Courtesy of National Institute of Infectious DiseasesThe omicron variant of the novel coronavirus is seen in an electron micrograph. Japan appears to be still far from achieving herd immunity, with the daily number of new COVID-19 deaths remaining high, while the fatality rate among COVID-19 patients is declining. “We cannot deny the possibility of another subvariant emerging, so shifting to Category V this spring would be hasty and dangerous,” Sugaya stressed. Urashima said the government should lower the classification to Category V soon, in order to allow patients to be treated at ordinary hospitals. Meanwhile, an expert panel of the health ministry said last week that lowering the COVID-19 classification is likely to have little impact as COVID-19 activity restrictions have already been lifted significantly in Japan.
AP Photo/Markus SchreiberPeople set up the stage at the eve of the opening of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. Experts say what was once a conspiracy theory found in the internet’s underbelly has now hit the mainstream. “This isn’t a conspiracy that is playing out on the extreme fringes,” said Alex Friedfeld, a researcher with the Anti-Defamation League who studies anti-government extremism. Participants discussed “The Great Reset,” among a host of other theories, as an assault on America’s foundations. The concern, Friedfeld says, is that posts like these could introduce people to more fringe and dangerous conspiracy theories or even translate into real-world violence.17 days ago The Japan News
It can be said that the management of U.S. information technology companies, which have been growing rapidly through online shopping, social media and other services, has reached a major turning point. Among U.S. tech companies, Facebook parent Meta announced in November that it would lay off more than 11,000 employees. In the July-September 2022 quarterly financial results, four of the five major U.S. tech companies — Meta, Amazon, Google parent Alphabet and Microsoft — posted declines in net profit. In the tech sector, a stern eye has been cast on companies’ handling of data and personal information. Major job cuts by U.S. tech companies may at the same time provide an opportunity for talented engineers and other personnel to work brilliantly for other companies.22 days ago The Japan News
“We are taking action by filing this lawsuit to unwind Google’s monopoly and restore competition to the digital advertising business,” he said in a statement. The government asked for the divestiture of the Google Ad Manager suite, including Google’s ad exchange, AdX. The lawsuit raises concerns about certain products in the ad tech stack, where publishers and advertisers use Google’s tools to buy and sell ad space on other websites. An ad tech divestiture “may not be a game changer but it could be sneaky important to Google’s ad targeting capability,” said Paul Gallant with the Cowen Washington Research Group. I think Google might be more concerned about losing ad tech down the road than people might think,” Gallant said.9 days ago The Japan News
A Japan-U.S. Security Consultative Committee meeting of foreign and defense chiefs, also known as the 2-plus-2 security talks, was held in Washington. Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada explained Japan’s policy of strengthening its defense capabilities by substantially increasing the defense budget. Japan and the United States should consult closely with each other to enhance the deterrent effect. Therefore, it is significant for Japan and the United States to establish a defensive posture for space based on the security treaty. Expanding the framework of security cooperation beyond the alliance with the United States to European nations will lead to peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.21 days ago The Japan News
AP Photo/Markus SchreiberPresident Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine talks from a video screen to participants at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Ukraine’s Western backers this week will discuss ways to supply heavier and more advanced weapons. Environmentalists, for example, slam the carbon-spewing private jets that ferry in bigwigs to an event that prioritizes the battle against climate change. Zelenskyy has daily pleaded for more advanced weapons, escalating his requests as Russia introduces new tactics and weapons against the much smaller Ukrainian army. Guterres was not optimistic that the conflict being waged less than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) from Davos would end soon.15 days ago The Japan News
India is striving to boost its hydropower production to help meet a target for overall clean energy capacity of 500 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. “Ninety percent of this problem is because of hydropower projects. “India needs to do a rethink and hydropower projects in the Himalayan region should be stopped,” said Prakash, who is also an author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports in 2019 and 2022. Works haltedExperts have warned for years that large-scale construction work, including hydropower projects, in and around Joshimath could lead to land subsidence — the sinking or settling of the ground surface. Shiv Lal’s nephew got a plumbing job at the hydropower plant, but it was a short-lived role, he said.13 days ago The Japan News
AP Photo/Jess RapfogelWashington Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (8) smiles after scoring against the Orlando Magic during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Jan. 21, 2023, in Washington. The Los Angeles Lakers acquired former lottery pick Rui Hachimura from the Washington Wizards on Monday in exchange for Kendrick Nunn and a package of second-round draft picks. Hachimura has appeared in 30 games for the Wizards this season, all off the bench, averaging 13.0 points on 49% shooting. Hachimura equaled a career high with 30 points for the Wizards on Saturday in his final game before the deal. If he continues to improve, Davis could return during the Lakers’ upcoming five-game road trip, which begins Saturday in Boston.10 days ago The Japan News