JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, July 11, 2019
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HEADLINES

Noon news

All TV networks led with reports on Hayabusa2's successful touchdown on asteroid Ryugu this morning, explaining that the space probe is on the world's first mission to collect subsurface samples from an asteroid

INTERNATIONAL

ROK foreign minister criticizes Japan's export curbs in phone conversation with Secretary Pompeo

NHK reported today that ROK Foreign Minister Kang held a 15-minute teleconference with Secretary Pompeo on Wednesday evening during which she criticized Japan's tightening controls on semiconductor material exports to the ROK and voiced concern that this step may also affect U.S. companies and the global trade order and is undesirable for Japan-U.S.-ROK cooperation. She also expressed hope that Japan will withdraw the export curbs in order not to make the situation worse, indicating that the ROK would like to avoid tit-for-tat retaliation and work for a diplomatic solution through dialogue. According to the ROK foreign ministry, Secretary Pompeo showed understanding for Kang's remarks and the two officials agreed to cooperate to strengthen trilateral communication through diplomatic channels. NTV, TV Asahi and Fuji TV also carried reports on the teleconference.

Japan avoids comment on coalition to safeguard waters off Iran (Jiji Press)

Japan to eye options if U.S. seeks coalition on Middle East threats (Kyodo News)

Japan unlikely to join coalition to safeguard waters in Middle East (Jiji Press)

Japan weighs U.S. effort to guard ships in Middle Eastern waters (Nikkei Asian Review)

Moon struggles to draw Korean executives into trade spat with Japan (Nikkei Asian Review)

Strategic goods illegally exported from S. Korea (NHK WORLD)

Japan, others show concern over China's treatment of Uighurs (Jiji Press)

Commentary: Why Japan needs to build ties with Canada in the face of Trump's 'America First' agenda (The Japan Times)

AMBASSADOR

Ambassador Hagerty visits Hokkaido to foster better understanding of indigenous culture and history (Sapporo Television Broadcasting)

U.S. Ambassador Hagerty visits Pierson Memorial House (Hokkaido Shimbun, Kitami-Okhotsk edition)

ECONOMY

Japanese firms plowing money into South American copper projects (Yomiuri)

POLITICS

Prime minister's schedule on July 10, 2019 (Sankei)

Major political parties' campaign pledges related to Japan-U.S. relationship (Mainichi)

Major political parties' campaign pledges related to foreigners residing in Japan (Mainichi)

Many in western Japan plan to back LDP in proportional representation segment of UH election, Asahi poll (Asahi)

SCIENCE

Hayabusa2 touches down in history after asteroid mission success (Kyodo News)

SOCIETY

Foreigners ease labor crunch as Japan's workforce shrinks (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan population drops by record number to 124.8 mil.: gov't (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Recycling project for 2020 Games medals achieves goal (Kyodo News)

Olympics: British chief urges Japan to grasp opportunity of Tokyo Games (Kyodo News)

4 Iranians freed from detention center after hunger strike (The Asahi Shimbun)

SECURITY

Commentary: Take Trump seriously when he bashes Japan-U.S. security treaty (Nikkei Asian Review)

New commander of U.S. naval forces in Japan named amid regional tensions, questions over forces' readiness (The Japan Times)

OKINAWA LOCAL PRESS

GOJ unable to conduct on Kadena AB survey related to PFOS detection in rivers

Ryukyu Shimpo led with a report saying that concerning the detection of high levels of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) in rivers and spring water near U.S. military bases in Okinawa, the paper has learned from documents obtained by the Informed-Public Project, an Okinawa-based environmental group, through information disclosure requests that the Defense Ministry's Okinawa bureau could not conduct onsite surveys at Kadena AB in fiscal 2017 and 2018 because its requests to enter the base were turned down by the U.S. military. According to the paper, the defense bureau later decided to conduct a survey outside the base, although such a survey has not yet actually taken place. An official at the defense bureau reportedly told the paper: "There is no rule regulating PFOS in Japan. In the absence of a rule we can't coordinate with the U.S. side on how to use survey results."

U.S.-military-related people allegedly involved in unlicensed taxi service in Okinawa (Okinawa Times)

JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
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