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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Iraq - Tokyo

VZCZCXRO4719
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #0907 0640428
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050428Z MAR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1218
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0080
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3572
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5991
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1531
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2083
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3441
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000907

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 IRAQ - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Monday morning papers front-paged
remarks Sunday by a spokesman for the National People's
Congress who disclosed that China earmarked 350.92
billion yuan or about 45 billion USD, an increase of 17.8
percent from last year, for defense spending in 2007.
Asahi quoted Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte as
commenting Sunday in Beijing that China needs
transparency in its defense budget and that the US would
seek it through dialogue.

1. "International Conference in Iraq: Chance for Dialogue
Must Be Seized" The liberal Mainichi editorialized (3/4):
"Is the direction of the wind changing? An international
conference aimed at stabilizing Iraq is expected to be
held on March 10 in Baghdad with the US, Iran, and Syria
attending. A meeting that brings together these feuding
nations can be welcomed as a move to ease tensions not
just in Iraq but throughout the entire Middle East....
Direct talks with Iran and Syria represent a major policy
turnaround for the Bush administration. Though the report
of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group led by former
Secretary of State Baker called for talks with Tehran and

SIPDIS
Damascus, the Bush administration did not listen and
instead opted to boost its force levels in Iraq.... What
is heartening is that Secretary of State Rice has shown a
keen interest in the meeting. With hardliners like former
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and former Ambassador to the
UN Bolton having resigned, the Bush administration has
likely found it much easier to conduct a more cooperative
diplomacy."

SCHIEFFER

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