Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Noon news

Broadcasters led with reports on Prime Minister Suga's remark at the Diet this morning that he hopes to wait until the last minute to decide whether to lift the state of emergency for the Tokyo metropolitan area on March 7 (NHK, NTV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi) and the arrest of two Americans on suspicion of helping former Nissan CEO Ghosn escape from Japan (TBS).


China vows to continue patrol operations near Senkakus

Yomiuri reported from Beijing on a social media message posted by the Chinese Defense Ministry on Monday regarding patrol operations carried out by China Coast Guard vessels in the vicinity of the Senkaku Islands. "It is justifiable and legitimate for Chinese government ships to conduct law enforcement operations in territorial waters," the statement read. "We will continue to make them a regular activity." According to the daily, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson commented on the GOJ's view that the Japanese side may use weapons if Chinese cutters approach the outcrops for the purpose of landing agents on them. "We would respond resolutely to any type of provocation," said the Chinese official.

Editorial: Can President Moon’s speech help restore trust between Japan and South Korea? (The Japan News)

China urges Japan not to “complicate” situation over disputed islands (Kyodo News)

WTO slow in restoring its functions: expert (Nikkei)


Document on host nation support to be submitted to Diet

NHK reported online this morning that the GOJ decided during a Cabinet meeting today to submit to the Diet a document on plans to extend by one year the current agreement with the U.S. on the cost of hosting U.S. troops. The network said the GOJ hopes to gain Diet approval of the plan this month to avoid payment-related issues when the new fiscal year starts in April.

Low-altitude flights by U.S. military helicopters over central Tokyo may be related to new Haneda routes (Mainichi)

Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 17th consecutive day (Sankei)

Chinese ships spotted off Senkakus on 26 days in Feb. (Jiji Press)

Chinese vessels increasingly intrude into Japanese waters after new Chinese law comes into force (The Japan News)

DM Kishi inspects Space Domain Mission Unit (Nikkei)

U.S. MDA pressured Japan to buy Lockheed radar for Aegis Ashore (Akahata)


Who will be the battery powerhouse? China, Japan and the West compete (Nikkei Asia)

Ex-special advisor to PM Imai to join Mitsubishi Heavy as advisor (Nikkei)

Environment Ministry considers full-scale introduction of ‘carbon tax’ (The Japan News)

Vent pipe not reaching top caused high radiation level in Fukushima reactors (Asahi)

Yahoo Japan, Line integrate businesses to be major ‘3rd force’ (The Asahi Shimbun)

NTT Docomo lowers 20-gigabyte monthly mobile plan to 2,700 yen (Kyodo News)

Ex-PMs Kan, Koizumi urge Japan to quit nuclear power generation (Kyodo News)

Japan new vehicles sales slow in Feb. (Jiji Press)


Prime minister’s schedule on March 1, 2021 (Sankei)

Elite bureaucrat’s resignation takes the wind out of Suga’s sails (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Loss of public trust widening as dining scandal still simmering (The Asahi Shimbun)


Ritsumeikan Univ launches online study abroad program with UC Davis (NIKKEI Business Daily)


Two Americans arrested on charges of helping Ghosn escape Japan

All networks reported at noon that former U.S. Green Beret Michael Taylor and his son Peter, both of whom allegedly helped former Nissan CEO Ghosn escape from Japan, were handed over to Japanese prosecutors and are now on a flight to Japan. According to the networks, the two have already been arrested and are expected to arrive in Japan this evening. The networks showed a plane carrying the two leaving an airport in Boston.

GOJ to host ceremony for 10th anniversary of Tohoku disaster

All networks reported at noon that the GOJ decided today to hold a ceremony to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11. Last year's anniversary event had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The networks said the ceremony will be attended by the Emperor and Empress, and the Emperor will deliver an address. The number of people invited to the ceremony will be decreased from the usual 1,500 to 220. Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning: "The government policy is to make this year's ceremony the last one as it marks the 10th anniversary of the disaster.... With regard to next year and beyond, we will make a decision based on the circumstances at the time.”

10 years on: 6 economies still halting Japanese food Iimports (Jiji Press)

Japan’s great quake: Void persists after 10 years of rebuilding (Nikkei Asia)

Myanmar nationals living in Japan stage anti-coup protest in Tokyo (Yomiuri)

About 70% of entrants into Japan under relaxed entry restrictions are technical trainees, students (Tokyo Shimbun)

Editorial: Possible changes to immigration law fall short of global standards (The Asahi Shimbun)


Over 90,000 dismissed in Japan amid pandemic (Jiji Press)

Editorial: With births at record low amid pandemic, Japan needs to make having kids easy (The Mainichi)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Mar. 1, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 434,129 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Mar. 1, 2021) (NHK digital)


Professor at prestigious U.S. university cites disinformation in research paper (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team