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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 05/07/07

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1989/01 1270159
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2949
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 001989

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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 05/07/07


INDEX:

(1) "I believe in the Japan-US alliance," says Kyuma in Washington

(2) Japan desperate in 2+2 meeting to ease America's concerns over
Futenma relocation, information leak

(3) Japan-US dialogue lacks sense of urgency with gap not removed
over Iraq, DPRK

(4) Abe: "Additional action against North Korea may be considered"

(5) Abe agrees with Egyptian president to cooperate in promoting
Middle East peace process

(6) Nukaga suggests need to discuss whether to possess Tomahawk
missiles

(7) 1996 US government documents reveal plan to deploy 300 aircraft
to Futenma to deal with contingency on Korean Peninsula

(8) Kyuma reveals plan for study on relaxation of three-point arms
export ban, eyeing research and development for purposes other than
MD

(9) Ruling bloc eyes committee vote this week on Iraq legislation to
extend SDF mission

(10) UN chief expresses hope for SDF extension in Iraq

(11) Iraqi prime minister: ASDF activities will be become
unnecessary before end of the year

(12) Defense Minister Kyuma suggests plan to review Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law, envisioning possible expansion of SDF
operations

(13) Kyuma: Japan will study ways to allow SDF to contribute to
reconstruction in Afghanistan

(14) New Komeito president: Party does not agree to collective
self-defense 8

(15) Constitution turns 60 today; LDP considering two-stage
amendment; Article 9 left for later

(16) Japanese, Russian foreign ministers agree to cooperate on
energy development: Aso expresses concern about abolition of fish
catches quota

(17) ASEAN+3 reaches consensus on currency crisis measures: Foreign
currencies to be pooled

ARTICLES:

(1) "I believe in the Japan-US alliance," says Kyuma in Washington

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
May 4, 2007

Giving a speech in Washington on May 2, Defense Minister Kyuma
underscored, "Believe me, I have faith in the Japan-US alliance."


TOKYO 00001989 002 OF 011


Referring to his statement that the Iraq war was wrong receiving
criticism from the US, Kyuma pointed out: "Some of you may be
worried about my statement. However, you will see there is nothing
to be concerned about if you take a look at the history of my
activities over the past decade." He then enumerated his own
achievements made in strengthening the bilateral alliance, noting:
"Who has promoted the missile defense system? Who has called for
taking a second look at the Three Principles on Arms Exports? Who
has compiled a special law on the realignment of US forces in
Japan?" He then indicated a stance of continuing to offer candid
advice, saying: "A real friend is a friend who gives frank advice. I
would like you to understand my real intention."

(2) Japan desperate in 2+2 meeting to ease America's concerns over
Futenma relocation, information leak

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
May 3, 2007

Takuji Nakata, Washington

During the Japan-US Security Consultative Committee (2+2) meeting on
May 1, Japanese officials struggled to remove America's concerns
about Defense Minister Kyuma's remarks on the realignment plans for
the US Forces Japan (USFJ) and a Self-Defense Force (SDF) officer's
leak of information on the Aegis system, as US distrust in Japan is
growing.

On the relocation of the US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station in
Okinawa Prefecture, among other things, the governments of Japan and
the United States have now confirmed that no changes will be made to
the final report released in May of last year, but the tough task
for the Japanese government is how to persuade Okinawa Prefecture.

"I want to implement in any way the agreement reached in last May,"
Kyuma said at the outset of the 2+2 meeting, revealing his
enthusiasm to translate the final agreement on the Futenma
relocation into action. At one point Kyuma hinted at making changes
to the final report, and when the US reacted, Kyuma went as far as
to say, "Don't talk so big," but he now tried to quiet down the fuss
he caused.

The US also had strong concern about the leak of US military
information on the Aegis system. Japan and the US in effect agreed
on the conclusion of a general security of military information
agreement (GSOMIA), but this came in a way to dispel America's
concerns over the information leakage problem rather than to meet
the initial goal of Japan-US cooperation for the missile defense
(MD) system.

In the 2+2 meeting this time, Japan and the US appear to have
restored their basis for cooperation for now, but it seems tough for
Japan to undertake domestic coordination on concluding the GSOMIA,
even though Japan has virtually committed to concluding it.

On Futenma relocation, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima on May 2
reiterated in a firm tone that unless the central government is
willing to revise the Japan-US agreement, he will not allow any
environment impact assessment.

On the GSOMIA, too, objections are likely to be raised by opposition
parties in the process of preparing a domestic law containing
punishments for leaking official secrets.

TOKYO 00001989 003 OF 011

(3) Japan-US dialogue lacks sense of urgency with gap not removed
over Iraq, DPRK

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
May 3, 2007

Hayami Ichikawa, Washington

Confidence-building and reform of the alliance -- these two elements
were the key to the recent Japan-US summit and the recent Japan-US
Security Consultative Committee (2+2) meeting. Japan and the United
States reaffirmed the bilateral alliance as they initially planned
and highlighted that as the results of the bilateral summit, but the
series of the recent bilateral dialogues appeared to be lacking a
sense of urgency when it comes to what to do about Iraq and North
Korea.

"The alliance between Japan and the United States has never been
stronger," President Bush said. This was a generous tribute paid by
President Bush to Prime Minister Abe. This tribute came presumably
because of the "souvenirs" prepared by the Abe administration, like
a bill aimed at extending the deployment of Self-Defense Forces
(SDF) troops to Iraq, a bill relating to the US military realignment
plans, and the establishment of a council of experts to discuss the
question of the right to collective self-defense, according to a
government official.

In dining with Abe, Bush reportedly said: "The most important
question at present is which to choose as our dessert -- ice cream
or apple pie." This remark got a great laugh.

The most important matter for the US on the diplomatic front is how
to resolve the quagmire of Iraq. Japan has continued to back
America's action until now. But even in the recent Japan-US foreign
ministerial session and the 2+2 meeting, Iraq was not discussed.

For the Abe administration, one major diplomatic goal is how to
resolve the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea and
the issue of that country's nuclear programs, but it is still
unclear whether Japan and the US will be able to work together to
resolve them. On the North Korean nuclear issue, Bush and Secretary
of State Rice said, "Our patience is not unlimited," going along
with Japan. Meanwhile, the US Department of State's annual report on
global terrorism released around when the bilateral dialogues were
held was proof of America's pragmatic policy with the descriptions
about North Korea reduced. Japan, however, did not make any move to
discern the real intentions of the US.

(4) Abe: "Additional action against North Korea may be considered"

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
May 3, 2007

Naoto Maeda, Cairo

At a press briefing at a hotel in Cairo City on the evening of May 2
(night of that day, Japan time), Prime Minister Abe, asked about
North Korea policy, referred to the possibility of taking additional
sanctions if there is no progress in North Korea's response. Abe
said: "Bearing in mind the fact that North Korea has failed to
implement what it should implement in the initial stage (as agreed
on the six-party talks), we must consider additional sanctions

TOKYO 00001989 004 OF 011


against that country depending on the circumstances. If the
abduction issue does not make progress, we must consider a number of
sanctions."

(5) Abe agrees with Egyptian president to cooperate in promoting
Middle East peace process

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
May 3, 2007

Cairo, Kanai

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, currently visiting the Middle East,
arrived in Egypt and met with President Mubarak on the morning of
May 2, local time. The two agreed that the two countries should step
up their cooperation to bring about peace in the Middle East.

Prime Minister Abe told Mubarak: "Japan would like to enhance
partnership with Egypt, which is a strategic hub for the Middle East
and Africa." President Mubarak replied: "We want to cooperate in
that direction."

Abe asked Mubarak to demonstrate his leadership further to stabilize
the security situation in Iraq. In response, the president said: "Of
course, I will try to do so, but what is needed is that the Iraqi
people strengthen their capability to govern the country."

After the summit, both released a joint statement proposing that the
two countries would (1) accelerate efforts to establish a
Japan-Egypt science and technology university and (2) hold a
Japan-Egypt dialogue forum in Alexandria, Egypt, in November, in
order for the two countries to deepen their mutual understanding.

This is the first prime ministerial visit to Egypt since Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visit in May 2003. Abe is scheduled to
arrive at Haneda Airport this evening.

(6) Nukaga suggests need to discuss whether to possess Tomahawk
missiles

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
May 3, 2007

Yoshiyuki Komurata, Washington

Former Defense Agency Director-General Fukushiro Nukaga, now
visiting the United States, mentioned the need to have the
capability to attack an enemy base in preparation against
ballistic-missile attacks in a speech on May 1. Nukaga said: "We
should debate the question of whether we need to possess
precision-guided weapons like Tomahawk cruise missiles and reach a
conclusion."

Nukaga said that the ballistic missile defense (BMD) system is
"highly reliable," but he added: "Considering cases of being
attacked repeatedly by a number of ballistic missiles, I think we
must study whether the defense system solely dependent on the BMD
system will be perfect."

(7) 1996 US government documents reveal plan to deploy 300 aircraft
to Futenma to deal with contingency on Korean Peninsula

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Excerpts)

TOKYO 00001989 005 OF 011


May 4, 2007

The US military's plan compiled in 1996 to use Futenma Air Station
(Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture) to deal with contingencies on the
Korean Peninsula and other areas became clear yesterday through US
government documents obtained by Kyodo News Service. The plan
depicts a blueprint to carry out operations with a total of 300
aircraft: 70 KC130 air-tankers and CH53E transport helicopters that
are at the base on a regular basis, plus 230 airplanes that would be
deployed to the base in stages. The plan shows that Futenma Air
Station is the "frontline sally port" in Asia, according to military
analyst Kensuke Ebata.

The plan describes the nature of the envisaged Futenma replacement
facility as the base to launch aircraft to deal with conflicts on
the Korean Peninsula that would be open to UN forces, in addition to
the US military. The substitute facility planned for the coastline
of Camp Schwab (Nago City) is likely to play a similar military role
in time of a contingency in accordance with an agreement reached
between Tokyo and Washington last year.

According to a US military memorandum dated January 23, 1996,
shortly before full-fledged Japan-US talks on the reversion of
Futenma Air Station in the wake of the 1995 schoolgirl rape
incident, the First Marine Aircraft Wing prepared briefing documents
on the functions of Futenma Air Station for (then) Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense Kurt Campbell.

SIPDIS

The Aircraft Wing in Okinawa explained to Campbell that 300 aircraft
would use Futenma in time of a contingency. The documents also
noted: (1) 71 aircraft would be deployed at the base in peacetime,
(2) in time of a contingency, an additional 142 aircraft would be
deployed in stages, including CH53E transport helicopters, CH46Es
and KC130s, and (3) also, to deal with escalated battles, 87 planes,
including AH1W attack helicopters, would be deployed additionally.

Although the means of transporting additional military aircraft from
Futenma to the Korean Peninsula are not specified, some military
experts think large transport aircraft can be used. According to the
documents, the US military plans to deploy 90 aircraft at Futenma at
a peak time.

(8) Kyuma reveals plan for study on relaxation of three-point arms
export ban, eyeing research and development for purposes other than
MD

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
May 4, 2007

Igarashi, Washington

Delivering a speech in Washington on the afternoon of May 2, local
time, Defense Minister Kyuma revealed that Japan would launch a
full-scale discussion on the relaxation of the nation's three
principles restricting arms exports. He said:

"Now that we are engaged in joint research and development of
weapons between Japan and the United States, it might be necessary
to reconsider future options for the three principles."

In a statement issued by the chief cabinet secretary in December
2004, the Japanese government specified that Japan would place
weapons developed and produced by Japan and the US for missile

TOKYO 00001989 006 OF 011


defense (MD) outside the application of the three principles. The
US, however, has been promoting research on high-tech defense
equipment, such as a next-generation Aegis vessel. Given this, some
observers take the view that the defense minister has judged it
necessary to also make an exception in the case of joint development
and development for other purposes than MD.

Kyuma added: "We will continue to look into each case, but
developing defense equipment costs a lot of money. There are some
parts that need joint development and research because of difficulty
for a single country alone." He thus indicated that Japan would
study its possible participation in multinational joint research and
development.

(9) Ruling bloc eyes committee vote this week on Iraq legislation to
extend SDF mission

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
May 6, 2007

Once Diet deliberations resume next week, the ruling coalition
intends to take a vote on a bill amending the Iraq Reconstruction
Support Special Measures Law at a Lower House special committee by
May 11. Meanwhile, the major opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party
of Japan) has introduced its own bill to block the ruling
coalition's plan to extend the Self-Defense Forces' mission in Iraq.
Stormy developments might unfold in the Diet.

The Iraq legislation for extending the SDF mission for two years
from the end of July is the government's top priority in the ongoing
Diet session, because it is regarded in a way as "proof" of the
Japan-US alliance. The ruling coalition plans to take a vote on it
ahead of other bills, with a Liberal Democratic Party executive
saying, "Given Minshuto's bill to repeal the legislation,
contentious points are clear. All we need to do is take a vote on
the bill without making a fuss."

The ruling coalition wants to take a vote quickly, given mounting
important bills with an end to the current Diet session approaching.
They plan to have Lower House approval of three education related
bills in mid-May and the bills reforming the Social Insurance Agency
and the National Civil Service Law by the end of May.

Committee deliberations on the Iraq legislation, the education
reform bills, and the bill amending the National Civil Service Law
require the attendance of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki.
They also require coordination of timetables for cabinet ministers
making replies in committee sessions. The ruling camp might be
forced to narrow down priority bills.

(10) UN chief expresses hope for SDF extension in Iraq

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
May 5, 2007

SHARM EL SHEIKH-Foreign Minister Taro Aso met with Ban Ki Moon,
secretary general of the United Nations, in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt,

SIPDIS
on the afternoon of May 4 (on the evening of the same day, Japan
time).

In the meeting, UN Secretary General Ban highly appreciated Aso for
Japan's assistance to Iraq's reconstruction. "We want Japan to
continue its contribution as long as possible with its deployment of

TOKYO 00001989 007 OF 011


Self-Defense Forces personnel," Ban said to Aso. With this, he
expressed hope for extending the Air Self-Defense Force's airlift
mission from Kuwait to Iraq.

Ban as UN secretary general met with Aso for the first time. The
government has already presented a bill to the Diet at its current
session to revise the Iraq Special Measures Law. "I thank the United
Nations for its appreciation," Aso told Ban.

In addition, Ban expressed his expectations for Japan's support of
the United Nations' efforts to reform its secretariat, including its
department of peacekeeping operations, and for the issue of Darfur
in the Sudan. Ban also asked for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's
attendance at a UN General Assembly session to be held in
September.

(11) Iraqi prime minister: ASDF activities will be become
unnecessary before end of the year

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
May 6, 2007

Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt, Kyodo

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki indicated on May 4 that demand
for the Air Self-Defense Force's airlift operations in Iraq would
not last long, saying: "The presence of the Japanese troops would
become unnecessary by the end of this year." The Iraq prime minister
revealed this view in an interview with Kyodo News Service in the
Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Maliki also announced a
plan to seek reconstruction assistance by Japanese civilians who can
make use of their experience and technology.

Maliki's remarks clearly exposed a difference in perceptions on
assistance between the Japanese government and Iraq.

(12) Defense Minister Kyuma suggests plan to review Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law, envisioning possible expansion of SDF
operations

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
May 6, 2007

Yoshifumi Sugita, Brussels

Defense Minister Kyuma held a meeting with accompanying reporters at
a hotel in Brussels on the night of May 4 (dawn of May 5, Japan
time). Envisioning a possible expansion of the Self-Defense Forces
(SDF) operations with the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law set to
expire in coming November, he indicated a plan to establish a senior
staff council of relevant senior officials intended to discuss how
to conduct peacekeeping operations so as to review that law and
create a new law.

Kyuma said: "I want to have an internal discussion in the ministry
as to whether to extend or repeal that law or whether another
operation will be started." "If Japan engages in such activities as
transporting members of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in
addition to refueling now provided in the Indian Ocean, we must
study what to do about the existing law. The aim of that law is to
back America's war of self-defense. That law is not intended in
legal terms to help Iraq to reconstruct itself," Kyuma added.


TOKYO 00001989 008 OF 011


The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law has served as the basis for
the SDF to provide logistical support and the like for operations in
Afghanistan the US and other countries have conducted since the
terrorist attacks in the US in 2001. The government, however, has
limited the SDF's logistical support to refueling by Maritime
Self-Defense Force (MSDF) ships in the Indian Ocean to US, British
and other countries' forces, considering the local security
situation.

Kyuma's remarks imply that Japan will consider expanding the SDF's
operations so that Japan will engage in reconstruction assistance in
Afghanistan. The senior staff council is expected to be headed by
the defense minister and meet once a month.

(13) Kyuma: Japan will study ways to allow SDF to contribute to
reconstruction in Afghanistan

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
May 5, 2007

Yoshifumi Sugita, Brussels

Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma held talks with North Atlantic Treaty
Organization Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels on
the afternoon of May 4 (late hours of May 4, Japan time). As a
result, the two leaders reached an agreement to promote assistance
for the reconstruction of Afghanistan. After the meeting, Kyuma told
a press conference: "We would like to conduct discussions in the
Diet on what kind of assistance the Self-Defense Forces would be
able to provide, including transporting civilians." In response, de
Hoop Scheffer said, "I hope Japan will extend cooperation in any way
possible."

The United States and other countries are conducting mop-up
operations against terrorists in Afghanistan. Japan has been
providing fuel to vessels of the United States and other countries
in the Indian Ocean under the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.

Kyuma's comment is regarded as Japan's plan to search for ways for
allowing the SDF to contribute to reconstruction assistance.

(14) New Komeito president: Party does not agree to collective
self-defense

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
May 3, 2007

New Komeito President Akihiro Ota said in a street-corner speech in
Tokyo yesterday: "Although our party does not deny the necessity for
specific case studies regarding gray areas, it naturally does not
allow the use of the right to collective self-defense, while calling
for keeping Article 9, Paragraphs 1 and 2, in the Constitution
intact." He made this remark in connection with an expert panel
recently established to look into the partial allowance of
collective self-defense, which is prohibited under the government's
interpretation of the Constitution.

Ota stressed that he had already told Prime Minister Abe: "(Panel
members) should not discuss the matter with the intention of
gradually allowing collective self-defense in a gray area," adding
that they have agreed on this view.

(15) Constitution turns 60 today; LDP considering two-stage

TOKYO 00001989 009 OF 011


amendment; Article 9 left for later

TOKYO (Top play) (Abridged)
May 3, 2007

A national referendum bill is now expected to get through the Diet
about the middle of this month, and the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party yesterday began to study a two-stage amendment of the
Constitution. The first stage is to hold a national referendum on
whether to constitutionalize environmental rights and privacy rights
that can easily get approval not only from the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) and the New Komeito, the LDP's
coalition partner, but also from the general public. Article 9 will
be left until later.

The bill says the Diet will initiate amendments to relevant matters
and will then put them to a national referendum. Meanwhile, a total
of 44.5% were negative about amending Article 9 in a Kyodo News
poll conducted in mid-April, with only 26.0% affirmative.

Based on this way of initiating amendments, and in response to the
trends of public opinion, one LDP member says the LDP should first
propose initiating amendments that are easily acceptable to the
people so that the general public will get used to national
referendums. Another LDP lawmaker insists that the LDP should first
propose amendments that other parties cannot oppose and that Article
9 should be amended later.

The Diet is scheduled to set up a constitutional review panel in
both chambers after this July's election for the House of
Councillors. The LDP will outline draft amendments to the
Constitution in the Diet panels.

The parliamentary constitutional panels are to study constitutional
affairs for a period of three years until the national referendum
law comes into effect. However, the LDP deemed it possible to
outline prospective amendments. The LDP would like to push ahead
with discussions based on a final report worked out in April 2005 by
the House of Councillors Research Commission on the Constitution.
The review panel will be set up both in the House of Representatives
and in the House of Councillors, so the two panels will coordinate
with each other for discussions.

Commentary: LDP preparing to initiate amendments

The LDP has now begun to study revising the Constitution in two
stages. This move is aimed at reading the LDP to amend the
Constitution at once if the Diet can initiate amendments three years
after the national referendum law comes into effect.

The Diet is expected to gear up for amendments to the Constitution
if the national referendum legislation gets through the Diet.
Concerning this move, a New Komeito executive has denied the
possibility of instantaneous amendments, saying: "The Diet cannot
initiate amendments for at least three years. The Constitution will
not be amended at once. That's a matter for the future."

However, the LDP will get everything ready to revise the
Constitution. "We will not take it easy for three years," says one
LDP lawmaker who experienced a cabinet ministerial post.

The LDP undoubtedly positions the national referendum legislation as
a big step forward toward revising the Constitution and takes this

TOKYO 00001989 010 OF 011


as an opportunity to move toward constitutional revision.

(16) Japanese, Russian foreign ministers agree to cooperate on
energy development: Aso expresses concern about abolition of fish
catches quota

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
May 4, 2007

Foreign Minister Aso on the afternoon of May 3 (evening of the same
day, Japan time) met with his counterpart Lavrov at the Russian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Both agreed that Japan and Russia would
cooperate on development of energy in Russia's Far East and East
Siberia regions. Japan will provide technology cooperation on such
areas as development of liquefied natural gas and the refining of
oil. They also reaffirmed that both countries would promote talks on
the signing of a nuclear power agreement concerning nuclear
nonproliferation.

Aso and Lavrov also agreed to launch an expert panel to discuss a
possible disaster-prevention cooperation program and the
conservation and usage of the ecosystem in areas near the Northern
Territories. They also decided to hold a summit between Prime
Minister Abe and President Putin on the sidelines of the G-8 Summit
to be held in Hailigendamm, Germany, in June.

Aso expressed concern about President Putin's April 26
state-of-the-nation address, which indicated a policy of allocating
fish catches quotas to domestic companies by abolishing the practice
of allocating such to foreign countries. He noted: "If a situation
in which Japanese fishermen cannot operate in Russian waters occurs,
it could cause a major problem. Japan has a strong interest in the
matter." In response, Lavrov said, "The fisheries agreement between
the governments of Japan and Russia is part of Russia's federal
legislation. I expect the accord to be implemented."

Regarding the Northern Territories issue, Aso once again conveyed to
the Russian side Japan's basic position that Japan has sovereignty
over Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group of islets
and that it will not conclude a peace treaty with Russia until the
issue of the attribution of the four islands is settled. Aso and
Lavrov agreed to continue talks in order to find a settlement that
both Japan and Russia find acceptable. However, no specific progress
has been made. They decided to hold a bilateral
vice-foreign-ministerial-level strategic dialogue on May 29 to
discuss such issues as the territories.

(17) ASEAN+3 reaches consensus on currency crisis measures: Foreign
currencies to be pooled

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
May 6, 2007

A foreign ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), and Japan, China and South Korea (ASEAN+3) was held
in Kyoto on May 5. Participants agreed to establish a new system of
putting up foreign currencies for member nations to use in the event
of a currency crisis. Under the system, each country would conclude
multilateral accords and disburse portions of foreign currencies to
be held in one place. The aim is to enable a quick response in the
event of a crisis. Currency cooperation in Asia will thus enter a
new stage ten years after the currency crisis of 1997.


TOKYO 00001989 011 OF 011


Under the system agreed upon, when the value of a certain country's
currency plummets, it can borrow foreign currencies, such as US
dollars, from the reserves to carry out price-bolstering purchases
of its currency. Member nations will consider the specifics of the
system, such as eligible recipients of foreign reserves and
disbursement quotas allocated to each country, over the next several
years.

According to the joint statement released after the meeting, each
recipient country will set a policy of managing the foreign
currencies it borrowed. The system is likely to start off as a loose
framework.

Currency cooperation in Asia is at the moment based on bilateral
agreements. The proposed system is based on the Chiang Mai
Initiative, which was agreed upon at the ASEAN+3 foreign ministerial
meeting held in 2000 following the 1997 Asian currency crisis. At
present, there are 16 bilateral agreements among eight countries.
The amount of foreign currency available for lending totals
approximately 9 trillion yen. All 13 member nations, including
countries that have not yet signed bilateral agreements, will likely
join the new multilateral agreement.

DONOVAN

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New IPCC Report: ‘Unprecedented Changes’ Needed To Limit Global Warming

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require “far-reaching and unprecedented changes,” such as ditching coal for electricity to slash carbon emissions, says a special report that finds some of the actions needed are already under way, but the world must move faster… 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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Sulawesi Quake, Tsunami: Aid Response Begins

Oxfam and its local partners are standing by to deploy emergency staff and resources to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, as an estimated 1.5 million people are thought to be affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit on Friday. More>>

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Decriminalising Same-Sex Relationships: UN Rights Chief Applauds Indian Decision

“This is a great day for India and for all those who believe in the universality of human rights," Bachelet said. "With this landmark decision, the Indian Supreme Court has taken a big step forward for freedom and equality...” More>>

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