Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, August 10, 2021
The following information reflects the reporting of the cited news media and does not reflect the opinions of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Japan Media Highlights is intended for USG use only and should not be forwarded. Visit the website here. For more information, contact TokyoMATT@state.gov.


Broadcasters led with reports on the extreme heat in the Kanto region and heavy rain in northern Japan (NHK, NTV, Fuji TV, TV Asahi) and a final report released by Japan's Immigration Services Agency on the investigation into the death of a Sri Lankan woman at a Japanese immigration center indicating that the medical care system and information sharing within the organization were inadequate (TBS).


President Biden congratulates Suga on successful Tokyo Olympics

NHK, TBS, Fuji TV, and TV Asahi reported at noon on a 15-minute teleconference between President Biden and Prime Minister Suga this morning. NTV and TBS said the First Lady, who attended the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics, also participated in the call. The networks said the President congratulated the Japanese government and the people of Japan on the success of the Tokyo Olympics, and Prime Minister Suga expressed his appreciation for the U.S.'s consistent support and cooperation on the Tokyo Games. The Japanese leader also reportedly said he will take every possible measure to realize a safe and secure Tokyo Paralympics and called for U.S. cooperation. President Biden reportedly expressed his strong support. The two leaders also agreed to continue to work closely to further strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance and realize a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Interview with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Thomas-Greenfield

NHK's "News Watch 9" on Monday carried a five-minute report on its one-on-one interview with U.S. Ambassador to UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who was in Japan to represent the U.S. government at the closing ceremony of the Tokyo Olympics. The network said Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield is one of the symbols of the Biden administration's emphasis on diversity, adding that she has poured a great deal of effort into promoting diversity and equality for more than 30 years since she joined the Foreign Service.

Concerning the Tokyo Olympics' message of "unity in diversity," Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was shown saying: "I think it is a message that we need continue to work to deliver on a daily basis. The Biden administration announced very early on that dealing with issues of racial justice and equity would be one of the highest priorities of the administration. This is not just an issue that the United States faces. It's a global issue as well."

The program said the moments during the Tokyo Olympics that particularly left an impression on the Ambassador were the ones when the athletes openly expressed their faith and beliefs, including when members of the Japanese and British women's soccer teams took a knee before their preliminary match to protest racial discrimination and Simone Biles decided to prioritize her mental health and withdraw from the gymnastics team competition. The program also noted that about 180 openly LGBTQ athletes participated in the Tokyo Games, marking a record high. Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield was shown saying: "I have talked about the fact that I have lived racism and I have survived racism. I feel I am an example of what our country can achieve in the face of adversity. I think the Olympics is a platform that many young people have and they have used that platform to express their views and show leadership as well to the rest of the world. So I honor those young people."

The program said the Ambassador thinks "unity in diversity" is something the world needs to continue to think about. She was shown saying: "We have to work to be more inclusive and it's a job that is never ever completed. We are working on it here and we are working on it in the United States as I speak. Japan can look at the American example and look at examples around the world and look at how you can address these issues of inequity."

North Korea reacts sharply to U.S.-ROK joint military drills

All networks reported at noon that the U.S. and South Korea began their summertime joint military training today. The networks said North Korea reacted sharply to the drills, with Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, releasing a statement this morning calling them "an unwelcome act of self-destruction for which a dear price should be paid" and saying that they will ”further imperil the situation on the Korean peninsula." TBS said that a South Korean government source told the network that while North Korea may fire a short-range missile as a provocation, Pyongyang probably will not be overly provocative as communication lines between the South and the North remain active even after the release of the statement.

U.S. has responsibility to ensure nukes not used again: Blinken (Kyodo News)

Biden commends Suga on “successful” Tokyo Olympics, backs Paralympics (Kyodo News)

Biden hails success of Tokyo Olympics in telephone talks with Suga (The Japan News)

Taiwanese leader proposes creating “personnel bank” for semiconductor professionals with Japan, U.S. (Sankei)

Editorial: China should stop bullying foreign journalists (Sankei)

Japan’s Motegi to visit Middle East from Sunday (Jiji Press)

Gov’t calls on China not to let Chinese fishing boats enter waters near Senkakus (Nikkei)

Japan ranks third in vaccine diplomacy (Asahi)

Gov’t refrains from advertising overseas vaccine donations to Japanese public (Asahi)

US envoy to UN calls out China on human rights (NHK WORLD)

Japan Fair Trade Commission signs memorandum to support India’s development of competition law (Nikkei)


Secretary Blinken, NSS chief Akiba confirm importance of peace and stability in Taiwan Strait

NHK reported online that National Security Secretariat Secretary General Akiba met with Secretary of State Blinken in Washington on Monday. The network said that according to an announcement by the State Department, they "reiterated their shared opposition to any unilateral attempts to change the status quo in the East China Sea and activities that undermine, destabilize, or threaten the rules-based international order." The two officials also reportedly stressed the importance of preserving peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait, where China is intensifying its military activities, and maintaining respect for international law, including freedom of navigation, in the South China Sea and beyond.

According to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, the two officials also exchanged views on North Korea and confirmed close cooperation between the U.S., Japan, and South Korea as well as through the Quad framework to respond to challenges faced by the region and the international community.

The network said Akiba also met with his U.S. counterpart Sullivan. They reportedly agreed to work closely, especially in the economic security sector, to maintain a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Chinese ships return to Senkaku area after exiting on Aug. 6 (Sankei)

Commentary: Japan should start defense exchange with Taiwan (Sankei)

MOD plans to deploy unmanned aircraft to detect hypersonic weapons (Sankei)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 9, 2021 (Sankei)

Focus: Japan PM Suga losing out due to poor COVID response as Olympics end (Kyodo News)

Japan fulfills responsibilities as Olympics host: Suga (Jiji Press)

LDP largest faction head endorses Suga’s reelection (Sankei)


Suga Cabinet sees approval rating drop to low of 35%, Yomiuri poll (The Japan News)

People reluctant to travel in summer amid coronavirus surge, Yomiuri poll (The Japan News)

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri)

Olympic support up, but Cabinet approval rate drops to 28%, Asahi poll (The Asahi Shimbun)


Editorial: Regaining public trust essential for TEPCO to ensure profitability (The Japan Times)


Environment, economy ministries release breakdown of 46% emissions target (Nikkei)


Japan immigration admits flaws over Sri Lankan woman’s death (Jiji Press)

Foreign population in Japan declines for first time in 7 years (Nikkei)

Nagasaki mayor urges Japan to ratify nuclear arms ban treaty (Jiji Press)

Suga ignores nuke ban treaty in Nagasaki peace ceremony (The Asahi Shimbun)

Post-Olympic venues confront fate as white elephants (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Athletes deserve praise as Tokyo Olympics wrap up / Address operational issues for future (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Lessons of Tokyo Olympics must be used to fix Games’ outdated elements (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Belarusian sprinter defies dictator and defects at Tokyo Olympics (Japan Forward)

Vietnamese trainee in Japan convicted of abandoning stillborn twins’ corpses (The Mainichi)


84 COVID-19 patients died at home in Japan over 6 months: gov’t (Kyodo News)

Calls for lockdowns to fight coronavirus growing in Japan (Jiji Press)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 9, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 1,045,032 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 9, 2021) (NHK digital)


U.S. service member arrested on suspicion of DUI (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Marine corporal arrested on DUI charges (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team