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PH bans pork imports from Japan due to ASF

by admin   |   Posted on Sunday, February 10th, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Pork meat being sold at a wet market

MANILA, Philippines — Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol has ordered an immediate ban on the entry of pork and other pork products from Japan following reports that African swine fever (ASF) “is increasingly likely to spread” in said country.

At 12 noon on Sunday (February 10) Piñol alerted the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) about the ban through Undersecretary for Policy and Planning Segfredo Serrano after receiving a link to a news article published by The Japan News confirming seven cases of ASF in Japan from October of last year through January “where pork containing the ASF virus gene was found at domestic airports.”

Piñol said the imposition of the temporary ban against the entry of pork and pork products from Japan will be in effect while quarantine officials are validating the reports with the World Animal Health Organisation.

Quarantine officers in ports of entry across the country are directed to implement the directive immediately and are advised to “review Quarantine Protocols, including the foot baths installed at the Ports of Entry and the monitoring of all meat products being brought into the country by tourists.” — UNTV News and Rescue

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400 days to go: Tokyo previews 2020 Olympic Games with miniature models

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, June 21st, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Miniature models representing the 55 sports that will be on show at next year’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games were on display in the Japanese capital on Thursday (June 20), 400 days before the summer showpiece begins.

The models, presented in jars within the Tokyo Chamber of Commerce and Industry, form part of a wider display alongside the Tokyo 2020 torch and the Games’ mascots Miraitowa and Someity.

On display since March, the models are made using a 3D printer and are aimed at raising awareness of all the sports for Japanese fans.

Baseball and softball, karate, skateboarding, surfing and speed climbing will all feature at Tokyo 2020 as organisers target a younger audience.

With 400 days to go until the Games commence, excitement is building amongst the Japanese population, who have applied for tickets in their droves during the first wave of sales.

More than 7.5 million people registered for the ID required to make an application.

The first lucky fans who earned tickets during the initial lottery found out what events they can go to on Thursday.

Softball, the first event on the Tokyo 2020 Olympic schedule, will begin in Fukushima two days before the opening ceremony on July 24. (REUTERS)

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Xi, Trump hold phone conversation, agree to meet during G20 summit in Japan

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

Courtesy : Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping held a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, on Tuesday at the latter’s request.

Trump said he looks forward to meeting Xi again during the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit in the Japanese city of Osaka later this month and conducting in-depth discussions on bilateral ties and issues of common concern.

The U.S. side, he added, values its economic and trade cooperation with China, and hopes that the teams on both sides can conduct communication, and find a way to resolve the current dispute as soon as possible.

Trump said he believes the entire world hopes to see the United States and China reach an agreement.

For his part, Xi said some difficulties have recently occurred in China-U.S. relations, which is in the interests of neither side.

Reiterating that both countries gain from cooperation and lose from confrontation, Xi said the two sides should, in accordance with the consensus he has reached with Trump, push forward the China-U.S. relationship featuring coordination, cooperation, and stability on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit.

As the world’s two biggest economies, China and the United States should jointly play a leading role in pushing for positive outcomes at the G20 Osaka summit, so as to bring confidence and inject vitality into the global market, added Xi.

The Chinese president said he stands ready to meet Trump in Osaka to exchange views on fundamental issues concerning the development of China-U.S. relations.

On economic and trade issues, Xi stressed, the two sides should solve their problems through dialog on an equal footing, with the key being to accommodate each other’s legitimate concerns, adding that China hopes the U.S. side can treat Chinese firms in a fair manner.

Xi said he agrees to have the two countries’ trade teams maintain contact on how to solve the dispute. (REUTERS)

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Tsunami warning issued after strong quake hits northwest Japan

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019

JAPAN — A strong and shallow earthquake struck Japan’s northwest coast around Niigata prefecture on Tuesday (June 18), triggering a small tsunami, shaking buildings and cutting power to around 9,000 buildings.

The magnitude 6.4 quake, according to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), lasted for as long as 20 seconds and damage included a landslide that struck a road, according to public broadcaster NHK. There were no initial reports of fatalities or fires.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said there were only reports of minor injuries so far.

The quake struck at 10.22 p.m. local time (1322 GMT Thursday) at a depth of 12 kilometers (7.5 miles), the USGS said.

It measured 6.7 according to the Japan Meteorological Agency, and in some places was as high as a strong six on the agency’s seven-point “Shindo”, or Seismic Intensity Scale, which measures ground motion at specific points, unlike magnitude which expresses the amount of energy released. – REUTERS

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