Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, September 7, 2018
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Noon news

All networks gave top play to reports on the powerful earthquake that struck Hokkaido early Thursday morning, saying that operations at New Chitose Airport were resumed today. According to NHK, 8 people have died, 8 are in a state of cardiac arrest, and 24 remain missing in the aftermath of the quake.


DOS spokesperson tweets that U.S. "stands ready to help" Japan

NHK reported online that in response to the powerful earthquake that occurred in Hokkaido and Typhoon Jebi that hit Japan, DOS spokesperson Nauert tweeted on Thursday: "Our hearts go out to the people of #Japan for recent tragedies.... We offer deepest condolences to all who were injured or lost loved ones. The United States stands ready to help if needed."

Foreign ministers of Japan, South Korea to meet in Hanoi on Sept. 11

Jiji reported that MOFA announced today that Foreign Minister Kono and his South Korean counterpart Kang will hold a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Sept. 11. Jiji said Kono will visit Vietnam from Sept. 11 to 13 to attend the World Economic Forum on ASEAN, adding that Kono and Kang are expected to confirm cooperation toward North Korea's denuclearization ahead of the inter-Korean summit scheduled to begin on Sept. 18.

U.S., Japanese senior officials confirm cooperation on denuclearization

NHK reported online that MOFA Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau chief Kanasugi held a teleconference with newly appointed Special Representative for North Korea Policy Biegun, saying that the two senior officials confirmed close bilateral cooperation between the U.S. and Japan and trilateral cooperation between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea toward realizing North Korea's denuclearization. According to the network, they exchanged views on North Korea in light of the third inter-Korean summit planned for Sept. 18. Noting that Ambassador Biegun is expected to visit South Korea, China, and Japan next week, the network said the two officials agreed to meet again to coordinate on how to deal with North Korea in order to comprehensively resolve the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues.

Japan foreign minister to visit Vietnam for economic forum on ASEAN (Kyodo News)

Japan-Russia summit set for Sept. 10 although no progress has been made (Asahi)

Russia to avoid Japan-claimed islands in planned military drill (Jiji Press)

Japan, China panel to discuss infrastructure projects in third countries on Sept. 25 (Yomiuri)

FM Kono agrees to promote Japanese investment in Caucasus nations (Nikkei)

Defense minister cuts European tour short to deal with Hokkaido quake (Mainichi)

Ecuador's trade minister calls on Japan for "trade promotion" (Mainichi)

Japan names new ambassador to Romania (Kyodo News)

Cartoon: Xi Jinping's harvest (Asahi)


President Trump eyes reducing trade deficit with Japan

NHK reported online that the Wall Street Journal reported that President Trump is very interested in reducing the U.S. trade deficit with Japan, saying that the Trump administration is expected to call for concrete results at the ministerial-level trade talks slated for this month.

According to the network, the Wall Street Journal carried on Thursday an article written by an editor who talked to the President over the phone.The network said the article claimed that the President is extremely concerned about the U.S. trade deficit with Japan. The network noted that U.S. Ambassador to Japan Hagerty also said in an interview with NHK on Tuesday that President Trump is frustrated with the trade deficit with Japan and the fact that no agreement has been reached. The network added that USTR Lighthizer and Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi are scheduled to hold their second round of trade talks this month, claiming that the Trump administration is expected to call for concrete results to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, including the expansion of agricultural exports, while hinting at raising tariffs on auto imports.

Trump eyes Japan as next Asian target in trade war (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Typhoon 21 exposed vulnerability of offshore airport to natural disaster (The Japan News)

Editorial: Measures needed to strengthen flooded Kansai International Airport (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Technological strength critical in battle over next-generation vehicles (The Japan News)


Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 6, 2018 (Sankei)

Instructions and full statement given by Prime Minister Abe after Hokkaido earthquake (Sankei)

2-way race begins for Japan ruling party's leadership (Kyodo News)

Natural disasters alter LDP presidential election campaign schedule (Yomiuri)

LDP tax commission chief says auto tax cut mulled in light of consumption tax increase (Mainichi)

Record "special account" expenditures included in FY19 budget requests (Nikkei)

The things that make "shadow prime minister" Suga a great chief cabinet secretary (Shukan Gendai)

Cartoon: DPFP's Tamaki (Mainichi)


Japan's ANA enters space exploration business (Nikkei Asian Review)


Abe eyes 1 tril. yen extra budget for disaster relief (Kyodo News)

Earthquake and typhoon expose Japan's disaster risks (Nikkei Asian Review)

Hokkaido quake disrupts business activities, impact may be prolonged (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Hokkaido quake a reminder that entire country at risk of disaster (The Asahi Shimbun)


Japan to provide cybersecurity technical support to ASEAN countries (Yomiuri)


Central government treating rescindment of landfill permit with benign neglect

Okinawa Times reported that a week has elapsed since the Okinawa prefectural government revoked the landfill permit for the FRF construction off Camp Schwab. Even though the central government vowed to take the matter to court, it has yet to take any concrete steps probably based on the assessment that doing so at this juncture could have a negative effect on the gubernatorial election campaign of former Ginowan Mayor Sakima, who will face off against locally elected Diet member Denny Tamaki, an opponent of the Henoko relocation initiative. In the hope that Sakima will be able to cancel the withdrawal if he wins the Sept. 30 race, the central government is reportedly unlikely to do anything until the election is over.

10 Okinawan economic organizations decide to back Sakima in gubernatorial election (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team