Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 1, 2020
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Noon news

All networks led with reports on powerful Typhoon Maysak, which is moving away from Okinawa and heading toward Kyushu.


LDP presidential election to exclude rank-and-file party members

NHK reported that the LDP has decided to exclude rank-and-file members from the upcoming party presidential election and instead hold a joint plenary meeting of party members of both chambers to select Abe's successor. The network said senior LDP members, including Secretary General Nikai, proposed holding a scaled-down version of the election in view of the need to swiftly launch a new administration amid the coronavirus pandemic. Although some members reportedly welcomed the proposal, others stressed the need for the views of the rank-and-file members to be reflected in the election. Party executives eventually decided to hold a scaled-down version of the election while asking each prefectural chapter to hold preliminary votes in order to reflect the views of rank-and-file members. Prefectural representatives will cast ballots according to the results of the preliminary voting. According to the network, the candidates will compete for 535 votes: 394 from the Diet members and 141 from representatives of the 47 prefectures. The network said the election campaign is likely to kick off on Sept. 8 and the voting will probably take place on Sept. 14.

Suga to announce intention to run for LDP president on Wednesday

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga has decided to hold a press conference tomorrow to officially announce that he will run for LDP president. The network said support for Suga is growing, as the Hosoda faction—the largest faction in the LDP—has now decided to support Suga in addition to the second largest Aso faction and the fourth largest Nikai faction. A group of unaffiliated lawmakers is also reportedly expected to support Suga. The network said that during his press conference Suga will likely stress the need to continue Abe's policies and make an all-out effort to deal with the new coronavirus in light of the fact that he has supported the Abe administration for the past seven years and eight months.

The network later reported that LDP Secretary General Kishida officially announced his candidacy this afternoon.

•  Who is Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga?   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 31, 2020   (Sankei)

•  LDP to convene extraordinary Diet session on Sept. 16   (Nikkei)

•  Edano projected to head new opposition party   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan’s LDP to elect Abe’s successor without grassroots members   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Commentary: All you need to know about how Abe’s successor will be chosen   (The Japan Times)

•  Editorial: Negative legacy of ‘Abenomics’ weighs heavy on Japan   (The Mainichi)

•  Abe’s silent nod opened floodgates of support for longtime aide   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  CCS Suga is most likely post-Abe candidate   (FACTA)

•  Editorial: ‘Abenomics’ hit a dead end long before achieving its key goals   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: LDP should heed calls of rank-and-file members for presidential race   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Opinion: Abe achieved results by pragmatic approach in diplomatic, security fields   (Yomiuri)

•  Cartoon: No fight left in him   (Tokyo Shimbun)


•  Kyodo News spot opinion poll & results from Tokyo Shimbun   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Public split over whether Lower House should be dissolved this year or next autumn, Nikkei poll   (Nikkei)

•  44% want next PM to continue Abe’s coronavirus countermeasures, Nikkei poll   (Nikkei)


•  Abe to decide Japan policy on strike capability against missile bases   (Kyodo News)

•  Gov’t enacts high-tech equipment law   (Yomiuri)

•  U.S., Japan seek to prepare against new types of missiles with satellite constellations   (Sankei)

•  Documents reveal past Japan-U.S. nuclear discussion (Part 5): Where is the shared vision of the alliance today?   (Asahi evening edition)


•  Japan-Russia visa-free visits canceled this year   (Jiji Press)

•  Commentary: U.S.-China confrontation not a replay of the Cold War   (The Japan Times)

•  Editorial: Japan, U.S. must maintain alliance with eye on China’s maritime push   (The Japan News)

•  S. Korea ruling party selects new leader   (NHK WORLD)

•  Commentary: New power game unfolds in Korean Peninsula ahead of US election   (Nikkei Asian Review)


FM Motegi hopes to reach broad agreement with UK on EPA before Abe steps down

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi expressed hope to reach a broad economic partnership agreement with the UK under the current Abe administration. The network said that although Motegi and his British counterpart Truss had confirmed their commitment to reach a broad agreement by the end of August, no agreement was reached. Motegi was quoted as saying at a press conference today: "Working-level discussions are being held as we speak. However, since this is a negotiation, there could be a delay of a few days or weeks." He added: "We will hold an LDP presidential election, but the current administration will remain in place until the new administration is launched. I am hoping to reach an overall agreement under the current administration if possible."

•  Changes in economic indices over 7 years and 8 months of Abe administration   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Japan’s Daiwa gets green light for investment banking in China   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  IHI steps up drive for electric planes to help cut fuel costs   (Nikkei Asian Review)


•  Dolphin “drive-hunting” starts in western Japan whaling town   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan to send 3rd relief team to Mauritius in response to oil spill   (Kyodo News)

•  Teardown of DJI drone reveals secrets of its competitive pricing   (Nikkei Asian Review)


•  As Japan partially lifts re-entry ban on foreign students, concerns grow over strict procedures   (The Japan Times)

•  Infographic: New coronavirus cases and positive test rate in Tokyo (Aug. 31, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 69,228 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 31, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Post-pandemic, Japanese firms see office as space to foster innovation   (The Japan Times)


U.S. family barred from military bases for 10 years for violating quarantine procedures

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that the U.S. Marine Forces Japan announced on Facebook on Aug. 31 that they have barred from MCAS Iwakuni and all U.S. military installations for 10 years a family of four connected with MCAS Iwakuni who failed to abide by the COVID-19 quarantine procedures in Japan in July. The action followed a misconduct hearing that took place on Aug. 7. According to the announcement, the family arrived at Haneda Airport in Tokyo from the United States on July 12 and underwent PCR testing but then boarded a commercial flight for Kintaikyo Airport on the following day before the results became available. The family gave false information about their travel plans by saying that they would not use public transportation and would drive a rental car to Iwakuni. The tests at Haneda later showed that three of the four family members were infected with the coronavirus. The paper wrote that Defense Minister Kono commented that the incident was extremely regrettable and called on the U.S. military to prevent similar incidents in the future.

•  48 people connected to U.S. military at 8 Okinawa bases test positive for COVID-19   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team