Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 8, 2020
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Noon news

Most broadcasters led with reports saying that official campaigning for the LDP presidential election kicked off today with Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga, former LDP Secretary General Ishiba, and LDP policy chief Kishida competing for the post. Fuji TV led with a report saying that two people died, four are missing, and 108 were injured as a result of Typhoon Haishen, which hit Kyushu over the weekend.


•  Japan eases entry rules for Taiwan, 4 nations   (NHK WORLD)

•  U.S. urges closer supply chain ties with Taiwan at China’s expense   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Uighurs in Japan call for action to end forced labor in Xinjiang   (The Japan Times)

•  Abe asks Duterte for stronger Japan-Philippines ties before departure   (Kyodo News)

•  Suga: No issue of sovereignty exists over Senkaku   (NHK WORLD)

•  Japan to give $5 mil. in aid to Lebanon in wake of massive explosion   (Kyodo News)

•  Lighthizer is President Trump’s China “trade-war general”   (Asahi)

•  Japan proposed Iranian oil, U.S. grain swap in failed initiative   (Kyodo News)

•  Commentary: Neither U.S. nor China will lead post-coronavirus order   (The Japan Times)

•  Editorial: Fight efforts by China, Russia to rewrite WWII history against Japan   (Japan Forward)


Nikai becomes longest serving LDP secretary general

NHK reported this morning that LDP Secretary General Nikai became the longest serving secretary general of the LDP today, overtaking Kakuei Tanaka's record of 1,497 days in the position. The network said attention will be focused on whether Nikai will remain in his post when the LDP executive lineup is reshuffled by Abe's successor on Sept. 14. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga reportedly told the press on Monday: "It is essential for the government and the ruling parties to work closely in order to implement policies. The secretary general is very reliable as he has the ability to unite the party."

•  Q&A: Liberal Democratic Party’s presidential election   (Kyodo News)

•  Gist of campaign platforms for LDP leadership election   (Kyodo News)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 4, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 5, 2020   (Sankei)

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

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 7, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Sept. 7-13   (Kyodo News)

•  Suga keen to reorganize Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry   (The Japan News)

•  Suga announces 6 policies based on Abe administration ahead of LDP presidential race   (The Japan News)

•  Snap election decision up to next leader: Suga   (Jiji Press)

•  Komeito opposes early dissolution of Lower House   (Yomiuri)

•  New LDP chief may spell end to reign of economy ministry   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Is Suga merely intent on taking over PM Abe’s political agenda?   (The Mainichi)

•  Suga’s support from five factions inconsistent with his belief against factionalism in politics   (Mainichi)

•  Japan’s LDP presidential candidate Yoshihide Suga’s book on politics soars in price   (The Japan News)

•  Interview: Japan’s Suga backs Kuroda to keep monetary policy ultra-easy   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  How Japan’s Suga went from dark horse to favorite in PM race   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  The ‘Iron Wall,’ the ‘prince’ and the ‘military geek’: A look at the trio vying to lead Japan   (The Japan Times)

•  Nikai to become longest-serving LDP secretary-general   (Jiji Press)

•  Nippon Ishin no Kai sees an ally in Suga in LDP leadership race   (The Japan Times)

•  Gov’t to tap Hideki Tarumi as MHLW vice-minister   (Yomiuri)

•  Editorial: Turn the LDP election into a public debate on long-term policy   (Japan Forward)

•  Efforts to decentralize Japan have a long history   (The Japan Times)

•  Cartoon: Standing above the rest   (Tokyo Shimbun)


•  46% view Suga as most suitable choice for Japan’s next prime minister, Yomiuri poll   (The Japan News)

•  Approval for Abe cabinet jumps 15 points after resignation announcement, Yomiuri poll   (The Japan News)

•  Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun   (Yomiuri)


•  Commentary: Fear of crumbling US-Japan pact drove Abe’s defense expansion   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japanese companies increasingly target of ransomware cyber-attacks   (The Japan News)

•  Suga slams ministry for slow report of Aegis Ashore problems   (Jiji Press)

•  FOCUS: Japan policy on strike capability could raise tensions in East Asia   (Kyodo News)

•  Former SDF members targeted in attack on Facebook   (Sankei)

•  Editorial: Japan ministry report on canceled missile defense plan far from satisfactory   (The Mainichi)

•  EXCLUSIVE: Germany wary about Japan’s participation in patrol plane project   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan to acquire long-range missiles in 2022   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Dialogue necessary to ease US-China military tensions   (The Mainichi)


•  Nissan received record 130 bil. yen state loan guarantee   (Kyodo)

•  Japan phone carriers fear rate cuts under a Prime Minister Suga   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Blast furnaces in Japan go cold on sharp decline in steel demand   (The Japan News)

•  Japan’s Sompo buys US crop insurer as weather risks grow   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Key index suggests Japan economy slumping for record-long period   (Kyodo News)

•  With few passengers, ANA and JAL haul cargo to stay aloft   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  ANA to resume flights to Hawaii in Oct. for 1st time in 6 months   (Kyodo News)

•  Small Japanese towns look to lead world in smart-city tech   (Nikkei Asian Review)


GOJ mulls easing on Sept. 19 restrictions on number of attendees at major events

TBS reported at noon on the finding that according to a source, the GOJ is considering relaxing the limitation on attendees at major events as early as Sept. 19, earlier than the original date of Sept. 30. Noting that the GOJ is currently limiting the number of people allowed to attend major events, such as concerts and sport events, to 5,000 or 50% of the total seating capacity, the network said it is examining the possibility of relaxing the restriction to allow 70 or 80% of the total seating capacity for events where spectators do not cheer, such as classic music concerts and Noh theater. In addition, the GOJ is also mulling whether to allow more than 10,000 spectators to attend professional sporting events. The network said the GOJ will make a final decision on the matter on Friday during a meeting of its advisory subcommittee on the new coronavirus.

•  Editorial: Strengthening airport screening a key part of easing entry restrictions   (The Japan News)

•  Japan holds 1st meeting on COVID-19 steps for Tokyo Olympics   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan to spend 700 b. yen in reserves for virus response   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Present path for safe operation of Olympic Games with measures against infections   (The Japan News)

•  New procedures to test and treat COVID-19 to start from October   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Public consensus needed before any virus vaccine hits the market   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Commentary: All-out effort needed to learn successful virus response   (The Japan Times)

•  Tokyo Olympics venues now available for rent   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Women bear brunt of Japan’s pandemic job losses   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 7, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 73,033 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 7, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Editorial: Shambolic approach to education under Abe’s tenure   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Japan to double language support budget for foreign children   (Kyodo News)


•  Editorial: Understanding of AI’s capabilities, drawbacks needed for wise use   (The Japan News)

•  Commentary: A supersurveillance society and its impact on democracy   (The Japan Times)

•  Harsher treatment or second chances? Japan at crossroads in juvenile law debate   (The Japan Times)

•  2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster museum to open in Futaba town   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Bangladeshi tech talent heads to Japan’s north to Sapporo expat scene   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  LGBT information center to open in October ahead of Tokyo Olympics   (Kyodo News)


Okinawa reacts strongly to U.S. report on cause of Futenma foam leak

The Saturday editions of Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo front-paged reports on the announcement on Friday by U.S. Marine Corps Okinawa that the massive leak of foam extinguisher containing PFOS from MCAS Futenma in April occurred as a result of a barbecue held at a base hangar. The papers wrote that residents near the base expressed anger over the incident and distrust of the U.S. military. Tuesday’s Okinawa Times quoted Governor Tamaki as telling reporters on Monday that he was speechless when he heard the massive leakage was caused by a barbecue. The governor said it is necessary to be very careful when selecting venues for events to boost the morale of personnel.

In a related development, the papers wrote on Sunday that Defense Minister Kono told reporters on Saturday that Japan will work with the United States to replace the existing extinguisher foam with PFOS-free products.

•  Drone flights over 15 U.S. military bases in Japan prohibited   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team