JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, January 14, 2020
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HEADLINES

Noon news

NHK, NTV, and Fuji TV gave top play to follow-up reports on a traffic accident in Malaysia on Monday in which Japanese badminton player Kento Momota was injured. Fuji TV said Momota is likely to be able to return to Japan tomorrow. TBS led with a report that Lower House member Tsukasa Akimoto will be served with a fresh arrest warrant for allegedly receiving more than 3 million yen from a Chinese gambling operator in addition to the 3 million yen he received from the same company that led to his arrest last year. TV Asahi led with a report on fires that broke out in residences in Chiba, Saitama, and Tokyo on Monday, killing a total of five people.

INTERNATIONAL

Secretary Pompeo to exchange views on DPRK, and Japan-ROK ties with Japanese, ROK counterparts

NHK reported on its website that ahead of his talks with Foreign Minister Motegi and ROK Foreign Minister Kang on Wednesday, Secretary of State Pompeo delivered a speech to business professionals in San Francisco on Monday. According to the network, the Secretary said the short-range ballistic missiles launched by North Korea over the last few months now pose a greater risk to Japan and South Korea than to the U.S. West Coast. The Secretary also expressed hope to conduct close coordination on policy toward North Korea at the planned trilateral foreign ministerial, saying: "I want to discuss how to deal with and continue the negotiations with North Korea from next month and beyond." The Secretary also reportedly said he will exchange views with his counterparts on how to improve Japan-ROK relations.

Japan foreign minister meets with ex-U.S. state secretary Shultz (Kyodo News)

Gist of meeting between PM Abe and Saudi Crown Prince on Jan. 12 (Yomiuri)

Saudi crown prince 'fully supports' Japan MSDF mission in Middle East (The Japan Times , Jiji, Kyodo)

Abu Dhabi offers cooperation for Japan's Middle East mission (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Gov't failed to consider Mideast situation shift in MSDF deployment decision (The Mainichi)

Japan to deepen ties, exchanges with Taiwan under re-elected Tsai (Kyodo News)

Despite electoral landslide, 'new era' of Sino-Japanese ties strikes fear into the hearts of Taiwan's leaders (The Japan Times , Jiji, Kyodo)

Editorial: Reelected President Tsai tasked with realizing China-Taiwan stability (The Japan News)

Editorial: Taiwanese chose freedom in giving Tsai a new term as president (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: China should change stance toward Taiwan after Tsai re-elected president (The Mainichi)

Japan, China, S. Korea agree to promote youth exchanges (Jiji Press)

VietJet Air to open 5 new Japan routes this summer (Jiji Press)

Officials agree to boost Vietnamese workers in Japan (Jiji Press)

Editorial: U.S., Iran must restrain themselves to ease tensions, avert showdown (The Japan News)

SECURITY

DM Kono inspects Aegis Ashore test facility in Hawaii

NHK reported this morning that Defense Minister Kono inspected a U.S. military missile test facility in Kauai, Hawaii, on Monday. The network said the facility hosts an Aegis Ashore missile defense test complex and a vertical launch system (VLS). After the inspection, Kono spoke to reporters about opposition from candidate sites to the planned deployment of the Aegis Ashore system in Japan. "There's a childcare facility located very close to this facility, but I was told that there's no problem with regard to safety," he reportedly said. "I think the distance between these facilities and residential areas is an important factor, but their safety level is very high." In addition, Kono reportedly said: "North Korea has deployed the Rodong and numerous other missiles that can reach Japan. We hope to establish missile defense capabilities including the Aegis Ashore system for the defense of the entire country as soon as possible."

Chinese ships to be excluded from oceanographic surveys in Japan's territorial waters (The Japan News)

ECONOMY

GOJ considering putting Okinawa's Agu pigs in quarantine

NHK reported at noon that in light of the spread of swine fever in Okinawa, Farm Minister Eto said at a press conference this morning that the GOJ is considering the quarantine of Okinawa's Agu pigs. Minister Eto reportedly said: "Agu pork dates back to the time of the Ryukyu Dynasty and made a comeback as a result of enormous efforts. It can be said the breed is unique to Okinawa. We are considering quarantining the pigs somewhere such as a remote island in order to protect the breed after consulting with the Okinawa government."

Japan corporate bankruptcies rise in 2019 for 1st time in 11 years (Kyodo News)

Japan, U.S. trade chiefs discuss WTO reform (Jiji Press)

Iran crisis exposes Japan's oil reserve risks: Tokyo finds 20% of stockpiles potentially inaccessible in winter (Nikkei Asian Review)

Panel urges that public insurance cover therapy for gambling addicts (The Asahi Shimbun)

Japan's Casino Regulatory Commission holds 1st meeting (Jiji Press)

Gov't to impose three conditions for 5G firms eligible for preferential treatment (Nikkei)

Ministry supports regional companies in expanding into Africa (Nikkei)

Japan's ANA shells out for new capacity on flights to Hawaii: Popular turtle-themed A380s show airline's commitment to expansion (Nikkei Asian Review)

Control rod mistakenly removed from Ikata reactor in Ehime during maintenance (The Japan Times , Jiji, Kyodo)

Tokyo to launch panel to prevent ivory smuggling to overseas (Jiji Press)

Commentary: Has Abenomics run out of steam? (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan's nishikigoi carp find ready customers overseas (Nikkei Asian Review)

POLITICS

Prime minister's schedule on January 10, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on January 11, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on January 12, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on January 13, 2020 (Sankei)

Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Jan. 13-19 (Kyodo News)

Japan's Abe denies speculation of LDP term extension (Jiji Press)

CDPJ secretary-general calls on DPFP chief to make merger decision before Diet convenes (Mainichi)

With legacy on the line, Abe faces crucial choices in September: Risk all for constitution revision or focus on picking successor? (Nikkei Asian Review)

Commentary: Were the 2010s a return to the 1930s? (The Japan Times)

OPINION POLLS

Over 70% want gov't to review casino plans amid bribery scandal, Kyodo News poll (Kyodo News)

Ruling party supporters also take harsh stance on IRs, Kyodo News poll (Tokyo Shimbun)

Kyodo News opinion poll & results from Tokyo Shimbun (Tokyo Shimbun)

50% support dispatch of MSDF to Middle East, cabinet support levels off, Sankei-FNN poll (Sankei)

Opinion poll & results from Sankei Shimbun (Sankei)

Nearly 70% of Japanese say more foreigners are 'good,' Nikkei survey (Nikkei Asian Review)

SCIENCE

Toshiba taps quantum cryptography to send genome data: Hacker-proof technology to be used in finance (Nikkei Asian Review)

EDUCATION

English only: Japan colleges teach how to speak with the world (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan govt agency aiming to promote school trips abroad (Jiji Press)

SOCIETY

Japan appoints new heads of national, Tokyo police (Jiji Press)

Hunger strikes spread in Japan's migrant detention centers: Deportees resort to extreme measures as more are held over six months (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan firms gearing up for Tokyo Olympics, Paralympics (Jiji Press)

Ainu minority to file suit for fishing rights in northern Japan (Kyodo News)

Commentary: Japan's move toward a diverse and inclusive nation? (The Japan Times)

Ex-captive Japanese journalist sues gov't over passport denial (Kyodo News)

Justice Minister Masako Mori backtracks on comment suggesting Carlos Ghosn should prove innocence (The Japan Times)

Editorial: If Ghosn has something to say, he should say it openly in court (The Japan News)

Editorial: New adults should keep their spirit of adventure as they start new journey (The Japan News)

Editorial: Efforts to tackle child poverty should be supported seamlessly (The Japan News)

Japan's famed cherry blossom season to arrive earlier than usual (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: Pismire pols (Asahi)

OKINAWA LOCAL PRESS

Okinawa considers using land at Kadena Ammunition Depot to bury pigs infected with swine fever

Monday's Okinawa Times led with a report saying that in response to the spread of swine fever in Okinawa Prefecture, the City of Okinawa announced on Sunday that it had secured land on the premises of the Kadena Ammunition Depot for burying culled pigs. Monday's Ryukyu Shimpo also gave top coverage to a report saying the City of Okinawa announced on Sunday that it had selected 3,000 square meters of land on the premises of the Kadena Ammunition Depot as a candidate site for burying more than 4,000 culled pigs. The paper added, however, that the authorities who inspected the land on Sunday said it may be difficult to bring in the heavy machinery needed to create pits in the area because the roads leading to the site are narrow.

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U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team