Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 17, 2019
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Noon news

TBS, NTV, and TV Asahi led with reports that elementary and middle school children in the typhoon-ravaged areas in Chiba Prefecture were finally able to return to school today, while NHK and Fuji TV aired reports saying that 66,000 homes in Chiba are still without power one week after Typhoon Faxai hit the region.


President Trump notifies Congress of imminent signing of trade deal with Japan

NHK, Kyodo News, and Jiji Press reported this morning that President Trump issued a statement on Monday saying his administration has notified Congress that an "initial trade agreement" with Japan has been reached and will be signed in "the coming weeks." According to the reports, an agreement on digital trade will also be signed. The U.S. and Japan have been stepping up their efforts to sign the agreement later this month, when the President and Prime Minister Abe will meet on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. However, NHK noted that even if the agreement is signed, it remains uncertain whether congressional approval can be obtained.

Trump tells Congress trade deal with Japan to be inked in coming weeks (Kyodo News)

Column: Tokyo knew Trump's Iowa obsession was bigger than cars (Nikkei Asian Review)

Asia activates oil contingency plans as Saudi strike disrupts outlook (Nikkei Asian Review)

Hormuz crisis threatens Asian imports beyond energy (Nikkei Asian Review)

Infographic: Japanese beef exports to U.S. set to expand (The Japan News)

Interview: New Japan farm minister determined to end swine fever (Jiji Press)

Interview: Japan to appropriately deal with S. Korea complaint with WTO (Jiji Press)

SoftBank to move up Japan 5G network plans by 2 years (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan's R&D spending hits record for nearly half of companies (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Nissan's challenges post-Saikawa (The Japan Times)

New Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi vows Japan will take lead role on plastic waste (The Japan Times)

New minister Koizumi vows to tackle tainted soil in Fukushima (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Ensuring the recovery of Pacific bluefin tuna stocks (The Japan Times)


PM Abe to meet with Iranian president, EU chief on sidelines of UN General Assembly

NHK reported today that Prime Minister Abe said at an LDP executive meeting this morning that he will meet with Iranian President Rouhani to discuss ways to ease tensions in the Middle East when he attends the UN General Assembly later this month. Abe said he will also meet with European Commission President Juncker and other leaders.

WTO discloses S. Korea's complaint against Japan (Jiji Press)

Japan, S. Korea at war of words at IAEA over N-plant water (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Hateful media comments about S. Korea do more harm than good (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Drop in S. Korean tourists to Japan a lost cultural exchange opportunity (The Mainichi)

Abe reiterates resolve to hold talks with N. Korean leader Kim (Kyodo News)

Japan eyeing medical aid for Iran to maintain friendly ties (Kyodo News)

Japan Medical Association to send senior official to N. Korea (Kyodo News)

Putin aide to meet Japan national security chief (NHK WORLD)

Japanese delegates tour garbage disposal sites in Kunashiri (Nikkei)

British trade minister to visit Japan Fri. (Jiji Press)

Editorial: U.S., Iran should engage in direct dialogue to ease tensions (The Mainichi)

Japanese delegation arrives in Pyongyang (Nikkei)

Japan anticipates China challenge over next ADB president (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan and China to hold infrastructure forum during Xi visit (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: John Bolton, the hawk, takes flight (The Japan Times)

Abe vows support for Kosovo, opening of diplomatic office planned (Kyodo News)

Japan names new ambassador to Tajikistan (Jiji)


Kono eager to work with Koizumi on nuclear plant security (Jiji Press)

Japan to build central database to bolster remote island monitoring (Kyodo News)

GSDF electronic, cyber units designed for island defense (Jiji Press)

Toxins found in water sources near US bases in Okinawa (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Court ruling in Kadena suit a fresh reminder of state's inaction (The Asahi Shimbun)

Vice Adm. William Merz assumes command of U.S. 7th Fleet (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Spear and shield (1): Integration of Japan, U.S. forces (Jiji Press)

Spear and shield (2): Defense business (Jiji Press)

Spear and shield (3): 3-way cooperation (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 13, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 14, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 15, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 16, 2019 (Sankei)

Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Sept. 16-22 (Kyodo News)

Kitamura heads NSS and Yachi becomes senior special advisor to cabinet (Asahi)

NSS chief Kitamura concurrently serves as senior special advisor to cabinet (Nikkei)

Infographic: Number of cabinet posts given to each faction of LDP (Mainichi)

Abe picks legislative vets to lead charge on constitution (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Opposition must avoid repeating DPJ's errors, look for better policies (The Japan News)

Schedule of major political events (Mainichi)

Cartoon: A looming presence (Tokyo Shimbun)

Sonoura is appointed special advisor to LDP president for foreign affairs (Sankei)


Cabinet approval rating dips to 53% as 46% surveyed support reshuffle, Yomiuri poll (The Japan News)

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri)

51.7% support Abe cabinet, 74.1% in favor of Koizumi's entry into the cabinet, Sankei-FNN poll (Sankei)

Opinion poll & results from Sankei Shimbun (Sankei)

Approval rating of reshuffled Abe Cabinet climbs to 50%, Mainichi poll (The Mainichi)

64% support Japan's removal of S. Korea from preferred trading list, Mainichi poll (The Mainichi)

Opinion poll & results from Mainichi Shimbun (Mainichi)

Abe cabinet approval rate falls in pre-reshuffle poll, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

Majority oppose pardons to mark Emperor's enthronement, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)


Chargé Young visits Ishinomaki to see reconstruction from 2011 disaster

The Sunday edition of Kahoku Shimpo, a local paper based in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, reported on Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Young's visit on Saturday to Ishinomaki, a city in Miyagi that was severely affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. Ishinomaki Mayor Kameyama told Chargé Young about the progress made in reconstructing the region and expressed gratitude for the support extended by nations and people around the world. The paper wrote that Chargé Young told the press afterward that he has great respect for the local citizens who are trying to pass down the lessons learned from the disaster to the next generation.

Japan eyes stronger protection of women from exploitation (Jiji)

Elderly people account for record 28.4% of Japanese population (Kyodo News)

Japan's immigration facilities struggle with hunger strikes (The Japan News)

With dreams of the NBA, Tokyo teen joins U.S. basketball power (The Asahi Shimbun)


Test for future space elevator held in Japan (Jiji Press)

Japan still struggling to contain swine fever a year after outbreak began (The Japan Times)


Concerns linger over new English tests for varsity entrance system (The Asahi Shimbun)


U.S. military informs Okinawa of plan to use Motobu Port (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team