Day: June 7, 2020

Abe’s approval plunges 11 points after missteps on coronavirus aid

TOKYO — The approval rating of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s government sank 11 points from the previous month in June to 38% in a new Nikkei survey, matching the lowest level during his second stint in office.

While Japan has logged relatively few coronavirus infections, Abe’s widely panned economic response to them appears to be the biggest driver of the fall. His stay-in-place video where he told citizens stuck inside to watch TV or drink tea was viewed as out of touch. The delivery of two “Abenomasks” to every household was marred by complaints over quality and other issues.

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Japan’s music industry explores online concerts to cure virus blues

TOKYO — For concert promoter Hiromichi Hayashi, the live music business this year has been all but dead due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Concert cancellations began to roll in on February 26, the day Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe requested citizens to avoid large cultural events. As of the end of May, 220 of his shows have been canceled. “We lost sales of 4.2 billion yen ($39 million) due to the cancellations,” sighed Hayashi.

His company, Tokyo-based Hayashi International Promotions, has enough cash and income for about a year thanks to its noncore real estate business, he said. But he

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Malaysia to reopen most economic activity with virus ‘under control’

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) — Malaysia on Sunday said it would reopen nearly all economic activity and allow interstate travel starting June 10, lifting coronavirus restrictions imposed nearly three months ago as it moves to revive an economy battered by the pandemic.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin announced in a televised address the novel coranvirus outbreak was “successfully” under control and Malaysia would begin a new recovery phase until Aug. 31.

“I am aware the government cannot control your lives forever to control the virus,” Yassin said.

The government will ease restrictions on social, education and religious activities in phases with health

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China May exports slip back into contraction, imports worst in 4 years

BEIJING (Reuters) — China’s exports contracted in May as global coronavirus lockdowns continued to devastate demand, while a sharper-than-expected fall in imports pointed to mounting pressure on manufacturers as global growth stalls.

The somber trade readings for the world’s second-biggest economy could pile pressure on policymakers to roll out more support for a sector that is critical to the livelihoods of more than 180 million workers. Total trade accounts for about a third of the economy.

Overseas shipments in May fell 3.3% from a year earlier, after a surprising 3.5% gain in April, customs data showed on Sunday. That compared

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