Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, May 18, 2020
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Noon news

All commercial networks led with reports that the GOJ and the ruling coalition have begun considering a plan to forgo enacting a bill to revise the Public Prosecutor's Office Act to extend the retirement age of prosecutors in view of public opinion. NHK gave top play to a report that Japan's GDP during the January-March quarter shrank an annualized 3.4% in real terms from the previous quarter, saying it was the second quarterly contraction in a row.


•  Gov’t to use “K value” as new indicator of COVID-19 trends   (Sankei)

•  Tokyo guidelines for easing/reinstating requests for social distancing, closures   (Asahi)

•  Strange citation of data in physician’s blog spread by people opposed to PCR test expansion: the lie behind “Japan has no excess death”   (Harbor Business Online)

•  Coronavirus: Vaccine and PCR tests are no panacea   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Changing lifestyles in the post-pandemic ‘new normal’   (The Japan Times)

•  Japan’s coronavirus response is flawed — but it works   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  FCCJ magazine cover draws ire over linkage with COVID-19 crisis   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Government should give careful explanations for contact-tracing app aimed to curb virus’ spread   (The Japan News)

•  Over 1,000 phony websites found: expert   (Jiji Press)

•  Understanding the need to shame someone on social media for not exercising self-restraint during a pandemic   (The Japan Times)

•  Diamond Princess leaves Japan 3 months after virus outbreak   (Kyodo News)

•  Japanese U.N. workers start blog to support virus-hit home country   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Pregnant women need meticulous care to ensure safe childbirths amid virus fears   (The Japan News)

•  Anti-virus’ face mask effective even after being washed 100 times   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Vigilance needed as Japan’s state of emergency declaration partially lifted   (The Mainichi)


•  NHK poll: Majority think Trump reelection would have negative impact on Japan   (NHK)

•  First coronavirus case confirmed in Northern Territories   (Asahi)

•  China’s Belt and Road going off track   (The Japan News)


•  Indo-Pacific network must evolve to meet changing threats   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  DM Kono postpones visit to Aegis Ashore candidate site in Akita

•  SDF joint training to be recommenced at places where state of emergency has been lifted   (Mainichi)

•  FOCUS: China aims to boost ties with Japan amid spat with U.S. over virus   (Kyodo News)

•  U.S. flattop leaves for Indo-Pacific despite lingering risk of virus   (Akahata)

•  Expert: Japan should develop and protect core technologies to boost economic security   (Yomiuri)

•  The Science Council of Japan hinders defense research   (The Japan News)

•  Japan eating China’s quantum encryption dust   (The Japan News)


•  Businesses revamp working styles to cope with prolonged state of emergency

•  Emergency lifting to boost spending only slightly: economists   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan’s economy expected to suffer further   (NHK WORLD)

•  Major bank groups’ combined profits forecast to hit 11-yr low   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan eyeing up to 1.5 m. yen for virus-hit farmers   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Facing poor results, companies urged to carry out reforms for ‘new normal’   (The Japan News)

•  Analysis: Securing transparency in selection of core industries will become a challenge

•  63 pct of businesses in Tokyo use teleworking   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan to mull helping buyers of its coal-fired plants go green   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Coronavirus upsets Japan 5G launch   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Pandemic grounds launch of Japan’s IHI jet engine repair shop   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Sumitomo Chemical funding development of COVID-19 scent sensor   (Kyodo News)

•  Japanese firms cautious about new-grad hires on unclear virus impact, Kyodo News poll of 111 companies   (Kyodo News)


Abe accepts LDP’s policy not to field candidate for Tokyo gubernatorial race if Koike decides to run

NHK reported that Prime Minister Abe accepted the LDP's policy not to field a candidate for the upcoming gubernatorial election in Tokyo slated for July 5 if incumbent Governor Koike decides to run. The network said LDP election bureau chief Shimomura conveyed the policy to Prime Minister Abe at the Kantei today. 

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 15, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 17, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 16, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for May 18-24   (Kyodo News)

•  Editorial: Doubts hang heavily over move to raise prosecutors’ retirement age   (The Mainichi)

•  Editorial: No grounds for move to extend retirement age of top prosecutors   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Cartoon: Political distancing   (Mainichi)


•  64% oppose revising Public Prosecutor’s Office Act, 15% in favor, Asahi spot poll   (Asahi)

•  Spot opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun   (Asahi)


•  Editorial: Find ways to catch up on curriculum, keep virus at bay as schools reopen   (The Japan News)


•  Freelance, LGBT wary of Japan’s new anti-harassment law   (Kyodo)

•  Editorial: Society must watch over children more closely to prevent suicides   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Raise awareness of relief law to help find victims of forced sterilization in Japan   (The Japan News)

•  IOC to bear up to 800 M. dollars for delayed Tokyo Games   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Hibakusha now taking anti-nuke push online amid virus outbreak   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 17,049 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19   (NHK digital)


Okinawa governor expresses anger at robbery allegedly involving U.S. military personnel

Saturday’s Okinawa Times wrote that Okinawa Governor Tamaki responded strongly on Saturday to U.S. military personnel’s alleged involvement in a recent robbery in Chatan by saying that he can’t help but feel extremely angry. The governor reportedly said he will reiterate his request for the U.S. area coordinator to immediately convene a meeting of the Cooperative Working Team that has not been held since April 2017.

The paper also wrote that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga commented on the incident at a news conference on Saturday by reportedly saying that the GOJ will make efforts to prevent incidents and accidents with the cooperation of the United States to ease the concerns of local residents.

•  Stolen cash seized at suspects’ home   (Okinawa Times)

•  Kadena AB extends public health emergency until June 14   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

•  PFOS, PFOA contamination near Futenma lower than government-set level   (Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo)

•  Ginoza assembly calls for U.S. military to disclose information on COVID-19   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team