Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, January 22, 2020
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

Most networks gave top play to reports on the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, saying that at a press conference today the Chinese government announced that the number of people infected with the virus has reached 440 and the death toll has risen to 9. TBS led with updates on Upper House member Anri Kawai, the wife of a former justice minister, who paid her campaign staff double the amount permitted under the election law during last year's Upper House election.


DM Kono asks for U.S. cooperation in improving foreign military sales system

NHK reported online on Tuesday evening that Defense Minister Kono met with Lt. Gen. Hooper, Director of the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, who is in charge of the foreign military sales (FMS) program, in which Japan directly procures defense equipment from the U.S. government. Kono reportedly asked for U.S. cooperation in improving the FMS system, saying: "We have been making efforts to resolve the issue of delays in the delivery of and payment for military equipment. In order to speed up procurement, we need to improve the system." In response, Lt. Gen. Hooper reportedly said: "We want to demonstrate that FMS provides Japan with the world's finest equipment in the most efficient and fastest way. We will hold thorough discussions with Japan on the concerns expressed by Minister Kono."

Japan requests improvement in U.S. defense equipment sales (Jiji Press)

Cartoon: Fuji frowns on security pact (Akahata)

Editorial: Cybersecurity measures must improve in wake of Mitsubishi Electric hack (The Japan News)

Okinawa to hold prefectural assembly elections on June 7 (Mainichi)


Asia Peace Foundation launched (Yomiuri)

Japan's territory, sovereignty museum to reopen Tues. (Jiji Press)

Commentary: Where India fits in Japan's Indo-Pacific strategy (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: Truce in trade war (Asahi)


Central banks in Japan and Europe explore digital currencies (Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Abe should offer specific plan to correct deficit-ridden budget (The Asahi Shimbun)

Mitsui O.S.K. committed to LNG investments: president (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Balance of power: Redefining Japan's energy needs (The Japan Times)


Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 21, 2020 (Sankei)

Editorial: Amid scandals, PM Abe shouldn't use Tokyo Olympics for political purposes (The Mainichi)

Eight political parties apply for government subsidies (Yomiuri)


Opinion poll & results from Mainichi Shimbun (Mainichi)

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri)


Toshiba sprints to vanguard of quantum encryption race (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan to invest 30 t. yen for cutting CO2 emissions (Jiji Press)

Japan to strengthen border controls over new coronavirus (Jiji Press)

Abe calls for vigilance, steps against spread of new coronavirus (Kyodo News)


Commentary: Japan going the wrong way in English-education reform (The Japan Times)


Japan to strengthen border controls over new coronavirus (Jiji Press)

Japan, Britain discuss handover of 3 jewelry robbery suspects (Kyodo News)

Japan justice ministry rebuts "hostage justice" criticism (Jiji Press)

Japan to discuss ways to stop bail-jumping (Jiji Press)

Interview: Diet chief wants gov't to draft imperial succession measures (Jiji Press)

Japan streamlines celebration for crown prince's ascension (Kyodo News)

Consumer issues among foreign visitors increase in Japan (Jiji Press)

Japan speeds up barrier-free initiatives ahead of Paralympics (The Japan Times)


Top Marine stresses importance of Okinawa in making Indo-Pacific "free, open"

Okinawa Times reported from Washington on the USMC Commandant's Planning Guidance that Gen. Berger issued last year, highlighting his statement that the Okinawa-based III MEF will "become our main focus-of-effort" to support the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and the Commander, 7th Fleet. In a follow-up administrative message released earlier this month, the general also said: "My priorities towards INDO-PACOM ultimately require our best and brightest to seek assignments with III MEF because the problem at hand will require our collective problem-solving skills to overcome." The daily interpreted his remarks to mean that the Marine Corps plans to step up the functions of its bases in Okinawa, adding that the annual Force Level Summit for senior Marine officials, which is customarily held in Washington, was convened in Okinawa last week.

U.S. serviceman arrested on suspicion of causing DUI accident (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Marine arrested on suspicion of stealing bicycle (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team