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Thursday, April 26, 2018 

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From The Asian Reporter, V28, #15 (August 6, 2018), page 2.

Nintendo reports jump in earnings thanks to Switch

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Nintendo Co. says its quarterly profit jumped 44 percent in the fiscal first quarter thanks to increased sales of Nintendo Switch game titles. The Japanese maker of Super Mario and Pokémon games said its net profit totalled 30.6 billion yen ($274.9 million) during the April-June period, compared with 21.3 billion yen a year earlier. Quarterly sales rose nine percent to 168.2 billion yen ($1.5 billion) over a year earlier while operating profit surged 88 percent to 30.5 billion yen ($274 million). Kyoto-based Nintendo credited new game titles for Nintendo Switch for the profit growth. One of the new titles, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, has sold 1.4 million units worldwide since May. The Switch is a hybrid game machine that works both as a console and a tablet. Hardware sales of Nintendo Switch also trended upward since the E3 video game expo was held in the U.S. and software sales are in good shape with upcoming launches of key titles, the company said. Switch’s popularity helped offset declines in hardware and software sales of Nintendo 3DS.

World’s oldest person, a Japanese woman, dies at 117

TOKYO (AP) — The world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old Japanese woman, has died. Chiyo Miyako died July 27, 2018. Her death was confirmed by Kanagawa prefecture, her home state south of Tokyo. Miyako, born on May 2, 1901, became the world’s oldest person in April after Nabi Tajima from Kikai island in southern Japan died at the age of 117. Miyako’s family called her "the goddess" and remembered her as a chatty person who was patient and kind to others, according to Guinness World Records, which had certified her title. Miyako enjoyed calligraphy, which she had practiced until recently, and eating sushi and eel, Guinness said. Guinness said the successor to her world record is yet to be confirmed. The new oldest person in Japan is a 115-year-old woman, Kane Tanaka of Fukuoka on the southern island of Kyushu, the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare said. The world’s oldest man, Masazo Nonaka on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido, recently celebrated his 113rd birthday.

Gunmen kill radio commentator in the Philippines

MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — Assailants shot a Filipino radio commentator about a dozen times when he was going to work in a northeastern province in a new fatal attack in a country with an alarming record of journalists who are murdered. Police chief superintendent Arnel Escobal said 38-year-old Joey Llana was maneuvering his van near his home in Daraga town in Albay province on his way to his radio station when he was repeatedly shot and killed at dawn. The attackers escaped. Escobal says an investigation is underway to determine the motive of the killing. The International Federation of Journalists condemned Llana’s death, which the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines says is the 12th fatal media attack under President Rodrigo Duterte if it turns out to be work related.

Hack of 1.5M patient records targeted Singapore PM Lee

SINGAPORE (AP) — Officials say a cyberattack on Singapore’s public-health system breached records on 1.5 million people and targeted the prime minister, a two-time cancer survivor. The communications and health ministries said in a statement that the attackers repeatedly targeted Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s personal particulars and information on medicine dispensed to him. Police investigations are ongoing. The attack on SingHealth data involved people who visited outpatient clinics between May 2015 and July 4, 2018, when the cyberattack occurred. Their data were copied, but officials say nothing was altered. Some also had their records of dispensed medicines copied. Lee has been treated for lymphoma and prostate cancer. He said on Facebook that if the hackers were looking for a dark state secret or something to embarrass him, "they would have been disappointed."

Japan OKs first anti-smoking law

TOKYO (AP) — Japan has approved its first national legislation banning smoking inside of public facilities, but the watered-down measure excludes many restaurants and bars and is seen as toothless. The legislation aims to lower secondhand smoking risks ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics amid international calls for a smoke-free games. But ruling party lawmakers with strong ties to the tobacco and restaurant industries opted for a weakened version. The upper house approved and enacted the bill into law after it was approved by the lower house. In June, Tokyo separately enacted a stricter ordinance banning smoking at all eateries that have employees, to protect them from secondhand smoke. The ordinance covers about 84 percent of Tokyo restaurants and bars. But the law still allows many exceptions and the Tokyo Games may not be fully smoke free. Japan often has been called a smokers’ paradise. Until now it has had no binding law controlling secondhand smoke and ranked among the least protected countries by the World Health Organization (WHO). That brought pressure from international Olympic officials. The new national law bans indoor smoking at schools, hospitals, and government offices. Smoking will be allowed at existing small eateries, including those with less than 1,076 square feet of customer space, which includes more than half of Japanese establishments. Larger and new eateries must limit smoking to designated rooms. In Japan, about 15,000 people, mainly women and children, die annually due to secondhand smoke, according to government and WHO estimates.

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