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

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P 260652Z APR 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3081
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0873
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4410
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6799
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4080
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001864

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: Thursday morning's business daily Nihon
Keizai front-paged the formal establishment of a GOJ blue-
ribbon panel on collective defense.

1. "Abe's Visit to US: Close Gaps in US-Japan Alliance"
The conservative Sankei editorialized (4/26): "PM Abe Abe
begins a two-day visit to the US on Thursday, his first
since his inauguration last September.... Certainly, the
US-Japan alliance is more mature than it has ever been.
But the alliance is also showing signs of strain over
such issues as the Iraq situation, criticism of the US by
Japanese cabinet ministers, the Republican Party's defeat
in the midterm elections, the US shift to a flexible
stance to North Korea, and the 'comfort women' issue.
With such gaps emerging, the Bush-Abe summit is an
important one. As is the case in marriage, maintaining an
alliance requires effort on the part of both partners.
Because the relationship between the two countries is
mature, Abe should convey Japan's concerns to the US in a
frank manner, deepen his understanding of US concerns,
and be prepared to close the gaps to ensure an unshakable
alliance. In this respect, many Japanese have high hopes
for US understanding and cooperation on the abduction
issue.... We want the US to exercise caution in delisting
North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Should
Washington shunt the abduction issue aside, the Japanese
people would harbor a strong sense of dismay toward
America, leading to a crisis in the bilateral alliance."

DONOVAN

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