Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, September 30, 2020
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Noon news

Most broadcasters gave top play to reports on the first presidential debate between President Trump and former Vice President Biden. Fuji TV led with a report on the first trial of a man who murdered nine people in Zama, Kanagawa, in 2017.


Secretary Pompeo to visit Japan next month

NHK reported at noon that the State Department announced on Tuesday that Secretary of State Pompeo will visit Japan, Mongolia, and South Korea from Oct. 4–8. The network said this will be the first visit to Japan by Secretary Pompeo since the launch of the Suga Cabinet, adding that in addition to his participation in a quadrilateral foreign ministers meeting between Japan, the U.S., Australia, and India, arrangements are being made for him to hold talks with Prime Minister Suga. Noting that the Trump administration is seeking to further strengthen security cooperation with Asian nations in order to counter China, which is rapidly increasing its influence in the Indo-Pacific region, the network said the Secretary is expected to exchange views with his counterparts on ways to step up pressure on China with an eye on the upcoming U.S. presidential election.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning: "Secretary of State Pompeo will participate in a foreign ministers meeting between Japan, the United States, Australia, and India while in Japan. Coordination is also underway for a bilateral meeting between the Secretary and Foreign Minister Motegi. We hope this will become a valuable opportunity to confirm the strengthening of the U.S.-Japan alliance and cooperation toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific. We are currently making arrangements for a meeting between Secretary Pompeo and Prime Minister Suga."

Suga, Trudeau agree to cooperate in realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific

NHK reported that Prime Minister Suga held a teleconference with his Canadian counterpart Trudeau for the first time since taking office, saying that the two leaders agreed to work closely toward realizing a free and open Indo-Pacific region. According to the network, the two leaders also confirmed continued cooperation on measures to combat the new coronavirus and exchanged views on regional affairs, including the East and South China Seas. In addition, the Canadian leader reportedly expressed support for Suga's call for cooperation and support on the North Korean issue, including illegal ship-to-ship transfers of goods and the abduction of Japanese nationals.

•  Japan’s PM Suga eyes Vietnam and Indonesia visits in Oct.   (Nikkei Asia)

•  Suga, Trudeau agree to pursue free and open Indo-Pacific   (Kyodo News)

•  Include China in nuclear arms reduction treaty   (Asahi)

•  China wary of Japan’s pro-Taiwan new defense minister’s moves   (Kyodo News)

•  Commentary: What if U.S. forces return to Taiwan?   (The Japan Times)

•  Editorial: Suga needs public’s understanding to improve ties with China   (Nikkei Asia)

•  Japan’s top diplomat heads to Europe to court Indo-Pacific partners   (Nikkei Asia)

•  Japan regrets new Korean “comfort women” statue set up in Berlin   (Kyodo News)

•  Mastermind behind LDP Amari who runs strategic headquarters for new international order   (FACTA)

•  Editorial: At 75, the United Nations is hostage to aggressors in Security Council   (Japan Forward)

•  Editorial: Japan should take leading role in restoring int’l cooperation as UN marks 75 yrs   (The Mainichi)


•  Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 29, 2020   (Sankei)

•  Makishima 1st woman to lead LDP’s youth unit   (Jiji Press)

•  Suga pick for special adviser may reflect desire to sway media narratives   (The Japan Times)

•  Abe always saw Suga as one to carry his policy torch   (Nikkei Asia)

•  Woman should head Japan digital agency: minister   (Jiji Press)

•  Cartoon: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder   (Tokyo Shimbun)


•  Japan to beef up support for border islands   (NHK WORLD)

•  Gov’t to utilize GSDF to operate offshore missile defense system   (Yomiuri)

•  Recipients of Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research will have to disclose foreign funding   (Nikkei)


•  METI to start building base for project to transport CO2 by sea   (Nikkei)

•  Gateway to Asia’ Fukuoka enters race to become next financial hub   (Nikkei Asia)

•  Japan automakers’ domestic output drops 17.1 pct in Aug.   (Jiji Press)

•  Japan land prices fall for 1st time in 3 years amid pandemic   (Kyodo News)


•  Saliva-based PCR test found to be 90% accurate in first large-sample study   (Nikkei)

•  Japan to create bases for viral research   (The Japan News)

•  Study: Japan among countries with lowest trust levels in vaccines   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Editorial: Clock is ticking on announcing specifics for delayed Games   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 29, 2020)   (Tokyo Shimbun)

•  Infographic: 83,841 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Sept. 29, 2020)   (NHK digital)


•  Nissan Motor Co. whistleblower testifies against Ghosn associate   (The Asahi Shimbun)

•  Govt. to ask universities to help foreign students   (NHK WORLD)

•  Japanese language school graduates given 1 yr of stay to find jobs   (Kyodo News)

•  Tokyo’s version of CDC to open on Oct. 1   (Nikkei)


All Okinawa Coalition losing influence

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that it has been two years since Okinawa Governor Tamaki succeeded former Governor Onaga in 2018, observing that the All Okinawa Coalition, an organization supporting Tamaki with the goal of preventing the construction of a new base at Henoko, is losing influence. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that although candidates backed by the group won two national elections in the past two years, it lost seats in the prefectural assembly election in June and its candidates lost in the mayoral elections in August and September. The paper wrote that it is necessary for the governor to reestablish his readiness to run for a second term, as the solidarity of the group has been weakening and he is now at the midpoint of his four-year term in office.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team