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Kyodo News Digest: Oct. 15, 2021 -3-

10/15/2021 | 07:18am EST

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


Japan to boost hospital capacity to treat more COVID patients

TOKYO - Japan's government said Friday it will boost the country's medical system to allow 20 percent more COVID-19 patients to be admitted to hospitals compared with this summer's fifth wave of infections when many people were forced to recuperate at home.

In an outline of countermeasures presented at a panel meeting, the government of new Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said it will seek to increase the utilization rate of hospital beds secured for COVID-19 patients, in addition to designating more beds at public hospitals for exclusive use by sufferers of the respiratory disease.


Dollar climbs to 3-yr high vs yen on hopes for higher interest rates

TOKYO - The U.S. dollar rose above the 114 yen line Friday in Tokyo, its highest level in nearly three years, as an improvement in U.S. employment conditions raised expectations of higher interest rates while boosting the Nikkei index to a two-week high led by exporters.

At 5 p.m., the dollar fetched 114.09-10 yen compared with 113.63-73 yen in New York and 113.37-38 yen in Tokyo at 5 p.m. Thursday. It rose to its highest level since November 2018. ----------

Nationwide system failure hits NTT Docomo, disruption continues


Some NTT Docomo Inc. mobile phone customers continued to have difficulty Friday making calls and data connections, a day after Japan's largest mobile carrier was hit by a nationwide system outage.

NTT Docomo said it suffered a system issue at around 5 p.m. Thursday during work on its network. Services were restored three hours later but connections remained unstable for some users due to network congestion, the carrier said.


Japan PM Kishida holds 1st phone talks with S. Korea's Moon

TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida spoke by phone with South Korean President Moon Jae In on Friday, their first conversation since Kishida took office last week.

Relations between Japan and South Korea have soured due to a dispute over compensation for Korean workers at Japanese factories in the lead-up to and during World War II.


Myanmar rejects ASEAN envoy's meeting with "specific individuals"

YANGON/BANGKOK - Myanmar's military government has said it could not approve a special ASEAN envoy's insistence on meeting with "some specific individuals" in the country, indicating it has effectively rejected his visit because of the request to meet civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi and some other opposition leaders.

The Foreign Ministry under the military government issued a statement on Thursday saying "some requests which go beyond the permission of existing laws will be difficult to be accommodated," regarding the request by Erywan Yusof, ASEAN's special envoy on Myanmar and Brunei's second foreign minister.


Komeito chief casts doubt on LDP's plan to increase defense spending

TOKYO - The leader of Komeito, the smaller coalition partner of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, voiced doubt Friday over the LDP's plan to increase defense spending, possibly above 2 percent of gross domestic product.

"As the birth rate declines and the population ages, we will need to put more resources toward social security and education," Natsuo Yamaguchi said in a group interview. "The public will not accept it if only defense spending suddenly doubles."


Princess Mako's boyfriend to meet her parents ahead of marriage

TOKYO - Princess Mako's boyfriend Kei Komuro will meet her parents on Monday ahead of their marriage scheduled for later this month, the Imperial Household Agency said Friday, with an unresolved financial dispute involving his mother clouding the celebratory mood.

The announcement came as Komuro, 30, arrived in Japan last month from the United States, where he works at a law firm, to prepare for the marriage that was imperiled by the dispute between his mother and her former fiance. He completed a two-week coronavirus quarantine period earlier this week.


Toyota cuts Nov. global output plan around 15% amid parts shortages

TOKYO - Toyota Motor Corp. said Friday it expects global output for November to fall by as much as 15 percent, or 150,000 units, from its initial plan for around 1 million due to difficulty securing parts amid pandemic-disrupted supply chains and a semiconductor crunch.

Despite the production cut, Toyota maintained its output target of 9 million vehicles for the year through March 2022 as it aims to ramp up output in the coming months. The full-year outlook was trimmed from 9.3 million units last month.


© Kyodo News International, Inc., source Newswire

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