In the press review of this Monday, December 21, we will discuss: the massive increase in Covid-19 cases, the approval of the defense budget and the condemnation of the “Twitter killer”
Massive increase in positive cases in Japan
The number of people infected with Covid-19 exceeds 200,000 cases this Monday, as the Japanese government prepares to face a peak at the end of the year. The disease continues to spread at unprecedented levels in the country’s largest cities. It took more than nine months and two epidemic waves for the number of reported infections to reach 100,000, which was meant to be rather reassuring. But it took less than two months for that figure to double, a sign that the epidemic is growing. At a press conference on Monday, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike announced that the city would provide financial assistance to health and care facilities that will continue to operate between December 29 and January 3.
Japan approves defense budget amid Chinese threats
The Japanese government on Monday approved an exceptional defense budget for 2021 of 5.34 trillion yen, or $ 51.7 billion. Japan is seeking to introduce new missiles capable of reaching enemy fleets that sail not far from the coast. The main goal is to deal with growing threats from China. Under the administration of the Japanese Prime Minister, Yoshihide Suga, the defense budget increased by 0.5% compared to 2020. Suga publicly pledged to perpetuate the policy of his predecessor, Shinzo Abe. The government has also decided to spend 57.6 billion yen to develop a next-generation fighter jet that will replace the F-2 aircraft, deemed too outdated for the self-defense force.
The “Twitter killer” is not appealing his conviction.
Takahiro Shiraishi told the Mainishi Shimbun daily that the verdict was “obvious” and that he would not appeal the decision. He was sentenced to death by hanging on Tuesday for the murder of nine people, including 8 women, aged between 15 and 26, in his apartment in Zama, near Tokyo. Despite his lawyers pleading for life imprisonment, Takahiro Shiraishi accepts the judgment and nevertheless wishes to meet love before his execution. “I want to get married, I want to meet a partner from my prison” did he declare. According to the accused’s lawyers, the victims had clearly expressed their suicidal thoughts on social media, and thus had implicitly consented to their death.