JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, September 6, 2018
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HEADLINES

Noon news

All networks gave extensive top coverage to reports on the powerful earthquake that hit Hokkaido early this morning. NHK reported on its 3:00 p.m. news that at least 33 people have been reported missing and seven people have been found in a state of cardiac arrest due to mudslides in the town of Atsuma, and that two people have died in different areas and more than 200 people have been injured throughout the prefecture. The earthquake caused power outages that are currently affecting 2.95 million households in Hokkaido. The Nuclear Regulation Authority said that Hokkaido Electric Power Co.'s Tomari Nuclear Power Plant lost its external power source, but the spent fuel pools there are currently being cooled by an emergency power supply system. The blackout is also affecting hospital operations and telephone service in the prefecture. New Chitose Airport has been closed and all domestic and international service there has been suspended because part of the ceiling in the terminal collapsed in addition to the power outage. Bullet train and local train services have also been disrupted by the quake.

Minister of Trade and Industry Seko told reporters that efforts are being made to restore power in Hokkaido as soon as possible by resuming suspended power plants and transmitting power from the Tohoku region. The minister added, however, that it will probably take more than a week to restore the power throughout the region due to the limited supply. Seko added that power supply cars will be sent to Hokkaido with the cooperation of utility firms outside the prefecture.

INTERNATIONAL

North, South Korean leaders to meet in Pyongyang on Sept. 18

NHK, TV Asahi, TBS, and Fuji TV reported that South Korea's Presidential Office announced on Thursday that North and South Korea have agreed to hold another summit meeting between President Moon and Chairman Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Sept. 18-20. NHK reported that President Moon's security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who met with Chairman Kim in Pyongyang on Wednesday, said the DPRK leader asked him to convey to the Trump administration the message that he is working on denuclearization.

Grave visit to Northern Territories canceled (Nikkei)

Japan promises $70 mil. loan to Ecuador to improve electric power grid (Kyodo News)

Komeito leader arrives in China with letter for Xi (The Japan News)

ECONOMY

Closure of Japan's gateway to Asia risks denting tourism boom (Nikkei Asian Review)

Western Japan businesses reeling from after-effects of Typhoon Jebi (Kyodo News)

Hokkaido quake causes fire, Toyota unit, stores halt operations (Kyodo News)

Japan will encourage companies to employ workers until 70 (Nikkei Asian Review)

Changes in economic indicators during the second Abe administration (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: Budgetary requests and initial budget figures (Mainichi)

Infographics on startups (Nikkei)

POLITICS

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 5, 2018 (Sankei)

Survey: Abe to win over 60% of LDP member votes, vast majority of Diet member votes in presidential race (Mainichi)

Abe leading, but may not win "landslide victory" in LDP presidential race (Mainichi)

Survey: Abe set to win nearly 90% of Diet member votes in LDP presidential election (Sankei)

SOFA revision to be banner for united opposition front (Mainichi)

SOCIETY

Foreign students to gain visas for 'Cool Japan,' language jobs (The Asahi Shimbun)

OPINION POLLS

Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll on the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games (Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin)

SECURITY

DM Onodera: Japan ready to cooperate on WMDs (Yomiuri, Evening edition)

Okinawa residents seek U.S. base referendum with 93,000 signatures (Kyodo News)

OKINAWA LOCAL PRESS

Sakima, Tamaki differ over Futenma relocation, casinos in Okinawa

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times led with reports on a panel discussion hosted by the Okinawa chapter of the Junior Chamber International Japan on Wednesday in Okinawa, in which former Ginowan Mayor Sakima and Lower House lawmaker Tamaki participated to discuss their respective policy platforms for the Sept. 30 Okinawa gubernatorial election. Concerning the FRF construction at Henoko, Sakima stressed the importance of removing the danger posed by the Futenma Air Station, while Tamaki asserted that the election will determine whether the decision to revoke the landfill permit was appropriate. When asked about their views on the possibility of Okinawa hosting casinos, Sakima said the idea is worth studying as an additional resource for tourism in Okinawa, but Tamaki stated that casinos are not necessary in Okinawa.

Top LDP executive to "stay put" in Okinawa during gubernatorial election campaign (Ryukyu Shimpo)

JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
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U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team