Sparked by a coup a month ago, the recent turmoil in Myanmar has many Japanese companies on the alert for any signs of change in prospects for what they see as a promising market. The Myanmar military's seizing of power on Feb. 1 and subsequent protests have cast a shadow over the Southeast Asian nation of 54 million people. An extended period of chaos may prompt Japanese firms to hold off on new investments and review their business strategies, experts say. "We can say the coup is against democracy, but as one company what we can do for now is to keep close tabs (on what comes next)," an official at a Japanese company that does business in Myanmar said. More than 400 Japanese companies have entered Myanmar, a key link between India and Southeast Asia, triggered by the county's shift from military rule in 2011. Before the coronavirus pandemic and current turmoil, the economy grew 6.8 percent in 2019, ranking 10th as a market with growth potential over the next three years in a … [Read more...] about Wary Japan firms looking out for signs of risk in Myanmar chaos
TOKYO — Mutations that may reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines have occurred in novel coronavirus samples collected from people in Japan last year, a research team from Keio University has found. The mutation is believed to have occurred within the country, but there are no indications that the variant is currently spreading, the team said. The team’s members analyzed the genetic information of the virus that the National Institute of Infectious Diseases had registered in an international database. After the analysis, they found “E484K” mutations occurring in tips protruding from two viruses, which were collected in August and December last year. Other than the mutated protruding tips, the genetic information was similar to that of the original virus that has been spreading across the country. There are concerns that a E484K mutation might reduce the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccinations as well as the antibodies that are produced in the body post-infection. There … [Read more...] about Virus mutations found in Japan might lessen vaccine effectiveness—researchers
'The real test will be in defence-related deals, for instance the Javelin anti-tank missile: Is the US willing to co-develop something with India, on terms that will support the 'Make in India' initiative? Is there defence technology transfer? Or will it dump old junk on India?' asks Rajeev Srinivasan. A ll things considered, it is still self-evident that the United States is the most important nation in the world based on a number of parameters, such as economic, military, technological and cultural power. Therefore the somewhat unexpected visit of US President Barack Obama is to be treated both with anticipation and a certain amount of trepidation. President Obama's previous trip in 2010 did not produce anything of substance, and the distinct impression was that he was merely going through the motions. I was unimpressed by the entire visit, and I was mostly relieved that then prime minister Manmohan Singh did not sign over the Siachen glacier to Pakistan, as many in the … [Read more...] about Good/Bad/Ugly: What will Obama’s visit be like for India?
BANGKOK: The escalation of violence in Myanmar as authorities crack down on protests against the Feb 1 coup is raising pressure for more sanctions against the junta, even as countries struggle over how to best sway military leaders inured to global condemnation. The challenge is made doubly difficult by fears of harming ordinary citizens who were already suffering from an economic slump worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic but are braving risks of arrest and injury to voice outrage over the military takeover. Still, activists and experts say there are ways to ramp up pressure on the regime, especially by cutting off sources of funding and access to the tools of repression. The UN special envoy on Friday (Mar 5) urged the Security Council to act to quell junta violence that this week killed about 50 demonstrators and injured scores more. “There is an urgency for collective action," Christine Schraner Burgener told the meeting. “How much more can we allow the Myanmar military … [Read more...] about Escalating violence ups pressure for Myanmar action
Video Player Close BEIJING, March 7 (Xinhua) -- China's foreign trade maintained upward momentum in the first two months of 2021, with exports posting strong performance, official data showed Sunday. The country's total imports and exports of goods expanded 32.2 percent year on year to 5.44 trillion yuan (about 838.16 billion U.S. dollars) in the January-February period, according to the General Administration of Customs (GAC). The growth rate is in a sharp contrast with a virus-induced slump of 9.7 percent during the same period a year earlier. The substantial increase in foreign trade in the first two months was partly due to a low base last year, said GAC spokesperson Li Kuiwen. "Yet even compared with the same period in 2018 and 2019, China's foreign trade in the January-February period this year logged growth of about 20 percent." Notably, export growth soared to 50.1 percent while imports rose 14.5 percent in yuan terms. The fact that people chose to stay put … [Read more...] about Economic Watch: China’s foreign trade sustains growth momentum in first two months with exports soaring