Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, October 24, 2019
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Noon news

NHK and TBS led with reports on Prime Minister Abe's meeting with South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon at the Kantei this morning. TV Asahi led with a report on Typhoon Bualoi, which brought heavy rain and strong winds to the Ogasawara Islands. The powerful typhoon is moving northeast and not expected to make landfall on the Japanese archipelago. NTV gave top coverage to the continued recovery efforts in the areas hit hard by Typhoon Hagibis earlier this month. Fuji TV led with a report on the tax evasion scandal involving comedian Yoshimi Tokui.


Japanese, ROK prime ministers discuss bilateral relations

NHK reported that Prime Minister Abe and South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yeon held talks at the Kantei this morning. The network said that at the outset of their 20-minute meeting, Abe welcomed Lee's first visit to Japan as prime minister and Lee offered congratulations on the enthronement of Emperor Naruhito and handed Abe a letter from President Moon. The broadcaster said that Abe stressed the importance of bilateral and trilateral cooperation between Japan, South Korea, and the United States in dealing with the DPRK and other issues. Abe was quoted as saying that although relations between Japan and South Korea are in a difficult state, they should not leave the situation unaddressed because the ties between the two nations are very important. NHK also said that with the bilateral dispute over compensation for former Korean requisitioned workers in mind, Abe renewed Japan's request to the ROK to rectify the situation which it considers a violation of international law and conveyed that Japan hopes South Korea will create an environment that will enable them to return to healthy ties by abiding by its international promises. Abe reportedly expressed Japan's intention to continue diplomatic communications with South Korea to resolve their outstanding issues. Lee reportedly responded by saying that he shares Abe's view on the importance of dialogue.

DPRK issues statement on relations with U.S.

NHK, TV Asahi, and Fuji TV reported on a statement issued on Thursday by Kim Kye Gwan, an advisor to North Korea's Foreign Ministry who has served as First Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, in which he said that Kim Jong Un told him he has a "special" relationship with President Trump. Kim Kye Gwan also reportedly said that unlike President Trump, political circles in Washington and the U.S. government are hostile toward the DPRK and have a Cold War mentality. The advisor added: "We want to see the degree of wisdom with which the United States enters the new year."

New Coast Guard unit to crack down on wooden boats (NHK WORLD)

Japan, S. Korea prime ministers agree to continue talks despite feud (Kyodo News)

S. Korean prime minister to give Moon letter to Abe (Jiji Press)

Japanese politicians ask S. Korea's Lee to act over wartime labor row (Jiji Press)

Suu Kyi: Myanmar constitution must change for 'complete democracy' (Nikkei Asian Review)

Q&A with Aung San Suu Kyi: We see China and Japan as friends (Nikkei Asian Review)

Cartoon: Boris Johnson waves sayonara (Tokyo Shimbun)

Kansai Airport to reduce reliance on South Korea routes (Nikkei Asian Review)


Cars, auto parts comprise 60% of Japan trade hit by U.S.-China row (Kyodo News)

Experts, junior metropolitan gov't officials propose building IR in Tokyo's waterfront area (Nikkei)

Yokohama starts soliciting "concept proposals" for IR (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Minister calls on Keidanren to raise pay in 2020 shunto (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on October 23, 2019 (Sankei)

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

Constitution seen highest hurdle for SDF Middle East mission (Jiji Press)

Japan Lower House breakup by year-end now seen unlikely (Jiji Press)


52% disapprove of consumption tax hike, cabinet support down slightly to 51%, Sankei-FNN poll (Sankei)

Those opposed to dispatch of SDF to Middle East exceed those in favor, Sankei-FNN poll (Sankei)

Opinion poll & results from Sankei Shimbun (Sankei)

54% approve of consumption tax hike, 61% concerned about negative impact on economy, Asahi poll (Asahi)


Editorial: In-depth discussions needed in Diet on legal framework for SDF dispatch to Middle East (Nikkei)

Cartoon: Middle East bound (Asahi)


The new norm: Japanese experts warn of more rain, raging rivers and submerged homes (The Japan Times)


Editorial: Let us celebrate the enthronement ceremony as Imperial tradition (The Japan News)

Editorial: Emperor Naruhito proclaims enthronement as respected symbol of Japan (The Mainichi)

Number of foreign students with jobs after graduation hits record high (Kyodo News)

Yoji Yamada and Tora-san: The resurrection of a Japanese film institution (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Tokyo should protest IOC's transfer of 2020 Olympic marathon to Sapporo without consultation (Japan Forward)


Okinawa governor disappointed by ruling in favor of GOJ rescindment of landfill permit cancellation

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo front-paged reports on Wednesday's ruling by the Naha branch of the Fukuoka High Court rejecting a suit filed by the Okinawa Prefectural Government claiming that the land minister's rescindment of the Okinawa governor's cancellation of the landfill permit for the FRF construction at Henoko was illegal. Okinawa Governor Tamaki told reporters that he was very disappointed by the ruling. The governor added that the court decision is unacceptable and the prefectural government will consider whether to file an appeal with the Supreme Court after closely examining the ruling.

Nagasaki City to invite Okinawa Governor Tamaki to peace memorial ceremony next year (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Marine arrested for assault in Naha City (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team