Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, August 11, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the extreme heat in the Kanto region (NTV, TBS) and the forecast for heavy rain in western and eastern Japan through next week (NHK, Fuji TV, TV Asahi).


Second Gentleman to attend opening ceremony of Tokyo Paralympics

NHK reported this morning that the White House announced on Tuesday that Vice President Harris's husband Douglas Emhoff will represent the U.S. government at the opening ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics together with Chargé d'Affaires Greene. The network said Mr. Emhoff left his law firm when his wife assumed the post of Vice President and became the first Second Gentleman in U.S. history. The network said that according to the U.S. media, the upcoming visit to Japan will be his first solo overseas trip as Second Gentleman.

U.S. special representative for North Korea policy to visit ROK next week

TBS reported at noon that it learned that U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy Sung Kim is planning to visit South Korea from Aug. 21 to 24 for talks with South Korea's Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh Kyu-duk and others over North Korea. Noting that North Korea is reacting sharply to the joint military drills between the U.S. and South Korea that began yesterday, the network said multiple ROK government sources said that North Korea may fire a missile around Aug. 16 when the computer-simulated drills begin. The network said the U.S. envoy is likely to discuss with his South Korean counterparts how to respond to North Korea.

Taiwanese president urges Japan, others to team up (NHK WORLD)

China passes U.S. to top output of influential science papers (Nikkei Asia)

Russian intelligence agency declassifies documents indicating Japan’s preparations for subversive activities in Soviet Union (Yomiuri)

Japan tries to discern whether Russia’s recent move over Northern Territories is trial balloon or pressure (Sankei)


NSS chief Akiba meets with Defense Secretary Austin

NHK reported that National Security Secretariat Secretary General Akiba, who is visiting Washington, met with Secretary of Defense Austin on Tuesday. The network said the two officials agreed that the U.S. and Japan will continue to work closely to further strengthen the deterrence and response capability of the U.S.-Japan alliance in light of the increasingly severe security environment in the Indo-Pacific region. They also reportedly exchanged views on the situation in the East and South China Seas, efforts toward a free and open Indo-Pacific, and challenges facing the two nations in strengthening the alliance.

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

Japan creates defense white paper for children (Jiji Press)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 10, 2021 (Sankei)

Low approval rating casts shadow over PM’s strategy on dissolving lower house (The Japan Times)

Abe and Suga big with Japan’s youth, polls show (Nikkei Asia)


Cabinet support rate drops tp 29%, lowest ever for Suga, NHK public opinion poll (NHK digital)

Political party support rates, NHK public opinion poll (NHK digital)


Nagasaki gives Austrian firm preferential negotiation rights regarding IR operation (Nikkei)

Murata says a Chinses subcontractor employee illegally obtained vendor information (Nikkei)

Firms’ planned capital spending in FY21 will increase 12% from a year earlier: survey (Nikkei)

Nuclear Regulatory Authority will examine whether fault is active at Kashiwazaki-Kariwa (Nikkei)

Japan’s GDP down 1.0% in June: JCER (Nikkei Asia)


Mizuho FG to team up with World Bank to mediate emission-quota trading for companies (Nikkei)

Moon exploration by Japan group seeks water and resources (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Draw up a road map for electrified vehicles to navigate foreign markets (The Japan Times)


Final report on death of Sri Lankan detainee details failures (The Asahi Shimbun)

Social media abuzz about image of “IOC chief Bach” strolling in Tokyo (Kyodo News)

Olympic host towns develop bonds with athletes before they go home (Nikkei evening edition)

Editorial: Tokyo take pride in keeping the sacred flame of the Olympics burning (Japan Forward)


Infographic: Trends in serious COVID-19 cases, Jan. – Aug. 2021 (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 19 key prefectures (Aug. 9, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 10, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 1,055,602 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 10, 2021) (NHK digital)


Futenma-based aircraft operate at night outside designated hours

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that a U.S. military plane based at MCAS Futenma operated until 10:51 p.m. on Monday and an MV-22 Osprey arrived at the base at around 11:55 p.m. on Sunday despite the existing U.S.-Japan agreement to restrict U.S. military flights from 10 p.m. through 6 a.m. According to the governments of Okinawa Prefecture and Ginowan City, noise levels as high as 99.9 decibels were detected in the Nodake district of Ginowan and a number of local citizens filed complaints with the municipal government. The paper wrote that the U.S. military may continue operating Futenma-based Ospreys until as late as midnight through Aug. 12 based on a Notice To Airmen (NOTAMs) issued by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The municipal government filed complaints with the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa Bureau and the U.S. military via email.

Okinawa reports 23 more COVID-19 infections among U.S. military personnel (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team