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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Pm Abe's Visit to Us - Tokyo

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UNCLAS TOKYO 001847

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 - PM ABE'S VISIT TO US - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Wednesday morning's conservative Sankei
front-paged the Bush-Abe meeting Friday evening (Japan
time) at Camp David, during which the two leaders are
likely to agree that the international community should
aim to cut emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in
half by 2050.

1. "PM Abe's Visit to US: Confirm Strong US-Japan
Cooperation" The liberal Mainichi editorialized (4/25):
"Prime Minister Abe will leave for the US Thursday for
talks Friday with President Bush. This will be his first
visit to the US since he became prime minister last
September. While in Washington, Abe is also expected to
meet with Senate and House leaders. Although he will stay
for only two days, it will be a good opportunity for him
to build a relationship of trust with President Bush. We
hope that the prime minister and the president will have
an in-depth discussion regarding North Korea and
relations with China, as well as the US-Japan
alliance.... It is rather unusual for a Japanese prime
minister to put off visiting the US until seven months
after assuming office. This does not, however, mean that
a Japanese premier should visit the US immediately after
inauguration, and Abe himself said that the days of a new
Japanese leader immediately doing so to show deference
are over. Nevertheless, Abe should take seriously the
cracks in the current US-Japan relationship, as he has
yet to establish the close personal bonds with President
Bush that former PM Koizumi enjoyed.... We want Bush and
Abe to coordinate policy on North Korea. While the Bush
administration has shifted to a flexible stance by ending
its financial sanctions on North Korea, the Abe
administration prioritizes the abduction issue and
continues to maintain a hard-line stance.... Although
Tokyo and Washington agree on the goal of getting
Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions, their
differences over specific measures have been quite
noticeable."

DONOVAN

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