Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, September 4, 2020
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Noon news

Most broadcasters gave top coverage to reports on powerful Typhoon Haishen, which is expected to make landfall on Kyushu over the weekend. TV Asahi led with a report that an earthquake with a seismic intensity of lower 5 hit Fukui Prefecture this morning, saying that no abnormalities were reported at the four nuclear power plants in the prefecture.


Senior U.S., Japanese officials confirm importance of U.S.-Japan alliance

NHK reported that National Security Secretariat Secretary General Kitamura and National Security Advisor O'Brien held a teleconference this morning, during which O'Brien said he hoped Prime Minister Abe would get well following his announcement that he will resign for health reasons. According to the network, the two officials exchanged views on the security environment in the Asia Pacific region and measures against COVID-19. They also reportedly confirmed the importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance and cooperation between "like-minded nations" that share universal values such as democracy, and agreed to work more closely.

First Lady Melania Trump expresses appreciation for Abe’s efforts to strengthen alliance

Kyodo News reported from Washington that according to an announcement by the White House, First Lady Melania Trump spoke with Prime Minister Abe's wife Akie by phone on Thursday. During the call, the First Lady reportedly expressed appreciation for the efforts of PM Abe and and his wife to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and said she is praying for Abe's swift recovery. In addition, Mrs. Trump referred to the fact that Abe is the longest serving prime minister in the history of Japan and congratulated him on such an outstanding achievement. Kyodo said the two First Ladies confirmed that they will remain friends.

Accusations of Uighur forced labor put Japanese firms under pressure (NHK WORLD)

Modi calls for ‘trustworthy’ supply chains, in alternative to China (Nikkei Asian Review)

10 years after Senkaku boat collision: Japan’s lack of post-arrest policy forestalls response (Nikkei)

Editorial: Learn the lessons from 7 years and 8 months of Japan PM Abe’s administration (The Mainichi)

Commentary: The search for a leader in the post-pandemic new order (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Dangerous tensions at the top of the world – again (The Japan Times)

Abe discusses decision to step down with U.N. chief Guterres (Kyodo News)

Russia holds events on Etorofu for WWII victory (NHK WORLD)


Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 3, 2020 (Sankei)

Suga consolidated power through rewards and reprisals (Asahi)

Suga does not rule out early election (Jiji Press)

Fumio Kishida unveils platform in bid to stand out from Suga (The Japan Times)

Views and achievements of post-Abe candidates Suga, Kishida, and Ishiba (Nikkei)

Abe’s remarks attributable to Suga’s lead in leadership race (Jiji Press)

Suga sounds negative about consumption tax cut (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Next prime minister must do more than continue Abe Cabinet policies (The Japan News)

Editorial: Osaka residents should be informed of metropolis plan’s costs, benefits (The Japan News)

LDP’s Moriyama sets record as longest-serving Diet affairs chief (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Abe still has a lot of explaining to do about nagging political scandals (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: Factional politics (Sankei)


38% of pollees say Suga is best to serve as next prime minister, Asahi poll (Asahi)

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun (Asahi)


Chinese fleet approached Hawaii: Taiwan report (Sankei)


Difficult to address removal of auto tariffs: Former USTR Chief of Staff Greer (Asahi)

Half of Japan biz leaders expect slow economic recovery (Jiji Press)

Keidanren to call for expansion of Japan’s R&D tax breaks (Jiji Press)

Japan PM hopeful Suga cites ‘too many regional banks’ (Nikkei Asian Review)

Talks on N-waste site end without agreement in Hokkaido (Jiji Press)

Amazon’s Japan unit submits set of reforms to antitrust watchdog (Kyodo News)

Japanese business rethinks high-tech deals with China, Japan Center for Economic Research and Nikkei poll (Nikkei)


Koizumi pledges support over oil spill off Mauritius (Jiji Press)


Infographic: New coronavirus cases and positive test rate in Tokyo (Sept. 3, 2020) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 71,118 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 3, 2020) (NHK digital)


JR East to bring forward last train departures in Tokyo come spring (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japanese kids suffer near worst mental health among richest nations (Kyodo News)


Suga reportedly acknowledges connection between subsidies and FRF construction

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo highlighted remarks made to the press on Thursday by Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, who effectively admitted that a GOJ subsidy for construction of a second runway at Naha Airport is linked to U.S. base issues. Noting that the Abe administration's official position is that Tokyo supports Okinawa's economic development irrespective of its views on Futenma relocation and other force realignment programs, the dailies claimed that the shoo-in for prime minister made it clear that his administration would use its subsidies and grants for the southernmost prefecture to enlist support for the FRF construction. The papers expressed concern that if Okinawa remains opposed to the initiative, it might not receive sufficient funds for economic revitalization.

Okinawa Times publishes book on U.S. bases (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team