|Afternoon Alert - Monday, March 7, 2022|
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All broadcasters continued to extensively cover the ongoing Russian attacks on Ukraine, including the alleged shelling of a nuclear research installation in the city of Kharkiv, and Russia's detention of more than 4,900 citizens who participated in antiwar demonstrations on Sunday.
Kishida calls for people’s understanding of sanctions against Russia
Fuji TV reported at noon that Prime Minister Kishida stressed at the Diet this morning that the GOJ will take all possible measures to minimize the impact of sanctions against Russia on the people of Japan. When asked about the significance of Japan's economic sanctions against Russia, Kishida said: "Although we cannot avoid various impacts on the people of Japan and Japanese companies, I would like to seek the nation's understanding for the importance of taking measures to show solidarity with the people of Ukraine for the greater purpose (of protecting the foundation of international order)."
Concerning Russia's attack on the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Station in Enerhodar, Ukraine, Kishida said: "For Japan, which experienced the Fukushima nuclear accident, this outrageous act can never be condoned."
Meanwhile, concerning the close military ties between Russia and China, Kishida reportedly stressed that "any attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force as seen in Ukraine cannot be tolerated, especially in East Asia," and said Japan "will call on China to act responsibly."
MOFA raises travel alert for Russia
NHK reported this morning that MOFA raised its travel alert for Russia to "Level 3," the second-highest notch on its four-tier warning system, advising Japanese nationals not to travel to the nation. The network said MOFA is calling on Japanese nationals in Russia to consider leaving via commercial flights and all Japanese nationals to refrain from traveling to the nation for any purpose as transportation may be limited following measures taken by nations to ban Russian aircraft from their airspace. Japan raised its travel alert for the region bordering with Ukraine to the highest level last week. The network said there were about 2,400 Japanese nationals living in Russia as of March 6, according MOFA. All commercial networks carried similar stories.
• Finance Minister Suzuki conveys to Ukraine envoy Japan’s solidarity with G7 (Nikkei)
• Mitsui issues statement regarding Sakhalin-2 LNG project (Nikkei)
• 50 academic bodies in Japan issue statements protesting Russian invasion of Ukraine (The Mainichi)
• Editorial: Time for Japan to show solidarity with Ukraine by helping refugees (The Mainichi)
• Editorial: Japan must lead intl community in strengthening Russia sanctions (The Japan News)
• Kishida strongly condemns Russia’s nuclear plant attack (Jiji Press)
• Editorial: Putin must come to his senses amid combat at Ukraine nuclear plant (The Japan News)
• Editorial: Biden demonstrates true leadership in the Ukraine crisis (The Japan Times)
• Ukraine crisis leaves ASEAN jittery over South China Sea (Nikkei Asia)
• Russia’s logistics crippled by sanctions, ensnarling global economy (Nikkei Asia)
• Japan exit from Sakhalin LNG would let China swoop in: ex-minister (Nikkei Asia)
• Japan Inc. steps up fast to offer support to Ukraine refugees (Nikkei Asia)
• Komatsu and Hitachi Construction halt shipments to Russia (Nikkei Asia)
• Editorial: Attack on Ukraine nuclear plant must be condemned as danger to humanity (The Mainichi)
• Editorial: China cannot achieve stability while complicit with Russia’s aggression (The Japan News)
• Editorial: Sports world protests Russian invasion of Ukraine with Paralympics ban (The Mainichi)
• Pompeo urges Washington to recognize Taiwan as sovereign nation (Nikkei Asia)
• Commentary: It’s not what Biden said in the State of the Union, but what he failed to say (The Japan Times)
• Editorial: U.N. resolution condemning invasion is clear evidence of Russia’s isolation (The Japan News)
• Editorial: ‘Festival of Peace’ clouded by protests as Russians get banned from Games (The Japan News)
• Cartoon: No to Putin’s invasion! (Asahi)
• Gov’t to deliver bulletproof vests and other SDF supplies to Ukraine (Nikkei digital)
JNN poll: 86% concerned Ukraine crisis could lead to crisis in Taiwan, Senkakus
TBS reported at noon on the results of its opinion poll conducted over the weekend, which found that 86% of respondents said they were concerned that Russia's invasion of Ukraine could lead to an attempt by China to change the status quo by force over Taiwan or the Senkaku islands, 45% said they were extremely concerned, 41% said they were concerned to some extent, 9% said they were not so concerned, and 2% said they were not concerned at all. In addition, when asked about Japan's sanctions against Russia, 69% said Japan should strengthen sanctions in line with the United States and Europe, while 26% said Japan should pursue its own diplomacy. Concerning the GOJ's announcement that Japan will accept evacuees from Ukraine, 86% welcomed it, while 9% did not.
On COVID-19, 56% welcomed the GOJ's measures, while 33% did not. In addition, 34% said the GOJ's relaxing of border controls was appropriate, 22% said it should further relax the measures, and 39% said it should tighten them.
When asked about the possibility of "nuclear sharing" with the U.S., 18% said the GOJ should hold discussions on the matter, 60% said the GOJ should hold discussions on the matter but not allow nuclear sharing, and 18% said the GOJ should not even hold discussions on the matter.
Public support for the Kishida Cabinet dropped 3.3 points from last month to 56.9%. Nonsupport rose 2.2 points to 38.4%.
• Japan’s sanctions against Russia supported by 82%, Yomiuri poll (The Japan News)
• Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 10th consecutive day (Sankei)
• How Germany’s historic shift on military spending could affect Japan’s defense plans (The Japan Times)
• Ukraine invasion: Time for Beijing to rethink Taiwan (Japan Forward)
• Editorial: Nuclear threat and nuclear sharing – It’s time to talk (Japan Forward)
• Editorial: Ruling points to Nissan’s shaky governance under Ghosn (The Asahi Shimbun)
• Top court to rule on govt liability over Fukushima evacuation (Jiji Press)
• Editorial: Japan, Europe should rework energy strategy to move away from Russia (The Japan News)
• Invisible threats / Enhanced capabilities needed to protect Japan’s key infrastructure (The Japan News)
• Truck maker Hino reveals years of faked emissions data (Nikkei Asia)
• Prime minister’s schedule on March 4, 2022 (Sankei)
• Prime minister’s schedule on March 5, 2022 (Sankei)
• Prime minister’s schedule on March 6, 2022 (Sankei)
• Main events scheduled for March 7-13 (Kyodo News)
• There is room for debate whether nuclear sharing violates three non-nuclear principles: Motegi (Mainichi)
• Japan ruling camp, DPFP agree to discuss gasoline tax cut (Jiji Press)
• Gov’t holds its first roundtable with women online (Yomiuri)
• No choice for Kishida but to remain in his LDP faction even after taking office as PM (Mainichi)
• New plant to make mRNA vaccines in Japan’s disaster-hit Fukushima (The Japan News)
• Editorial: Drastic rethink called for in support for FCV technology (The Asahi Shimbun)
• Editorial: Court ruling condemns fugitive Ghosn as key culprit in wrongdoing (The Japan News)
• Municipalities are starting to scale down their 3/11 memorials (The Asahi Shimbun)
• Russian stores in Japan targeted by harassment (Jiji Press)
• Bill proposes judges’ role in protection of abused children (Jiji Press)
• Memorial service held for Sri Lankan 1 year after death in detention (Kyodo News)
• COVID worsens Japan’s persistent gender gap in child care (Nikkei Asia)
• Relatives of dead Sri Lankan detainee sue Japanese government (NHK WORLD)
• Japan’s Shionogi booster delivers similar results to Pfizer: study (Nikkei Asia)
• Editorial: Government must devise effective measures to curb coronavirus cases (The Japan News)
• Japan marks 100 years of movement against discrimination (Jiji Press)
OKINAWA LOCAL PRESS
PFAS above GOJ standard detected in groundwater in Kin Town
Saturday’s Okinawa Times wrote that 93 nanograms per liter of PFAS, which is above the GOJ’s provisional standard of 50 nanograms, was detected in one of the two underground water reserves in the town of Kin in a water quality survey conducted by the prefectural and municipal governments on March 2. The local governments conducted a spot survey following the detection of 59 nanograms of PFAS in tap water in the town in February. However, the latest survey detected 31 nanograms per liter of PFAS, which is lower than the GOJ standard, in tap water near the water purification facility in the town. The paper wrote that the water purification facility has stopped drawing water from four of its six underground water reserves and that 292, 205, 204, and 139 nanograms per liter of PFAS were detected in samples collected from these four reserves in the latest survey. The paper quoted Kin Mayor Nakama as saying that although PFAS contamination in tap water was lower than the GOJ standard, concern about contamination lingers because unexpected levels of PFAS were detected in underground water.
Sunday’s Ryukyu Shimpo carried an editorial arguing that PFAS above the government standard of 50 nanograms per liter was detected in tap water in Kin Town in June 2020 and February this year and that although the level of PFAS contamination detected in the survey conducted this month was below the government standard, the PFAS contamination in the town should not be overlooked. The editorial said that the prefectural and municipal governments have been calling on the U.S military to accept an on-site inspection at Camp Hansen based on the view that the base could be the source of the contamination, but the Marines have been denying the possibility of the base being linked to the contamination and rejecting the request. The paper insisted that the U.S. military should immediately accept an on-site inspection.
|U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team|