Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, September 30, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on powerful Typhoon Mindulle, which is expected to hit the Izu Islands tomorrow (NTV), and new LDP President Kishida's arrangements to appoint senior party officials as early as tomorrow and cabinet members at the beginning of the week (NHK, TBS, Fuji TV, TV Asahi).


Kishida mulls new LDP executive lineup and cabinet posts

All networks carried reports at noon that LDP President Kishida is making arrangements to appoint senior party officials as early as tomorrow and cabinet members early next week. NHK reported this afternoon that Kishida has decided to tap Amari Akira, head of the LDP Research Commission on the Tax System, as LDP secretary general. Fuji TV said Kishida is also mulling tapping Education Minister Hagiuda, a close aide to former Prime Minister Abe, to a key cabinet post. The networks also said the three other contenders in the LDP presidential race are likely to be given high-level positions, with Fuji TV saying that Takaichi may be given a key cabinet post while both Kono and Noda may be appointed to key party positions. Fuji TV said Kishida may appoint Justice Minister Kamikawa or former Defense Minister Onodera, both of whom belong to the Kishida faction, as chief cabinet secretary. Foreign Minister Motegi, who supported Kishida in the LDP leadership race, is also likely to be appointed to a key position. TBS said attention will be focused on the extent to which Kishida will be able to appoint young and middle-ranking lawmakers to senior LDP positions as well as cabinet posts to dispel the image that he is a "puppet" of Abe and Aso.

Editorial: Kishida must clarify policies, build a stable administration / Communication and action required (The Japan News)

Editorial: New LDP chief Kishida must work to restore faded public trust (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Soon-to-be PM Kishida should protect the people and win their trust (Sankei)

Editorial: Kishida’s ascension to LDP leadership highlights Nagatacho logic (Tokyo Shimbun)

Editorial: Kishida administration should listen to the people (Nikkei)

Expert: Kishida will benefit from his international reputation (Nikkei)

Kishidanomics promises ‘virtuous growth cycle’ with redistribution (Nikkei Asia)

Commentary: Japan needs a reformer, not stabilizer, in next PM Kishida (Nikkei Asia)

Kishida’s longevity as PM hinges on Nov. general election (Kyodo News)

In backing Fumio Kishida, LDP opts for ‘stable realist’ (The Japan Times)

Komeito leader vows to unite with LDP for upcoming LH election (Yomiuri)

Who is Fumio Kishida, Japan’s next prime minister? (Nikkei Asia)

Profile: Kishida, moderate faction chief, long seen as potential Japan leader (Kyodo News)

Kishida a politician who ‘listens’ and takes notes (The Japan News)

Excerpts from Japan’s new LDP President Kishida’s victory speech (The Japan News)

Kishida wins LDP presidential race, will become prime minister (The Asahi Shimbun)

Fumio Kishida elected as new leader of Japan’s ruling LDP (Nikkei Asia)

Prime minister’s schedule on September 29, 2021 (Sankei)


State Department welcomes election of Kishida as new LDP president

TV Asahi reported at noon that the State Department welcomed the election of Kishida as the new LDP president by releasing a statement saying: "We are watching the democratic process of selecting a new prime minister with great interest." The network said the DOS statement also said: "We look forward to continuing our work with the Government of Japan ... across our broad agenda of regional and global issues." The network said the State Department also expressed appreciation to the departing prime minister by saying: "We thank Prime Minister Suga for his work to strengthen and expand the enduring U.S.-Japan Alliance."

U.S. ready to work with new LDP leader Kishida (NHK WORLD)

U.S. to seek close ties with next Japanese PM amid China rivalry (Kyodo News)

Diplomatic challenges facing Kishida, Japan’s soon-to-be PM (Jiji Press)

Focus on Taiwan’s TPP participation in 49th year of normalized relations between Japan and China (Nikkei)

Commentary: Japan faces a rapidly changing Indo-Pacific security environment (The Japan Times)

U.S. sanctions spur China and Russia to build up cross-border links (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Russia makes ridiculous historical claims, Japan shouldn’t laugh it off (Japan Forward)

Editorial: Quad nations must engage in multilayered effort to deter China (Nikkei Asia)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 16th consecutive day (Sankei)

DPRK aims for its missiles to penetrate Japan-U.S.-ROK defense network (Asahi)


Kishida calls for maintaining nuclear power generation, power industry breathes sigh of relief (Nikkei)

Japan businesses hope for revival of COVID-hit economy under new PM (Kyodo News)

FOCUS: Tokyo stock market to remain firm under new LDP leader Kishida (Kyodo News)

Analysis: China and Taiwan bids catch CPTPP chair Japan off guard (Nikkei Asia)

As China clamps down on crypto, Japan blind to personal transfers (Nikkei Asia)

Japan’s GPIF to avoid yuan-denominated Chinese sovereign bonds (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Note to Japan’s next PM: Full reliance on renewable energy unrealistic (Japan Forward)

Casino development still seen as risky even as three sites prepare to submit plans (Asahi)

High court holds govt liable for damages over n-accident for 3rd time (Jiji Press)

8 Japanese automakers’ domestic output falls 16.3 pct in Aug. (Jiji Press)


Tokyo government to lower its COVID-19 alert level by one notch

Fuji TV reported that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is planning to lower its COVID-19 alert level by one notch to the second highest of four levels at a monitoring meeting slated for this afternoon in light of the declining number of new cases, according to a source. The network said this will be the first time in 10 months for Tokyo to lower its alert level. Meanwhile, the network said the alert for Tokyo's medical care system will be maintained at the highest level.

Mitsubishi Tanabe to bring plant-derived COVID vaccine to Japan (Nikkei Asia)

Infographic: Five COVID-19 indicators for 27 key prefectures (Sept. 28, 2021) (NHK digital)

Infographic: Status of gov’t indicators for COVID-19 in Tokyo (Sept. 29, 2021) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Infographic – Cumulative total no. of COVID-19 cases in Japan (Sept. 29, 2021): 1,700,326 (NHK digital)


Major electronics firms to jointly collect information on human rights violations at partner companies (Nikkei)

Japanese abductees’ kin urge Kishida to resolve issue as new PM (Kyodo News)


Kishida’s victory meets with mixed reactions in Okinawa

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported on local reactions to former Foreign Minister Kishida’s election as LDP president, saying that while the new LDP leader gained in-depth knowledge of local affairs while serving in two cabinet posts related to Okinawa and has stated repeatedly that he is willing to listen to dissenting opinions, his administration probably will not heed Okinawa’s call for canceling the FRF construction project. Kishida was a staunch proponent of Futenma relocation as foreign minister under the Abe administration. The dailies emphasized that unless the incoming prime minister becomes flexible about reviewing the force realignment initiative, the dialogue that he has pledged to hold with Okinawa will go nowhere. “I want Mr. Kishida to make extra efforts to address and resolve issues associated with Okinawa’s economic development and U.S. military bases,” Governor Tamaki told the press. “I hope he will call off the relocation plan and hold dialogue with us.”

Level of contaminants in water near Futenma drops considerably (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team