Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, November 18, 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.


Broadcasters led with reports on an announcement this morning by the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan's Nishimura Chinami that she will run in the party leadership race (NHK, TBS), the Tokyo assembly's decision to summon assembly member Kinoshita Fumiko on Nov. 24 to ask her about an accident she caused while driving without a license (NTV), the Kishida administration's new economic measures that are expected to be finalized on Friday (Fuji TV), and the sudden cancellation of a joint press conference by senior officials of the United States, Japan, and South Korea due to the South Korean police chief's visit to Takeshima (TV Asahi).


Trilateral press conference canceled following ROK police chief’s visit to Takeshima

All networks reported at noon that the planned joint press conference by the vice foreign ministers of the United States, Japan, and South Korea after their meeting at the State Department on Wednesday was suddenly canceled following the South Korean police chief's landing on the disputed Takeshima Islands, known as Dokdo in South Korea, on Tuesday. Deputy Secretary of State Sherman held a solo press conference instead. The senior officials reportedly exchanged views on China's maritime advancement and North Korea and confirmed close trilateral cooperation. TBS said that during a meeting between the vice foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea, the Japanese side lodged a strong protest by saying that the police chief's landing on the islands was "totally unacceptable" and urged the South Korean side to take appropriate measures, according to MOFA. NHK and TBS quoted Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno as telling the press this morning: "We decided that it would not be appropriate to hold a joint press conference while we were lodging a strong protest with the South Korean side over the incident on the Takeshima Islands, which was totally unacceptable in light of our position." Fuji TV said the issue of Takeshima cast a shadow over trilateral cooperation, while TV Asahi reported that the trilateral meeting ended up exposing the soured relations between Japan and South Korea.

DNSA Neuberger stresses importance of bilateral cooperation to deal with cyberattacks

NTV and TV Asahi reported online that visiting Deputy National Security Advisor Neuberger stressed at a press conference held in Tokyo on Wednesday the importance for the United States and Japan to work closely to respond to increasingly frequent cyberattacks. She was shown saying: "We know that sense of urgency is shared with Japan as well to improve resilience and to meet the scope and scale and sophistication of increased cyber security threats, and that was at the core of our discussions." NTV added that the Deputy National Security Advisor cited an incident in which a U.S. pipeline suffered a cyberattack this year and stressed that the issue is directly linked to economy and security. She was also shown saying: "Both U.S. and Japanese companies are at the core of global technology, and building an improved security in that technology is a priority in the United States." TV Asahi said the Deputy National Security Advisor also mentioned that the security of Taiwan, including defense against cyberattacks, is a priority and stressed the importance of sharing information within such frameworks as the Quad.

Foreign media reports Biden administration asked Japan to consider releasing crude stockpiles

NHK reported on a Reuters story saying that according to multiple sources, the Biden administration has asked Japan, South Korea, India, and China to consider releasing their crude oil stockpiles in a coordinated effort to lower global energy prices. Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno told the press this morning: "We regularly communicate with the United States on various topics, but I'd like to refrain from commenting on every single item. The Japanese government will continue to closely monitor the impact of the rise in crude oil prices on the global energy market and the Japanese economy, urge oil producing nations to increase production, and strengthen our ties with major consumers, the International Energy Agency, and other international organizations in order to stabilize the energy market."

U.S. cyber czar encourages allies to attribute hacks to states (Nikkei Asia)

Japan, South Korea pull out of news conference after talks with U.S. (Nikkei Asia)

U.S., Japan, S. Korea to continue talks over end of Korean War issue (Kyodo News)

Editorial: U.S., China should continue talks to prevent clash (Mainichi)

Online summit meant to establish ‘guardrails’ for U.S.-China relations (The Japan News)

Editorial: Don’t give in to China’s threats about Taiwan (Sankei)

Japan, U.S., EU trade ministers to meet by year-end (Jiji Press)

Japan, Brunei agree to cooperate over Myanmar issues (Jiji Press)

Editorial: World must watch for risks posed by Xi’s expanding power (Nikkei Asia)

Cartoon: Xi, POTUS try standing in each other’s place (Asahi)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 30th consecutive day (Sankei)

Cost of SDF aircraft parts skyrocketed over the years (Asahi)

Japan set to meet U.S. request to shoulder more for hosting troops (Kyodo News)


U.S. Chargé d’Affaires Raymond Greene: Consider political system when deciding accession to TPP (Nikkei)

Japan, U.S. create new trade partnership (Jiji Press)

Japan, U.S. move to new framework for trade negotiations (Asahi)

MOX fuel from France delivered to central Japan n-plant (Jiji Press)

Japan Foreign Trade Council: Weaker yen not good (NHK WORLD)

TEPCO simulates impact of treated water release (NHK WORLD)


Prime minister’s schedule on Nov. 17, 2021 (Sankei)

EXCLUSIVE: Japan package to earmark 500 b. yen for economic security (Jiji Press)

New leadership announced for LDP’s tax research commission (Sankei)

Commentary: Shinzo Abe became a faction boss. Now comes the tough part (The Japan Times)

The state of play for the LDP’s factions after October’s Lower House election (The Japan Times)

Vox populi: Political rejects should not be bailed out by party lists (The Asahi Shimbun)

Kishida’s plans for economic security break from tradition (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: Even the words don’t change (Tokyo Shimbun)


Japan weighs opening immigration door wider amid labor crunch (Nikkei Asia)

Men arrested for exporting powerful sonar without approval (Jiji Press)

Japan to allow mix-and-match COVID-19 vaccine shots (Jiji Press)


Concerns grow about Okinawa being forced to bear greater security burden

Okinawa Times published a Kyodo piece on Japan’s alleged readiness to heed a request by the United States to take on a greater cost for hosting American troops from fiscal 2022, voicing apprehension that the island prefecture will be forced to shoulder a greater defense burden amid the rising tension between the United States and China. As Tokyo is reportedly inclined to allocate in the host nation support budget more funds for joint training as well as airfields and other platforms for bilateral exercises, the daily projected that the U.S. military and the SDF are likely to conduct training more frequently in and around Okinawa because the two militaries regard the southernmost prefecture as the cornerstone for the defense of the Nansei Islands from Chinese aggression. Claiming that residents have already suffered considerable hardships, such as noise pollution at MCAS Futenma and Kadena AB, the article alleged that the GOJ’s moves to strengthen the security alliance with the United States will end up escalating the regional tension and run counter to its pledge to reduce the U.S. military footprint in Okinawa.

Okinawa council files protest against DUI by U.S. military service members (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team