News Headlines - 25 December 2019

LDP lawmaker Tsukasa Akimoto arrested for alleged receipt of bribe from Chinese gambling firm | The Japan Times

A ruling party lawmaker who has been a proponent of casino resorts in Japan was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of receiving \3.7 million in bribes from a Chinese gambling operator... In late September 2017, the lawmaker is suspected to have received \3 million in cash from the Chinese company in Tokyo.
Later, in mid-February 2018, Akimoto traveled to Hokkaido at the invitation of the Chinese firm, and expenses for the trip - amounting to some \700,000 - were allegedly provided by the company, according to Tokyo prosecutors.
Prosecutors have also arrested three people related to the company on suspicion of providing bribes to Akimoto, who resigned from the LDP following his arrest.

Gov't eyes regrouping markets at Tokyo Stock Exchange - The Mainichi

The Financial Services Agency on Wednesday called for cutting the number of markets at the Tokyo Stock Exchange to three from the current four to streamline its structure and attract more investment... Citing complaints from market participants about the overlapping of functions at some of the four markets, the FSA proposes integrating the Second Section and the Jasdaq to make clear the roles of each market.
At present, the TSE consists of four markets: the First Section for big companies, the Second Section for medium-sized firms, the Jasdaq comprised of a variety of companies, and the Mothers dedicated to startups.

Number of babies born in Japan falls below 900,000 for first time in 2019 - Xinhua

The estimated number of new births in Japan fell below 900,000 for the first time this year, the lowest since comparable data began some 120 years ago, government data showed on Tuesday.
According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, an estimated 864,000 babies were born this year, 54,000 fewer than the previous year, while deaths reached a postwar high of 1,376,000, with the largest-ever natural population decline of 512,000.
The declining speed is faster than projections by the government's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, which had forecast 860,000 births in 2021. The number of new births in Japan, which fell below the one million barrier for the first time in 2016, is now falling two years faster than forecasts.

Vietnam-linked Hacking Group Targets Toyota, Other Companies - Bloomberg

A Vietnam-based hacking group is learning from China’s playbook, using increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks to spy on competitors and help Vietnam catch up to global competitors, according to cybersecurity experts.
In the last two years, the group, which is believed to be tied to the Vietnamese government and known as APT32, has ramped up its cyber-espionage, particularly in southeast Asia, according to the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike Inc... The automotive industry has been a key target for APT32, according to multiple experts. For example, APT32 created fake domains for Toyota Motor Corp. and Hyundai Motor Co. in an attempt to infiltrate the automakers’ networks, according to a researcher familiar with the matter who requested anonymity discussing companies. In March, Toyota discovered that it was targeted in Vietnam and Thailand and through a subsidiary -- Toyota Tokyo Sales Holdings Inc -- in Japan, according to spokesman Brian Lyons. A Toyota official, who requested anonymity discussing the hacking group, confirmed that APT32 was responsible.

No Christmas Mass at Notre Dame for first time since French Revolution | DW

For the first time in over 200 years, there will be no Christmas Mass at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, the Archdiocese of Paris said Monday.
The church is still being restored after suffering severe damage in a fire earlier this year.







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