Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, August 6, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the peace memorial ceremony held in Hiroshima today to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the atomic bombing (NHK), Japanese wrestler Kawai Risako's press conference this morning after winning a gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics (NTV), and the three typhoons currently approaching Japan (Fuji TV). The noon news programs of TBS and TV Asahi were preempted by coverage of the Tokyo Olympics.


U.S. open to North Korean humanitarian assistance: UN envoy (Nikkei Asia)

ASEAN supply chains disrupted as delta variant surges (Nikkei Asia)

Europe pushes back against Beijing with shows of Indo-Pacific muscle (Nikkei Asia)

S. Korea to start live streaming from disputed islands (Kyodo News)

Suga gave U.S. official 8,374-dlr bottle of whisky in 2019 (Jiji Press)

U.S.-led digital trade proposal heats up new friction with China (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: U.S. should aim for stable economic growth while mindful of future risks (The Japan News)


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

To expose cyber-attackers, Japan police need to cooperate on intelligence (The Japan News)


DHC’s improper messages raise questions on companies’ seriousness about human rights (Nikkei)

Kansai airport makeover ‘necessary’ for inbound tourism: operator (Nikkei Asia)

Japan’s travel industry to seek financial help (NHK WORLD)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 5, 2021 (Sankei)

Ruling parties strive to enhance cooperation to prevent sudden policy changes (Sankei)

Commentary: Taking stock of the LDP presidential race (The Japan Times)

Opinion: Japan’s Suga faces more than one post-Olympics curse (Nikkei Asia)

Lawmakers call on Japan to attend nuke ban treaty meeting as observer (Jiji Press)


Japan ministry panel proposes emissions trading market (Jiji Press)

MOE releases decarbonization plan for waste processing (Nikkei)

Financial Services Agency to draw up decarbonization guidance for financial institutions (Nikkei)


Number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients reach 1,020 nationwide

TV Asahi reported that according to the Health Ministry, the number of seriously ill COVID-19 patients in Japan was 1,020 as of Aug. 5, up by 197 from the previous day. The network said the number of seriously ill patients has been on the rise since mid-July, noting that this is the first time for the number to top 1,000 since June 9.

Suga says Tokyo Olympics not linked to spike in COVID-19 cases

NHK, NTV, and Fuji TV reported at noon that Prime Minister Suga held a press conference in Hiroshima today, during which he denied that the Tokyo Olympics is linked to the recent spike in the number of new cases of COVID-19 in the nation. According to Fuji TV, Suga said: "At this point I do not believe the Olympics is linked to the spread of the virus.... We are taking thorough border control measures for foreign athletes and staff and ensuring that they undergo PCR testing after entering Japan." On the Tokyo Paralympics, which will kick off on Aug. 24, Suga reportedly declined to state clearly whether spectators will be allowed and said: "We will make a decision at the five-party talks to be held after the closing of the Olympics." When asked about the possibility of the Lower House being dissolved for a snap election, Suga only said: "Combating COVID-19 is our top priority."

Japan balks at waiving quarantine for vaccinated travelers (Nikkei Asia)

Stage 3 and 4 observed in 32 prefectures including Tokyo (Nikkei)

Tokyo to prioritize severe patients following Suga’s contentious policy shift (The Japan Times)

Explosive COVID-19 surge rekindles debate over lockdowns in Japan (The Japan Times)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 5, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 987,163 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 5, 2021) (NHK digital)

Japan slips to 83rd in Nikkei COVID index amid subdued Olympics (Nikkei Asia)


Is Diet or Court in charge? Former Justice Sakurai Ryuko speaks on dual surnames (Asahi)

Editorial: Resolutely defend Olympic athletes from attacks by social media trolls (The Japan News)

Editorial: Online abuse of Tokyo Games athletes exposes sport’s future challenges (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Convey message of peace to world on atomic bombing anniversaries (The Japan News)

U.S. scattered ashes of executed Class B, C war criminals at sea (The Asahi Shimbun)


Agriculture minister suspends rescindment of permit for coral reef transplantation

The two major Okinawa papers front-paged a decision made by the agriculture minister on Thursday to heed the Okinawa Defense Bureau’s plea for a temporary stay of the withdrawal by the Okinawa governor of a permit to transplant coral reefs off the coast of Camp Schwab for the FRF construction. The decision will allow the bureau to resume the transplantation, although it will probably not do so until next week because there are two typhoons approaching the island prefecture. The minister will reportedly continue to examine the case as the bureau has separately requested that the rescindment of the permit be completely nullified. The prefectural government may be tempted to bring the matter to court to seek a ruling that cancels the administrative step taken by the agriculture minister. The dailies criticized the cabinet member’s decision as representing ‘cronyism" within the Suga administration, asserting that the two GOJ agencies have worked together closely in proceeding with the force realignment initiative despite strong local opposition.

Okinawan liaison council mails protest to Japanese, U.S. governments over DUI involving service member (Okinawa Times)

American teens in Okinawa referred to family court for stealing car parts (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team