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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida arrives to attend the trilateral summit with his South Korean and Chinese counterparts in Seoul, South Korea.

REUTERS/Kim Soo-hyeon

China, Japan, and South Korea talk trade at trilateral summit

South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and Chinese Premier Li Qiang met in Seoul this weekend to discuss economic cooperation – and avoid controversy. Their ninth trilateral summit, the first since 2019, sidestepped contentious topics like Taiwan, North Korea, and export controls, and focused on protecting supply chains, promoting trade, and addressing ageing populations and emerging infectious diseases.
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Sailboat statue La Vela, on the shoreline at Stresa, Lake Maggiore, Italian Lakes, Piedmont, Italy

IMAGO/robertharding via Reuters Connect

Top question for G7: How to Trump-proof Ukraine aid

Ahead of this week’s G7 Finance Ministers’ Meeting in Stresa, Italy, leaders might be feeling a little stress-a’d themselves. With the US election still anyone’s game, the world’s great democracies are increasingly concerned a victory for Donald Trump could severely impact, or even cut off, aid to Ukraine.

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FILE PHOTO: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (2nd L) and his former Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe (L) bow to national flags as they review an honor guard before their meeting at Abe's official residence in Tokyo, Japan November 11, 2016.

REUTERS/Toru Yamanaka/Pool

India’s rise makes Japan anxious

India is set to surpass Japan as the world's fourth-largest economy by 2025, earlier than previous forecasts. This marks Japan’s second year of decline in global GDP rankings, after falling from third to fourth place behind Germany in 2023.

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Prime Minister Fumio Kishida (R) takes part in a class on generative artificial intelligence at the University of Tokyo in Japan's capital on Aug. 14, 2023.

Kyodo via Reuters Connect

Japan confronts the “dark side” of AI

Japan detailed a global framework for international cooperation on artificial intelligence on May 1, building off the Hiroshima Process announced at last year’s G7 summit. The framework focuses on stemming the risks that generative AI poses for global disinformation — but details are a bit lacking.

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United States President Joe Biden arrives prior to making a statement on Campus unrest from in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on Thursday, May 2, 2024.

IMAGO/MediaPunch via Reuters Connect

Biden clarifies xenophobia comments

On Friday and Saturday, India and Japan responded to President Joe Biden’s gaffe at a campaign fundraiser last week in which he called the two nations “xenophobic.”

The US governmentlater clarified that Biden’s comments meant to explain "that the US is a nation of immigrants and that immigrants make the US stronger” and did not have "the intent of undermining" the US-Japan relationship.

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Students gather in front of the Sorbonne University in support of Palestinians in Gaza, during the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Paris, France, April 29, 2024.

REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier

Student protests go global

As police ramp up efforts to dismantle pro-Palestine encampments and demonstrations on US campuses, the student protests are going global.

Students at four universities in Australia have jumped onto what they call a “global wave” of pro-Palestinian activism, vowing to occupy areas of campus with encampments until their schools cut financial ties with Israel.

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FILE PHOTO: A flare burns excess natural gas in the Permian Basin in Loving County, Texas, U.S. November 23, 2019. Picture taken November 23, 2019.

REUTERS/Angus Mordant/File Photo

Hard Numbers: Unnatural gas needs, Google’s data centers, Homeland Security’s new board, Japan’s new LLM

8.5 billion: Rising energy usage from AI data centers could lead to additional demand for natural gas of up to 8.5 billion cubic feet per day, according to an investment bank estimate. Generative AI requires high energy and water demands to power and cool expansive data centers, which climate advocates have warned could exacerbate climate change.

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FILE PHOTO: Japanese Yen and U.S. dollar banknotes are seen in this illustration taken March 10, 2023.

REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

How long can Japan prop up the yen?

Japan’s currency slipped to 160 yen to the dollar on Monday, its lowest rate since 1990, triggering a government intervention and threatening Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s position.

Voters are frustrated by Japan’s high cost of living, but a change in leadership is unlikely to alleviate the pain. The heavily populated island has few fossil fuel reserves, and it must import food and energy from abroad. That means when the yen weakens, ordinary folks see their bills shoot up.

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