Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, April 26, 2019
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Noon news

NHK and several commercial networks led with reports that the Emperor and the Empress attended their last official event outside the palace today ahead of the Emperor's abdication on April 30. Other commercial broadcasters gave top coverage to follow-up reports on the release of former Nissan Chairman Carlos Ghosn.


Ambassador Hagerty comments on U.S.-Japan trade talks, DPRK

Nikkei filed an online story saying that Ambassador Hagerty reportedly said during an event he participated in Washington on Thursday that it is necessary to settle trade issues between the United States and Japan at an early date. The paper wrote that citing the effectuation of the TPP-11 in December 2018, the Ambassador reportedly said that American farmers and businesses are at a disadvantage because Japan's tariffs on U.S. imports are different from those on other nations' imports. Concerning a trade agreement with Japan, the Ambassador was quoted as reportedly saying that America should be given conditions as favorable as those of Japan's other trade partners. The paper also quoted the Ambassador as reportedly saying that the Japanese market is not open for American products as the U.S. market is open to Japanese imports and that an agreement at the trade talks would benefit both nations and strengthen their strategic relations. Jiji filed a similar report.

Sankei also filed an online report saying that Ambassador Hagerty told reporters on Thursday in Washington that the issue of the DPRK's abductions of Japanese nationals would be taken up for discussion at the U.S.-Japan summit on April 26. The paper quoted the Ambassador as reportedly saying that the abductions are an important issue for President Trump, pointing out that the President has supported the Japanese people on the issue by bringing it up at his two summits with DPRK leader Kim Jong Un. The paper also wrote that concerning the recent Russia-DPRK summit in Vladivostok, the Ambassador reportedly said that Kim Jong Un's outreach to Russia was part of his effort to seek relief from international sanctions and that the Kim-Putin summit underscores that the sanctions are working.

U.S. envoy hopes for "rapid progress" in trade talks with Japan (Kyodo News)


USTR Lighthizer, Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi hold talks

NHK reported that USTR Lighthizer and Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi held talks in Washington on Thursday ahead of the summit between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe slated for Saturday. Motegi told reporters afterward that he and USTR Lighthizer held candid discussions from the perspective of how quickly the United States and Japan will be able to achieve a "win-win" outcome in their trade talks. The network quoted Motegi as adding that although it may be difficult to achieve results as soon as a week after the talks start or at the summit on Saturday because the two nations are discussing a broad range of issues, the focus of the discussions is already clear and he does not believe that major differences will emerge between the two leaders.

"Consumption tax rate needs to be 17 percent," business chief (Sankei)

Japan eyes mandatory suspension of personal data use by IT firms (Jiji Press)

Japan ministers discuss expanding food exports (Jiji Press)

BOJ to keep rates very low through spring 2020 to boost economy (Kyodo News)

Cartoon: Nuclear plant under attack (Asahi)


CCS Suga comments on Russian-North Korean summit

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga commented at a regular press briefing this morning on the summit between Russian President Putin and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un in Vladivostok on Thursday, during which the two leaders agreed to strengthen cooperation between their nations on denuclearization and other issues. Suga was quoted as saying that ensuring peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is an issue that should be discussed by Japan and other relevant countries, and that Japan is collecting and analyzing information about the summit with great concern. Suga reportedly added that Japan will continue to coordinate closely with the United States and South Korea and also cooperate with the rest of the international community, including Russia and China, on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Nikai meets with China's party chief of Shanghai (Yomiuri)

LDP Nikai seeking to facilitate cooperation in China's "One Belt One Road" from the party side (Nikkei)

Interview with LDP's Nikai, China envoy Cheng on Japan-China relations (Yomiuri)

Japan, EU leaders meet to promote free trade, seek success of G-20 (Kyodo News)


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

Junichiro Koizumi: Maverick reformer left Japan all shook up (The Japan Times)

Is a new era dawning for women in politics? (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: The Rose of the Kantei (Akahata)


Japan succeeds in creating world's 1st man-made crater on asteroid (Kyodo News)


Learning from overseas universities and companies (Nikkei)


Japan police to wiretap at HQs away from telecom carriers' facilities (Kyodo News)


Okinawa assembly approves letter of protest over incident involving two bodies (Tokyo Shimbun, Evening edition)

Strict control of critical infrastructure (Nikkei)

Japan can retaliate against cyberattack with fcorce: official (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Counterterrorism measures urgently needed at nuclear plants (The Mainichi)


Gov. Tamaki: Henoko is in "undemocratic" state today (Ryukyu Shimpo)

JA Zenchu proposes Japan take resolute stance in negotiations with U.S. (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team