Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, November 7, 2019
The following information reflects the reporting of the cited news media and does not reflect the opinions of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Japan Media Highlights is intended for USG use only and should not be forwarded. Visit the website here. For more information, contact TokyoMATT@state.gov.


Noon news

NHK, Fuji TV, and NTV gave top coverage to the water supply disruptions at Haneda Airport that have continued since yesterday. TBS led with a report on a session of the Lower House Commission on the Constitution, while TV Asahi focused on the arrest of a couple in Fukuoka on suspicion of abusing their one-year-old son last year.


Senior Pentagon official comments on ROK's decision to terminate GSOMIA with Japan

NHK reported on its one-on-one interview with Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs Schriver that was held in Washington on Wednesday. Concerning the ROK government's decision to terminate GSOMIA, which expires in two weeks, the network showed him saying: "I would say in a more general way that South Korea-Japan tensions only benefit countries like Russia, China, and North Korea." Assistant Secretary Schriver expressed the view that the termination of the pact would have a major impact on security cooperation between the United States, Japan, and South Korea in dealing with China and the DPRK. Assistant Secretary Schriver also said there is still time for South Korea to reconsider its decision and that Washington wants to have the opportunity to persuade Seoul to stay in GSOMIA for all its advantages. In response to the ROK government's argument that it can share defense intelligence with Japan based on the existing trilateral information-sharing framework with the United States and Japan after the expiration of GSOMIA, Schriver said that three-way communication is cumbersome, less efficient, and suboptimal for the current security environment.

Suga says Japan to continue diplomatic efforts to reduce tensions in Persian Gulf

Yomiuri reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga commented on Thursday on Iran's announcement regarding its resumption of uranium enrichment. Suga told the press: "Precisely because it is very severe, we would like to play a role in this situation which involves the United States, which is our ally, and Iran, which has maintained friendly ties with us for decades." The daily interpreted the remark to mean that Tokyo hopes to continue to mediate between the two adversaries, adding that Japan is set to press Tehran to exercise restraint when Iranian Vice Foreign Minister Araghchi visits Tokyo in early December.

MOFA website makes no mention of latest Japan-ROK "conversation" (Mainichi)

South Korean parliament speaker sent letter of apology to Emperor Emeritus (Mainichi)

Editorial: Don't be fooled by South Korea's conciliatory posture (Sankei)

Air Seoul to halt regular flights to Hiroshima (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Japan-U.S. ties should not be affected by presidential election (Nikkei)

Japan, Russia eye new working group on isle activities (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Japan must lead way to freedom, cooperation in Indo-Pacific region (The Japan News)

Editorial: Troubling developments at ASEAN summit (The Japan Times)

Thai Prime Minister says Thailand will mull joining TPP (Mainichi)


"Secret agreement" between Kantei and U.S. administration lies behind movement of Caesars personnel to Las Vegas Sands (Sentaku)

Keidanren to seek economic growth through digital transformation (Jiji Press)

Japan marks 50th anniversary of LNG imports (Nikkei)

More countries rolling back limits on Japanese food imports (The Japan News)

Editorial: Can RCEP negotiations prevent free trade framework from collapsing? (The Japan News)

Labor shortage may be cause of errors at Fukushima N-plant (Jiji Press)

Farm damage by 2 powerful typhoons in Japan hits 253 billion yen (Jiji Press)


Suga comments on China-France agreement to support Paris climate accord

NHK reported online on remarks made to the press on Thursday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, during which he commented on the agreement reached between French President Macron and Chinese President Xi on Wednesday in Beijing that their nations will implement the Paris Climate Agreement steadily and step up their efforts to combat climate change. Suga said climate change is a global issue that should be tackled by the entire international community and it is important to implement the agreement steadily. He also said Japan is regularly watching the moves of China and France in this regard. Suga added that the U.S. withdrawal from the accord is disappointing, but Japan will continue to make efforts to work on the issue while seeking ways to work with the United States.

Editorial: US withdrawal from Paris climate accord a foolish act ignoring world crisis (The Mainichi)

Sky Perfect, JAXA to set up broadcasting studio at ISS (Jiji Press)

Japan, U.K. lead creation of new corporate rating program to combat space debris (Sankei)


Electrical system glitch suspected as cause for Shuri castle fire (Jiji Press)

U.S. diplomats exchange views with students at Prefectural University of Hiroshima (Chugoku Shimbun)

10 detainees go on hunger strike at Japanese immigration center (Kyodo News)

Japan to keep Reconstruction Agency until FY 2030 (Jiji Press)

Mascots: The secret weapon in Japan's soft power arsenal (The Japan Times)


Abe rules out dissolving Diet, apologizes for ministerial resignation (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Abe is ignoring duty to explain failed Cabinet appointments (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: PM Abe must take responsibility for ministers resigning over scandals (The Mainichi)

Prime minister's schedule on Nov. 6, 2019 (Sankei)

Schedule of major political events (Yomiuri)

Tokyo gubernatorial race to be held on July 5 next year (Jiji Press)

Govt to rebuild Shuri Castle with responsibility: Abe (Jiji Press)


Highlights of October 2019 Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll (Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin)


U.S. military F-16 accidentally drops inert ordnance outside training area in Aomori

NHK reported that a U.S. military F-16 fighter jet accidentally dropped a dummy bomb on private land outside a training area in Aomori Prefecture on Wednesday evening. The Ministry of Defense said that it was informed by the U.S. side that an F-16 stationed at Misawa Air Base dropped a guided missile near an air-to-ground gunnery range straddling Misawa City and Rokkasho Village at around 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. The U.S. forces explained that what dropped from the aircraft was a dummy ordnance with no danger of exploding and that it was later found on private land in Rokkasho near the range. There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The network reported on USFJ'sstatement on Twitter, which read: "While conducting training, an F-16 at Misawa released a device 5 kilometers from the Draughon range late Wednesday. The cause of the incident is still under investigation, and USFJ notified GOJ this morning in accordance with all agreements."

USS John S. McCain returns to Yokosuka after post-repair sea trials (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Japan's 'dragon' submarine leaves Kawasaki Heavy dock (Nikkei Asian Review)


Naha adds English page to crowdfunding site for rebuilding Shuri Castle

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that the Naha city government added on Wednesday an English page to the website explaining its crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for rebuilding Shuri Castle after it burned down last week. The papers wrote that the move is intended to make it easier for people in foreign countries to donate to the campaign. According to the dailies, over 350 million yen ($3.4 million) in donations had already been pledged as of Wednesday. Ryukyu Shimpo also wrote that the National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan launched a project on Nov. 3 with the cooperation of Yahoo! Japan to raise funds for the Shuri Castle reconstruction.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team