Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, October 10, 2018
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Noon news

NHK led with a report that Education Minister Shibayama told reporters this morning that discussions on new guidelines for corporate hiring of new university graduates need to be carried out swiftly to avoid causing confusion or anxiety among students. Meanwhile, all commercial networks gave top play to reports that President Trump told reporters on Air Force One on Tuesday that the next U.S.-DPRK summit will likely be held after the midterm elections on Nov. 6 because he will be busy and won't be able to leave the country until the elections are over. The networks also reported that President said "three or four locations" are being considered for the summit.


President Trump says summit with DPRK leader to be held after midterm elections

All Wednesday evening papers reported on press remarks on Tuesday by President Trump, in which he said that his second summit with North Korea leader Chairman Kim will take place after the midterm elections on Nov. 6 since he is busy campaigning for Republican candidates. The President also said that three or four locations other than Singapore are under consideration for such a meeting.

GOJ reportedly offered to host U.S.-DPRK summit in Japan

Kyodo reported from Seoul on a local newspaper story alleging that Japan has proposed to the USG an idea on hosting a second summit between President Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un at an unspecified "resort" in a Japanese location other than Tokyo. Without specifying the source, the ROK outlet reportedly claimed that North Korea has responded positively to the Japanese proposal, which was intended to prevent Japan from becoming isolated amid the growing momentum for dialogue on the Korean Peninsula. The report said that if such a meeting were convened in Japan as proposed, Prime Minister Abe might be able to hold talks with Chairman Kim to resolve the abduction issue. According to Kyodo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga dismissed the South Korean report by saying it is "not true" in a press conference this morning.

Foreign and defense ministers of Japan, Australia to confirm close security cooperation

NHK reported at noon on a "2+2" meeting of foreign and defense ministers between Japan and Australia that began in Sydney this morning, saying that at the beginning of the meeting, Australian Foreign Minister Payne disclosed that a Japan-Australia summit is expected to be held in Darwin, Australia, in November. According to the network, Kono responded by saying that Australia is a "special and strategic partner that shares basic values and strategic interests" with Japan and expressed hope to work together to maintain and promote a free and open Indo-Pacific region based on rules. The network added that the ministers are expected to confirm close security cooperation between Japan, Australia, and the United States in light of China's maritime advancement in the East and South China Seas.

GOJ lodges protest against Russia for conducting live-fire training in Northern Territories

NHK reported online that following a notification by the Russian government that it will conduct live-fire training on Etorofu Island of the Northern Territories from Oct. 10 to 13, the Japanese government lodged a protest against Russia through its diplomatic channel. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga said at a press briefing this morning: "It goes against Japan's position as it will lead to a military buildup by the Russian government in the Northern Territories. We said we will lodge a protest." Suga reportedly added: "We need to resolve the territorial dispute in order to fundamentally resolve such issues. We hope to continue to tenaciously negotiate with the Russian side in accordance with the basic policy of concluding a peace treaty after resolving the the issue of the attribution of the four islands of the Northern Territories."

Japan offers to host 2nd U.S.-N. Korea summit: report (Kyodo News)

Abe to embark on European tour next week for int'l meeting (Kyodo News)

Japan vows continued support for Myanmar to settle Rohingya crisis (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Work remains for Japan, S. Korea building future-oriented relationship (The Japan News)

Japan-Russia joint economic activities in Northern Territories remain far out of reach (Yomiuri)

Japan gives grant aid to help Myanmar upgrade Mandalay port (Kyodo News)


Motegi comments on difference in positions on new trade talks with U.S.

TBS reported on press remarks this morning by Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Motegi, who was asked by a reporter about an apparent difference between the positions of the U.S. and Japan on the nature of the new trade talks that the Japanese side is referring to as "TAG" talks. On Vice President Pence's recent remarks that "we will soon begin negotiating a historic bilateral free-trade deal with Japan," Motegi reportedly stated: "Mr. Pence did not say FTA". What has been decided between Japan and the United States is what was included in the joint statement" issued by Prime Minister Abe and President Trump at their summit in September.

Japan's business lobby to scrap decades-old recruitment guidelines (Kyodo News)


Prime minister's schedule on Oct. 8 and 9, 2018 (Sankei)

Kato signals willingness to seek PM post after Abe (Jiji Press)

LDP decides on chairpersons of Lower House standing, special committees (Nikkei)

LDP officially names Inada chief deputy secretary general, fills other executive positions (Nikkei)

CDPJ, DPFP now have same number of floor group members in Upper House (Nikkei)

Roundup of newspaper editorials on Abe's cabinet reshuffle (Sankei)


Okinawa governor presents petition to minister on development budget, Henoko relocation (Mainichi)

New governor urges government to move U.S. base out of Okinawa (Kyodo News)

Japan, China agree to open defense hotline early (Jiji Press)


Japan may refuse visas to workers from nations rejecting return of deported citizens (The Mainichi)


Abe cabinet support at 42%, nonsupport at 40%, NHK public opinion poll (NHK, Online)

Majority think Japan-DPRK summit "should be held ASAP," NHK public opinion poll (NHK, Online)

Cabinet and political party support rates, NHK public opinion poll (NHK, Online)


Memorial service held to bid farewell to late Governor Onaga

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported extensively on a funeral for the late Governor Onaga sponsored by the Okinawa prefectural government in Naha City on Tuesday, noting that some 3,000 people, including central government officials, local politicians, businesspersons, and residents, took part in the event to bid a final farewell to the deceased leader. In remarks to the attendees, newly elected Governor Tamaki and other local officials vowed to uphold Onaga's resolve to thwart the FRF construction off Camp Schwab. While reading aloud a message of tribute from Prime Minister Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga was jeered and heckled by participants who are displeased with the Abe administration's policy of moving ahead with the Futenma relocation initiative. Ryukyu Shimpo explained that although Suga has been at the forefront of Tokyo's efforts to reduce the base-hosting burden on Okinawa, he is also viewed very critically by Onaga's supporters because he frequently clashed head on with Onaga over the Henoko plan. Okinawa Times added that despite its firm commitment to proceed with land reclamation off Camp Schwab, the central government is likely to take a soft approach toward Governor Tamaki at least for a while in view of the fact that he defeated his LDP-backed candidate by a wide margin in the gubernatorial race last month.

Okinawa governor arranging to visit Tokyo on Oct. 11 to meet leading gov't, party officials (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team