Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, September 5, 2018
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Noon news

All broadcasters continued to lead with reports on the aftermath of Typhoon Jebi. According to NHK, 10 people were killed and about 600 people were injured in the typhoon.


Ambassador Hagerty speaks about U.S.-Japan trade, North Korea

NHK BS's regular weekday international news program "Kokusai Hodo 2018" aired a two-minute report on its interview with Ambassador Hagerty, introducing him as one of President Trump's closest confidants. The anchor said the Ambassador expressed the view that President Trump is frustrated with the lack of progress in U.S.-Japan talks on reducing the United States' trade deficit with Japan.

The narrator said Ambassador Hagerty gave an interview to NHK on Tuesday on the occasion of the first anniversary of his arrival at his current post. On the U.S.-Japan trade issue, the program showed the Ambassador saying: "The negotiations have actually been underway for sometime. We've been talking about our economic relationship since April of last year. Is the President frustrated with the trade deficit? Yes. Is he frustrated that we don't have an agreement with Japan at this point? Yes, that's true. I think the President has a measured view because he has a deep respect for Prime Minister Abe. They've formed a close friendship. I feel confident that we are going to be able to move forward." The narrator said the Ambassador expressed hope for in-depth discussions during the second round of talks between USTR Lighthizer and Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi slated for later this month.

With regard to the sudden cancellation of Secretary Pompeo's trip to Pyongyang last week, the program showed the Ambassador saying that the President "felt that we weren't at a proper point to meet, that the North Korean side was not bringing to the table what the President felt necessary to have a successful meeting. He's not going to meet for the sake of meeting." The narrator said the Ambassador stressed the need to continue to apply pressure on North Korea.

U.S. Ambassador to Japan says President Trump is frustrated with talks on reducing trade deficit (NHK)

Conan O'Brien to visit Japan's 'Conan Town' after tongue-in-cheek feud with mayor (The Japan Times)


Upper House member Antonio Inoki to visit Pyongyang this month

Fuji TV reported at noon that Upper House member Antonio Inoki is planning to visit North Korea from Sept. 6 to 11 at the invitation of North Korea, saying that he is expected to attend a ceremony on Sept. 9 and a reception hosted by Workers' Party of Korea Vice Chairman Ri Su Yong. The network said Inoki and Ri also met in 2017 in Pyongyang and exchanged views on nuclear and missile issues. Regarding his planned visit to North Korea, Inoki reportedly tweeted in July that he will strive to maintain sports exchanges with North Korea.

In a related story, NHK reported online that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told reporters this morning that the GOJ has already asked the Japanese public to refrain from traveling to North Korea and that the GOJ is also asking Inoki not to visit the country.

Komeito's Yamaguchi to visit China starting today (Mainichi)

Column: Trump's criticism of China's aid to DPRK raises concerns about Japan's enforcement of sanctions (Sankei)


5,000 typhoon-stranded people being transported out of Kansai airport (Kyodo News)

Typhoon Jebi tears through Japan, disrupting Asia's supply chains (Nikkei Asian Review)

Major typhoon kills 10 and paralyzes swaths of Japan (Nikkei Asian Review)

Extended screening pushes back MOX fuel plant construction for 3rd time (Kyodo News)

METI minister denies any change in MOX fuel reprocessing policy (Tokyo Shimbun)

International battle over 5G infrastructure heating up (Nikkei)

Cabinet members express support Keidanren proposal to scrap recruitment rules for college graduates (The Japan Times)

Int'l panel starts talks on Japan-proposed tuna catch quota hikes (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 4, 2018 (Sankei)

Cartoon: LDP presidential race (Kanagawa Shimbun)


Highlights of August 2018 Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll (Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin)


JAXA to launch space capsule to bring back cargoes from ISS (Nikkei)


Editorial: Well-being of children must be top priority in custody rules (The Asahi Shimbun)

Databases run by National Diet Library and 10 other institutions to be unified on new website (The Japan Times)


Civic group submits petition calling for referendum on Futenma relocation

NHK reported online that a civic group has submitted to the Okinawa Prefectural Government a petition with 92,848 signatures that it collected from May to July this year for holding a prefectural referendum on whether or not the Futenma base should be relocated to Henoko, Nago. The network said the number of signatures greatly exceeds the minimum required for the prefectural government to submit an ordinance bill to the assembly. According to the network, Okinawa is expected to submit the bill during the period from Sept. 6 to 20, and the assembly will hold deliberations during an extraordinary session slated for this month.

Mayor grants permission to conduct survey for Aegis Ashore deployment in Yamaguchi (Mainichi)

CCS Suga: Withdrawal of Henoko landfill permit "extremely regrettable" (Yomiuri)

Japan vows to help Pacific island nations boost maritime security (Kyodo News)


Sakima, Tamaki confirm support from political parties, labor unions for Okinawa election

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that former Ginowan Mayor Sakima will be supported by the LDP, the Komeito party, and Nippon Ishin no Kai in the Sept. 30 Okinawa gubernatorial election. The Komeito's Okinawa chapter has decided to endorse the LDP-backed candidate in the upcoming election even though it did not cooperate with the LDP in the previous gubernatorial race in 2014. Nippon Ishin no Kai backed its own candidate in the previous election, but it has decided to endorse Sakima this time. According to the paper, Sakima's rival, Denny Tamaki, will likely gain support from a wide range of local political parties and groups that aim to keep working toward the late Governor Onaga's goal of stopping the FRF construction at Henoko. According to Okinawa Times, most of the labor unions in Okinawa are expected to support Tamaki, while the Okinawa Garrison Forces Labor Union has decided to endorse Sakima as a "person who attaches importance to the U.S.-Japan alliance." The group argues that the FRF construction at Henoko is not "the construction of a new base" but "the expansion of an existing facility" and that it supports the Henoko project as an effort to remove the danger of the Futenma Air Station.

Member of U.S. Air Force arrested for DUI in Okinawa (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team