Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, December 3, 2019
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Noon news

NHK led with a report on a blizzard in northern Japan. Most commercial TV networks gave top coverage to an explosion in a Jakarta park that injured two Indonesian soldiers.


Corporate Japan responds positively to U.S.-Japan trade deal

Asahi reported online on the results of its survey of 100 major local companies, saying 59 of them positively appraised the U.S.-Japan trade agreements. While calling the pacts "a product of compromise," President Oshima of NGK Insulators noted Prime Minister Abe "did not lose to President Trump in cutting a deal." A quarter of the respondents were noncommittal, while five firms, including an auto-related corporation, were negative about the accords. The survey also found that half of the polled enterprises said business had been affected by the U.S.-China trade friction and growing protectionism around the world.

In a related development, Nikkei and NHK said the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee passed two bills on the U.S.-Japan trade agreements, projecting they will be enacted during a plenary session of the chamber tomorrow.

Cabinet minister voices hope for continuing coal power generation

NHK took up Trade and Industry Minister Kajiyama's press conference this morning in which he commented on a recent UNEP report calling for Japan to suspend the construction of coal-fired power plants. He was quoted as saying: "We would like to keep open the option of coal-fired and other fossil fuel power plants. It is very important to examine all available options to determine the best mix of energy sources." He stressed Japan will reduce its carbon dioxide emissions through technological innovation.

Japan Diet to OK trade pact with U.S. on Wed. (Jiji Press)

Japanese labor federation to demand minimum hourly wage of 1,100 yen (Kyodo News)

Astellas to buy U.S. genetic medicine developer Audentes (Jiji Press)

Japan Inc's Q3 capital spending jumps despite earnings declines (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan's ex-top currency diplomat Asakawa is new ADB chief (Kyodo News)

U.S. industry executive forecasts increase in peanut exports to Japan with Japan-U.S. trade pact (Nikkei)

Japan govt spending on economic package seen topping 10 t. yen (Jiji Press)

Japan plans 1st inspection license exam for aircraft parts (Jiji Press)

Fukushima nuclear debris removal to begin in 2021 (Kyodo News


Akita governor says Aegis Ashore deployment "extremely difficult"

Yomiuri reported that during a session of the Akita prefectural assembly today, Governor Satake said hosting an Aegis Ashore battery at a local SDF facility would be "extremely difficult" due to its proximity to residential areas. Noting he is currently arranging a meeting with Defense Minister Kono, the daily said the local leader is likely to convey clear opposition to the ministry's desire to deploy the missile interceptor at the GSDF training ground.

U.S. media outlet alleges wastewater illegally dumped from USN warships into Japanese ports

NHK and Fuji TV summarized a Wall Street Journal article claiming U.S. investigative authorities are looking into the alleged illegal dumping of wastewater from U.S. Navy vessels into three Japanese harbors by a Yokohama-based contractor. The contractor has allegedly pumped untreated waste into harbors in Yokosuka, Sasebo, and Okinawa in violation of contracts since 2008. The Navy has reportedly joined hands with the Justice Department and the FBI to investigate the allegations, which include a cover-up by the waste handler.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga told the press this morning that the GOJ is currently asking the U.S. side to provide information on the allegation. NHK said the contractor responded to the network's query by saying the allegations are "groundless," adding U.S. authorities have not replied to the broadcaster's requests for comment.

U.S. Navy contractor may have dumped waste in Japanese ports: report (Kyodo News)

Deputy PM Aso boards MSDF submarine just for the experience (Tokyo Shimbun)

Japan joins NATO cybersecurity drills to counter Chinese hackers (Nikkei Asian Review)


PM Abe to visit China, India

Nikkei reported that Prime Minister Abe disclosed to senior ruling coalition officials this morning his plan to visit Chengdu, China, from Dec. 23-25 for a trilateral summit with South Korea, quoting him as saying: "I would like to exchange candid views on regional and international issues, including North Korea." The paper said he will probably meet with Chinese President Xi and ROK President Moon separately on the sidelines of the trilateral session.

The premier also reportedly said he will visit India from Dec.15 through 17 for a summit with Prime Minister Modi. He expressed hope to discuss ideas for expanding security, defense, economic, and people-to-people exchanges to create a free and open Indo-Pacific region.

Japan, ROK to hold talks in Austria on export control

NHK reported that Japan and South Korea plan to meet in Vienna tomorrow in preparation for holding a bilateral dialogue on export control between bureau directors general in the third week of this month. Trade Minister Kajiyama told the press earlier today that the participants will discuss the timetable and agenda for the high-level session.

Abe to visit China on Dec. 23-25 (Jiji Press)

Alaska governor stresses Arctic LNG provides business opportunities for Japanese firms (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Giant Russia-China gas pipeline cements energy alliance (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: Should Tokyo cancel Xi's visit due to Hong Kong? (The Japan Times)

Japan calls for U.N. support over N. Korea's abduction issue (Jiji Press)

EDITORIAL: Japan-India talks should not be dominated by security concerns (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Japan, India must deepen ties to ensure regional maritime security (The Japan News)

Top Japanese and South Korean diplomats likely to discuss wartime labor issue at Madrid meet (The Japan Times)

China, S. Korea praise Nakasone for his efforts for better relations (The Asahi Shimbun)


Prime minister's schedule on Dec. 2, 2019 (Sankei)

Editorial: Nakasone's great achievements as a pragmatist (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: Like Nakasone in more ways than one (Mainichi)

Cartoon: Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto (Akahata)


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


Mitsubishi Heavy taps automation to halve costs of new H3 rocket (Nikkei Asian Review)


Japan govt to launch expert panel for Shuri Castle restoration (Jiji Press)

Donations for Shuri Castle reconstruction top 1.2 B. yen (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Russia must break with doping culture amid fears of exclusion from Tokyo Games (The Mainichi)


Two U.S. military personnel arrested on suspicion of violating Road Traffic Law (Okinawa Times)

Okinawa residents participate in disaster drill with U.S. service members (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team