Afternoon Alert   -   Monday, December 13, 2021
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Broadcasters led with the forecast for blizzards in Hokkaido and Hokuriku today (NHK), the arrest of two people for their involvement in the death of a female high school student from Kyoto (NTV), and Prime Minister Kishida's remark at the Diet that cash distribution will be one option for the 100,000-yen COVID-19 relief payments for families with children (TBS, Fuji TV, TV Asahi).


G7 foreign ministers end two-day session

NHK reported on the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Liverpool that ended on Sunday. The network said Foreign Minister Hayashi expressed his intention to strongly urge China to act responsibly and called for close cooperation among the G7 members. The network said Hayashi separately met with Secretary of State Blinken and other foreign ministers and also spoke with South Korean Foreign Minister Chung Eui Yong, calling on South Korea to take appropriate actions on the issues of wartime requisitioned workers and comfort women. Hayashi reportedly told reporters on Sunday evening: "We held candid discussions on various kinds of issues facing the international community, and I feel that I was able to deepen my personal relationships of trust with each foreign minister." The network said Hayashi will swiftly try to arrange a "2+2" meeting and a visit to the United States by Prime Minister Kishida.

Coordinated human rights sanctions ‘more powerful’: U.S. official (Nikkei Asia)

Young leaders to continue the work of bringing home Japanese kidnapped by North Korea (Japan Forward)

Japan, Australia vow to step up Quad cooperation with China in sight (Kyodo News)

Commentary: Unity or division? Biden’s democracy push a risky gambit (Nikkei Asia)

Commentary: Biden’s warning to Putin on Ukraine has Indo-Pacific ramifications as well (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Diplomatic boycott of China’s Winter Games is the right move (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Scholz’s new coalition to face test over how to deal with China, Russia (The Japan News)

Cartoon: Which Parade of Nations will Kishida join? (Tokyo Shimbun)

Cartoon: International arena tougher than Diet (Mainichi)


Ex-trade negotiators see benefits of TPP talks with China (Jiji Press)

Thermal power made up 76% of energy mix in FY2020 (Nikkei)

Editorial: Manage bluefin tuna stocks better to gain future increases to catch quota (The Japan News)

60% of Japan firms abroad expect to log profits in 2021: poll (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Can tax reform lead to realizing Kishida’s wealth-distribution goal? (The Japan News)

Editorial: Socioeconomic vision lacking in fiscal 2022 tax reform plan (The Asahi Shimbun)

Gist of FY 2022 tax reform package compiled by Japan’s ruling bloc (Kyodo News)

NRA releases Fukushima No.1 reactor video (NHK WORLD)

Itochu to build 5,000 mini solar plants to fill renewables void (Nikkei Asia)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 10th consecutive day (Sankei)

Gov’t considering economic security promotion legislation focused on defense (Sankei)

Japan to establish economic security division in Cabinet Office (The Japan News)

Cyberattacks caused no problem with Tokyo Games: official (Jiji Press)


Prime minister’s schedule on Dec. 10, 2021 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Dec. 11, 2021 (Sankei)

Main events scheduled for Dec. 13-19 (Kyodo News)

Gist of Prime Minister Kishida’s responses to interpellations at Upper House plenary session, Dec. 10, 2021 (Yomiuri)

Kishida stresses ‘speediness’ for COVID-19 measures (The Japan News)

Japan’s LDP, No. 2 opposition party share meeting room in Diet Building (The Japan News)

LDP faces difficulty dealing with Nippon Ishin, potential ally on certain issues (Yomiuri)

Japan’s Kishida moves into official residence (Jiji Press)

Ishihara resigns as special adviser to Kishida Cabinet (Jiji Press)

Kishida praises ex-head of relatives of abductees (NHK WORLD)

Kishida refuses to appoint SCJ nominees rejected by Suga (Jiji Press)

LDP likely to hold convention on March 13 (Jiji Press)

Local pressure pushes government to change course on cash handouts (The Japan Times)

Editorial: Lay judge system needs a review as eligibility age lowered to 18 (The Asahi Shimbun)


Japan ministry sets sustainable aviation fuel target (Jiji Press)

Japan team develops vaccine to remove cells behind aging (Jiji Press)


Tokyo lawyers to collect info on police treatment of foreigners (Kyodo News)

Infographic: Trends in Japan’s total, Japanese, and foreign populations, 2000 – 2020 (Yomiuri)

New section eyed to inspect immigration officials (The Japan News)

Media Mix: Media divided over impact of immigration law revisions (The Japan Times)

After a month of shifting rules, who can enter Japan? (The Japan Times)

Fix the law! 1 in 3 illegal immigrants in Japan who refuse repatriation has criminal record (Japan Forward)

Gov’t removes UAE from “confinement” list for Japanese nationals (Yomiuri)

54 Afghans allowed into Japan for humanitarian reasons (Jiji Press)

Compensation awarded for ex-suspects over spray dryer exports (Jiji Press)

Accommodation shortage forces change in virus quarantine rules (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Sapporo needs more than cost-cutting measures to justify Winter Olympic bid (The Mainichi)


U.S. military tests new foam extinguisher at Kadena

According to Sunday’s Okinawa Times, at Kadena AB on Friday the U.S. military performed a safety test of a firefighting system involving a new type of foam that does not contain toxic agents such as PFOS or PFOA. The Kadena authorities reportedly told the Okinawa Defense Bureau that the drains were closed on the installation during the test since the new product could still “pose a risk to waterborne life.” The authorities also allegedly erected barriers to safely collect and dispose of the used foam. While prefectural government officials reportedly went to an off-base location near the hangar where the test was conducted, they could not observe the test because the hangar doors were closed.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team