Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, September 12, 2018
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Noon news

Most broadcasters led with updates on the massive earthquake that struck Hokkaido last week, while NTV and TV-Asahi gave top play to a summit between Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Xi held in Vladivostok this morning.


Representatives of private and public sectors from Japan, Russia exchange views on economic cooperation

NHK reported online that about 400 representatives of the public and private sectors in Japan and Russia gathered for an economic forum in Vladivostok, Russia, saying that while the Russian side called for Japan to make further investments, the representatives of Japanese companies called for the expansion of preferential tax treatment in order to promote further cooperation. According to the network, Russian Economic Development Minister Oreshkin said at the onset of the meeting: "The agreement signed by the two leaders proposes several billion dollars in investment. Japan's investment in the Far East has increased and is accelerating." In response, METI Vice-Minister for International Affairs Terazawa emphasized the achievements of an eight-point cooperation plan between Japan and Russia, saying: "Over the last two years, economic cooperation between Japan and Russia has seen major developments. More than 150 private-sector projects have been set up and more than 200 memoranda of understanding have been signed."

Abe to visit China next month

All TV networks reported on this morning's summit in Vladivostok between Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Xi, after which the Japanese leader disclosed that they agreed to arrange a trip to China by Abe in October. The premier reportedly told the press: "As this year marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Japanese Peace and Friendship Treaty, I was told that a visit to China by me next month would be welcomed in the context of the relationship of trust that has been built up between us". The two nations would like to reinforce the foundation of peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia by elevating bilateral relations to a higher stage through realizing reciprocal visits." Abe also stressed that they agreed to continue close coordination to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea, adding that Xi voiced his "full support" for Japan's determination to resolve the abduction issue swiftly. NHK speculated that Abe's trip to China will perhaps be arranged for around Oct. 23, the date when the peace treaty took effect 40 years ago.

North Korea warns Japan against maintaining hard line

NTV reported that a senior DPRK official told a Japanese parliamentarian last week that Japan will be "isolated" if it continues to maintain a hard line toward the Kim regime. According to the network, when meeting with visiting Upper House lawmaker Antonio Inoki in Pyongyang on Saturday, DPRK Workers' Party Vice Chairman Ri Su Yong repeatedly criticized the Abe administration's pressure approach by warning that Tokyo will not be able to play any role in resolving North Korea issues as long as it continues to take a hard line. In a video of the session taken by a person accompanying the Japanese politician, the DPRK official said: "Relations between the DPRK and the U.S. are heading toward a solution". Japan will be completely pushed to the edge of the ocean and left out of the issue." Ri reportedly stressed that if Tokyo steps up its pressure and sanctions, Pyongyang will respond correspondingly.

Editorial: U.S. must be made to understand additional tariff on autos runs counter to its own interests (Tokyo Shimbun)

Abe, Putin agree to promote economic programs on disputed islands (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Reality must guide tougher approach to ties with Russia (The Asahi Shimbun)

Japan, U.S. growing wary as China, Russia getting closer (Yomiuri)

Japan, S. Korea PMs agree to work together toward nuke-free N. Korea (Kyodo News)

Abe asks Moon to visit Japan (Yomiuri)

Editorial: North Korea cannot advance economic development without denuclearization (The Japan News)


Development of Japan's first domestically produced jet almost complete

NHK's "Close-up Gendai+" reported on the ongoing development of Japan's first domestically produced passenger jet called the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ), saying that the plane made its first flight at a major air show in July. The program said although the development of the MRJ began ten years ago, the delivery of the jet has been delayed many times, adding that the development did not go smoothly because the project team faced difficulty obtaining type certification from Japan's aviation authority due to the lack of experience and knowledge of the development team that was originally made up of only Japanese staff. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries reportedly decided to recruit foreign engineers and experts to facilitate the development of the aircraft. As a result, the MRJ is likely to be granted type certification soon. According to the program, mass production of the MRJ may begin as early as next spring and about 500 subsidiaries will be involved in the project. The program said domestic production of the new airplane will have a major impact on the Japanese economy. Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is reportedly aiming to meet the delivery date of 2020, develop for the U.S. market a new model that will carry about 70 passengers, and receive many orders from Asia.

Japan business chiefs urge wider economic reform in China (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan signs MOU with Novatek (Nikkei)

Expert: Japan, U.S. should expedite trade talks for agreement (Nikkei)


Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 11, 2018 (Sankei)

337 LDP Diet members say they will back Abe in LDP presidential election, Asahi poll (Asahi)

Editorial: Abe's track record should be up for debate in LDP election (The Asahi Shimbun)

DPFP picks Hirano as secretary-general (Mainichi)


Launch of Kounotori cargo transporter to ISS postponed to Sept. 14 (Mainichi)


Universities call on Keidanren to maintain current hiring rules for students graduating in 2021 (Tokyo Shimbun)


Test run for 2020 Games sailing events opens in Enoshima (Asahi, Evening edition)


U.S. base relocation top issue in Okinawa gubernatorial election (The Japan Times)

Expert: "Leaving Japan's defense capabilities up to U.S. is risky" (Mainichi)


Okinawa group wants to hold Tokyo Olympic torch relay at sea or under the sea (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team