Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, June 25, 2021
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Noon news

Broadcasters led with reports on the start of the official campaign period for the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election today (NHK, NTV), the repercussions of the Imperial Household Agency chief's remark that he supposes the Emperor is concerned that holding the Olympics and Paralympics could lead to a rise in COVID-19 infections (Fuji TV), Defense Minister Kishi's remarks this morning calling on the public to make appointments for vaccination at large-scale vaccination centers (TBS), and Toshiba's stockholders meeting today (TV Asahi).


PM Suga taps former science and technology minister Tanahashi to succeed Okonogi

NHK reported at noon that Prime Minister Suga told the press today that he will appoint LDP lawmaker and former minister of state for science and technology policy Tanahashi Yasufumi as successor to National Public Safety Commission Chairman Okonogi, who submitted his resignation to run in the Yokohama mayoral race in August. Suga reportedly said: "He contributed as the minister in charge of science and technology and food security. He is now working hard on digitization and deregulation as the head of the LDP's Administration Reform Promotion Headquarters. I value his experience." Tanahashi reportedly told the press after meeting with the premier at the Kantei this morning that he will do everything to the best of his ability, including drawing up security plans for the Olympics and disaster prevention measures.

Prime minister’s schedule on June 24, 2021 (Sankei)

Empty responses and no answers are features of Suga and his government (Asahi)

Ex-education minister Hayashi to run for lower house (Kyodo News)

MOF keeps denying involvement of Abe, Suga in document tampering (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Harassment of all kinds prevent women from entering politics (The Asahi Shimbun)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 132nd consecutive day (Sankei)

Sagamihara mayor will continue to seek end of low-altitude U.S. military flights (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Fiftieth anniversary of Okinawa reversion: Interview with Gov. Tamaki (Yomiuri)

Former U.S. military sites: The dream of land return and the reality of livelihood (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Japan Supreme Court ruling on couples’ surnames out of step with the times (The Mainichi)

Japan police take page from FBI with national cybercrime team (Nikkei Asia)

NPA to create new bureau for cybersecurity threats (The Asahi Shimbun)

Immigration Services Agency also affected by data breach (Asahi)

Japan GSDF, U.S. Army begin joint drills (Jiji Press)


Commentary: Time to re-examine Japan’s longstanding ambiguity over Taiwan (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Suppression of free speech in Hong Kong bodes ill for Beijing’s credibility (The Japan News)

Commentary: Iranian, Israeli and U.S. hard-liners muddle nuclear deal prospects (The Japan Times)


Editorial: Make use of safe reactors, even ones over 40 years old, for stable electricity supply (The Japan News)

Many Japanese companies entering hydrogen industry in Australia (Yomiuri)

Japan tax revenue grows in fiscal 2020 despite pandemic (Nikkei Asia)

BOJ survey likely to show improved business sentiment (Jiji Press)

Corporate governance issues haunt troubled Toshiba as it faces off with investors (The Japan Times)


10,000 yen carbon tax would allow for economic growth: MOE estimate (Nikkei)


Olympic athlete from Uganda infected with Delta strain of COVID-19

NHK reported this afternoon that Olympic Minister Marukawa disclosed today that one of the two members of the Ugandan Olympic delegation who tested positive for COVID-19 after arriving in Japan was infected with the Delta strain of the virus that was first detected in India. Marukawa reportedly added: "We are requesting a genomic analysis for the other member who tested positive in the host town. We will swiftly share with the local community what kind of measures will be necessary and work with other relevant ministries and agencies on how to quarantine such people and strengthen border control."

Japan’s population was 126,226,568 in 2020

NHK reported at noon that according to the preliminary data of the 2020 national census released today, Japan's population as of October 1, 2020, fell 0.7% from five years ago to 126,226,568. The network said the figure declined by more than 868,000 from the last survey conducted in 2015, which recorded the first decrease since the census began in 1920. The network noted, however, that the margin of decline slightly narrowed probably due to a growing number of foreign residents and the fact that many Japanese returned from abroad due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among the 47 prefectures, Tokyo posted the largest increase, 549,000, followed by Kanagawa (114,000), and Saitama (80,000). Meanwhile, Hokkaido recorded the biggest drop in the number of residents, 153,000, followed by Niigata (102,000) and Fukushima (80,000).

Ambassador to Indonesia disseminates information about Japan on Instagram (Nikkei)

INTERVIEW: JOC chief expects Tokyo Games to give power to struggling people (Jiji Press)

Art event featuring “comfort women” statue postponed due to protests (Kyodo News)

It may take an election upset for spouses to keep their surnames (The Asahi Shimbun)

Producer says Twitter froze account for film about Suga (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Top court ruling on use of dual surnames kicks issue back to Diet (The Asahi Shimbun)

Opposition to Tokyo Olympics widens, but mainly online (The Asahi Shimbun)

Emperor Emeritus Akihito discovers 2 new goby fish species (Jiji Press)


Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (June 24, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 791,699 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (June 24, 2021) (NHK digital)

Cartoon: Can the vaccine save him? (Asahi)


Okinawa protests latest PFOS-contaminated water leak at U.S. military facility

Okinawa Times wrote that a senior Okinawa prefectural government official visited U.S. Consulate General Naha on Tuesday to file a protest over the latest leak of water contaminated with PFOS and other toxic substances at a U.S. Army facility in Uruma. In response to the official’s complaint about the military’s delay in notifying the prefectural authorities of the mishap, Principal Officer [sic] Jessica Megill was quoted as saying: “It is regrettable that the incident caused anxiety among local residents.” She reportedly added that swift reporting is very important.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team