Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, May 23, 2019
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Noon news

NTV led with a report saying that it was learned that Lower House member Hodaka Maruyama, whom the Diet is considering censuring for his remark on war with Russia over the Northern Territories, was stopped several times from going out at night in violation of regulations during a trip to Kunashiri with a delegation of former islanders. NHK filed a follow-up report on the death of an elderly man after being assaulted by a nursing home employee in Tokyo last month. TV Asahi aired a news flash on the arrest this morning of a woman in Yamato, Kanagawa Prefecture, for the fatal abuse of her one-month-old son last August. TBS reported on the unusually warm weather nationwide today, while Fuji TV filed a follow-up report on the arrest of singer Junnosuke Taguchi and his girlfriend for possession of marijuana.


Drone flights banned over 10 locations during President Trump's visit

NHK reported this morning that as part of security measures for President Trump's visit to Japan, the government has decided to ban drone flights from May 25-28 over 10 locations, including the course in Mobara, Chiba Prefecture, where he and Prime Minister Abe will play golf; Ryogoku Kokugikan, where the two leaders will watch sumo; the State Guest House (Akasaka Palace) in Minato Ward, where the bilateral summit will be held; and the Maritime Self-Defense Force Yokosuka base where they will inspect an MSDF destroyer.

Tokyo Skytree to be lit up in Stars-and-Stripes pattern to welcome President Trump

TBS reported this morning that Tokyo Skytree will be illuminated in a pattern representing the Star-Spangled Banner from 6:45 p.m. to midnight from May 25 to 28 to welcome President Trump to Japan.

Trump won't focus heavily on trade during Japan trip: U.S. official (Kyodo News)

Japan on high alert ahead of Trump's 4-day visit from Sat. (Jiji Press)

Over 50% of Russians: 4 islands belong to Russia (NHK WORLD)

Editorial: U.S., Iran should stop provoking each other (Nikkei)

Renault-Nissan alliance must change: French finance chief (Nikkei Asian Review)


Commentary: Negotiating 'America First' trade with Trump (The Japan Times)

US-Japan trade talks hit pothole on auto duties (Nikkei Asian Review)

Panasonic to suspend Huawei parts supplies in wake of U.S. ban (Kyodo News)

Kurita Water Industries acquires an American water treatment firm (NIKKEI Business Daily)

PM Abe's adviser: "Consumption tax hike should be frozen" (Mainichi)

Editorial: Proper administration is essential to smoothly introduce Type-1 status (The Japan News)

Housing material supplier Sanwa looking to expand presence in the U.S. housing market (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Foreign firms account for more than half in patent applications filed in Japan (Nikkei)


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

FOCUS: Clock is ticking if Abe wants to force double election (Kyodo News)

Party leaders' debates slated for June 19 (Mainichi)

Cartoon: Something stinks in the Kantei (Asahi)


Gov't unveils draft goals of \100-billion "moonshot" program (Yomiuri)

Amano develops new type of semiconductor (NHK WORLD)

Mayors urge Abe to lead G-20 debate on climate, other global issues (Kyodo News)


Foreign former defense chiefs, premier to be decorated in Japan (Kyodo News)

Japan to accept more refugees under resettlement program (Jiji Press)

Japan reveals quake response command center for Tokyo 2020; holds major drill (The Mainichi)

Olympics: IOC board recommends boxing remain on 2020 program (Kyodo News)

Ghosn attends pre-trial procedure talks (NHK WORLD)


Gov't to increase budget for research on telecom equipment with "malicious functions"

NHK reported today that at a meeting of the Cybersecurity Strategy Headquarters this morning, the Japanese government decided to substantially increase its funding request for research on telecom equipment embedded with malicious functions, such as intentional vulnerability to cyberattacks, in the FY2020 budget in view of the U.S. Commerce Department's ban on Huawei and 68 affiliated companies, including Japanese ones. The government will also strengthen the system for information sharing between the government and private cybersecurity companies and revise the guidelines for major infrastructure operators, asking them to store vital data on servers in Japan and put in place robust backup systems to prevent data loss due to disasters and other events. TBS also filed a report on the revision of the cybersecurity guidelines.

Tokyo police launch all-out measures to protect U.S. President Trump (Mainichi)

Sumo tea houses dismayed at not being able to serve tea when President Trump visits (Mainichi)

Okinawa Marines relocation to Guam may start 2025 (NHK WORLD)

Japan's defense industry still lacks bang overseas (Nikkei Asian Review)

U.S. forces further strengthening Iwakuni base (Akahata)


Harmful chemicals detected in tap water in Okinawa

Okinawa Times led with a report saying that the Informed-Public Project (IPP), an Okinawa-based environmental group, has learned from documents it obtained through information disclosure requests that high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), substances believed to be harmful to human health, were detected in tap water in an area near Shintoshin Park in Naha in a water quality survey conducted nationwide in 2007. The paper wrote that IPP leader Kawamura referred to the possibility of the contamination being caused by the U.S. military's use of extinguishing agents containing PFOS and PFOA at its bases in Okinawa since the 1970s.

Ryukyu Shimpo also gave top play to the issue, saying that high levels of PFOS and PFOA were also detected in the groundwater around an industrial waste disposal facility in Okinawa City in a survey conducted in 2018. The paper wrote that although the possibility of U.S. bases being the source of the contamination has been discussed in Okinawa because high levels of PFOS have been detected in areas near MCAS Futenma and Kadena AB, it is urgently necessary for the prefectural government to determine the source of the contamination because PFOA was also found in addition to PFOS.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team