Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, January 23, 2020
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Noon news

All networks led with reports that the city of Wuhan has announced that it will temporarily shut down its public transportation in order to contain the outbreak of the new coronavirus. NHK reported on a MOFA announcement this morning saying that it has raised the infectious disease alert level of Wuhan and called on the Japanese public to avoid non-essential travel to the city.


Number of Japanese visitors to ROK exceeds 3 million for first time in 7 years

NHK reported online that the number of visitors from Japan to South Korea in 2019 rose 11% from the previous year, exceeding three million for the first time in seven years. According to an announcement by the Korea Travel Bureau on Wednesday, the number of Japanese visitors to the country was 3.27 million in 2019. The network reported that the bureau analyzes that the increase is due to the strong yen as well as the growing popularity of South Korea as a travel destination among young Japanese as there are many "Instagram-worthy" places in the country.

Japan rejects S. Korean protest over territory museum (Jiji Press)

Japan professor submits petition seeking return of Chinese colleague (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Let world know facts about Japan's territories — and don't forget at home (The Japan News)

The U.S.-Iran crisis and Tokyo's response (The Japan Times)


TEPCO eyes 44 years to decommission Fukushima No. 2 plant (Jiji Press)

Nuclear watchdog head defends Ikata assessment (NHK WORLD)

Japan posts goods trade deficit for 2nd year in row in 2019 (Kyodo News)

Koizumi's remarks on coal-fired power plant exports draw mixed opinions (Jiji Press)


Prime minister's schedule on Jan. 22, 2020 (Sankei)

Gist of interpellations at Lower House plenary session, Jan. 22, 2020 (Yomiuri)

LDP's Koga expresses support for Kishida to succeed Abe as prime minister (Mainichi)

Questions raised about Abe's claims in speech (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Environment Minister Koizumi serves as role model by taking child care leave (The Mainichi)

Abe denies false statements over scandal as opposition ups pressure (Kyodo News)

Constitutional reform schedule not dependent on Abe's term of office (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Abe failed to regain public trust with replies to questions (The Asahi Shimbun)


13 pct of local govts in Japan working on SDGs (Jiji Press)


Private sector technology to be used for national security (Nikkei)

U.S. Marine participating in Japan-U.S. joint drill causes fender-bender in Tomakomai (Tomakomai Minpo)

U.S. defense hardware sales to Japan to be checked closely (Jiji Press)

Japan seeks transparency for pricey US defense gear (Nikkei Asian Review)

Cybersecurity courses see surge in popularity (The Japan News)

Editorial: 60 years later, Japan-US security pact remains as vital as ever (Nikkei Asian Review)

Questioning the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty: Developing cooperation with nations that share our values (Mainichi)


Japan raises travel warning for coronavirus-hit Wuhan (Jiji Press)

EXCLUSIVE: Japan eyeing preventive pig culling within 3 kilometers of ASF-hit farm (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Take sensible measures to prevent spread of coronavirus pneumonia (The Japan News)

Investment in International Space Station at crossroads (Nikkei)


Japan struggling to prepare for coronavirus threat (Jiji Press)

Cryptocurrency thieves arrested by Tokyo police (Jiji Press)

Olympic torch relay to visit Fukushima n-plant host town (Jiji Press)

Japan Olympic, Paralympic team outfits for Tokyo Games revealed (Kyodo News)

Late-night train services planned during Tokyo Olympics (Kyodo News)

Visa exemptions seen driving rise in illegal stays by Thais, Indonesians (The Japan News)


DUI-related arrests involving U.S. military personnel in Okinawa increase

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that according to data compiled by the Okinawa Prefectural Government, the number of U.S. military personnel arrested in Okinawa on suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol last year increased to 38 from 24 in the previous year. According to the prefectural government, the number of such arrests has increased for four straight years. Among the 38 arrests, 21 involved Marines. The paper noted that the U.S. military in Okinawa greatly relaxed its "liberty regulations" in February 2019. The prefectural government conveyed the data to the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Bureau and the U.S. military by phone when it asked them to take measures to prevent its personnel from driving under the influence of alcohol in response to the arrest of a Marine on Jan. 19 in Uruma on suspicion of DUI.

Kadena municipal government interviews residents on possible health damage from Kadena AB (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Male foreign national arrested for possession of bullets at airport (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team