Japan expands 'China exit' subsidies for moves to Southeast Asia
Nikkei -- Oct 15
Japan will significantly ramp up a program encouraging businesses to build production sites in Southeast Asia to diversify supply chains that are too dependent on China.

The government will cover up to half the cost of such investments within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations for large companies and as much as two-thirds for smaller businesses. The subsidies apply to products for which manufacturing tends to be concentrated in a specific country.

The aim is to have companies expand the number of countries where they have overseas operations, not to entice them to leave any certain nation. Although China is not specifically named in the plan, the goal appears to be to reduce dependence there.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga will announce the plan during his visit to Vietnam this month, further underscoring the importance of Southeast Asia on his first official trip overseas as Japan's leader. His ASEAN tour, which also includes a stop in Indonesia, will be used to call for measures to promote investment in Southeast Asia.

The program is intended specifically to support projects that involve expanding production networks into ASEAN members. Plans that involve pulling out of a given country will likely be excluded.

On the other hand, building a new factory in a Southeast Asian country while leaving capacity in China, for example, would be considered an eligible form of diversification.

The program does not cite China by name, as doing so could risk opening up Tokyo to criticism that it is distorting free trade.

The plan should pose no problems under World Trade Organization rules "as long as it has objective standards for providing support, rather than subsidizing specific companies," said Yorizumi Watanabe, professor of international political economy at Japan's Kansai University of International Studies.

News source: Nikkei
Oct 27
The race is on. Japan's pledge to become a zero-emissions society by 2050 will send automakers, steel producers and other big industrial players scrambling to develop green technologies that will help slash their carbon footprints. (Nikkei)
Oct 24
Six Japanese scholars have accused the government of breaking a law by rejecting them as members of the country's top academic body. (NHK)
Oct 22
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide says he has agreed with the leaders of Vietnam and Indonesia to work together to build a peaceful and prosperous future in the Indo-Pacific region. (NHK)
Oct 21
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide and President Joko Widodo have called for continued cooperation on matters including health, security and the economy. (NHK)
Oct 20
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Xuan Phuc on Monday affirmed defense and economic cooperation between their countries, as China's growing influence continues to make its neighbors jittery. (Kyodo)
Oct 19
Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga arrived on Sunday in Vietnam for the first stop in his Southeast Asian tour, which also marks a diplomatic restart of sorts for Hanoi as it courts international investors. (Nikkei)
Oct 18
Japan's Cabinet and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party held a joint funeral service for former Prime Minister Nakasone Yasuhiro, who died last November at the age of 101. (NHK)
Oct 18
The ruling coalition and an opposition party are considering introducing a bill to recognize that the woman who gives birth to a child as the mother in cases where she uses a third person’s egg, informed sources said Friday. (Japan Times)
Oct 18
The new Japanese Prime Minister sent an offering to the Yasukuni shrine for the autumn festival, but did not attend in person. (ARIRANG NEWS)
Oct 17
Since taking office a month ago, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has held a marathon of teleconferences with world leaders and met face-to-face with high-ranking foreign government officials, eager to shake off criticism that he is a diplomatic novice and doubts over whether he can continue the legacy of his predecessor, former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. (Japan Times)
Oct 17
The Japanese government on Friday created an official YouTube channel to provide information about North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals in the 1970s and 1980s, with a video featuring Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga vowing to bring them back home promptly. (Kyodo)
Oct 15
Japan will significantly ramp up a program encouraging businesses to build production sites in Southeast Asia to diversify supply chains that are too dependent on China. (Nikkei)
Oct 15
The Tokyo Metropolitan Government plans to launch a program that will help elderly people to receive necessary care if their close family members test positive for the coronavirus. (NHK)
Oct 15
Japan's newest submarine was unveiled Wednesday at a shipyard in Kobe, as part of efforts to boost the country's maritime security amid China's growing assertiveness in the region. (Japan Today)
Oct 15
Yoshihide Suga, the man most likely to succeed Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has announced that he remains steadfast in his commitment to issue a license the national inaugural triad of integrated casino resorts. (newsonjapan.com)
Oct 14
Japan is considering an additional economic stimulus package focusing on boosting consumption dampened by the novel coronavirus pandemic, government sources said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Oct 13
Campaigning began Monday for a Nov 1 referendum on whether Osaka should become a metropolis akin to Tokyo in 2025. (NHK)
Oct 10
Japan's Justice Ministry is considering doing away with a requirement that people registering marriages or divorces must stamp documents with "hanko," or personal seals. (NHK)
Oct 10
Japanese Prime Minister Suga Yoshihide has explained more about the government's decision last week to reject six candidates for the Science Council. (NHK)
Oct 09
Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said Thursday that Japan will contribute more than $130 million to an international framework to ensure that developing countries have fair access to coronavirus vaccines. (Kyodo)