NHK gave top play to a report that a court in Tokyo will begin questioning three former executives of TEPCO today over the Fukushima nuclear accident. Fuji TV led with a report on Prime Minister Abe’s announcement that he plans to raise the consumption tax rate from 8% to 10% in October 2019 as planned. NTV led with a report on the announcement that Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, is pregnant with her first child and will give birth next spring. TBS gave top play to a report on the Japanese national volleyball team’s loss against Italy in the Volleyball World Championships. TV Asahi led with a report on the arrest of a group for defrauding major homebuilder Sekisui House.
Most national papers led with PM Abe’s remarks during a cabinet meeting yesterday vowing to raise the consumption tax rate to 10% in October 2019 as planned, highlighting his commitment to “mobilize every possible policy tool” to prevent the tax hike from sending the Japanese economy into a tailspin. Other major front-page stories included a Japan-China summit to be convened in the Chinese capital next week and Showa University’s acknowledgement of discrimination against certain medical school applicants.