Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, March 26, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a report on the cabinet's approval this morning of regulations for the operation of integrated resorts with casinos. TV Asahi gave top coverage to President Trump's official recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights yesterday. Fuji TV reported that the government has decided that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga will hold a news conference to announce the new era name on April 1. TBS took up the on-site investigation of Tokyo University of Social Welfare today by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice regarding the disappearance of some 1,400 foreign students who enrolled at the university, while NTV aired a follow-up report on an elderly man who stabbed his son and his son's common-law wife in Fukuoka Prefecture yesterday.


Suga says Japan will lodge protest over ROK plan to conduct marine research near Liancourt Rocks

NHK, TBS, and Fuji TV reported today that it was learned that the Korea Hydrographic and Oceanographic Agency is planning to conduct unmanned marine surveys using wave gliders in waters near the Liancourt Rocks (Takeshima) in Shimane Prefecture, which are claimed by Japan, and Ulleungdo island to their west, which is South Korean territory, and has posted an online invitation for bids on the project worth 2 billion won (approximately $1.77 million). In response, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga said at a news conference this morning that inviting bids for the survey project in a sea area that is part of Japan's territorial waters is "absolutely unacceptable." He said that Japan will confirm the report with the ROK through diplomatic channels and will lodge a strong protest and demand the immediate suspension of the project. NHK said the issue may further aggravate already strained bilateral relations.

N. Korean senior official, likely top diplomat, arrives in Beijing (Kyodo News)

Japan not to recognize Israel sovereignty over Golan Heights (Jiji Press)

Nachi-Fujikoshi assets in S. Korea seized over wartime labor case (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Results of Russia report should be taken as opportunity to rebuild U.S. politics (Sankei)

UN conference on AI weapons (NHK WORLD)


Cabinet OKs big-scale hotel requirement for casino resorts (Kyodo News)

MGM Resorts joins Orix for Osaka casino bid (Nikkei Asian Review)

In first for Indonesia, Japan-funded subway opens in gridlocked Jakarta (The Japan Times)

80% of young eels farmed in Japan may have been smuggled from Taiwan via Hong Kong (The Japan Times)

Ministry to consider revising law to protect wagyu beef (Mainichi)


Prime minister's schedule on March 25, 2019 (Sankei)

Gist of interpellations at Upper House Budget Committee, March 25 (Asahi)


45% say emphasis should be placed on "pressure" in dealing with North Korea, Yomiuri poll (Yomiuri)

57 pct to review spending due to tax hike, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)


Justice Ministry to allow online visa extension from July

NHK reported online that the Justice Ministry announced today that from July foreigners holding student, research, and most other types of visas will be able to extend their visas online instead of applying personally at immigration bureaus. This is a step being taken ahead of the acceptance from next month of foreign workers with two new types of working visas. NHK explained that using the online service will require pre-screening by the Immigration Bureau, which will start accepting applications on March 29.

Japan to enable lodging of visa applications online from July (Kyodo News)

Infographics: No. of foreign residents in Japan (Asahi)

Court says 'no' to married couples seeking different surnames (The Asahi Shimbun)

Olympics: Tokyo 2020 organizers announce venue capacities (Kyodo News)

Ghosn's press conference eyed for April (Jiji Press)

Editorial: New Ainu-related bill should deepen understanding of their history, culture (The Japan News)

Cartoon: A baseball legend retires (Asahi)


U.S. tests salvo of missiles to knock out ICBM (NHK WORLD)

Japan plugs defense gap in southwest islands with new outposts (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: Gov't must not easily dispatch SDF (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Europe, U.S. approaching Japan for fighter development (Asahi)

Infographic: Costs of stationing U.S. Forces and percentage of total expense covered, by host country (Asahi)


Ginowan mayor comments on Futenma relocation

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that in response to the start on Monday of earth-pouring operations at a new section at Henoko, Ginowan Mayor Matsukawa told reporters on Monday that there may be no option other than continuing moving forward with the current construction at Henoko to remove the danger at Futenma. The paper interpreted this remark to mean that the mayor indicated approval of the ongoing relocation work. The paper claimed that this was the first time the mayor expressed approval of the Henoko project since he took office in September 2018. According to the paper, the mayor also commented on the Okinawa prefectural government's fresh lawsuit against the land minister over the landfill permit at Henoko by reportedly saying that the split between the GOJ and the prefectural government over Futenma relocation is very regrettable. The paper quoted the mayor as adding: "Court battles alone will not produce concrete progress. Both the central and prefectural governments must mull ways to achieve the closure and return of the Futenma base. There appears to be no other option than the Henoko plan to achieve that goal."

Iwakuni sees booming Japan-U.S. friendship exchanges, posing a stark contrast to Okinawa (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team