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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Iraq - Tokyo

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PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #1563 1002300
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 102300Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2501
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UNCLAS TOKYO 001563

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: Tuesday morning's Mainichi front-paged
Prime Minister Abe's meeting Monday with visiting Iraqi
Prime Minister Maliki. Asahi gave front-page play to a
meeting between Assistant Secretary of State Hill and
MOFA Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau chief Sasae.

1. "Japan Should Promote Strategic Relations with Iraq"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized
(4/10): "During their meeting on Monday, Japanese Prime
Minister Abe and visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki
agreed to build a long-term strategic partnership between
the two countries.... Maliki expressed appreciation for
Japan's extension of the special measures law by another
two years to allow for continued airlift operations in
Iraq by a Japan Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) unit. The
ASDF operations are symbolic of Japan's support for
Iraq's reconstruction as a member of the international
community, given that there are limitations to what Japan
can do to help Iraq out of its difficult security
situation.... Iraq's oil deposit is the world's third
largest. If and when Iraq's domestic situation
normalizes, with its reconstruction work back on track,
the nation's production of crude oil will likely grow by
leaps and bounds. The stabilization of Iraq and
strengthening of ties will serve the national interests
of Japan, which is dependent on the Middle East for about
90 percent of its crude imports.... Like Japan, the US
and EU nations also have strong interests in Iraq's oil
deposits. Japan need not to be left behind in mapping out
its own oil strategy.... Moves are afoot to create a
framework for promoting regional talks aimed at the
stabilization of Iraq. One of these talks is an
international conference on Iraq's stabilization held
recently by 16 nations, including Iraq, neighboring
nations and the five permanent members of the UN Security
Council. Japan should positively commit itself to such a
framework of dialogue. PM Abe plans to tour five Middle
East nations after visiting Washington in late April.
Japan should promote an international dialogue for the
stabilization of Iraq."

SCHIEFFER

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