Author: Philip Walsh

New Jersey Rep. Chris Smith and a group of Republican and Democrat leaders in Congress introduced a resolution Tuesday to urge the State Department to add Nigeria to its annual list of countries that violate religious freedom, known as the Countries of Particular Concern (CPC) list. The resolution also calls for the appointment of a special envoy to monitor and combat human rights violations in the region. Co-sponsored by Arkansas Republican Rep. French Hill and Texas Democrat Henry Cuellar, the resolution will signal U.S. commitment to religious freedom across the world, especially in Nigeria. “Last year alone, 5,014 Christians were…

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TOKYOJapan’s inflation-adjusted average monthly wage dropped 3.8 percent in November amid higher food and energy prices, marking the sharpest fall in eight years and six months and declining for the eighth straight month, the labor ministry said Friday. While the government of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called on firms to raise wages to match inflation in order to create a positive growth cycle, the preliminary figures in the ministry’s monthly labor survey show that price increases in the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continue to outpace pay hikes. Pay rises are expected to be the main focus of…

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TOKYOEvery week in community centers and other public spaces across Japan, thousands of volunteers work alongside a much smaller number of professional teachers to help foreign residents learn the country’s language through low-cost “Japanese classroom” initiatives. Receiving government support, the classrooms are the only ones that many foreigners will enter to improve their Japanese skills once they arrive, meaning that they play a key role in helping the acclimatization process. But as Japan sees its foreign population rise again after the hit from the pandemic, is it fair to rely on the goodwill of volunteers — many in their 50s…

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