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Kyodo News Digest: April 6, 2024

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Elementary and junior high schools in earthquake-struck areas in Ishikawa Prefecture on the Sea of Japan coast hold their entrance ceremonies on April 5, 2024. At Iida Elementary School in Suzu, five first graders began school life, compared with 18 the previous year, as some who were planning to attend the school relocated following the Jan. 1 quake. (Kyodo)


The following is the latest list of selected news summaries by Kyodo News.


Nissan stripped of eligibility for Japan tax break to boost wages

TOKYO – The government has removed Nissan Motor Co. from its list of companies eligible for a tax break to promote wage increases, after the antitrust watchdog issued a warning to the automaker for illegally reducing payments to dozens of subcontractors, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday.

Major companies such as Nissan are required to commit to appropriate business dealings with subcontractors on a government website when they apply for the tax break. Once delisted, companies cannot be listed again for at least a year.


U.S., China agree to launch exchanges on “balanced growth”: Yellen

BEIJING – The United States and China have agreed to launch talks on “balanced growth” in their domestic economies as well as globally in an effort to address U.S. concerns over China’s excess manufacturing capacity, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said Saturday during her visit to the Asian country.

The world’s two largest economies also decided to expand cooperation against illicit financial crimes, announcing the start of exchanges aimed at clamping down on the laundering of money.


Taiwan quake death toll rises to 13, with 6 still missing

HUALIEN, Taiwan – The death toll of a deadly earthquake that tilted buildings and caused landslides in Taiwan rose to 13 on Saturday, while search and rescue efforts continued after the critical 72-hour period for survival passed in the morning.

Six people are still unaccounted for in the hardest-hit eastern county of Hualien following the Wednesday quake that registered magnitude 7.2 according to Taiwan authorities.


Japan, U.S., Australia, Philippines to hold joint naval drills April 7

TOKYO – Japan, the United States, Australia and the Philippines said Saturday they will conduct their first full-scale joint naval exercises in the South China Sea, in an apparent show of unity against China’s maritime assertiveness.

The Maritime Cooperative Activity will be held in the Philippines’ exclusive economic zone on Sunday to demonstrate the “collective commitment to strengthen regional and international cooperation in support of a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the four countries’ defense ministers said in a joint statement.


Half of anime industry workers log over 225 monthly hours: survey

TOKYO – About half of people in the Japanese anime industry said they work over 225 hours per month, highlighting the long working hours compared with other fields, a recent survey by an industry association showed.

The number greatly surpasses the full-time workers’ average of 163.5 hours in the health ministry’s survey for 2023, according to the Nippon Anime & Film Culture Association.

NAFCA was founded in April last year in a bid to improve working conditions in the industry.


New York, vicinity hit by rare earthquake, no major damage reported

NEW YORK – A wide area of the northeastern U.S. coast, including New York City, was rocked by a rare strong earthquake Friday, but it had only limited impacts on transportation and daily life.

The quake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.8 occurred at a depth of 4.7 kilometers in Lebanon, New Jersey, at 10:23 a.m., according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The temblor was felt for a span of seconds across the area, including in high rises in Manhattan, some 70 km from the focus.


Motor racing: Verstappen on Japanese F1 Grand Prix pole, Tsunoda 10th

SUZUKA, Japan – Max Verstappen took pole position at the Japanese Grand Prix on Saturday, just outpacing his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez for top spot, while Japan’s Yuki Tsunoda grabbed 10th place.

Dutchman Verstappen, the three-time reigning Formula One champion, clocked a lap of 1 minute, 28.197 seconds around the Suzuka International Racing Course, doing just enough to qualify ahead of his Mexican teammate by 0.066 second, with McLaren’s Lando Norris taking third for Britain.


Girl fatally hit by train at gateless crossing northwest of Tokyo

MAEBASHI, Japan – A 9-year-old girl was fatally hit by a local train at a railroad crossing with no barriers and alarms in Gunma Prefecture, northwest of Tokyo, on Saturday, police said.

The child, who was in the fourth grade at elementary school, appeared to be walking a dog when she entered the crossing, and was hit by a train bound for Takasaki station, railway operator Joshin Dentetsu said, citing an account of the train driver.

Video: Cherry blossom viewing begins at Japan Mint in Osaka

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