In April and July, Japan signed the Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA), a military logistics pac
t, with Canada and France respectively. The Japanese government will try to get it approved by the National D
iet this year. Canada and France are also advancing domestic procedures for its approval.
The agreement will enable the provision of food, fuel and military supplie
s between Japan’s Self-Defense Forces (SDF) and French and Canadian armies. Jap
an has also inked ACSAs with the US, the UK, Australia and India. Why did Japan sign such an agreement?
After WWII, especially in the late 1960s when Japan became an economic powerhouse, it was no longer satisfied with its status as a military microstate.
In the mid-1980s, Japan accelerated the pace to push its SDF onto the w
orld stage with the aim of becoming a major political power.
In 1996, Japan signed the ACSA with the US, followed by one with Austr
alia in 2010. After the new security law took effect on March 29, 2016, Japan amended t
he two ACSAs, which enabled more flexible provision of ammunition in wartime between the signatories.
orwegian-born John Hou Sæter, a midfielder with Beijing Guo’an, received his temporary Chinese ID card Tuesday, becoming the first naturalized Chinese footballer.
Known as Hou Yongyong in China, the 21-year-old is expected to make his Guo’an debut in the Chinese Football Assoc
iation (CFA) Super Cup match between Shanghai SIPG and Beijing Guo’an next weekend, according to The Paper.
Guo’an has also registered him up for the upcoming AFC Champions League.
It has also been predicted that he may receive a national team call-up in the future.
Hou Sæter made his debut for Norwegian side Rosenborg in a domestic cup game against Orkla F
K in 2014. The appearance made him, at 16 years and 101 days, Rosenborg’s youngest ever senior player.
In September 2014 he made his debut in the Norwegian top f
light against Aalesund, coming on as an 81st-minute substitute in a 3-0 win. This made him his sid
e’s youngest ever league debutant, at 16 years and 258 days, beating the previous record by nine days.
Speaking on the speculation that Hou Sæter may one day play for the Chinese national side, h
is mother, Hou Yurong, said that it would be “both my wish and his own choice. I’m always his biggest fan.”
The bureau is soliciting public opinion on the draft until Feb 20.
With the new standard, major polluting gas from light-duty vehicles, including ca
rbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide, will be reduced by about 50 percent and em
issions of particulate matter will be reduced by about 40 percent, according to the bureau.
For heavy-duty diesel-powered trucks, the emissions of nitrogen oxide and particulate matter are expected to drop by more than 60 percent, it said.
Mobile sources, mainly vehicles, contributed 45 percent of locally generated
hazardous particles known as PM2.5 in 2017, outnumbering all other types of sources, according to the bureau.
Beijing has seen continuous improvement in its air quality. The PM2.5 density in th
e capital in 2018 stood at 51 micrograms per cubic meter, down by 12.1 percent year-on-year.
Officials and experts have said, however, it could be increasingly challe
nging for the city to further reduce air pollution after the local government has taken all ma
jor measures that could achieve quick results, including the shifting of bulk coal to clean energy as a heating source.
Zhou Xiaochuan, former governor of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), has won the UK’s 2019 Central Banking lifetime achievement award, according to the publication’s website.
Zhou, the sixth winner of the award, stands out for his high levels of integrity, intellectual ri
gor and bold reforms that have served the public interest in China and elsewhere, said a statement of the website.
The Central Banking Awards were established to recognize outstanding perform
ance in individuals and organizations in the central banking community.
Zhou, who stepped down as PBOC governor in March 2018, had served in his position from
December 2012-2018, which makes him China’s longest serving central bank governor since 1949.
The award recognizes the impact Zhou had on the central bank and the Chinese economy.
“While in office, Zhou demonstrated high levels of integrity in his pursuit of public s
ervice. He brought academic rigor to real-world decision-making, acting as a prag
matic policymaker with a strong sense of what was in the public interest,” the statement said.
nger the prerogative of the US and Russia. Apart from the US, Russia and China, India too has worked out an ambitious plan to put astronauts in space by 2022.
Constantly improving manufacturing and new material technologies have remarkably reduced the cost of space launches. The pr
ivate US company Space X has successfully launched recoverable rockets, and its launch cost per kilogram payload has fallen below $2,000, one-ten
th that of a space shuttle launch. And for China and India, the cost of one rocket launch is less than $5,000 per kg.
Another major change helping space exploration is the advancement in 3D printing technology, which now allows astr
onauts to produce parts and components in the International Space Station and thus reduces the number of sup
ply vehicle launches. 3D printing will play a big role in the construction of a permanent space station on the moon.
These technological advancements have propelled a new wave of space fever ac
ross the world. While US President Donald Trump has reactivated the space ex
ploration program that aims to land humans on Mars by 2033, private space companies such as Space X and Blue Ori
gin have used advanced technologies to their full advantage to move ahead in the space race.
For China, building a permanent space station and a rocket launch platform on the moon will
be critical to advanced space exploration. Actually, China is moving closer to fulfilling that objective.