Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, April 23, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a follow-up report on the terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and the declaration of a state of emergency there. TV Asahi, TBS, and Fuji reported on a traffic accident in Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, this morning that killed a third grade school girl and seriously injured another girl. NTV's top story was about a traffic accident in Hinohara, Tokyo, this morning.


Perspectives: A partnership for advancing opportunity (The Mainichi)


Japan to secure energy supply as U.S. ends Iran oil import waivers (Kyodo News)

Japanese Foreign Min. Kono to visit Russia from May 9 (Jiji Press)

Japan softens tone on N. Korea, Russia in foreign policy report (Kyodo News)

China, Japan agree to take new action to boost financial cooperation (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Deepen Japan-U.S. alliance in multifaceted manner (Nikkei)

Japan, Russia to step up talks on economic activity on disputed isles (Kyodo News)

Expert speculates DPRK Kim is committed to denuclearization-centered talks with U.S. (Yomiuri)

Hanshin Expressway to be closed for up to 4 days for G-20 (Jiji Press)


U.S. farmers seek to negotiate for lower Japanese tariffs (Jiji Press)

Joint academia-industry council proposes diverse recruitment to give Japan global edge (The Mainichi)

Gov't to export Japan's "agricultural cooperative" mechanism to developing nations (Nikkei)

Cartoon: Consumption tax hike? (Akahata)


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

Japanese lawmakers visit war-linked Yasukuni Shrine (Kyodo News)

Strength of in-house groups in House of Representatives (Yomiuri)

Editorial: LDP's by-election setbacks (The Japan Times)

Abe likely to use upcoming big events to distract Japanese public from election routs, experts say (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Can LDP eliminate arrogance ahead of upper house elections? (The Japan News)

Record six women secure mayor jobs in Japan's local elections, though two won uncontested (The Japan Times)

Successful candidates in municipal and Tokyo ward assembly elections (Sankei)


U.S. may back commercial use of Yokota base during 2020 games: officer (Kyodo News)


DM Iwaya eager to visit China soon for confidence building

NHK reported online today that Defense Minister Iwaya told reporters after a cabinet meeting this morning that Japan has sent the Maritime Self-Defense Force chief of staff and the destroyer Suzutsuki to participate in an international naval review today to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese navy because "the Japan-China relationship is one of the most important bilateral relationships and the defense authorities of the two countries need to engage in dialogue and exchanges." He was quoted as saying that while Japan will speak up when necessary on issues relating to China's activities in the East and South China Seas, "confidence building to prevent untoward incidents is also important," so he would like to visit China "as soon as possible." As for Japan's deteriorating relations with the ROK, Iwaya revealed that unofficial division-chief-level consultations are taking place between the two defense authorities and that deputy-bureau-chief-level talks will be held soon to restore the bilateral relationship of trust.

DM Iwaya: Deep submergence vehicle to be deployed in search for F-35A wreckage

NHK reported this afternoon that Defense Minister Iwaya told reporters after a cabinet meeting this morning that the deep submergence vehicle Kaimei of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology will be deployed shortly to step up the search for the wreckage of the F-35A stealth fighter that crashed on April 9. This is because waters where the fighter crashed are 1,500 meters deep in places, preventing the recovery of the missing pilot and the wreckage despite concerted search efforts by the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. Forces aimed at protecting secrets related to the fighter's state-of-the-art technology. NHK reported that the U.S. will also dispatch a ship with deep-sea survey capabilities to participate in the search before the end of this month. TV Asahi also carried a similar report.

U.S.-chartered ship to join deep-sea F-35A search (Kyodo News)

F-35 crash shows problems still lurk behind stealth fighter (Nikkei Asian Review)

The F-35A crash has grave implications for Japan's national security (Japan Forward)

Japan sending emergency response team to Sri Lanka in wake of terror attacks (The Mainichi)

Opinion: Understanding Japan's southwest islands buildup (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Abe gov't should take 3 consecutive losses in Okinawa polls seriously (The Mainichi)

New members of Akita Prefectural and City Assemblies are opposed to deployment of Aegis Ashore to Araya, Akita Sakigake Shimpo poll (Akita Sakigake)

Tokyo's counter-terrorism unit begins operation ahead of Olympics (Kyodo News)


Newly elected parliamentarian from Okinawa hints at alternative ideas for Futenma

Ryukyu Shimpo front-paged its one-on-one interview with Tomohiro Yara, who won a seat in the No. 3 district in Okinawa in the Lower House by-election on Sunday. When asked whether he has specific ideas for stopping the FRF construction at Henoko, Yara told the paper: "Concerning the number of aircraft the U.S. Marines in Okinawa need, Mike Mochizuki, an associate professor at George Washington University, has said it's five or six. If helipads were built at Camp Schwab or Camp Hansen, it would be possible to close MCAS Futenma within a few years. No one has raised such specific ideas like this for discussion."

Okinawa Times also ran a one-on-one interview with Yara in which he said he plans to visit the United States in May. Insisting that it is the Japanese government that has allowed the base-hosting burden to be concentrated in Okinawa by citing the strategic location of the prefecture, Yara was quoted as saying: "I need to confirm that the United States is claiming that Marines cannot function unless they are stationed in Okinawa."

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team