Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/11/07

DE RUEHKO #2611/01 1620405
P 110405Z JUN 07





E.O. 12958: N/A
(1) Prime Minister's schedule

(2) Poll: 75 percent view social security as important in House of
Councillors election

(3) Main points of Prime Minister Abe's statement on G-8 summit

(4) China will "consider" Japan's proposal for halving
greenhouse-gas emissions

(5) Isolation formula, effective during Okinawa Summit, to be used
for the Toya Summit G-8

(6) Chinese president may visit Japan next spring

(7) Lee Teng-hui's press conference before his departure from Japan

(8) US Defense Department notifies Congress of decision to sell
SM-3s for MD to Japan

(9) Government to announce support for cluster bomb treaty

(10) Japan, Russia finding it difficult to compromise on Northern

(11) Government to start talks with US on easing age limit for US
beef imports after announcement of audit results

(1)Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
-- Prime Minister's schedule, 7 & 8

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 9, 2007

June 7
Met with Russian President Putin at Kur Haus in Heiligendamm,
Attended a working dinner with the G-8 leaders. Stayed at Grand
Hotel Kempinski.

June 8
Attended a meeting with leaders of African countries. Photo shoot
with them.
Attended a working lunch with leaders of newly emerging and African
countries at Kur Haus.
Met with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Afterwards, held a press
briefing at the Sub-Media Center. Met with UN Secretary-General Ban
Ki Moon at Kur Haus.

-- Prime Minister's schedule, 8 & 9

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 10, 2007

June 8

TOKYO 00002611 002 OF 010

Left Laage Airport in Rostock aboard a government plane. Refueling
at Frankfurt.

June 9(Japan time)
Arrived at Haneda Airport.
Reported on return home at the Imperial Palace.
Dined with his wife, Akie, and others at a French restaurant at
Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.
Arrived at Kantei residence.

(2) Poll: 75 percent view social security as important in House of
Councillors election

TOKYO (Page 1) (Full)
June 10, 2007

The Japan Polling Organization conducted a face-to-face public
opinion survey on June 2-3 to probe public attitudes on the upcoming
House of Councillors election, which is expected to be set for July
22. In the survey, respondents were asked to pick one or more points
at issue for the election. In response to this question, a total of
75 percent picked "social security," such as pensions and
healthcare, up 23 percentage points from a survey conducted in
December last year, followed by "economy, employment, social divide"
at 39 percent. In the wake of the Social Insurance Agency's pension
record-keeping flaws, the pension issue is expected to become a
major point at issue in the election. "Constitutional revision" was
at 19 percent, and "political ethics" at 3 percent.

Another focus of the forthcoming election for the House of
Councillors is on the total number of seats for the ruling
coalition, including those not up for the election. In this respect,
the survey this time asked respondents if they would like the ruling
coalition to lose its majority of the seats in the upper chamber. In
response to this question, 47 percent answered "yes," with 44
percent saying "no." As seen from the figures, the proportion of
those who would like the ruling parties to lose their majority
slightly topped that of those who would like the ruling coalition to
retain its majority, while "no" topped "yes" in the December survey.
Respondents were also asked what they thought the ruling coalition
should do if it loses its majority in the upper chamber. To this
question, a total of 31 percent preferred to "dissolve the House of
Representatives," topping all other answers. Among other answers, 22
percent said the ruling coalition should "coordinate policies with
the opposition parties," with 21 percent saying the ruling coalition
should "change its governing scheme" and 19 percent choosing to
"replace the prime minister." The figures show that the nation's
voting population prefers to show their will by casting their

In addition, a total of 90 percent answered "yes" when asked whether
they would go to the polls for the election. The figure shows that
the general public is highly interested in the upcoming election, as
it is almost on a par with the figure in a survey conducted in May
2001 during the "Koizumi boom."

TOKYO 00002611 003 OF 010

In the survey, respondents were also asked which political party or
which political party's candidate they would like to vote for in the
election. To this question, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
stood at 37 percent, down 4 points from last December's survey. The
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) was at 22
percent, down 2 points. New Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner,
was at 4 percent. Independent candidates accounted for 4 percent.
The Japanese Communist Party was at 3 percent, and the Social
Democratic Party at 1 percent. "None" accounted for 19 percent.

When it comes to the voting behavior of those who support a specific
political party, the survey found that 51 percent of them have voted
for a political party differing from the one they usually support.
The figure shows that the public would vote for a political party
that they do not usually supprt, depending on the circumstances at
the time, such as points at issue and political situations. "No"
accounted for 48 percent.

Among floating voters with no particular party affiliation, 39
percent answered that they used to support a specific political
party in the past but do not support any political party now, with
58 percent saying they have never supported any political party. The
survey also asked them why they have no particular political party
to support. To this question, a total of 67 percent pointed to the
lack of attractiveness in politics or political parties, saying
there is no trustworthy political party, nothing can be expected of
politics itself, or they cannot support any political party's

Respondents were further asked what they would consider when they
make up their mind to go to the polls. In response, a total of 51
percent said that is because voting is a right and an obligation,
with 18 percent saying there is a candidate or a political party to
vote for.

Polling methodology: For the survey, a total of 3,000 persons were
sampled out of males and females aged 20 and over at 250 locations
throughout the country on a stratified two-stage random-sampling
basis, so as to epitomize the nation's voting population of more
than a 100 million. The survey was conducted over a period of two
days, June 2-3, on a face-to-face interview basis. Answers were
obtained from 1,858 persons, excluding those who could not be
interviewed because of their having moved away or being on a trip,
or for other reasons. The retrieval rate was 61.9 percent. In the
breakdown of respondents, males accounted for 48.0 percent, and
females 52.0 percent.

(3) Main points of Prime Minister Abe's statement on G-8 summit

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 9, 2007

The following are the main points of a press conference Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe held after the Group of Eight summit.

Climate change

I feel a sense of fulfillment that Japan's proposal was included in
the summit statements and I was able to greatly contribute to the
discussion at the summit and its achievements. Developing countries'

TOKYO 00002611 004 OF 010

leaders expressed strong expectations for a funding mechanism. In
order to achieve the goal of the Kyoto Protocol, I want to call for
a 1 kg reduction of CO2 per person per day.

I want to show the world Japan's magnificent nature from Lake Toya
next year. Japan as a national commitment to the environment will
take up climate change as a main discussion issue at the next G-8
summit. The achievements of Heiligendamm will become an important
base for next year's summit. I would like to host an
environment-friendly G-8 summit. Japan has the most advanced
energy-conservation and environmental technologies in the world. I
want to showcase those technologies and know-how.

Japan-China relations

We will accelerate negotiations with China on the dispute over
exploration rights in the East China Sea gas fields with an eye on
this fall. President Hu Jintao and I have reached an agreement that
we will order our governments to look into ideas that would be
acceptable. Rice exports from Japan will become a symbol of progress
in a reciprocal relationship between Japan and China.

North Korea

I led a discussion on North Korean issues. North Korea cannot be
allowed to possess nuclear weapons. The issue of North Korea's
abductions of Japanese nationals, including a 13-year-old girl, is
an unforgivable national crime. The chairman's summary included the
abduction issue, securing understanding and support from the leaders
of G-8 member countries. I would like to deal with this issue with
iron determination, while cooperating with the international

(4) China will "consider" Japan's proposal for halving
greenhouse-gas emissions

ASAHI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
June 9, 2007

Kentaro Kurihara, Heiligendamm, Germany

Prime Minister Abe met with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the
afternoon of June 8 (that night, Japan time). According to an
account by the Japanese side, Abe explained Japan's proposal for
halving greenhouse-gas emissions by 2050. In response, Hu told Abe:
"We will seriously consider Japan's proposal. We'd like to step up

It is expected that the process of creating a post-Kyoto Protocol
framework will make a certain degree of progress as the
second-largest emitter after the United States, China, announced
that "it will seriously consider it."

On former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui's visit to Japan, Hu
noted, "The political basis for the maintenance of Japan-China
relations lies in efforts to properly resolve the issues of history
and Taiwan." In response, Abe stressed: "Japan stands firm (on the
one-China policy). There's no change in this position." Referring to
North Korean issues, Abe stated, "If the abduction issue makes
headway, we are ready to make efforts with sincerity to resolve the

TOKYO 00002611 005 OF 010

issues, including a settlement on the past." Abe invited Hu to visit
to Japan around next spring.

At a press briefing after the meeting, Abe emphasized, "Cooperation
between Japan and China in the environmental area would benefit the
peoples of the two countries and the region." "I'd like to rally
cooperation from such major emitters as the US, China, and India,"
he said, thus indicating his intention to work on those major
emitters to participate in (a post-Kyoto Protocol framework).

(5) Isolation formula, effective during Okinawa Summit, to be used
for the Toya Summit G-8

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 10, 2007

In the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in Japan next year, the
government plans to set up a press center for domestic and foreign
press corps in Rusutsu Village, about 20 minutes by car from Lake
Toya. This is the "retreat formula" adopted at the Okinawa Summit in
July 2000, in which ensuring security was the primary concern for
the Japanese government. Under this formula, the G-8 summit was held
in Nago City, while the dinner party for the leaders took place in
Naha. Additionally, the Bankoku ShinryouKan, the venue for the
summit, and the hotels where the G-8 leaders stayed, were scattered
along the coastline.

The National Police Agency (NPA) mobilized about 20,000 police
officers and thousands of cars from all over the country. The agency
conducted traffic control at main roads and thorough road
inspections in areas near the summit venue. Mobilizing about 100
patrol ships and about 20 airplanes, the Japan Coast Guard also
carried out the largest-scale ever sea patrol operations. As a
result, there was no major confusion during the session.

The NPA has already started preparations for the Toya Summit, such
as transferring senior officials engaged in guarding in the Okinawa
Summit to the Hokkaido Prefectural Police Headquarters in the
personnel actions this May.

(6) Chinese president may visit Japan next spring

SANKEI (page 1) (Full)
June 9, 2007

Hideyuki Hasegawa, Heiligendamm

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe met on the afternoon of June 8 on the
sidelines of the Group of Eight summit (Heiligendamm Summit) with
Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Hu told Abe: "I want to visit Japan at an appropriate time." Abe
then responded: "I would like you to come to Japan by next spring."
He also explained Japan's proposal to halve greenhouse gas emissions
by 2050. Hu stated: "China will seriously consider Japan's proposal
and strengthen cooperation."

After the meeting, Abe told reporters: "Japan wants to step up
cooperation (with China)."

TOKYO 00002611 006 OF 010

In the meantime, Hu also told Abe: "Appropriately dealing with the
issues of history and Taiwan is the political basis for maintaining
Japan-China relations. I expect Japan will handle relevant issues
appropriately." Regarding the Taiwan issue in particular Hu said: "I
hope Japan will implement concrete policy measures while keeping its
hitherto position." He appears to have sought to constrain Tokyo
about its allowance of former Taiwan President Lee Teng-hui to visit

(7) Lee Teng-hui's press conference before his departure from Japan

SANKEI (Page 5) (Slightly abridged)
June 10, 2007

The following were questions and answers exchanged between former
Taiwanese President Lee Teng-hui and reporters at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan.

-- Which party do you back in the next presidential election?

"As a leader of the Kuomintang, I turned Taiwan into a democratic
country. I take pride in that. But in the eyes of the Kuomintang, I
was considered a traitor, so I left the Kuomintang with grace. I now
observe political developments in Taiwan completely free from any
political inclination. Who will become president is decided by the
people not by me."

-- What impact of your visit to Yasukuni Shrine do you think will
have on Japan-China relations?

"I wonder what was the beginning of the so-called Yasukuni Shrine
issue. I think it is necessary to think of that point first. My
understanding is that the issue was invented as a result of mainland
China and Korea (implying North and South Korea) both having failed
to settle their own problems. Japan, however, was too weak to deal
with it politically. It's unreasonable for foreign governments to
criticize it. It's only natural to honor those young people who died
for the sake of their country. Any established notion must not
obstruct the society that should follow a new path."

-- What is your view about the Abe administration's China policy?

"In order to make Japan a self-sustaining state in Asia, Prime
Minister Abe visited mainland China first of all and told President
Hu Jintao that both countries should build a strategic relationship
of trust. I think this was a very good strategic move.

"I visited Yasukuni to pray for the soul of my brother, but the
Chinese (leadership) couldn't make any specific criticism of that.
Only (the Chinese Foreign Ministry's spokesperson) was making some
noise about a trifling matter. It's wrong for newspapers to give a
big coverage to this (spokesperson's) statement."

-- What is your view about who possesses Taiwan?

"There is no mention in the San Francisco Peace Treaty about whom
Japan shall revert Taiwan to. The sovereignty of Taiwan (in legal
terms) remains unclear even now, but (in actuality), sovereignty
rests with the 23 million Taiwanese. I have proclaimed that Taiwan
is an independent country with sovereignty and freedom. (From which

TOKYO 00002611 007 OF 010

country) does Taiwan need to become independent? Even so, if we the
people of Taiwan lack the awareness that Taiwan is our country, no
one will help us."

(8) US Defense Department notifies Congress of decision to sell
SM-3s for MD to Japan

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
June 10, 2007

The United States Department of Defense notified the Federal
Conference of its decision to sell to Japan nine sets of an Aegis
destroyer-based Standard Missile 3 (SM-3) interceptors and related
equipment as the basis for the missile defense system (MD). The
total amount is an estimated 475 million dollars or approximately 58
billion yen.

Under Japan's MD initiative, an incoming ballistic missile will be
intercepted by an Aegis destroyer-based SM-3, and if the SM-3 fails
to shoot it down, a surface-to-air guided Patriot Advanced
Capability 3 (PAC-3) system will intercept the missile. The Japanese
government initially planned to introduce the SM-3 at the end of
this fiscal year, but North Korea's nuclear test last October made
it decide to move the initial timetable forward to within this

(9) Government to announce support for cluster bomb treaty

SANKEI (Top play) (Abridged slightly)
June 10, 2007

The government, echoing growing international calls, has decided to
announce its support for a treaty banning the use of cluster bombs
at an expert meeting of the Convention on Prohibitions or
Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
scheduled to start in Geneva on June 19. Reversing its earlier
elusive stance, the government now intends to play an active role in
the process of producing a treaty in a bid to apply pressure on
Norway, Peru and other countries that are calling for total and
immediate abolition of cluster bombs, as well as to embroil the
United States, China, and Russia, which produce and possess a large
numbers of cluster bombs.

Through coordination of views between the Foreign and Defense
Ministries, the government has come up with a strategy to: (1)
announce its basic support for the envisaged cluster bomb treaty at
the CCW experts meeting and the conference of contracting parties to
the CCW to be held in November, and (2) ensure that the treaty
reflects Japan's thinking that in order to increase the efficacy of
the treaty, a sufficient transitional period must be allowed for
developing alternative weapons and that the United States, China,
and Russia must join the treaty.

US, Israeli and other forces have used cluster bombs in Iraq,
Afghanistan, Lebanon and other conflict areas. Cluster bombs that
reportedly fail to detonate 5 PERCENT to 20 PERCENT of the time
remain deadly weapons threatening civilians. For this reason,
Norway, Peru, and international NGOs are calling for the complete
abolition of cluster bombs.

TOKYO 00002611 008 OF 010

Countries discontent with the slow CCW negotiations process released
what is called the Oslo Declaration this February to conclude a new
treaty by 2008. The Oslo process, however, does not include the
United States or China, with Russia remaining as a mere observer.

Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma has completely ruled out the
possibility of Japan using cluster bombs in attacks. Nevertheless,
having so many remote islands and a long coastline, the government's
position is that cluster bombs are indispensable in preventing enemy
troops from landing in the country.

Nevertheless, the government is eager to join the negotiations on a
new treaty because it fears a repetition of a 1997 incident in which
then Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi under the Hashimoto
administration made a political decision to abolish antipersonnel

The government was initially skeptical about the efficacy of a
treaty totally banning antipersonnel mines that did not include the
United States, China, and Russia. "As a result, Japan's capability
to prevent foreign troops from landing in the country has markedly
dropped in comparison to its neighboring countries, such as North
Korea and South Korea, which do not prohibit antipersonnel mines," a
senior Ground Self-Defense Force officer noted.

The government will aim at a pragmatic treaty through negotiations
of the CCW that has membership of 100 countries, including the
United States, China, and Russia, rather than through the radical
Osco process.

(10) Japan, Russia finding it difficult to compromise on Northern

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 9, 2007

Hiroshi Oyama, political department

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Russian President Vladimir Putin
agreed in their meeting on June 7 to push ahead with negotiations on
the disputed four northern islands off Hokkaido that constitute the
Northern Territories. However the two leaders failed to produce
concrete progress. It is difficult for Putin, who has conducted
hard-line diplomacy backed by the country's booming economy, to find
reasons to compromise with Tokyo. Therefore, how negotiations on the
territorial row will turn out is uncertain.

According to a senior Foreign Ministry official, the Japanese
government wants to see progress on the territorial issue while
President Putin has power. Although the term of his presidency will
expire next May, Putin is expected to keep influence even after the
end of his presidency. Therefore, with an eye on several years from
now, Tokyo and Moscow set up this year a framework of strategic
dialogue of vice-minister-level officials at the Japanese
government's proposal.

In order to strengthen a reciprocal relationship between Tokyo and
Moscow, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe proposed on June 7 an "initiative
on cooperation between the two countries in the Far East and East
Siberia." Regarding Abe's proposal, political observers view that

TOKYO 00002611 009 OF 010

the Japanese government is unilaterally courting Putin.

The Putin government is capricious, however. Ahead of the recent
Abe-Putin summit, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov
stated: "The upcoming summit will be important because it may
determine the future of Japan-Russia relations." Despite Losyukov's
remarks, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on June 3 became the first
Russian foreign minister to visit the disputed islands since the
collapse of Soviet Union. Lavrov's visit to the Northern Territories
shocked the Japanese government.

With a widening gulf between Russia and the US and Europe due to the
US government's decision to deploy a missile defense system in
Europe, there is a view in the government that Russia will try to
strengthen relations with Japan in order to seek to counter Europe
and the US. However, an informed source after the Japan-Russia
summit pointed out: "Piling up economic agreements will eventually
provide a shortcut to resolving the territorial dispute."

(11) Government to start talks with US on easing age limit for US
beef imports after announcement of audit results

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
Evening, June 9, 2007

The government will announce the results of its audits of
meatpacking plants in the United States in the middle of next week.
It has now concluded that all the plants have prepared a system to
be able to meet the requirements set by Japan (of exporting only
beef from cattle 20 months or younger and removing specified risk
materials). Based on this conclusion, the government will end the
verification period that started last summer. In response, the US
government will officially urge Japan to ease its import conditions.
Japan and the US are now expected to start talks later this month on
easing the conditions, including a call for raising the age limit to
the international standard of 30 months.

A Japanese expert team audited US meatpackers between November and
December of last year and May 14-25 this year. The government will
announce the results of the second round of audits of 28 facilities,
including one to be newly certified by the US government for
exporting beef to Japan. In the first round of audits of eight
facilities, the team found no problems with their safety procedures,
but since one of them shipped tongue allegedly in violation of
Japan's safety criteria, the plant in question was reaudited in the
second round. The expert team has now confirmed that a total of 35
facilities have complied with the agreed-upon beef export

Washington is likely to call on Japan to abolish the age limit at an
early date, given the World Organization for Animal Health's (OIE)
decision to classify the US as a controlled-risk country for BSE to
allow it to export beef irrespective of cattle age.

As necessary data to look into the possibility of reviewing its
import conditions on the basis of the scientific assessments by the
experts, Tokyo intends to ask the US to submit the most recent data
about BSE safeguard measures in the US and the data submitted to the
OIE. MAFF and the MHLW will ask the Food Safety Commission to
conduct deliberations and to offer advice. Based on its advice, the

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two ministries will draw a conclusion.


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