JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, June 7, 2019
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HEADLINES

Noon news

TBS and NTV led with reports that the Meteorological Agency announced this morning that the rainy season has started in the Kanto, Koshin, Tokai, Hokuriku, and southern Tohoku regions. TV Asahi focused on the torrential rain in western Japan, with residents in several areas in Hiroshima and Yamaguchi being told to evacuate. NHK also reported on the heavy rainfall in various areas in eastern and western Japan. Fuji TV led with a traffic accident in Chiba City this morning caused by an 80-year-old taxi driver.

INTERNATIONAL

DM Iwaya rebuffs LDP criticism of his handshake with ROK counterpart

Asahi reported online that Defense Minister Iwaya on Friday dismissed criticism within the ruling LDP of his informal meeting with his South Korean counterpart in Singapore last week. The minister's detractors, who are reportedly upset about South Korea's continued denial of the radar illumination incident last December, have taken issue with photos showing an amicable atmosphere in which he and South Korean Defense Minister Jeong shook hands with a simile at the outset of the bilateral meeting. Iwaya told the press today: "Our initial greeting and our discussion were completely different. My motto is to be cordial at the beginning and end of a conversation. There's nothing wrong with that."

Suga: Japan will work on peace treaty with Russia (NHK WORLD)

Iranian Ambassador welcomes "Japan's mediation" with U.S. (Mainichi)

Gist of draft communique by G-20 finance leaders (Kyodo News)

Taiwan backs efforts by Japan lawmakers to enhance ties with island (Kyodo News)

Japan appoints new envoys to Kenya, South Africa (Jiji Press)

ECONOMY

MAFF to enhance protection of intellectual property related to wagyu and fruit (Nikkei)

U.S. trade deficit with Japan biggest in 11 years in April (Jiji Press)

Japan Cash Machine to move part of China production to Philippines (Kyodo News)

SECURITY

Former professor at Japanese university nabbed in Syria for links to Islamic State, Dhaka attack

Fuji TV reported this morning that it has learned from an Iraqi source that Mohammad Saifullah Ozaki, a Japanese citizen born in Bangladesh and a former associate professor at Ritsumeikan University, was captured by U.S. Forces in the last Islamic State stronghold of Baghuz, Syria, in March and is currently being detained at a U.S. military facility in Sulaymaniyah, northern Iraq. Ozaki is reportedly being interrogated because he is believed to be close to the Islamic State leadership and to have been involved in the terrorist attack in Bangladesh in 2016 in which 22 people were killed, including a number of Japanese.

Japan recognizes crashed F-35 fighter's pilot as dead (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Ministry errors raise doubts on all research for missile defense (The Asahi Shimbun)

Compensation order over Yokota base noise upheld, damages raised (Kyodo News)

POLITICS

Prime minister's schedule on June 6, 2019 (Sankei)

SOCIETY

Japanese births hit record low in 2018 (Nikkei Asian Review)

Tokyo expressway to have variable tolling during 2020 Olympics (Kyodo News)

National Police Agency introduces new device with dramatic rise in cocaine seized (Yomiuri, Evening edition)

JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
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U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team