Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, November 18, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a report on the continued anti-government demonstrations in Hong Kong. NTV and TV Asahi gave top coverage to a basic merger agreement reached between SoftBank Corp.'s group company controlling Yahoo Japan Corp. and major messaging app provider Line Corp. TBS and Fuji TV led with follow-up reports on the arrest of actress Erika Sawajiri on suspicion of possessing the synthetic drug MDMA.


President Trump posts Twitter message calling for meeting with Kim Jong Un

NHK reported online that President Trump posted a tweet on Sunday in which he called on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to act quickly and get the denuclearization deal done, adding: "See you soon!" The network interpreted this as a call on Kim to hold bilateral talks. The network said that President Trump and Chairman Kim agreed in their third summit in June that the two countries will resume denuclearization talks within a few weeks, but their negotiations, including the meeting in Sweden last month, have produced little progress. Noting that the message was posted following the Trump administration's announcement on Sunday of the postponement of its scheduled joint military drills with South Korea, the network said that attention will be focused on the DPRK's next moves. TV Asahi and TBS aired similar reports.

Japanese, Koreans pessimistic about fate of GSOMIA

NTV reported that a public opinion survey conducted in South Korea over the weekend showed that 55.4% of respondents, up 7.1 points from a survey conducted on Nov. 6, said that the ROK government should uphold its decision to terminate the GSOMIA defense intelligence sharing pact with Japan. Some 33.2%, down 4.4 points, said that the ROK government should rescind the decision. Meanwhile, Fuji TV reported on a public opinion poll conducted in Japan on Nov. 16-17. Regarding GSOMIA, 14% of the Japanese respondents said that the pact should be maintained, while 68% said there is no choice but to terminate the agreement. When asked whether Prime Minister Abe should hold bilateral talks with President Moon soon to improve the strained ties between their nations, 34% said the two leaders should meet soon, while 58% said an early meeting is not necessary.

China's first domestically produced aircraft carrier sails through Taiwan Strait

NHK reported online that Taiwanese defense officials said on Sunday that a fleet led by China's first domestically built aircraft carrier transited the Taiwan Strait. The officials said the carrier group sailed in a southerly direction through the strait and that Taiwanese, U.S., and Japanese vessels are monitoring its movements. The network said the Liaoning, an aircraft carrier originally purchased from Ukraine and refurbished by China, has sailed through the strait before, but this was the first time for the domestically built aircraft carrier, which is expected to enter service soon, to pass through the strait. The network speculated that the passage was aimed at putting pressure on Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, who is regarded as pro-independence, ahead of the presidential election in January.

Senior N. Korean official close to Kim leaves Pyongyang for Russia (Kyodo News)

China says carrier passed through Taiwan Strait for "routine training" (Kyodo News)

Kono seeks stronger Japan-ASEAN defense cooperation (Jiji Press)

Commentary: PM Ab maintains strong Japan-U.S. relationship: Prof. Auer (Sankei)

Editorial: Hong Kong authorities must find a starting point to recover stability (The Japan News)

Editorial: Time to rebuild foundation for int'l stability as multilateralism is shaken (The Mainichi)

Record 59 pct of Taiwanese pick Japan as favorite nation, poll (Jiji Press)


Suga denies report that U.S. requested quadrupling Japan's spending on hosting troops

NHK wrote online that in response to a U.S. media report claiming that a senior Trump administration official asked the Japanese government to pay four times as much as it currently spends on stationing U.S. troops, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga denied the report at a news conference this morning. The network reported that according to the U.S. media story, a senior Trump administration official demanded in July that Japan quadruple its current spending to $8 billion per annum. Suga said the report is untrue. He also said the special measures agreement on Japan's host nation support will be in effect until March 2021 and the United States and Japan have not yet begun negotiations on a new agreement. He added that the cost of stationing U.S. troops in Japan is appropriately shared based on the agreement between the U.S. and Japanese governments.

Suga denies reported U.S. demand for host-nation support hike (Jiji Press)

Seoul completely misunderstands security situation: Suga (Jiji Press)

Major defense equipment fair opens in Japan (Kyodo News)

Gist of Japan-ROK, Japan-U.S.-ROK defense ministers' meetings (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Japan, U.S., South Korea face test of security ties over GSOMIA feud (The Japan News)

Editorial: S. Korea foolish to scrap intel pact with Japan; so many benefits (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: South Korea must reverse its decision to scrap GSOMIA (Sankei)

Consul general pledges efforts to prevent recurrence of dummy bomb incident (Yomiuri Aomori edition)

China's first domestically-built aircraft carrier enters Taiwan Strait (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Take all possible measures against cyber-attacks aimed at Tokyo Games (The Japan News)


Analysis: Trade deal with U.S. will hurt Tokyo if auto tariffs stay (The Asahi Shimbun)

Number of passenger ship visits to Yokohama port in 2020 to exceed 200 for first time (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Bank of Yokohama joins hands with JBIC to expand yuan-denominated loans (Nikkei)

Japan to restrict cultivation areas for brand fruits (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Prevent a slide into recession (The Japan Times)

Editorial: After worrying GDP figures, take effective steps to support economy (The Japan News)

Commentary: Rule-tightening signals Japan wants investors to toe the line (Nikkei Asian Review)

Over 50% of Japanese companies offer telecommuting, survey shows (Nikkei Asian Review)


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

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

Prime minister's schedule on November 17, 2019 (Sankei)

Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Nov. 18-24 (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Abe should come clean on doubts over cherry blossom event (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Japan PM should account for sakura party invitations before canceling event (The Mainichi)

Cartoon: Damage control beneath the blossoms (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Japan's Koizumi on Time magazine's "100 Next" list (Jiji Press)

Japanese lawmakers face a rocky journey on comeback trail (Nikkei Asian Review)


Cabinet support rate drops 6 points to 49%, Yomiuri poll (Yomiuri)

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri)

Abe cabinet approval rate rises to 48 pct, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

76 pct tolerate review to imperial succession system, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)


Japan-S. Korea team to observe asteroid using Hokkaido telescope (Kyodo News)

Gov't says safe to release contaminated Fukushima water into ocean (Kyodo News)


Outsourcing of English tests stirs up storm in education (The Japan Times)


U.S. military joins Yokosuka police patrol for first time (Kanagawa Shimbun East edition)

Japanese organizers confident Odaiba's water will be safe for Olympians to swim in (The Japan Times)

Foreign students in Japan hold back on applying for newly created visas due to past illegal overwork (The Japan Times)

Sex crimes remain significantly underreported in Japan, gov't survey (Kyodo News)

Japanese celebrities are using YouTube in new ways to connect with fans (The Japan Times)

Record 61 pct in Japan back working mothers, govt survey (Jiji Press)


U.S. serviceman arrested in Naha on suspicion of DUI (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team