Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 18, 2018
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Noon news

NHK led with a report that President Trump announced that the U.S. will impose a third round of additional tariffs on Chinese goods that will take effect on Sept. 24, saying that nearly half of all Chinese imports to the U.S. will be subject to additional tariffs as a result. All commercial networks gave top play to reports that South Korean President Moon arrived at a Pyongyang airport this morning and was greeted by North Korean leader Kim. The two leaders are expected to hold a three-day summit starting today.


U.S. to impose third round of tariffs on Chinese goods

All networks reported at noon that President Trump announced that the U.S. will impose its third round of additional tariffs of 10% on Chinese goods worth $200 billion that will take effect on Sept. 24, saying that nearly half of all Chinese imports to the U.S. will be subject to additional tariffs as a result. Noting that China is expected to impose retaliatory tariffs on U.S. products worth 60 billion dollars, the network said there is growing concern in Japan that Japanese consumers and companies will be negatively affected in the near future.

The network showed Japan Foreign Trade Council Chairman Nakamura saying: "Japanese consumers will be affected in the not-so-distant future, and corporate activities will be restricted....I wonder if the two nations can stop the escalation by talking to each other." Finance Minister Aso reportedly said: "The U.S. and China are the No.1 and No. 2 economic powers in the world. If the trade volume between the two nations shrinks, their economies will shrink as well. Since the impact on other nations will be huge, they need to hold discussions." Economic Minister Seko said: "This will not only become a major obstacle to global economic growth, but could also have unforeseen negative effects on nations other than the U.S. and China. We will thoroughly communicate with Japanese companies to grasp the situation and consider how to respond."

Regulator approval nears for Rokkasho nuclear fuel processing plant (Kyodo News)

Mitsubishi Heavy to invest additional 200 b. yen in MRJ (Jiji Press)

U.S., Europe and Japan push for stronger WTO enforcement (Nikkei Asian Review)


Japan, British foreign ministers to meet next week over North Korea (Kyodo News)

Russia offers Japan time to consider Vladimir Putin's unexpected peace treaty proposal (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Don't be rattled by Putin remark, stand by principle of solving territorial issue (The Japan News)

Editorial: Don't be misled by Putin's proposal (Nikkei)

Edano looks to lessons from Sanders to win youth support (Kyodo News)

Abe planning talks with Iranian President Rouhani in Sept. (Kyodo News)


Abe dismisses Ishiba's indirect criticism of his approach toward Trump administration

NHK's "Nichiyo Toron" Sunday talk show featured a live debate between Prime Minister Abe and former LDP Secretary General Ishiba on a range of topics, including the economy, social welfare, and foreign policy. Asked about how he would deal with the Trump administration if elected LDP president, Ishiba indicated that he feels the premier has not done enough to push back against what he characterized as the U.S. leader's somewhat critical approach toward Japan. Ishiba said he feels it is necessary to convince President Trump that the United States needs Japan just as much as Japan needs the United States. Ishiba opined that although President Trump has targeted Japan over steel and autos, these Japanese products have nothing to do with U.S. national security and this needs to be explained to him. He also expressed the view that the issue of currency is not something that should be raised in bilateral trade talks, adding that he feels Japan needs to say whatever needs to be said to the President.

Abe rebuffed Ishiba's criticism by saying that he has explained to the President Japan's views on national security and trade issues. He said: "It is true that the U.S. logs a $69 billion deficit in trade with Japan, but I told the President that the U.S. is making money because Japanese companies there export 75 billion worth of products abroad. I've also told him that talking about currency is dangerous. The President has never taken issue with Japan's currency policy since the first time I met him. The important thing is for us to build a relationship of trust." The premier underscored that by enacting the comprehensive security and state secrecy protection legislation, his administration has been able to establish an alliance relationship with Washington that is stronger than ever before. The prime minister added that Tokyo will spearhead global efforts to ensure "fair" trade and investment so as to address the United States' "anxiety and frustration" with bilateral trade.

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 14, 2018 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 15, 2018 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 16, 2018 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 17, 2018 (Sankei)

Editorial: Deepen debate on top law revision in lead-up to LDP leadership race (The Japan News)

Editorial: In running country, Abe should address 'inconvenient truths' (The Mainichi)

Abe 20 points ahead of Ishiba in LDP leadership race: Kyodo poll (Kyodo News)

Abe, Ishiba tout disaster resilience at LDP leadership contest event (Kyodo News)


Abe cabinet support rises to 41%, exceeding nonsupport; slightly under 30% back relocation to Henoko, Jiji Press poll (Jiji)


Japan further delays supplies delivery to space station (Kyodo News)

Japanese to be Elon Musk's SpaceX 1st moon voyager (Kyodo News)


U.S. Paralympic silver medalist discusses his goal of creating inclusive society

Sankei ran an interview with John Register, who won a silver medal in the long jump in the 2000 Sydney Paralympic Games, during which he discussed his goal of achieving an inclusive society through sports. Noting that U.S. Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky held a swimming clinic for Japanese students in Tokyo in August as part of efforts to promote the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the paper quoted Register as expressing his hope that American Paralympians will make similar visits to Tokyo in the future.

Centenarians in Japan hit record 69,785, nearly 90% of them women (Kyodo News)

70-yr-olds and above account for 20% of Japan population for 1st time (Kyodo News)

Profile of new metropolitan police chief Masamitsu Miura (Mainichi)


Suga says Japan can use Aegis Ashore to intercept DPRK ballistic missile targeting Guam

Jiji Press reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga said at a press conference today that if there is a situation where the existence of Japan is threatened, based on the security legislation threatens the existence of Japan, Japan would be able to exercise its right to collective self-defense and use the Aegis Ashore system to intercept a North Korean missile targeting Guam or vicinity.

Japan denies S. China Sea sub drill a warning to Beijing (Kyodo News)

SDF to conduct first joint military exercises in Japan with British Army (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Candidates should engage in sincere debate in Okinawa gubernatorial race (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Okinawa gubernatorial candidates must compete on policy visions (The Japan News)

Yokota friendship festival draws aircraft fans and Osprey opponents alike (Mainichi)

Universities the weak link when hackers strike Japan (Nikkei Asian Review)


Okinawa gubernatorial election likely to be close contest

Monday's Ryukyu Shimpo led with a report on its poll taken over the weekend in Okinawa on local public opinion regarding the Sept. 30 gubernatorial election, noting that combined with a field survey conducted by beat reporters, the results showed that the two main candidates – former Ginowan Mayor Sakima and former Liberal Party Diet member Tamaki – are competing neck and neck. Asked what factor is most important in deciding their favorite, 42% of respondents chose base issues, followed by the local economy, social welfare, and education. Sakima, who is backed by the Abe administration and the ruling coalition, garnered support from voters in their 20s and 30s in the southern part of the island prefecture, while approval of Tamaki was relatively strong among older people in the major cities of Naha and Okinawa. The daily projected that the two candidates will remain in a dead heat until the very end.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team