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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/02/07

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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
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RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4263
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3751
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4844

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 003006

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 07/02/07


Index:

(1) Editorial -- Defense Minister Kyuma's thoughtless remarks that
lacked discernment

(2) Editorial: Kyuma's thoughtless remarks appalling

(3) Nine groups harsh in comprehensive assessment of Abe
administration

(4) Futenma alternative: Pentagon official sees offshore location as
difficult

(5) Editorial -- Four-party talks: Don't break the "six-party"
framework

(6) Second in a series of polls on House of Councillors election

(7) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties

ARTICLES:

(1) Editorial -- Defense Minister Kyuma's thoughtless remarks that
lacked discernment

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 2, 2007

Incredible remarks came out from Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma. He
said in a speech on June 30: "The United States dropped atomic bombs
on Japan to stop the Soviet Union from occupying Japan. Countless
people suffered terribly, but that put an end to the war. I now
believe that it could not be helped."

His comments are based on the perception that the US dropped atomic
bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to quickly end the war,
block the Soviet Union from occupying Japan and limit its
casualties. Depending on the circumstances, the language "could not
be helped" connotes that he condones the use of atomic bombs.

Japan has addressed the elimination of nuclear weapons nationwide,
aiming to make Hiroshima and Nagasaki the last places to suffer
atomic bombings. Kyuma's remarks, however, violated our nation's
basic policy. His remarks were simply thoughtless and lacked
discernment, and threw cold water on Japan's continued efforts for
the abolition of nuclear weapons. Given his job as the minister in
charge of our nation's security, his responsibility is very grave
indeed.

Nuclear weapons are intended for indiscriminate attacks against
civilians, and the after-effects of radiation are serious. Such
weapons are an absolute evil. In 1996, the International Court of
Justice remonstrated, "Threatening to use nuclear weapons or using
them violates humanitarian principles." Nuclear weapons are too
serious to be dismissed by such language as it "cannot be helped."

Under the three non-nuclear principles, Japan has emphasized the
importance of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons
(NPT) and has submitted a nuclear disarmament resolution to the
United Nations every year since 1994 and such resolution has been
adopted. Needless to say, this move reflects Japan's experience of
having been atomic bombed in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

TOKYO 00003006 002 OF 011

Last year, senior members of the governing Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) mentioned the need for debate on Japan possessing nuclear
weapons, thereby giving rise to international doubts that Japan may
want to become a nuclear power. Kyuma's recent controversial
remarks, as well, could cause a loss of international confidence in
Japan in its call for the elimination of nuclear weapons.

Japan has stood up to North Korea over its missile launches and
nuclear weapons' possession. Taking advantage of Kyuma's comments,
North Korea may now reason that since it was unavoidable for the US
to have used nuclear weapons, it can use that as an excuse for
itself to possess nuclear weapons.

How did the victims of atomic bombs who suffered indescribable
experiences feel when listening to his remark, "It could not be
helped"? If politicians are unable to imagine their hardship, they
disqualify themselves to serve as such.

In the past, as well, Kyuma was conspicuous in his careless
comments. Referring to the Japanese government's announcement of
endorsing the decision to open the war against Iraq, Kyuma said, "It
was an informal endorsement," but afterwards he retracted that
remark. On the relocation of the US Futenma Air Station in Okinawa,
he mentioned the possibility of adding revisions to the plan already
agreed on between Japan and the US and incurred objections from the
US. Recently, he expounded his pet theory that the three weapons
export principles should be relaxed, and this comment perplexed the
Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei). On the heels of that,
again he has come out with controversial remarks. It cannot be
helped that his competence as a cabinet member is being questioned.

At a press conference yesterday, Kyuma apologized, "I am really
sorry for troubling you," and he in effect retracted his
controversial comments. This move perhaps reflected the desire of
the ruling bloc, which is concerned about a possible impact on the
Upper House election, but his apologizing is not enough to settle
the problem.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to Kyuma's controversial
comments was also insufficient. Following Kyuma's apology, Abe
noted, "He should refrain from making any comments that may give
rise to a misunderstanding." Abe's initial stance, however, was that
he did not regard Kyuma's comments as a problem. Usually, this sort
of problem concerns whether the minister should resign or not. The
prime minister should inquire of Kyuma about the real intention of
his comments and rebuke him hard.

(2) Editorial: Kyuma's thoughtless remarks appalling

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
July 2, 2007

The atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed more than
200,000 people. Some people are still suffering from aftereffects.
Shockingly enough, one cabinet minister indicated that the use of
atomic bombs was inevitable.

The statement was made by Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma. The defense
minister, referring to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and
Nagasaki by the United States in the closing days of World War II,
said: "I understand that the bombings brought the war to its end. I

TOKYO 00003006 003 OF 011


think it was something that couldn't be helped."

He also said: "Considering international circumstances and occupied
Japan's situation after the war, one should bear in mind that such a
thing (bombing) could be an option."

The events are still fresh in the minds of those who experienced
living hell and lost their family members. Akihiro Takahashi, a
former curator of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, criticized
Kyuma, saying: "His remarks made me more depressed than angry. Would
he have made the same remarks if he had been a victim of the atomic
bomb himself?"

Referring to the use of atomic bombs in the past as "something that
could not be helped" amounts to endorsing the use of nuclear bombs
as necessary. It is tantamount to pouring cold water on Japan's
postwar efforts to eliminate nuclear weapons from the world.

Kyuma is not jut another citizen. He is a native of Nagasaki and
Japan's defense minister. Regrettably, there are gaps between Japan
and other countries in perceptions on the dropping of atomic bombs.

Sadako Kurihara, a poet from Hiroshima, has written a poem titled
"When We Say, 'Hiroshima'," which goes:

When we say "Hiroshima,"/do people answer, gently,/ "Ah,
'Hiroshima?'"/Say "Hiroshima," and hear "Pearl Harbor."/ Say
"Hiroshima," and hear "Rape of Nanjing."/ ..... /Say "Hiroshima,"/
and hear echoes of blood and fire.

Japan's stance of highlighting its position as the only country ever
to have suffered nuclear devastation has been criticized by the
United States and Asian countries, saying that Japan started the war
and that the bombings helped bring an end to the war.

There is no simple answer. Japan's position is to assert that
indiscriminate massacre of defenseless citizens must not be allowed,
while acknowledging Japan's responsibility for starting the war.

We would like to see Japanese lawmakers aim at a direction that
would allow both victor and defeated countries to share the pain by
overcoming their barriers. The attitude to describe the dropping of
atomic bombs as "something that could not be helped" is tantamount
to pushing a historical event into oblivion and siding with
America's attempt to justify the atomic bombing.

As a country under America's nuclear umbrella, the government
apparently finds it difficult to flatly deny the use of nuclear
weapons.

Still, the government's view is that although the use of nuclear
weapons might not violate international law, doing so conflicts with
international law's spirit of humanitarianism. Kyuma's comment was
clearly a deviation from the government's view.

Kyuma said yesterday: "I'm sorry that my remarks gave an impression
that A-bomb victims were being made light of." What really matters
here is not the impression or his explanation but his perception
itself.

(3) Nine groups harsh in comprehensive assessment of Abe
administration

TOKYO 00003006 004 OF 011

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 2, 2007

The National Council for Building a New Japan, composed of academics
and business leaders, held a convention on assessments of party
policy pledges (manifestos) at a Tokyo hotel yesterday. There, nine
organizations announced their assessments of the Abe
administration's policy achievements and the policy manifestos
prepared by the Liberal Democratic Party, the Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto), and the New Komeito for the upcoming House of
Councillors election. In the overall assessment of the Abe cabinet,
they gave marks of 27 to 65 out of 100 points -- all rather tough
scores.

Among the comprehensive assessments of the Abe administration made
by eight out of the nine groups, excluding the National Governors'
Association, there is the maximum disparity of 38 points, reflecting
their different focus and priority.

Some groups also rated the administration's approaches to specific
themes, such as social insurance, the Constitution, education, and
foreign policy.

The National Governors' Association only assessed its efforts in
addressing the task of decentralization. Focusing on the prime
minister's leadership demonstrated in establishing the
decentralization promotion headquarters, the organization gave a
score of 75 points, saying that the stance of expediting the
challenge under political leadership merits appreciation.

In assessing each political party's Upper House manifesto, some
groups gave somewhat positive evaluations to specific policies, but
many pointed out a lack of explanations about such details as fiscal
resources and deadlines. The following critical views were also
presented: "The manifestos are inferior to those in 2005 in terms of
content and form;" "They are poor;" and "They should be rewritten."

The convention is part of efforts to have manifesto-oriented
politics settled down. This was the third one, following the one for
the 2004 Upper House election and the other for the 2005 House of
Representatives election.
(4) Futenma alternative: Pentagon official sees offshore location as
difficult

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 3) (Full)
June 30, 2007

TOKYO-Taku Yamasaki, former vice president of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party, met yesterday in the Diet with US Principal Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense James Shin, who is a deputy under
secretary of defense-designate, to exchange views on the realignment

SIPDIS
of US forces in Japan and other issues. According to Yamasaki, Shinn
said the United States would like to implement with sincerity what
has been agreed on between Japan and the United States. With this,
Shin implied that it would be difficult to install a V-shaped pair
of airstrips at a site in waters off the city of Nago in Okinawa
Prefecture as demanded by the city's municipal government over the
planned relocation of the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in
the prefecture (to a coastal area of Camp Schwab in the city). Osamu
Ashitomi, one of the Yamasaki faction's members seated in the House
of Representatives, was also in the meeting.

TOKYO 00003006 005 OF 011

Shin explained the planned realignment of US forces in Japan: "The
US military realignment is a package that resembles building blocks.
If we fiddle with one, the blocks will tumble down. We will have to
pour in concrete (complete), and that's my job."
Ashitomi said: "To make concrete (the blocks), we need water, sand,
and cement. They won't harden without the feelings (consent) of
Okinawa." With this, Ashitomi sought a flexible response with
consideration given to the opinions of Nago City and Okinawa
Prefecture.

Yamasaki also explained: "The core of the realignment of US forces
in Japan is the relocation of Futenma airfield. Okinawa Prefecture
accepts an environmental impact assessment (of the relocation site),
and Futenma relocation is facilitated. This is the most important
kickoff for the issue of realigning the US military presence in
Japan." So saying, Yamasaki stressed that the Okinawa prefectural
government's future response over whether to accept an environmental
assessment of the relocation site for an alternative facility will
be an important phase.

In addition, Yamasaki also said the Defense Ministry is thinking of
applying to the Okinawa prefectural government for an environmental
assessment after this July's election for the House of Councillors.

In the meantime, Japan and the United States have concluded an
intergovernmental special agreement on the Japanese government's
host nation support ("omoiyari yosan" or literally "sympathy
budget"). This special agreement, however, is to lose its effect in
fiscal 2007. Accordingly, the Japanese and US governments will need
to enter into consultations in order for the agreement to be
renewed. Concerning this agreement, Shin asked Japan to maintain its
host nation support at the current level, saying, "We'd like to ask
for understanding and support."

Yamasaki said, "There are growing demands on Japan to spend more
money from its defense budget for various purposes." He added,
"There are also budget constraints due to fiscal reconstruction."
With this, Yamasaki indicated that it would be difficult to maintain
the current level of host nation support, given budgetary spending
on the US military's realignment in Japan and Japan's ballistic
missile defense (BMD).

(5) Editorial -- Four-party talks: Don't break the "six-party"
framework

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 2, 2007

Concerns are spreading in the Japanese government over a proposal
floated by the US chief negotiator in the six-party talks,
Christopher Hill, assistant secretary of state, to hold four-way
talks among the United States, North Korea, China, and South Korea.

Hill came up with an idea at an official press briefing of the State
Department. His idea is that "if the nuclear facility in Yongbyon
is disabled, the US, North Korea, China, and South Korea will be
able to start peace talks," and in parallel with the peace talks, a
dialogue body for Northeast Asia security, which will be taken part
in by all the members of the six-party talks, would be established.

Those countries that fought in the Korean War signed a cease-fire

TOKYO 00003006 006 OF 011


agreement in 1953. Undeniably, they are principally responsible for
concluding a peace agreement to replace the truce. But we must pay
attention also to the profound change in the international
environment surrounding the Korean Peninsula over the past half
century.

Building a permanent peace system on the Korean Peninsula should
come after North Korea abandons its nuclear program and the
peninsula becomes nuclear-free. The six-party talks have been held
for that end. Unless dangerous nuclear weapons are all removed, it
is meaningless to discuss how to bring permanent peace to the
peninsula. The process of bringing peace to the peninsula is not as
simple as being settled in four-way talks.

Disabling the nuclear facility in Yongbyon is merely the beginning
of the process. What to do about uranium enrichment plans, which
North Korea has not clearly referred to, has not been settled? Also
yet to be set are the means and timetable for the North to
completely abandon its nuclear weapons-related materials and to
allow inspection of its nuclear facilities.

Hill's concept gives the impression that at a time when the process
of disablement starts, four-way talks will be launched, and that the
stalled Japan-North Korea issues, such as the abductions of Japanese
citizens by North Korea, would then be put in the hands of another
dialogue group on Northeast Asia security. If the four-way talks are
set in motion unilaterally, the fear is that the final disposal of
the nuclear issue and the abduction issue would be left behind and
thereby Japan would be "left in the dark," just as the North aims.
This is a real concern for the Japanese government.

Without giving consideration to Japan's concerns, the US, Japan's
ally, has floated a proposal in a hasty manner. This is highly
regrettable. If some countries want to discuss permanent peace at
this stage, establishing a sub-panel under the six-party framework
would be one option to consider. This panel should be open to the
six countries having common interests in peace of Northeast Asia.

"Assistant Secretary Hill" is exposed to "criticism for his making
concessions unilaterally" even from US dailies. It would be a long,
bumpy road for us to follow before North Korea abandons its nuclear
program. Not to make a hasty move out of eagerness for success and
not to be trapped by a reverse process.

(6) Second in a series of polls on House of Councillors election

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 29, 2007

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage)

Q: Do you support the Abe cabinet?

Yes 34.4
No 51.8
Other answers (O/A) 3.0
No answer (N/A) 10.8

Q: Which political party's candidate are you thinking of voting for
in the House of Councillors election this time in your electoral
district?

TOKYO 00003006 007 OF 011

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 21.7
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 24.0
New Komeito (NK) 5.3
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.1
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.3
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.2
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) ---
Other political parties ---
Independent candidate 0.5
Undecided 37.4
None in particular (NIP)
N/A 6.5

Q: Which political party's candidate or which political party are
you thinking of voting for in your proportional representation
bloc?

LDP 20.8
DPJ 22.2
NK 5.6
JCP 3.9
SDP 1.2
PNP 0.8
NPN 0.2
Other political parties 0.1
Independent candidate
Undecided 37.5
NIP
N/A 7.7

Q: Which political party do you not want to see increase the number
of seats it has in the election this time? Pick as many as you like,
if any.

LDP 35.6
DPJ 9.9
NK 12.8
JCP 16.4
SDP 6.1
PNP 1.7
NPN 1.1
Other political parties 0.1
Independent candidate
Undecided
NIP 31.1
N/A 9.4

Q: The LDP and New Komeito, which are the ruling parties, hold a
majority of the seats in the House of Councillors. Would you like
the ruling coalition to retain a majority of the seats, or would you
otherwise like it to lose its majority?

Retain its majority 30.2
Lose its majority 50.0
Can't say which 14.1
N/A 5.7

Q: What would you like to consider in particular when you choose a
candidate or a political party to vote for in the election this
time? Pick as many as you like from among those listed below.


TOKYO 00003006 008 OF 011


Economy 31.9
Pensions 67.0
Education 41.3
Civil service reform 29.8
Social divide 30.3
Foreign, security policies 26.2
Constitutional revision 23.6
Politics and money 40.2
O/A 0.5
NIP 1.8
N/A 1.4

Q: Which political party do you support now?

LDP 31.5
DPJ 19.9
NK 4.8
JCP 3.5
SDP 1.9
PNP 0.3
NPN ---
Other political parties ---
None 34.8
N/A 3.3

Q: Do you appreciate the government's announced measures for the
issue of its pension record-keeping flaws?

Appreciate very much 6.4
Appreciate somewhat 20.3
Don't appreciate very much 32.1
Don't appreciate at all 32.8
N/A 8.4

Q: Do you think the government's announced measures will resolve the
issue of its pension record-keeping flaws?

Yes 25.8
No 66.5
N/A 7.7

Q: Prime Minister Abe has put off the House of Councillors election
for a week and extended the current Diet session to fast-track civil
service reform and other bills. Do you appreciate this?

Appreciate very much 8.3
Appreciate somewhat 18.7
Don't appreciate very much 29.8
Don't appreciate at all 31.2
N/A 11.9

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation from
June 26 through June 28 on a computer-aided random digit dialing
(RDD) basis. A total of 1,652 households were found to have one or
more eligible voters. Valid answers were obtained from 1,021 persons
(62 % ).

(7) Poll on Abe cabinet, political parties

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
July 2, 2007


TOKYO 00003006 009 OF 011


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

Q: Do you support the Abe cabinet?

T P M F
Yes 32 (32) 32 32
No 52 (44) 54 49
Not interested 15 (22) 13 17

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 23
(17) 25 20
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
9 (13) 7 12
Because there's a young, fresh image about the prime minister 40
(41) 36 45
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures 24 (24) 27 20

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 8
(8) 9 6
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
43 (41) 39 47
Because the prime minister is inexperienced, weak 13 (13) 14 11
Because I'm opposed to the prime minister's policies 36 (37) 37 34

Q: Which political party do you support?

T P M F
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 25 (25) 30 20
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 18 (19) 21 14
New Komeito (NK) 6 (5) 2 10
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (3) 3 4
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (2) 1 1
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 1 (0) 1 1
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0) 0 0
Other political parties 2 (1) 1 2
None 43 (44) 39 47

Q: Are you interested in this summer's election for the House of
Councillors?

T P M F
Yes 77 (68) 80 74
No 22 (31) 18 25

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

T P M F
LDP 33 (33) 32 34
DPJ 44 (42) 49 38
Other political parties 17 (20) 13 21

Q: If an election were to be held now for the House of Councillors,
which political party or which political party's candidate will you

TOKYO 00003006 010 OF 011


vote for in your proportional representation bloc?

T P M F
LDP 27 (28) 30 24
DPJ 35 (35) 41 30
NK 7 (6) 3 11
JCP 5 (4) 5 6
SDP 1 (3) 1 2
PNP 1 (1) 1 1
NPN 0 (0) 0 1
Other political parties 15 (14) 12 17

Q: Then, which political party's candidate will you vote for in your
electoral district?

T P M F
LDP 28 (26) 32 24
DPJ 33 (30) 38 28
NK 6 (5) 2 10
JCP 4 (4) 3 4
SDP 1 (2) 1 1
PNP 0 (1) 1 0
NPN 0 (0) 0 0
Other political parties 6 (6) 5 7
Independent candidate 10 (15) 9 11

Q: What do you think is most important when casting your vote in the
House of Councillors election?

T P M F
Social divide 15 (13) 17 13
Education 14 (19) 12 16
Constitution 10 (14) 9 12
Public service personnel reform 8 (6) 10 6
Politics and money 13 (12) 13 13
Local community issues 4 (5) 4 5
Pension 31 (28) 31 32

Q: Do you factor in the government's pension record-keeping flaws
when you vote in the House of Councillors election?

T P M F
Yes 74 71 77
No 23 26 20


Q: Do you appreciate the government and ruling parties for their
efforts to deal with the pension fiasco?

T P M F
Yes 32 32 33
No 63 63 62

Q: The government and ruling parties extended the Diet session for
12 days to revise the National Public Service Personnel Law for a
reform of the public service personnel system. As a result, this
summer's election for the House of Councillors has been moved down
from July 22 to July 29. What do you think about the extended the
Diet session?

T P M F
It's needed for the law 22 24 21

TOKYO 00003006 011 OF 011


It's good because the election will be delayed 2 2 2
It's strange because there was no urgent need for the law's
enactment 37 36 38
It's strange because they intended to alter the situation to their
advantage in the House of Councillors election 31 32 29

Q: The revised National Public Service Personnel Law for a reform of
the public service personnel system features creating a unified
point of contact under the government for its retirees to find jobs.
Do you think the revised law will resolve the "amakurari" (descent
from heaven) practice of retired bureaucrats moving into public
corporations or private businesses?

T P M F
Yes 26 25 28
No 68 71 65

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5 % . "No answer" omitted. Figures in
parentheses denote the results of the last survey conducted May
26-27.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted June 30 and July 1
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 1,028 persons.

SCHIEFFER

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