Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, October 15, 2019
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Noon news

All broadcasters gave prominent coverage to the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Hagibis, focusing on the continued search for missing individuals and the authorities' efforts to grasp the scope of property damage caused primarily by the flooding of dozens of rivers across central and eastern Japan. According to the networks, approximately 80 people have been either confirmed dead or missing. The reports added that Prime Minister Abe told the Diet earlier in the day that the GOJ will designate the destruction as an "extremely severe disaster" to enable the central government to subsidize reconstruction efforts.


Suga rejects DPRK's demand for compensation for ship collision

NHK wrote online that in a daily press conference on Tuesday morning Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga dismissed North Korea's demand that Japan pay compensation for "sinking its vessel" in the Sea of Japan. The government spokesman said such a demand cannot be accepted, adding that the GOJ has filed a protest with the DPRK government through a diplomatic channel.

Japan appoints new ambassadors to Britain, South Korea, others (Jiji Press)

Abe vows continued support for Nobel winner Abiy (Jiji Press)

Hibakusha submits 10 m. signatures for nuke abolition to U.N. (Jiji Press)

Chinese investment in Western countries drops on tech leak fears (Nikkei Asian Review)

South Korea's National Assembly Speaker to visit Japan next month (Sankei)

Editorial: U.S. heavily responsible for tacitly allowing Turkey to attack Kurds (The Japan News)


GOJ submits legislation on U.S.-Japan trade deal

NHK and Nikkei reported online that the GOJ approved and then submitted to the Diet this morning two pieces of legislation for obtaining parliamentary endorsement of the new trade agreements with the United States on goods and digital commerce, with the goal of effectuating them on Jan. 1.

Gov't to tighten restrictions on foreign investment (Nikkei)

Corporate Japan steps up sell-offs to trim fat (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japanese auto parts makers double their R&D spending (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Regulations must be created urgently to deal with IT giants' dominance (The Japan News)

Keidanren warns that excessive regulations on IT firms may hinder innovation (Nikkei)

Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent execs to be grilled by Japan lawmakers (Nikkei Asian Review)

Indonesian minister expects INPEX to make LNG investment decision in 2022 (Nikkei)

Editorial: Selfish intentions would ruin talks on tax rules for Internet giants (The Asahi Shimbun)

MUFG to buy fund-administration business in Americas (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: The consumption tax hike delays painful spending reforms (The Japan Times)

Keidanren hails consumption tax hike (Jiji Press)

Cartoon: The 17% solution (Akahata)

Blockchain turns cars into payment vehicle for drivers (Nikkei Asian Review)


Prime minister's schedule on Oct. 11, 2019 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Oct. 12, 2019 (Sankei)

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

Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Oct. 14-20 (Kyodo News)

Gist of interpellations at Lower House Budget Committee meeting, Oct. 11, 2019 (Mainichi)

Abe to skip war-linked Yasukuni visit during festival: sources (Kyodo News)

"Manual" created by bureaucrats on how to handle FM Motegi (Shukan Asahi)

Speculation emerging on Japan Lower House breakup in Nov. (Jiji Press)

LDP to set up new panel to promote constitutional revision (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Rigorous debate needed in Budget Committees of both houses (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Parties must deepen Diet debate by taking national interest into account (The Japan News)


Editorial: Gov't should introduce thorough rules on foreign stakes in areas crucial to national security (Sankei)

DM Kono has yet to meet with South Korean counterpart (Tokyo Shimbun)

MOD deploys PAC-3 for first time since July 2018 (Nikkei)

Japan scraps first fleet review including China over typhoon (Nikkei Asian Review)

Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking to roll out "information banking" service (Sankei)


Bags of contaminated soil from Fukushima nuclear plant swept away during storm

Mainichi reported online that according to the Environment Ministry, 11 bulk bags filled with radioactive soil generated during decontamination work near the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant were washed away from makeshift storage depots into rivers during Typhoon Hagibis and later recovered undamaged. The ministry is reportedly continuing the search for other bags that might have been swept away. Other outlets also ran reports, with Yomiuri saying that the soil contained in each 1-cubic-meter bag emits less than 1 microsievert of radiation per hour.

Japan OKs step necessary for hog cholera vaccination amid outbreak (Kyodo News)


Japan defense ministry opens new Twitter account for disaster info (Jiji Press)

Typhoon Hagibis death toll rises to 55: Kyodo tally (Kyodo News)

Japan's LGBT+ progress outpaces politics (Nikkei Asian Review)


Jiji Press public opinion poll on newspapers (Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin)


Okinawa allegedly being considered as site for deployment of intermediate-range missiles

Sunday's Okinawa Times front-paged the disclosure by several USG sources that the Iejima Auxiliary Airfield in Okinawa is one of some 20 locations that the Pentagon is examining as potential sites for the deployment of intermediate-range missiles in the Asia-Pacific region. The paper claimed that the 20 sites are in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, and Guam. According to the sources, several U.S. installations in Japan, including the the Iejima Auxiliary Airfield, have been explored as possible options. As concerns have been raised in the course of DOD examination about the Iejima option, including local opposition and possible adverse effects on the planned relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the daily speculated that Iejima is unlikely to be selected.

According to an unnamed senior Pentagon official, Defense Secretary Esper allegedly briefed then-Defense Minister Iwaya in Tokyo on Aug. 7 on the outline of the deployment initiative, including the possibility of deploying intermediate-range missiles in Japan. While noting that the Japanese side did not strongly dismiss the possibility at the time, the same official was quoted as saying that "the Okinawa option cannot be ruled out completely in the event that both Australia and Guam refuse" to accept the deployment. An unnamed high-ranking DOS official reportedly noted that Japan may be chosen since Australia has already rejected the idea.

Meanwhile, Ryukyu Shimpo wrote on Saturday that an influential U.S. security analyst said he is aware of the U.S. idea of deploying intermediate-range missiles in Okinawa and other locations in Japan and that the "chances are extremely high" that conventionally-armed cruise missiles similar to Tomahawks will be deployed in Japan. John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies, said Australia has already said no to deployment of U.S. intermediate-range missiles on its territory and that South Korea and the Philippines are also likely to do likewise. The researcher projected that even if Japan were to voice opposition, President Trump would strongly press Tokyo to accept the deployment. He added, though, that Guam or Palau could be a last resort in the event that Japan refuses.

U.S. Marine arrested on DUI charge (Ryukyu Shimpo)