Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, October 30, 2020
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Broadcasters led with reports on Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura's request for business organizations and governors to split up the year-end and New Year’s holidays in order to prevent crowding (NHK), the arrest of actor Kentaro Ito for allegedly fleeing the scene after hitting a motorcycle with his car in Tokyo on Wednesday (NTV, TBS, Fuji TV), and campaign rallies by President Trump and former Vice President Biden in Florida (TV Asahi).


Short-term business travel between Japan and Vietnam to resume Nov. 1

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi announced today that short-term business travel between Japan and Vietnam will resume on Nov. 1. The network said that long-term business travel between the two nations had already resumed, adding that Vietnam will become the third nation for which Japan has resumed both short- and long-term business travel, following Singapore and South Korea.

• Russia may deploy main battle tanks to Northern Territories (Yomiuri)

• Industry-government-academia research group calls for enhanced cooperation among Quad countries (Yomiuri)

• Japan underrepresented in top posts of intl bodies (The Japan News)

• Expert: Japan-US relationship will remain the same whoever wins election (NHK WORLD)

• Editorial: Global framework to ban nuclear arms marks significant step (Nikkei Asia)


MOD signs contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for next-generation fighter development

NHK reported that Defense Minister Kishi disclosed today that the Ministry of Defense has signed a contract with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries for the development of the ASDF's next-generation fighter jet to replace the F-2s that will be decommissioned starting around 2035. Japan is reportedly planning to begin mass-producing the next-generation fighters in FY2031. The network said the contract with MHI is worth about 1.11 billion yen, adding that the contract with MHI will only cover the development of the airframe and that MHI will supervise the development of engines and other components by other firms. While noting that MHI has decided to significantly cut its budget for the development of the Mitsubishi SpaceJet, the network said Kishi indicated the budget cut will not affect the development of the next-generation fighter.

• Japan likely to build new Aegis warships, specifications to be decided next summer (Asahi)

• U.S. to consider Japan’s roles in host-nation support talks (Jiji Press)

• Yokohama plans to relocate hospital to USFJ Negishi Housing Area (Nikkei)

• Editorial: Prevent Tokyo Olympics cyber-attacks through public-private cooperation (The Japan News)

• Editorial: Japan shouldn’t take Russia’s cyberattacks sitting down (Japan Forward)

• First women join MSDF submarine crew (NHK WORLD)


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

• Editorial: Following the crowd, Suga makes a bold climate pledge (The Japan Times)

• Gist of Prime Minister Suga’s responses during Lower and Upper House plenary sessions, Oct. 29, 2020 (Yomiuri)

• Lower House budget committee sessions to be held Nov. 2 and 4 (Nikkei)

• Can a prime minister with a poor vocabulary survive Diet interpellations? (Shukan Asahi)

• Editorial: Politicians on all sides must hold deeper discussions on Japan’s course (The Japan News)

• Jeers turn into resignation calls after Suga’s Diet stonewalling (The Asahi Shimbun)

• Editorial: PM Suga’s responses to questions in Japan’s Diet show he fears discussion (The Mainichi)


• Sony receives U.S. license to supply Huawei with key image sensors (Nikkei Asia)

• Japan ministry to promote next-generation EV battery development (The Japan News)

• Japan to support airports, aviation amid pandemic downturn (The Japan News)

• Editorial: Structural reforms crucial for airlines to get through these turbulent times (The Japan News)

• 8 Japan automakers’ domestic output down 30 pct in April-Sept. (Jiji Press)

• Exclusive: Japan to intensify crackdown on fake goods imports (Jiji Press)


• Commentary: Designing a vision for Japan’s green recovery (The Japan Times)

• JAXA preparing to retrieve Hayabusa2 capsule (NHK WORLD)

• New highly heat-resistant bioplastic can be used in car parts (The Asahi Shimbun)


• Japan eyes intensive PCR tests in downtown areas (Jiji Press)

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

• Infographic: 100,516 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Oct. 29, 2020) (NHK digital)


• Compensation claims related to Fukushima plant work total 269 (Kyodo News)

• Gov’t panel proposes tougher punishments for offenders aged 18, 19 (Kyodo News)

• Japan’s specialist cleaners find new purpose and demand in pandemic (The Japan Times)

• Editorial: It’s time to give foreign residents the right to vote in local elections (The Asahi Shimbun)

• Commentary: Japan’s re-entry restrictions fuel distrust among foreign residents (The Asahi Shimbun)


Part allegedly falls off Kadena-based F-15 during joint training

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that a Kadena-based F-15 apparently lost an oil cap on Thursday during the U.S.-Japan joint drills that have been underway off Shikoku since Oct. 26. The papers said that there have been no reports of damage from the incident. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that according to the Defense Ministry’s Kyushu Bureau, the U.S. military notified the Japanese side immediately after it discovered that the part was missing during maintenance at the ASDF Nyutabaru Air Base in Miyazaki. The papers wrote that the aircraft is one of 12 F-15s participating in the joint exercise. In response to the incident, the Defense Ministry has asked the U.S. military to conduct thorough maintenance and take strict security measures.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team