JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
Afternoon Alert   -   Tuesday, February 22, 2022
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HEADLINES

All TV networks led with reports on Russian President Putin's recognition of the independence of two breakaway regions in Ukraine.

INTERNATIONAL

Japan strongly condemns Russia’s recognition of two Ukrainian regions as “independent”

NHK aired footage showing Prime Minister Kishida commenting on Russian President Putin's decision to recognize two regions controlled by pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine as "independent." "The move can never be condoned since it violates the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and international law," the premier said to the press just before noon. "We denounce it strongly. We are watching the unfolding developments with great concern. We will respond sternly, including by adopting sanctions, in close coordination with the G7 and the rest of the international community."

Commercial broadcasters noted that Foreign Minister Hayashi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno both used exactly the same language as the prime minister in criticizing the latest Russian move, with NTV adding that Tokyo's sanctions on Moscow will probably be the same in scope as those to be imposed by the other G7 members, such as a ban on semiconductor exports. According to a GOJ source cited by the network, an official decision on such punitive measures will not be made until it has been confirmed that Russian troops have entered Ukraine.

MOFA reiterates call for Japanese citizens to leave Ukraine immediately

NHK reported that MOFA reiterated on Tuesday its call for Japanese nationals in Ukraine to evacuate immediately following Russian President Putin’s signing of an executive order recognizing two separatist regions in eastern Ukraine as independent entities. The ministry strongly advised the approximately 120 Japanese currently in Ukraine to depart to neighboring countries without delay since the area of combat might potentially expand across Ukraine as a result of Moscow’s unilateral decision.

Incarceration of Japanese Americans in WWII remembered at events across U.S. (NHK WORLD)

Idaho declares day to recall Japanese American internment (NHK WORLD)

Interview: Joseph Yun: Biden’s best bet is to engage with N. Korea directly like Trump did (The Asahi Shimbun)

Kishida, Biden eye phone talks on Ukraine (Jiji Press)

Editorial: Be prepared to sanction Russia if troops don’t withdraw from Ukraine border (Japan Forward)

Editorial: How to stop a Ukraine war before it starts (The Japan Times)

Commentary: The fates of Ukraine and Taiwan aren’t necessarily linked (The Japan Times)

France slams China’s attempts to ‘break the status quo’ on Taiwan (Nikkei Asia)

Ukraine crisis creates new security risks in Asia (Nikkei Asia)

Japan arranges chartered flight to get its citizens out of Ukraine (The Asahi Shimbun)

Commentary: Explaining Japan’s ‘astute diplomacy” (The Japan Times)

Japan takes Russia to task on Ukraine, but avoids fissure (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Make clear intention to protect inherent territory of Takeshima islands (The Japan News)

Editorial: Looking back at 50 years since Nixon’s China visit, Taiwan Strait peace crucial (The Mainichi)

China closes Winter Olympics, claiming win as divide with West grows (Nikkei Asia)

Editorial: Athletes achieve great feats, but Games leave unpleasant aftertaste (The Japan News)

Editorial: Policies on North Korean threat key to South Korean presidential poll (The Japan News)

Two-century-old map shows Takeshima isles as part of Japan (The Asahi Shimbun)

AMBASSADOR

Kishida and U.S. envoy Emanuel to visit Hiroshima memorial (Nikkei Asia)

Kishida likely to visit Hiroshima with new U.S. ambassador (The Asahi Shimbun)

Kishida, U.S. Envoy Emanuel to visit Hiroshima (Jiji Press)

U.S. ambassador to Japan arranging visit to Hiroshima next week (Kyodo News)

U.S. envoy stresses solidarity with Japan over Russia (Jiji Press)

SECURITY

Japan to buy defense tech to prevent leaks from failing companies (Nikkei Asia)

Survey to begin soon in Kagoshima for U.S. drone deployment (Jiji Press)

Poll suggests lack of info on enemy base attack capability (Jiji Press)

Nuclear waste from U.S. flattop to be transported to U.S. in April (Akahata)

Japan to buy defense tech to prevent leaks from failing companies (Nikkei Asia)

ECONOMY

Exclusive: Japan eyes bill for security clearance system (Jiji Press)

Mitsubishi Corp. to offload interest in Myanmar gas field (Nikkei Asia)

U.S. LNG capacity to jump 20% as Europe shifts away from Russia (Nikkei Asia)

Japan panel calls for tighter rules on user data handling (Jiji Press)

Japan, U.S. urged to lead work on new Indo-Pacific economic bloc (Jiji Press)

With U.S. ports clogged, Japanese exports take pricier Mexico route (Nikkei Asia)

IAEA to report in April on Japan’s plan to release Fukushima water (Kyodo News)

Japan’s inflation spreads to tuna and beef bowls, slamming households (Nikkei Asia)

Taiwan lifts import ban on Japan food linked to Fukushima disaster (Kyodo News)

POLITICS

Lower House clears FY2022 budget bill

NHK reported that the House of Representatives passed the 107-trillion-yen budget bill for FY2022 this afternoon with the backing of not only the ruling LDP and the Komeito party but also the opposition People’s Democratic Party, noting that it is extremely unusual for an opposition party to endorse the GOJ’s budget legislation. The bill, which has been sent to the House of Councillors for further deliberation, will be enacted automatically by the end of next month due to a constitutional clause even if the upper chamber elects not to vote on it.

Prime minister’s schedule on Feb. 18, 2022 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Feb. 19, 2022 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Feb. 20, 2022 (Sankei)

Prime minister’s schedule on Feb. 21, 2022 (Sankei)

Main events scheduled for Feb. 21-27 (Kyodo News)

Some members likely to quit Aso-led LDP faction (Jiji Press)

Suga’s reputation reappraised within LDP (The Japan News)

Major companies hire former bureaucrats to head economic security departments (Mainichi)

Editorial: Mr. Kishida, please tell it like is on pandemic realities (The Asahi Shimbun)

Editorial: Support firms actively investing in people to ensure growth, wage hikes (The Japan News)

Cartoon: Unable to find an exit strategy (Tokyo Shimbun)

OPINION POLLS

Kishida Cabinet supported by 56%, views mixed on COVID response, Kyodo News poll (Kyodo News)

Kishida Cabinet approval falls to 43.4 pct, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

60 pct back World Heritage push for Sado Gold Mine, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

Over 60 pct find COVID-19 pre-emergency ineffective, Jiji poll (Jiji Press)

SCIENCE

JR East unveils hydrogen fuel cell hybrid train (Jiji Press)

Mitsui O.S.K. plans introduction of ‘hard sails’ for ship propulsion (Nikkei Asia)

SOCIETY

Tokyo’s same-sex partnership system to cover commuters from outside (Kyodo News)

Japan cuts red tape to speed up foreign student entry (Nikkei Asia)

Gov’t bans firm from accepting foreign trainees after assault case (Kyodo News)

Japan aims to block sex offenders from jobs in schools, child care (Kyodo News)

Editorial: Top court ruling should trigger policy drive to end hate speech (The Asahi Shimbun)

Japan COVID crisis shows flaws in medical system: Nikkei and JCER (Nikkei Asia)

Japan moving to lift age limit for prenatal genetic screening (The Asahi Shimbun)

Iranian film on death penalty aims to stir debate in Japan (The Asahi Shimbun)

Tsunami-ravaged school in Miyagi Prefecture to be opened to public in April (The Japan News)

Editorial: Devise ways to use Japan Heritage to revitalize local communities (The Japan News)

JAPAN MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS
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U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team