Afternoon Alert   -   Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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All broadcasters led with reports on a press conference scheduled for this afternoon by the company that operated the tourist boat that sank in waters off Hokkaido on Saturday.


Secretary Blinken says Japan to attend NATO summit

NHK and Jiji reported that Secretary of State Blinken disclosed at a Senate hearing on Tuesday that Japan will attend the NATO summit slated for late June in Madrid. The Secretary reportedly made the remark in response to a question from Senator Hagerty, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan. In addition, Jiji said the Secretary praised Japan's response to the Ukraine crisis and stressed that although Japan is not a member of NATO, it is a friend with which the United States is deepening cooperation. Noting that Foreign Minister Hayashi became in April the first Japanese foreign minister to attend a NATO foreign ministers' meeting, NHK conjectured that the Biden administration is hoping to expand the anti-Russia coalition to include the Asia-Pacific region.

Hayashi: Japan to bar Russia from Osaka EXPO if current situation continues

Mainichi reported online this morning that Foreign Minister Hayashi said during a Lower House committee meeting today that with regard to Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Japan will not allow Russia to participate in the Osaka EXPO if the current situation continues. The paper said Hayashi expressed the view that Japan will not allow Russia to host a pavilion at the EXPO, which is scheduled to open in April 2025. Hayashi reportedly made the remark in response to a question from Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Okada Katsuya.

Matsuno comments on North Korean leader’s remark on nuclear forces

NHK reported that in relation to Kim Jong Un's remark on Monday that North Korea must strengthen its nuclear forces "in quality and quantity,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno stressed to reporters this morning that North Korea's nuclear and missile programs can never be tolerated and that Japan will continue to work closely with the U.S. and South Korea to realize North Korea's complete denuclearization. Matsuno also reportedly said Japan will continue to collect and analyze information and closely monitor North Korea's moves.

Vice Foreign Minister Mori tests positive for COVID-19

NHK reported that Vice Foreign Minister Takeo Mori has tested positive for COVID-19. The network said Mori is showing mild symptoms and recuperating at home, and no one except his family has been in close contact with him as he has been wearing a face mask and taking the necessary precautions when meeting with others. According to MOFA, Mori fell ill on Tuesday evening and later tested positive for the virus. Kyodo filed a similar report, adding that on Monday Mori met with Chung Jin Suk, deputy speaker of the South Korean National Assembly, and other members of the delegation sent by the nation's President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol.

Nippon Foundation seeks student volunteers to help Ukrainian refugees in Poland

Mainichi reported that the Nippon Foundation unveiled a plan on Tuesday to seek about 100 college volunteers to go to Poland to provide assistance to Ukrainian evacuees. The students will be paid travel and living expenses for the two-week assignment in which they will be tasked with sorting out and delivering relief supplies collected from around the world in the southern Polish city of Kraków.

Japan protests S. Korea’s plan to survey disputed islets (Kyodo News)

Japan PM to visit Southeast Asia, Europe amid Ukraine crisis (Kyodo News)

Japan suspends visits to Russian-held isles (Jiji Press)

Japan readies ID cards for Ukrainian evacuees (Kyodo News)

Editorial: China’s Solomon Islands deal risks militarizing South Pacific (Nikkei Asia)

Japan-New Zealand relations evolve amid a changing world (The Japan Times)


Chinese ships spotted near Senkakus for 11th consecutive day (Sankei)

Chinese navy ship enters Japan waters near Kagoshima Pref. islands (Kyodo News)

Japan’s ruling party calls for ‘counterstrike capabilities’ (Nikkei Asia)

Japan’s exclusive defense posture to be undermined by counterattack capability (Tokyo Shimbun)

Editorial: Enhance deterrence by acquiring effective counteroffensive capabilities (The Japan News)

Tokyo needs to brace itself for return of a new cold war (The Japan Times)

50 years on: Development of ex-U.S. sites key to Okinawa growth (Jiji Press)


Infographic: Recent changes in gasoline subsidy (Yomiuri)

Editorial: Measures to control fuel prices nearing limit (The Japan News)

PM Kishida makes forward-looking comment on restarting nuclear power plants (Yomiuri)

METI goal: 172 trillion yen in public-private investment for decarbonization, economic security (Nikkei)

Kishida unveils economic measures to counter inflation (The Japan Times)

Japan PM Kishida says rapid yen moves “unfavorable” for many (Kyodo News)

Gov’t to support eight projects aimed at reinforcing supply chains in Indo-Pacific (Yomiuri)

Osaka and Nagasaki submit IR development plans (Sankei)

Mitsubishi Heavy to produce hydrogen with next-gen nuclear reactor (Nikkei)

Apple protests Japan’s report seeking fair competition in OS market (Kyodo News)


Prime minister’s schedule on April 26, 2022 (Sankei)

Profile: National Police Agency’s cyber police bureau chief Kawahara Junpei (Nikkei)


MOE selects 26 geographical areas to lead decarbonization efforts (Mainichi)

Keidanren: Japan needs to spend 400 tril. yen to achieve net zero emissions (NHK WORLD)

JAXA’s Epsilon rocket to carry first commercial satellites (Yomiuri)


Japan makes fresh contribution of funds for Marines’ relocation from Okinawa to Guam

Okinawa Times and Ryukyu Shimpo reported on yesterday's GOJ announcement on Japan's contribution of $164 million for the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam, saying that Foreign Minister Hayashi and Ambassador Emanuel exchanged letters on Japan's monetary contribution for FY2022. The money will reportedly be used to build sports, vehicle maintenance, and educational training facilities on Guam. Japan has thus far provided almost $3 billion for the force realignment initiative.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Media Analysis and Translation Team