Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, September 20, 2019
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Noon news

NHK reported that powerful Typhoon Tapah is forecast to approach Okinawa and Kyushu over the weekend. All other TV networks led with follow-up reports on the arrest yesterday of a man on suspicion of murdering his nine-year-old stepson.


DPRK may be building SLBM-capable submarine

NHK reported this morning that analysis of the latest satellite images by the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey and the satellite imaging company Planet Labs revealed that North Korea may be building a new type of submarine at a shipyard in Sinpo in the eastern part of the country. A comparison of images from Sept. 3, 12, and 19 apparently shows a new building measuring around 100 meters that covers almost the entire quay and adjacent waters. A building of this size is much longer than needed to house existing DPRK submarines. NHK reported that since this shipyard is said to be building a new type of submarine capable of launching SLBMs, experts believe that North Korea may indeed be preparing to launch such a submarine. Middlebury Institute senior researcher David Schmerler was quoted as saying that the new building will enable North Korea to build and renovate its submarines undetected and further advance its submarine-launched ballistic missile program.

Motegi to make first overseas trip as foreign minister, meet with counterparts

NHK reported today that Foreign Minister Motegi announced this morning that he will attend the UN General Assembly and the G7 foreign ministerial in New York and hold separate meetings with his U.S., Russian, Iranian, and Indian counterparts next week. He said he will discuss the Northern Territories and peace treaty issues with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov and ways to ease tensions and stabilize the Middle East situation with Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif. NHK noted that coordination is also underway for him to meet with ROK Foreign Minister Kang. Motegi indicated that he would also like to meet with USTR Lighthizer to finalize the details of the bilateral trade deal before the Japan-U.S. summit is held.

Abe to visit New York, Brussels next week (Jiji Press)

Former U.S. Consul General Tong concerned political unrest may become "new normal" for Hong Kong (Nikkei)

N. Korea questions Abe's no preconditions remark (NHK WORLD)

N. Korea, Japan gov'ts not communicating despite Abe's summit call (Kyodo News)

Japan, S. Korea foreign ministers arranging to meet on Sept. 26 (Kyodo News)

Japan, S. Korea begin bureau chief-level talks (Jiji Press)

Images suggest N. Korea building ballistic subs (NHK WORLD)

New Zealand's 5G plan 'not a political decision': PM Jacinda Ardern says Huawei approval will rest with intelligence agency (Nikkei Asian Review)


Japan to start talks with S. Korea over WTO complaint (Kyodo News)

Japan to grant lower tariff on 90% of U.S. beef imports (Nikkei Asian Review)

Government ready to back Japanese farmers, small businesses after trade deal with U.S., new minister says (The Japan Times)

Japan alarmed by oil price hikes after Saudi attacks (Kyodo News)

Trade organization chief says U.S.-China friction will continue to affect Japanese economy (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Concerns grow in Japan over higher gasoline prices (Jiji Press)

Japan to form panel to discuss regulations on IT giants (Jiji Press)

Britain seeking public comment on trade deal with Japan (Jiji Press)

Cabinet OKs autonomous driving rules, to enforce ordinance next year (Kyodo News)

BOJ holds rate but Kuroda grows 'more positive' about extra easing (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Trial of 3 former TEPCO execs showed utility's denial of risks (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: The blame game (Asahi)


DM Kono to visit Okinawa on Sept. 29-30 to meet with governor

NHK reported this morning that arrangements are being made for Defense Minister Kono to make his first visit to Okinawa in his new post on Sept. 29-30 to meet with Governor Tamaki and visit the Henoko relocation site in Nago. NHK said Kono is expected to reiterate to the governor that the relocation of MCAS Futenma to Henoko is the only way to remove the danger posed by the Futenma base and Tamaki is expected to demand the immediate scrapping of the plan.

Japan to mobilize over 9,000 police officers during Rugby World Cup (Kyodo News)

Okinawa governor to visit U.S. in Oct. (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on Sept. 19, 2019 (Sankei)

INTERVIEW: Japan's new foreign chief stresses inclusivity, strength (Jiji Press)

INTERVIEW: Japan defense minister eager to meet S. Korean counterpart (Jiji Press)

Strength of in-house groups in House of Representatives and House of Councillors (Yomiuri)

Yoichi Miyazawa tapped as chairman of LDP tax panel's subcommittee (Nikkei)

Japan opposition caucuses to be formed in extra session (Jiji Press)

Editorial: LDP must seek points of compromise with other parties on top law revision (The Japan News)


Japan declined to chair discussion group for U.N. climate summit (Kyodo News)

Exclusive: Japan to vaccinate farm pigs to contain swine fever (Jiji Press)


Editorial: Univ. hopefuls confused as Japan gov't presses ahead with private English exams (The Mainichi)


Japan to mull measures to swiftly deport detained foreigners (Jiji Press)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team