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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Japan's Constitutional

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3121 1900756
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090756Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5292
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1938
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4358
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1038
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 2747
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5522
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7784
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1762
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3844
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4929
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003121

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: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - JAPAN'S CONSTITUTIONAL
LIMITS ON USE OF ARMED FORCE


LEAD STORIES: Most Monday morning papers front-paged TV
debates on Sunday among political leaders ahead of the
Upper House election on July 29.

1. "GOJ Should Deepen Discussion on Collective Defense"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized
(7/9): "A GOJ panel has worked out a course of action
to enable Japan to exercise its right to collective
defense. Further discussions are necessary to clarify
that course of action. Experts on the panel largely
agreed that the GOJ's current interpretation of the
Constitution, which holds that the nation possesses the
right to collective defense but cannot exercise it,
should be changed. This view is quite reasonable....
The experts noted that there are limits to what can be
done via exercising Japan's right to individual defense
based on the provisions concerning the use of arms for
protection stipulated in Article 95 of the Self-Defense
Forces Law.... The protection of US ships and the
interception of ballistic missiles are issues that
affect the foundation of the US-Japan alliance. If
Japan were to sit back and do nothing during an attack
on the US due to constitutional restrictions, the
alliance would fall apart. Exercising the right to
collective defense, which is recognized by the UN
Charter, would be a natural response in such
circumstances."

SCHIEFFER

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