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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Afghanistan - Tokyo

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P 010252Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1145
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0046
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3535
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5956
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3413
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000865

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 Q AFGHANISTAN - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers front-paged
former Miyagi Gov. Shiro Asano's intention to run in the
Tokyo gubernatorial election in April to challenge
incumbent Gov. Shintaro Ishihara.

1. "Suicide Bombing: Taliban Expanding Activities in
Afghanistan" Kabul correspondent Masahiro Sato of the top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (3/1): "A suicide
bombing in eastern Palwan province, Afghanistan, on
February 27, an apparent attempt on the life of Vice
President Cheney during his visit there, dealt a double
blow to countries involved in the restoration of order
and the reconstruction of that country. The incident not
only showed that a suicide bomber could approach the
heavily guarded entrance of the main US military base in
Bagram, it also demonstrated that the Taliban are
expanding the area in which they operate. The suicide
bombing appears to have been an attack on the US and
Britain, both of which are taking the lead in beefing up
the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to
cope with a possible intensification of fighting after
the snow thaws in Afghanistan in the spring. Although
reconstruction has been underway in Afghanistan for five
years, the security situation appears likely to worsen."

DONOVAN

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