Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, December 8, 2021
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Broadcasters led with reports on Australia's announcement that it has decided not to send any government officials to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics (NHK, NTV, TBS), the arrest of a 17-year-old boy for attempting to kill a girl with a knife in Gunma yesterday (Fuji TV), and the start of interpellations by party leaders at the Diet (TV Asahi).


GOJ likely to decide not to send cabinet ministers to Beijing Olympics

All networks reported at noon on the announcement by Australian Prime Minister Morrison that Australia will not send any government officials to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics on account of human rights issues in China.

Meanwhile, TBS reported that an idea has emerged within the GOJ not to send any cabinet members to the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics given that while Japan needs to take the "diplomatic boycotts" by the U.S and Australia into consideration, continuing its diplomatic dialogue with China is important. The network said the GOJ may decide not to use the term "diplomatic boycott" and instead forgo sending any cabinet members to the Beijing Games, adding that Japan Sports Agency chief Murofushi may be sent instead. A government official reportedly told the network that "there was absolutely no request from the U.S. to follow suit." The network said the GOJ is likely to make a careful decision after closely monitoring the moves of the other G7 nations, adding that Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno stressed again today that no decision has been made on Japan's handling of the Beijing Olympics and Paralympics.

Editorial: China must act more transparently if it wants to win the world’s trust (The Japan News)

Expert: Japan should also send message on human rights protection (Mainichi)

‘National interests’ first: Japan weighs stance as U.S. plans Beijing Olympic boycott (The Japan Times)

Kishida struggling after U.S. diplomatic boycott of Beijing games (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Myanmar’s scripted ‘guilty’ ruling on Suu Kyi is unacceptable (Nikkei Asia)

Myanmar’s shadow gov’t asks Japan to recognize its legitimacy (Kyodo News)

Japan concerned over Suu Kyi’s conviction, foreign minister says (Kyodo News)

Myanmar junta seeks resumption of Japanese investment, ODA (Kyodo News)

Opinion: Japan’s destiny as A-bomb victim was reconciliation with U.S. (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Protecting Taiwan must be top on the agenda of US-led democracy summit (Japan Forward)


Hayashi rejects term “consideration budget” for host nation support

Asahi reported online on remarks made to the press on Tuesday by Foreign Minister Hayashi regarding the ongoing talks with the U.S. government regarding the funds Japan provides for stationing U.S. troops. “This funding program is indispensable for national defense amid the increasingly severe security environment around Japan,” the cabinet member was quoted as saying. “We have customarily described the spending scheme as 'host nation support.' We do not consider it to be a 'consideration budget.'”

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

Japan offers close to $2bn annually to cover U.S. troop presence (Nikkei Asia)

Interview: Japan’s military partnership with European countries fraught with challenges (Sankei)


Prime minister’s schedule on December 7, 2021 (Sankei)

Ministers to wear blue ribbons for North Korean Human Rights Abuses Awareness Week (Sankei)

MOFA’s “Russian school” hit by various hardships (Sentaku digital)

Takaichi shows eagerness to become “post-Kishida” prime minister (Yomiuri)

LDP panel discusses Constitutional revision (NHK WORLD)

Editorial: Onus on Kishida to live up to his ‘careful politics’ in Diet debate (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Time for Japan PM Kishida to deliver ‘respectful and generous’ politics (The Mainichi)

Policy speech by Prime Minister Kishida Fumio to the 207th session of the Diet (Kantei Website)


Gov’t to start with patent disclosure restriction in introducing economic security legislation (Nikkei)

Japan to curb thermal power to spur production of renewables (Nikkei Asia)

Countries finalize large pacific tuna catch quota increase (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Craft fair rules, transparent system for foreign capital in broadcasting (The Japan News)

More than 60% of big businesses optimistic about Japan’s economy, Asahi Shimbun survey of 100 leading companies (The Asahi Shimbun)

Opinion poll & results from Asahi Shimbun survey of 100 leading companies (Asahi)


Japan Seeks Int’l Framework to Tackle Marine Plastic Waste (Jiji Press)

Japan unveils hacker-proof drones (NHK WORLD)


Editorial: Women’s Tennis Association shows the world how to stand up against China (Japan Forward)

Tokyo preparing to introduce same-sex partnership system in 2022: governor (The Mainichi)

Infected arrivals from abroad face hospital stays for Omicron checks (The Asahi Shimbun)

Japanese fake news eludes Facebook and Twitter’s reach (Nikkei Asia)

Cartoon: Santa Claus may not be coming to town (Mainichi)

Vox Populi: Lawmaker spoke out against war before attack on Pearl Harbor (The Asahi Shimbun)


Okinawa displeased with latest GOJ action on FRF construction

Ryukyu Shimpo and Okinawa Times reported extensively on a complaint filed with the land minister yesterday by the Defense Ministry in response to Governor Tamaki's rejection of its request for an FRF design change associated with planned engineering work to reinforce the soft seabed off the coast of Camp Schwab, noting that Governor Tamaki criticized the GOJ move and called for dialogue with the central government to settle the differences of opinion. The prefectural authorities reportedly believe that the land minister will spend several months reviewing the governor's administrative step and then rule against it in the end, speculating that this development may have an impact on the Nago mayoral race next month. Pointing out that the Kishida administration does not intend to compromise on the force realignment initiative or respond to Okinawa’s call for dialogue, the papers projected that the conflicting parties are bound to end up in a legal battle since the governor is unlikely to accept the anticipated ruling by the land minister.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team