This Weeks News Roundup – Week 40

On to a new collection of articles for this week. First, we have Taro Kono (or Kono Taro), the new “administrative reform minister”. He has apparently declared war on the Hanko (personal stamps) and fax machines, stating that the use of both is not fitting anymore for modern times. Somehow, I find myself doubting that much will come of this, but hey, any attempt at modernization by an ultra-conservative government like the Japanese has to be welcomed.

The Japan Times

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/09/27/national/japan-taro-kono-fax-machine-hanko/

Next up, we have an article talking about the bleak job outlook of overseas students currently in Japan. Many companies have scaled back recruitment and unemployment rose to 3% (though there is some tomfoolery going on with that number, actual numbers are most likely higher). Students in Japan usually try to secure a job while still enrolled in university, but due to the current situation, they face a lot of uncertainty on whether or not that position will still be available once they graduate.

Kyodo News

https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2020/09/416ba5cd5736-focus-overseas-students-in-japan-face-bleak-job-outlook-due-to-pandemic.html

Recently, there has been somewhat of a string of suicides by Japanese celebrities, with Yuko Takeuchi being the fourth celebrity to commit suicide since the corona pandemic started. Experts fear that existing issues are compounded by the pandemic and that we may see rising figures of suicides yet to come. Should you have suicidal thoughts please seek help, either with friends and family or call a professional helpline. 

The Mercury News

Finally, to complete the somewhat depressing news cycle (it wouldn’t be news if it wasn’t depressing), we have the Defense Ministry under new premier minister Suga asking for an 8.3% budget increase, most likely to bolster capabilities for potential confrontations with North Korea or China. 

CNN

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/30/asia/japan-military-budget-2020-intl-hnk/index.html

That’s it for this week, come back next week for more.

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