December 18, Wednesday, 2019 (2:00 p.m.) Read by Mr. Michael Rhys and Ms. Eriko Kojima

1. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Air Forces says North Korea’s threat of a “Christmas gift” for the United States may be a long-range ballistic missile.

2. Japan’s Cabinet is set to green-light the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces to the Middle East after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe briefs the Iranian president on the mission’s objective.

3. Russian officials say they are now investigating Japanese fishing boats they seized on suspicion of unreported catches and they have taken them to one of the Russian-held islands claimed by Japan.