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Sobotka signs working holiday agreement at start of Japan trip

The Czech Republic and Japan have signed a deal allowing for a working holiday visa programme. Under the agreement, the two states’ citizens aged 18 to 30 can work in the other country for one year without a permit. It was signed by Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and his Czech counterpart, Bohuslav Sobotka, on the first day of the latter’s four-day visit to Japan on Tuesday. Mr. Sobotka’s stay is set to also include a Czech-Japanese business forum and a visit to the Hiroshima Peace Memorial. He is the first Czech head of government to visit Japan since 2005.

First cases of African swine fever registered in Czech Republic

The Czech authorities have registered the first ever cases of African swine fever in the country. The disease, which does not affect humans, was found in two dead wild boars that may have crossed the border into the Zlín region. Special monitoring of the wild boar population has been introduced, officials said on Tuesday. If domesticated pigs catch the disease they have to be put down and cordons placed around the farms in question.

Austrian president calls for greater symmetry in mutual trade and financial relations

The Austrian president, Alexander Van der Bellen, says his country is very keen to see symmetry in trade and financial relations between it and the Czech Republic. Mr. Van der Bellen made the comment after talks in Prague with his Czech counterpart, Miloš Zeman. He pointed out that the Czechs export more to Austria than they import from the country and that the situation was the other way around with regard to direct investment. Mr. Van der Bellen also said that transport infrastructure between the two states had got better but there was still room for more improvement.

Spring frosts likely to cause one-quarter fall in Czech fruit harvest

The Czech Republic’s fruit harvest this year is set to be 26 percent lower than the average for the last five years due to frosts in spring, the head of the country’s fruit growers association told the Czech News Agency on Tuesday. Moravian crops were hardest hit by the adverse weather conditions and the yield of apricots and peaches, which are grown there, is likely to be a full 70 percent below the five-year average. Agriculture Minister Marian Jurečka says he will call on the government to compensate the farmers affected, as also happened last year.

Online sales of Prague public transport tickets to begin in 2018

It will be possible from next year to buy Prague public transport tickets and passes online and via a mobile application, the Czech News Agency reported. The move was approved by city councilors on Tuesday. It will also be possible to register a bank payment card and to use it to prove one has bought a ticket for public transport, a function today fulfilled by the Lítačka electronic card. The system is set to go fully live from March 2018.

Sparta sign Tal Ben Haim for Czech record fee

Sparta Prague football club have signed the Israeli attacker Tal Ben Haim for around CZK 75 million, making him the most expensive player ever in the Czech league. The 27-year-old was previously with Maccabi Tel Aviv. He has scored five goals in 24 appearances for the Israeli national team.

Weather forecast

It should be quite sunny with the chance of storms in the Czech Republic on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to reach up to 32 degrees Celsius.