Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, June 28, 2019
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Noon news

All TV networks except NTV led with reports on the opening of the G20 Osaka Summit today and the bilateral talks between President Trump and Prime Minister Abe this morning. The networks all reported that according to a Japanese official present at the summit meeting, the President did not bring up the security treaty or voice any dissatisfaction and Abe did not raise the issue. NTV aired a similar report later in its broadcast, but gave top coverage to a report on torrential rains in Kyushu since this morning, prompting the government to issue evacuation advisories to tens of thousands of residents.


G20 leaders begin discussions at Osaka Summit

NHK reported on the start of the first session of the G20 Osaka Summit on the global economy and trade today. At the beginning of the meeting, Prime Minister Abe reportedly stressed the importance of a free and open economy as the cornerstone of peace and prosperity, calling for WTO reforms toward this goal. He also referred to concerns about rapid changes caused by globalization breeding protectionism and conflict among nations, pointing out that tit-for-tat trade restrictions do not benefit any country. A second session focusing on technological innovation began later in the afternoon.

In a special event for G20 leaders on rule-making for the digital economy in which Abe announced the launch of the "Osaka Track," a G20 framework for discourse on rule-making for the digital economy, President Trump voiced opposition to restrictions on the free flow of data across national borders as they distort trade and violate privacy and intellectual property rights, apparently with China's tightening its control on the Internet in mind. On the other hand, Chinese President Xi Jinping asserted that individual nations' right to implement autonomous controls needs to be respected and that the G20 nations should create a fair and nondiscriminatory market environment. The network said this comment was probably a reference to the U.S.'s clampdown on Huawei.

No discussion of security treaty at U.S.-Japan summit

All TV networks reported today that according to a Japanese government official, President Trump did not mention the issue of revising the bilateral security treaty or voice any complaint about the security alliance during the U.S.-Japan summit this morning despite his alleged remarks in an earlier interview that the treaty obligations of the U.S. and Japan are "one-sided." Fuji TV cited Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Nishimura as saying that since the two countries are in constant contact, there was no need to seek confirmation. NHK reported that the two leaders agreed at the meeting to cooperate in conveying a strong message on sustaining global economic growth at the G20 Summit and to strive to further strengthen the bilateral alliance. They also exchanged views on the North Korea and Iran situations and the bilateral trade talks.

All national dailies also published reports on their websites on the Trump-Abe meeting. According to a post-summit briefing by the two governments, President Trump and PM Abe agreed to respond to common security threats, such as North Korea and Iran, in a concerted manner. They also reportedly forged a consensus for taking steps to maintain the "bilateral alliance's technical superiority," with Asahi speculating that this accord was sealed with China's violations of intellectual property and Huawei in mind.

According to Nikkei, in reply to the President's reference to the bilateral trade imbalance, PM Abe said a total of 16 new investment projects in America have been unveiled by Japanese firms in the past three months. The President reportedly appreciated the prime minister's announcement. DCCS Nishimura reportedly told the press that the two sides did not discuss the timing of a possible trade agreement. The President also reportedly did not mention the administration's desire to include a currency stipulation clause in an envisaged trade accord with Japan. As for Iran, the prime minister explained to the President his willingness to continue mediation diplomacy.

U.S., Japan, India hold trilateral summit

Nikkei and Sankei reported online on a trilateral summit between President Trump, Prime Minister Abe, and Indian Prime Minister Modi in Osaka on Friday morning, during which they reportedly confirmed the importance of three-party cooperation to promote global peace and prosperity. According to a White House press release on the session, the three leaders agreed to convene a trilateral summit every year in order to ensure maritime security and promote high-level infrastructure investment in the Indo-Pacific region. They also reportedly discussed security in cyberspace and outer space.

U.S., Indian leaders discuss Iran

Nikkei reported online that President Trump and Indian Prime Minister Modi discussed the Iran situation, bilateral trade, and 5G during their bilateral summit held in Osaka on Friday morning. According to a readout provided by India, the two officials confirmed the importance of peace and stability in the Middle East in view of the escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. With regard to the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil shipments, the Indian premier reportedly said his country has reduced its dependence on Iranian petroleum. A White House release reportedly said President Trump and PM Modi agreed to elevate the bilateral strategic partnership to the next phase.

Gist of Abe-Trump summit (Kyodo News)

Japan, U.S. affirm alliance after Trump revives security treaty flak (Kyodo News)

Japan PM Abe highlights "robust" alliance in talks with Trump (Kyodo News)

Japan, India, U.S. agree to work toward free and open Indo-Pacific (Kyodo News)

Trump begins talks on trade in Japan on eve of G-20 summit (Kyodo News)

U.S., China agree to trade truce ahead of Trump-Xi talks: report (Kyodo News)

Gist of Japan-China summit in Osaka (Kyodo News)

Xi and Abe inch closer under Trump's 'America first' pressure (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japanese public-private fund to support Indian start-ups (Asahi)

On approach to Osaka G20, Trump whips up storm for Abe on defense and trade (The Japan Times)

Japan should prep for worst from U.S.-China trade war, economists say (The Japan Times)

'Don't trust China,' Hong Kong protesters tell G-20 leaders in Osaka (Nikkei Asian Review)

Mitsubishi Heavy refuses to settle forced labor suit (Jiji Press)


Abe, Trump agree to accelerate Japan-U.S. trade talks (Jiji Press)

Japan's pitch for free data flows 'with trust' faces uphill battle at G20 amid 'splinternet' fears (The Japan Times)

EXCLUSIVE: 2 groups call on Yokohama to drop casino plan (Jiji Press)

MUFG becomes yuan-clearing bank (NHK WORLD)

Japan mulls measures to track wagyu gene transactions (Jiji Press)


U.S. Senate sees Japan as contributing to security ties (Jiji Press)

Japan internet of things screening finds 100 virus infections a day (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: President Trump's remark is opportunity to reaffirm Japan-U.S. security treaty (Sankei)


Prime minister's schedule on June 27, 2019 (Sankei)

Shigeki Suzuki tapped as Vice-Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications (Sankei)

Editorial: Abe administration to blame for suppressing Diet discussion on key issues (The Mainichi)

Editorial: In upper house poll, present path to overcome challenges (The Japan News)


LDP leads with 28% support in advance of upper house election, Kyodo News trend survey (Kyodo News)

Kyodo News trend survey from Tokyo Shimbun (Tokyo Shimbun)


Commercial plane forced to change destination due to Air Force One's arrival in Osaka

Kyodo reported that a commercial airplane bound for Osaka Airport was forced to land at a nearby airport since Air Force One entered Japanese airspace earlier than expected and was given higher priority for landing. The report said the small passenger aircraft from Fukushima Prefecture took a detour and landed at Komatsu Airport in Ishikawa Prefecture temporarily, adding that it ended up arriving at Osaka airport a few hours later than originally scheduled.

Olympics: Takeda replaced by Yamashita as JOC chief amid scandal (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Test events for 2020 Games start in full swing (Kyodo News)


"Man who does nothing" does much for many (Nikkei, NHK TV Asahi Huffington Post)

Down and out and shut-in, older hikikomori weigh heavily on society (Mainichi Yomiuri, AERA, NHK, Jiji Press)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team