Afternoon Alert   -   Friday, September 24, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on Prime Minister Suga's arrival in Washington to attend the Quad Leaders’ Summit (NHK, NTV), an increase in the number of people out and about at tourist spots on Thursday (TBS), Princess Mako's fiancé Komuro Kei spotted walking on the streets of New York (Fuji TV), and Minister Nishimura's announcement that a total of 13 prefectures have expressed interest in participating in the GOJ's tests of eased restrictions on people’s activities planned for next month (TV Asahi).


Suga, Modi agree to strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change status quo

All networks reported on a summit meeting between Prime Minister Suga and Indian Prime Minister Modi held in Washington on Friday morning Japan time during which they agreed to strongly oppose any unilateral attempt to change the status quo in the East or South China Seas. The two leaders also reportedly reaffirmed close cooperation to realize a free and open Indo-Pacific. According to NHK, Suga told his Indian counterpart that India is an important partner with which Japan shares common values. Modi reportedly responded by saying that India's relationship with Japan is "extremely important not only for the two nations but also for the stability and prosperity of the region and the world." The two leaders also reportedly agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fight against COVID-19, arrange a "2 plus 2" meeting at an early date, and deepen cooperation in the digital sector.

Motegi calls for Qatar’s cooperation in evacuating Japanese nationals and local staff from Afghanistan

NHK reported early this morning that Foreign Minister Motegi, who is currently visiting New York, held talks with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani early Friday morning Japan time. According to the network, the two ministers exchanged views on Afghanistan because Qatar has been building relations with the Taliban that regained control of Afghanistan. Motegi reportedly expressed his appreciation for the support extended by the government of Qatar in evacuating one Japanese national from Afghanistan and said he "highly values the role played by Qatar, including ensuring safe departure for foreign nationals and others and temporarily accepting Afghan people." Motegi reportedly called for continued cooperation in swiftly evacuating the Japanese nationals and local staff members of the Japanese Embassy who are still in Afghanistan. The Qatari foreign minister reportedly responded by saying his nation will "cooperate as much as possible." In addition, the two ministers agreed on the need to closely monitor the actions of the Taliban, including whether they will build an inclusive nation and respect the rights of women, and confirmed close bilateral cooperation on Afghanistan and other issues.

U.S. Senate confirms diplomat for East Asia (NHK WORLD)

Japan raises yen lending cap for COVID assistance to 700 billion yen (Yomiuri)

Suga calls for food import-export regulations based on scientific evidence (Sankei)

Taiwan reports major Chinese air incursion after CPTPP bid (Nikkei Asia)

EU climate head says carbon border tax unlikely to hit Japan (Nikkei Asia)

Putin administration highlights Japan’s responsibility in Second World War (Mainichi)

Editorial: Work needed to fulfill Biden’s ‘not seeking a new Cold War’ pledge in UN speech (The Mainichi)

Editorial: EU’s Indo-Pacific strategy shows reasonable concern over China (The Japan News)

Editorial: Management crisis at Evergrande must not be allowed to cause global market confusion (The Japan News)


Commentary: Why U.S. membership in CPTPP makes more sense than ever (Nikkei Asia)

Rival China and Taiwan bids put CPTPP’s free trade mettle to test (Nikkei Asia)

Opinion: Taiwan’s TPP application may trigger change in China (Mainichi)

China blasts Taiwan’s bid to join CPTPP trade pact (Nikkei Asia)

From Pfizer to Shionogi, drugmakers race for coronavirus pills (Nikkei Asia)


Prime minister’s schedule on Sept. 23, 2021 (Sankei)

LDP leadership race highly likely to go to runoff (Jiji Press)

LDP leadership contest / Takaichi pledges to propel investment in ‘next-generation nuclear power’ (The Japan News)

LDP leadership contest / Noda calls for “politics everyone can understand.” (The Japan News)

Pension system reform emerges as LDP election issue (Jiji Press)


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


Only abolishing TITP can solve problems (Shukan Toyo Keizai)


Japan’s universities tightening background checks on foreign students (Kyodo News)


Japan to ease quarantine curbs for vaccinated travelers (The Asahi Shimbun)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 23, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic – Cumulative total no. of COVID-19 cases in Japan (Sept. 23, 2021): 1,688,630 (NHK digital)


More evacuation orders to be lifted in Fukushima for some areas (The Asahi Shimbun)


Top U.S. military official in Okinawa pays farewell visit to DM Kishi (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Okinawa sets up expert panel to determine source of Futenma PFAS contamination (Ryukyu Shimpo)

Two U.S. soldiers land on private property on Ie Jima during parachute drop training (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team