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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 04/06/07

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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
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RUAYJAA/COMPATWING ONE KAMI SEYA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3028
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RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9893
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1506
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6480
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2557
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3839

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TOKYO 001528

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA
SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 04/06/07


INDEX:

(1) Government to establish expert panel this month, with aim of
accelerating debate on allowing collective defense
(2) Aegis data leak: SDF personnel have low awareness to protect
secrets; Defense Ministry's measures still insufficient

SIPDIS
(3) A close look at Abe diplomacy -- Japan-US relations: Will
"comfort women" issue make a soft landing?
(4) Okinawa teachers concerned about setback from peace education,
alarmed by Abe administration's "offensives"

ARTICLES:

(1) Government to establish expert panel this month, with aim of
accelerating debate on allowing collective defense

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
April 6, 2007

Full-fledged discussion will start soon on the possibility of
allowing the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to use the right to
collective self-defense. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has long insisted
on the need for such discussion. An expert panel, headed by former
Ambassador to the Unite States Shunji Yanai, will be set up by the
end of this month to engage in specific case studies. By setting up
the panel, the government aims to accelerate policy debate in the
diplomatic and security areas, a matter of primary concern to the
prime minister with his administration having seen six months since
coming into office. It also seeks to enhance the Japan-US alliance,
the need of which the prime minister intends to underscore during
his first visit to the US in late April.

Under the government's interpretation of the Constitution, Japan is
vested with the right to collective self-defense under international
law but is not allowed to use it. The prime minister was
dissatisfied with the government's constitutional interpretation
even before coming into office. He has instructed the Cabinet
Legislation Bureau to review the interpretation.

Now that specific contentious points have been singled out in
back-room discussions, observers see behind the decision to set up
the study group a desire to "publicize and accelerate debate," a
close aide to the prime minister said. One member of the expert
panel also said: "The prime minister takes the view that it is
strange for Japan to remain unable to use the collective
self-defense right. It's only natural for the prime minister to have
such a critical sense," adding: "The panel is expected to discuss
points in question in specific case studies."

The scenarios under which Japan could be allowed to exercise the
right of collective self-defense include: (1) Japan intercepts a
ballistic missile heading toward the US under the missile defense
(MD) system; (2) SDF troops on a peacekeeping operations (PKO)
mission rescue foreign troops; and (3) MSDF vessels escort foreign
naval vessels acting in concert on international waters. On these
scenarios, specific studies reportedly are already underway in the
Cabinet Legislation Bureau.

When Abe meets with President Bush during his first US visit as
prime minister on April 26-27, he is expected to reconfirm the need
to strengthen the Japan-US alliance in the context of the world. As
part of efforts to this end, the prime minister intends to take up
the measure of accelerating debate on collective defense.

TOKYO 00001528 002 OF 005

Since the issue of collective self-defense is closely connected with
constitutional debate, there are a host of tasks to clear. The New
Komeito remains cautious, and even some Defense Ministry officials
are calling for caution about letting idealism going out front. The
prime minister has said his cabinet would work out a conclusion, but
it is uncertain whether the studies will lead to a conclusion to
allow the exercise of the right to collective self-defense.

(2) Aegis data leak: SDF personnel have low awareness to protect
secrets; Defense Ministry's measures still insufficient

SIPDIS

SANKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
April 6, 2007

The removal of highly confidential data on the Aegis system by a
Maritime Self-Defense Force petty officer 2nd class, a crewmember of
the destroyer Shirane of Escort Flotilla 1, has again exposed the
Defense Ministry's lax information management. What kind of measures
has the ministry taken to protect secrets?

In February 2006, confidential MSDF information was leaked to the
Internet via the Winny file-sharing program by a destroyer
crewmember stationed at the MSDF Sasebo Base in Nagasaki Prefecture.
This was followed by a string of similar incidents. Given the
situation, the Defense Ministry has issued the following notice in
the name of its administrative defense minister prohibiting: (1)
bringing in personal computers to the workplace, (2) personal
computers from having access to ministry data, (3) removing
government-owned transportable memory media (floppy disks, CDs, USB
memories, etc.) out of the workplace without authorization, and (4)
using private transportable memory media in ministry computers.

In order to practice the notice thoroughly, the ministry plans to
conduct spot inspections.

In late November last year, the ministry hastily procured 56,000
computers with limited access to the outside. Affixed to the desks
with wires, the computers cannot be taken out of the offices. But
there still exist personal computers in the ministry, which is still
in short of computers.

In reality, the ministry's measures to prevent its personnel from
taking work home without inspections or authorization are
insufficient. A senior Defense Ministry official described the
latest information leak as an "incident waiting to happen." The
ministry is now faced with the fundamental question of to what
extent an organization should trust individual workers. SDF Joint
Staff Chief Takashi Saito in a press conference yesterday said: "The
incident made me realize that the awareness of SDF personnel is
still insufficient."

Educating SDF personnel is vital. The ministry has begun reeducating
its personnel on the handling of defense secrets. Former ASDF Lt.
Gen. Mamoru Sato took this view: "Rank-and-file officers are
slacking because the top brass are slacking. SDF personnel must be
educated thoroughly."

The MSDF Shore Police Command and police authorities are
investigating the petty officer 2nd class on suspicion of leaking
special defense secrets (tokubetsu bouei himitsu) in violation of
the Secret Protection Law (which carries the maximum sentence of 10
years in prison) under the Japan-US Mutual Defense Assistance

TOKYO 00001528 003 OF 005


Agreement. The law, however, does not apply to the leakage of
operational and technical information. Tokyo and Washington intend
to conclude a General Security of Military Information Agreement
(GSOMIA) that includes operational information. However, the
government has kept putting off steps to strengthen penalties, such
as revising the SDF Law.

Tightening the confidentiality protection legislation is also a
point of contention in the government's efforts to study ways to
strengthen intelligence functions. The debate has been stalled due
party to the New Komeito's elusive stance.

(3) A close look at Abe diplomacy -- Japan-US relations: Will
"comfort women" issue make a soft landing?

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Slightly abridged)
April 6, 2007

On March 19, US Senator Daniel Inouye, a Democrat, was visited by
former Agriculture Minister Tadamori Oshima of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) in Washington. In discussing how to build a
fresh framework for Japanese and US lawmakers to exchange views,
Inouye lamented the declining number of pro-Japanese lawmakers in
the United States: "Even in the Koizumi-Bush honeymoon days, the
number of lawmakers in the US Congress who are willing to work hard
for Japan-US relations was on the decline."

Inouye expressed concern about a resolution denouncing Japan over
the so-called wartime "comfort women" issue now being discussed in
the US House of Representatives, telling Oshima: "It will cause
US-Japan relations to go sour." Inouye already sent Tom Lantos,
chair of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, a letter seeking
not to adopt the resolution.

Japanese lawmakers as well made a move to obstruct the adoption of
the resolution replete with mistakes of facts and malicious intent.
One of them was Special Advisor to the Prime Minister Hiroshige
Seko. He called on US government officials and congressional members
in Washington on Feb. 20-21.

Counselor to the President Daniel Bartlett met with Seko and told
him: "I was unaware of that. I'll gather information right away to
cope with it." Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Katheryn Stevens
said to Seko: "I understand the resolution does not reflect facts,
but this is a delicate issue." Seko also met with senior members of
the major media companies, but in the session, the resolution did
not become even the topic of conversation.

Concluding that Americans are not much interested in the
resolution," Seko returned home and advised the government and the
ruling parties to deal with the resolution case cool-headedly.

However, Seko's visit to the US later brought about an opposite
effect to what he had expected. A view that Japan is so upset that
even an aide to the prime minister began making a move (to deal with
the resolution) spread in the US.

In March, Abe began making a rebuttal against "the former Imperial
Japanese Army's coercion" in his Diet replies or on other occasions.
This fueled the US media, which until then had appeared indifferent
to the resolution. The brunt of criticism was directed at Abe's
"sense of human rights" instead of his "historical views".


TOKYO 00001528 004 OF 005


Even so, Abe was going to rebut that criticism. On March 11, Abe was
to appear live on an NHK TV program "Interview with the Prime
Minister."

Alarmed by this move, Michael Green, a US expert on Japan and former
Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council
(NSC), met with Foreign Minister Aso in Tokyo and told him: "Neither
(former Deputy Secretary of State) Armitage nor I can defend Japan
over this issue. To the United States, it is dozens times as
destructive as the prime minister's visits to Yasukuni Shrine."

Aso then advised Abe: "Your rebuttal to the US media would only make
the matter worse. It's wise for you not to say anything other than
'feel sorry for them.' If you were to review the Kono statement (a
government statement issued in 1993 by then Chief Cabinet Secretary
Kono), you should keep in mind the possibility that currently Lower
House Speaker Kono may not ring the bell for the start of the
plenary session of the Lower House."

Appearing on the NHK TV program, Abe again stated he stands by the
Kono statement and tried to calm down the uproar. Also, he meekly
offered an apology, noting: "I offer a sincere apology and remorse
to former comfort women for their pain and hardships they
suffered."

Meanwhile, in the US, Vice President Cheney, who was briefed by Abe
about the "comfort women" issue when he visited Japan in February,
acted to quiet down the situation.

On April 3, Abe telephoned President Bush and explained his stance
to him. Bush was positive to Abe's account, telling Abe: "I am well
aware that present-day Japan is democratic and modernized and is
different from the way it was."

Unlike former Prime Minister Koizumi, who stuck to the "Japan-US
alliance," Abe is broadening Japan's diplomatic spectrum, for
instance, by strengthening ties with the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) and Australia. For this attitude of Abe, some in
both Japan and the US are worried that "It is regrettable to see
diplomatic strategy impaired owing to a mistaken response to the
'comfort women' issue."

In order to strengthen and maintain the alliance of the two
countries, efforts are essential to build trust relationships at
various levels, such as government-level, lawmaker-level, and
private-sector-level. If an issue arises, political wisdom and
efforts will be indispensable in order to minimize the impact. The
Abe administration, in terms of that point, is being tested at
present.

(4) Okinawa teachers concerned about setback from peace education,
alarmed by Abe administration's "offensives"

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 22) (Excerpts)
March 31, 2007

The Okinawa Teachers' Union (Okikyoso) and the Senior High School
Teachers' Union (Kokyoso), taking the results of the Education
Ministry's textbook screening seriously, plan to hold an emergency
press briefing on April 2. Okikyoso Chairman Toshio Ohama said
alarmingly, "The results indicate a setback from the realities
accumulated so far by researchers in connection with the Battle of
Okinawa. Following an amendment to the Basic Education Law, Prime

TOKYO 00001528 005 OF 005


Minister Abe has begun coming down on textbooks." "There's no change
in our stance of pushing peace learning through the Battle of
Okinawa. The way Okinawa pushes peace education is being tested,"
Ohama added.

Analysis: Questionable rationale to overturn previously accepted
views

As a result of the screening of senior high school history
textbooks, the passage "the former Japanese military forced
civilians to commit mass suicides" relating to the Battle of Okinawa
received a binding suggestion for change for the first time and it
was modified. One researcher on the Battle of Okinawa is furiously
opposed to that modification and contends: "It is a denial to all
the research results obtained until now."

Particularly questionable is that the binding suggestion cited
depositions used in the case now in litigation as reference
materials to overturn the commonly accepted views in the studies of
the Battle of Okinawa. The Education Ministry takes the view that
"with a change in conventional theories, various testimonies are
found in depositions before the court." But Hirofumi Hayashi
(professor at Kanto Gakuin University), a researcher on the Battle
of Okinawa, claimed: "There are no new studies showing (the former
Japanese military was not involved)."

In recent years, many researchers have tended to replace the term
"mass suicides" (shudan jiketsu) with "mass deaths" (shudanshi).
Behind this trend is this way of thinking that it is not appropriate
to use the former Japanese military's special term "suicides"
(jiketsu) to describe civilians and that civilians' deaths are
viewed as "civilians' voluntary deaths."

The term "mass suicides" has been used since the Education Ministry
gave a binding suggestion to use that term in 1983, noting: "Most
cases are found to have been mass suicides. If the mass suicides are
not mentioned, it's difficult to have an overall picture of the
Battle of Okinawa." Masaaki Aniya (professor emeritus at Okinawa
International University) gave this analysis: "Modifications made
this time have some links to the textbook screenings carried out in
the 1980s." Toshiaki Shinjo, a teacher at Ginowan Senior High
School, asserted: "The intention (of the modifications this time) is
to play down the former Japanese military's involvement and
interpret the 'deaths' of civilians as an admirable story of
patriots who willingly laid down their lives for Japan."

There are moves to overturn the commonly accepted views in
connection with the Battle of Okinawa, as evidenced by revisionist
academics, the textbook screening, and the so-called "Iwanami
lawsuit" over the former Japanese military's involvement in
civilians' mass suicides. The results of the recent textbook
screening are likely to force textbook publishers to tighten their
voluntary restrictions even further. Whether to inherit the
previously accepted stories of the Battle of Okinawa, which are
based on statements by those who experienced the war and which are
the results of studies of official and other documents, is again
called into question now, 62 years after the end of World War II.

SCHIEFFER

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