Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, January 23, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a report that according to an informed source, former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn has indicated his desire to resign as Renault chairman and CEO. TBS reported that although Prime Minister Abe and Russian President Putin agreed in their talks yesterday evening to step up efforts to negotiate for a bilateral peace treaty, ruling party members are expressing concern that talks on the Northern Territories will become protracted and former residents of the islands have indicated their disappointment at the lack of progress. NTV's top story was the Labor Ministry's announcement of revised labor data from 2012 onward. TV Asahi and Fuji TV gave top coverage to reports that tennis player Naomi Osaka advanced to the Australian Open semifinals after winning another match this morning.


Secretary Pompeo comments on private sector's role in DPRK's economic growth

Asahi wrote online that in his video remarks to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Secretary of State Pompeo reportedly stated that the private sector will be an important player in achieving the final elements of the U.S.-DPRK agreement reached in June 2018. According to the network, the Secretary said the North Koreans understand that they need foreign investment to achieve the economic growth that will ultimately lead to the stability of the country. While saying that there is still a lot of work to do to achieve the denuclearization of the DPRK, the Secretary reportedly added that there will be good results at the end of February.

CCS Suga comments on Abe-Putin summit

NHK reported at noon on Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga's comments at a news conference this morning on the Abe-Putin summit yesterday evening. Suga was quoted as saying it was good that the two leaders "were able to hold candid discussions on the outlook for Japan-Russia cooperation in various areas," despite the apparent lack of progress on the Northern Territories issue. He went on to say, "Our assessment is that this was a great start for the bilateral relationship in 2019." Asked for his view on Putin's remark at the joint news conference stressing that the two nations "face a long process requiring patience," Suga said: "Persevering in negotiations is a very basic thing. This is not an easy issue that can be resolved immediately after a meeting," indicating that negotiations for a bilateral peace treaty will take some time.

Hiroshima governor requests papal visit during trip to Japan this year

NHK reported online this afternoon that Hiroshima Governor Yuzaki met with State Minister for Foreign Affairs Sato today at the Foreign Ministry to ask that Pope Francis visit Hiroshima during his trip to Japan this year to send out a strong message for the realization of a peaceful world free of nuclear weapons. He also requested that the G20 leaders be asked to do likewise when they gather for their summit in Osaka in June. Sato said he will convey the request to Foreign Minister Kono.

Abe, Putin vow to speed up peace treaty talks, hint at challenges (Kyodo News)

FOCUS: Abe's hasty bid to settle isle row with Russia unlikely to succeed (Kyodo News)

Gist of Abe, Putin joint press conference (Yomiuri)

Abe fails to find breakthrough as rift between Japan and Russia deepens (Mainichi)

Russian Ambassador to Japan Mikhail Galuzin: "It's important to recognize Russia's sovereignty over the four islands" (Tokyo Shimbun)

Putin uses U.S. bases as a test of Japan's loyalty: secret report (Shukan Bunshun)

Editorial: A second U.S.-DPRK summit should set a path toward nuclear dismantlement (Nikkei)

Editorial: President Trump needs to emphasize coordination with allies (Sankei)

Editorial: U.S. Trump administration distorts the world over past two years (Nikkei)

Japan worried that U.S. will cede concessions to DPRK (Nikkei)

Editorial: U.S. should not compromise with DPRK for immediate outcome (Tokyo Shimbun)


Japan logs 1st goods trade deficit in 3 years in 2018 (Kyodo News)

Keidanren chief defends nuclear power generation (Tokyo Shimbun)


Prime minister's schedule on January 22, 2019 (Sankei)


57% are "optimistic" progress will be made on Northern Territories issue, Asahi poll (Asahi)

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun (Asahi)

Majority want four islands returned; criticism of South Korea on rise, Sankei-FNN poll (Sankei)

75% say Japan is strong in "technology," Nikkei survey (Nikkei)

Two-thirds of Japanese view rise in foreigners as 'good,' Nikkei survey (Nikkei Asian Review)


EDITORIAL: New U.S. missile defense strategy could launch space arms race (The Asahi Shimbun)


Gov't to revise science and technology law (Mainichi)


Government and firms in Japan will have to show how they are fighting sexual harassment under revised law, sources say (The Japan Times, Jiji Press)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team