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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Middle East - Tokyo

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DE RUEHKO #1531 0990038
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P 090038Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2430
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0576
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4103
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6485
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1606
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3844
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UNCLAS TOKYO 001531

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 MIDDLE EAST - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Monday morning papers gave top play to
gubernatorial and mayoral elections Sunday in 13
prefectures and 4 ordinance-designated major cities.
Shintaro Ishihara was elected to a third term as governor
of Tokyo.

1. "Political Action Should be Taken to Break Middle East
Deadlock" The liberal Asahi editorialized (4/9): "...
There have been moves to find a way out from the current
fix in the Middle East arising from stalemated
Palestinian peace efforts, the chaos in Lebanon and
Iran's nuclear development. As one of the moves, Israel
showed interest in an Arab proposal in late March to
restart Palestinian peace efforts.... Another move was a
visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Syria to meet
Syrian leader Assad and seek his cooperation on security
in Iraq. Iran's release of the 15 British troops it held
captive in the Persian Gulf may have signified that
Tehran is switching from its previous mode of
confrontation. Nonetheless, there has been no marked
progress or development on the path to Middle East peace.
President Bush reacted negatively to Speaker Pelosi's
visit to Syria, while terrorist acts are continuing,
bringing an increase in the number of casualties in Iraq
where the US has sent additional troops.... At the recent
Arab Summit meeting, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, a
close US ally, called the US military presence in Iraq an
'illegal occupation.' It is little wonder that the Saudi
king made the remarks, regarding the US military
deployment as the key to resolving the present Middle
East crisis. The US military presence in Iraq not only
heightens the tension in the whole Middle East but also
causes anti-US feelings among people in the region. We
wonder whether Iran's nuclear development is linked, in
some respects, to its sense of alarm over the fact that
the country is surrounded by Iraq and Afghanistan where
the US is deploying its troops. The Al-Qaeda
international terrorist group has become the symbol of
Jihad (holy war) as a result of a rise in anti-US
feelings in the Islamic world.... The US should clarify a
timetable for its troop withdrawal and put it on the
diplomatic table."

SCHIEFFER

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