Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, June 30, 2021
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Noon news

Broadcasters led with reports on the incident in which a truck plowed into a group of elementary school students in Yachimata, Chiba, on Monday (NHK, TV Asahi), an announcement by the Tokyo government that Governor Koike was discharged from the hospital this morning (NTV), and the Los Angeles Angels' Ohtani Shohei hitting two home runs and becoming the leader in home runs in the MLB on Tuesday (TBS).


President Biden says he plans to send First Lady to Japan

NHK reported at noon that President Biden told the press on Tuesday that he is planning to send First Lady Jill Biden to Japan on the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. When asked by a reporter whether the First Lady will visit Japan in July, the President was shown saying: "Well, we're trying to work that out now. That's the plan." The network said the White House disclosed a day earlier that although there is no plan for the President to attend the Games himself, there will be a U.S. delegation there, adding that attention is focused on who will lead the delegation amid growing concern over the resurgence of COVID-19 in Tokyo. The network noted that then-Vice President Pence led the U.S. delegation and attended the opening ceremony for the PyeongChang Winter Olympics three years ago. TBS and TV Asahi carried similar reports.

Editorial: Urgent need to establish intl rules for peaceful use of Arctic Ocean (The Japan News)

Commentary: Why Taiwan is more important than ever to the Japan-U.S. relationship (The Japan Times)

Motegi, Blinken confirm cooperation toward G-20 summit (Jiji Press)

Japan co-hosts U.N. symposium on abductions by N. Korea (Jiji Press)

China looks to East Africa for second Indian Ocean foothold (Nikkei Asia)

Vaccines and rifts dominate first G-20 ministers meeting in 2 years (Nikkei Asia)


Over 90% of executives say economy will be expanding by year-end, Nikkei poll of 100 major Japanese companies (Nikkei)

UK aims to gain TPP entry in 2022: trade secretary (Nikkei Asia)

Tokyo snags Asian listing in ‘Goldilocks’ space between NYSE and Hong Kong (Nikkei Asia)

Toyota and Mitsubishi Chemical to use IBM quantum computer (Nikkei Asia)

Aging nuclear reactor in central Japan returns to grid (Jiji Press)

MAFF to create 3 new bureaus to support expansion of agricultural exports (Mainichi)

Tokyo Gas to hold demonstration tests to make gas by solar power generation (Nikkei)

Japan jobless rate reaches 3 pct for 1st time in 5 month (Jiji Press)

8 Japanese automakers’ domestic output up 64 pct in May (Jiji Press)

Japanese firms eye development of small modular nuclear reactor (Nikkei)

JFTC calls for “ex ante regulations” to prevent data hoarding in digital sector (Nikkei)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 137th consecutive day (Sankei)

Prefectural police poised to file papers against U.S. serviceman involved in DUI accident (Kanagawa Shimbun)

U.S. Ospreys to be serviced at Atsugi Air Base (Akahata)

Half-century of subsidies hamper Okinawa’s path to self-reliance (The Japan News)

Senior Japanese defense official says democracies must back up Taiwan and stand up to China (The Japan Times)

China’s interest in advanced technology forces Japanese businesses to face unfamiliar challenge (Toyo Keizai)

MIC to reinterpret telecommunications law to enable identification of sources of cyberattacks (Nikkei)


Tokyo Governor Koike discharged from hospital

NHK reported that Tokyo Governor Koike, who had been hospitalized for severe fatigue since June 22, was discharged this morning. The network said that in accordance with the doctor's instructions, the governor will work from home for the time being starting on July 1. Koike reportedly said in a statement released this morning: "I sincerely apologize for causing anxiety and inconveniencing many people by taking time off from my official duties at an important time right before the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics while we are still implementing measures against COVID-19.... I've managed to regain my health and will continue to rest and take care of myself so I can fully recover and swiftly return to my official duties."

Prime minister’s schedule on June 29, 2021 (Sankei)

Editorial: Scandal should force government to cut cozy ties with businesses (The Asahi Shimbun)

Tokyo assembly majority within grasp of LDP-Komeito (Jiji Press)

Tanigaki attends reception, encourages members to seek victory in LH election (Yomiuri)


Commentary: Will geopolitics pick the green tech winners? (The Japan Times)


Japan Olympic body to patrol hateful online posts during Tokyo Games (Kyodo News)

Central Japan pref. removes illustration labeled discriminatory against foreigners (The Mainichi)

Four additional Olympic-related COVID cases confirmed since February (Asahi)

Editorial: 5 years on from anti-hate speech law, Japan must do more to end discrimination (The Mainichi)


Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 11 key prefectures (June 28, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (June 29, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 798,693 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (June 29, 2021) (NHK digital)


Okinawa Prefectural Assembly adopts resolution protesting unscheduled landing by U.S. military chopper (Ryukyu Shimpo)

MOD to reorganize its local cooperation bureau to better respond to local communities, U.S. military (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team