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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Cheney Visit - Tokyo

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P 220522Z FEB 07
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RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9936
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5859
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3323
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000744

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 - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Thursday morning's Asahi front-paged the
meeting between visiting Vice President Cheney and Prime
Minister Abe Wednesday at the Kantei.

1. "Cheney-Abe Meeting: We Welcome Their Agreement to
Address the Abduction Issue as a Common Task" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (2/22): "Vice President
Cheney wound up his visit to Japan after meeting
Wednesday with Prime Minister Abe, Foreign Minister Aso,
and other senior officials. Cheney and Abe reaffirmed
close US-Japan cooperation toward a comprehensive
solution to the North Korean abduction and nuclear
issues. It is significant that the two leaders agreed to
address the abduction issue as a common task.... There
is, however, lingering concern over the fact that a
meeting between the vice president and Defense Minister
Kyuma did not take place. Though a Cheney-Kyuma meeting
was not realized, reportedly due to difficulty in
coordinating their schedules, Cheney expressed his deep
appreciation for the Air Self-Defense Force's airlift
operations in Iraq and the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling operations in the Indian Ocean during his talks
with Abe and other GOJ officials. We cannot help but
wonder whether there was no meeting with Kyuma because of
America's displeasure with his recent remarks critical of
the US decision to launch the Iraq war and the US
position on the relocation of the functions of Marine
Corps Air Station Futenma in Okinawa."

2. "Why Didn't Cheney Talk with Citizens or Meet the
Press?" An editorial in the liberal Asahi stated (2/22):
"While visiting foreign countries, leaders generally do
their best to 'sell' their foreign policies and their
nation's products. Vice President Cheney did not do so.
During his stay in Japan, the vice president addressed US
Navy personnel on board the USS Kitty Hawk at Yokosuka
Naval Base and met with Prime Minister Abe. He was to
meet the parents of Japanese abductee Megumi Yokota
before leaving Thursday morning for Australia. He did
not, however, speak with Japanese citizens or the local
press. At his meeting with PM Abe, Cheney expressed
appreciation for Japan's cooperation in Afghanistan and
Iraq, and the two leaders confirmed the importance of the
US-Japan alliance. As is the case in the US, public
opinion in Japan is critical of the Iraq war. We wonder
why the vice president did not seize the opportunity to
explain the US decision to send more troops to Iraq....
Speculation is rife in the US and European media that
America may attack Iran, although the USG has dismissed
the possibility. At this critical juncture, we wanted to
hear directly from the number-two official in the Bush
administration on how the US intends to deal with Iran."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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