JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, January 21, 2020
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HEADLINES

Noon news

Most networks gave top coverage to reports on the fourth death caused by the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, saying that it has been confirmed that the new strain of the virus can be transmitted from human to human. The networks said Prime Minister Abe ordered relevant ministers to take thorough border control measures to prevent the disease from spreading. TV Asahi led with a report on Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga's announcement this morning that the GOJ plans to stop sponsoring the memorial ceremony for the victims of the Great East Japan Earthquake after the 10th anniversary of the disaster in 2021.

SECURITY

DM Kono calls Japan's share of cost of stationing USFJ "appropriate"

NHK reported online that Defense Minister Kono said at a press conference that Japan's current share of the cost of stationing U.S. forces in Japan is appropriate. He reportedly said: "The U.S.-Japan Alliance has supported the forward deployment capacity of the U.S. and made great contributions to regional peace and prosperity. Our current share of the cost is very appropriate and the U.S. holds the same view." Meanwhile, concerning the U.S. intention to discuss with Japan how to share overall defense responsibilities, Kono reportedly said: "Discussions on overall defense cooperation must be held on a daily basis amid the changing security environment. We must discuss not only money but also various other issues."

MOD begins environmental assessment of Mageshima

NHK reported at noon that the Ministry of Defense began conducting an environmental assessment today on the island of Mageshima in Kagoshima Prefecture. The ministry plans to purchase the island as a possible relocation site for the U.S. forces' landing practice for carrier-based aircraft. The network said about 20 ministry officials landed on the island this morning to conduct the survey. The network said the MOD plans to study the condition of the island's plants and animals. According to the network, the ministry is also planning to conduct weather observation and topographical surveys in order to improve the runways and other facilities on the island as well as underground water surveys to confirm the ground conditions.

Japan may have to bolster southwestern island defense: Kono (Jiji Press)

Defense heads of Japan, Pacific isle nations to meet in April (Jiji Press)

The state of the Japan-U.S. alliance at 60 (The Japan Times)

Trump hopes Japan to do more for security alliance (Kyodo News)

Commentary: The Japan-U.S. alliance is stronger than ever, but that doesn't mean it's on autopilot (The Japan Times)

Lavrov again shows concern over Japan-U.S. alliance (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Constant effort required to strengthen Japan-U.S. alliance (The Japan News)

Editorial: Japan-U.S. security alliance must be bedrock of shared values (The Asahi Shimbun)

Data of over 8,000 at M'bishi Electric feared leaked in cyberattack (Kyodo News)

Chinese hacker group targets Japanese and South Korean businesses (Nikkei Asian Review)

Ex-ASDF official arrested for allegedly leaking military secrets (Kyodo News)

INTERNATIONAL

LDP Kawamura calls on ROK assembly speaker for the enactment of bill on requisitioned workers (Mainichi)

Hong Kong's Agnes Chow defies travel ban in Skype appeal to Japan (Nikkei Asian Review)

Is China following Japan into the haven of Southeast Asian nations? (Nikkei Asian Review)

South Korean visitors to Japan dive 25.9 pct in 2019 (Jiji Press)

Myanmar body confirms Rohingya killings, says no "genocidal intent" (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Despite US, China signing trade pact, 'crux' of conflict still remains (The Mainichi)

Russia releases Japanese fishing boat seized off Hokkaido (Kyodo News)

Op-ed: Evolving Japan-U.S. alliance remains vital to peace, stability (The Japan News)

ECONOMY

Japan to require internet users to pay 5G maintenance fees (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan to compile strategy for 6G network (Jiji Press)

Editorial: How far will court go in judging suspension of Ikata power plant? (The Japan News)

Editorial: Ikata ruling a warning against optimism over nuke safety risks (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Court order to halt Ehime nuclear reactor serves as safety inspection warning (The Mainichi)

Gov't predicts Japan's fiscal target unattainable by FY 2025 (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Advance effective division of roles for Haneda, Narita airports (The Japan News)

POLITICS

Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 17, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 18, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 19, 2020 (Sankei)

Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 20, 2020 (Sankei)

Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Jan. 20-26 (Kyodo News)

In policy speech, Abe vows to establish 'new era of Japanese diplomacy' (The Japan Times)

Aso vows to put Japan on sustainable, private sector-led growth (Kyodo News)

Abe vows reforms to tackle demographic, diplomatic challenges (Kyodo News)

Japan's Communist Party raps China in 1st platform change since 2004 (Kyodo News)

Japan opposition submits bill to scrap casino-related laws (Jiji Press)

Casino bribes scandal threatens to upend Diet debate as public opposition climbs (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: Politics as card game (Tokyo Shimbun)

Cartoon: Leaning pillar of growth strategy (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Commentary: Why think tanks matter in Japan (The Japan Times)

OPINION POLLS

50% approve of dispatch of MSDF assets to Middle East, 58% opposed to promoting IRs, Yomiuri poll (Yomiuri)

Over 60% want Japan's casino project reconsidered amid bribery scandal, Mainichi poll (The Mainichi)

LDP's Ishiba favored as next Japan PM, but 'none of the above' top pick, Mainichi poll (The Mainichi)

Abe cabinet approval rate little changed at 40.4 pct, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

Opposition to constitutional reform under Abe rises to 46 pct, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

80 pct in Japan tolerate capital punishment system, Cabinet Office survey (Jiji Press)

SCIENCE

Japan govt to launch research center for CO2 emission cuts (Jiji Press)

JAXA satellite sets world record for lowest orbit of Earth (The Asahi Shimbun)

Tokyo Univ. professor aims to develop quantum computer (Nikkei)

SOCIETY

WWF voices concern over Tokyo Olympics' environment standards (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Use 2020 Tokyo Games to boost number of foreign visitors to Japan (The Japan News)

Editorial: Improve preparedness based on lessons of '95 Hanshin Earthquake (The Japan News)

Remarks by the Prime Minister marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Japan-US Security Treaty (Kantei Website)

Editorial: Pass on lessons from Great Hanshin Earthquake to future generations (The Mainichi)

JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
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U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team