News ID: 92135
Publish Date : 06 July 2021 - 21:26

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Japan’s deputy prime minister said the country needed to defend Taiwan with the United States if the island was invaded, Kyodo news agency reported late on Monday, angering Beijing which regards Taiwan as its own territory.
“If a major problem took place in Taiwan, it would not be too much to say that it could relate to a survival-threatening situation (for Japan),” Japan’s deputy prime minister Taro Aso said at a fundraising party by a fellow Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker, according to Kyodo. “We need to think hard that Okinawa could be the next,” Aso was quoted by Kyodo as saying. China foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a regular news conference on Tuesday that Aso’s remarks “harmed the political foundation of China-Japan relations”, and China “resolutely opposed” them. “No one should underestimate the Chinese people’s staunch resolve, firm will, and formidable ability to defend national sovereignty,” he said.

MOSCOW (Reuters) -- An airplane with 28 people on board crashed into the sea on Tuesday off Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula as it was preparing to land, RIA news agency reported on Tuesday. The plane, an Antonov An-26 twin-engined turboprop, was en route from regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky to Palana, a village in northern Kamchatka, when it lost contact with air traffic control, Russia’s emergencies ministry said. Several ships were en route to the crash site, RIA cited emergency services as saying. There were 22 passengers and six crew on board, the ministry said. Village mayor Olga Mokhireva was among the passengers, the TASS agency quoted local authorities as saying. The weather in the area was cloudy at the time, Interfax news agency said, quoting the local meteorology center. According to TASS, the plane was built in 1982.

TOKYO (Reuters) -- Rescuers in Japan waded through mud, rock and splintered wood in search of 24 people still missing on Tuesday after heavy rain triggered massive landslides in the seaside city of Atami three days ago, killing four people. The landslides occurred around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, and time is running out for any survivors trapped beneath the rubble. The operation heavily depends on rescuers working with their hands, the use of heavy machinery deemed too dangerous for any survivors who may be alive under mud. Atami, with a population of 36,000, is 90 km (60 miles) southwest of Tokyo and famous for a hot springs resort. The landslides are a reminder of the natural disasters - including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunami - that afflict Japan, where the capital Tokyo is to host the summer Olympics starting July 23.

BERLIN (Reuters) -- Chancellor Angela Merkel said she sees the six Western Balkan states as future members of the European Union for strategic reasons. “It is in the European Union’s very own interests to drive the process forward here,” Merkel told reporters after a virtual Western Balkans conference, hinting at the influence of Russia and China in the region but without naming them. The conference was attended by the heads of government of Serbia, Albania, Northern Macedonia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo, as well as European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. Von der Leyen said: “Our first priority is to accelerate the enlargement agenda across the region and support our Western Balkan partners in their work to deliver on the necessary reforms to advance on their European path.” In the video conference, France’s President Emmanuel Macron had “very clearly” declared his support for the prospect of the six states joining the EU, Merkel emphasized.

DALLAS (AP) -- Three men were killed and two others injured in a shooting in a Dallas neighborhood, police said. Dallas police said they don’t yet have any suspects identified in the shooting. Police say the motive and circumstances around the shooting are being investigated. KXAS-TV reports that a street in the neighborhood was littered with markers as police counted bullet casings. A vehicle in the middle of the road was riddled with bullet holes. Police said that upon arrival, officers found five people who had been shot. They were all taken to hospitals, where three of them where pronounced dead. Police say the victims’ names will not be released until their families have been notified. Earlier, eight people were injured in a shooting in nearby Fort Worth. Police in Fort Worth say someone began shooting toward groups of people near a car wash and multiple people returned fire.

BEIJING (Reuters) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping told French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel he hoped China and Europe would expand cooperation to better respond to global challenges, state broadcaster CCTV reported. In a three-way video call, Xi also expressed the hope that Europeans can play a more active role in international affairs, achieve strategic independence and offer a fair, transparent and unbiased environment for Chinese companies, CCTV said. Merkel’s office confirmed that the three leaders exchanged views on European Union-China relations. “They also discussed international trade, climate protection and biodiversity,” her office added in a statement. In May, the European Parliament halted ratification of a new investment pact with China until Beijing lifts sanctions on EU politicians, deepening a dispute in Sino-European relations and denying EU companies greater access to China.

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