Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, August 5, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the GOJ coronavirus subcommittee's approval of expanding the quasi-state of emergency measures to cover an additional eight prefectures (NHK), the finding that at least eight COVID-19 patients in their 30s to 50s in Tokyo died while recuperating at home in August (Fuji TV), and opposition parties' grilling of Health Minister Tamura at the Diet today over the GOJ's new policy on hospitalization of COVID-19 patients (TV Asahi). The noon news programs of NTV and TBS were preempted by coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.


Analysis: Like ’64, China enters Japan-Russia row at Tokyo Games (Nikkei Asia)

Japan hails ASEAN appointment of special envoy to Myanmar (Jiji Press)

North and South Korea see Olympics as occasion to move (Nikkei Asia)

Former ambassador to Myanmar speaks on Myanmar and international society (Asahi)

Japan to ship total of 1.6 mil. COVID vaccine doses to Nepal (Kyodo News)

Suga touts significance of Tokyo games amid pandmeic (Jiji Press)

US and Philippines must maintain alliance to avert power vacuum (Nikkei Asia)

Vox Populi: Nations, regions ruled by violence, fake democracy, are on the rise (The Asahi Shimbun)


Gov’t to launch survey of large firms on human rights violations in supply chains (Yomiuri)

METI plans submarine cable to transmit wind generated power from Hokkaido to Honshu (Nikkei)

Rakuten to export low-cost 5G tech to German telecom (Nikkei Asia)

Rise of online finance pushes banks to cut branches worldwide (Nikkei Asia)


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


GOJ to tap entrepreneur Ito Joichi as Digital Agency’s top administrative officer

TV Asahi reported at noon that the Japanese government is making final arrangements to tap Japanese entrepreneur Ito Joichi as the top administrative officer of the Digital Agency to be launched on Sept. 1 as part of Prime Minister Suga's key policy on digital reform. A GOJ source reportedly said: "We have high expectations for him on account of his global insight and experience." The network said Ito was the first Japanese to head the MIT Media Lab in 2011 but stepped down following the finding that he received financial support from late financier Jeffrey Epstein. According to the network, the government is planning to conduct careful coordination ahead of the launch of the new agency on Sept. 1.

Prime minister’s schedule on August 4, 2021 (Sankei)

Cabinet enters “danger” zone when support rate drops below 30% (Nikkei)

LDP execs mulling presidential election on Sept. 29 (Jiji Press)

Aso has no choice but to work with Nikai (Mainichi)

Kono to release new book on Aug. 27  (Nikkei)

Upper House member Hayashi to resign as early as Aug. 16 to run in Lower House election (Mainichi)

Ishiba reluctant on LDP presidency bid (Jiji Press)

Opposition parties agree to summon Abe to Diet over cherry blossom parties (Yomiuri)

Offices of Komeito lawmakers raided over aide scandal (Jiji Press)

More Lower House districts have vote-value gap of over 2 times (Jiji Press)


Gov’t to support vaccine development from perspective of economic security (Nikkei)

Gov’t drafts plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 46% (Yomiuri)

Expert: Global warming countermeasures plan depends on changes in awareness and behavior (Sankei)


Number of Japanese students overseas drops by 30% from peak level (Nikkei)


Interview with Univ. of Tokyo Prof. Yoshimi: “Japan remains in the thrall of the 'myth' of the 1964 Games” (Asahi)

Report on Sri Lankan woman’s death to cite inadequate medical care (The Japan News)

Japanese population down for 12th straight year (Jiji Press)

A hunger strike reignites conversations about parental rights in Japan (The Japan Times)

Olympic sailors thank Kamakura host families for long hospitality (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: Suga wipes out (Sankei)


Editorial: Japan govt’s COVID-19 hospitalization restriction plan to put patients at risk (The Mainichi)

Coronavirus cases in Tokyo expanding on record scale: Panel (Jiji Press)

Rise in COVID-19 cases across Japan takes its toll on public health centers (The Japan Times)

At-home care for infections proved nightmare in fourth wave (The Asahi Shimbun)

More patients remain stuck in ambulances as virus cases surge (The Asahi Shimbun)

Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 12 key prefectures (Aug. 3, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 4, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 971,904 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug.4, 2021) (NHK digital)


Okinawa justifies revocation of permit for coral reef transplantation

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that the prefectural government sent to the agriculture minister a position paper on Wednesday concerning its rescindment of a permit for the Okinawa Defense Bureau to transplant coral reefs off Camp Schwab for the FRF construction. The local government reportedly defended its administrative step on the grounds that the withdrawal was necessary to safeguard and cultivate marine resources and that it would be impossible to revive the coral reefs if they were damaged as a result of transplantation. The cabinet minister will reportedly make a decision soon on whether to heed the bureau’s complaint about the revocation by scrutinizing the two sides’ arguments. Ryukyu Shimpo called on the agriculture minister to conduct a “fair examination,” insisting that if it sides with the bureau in allowing the resumption of the transplantation work in the summer, the ecosystem in the vicinity will be critically damaged.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team