Japan

Japan gives K10.6m for PNG COVID-19 response

This grant will be contributed to PNG through the United nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

It is part of a US$9.09 million (K35 million) grant from Japan to Pacific Island countries, including PNG.

This is to provide the region with cold chain equipment (CCE), including medical equipment such as cold-storage facilities and transportation, as “last one mile” support to ensure vaccination in each country.

US and allies promise one billion jabs for South East Asia

The joint commitment was made following the first leaders' meeting of the so-called Quad - a group formed in 2007.

The vaccines - expected to be the single-dose Johnson & Johnson product - are set to be manufactured in India.

The US said the "massive joint commitment" would initially focus on delivering doses to South East Asia.

K1bn support from Japan

Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey said the K1 billion provided to the 2020 Budget was welcome support from a long-standing partner and demonstrated the confidence partners had in PNG's economic recovery.

“The assistance was provided as a very, very cheap loan, with an annual interest rate of only 0.01 percent (one-hundredth of a percent), a 15 year loan term and 4 years before any loan principal repayments are required,” stated Ling-Stuckey.

“Funds were allocated to the urgent fight against COVID-19, and general health measures.”

Powerful earthquake rocks Japan weeks from disaster anniversary

The 7.3-magnitude quake was felt strongly in Tokyo, but a tsunami warning has not been issued.

There are reports of about 50 people injured, officials say, and almost one million homes are without power.

The quake struck near the epicentre of a 2011 earthquake which triggered a tsunami and killed over 18,000 people.

That tsunami caused a nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant - the world's most severe nuclear accident since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

Many feared dead in Japan in flooded care home

Fourteen victims were found in the same flooded nursing home while the other was pulled from a landslide. The deaths have yet to be formally certified.

The authorities have ordered more than 200,000 to evacuate and 10,000 soldiers are being sent to help rescuers.

Heavy rain is predicted to continue overnight into Sunday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe urged people to be on "maximum alert".

The prefectures of Kumamoto and Kagoshima have been worst hit.

Japan launches surprise fireworks to lift spirits amid pandemic

The shows were held at secret locations, each lasting five minutes from 20:00 local time (12:00 BST).

Organisers set a time limit for the displays to avoid crowds gathering.

Initially, they said the time and date of the event would not be revealed but later reversed course, deciding a sudden pyrotechnics show could cause distress to some.

Filling the skies with a burst of light, the fireworks lasted long enough for people who did not know about it in advance to view them from the street or their homes.

Japan's PM Abe to declare state of emergency as soon as Tuesday, reports say

Abe will likely announce his plans to declare the emergency on Monday, Japan time, the paper said, while Kyodo news agency said new measures would likely come into force on Wednesday.

Pressure had been mounting on the government to make the move as the pace of infections continues to accelerate - particularly in the capital - even though it remains slow for now compared with the United States, countries in Europe and China, where thousands have died.

Contracts worth over K3m signed with Japan

The six successful recipients being awarded grant assistance under Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) were:

'Ghost boat' containing human remains washes up on Japanese island

The boat washed ashore on Japan's Sado Island, northwest from the mainland, on Friday and authorities gained access on Saturday.

The heavily damaged vessel had Korean lettering painted on its side.

Police could not confirm whether the two heads belonged to the corpses but Japanese media said the remains were "partially skeletonised".

This could indicate the victims had been at sea for a long time.

"Ghost boats" believed to hail from North Korea are a fairly common discovery on Japanese shores.

At least 35 killed and 17 missing after Typhoon Hagibis tears through Japan

Hagibis, the 19th named storm of the season, tore through Japan’s main island of Honshu on Saturday and early Sunday packing winds of up to 144 kph at landfall, killing 35 and leaving 17 unaccounted for as of Sunday afternoon, according to Kyodo News. NHK reported 166 people were injured.

Cities and towns across the country — including in Nagano, Niigata, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Kanagawa and Saitama prefectures — were inundated by flood waters after levees failed in the face of record rainfall,forcing many people to abandon submerged homes.