Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, September 14, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the Nikkei Stock Average reaching its highest level since August 1990 during early trading on Tuesday (NHK), former LDP Secretary General Ishiba's decision not to run in the upcoming LDP presidential election and support Kono instead (NTV, TBS, Fuji TV), and former Foreign Minister Kishida's press roundtable during which he stressed that he would not rule out a meeting with Kim Jong Un if he were prime minister (TV Asahi).


Senior officials of U.S., Japan, ROK confirm stronger alliance

NHK, NTV, and TBS reported at noon that senior officials of the U.S., Japan, and South Korea in charge of North Korean issues held talks at MOFA this morning. NHK said the officials apparently shared the latest information concerning North Korea's test-firing of a new type of long-range cruise missile and agreed to further strengthen the trilateral alliance toward resolving the issues of North Korea's nuclear and missile development. According to the networks, U.S. Special Representative for the DPRK Ambassador Sung Kim, MOFA Asian and Oceanian Affairs chief Funakoshi, and ROK Special Representative for Korean Peninsula Peace and Security Affairs Noh attended the talks. NHK added that the Japanese side reiterated its call for cooperation toward swiftly resolving the abduction issue.

U.S. to host first in-person Quad summit on Sept. 24

NHK reported this morning that White House Press Secretary Psaki released a statement on Monday saying that President Biden will host the first-ever Quad Leaders Summit at the White House on Sept. 24. The network said the Biden administration attaches importance to the Quad framework as a way to deal with China, adding that the statement says "hosting the leaders of the Quad demonstrates the Biden-Harris Administration’s priority of engaging in the Indo-Pacific, including through new multilateral configurations to meet the challenges of the 21st century." In addition, the statement says the leaders will be focused on "deepening our ties and advancing practical cooperation on areas such as combatting COVID-19, addressing the climate crisis, partnering on emerging technologies and cyberspace, and promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kato reportedly told the press this morning that Prime Minister Suga is making arrangements to attend the Quad summit to deepen cooperation among the members and in view of the importance of strengthening the U.S.-Japan relationship. He reportedly added: "We expect that the leaders will hold candid discussions on the common challenges faced by the region, including promoting a free and open Indo-Pacific and measures against COVID-19." Meanwhile, when asked by a reporter whether Suga's visit to the U.S. after the announcement that he will step down could be problematic from the viewpoint of continuity in foreign policy, Kato reportedly responded by saying: "We consider the Quad summit to be extremely important and think it's important for Prime Minister Suga to build the relationship now for the sake of continuity before his successor takes over."

White House says Quad summit to take place Sept. 24 (Nikkei Asia)

Japan, U.S., S. Korea affirm efforts to denuclearize N. Korea (Kyodo News)

Analysis: North Korea tests new cruise missiles that put Japan in striking distance (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Speed up efforts to respond to threat of new North Korean cruise missiles (The Japan News)

Commentary: Japan demonstrated outstanding intelligence-gathering capabilities regarding Afghanistan (Sankei)

Afghans in Japan request “lifesaving visas” for their families (Tokyo Shimbun)

Japan to offer full support to Afghan evacuees (Jiji Press)

Taiwan simulates Chinese biological and electronic attacks in war game (Nikkei Asia)


Commentary: Japan unprepared for Taiwan contingency (Sankei)


Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 12-13, 2021 (Sankei)

Three LDP presidential candidates step up efforts to issue strong messages (Asahi)

LDP Diet members’ votes may decide who wins party presidency (Asahi)

Japan PM hopefuls Kono, Kishida join call to hike defense budget (Nikkei Asia)

LDP leadership contender Kishida unveils initiatives to counter China (The Japan Times)

Kishida, Takaichi mention Japan’s enemy base attack capability (Jiji Press)

Health Ministry reorganization to be focal point of LDP race (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Joint opposition camp needs clear policy agenda for fall election (The Asahi Shimbun)

CDP election pledges to include dual surname system (Jiji Press)


Suga Cabinet approval rate at 30%, NHK poll (NHK WORLD)

63% say Afghanistan can slip back to terror hotbed, NHK poll (NHK WORLD)

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

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun (Asahi)


Japan, China, South Korea, ASEAN decide on January 2022 for RCEP effectuation (Nikkei)

Gov’t designates area off Akita as offshore wind power district (Nikkei)

TOKYO REPORT: Major Japanese banks expanding “green loans” (Jiji Press)

Costs of antiterror measures weighing on Japan regional banks (Jiji Press)

Japan’s GDP up 0.6% in July from June, thanks to exports: JCER (Nikkei Asia)


Japanese scientists plan to launch wooden satellite in 2023 (The Asahi Shimbun)

Hitachi sets higher target on decarbonization (Jiji Press)

Suga’s carbon reduction goals seen hard to achieve (Jiji Press)


Publishers revise term “military comfort women” in response to Cabinet decision (Asahi)


Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 27 key prefectures (Sept. 12, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 13, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic – Cumulative total no. of COVID-19 cases in Japan (Sept. 13, 2021): 1,645,852 (NHK digital)


Peruvian overstayer with cancer can seek health coverage (The Asahi Shimbun)


Governor, experts call for termination of Futenma project at symposium (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Kishida supports relocation of Futenma to Henoko (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Continuation of Okinawa Development Finance Corporation should be considered: Kono (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. service member arrested on charges of theft (Ryukyu Shimpo)

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

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

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team