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

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RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3417
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4532
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 0242
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6902
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 002025

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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


(18) Poll: 270 candidates ready to run in this summer's Upper House
election

(19) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties (Nihon Keizai) 2

(20) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties (Mainichi) 3

(21) Majority of Japan War-Bereaved Association amenable to
unenshrinement of Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni, perhaps
affected by Emperor Showa's expression of "displeasure" 4

(22) Interview with Vice Defense Minister Moriya on North Korea:
Japan needs to obtain US confirmation of "nuclear umbrella" 5

(23) Peace and self-defense: 60th anniversary of Constitution;
Protecting US warships clashes with Article 9; US asks for
cooperation in dealing with DPRK missiles; Abe's effort to change
constitutional interpretation gaining momentum 5

(24) IPCC report specifies costs needed to cut CO2 emissions, giving
momentum to debate on global-warming countermeasures 7

(25) Japan, ASEAN reach agreement in principle to sign EPA: 90% of
tariffs to be abolished 8

(26) Wavering US policy-From the scene of security (Part 3): Across
the Pacific; Japan as outpost for US military to expand its
engagement in Asia 8

(Corrected copy) Yohei Kono should admit that the political decision
on "comfort women" was a mistake 9

ARTICLES:

(18) Poll: 270 candidates ready to run in this summer's Upper House
election

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Full)
May 4, 2007

The expectation is that unless the current regular Diet session is
extended, the official campaign for the 21st House of Councillors
election will begin on July 5 and the voting will take place on July
22. According to the survey by the Tokyo Shimbun as of May 3, 270
candidates are now ready to run, seeking the 121 seats up for grabs
in the July Upper House election. The 121 include 47
prefecture-level-constituency seats and proportional representation
seats. Both ruling and opposition parties will file their candidates
in almost all constituencies. All political parties began getting
ready to fight in the Upper House race soon after the April unified
local elections ended, electing new municipal assembly members who
will actively support the campaigning for the Upper House election.

The (121) seats not up for reelection include 58 held by the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), its coalition partner New Komeito,
and minor groups, and 63 held by the opposition bloc. The highlight
of the upcoming election is whether the ruling camp or the
opposition will secure a majority in the Upper House. In order to
get a majority, the ruling coalition needs to win at least 64 seats,
while the opposition needs 59. The ruling and opposition parties
will engage in fierce competition, setting low thresholds for
victory.

TOKYO 00002025 002 OF 011

The Upper House race will be the first major national election for
the Abe administration, which was inaugurated last September. Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, who has pushed ahead with constitutional and
education reforms, as well as reform of the civil servant system in
order to break away from the postwar regime, will receive the
judgment of the people. The main opposition party, Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan), has positioned the election as a
decisive battle for a change of government. Party head Ichiro
Ozawa's political skills are being tested.

The LDP will field its own candidates in 46 prefectural
constituencies, excluding Gifu. The party will sponsor one of the
postal rebels as a candidate in the Gifu constituency. The largest
opposition party is ready to endorse as its official candidates or
sponsor candidates for 42 prefectures, excluding Ishikawa, Shimane,
and Miyazaki. The party intends to wrap up the selection of
candidates and coordination possibly before the end of May.
Considering that 29 "single seats" up for grabs hold the key to
victory in the election, the LDP aims to win 20 seats, while
Minshuto wants to secure 15.

(19) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties (Nihon Keizai)

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
April 30, 2007

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote findings from the
last survey conducted in March.)

Q: Do you support the Abe cabinet?

Yes 53 (43)
No 37 (45)
Can't say (C/S) + don't know (D/K) 11 (12)

Q: Which political party do you support or like now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 43 (41)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 21 (18)
New Komeito (NK) 6 (4)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 4 (5)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 3 (2)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (1)
None 20 (25)
C/S+D/K 4 (4)

(Note) The total percentage does not become 100% in some cases due
to rounding.

Polling methodology: The survey was taken April 27-29 by Nikkei
Research Inc. over the telephone on a random digit dialing (RDD)
basis. For the survey, samples were chosen from among men and women
aged 20 and over across the nation. A total of 1,559 households with
one or more voters were sampled, and answers were obtained from 865
persons (55.5% ).

(20) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties (Mainichi)


TOKYO 00002025 003 OF 011


MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
April 30, 2007

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Do you support the Abe cabinet?

T P M F
Yes 43 (35) 42 44
No 33 (42) 40 28
Not interested 23 (22) 18 27


Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party

14 (20) 18 11
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership

15 (10) 20 11
Because there's a young, fresh image about the prime minister

46 (51) 37 52
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures
21 (17) 19 22

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party

11 (6) 11 10
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership

41 (53) 36 46
Because the prime minister is inexperienced, weak
13 (19) 11 15
Because I'm opposed to the prime minister's policies
32 (21) 36 27

Q: Which political party do you support?

T P M F
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
29 (27) 30 27
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto)
16 (14) 21 13
New Komeito (NK)
5 (5) 2 7
Japanese Communist Party (JCP)
2 (3) 1 3
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto)
1 (2) 1 1
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto)
1 (0) 1 0
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon)
-- (0) -- --
Other political parties

TOKYO 00002025 004 OF 011


1 (2) 2 1
None
42 (47) 38 46

Q: Which political party between the LDP and the DPJ would you like
to see win in this summer's election for the House of Councillors?

T P M F
LDP 38 38 39
DPJ 36 45 30
Other political parties 18 12 23

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5%. "--" denotes that no respondents
answered. "No answer" omitted. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey conducted March 24-25.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted April 28-29 over the
telephone with the aim of calling a total of 1,000 voters across the
nation on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis.
Answers were obtained from 1,085 persons.

(21) Majority of Japan War-Bereaved Association amenable to
unenshrinement of Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni, perhaps
affected by Emperor Showa's expression of "displeasure"

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
May 6, 2007

Takenori Noguchi

The Japan War-Bereaved Association, whose chair is Makoto Koga,
former secretary-general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), will hold a first study session at the Kudan Kaikan Hall in
Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on May 8 to discuss the question of separate
enshrinement of Class-A war criminals and other issues. A series of
revelations of the Emperor Showa's remarks and historical documents,
which have both showed that the Emperor Showa was displeased with
the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine, have
fueled the association's tilt toward allowing separate enshrinement.
At this point a majority of the study group favors separate
enshrinement. If the study sessions continue, it is expected that
the conclusion will be to countenance separate enshrinement.
Yasukuni Shrine has rejected separate enshrinement, but once the
association adopts a policy for separate enshrinement, the shrine
will be forced to make a decision on the matter.

Last July, former Imperial Household Grand Steward Tomohiko Tomita's
memos containing the Emperor Showa's remarks "Class A-war criminals
were enshrined.... Since then I have never visited Yasukuni Shrine"
were disclosed. Following it, as recently as this April, a diary
written by former Chamberlain to the Emperor Ryogo Urabe became
known. The diary backed up the Tomita memo, saying the reason why
the Emperor stopped visiting the shrine was "because the Emperor was
dissatisfied with the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at
Yasukuni." This revelation shook the association.

(22) Interview with Vice Defense Minister Moriya on North Korea:
Japan needs to obtain US confirmation of "nuclear umbrella"

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

TOKYO 00002025 005 OF 011

Interviewer: Tatsuya Fukumoto

Over the past 20 years Japan has prepared a variety of laws to meet
the changing security environment. The primary task facing Japan at
present is to rebuild the country into a "crisis-resistant state"
that can cope with such crises as massive terrorist attacks, big
earthquakes, and destructive activities by armed guerillas. Next,
Japan needs to establish a system enabling it to respond properly
under the framework of the alliance with the United States in the
event it is attacked by such means as ballistic missiles, suspicious
ships, or guerillas. Specifically, Japan and the US should work out
joint operation plans, and in addition, the two countries should
carry out joint drills, check the effectiveness of joint operation
plans, and revise them as the need arises. South Korea confirms
through joint drills with the US that it can properly cope with a
North Korean invasion. Japan also needs to do the same.

I think Japan needs to keep it in mind that when the US has to
concentrate its forces in the Middle East, as it is having a hard
time in Iraq, it is difficult for the US to conduct operations on
two fronts (namely, contingencies involving Japan and the Korean
Peninsula). Japan needs to make efforts to defend itself instead of
criticizing the US. Any country that depends on others from the
beginning is not viewed as a reliable country in the international
community.

The most important thing for Japan, a country that has the three
nonnuclear principles and that depends on the US for its nuclear
deterrent, is to make relations with the US reliable and its nuclear
deterrent feasible. To that end, Japan must elicit America's real
intentions about its nuclear weapons at a time when Japan and the US
carry out joint operation plans. If Japan can actually do so, Japan
can see whether its dependence on America's nuclear deterrent can be
kept in place as a policy.

Ahead of doing so, Japan has things to do, namely, building up
defense capability and put it into operation. In other words, Japan
must continue efforts to work out plans and carry out training.
Debate in Japan is still theoretical. We must examine even the three
nonnuclear principles in order to meet the needs of the times. For
example, one such principle is not to introduce any nuclear weapons
onto Japan's territory. One may say, "Introducing such weapons in
our territory is not so bad." But before saying so, I think it is
important for Japan to verify together with the US whether we can
keep in place the policy of depending on America's nuclear
deterrent.

(23) Peace and self-defense: 60th anniversary of Constitution;
Protecting US warships clashes with Article 9; US asks for
cooperation in dealing with DPRK missiles; Abe's effort to change
constitutional interpretation gaining momentum

MAINICHI (Top play) (Full)
May 5, 2007

A panel of experts to study the legal foundation for security -- a
group reporting to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe regarding a review of
the interpretation of the Constitution -- is scheduled to hold its
inaugural meeting on May 18. The panel is tasked with studying four
types of SDF activities that might infringe on Article 9 of the
Constitution with the aim of producing its conclusion by September.

TOKYO 00002025 006 OF 011


Based on their conclusion, Prime Minister Abe is expected to make a
political decision in the end. It has been 60 years since the
Constitution of Japan took effect. This article examines
developments concerning the peace and self-defense of Japan, which
are now at a major turning point.

Is the Maritime Self-Defense Force allowed to protect US warships on
the high seas?

The topic has repeatedly been discussed for over a half-century
since the SDF's establishment, suspecting that such an act
constitutes an exercise of the right to collective self-defense,
which is prohibited under the government's interpretation of the
Constitution. Coming up with an answer to this classic question has
been a pressing issue for the Japan-US alliance, which has been on
alert against North Korean missiles.

North Korea launched seven ballistic missiles toward the Sea of
Japan last July. Noticing signs of the North Korean missile launches
through its spy satellite, the US military immediately deployed the
USS Fitzgerald and Curtis Wilbur - Aegis equipped destroyers
integrated into a missile defense (MD) system - of the Seventh Fleet
to waters near Japan to monitor the North's moves. Carrying
high-performance radar capable of acquiring over 200 targets and
simultaneously attacking more than 10, they are powerful vessels.

They have a weak point, however. The radar's undivided attention in
one direction for a possible missile launch several hundred
kilometers away would leave the vessels largely defenseless against
threats from other directions. Approaching spy ships are
unnoticeable to the warships.

Under usual circumstances, US warships protect Aegis vessels. What
took place last July was a contingency. "We are here to defend
Japan. It is natural for MSDF vessels to defend US warships." This
reaction from the US military took Japan by surprise. Defending US
vessels might be an exercise of the right to collective defense.

"Until then, neither Japan nor the US envisaged such a case," a
senior Defense Ministry official noted. Needs resulting from the
Japan-US alliance clashed with the principle prescribed in Article
9.

Washington wondered why Japan, despite having the world's top
equipment, was not able to defend US warships. Washington was highly
alarmed by Japan's constitutional constraints that stood in the way
of the bilateral plan to complete the MD system in five year. The US
Defense Department conveyed the problem to Ambassador to Japan
Thomas Schieffer. In a series of behind-the-scenes talks with Japan,
Washington has urged Tokyo to allow the SDF to defend US Aegis
vessels as part of the MD system in national contingencies. A set of
reports has reached Prime Minister Abe as well.

Abe has put the matter at the top of the agenda for the expert
council tasked with studying the interpretation of Article 9. The
North Korean crisis has pushed the Abe administration toward a
review of the government's conventional interpretation of the
Constitution.

As far as military drills are concerned, the SDF and US forces in
Japan have been highly integrated. For instance, the two countries
conducted a joint exercise on the US aircraft carrier Abraham

TOKYO 00002025 007 OF 011


Lincoln when it navigated through the high seas off Kyushu and
Okinawa on March 21-23, 2006. The MSDF Aegis destroyer Kirishima
took the command of the entire drill. The scenario was for the
Kirishima to protect the Abraham Lincoln by taking air defense
command, issuing orders to the carrier-borne US fighters and for
launching missiles. The US Navy and Japan's MSDF share information
via the inter-computer data exchange system called Link 16, which
has been technically trouble-free. The Japan-US military alliance
has come this far against a backdrop of the ongoing constitutional
debate.

(24) IPCC report specifies costs needed to cut CO2 emissions, giving
momentum to debate on global-warming countermeasures

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

The (three) working groups of the United Nations' Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their fourth reports
yesterday. Chairman Pachauri commented: "The reports propose
specific countermeasures, and this will surely have a significant
impact on future international negotiations." The reports announced
yesterday offer a roadmap and specify the costs needed to cut
greenhouse gas emissions. The most noticeable point in the report is
the clarification of projected costs needed to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, given such crises facing the world as sharply increasing
natural disasters apparently caused by global warming.

70% cut in emissions possible by investing 1% of GDP

A study team of the National Institute for Environmental Studies and
other organizations made a tentative calculation of costs needed for
Japan to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and
released the findings this February: If Japan continually invested
the equivalent of about 1% of its gross domestic product (GDP) in
developing technologies to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2), the nation
would be able to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 70% by 2050.
Setting nearly 10,000 yen at the maximum as the total cost needed to
cut a ton of CO2 emissions, the report notes: "This figure is not
especially higher than that of other countries."

"For climatic stabilization, the world is required to halve CO2
emissions from the current level by 2050. Industrialized countries
need to cut such emissions by 60% to 80%." Based on this assumption,
the study group conducted studies and looked into the possibility of
whether Japan would be able to achieve a 70% reduction.

The panel envisioned various scenarios about Japanese society in
2050, for instance, a society in which priority is given to economic
and technological development (GDP growth per capita at 2% ;
population at 95 million) or a society with priority given to
regional economic growth and natural conservation (GDP growth per
capita at 1% ; population at 100 million). The panel then considered
what technologies should apply in each case.

As a result of case studies, the panel concluded that it would be
possible to meet the goal of a 70% cut if Japan invests mainly in
developing large-scale technologies to generate nuclear power and to
dump or store CO2 in the ground in an economic-development-oriented
society and chiefly in developing technologies to generate renewable
energy, such as biomass energy, in a regional development-oriented
society.

TOKYO 00002025 008 OF 011

The panel estimates the total sum of necessary investment funds in
2050 at 6.7 to 9.8 trillion yen annually, or about 1% of GDP. When
possible profits taken into consideration, such as cuts in cost due
to reduced oil demand, the actual total amount is calculated to be
0.7 to 1.8 trillion yen.

Mizuho Information Research Institute senior manager Hibino, a study
team member, said: "Some complain that it is overly expensive in
Japan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but it has been found that
it would be possible to reduce emissions at almost the same cost
cited in the IPCC report. It is imperative for Japan to take
countermeasures from a long-term point of view."

(25) Japan, ASEAN reach agreement in principle to sign EPA: 90% of
tariffs to be abolished

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
May 5, 2007

Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on May
4 held an economic ministerial meeting in Bandar Seri Begawan,
Brunei, and agreed in principle to liberalize trade in goods, a
central part of the economic partnership agreement (EPA), regarding
which talks are now underway. Once such an agreement is reached,
Japan will abolish 92% of tariffs on trade items in terms of import
value, and ASEAN will scrap 90% of tariffs in the same terms. Both
parties will decide on items subject to liberalization and sign an
EPA, which will also incorporate liberalization in investment and
services, in August with the aim of enacting it next year.

This will be Japan's first EPA with a regional association. The pact
is expected to move forward economic integration with ASEAN. Japan's
trade with ASEAN accounted for about 13% in 2006 in terms of value.
Tariffs will be removed over a period of 10 years once the pact is
enacted. Coordination is underway with the possibility of allowing
Vietnam, Cambodia, Burma and Laos - the least developed ASEAN
members - to extend the deadline up to five years.

Japan will designate 1% of its import amount as an exceptional area
and impose tariff caps on the remaining 7%. ASEAN is increasing its
call for further concessions. Chances are, therefore, the percentage
of items subject to tariff abolition may be increased from 92%.

If trade with ASEAN is liberalized, the current division of labor,
in which ASEAN members manufacture final products using basic parts
developed and produced in Japan and distribute them in the region,
will become tariff-free, enhancing the cost competitiveness of
Japanese manufacturers of such products as electronics and
automobiles. ASEAN hopes to see Japan expand investment in the
region.

(26) Wavering US policy-From the scene of security (Part 3): Across
the Pacific; Japan as outpost for US military to expand its
engagement in Asia

KANAGAWA SHIMBUN (Page 4) (Full)
March 29, 2007

Yuki Takahashi, Masao Ishio

In the State of Washington is a US Navy base. This US naval base is

TOKYO 00002025 009 OF 011


called Naval Air Station Whidhey Island, or NAS Whidhey Island for
short. In late February, NAS Whidhey Island briefed its neighbors on
a plan to replace aircraft based there.

NAS Whidhey Island keeps an eye on the Pacific Ocean, with P-3C
antisubmarine patrol planes currently stationed there. The US Navy
is planning to replace them with the P-8A, a jet plane equipped with
state-of-the-art surveillance functions. "The noise situation is
expected to change," says a US Navy officer of the base. "So," this
officer added, "we've got to explain the plan in detail to local
communities." P-8As may be deployed in rotation to Misawa or
Kadena.

Along with the planned realignment of US Forces Japan (USFJ), the US
military will now step up its functions on the Pacific front,
starting this year. The US Army's 1st Corps, also known as I Corps,
is currently headquartered at a base in Fort Lewis in Washington.
The I Corps will also move its headquarters. Its planned command
move to Camp Zama, a US Army base in Kanagawa Prefecture, is
expected to begin within the year.

"They also want to deepen their understanding of Asian societies and
cultures," says one US expert. Along with USFJ realignment, US
Forces Korea (USFK), which is now realigning its footprint in South
Korea, is also presumed to come under the Zama command of I Corps
after its right to command during emergencies is returned to the
South Korean forces.

"Let us create friendship across the Pacific," I Corps Commander
Dubick stressed. Commander Dubick was addressing Japanese and
American troops participating in an annual session of Japan-US joint
bilateral training exercises held in February this year at a Ground
Self-Defense Force Middle Army range in Hyogo Prefecture with I
Corps troops also participating. In the joint drills this time, the
GSDF and the US Army also carried out civil-military coordination
training for the first time in anticipation of public protection
during emergencies.

In recent years, the US military has been deepening its civil
engagement in Asia. In February, the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of
the US Navy's 7th Fleet based at Yokosuka, visited the Philippines,
where its crew was engaged in school repairs. "In the Asia-Pacific
region, there are a number of countries that have islands or long
coastlines. In the region, the Navy is best qualified to promote
peace through friendship." So saying, an official of the US Pacific
Fleet at its headquarters in Hawaii boasted of the US Navy's role.

Shackled by difficult problems in the Middle East, the United States
is reportedly prone to maintain its Asia strategy as is. However,
Pacific stability is becoming a matter of life or death for the
United States in its expanded trade with Asia. Above all, the
question of how to cope with China's military emergence in the
region is the biggest challenge to cope with for the present. The
United States wants to maintain its readiness and influence in the
Asia-Pacific region. The US military's logistical outposts in
Kanagawa Prefecture-such as Yokosuka, Zama, and Sagami Depot-will
inevitably weigh more than ever with the United States.

However, some people in the United States are warning Japan and the
United States against pushing ahead with only their bilateral
alliance. In February, former US Deputy Secretary of State Armitage
and his policy study group released a report on the Japan-US

TOKYO 00002025 010 OF 011


alliance. That report suggested the necessity of trilateral
cooperation between Japan, the United States, and China, while
urging China to become a "responsible stakeholder."

"The alliance between Japan and the United States is important,"
says Katy Oh, chief researcher at the Institute for Defense Analyses
(IDA), a US think tank. "But," she adds, "if they push for the
alliance too dramatically, neighbors could be put on edge." She also
suggested the need for Japan and the United States to give careful
explanations in the process of pushing for their alliance. In the
way ahead, Japan and the United States are going to rebuild their
alliance, with its foothold at US military bases in Kanagawa
Prefecture. The two countries, however, will likely be called to
heed a balance between their alliance in its future image and Asian
neighbors.

(Corrected copy) Yohei Kono should admit that the political
decision on "comfort women" was a mistake

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

By Nobuaki Hanaoka, guest editorial board member

Shinzo Abe's first visit to the United States as prime minister was
taken as a trip for him to make an "apology" for the comfort women
issue. We wonder why the person who made the prime minister play
such a humiliating role refuses to talk about his own political
responsibility. That person is House of Representatives Speaker
Yohei Kono.

It is widely known that the Kono Statement was issued by a political
decision based on the request by South Korean authorities, who
insisted that the bilateral dispute over history would be resolved
if Japan admitted there was "coercion," without confirming whether
the government had actually coerced foreign women (to become comfort
women).

The comfort-women resolution submitted to the US House of
Representatives by Congressman Mike Honda was drafted based on the
Kono Statement. Should the Congress adopt the resolution, the
Japan-US relations will be immeasurably damaged, even though the
resolution is nonbinding. We were amazed when Mike Honda described
the comfort women the "largest example of human trafficking in the
20th century." Since Honda is now known throughout the world, he
will without a doubt be reelected. We see this as an odious saga of
a politician who has placed priority on holding on to his seat in
the Congress no matter how much he slanders another country.

Because of Prime Minister Abe's visit, the situation has changed in
the United States. In order to prevent the resolution from being
adopted, however, Kono should admit that the political decision made
at that time was a mistake (but he doesn't necessarily have to
announce it). His actions would be complete if he stepped down from
the Lower House speaker's post and gave up his Diet seat. If so, the
US government's reaction would be completely changed. Kono would
then be able to leave his mark on history as a former LDP president
who saved the nation from a crisis.

Major European and US news media (and Japanese correspondents) show
a woeful lack of study. The Chinese and South Korean media think
that hurling abuse purposely is reporting "news." That's nonsense.

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Chinese and South Korean media do not issue newspapers, but they
publish "organ papers." Therefore, what we need to do is basically
ignore them.

I had no way to know or understand how terrible the media in
democratic European countries and the United States are. If you add
something about "Japan bashing," it sells. The western media lack
the capability to consider how "war and sex" were handled in their
own countries.

It is only natural to give serious consideration to the many women
who were forced into tragic situations during the war. However, many
correspondents do now know even the basic facts: There existed
legalized prostitution run by agents; soldiers paid money to the
comfort women; and since there was a hygienic safety problem, the
military for that reason oversaw the wartime brothels. This is the
basis for the worldwide scale "crisis in the media."

I have been a newspaper reporter for about some 30 years. I was
taught that writing articles based on the facts is a very basic rule
of news reporting. "Hunting down comfort women," "sexual slaves" and
the like were fictional productions. If the European and US media
come to realize that fact, they should issue "corrections." This is
also a basic principle for the media.

DONOVAN

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