Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, December 4, 2020
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Noon news

Broadcasters led with reports on the GOJ's plan to extend the "Go To Travel" campaign until the end of June (NHK, TV Asahi), a plan by the special investigation team of the Tokyo District Prosecutors Office to file a summary indictment against the chief public secretary of former Prime Minister Abe and another official over the payment of costs for dinner parties for supporters (NTV, TBS), and the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients nationwide reaching a record high of 497 yesterday (Fuji TV).


Foreign Minister Motegi to visit Africa next week

NHK reported that Foreign Minister Motegi announced today that he will visit Tunisia, Mozambique, South Africa, and Mauritius next week. The network said Motegi is expected to exchange views with Mauritius Prime Minister Jugnauth on Japan's mid- and long-term assistance to the nation based on their teleconference in September in which Motegi relayed Japan's plan to provide assistance to the nation on an unprecedented scale in response to the major oil spill from a Japanese-owned cargo ship off the coast of Mauritius. In Tunisia, Motegi is expected to confirm cooperation with the nation to ensure the success of the Japan-led Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to be held in Tunisia in 2022. Noting that China is increasing its influence in Africa through massive infrastructure investment, the network said Motegi is hoping to strengthen bilateral ties with the four nations and call for their cooperation toward the realization of a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Japan, China and South Korea to delay trilateral summit to 2021 (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Democratization the key to stopping Chinese advances in Myanmar (Japan Forward)

Editorial: Afghanistan not in a situation for U.S. troops to be cut down (The Japan News)

Editorial: An alarming assassination in Iran (The Japan Times)

Japan mourns death of ex-French President Giscard d’Estaing (Jiji Press)


Japan moves to mandate carbon trading for automakers (Nikkei Asia)

Gov’t will launch 80 billion yen fund to help finance renewable energy firms (Nikkei)

Japan to ban sales of new gasoline vehicles in mid-2030s (Jiji Press)

China sees Japan as “virtual U.S.” (Nikkei Business)

TPP policy framework revisions set goal of 5 trillion yen in farm exports (Sankei)

Casino winnings of nonresident foreigners to be untaxed in Japan (Kyodo News)

Business community wary of “brain” behind Suga (Yomiuri)

Japan’s Kioxia gets US go-ahead to supply server chips to Huawei (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: BOJ’s mounting stock holdings undermine healthy market function (The Japan News)

Japan pulls out all policy stops in hunt for Asia financial talent (Nikkei Asia)

Poland minister seeks Japanese partners for nuclear project (Nikkei Asia)


MOD to double subsidy given to Osprey-hosting Kisarazu City (Tokyo Shimbun)

U.K. journalist calls on U.S. military to allow Japan to survey toxic substances at U.S. bases (Tokyo Shimbun)

Japan to adopt destroyer construction plan in mid-December (Jiji Press)


Gov’t to prepare guidelines on cyberattack countermeasures for private sector (Yomiuri)

NASA picks U.S., Japanese companies for lunar sample collection (Kyodo News)

Group to study loss of smell as symptom of COVID (NHK WORLD)


Prime minister’s schedule on December 3, 2020 (Sankei)

Question Time falls by the wayside again at Diet session (The Asahi Shimbun)

Abe asked to explain support group’s banquet payments (The Asahi Shimbun)


40% of universities considering offering multiple enrollment times: survey (Nikkei)


Japan’s Suga repeats vow to host Olympics despite coronavirus surge (Kyodo News)

Tokyo Games’ anti-virus costs to be equally shared (NHK WORLD)

Interview: Olympic Village mayor aims for memorable experiences (Jiji Press)

Japan govt compiles tourism revival package (Jiji Press)

Biden, Trump still battling on year-end ‘hagoita’ paddle (The Asahi Shimbun)

Ex-JET teacher sues Nagasaki over incidents of sex misconduct (The Asahi Shimbun)


Govt. may push COVID-19 hospitalization criteria (NHK WORLD)

Japan’s COVID-19 third wave clogs hospitals’ capacity for care (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: New virus response needed to prevent collapse of Japan’s health care system (The Mainichi)

Student virus infections almost triple to 3,303 in Japan (The Japan News)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Dec. 3, 2020) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 156,681 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Dec. 3, 2020) (NHK digital)


Use of Futenma by transient aircraft increased drastically in FY2019

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo took up data submitted to the Diet on Thursday by the Defense Ministry regarding the use of MCAS Futenma by transient airplanes. The number of landings and takeoffs by fixed-wing transient aircraft in FY2019 totaled 2,678, up 80% from the previous year. While noting that the corresponding figure involving other types of aircraft, including those based at Futenma, also rose substantially, the dailies voiced skepticism about whether the GOJ’s moves in the past several years to reduce the base-hosting burden at Futenma, including relocating Osprey training out of the island prefecture, have achieved the intended results in terms of reducing the number of visits by transient aircraft. Foreign Minister Motegi told a Diet member representing Okinawa that the GOJ will do its utmost to minimize the impact on local residents of U.S. military aircraft operations irrespective of whether they are transient.

Nago City Council protests series of incidents involving U.S. military servicemen (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Okinawa City Assembly protests repeated alcohol-related incidents by U.S. military servicemen (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team