Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on Health Minister Tamura's remarks to the press today on the new government policy on the hospitalization of COVID-19 patients, stressing that the policy is to ensure that hospitals will have the capacity to accept patients once they become seriously ill (NHK), Murakami Mai, who became the first Japanese female gymnast to win an Olympic medal in an individual event (NTV), and the hot weather across Japan (TV Asahi). The noon news programs of TBS and Fuji TV were preempted by coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.


Japan to send oxygen concentrators to Thailand, Laos

NHK reported this afternoon that Foreign Minister Motegi told the press today that the Japanese government has decided to send oxygen concentrators to Thailand and Laos, where the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing rapidly. According to the network, 775 oxygen concentrators will be sent to Thailand and 100 will be sent to Laos. About 600,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine will also be provided to Laos. Motegi reportedly said at a press briefing: "Japan will strategically provide the necessary support to nations in need of medical equipment and vaccines." The network said Japan has sent oxygen concentrators to India and Indonesia and vaccine supplies to Malaysia and other regions.

Blinken to address China’s assertiveness in virtual ASEAN meetings (Kyodo News)

Editorial: World must not allow Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan (The Japan News)

Japan’s 2021 ODA expected to be highest on record (Nikkei)

Japan to tighten border controls on visitors from 3 U.S. states, Finland (Kyodo News)


India, U.S., Japan, Australia to hold joint naval exercise again (Kyodo News)

Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for sixth consecutive day (Sankei)

Missile units to be deployed on Ishigakijima island (The Japan News)

China can destabilize Taiwan without firing a shot (Nikkei Asia)

Less than 10% aware of cyberthreats to IoT devices, poll (Nikkei)


71% say Japan should join treaty banning nuclear weapons, Nihon Yoron Chosakai poll on peace (Tokyo Shimbun)


EXCLUSIVE: Japan’s food exports hit record in 1st half (Jiji Press)

Kansai Electric to restart Takahama No. 1 reactor in June 2023 (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Govt’s optimistic budget projections push fiscal reform further away (The Japan News)

Itochu’s ‘blue’ ammonia from Canada to power Japan’s green future (Nikkei Asia)

Japan April-June GDP growth estimated at 0.8 pct (Jiji Press)

Japan’s auto sales down for 1st time in 10 months in July (Jiji Press)

China’s semiconductor-related demand conceals risks for Japan (Nikkei)

Global warming may reduce domestic rice yield by 20% at end of 21st century (Yomiuri)

Japan Fair Trade Commission enlists external advisors on digital issues (Nikkei)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 2, 2021 (Sankei)

Former PM Abe aims to become kingmaker but has stains on his past (Mainichi)

Editorial: Sworn Diet testimony only way to extract truth from Abe (The Asahi Shimbun)


Scientists find new, greener method to synthesize plastic (The Asahi Shimbun)

TOKYO REPORT: Commercial use of ISS gaining velocity (Jiji Press)

MEXT reveals roadmap for passenger spaceship in 2040s (Nikkei)


Nippon Foundation and Sasakawa Health Foundation support nurses’ overseas study (Mainichi)


Number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients surges over last ten days

NHK reported that Economic Revitalization Minister Nishimura told the press today that the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients has increased by about 300 to more than 700 nationwide over the last ten days and pointed out that the healthcare system in Japan is facing a serious situation. He reportedly reiterated his call for cooperation in shortening business hours and not serving alcohol and asked people to refrain from non-essential outings. In addition, Nishimura explained that Fukushima and Tochigi prefectures have asked the government to place them under a quasi-state of emergency and that the government is also discussing the matter with Gunma. According to the network, Nishimura pointed out that multiple clusters of COVID-19 have recently been reported at cram schools.

Japan’s ruling party policy chief seeks Diet debate on virus lockdown (Kyodo News)

Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 12 key prefectures (Aug. 1, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: 945,682 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 2, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 2, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)


Driver moving Olympic staff suspected in hit-and-run (The Asahi Shimbun)

Safety of Olympic shuttle bus drivers not part of the deal (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: In a rooftop pipe (Asahi)

Hiroshima stung by refusal to honor A-bomb victims at Games (The Asahi Shimbun)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team