All broadcasters led with reports on a fire that broke out early this morning at Shuri Castle in Naha, Okinawa, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The main buildings of the castle have already burned down, and firefighters are working to control the blaze that has also engulfed other buildings in the castle complex. There have been no immediate reports of injuries, and the police are looking into the cause of the fire.
NHK aired a news flash at around 8:30 a.m. saying that Justice Minister Kawai has stepped down following a tabloid’s allegation that an illegal amount of remuneration was paid to the campaign staffers of his wife, who was elected to represent Hiroshima Prefecture in the Upper House race in July. According to the network, Prime Minister Abe is inclined to tap Masako Mori, former minister in charge of the declining birthrate, as Kawai’s replacement.
Major front-page items in national papers included the finding that some 60% of Shinkansen trainyards and a quarter of some 2,200 industrial parks across Japan are susceptible to flooding, the UK’s plan to hold a general election on Dec. 12 to determine the fate of Brexit, the Chilean government’s decision to cancel the upcoming APEC summit, the embezzlement of $5 million worth of postage stamps by two postal officials in Tokyo, and a plan by METI to conduct a review of the electricity supply system in light of the prolonged power outage in parts of Chiba Prefecture due to Typhoon Faxai in September.