Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, September 14, 2020
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Noon news

All broadcasters gave top coverage to reports on the LDP leadership election today. NHK said that in addition to more than 70% of support from the Diet members, Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga garnered the majority of local votes in the preliminary elections held at local chapters. The networks said Nikai is likely to be retained as the party secretary general, saying that attention will be focused on who will be picked as the new chief cabinet secretary.


Suga elected LDP’s new leader

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga was elected president of the LDP as a result of voting by LDP Diet members and representatives of local chapters this afternoon. Suga is now set to be elected the 99th prime minister of Japan at an extraordinary Diet session on Sept. 16. According to the network, out of the 394 Diet members' votes and the 141 prefectural chapters' votes, Suga won 377; Kishida, 89; and Ishiba, 68. The network said Suga will hold a press conference at the LDP headquarters at 6 p.m. today to announce his views on the policy issues he plans to prioritize. The network added that Suga is expected to officially decide on the lineup of LDP executives tomorrow.

Edano decides on executive lineup of new CDPJ

NHK reported that Yukio Edano, the leader of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the largest opposition party following the merger of two other parties, told the press this morning that he has decided to tap Tetsuro Fukuyama as the party's secretary general, Kenta Izumi as the policy affairs chief, and Jun Azumi as the Diet affairs chief.

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 11, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 12, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Highlights of Japan-related events scheduled for Sept. 14-20   (Kyodo News)

•  Editorial: LDP presidential candidates should present strategies for intl cooperation   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Debate over Japan’s role in US-China tensions needed from PM candidates   (The Mainichi)

•  Editorial: Japan’s new political party must go beyond opposing Abe’s politics   (The Mainichi)

•  Local LDP federations want new leader to tackle COVID-19 and economy   (Asahi)

•  Meet the ‘shadow shogun’ behind the making of Japan’s next prime minister   (The Japan Times)

•  Book review: Shinzo Abe’s sudden resignation leaves a legacy unfinished   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Opinion: Suga the wrong choice to remedy Abe’s failures   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Longtime allies of Japan’s Suga open up about PM front-runner   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Olympic gold winner Murofushi named Japan sports agency head   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan govt appoints Tarumi as new ambassador to China   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan govt to spend 1.6 t. yen from coronavirus reserves   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan appoints ex-Self-Defense Force officer as Djibouti ambassador   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Suga dodges question on whether to call snap election on becoming PM   (Kyodo News)

•  Cartoon: Ishiba overshadowed   (Mainichi)


Suga says building stable relations with nations based on U.S.-Japan alliance extremely important

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Suga stressed at a press conference this morning the importance of building broad and stable relationships with nations based on the U.S.-Japan alliance. He reportedly said: "In general, personal relationships of trust between leaders bring nations closer. In addition, when a prime minister negotiates and conveys messages in multilateral talks, it reinforces understanding and support for the position of Japan. Summit diplomacy is extremely important." While saying that it will not be easy for him to achieve the level of performance of Prime Minister Abe, who successfully built personal relationships of trust with global leaders, Suga reportedly said: "It is extremely important to build broad and stable bilateral relationships based on the U.S.-Japan alliance while taking international affairs into consideration." Meanwhile, concerning the agreement between Israel and Bahrain to normalize their diplomatic relations through the mediation of the Trump administration, Suga reportedly said: "I hope the moves toward easing tensions and stabilization in the Middle East will advance as a result of the latest agreement on top of the normalization agreement between Israel and UAE. I welcome the mediation efforts by the U.S., including President Trump." 

•  Motegi urges unity, peaceful measures at ARF   (NHK WORLD)

•  Editorial: Priority issue for Abe’s successor: Repair soured ties with S. Korea   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Analysis: Coincidence of interests behind quick Japan-U.K. deal   (Jiji Press)

•  With a poker face, Kim Jong Un waits for Japan’s next PM   (Nikkei Asian Review)


•  Certification” for sharing high-tech intelligence   (Nikkei)


•  Big Japan law firms expand China-related services amid tensions   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japan proposes 20 pct rise in Pacific bluefin tuna catch quotas   (Jiji Press)

•  Fears the Fukushima water release will exacerbate local fishing industry’s difficulties   (Asahi)

•  INTERVIEW: Suttsu mayor wants ordinance against n-waste ditched   (Jiji Press)

•  Hokkaido village eyes hosting radioactive waste disposal site   (Jiji Press)

•  Oma N-Plant launch delayed again   (Jiji Press)

•  Morocco lifts post-Fukushima restrictions on food imports from Japan   (Jiji Press)

•  Japanese producers buck weak demand for algae-based biofuel   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Coronavirus-related patents far fewer than those related to other diseases: Nikkei survey   (Nikkei)


•  Japan marks full opening of Fukushima robot test center   (Jiji Press)


•  Foreigners in Japan becoming target of discrimination due to virus   (The Mainichi)

•  Athletes’ training set back after virus delays Tokyo Olympics   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Gov’t to let foreign athletes enter Japan on conditions: sources   (Kyodo News)

•  Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 12, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 76,486 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 13, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  42% of Japan companies actively promote women to key posts: survey   (Kyodo News)

•  90% of young “Nikkei” adults want to connect with each other: survey   (Kyodo News)


•  Japan marks full opening of Fukushima robot test center   (Jiji Press)


•  Exclusive interview with ex-Nissan exec Greg Kelly   (NHK)

•  FOCUS: Ex-Nissan exec. Kelly says will prove innocence in trial without Ghosn   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan police introduce face recognition system in criminal probes   (Kyodo News)

•  Commentary: The older generation must make way for a younger generation and new ideas   (The Japan Times)


Defense Ministry now prohibits drone flights over U.S. bases to protect intelligence

Monday’s Okinawa Times led with the Defense Ministry’s view that it can prohibit news outlets from flying UAVs over U.S. military installations in order to safeguard intelligence. When enforcing a law restricting drone flights over SDF bases and other facilities with national security implications last year, the GOJ emphasized that the regulation is intended to prevent terror attacks and not to limit news gathering by the media. According to the article, the local USMC authorities rejected the daily’s request for permission to fly a drone near Camp Schwab last week in order to ensure operational integrity. The Okinawa Defense Bureau reportedly endorsed the rejection by saying: “The flight plan may pose a security risk since outsiders might be able to learn about the base’s security arrangements and the operational status of its units and personnel.” The paper took this explanation to mean that the Defense Ministry now regards protection of information integrity in addition to security considerations as a reason to not authorize UAV flights over U.S. military facilities.

The daily noted in a separate piece that flying drones over U.S. bases will now be extremely difficult due to the time-consuming paperwork involving both the Defense Ministry and the U.S. military that is required. The paper noted, however, that it flew a drone near Kadena AB on Sept. 7 for news gathering purposes with the base authorities’ consent.

•  U.S. civilian base worker drowns while snorkeling in Okinawa   (Okinawa Times)

•  U.S. civilian base worker arrested for DUI in Naha   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

•  Okinawa requests U.S. consulate and MOFA office to reduce aircraft noise   (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team