Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, September 11, 2020
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Noon news

NHK led with a report on the heavy rain in Shikoku today. NTV gave top play to a report on the results of its telephone survey of LDP members across Japan, which found that Suga is leading in the LDP presidential race by more than 10 points as 46% expressed support for him, 35% for Ishiba, and 10% for Kishida. TBS, Fuji TV, and TV Asahi led with reports that tennis player Naomi Osaka has advanced to the finals in the U.S. Open for the first time in two years.


Senior USG official hopes new Japanese leader places importance on U.S.-Japan relations

Jiji Press reported from Washington that Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Japan and Korea Marc Knapper said in an online seminar hosted by the Japan Institute of International Affairs on Thursday that the three candidates running for the LDP presidency "are aware of the importance of the U.S.-Japan relationship." He expressed hope that the new prime minister who will be elected next week will continue the current policies that place importance on partnership between the U.S. and Japan.

Dangling vaccines and aid, US and China vie for ASEAN clout(Nikkei Asian Review)

Editorial: Apparent poisoning of Alexei Navalny reveals Putin’s world(The Japan Times)

Editorial: Is republishing Prophet Muhammad cartoons OK as ‘freedom of expression’?(The Japan News)


China expert Hideo Tarumi appointed as new Japanese ambassador to China

NHK reported that the GOJ decided at a cabinet meeting today to tap senior MOFA official Hideo Tarumi as the new Japanese ambassador to China. According to the network, Tarumi, who joined MOFA in 1985, is a "China school" diplomat and has long been involved in Japan's diplomacy toward China. He previously served as the chief of a division related to China and Mongolia, a minister at the Japanese Embassy in Beijing, and the head of MOFA's Consular Affairs Bureau and the Minister's secretariat. The network added that by tapping an experienced China expert, the GOJ is hoping to stabilize its relationship with China in view of China's maritime advancement and the deepening confrontation between the U.S. and China. The current Japanese Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Minister to the U.S. Kazutoshi Aikawa was appointed the new Japanese ambassador to Iran.

Former PM Nakasone’s memorial service to be held on Oct. 17

NHK reported that the GOJ has decided that a memorial service for former Prime Minister Nakasone to be co-hosted by the cabinet and the LDP will be held at 2 p.m. on Oct. 17 at a Tokyo hotel. The network said the memorial service for Nakasone, who passed away last year, was originally planned for March, but was postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga reportedly told the press today: "We will take all necessary measures against the infectious disease, such as limiting the number of attendees and maintaining sufficient distance between them. The details will be decided by the cabinet and LDP in consultation with the bereaved family."

Editorial: Shift from ‘Abenomics’ focal point of election for Japan’s new PM(The Mainichi)

Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 10, 2020(Sankei)

Speculation grows within LDP over appointment of new chief cabinet secretary(Yomiuri)

Fight for posts under Suga-led govt already underway(Jiji Press)

Ishiba, Kishida fight for second place finish in LDP presidential election to win next race(Nikkei)

Rise in party approval rate after presidential election key to new administration’s longevity(Nikkei)

Column: LDP members elected to office in 1996 behind LDP presidential race(Nikkei)

Nikai is cautious about early dissolution of Diet(Nikkei)

Aso recalls he missed opportunity to dissolve Diet in 2009(Nikkei)

Edano named as chief of Japan’s new main opposition party(Kyodo News)

Editorial: New opposition party must offer viable option to win over voters(The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: New political party formed through merger should propose realistic policies(The Japan News)

Editorial: How will candidates in LDP race bolster economic growth strategy?(The Japan News)


Cabinet support rate rises to 50%, exceeding nonsupport, Mainichi spot poll (Mainichi)

44% back Suga as next LDP president while 36% support Ishiba, Mainichi spot poll (Mainichi)

Spot opinion poll & results from Mainichi Shimbun (Mainichi)


10 years after Senkaku boat collision: Laying the groundwork for U.S. involvement(Nikkei)

Share cyberattack information to improve security in Japan(The Japan News)


UK starts talks with all TPP members to discuss joining pact(Nikkei Asian Review)

NTT Docomo, KDDI, and SoftBank to jointly build 5G stations in remote areas(Nikkei)

Sales of 200,000 tons of 2020-harvested rice to be suspended(Jiji Press)

Japan July core machinery orders up 6.3 pct(Jiji Press)

Japan’s GDP ticks up 0.2% in July: JCER(Nikkei Asian Review)


Japan aims for low carbon rather than no carbon in new environmental standards(The Japan News)

Japanese start-up to test robotic arm in ISS(NHK WORLD)

Green recovery’ offers Japan a chance to slash carbon emissions(The Japan Times)

Oil spill shipper Mitsui O.S.K. weighs Mauritius relief fund(Nikkei Asian Review)


FM Motegi announces resumption of short-term business travel to and from Singapore

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi announced today that Japan will resume short-term business travel to and from Singapore from Sept. 18, saying that this is the first time for Japan to allow the entry of short-term travelers since COVID-19-related restrictions were implemented. According to the network, these short-term travelers will not be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine if they meet certain conditions such as prior presentation of their itineraries. Motegi reportedly said: "This is the first time for us to allow a 'business track' framework targeting short-term travelers. We hope this will become a positive model for the expansion of this framework to other nations."

No. of COVID-19 patients in serious condition began to decline in late August(Yomiuri)

90% of travelers found at Japan’s airports to have COVID-19 show no symptoms(Yomiuri)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 10, 2020)(Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 74,755 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 10, 2020)(NHK digital)


Interview with defendant Kelly: “No conspiracy” with defendant Ghosn (Sankei)

Ghosn case: Unprecedented trial without ringleader (Sankei)

Editorial: Women can only ‘shine’ in society when their rights are respected (The Asahi Shimbun)

Expats retrieve possessions in China through ‘remote transfer’ (The Asahi Shimbun)


Governor calls on U.S. military to review rules on using ignitable devices at base

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that Okinawa Governor Tamaki commented on Thursday on a press report that there was an incident at MCAS Futenma in 2014 in which foam extinguisher containing perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS) leaked because of a barbecue held in a hangar at the base. The governor reportedly asked the U.S. military to review its rules for the use of devices that generate heat in places where sources of ignition are not permitted. "We also call on the U.S. military to come up with measures for the strict enforcement of its rules," he said.

Okinawa Defense Bureau discloses 2019 flight paths of U.S. aircraft utilizing Futenma(Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team