Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, May 13, 2019
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Noon news

All TV networks led with reports on the heaviest torrential rains in 50 years on Yonaguni Island, Okinawa, today, requiring all residents to evacuate in light of the possibility of "extremely dangerous" flooding.


CCS Suga: No change in Japan's policy to seek summit with DPRK despite missile launches

NHK and Fuji TV reported today that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga confirmed at the Lower House Committee on Audit and Oversight of Administration this morning that the projectiles launched by North Korea on May 9 were ballistic missiles and Japan regards them as a clear violation of UN resolutions. However, he told the committee that the government's policy of seeking a summit meeting with the DPRK's Kim Jong Un without setting any preconditions regarding the abduction issue remains unchanged.

Trump plans to present sumo winner with own namesake trophy (The Asahi Shimbun)

Sumo: Trump to present trophy to winner at Tokyo tournament (Kyodo News)

Suga makes no gaffes but scores no triumphs in diplomatic debut (The Asahi Shimbun)

Gist of Japan-Russia foreign minister's joint press statement (Yomiuri)

FM Kono shows willingness to improve Japan-ROK ties at private forum in Hokkaido (Yomiuri)

China's new envoy to Japan supports future Japan-N. Korea summit (Kyodo News)

New Chinese envoy supports Japan-North Korea talks (Jiji Press)

Japan, China discuss cooperation at symposium in Beijing (Tokyo Shimbun)

Chinese court gives Japanese man prison term for spying (Jiji Press)

Editorial: N. Korea risks further isolation with its latest missile launches (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Hard-liners in U.S., Iran must halt exchange of threats to end standoff (The Japan News)

Abductees' kin urge govt. not to back down (NHK WORLD)


Trump's latest China tariffs to shock global supply chains (Nikkei Asian Review)

Perdue poised to submit plan to mitigate damage from China's retaliation (Nikkei)

Editorial: U.S., China must end quagmire through constructive dialogue (The Japan News)

Japan growing wary of U.S. hardline approach in trade talks (Sankei)

Obstacles are removed to raising consumption tax as law on free preschool education is enacted (Nikkei)

LDP Hagiuda says need to deal with tax hike flexibly if there is a change in the economy (Mainichi)

Malaysia in talks with Japan to join scheme for blue-collar workers (Kyodo News)

Japan wary of U.S. shift to hard line in trade talks (Jiji Press)

Japan auto group chief says outlook bleak amid U.S.-China spat (Kyodo News)

U.S. urges Japan to cut tariffs for farm goods (Kyodo News)

U.S. farm sec. sees huge deficit with Japan as problem (Jiji Press)

Key index points to Japan economic downturn for 1st time in 6 years (Kyodo News)


Prime minister's schedule on May 10, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on May 11, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on May 12, 2019 (Sankei)

How Abe's deputy Suga grew to power broker and possible successor (Nikkei Asian Review)

Nippon Ishin's Matsui meets with top gov't, LDP officials (Nikkei)


JNN poll shows rise in cabinet support rate

TBS reported today that a JNN opinion poll conducted on May 11 and 12 showed that the Abe cabinet's support rate stood at 57.4%, up by 4 points from last month, while the disapproval rate dropped by 3.1 points to 40.3%. Regarding the shift in Prime Minister Abe's stance on holding a summit meeting with the DPRK's Kim Jong Un from setting the condition that "the summit must contribute to a solution to the abduction issue" to "without any preconditions," 45% of respondents voiced disapproval, exceeding the 40% who approved of the change. The poll also found that 57% were opposed to increasing the consumption tax rate to 10% in October, while 35% supported the tax hike. Some 81% of the pollees said they had feelings of affinity toward the new emperor, while only 10% said they did not; 78% of respondents were in favor of female emperors, while 11% opposed the idea; and 89% approved of the previous emperor's abdication.

FNN poll shows rise in cabinet support rate

Fuji TV reported today that an FNN poll conducted on May 11 and 12 showed that support for the Abe cabinet increased by 2.8 points to 50.7% from last month, while the disapproval rate dropped by 1.8 points to 34.9%. The support rate exceeded 50% for the first time since February 2018. Regarding Prime Minister Abe's proposal to hold an unconditional summit with the DPRK's Kim Jong Un, 51.4% of respondents voiced their support, while 40.4% disapproved of this policy. Furthermore, 80.8% said they had feelings of affinity toward the new emperor, while 12.3% said they did not; 78.3% were in favor of female emperors, while 13.1% were against; 64.2% supported emperors from a female line of the imperial family, while 21.4% did not.

Trend in average cabinet support rate, Saitama University Social Survey Research Center (Saitama University Social Survey Research Center)

Nearly 80% of Japanese back having women on the throne, Nikkei survey (Nikkei Asian Review)

Opinion poll & results from Nikkei Digital (Nikkei, Online)

78% support symbolic emperor system, Yomiuri survey on the Constitution (The Japan News)


U.N. panel agrees on new guidelines to more accurately measure emissions (Kyodo News)

Japan, China to conduct joint study on marine plastic waste (Yomiuri)


Japan removed from U.S. Hague Convention noncompliance list (Jiji Press)

Editorial: What's at stake in the Ghosn trial (The Japan Times)

Japan enacts legislation making preschool education free (Kyodo News)

Japan looks to prevent water shortage during Tokyo Olympics (Kyodo News)

Sporting events and Brexit offer Dublin the chance to grow ties with Tokyo, Irish ambassador says (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Do not stop making efforts to turn Japan into tourism powerhouse (The Japan News)

Editorial: After 10 years, it's time to review mandatory prosecution system (The Japan News)


DM Iwaya eager to hold Japan-ROK defense ministerial meeting (Yomiuri)

U.S. Marines, Okinawans enter friendly row off Henoko district (The Asahi Shimbun)


Gov't hastily keeps in step with U.S. on North Korea's missile launch (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. military emergency rations suspected resold on Internet illegally (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team