Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, November 4, 2021
The following information reflects the reporting of the cited news media and does not reflect the opinions of the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo. Japan Media Highlights is intended for USG use only and should not be forwarded. Visit the website here. For more information, contact TokyoMATT@state.gov.


All TV networks gave top play to a traffic accident in Okayama this morning in which a child and another person were seriously injured.


Kishida to appoint new foreign minister next week

NHK reported that Prime Minister Kishida told the press this morning that he will not appoint a new foreign minister until next Wednesday when he plans to launch his second cabinet and that he will perform the duties of the position himself until then. The post was vacated today following the LDP's official approval of Kishida’s appointment of Foreign Minister Motegi as its secretary general.

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

Changes seen in the LDP faction scene (Sankei)

Roundup of newspaper editorials on Lower House election results (Sankei)

Ogushi may run for leader of top Japan opposition CDP (Jiji Press)

Expert: CDPJ needs to eliminate DPJ associations by allowing new generation to take helm (Mainichi)

Editorial: Japan’s main opposition party must start over with thorough internal review (The Mainichi)

Kishida meets with party election chief Endo most during his first month in office (Nikkei)

Constitutional reform camp increases lower house seats (Jiji Press)

Survey: LDP and Komeito take differing stances on nuclear power (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: The fall of veteran lawmakers (Tokyo Shimbun)


Top U.S. general dismisses possibility of imminent Chinese invasion of Taiwan

NHK focused on a speech given in Washington on Wednesday by JCS Chairman Milley, during which he said he does not expect China to take military action against Taiwan in the next few years. However, he underscored the importance for the U.S. military to prepare for a Chinese invasion of the island territory because the PLA is building the capacity to offer such an option to its political leadership. While pointing out that the President will decide whether to commit U.S. troops for the defense of Taiwan, Gen. Milley said the U.S. military "absolutely has the capability" to do so if required.

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

MOD sets sights on automating patrol vessels (Sankei)


U.S. Senate panel OKs Rahm Emanuel as envoy to Japan (Jiji Press)

Opinion: Xi to pursue third term without concern for international appearances (Yomiuri)

FOCUS: Kishida’s debut on world stage offers few policy clues (Kyodo News)


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


Japan welcomes effectuation of RCEP next year

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno reiterated Japan’s resolve to take the lead in promoting free trade in Asia during a regular press conference on Thursday. He made the remarks in response to the effectuation of the RCEP free trade accord on Jan. 1. “We welcome the effectuation since it will make the country’s connection with this region, which is regarded as a center of growth in the world, even stronger and reinforce Japan’s economic growth,” the government spokesperson was quoted as saying. “We will continue to play a leading role in formulating a rules-based economic order and ensuring member states' compliance with the rules.”

Focus: Xi’s “common prosperity” goal may make Japan loath to invest in China (Kyodo News)

Biden’s EV subsidy plan draws ire of Japan and European automakers (Nikkei Asia)

Japan-Korea Economic Association adopts joint statement on economic cooperation (Yomiuri)

“Local generation and consumption” of renewable energy gradually spreading nationwide (Nikkei)

Column: Resuscitating Japan’s semiconductor industry serves U.S. national interest (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Column: “Economic security” can be at risk (NIKKEI Business Daily)

Tokyo Electron leads drive to purge CO2 from chip supply chain (Nikkei Asia)


Editorial: Find ways to urge emerging economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (The Japan News)

JAXA space agency seeks liberal arts majors to diversify astronaut pool (The Japan News)


Foreign researchers facing stricter quarantine, stay “jailed” in hotel (Kyodo News)

Facing stubborn hurdles, fewer Japanese women win elections (Nikkei Asia)

Expert panel set up to improve medical care at Nagoya immigration facility (Kanagawa Shimbun)

Japanese social entrepreneurs defy the pandemic (Nikkei Asia)

With patrons missing, 20% of Tokyo restaurants keep shorter hours (Nikkei Asia)

Connected by bamboo, Kyoto shrine honors Thomas Edison (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Society should appreciate what Constitution’s Article 23 pledges (The Asahi Shimbun)

Over 7% of voters seek recall of justices opposed to dual surnames (The Asahi Shimbun)


Internal document allegedly points to flaws in U.S. military’s gas leak monitoring in Okinawa

Okinawa Times gave top play to a story filed by British freelance writer Jon Mitchell on a document reportedly prepared by local U.S. military authorities regarding their 2014 investigation into the safety of a network of underground fuel pipelines in the island prefecture. According to the military report allegedly submitted to the Defense Logistics Agency, the probe discovered that 43 of the 60 devices designed to detect vapor from fuel leaks in a pipeline between Tengan Pier on the east coast of the main island and MCAS Futenma were faulty, making it impossible to alert a military control center to a potential mishap. Although the vapor monitoring system was installed in 1983, the military document allegedly indicated the absence of inspection reports until 2014, suggesting that the defects may have been overlooked for almost three decades. The U.S. military reportedly did not reply to the journalist’s inquiry about whether the alleged defects have been repaired.

The daily wrote in a separate article that local residents have expressed anger and concern over what they see as the U.S. military’s slipshod system for monitoring for leaks in the pipelines that run under commercial and residential properties.

U.S. Air Force civilian employee appeals Naha court sentence (Okinawa Times)

CCS Matsuno stresses importance of moving forward with Futenma relocation (Okinawa Times)

SDF Okinawa Provincial Cooperation Office gives press briefing on scrambles (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team