Afternoon Alert   -   Thursday, December 9, 2021
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All broadcasters led with reports on an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.0 that hit the island of Akusekijima in Kagoshima at around 11:05 today. No tsunami warning has been issued.


Ambassador Kennedy receives Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun

NHK reported that former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy was bestowed with the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun at a ceremony held at the residence of the Japanese Consul General in New York on Wednesday. Ambassador Kennedy received the order in recognition for her contributions to strengthening U.S.-Japan relations during her three-year tenure as ambassador, including realizing President Obama's visit to Hiroshima and Prime Minister Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor. Ambassador Kennedy reportedly said at the ceremony that she felt very honored and hoped to further contribute to deepening the friendship between the people of Japan and the United States. The network said Ambassador Kennedy continues to be involved in student exchanges between the two nations and expressed hope to visit Japan again.

LDP to consider responses to South Korean police chief’s landing on Takeshima (Sankei)

Commentary: Japan should not repeat “friends” diplomacy with China over Olympics (Sankei)

Japan faces delicate balance over Beijing Olympics boycott (The Japan Times)

Interview: U.S.-Japan alliance ‘indispensable’ 80 years after Pearl Harbor (Nikkei Asia)

Expert: U.S.-Russia summit meeting just as Russia wanted (Mainichi)

Tokyo nutrition summit vows 27 b. dollars in aid (Jiji Press)

Editorial: 80 years on from Pearl Harbor, active efforts to avoid war still needed (The Mainichi)

Editorial: Develop regional security strategy in partnership with U.S. (Nikkei)

Editorial: Russia must understand the costs involved if it invades Ukraine (The Japan News)


Economic Security Minister Kobayashi: Include economic security in NSS (Sankei)

EXCLUSIVE: Japan eyes tax breaks for eco-friendly food biz operators (Jiji Press)

Faltering capital spending saps Japan’s economic growth (Nikkei Asia)

Japan to deny tax credits to companies that fail to raise pay (Nikkei Asia)

Japan Nov. business failures hit 56-year low (Jiji Press)


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

Editorial: F-16 jettisons fuel tanks; U.S. military should explain cause and preventive measures (Too Nippo)

U.S. F-16 Fighter operations continue in Japan amid concerns (Jiji Press)

More than 800 participate in protest rally against Henoko relocation (Mainichi)

U.S. Marines and Japan units train to thwart island attack (Nikkei Asia)

ASDF F-35A fighter makes emergency landing at Hakodate Airport (Jiji Press)


Prime minister’s schedule on December 8, 2021 (Sankei)

Gist of Prime Minister Kishida’s responses to interpellations at Lower House plenary session, Dec. 8, 2021 (Yomiuri)

In parliamentary debut, new CDP leader tries policy-focused approach (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Vitalize Diet with substantive debates between political party leaders (The Japan News)


Yamanaka to step down as chief of iPS research center (Jiji Press)


Japan will become immigrant nation: Sociologist Korekawa Yu (Asahi)

Japan sponsors mum on U.S. diplomatic boycott of Beijing Games (Jiji Press)

Afghan evacuees to be allowed into Japan despite COVID border rules (Kyodo News)

Japan PM reads letter from kin of detained Sri Lankan woman who died (Kyodo News)

Japan’s Nov. economy watcher sentiment rises to 8-year high (Kyodo News)

Kishida advocates health security at GZERO Summit amid COVID-19 pandemic (The Japan News)

Editorial: How small steps make a giant stride for enduring peace (The Asahi Shimbun)


U.S. military document shows release of PFAS-contaminated wastewater near elementary school

Okinawa Times led with a report by British journalist Jon Mitchell in which he claims that he learned from a document that the paper obtained through a FOIA request that the U.S. military released wastewater containing PFAS from a fire extinguishing training facility at the Futenma Air Station to private land through waste pipes running near an elementary school. The paper wrote that it obtained a map showing the route of toxic water running to the private land, saying that the Marines created the map in November 2018 in response to a query from Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

The map explains the detection of 27,000 nanograms per liter of PFOS and 1,800 nanograms of PFOA, 540 times and 36 times the permissible level of 50 nanograms provisionally set by the Japanese government. The paper added that although the map describes the drainage system as a “surface stream conveyance,” the details of this are unknown. Noting that four years will have passed on Dec. 13 since a window from a CH-53 helicopter taking off from MCAS Futenma fell onto the playground of the same elementary school, the paper wrote that the school is being exposed to the threat of toxic substances as well as the operations of U.S. military aircraft.

Marine convicted in Naha for driving under the influence and without a license (Okinawa Times)

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team