Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, July 23, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a report on the announcement by South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff that one of its fighter jets fired warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday morning after it intruded into "South Korea's airspace" over the Liancourt Rocks, which are also claimed by Japan and known as Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea. TBS and Fuji TV led with reports on an announcement by South Korean plaintiffs who won a wartime labor compensation case against Mitsubishi Heavy Industries that they have asked a local court on Tuesday to sell the Japanese manufacturer's assets seized in South Korea. NTV and TV Asahi aired follow-up reports on the arson attack at Kyoto Animation.


Defense secretary nominee Esper may visit Japan in early August

NHK reported that it has learned from multiple sources connected to U.S.-Japan relations that arrangements are being made for Mark Esper, the nominee for defense secretary, to visit Japan for two days from Aug. 6, adding that his appointment is expected to be confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday. The planned visit to Japan will be part of a five-nation tour that will include stops in Australia and South Korea. The network said that Esper is expected to hold talks with Prime Minister Abe and Defense Minister Iwaya in Tokyo and that they will likely discuss the U.S. proposal for a coalition of the willing to ensure safety of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz. The broadcaster also said that Esper may urge Japan and South Korea to resolve their disagreements through dialogue because the United States regards trilateral security cooperation with these two nations as essential in dealing with the DPRK's denuclearization and China's rapidly expanding maritime activities.

John Bolton meets key officials in Tokyo amid U.S. push to build multinational force for policing the Strait of Hormuz (The Japan Times)

Pentagon chief nominee Esper to visit Japan in early Aug. (Kyodo News)

S. Korea court asked to sell M'bishi Heavy assets over wartime labor (Kyodo News)

Several S. Koreans detained over disturbance at Japan consulate (Kyodo News)

Gist of remarks by Foreign Minister Kono, ROK Ambassador Nam at the start of their meeting (Yomiuri)

Abe "wants to develop a better understanding of U.S.-led coalition in Middle East (Asahi)

IAEA's long-serving chief Amano dies at 72 (Kyodo News)

With election over, US wants Abe to deliver on Iran and trade (Nikkei Asian Review)


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

Editorial: What next after yet another coalition win? (The Japan Times)

Infographic: New balance of power in Diet (The Japan News)

Infographic: Turnout rate for House of Councillors elections (Mainichi)

Infographic: Trends in female participation in national elections (Mainichi)

Suzuki, known for strong Russia ties, wins 1st Diet seat in 9 yrs (Kyodo News)

Commentary: Limits of the contest between LDP and opposition parties (Nikkei)

Editorial: Utilize stable foundation from election to implement policies (The Japan News)

Editorial: Japan faces long-term challenges despite ruling parties' election success (The Mainichi)

PM Abe should show bold vision to unify Japan for future generations (The Mainichi)

PM Abe must show resolve to amend the Constitution (Sankei)

Opinion: Gov't needs to manage politics by closely listening to different voices (Tokyo Shimbun)

Gov't provides 7.9 billion yen in subsidies to seven political parties (Yomiuri)

Cartoon: Raining on Abe's parade (Tokyo Shimbun)

Post-Abe contenders see fortunes swing on Japan election results (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: Okinawa contradictions need to be fixed (The Japan Times)

Opinion: For Japan, Upper House results signal stability (The Japan Times)

Abe says open to "flexible" debates on constitutional revision (Kyodo News)

Key members close to PM Abe to retain posts in Cabinet reshuffle (Kyodo News)


Japan concerned with slowing China economy: white paper (Kyodo News)


U.S. citizen arrested at Narita Airport on suspicion of handgun possession

TBS reported that a 43-year-old American citizen was arrested at Narita Airport for allegedly carrying a handgun and 14 live bullets in his suitcase when he tried to board an airplane bound for Okinawa after arriving at Narita on Monday. The network said the suspect told the police that he came to Japan to work as a firefighter at a base in Okinawa. The suspect has reportedly denied the allegation by saying that although he owns the gun, he did not put it in his suitcase.

Tokyo begins trial to ease traffic jams during 2020 Games (Kyodo News)

Toyota robots for Tokyo Olympics to allow "virtual participation" (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Tokyo must utilize new venues as legacy, says IOC's Coates (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Astronauts to encourage Tokyo 2020 torchbearers from space (Kyodo News)

Olympics: Surfing venue, waves tested ahead of 2020 debut in 1 year (Kyodo News)


Cartoon: Is Abe willing or unwilling? (Akahata)


Okinawa assembly asks GOJ to address PFOS contamination

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that a group of Okinawa prefectural assembly members visited the Ministry of the Environment and Ministry of Defense on Monday to submit an opinion paper calling on the GOJ to take measures to deal with the detection of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and other organic fluorine compounds in groundwater near the Kadena AB and MCAS Futenma and determine the cause of the contamination. According to the assembly members, an official at the Defense Ministry told them that the U.S. military has turned down a request from Japanese authorities for access to the U.S. bases to conduct onsite surveys by citing the absence of regulations on PFOS in Japan.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team