Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, December 6, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on the extraordinary Diet session to be convened today (NHK, NTV, TBS, TV Asahi) and a fire that broke out in a residential area of Koto-ku, Tokyo, early this morning (Fuji TV).


Kishida likely to postpone U.S. visit until next year amid omicron concerns, report says (The Japan Times)

U.S. is wary of China’s political ops through ‘friendship’ group with Japanese lawmakers (Japan Forward)

Frayed Japan-S. Korea ties preclude foreign ministers’ talks (Jiji Press)

Japan, Indonesia agree to work together over Myanmar, S. China Sea (Kyodo News)

French documentary on northern territories screened in Japan (The Japan News)

Japan to step up vaccine aid to developing nations (NHK WORLD)

Japan Expo minister cancels visit to Dubai event (Jiji Press)

Japan to host nutrition summit (Jiji Press)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for fourth consecutive day (Sankei)

Japan to shoulder more cost of hosting U.S. military forces (Kyodo News)

Commentary: What’s behind Japan’s drive for military strike capability? (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Japan must take US military to account over jet’s mid-flight fuel tank dump (The Mainichi)

Kishi apologizes for continued F-16 fighter flights (Jiji Press)

Japan GSDF, U.S. Marines begin joint exercise (Jiji Press)

Editorial: About-face on airline bookings deepens distrust in government (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Thoroughly examine inclusion of defense equipment expenditures in supplementary budget (Nikkei)


Japan likely to cut official drug prices (Jiji Press)

Japan to test wide-area 5G Open RAN network in 2022 (Nikkei Asia)

Japan to urge broadcasters to regularly report on foreign ownership (Kyodo News)

Commentary: What Japan needs to do to boost its economic security (The Japan Times)

Japan emphasizes economic recovery in FY 2022 budget policy (Jiji Press)

Japan’s Jan.-Oct. farm exports total 973.4 b. yen (Jiji Press)

Japan startup to ferry offshore wind power to shore in batteries (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Producers and consumers must talk to bring stability to global oil prices (The Japan News)


Kishida vows to “prepare for worst” amid Omicron variant fears (Kyodo News)

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

Prime minister’s schedule on December 4, 2021 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on December 5, 2021 (Sankei)

Main events scheduled for Dec. 6-12 (Kyodo News)

Omicron threatens to blunt Kishida’s momentum as parliament session begins (The Japan Times)

Motegi steadily laying groundwork for post-Kishida era (The Japan News)

Leaders of LDP, CDP, JCP all share same birthday (Jiji Press)


JNN poll: 64% express support for Kishida Cabinet

TBS reported at noon on the results of its opinion poll conducted over the weekend that showed that public support for the Kishida Cabinet rose 4.7 points from last month to 64.0% and nonsupport dropped 5.4 points to 29.0%. On the GOJ's measures against the new coronavirus, 59%, up 3 points from last month, expressed approval, while 32% disapproved. In addition, 86% said they are concerned about a possible resurgence of the virus. Concerning the GOJ's border control measures in response to the Omicron variant, 84% expressed approval. On the COVID-19 booster shots, 79% reportedly said they want to get the shot, while 17% said otherwise. On the new leadership of the CDPJ, 38% expressed support, while 46% did not.

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri Shimbun (Yomiuri)

Trend in five-poll average Cabinet support rate and Cabinet support rate in Social Survey Research Center poll (Saitama University Social Survey Research Center)

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


MOE to establish public-private sector decarbonization fund in FY2022 (Nikkei)


Boy being analyzed for Omicron variant

NHK reported that Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno told the press today that genomic analysis is underway to determine whether a boy who is under the age of 10 and had been in Namibia is infected with the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Matsuno reportedly said the boy tested positive for COVID-19 when he arrived at Narita Airport last week. The boy was identified as one of the close contacts of the Namibian diplomat who became Japan's first case of the new variant.

Editorial: Will the UN adopt another toothless resolution on NK abductions this year? (Japan Forward)

21 financial firms to jointly address human rights, decarbonization, and other global issues (Yomiuri)

Woman suspected to have been abducted by N. Korea found in Japan (Jiji Press)

Finally, a venue for foreign workers to air their grievances (The Asahi Shimbun)

Abrupt reversal on flight bookings spotlights poor coordination within Kishida administration (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Omicron is a wake-up call to fix vaccine inequality (The Japan Times)

33% of major firms listed in Japan have no female executives (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Booster rollout plan should be moved up flexibly if necessary (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Flexible response to omicron variant needed in rollout of vaccine booster shots (The Mainichi)

Rare look inside Atomic Bomb Dome puts mystery to rest (The Asahi Shimbun)

Cartoon: Stop recruiting already! (Tokyo Shimbun)


Journalist claims U.S. military downplayed impact of PFAS contamination in response to query from U.S. lawmaker

Okinawa Times led with a report by British journalist Jon Mitchell in which he claims that he has learned from documents the paper obtained through a FOIA request that in response to a query from Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, about PFAS contamination in Okinawa in 2018, the U.S. military provided inaccurate information by downplaying the impact of the contamination. According to the paper, the office of Senator Shaheen asked the Department of Defense in the fall of 2018 whether the U.S. military had identified PFAS contamination in Okinawa, what the department was doing to mitigate and remediate any contamination, and what efforts the department had made to work with the local governments to protect individuals from contamination in the surrounding communities. Mitchell claims that the U.S. military responded on Oct. 18, 2018, that although a fire extinguishing training facility at the Futenma Air Station was contaminated, less than 5 nanograms per liter of PFOS and PFOA was detected in rainwater discharged from the base. The journalist says that although 5 nanograms is much lower than the permissible level of 50 nanograms provisionally set by the Japanese government, the report was misleading because samples of the water were collected at a location 1.5 km from the training facility and the two locations were not connected. The paper wrote that U.S. Forces Japan have not yet responded to its query asking whether they later provided accurate information.

Urasoe assembly adopts protest resolution on water bottle falling from U.S. military aircraft (Ryukyu Shimpo)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team