Kyodo News Digest: October 9, 2021

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

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US, China hold trade talks, with tariff elimination on agenda

WASHINGTON – U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai spoke with her Chinese counterpart Liu He on Friday about a bilateral trade deal signed last year, with Beijing saying the removal of punitive tariffs imposed by the United States was among the topics addressed.

The virtual meeting, the first such engagement between the two in months, took place as the US administration of President Joe Biden seeks to realign its trade policy with Beijing after four years under his predecessor Donald Trump who saw the two countries enter a tit- the tariff war and the “phase one” trade deal that has not fully addressed US concerns about China’s unfair trade practices and policies.

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Japanese Prime Minister Kishida pledges to strengthen medical system for COVID patients

TOKYO – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on Saturday he would work to strengthen the country’s medical system amid the coronavirus pandemic by designating more public hospitals for COVID-19 patients.

Speaking to reporters after his first visit to a hospital that treats COVID-19 patients after taking office on Monday, Kishida said the government must prepare for the “worst-case scenario” when it comes to strengthen the medical system.

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Chinese Xi confident of fully reuniting Taiwan with mainland

BEIJING – Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday stressed that the communist-led government can completely reunite Taiwan with the mainland as its leaders step up military pressure on the autonomous and democratic island.

But Xi also said, in a speech Sunday commemorating the 110th anniversary of the 1911 revolution that ended 2,000 years of imperial rule in China, that national reunification “by peaceful means” serves Beijing’s interests.

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Tokyo sees 82 cases of COVID-19, lowest daily figure this year

TOKYO – Tokyo on Saturday confirmed 82 new cases of coronavirus, the lowest daily figure this year, the metropolitan government said.

This is the first time since June 27 last year that the number of cases in the Japanese capital has dropped below 100 on a Saturday.

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Singapore Expands Vaccinated Non-Quarantine Roadway Program

SINGAPORE – Singapore announced on Saturday that it will expand its vaccine lane program that allows visitors to enter the city-state without the need for quarantine to nine other countries.

The government has said the program, which was introduced last month for Brunei and Germany, will be extended to Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Italy, the Netherlands , South Korea, Spain and the United States next month.

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53 evacuees arrive in Japan, 1st group leaves Afghanistan by plane

TOKYO – The Foreign Ministry said on Saturday that 53 Afghan evacuees had arrived in Japan, the first group to leave the Taliban-led country for Japan by air, with assistance from Qatar, rather than by land which is considered more dangerous.

The group – of which 27 are Japanese Embassy staff and their families, while the remaining 26 are Japan International Cooperation Agency employees and their families – landed at Narita Airport on Friday evening. near Tokyo via Doha, by means of a plane arranged by Qatar at the request of Japan.

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Western Japanese city fixes water failure after pipe collapsed 6 days ago

WAKAYAMA, Japan – The city of Wakayama in western Japan said on Saturday it had started resuming water supplies to some 60,000 homes that had been affected by the partial collapse of a bridge in water pipes six days ago.

However, residents were told not to drink the water until further notice in case any impurities were present.

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Football: Saudi Arabia apologizes to Yoshida and Japan for supporters’ behavior

TOKYO – The Saudi Football Association has apologized for the behavior of supporters facing Japanese captain Maya Yoshida for making “discriminatory gestures” after Thursday’s World Cup qualifier between the countries, said on Saturday Kiyotaka Suhara, head of the Japan Football Association.

Yoshida was taunted by Saudi supporters standing behind a fence at the edge of the pitch as he gave an interview after Japan’s 1-0 defeat at King Abdulla Sports City Stadium in Jeddah, prompting him to approach the section and point fingers at members of the crowd.

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