JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, October 7, 2021
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HEADLINES

All broadcasters led with reports on the arrest of a Nihon University director and the former head of a medical corporation on breach-of-trust charges concerning the remodeling work of Nihon University Itabashi Hospital.

INTERNATIONAL

Secretary Blinken, FM Motegi confirm close cooperation

NHK reported this afternoon that Foreign Minister Motegi, who was reappointed to his role under the Kishida Cabinet, held a telephone conference with Secretary of State Blinken for about 15 minutes this morning. The network said that during the call, which was held at the request of the U.S. side, Secretary Blinken congratulated Motegi on his reappointment as foreign minister, to which Motegi responded by saying: "The importance of the U.S.-Japan alliance remains the same under the new government. I hope to continue to work closely based on the relationship of trust we have built." The network added that the two ministers also exchanged views on North Korea and China as well as climate change and confirmed continued cooperation toward a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Asian Development Bank to fund closures of coal power plants (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: China’s compromises, provocations in its policy toward U.S. are incompatible (The Japan News)

ECONOMY

U.S., Japanese business leaders call for U.S. return to TPP

NHK reported this afternoon that this year's Japan-U.S. Business Conference concluded today, adopting a joint statement calling for the return of the United States to the TPP. According to the network, about 60 business leaders from both nations participated in the online conference and called on the U.S. and Japanese governments to gradually promote decarbonization efforts so as not to affect the two nations' industrial competitiveness. They also called for the U.S. to return to the TPP to build a free and open trade system. In the area of economic security, they said the governments should share information with companies when restricting exports of state-of-the-art technologies. Japan-U.S. Business Council Chairman Hirano Nobuyuki, who led the Japanese team at the conference, reportedly told the press: "It is a major step forward that U.S. business leaders expressed hope for the U.S. to return to TPP."

Editorial: Rengo should swiftly respond to changes in employment situation (Nikkei)

Japan govt to sell more Japan Post shares (Jiji Press)

Japan FTC starts survey on smartphone OS market (Jiji Press)

Philippine utilities tap Japanese partners to shrink carbon footprints (Nikkei Asia)

POLITICS

Prime minister’s schedule on Oct. 6, 2021 (Sankei)

Editorial: Concurrent appointment as abduction minister gives impression that issue is neglected (Sankei)

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

Campaign kicks off for 2 by-elections in Japan (Jiji Press)

Kishida making changes to Kantei-led politics to build closer cooperation between gov’t and party (Nikkei)

Three first-time ministers to oversee COVID-19 response (Nikkei)

Infographic: Suga-Kishida comparison of no. of top three ministry official posts awarded to LDP factions (Mainichi)

Selection of state ministers and parliamentary vice ministers reflects balance among LDP intraparty factions (The Japan News)

Editorial: Restoration of democracy is pressing need (Tokyo Shimbun)

FOCUS: LDP factions battle over election candidate selections (Jiji Press)

Komeito to reject Constitution reform for emergencies (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Japan PM Kishida’s election call timing all about LDP’s political convenience (The Mainichi)

Takeshita faction becomes second largest force within LDP (Mainichi)

Panel upholds decision not to indict Abe over dinner party (Jiji Press)

New Japan finance chief vows to set course for fiscal consolidation (Kyodo News)

New minister Saito positive about resuming Go To Travel (Jiji Press)

Governors seek to have parties vow tough virus steps before election (Kyodo News)

Cartoon: A sprinter who runs super-short distances?! (Asahi)

OPINION POLLS

Kishida Cabinet approval rating stands at 56%, Yomiuri poll (The Japan News)

Kishida Cabinet gets relatively low approval rating of 45%, Asahi poll (The Asahi Shimbun)

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun (Asahi)

41% willing to vote for ruling parties’ candidates in Japan general election, Mainichi poll (The Mainichi)

Opinion poll & results from Mainichi Shimbun (Mainichi)

SECURITY

Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 23rd consecutive day (Sankei)

SCIENCE

Japan aiming to produce food in space for long stays (Jiji Press)

Launch of Japan’s Epsilon-5 rocket put off again (Jiji Press)

SOCIETY

Over half of male Japanese govt workers take child care leave (Jiji Press)

Japanese trading firms encouraging active participation by women (Jiji Press)

Japanese businesses to offer benefits using vaccination app (Kyodo News)

240m COVID vaccine doses at risk of waste in Japan, U.S. and Europe (Nikkei Asia)

Ruling on Sri Lankans’ deportation as unconstitutional finalized (Jiji Press)

OKINAWA LOCAL PRESS

Marine official denies link between Futenma wastewater release and PFAS detection in public sewage

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported that during a meeting with the Ginowan mayor at Camp Foster on Wednesday, Col. Neil Owens, chief of MCIPAC Government and External Affairs, categorically dismissed speculation that the discharge of wastewater from MCAS Futenma on Aug. 26 was responsible for the very high level of PFAS that was detected in water sampled from the city’s public sewage system later in the same day. “As the water in question was treated ahead of release, it is implausible to conclude that the Futenma water was the source.” According to Mayor Matsukawa, the Marine official underscored that the water was treated properly and that he cannot comprehend why such a high level of the toxic agent was detected. The municipal leader reportedly voiced doubts about the U.S. military’s explanation since an abnormal level of the harmful substance was not detected other than on that day.

Ryukyu Shimpo wrote separately that several prefectural assembly members visited Camp Foster yesterday and protested the Futenma wastewater release. In response to their request for Japanese access to military installations when incidents or accidents occur on base, Col. Owens reportedly suggested that such access may be granted on a case-by-case basis.

66-month prison sentence sought for U.S. base worker over sexual offense (Okinawa Times, Ryukyu Shimpo)

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

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