Tokyo 2020 medals unveiled

Robie de Guzman   •   July 25, 2019   •   1695

The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics designed by Junichi Kawanishi | Courtesy: Reuters

The medals for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics were unveiled on Wednesday with exactly one year to go until next year’s Games.

The unveiling of the medals, designed by Junichi Kawanishi, was the main attraction of an extravagant ceremony in the Japanese capital to commemorate the landmark.

The event was attended by International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The medals, which are 85 millimetres in diameter, feature Greek goddess of victory Nike in their design along with the Olympic symbol and are made from recycled metals, collected from 6.21 million electronic devices donated across Japan.

Abe said he hoped next year’s Games would have a similar impact as the 1964 Summer Games held in Tokyo.

“Sports brings the world together and it affords equal opportunities to all. That is what sports are about,” said Abe. “Fifty five years ago we learned that when we hosted it in Tokyo before.”

“Next year we want to demonstrate that again and we want this to be an opportunity where we can do that.”

Bach reiterated that Tokyo is the best-prepared city he has ever seen ahead of an Olympic Games.

“It will be a wonderful and unique moment for our gracious Japanese hosts. For you to show the world the best of Japan,” added Bach.

Organizers believe they are on track to deliver a world-class sporting event next year and with 3.22 million tickets already sold and over 200,000 people applying to be volunteers, engagement in Japan is unprecedented.

The only reminder of the issues in the build-up to the Games on Wednesday was the presence of new Japanese Olympic Committee President Yasuhiro Yamashita on stage with Bach and Abe.

Yamashita took over at the JOC last month, following the resignation of Tsunekazu Takeda, who is being investigated for suspected corruption related to the Tokyo 2020 bid. (REUTERS)

(Production: Jack Tarrant)

Japanese firm recalls 1.7M bottles of Craft Boss Tea due to bacillus bacteria

Marje Pelayo   •   November 7, 2019

JAPAN – A Japanese beverage manufacturer has ordered the recall of its tea drink following reports that it causes severe stomachache.

The manufacturer, Suntory Beverage & Food Ltd, has ordered a recall of around 1.7 million 500ml bottles of ‘Craft Boss Tea’ specifically those marked “best before” August 2020, with blue caps and production facility code of ‘/JJ’.

The company admitted that bacillus cereus bacteria were detected in the said batch of tea drink which causes food poisoning and serious infections in humans.

In October, one customer complained that the tea tasted sour.

After laboratory tests and investigation, Suntory Beverage discovered that microbes were present even in other bottles.

Suntory Beverage vowed to refund its customers for every bottle of Craft Boss Tea Drink returned through a gift certificate corresponding their purchase costs. – MNP (with details from Danny Ticzon Jr.)

Japan, US sympathize with PH as it reels from powerful earthquakes

Marje Pelayo   •   October 31, 2019

US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim (L) and Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda (R)

MANILA, Philippines – The governments of Japan and the United States extended their condolences to the victims of the powerful earthquakes that rocked parts of Mindanao.

In a statement, Japan Ambassador to the Philippines Koji Haneda expressed his sincerest condolences to the families of the victims and offered his sympathies to all those affected.

“As an earthquake-prone country, Japan fully understands the hardship caused by such natural disasters,” Haneda said.

“We stand in solidarity with the Government and the people of the Philippines,” he added.

Meanwhile, outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim tweeted his message of condolences to the families of the victims in the powerful earthquakes.

“I would like to offer our sincerest condolences to the victims of yesterday’s earthquake in Mindanao,” he said.

“To those in affected communities, please stay safe and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you,” he continued.

Strong aftershocks of up to magnitude 6.5 were felt in several parts of Mindanao following the main tremor on Tuesday (October 29).

Since then, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) recorded more than 700 aftershocks with strength equal to the main tremor in the same epicenter specifically in Tulunan town, North Cotabato.

As of this writing, search and rescue operations for the missing and relief efforts for the displaced residents are ongoing in the affected areas.

Iraqis defy tear gas, upcoming curfew as protests stretch on

Robie de Guzman   •   October 29, 2019

 Iraqi protesters react after police fired tear gas at them during a protest at al-Tahrir square, central Baghdad, Iraq, 28 October 2019. EPA-EFE/MURTAJA LATEEF

Thousands of people in Baghdad continued their protests at Tahrir Square in central Baghdad on Monday (October 28), defying a curfew scheduled to be imposed from midnight until 6am (2100GMT to 0300 GMT).

Protesters took to the streets for a fourth day, despite having endured bloody clashes over the weekend and an overnight raid by security forces seeking to disperse them.

At least 74 Iraqis were killed and hundreds wounded across the country on Friday (October 25) and Saturday (October 26) as demonstrators clashed with security forces and militia groups in the second wave of this month’s protests against Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi’s government.

More than 200 people have been killed in October so far.

Iraqi security forces on Monday fired tear gas at school and university students who defied a warning from the prime minister and joined anti-government protests.

A spokesman for Abdul Mahdi, whose position is increasingly precarious as he faces the largest challenge since he came to power a year ago, said on Sunday (October 27) that anyone disrupting work or school days would be severely punished.

Mass street protests in Baghdad and other cities in the southern Shi’te heartland against economic hardship began at the start of the month and resumed on Friday after a pause of about two weeks. (Reuters)

READ: DFA cautions Filipinos against travel to Iraq

(Production: Haider Kadhim, Mohammed Al-Ramahi, Mohammed Katfan, Hannah Ellison)

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