The Asian Reporter 20th Annual
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From The Asian Reporter, V28, #20 (October 15, 2018), page 2.
Nintendo wins damage suit against Tokyo go-kart business
TOKYO (AP) — Nintendo says it has won damages in a lawsuit against a Japanese business that rents go-karts for people to drive around in Super Mario costumes. Nintendo said the Tokyo District Court ruled that Mari Mobility Development must stop renting the Super Mario costumes and pay 10 million yen ($89,000) in damages to Nintendo Co., the game maker behind the hit series. Mari Mobility, previously MariCAR, acknowledged the ruling and said it was considering an appeal. The name MariCAR was contested in Nintendo’s lawsuit, which was filed last year, but the company changed it in March. The carts have been popular, mostly with tourists from abroad, but their presence on busy Tokyo streets raised safety concerns. The transportation ministry says seatbelts and headrests were added to address those concerns.
South resumes supplying water in N. Korean border town
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea is supplying water in the North Korean border town of Kaesong using a facility in a now-shuttered factory park that had been jointly operated by the rivals. South Korea’s Unification Ministry said the water is being supplied to a liaison office between the countries that opened in Kaesong in September and has been provided to the town’s residents as well. The ministry says the resumption of water supply does not violate international sanctions against the North over its nuclear weapons and missile program. South Korea had shut down water and power supplies when it closed the Kaesong factory park in February 2016 following a North Korean nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
HK to ban e-cigarettes, other new smoking products
HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong plans to ban e-cigarettes and other new smoking products to protect public health, the leader of the semi-autonomous Chinese territory has said. Carrie Lam said in an annual policy address that her government was drawing up proposed legislation to forbid the import, manufacture, sale, distribution, and advertisement of products used in the pastime known as vaping. E-cigarettes typically contain the stimulant nicotine and there is little research on the long-term effects, including whether they help smokers quit. The rise in teenagers using e-cigarettes has alarmed health officials in the United States who worry users will become addicted and be more likely to try cigarettes. The use of vaping devices has been widely criticized and more than two dozen countries have already banned them. Worldwide, the market for cigarettes is declining, although mainland China remains the largest producer and consumer of tobacco products, with more than half of the country’s men being regular smokers. In Hong Kong, bans on smoking in public places have significantly reduced consumption and the mainland has followed in recent years by forcing smokers outdoors. Lam’s speech focused on improving the quality of life in Hong Kong, where education, healthcare, youth employment, and the high cost of housing are key concerns. Among the new policies announced is a plan to build new housing units that could provide homes for more than 1 million people. Lam did not touch on controversial political issues in the territory, where Beijing has increasingly tightened its grip since Hong Kong’s 1997 handover from British to Chinese rule.
Tycoon going on SpaceX rocket says he trusts Musk
TOKYO (AP) — The Japanese online retail tycoon who plans to travel to the moon on the SpaceX rocket says he respects and trusts Elon Musk as a fellow entrepreneur, despite his recent troubles. Zozo chief executive Yusaku Maezawa told reporters he was impressed by Musk’s relationship with employees of Tesla and SpaceX, but people need to be careful what they tweet. Musk’s tweet in August that declared he had secured financing for a Tesla buyout got him in trouble with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Under a settlement, Tesla and Musk each must pay a $20 million penalty. Musk also stepped down as Tesla’s chairman. Maezawa is set to be a passenger on Musk’s Space X, the first-ever private commercial space trip, scheduled for blastoff in 2023.
Bishop: Possible pope trip to North Korea "a gigantic step"
VATICAN CITY (AP) — A South Korean bishop says a visit by Pope Francis to North Korea would mark a "gigantic step" for peace on the peninsula but also said there are many issues about religious freedom that must be resolved. South Korean President Moon Jae-in is expected to relay North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s invitation for Francis to visit the atheist country when Moon meets with Francis. The bishop of Daejeon, South Korea, Monsignor Lazarus You Heung-sik, told Vatican reporters that it would be "beautiful" if Francis could visit but that "some things must change" — a reference to the lack of priests or religious freedom in the North. But he added: "If the pope goes there he will make a gigantic step, a qualitative step for the Korean peninsula."
Canada revokes Aung San Suu Kyi’s honorary citizenship
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Canada’s parliament has formally stripped Aung San Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship for complicity in the atrocities committed against Myanmar’s Rohingya people. The senate voted unanimously to strip Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s civilian leader, of the symbolic honor bestowed on her in 2007. The upper house’s move follows a similar unanimous vote in the House of Commons. Suu Kyi is the first person to have her honorary Canadian citizenship revoked. A United Nations fact-finding mission reported in September that Myanmar’s military has systematically killed thousands of Rohingya civilians, burned hundreds of their villages, and engaged in ethnic cleansing and mass gang rape. It called for top generals to be investigated and prosecuted for genocide.
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