84% of Japanese Concerned about Trump Administration – Nationwide
In a recent survey conducted nationwide, a vast majority of 83.8% of Japanese people show some kind of concern and worry that the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump could create global instability, according to a Kyodo News survey conducted Saturday and Sunday.
Only a small minority of 13.1% of respondents in the nationwide telephone survey said that they have no concern whatsoever regarding the administration of Trump, who was sworn in on Jan 20 and has emphasised again and again on the “America First” agenda on trade and immigration.
The Japanese citizens are even more concerned over ties with the United States after Trump withdrew from the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (or also known as ‘TPP’) free trade pact, initiated by his predecessor and championed by Abe. The free trade pact makes up almost 40% of the world’s GDP and the large majority of it comes from the United States. Without the United States leading the front, the free trade pact now seems pointless. Not only does it affect the Japan and the other countries economically, but also politically.
President Donald Trump has also accused Japan of trade practices in the automobile sector that are “not fair” to U.S. companies, while it also remains uncertain how far Washington will commit to defending Japan under the countries’ security pact.
The two leaders reaffirmed the importance of bilateral ties during a telephone conversation Saturday, ahead of their talks in Washington on Feb 10.
Updates on Plum Blossoms & Cherry Blossoms – Fukuoka
The Fukuoka Regional Headquarters of the Japan Meteorological Agency recently announced the first sighting of plum blossoms in Fukuoka. This was proceeded by observations in Saga City (12 days earlier than the average, 6 days earlier than last year), Nagasaki City (6 days earlier than the average, 13 days earlier than last year) and Oita City (10 days earlier than the average, 1 day earlier than last year).
According to Maizuru Park, Fukuoka, the plum blossoms will take around one month to reach their peak. Time until peak will be affected by local weather during that period. Last year the plum blossoms began flowering on Jan. 31, with the average start date being Feb. 2. The earliest recorded flowering was in 1969, when flowers were seen on Jan. 2. The latest recorded flowering was in 1981, when flowers didn’t start appearing until Mar. 31.
On the other hand, the Japan Meteorological Corporation has released its annual sakura (cherry blossom) forecast. The forecast predicts that somei-yoshino, the most popular variety of cherry blossom in Japan, will begin blooming on Mar. 23 in Fukuoka. The remaining prefectures in Kyushu will begin seeing blooms later in the week, spreading gradually from Fukuoka down to Kagoshima Pref. by early April.
The blooms are forecast to peak between Apr. 1 (Fukuoka) and Apr. 13 (Kagoshima). Temperatures in Kyushu have been warmer than average during the three month period from October to January, meaning sakura blossoms are expected to start a few days earlier in northern Kyushu, but three to four days later in southern Kyushu than last year. The first bloom (and full bloom) dates for other Kyushu cities are as follows: Oita 3/27 (4/7); Nagasaki 3/26 (4/3); Saga 3/26 (4/3); Kumamoto 3/24 (4/3); Miyazaki 3/28 (4/7); Kagoshima 4/4 (4/13).
Male Hotel Guest Takes Employee Hostage, Leaps from 7th Floor – Fukuoka
A male guest at a business hotel in Hakata Ward leaped from a room window after taking a female employee hostage on Wednesday morning, police said. The man is currently in critical condition, reports Nippon News Network.
At around 6:20 a.m., a colleague of the employee alerted the Hakata Police Station after she did not return from a visit to assist the man, believed to be aged in his 30s, at his room on the seventh floor of the R&B Hotel Hakata Ekimae.
“He swung open a window [on the seventh floor],” a witness told the network. “While nude he hung outside and screamed.”
Officers arriving at the scene determined that the man had taken the employee hostage and commenced negotiations for her release. At 7:40 a.m., police rushed into the room after discussions stalled and the man jumped from the window, falling to the street below, according to the Sankei Shimbun (Jan. 18).
The man was subsequently transported to a nearby hospital in a state of cardiac arrest.