Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, August 12, 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.


All broadcasters led with reports on the extremely heavy rain mainly in the Kyushu region that is expected to continue through tomorrow, urging people to protect themselves against landslides and floods. The front is expected to extend eastward and linger through next week.


Nissan to temporarily shut down U.S. plant due to shortage of semiconductors from Malaysia

NHK reported that Nissan Motor Company has decided to stop production at its main plant in Tennessee for two weeks from Aug. 16 as semiconductors from Malaysia are in short supply due to the rapid spread of the Delta variant in the Asian country. Nissan is expected to resume production at the plant from Aug. 30. The network added that while many automakers have been forced to cut back production due to the global shortage of semiconductors, the spread of the Delta variant in Asia is aggravating the shortage of semiconductors and affecting automakers.

Government planning fund to combat harmful rumors about Japanese seafood (Nikkei)

Japanese automakers welcome U.S. goal of 50% EVs by 2030 (Yomiuri)

Kazamidori column: Illusion of “Japan Inc. semiconductor” (Nikkei)

Editorial: Steadily facilitate efforts for recovery of Pacific bluefin tuna stocks (The Japan Times)


Japan expresses concern about Canadian man’s prison term in China (Kyodo News)

Beijing quietly pushes localities to ‘buy Chinese’ in high tech (Nikkei Asia)

“Buy China” program presses Japanese players to restructure supply chains (Nikkei)

Japan to bolster support for green technology in Thailand (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Investors should beware of broader private sector crackdowns in China (Nikkei Asia)

Japanese diplomat returns home after gaffe (Jiji Press)


German frigate to make port call at Tokyo in November: minister (Kyodo News)

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

Japan radar and missile sites among 600 areas eyed for investment curbs (Nikkei Asia)

Fujitsu: 129 public offices and firms hacked (NHK WORLD)

Japan to develop unmanned aircraft to aid F-2 successor (Jiji Press)


Prime minister’s schedule on Aug. 11, 2021 (Sankei)

Strength of in-house groups in House of Representatives (Yomiuri)

Strength of in-house groups in House of Councillors (Yomiuri)

Opinion: Uyghur issue requires corporations to consider human rights (Nikkei)


Editorial: Play leading role in combating global warming amid growing threat of extreme weather (The Japan Times)


GOJ’s subcommittee on COVID-19 to propose limiting number of people out and about by 50%

TV Asahi reported at noon that members of the GOJ's subcommittee on the new coronavirus are currently discussing a set of proposals to, among other things. reduce the number of people out and about by 50% over the next two weeks. According to the network, the proposals state that the number of people out and about especially in the basement levels of department stores where food is usually sold should be reduced over the next two weeks by 50% compared with the number in early July before the current state of emergency was declared. The proposals also reportedly call for the support of medical institutions and practitioners that have not been involved in the response to the new coronavirus to date. The new proposals are expected to be announced as early as this afternoon. NHK carried a similar story.

Almost 20,000 COVID-19 patients in Tokyo recuperating at home

NHK reported that although one month has passed since the fourth state of emergency was declared for Tokyo, it has not had any effect. The network said that despite the Tokyo Metropolitan Government's requests for bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to temporarily close and for citizens to avoid nonessential outings, the seven-day rolling average of daily cases had reached 3,983 as of Aug. 11, 5.3 times higher than July 12. The network said medical institutions are under strain, with a record 3,667 COVID-19 patients being hospitalized and the number of seriously ill patients reaching a record high of 197 as of Aug. 11. In addition, the network highlighted the fact that the number of COVID-19 patients recuperating at home has reached 19,396.

Okinawa marks record number of new cases of COVID-19

NHK reported that more than 700 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Okinawa today. The network said this is the highest number of daily cases confirmed in the prefecture, surpassing the 648 new cases reported on Aug. 5.

Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 19 key prefectures (Aug. 10, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Aug. 11, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic: 1,071,411 persons in Japan confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 (Aug. 11, 2021) (NHK digital)


Australian Embassy thanks Tokyo for holding Olympics (Sports Hochi digital)

CDP requests Sri Lankan woman’s surveillance video (Jiji Press)

Hiroshima Univ. associate prof. posts racist tweet against Chinese (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Editorial: Report fails to tackle inhumanity underlying Japan’s immigration detentions (The Mainichi)

Kyoto’s reconstruction plan calls for big spending cuts (The Japan Times)


87% say women prepare the meals at home, Nihon Yoron Chosakai poll (Tokyo Shimbun)


U.S., Japan held host nation support talks in early August

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that multiple sources connected to U.S.-Japan relations disclosed on Wednesday that the governments of the United States and Japan held a working-level meeting in Washington in early August to discuss Japan’s share of the cost of stationing U.S. forces. The papers speculated that the two governments agreed to hold intensive discussions with the goal of concluding the talks by the end of this year and that attention will be focused on the extent to which the Japanese government will agree to increase its “consideration budget," which includes the salaries of local workers and utilities costs at U.S. bases. The papers also conjectured that the U.S. side will try to gain Japan’s understanding for its request for an increase by saying the importance of U.S. bases in Japan has been growing in view of China’s rising military presence in the region. The papers also said that the talks could run into difficulty if the two sides fail to narrow their differences because the Japanese government has told the U.S. side that it is difficult for Japan to accept a large increase in the cost. However, some within the GOJ believe it will be necessary for Japan to accept the U.S. request to some extent to maintain the strong U.S.-Japan alliance, Ryukyu Shimpo added. Okinawa Times speculated that the Japanese negotiators expressed reluctance to accept the level of increase Washington proposed in past preparatory discussions by saying Japan is already making the maximum contribution.

Henoko coral transplantation reported to environment committee after start of work (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team