Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, May 31, 2019
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Noon news

All TV networks except TV Asahi led with follow-up reports on the mass stabbing incident in Kawasaki on Tuesday. TV Asahi reported on a 91-year-old man who died in a nursing home in Hyogo Prefecture on May 22 but no one noticed he was dead until two weeks later. NHK, NTV, TBS, and Fuji TV reported prominently on a South Korean media report saying that DPRK special representative for U.S. affairs Kim Hyok Chol, who was in charge of preparatory talks for the "failed" second U.S.-DPRK summit in Hanoi, was executed along with four senior diplomats in March, while Kim Jong Un's younger sister Yo Jong, who accompanied him to Hanoi, has been lying low and Kim Yong Chol, Kim Jong Un's close aide responsible for diplomacy with the U.S. and South Korea, has been banished to a re-education camp.


Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan says DPRK missile launches violated UN resolutions

NHK reported this morning that Acting Secretary of Defense Shanahan told reporters on May 29 while on the plane en route to Asia that the short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea on May 9 "violated the UN Security Council's sanctions resolutions." NHK pointed out that National Security Adviser Bolton also took this position when he was in Japan last week but President Trump indicated that while certain officials of his administration thought the missiles could violate the resolutions, he "viewed it differently." When asked whether this discrepancy in the U.S. administration might confuse Japan and other U.S. allies, Shanahan reportedly replied that the Trump administration is in complete agreement on achieving the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Japan, Russia to hold summit on June 29 as territorial row continues (Kyodo News)

N. Korea envoy executed over failed Hanoi summit: S. Korea media (Kyodo News)

Gist of outcome of "2-plus-2" security talks between Japan, Russia (Kyodo News)

Japan to tackle plastic marine waste, uphold free trade with ASEAN: Abe (Kyodo News)

New Chinese ambassador arrives in Japan (NHK WORLD)

Abe holds spate of meetings with foreign dignitaries (Yomiuri)

EL AL Israel Airlines to start direct flights to Japan (Jiji Press)

Japan, Laos agree to work for Indo-Pacific strategy (Jiji Press)

Japan to push for int'l conference on nuclear waste disposal at June G-20 meet (The Mainichi)


Commentary: Specter of TPP haunts Japan-U.S. trade relations (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: Japan out-positions the U.S. in trade talks (The Japan Times)

G-20 eyes registry for cryptocurrency exchanges (Nikkei Asian Review)

WTO needs 'new breeze' to referee trade and data flows: Abe (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japanese public, private sectors mulling participation in Russian LNG project (Mainichi)

Japanese auto parts makers to build new plant in U.S. (NIKKEI Business Daily)


Prime minister's schedule on May 30, 2019 (Sankei)

Strength of in-house groups in House of Representatives (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Sounding caution against Diet fracas over possible double election (The Mainichi)


Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri survey on the Constitution (Yomiuri)


Japan adopts policy package to cut plastic waste ahead of G-20 (Kyodo News)


Only 30% of Japan's youths want to study abroad: Cabinet Office poll (Asahi)


Narita airport to use facial recognition in boarding from 2020 (Kyodo News)


Shift of U.S. airspace to allow more Narita flights (NHK WORLD)

Japan's F-35 buildup snubs domestic jet engine builder IHI (Nikkei Asian Review)


PM Abe, U.S. senators affirm Futenma relocation initiative

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that Prime Minister Abe received a courtesy call from U.S. Senators King, Duckworth, and Blackburn on Thursday. According to MOFA, the three senators, who are all on the Armed Services Committee, discussed U.S. force realignment with the premier and agreed to promote the FRF construction off Camp Schwab and the relocation of Okinawa-based Marines to Guam. The U.S. politicians also reportedly held meetings with Foreign Minister Kono and Defense Minister Iwaya.

U.S. Navy bans drone flights around its facilities (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Ten U.S. servicemen arrested on DUI charges over past two months (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team