Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 29, 2020
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Noon news

NHK and TBS gave top play to reports on NTT's decision to turn NTT Docomo into a wholly owned subsidiary through a takeover bid. NTV led with a report that the global death toll from COVID-19 has topped one million, saying that the U.S. has had the highest number of deaths at 205,031, followed by Brazil at 142,058, and India at 95,542. Fuji TV gave top play to a report on cool temperatures across Japan this morning. TV Asahi led with a report that the first operational launch of the U.S. spaceship Crew Dragon is scheduled for Oct. 31.


Tokyo to host quadrilateral talks on Oct. 6

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi announced today that a foreign ministerial between Japan, the U.S., Australia, and India will be held in Tokyo on Oct. 6. Motegi reportedly expressed hope to exchange views with his counterparts on measures to deal with COVID-19 and strengthen cooperation toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific with an eye on China's maritime advancement at the planned ministerial as well as one-on-one meetings. Motegi reportedly said: "This foreign ministers' meeting will be the first ministerial-level international conference to be held in Japan since the new coronavirus pandemic began. It is definitely the right time for the foreign ministers of the four like-minded nations to exchange views in person." Concerning arrangements being made for a meeting between PM Suga and Secretary Pompeo, Motegi reportedly stressed the significance of Prime Minister Suga holding talks with the foreign ministers of the U.S., Australia, and India, which are Japan's very important allies.

Foreign Minister Motegi to visit Portugal, France, and Saudi Arabia

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi announced today that he will visit Portugal, France, and Saudi Arabia from Sept. 29 to Oct. 4, saying that this will be the first overseas trip by a cabinet minister since the launch of the Suga cabinet. The network said Motegi is expected to exchange views with his Portuguese and French counterparts on cooperation toward realizing an "open and free Indo-Pacific," measures against COVID-19, and regional affairs. In a meeting with Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal, Motegi is expected to confirm cooperation toward a successful G20 summit in November. The ministers are also likely to discuss regional affairs in the Middle East in view of the recent agreement between the UAE and Bahrain to normalize their diplomatic relations.

•  Japan, U.S., Australia, India top diplomats to meet Oct. 6 in Tokyo   (Kyodo News)

•  Suga to meet Pompeo next week, focus on free, open Indo-Pacific   (Kyodo News)

•  Comfort women” statue unveiled in Berlin   (Kyodo News)

•  Kato: Japan to monitor Uighur human rights   (NHK WORLD)

•  Editorial: Japan should help U.N. boost multilateralism across the globe   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Cartoon: His predecessor looms large   (Tokyo Shimbun)


Kyodo News deputy chief editorial writer appointed prime minister’s special advisor

NHK reported that the GOJ has decided to appoint Meiji Kakizaki, a deputy chief editorial writer of Kyodo News, a special advisor to Prime Minister Suga. According to the network, Kakizaki joined Kyodo News after working for Mainichi Shimbun and has been a deputy chief editorial writer since last September. He will take up his new post on Oct. 1. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning: "Mr. Kakizaki has been working in a media organization and reporting on the political and administrative sectors, and has held such positions as deputy chief editorial writer. Prime Minister Suga decided that he would be appropriate to serve as a special advisor in light of his vast knowledge and experience." 

•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 28, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Suga seeks cooperation from LDP’s largest faction   (Jiji Press)

•  PM Suga continues practice of listening to private-sector experts   (Nikkei)

•  Editorial: Komeito should fulfill responsibility as coalition partner through policies   (The Japan News)

•  Suga rallies support from LDP coalition partner Komeito   (The Japan News)

•  Japan’s new administrative reform minister barrels forward   (The Japan News)

•  Japan ministry eyes tax breaks to promote satellite offices   (Jiji Press)


•  Gov’t to change cyber security measures from “intrusion prevention” to “monitoring”   (Sankei)


•  Japan-UK basic agreement on trade hamstrung by UK considerations for livestock farmers   (Nikkei)

•  Japan and Australia wary of China as RCEP talks enter last stretch   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japan mulling the idea of proposing export control framework for advanced technology   (Nikkei)

•  ANA to restart service to Singapore and Bangkok in November   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  NTT to take over wireless unit Docomo for $38bn   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Superfast Arctic undersea cable attracts Japan’s Sojitz   (Nikkei Asian Review)

•  Japanese automakers focus on China amid glowing new-car sales figures   (The Japan News)


First operational Crew Dragon launch slated for Oct. 31

NHK reported that NASA has announced that the launch of the first operational crew rotation mission to the International Space Station (ISS) on SpaceX's Crew Dragon will take place at 3:40 p.m. on Oct. 31 Japan time. The network said the U.S. spaceship will carry four astronauts, including Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi, who are expected to stay at the ISS for about six months. According to the network, this will be Noguchi's third spaceflight.

•  Japan eyes using Moon-water-derived fuel for exploration in 2030s   (Kyodo News)

•  Toshiba develops receiver of radio waves from space   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan takes step toward era of reusable spacecraft   (Asahi)


•  Virus pandemic reveals pitfalls in globalization of universities   (Nikkei)


•  Illegal foreigners released due to complications from pandemic   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  OPINION: Tokyo Olympics should not be held amid coronavirus pandemic   (Kyodo News)

•  Editorial: Amid pandemic, Japan’s libraries must continue as fountains of knowledge   (The Mainichi)

•  Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 28, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 83,310 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 28, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Japan mulls holding crown prince proclamation ceremonies in November   (Kyodo News)


•  Kishida to again lead LDP’s Okinawa promotion group   (Okinawa Times)

•  U.S. serviceman arrested on DUI charges   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

•  Kadena airman arrested for DUI in Chatan   (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team