Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, May 26, 2020
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Noon news

NHK, NTV, and Fuji TV gave top coverage to reports that commuters in Tokyo expressed both excitement and concern this morning about the lifting of the state of emergency nationwide on Monday. TBS and TV Asahi led with reports that the number of people out and about in the Tokyo metropolitan area is increasing as businesses are beginning to reopen following the lifting of the state of emergency.


•  No. of COVID-19 hospital beds and hospitalized COVID-19 patients, MHLW   (NHK digital)

•  Prefectures use different methods to calculate positive test rate for COVID-19   (Asahi)

•  Q&A COVID-19: Japan’s low PCR test rate   (Japan Forward)

•  Japan cautiously lifts last of virus emergency controls   (The Japan Times)

•  Japan sidestepped COVID-19’s worst, so what now?   (The Japan Times)

•  Japan to phase out entry restrictions from summer   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Effective antigen, antibody testing key to coexisting with coronavirus   (The Mainichi)

•  Newspaper, TV bodies in Japan vow discrimination-free coverage of coronavirus   (The Japan News)

•  Nippon Foundation to secure 100 taxis for COVID-19 patients   (Jiji Press)

•  Cartoon: From one emergency to the next   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  N.Y., Fukushima hospitals share coronavirus treatment guidelines   (Jiji Press)

•  Infographic: 17,344 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19   (NHK digital)

•  Editorial: Public support needed for firms during COVID-19 but with limits   (The Asahi Shimbun)


Motegi expresses concern about China’s treatment of Hong Kong

NHK reported on its website that concerning China’s plan to impose sweeping anti-sedition laws in Hong Kong, Foreign Minister Motegi said at an Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee session today: "Japan takes the position that the stable prosperity of a free and open Hong Kong is important. China's latest moves raise considerable concern. This is an issue that warrants not only our close monitoring but also thorough communication with China. " According to the network, Motegi also commented on the postponement of Chinese leader Xi's visit to Japan, saying: "Visits by the leaders are important for building a new era of partnership between Japan and China. We need to endeavor to resolve pending issues one by one. We hope to begin conducting coordination on the visit with the Chinese side at an appropriate time."

•  Editorial: China’s authoritarian policies clash with world’s need for cooperation   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: China’s military buildup will only jeopardize its own future   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Experts’ views on National People’s Congress in China   (Nikkei)

•  Japan seeks talks with China on rescheduling Xi’s state visit   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  No progress seen in repairing Japan-ROK relations over GSOMIA   (The Japan News)

•  Commentary: Japan must start drafting an Indo-Pacific charter   (The Japan Times)

•  Japan must learn from failure of Abe’s Russia policy   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japan must cement ties with ASEAN in health care security   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Russia proposes shelving jurisdiction issue in isle talks with Japan   (Kyodo News)

•  Abe tells Guterres Japan to work closely with U.N. over coronavirus   (Kyodo News)


•  Cabinet support rate falls to 29% over response to virus, Kurokawa, Asahi poll   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun   (Asahi)

•  Notification of change in polling methodology, Mainichi poll   (Mainichi)

•  PM Abe Cabinet’s support sinks to 27% amid prosecutors’ retirement bill criticism, Mainichi poll   (The Mainichi)

•  Slim majority approve lifting Japan’s state of emergency, Mainichi survey   (The Mainichi)

•  Opinion poll & results from Mainichi Shimbun   (Mainichi)


•  Editorial: Put economy on recovery track after emergency lifted   (The Japan News)

•  Japan to implement stimulus measures for tourism industry in July   (The Japan News)

•  Top business lobby urges firms to become more creative during crisis   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan’s finmin, c.bank governor vow to use all tools to combat virus fallout   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Prevent currency crisis in emerging economies suffering capital outflow triggered by pandemic   (The Japan News)

•  Mitsubishi Heavy to close two SpaceJet offices in North America   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  UV sanitizer lamp zaps viruses but not skin, maker says   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Crowdfunding projects help virus-hit businesses in Japan   (Jiji Press)


•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 22, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 23, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 24, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on May 25, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for May 25-31   (Kyodo News)

•  Abe comes down on side of economy with decision to reopen Tokyo   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Strength of in-house groups in House of Councillors   (Yomiuri)

•  Foreign Ministry strengthening aid for Japanese citizens abroad   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Enhance support for Japanese nationals abroad to ensure safety in emergencies   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Kurokawa’s resignation does not let Abe off the hook for fiasco   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Abe’s influence takes a hit with prosecutor scandal and bill reversal   (The Japan Times)

•  Ministry to financially support medical, nursing care staff fighting coronavirus   (Nikkei)

•  Hayashi tapped as Tokyo High Prosecutors Office chief   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan opposition struggling over Tokyo governor race candidate   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Gambling scandal involving Japan’s No. 2 prosecutor disgraceful   (The Mainichi)


•  Privacy in a pandemic? Contact-tracing apps gain global popularity   (Nikkei Asian Review)


•  Reality sinks in over proposal to change start of academic year   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  80 pct of Japanese mayors against Sept. school enrollment   (Jiji Press)


•  Japan suggests action against cyberbullying after celebrity’s death   (Jiji Press)

•  Missing remote islands could shrink Japan’s territorial waters   (The Japan News)

•  Japan confirms 1st rabies case in 14 yrs   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan enacts law for foreign lawyers’ service expansion   (Jiji Press)


Okinawa police to send papers to prosecutors on two suspects over robbery in Chatan

NHK reported this morning that the Okinawa police have decided to send papers to the prosecutors soon on a U.S. Army serviceman and a U.S. civilian base worker who are currently being detained by the U.S. military for the May 12 robbery of an exchange shop in Chatan, Okinawa. The network said the U.S. side has detained the two suspects based on the SOFA, and the Okinawa police have been questioning them on a voluntary basis and have taken possession of the stolen cash and the getaway vehicle from the U.S. side. As a result, the Okinawa police reportedly decided to file the papers with the prosecutors on charges of robbery. According to the network, the custody of the suspects will be handed over to the Japanese authorities after indictment and they will stand trial in Japan.

•  Local gov’ts are informed of U.S. military coronavirus cases but do not disclose information   (Kanagawa Shimbun)

•  Japan-U.S. joint exercise designed to respond to cyberwar against China   (Asahi)

•  Seiron” column: Consider strategy for post-pandemic world   (Sankei)

•  Editorial: Japan defense forces’ new space unit runs risk of violating pacifist principles   (The Mainichi)

•  Japan’s SDF shows exercise on YouTube   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Japan must beef up space surveillance capabilities to boost deterrence   (The Japan News)


Three Okinawa municipalities lodge protest over robbery in Chatan

The Saturday editions of Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that in response to the recent robbery in Chatan allegedly involving persons connected with the U.S. military, the municipal governments of Kadena, Chatan, and Okinawa sent a letter of protest on May 22 to the U.S. Army’s 10th Support Group, the Air Force's 18th Wing, the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa bureau, the Foreign Ministry’s Okinawa office, and the U.S. Consulate Naha. Okinawa Times wrote that the three municipalities said in the letter that it is very regrettable that the incident happened while U.S. Forces Japan’s public health emergency on COVID-19 is in place and called on the U.S. military to fully cooperate with the local police investigation into the case, tighten discipline, implement effective measures to prevent such incidents in the future, and offer an apology and compensation to the victim.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team