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Cablegate: Media Reaction - Us-Iran Talks - Tokyo

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UNCLAS TOKYO 002401

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 - US-IRAN TALKS - TOKYO

LEAD STORIES: Wednesday morning's Tokyo Shimbun and
Mainichi front-paged press remarks Tuesday evening by
Prime Minister Abe, who said he would appoint a new
agriculture minister by week's end following the suicide
Monday of MAFF Minister Matsuoka.

1. "US, Iran Should Continue Talks" The business-oriented
Nihon Keizai editorialized (5/30): "The US and Iran held
their first formal talks in 27 years since they broke off
diplomatic relations. The ambassador-level talks will not
lead directly to improving bilateral ties, however, given
that the subject of discussion was limited to the
situation in Iraq. Nonetheless, the resumption of direct
dialogue between Tehran and Washington could serve as a
key first step to getting the chaos in Iraq under control
and easing international tensions in the Middle East. The
atmosphere in the nearly four-hour meeting, mediated by
Iraqi PM Maliki, was reported to be 'businesslike.'...
Confidence-building is not easy. It is, first and
foremost, important for each nation to accurately grasp
the intentions of the other and avoid mistaken judgments.
In this regard, continued direct formal talks between the
US and Iran are meaningful."

2. "Will Direct US-Iran Talks Make Progress?" An
editorial in the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri stated
(5/30): "...The US and Iran held their first formal talks
since 1980, when they broke off diplomatic relations. The
US and Iranian ambassadors to Baghdad discussed issues
limited to the situation in Iraq, and it would be overly
optimistic to expect much from the talks. Nonetheless,
every possible measure needs be taken to get the
situation in Iraq under control.... The possibility
exists that Iran may seek to play its 'Iraq card' in
extracting an international compromise over its nuclear
program."

SCHIEFFER

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