>Suga elected Japan's new PM
Yoshihide Suga, the new leader of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was formally elected as Japan's new prime minister to succeed Shinzo Abe in an extraordinary parliamentary session on Wednesday afternoon.
Suga was elected by both chambers of parliament, winning 314 votes in the 465-member lower house and 142 votes in the 245-member upper house.
The new prime minister is expected to form a cabinet filled with ministers who served under Abe.
Suga has vowed to push forward with Abe's policies such as "Abenomics," a mix of measures including monetary easing and fiscal stimulus aimed at easing deflation and stimulating growth in the Japanese economy.
>Sea-based space launch
China launched a Long March 11 solid-propellant carrier rocket from a ship in the Yellow Sea on Tuesday morning, sending nine satellites into orbit in the nation's second sea-based launch mission.
The Long March 11-HY2 blasted off at 9:22 am from the Debo 3, a self-propelled deck barge that was modified for the mission.
About 13 minutes later, after traveling 535 kilometers, it deployed nine Jilin 1 high-resolution Earth-observation satellites in sun-synchronous orbits.
Each of the satellites, developed by Changguang Satellite Technology in Changchun, Jilin province, weighs about 42 kilograms. They will provide remote-sensing services to users in fields such as agriculture, forestry, land resources and environmental protection.
The mission helped to optimize seaborne launch procedures and improve the safety and reliability of such operations, laying a foundation for frequent sea-based launches in the future, said Jin Xin, the rocket's deputy project manager.
>China's image steadily improves
China's national image in the international community has continued to improve in recent years, according to a report released on Tuesday.
China scored 6.3 in a 10-point system concerning its overall image in 2019, 0.1 point higher than in 2018, according to a report released jointly by the Academy of Contemporary China and World Studies, a think tank affiliated with China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, and Kantar Group, a consulting company.
The report said respondents from developing countries generally have a better impression of China's image, rising from 5.8 points in 2013 to 7.2 points last year.
The 2019 report was based on an online survey conducted between June and September 2019 among 11,000 residents in 22 countries, including Japan, South Korea, India, the UK, France, Germany, the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia and South Africa.
The survey found respondents paid great attention to China's participation in global governance, particularly in three fields: science and technology, economy and culture.
It also found they expected China to play a bigger role in the first two fields in the future.
Per the report, 31 percent of respondents said China should focus on building its image as a global development contributor in the next five to 10 years, while 27 percent said they expect China to display its image as a country with a rich history in the East and 25 percent hoped to see China rise as a responsible major country.
>Asia offers more flu shots
Some Asian countries are rolling out early and more aggressive influenza vaccination programs this year, seeking to reduce the potential of people contracting the flu and COVID-19 simultaneously, which could overwhelm healthcare systems.
With a second or third wave of the coronavirus pandemic looming for many countries, tackling this year's flu season - typically December through February - has taken on increased urgency.
In Japan, the health ministry is preparing 31.2 million flu shots, up 7 percent from last year and the highest amount since 2015.
In South Korea, health authorities are procuring 30 million flu vaccines for the winter season, up 20 percent from last year.
In China, some local authorities have reported a surge in demand.
Disease prevention authorities in the Changning district of Shanghai told local media they expect demand for flu vaccines in the autumn and winter to increase some 50 percent from previous years.
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