Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, May 10, 2019
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Noon news

All TV networks except TBS led with reports on a magnitude 6.3 earthquake that jolted Miyazaki Prefecture and other parts of southern Kyushu this morning. No serious damage or injuries have been reported. TBS reported at noon that the U.S.-China ministerial trade talks in Washington failed to reach an agreement. NHK reported later that the U.S. raised tariffs on Chinese products to 25% sometime after 1:00 p.m. (Japan time).


DM Iwaya: DPRK launched ballistic missiles in violation of UNSC resolutions

NHK reported today that Defense Minister Iwaya revealed at a news conference held after the cabinet meeting this morning the government's analysis that based on the information collected so far, the two projectiles launched by North Korea yesterday were short-range ballistic missiles. He said that while Japan's security was not directly threatened, the launch was clearly in violation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and "truly regrettable." NHK cited the U.S. Department of Defense's statement yesterday that the DPRK launched multiple ballistic missiles and that this action possibly violates UNSC resolutions. A more detailed NHK online report quoted Iwaya as saying that with regard to the projectiles previously launched by the DPRK, "some were short-range ballistic missiles and some resembled rocket artillery; further analysis is necessary to determine the number and types of projectiles." Iwaya reportedly noted that while there is an opinion that this was a provocation against the U.S. in light of the stalemate in the U.S.-DPRK talks, it is still "premature" to make a definitive determination about North Korea's intent, adding that further analysis will be required to determine whether the launch will affect the possibility of a summit meeting between Prime Minister Abe and the DPRK's Kim Jong Un. He said the Japanese government will continue to closely cooperate with the U.S. and the ROK and respond appropriately. TBS and TV Asahi also reported on Iwaya's news conference.

Japan faces "dilemma" over DPRK diplomacy (Kyodo News)

Former DPRK diplomat: Japan-DPRK summit possible in second half of this year

NHK reported on Thursday evening on an interview conducted earlier in the day with Thae Yong-ho, a former deputy chief of mission at the North Korean Embassy in London who defected to South Korea in 2016. Thae indicated that in light of Prime Minister Abe's proposal to hold "unconditional" talks with the DPRK's Kim Jong Un, a bilateral summit could take place in the second half of this year, possibly before another North-South summit or U.S.-DPRK summit. According to Thae, Kim's thinking is that North Korea will be able to "consolidate its strategic position in the region" by talking with Abe. He said that following North Korea's completion of its development of nuclear arms, Kim has met with the leaders of China, the U.S., the ROK, and Russia. Since Japan is the only country left, Kim believes that meeting with Abe will complete this process, said Thae. Commenting on the abduction issue, he pointed out that since Kim Jong Un's father had already acknowledged the abductions, it's easier for him to handle this issue. He predicted that Kim will take an approach similar to his approach to the nuclear issue and resolve it in stages, so it is possible that North Korea may return a few abductees at a time in exchange for food and other humanitarian aid.

Japan says N. Korea's firing of ballistic missiles regrettable (Kyodo News)

President Trump likely to skip G20 in June (Sentaku)

Suga, Pompeo affirm coordination over N. Korea missiles (Kyodo News)

Japanese, Russian foreign ministers to discuss territorial row (Kyodo News)

U.S. believes N. Korea fired ballistic missile on Sat.: sources (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Japan should draw up strategy for new Cold War (Nikkei)

China's top diplomat likely to visit Japan late next week: sources (Kyodo News)

Emperor, Empress meet outgoing China envoy (NHK WORLD)

Cartoon: Suga debuts on world stage (Sankei)

Commentary: Time for Japan to change its "exclusively defense-oriented" trade policy (Mainichi)

Japan's Suga meets Pentagon chief, focuses on N. Korea, Okinawa (Kyodo News)

FOCUS: Suga's diplomatic skills to be tested in U.S. visit (Jiji Press)

China's envoy to Japan discusses Belt and Road Initiative (Mainichi)

Abductees' families to make appeal at UN (NHK WORLD)


Japanese business leader comments on U.S.-China trade talks

NHK reported this morning that Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Akio Mimura said yesterday that if the U.S.-China trade talks fail to reach an agreement and the U.S. raises tariffs on Chinese products, resulting in a slowdown in the Chinese economy, Japanese companies will suffer the most. However, he also said that the U.S.'s demands on China regarding forced technology transfer, subsidies for state-owned companies, and violation of intellectual property rights are reasonable ones addressing longstanding issues that Japan and the EU have been unable to openly complain about to China, so the U.S. is effectively speaking up on their behalf. NTV also reported on his remarks last night.

U.S. raises tariffs on China, escalating trade tension (Kyodo News)

Concerns growing over impact on Japan from U.S.-China tensions (Jiji Press)

Japan to restrict foreign investment in domestic tech over leak fears (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan's ruling party works to rein in Big Tech (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan submits reform proposals for WTO dispute settlement procedures (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Cool-headed talks needed to avoid chaos from U.S.-China trade friction (The Japan News)

Editorial: Public-private cooperation vital for finely tuned development aid (The Japan News)

Japanese firms increasingly getting out of China (Nikkei)

Over 40% of major companies say economy will "improve in Reiwa Era," Sankei poll (Sankei)

Patient taking cancer drug Opdivo dies in Japan (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on May 9, 2019 (Sankei)

Editorial: Productive debate needed in 2nd half of regular Diet session before election (The Mainichi)

Lay judges generally have no issue with verdicts, Asahi survey (The Asahi Shimbun)


Over 60% of listed firms have no female executives (NIKKEI Business Daily)


Japan space agency finds 10 other artificial craters made on asteroid (Kyodo News)


Law revised to enforce child custody handovers (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Tokyo 2020 ticket website flooded as lottery opens to Japan residents (Kyodo News)

Abe calls Olympic torch 'light' (The Japan News)

Ghosn's ex-close aides escape indictment through plea bargain (Kyodo News)


SDF to deploy Ospreys to a base in Chiba (NHK WORLD)

Police monitoring signs of terrorism (Mainichi)

Cartoon: The love banners of Shinzo Abe (Akahata)


Okinawa governor lost in translation (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team