostile" a day after the two countries engaged in a heated exchange of words right up to the end of the World Health Organization's annual meeting."I want to begin today with a few observations on China," Pompeo said Wednesday, appearing at the State Department press briefing room. "The media's focus on the current pandemic risks missing the bigger picture of the challenge that's presented by the Chinese Communist Party," he...

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5d ago
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China Inc. rethinks US listings as scrutiny tightens

China Inc. rethinks US listings as scrutiny tightens

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SHANGHAI -- Chinese enterprises have started reworking their fundraising strategies after encountering a less-welcoming environment for public offerings in the U.S.The Luckin Coffee accounting scandal has reignited calls to step up scrutiny on initial public offerings in the U.S. by Chinese companies.The U.S. Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would require foreign companies listing in New York to be subject to oversight by U.S. auditing authorities, which Chinese law forbids. The bill, which has to be passed by the House of Representatives as...

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5d ago
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Pakistan bans political party critical of China's Belt and Road

Pakistan bans political party critical of China's Belt and Road

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.KARACHI -- Pakistan has banned a political party well known for criticizing China's Belt and Road Initiative along with two other groups for alleged terrorist links, highlighting the country's reliance on Beijing for political and economic support.Pakistan's interior ministry early this month outlawed Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz-Arisar (JSQM-A), a party based in the southern province of Sindh, along with two militant groups in the same province -- the Sindhudesh Liberation Army (SLA) and the Sindhudesh Revolutionary Army (SRA) -- citing "reasonable...

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5d ago
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South Korea drops bill addressing wartime labor dispute with Japan

South Korea drops bill addressing wartime labor dispute with Japan

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SEOUL -- South Korean lawmakers on Wednesday quietly abandoned proposed legislation intended to resolve the wartime labor dispute that has erupted with Japan.The two bills submitted to the National Assembly would have established a joint fund to compensate Koreans forced to work for Japanese companies during World War II. The idea received a degree of support from the Japanese side as well.But neither bill was put up for debate. Members of the National Assembly met Wednesday for the final session of their term without discussing the legislation. Based...

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6d ago
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China blasts Taiwan push for 'independence' after Tsai speech

China blasts Taiwan push for 'independence' after Tsai speech

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TAIPEI -- China responded angrily to Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's inauguration speech on Wednesday, accusing her of seeking independence and the destruction of cross-strait relations."We will never allow any room for Taiwan independence in any kind of form," said Ma Xiaoguang, a spokesperson for the Taiwan Affairs Office of the State Council. "China has a strong will, and enough confidence as well as the capability to defend sovereignty and its territory."In her address after being sworn in for a second term, Tsai played up Taiwan's growing...

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6d ago
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Taiwan is 'extremely' important, Japan's diplomatic guideline says

Taiwan is 'extremely' important, Japan's diplomatic guideline says

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- Japan called Taiwan an "extremely important partner" in this year's annual foreign policy report submitted Tuesday, a step forward from last year's description of "crucial partner and an important friend."The wording seen in Diplomatic Bluebook 2020, presented by Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi to the cabinet, emphasized the relationship amid mounting tensions over the self-governed island's status.Symbolic of the shift in weight, the bluebook devoted a full page to Taiwan, twice as much space as the 2019 edition.The report states that...

nikkei.com
7d ago
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Xi praises WHO and says vaccine will be a 'global public good'

Xi praises WHO and says vaccine will be a 'global public good'

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SHANGHAI/TOKYO -- Chinese President Xi Jinping painted his country as a global leader at the World Health Organization's annual meeting Monday, calling for international cooperation against the new coronavirus, pledging $2 billion toward this end, and promising to make any Chinese vaccine "a global public good" when available.Xi also deflected criticism of China's initial response, saying all countries are vulnerable."The virus does not respect borders," he said in a roughly 10-minute speech via video at the World Health Assembly. "Nor is race or...

nikkei.com
May 18
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TSMC halts new Huawei orders after US tightens restrictions

TSMC halts new Huawei orders after US tightens restrictions

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TAIPEI -- , the world's biggest contract chipmaker, has halted new orders from Huawei Technologies in response to tighter U.S. export controls aimed at further limiting the Chinese company's access to crucial chip supplies, multiple sources told the Nikkei Asian Review."TSMC has stopped taking new orders from Huawei after the new rule change was announced to fully comply with the latest export control regulation," a person familiar with the situation said. "But those already in production and those orders which TSMC took before the new ban are not...

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May 18
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China scores points over Russia with 'mask diplomacy' in Belarus

China scores points over Russia with 'mask diplomacy' in Belarus

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.MOSCOW -- China's coronavirus aid has earned mixed reviews in Europe at best, but it appears to be working as advertised in Belarus -- apparently at Russia's expense.Over the past month, China has sent three cargo planes to the small Eastern European nation, carrying over 82 tons of rapid testing kits, masks, protective suits, respirators and other medical equipment. Another shipment is due to arrive later this month.Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko sent a telegram to Chinese leader Xi Jinping earlier this month thanking him for the...

nikkei.com
May 17
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US pushes China decoupling, wiping billions off Apple and Boeing

US pushes China decoupling, wiping billions off Apple and Boeing

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.NEW YORK/PALO ALTO, U.S. -- The U.S. Department of Commerce's new crackdown on Huawei Technologies' access to American know-how kicked off a new episode of decoupling between the world's two biggest economies while setting the tone of President Donald Trump's China strategy during an election year.Trump's rhetoric on Beijing has turned increasingly aggressive in recent weeks as the coronavirus outbreak worsened in the U.S., but the Commerce Department's new rule, announced Friday, is his administration's first major economic measure against China...

nikkei.com
May 15
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Hong Kong's new labor unions aim to reshape political landscape

Hong Kong's new labor unions aim to reshape political landscape

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HONG KONG -- While protests in Hong Kong have quieted as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts public life, some pro-democracy activists have set up new trade unions with the hope of reshaping the city's political landscape.Ivan Law Cheuk-yiu, a 28-year-old nurse, is co-founder of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, or HAEA, a new union that has become one of the city's most prominent. It has about 20,000 members, or 25% of employees at the Hospital Authority, which is responsible for managing the city's public hospitals.Law said the idea to form...

nikkei.com
May 1
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China's top chipmaker bullish as new US export rules loom

China's top chipmaker bullish as new US export rules loom

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TAIPEI -- China's top contract chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Co. announced on Thursday it will sharply increase spending this year while insisting new U.S. export controls will not disrupt its operations.SMIC said it will increase capital expenditure for 2020 by a further 30%, more than doubling last year's spending, despite the coronavirus pandemic, while co-CEO Zhao Haijun addressed questions about Washington's latest move to restrict technology exports."We have been committed to not [building] military-use [chips] from Day 1....

nikkei.com
May 14
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Calls for 'China exit' mount as Japan reviews economic security

Calls for 'China exit' mount as Japan reviews economic security

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TOKYO -- In a phone call with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Friday, U.S. President Donald Trump assured his friend that American-made ventilators would be available."We can send you ventilators anytime," Trump said. The U.S. had begun mass production and succeeded in bringing down costs.For Abe, this was a relief. Japan had struggled to ramp up domestic production. The country's reliance on China for most of its supply of face masks left it unable to keep up with a spike in demand, spurring electronics maker to begin production.Securing...

nikkei.com
May 12
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Vietnam vows 5% growth in post-outbreak foreign investment pitch

Vietnam vows 5% growth in post-outbreak foreign investment pitch

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HANOI -- Vietnam is pressing for foreign investment to defend its status as Southeast Asia's fastest-growing economy, just as the country becomes the first in the region to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic."We must put our heads together to restart Vietnam's economy with the lifting of social distancing, to reach the target of over 5% gross domestic product growth in 2020," Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc said Saturday, in defiance of a projection for 2.7% growth from the International Monetary Fund last month.Phuc spoke at Vietnam's largest-ever...

nikkei.com
May 11
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China suspends meat imports from four Australian abattoirs

China suspends meat imports from four Australian abattoirs

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SYDNEY (Reuters) -- China has suspended imports from four of Australia's largest meat processors, Australia's trade minister said on Tuesday, as the trade of several key agricultural commodities suffers in the wake of souring ties.The suspension comes after Australia last month called for an independent inquiry into the origins of the coronavirus and just days after China proposed introducing an 80% tariff on Australian barley shipments.Trade Minister Simon Birmingham described the import suspension as "disappointing", but denied it was retribution by...

nikkei.com
May 12
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China closes in on 70% of world's 5G subscribers

China closes in on 70% of world's 5G subscribers

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.GUANGZHOU -- China is on track to sign 70% of 5G smartphone contracts by the end of the year, putting it far ahead of the rest of the world in deploying the next-generation communications standard.At a time when China already has over 50 million 5G handset subscribers, coverage is still spotty in the other 20-plus countries that have begun such service. Dozens of fifth-generation handsets are available on the mainland while Apple is not due to release a 5G iPhone until the fall."5G deployment in Europe will probably be delayed because of the...

nikkei.com
May 11
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Apple to produce millions of AirPods in Vietnam amid pandemic

Apple to produce millions of AirPods in Vietnam amid pandemic

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.TAIPEI -- Apple will produce millions of its popular AirPods wireless earphones in Vietnam for the first time this quarter, sources familiar with the matter told Nikkei Asian Review, in a sign the company is accelerating its diversification of production out of China amid the coronavirus pandemic.Some 3 million to 4 million units, or around 30% of total classic AirPods production this quarter, will be "made in Vietnam," the sources said. The production relocation does not yet include AirPods Pro, a high-end version with noise-cancellation features...

nikkei.com
May 8
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Hong Kong's Li & Fung plots future as global supply chain frays

Hong Kong's Li & Fung plots future as global supply chain frays

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.HONG KONG -- Even though had been a Hong Kong fixture for more than a century, CEO Spencer Fung never anticipated a cushy job when he took over the world's largest sourcing company in 2014.Still, the problems plaguing the company's sprawling empire, built to connect retailers in the West with manufacturers in the East, have rapidly multiplied.E-commerce giants like Amazon and  are squeezing its customers. The trade war between China and the U.S. -- the company's main supplier and largest market, respectively -- is battering supply chains. And the...

nikkei.com
May 7
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The subatomic age: Asia's quantum computing arms race

The subatomic age: Asia's quantum computing arms race

Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.SINGAPORE/TOKYO -- Dzmitry Matsukevich's laboratory is cramped and windowless, dominated by two large tables laid out with arrays of lasers, lenses, cables and black boxes arranged like some impenetrably complex board game. It is an experimentalist's space -- practical, prioritizing form over function. Plastic sheeting hangs in curtains from the ceiling; paperwork, boxes of components and rolls of electrical tape are piled on every spare surface.Matsukevich, a principal investigator at Singapore's Center for Quantum Technologies, is a physicist out of...

nikkei.com
May 5
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