Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, November 30, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the start today of the Japanese government's ban on new foreign arrivals in response to the Omicron variant of COVID-10 (NHK, NTV, TBS, TV Asahi) and the spread of the Omicron variant to 15 nations and regions worldwide (Fuji TV).


Japan confirms first case of Omicron variant

NHK reported that Japan confirmed its first case of the new Omicron variant of COVID-19 today. The network said a man in his 30s who arrived from Namibia and tested positive for COVID-19 on Sunday was found to be infected with the new variant.

Gov’t releases findings of survey on companies’ human rights violation countermeasures (Yomiuri)

Uyghurs in Japan call on local assemblies to pass resolution on China’s oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang (Sankei)

Japan to bar all new foreign visitors as omicron fears grow (The Japan Times)

Shionogi and Daiichi Sankyo join hunt for omicron vaccine (Nikkei Asia)

Tokyo District Court grants special stay permits to only two daughters in five-person family (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Strengthen Japan’s border control measures against omicron variant (The Japan News)

Boosters, logistics and shots for kids: Challenges remain as Japan hits vaccine turning point (The Japan Times)

Ube of Yamaguchi Prefecture ratifies rights for LGBTQ couples (The Japan Times)

Japan Panel Seeks Basic Law toward Creation of Children’s Agency (Jiji Press)

Experts urge Japan govt to offer foreigner-friendly information (Jiji Press)

Sapporo aiming to cut costs for 2030 Winter Games (Jiji Press)


Finance Minister Suzuki, Treasury Secretary Yellen confirm close cooperation

NHK reported that Finance Minister Suzuki held an online meeting with his U.S. counterpart Yellen for the first time this morning. According to the network, Suzuki informed Treasury Secretary Yellen of the new economic policy under the Kishida administration and the economic stimulus package finalized on Nov. 19, and the two senior officials exchanged views on the meeting of the International Development Association (IDA) to be held in Tokyo in December. They also reportedly confirmed close bilateral cooperation on the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, including to the developing world, based on the agreement at the G20 summit in October. Suzuki reportedly told the press after the meeting: "Collaboration between the United States and Japan is important for improving our preparedness to deal with infectious diseases. I hope to closely communicate with Treasury Secretary Yellen."

Japan struggles to nail down Kishida visit to White House (Nikkei Asia)

Improving Japan-Russia ties vitally important: Abe (Jiji Press)

Kishida administration maintains pro-Taiwan stance (Sankei)

“Seiron” column: Strengthen democratic forces to counter China (Sankei)


CDPJ elects Izumi as new leader

NHK reported that Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan policy chief Izumi Kenta was elected as the party's new leader today in a runoff with Osaka Seiji, a former special adviser to the prime minister.

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

Motegi giving weight to Okinawa to solidify faction (Mainichi)

PM Kishida focuses on “Kantei-led” diplomacy (Sankei)

Nippon Ishin to launch new leadership (Mainichi)

LDP’s Kono seeks new opportunities as PR chief after losing party leadership race (Mainichi)

Cartoon: Kishida can’t get his word (Tokyo Shimbun)


Pentagon completes Global Posture Review, with emphasis on Indo-Pacific

NHK reported that the Department of Defense announced the completion of its Global Posture Review and disclosed some of its contents. According to the network, the review focuses on the Indo-Pacific region with China's military activities in mind and calls for stronger relationships with U.S. allies. A senior Pentagon official reportedly stressed to the press that the "priority region" in the Global Posture Review was the Indo-Pacific. The network also said the review "directs additional cooperation with allies and partners across the region, to advance initiatives that contribute to regional stability and deter potential military aggression from China and threats from North Korea." In addition, the U.S. reportedly plans to deploy fighters and bombers in Australia and improve infrastructure in Guam, including fuel and munition storage and airfield upgrades.

Chinese landing ships pass between Yonaguni and Taiwan, conduct exercises off Taiwan (Sankei)


Auto chip shortage shows new sign of easing as inventories rise (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Gov’t must thoroughly explain provision of public support to TSMC (Nikkei)

JOGMEC and Alberta, Canada, to create standards for designating clean fuels (Nikkei)

Japanese power companies bet on ‘zero-emission thermal’ (Nikkei Asia)

New head of Kansai Association of Corporate Executives (Mainichi)

Sony taps Japan’s nascent ‘local 5G’ market (Nikkei Asia)

8 Japan automakers’ domestic output down 40.2 pct in Oct. (Jiji Press)

IPOs in Japan to hit 15-year high in 2021 (Jiji Press)


Environment Ministry to measure greenhouse gases from outer space (Nikkei)


Ginowan mayor lodges protest with U.S. military over water bottle incident

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times wrote that Ginowan Mayor Matsugawa visited Camp Foster on Monday and lodged a protest with Col. Neil Owens, assistant chief of staff of MCIPAC Government and External Affairs, over the recent incident in which a stainless-steel water bottle fell from a Futenma-based MV-22 Osprey. The mayor told the press afterward that Col. Owens told him that the U.S. military searched for the bottle on the Futenma base but could not find it and then the Ginowan Police informed the base through the Defense Ministry’s Okinawa bureau on the following day that they had found the bottle in front of a private residence. The papers wrote that Col. Owens reportedly added that the U.S. military should have notified the Japanese side of the incident based on their notification rules and offered an apology to the resident of the house and other Ginowan citizens for causing concern.

Governor asks U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to ensure prompt reporting of incidents and accidents (Okinawa Times)

U.S. military personnel exempt from Japan’s entry ban in response to Omicron (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team