Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, September 28, 2020
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Noon news

NHK gave top coverage to a report that the National Center for University Entrance Examinations began accepting applications for the new common university entrance exam today. The new exam, which will replace the National Center Test, will be held in January. NTV, Fuji TV, and TV Asahi led with reports that the first snowfall on Mt. Fuji this year was officially announced today. TBS gave top play to a report that Tokyo will host an international gymnastics competition on Nov. 8.


Japan to pay close attention to human rights in Xinjiang

NHK reported online that concerning Chinese leader Xi's remarks at a meeting last week that he will continue to exercise ideological and religious control in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato told the press this morning: "We think it is important that freedom, human rights, and the rule of law, which are universal values in the international community, are respected by nations, including China." Kato also reportedly expressed the view that Japan will pay close attention to whether the human rights of the ethnic Uyghurs and other minority groups are being respected in China. 

G20 summit to be held via videoconference in November

NHK reported at noon that the Saudi Arabian government, this year's G20 host, has announced that the summit will be held in the form of a videoconference on Nov. 21 and 22 on account of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the network, the G20 leaders are expected to discuss how to protect people's lives and restore economic growth by addressing the social vulnerabilities that have been revealed as a result of the pandemic. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning: "We are still conducting coordination with regard to Prime Minister Suga's participation. But Japan hopes to convey the clear message that the G20 will play a key role in responding to the new coronavirus and restoring the global economy, resuming international people-to-people exchanges, and creating an international order in the post-coronavirus era."

•  U.S. ready to talk with Japan about how to address China’s military buildup and nuclear ambitions,” U.S. special envoy for arms control   (Asahi)

•  Gist of teleconference between Suga and Xi   (Yomiuri)

•  Pompeo, Japan security adviser agree to pursue free and open region   (Kyodo News)

•  Sri Lanka suspends Japan-funded rail project   (Nikkei)

•  Japan plans to set up 4 new diplomatic missions   (The Japan News)

•  Commentary: Tokyo and Seoul struggle for compromise on forced labor issue   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japan-S. Korea exchange event held online   (Jiji Press)

•  Will Taiwan Strait tensions lead to conflict? Five things to know   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Huawei pitches Google Play rival to game developers at Tokyo expo   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Commentary: Establishing resistance to overseas influence   (The Japan Times)

•  Editorial: China must not repress minorities through coercive Mandarin education   (The Japan News)


Only elderly or vulnerable asymptomatic patients to be hospitalized

Fuji TV reported at noon that the GOJ will only require COVID-19 patients with mild or no symptoms to be hospitalized if they are elderly or have preexisting conditions starting in mid- or late October. The network said the government has decided to limit the current requirement for hospitalization to such patients and to ask other patients with mild or no symptoms to self-quarantine at home or in hotels to ease the burden on public health centers and medical institutions.

•  Japan to make COVID-19 travel questionnaire available online   (Kyodo News)

•  Municipalities step up cooperation to combat COVID-19   (Nikkei)

•  Gov’t investigates after-effects of COVID-19   (Yomiuri)

•  72% of children in Japan feel stress over coronavirus pandemic: poll   (Kyodo News)

•  Malaysians donate coronavirus protective gear to Japan hospitals   (Kyodo News)

•  Nearly 60% say gov’t should provide multilingual info: survey   (Kyodo News)

•  Japan to offer $9,000 to remote workers in countryside   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Editorial: Tokyo Games review plan must not disregard COVID-19 infection risks   (The Mainichi)

•  Editorial: Japan needs stronger safety nets to prevent suicides amid pandemic   (The Mainichi)

•  Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 27, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 83,011 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 27, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Gov’t tightens drone rules, effectively eliminating Chinese drones   (Mainichi)

•  Kisarazu Osprey test flights postponed until October or later   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Govt mulls expressway extension to northern Okinawa Island to boost tourism   (The Japan News)

•  One dead, four injured in two-car collision   (Too Nippo)


•  U.S. determined to halt China’s chip game plan with SMIC sanctions   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japanese chipmaker Kioxia delays IPO amid U.S.-China tensions   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  90% of corporate executives want more deregulation, Nikkei poll of 100 major Japanese companies   (Nikkei)

•  Labor-starved Japan welcomes return of foreign workers   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Pros, cons heard at Hokkaido meeting over radioactive waste site   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan logs sharp rise in renewable energy output amid pandemic   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Japan to slash butter import quota   (NHK WORLD)


•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 25, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 26, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 27, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Highlights of Japan-related events for Sept. 28-Oct. 4   (Kyodo News)

•  PM Suga appoints Imai special advisor to Cabinet   (Nikkei)

•  Gov’t to tap Kazuyoshi Umemoto to lead Japan Foundation   (Yomiuri)

•  Defense Minister Kishi emphasizes importance of international cooperation   (The Japan News)

•  Editorial: Suga govt needs new strategies to play leading role in global cooperation   (The Japan News)

•  Japan’s ruling party negative about early general election   (Kyodo News)

•  EXCLUSIVE: LDP to call for economic security promotion law   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan governors seek extension of coronavirus grants   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan FY 2021 budget requests likely to top 100 tril. yen for 7th yr   (Kyodo News)

•  With charts, stats and golf, Abe proved Japan’s worth to U.S. leader   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Abe: I showed what amending the Constitution could look like   (The Japan News)

•  Abe: I made U.S. alliance mutually beneficial   (The Japan News)

•  Japan red-tape complaint “hotline” to reopen   (Jiji Press)

•  Cartoon: Suga’s two-man comedy act   (Kanagawa Shimbun)


•  Body structure of sunfish seen as way to build aircraft of future   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  FOCUS: Expectations high for successful new mission of Hayabusa2   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan customs pursuing efficiency in crackdowns with AI   (Jiji Press)


•  Japanese universities to resume face-to-face classes   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Civics education can inspire students to become involved in social issues   (The Japan News)


•  Suga pushes to complete digital transformation in 5 years   (Jiji Press)

•  Editorial: Living with risk of eruptions and finding ways for people to be safe   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: As colleges start back, students need support at this difficult time   (The Asahi Shimbun)


Police send papers to prosecutors on U.S. military helicopter crash without identifying suspect

The Saturday editions of Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times led with reports saying that the Okinawa police sent papers to prosecutors on Friday over the incident in which a U.S. military CH-53E helicopter made an emergency landing and burst into flames in a pasture in the Takae district of Higashi Village, Okinawa, on Oct. 11, 2017. The police sent the papers without identifying a suspect because the three-year statute of limitations is about to expire. The papers wrote that the police were unable to determine whether the U.S. military was negligent because the U.S.-Japan SOFA prevented them from inspecting the crash site or conducting interviews with people involved. The papers wrote that the prosecutors are likely to drop the case because the Japanese side does not have primary jurisdiction over on-duty incidents. Okinawa Governor Tamaki said on Friday that the cause of the incident has not been fully determined and that he will strongly call for a review of the SOFA.

•  U.S. military conducts random PCR testing of personnel in Okinawa   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

•  Defense Minister Kishi says Henoko is the only solution   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team