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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Cheney Visit/Second Armitage

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UNCLAS TOKYO 000704

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION - CHENEY VISIT/SECOND ARMITAGE
REPORT - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Tuesday morning's liberal Asahi front-paged
a weekend poll showing a 2-point drop in cabinet support
to 37 percent and a 3-point increase in disapproval to 40
percent from last month. Yomiuri also gave front-page
play to similar poll results, with its survey showing
45.3 percent support, down 3.1 points, and 42.7 percent
disapproval, up 3.8 points.

1. "Strategic Cooperation Among US, Japan, and Australia
Needed" An editorial in the conservative Sankei commented
(2/20): "Vice President Cheney will arrive in Japan this
afternoon and meet with Prime Minister Abe and Foreign
Minister Aso on Wednesday before leaving for
Australia.... Cheney's visit is intended to deepen
strategic cooperation among the US, Japan, and
Australia.... We hope the GOJ will inquire about the
details of America's new Iraq policy and confirm close
cooperation in dealing with North Korea based on the
accord reached at the six-party talks. We also hope that
Cheney and senior GOJ officials will have in-depth
discussions concerning strategic issues, including
measures to deal with China. The visit to Japan of
Cheney, President Bush's right hand man, is significant,
and the GOJ should seize this opportunity to confirm the
basic policy of the Bush administration and to strengthen
bilateral cooperation.... It is unreasonable that the
vice president reportedly has no plans to meet with
Defense Minister Kyuma even though national security will
be a major topic of discussion during his visit here."

2. "Second Armitage Report Indicates Common Tasks for the
US and Japan" The business-oriented Nihon Keizai
editorialized (2/20): "The second Armitage Report, which
was compiled by former Deputy Secretary of State
Armitage, former Assistant Secretary of Defense Nye, and
others, is entitled 'The US-Japan Alliance: Getting Asia
Right Through 2020' and will become the basis of future
USG policy toward Japan irrespective of which party holds
the presidency. The report spells out common tasks for
the US and Japan. Although some have noted that
Armitage's political influence is waning, the contents of
the second Armitage Report are significant for Japan.
There is a vacuum in the US-Japan relationship at present
that Vice President Cheney's visit is intended to fill.
It is useful that this second Armitage Report has been
published prior to Cheney's visit."

SCHIEFFER

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