Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, September 2, 2020
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Noon news

All networks led with reports saying Typhoon Maysak is approaching northern Kyushu, and Typhoon Haishen, which is expected to develop into a powerful tropical storm, may hit western Japan around Sunday.


Suga to officially announce candidacy for LDP leader in late afternoon

All networks reported at noon that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga is expected to hold a press conference in the late afternoon to officially announce his candidacy for the LDP presidency. The networks also reported that the LDP is expected to decide at an ad hoc meeting of its General Council this afternoon to begin the official campaign for the LDP presidential race on Sept. 8 and hold the election on Sept. 14. Fuji TV reported that Suga is expected to emphasize continuity in COVID-19 measures and the economic, foreign, and security policies under the Abe cabinet, while both Ishiba and Kishida will have no choice but to adopt strategies that promote policies that differ from those of the Abe administration. Noting that Suga now has the backing of five of the LDP’s seven factions, the network said support for him is likely to intensify. The network added that the chairmen of the Hosoda, Aso, and Takeshita factions are expected to hold a joint press conference after Suga's announcement to express their support for him.

Over 30 LDP prefectural chapters to hold primaries ahead of leadership election

Yomiuri wrote that at least 33 prefectural chapters of the ruling LDP, including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aichi, and Hiroshima, are leaning toward holding primary elections involving rank-and-file members to choose the next party president. The results of the closed primaries will be reflected in the voting of three delegates of each prefecture in the leadership election on Sept. 14 involving all 394 LDP Diet members. As the party headquarters is set to finance the prefectural primaries, additional local chapters may decide to hold them.

•  Suganomics’ from A to Z: policies of Japan’s PM front-runner   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 1, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Suga cautious about early Lower House election   (Jiji Press)

•  Roundup of newspaper editorials on PM Abe’s announcement of his intention to resign   (Sankei)

•  Editorial: Policy debate for LDP presidential election must not be disregarded   (The Japan News)

•  Post-Abe Japan to stay the course, as Suga and rivals offer fine-tuning   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Editorial: Japan ruling party leadership race turns into factional power game   (The Mainichi)

•  Is post-Abe Japan a buy or sell? Foreign investors seek insights   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Head of new Japan opposition party to be elected Sept. 10   (Jiji Press)

•  Nine lawmakers not joining newly merged opposition party   (Asahi)

•  Nippon Ishin leader welcomes Suga’s candidacy for LDP president   (Sankei)

•  Cartoon: Calling Mr. Suga   (Asahi)

•  Cartoon: Mad rush to fill Abe’s seat   (Tokyo Shimbun)


Pentagon report: China to double nuclear warheads over next decade

NHK and TBS reported today that the Pentagon released on Tuesday its annual report on military and security developments in China, saying that it predicts that China will double its warheads in the next ten years. According to TBS, the Pentagon estimates that the number of nuclear warheads China currently possesses is in the low 200s, and this is projected to at least double as China expands and modernizes its nuclear forces. The network added that the Defense Department is increasing its vigilance as it projects that China is pursuing a "nuclear triad" with the development of a nuclear capable air-launched ballistic missile, intercontinental ballistic missile, and submarine-launched ballistic missile.

Xi to attend commemoration of 75th anniversary of victory over Japan

Yomiuri reported online from Beijing that according to a Chinese media outlet, CCP leader Xi plans to attend a ceremony to be held on Thursday commemorating China’s victory over Japan in WWII 75 years ago. The paper noted that this will be the first time for the Chinese leader to take part in the annual war memorial event in five years, conjecturing that he has skipped it for the past four years in an effort to improve ties with Tokyo.

•  U.S. issues worldwide alert over N. Korea’s missile procurement push   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan’s next leader to face tighter squeeze from China and U.S.   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Hong Kong police question activist Agnes Chow again over security law   (Kyodo News)

•  Commentary: ‘Debt trap’ diplomacy is a card China seldom plays in Belt and Road initiative   (The Japan Times)

•  China’s military expansion follows path of the U.S.   (Nikkei)


•  MOD selects 21 projects for defense studies funding program   (Akahata)

•  Onboard infection delays SDF ship’s mission   (NHK WORLD)

•  Editorial: Japan must work with U.S. to stop China’s missile launch provocations   (Japan Forward)

•  Japan poised to create system to certify researchers and engineers handling sensitive tech   (Asahi digital)


•  Adoption of international standards a requirement for 5G assistance: METI   (Nikkei)

•  Japan may run short of nuclear energy experts, report warns   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan rice prices may fall for 1st time in 6 yrs   (Jiji Press)

•  Disaster-prone Japan doubles as real-world test lab for US startups   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japan FSA makes globalization policy priority   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan July jobless rate climbs to 2.9 pct   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan’s new auto sales fall 16 pct in Aug.   (Jiji Press)


•  Japan to provide long-term support to Mauritius after oil spill   (Kyodo News)


•  Japan finally lifts COVID-based reentry ban for foreign residents   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Commentary: How to reopen national borders   (The Japan Times)

•  Infographic: New coronavirus cases and positive test rate in Tokyo (Sept. 1, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 69,866 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 1, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Japan First’ leader’s remarks against Korean school children recognized as hate speech   (The Mainichi)

•  3 in 4 LGBT people want legal rights for same-sex couples   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Osaka unveils googly-eyed logo for 2025 expo expressing ‘the brilliance of life’   (The Mainichi)


•  Next U.S. ambassador-nominee Weinstein may impede reduction of base burden on Okinawa   (Okinawa Times)

•  Construction of facilities for U.S. military begins at ASDF base in Miyazaki   (Okinawa Times)

•  Council calls for PFOA emissions reporting to be made mandatory   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team