2020.04.25

News Headlines - 25 April 2020

China sent team including medical experts to advise on North Korea’s Kim - Reuters

China has dispatched a team to North Korea including medical experts to advise on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to three people familiar with the situation.
The trip by the Chinese doctors and officials comes amid conflicting reports about the health of the North Korean leader. Reuters was unable to immediately determine what the trip by the Chinese team signaled in terms of Kim’s health.
A delegation led by a senior member of the Chinese Communist Party’s International Liaison Department left Beijing for North Korea on Thursday, two of the people said. The department is the main Chinese body dealing with neighbouring North Korea.

Ministry refuses to name 4th supplier in troubled Japan mask handout scheme - The Mainichi

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has refused to disclose the name of one of the four companies that accepted government orders to supply cloth masks for distribution to pregnant women in Japan amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, raising suspicion over what lies behind the nondisclosure... On April 21, the health ministry disclosed that the contract amounts for the masks to be distributed in pairs to all households was roughly 5.48 billion yen for Kowa Co., some 2.85 billion yen for Itochu Corp., and approximately 760 million yen for Matsuoka Corp.

Japan 'is overwhelmed with sick patients' - BBC News

Rupert Wingfield-Hayes and the BBC's Tokyo team have been inside one hospital just south of the capital, which has built a makeshift Covid-19 unit in just 10 days, to try to deal with the overflow.

Coronavirus crisis may finally prove that ‘Japan Inc’ does not exist | Financial Times

And yet, aside from some helpful but low-key pledges from the likes of Sony, Toyota, Panasonic, Sharp and a few others on mask and gown production, the silence from across the broad sweep of Japan Inc has been noticeable. So much so, say analysts, that (among coronavirus’s many other grim revelations) this crisis may finally provide proof that Japan Inc - as it lives in both domestic and foreign imaginations - does not exist.
The Japan Inc theory as an explanation of how the country works has endured for several reasons. One is the persistence of cross-shareholdings - the interlaced corporate ownership of other companies’ stock that protects managements and seems to ensure collusion.
Another related feature of Japanese companies has been their longstanding scepticism about the idea of shareholder primacy - a scepticism evidenced by piles of cash withheld from shareholders and now seemingly vindicated by this crisis. Historically, Japanese companies have always justified their behaviour with the argument that they exist for the benefit of all stakeholders.

Dyson Says U.K. Government No Longer Requires Its Ventilators - Bloomberg

The company owned by billionaire James Dyson won’t supply the U.K. government with medical ventilators it was developing because they’re no longer required.
Dyson Ltd. had spent 20 million pounds ($25 million) on the project and won’t be seeking any government money to pay for it, the founder said. The company didn’t explain why the order, which it said last month was for 10,000 units of a prototype ventilator called the CoVent, was canceled.

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