Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, July 30, 2021
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NHK, NTV, and TV Asahi gave top coverage to the GOJ coronavirus taskforce subcommittee’s endorsement of the GOJ's plan to place Kanagawa, Chiba, Saitama, and Osaka under another state of emergency from Aug. 2 through 31. The ongoing state of emergency for Tokyo and Okinawa will also be extended through the end of this month. The noon news shows of TBS and Fuji TV were preempted by special Olympic programming.


Police initiate investigation on Japanese DCM in Seoul for defamation (Asahi evening edition)

SIA president calls for targeted export restrictions, close cooperation with allies (Asahi)

Abe: Taiwan must never repeat Hong Kong experience (Nikkei Asia)

Memorial library to open for Taiwan’s ‘father of democracy’ (Nikkei Asia)

Japan to hold meeting with Mekong states including Myanmar next week (Kyodo News)

Japan, U.S. get S. Korean heads-up on comm. line reopening with North (Kyodo News)


Kagoshima Gov. Shiota calls for local views to be considered in Mageshima environment assessment (Mainichi)

Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 2nd consecutive day (Sankei)

Editorial: Make effective use of Japan’s NSC to present united front on security crisis (The Japan News)


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

Suga vows to support Okonogi in Yokohama mayoral race (Jiji Press)

Commentary: Base or beyond? Paths of US Republicans and Japan’s LDP part (Nikkei Asia)

Suga to seek fresh economic package (Jiji Press)


METI to strengthen framework for imposing anti-subsidy countervailing duties (Nikkei)

Int’l panel agrees to raise catch quotas for large bluefin tuna (Jiji Press)

Rice paddies in Japan to decrease by 65,000 hectares in 2021 (Jiji Press)

Renesas CEO warns of tight chip supply through mid-2022 (Nikkei Asia)

2 certifications halted for scandal-hit Mitsubishi Electric plant (Jiji Press)

JAPEX to pull out from Canadian oil sands project (Jiji Press)

Auto output in Japan rises 16 pct in 1st half (Jiji Press)


PM Suga calls on businesses to invest in decarbonization efforts at virtual seminar (Nikkei)


Japan tries a third time to boost number of schools with Int’l Baccalaureate programs (Nikkei)

Japan bets on $90bn fund as universities lose ground to West (Nikkei Asia)


Olympic committee’s chief medical advisor mentions possibility of suspending Games

TV Asahi reported on an interview with Chairman Okabe of the Tokyo Olympic organizing committee coronavirus taskforce in which he mentioned that it would be necessary to suspend the ongoing Games in the event that healthcare capacity for the general public came under heavy strain in the nation’s capital due to the explosive coronavirus resurgence. While noting that the current situation does not warrant suspension, the leading physician said that the Paralympics, which are set to begin in late August, should be called off if the epidemic curve keeps rising.

Record high number of people involved in Olympics test positive for COVID-19

All broadcasters reported that according to the Tokyo Olympics organizing committee, a total of 27 people connected to the Games, including three foreign athletes, were confirmed to be infected with the novel coronavirus on Friday, hitting a record high for the second consecutive day. One of the three athletes is an American who has been staying at the Athletes Village. The total number of Olympics-related cases amounted to 220 since July 1.

In a related story, TV Asahi reported on the finding that two judges for Olympic rowing, including a Japanese national, who had been in quarantine since Monday after testing positive for COVID-19, left their accommodations without authorization on Thursday to undergo PCR testing at a local hospital with the ultimate goal of participating in their scheduled events. This is reportedly the first such violation of the Olympic playbook.

Cartoon: The two sides of the Games (Asahi)

Suga denies impacts of holding Olympics on virus surge (Kyodo News)

Japanese olympic athletes targeted by social media abuse (Jiji Press)

Countries show creativity in showcasing their culture amid pandemic-hit Olympics (Nikkei evening edition)

Editorial: Japan’s whalers should reduce dependence on state subsidies (The Asahi Shimbun)

Little appetite in Japan to search for E.T. following U.S. UFO report (The Asahi Shimbun)


Editorial: PM Suga’s optimism questionable amid Tokyo’s 5th wave of COVID-19 cases (The Mainichi)

Even with delta surging, experts say two vaccine doses is enough for now (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Entire society must join in to ride out surging COVID-19 cases (The Asahi Shimbun)

Infographic: Status of emergency measures (afternoon of July 30, 2021) (NHK digital)

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

Infographic: 904,036 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (July 29, 2021) (NHK digital)


Transplantation of coral reefs begins off Camp Schwab

The two major Okinawa dailies reported that on Thursday work began off the coast of Camp Schwab to transplant coral reefs as part of the FRF construction initiative, pointing out that the Okinawa Defense Bureau went ahead with the work a day after Governor Tamaki authorized the transplant on a conditional basis. The governor was reportedly upset because the bureau apparently ignored his request not to transplant the coral during the typhoon season or when the water temperature is high in order to protect it. He indicated to the press that he may ask the bureau for access to conduct an onsite survey to check whether the coral reefs have been damaged as a result of the transplantation, adding that “administrative guidance” may be issued to ensure that the bureau abides by the agreed upon conditions. The dailies speculated that the GOJ is keen to establish one “fait accompli” after another to further accelerate the construction project.

Yomitan Village Assembly passes resolution calling for halt to suspension drills (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team