Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, May 17, 2019
The following information reflects the reporting of the cited news media and does not reflect the opinions of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Japan Media Highlights is intended for USG use only and should not be forwarded. Visit the website here. For more information, contact TokyoMATT@state.gov.


Noon news

NHK led with a report saying that the U.S. Department of Commerce announced yesterday that American companies are banned from doing business without government permission not only with Huawei, but also with 68 other related companies, including Japanese companies, and that applications for permission will basically be denied. Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Aso was shown saying today that Japan must brace for the possible impact since there are Japanese companies that supply parts and other products to Huawei. TV Asahi gave top coverage to a New York Times report saying that President Trump indicated to Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan that he has no desire to go to war with Iran. TBS aired a report saying that major convenience store chains Seven-Eleven and Lawson have decided to allow food products that are approaching expiration to be discounted starting this fall to reduce food waste. NTV reported that Nissan has decided to retain Hiroto Saikawa as president to implement corporate reforms after the arrest of its former Chairman Carlos Ghosn. Fuji TV reported on a hit-and-run incident in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, this morning in which two school children were injured.


Trump to support Japan on abductions / Ambassador also calls for swift trade deal in interview (The Japan News)

U.S. to support Japan's effort to hold summit with DPRK (Yomiuri)

U.S. Ambassador stresses strength of bilateral Alliance in interview (Yomiuri)


Motegi: USTR confirms no auto export restrictions planned for Japan

NHK reported at noon today that Economic Revitalization Minister Motegi disclosed at a news conference held after a cabinet meeting this morning that when he checked with USTR Lighthizer about media reports saying the U.S. is planning to issue an executive order to impose restrictions on auto exports from Japan and other countries, the USTR told him that "no such measure is being planned for Japan." Motegi was shown saying that setting quotas is a typical measure for export restriction and "Japan has consistently told the U.S. side that it opposes measures that distort free and fair trade."

Exclusive: Huawei stockpiles 12 months of parts ahead of U.S. ban (Nikkei Asian Review)

U.S.'s ban on exports to Huawei adds 68 affiliates to blacklist (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan firms concerned about Huawei exclusion by U.S. (Jiji Press)

Expert discusses impact of U.S. ban targeting Huawei (NHK WORLD)

Editorial: Escalating Cold War between U.S. and China over high technology (Nikkei)

Japanese firms join offshore oilfield development (NHK WORLD)

Japan, China to hold first talks on development cooperation (Yomiuri)

No gain from Japan-U.S. trade talks (Akahata)

S'tomo Dainippon Pharma to open new U.S. office for regenerative cell medicine (NIKKEI Business Daily)


Abe says still willing to meet N. Korean leader unconditionally (Jiji Press)

Iran unwilling to negotiate with U.S. over nuclear deal: Zarif (Kyodo News)

National security chief Yachi meets with China's top diplomat (Yomiuri)

Russia to accelerate development on disputed Island (Jiji Press)

U.S., EU, 9 others back Japan over WTO ruling on S. Korean ban (Jiji Press)

Editorial: U.S. strategy toward Taiwan vital for maintaining regional stability (The Japan News)

Tight security expected for G-20 summit in Osaka (Kyodo News)

Cartoon: Xi the Pooh (Asahi)


Prime minister's schedule on May 16, 2019 (Sankei)


Japan's Supreme Court says lay judge system well received by public (Kyodo News)


DM Iwaya: No issues found in environmental, geological surveys for Aegis Ashore deployment

NHK reported online today that Defense Minister Iwaya said this morning that he has received reports that the environmental and geological surveys conducted so far in preparation for the deployment of Aegis Ashore in Akita City and Hagi, Yamaguchi Prefecture, have revealed no notable issues. He said the government will explain the results to the local communities as soon as late May to allay their concerns and obtain their understanding for the deployment.

Japan curbs private drone flights over U.S. military, Olympic sites (Kyodo News)

Right to self-defense can be exercised for cyberattacks, says PM Abe at Lower House (Mainichi)

Japan extends SDF dispatch to U.N. mission headquarters in S. Sudan (Kyodo News)

Japan sees risk of destructive activities by Chongryon (Jiji Press)


Ginowan mayor calls for early return of Futenma

Okinawa Times published a Kyodo report from Washington on visiting Ginowan Mayor Matsukawa's meetings with DOS and DOD officials on Tuesday and Wednesday. He reportedly asked for the swift reversion of MCAS Futenma. In reply, the USG officials reportedly said that the FRF construction is the only viable option for solving the problems related to the Marine base and that Washington is committed to working closely with the GOJ and the Ginowan municipal government based on the shared recognition that Futenma needs to be returned as soon as possible. The Matsukawa called for removing the danger associated with the Futenma Air Base and reducing the base-hosting burden by prohibiting the use of the facility by transient airplanes and transferring Ospreys to other locations.

Toxic substance found in Okinawa citizens' blood (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team