Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 05/01/07-3
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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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 05/01/07-3
Defense Minister Kyuma to USA:
24) Defense Minister Kyuma meets Defense Secretary Gates, promises
to stop leaks of defense secret
25) Kyuma, visiting Tampa, explains his critical remarks of Iraq war
26) Kyuma in Pentagon meeting seeks F-22 data, reaches agreement on
27) US at 2-plus-2 meeting to refer to "nuclear umbrella"
28) Japan to strengthen nuclear-cooperation ties with Kazakhstan
29) US, Japan begin talks on simplifying cargo inspection exported
to US, limited to superior companies
30) Last half of regular Diet session: backlog of important bills
and signs of renewed clashes with opposition parties pushing own
31) Ruling parties agree on amendments to Political Funds Control
Law that would require office expense receipts for items of 50,000
32) Demonstrations of interest groups against easing of conditions
for imports of US beef
24) Kyuma vows to prevent classified info leakage
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
May 1, 2007
WASHINGTON-Defense Minister Kyuma met with US Defense Secretary
Gates at the US Defense Department on the morning of April 30 or
late at night on the same day. In the meeting, Kyuma explained
Japan's information security setup in connection with the recently
exposed case of information leakage that resulted from a Maritime
Self-Defense Force petty officer second class' taking home of Aegis
vessel data. Kyuma promised to uncover the whole truth and to
prevent such information leakage from recurring. "I'm sorry to have
bothered you while we were now going to share intelligence," Kyuma
In the meeting, the two exchanged views in a wide range of areas,
including the planned realignment of US forces in Japan and the two
countries' respective policies toward Iraq. Kyuma asked the US side
to provide information about the United States' newest stealth
fighter, the F-22 Raptor, which is a potential candidate fighter
model for the Air Self-Defense Force's follow-on fighter (FX) to be
determined in the summer of next year.
This is the first time for Kyuma and Gates to meet in their defense
summit. Kyuma reported the Defense Ministry's current status
upgraded from its previous agency status. The Japanese and US sides
also agreed to take steady steps, based on their agreement, to
relocate the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa
Prefecture and to transfer USMC troops from Okinawa to Guam in the
process of realigning US forces in Japan.
Concerning the leakage of information, the US side took the position
that it is important to share information in bilateral cooperation.
In this connection, the US side called on Japan to protect
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confidential information in an even more effective way. Japan vowed
to make efforts from now on.
Japan expressed its support for the United States' stance of
stabilizing Iraq in trying to dispel the US side's distrust caused
by Kyuma's critical remarks about the Iraq war. The two sides also
confirmed that Japan and the United States would ready themselves to
share missile launch information in connection with ballistic
missile defense (BMD) as a pillar of defense cooperation.
In addition, Kyuma also asked the US side to provide information
about the F-22 for Japan's process of screening and selecting the FX
model. The F-22 features its high stealth from radar and its
supersonic cruise capability. However, the United States is
prohibited under its domestic law from exporting the F-22. Moreover,
the United States also embargoes its data for export. The Japanese
side asked the US side for detailed information about the F-22's
performance and about its manufacturer's maintenance backup.
25) Kyuma in US apologizes for criticizing Iraq war
ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
May 1, 2007
TAMPA, Florida-Defense Minister Kyuma, now visiting the United
States, explained his standpoint on April 29 about his remarks in
which he criticized the United States' decision to start the Iraq
war as "wrong." Kyuma explained, "At that time I didn't say the
decision to use force was right or not right." Kyuma told this to
Japanese reporters when he visited the US Central Command (CENTCOM)
at its headquarters, which oversees US forces in Iraq and other
Referring to his remarks made at the Japan National Press Club in
January, Kyuma explained, "I said there that I was thinking to
myself at that time that there were no nuclear weapons." Kyuma also
told reporters that he "did not comment" on the US government's
decision or the Japanese government's support. Meanwhile, he also
said his remarks "caused misunderstandings in some respects."
In addition, Kyuma also declared his support for US military
operations in Iraq. Touching on US President Bush's plan to send
more troops to Iraq, Kyuma said: "It's his last gamble, perhaps --
his commitment to send even more troops. I think highly of the
The Japanese side hoped to meet CENTCOM Commander Fallon. However,
the commander was absent as he was on his way back from the Middle
East, according to Kyuma. In Fallon's stead, CENTCOM Deputy
Commander Nichols met Kyuma at the headquarters. The deputy
commander explained, "Commander Fallon was supposed to speak, but he
could not come back in time from the area we cover."
26) Kyuma, Gates agree to ink info security pact; Japan asks US for
TOKYO (Page 2) (Full)
May 1, 2007
WASHINGTON-Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma, now visiting the United
States, met for the first time with US Secretary of Defense Gates at
the US Department of Defense on the morning of April 30 (late at
TOKYO 00001934 003 OF 008
night on the same day).
Kyuma expressed his regret for a Maritime Self-Defense Force
member's leakage of Aegis vessel data. In this regard, Kyuma vowed
to make his utmost efforts to uncover the truth about the incident
and prevent such an incident from recurring. With this, Kyuma sought
understanding from the US side growing distrustful of Japan's
Kyuma and Gates concurred on toughening information security and
agreed to enter into a general security of military information
agreement (GSOMIA). In addition, the two also confirmed that Japan
and the United States would step up bilateral cooperation on a
missile defense (MD) system.
Kyuma asked the US side to provide detailed information about the US
Air Force's newest fighter jet, the F-22, which is likely to become
a candidate in the process of screening and selecting candidate
models for the Air Self-Defense Force's follow-on mainstay fighter
Meanwhile, the issue of relocating the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, has been stalemated in
connection with the planned realignment of US forces in Japan. On
this issue, Kyuma told the US side that Japan, based on its
agreement with the United States, would push ahead with a plan to
build a V-shaped pair of airstrips in a coastal area of Camp Schwab
in the island prefecture's northern coastal city of Nago.
In addition, Kyuma also clarified that Japan would extend its Iraq
reconstruction assistance special measures law for two years to
continue the ASDF's airlift support. They reconfirmed the two
countries' bilateral alliance.
27) US to refer to "nuclear umbrella" in 2 + 2
SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
May 1, 2007
Hiroyuki Kano, Washington
In a Japan-United States Security Consultative Committee meeting (2
+ 2) to be held in Washington on May 1, local time, the foreign and
defense ministers of the two countries will agree to strengthen
cooperation in operating a missile defense (MD) system. The US is
expected to stress its continued deterrence for Japan, including its
"nuclear umbrella," focusing on North Korea's development of nuclear
weapons and ballistic missiles.
Behind the US reference to the "nuclear umbrella" seems to be a
desire to hold in check arguments for Japan becoming a nuclear power
that have begun to be heard in Japan since North Korea's nuclear
test last year.
Participating in the upcoming 2 + 2 meeting will be Foreign Minister
Aso and Defense Minister Kyuma from Japan and Secretary of State
Rice and Defense Secretary Gates from the US. Both Gates, who
assumed office last December, and Kyuma will participate in the 2 +
2 for the first time.
In the 2 + 2 meeting, Kyuma, as he did in a meeting with Gates on
April 30, will refer to the recent leak of Aegis information by a
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Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) seaman and promise to prevent the
recurrence of a similar incident.
Giving consideration to the fact that the US has expressed concern
about the Defense Ministry's loose handling of defense intelligence,
as seen from the leak of Aegis intelligence. Kyuma will reveal that
he has established a taskforce under his lead in the Defense
Ministry and reiterate his determination to take every possible
measure to protect military secrets.
Kyuma is also expected to touch on his own remarks this January
criticizing President Bush's decision on the Iraq war as a mistake.
He is willing to obtain understanding from the US by relaying the
Japanese government's willingness to make utmost efforts to enact a
bill amending the Iraq Reconstruction Assistance Measures Law to
extend the law by another two years in order to continue to help
Many Liberal Democratic Party members attribute the delayed holding
of the 2 + 2 meeting to Washington's displeasure at Kyuma's
Meanwhile, Aso and Kyuma will explain that the government has
submitted a USFJ realignment special measures bill to the Diet and
intends to steadily push ahead with the plan to relocate the US
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture,
to a coastal area of Camp Schwab in Ginowan, Okinawa, as agreed on
between Japan and the US last May.
The two countries are also expected to agree to conclude a General
Security of Military Information Agreement (GSOMIA) to enhance the
protection of their intelligence.
28) Japan to secure 30% of its uranium demand through strengthened
tie-ups with Kazakhstan
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
May 1, 2007
Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Minister Akira Amari, now
visiting Kazakhstan, on Apr. 30 met with Prime Minister Karim
Masimov in Astana, the capital of the nation and signed a joint
statement advocating the strengthening of broad-based bilateral
relations in the atomic energy area. The Japanese side with a
delegation of about 150 members from the government and the private
sector, including presidents of nuclear power-related companies,
obtained the right to procure more than 30% of its annual demand for
uranium used for atomic power generation - 9,500 tons in fiscal
2005. Japan has thus paved the way for a stable procurement of
uranium, whose prices are skyrocketing following the fierce
Amari during a joint press conference stressed, "We have made a
major achievement in only six months." Masimov expressed hopes for
Japan's technical assistance, noting, "The two countries have taken
a step forward for the stage for new cooperation in qualitative
The two leaders have agreed to strengthen bilateral relations
characterizing each other as a strategic partner in the joint
statement. They also reaffirmed their determination to start talks
in order to sign a nuclear cooperation pact intended to smoothen
TOKYO 00001934 005 OF 008
exchanges of nuclear substances and technical cooperation.
A total of 29 nuclear power-related and government-affiliated
companies, and the Resources and Energy Agency signed 24 contracts
the same day with such companies as Kazatomprom, Kazakhstan's
national atomic company that monopolizes uranium in that nation. The
leaders and cabinet ministers of the two countries participated in
the signing ceremony.
Four companies, including Marubeni Corporation and Tokyo Electric
Co., have joined a uranium mines development project and obtained
stake equivalent to 20% of Japan's annual demand for the material.
Itochu Corp. also signed a long-term procurement contract for a
uranium concentrate. Kazakhstan accounts for 1% of uranium supplies
to Japan. However, the outlook is now more than 30% of Japan's
annual demand can be secured from that nation within several years.
Toshiba is considering sealing a tie-up deal with Kazatomprom for
the construction of a nuclear power generation plant. Mitsubishi
Nuclear Fuel Co. will consider transferring technology for the
construction of uranium recycling and processing plant by
29) Japan, US to start discussions on simplifying cargo inspections
for superior export agents
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
May 1, 2007
The governments of Japan and the United States will launch official
talks aimed to simplify examinations in Japan of US-bound cargoes.
Cargo inspections have been tightened as part of antiterrorist
measures. The two sides will discuss measures to ease the existing
rule requiring the notification of cargo shipments to the US Customs
at least 24 hours before they are loaded onto freighters. Japan also
hopes to lower the ratio of cargoes subject to strict sampling tests
to the total. The eased rules, if agreed on, will only apply to
superior export agents who have abided by rules.
The Asia Gateway Strategy Council, chaired by Tokyo University
Professor Motoshige Ito, will specify the government's proposals in
its final report due out later this month and present them to the
US. The Japanese and US leaders agreed in their latest meeting to
start government-level talks on this matter. Japan and the US will
shortly launch a study group of their experts.
The government-envisioned framework will only apply to export agents
that fulfill certain conditions, such as no record of violating
rules. Japan also hopes to lower the ratio of cargoes subject to
inspection to the total and to have cargoes from Japan inspected at
the US Customs on a priority basis.
30) Fierce battle expected between ruling and opposition camps
during latter half of Diet session
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
May 1, 2007
A fierce tug-of-war will occur between the ruling and opposition
parties in the second half at the current session of the Diet with
the focus being on the House of Councillors election in July. The
ruling coalition intends to take a bullish posture of not hesitating
to railroad votes on such important bills as a national referendum
TOKYO 00001934 006 OF 008
bill and three bills related to education reform. The main
opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) plans to
strengthen a stance of opposing the ruling coalition, focusing on
the pension issue, as well as the issue of "politics and money," in
which the public has a strong interest.
Since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated that he would set a
constitutional reform issue as a campaign issue for this coming
summer's Upper House election, passing a bill outlining procedures
for a national referendum to amend the Constitution is the top
priority for the ruling parties. The Upper House Special Committee
for Research on the Constitution will hold public hearings on May 7
in the cities of Sapporo and Fukuoka and call experts to testify as
Diet witnesses on the 8th. The ruling camp is eager to run the bill
through the Diet as early as mid-May.
The ruling parties aim to pass the three education reform-related
bills and a bill revising the Iraq Special Measures Law through the
House of Representatives in mid-May. They aim to push a bill on the
realignment of US forces in Japan through the Diet in mid-May.
Deliberations on a measure to reform the Social Insurance Agency
will start in a plenary session on May 8 of the Lower House, with
the aim of passing it through the chamber before the end of May.
Determined that a tactic of boycotting Diet debates would not be
wise to obtain understanding from voters, Minshuto will set a policy
course of making a clear distinction between the party's position
and that of the ruling coalition, presenting counterproposals.
The largest opposition party will submit its own bill on a national
referendum as early as the end of the Golden Week Holiday period,
aiming at putting off taking a vote on the government-sponsored
national referendum bill. As the party has already submitted its own
education reform bill and a bill to revise the Iraq Special Measures
Law, it will not respond to taking a vote on these bills.
However, there is a sense of frustration in Minshuto as the party
remains unable to find any good tactic. Although the party has
called for rectifying the income gap in society, one of the party's
members has said: "It is too abstract for voters to understand the
policy." President Ichiro Ozawa has ordered to narrow down the focus
with an eye on the Upper House election.
One of Minshuto's major issues is the pension issue, which became
driving force for the party's leap in the 2004 Upper House race. The
party will submit a set of three bills to recover public trust in
the pension system on May 7 as a counterproposal toward the ruling
coalition's bill to reform the Social Insurance Agency.
Major bills at the second half of the current Diet session
1. Bills sponsored by government and ruling parties
2. Minshuto-sponsored bill
National referendum bill
1. Sets procedures for a national referendum. The minimum age for
granting voting rights should be 18?
2. Submit to the Upper House counterproposal as early as sometime
after the Golden Week Holidays. National referendum should be
expanded to other national issues.
Three education reform related bills
TOKYO 00001934 007 OF 008
1. Introduce teachers' license renewal system and reform of the
board of education system.
2. Term of teachers' training should be extended to six years from
Bill to reform the Social Insurance Agency
1. The agency should be a new organization. Increase consignment of
public pension business to the private sector.
2. Set up a new organization by merging the agency into the National
Tax Agency (bill to establish a revenue agency).
31) Ruling coalition agrees to require receipts for office expenses
exceeding 50,000 yen
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Excerpts)
April 28, 2007
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its junior coalition
partner New Komeito have reviewed the Political Funds Control Law.
The expectation is that the two ruling parties will agree to require
political fund management organizations to attach receipts for
office expenses and utility charges, excluding staff costs, that
exceed 50,000 yen to their reports on political funds to the
government. They will reach a final agreement in a meeting early in
next week of their project team on reform of political funds and
submit a proposal to the government in mid-May.
The New Komeito had called for the attachment of receipts, while the
LDP had opposed the idea, claiming that the requirement would hamper
the freedom of political activities.
9) US beef: Shokkenren, Nominren, Chikuzenkyo protest against easing
of import conditions
AKAHATA (Page 5) (Full)
April 28, 2007
Protesting against the easing of US beef import conditions, the
National Liaison Council to Protect Food and Health of the People
(Shokkenren), the National Federation of Farmers Movement
32Nominren) and the National Association of Livestock Farmers
(Chikuzenkyo) on Apr. 27 submitted an emergency request seeking the
suspension of US beef imports to the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) and the Ministry of Health, Labor and
Welfare (MHLW) and held talks with the MHLW.
Import conditions have been violated, as can be seen in the fact
that the frozen beef shipped by Tyson Foods included sausages -
processed food -- and tongues from cattle of unknown age in its
shipments to Japan, violating the import condition that limits beef
eligible for exports to Japan to cattle aged 20 months or younger, a
measure to prevent BSE infection. However, MAFF Minister Toshikatsu
Matsuoka and US Department of Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns
during a telephone conversation held prior to the bilateral summit
reached an agreement that Japan complies with the US government's
request to ease its import condition in return for the US government
accepting the inspections of 21 meat-processing facilities by
Shokkenren made the following requests: (1) total suspension of US
beef imports; (2) continuation of inspections of all boxes and
budget appropriation to local governments for blanket cattle
TOKYO 00001934 008 OF 008
inspections; and (3) request to the US to carry out BSE-preventive
measures similar to those taken in Japan and rejection to the US
request to ease import conditions.
In the talks with the MHLW, a representative of Shokkenren asked,
"The implementation of inspections of meat-processing facilities
eligible for exporting to Japan and all boxes containing imported US
beef was a condition for resuming US beef imports. Has the
government been importing US products disregarding these promises?"
and "What is the reason for ending inspections of all boxes?" An
official in charge at the MHLW replied, "The violations were
isolated cases. We will not conduct inspections of all boxes shipped
by meatpackers, whose products have so far been safe."
Participants in the talks lodged a strong protest, noting,
"Violations of the import conditions have been discovered during
inspections of all boxes shipped by meatpackers, whose products had
been considered safe before that. It is not possible to protect the
lives and health of Japanese people without all-box inspections" or
"It is absolutely impermissible to reconsider the easing of the