The Asian reporter. (Portland, Or.) 1991-current, November 06, 2017, Page Page 2, Image 2

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November 6, 2017
Company gives extra holidays to nonsmoking employees
TOKYO (AP) — A marketing company in Tokyo is awarding a novel perk to its
non-puffing employees: an extra week’s holiday for nonsmokers. The corporate
planning director for Piala, Hirotaka Matsushima, said the company began
offering the six days of extra vacation to all of its 120 staff members in
September. “Yes, it’s pretty popular,” said Matsushima, himself a nonsmoker.
He said the policy was installed as a benefit for nonsmokers to compensate for
smoking breaks taken by their colleagues. About two-thirds of the company’s
employees don’t smoke, he said. Overall, smoking is still quite prevalent in
Japan, with almost 20 percent of over-20-year-olds saying they smoke. Nearly
40 percent of men in their 30s smoke, though that’s down from more than half in
2001, according to government figures. But most office workers must do their
puffing in designated smoking rooms and outdoor areas, and cities are gradually
imposing limits on outdoor smoking in public areas. Most restaurants and bars
still allow smoking. Piala, established in 2004, says it provides advertising and
automated marketing services for direct marketers and other companies.
Church bell rings in Kashmir church after five decades
SRINAGAR, India (AP) — A church bell has rung for the first time in five
decades at the largest Catholic church in the main city of India’s portion of
Muslim-majority Kashmir. Members of Srinagar’s tiny Christian community
assembled at the 120-year-old Holy Family Catholic Church and celebrated the
installation of the new bell, which weighs 231 pounds. The British-era church
lost its original bell 50 years ago in an arson attack. People from other faiths,
including Muslims and Hindus, also participated in the event. India and
Pakistan each administer part of Kashmir, but both claim the Himalayan
territory in its entirety. Rebel groups have been fighting since 1989 for the
India-administered portion to become independent or merge with Pakistan.
Philippine leader says someone should talk to Kim Jong Un
MANILA, The Philippines (AP) — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says
someone should talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to convince him
nobody is out to remove him or destroy his country. “A nuclear war is totally
unacceptable to everybody,” Duterte said before flying to a two-day visit to
Japan. “And somebody has to talk to Kim Jong Un.” Duterte said North Korea’s
nuclear threat is among issues to discuss with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in
Tokyo and with President Donald Trump when Trump visits Manila. He
suggested the U.S., Japan, South Korea, and others assure Kim nobody is
threatening him and to ask him to stop threatening a nuclear attack. “It would
be good if America, Japan, Korea, and Mr. Kim Jong Un talk and to convince him
to sit down [at] a round table and just tell him that nobody’s threatening him,
that there will be no war, and that if he can just tone down or stand down, stop
the threats, and that would be the same for America,” he added. The one single
country that can calm down Kim is China, Duterte added during the news
conference in southern Davao City.
Giant panda sleeps through much of media debut
BOGOR, Indonesia (AP) — Giant panda Cai Tao was asleep for much of his
debut before media in the Indonesian city of Bogor, but occasionally perked up to
eat bamboo. Cai Tao and a much more active female, Hu Chen, were shown to
reporters as part of preparations for allowing the public to see them starting
later this month. The pair arrived in Indonesia in late September from Chengdu
in China and were quarantined at Taman Safari zoo in Bogor, just outside the
capital, Jakarta. The zoo hopes the seven-year-olds will mate and add to the
giant panda population. It built a special enclosure and facilities that cost about
60 billion rupiah ($4.5 million). Zoo director Jansen Manansang said he’s “very
optimistic they can breed here next year or the year after.”
Seoul says N. Korea nuke test risks radiation leak at test site
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says any future nuclear test by
North Korea risks collapsing its mountain test site and triggering a radiation
leak. South Korea’s weather agency chief Nam Jae-Cheol made the comments
during a parliament committee meeting. He was responding to a lawmaker’s
question about whether another North Korean test could lead to such an
accident. South Korea detected several earthquakes near the North’s nuclear
test site in the country’s northeast after its sixth and most powerful bomb
explosion in September. Experts say the quakes suggest the area is now too
unstable to conduct more tests there.
Japan’s parliament re-elects Shinzo Abe as prime minister
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s lower house of parliament re-elected Shinzo Abe as
prime minister after his party won a resounding victory in a snap election last
month. Abe, who has been Japan’s leader since December 2012, easily won the
balloting with 312 votes in the 465-seat lower house. He reappointed the same
ministers to his cabinet later in the day. They were officially sworn in at a palace
ceremony. Abe, 63, dissolved the lower house in late September to force an
election. Political analysts saw the move as an attempt to win a new public
mandate and re-establish his hold on power after a plunge in approval ratings
during the summer. His Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a large majority in
the October 22 vote. Together with a junior coalition partner, the Komei Party, it
retained a two-thirds majority in the lower house. The victory boosts Abe’s
chances of being re-elected as LDP leader next September for another three-year
term, potentially extending his premiership to 2021.
HABITAT DESTRUCTION. In this photo released by the Borneo Orangutan Survival (BOS) Foundation, a recently
rescued baby orangutan plays with a keeper at Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rehabilitation Center in Central Kalimantan, In-
donesia. The Indonesian conservation group says the discovery of two orphaned baby orangutans on Borneo within two
days is further evidence that deforestation and illegal hunting are threatening the survival of the great apes. (Bjorn Vaughn,
BPI/BOS Foundation via AP)
Orangutan orphans a sign
of habitat destruction
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — An Indo-
nesian conservation group says the discovery
of two orphaned baby orangutans on Borneo is
further evidence that deforestation and illegal
hunting are threatening the survival of the
great apes.
Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation
spokesman Nico Hermanu said the two
orangutans were rescued in separate locations
by a joint team from the foundation and
A male between six and eight months old
was rescued after being reported alone on a
riverbank near a village in Central
Kalimantan and a three-year-old female,
weighing only 11 pounds, was rescued from
villagers in the province the day before.
The foundation has found 19 baby
orangutans so far this year.
It says that as more forests are cleared,
“hunters are able to reach previously isolated
areas and orangutans.”
Volvo’s electric car brand Polestar unveils first model
By Joe McDonald
AP Business Writer
EIJING — Volvo Cars’ performance
electric car brand, Polestar, unveiled a
four-seat coupe in lightweight carbon
fiber as its first model, adding to competition
in a market dominated until now by Tesla.
The hybrid Polestar 1 promises a range of
150 kilometers (95 miles) on a charge, with a
gasoline-powered engine to supplement that if
needed. It is due to be produced at a factory in
western China and released in 2019.
Volvo, owned since 2010 by Chinese auto-
maker Geely Holding, announced in July that
it would make only electric and hybrid vehicles
starting in 2019.
The Swedish brand, known for comfort and
safety, launched Polestar to allow a different
identity based on “really sporty performance
cars,” said its chief executive, Thomas
“There will be a clear difference between the
two brands that add to each other in a very
good way,” Ingenlath, a former Volvo senior
vice president for design, said in a phone
interview ahead of the model debut in
The company says it will follow up with an
all-electric model in 2019 and an SUV in 2021.
All manufacturers are moving toward more
hybrids, but industry analysts say a transition
to full-electric vehicles is years away.
Volvo has announced plans to release three
all-electric models under its own brand by
The next Polestar model, the mid-size
Polestar 2, is intended to compete with Tesla’s
Model 3, the company says. Ingenlath declined
to give a price, but the Tesla starts at $35,000.
Polestar will use an internet-based sales
system with a monthly subscription fee,
Ingenlath said. The company says service will
include the ability to rent other Volvo and
Polestar models.
Continued on page 4
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