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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 04/09/07

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1538/01 1000008
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100008Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/COMPATWING ONE KAMI SEYA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3036
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0580
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4107
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9898
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1514
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6491
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2568
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 3845

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 001538

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 04/09/07


INDEX:

(1) Prefectural assembly elections: Minshuto makes giant leap in
urban areas; LDP alarmed at Minshuto's increase of 145 seats with
approach of Upper House election

(2) Mainichi exit polls: Unaffiliated voters turn to incumbents

(3) Danger of Japan-US alliance being shaken; US might lower level
of information to Japan

(4) Ishiba tells of Aegis destroyer information leak on Fuji TV
program aired on Apr. 8: Calls for exposure system matching IT
society

(5) Activating PAC-3 emergency response system without public
announcement might trigger national panic; Defense Ministry plans to
flexibly transfer interceptors from Iruma to metropolitan areas

(6) Commentary: Accountability needed to extend SDF Iraq mission

(7) JACL National President Larry Oda expresses concern over issue
of comfort women may aggravate racial prejudice against Japanese
Americans

(8) Editorial: Comfort-women issue: Tenacious effort to clear up
misunderstanding needed

ARTICLES:

(1) Prefectural assembly elections: Minshuto makes giant leap in
urban areas; LDP alarmed at Minshuto's increase of 145 seats with
approach of Upper House election

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
April 9, 2007

It has become clear that the largest opposition party Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) expanded its base in both urban and
rural areas through the 44 prefectural assembly and 15
ordinance-designated major city assembly elections that took place
yesterday. This has prompted the ruling Liberal Democratic Party to
become alarmed at the largest opposition party's growing strength.
The skirmish between the LDP and Minshuto is likely to continue with
an eye on the Upper House election this summer.

In the 44 prefectural assembly elections, the LDP won 1,212 seats,
or a record low of 47.6% of the total. Minshuto, on the other hand,
garnered 375 seats, or 14.7% of the total, showing a significant
increase from the previous race's 230 seats (including those won by
the now defunct Liberal Party).

LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa, speaking to reporters in
Tokyo this morning, indicated that the races were not uphill
battles, saying: "Our party narrowed down our candidates. We also
backed some 200 independent candidates, and they all fought well.
Minshuto has increased its seats, and that to some extent is
ascribable to (municipal) mergers."

But some LDP lawmakers are wary of a possible negative impact on
national politics by the declined LDP share at the local level.
"Many LDP candidates were lost to Minshuto rivals in urban areas in
such regions as Tokai and Kinki. Prefectural assemblymen are

TOKYO 00001538 002 OF 010


expected to serve as 'frontline troops' in the upcoming the Upper
House election, so their defeats worry us," a senior LDP campaign
officer said apprehensively this morning.

(2) Mainichi exit polls: Unaffiliated voters turn to incumbents

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
April 9, 2007

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted exit polls asking for whom people
actually voted for in Sunday's Hokkaido, Iwate, Tokyo, Kanagawa, and
Hiroshima gubernatorial races and Sapporo and Hiroshima mayoral
elections. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-backed
candidates and candidates backed by the largest opposition party,
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) locked horns in the five
gubernatorial and two mayoral elections. Excluding the Iwate
governorship race, which was fought by two new-face candidates, the
four other gubernatorial elections were races between a new-face
candidate and an incumbent. In the four exit polls, 40 to 61% of the
unaffiliated voters voted for the incumbents. This meant that
unaffiliated voters did not show their force in yesterday's
elections.

Tokyo

Regarding the voting behavior by all age brackets, the percentages
of the age brackets who voted for incumbent Gov. Shintaro Ishihara
were higher than those of the age brackets who voted for the other
candidates. Ishihara won support from the elderly: 58% of the voters
aged at 70 and older and 55% of the voters in their sixties. In
addition, 53% of the voters in their twenties voted for Ishihara.
The highest percentage of the age bracket voted for former Miyagi
Gov. Shiro Asano was 41% of those in their fifties, followed by 39%
of the voters in their forties and by 26% of those in their
twenties. Of those aged at 70 years old or older, only 27% voted for
Asano. Fifty-one% of the male voters and 52% of the female voters
voted for Ishihara, while 35% of the male voters and 31% of the
female voters voted for Asano.

Hokkaido

The Hokkaido gubernatorial race was competed between the two
candidates backed by the ruling and opposition camps. Of the
unaffiliated voters, 53% voted for incumbent Gov. Harumi Takahashi,
supported by the ruling LDP and its coalition partner New Komeito.
Those who answered that they had voted for Satoshi Arai supported by
Minshuto and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was 32%.
Eighty-seven% of the LDP supporters and 82% of the New Komeito
supporters voted for Takahashi. Seventy-three% of Minshuto
supporters and 58% of the SDP supporters voted for Arai. The SDP
failed to reach a consensus in the party regarding the support for
Arai. A majority of voters in all the age brackets voted for
Takahashi. Sixty% of all female voters and 51% of all male voters
voted for Takahashi.

Iwate

The Iwate gubernatorial race was fought among five new-face
candidates. Eighty-eight% of Minshuto supporters voted for Takuya
Tasso, a candidate backed by the main opposition party. Tasso also
won 39% of the votes of the LDP supporters and 25% of the votes of
the New Komeito supporters. Forty-eight% of the LDP supporters and
45% of the New Komeito supporters voted for Junichi Yanagimura. Of

TOKYO 00001538 003 OF 010


the unaffiliated voters, 47% voted for Tasso, while 21% voted for
Yanagimura.

Kanagawa

In the Kanagawa gubernatorial election, 61% of the unaffiliated
voters voted for incumbent Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa, crushing other
candidates. Seventy-five% of Minshuto supporters, 65% of the LDP
supporters, and 55% of the New Komeito supporters voted for
Matsuzawa. Matsuzawa obtained support from a broad spectrum. Only
28% of the LDP supporters and 32% of the New Komeito supporters
voted for Tadashi Sugino.

Fukuoka

In the Fukuoka gubernatorial race, 44% of the voters voted each for
incumbent Gov. Wataru Aso and for new-face candidate Shuji Inatomi.
Similar to the Tokyo governorship election, the Fukuoka race was
competed between two major candidates. Seventy-four% of the
supporters of Minshuto and 77% of the SDP supporters voted for
Inatomi. Eighty-two% of the LDP supporters and 79% of the New
Komeito supporters voted for Aso. Since the two candidates
consolidated their support bases, Inatomi was defeated as he failed
to obtain more unaffiliated votes than those secured by Aso.

(3) Danger of Japan-US alliance being shaken; US might lower level
of information to Japan

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
April 6, 2007

There is a danger that the removal of critical data on the Aegis
system by a Maritime Self-Defense Force seaman could severely rock
the Japan-US alliance in a way never seen before. But that is not
the only problem: Should information on state-of-the-art weaponry
fall in the hands of an enemy, it could have a significant impact on
the international military balance, as well.

The Maritime Staff Office on April 4 formed an investigative
committee headed by Deputy Chief of Staff Tamotsu Kato and began a
full-fledged investigation. A senior SDF officer expressed this
concern: "We have yet to receive any inquiries from the United
States. We are worried that the United States in future provisions
of operational information to us might lower the (classification)
level."

The Aegis system has a sweep capability covering a radius of several
hundred kilometers. It is capable of detecting and tracking several
hundred targets at once and attacking over 10 targets at the same
time. In particular, high-performance radar SPY1 serves as an eye of
an Aegis vessel and is often used in tracking ballistic missiles. It
is the world's most advanced radar system, a vital component in the
missile defense (MD) system that Japan and the US will deploy. The
United States has supplied Aegis technology only to Japan and Spain,
as staunch US allies.

In intercepting a ballistic missile by using the MD system, Japan
and the United States must share intelligence, such as missile
launch information collected by early-warning satellites. The MSDF
seaman leaked information on the Aegis system, a key component in
the MD system. Satoshi Morimoto, Director of the Institute of
International Studies at Takushoku University, took this view: "If a
highly-advanced enemy country got hold of the leaked data, it might

TOKYO 00001538 004 OF 010


allow the country to jam the data-link between the SDF and US Navy
vessels or use wiretapping as Japan-US interoperability. That might
have a serious impact on the two countries' military potential."

Modern military technologies, including MD, carry great weight in
the capability of cyberspace that includes the Internet and
satellite communications. The Aegis system controls its radar and
computer system that is highly capable of detecting, identifying,
and analyzing missiles. For this reason, leaking information
patterns in the system alone can cause significant damage, according
to Morimoto.

The US government has repeatedly expressed concern about the fact
that MSDF destroyers' identification call signs and other
information was leaked out last year through the Winny file-sharing
software and that the US military's information provided to the SDF
on a Chinese submarine leaked out to the media.

Morimoto also pointed out: "Although it is possible to change
software after information leaked out, Japan's low level of
information control might take a toll on the Japan-US alliance in
the future."

Meanwhile, military analyst Kazuhisa Ogawa, pointing out the fact
that the wife of the petty officer 2nd class is Chinese and that an
intelligence leak involving a Chinese woman had occurred in the
past. Ogawa sounded alarmed: "There is a possibility that the SDF is
being penetrated by foreign intelligence organizations. China is not
the only one. Countries vying for hegemony with the United States
are all eager to obtain information on the US Navy and the MSDF.
Japan must do everything to protect its intelligence, using any
means available."

(4) Ishiba tells of Aegis destroyer information leak on Fuji TV
program aired on Apr. 8: Calls for exposure system matching IT
society

SANKEI (Page 4) (Full)
April 9, 2007

Former Defense Agency Shigeru Ishiba told of the incident of
Maritime Self-Defense Force petty officer 2nd class sneaking out key
information on Aegis destroyers.

-- What are problems about the incident?

"The petty officer 2nd class is not in a position of obtaining such
information, and yet, he managed to do so. It means that a person
who ranks above him and is in such a position, leaked the
information outside. The problem lies in this person's security
awareness. (The Self-Defense Forces - SDF) have toughened penalties
and crack downs to protect against intelligence leaks, but it is
still not adequate."

-- Is there a possibility of the Chinese wife of the petty officer
2nd class being a spy?

"I do not know. It is strange that the case was exposed following a
house search carried out after she had turned herself in for
overstaying her visa. Other countries desire to obtain information
on the Aegis system. Intelligence agencies carrying on activities
are only natural. I am sure that the importance of the need to
protect information among SDF members will be driven in by this

TOKYO 00001538 005 OF 010


incident as a lesson and will lead to boosting national security."

-- What about measures for that?

"The GSDF security police are definitely short of hands. Their main
duty is now to crack down on security protection that matches a
highly sophisticated information and technology (IT) society. The
Defense Ministry's and the SDF's intelligence awareness is weak.
Penalties are also too light."

-- Do you think it is necessary to establish an anti-espionage law?

"Yes, I do. The SDF must let all personnel know what materials are
classified as secret. Otherwise, it would be impossible to
familiarize personnel with information that can be disclosed. It is
important for the public and the media to understand that protecting
information also protects our democracy."

(5) Activating PAC-3 emergency response system without public
announcement might trigger national panic; Defense Ministry plans to
flexibly transfer interceptors from Iruma to metropolitan areas

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
April 7, 2007

The nation's missile defense (MD) system has become operational,
with the deployment of PAC-3 anti-ballistic missile interceptors to
the Air Self-Defense Force's Iruma base in Sayama City, Saitama
Prefecture. The SDF can now intercept an incoming missile with the
defense minister's order in accordance with the emergency response
manual. However, even if the defense minister issued an activation
order in accordance with the manual, the decision would not be made
public. The possible transfer of PAC-3 interceptors from the Iruma
base to a central part of Tokyo following the defense minister's
unannounced order could trigger a national panic.

To deal with a fired ballistic missile, the government envisages two
possible cases: (1) the missile is likely to hit Japan, and (2) the
missile might not hit Japan. In the former, the defense minister
will issue an order to destroy the incoming missile upon obtaining
the prime minister's approval. In this instance, the order will be
made public. In the latter, SDF troops will take action based on an
order already issued by the defense minister in accordance with the
emergency response manual. In this case, the Defense Ministry will
not publicly announce the defense minister's order so as not to let
the enemy know Japan's cards.

The PAC-3 system is capable of protecting an area with a radius of
up to about 50 kilometers. This means the deployment of PAC-3
interceptors to such bases as Iruma, Narashino (Funabashi City,
Chiba), Kasumigaura (Tsuchiura, Ibaraki), and Takeyama (Yokosuka,
Kanagawa) is insufficient to defend Tokyo from ballistic missiles.
Given the situation, the Defense Ministry has revealed a plan to
flexibly transfer PAC-3 missile interceptors to state-owned or
publicly owned land in Tokyo.

This specifically means that the SDF, based on intelligence on a
possible ballistic missile launch, might relocate PAC-3
anti-ballistic missile interceptors from the Iruma base to the
Defense Ministry in Shinjuku Ward or Camp Asaka in Nerima Ward as
part of its emergency response system.

The transport of the PAC-3 system composed of at least five large

TOKYO 00001538 006 OF 010


vehicles is certain to draw public attention. The Defense Ministry,
however, does not intend to make public such a step. "People won't
be able to tell the difference with regular training," a
happy-go-lucky Defense Ministry official commented. Another senior
member pointed out the need to offer an explanation of some sort.
This indicates that the government has "jumped the gun" and
introduced the system before working out specifics.

The ASDF has six air defense missile groups. Of them, three groups
are equipped with PAC-3 interceptors: the 1st Air Defense Missile
Group in Iruma, the 4th Air Defense Missile Group in Gifu, and the
2nd Air Defense Missile Group in Kasuga, Fukuoka. How would the
people in Hokkaido, Tohoku, Chugoku, and Shikoku - regions not
covered by the PAC-3 umbrella - view the transfer of anti-ballistic
missile interceptors to such cities as Tokyo, Nagoya, and Fukuoka in
time of a national contingency?

A senior SDF official took this view: "Introducing the MD system
costs 1 trillion yen in total. The government cannot afford to
introduce PAC-3 missile interceptors to the all six ASDF air defense
missile groups in the country."

Another officer explained the situation this way: "To begin with,
the MD system is a political tool. Possessing the capability to
intercept ballistic missiles gives Japan a strong voice against
North Korea. Having the system carries great significance."

Now that the PAC-3 interceptors are in place, the Defense Ministry
and the SDF have no other option but to follow the emergency
response guidelines.

The Defense Ministry has yet to clarify exactly when the emergency
response system should be activated. The ministry is likely to
activate the system when (1) a ballistic missile has been mounted on
a launcher, or (2) intelligence on a launch has increased. North
Korea has made those moves often aimed at sending out political
messages besides military training. Will the SDF transfer PAC-3
interceptors every time the North makes such a move? "Considering
its impact on the public, the ministry won't be able to activate the
emergency response system so easily," a senior SDF official
predicted.

(6) Commentary: Accountability needed to extend SDF Iraq mission

YOMIURI (Page 15) (Full)
April 5, 2007

Hidemichi Katsumata, senior writer

A government bill to revise the Iraq Special Measures Law for a
two-year extension of the Self-Defense Forces' deployment in Iraq is
now before the Diet. For what reason was the SDF's Iraq deployment
extended? The government ought to account for it.

Command headquarters for the Multinational Coalition Forces Iraq
(MCFI) is located near the Persian Gulf. The command, which is
called the "Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC)," is where the Air
Self-Defense Force assigns 10 echelon officers to coordinate every
morning with US and other MCFI member forces. However, US forces and
Iraqi security forces began full-scale operations early this year to
mop up insurgents and militants in Baghdad and in its environs. One
ASDF staff officer confessed, "I feel as if we were walking on thin
ice these days."

TOKYO 00001538 007.2 OF 010

The biggest reason is that the ASDF has no other choice but to
depend on the US military's intelligence for everything about the
security of its personnel.

Five US military choppers were shot down by insurgents in only two
months after the mop-up operations began. The altitude of ASDF C-130
transport planes differs from that of helicopters. The C-130,
however, has to pass within the range of antitank rockets in their
landing approach. The C-130, when its missile sensor is activated,
has to nose down while banking. Such a random steep approach has now
become routine with the ASDF C-130s.

"We can't tell if we're actually being targeted by a missile," says
one ASDF echelon officer. "But," this ASDF officer added, "the
sensor never reacted when we were on a flight mission to and from
the southern Iraqi city of Taril to back up the GSDF until last
summer." In a coordination meeting held every morning at CAOC, a US
military officer briefs liaison officers from MCFI member forces on
where to carry out mop-up operations. In addition, the US military
also gives information there about possible danger. Based on
information given there, the ASDF changes C-130 flight routes. There
are also many cases where the ASDF suspends flights, according to
the ASDF officer. "We have no choice but to keep in close touch with
the US military for any information about safety," the ASDF officer
said.

The Diet will soon debate the bill revising the Iraq Special
Measures Law. However, some lawmakers in the ruling and opposition
parties are reluctant or even opposed to amending the law. They are
distrustful of the government for failing to fulfill its
accountability to the public on what the ASDF has actually been
doing in Iraq.

The government has so far taken the position that the primary
purpose of sending SDF troops to Iraq is to engage in "humanitarian
and reconstruction assistance activities for the Iraqi people." When
it comes to ASDF activities, the government has explained that the
ASDF will "airlift supplies and the like for humanitarian
assistance." Last summer, however, the GSDF withdrew from the
southern Iraqi city of Samawah. The ASDF then shifted to another
purpose of the law in terms of "security backup in rear support for
the US-led multinational forces." The ASDF's airlift mission in Iraq
has also changed in substance.

The ASDF rarely airlifts supplies like foodstuffs and medicines.
Instead, its C-130 transports carry MCFI personnel, including US
troops, and civilians from United Nations organizations. The ASDF's
C-130s make four flights a week to Iraq, and their flights are now
extended to Taril, Baghdad, and the northern Iraqi city of Arbil.

Then, the question is why such facts about the ASDF's activities in
Iraq have not been made public in Japan.

"Some people may say the ASDF is there to back up US forces," a
senior Defense Ministry official said. "If the government is
straightforward like this," the official added, "the government will
be severely called into question over its decision to support the
Iraq war, and the 'noncombat area' arguments could be reignited." In
December last year, Defense Minister Kyuma remarked that US
President Bush's decision over the Iraq war was wrong. Kyuma further
hit the United States over the pending issue of relocating the US
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, saying: "I have told

TOKYO 00001538 008 OF 010


them not to be so arrogant. Japan will do what's concerned with
Japan, so leave it to Japan." These critical remarks on the United
States can be taken as coming out of Kyuma's consideration for those
opposed to extending the ASDF's Iraq mission, the Defense Ministry
official explains.

If that is the case, SDF personnel working in Iraq must be finding
it difficult for them to continue their work. It has been over three
years since the government sent an advance team to Iraq in late
2003. The SDF replaced its Iraq-based ground troops in about four
months' rotation. During that time, Japan has sent a total of about
2,300 SDF members. One of them was sent to Iraq four times.

Lt. Gen. Kunio Orita, who heads the ASDF Air Transport Command at
its headquarters, commands the ASDF's Iraq mission. Orita says, "We
need public understanding and support for our activities, and we
also need justification for our activities." In his directives to
his troops, Orita never fails to lay emphasis on the significance of
Japan's alliance with the United States. That is because Orita deems
it impossible for Japan to go it alone to secure its people in the
event of an armed attack against Japan. North Korea is developing
nuclear weapons and missiles. China is also building up its military
power. Facing such threats, it is of no use to only say Japan should
strengthen cooperation with the United States, Orita thinks to
himself.

Four years ago, Japan supported the United States' attack in Iraq,
which broke a number of United Nations resolutions without
clarifying whether it had weapons of mass destruction. In Diet
deliberations, the government must make clear the vital importance
of Japan's alliance with the United States. The government is called
to account to the nation for the necessity and purpose of extending
the SDF's Iraq mission in spite of its potential danger.

(7) JACL National President Larry Oda expresses concern over issue
of comfort women may aggravate racial prejudice against Japanese
Americans

SANKEI (Page 6) (Full)
April 8, 2007

In an interview with the Sankei Shimbun, Japanese American Citizens
League (JACL) National President Larry Oda, 62, spoke of the United
States House Resolution 121 denouncing Japan over the issue of
so-called comfort women. He said there is a gap between the views of
average Japanese-Americans and the position of Japanese-American
Congressman Mike Honda (Democratic Party), who proposed the
resolution. Oda also expressed his mixed feelings as a
Japanese-American, remarking, "I am worried that the commotion over
the issue could worsen racial prejudice against
Japanese-Americans."

Upon stressing, "I am offering merely a personal view, because JACL
is tasked with protecting the rights of Japanese-Americans is never
involved in diplomatic issues," Oda said that on the issue of
comfort women, "Japan has already offered its apologies. It is
irrational for Japan to be pressed to take responsibility for
(former comfort women's) refusal to accept its apologies."

Asked about Honda's intention, Oda said, "I don't know much about
the details," but he added: "Since many Chinese people live in his
electoral district, it might be natural to think that this
circumstance is behind his motive." Oda said that Japanese-Americans

TOKYO 00001538 009 OF 010


had wondered why Honda had taken up the issue of comfort women out
of the blue as a congressman representing a district in California.

Oda said: "Although we are very close, I have only met him as a JACL
member." Oda described Honda as greatly interested in social
justice-related issues from long before. He said that Honda
earnestly addressed, in connection with the wartime internment of
Japanese-Americans, the JACL-led movement to restore their rights.

Oda stressed the specific history of Japanese-Americans, remarking:
"We, Japanese- Americans have mixed feelings whenever the issue of
comfort women is taken up, because we were regarded as enemies
(although we are Americans) and sent to relocation camps during
WWII." He remarked that the racial prejudice has yet to completely
disappear in American society, adding: "If Japanese people are
regarded as the villains, racial discrimination or hatred against
Japanese-Americans could grow stronger."

(8) Editorial: Comfort-women issue: Tenacious effort to clear up
misunderstanding needed

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 9, 2007

The US House of Representatives will likely adopt in May a
resolution seeking an apology from the Japanese government on the
comfort-women issue. Japan should continue tenacious efforts to
clear up the misunderstanding over this issue.

The resolution notes that the former Japanese Imperial Army forced
young women to offer sexual services during World War II. We
sincerely sympathize with those who served as comfort women.
However, there is no evidence that the former Japanese Imperial Army
directly and coercively hunted those women down like slaves, though
they might have been involved in the form of conducting inspections
of sexually transmitted diseases at comfort stations. This is the
biggest factual error.

The Asia-Pacific Affairs subcommittee chairman of the House
Committee on Foreign Affairs, during a press conference in Beijing,
indicated the likelihood of the resolution being passed. He then
made this critical remark: "There seems to be a feeling among
Japanese leaders to deny the existence (of comfort women)." This,
too, is a misunderstanding. Japan has not denied the existence of
comfort women.

The Japanese government so far has taken such measures as to
dispatch a special advisor to the prime minister to the US and have
its ambassador to the US send a letter to the subcommittee chairman.
We believe that it is necessary to send an even stronger message.

Some US news organizations had adopted a tone of argument critical
of the Japanese government as if it has "turned a blind eye to war
crimes committed by Japan" (Washington Post), and treating the
abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea and the comfort-women
issue on the same plane. North Korea has made a similar point.
However, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe rebutted, the abduction issue
is an ongoing case of violation of human rights. The comfort-women
issue is a totally different issue.

There is an increasing need to reconsider the 1993 statement of then
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono's on the comfort-women issue,
which has provided grounds for the US House resolution. The Kono

TOKYO 00001538 010 OF 010


Statement recognized coercive recruitment of comfort women by the
former Japanese Imperial Army and police as fact, stating there were
cases in which constituted authorities were directly involved.
However, there is no evidence proving such activities in official
documents collected by the Japanese government. The only grounds for
such a claim are accounts given by former comfort women from South
Korea.

The Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) "Committee of Diet members to
consider the future of Japan and historical education" intends to
reinvestigate the data that provided grounds for the Kono statement
and work on US Congressmen not to support the resolution. Democratic
Party members have launched a group to probe into the comfort- women
issue and the truth about the Nanjing Incident on a voluntary
basis.

We would like both the ruling and opposition camps to first
thoroughly probe into the Kono statement, whose grounds are
uncertain, by involving academic experts, and then suggest points to
be revised to the government.

SCHIEFFER

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COP24: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

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New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

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Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

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MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

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