Japanese Economy – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ Fri, 17 Sep 2021 21:33:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://japononline.net/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/default1-150x150.png Japanese Economy – Japon Online http://japononline.net/ 32 32 Meeting of major economies on energy and climate September 17, 2021: Summary of the presidency https://japononline.net/meeting-of-major-economies-on-energy-and-climate-september-17-2021-summary-of-the-presidency/ https://japononline.net/meeting-of-major-economies-on-energy-and-climate-september-17-2021-summary-of-the-presidency/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 21:33:45 +0000 https://japononline.net/meeting-of-major-economies-on-energy-and-climate-september-17-2021-summary-of-the-presidency/ On September 17, 2021, President Biden convened the Major Economies on Energy and Climate (MEF) Forum, a continuation of the group’s convening at its leaders’ climate summit in April. Participants underscored the urgency of boosting climate ambition ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 26) in Glasgow and beyond, […]]]>

On September 17, 2021, President Biden convened the Major Economies on Energy and Climate (MEF) Forum, a continuation of the group’s convening at its leaders’ climate summit in April. Participants underscored the urgency of boosting climate ambition ahead of the United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 26) in Glasgow and beyond, and many announced their support for a global commitment on methane that will be launched at COP 26.

At the Leaders’ Summit in April, MEF leaders and other participants stressed the importance of strengthening climate ambition on the road to COP 26. Some leaders then announced higher ambition, including new contributions. or updated nationally determined under the Paris Agreement. Others said announcements would be made at a later date.

President Biden was joined in the virtual closed-door meeting on September 17 by leaders from Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, European Commission, European Council, Indonesia, Italy, Japan , Korea, Mexico and the United Kingdom as well as the UN. General secretary. Special Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry chaired a ministerial session with China, Germany, India and Russia.

US Secretary of State Blinken opened the meeting by summarizing the latest findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which clearly underscored the growing prevalence of climate-related disasters and the strong prospect of consequences. much more serious in the decades to come. action. President Biden called recent climate-related events a “red flash code” and noted that the time to act was shrinking – “to the point of no return”.

Prime Minister Hasina of Bangladesh, representing the Climate Vulnerable Forum, highlighted the significant impacts facing vulnerable countries and the importance of moving from “climate vulnerability to climate resilience to climate prosperity”. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has stressed that it is not too late to reach a warming limit of 1.5 degrees Celsius, that countries must step up their efforts before COP 26 and that more ambition in mitigation, adaptation and financing was needed.

The participants then addressed four topics:

  • Other commitments and actions to be taken in the weeks that remain before COP 26 in Glasgow.
  • Potential participation in the Global Methane Pledge to be launched at COP 26.
  • The importance of a forward-looking COP outcome that reflects the collective commitment of the Parties to the Paris Agreement to continue to strengthen their ambition and actions after Glasgow.
  • Plans to use the post-Glasgow MEF as a springboard for collective and concrete efforts to scale up climate action in the decisive decade of the 2020s.

Regarding other commitments and actions, many stressed the critical importance of keeping a 1.5 degree C limit within reach and achieving zero global net emissions by mid-century. Participants indicated a variety of additional actions underway, including national implementation measures, the intention to increase the ambition of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) by COP 26, national and international coal-related efforts, and others. Many also stressed the importance of supporting developing countries in climate transition, including achieving the developed countries’ goal of raising $ 100 billion per year.

Recognizing that methane is a potent, short-lived climate pollutant that already accounts for about half of the 1.0 ° C net warming to date, the Global Methane Pledge, an effort co-initiated by the United States and the Union, will involve a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% from 2020 levels by 2030 and the implementation of related national measures. The importance of rapidly reducing methane emissions was widely recognized at the meeting, and many MEF members including the European Union, Argentina, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, United Kingdom United and the United States have declared their intention to join. It was reported that non-MEF countries, including Ghana and Iraq, have also signaled their intention to join the Global Methane Pledge. These early supporters of the Commitment include six of the top 15 methane emitters in the world and together account for more than a fifth of global methane emissions and almost half of the global economy.

Regarding COP 26, there was broad agreement on the importance of a successful COP which not only includes the completion of the Paris ‘settlement’ and strong outcomes on adaptation and finance, but also recognizes the decisive nature of the 2020s and reflects the collective commitment of the Parties to the Paris Agreement will continue to strengthen their ambition to keep a 1.5 ° C limit of warming within reach.

President Biden also outlined U.S. plans to use the MEF at the leadership and ministerial level to facilitate targeted efforts similar to the Global Methane Pledge. Going forward, the MEF will continue to serve as a high-level political forum to advance key climate-related issues among the world’s major economies. In light of the urgency to take further climate action, President Biden explained that he also plans to strengthen the role of the MEF as a platform to launch cooperative efforts that accelerate concrete action. . Such action will include several components focusing on key areas, including energy, industry, land and ocean. The United States plans to kick off those efforts with a meeting of MEF ministers in January 2022 to discuss clean energy goals in the energy, transportation, industrial and construction sectors. President Biden also said he plans to reconvene MEF leaders to take stock of progress.

In his closing remarks, Presidential Special Envoy Kerry cited the Global Methane Commitment as an important contribution to tackling the climate crisis and an example of practical approaches for transformative action. He underlined the urgency to act in the 2020s and called on countries to seize all opportunities, including the next G20 summit in Rome, to strengthen ambition ahead of COP 26 in Glasgow.

The participants included:

  • President Alberto Fernandez, Argentine Republic
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Commonwealth of Australia
  • Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, People’s Republic of Bangladesh
  • President Ursula von der Leyen, European Commission
  • President Charles Michel, European Council
  • President Joko Widodo, Republic of Indonesia
  • Prime Minister Mario Draghi, Italian Republic
  • Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, Japan
  • President Moon Jae-in, Republic of Korea
  • President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, United Mexican States
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • Secretary General António Guterres, United Nations
  • President’s Special Envoy and China’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Xie Zhenhua, People’s Republic of China
  • Parliamentary State Secretary at the Ministry of the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, Federal Republic of Germany
  • Union Cabinet Minister of Labor and Employment, Environment, Forests and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, India
  • President’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Ruslan Edelgeriyev, Russian Federation

###


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/meeting-of-major-economies-on-energy-and-climate-september-17-2021-summary-of-the-presidency/feed/ 0
Belarus sells timber to Japan through the commodities exchange https://japononline.net/belarus-sells-timber-to-japan-through-the-commodities-exchange/ https://japononline.net/belarus-sells-timber-to-japan-through-the-commodities-exchange/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 13:03:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/belarus-sells-timber-to-japan-through-the-commodities-exchange/ MINSK, Sept. 17 (BelTA) – One of the largest suppliers of wood products to the Japanese market, Shimizu Lumber, is considering buying wood from the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE), BelTA learned from the service. BUCE press release. The company has already completed the registration of documents and has become the first Japanese resident accredited […]]]>

MINSK, Sept. 17 (BelTA) – One of the largest suppliers of wood products to the Japanese market, Shimizu Lumber, is considering buying wood from the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange (BUCE), BelTA learned from the service. BUCE press release.

The company has already completed the registration of documents and has become the first Japanese resident accredited to the BUCE. Thus, the geography of stock trading has expanded to 68 countries.

Shimizu Lumber is engaged in timber harvesting and processing, importing and exporting lumber products, manufacturing building materials and furniture, and providing transportation and logistics services. . The company sees entering the Belarusian market as an opportunity to diversify its sources of wood processing products, primarily softwood lumber, which is in high demand in Japan.

“Japan, like many other countries, has fully felt the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic, but now the country’s economy is actively recovering, including its construction sector. In this regard, demand for timber is currently at a high level and must be met mainly by imported products, as Japan does not have sufficient reserves of its own timber resources. Our company already purchases large volumes of timber raw materials and lumber from Southeast Asia, North America and Europe. We have never worked with Belarus before, but we are sure that we can establish long-term successful cooperation with local suppliers. We are counting on the help and support of the commodity exchange, ”Shimizu Lumber representatives said.

Founded in 2004, the Belarusian Universal Commodities Exchange held its first trading session in June 2005. BUCE is one of the largest commodities exchanges in Eastern Europe. Its main function is to help Belarusian companies to export and foreign companies to enter the Belarusian market. BUCE sells a wide range of metal, forestry and agricultural products, industrial and consumer goods.

Shimizu Lumber Co., Ltd. was founded in 1950. The main activity is the production and sale of timber. The company’s head office is located in Kobe (Honshu Island, Japan). The company also has representative offices in the United States and Canada.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/belarus-sells-timber-to-japan-through-the-commodities-exchange/feed/ 0
Japanese companies try to reduce their reliance on Chinese manufacturing https://japononline.net/japanese-companies-try-to-reduce-their-reliance-on-chinese-manufacturing/ https://japononline.net/japanese-companies-try-to-reduce-their-reliance-on-chinese-manufacturing/#respond Fri, 17 Sep 2021 04:54:08 +0000 https://japononline.net/japanese-companies-try-to-reduce-their-reliance-on-chinese-manufacturing/ ATHE END of the month, the production line at a Toshiba factory in Dalian will shut down, 30 years after the Japanese electronics giant opened in the city in northeast China. Once a totemic example of global supply chains expanding into China, the shutdown exemplifies how these are being reconfigured. The short answer is: delicately […]]]>


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/japanese-companies-try-to-reduce-their-reliance-on-chinese-manufacturing/feed/ 0
Beijing contemplates fate of pro-China heavyweights as Japan pick leader https://japononline.net/beijing-contemplates-fate-of-pro-china-heavyweights-as-japan-pick-leader/ https://japononline.net/beijing-contemplates-fate-of-pro-china-heavyweights-as-japan-pick-leader/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:19:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/beijing-contemplates-fate-of-pro-china-heavyweights-as-japan-pick-leader/ Tetsushi Takahashi was Nikkei’s China bureau chief from April 2017 to March 2021 and editor of the Beijing Diary column. TOKYO – The leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, slated for September 29, has attracted great interest from observers around the world, including China. But the post of Japanese Prime Minister […]]]>

Tetsushi Takahashi was Nikkei’s China bureau chief from April 2017 to March 2021 and editor of the Beijing Diary column.

TOKYO – The leadership election of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, slated for September 29, has attracted great interest from observers around the world, including China. But the post of Japanese Prime Minister is not the only stake of the vote. Beijing is also concerned about the influence that pro-Chinese LDP secretary general Toshihiro Nikai will retain within the party.

Officials from the Chinese Communist Party’s foreign affairs department often gave this reporter this explanation: “Nikai always keeps his promises. It is very special for China.

Nikai is arguably the most trusted Japanese politician in China. He inherited a network of relations in the country first forged by Kakuei Tanaka, who, as prime minister in 1972, normalized diplomatic relations with Beijing. And whenever problems arise between the two countries, Nikai has been the problem solver. Before the coronavirus pandemic, he was a frequent visitor to China, with access to President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.

When the PLD’s foreign affairs division passed a resolution in July 2020 calling for the cancellation of Xi’s official visit to Japan, Nikai’s famous rebuke is still talked about in China.

“Director who? I don’t care if it’s the director of the foreign affairs division or any other division, but it’s not something to be decided so frivolously,” Nikai said at the time. At his insistence, the wording of the resolution was watered down.

Today Nikai faces opposition within his own party.

Former political leader Fumio Kishida, a first-place candidate, said party leaders other than the president should serve a maximum of three consecutive one-year terms. This proposal closed the door to a reappointment of Nikai, who had already served as Secretary General for five years.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga also explored the possibility of replacing Nikai before announcing his decision not to run for the party president. Many young PLD lawmakers are unhappy with Nikai’s dictatorial management of the party, and it is unlikely that he will continue as general secretary no matter who becomes the next party leader.

China, which is locked in a showdown with the United States, wants to maintain a reasonably good relationship with Japan. Nikai cracked down on harsh views on China within the PLD. His dismissal would be a blow to Beijing.

“China believes that Japanese politics have once again entered an era where prime ministers are replaced several times after a short period,” said Tomoki Kamo, professor of Chinese politics at Keio University in Tokyo.

Between 2006 and 2012, Japan had six prime ministers, each of which only lasted about a year. The relationship between China and Japan had to be rebuilt with each new prime minister, and relations fell to unprecedented levels when Premier Yoshihiko Noda of the Democratic Party of Japan nationalized the Senkaku Islands in 2012.

China, which wants to maintain healthy relations with Japan to push back the United States, does not want to go back to that time. However, Chinese leaders have determined that the political unrest in Japan will continue for some time and are reassessing their strategy towards Tokyo.

At the same time, the bi-decennial congress of the Communist Party is scheduled for next fall. As China enters its political season, its attention turns to domestic issues. From the point of view of democratic nations, China is taking dangerous and anachronistic measures, such as making “Xi Jinping Thought” compulsory in primary and secondary schools, starting with the new school year in September.

Beijing’s foreign policy will inevitably become tougher as domestic policy becomes more tense. There is no room for compromise with the United States, which is pressuring China over Taiwan and its alleged human rights violations against Muslim Uyghurs in Xinjiang. China will also likely take a tougher stance on Japan, which is strengthening its ties with Washington.

The huge Chinese market is of critical importance to the Japanese economy, and the Japanese business community is concerned about the future of Sino-Japanese relations. However, the idea that politics and economics are separate will no longer work when it comes to China.

How will Japan live with its neighbor China? The next PLD elections require an in-depth discussion.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/beijing-contemplates-fate-of-pro-china-heavyweights-as-japan-pick-leader/feed/ 0
Japanese market considerably lower | Nasdaq https://japononline.net/japanese-market-considerably-lower-nasdaq/ https://japononline.net/japanese-market-considerably-lower-nasdaq/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 02:30:53 +0000 https://japononline.net/japanese-market-considerably-lower-nasdaq/ (RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market was significantly lower on Wednesday, abandoning some of the gains from the previous three sessions as the Nikkei benchmark broke 31-year highs and surpassed the 30,400 level, following largely negative signals overnight on Wall Street, as traders made a profit, even though they remain concerned about the national coronavirus […]]]>

(RTTNews) – The Japanese stock market was significantly lower on Wednesday, abandoning some of the gains from the previous three sessions as the Nikkei benchmark broke 31-year highs and surpassed the 30,400 level, following largely negative signals overnight on Wall Street, as traders made a profit, even though they remain concerned about the national coronavirus situation.

Meanwhile, the downsides are limited as traders remain optimistic that a new government will implement new economic measures to mitigate the prolonged impact of the pandemic.

The benchmark Nikkei 225 is down 265.05 points or 0.86% to 30,405.05, after hitting a low of 30,347.30 earlier. Japanese stocks closed sharply higher on Tuesday.

Market heavyweight SoftBank Group lost nearly 5% and operator Uniqlo Fast Retailing was down slightly by 0.2%. Among automakers, Honda lost more than 1% and Toyota fell 0.5%.

In the tech space, Screen Holdings lost nearly 2%, while Advantest added nearly 1% and Tokyo Electron rose 0.3%.

In the banking sector, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial lost almost 2%, while Mitsubishi UFJ Financial and Mizuho Financial fell by more than 1% each. Among the major exporters, Panasonic and Canon are down more than 1% each, Mitsubishi Electric is down almost 1% and Sony is down almost 2%.

Among the other big losers, Tokyo Tatemono is losing more than 4%, while Nitto Denko, NTN, Tokai Carbon and Asahi Group are down almost 4% each. Sumco, Mitsui Fudosan, Tosoh, Taiheiyo Cement, NEXON, Fukuoka Financial, Mitsui Mining & Smelting, Recruit Holdings and T&D Holdings are down more than 3% each.

Conversely, Hitachi Zosen and Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha each gain nearly 3%, while M3 gains nearly 2%. On the economic news side, the total value of basic machinery orders in Japan rose 0.9 percent in July, seasonally adjusted, the Cabinet Office said on Wednesday, to 859.7 billion yen. This missed expectations of a 3.1% increase after the 1.5% contraction in June. On a year-over-year basis, orders for basic machinery rose 11.1% – again below expectations of a 15.7% increase after the 18.6% increase in the previous month. The total value of machine orders received by 280 manufacturers operating in Japan increased 11.7% month-on-month and 49.3% year-on-year in July to reach 2,875.9 billion yen.

In the currency market, the US dollar traded in the upper range of 109 yen on Wednesday.

On Wall Street, stocks moved higher at the start of Tuesday’s session, but came under pressure during the session. Major averages retreated well from their early highs and slipped firmly into negative territory as the day wore on.

After breaking a five-game losing streak on Monday, the Dow Jones slipped 292.06 points or 0.8% to 34,577.57, its lowest closing level in nearly two months. The S&P 500 lost 25.68 points or 0.6% to 4,443.05, while the Nasdaq lost 67.82 points or 0.5% to 15,037.76, closing lower for the fifth consecutive session.

Meanwhile, major European markets ended the day in a mixed bag. While the German DAX index increased by 0.1%, the French CAC 40 index and the British FTSE 100 index fell by 0.4% and 0.5% respectively. Crude oil futures stabilized slightly higher on Tuesday after the Labor Department said U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected last month, while traders also weighed the impact of the tropical storm Nicholas. Crude oil futures were at $ 70.46 per barrel, up one cent from the previous close.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/japanese-market-considerably-lower-nasdaq/feed/ 0
10% of Japanese companies to hire regular staff after minimum wage increase: survey https://japononline.net/10-of-japanese-companies-to-hire-regular-staff-after-minimum-wage-increase-survey/ https://japononline.net/10-of-japanese-companies-to-hire-regular-staff-after-minimum-wage-increase-survey/#respond Sat, 11 Sep 2021 01:10:57 +0000 https://japononline.net/10-of-japanese-companies-to-hire-regular-staff-after-minimum-wage-increase-survey/ Nearly 10 percent of Japanese companies said they would hire more regular workers, more than three times as many as those who slash them, to cope with the upcoming sharp hikes in the minimum wage across the country, a recent one showed. survey conducted by a credit research company. The Tokyo Shoko Research survey apparently […]]]>

Nearly 10 percent of Japanese companies said they would hire more regular workers, more than three times as many as those who slash them, to cope with the upcoming sharp hikes in the minimum wage across the country, a recent one showed. survey conducted by a credit research company.

The Tokyo Shoko Research survey apparently showed that more employers found it preferable to transfer their workforce to regular, permanent workers, as it would be more expensive for them to employ permanent workers. non-regular staff with a fixed term and paid by the hour.

Participants call for an increase in the hourly minimum wage in Japan to 1,500 yen ($ 13.7) at a rally organized by labor groups on July 13, 2021 in Tokyo. (Kyodo)

The online survey found that 914, or 9.8%, of the 9,278 responding companies said they would hire more regular staff, while 287, or 3.0%, would reduce the number of such workers, when asked about the impact of the minimum wage increase scheduled for October.

Meanwhile, 7,745, or 83.4%, said the increase in the minimum wage would not affect their employment strategy, according to the survey conducted August 2-11. The trend was more noticeable among large companies, as the percentage in large companies was 89.7. percent, compared to 82.3 percent in small and medium-sized enterprises.

The results came after a Japanese government panel in July proposed to increase the average hourly minimum wage in fiscal 2021 from 28 yen to 930 yen ($ 8.5), the highest since fiscal year 2002, when he started using hourly wages to come up with a rough target for increases. .

The proposal was concluded after an intense debate between management and unions, with management fearing that the wage hike would deal another blow to companies already hit by the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

The sharp wage hikes came after the average minimum wage rose by just 1 yen in fiscal year 2020, as wage hikes could worsen business conditions with the emergence of the pandemic.

Taking into account the proposal and the local economic situations, each of the regional directorates of the Ministry of Labor in the 47 prefectures individually finalized the increase in mid-August.

Tokyo Shoko Research said companies with strong business performance might “turn to hiring more regular employees” instead of hourly workers such as agency and part-time workers, citing the shortage of Japan’s long-standing workforce accompanied by a rapidly aging population.

“The result suggests that more and more companies are changing their minds and attempting to improve productivity per worker through regular, long-term and stable employment, inspired by the increase in the minimum wage,” said Hisashi Yamada, vice-president of the Japan Research Institute think tank.

The Ministry of Labor’s advisory group is meeting on July 16, 2021 in Tokyo on its proposal to increase the average hourly minimum wage in Japan for fiscal year 2021 to 930 yen ($ 8.5). (Kyodo)

Yamada said the possible negative impact of the minimum wage hike on business management does not appear “to be so large overall as more than 80% do not expect any impact”, but warned that Small and medium-sized businesses, which typically hire more non-regular workers, are said to suffer higher labor costs in addition to the fallout from the virus.

“Basically, many mid-sized and small businesses are financially unstable and more vulnerable to a rise in wages, so some kind of supportive measures will be needed given the current virus situation,” Yamada said, proposing to introduce exemptions from rising wages. for sectors affected by the pandemic such as service providers.

The increase in the minimum wage came as Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga pledged to reach an average hourly rate of at least 1,000 yen “as soon as possible” to help non-regular employees earn more and correct the wrongs. pay disparities between them and regular workers.

Japan’s minimum wage ranks fifth among the industrialized countries of the Group of Seven, with the exception of Italy which has no statutory minimum wage, after $ 12.2 in France, $ 12.0 in Germany, $ 11.1 in Britain and $ 10.5 in Canada, according to Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development data for 2020. US is the lowest at $ 7.3.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/10-of-japanese-companies-to-hire-regular-staff-after-minimum-wage-increase-survey/feed/ 0
Utah’s air quality deteriorates during drought https://japononline.net/utahs-air-quality-deteriorates-during-drought/ https://japononline.net/utahs-air-quality-deteriorates-during-drought/#respond Wed, 08 Sep 2021 00:49:55 +0000 https://japononline.net/utahs-air-quality-deteriorates-during-drought/ SALT LAKE CITY – Kevin Perry had just started his morning routine, stepping out to pick up the diary, when he noticed something was wrong with the sky. “In 30 seconds I was coughing and my throat ached,” Dr. Perry, an atmospheric specialist at the University of Utah, said of this August morning. “It was […]]]>

SALT LAKE CITY – Kevin Perry had just started his morning routine, stepping out to pick up the diary, when he noticed something was wrong with the sky.

“In 30 seconds I was coughing and my throat ached,” Dr. Perry, an atmospheric specialist at the University of Utah, said of this August morning. “It was the worst air quality I have ever experienced in my life.”

Shrouded in smoke from the colossal California wildfires 500 miles away, Salt Lake City had that morning passed smog-smothered mega-cities like New Delhi and Jakarta to record the most polluted air from any major city in the world.

The grim distinction has alarmed both longtime residents and newcomers to Utah, where a searing economy and easy access to outdoor activities like skiing and mountain biking are fueling the fastest growing population of any state.

But the consequences of growth, including more vehicles on the road, and smoke from this summer’s wildfires are compounding an already grim deterioration in air quality caused by a prolonged drought.

Scientists say drought, along with water diversions, has shriveled the Great Salt Lake, the country’s largest body of water after the Great Lakes, to its lowest levels in more than a century. The result is large areas of parched lake bed, similar to the aral sea in the former Soviet Union, exposing millions of people in Utah to dust storms containing arsenic and other toxic elements.

“Whenever the wind blows, we are subjected to the dust of these dry lake beds scattered all over the place,” said Dr. Brian Moench, president of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “There are residues of pesticides and agricultural chemicals that have migrated into the lake for many decades. “

For now, the slow-motion ecological disaster of the shrinking Great Salt Lake seems to contrast with the vibrancy of Salt Lake City, a hotbed for a $ 1.5 billion ski industry that’s also home to outerwear companies. like Black Diamond, Cotopaxi and Kuhl.

But as the outdoor recreation industry relies on images of the blue sky, scientists say the air quality around the Wasatch Front, the metropolitan area where about 80% of Utah’s people live , is deteriorating much more than many residents realize.

The bowl-shaped topography of the valley that includes Salt Lake City creates an inversion that traps air pollution – usually during the winter – from sources such as motor vehicle exhaust. It’s a bit like the situation in Santiago, the Chilean capital cradled in the mountains which is one of the most polluted cities in Latin America.

A more recent problem throughout the year, magnified by the population boom, is ground-level ozone pollution from sources such as power plants and cars, which can increase the frequency of energy crises. asthma and worsen lung diseases like emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

The Environmental Protection Agency in 2018 designated the northern Wasatch Front airshed, which includes part of the Salt Lake City area, as in violation of federal ozone standards. The move sparked bitter political wrangling over whether Utah’s oil and mining industries were pushing ozone levels up.

Concerned about the deterioration of air quality, especially in winter, the ski magazine Powder warned“We can start to see visitors to Salt Lake traveling in gas masks with their ski gear. “

The smoke from the wildfires now blowing in California, where several large fires continue to burn, is also an extraordinarily toxic form of pollution. The particles can be much smaller than those in chimneys, making them easier to inhale and be picked up by the bloodstream.

Then there is the wilting of the Great Salt Lake. While the lake’s water level has fluctuated widely over time, the US Geological Survey found in July that it had reached its lowest note since the start of measurements in 1875.

At its average water elevation, the lake, which accumulates salt and other minerals because it has no outlet to the ocean, spans 1,700 square miles. But today it only expands about 950 square miles after losing 44% of its area, an area larger than the city of Houston.

The narrowing of the lake gives surreal scenes. On Antelope Island, near a once bustling marina that is now unused and empty, dozens of microbialites, the reef-like mounds created by millions of microbes, are exposed to the air.

Because brine shrimp and lake brine flies depend on microbials as their primary food source, and because millions of birds feed on shrimp and flies, falling water levels could trigger a collapse of water. the lake’s food chain if more microbes are threatened, according to a study in July by the Utah Geological Survey.

Elsewhere around Grand Lac Salé, visitors who once could enjoy shoreline picnic tables now have to walk across a dry lake bed to dip their toes in the water; shipwrecks began to emerge as the water recedes.

Julie Mattingly, commodore of the Great Salt Lake Yacht Club, founded in 1877, said dozens of boats at risk of getting stuck in the lake bed were removed this year and placed in dry storage.

“There is no yachting at the moment on the lake,” Ms. Mattingly said, adding that the club’s membership has grown from around 100 members this year to 13. Now, she said. , members go on “land cruises”, where they drive around and view the historic sites along the lake.

The decline of the Great Salt Lake drew comparisons with the crisis around the Aral Sea, which was once the world’s fourth largest inland body of water. It started to dry up in the 1960s when the former Soviet Union built water diversion projects to irrigate parts of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

Now much of the region is one of the the youngest deserts in the world, which frees Sandstorm on an almost weekly basis and is known by some as the Sands of Aral. Closer to Utah, scientists also compare the collapsing water levels to Lake Owens in California, whose water was diverted to Los Angeles about a century ago.

Since then, Owens Lake has also become a site of huge dust storms, turning into the country’s largest single source of PM 10, a type of particulate pollution that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat.

“We’ve seen this happen in terminal basin lakes around the world,” said atmospheric scientist Dr Perry. He said the prolonged drought had resulted in disappointing snowfall in the surrounding mountains; while the lake can gain up to two feet from spring runoff, the smaller snowpack during the winter has raised its level by just six inches.

Another factor is Utah’s policies of diverting fresh water from the springs that feed the lake. Over 60 percent of redirected water goes to agriculture.

“We are diverting too much water from the Great Salt Lake,” said Dr Perry.

As the lake continues to shrink, the consequences of such policies are ringing alarm bells. A study by researchers at Brigham Young University, the University of Utah and Middlebury College in Vermont showed that 90 percent of the dust on the Wasatch front came from dry lake beds.

“There is a potential for very significant impact of this dust on our population,” said Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Air Quality Division, referring to the dry areas of the Great Salt Lake. .

At the same time, demand for water is skyrocketing in Utah as its population grows. While the entire state is in severe drought, according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, many Salt Lake City homeowners maintain lush lawns.

Utah contrasts with other parched western states that have acted more aggressively to limit water use, such as Nevada, which this year banned “non-functional” grass, including some lawns. . Governor Spencer Cox recently said he was studying the possibility of similar measures in Utah.

Despite concerns about the water supply and the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s water use dwarfs that of many other states, including other arid climates. Sarah Null, professor of watershed studies at Utah State University, said the state uses about 150 to 200 gallons per day per person.

Still, Jaimi Butler, coordinator of the Great Salt Lake Institute at Westminster College, said the already dire air quality readings were going to get worse. “All of this is happening while we are not yet really seeing the effects of climate change,” she said.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/utahs-air-quality-deteriorates-during-drought/feed/ 0
Reforms of English exams for university admission in Japan delayed by economic and regional disparities https://japononline.net/reforms-of-english-exams-for-university-admission-in-japan-delayed-by-economic-and-regional-disparities/ https://japononline.net/reforms-of-english-exams-for-university-admission-in-japan-delayed-by-economic-and-regional-disparities/#respond Sat, 04 Sep 2021 00:01:17 +0000 https://japononline.net/reforms-of-english-exams-for-university-admission-in-japan-delayed-by-economic-and-regional-disparities/ Standardized college entrance exams are held during the coronavirus pandemic, with red crosses on the desks of seats left open, at the University of Tokyo in the capital’s Bunkyo district on January 16, 2021. ( Mainichi / Kaho Kitayama) TOKYO – Wealth and regional disparities have left Japan grappling with reform of English exams following […]]]>

Standardized college entrance exams are held during the coronavirus pandemic, with red crosses on the desks of seats left open, at the University of Tokyo in the capital’s Bunkyo district on January 16, 2021. ( Mainichi / Kaho Kitayama)

TOKYO – Wealth and regional disparities have left Japan grappling with reform of English exams following the Ministry of Education’s July abandonment of plans to introduce private English tests and written sections in exams from 2025 as part of the standardized university admission examination system.

The decision to abandon the plans under discussion at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology came from the fact that there was no prospect of ensuring fairness and ‘impartiality. These questions were raised from the start.

Instead, the Ministry of Education intends to encourage the implementation of the system in individual entrance exams organized by universities, as it sees them as essential elements of college admissions. Proposals to grant preferential treatment to universities actively incorporating the system have been put forward, but it is not known to what extent the reform will be achieved.

Part of the goal behind the proposed adoption of private English tests assessing the four communication skills of reading, listening, speaking and writing in standardized entrance exams taken by some 500,000 applicants nationwide was to encourage reform of high school classes, which tend to focus heavily on reading and listening.

But some private English proficiency test fees are over 20,000 yen (about $ 182), which means students from low-income households can only afford to take the tests in a limited number. of times. Applicants in some areas may also have limited options of testing locations. Today, the introduction of the new test system has been postponed due to a lack of solutions to economic and regional disparities.

The implementation of the new exams in the individual admission systems of universities is at the discretion of each institution. According to a survey by the Ministry of Education, among those who entered university in the 2020 academic year, only 14.5% of students from national universities were accepted through admission systems accepting results. private English exams. The figures were low for public universities, at only 6.0%, and 19.8% for private universities. Test fees and location issues remain barriers to the widespread use of private English exams.

The Eiken Foundation of Japan announced in February that starting in 2021, the exam fee for its first-year exam at public testing sites would drop from 10,300 yen (about $ 94) including tax to 12,600. yen (about $ 115). The Institute for International Business Communication (IIBC), the administrator of the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC), will also increase from October the fees of 1,320 yen (approximately $ 12) for its listening tests and reading, increasing the price from 6,490 yen (about $ 59) including tax to 7,810 yen (about $ 71).

Kotaro Matsumi heads the Tokyo-incorporated non-profit organization Kidsdoor Fund, which provides financial support to children from poor families aspiring to pursue higher education. He told the Mainichi Shimbun that “the increase in fees may lead to a widening of the existing economic disparities between different families.”

The Kidsdoor Fund awards scholarships to cover the expenses of the Eiken test to lower and upper secondary school students. The results of Eiken’s private English exam are sought after for admission to many universities. But the nonprofit group has not been able to keep up with the annual growth in the number of scholarship applicants. Some students raised concerns, including: “I am looking for a part-time job so that I can take the Eiken, but I cannot find anything” and: “The test is required for admission to university, but I failed with one question. My family says we can’t afford another test. ”

Organizations administering private English exams have also taken action to reduce economic and regional disparities. Candidates for the TOEIC Listening & Reading tests are entitled to a reduction when they retake the test between one and three years after the date of the first exam. The Eiken Foundation of Japan also requested that the 20,000 or so national schools and other bodies serving as group testing sites with exam fees lower than its approximately 400 foundation-designated public sites accept applicants who are not. registered students. Some 400 sites have agreed and the foundation calls for more cooperation.

However, a number of schools have encountered difficulties in accepting other applicants. An English teacher at a Tokyo Metropolitan High School serving as an Eiken venue once a year said, “While we want to increase testing opportunities by offering our facility as a venue several times a year, we will need to juggle school and daily events. tasks and field staff for the test days. There is also the issue of ensuring security, and who is responsible when accepting external applicants. ”

(Japanese original by Kohei Chiwaki, Richi Tanaka and Akira Okubo, Tokyo City Information Department)


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/reforms-of-english-exams-for-university-admission-in-japan-delayed-by-economic-and-regional-disparities/feed/ 0
Business News Live: Experts say economic recovery needs fiscal and monetary support https://japononline.net/business-news-live-experts-say-economic-recovery-needs-fiscal-and-monetary-support/ https://japononline.net/business-news-live-experts-say-economic-recovery-needs-fiscal-and-monetary-support/#respond Wed, 01 Sep 2021 03:32:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/business-news-live-experts-say-economic-recovery-needs-fiscal-and-monetary-support/ 10:45 a.m. Experts say economic recovery needs fiscal and monetary support Experts believe that economic recovery will continue to require both fiscal and monetary support, and the government will need to quickly correct the protectionist stance and speed up trade deals, PTI reported. Brickwork Ratings chief economic adviser Mr. Govinda Rao said first-quarter GDP growth […]]]>

10:45 a.m.

Experts say economic recovery needs fiscal and monetary support

Experts believe that economic recovery will continue to require both fiscal and monetary support, and the government will need to quickly correct the protectionist stance and speed up trade deals, PTI reported.

Brickwork Ratings chief economic adviser Mr. Govinda Rao said first-quarter GDP growth was quite close to the growth estimate released by the RBI. India Ratings and Research said services were still struggling, as they only rose 11.4% in the June quarter.

EY India Chief Policy Advisor DK Srivastava said the agriculture and power, gas and water sectors performed relatively well from their first quarter levels 2019-2020. CIFAR chief economist Aditi Nayar said the weak base of last year’s strict national lockdown masked the impact of the second wave of COVID-19.

10:30

India Inc Says Pandemic Affected Economy Bounced Back

After the GDP figures released on Tuesday, the chamber of industry CII said it was good to see the rebound in GDP growth despite the negative impact of the second wave of the pandemic on economic activity, PTI reported.

The PHDCCI said the significant and proactive reforms undertaken by the government have resulted in a strong recovery today.

Assocham said India’s economy is rapidly turning into a catch-up mode with 20.1% GDP growth in April-June 2021-22.

10:15 a.m.

Indian economy grows 20.1% in first quarter on weak basis

India’s economy grew 20.1% in the April-June quarter of this fiscal year, helped by a weak base from the previous year, according to data released Tuesday by the National Statistics Office (NSO) . However, the economy has yet to regain its pre-COVID level.

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted 24.4% in the corresponding quarter from April to June 2020-21.

In terms of value, GDP stood at 32,38,020 crore in April-June 2021-2022, compared to ₹ 35,6,6,708 crore in the corresponding period of fiscal year 2019-2020.

“GDP at constant prices (2011-12) in the first quarter of 2021-22 is estimated at Rs 32.38 lakh crore, compared to Rs 26.95 lakh crore in the first quarter of 2020-21, showing growth of 20.1 per percent from a contraction of 24.4 percent in the first quarter of 2020-21, “the ONS said in a statement.

10:00 AM

Google is again delaying the return to the office

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said on Tuesday the company was extending its voluntary return to office policy until January of next year.

In an email to employees, Pichai noted that while conditions are improving in some places, there is uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the world.

“Beyond January 10, we will allow countries and locations to determine when to end voluntary homework based on local conditions,” Pichai said. Google previously delayed its return to office policy from September to October.

9:30 AM

Sensex, Nifty open higher

India’s benchmark stock indexes opened higher after hitting a new high the day before.

At 9:15 am, Sensex opened 0.37% higher to 57,763.53 and Nifty opened 0.31% to 17,185.60 amid mixed global indices. The IT, FMCG, banking and auto indices led the gains.

9:15 a.m.

Oil stable before OPEC + decision

Oil prices were stable ahead of an OPEC + meeting, at which major producers will decide whether to stick to a plan to add 400,000 barrels per day (bpd) each month until December, Reuters reported.

The move will come at a time when COVID-19 cases are skyrocketing in Asia and U.S. refiners are assessing flood damage in the wake of Hurricane Ida.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 0.1% to $ 68.57 per barrel and Brent crude futures rose 5 cents to $ 71.70 per barrel .

9:00 a.m.

Asian stocks down

Asian stocks lost their recent gains as slowing global growth in several countries weighed on traders’ minds, Reuters reported.

The largest MSCI index of Asia-Pacific stocks excluding Japan fell 0.4%. Chinese blue chips fell 0.44% on Tuesday while Hong Kong lost 0.5% on slower Chinese growth.

Australian stocks fell 0.58% while Japan’s Nikkei gained 0.89% after data showed capital spending by Japanese companies increased in the second quarter.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/business-news-live-experts-say-economic-recovery-needs-fiscal-and-monetary-support/feed/ 0
Altered correlation between elections and economic growth https://japononline.net/altered-correlation-between-elections-and-economic-growth/ https://japononline.net/altered-correlation-between-elections-and-economic-growth/#respond Sat, 28 Aug 2021 02:59:00 +0000 https://japononline.net/altered-correlation-between-elections-and-economic-growth/ Tetsushi Takahashi was head of the Nikkei China bureau from April 2017 to March 2021 and editor of the Beijing Diary column. TOKYO – Japan’s Liberal Democrat-led government was due to announce stimulus packages for this summer and a lower house election for the fall, but little is being talked about these days. Prime Minister […]]]>

Tetsushi Takahashi was head of the Nikkei China bureau from April 2017 to March 2021 and editor of the Beijing Diary column.

TOKYO – Japan’s Liberal Democrat-led government was due to announce stimulus packages for this summer and a lower house election for the fall, but little is being talked about these days.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga likely had the following game plan in mind: pushing COVID-19 vaccinations and gradually easing restrictions; deploy a set of stimulus measures to support the economy; and dissolve the lower house as long as there is some momentum left.

But Suga’s plan has been destroyed by the rapid spread of the highly infectious delta variant of COVID-19, and the push has made it impossible for the government to lift mobility restrictions.

The devastating defeat of Hachiro Okonogi, a former national public security chief who enjoyed Suga’s full backing, in the Yokohama mayoral race on Sunday showed how uncertain the political outlook has become. The lower house election is approaching with the Liberal Democratic Party’s own presidential election. Faced with so many grim prospects, the government simply has no more time to formulate effective stimulus packages – not that many market players have never had high hopes for them.

The national budget for fiscal 2020 increased to 175 trillion yen ($ 1.59 trillion) in total as a result of three supplementary budgets, and the government ultimately carried over unspent 30 trillion yen to the current year.

Stimulus packages that can only be interpreted as an electoral ploy are useless for now, “ said Atsushi Takeda, chief economist at the Itochu Economic Research Institute.

The theory of political economic cycles was posed, among others, by William Nordhaus, the American Nobel laureate in economics. The main premise is that as the elections approach, the ruling party will look for ways to support the economy. These include more aggressive fiscal policies and pressure on central banks to adopt more accommodating monetary policies.

The reverse follows the elections. The government has no choice but to tighten fiscal and monetary policies to prevent the economy from overheating. As a result, the economy rises as elections approach, and then falls – and this is how a political economic cycle manifests itself.

The theory originated in the United States to explain the correlation between the presidential election every four years and business activity. It has been widely observed that the US economy peaks during election years and slows down thereafter. The idea that elections – which are fundamental to democracy – affect business cycles was compelling in its own way.

But the theory has failed in recent times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Democratic nations have been so concerned about the fight against COVID-19 that they have not been able to adjust economic policies according to the election calendar.

In the United States, President Joe Biden’s administration rolled out the $ 2 trillion US jobs plan upon taking office, with a focus on massive investments in infrastructure. Further stimulus may be needed if the Delta variant continues to rage, but the next presidential election is still more than three years away, and the administration may well run out of ideas for new measures during that time.

Ironically, the country that best illustrates a political business cycle might be China, which is ruled by communists and has no democratic credentials.

Organized only once every five years, the National Congress of the Communist Party of China is an opportunity to select the country’s top leaders. China’s growth rate tends to increase over the years of congresses. Indeed, when the congress was last held in 2017, China’s annual growth rate of 6.95% was the first increase in seven years. It has since fallen to 2.3% in 2020.

The next Chinese party congress, its 20th, will take place in the fall of 2022. This is an important moment for President Xi Jinping, who will seek an unprecedented third term. Beijing could very well make economic stimulus a top priority in the outlook.

As the delta variant of COVID-19 darkens the economic outlook for Europe, Japan and the United States – even with high vaccination rates – China may well be on track for new high growth in the United States. approach of the quinquennial congress.


Source link

]]>
https://japononline.net/altered-correlation-between-elections-and-economic-growth/feed/ 0