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The Japanese government considers a total ban on entry of all foreigners

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The “third wave” of Japan’s new coronavirus epidemic is coming fiercely. According to Japanese media on January 5, the government is considering a total ban on all foreigners from entering. At the same time, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced that he will reissue the emergency declaration starting on January 7.

It is worth noting that the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan made it clear today that even during the emergency declaration period, Japanese schools will not be closed.

Today, the number of newly confirmed cases in Japan in a single day exceeds 4,700, setting a new record again. The “epicenter” of the epidemic in Tokyo has 1278 new cases in a single day, second only to the highest record set 6 days ago. Today, the number of new coronavirus tests in Tokyo is nearly 5,000.

According to a report by the Asahi Shimbun on January 5, the newspaper learned from a number of government officials that the Japanese government is discussing the suspension of easing policies for business people from 11 countries and regions to enter the country. If it is officially suspended, Japan will in fact suspend the entry of all foreigners.

Last week, Japan began to implement the policy of suspending the entry of foreigners, but business travelers, international students, and technical intern trainees from 11 countries and regions including China can still enter the country under certain conditions. These are all countries and regions with better epidemic control.

According to a report by the Japan Broadcasting Association (NHK) on the 5th, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga stated at today’s Liberal Democratic Party committee that a declaration of emergency will be issued on the 7th, targeting 1 metropolis and 3 counties in the metropolitan area (Tokyo, Saitama, Chiba Prefecture, Kanagawa Prefecture).

According to reports, the government hopes to control the duration of the emergency declaration to about one month and minimize the impact on the economy as much as possible.

At the same time, Yoshihide Suga called on relevant departments to speed up work efficiency and strive to start vaccination in the second half of next month.

It is worth noting that the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology held a temporary press conference on the 5th, stating clearly that during the emergency declaration period, primary and secondary schools will not be required to suspend classes, and the “university entrance examination” will be held as scheduled on the 16th of this month.

According to an NHK report on January 5, Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Hagi Koichi said at a press conference, “The infection rate and severe illness rate of the student population are low, and the epidemic situation has not spread from school to society. Taking into account the children’s study and ) No class suspension will be taken for the impact on the body and mind.”

Recently, the “third wave” of the epidemic in Japan has been raging and various data have been updated.

According to a TV Tokyo report on the evening of the 5th, 4757 newly diagnosed cases were newly diagnosed across Japan on that day, breaking the highest record; among the hospitalized infected persons, 771 were severely ill, an update of the past record.

Tokyo Metropolitan Government confirmed 1,278 new cases on the 5th, second only to the highest record (1337 cases) set on December 31 last year; Tokyo Metropolitan Government tested nearly 5,000 cases of the virus that day. Nine counties, including Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, and Gifu, also set the record for the number of new confirmed cases per day on the same day.

According to the “Asahi Shimbun” electronic report on the evening of the 5th, Toshihiro Nikai, secretary-general of the Liberal Democratic Party of Japan, demonstrated the strong determination of the Liberal Democratic Party to hold the Olympics at a press conference after the Liberal Democratic Party committee. Toshihiro Nikai said, “The Liberal Democratic Party should pass a resolution to promote the Tokyo Olympics to be held on time this year.”

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A large-scale fire broke out in the training ground of the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, and the US military was training nearby at the time of the incident

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According to Japanese TV Asahi, a large-scale fire broke out in the North Fuji training ground of the Ground Self-Defense Force in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan on the evening of the 4th. The US military was holding shooting training nearby at the time of the incident.

The fire broke out at about 4:30 in the evening on the 4th. The incident occurred at the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force training ground across Fujiyoshida City and Yamanakako Village in Yamanashi County. At that time, thick smoke erupted, and then the fire spread widely in the shape of “one”, causing a large-scale fire.

The Japanese Self-Defense Forces continued to put out the fire, and the fire basically subsided late at night. At the time of the incident, nearby US troops were conducting howitzer shooting training. No one was injured in the fire, and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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The UN Secretary-General’s special envoy is trying to contact Myanmar leaders

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On February 1, Myanmar changed. Following the UN Secretary-General Guterres’s “strong condemnation” of the Myanmar military’s detention of Myanmar’s Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and other officials, the UN Secretary-General’s spokesperson Stephane Dujarric said at a regular press conference, The United Nations special envoy for Myanmar and Swiss diplomat Christine Burgener is trying to contact government officials in Naypyidaw, the capital of Myanmar, but communication has not been restored.

“Birgner is actively interacting with this issue,” Dujarik said at a press conference. “She has consulted with dialogue parties outside Myanmar and is trying to get in touch with the Myanmar government. However, currently, Communication in the capital is very difficult.”

Bilgna has served as the UN Special Envoy for Myanmar since 2018. In addition to her, the UN Myanmar team in Yangon was also unable to obtain information about the situation, and other UN agencies in New York also failed to obtain the opportunity to communicate with the Myanmar government in Naypyidaw.

Dujarik added that the personnel sent by the United Nations to Myanmar are paying close attention to the development of the situation to ensure that vulnerable groups in Myanmar will not suffer too much from the incident as the epidemic spreads. He said that the most important thing for Myanmar at present is that the international community can “speak with one voice.”

“What we know is that the will of the people of Myanmar has been overthrown in an undemocratic way,” Dujarik said. “This situation must be changed and the will of the people must be respected.”

Faced with the uncertain status of Myanmar, the United Kingdom, the rotating presidency of the United Nations Security Council, will hold a meeting to discuss the current situation in Myanmar on the morning of February 2nd Eastern Time. Barbara Woodward, the British ambassador to the United Nations, expressed the hope that the members of the Security Council can conduct “constructive discussions” on the form of Myanmar at the meeting.

According to news from Agence France-Presse on the 1st, the meeting will be conducted via video and will not be made public. The Special Envoy for Myanmar, Birgner, will brief the Security Council on the latest development of the incident.

On February 1, Burmese State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and Burmese President Win Myint were detained by the military. A Burmese woman accidentally recorded a military vehicle driving towards the parliament. At around 8 am on the same day, the Myanmar military declared a state of emergency in Myanmar. According to the United Nations News Network, many newly-elected parliamentarians are currently under house arrest, the streets of the city are heavily guarded, and wireless network devices such as mobile phones are almost completely interrupted.

In response to this matter, in an interview on February 1, the United Nations Special Envoy for Myanmar and Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Myanmar, Tom Andrews, called on the international community to take “decisive action”, including “strong and targeted sanctions and Arms embargo”. In addition, he stated that he should “unconditionally release all detained persons and resume communications” and end this “horrifying illegal act”.

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The U.S. finally identified the ‘Myanmar coup’ and mentioned China

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In the face of the sudden change in the political situation in Myanmar on the 1st, the US’s statement changed from “shock” to “call for release” to “threat of sanctions.” Although the wording has become stronger and stronger, the United States has never used the term “coup”.

On the afternoon of the 2nd, the wording of the Biden administration finally changed. U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said at his first press conference after taking office that the United States, after examining all the facts, determined that the military action of the Myanmar military on February 1 constituted a military coup. He specifically mentioned that this military coup is not in the interests of the United States and “nor is it in the interests of China.”

According to the US “Foreign Aid Act”, if a country has a “military coup” or any act that “deposes a democratically elected head of government” through a government order, the United States must limit its aid to that country.

However, a reporter mentioned at the press conference that when the Egyptian political turmoil occurred in 2013, the Obama administration took three weeks to decide whether to define the Egyptian incident as a coup. In this Myanmar incident, the Biden administration basically made a decision in less than a day. The reporter asked about this, why is this government able to make a decision so quickly that the Myanmar incident meets the criteria for a coup?

In this regard, Price said that this case is “very clear”, “We are based on the judgment that (Myanmar) deposed State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Min in the military coup on February 1.”

“The’State Council, Foreign Operations and Related Projects’ appropriation bill contain a recurring clause that restricts certain aid to the military. Let’s take a look at three criteria… the officially elected head of government (first), Was deposed by a military coup or decree (second), in which the army played a decisive role (third),” Price added. These are the three standards that the State Council has been paying attention to. What happened in Myanmar on February 1 A coup, so we acted quickly.

He said: “This military coup is obviously not in our (U.S.) interests, and certainly not in the interests of our like-minded partners (countries). I think you will also find that this is not in China’s interests.”

But when asked if the US side had any communication with China, Price did not answer directly. He said: “I don’t have a specific dialogue to talk about. Once again, our focus is on our allies who share our interests.”

In addition, Price also mentioned the specific amount of bilateral aid provided by the United States to Myanmar in the fiscal year 2020-$135 million. “I must say that only a small part of this aid is for the Myanmar government.”

CNN quoted a U.S. State Department official as saying that the U.S. direct foreign aid to the Myanmar government was “very little.” “The Myanmar government, including the Myanmar military, has been subject to some foreign aid restrictions, including due to its Legal restrictions on military assistance caused by human rights records”.

The official said that the U.S. government will start the review “immediately”, “The review includes projects that indirectly benefit the military or low-level officers.” “At the same time, we will continue to implement projects that directly benefit the people of Myanmar, including humanitarian assistance. And democratic support projects that benefit civil society.”

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