Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, August 7, 2020
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Noon news

Fuji TV gave top coverage to a report that a meeting of the GOJ's subcommittee on the new coronavirus began this morning, NHK and NTV gave top play to reports on the heavy rain in northern Hokkaido, while TBS led with a report on the extreme heat mainly in the Kanto region today. TV Asahi reported that seven third graders in Adachi-ku, Tokyo, were taken to the hospital due to heatstroke.


U.S. lifts advisory for citizens to avoid all international travel

All networks reported that the State Department has lifted its travel advisory issued in March urging the public to avoid all international travel due to the coronavirus pandemic. The State Department reportedly said in a statement released on Thursday that "with health and safety conditions improving in some countries and potentially deteriorating in others," it is returning to the previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice, with levels from 1 to 4. According to the networks, Japan has been placed at Level 3, urging the public to "reconsider travel" given that "COVID-19 is still a serious concern in Tokyo and across many areas of Japan."

Nippon Steel files immediate appeal over ROK court-ordered asset seizure

All networks reported that Nippon Steel disclosed that it filed an appeal today with a South Korean court over its decision to allow the steelmaker's assets to be seized for liquidation. According to the network, the district court will now decide whether to accept the appeal. NHK reported that the GOJ is calling on the ROK government to swiftly present a solution on the grounds that the court order is "a clear violation of international law," and Nippon Steel has reiterated its position that the issue of wartime labor was settled "completely and finally" through a bilateral agreement in 1965.

U.S. envoy nominee wants Japan to take bigger responsibility (Jiji Press)

U.S. ambassador nominee wants Japan to play bigger alliance role (The Japan Times)

Next U.S. Ambassador to Japan shows willingness to sign “phase two” trade deal (Nikkei)

China’s rise forges new bond between Japan and Five Eyes (Nikkei Asian Review)

China doubles loans to 68 nations, further tightening grip (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan, UK agree to work on COVID-19, Hong Kong (NHK WORLD)

Editorial: S. Korea should not allow issue of requisitioned workers to fester (The Japan News)

At least 7 Japanese are living in North Korea against their will, says freed American who met them (Japan Forward)

Editorial: Global alliance against nuclear weapons should expand further (The Asahi Shimbun)

INTERVIEW: Japan complicit in nuclear threat, ICAN chief says (Jiji Press)

U.N.’s Nakamitsu urges Japan to consider nuke treaty ban (The Asahi Shimbun)


MOD designates 15 USFJ facilities as no-fly zones for drones

NHK reported online that the Ministry of Defense has designated a total of 15 USFJ facilities as no-fly zones for drones for the first time, saying that starting on Sept. 6, drones will not be allowed to fly over such facilities as Yokota AB, MCAS Futenma, Camp Schwab, and MCAS Iwakuni. The Defense Ministry had already designated 27 SDF facilities as no-fly zones based on a law to prevent terrorism. The network said 14 additional ASDF bases have been added to the list of no-fly zones.

Cyberattackers increasingly dividing work: expert (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Japan orchestrating 1st joint cyber drill with U.S., key nations (The Japan News)


Suga comments on 7.5% mortality rate of hospitalized COVID-19 patients

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga commented on the results of analysis by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine showing that the mortality rate of more than 2,600 COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized in medical institutions in Japan was 7.5%, significantly lower than the 20% mortality rate of hospitalized patients in the UK and the U.S. He reportedly said: "We are aware of the report by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine that the mortality rate of COVID-19 patients who were hospitalized from March to early July was 7.5%....We will closely monitor future research and analysis of the contributing factors."

Japan avoids excess deaths in first coronavirus wave (Nikkei Asian Review)

242 students in Japan infected with coronavirus in June-July (Jiji Press)

Japan Medical Association proposes increasing PCR testing (Nikkei)

Japan to agree with AstraZeneca on coronavirus vaccine (Jiji Press)

80 pct of COVID-19 hospitals in Japan in red (Jiji Press)

Infographic: New coronavirus cases and positive test rate in Tokyo (Aug. 6, 2020) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 45,006 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 6, 2020) (NHK digital)


Japan, Britain made progress in trade talks: Motegi (Jiji Press)

TPP postpones talks on Thailand’s entry amid political flux (Nikkei Asian Review)

MLIT releases noise pollution data for new Haneda routes (Tokyo Shimbun)

Editorial: Japan’s stalled nuclear fuel cycle policy (The Japan Times)

Fishing slump presents opportunity for offshore wind power in Hokkaido (Nikkei)

MUFG taps Israeli AI to hunt for Asian unicorns (Nikkei Asian Review)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 6, 2020 (Sankei)

Abe holds 1st news conference in 7 weeks as speculation swirls (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan will bridge gap among countries over nuclear ban treaty, PM Abe (Yomiuri)

Komeito chief cautious about ability to attack enemy bases (Jiji Press)

Gov’t to appoint former Senior Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs Kanasugi next ambassador to Indonesia (Sankei)


Lunar exploration start up, ispace, postpones launch of lunar module for one year (NIKKEI Business Daily)


Editorial: 75 yrs after atomic bombings, Japan and world should push for nuclear abolition (The Mainichi)


Kadena AB checks all F-15 fighters after falling part incident

Okinawa Times wrote that the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Bureau announced on Thursday that it has been informed by Kadena Air Base that it has checked all of the F-15 aircraft deployed there to see if any of their parts are missing following the incident on Tuesday in which a part dropped from an Air Force F-15. The paper wrote that the object that dropped from the aircraft was a metallic part called an “eagle claw” weighing about 3.6 kg. According to the Kadena base, the inspections were conducted after the incident was confirmed on Tuesday. The paper quoted a Kadena official as saying that the base checks all of its aircraft before and after flights to ensure the safety of flights and operations.

Okinawa prefectural government calls on U.S. military to halt parachute drills at Kadena (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team