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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/14/07

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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3965
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5112
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 0690
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 2388
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7423
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3481
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4605

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 002691

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 06/14/07


INDEX:

(1) Outcome of Upper House election hinges on result of joint
struggle; Opposition camp aims to focus on pensions

(2) Ozawa-led Minshuto to focus on three points to win single seats
in Upper House election

(3) Hiranuma's political presence increasing

(4) Not possible for SDF to protect US vessels navigating far away
from Japan under individual self-defense right

(5) Commentary: Space plan fails to specify future vision

ARTICLES:

(1) Outcome of Upper House election hinges on result of joint
struggle; Opposition camp aims to focus on pensions

NIKKEI (NIHON KEIZAI) (Slightly abridged)
June 13, 2007

Only one month is left until the House of Councillors election on
July 22. Each camp has already got preparations underway for the
summer battle without waiting for the adjournment of the current
Diet session. The focus of attention is on whether the ruling
coalition will be able to secure a majority in the Upper House.

"We should not turn the pension issue into a political football. It
is essential for each political party to jointly make efforts to
resolve public concern," Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member
Katsutoshi Kaneda said in a lecture meeting held by the New Komeito
near JR Akita station on the evening of June 10. Kaneda aims to win
a third term. Keeping in mind New Komeito President Akihiro Ota who
was ready to take the platform for a speech next, Kaneda was paying
attention to the New Komeito's policy manifesto on human life, which
includes measure to deal with the shortage of doctors, in addition
to the pension issue.

The suicide rate in Akita Prefecture has reached 42.7 per every
100,000 persons, registering the nation's highest record for the
12th consecutive year. Among those who commit suicide, there are
many people in the prime of their working life, that is, people in
their 40s or 50s. Experts say that there must be an economic factor
behind their suicides. Kaneda emphasized: "Let's build a strong
Akita through polite politics that gives consideration to every
resident."

The Kaneda camp aims to grab organized votes in a thorough way. The
LDP-candidate Kaneda has already called for the New Komeito's
support. He has also secured about 500 votes from various
organizations, although he won 150 from such groups in the previous
election. Hosei Norota, a House of Representatives member who
seceded from the LDP after opposing the postal privatization bill in
2005 and is now unaffiliated with any party, expressed support for
Kaneda, saying: "Although I am not under obligation to the LDP,
supporting Mr. Kaneda is another matter."

In a speech at a Akita hotel on the afternoon of June 10, Daigo
Matsuura, a former announcer of a local broadcast station and an
independent new-face candidate recommended by the Democratic Party
of Japan (Minshuto) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP), devoted

TOKYO 00002691 002 OF 007


more than half of his 20-minute speech to pensions. He said: "Many
citizens in Akita Prefectures have suffered losses. People waiting
in long lines before the Social Insurance Agency's offices are
upset."

In the previous Upper House election in 2004, Minshuto and the SDP
joined hands. Also helped by a favorable wind to them due to pension
reform and unpaid insurance premium problems, their candidate
defeated the LDP-backed candidate. The Matsuura camp aimed to
stage-manage an election focusing on pensions again. In a speech in
support of Matsuura, Minshuto Acting President Naoto Kan emphasized
that the outcome of the upcoming Upper House election will be an
election to choose a party in power in effect, remarking: "Please
give us a change to take over the political reins."

LDP member Kotaro Nogami, in an effort to secure a reelection
chance, raised his voice: "I would like to devote myself for the
sake of Japan and Toyama." Observers see that moves of those
supportive of Lower House member Tamisuke Watanuki, People's New
Party president coming from Toyama, hold the key to the outcome in
the Toyama constituency. Watanuki left the LDP in 2005 after voting
against the postal privatization bill.

Watanuki categorically said: "I have no intention of supporting the
LDP-endorsed candidate." The LDP Toyama chapter, though, is
maneuvering to dividing the Watanuki-support bloc by drawing in
prefectural assembly members close to Watanuki and to have them vote
for Nogami. Watanuki held his gathering simultaneously when the LDP
prefectural chapter held a meeting. This was a test to check the
prefectural assembly members' loyalty to him. The tug-of-war is
already heating up between Watanuki and the LDP prefectural
chapter.

Takashi Morita, a doctor and an independent new-face candidate
recommended by Minshuto and the SDP, emphasized in a street-corner
speech on the afternoon of June 10: "I would like to start my life
as a politician with the task of reforming medical systems in
Toyama." The Morita camp has also turned its attention to "Watanuki
votes." The Morita camp established a political group calling itself
"medical and welfare revitalization conference" with the Rengo
Toyama and other groups, in a bid to dilute the policy imprint of
any specific political party so that Watanuki, who is opposed to
cooperation with the SDP, finds it easier to extend cooperation to
Morita.

Lower House member Muneaki Murai, a Minshuto Toyama prefectural
branch president, said: "The total number of votes cast for the
candidate backed by Minshuto and another by the SDP in the 2004
Upper House election was larger than that for the LDP candidate. If
"Watanuki votes are added to this, we will be able to win the
election." The success or failure of joint struggles in both the
ruling and opposition camps will affect the outcome of the battles
in constituencies.

(2) Ozawa-led Minshuto to focus on three points to win single seats
in Upper House election

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
June 13, 2007

Munshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa, holding
a press conference in Kanazawa City yesterday, announced that his
party would field Yasuo Ichikawa for the Ishikawa electoral district

TOKYO 00002691 003 OF 007


in the upcoming House of Councillors election. The major opposition
party has now completed determining its candidates for the
single-seat electoral districts that number 29. The lineup of the
candidates clearly reflects the innovative ideas of Ozawa, the
election campaign artisan.

Name recognition

Since becoming party head, Ozawa has traveled across Japan searching
for "winning horses," even while the Diet was in session. As a
result, the party has managed to pick 21 Minshuto candidates and
seven joint candidates for the 28 single-seat districts, excluding
Oita where the prefectural chapter will effectively back an
independent.

It is particularly noteworthy that of those candidates, five
individuals, who failed to win seats in the 2005 House of
Representatives election, will seek Upper House seats in Ishikawa,
Fukui, Nara, Tottori, and Kumamoto. "Strong political foundations
and name recognition are essential to win seats after a short
campaign period," Ozawa explained.

Ozawa apparently picked those former Lower House lawmakers with high
name recognition and organizational strength for rural areas that
are traditional Liberal Democratic Party bastions even though he
knew that changing hats could draw fire.

The party will again field those who unsuccessfully ran in the 2004
Upper House race in four electoral districts: Yamagata, Kagawa,
Saga, and Kagoshima. In Yamagata, Kagawa, and Saga in the previous
race, those candidates collected about 90% of votes to the winners
backed by the ruling block.

Joining efforts

Minshuto and other opposition parties will jointly field one out of
four candidates.

The party will back independent candidates with other parties,
including the Social Democratic Party, in Akita, Toyama, Ehime,
Miyazaki, and Okinawa, and will support the People's New Party (PNP)
candidates in Gunma and Shimane. Ozawa's strategy is to join efforts
with other opposition parties in electoral districts with weak
Minshuto foundations in order to increase the opposition block's
strength as a whole.

The problem is that the PNP might opt to join the ruling bloc after
the election.

Freshness

By age, Minshuto candidates includes 12 individuals in their
forties, seven in their thirties, and three in their sixties. In
contrast, LDP candidates include eight in their sixties and two in
their seventies.

The LDP will field one female candidate, whereas Minshuto will back
six. Minshuto is apparently focused on freshness and female voters.

(3) Hiranuma's political presence increasing

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
June 14, 2007

TOKYO 00002691 004 OF 007

Former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma, who made
a political comeback in May after having been hospitalized due to a
stroke late last year, has fully resumed his political activities.
For instance, he launched yesterday a nonpartisan group of lawmakers
who are demanding that undue photographs be removed from
anti-Japanese war memorial halls in China. A book he has written,
Seiji Bushido (Political Bushido) will be published on June 21 by
the PHP Institute. Hiranuma's presence is increasing as a
"conservative star."

"Establishing friendly relations with China takes mutual
understanding. Looking at history correctly is essential, but we
cannot allow the government to imbue people with wrong historical
views."

At the group's inaugural meeting, held in the Diet building
yesterday, Hiranuma spoke fervently, albeit hoarsely, for about
three minutes.

On the membership list were 42 lawmakers, including Liberal
Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa,
former Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, and the People's New
Party Representative Shizuka Kamei. The group intends to thoroughly
examine photographs and other items on display at anti-Japanese war
memorials across China and demand anti-Japanese photos that are
based on factual errors be removed.

Hiranuma, who feels that from the hospitalization, he has learned to
look at things from all angles instead of just following his
instincts, has decided to focus on the revitalization of
conservatism.

Looking back at such events as the Diet dissolution over postal
reform, the reinstatement of postal rebels, and his political
comeback, Hiranuma in his book Seiji Bushido lambastes former Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi's political approach and the introduction
of the US-model market economy.

A Hiranuma-led nonpartisan group of lawmakers called, "forum to
build a correct Japan," and a book, Nihon no Seidou (Right way for
Japan) coauthored by journalist Yoshiko Sakurai and Kyoto University
Prof. Terumasa Nakanishi, also emphasize the importance of
conservatism based on Japan's traditions, history, and culture.

Although Hiranuma is critical of the current LDP policy line, he has
expressed support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's constitutional and
educational reform plans. Many LDP lawmakers are supportive of both
Hiranuma and Abe. "Depending on how the upcoming Upper House
election turns out, Hiranuma's moves might trigger another political
realignment," a former cabinet minister said.

(4) Not possible for SDF to protect US vessels navigating far away
from Japan under individual self-defense right

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 12, 2007

The Council for Reconstructing the Legal Base for National Security,
a blue-ribbon government panel, on June 11 started to discuss four
national security cases as requested by Prime Minister Abe. On the
question of protecting US ships, one of the four cases, many members
of the panel during the discussion yesterday called for a review of

TOKYO 00002691 005 OF 007


the government's current interpretation of the Constitution banning
Japan from exercising the right to collective self-defense. The
panel plans to form a report after discussing three other cases, as
well.

The four cases the prime minister asked the panel to examine are:
(1) Self-Defense Forces (SDF) vessels carrying out joint drills with
US vessels on the high seas defending the US ships should they come
under attack; (2) intercepting with the missile defense (MD) system
enemy ballistic missiles heading toward the United States; (3) the
SDF defending troops of another country if they came under attack
during international peacekeeping operations; and (4) providing
logistic support that would include weapons transport.

In the session yesterday, the first case, defending US ships, was
discussed with consideration given to such factors as the situation
at that time and the distance from the US vessels.

For example, on the question of the repelling an attack against US
warships operating in the defense of Japan, the government's
position is that such would "fall under self-defense" as then
Defense Agency Director-General Kazuo Tanigawa said in his Diet
replies in 1983. The government believes it possible to protect US
vessels by exercising the right to individual self-defense.

The discussions yesterday dealt with what Japan could do if US
warships came under attack on the high seas in the event of a
contingency near Japan, for instance, on the Korean Peninsula prior
to any attack on Japan, or in joint exercises during peacetime. In
the case of joint exercises, because each ship navigates dozens of
kilometers away from another, "The comic-book case of the SDF
striking back after mistakenly taking a missile attack against a US
vessel nearby as an attack on the SDF itself' will not occur," noted
Takushoku University Prof. Satoshi Morimoto.

Many council members shared the view that the act of Japan defending
its ally's ships when Japan itself was not under attacked is not
justifiable unless the right to collective self-defense is used.
"his case should not be handled by stretching the right to
individual self-defense," one member said. They insisted on the need
to review the current government's interpretation of the
Constitution. One member even opined: "It's only natural to defend
our ally's warships, but don't you think we also need to include
other friendly nations, like Australia?"

On the other hand, as to the question of allowing the exercise of
the right to collective self-defense, on member contended: "We need
to discuss some kind of mechanism to avoid our country becoming
involved in an unwanted war."

A certain council member argued that Japan be allowed to use the
right to collective self-defense within a necessary minimum range in
preparation for an unexpected contingency. He noted: "Generally, the
US military will not ask for help from Japan, but the case is
conceivable in which North Korea fires more missiles than the US had
expected. In that case, US vessels may need to be escorted by SDF
ships."

After examining similar patterns, the council plans to sort out the
problem areas and produce a report. But already, calls for reviewing
the current interpretation of the Constitution are arising.

(5) Commentary: Space plan fails to specify future vision

TOKYO 00002691 006 OF 007

YOMIURI (Page 15) (Full)
June 13, 2007

Keiko Chino, senior writer

The Space Activities Commission (SAC), a government panel under the
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
(MEXT), has released its draft long-term plan for the next 10 years.
Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition
partner, New Komeito, will present a space bill to the Diet next
week in order for Japan to push ahead with space development as a
national strategy. After the bill is enacted into law, the
government will likely review its long-term plan itself.


On May 31, SAC released an outline of its draft long-term plan for
Japan's space development. The government is expected to adopt it in
a cabinet meeting to be held in January next year or later.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan's only space
development entity, will pursue its goals and projects over the
period of 10 fiscal years from 2008 in line with the plan. In other
words, the outline is to make public what kind of space activities
Japan is going to tackle over the next 10 years. However, the
outline is unclear in that respect.

The outline describes something we may have to know about the space
bill before it is brought before the Diet. To begin with, the
outline says Japan's space development is intended for "national
security," adding that Japan's space activities "purport to play a
certain role in Japan's crisis management and comprehensive security
setup, including measures to deal with natural calamities."

In addition, the outline also refers to "strategic technologies
closely related to Japan's diplomacy and security." In this respect,
the outline stresses the need for Japan to revamp its space
activities in the diplomatic and security areas.

But when it comes to key projects, the outline looks like a showcase
of what Japan has done in the past, showing no future vision.

For instance, the outline cites a quasi-zenith satellite system
(QZSS) for global positioning. The government has now decided to
launch Japan's first quasi-zenith satellite. However, Japan needs
two more quasi-zenith satellites for its QZSS operation. The
question is what to do about this project that has been left pending
since last year. However, the outline says nothing about it. The
outline also touches on lunar and other planet explorations, but it
does not specify what to do about these projects. It only refers to
these projects as "challenges to be studied from now on." This
wording makes us feel uneasy as we see the United States, China, and
India heading for the moon as their national strategies.

What lies behind that is the government's intent to leave the job to
the "Space Strategy Headquarters" to be set up after the space bill
is enacted into law. In the case of SAC and JAXA as well, their
organizations and roles are also highly likely to be reviewed. That
is why "Japan can do nothing unless the bill is enacted into law,"
and Japan's space development has been at a standstill since the LDP
began its study of a space law in December 2005.

However, JAXA is a standalone body. JAXA therefore needs to map out

TOKYO 00002691 007 OF 007


a midterm goal and plan every five years. Its current midterm goal
and plan are to terminate in March next year. That is why SAC had to
create an unclear future plan failing to come up with specifics.

The LDP says the Space Strategy Headquarters should be tasked with
creating such a future plan after a space law comes into effect. One
of SAC's members also says the long-term space development plan is
for the government to study. This SAC member added, "If there is a
gap with the strategy, we will modify the plan."

Space development needs public support. However, a long-term plan
that is ready to change will end up with public confusion. Whatever
may be in store for the bill, SAC, as an advisory panel of experts,
should earnestly come up with suggestions in concrete terms about
technology development needed in the future.

Also, given the time limit for JAXA's midterm goal and plan, the
governing party must have been aware of such an outcome. Japan's
space development has not made headway. This has been ascribed to
bureaucratic sectionalism that stands in the way of the government's
decision-making process. One of the space legislation's purposes is
to rectify this under the political initiative. One of those
concerned has voiced dissatisfaction, noting that the government has
been belated in its decision-making and Japan has therefore been
falling behind in space development. The question is how to get
Japan's space development back into shape-and how to make it visible
in the public eye. Politics will be put to the test of its ability.

SCHIEFFER

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