Timeline for October 2019
The consumption tax rate rises to 10%. However, for the first time, there is a two-tier rate with some items remaining at 8%, as well as point rewards for cashless payment.
- Some Confusion Seen on First Day of New Tax System
- Japan’s Consumption Tax Hike: Exceptions and Inclusions
The government announces that a ballistic missile fired by North Korea fell within Japan’s exclusive economic zone in the sea off Shimane Prefecture. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga Yoshihide initially states that there were two missiles, of which one fell in the EEZ, but says at a later press conference that one missile may have separated into two parts before landing.
- North Korea Fires Ballistic Missiles
- Japanese Fishermen, Officials Enraged over North Korea's Missile Firing
Kansai Electric Power Company publishes a report stating that Managing Executive Officer Suzuki Satoshi and former Executive Vice President Toyomatsu Hideki each received gifts worth a total of over ¥100 million from Moriyama Eiji, the late former deputy mayor of Takahama, Fukui Prefecture. On October 9, Chairman Yagi Makoto and President Iwane Shigeki resign over the scandal.
- Two Kansai Electric Executives Took over ¥100 Million from Nuclear Plant Host Town Official
- Kansai Electric Executives Took Money from Nuclear Business Contractors
- Kansai Electric Chairman Resigns Over Gift Scandal
Prime Minister Abe Shinzō calls for debates on the Constitution in his policy speech opening the Diet’s extraordinary session.
Kaneda Masaichi, whose 400 wins in his career was a record for a Japanese professional baseball pitcher, dies in Tokyo at the age of 86.
A North Korean fishing boat and a Japanese Fisheries Agency patrol vessel collide in Japan’s exclusive economic zone off the coast of the Noto Peninsula in Ishikawa Prefecture. The Japan Coast Guard says that it rescued some 60 crew members of the fishing boat.
Nissan announces that it has chosen Senior Vice President Uchida Makoto as its new president. Ashwani Gupta will leave his post as chief operating officer at Mitsubishi to become Nissan’s new COO.
Yoshino Akira, an honorary fellow at Asahi Kasei, shares the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with the scientists John B. Goodenough and M. Stanley Whittingham “for the development of lithium-ion batteries.”
- Japan's Yoshino, Two Others Win 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
- Nobel Winner Yoshino Develops Ability to “Sniff Needs” through Failures
Seven & I Holdings announces that it will cut 3,000 jobs across the group in Japan. By February 2023, it will reduce its workforce at Itō-Yōkadō by 1,700 and at Sogō & Seibu by 1,300.
Typhoon Hagibis makes landfall in the Izu Peninsula in Shizuoka Prefecture. It moves northeast across the country, bringing record rainfall that causes flooding and landslides and results in more than 80 fatalities.
- Train, Flight Services Suspended in Japan with Approach of Typhoon
- Death Toll from Typhoon Hagibis Rises to 74 in Japan
- 120 Flooded Shinkansen Cars May Be Scrapped
Japan defeats Scotland 28–21 in its final Pool A match of the Rugby World Cup to qualify for the quarterfinal stage for the first time. On October 20, South Africa beats Japan 26–3 in the quarterfinal match.
- Japan Rugby Downs Scotland to Make World Cup Quarterfinals
- Japan’s Rugby Stars Share Their Takes on Twitter
Tokyo District Court sentences Funato Yūdai to 13 years in prison on charges including causing injuries and negligence that resulted in the death of his five-year-old stepdaughter Yua in 2018.
The International Olympic Committee announces that it is considering moving the marathon and race walk events in the 2020 Summer Olympics from Tokyo to Sapporo.
The government decides to grant 550,000 pardons to mark the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito on October 22.
At a meeting of the National Security Council at the Kantei, the government decides to consider independently dispatching Self-Defense Forces vessels and patrol aircraft to the Middle East to secure safety of navigation.
Emperor Naruhito takes part in a ceremony at the Imperial Palace, Tokyo, formally announcing to Japan and the world that he has ascended to the throne.
Ogata Sadako, who served as the United Nations high commissioner for refugees from 1991 to 2000, dies at the age of 92.
Prime Minister Abe meets with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon, who is visiting Japan for Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony. Abe says that South Korean Supreme Court rulings against Japanese companies over forced wartime labor violate international law and urges Seoul to act in accordance with the 1965 settlement agreement between the two countries.
Veteran actress Yachigusa Kaoru dies of pancreatic cancer at age 88.
Heavy rain caused by the approach of Typhoon Bualoi brings landslides and flooding to Chiba and Fukushima Prefectures, killing 10 people.
Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Sugawara Isshu resigns after reports suggesting he may have violated the Public Offices Election Law by having a secretary make a monetary offering at a funeral.
A fire that breaks out in the main hall of Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, destroys six buildings and a gate at the UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Fire Breaks Out at World Heritage Shuri Castle in Okinawa
- Okinawa Residents Aghast at Burning Shuri Castle
- Shock Beyond Words: Okinawan Treasure Shuri Castle Destroyed by Fire
Minister of Justice Kawai Katsuyuki resigns after Shūkan Bunshun reports that his wife Anri exceeded legal daily pay allowances for her staff in her successful campaign to be elected for the first time to the House of Councillors in July.
(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo: Emperor Naruhito leaves the Matsu-no-ma hall of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace after his enthronement ceremony on October 22, 2019. © Jiji.)