Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, September 9, 2020
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Noon news

NHK, TBS, and Fuji TV led with reports on the start of the official campaign period for the LDP presidential election. NTV and TV Asahi gave top coverage to follow-up reports on the arrest of actor Yusuke Iseya for allegedly possessing marijuana.


U.S., Japan release joint statement on Mekong Delta

NHK reported online that ahead of a series of meetings by ASEAN foreign ministers, the governments of the U.S. and Japan announced in a joint statement on Tuesday that they will strengthen ties with relevant nations to accelerate infrastructure development in the Mekong Delta. According to the network, the two nations pointed out in the joint statement that building power grid infrastructure in Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Myanmar is urgently needed as demand for electricity in these nations is surging as a result of their economic growth. The statement notes that the U.S. and Japan will strengthen cooperation with relevant nations and local power utility firms and provide technical assistance to accelerate infrastructure development in the region. The network speculated that by demonstrating its commitment to developing infrastructure in the Mekong region in cooperation with Japan, the U.S. is aiming to hold China in check in view of its intensifying confrontation with China over the South China Sea.

FOCUS: U.S. analysts fret over political instability in post-Abe Japan (Kyodo News)

Commentary – Japan’s foreign policy: What’s next after Shinzo Abe’s exit? (The Japan Times)

Sino-U.S. tug of war looms large in ASEAN meetings (Nikkei Asian Review)

Germany ends China honeymoon with new Indo-Pacific strategy (Nikkei Asian Review)

Economic primacy shifting back to Asia after 150 years (Nikkei Asian Review)

Akira Amari: Build solidarity based on shared values (Nikkei)


Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 8, 2020 (Sankei)

Nominations for LDP presidential candidates reflect their support bases (Nikkei)

Editorial: Discuss coronavirus crisis strategy in LDP presidential election contest (The Japan News)

Suga eyes full-fledged, long-term administration (Asahi)

Suga: No deals with supportive LDP factions for Cabinet posts (The Asahi Shimbun)

Change vs. status quo? Election for LDP president kicks off (The Asahi Shimbun)

Suga, Kishida and Ishiba hold first public faceoff as LDP race officially begins (The Japan Times)

Suga backs down on Lower House dissolution (Jiji Press)

Suga touts his crisis-management capability (Jiji Press)

All LDP prefectural federations to hold presidential primary except for Akita (Asahi)

INTERVIEW: LDP’s Amari cautious about tax hikes in FY 2021 (Jiji Press)


EDITORIAL: Abe’s initiative for the aborted Aegis Ashore project should be questioned (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Next prime minister needs to ditch Abe’s failed Okinawa policy (The Asahi Shimbun)

AFN celebrates 75th anniversary (Tokyo Shimbun)


Japan companies line up for ‘China exit’ subsidies to come home (Nikkei Asian Review)

Japan imposing duties on Chinese chemical (NHK WORLD)

Electronic security seals broken at Rokkasho nuclear facility (Akahata)

Alibaba and Tencent climb ranks of top Asian earners during pandemic (Nikkei Asian Review)

EXCLUSIVE: FSA eyes tax relief on lending to small firms (Jiji Press)

Tokyo Gas gobbles up discounted $188m stake in US shale project (Nikkei Asian Review)

Bank accounts breached via e-money accounts at NTT Docomo (Jiji Press)

Japan’s GDP logs worst postwar fall of 28.1 pct in April-June (Jiji Press)

Coronavirus-linked business failures reach 500 in Japan (Jiji Press)


Japan launches cancer research project with 5 Asian countries (Kyodo News)

Lunar probe made in small Tokyo factory to go to Moon (Tokyo Shimbun evening edition)


Study-abroad significance felt in face of adversity for Japanese students (The Japan News)

Japan panel calls for small classes for students (Jiji Press)


IOC “Fully Committed” to holding Tokyo Olympics next summer (Jiji Press)

IOC sure Tokyo Games can be held next year: Japan minister (Jiji Press)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 8, 2020) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 73,545 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 8, 2020) (NHK digital)


Japanese antinuclear group leader Mikiso Iwasa dies at 91 (Kyodo News)


Court gives prison sentences to U.S. solider and base worker for Chatan robbery

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that on Tuesday the Naha district court sentenced a U.S. solider to four years and six months and a civilian worker to three years and six months in prison for their involvement in the robbery of a money exchange shop in Chatan on May 12. Prosecutors had requested six-year prison terms for both of them. The 21-year-old U.S. Army private first class and 34-year-old man working for the U.S. Air Force threatened shop staff with a knife and stole roughly 2.1 million yen ($19,000) and about $40,000 in cash.

Airmen rescue boy at Kadena Marina (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team