Muslims in Japan denounce Israel against bombing of Gaza

The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
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The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
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The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
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The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli military. (AN Japan)
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Updated 30 October 2023
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Muslims in Japan denounce Israel against bombing of Gaza

Muslims in Japan denounce Israel against bombing of Gaza
  • The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli occupation military

TOKYO: Around 1,000 demonstrators from Japan’s Muslim community gathered in the Ichigaya district of Tokyo near the Israeli Embassy on Sunday to protest against the bombing of Gaza.

The demonstrators voiced their anger at the bombing of civilians in Gaza by the Israeli occupation military.

A Palestinian who has family in Gaza told Arab News Japan that part of her family was killed by the Israeli bombings and she wants to see a ceasefire.

Communities from different nationalities such as Indonesians, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, Moroccans, Turks and Uzbeks shouted slogans such as “Israel Terrorist.”

The bombings have reportedly caused more than 7,000 deaths on the Palestinian side and the Israeli government is refusing to declare a humanitarian ceasefire despite United Nations resolutions.

Protesters approached the Israeli Embassy in Tokyo and raised the slogans of “Free Palestine,” “Israel Terrorist” and “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.” They denounced “the genocide committed by Israel” and asked people not to turn a blind eye to what is happening in the Gaza Strip.

* This article originally appeared on Arab News Japan, click here to read it.


Lula meets Blinken after Gaza comments spark diplomatic rift

Lula meets Blinken after Gaza comments spark diplomatic rift
Updated 12 sec ago
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Lula meets Blinken after Gaza comments spark diplomatic rift

Lula meets Blinken after Gaza comments spark diplomatic rift
  • The belated first trip to the Latin American powers had been seen as an opportunity to build ties with two key leaders

WASHINGTON: US top diplomat Antony Blinken was meeting President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Wednesday, amid a diplomatic spat after the Brazilian leader likened Israel’s war in Gaza to the Nazi genocide during World War Two.
US officials have said they expect Lula and Secretary of State Blinken to have a robust conversation on issues of global security, including the conflict in Gaza sparked by attacks in southern Israel by Hamas militants on Oct. 7.
Israel said on Monday that Lula is not welcome in Israel until he takes back the comments.
State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said on Tuesday that Washington disagreed with Lula’s comments, but declined to preview what Blinken would say in the meeting on the issue.
Lula’s comments came after he visited the Middle East last week and just ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro as part of Brazil’s presidency of the G20 group of advanced economies.
Washington, which provides Israel with military and diplomatic support, has urged Israel to protect civilians but defended Israel’s right to target Hamas militants in the Gaza strip.
Ahead of Blinken’s travel to South America, Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Brian Nichols told reporters that sharing ideas on the conflict in Gaza would be “crucial to the conversation” between Lula and Blinken.
The two would also discuss efforts to promote democracy in Venezuela, a US-Brazil partnership on workers’ rights and cooperation on transitioning to clean energy, Nichols said.


UK has ‘confidence’ in nuclear system despite misfire

UK has ‘confidence’ in nuclear system despite misfire
Updated 1 min 50 sec ago
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UK has ‘confidence’ in nuclear system despite misfire

UK has ‘confidence’ in nuclear system despite misfire
LONDON: The UK government said Wednesday that it had “absolute confidence” in its Trident nuclear deterrent system despite a reported missile test failure.
Defense minister Grant Shapps admitted to parliament that “an anomaly did occur” during an exercise on January 30, following reports that a missile fired from the submarine HMS Vanguard fell into the sea.
Shapps said in the written statement that it was “longstanding practice” not to comment on such tests, but that it was providing information “in recognition of the level of interest” in the operation.
“On this occasion, an anomaly did occur, but it was event specific and there are no implications for the reliability of the wider Trident missile systems and stockpile,” insisted the minister, who was on board the vessel at the time of the test.
“Nor are there any implications for our ability to fire our nuclear weapons, should the circumstances arise in which we need to do so.”
The Sun newspaper reported on Wednesday that the “first-stage” boosters on the dummy Trident 2 missile did not ignite when fired off the coast of Florida, with an anonymous source saying, “it just went plop, right next to them.”
It is believed to be the second failed launch in a row.
Despite the setback, Shapps said that the test “reaffirmed the effectiveness of the UK’s nuclear deterrent, in which the government has absolute confidence.
“The Trident missile system remains the most reliable weapons system in the world, having successfully completed more than 190 tests,” he added.
“The UK’s resolve and capability to use its nuclear weapons, should we ever need to do so, remains beyond doubt.”
But the opposition Labour party called the reports “concerning.”
The 13-meter-long Trident missile, which can aim at targets up to 4,000 miles away, are fired underwater from submarines, with boosters supposed to ignite when the weapons reach the surface.
Each Vanguard-class submarine can hold eight Trident rockets, but they are due to be replaced in the 2030s by the larger Dreadnought-class of vessels.

Bangladesh resists pressure to accept more Rohingya from Myanmar

Bangladesh resists pressure to accept more Rohingya from Myanmar
Updated 21 February 2024
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Bangladesh resists pressure to accept more Rohingya from Myanmar

Bangladesh resists pressure to accept more Rohingya from Myanmar
  • Dhaka spends about $1.2 billion annually to support refugees
  • Myanmar fighting in early February spilled across the border into Bangladesh

DHAKA: Bangladesh is refusing to accept more Rohingya fleeing Myanmar, with authorities saying on Wednesday that the country is already overburdened in supporting more than 1.2 million refugees.

The Rohingya have sought refuge in Bangladesh over decades after escaping death and persecution in Myanmar, especially during a military crackdown in 2017.

The developing country spends an estimated $1.2 billion annually to support the refugees, as international aid for the oppressed stateless minority has fallen since 2020.

Most of the Rohingya refugees live in squalid camps in Cox’s Bazar district, a coastal region in eastern Bangladesh.

“We are already overburdened with more than 1 million Rohingya,” Mizanur Rahman, Bangladesh’s refugee relief and repatriation commissioner in Cox’s Bazar, told Arab News.

“The people of Bangladesh certainly will not welcome any more Rohingya here. Hospitality in the host community has turned into hostility. In this context, there is nothing much we can do for the newly displaced (Rohingya from Myanmar).”

Rahman’s statement follows comments from other Bangladeshi officials, including Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, who told reporters earlier this month that Bangladesh “will not allow any more Rohingya to enter the country.”

Hundreds of people from Myanmar, including some Rohingya, have gathered at various points along Bangladesh’s border in recent weeks to seek shelter as the junta battles a strong resistance offensive.

Hundreds of Myanmarese border troops and police, some with bullet wounds, also sought refuge in Bangladesh during intense periods of fighting in early February.

“It can’t be said that the overall law and order situation is very good at the moment as almost every day there are incidents of murders … moreover, there have been new added tensions due to the unrest in the border areas,” Rahman said.

The Rohingya, which the UN has described as “one of the world’s most persecuted minorities,” have faced decades of discrimination and repression in Myanmar, where they are not recognized as an indigenous ethnic group and are denied the right to claim citizenship.

Thousands of Rohingya refugees embarked on deadly sea journeys from Bangladesh — and to a lesser extent from Myanmar — in 2023. Last year also saw the highest figure in nine years — 569 — of the number of Rohingya refugees who died or went missing during dangerous crossings.


India’s top executives in NEOM to identify partnership opportunities

India’s top executives in NEOM to identify partnership opportunities
Updated 21 February 2024
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India’s top executives in NEOM to identify partnership opportunities

India’s top executives in NEOM to identify partnership opportunities
  • FICCI-led delegation is visiting Saudi Arabia from Feb. 18 to 21
  • In NEOM, they met executives responsible for all ongoing projects

NEW DELHI: A delegation of chief executives from India’s top business body has visited NEOM to identify opportunities for cooperation under Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is leading the delegation of CEOs and government officials to the Kingdom this week as businesses want to tap into the possibilities posed by Saudi megaprojects, including the flagship multibillion-dollar NEOM smart city.

“As the first Indian delegation to NEOM, comprising both private and government representatives, led by FICCI President Dr. Anish Shah, our members were looking for business opportunities for Indian companies,” FICCI Secretary General S.K. Pathak told Arab News.

“Many business deals would be the specific outcomes from this delegation visit to NEOM.”

Saudi-Indian ties gained new momentum last year throughout India’s presidency of the G20 and after the state visit of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in September, during which officials signed an accord to boost mutual investment.

The delegation is visiting Saudi Arabia from Feb. 18 to 21 and has already held talks with Saudi Arabia’s Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih, Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman and members of the Saudi-India Business Forum.

“The FICCI CEOs delegation met with the senior most ministers and large businesses in Riyadh on Feb. 19. The Saudi-India Business Forum with large businesses was very productive for CEOs on both sides. Now we shall leverage the warm ties between our countries and get into specific projects and investment and trade partnerships,” Pathak said.

“At least five specific areas in infrastructure, construction, energy, tourism and mobility are going to attain closure soon.”

In NEOM, he added, there were “trillion-dollar opportunities” at its numerous ongoing projects.

The delegation has met NEOM leaders and executives responsible for projects such as The Line linear smart city, the floating Oxagon city, the Torjena futuristic ski resort, TONOMUS — the world’s first ecosystem of cognitive technologies — and ENOWA, which leads the development of NEOM’s sustainable energy and water systems.

“We met NEOM leaders of all the above. FICCI and NEOM would be in regular touch for specific projects,” Pathak said.

“With top-level ties between PM Narendra Modi and the crown prince paving the way for people-to-people and business-to-business contact, we at FICCI foresee a very bright future for the next decade.”


In a first, India seeks $26 billion of private nuclear power investments

In a first, India seeks $26 billion of private nuclear power investments
Updated 21 February 2024
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In a first, India seeks $26 billion of private nuclear power investments

In a first, India seeks $26 billion of private nuclear power investments
  • Government in talks with at least five firms including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power and Vedanta Ltd
  • With investment, government hopes to build 11,000 megawatts of new nuclear power generation capacity by 2040

NEW DELHI: India will invite private firms to invest about $26 billion in its nuclear energy sector to increase the amount of electricity from sources that don’t produce carbon dioxide emissions, two government sources told Reuters.
This is the first time New Delhi is pursuing private investment in nuclear power, a non-carbon-emitting energy source that contributes less than 2 percent of India’s total electricity generation. The funding would help India to achieve its target of having 50 percent of its installed electric generation capacity use non-fossil fuels by 2030, up from 42 percent now.
The government is in talks with at least five private firms including Reliance Industries, Tata Power, Adani Power and Vedanta Ltd. to invest around 440 billion rupees ($5.30 billion) each, the two sources, who are directly involved in the matter, said last week.
The federal Department of Atomic Energy and state-run Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd. (NPCIL) have held multiple rounds of discussions with the private companies in the past year on the investment plan, the sources said.
The Department of Atomic Energy, NPCIL, Tata Power, Reliance Industries, Adani Power and Vedanta did not respond to queries sent by Reuters.
With the investment, the government hopes to build 11,000 megawatts (MW) of new nuclear power generation capacity by 2040, said the sources, who did not want to be identified as the plan is still being finalized.
NPCIL owns and operates India’s current fleet of nuclear power plants, with a capacity of 7,500 MW, and has committed investments for another 13,000 MW.
The sources said under the funding plan the private companies will make the investments in the nuclear plants, acquire land, water and undertake construction in areas outside the reactor complex of the plants.
But, the rights to build and run the stations and their fuel management will rest with NPCIL, as allowed under the law, they said.
The private companies are expected to earn revenue from the power plant’s electricity sales and NPCIL would operate the projects for a fee, the sources said.
“This hybrid model of nuclear power project development is an innovative solution to accelerate the nuclear capacity,” said Charudatta Palekar, an independent power sector consultant who formerly worked for PwC.
The plan will not require any amendment to the India’s Atomic Energy Act of 1962 but will need a final go-ahead from the Department of Atomic Energy, said one of the two sources.
Indian law bars private companies from setting up nuclear power plants but allows them to supply components, equipment and sign construction contracts for work outside of the reactors.
New Delhi has not met its nuclear power capacity addition targets for years mainly because it could not procure nuclear fuel supplies. However in 2010, India struck a deal with the United States for supplies of reprocessed nuclear fuel.
India’s stringent nuclear compensation laws have hampered talks with foreign power plant builders such as General Electric and Westinghouse. The country has deferred a target to add 20,000 MW of nuclear power from 2020 to 2030.
($1 = 82.9640 Indian rupees)