Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, October 4, 2021
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NHK gave top play to a report that LDP President Kishida has decided to dissolve the Lower House on Oct. 14 when the extraordinary Diet session ends and hold a general election on Oct. 31. Other broadcasters led with reports on the launch of the Kishida Cabinet this evening.


Kishida decides to hold general election on Oct. 31

NHK reported that LDP President Kishida has decided to dissolve the Lower House on Oct. 14 when the extraordinary Diet session concludes and hold a snap election on Oct. 31. The campaign period for the general election will begin on Oct. 19. The network said Kishida is expected to hold a press conference this evening to explain his decision, which came as a surprise to many in Nagatacho. TBS said that Kishida is expected to forgo attending the G20 Summit slated for the end of this month in Italy. The network added, however, that according to a government source, Kishida is expected to attend the COP26 meeting that is scheduled to begin in the UK on Nov. 1.

NHK political desk reporter Nakata Shinya said Kishida decided to swiftly hold a snap election to take advantage of the high support ratings expected immediately after the launch of his Cabinet. Noting that an October election was not anticipated, he added that Kishida is hoping to ensure that the LDP fares well in the general election by launching a "surprise attack."

Kishida elected Japan’s 100th prime minister (NHK WORLD)

Prime minister’s schedule on Oct 1, 2021 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Oct. 2, 2021 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Oct 3, 2021 (Sankei)

Main events scheduled for Oct. 4-10 (Kyodo News)

Kobayashi to be appointed first economic security minister (Asahi)

Rift between LDP and Komeito over diplomacy, security (Sankei)

DM Kishi returned to work on Oct. 1 after recovering from illness (Mainichi)

LDP’s Nikai to run in next Lower House election (Sankei)

Ruling parties aim to work together to win a majority: Amari (Nikkei)

LDP’s Amari eyes big extra budget after election (Jiji Press)

CDP vows not to allow n-plant construction further (Jiji Press)

Stable imperial succession pressing task for Kishida (Jiji Press)

Tomin First announces launch of national party (Jiji Press)

Former NPA chief Kuryu tapped as deputy chief cabinet secretary (Nikkei)

Editorial: Will Kishida’s colors shine through in LDP’s new leadership lineup? (The Japan News)

Cartoon: What color crayon would you choose? (Asahi)

Editorial: Kishida’s picks for top LDP posts dampen hopes for reform (The Asahi Shimbun)

Commentary: How Japan’s new PM can take a lead in improving global health (The Japan Times)

Commentary: How Kishida can avoid becoming another revolving-door prime minister (The Japan Times)

The four LDP executives who are key to Kishida’s immediate success (The Japan Times)

Kishida to retain foreign and defense ministers with eye on China (Nikkei Asia)

Japan’s Kishida builds network around alma mater and party allies (Nikkei Asia)

Motegi to stay Japan’s foreign minister in message of continuity (Nikkei Asia)

Some in LDP fear past scandals will haunt Kishida regime (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Elections everywhere: Fateful moments in global politics (The Japan Times)

Cartoon: The faces of the Lower House election (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Cartoon: Open door policy, open window reality (Mainichi)


64% in Japan want current ruling parties to stay in power, Yomiuri mail-in poll (The Japan News)

Highlights of September 2021 Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll (Jiji Press Public Opinion Poll Bulletin)

76 pct in Japan have gender-based biases, Cabinet Office survey (Jiji Press)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 20th consecutive day (Sankei)

Police drop charges against Chinese national involved in JAXA cyberattack (Asahi)

Japan, US coast guards conduct joint drill (NHK WORLD)

Media Mix: Netflix drama prompts a new look at SDF bullying (The Japan Times)

North Korea test-fires new antiaircraft missile: KCNA (Kyodo News)


UK ambassador urges Japan to speed up phase out of coal power (Nikkei Asia)

Commentary: Will Japan’s China policy change under Kishida’s leadership? (The Japan Times)

Laos enlists Japan startup for study on digital currency (Nikkei Asia)

Japanese cultural festival opens in Russia (Jiji Press)

36% of Japanese, 64% of S. Koreans say trilateral military cooperation should be strengthened, Genron NPO poll (Mainichi)


“Seiron” column: TPP issue a test for Japan’s new gov’t in dealing with China (Sankei)

Cultural Affairs Agency to cover cost of removing pirated materials online (The Japan News)

Japan’s COVID emergency is over. Labor and chip shortages are not (Nikkei Asia)

Mitsui to build $900m ‘blue ammonia’ plant in Australia (Nikkei Asia)

Japanese silicon wafer maker Sumco plans $2bn expansion (Nikkei Asia)

Concerns over supply constraints shared at Sept. BOJ meeting (Jiji Press)

Tankan survey shows improving business mood (NHK WORLD)

Japan new auto sales up 1.1 pct in April-Sept. (Jiji Press)

2 Japan automakers log U.S. sales slumps on parts shortages (Jiji Press)

Japan new car sales fell 32% year-on-year in Sept. (NHK WORLD)

Editorial: TEPCO execs keep heads in the sand on nuclear security issue (The Asahi Shimbun)


JAXA suspends Epsilon rocket launch soon before liftoff (Jiji Press)

Japan to work on centralized traffic control of flying vehicles (The Japan News)


Japan to continue efforts to resolve abduction issue: Kato (Jiji Press)

Japan agency to help vaccinate foreigners (NHK WORLD)

Asia-Pacific is the world’s most rapidly ageing region, but are we ready? (The Asahi Shimbun digital)

Businesses to test vaccination requirements in 13 prefectures (The Asahi Shimbun)

Commentary: Has Japan’s COVID-19 response really been that bad? (The Japan Times)

Japan enters a new stage of the pandemic fraught with fresh challenges (The Japan Times)

Japan urges prefectures to beef up medical systems ahead of winter virus wave (The Japan Times)

Missed deals: Japan’s COVID travel restrictions exact economic toll (Nikkei Asia)

Phishing scam posing as Docomo causes ¥100 mil. damages (The Japan News)

Princess Mako’s marriage draws mixed reactions (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Online Japanese outcast communities list is intolerable discrimination promotion (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Raise awareness of cyber-attacks on hospitals, other vital facilities (The Japan News)


U.S. military F-15 accidentally deploys flare near Kadena

Saturday’s Okinawa Times front-paged a report saying that an F-15 fighter jet belonging to Kadena AB accidentally deployed a training flare over the vicinity of the installation at around 10:00 a.m. on Sept. 29, suspecting that the flare could have been deployed over private land. The 18th Wing at Kadena reportedly told the paper that the incident caused no damage or injuries because the flare disintegrated in the sky. The chief of the office of the Okinawa Governor lodged a protest with Col. Ronald D. Schochenmaier, vice commander of the 18th Wing, on Friday over the phone. Ryukyu Shimpo wrote that the 18th Wing has told the paper that the Kadena base is taking the incident very seriously and will provide appropriate training to its personnel.

PFAS detected in tap water in Kin Town (Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo)

“All Okinawa” anti-base group losing influence (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Marine arrested for DUI in Urasoe (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Marine arrested for DUI in Okinawa City (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team