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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/11/07-2

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110828Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4420
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2000
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5589
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1092
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 2797
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7834
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3894
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4977

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 003164

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 07/11/07-2


Index:

(8) Yukio Takasu picked new ambassador to UN

(9) Kisha no Me (Reporter's Eye) column: Difference of stances
between former Defense Minister Kyuma and former Mayor of Nagasaki
City Motoshima over the use of atomic bombs

(10) Interim report issued by Pension Payment Records Verification
Committee lacks substance: Details of 50 million premium payment
record-keeping errors not included

(11) Editorial: Pension benefit guidelines must be applied
impartially

ARTICLES:

(8) Yukio Takasu picked new ambassador to UN

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
July 11, 2007

The government decided in a cabinet meeting yesterday to appoint
Yukio Takasu, a minister at the Japanese Embassy in the United
States, to be the new ambassador to the United Nations. It also
appointed two ambassadors: Tatsumaro Terazawa, former director
general of the National Tax Administration Agency, as ambassador to
Colombia; and Hideto Mitamura, director general of the Research
Office on Security at the House of Representatives, as ambassador to
Zambia. It formally announced their appointments yesterday.

Yukio Takasu, ambassador to the UN: Left the University of Tokyo in
mid-course and joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in
1969; has served as a minister at the Japanese Embassy in the US
since August 2006, after serving in such posts as director general
of the now-defunct Multilateral Cooperation Department and
ambassador to the International Organization in Vienna; age 60.

Tatsumaro Terazawa, ambassador to Colombia: Graduated from the
University of Tokyo and joined the Finance Ministry in 1971; serving
as acting board chairman at the Urban Renaissance Agency since July
2004, after serving in such posts as director general of the Finance
Bureau and chief of the National Tax Administration Agency; age 60.

Hideto Mitamura, ambassador to Zambia: Graduated from Hitotsunbashi
University and entered MOFA in 1971; has served as chief of the
Research Office on Security at the Lower House since September 2005,
after serving as a minister at the Japanese Embassy in the US, as
well as director general of the International Affairs Department at
the Lower House; age 58.

(9) Kisha no Me (Reporter's Eye) column: Difference of stances
between former Defense Minister Kyuma and former Mayor of Nagasaki
City Motoshima over the use of atomic bombs

MAINICHI (Page 6) (Abridged)
July 11, 2007

Nobuyuki Yokota

Fumio Kyuma (66), a member of House of Representatives elected from
the atom-bombed city of Nagasaki, stated in a speech on June 30 that

TOKYO 00003164 002 OF 006


the use of atom bombs "couldn't be helped." Three days later he
resigned from the post to take the responsibility for that
controversial comment. I think it was only natural for Kyuma to
resign from the post for his remark lacked any understanding of
history.

Meanwhile, there is someone who likewise has stated for nearly 10
years that the dropping of atom bombs "couldn't be helped." That
person is Hitoshi Motoshima (85), who served as mayor of Nagasaki
City from 1979 through 1995. The expressions used by the two were
the same, but their positions and why they use that particular
expression differs. By making a comparison between the two, I am
going to shed light on how Japan has been perfunctory to date in
understanding history regarding the dropping of atomic bombs and
assuming its war responsibility.

Motoshima started as a socialist politician belonging to the Japan
Socialist Party but he later shifted to the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP). Having served as a prefectural assembly member for five
terms, he was then elected mayor. As a mayor, he stated in 1988
before a prefectural assembly session: "The Emperor was responsible
for the war." In 1990, he was shot by a senior rightist organization
member only narrowly surviving.

Meanwhile, Kyuma, after working for the Agriculture Ministry and
serving as a prefectural assembly member, ran on the LDP ticket for
a Lower House election and won the seat. Although Kyuma is
dismissive about Japan possessing nuclear arms, his stock argument
is that the best approach for Japan is to continue to depend on
America's nuclear umbrella and to uphold the Japan-US Security
Treaty.

As the reasons why the United States dropped atomic bombs on Japan,
a variety of political and military reasons have been cited, such
as: (1) the bombs were a diplomatic trump card to gain a military
edge over the USSR; (2) they were a demonstration of the results of
the Manhattan Project to the US Congress; and (3) they were used as
an experiment on human bodies. That the use of atomic bombs
quickened the end of the war and saved many lives is an argument
backed by a certain number of people in the US to justify the drop
of atomic bombs. However, most Americans disagree with Kyuma's view
that atomic bombs were dropped to prevent the USSR from
participating in the war. The US dropped two types of atomic bombs
-- uranium gun-type and plutonium implosion-type -- and the two
types of bombs were reportedly used in line with the initial plan.
Given all this, Kyuma, as a responsible officer for national defense
in the Japanese government, which seeks nuclear nonproliferation
under the three nonnuclear principles, was indeed out of line in
terms of historical perceptions. Speaking of Kyuma's controversial
comment, Motoshima disappointedly noted: "He is an expert on
national defense policy, but he has lacked the understanding of the
Pacific War, as well as of the dropping of atomic bombs on Japan."

Motoshima from the beginning was not of the opinion that the
dropping of atomic bombs "could not be helped." In March 1995,
Motoshima contended at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan:
"The dropping of atomic bombs on Japan was as great a crime
committed by human beings in the 20th century as the Holocaust
involving the Jewish people." In reaction, reporters asked him
whether (then) US President Truman, who gave orders for atomic bombs
to be dropped, was the same as Hitler. Motoshima was stuck for an
answer.

TOKYO 00003164 003 OF 006

Based on his experience like this that there is the gap in views of
the use of atomic bombs between Japan and other countries, Motoshima
has come to acutely realize that it is impossible for both sides to
understand each other if they simply insist on the justice of their
arguments and that they only criticize each other. Motoshima
eventually arrived at the conclusion that the dropping of atomic
bombs could not be helped. He came to the conclusion that although
people in the bombed cities tend to emphasize the casualties and
damage, what caused such an aftermath? Motoshima now says, "If Japan
had not started the war with the US, no atomic bombs would have ever
been dropped." He continues: "I searched for a meeting point with
those who insist, 'Dropping atomic bombs was correct.' Atomic-bomb
survivors might oppose my attitude, but I thought it would be
meaningless if I was unable to persuade others even slightly." This
attitude stems from his way as a Christian of pardoning others and
his strong conviction that he wished to understand even the enemy.
It was also affected by discrimination he suffered and his war
experience as an Imperial Japanese Army soldier. All these led to
his remark calling on the Emperor to take war responsibility, on
which he staked his political life, and his questioning then of
postwar Japan.

In contrast, Kyuma made an excuse for his "couldn't be helped"
remark, noting, "'Couldn't be helped' easily pops out from my
mouth," as if to say it was a slip of the tongue. He also cited the
upcoming Upper House election as the reason for his resignation,
giving the impression that he lacks the mentality to understand the
pain and hardships the bombed cities have suffered. This is also
true of senior ruling coalition members and cabinet members under
the Abe administration.

Motoshima continues questioning Japan's war responsibility as an
assailant and the contradiction between Japan's dependence on
America's nuclear umbrella and Japan's anti-nuclear movement. He is
accordingly exposed to criticism, for instance, for his "masochistic
view of history and his "condoning the use of atomic bombs," from
various quarters. Motoshima insists: "Are weapons that are not
allowed to be used only nuclear weapons? We must definitely oppose
war that will set the stage for every weapon to be used."
Motoshima's argument is indeed worth considering.

Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction that
indiscriminately kill many civilians. I think the use of atomic
bombs was a mistake, and that nuclear weapons must be scrapped. The
same mistake must not be repeated. For that, victims and assailants
must understand each other and sympathize with each other's
circumstances.

Japan has failed to make efforts to build common perception of
history with other countries and also failed to make clear
historical views as to the dropping of atomic bombs and war
responsibility. Unless Japan changes in this regard, a second Kyuma
would appear.

(10) Interim report issued by Pension Payment Records Verification
Committee lacks substance: Details of 50 million premium payment
record-keeping errors not included

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
July 11, 2007


TOKYO 00003164 004 OF 006


Efforts to shed light on the cause of pension premium payment
record-keeping errors and the locus of the responsibility have made
progress with the compilation of an interim report by the Pension
Premium Payment Record-Keeping Error Problem Verification Committee.
However, the report simply enumerated problems that had already been
pointed out, such as problems about the computer system and the
Social Insurance Agency's (SIA) organizational corruption. It
steered clear of explaining relations between those problems and the
50 million cases. There is no getting around the impression that the
report lacks in-depth accounts, as a result of the panel attaching
importance to addressing a strong request from the Kantei and the
ruling camp to compile it before the Upper House election starts.

Regarding the pension premium payments record-keeping fiasco, a
number of mismanagement cases, such as 50 million cases that have
not yet been integrated into basic on-line pension numbers and 14.3
million cases recorded on microfilm but have yet to be integrated,
have been discovered, but contributors concerning those figures have
not yet been identified due in part to a complex record-keeping
system. The interim report just sorted out the structure of a number
of problems, by showing in charts the actual state of unidentified
premium payments records.

The charts are exactly the same as those the SIA released at panel
meetings and Diet deliberations. No detailed accounts regarding
unidentified payment records, such as the ratio of those who are
already dead among contributors to the 50 million payment cases,
were given.

Regarding the cause and background of the problems, the report
pointed out that the record-keeping system, administrative work and
the distorted personnel system, such as the local administrator
system, had problems. However, regarding relations between these
problems and a massive number of missing records, the report gave no
more than what has already been revealed. Details have yet to be
clarified.

The report also put on hold the responsibility of successive
welfare, and welfare and labor ministers, just noting that details
would be unveiled in the process of getting to the bottom of what
has actually happened, as an official of the administrative office
of the panel put it.

Behind the release of such a half-baked interim report is strong
pressure from the government and the ruling parties, which wanted to
produce some results with the Upper House election just ahead.

Commenting on the release of the interim report right before the
public announcement of the Upper House election, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki during a press briefing yesterday ruled

SIPDIS
out the possibility of pressure being applied to the panel. He
noted, "We thought people expected us to release facts found out as
of now as soon as possible." However, there is a strong impression
that both the interim report and the basic guidelines for confirming
payment records, unveiled yesterday, were released with the upcoming
election in mind.

The next step is for three working groups including system experts
and juridical experts to launch full-scale studies to ferret out the
actual situation in the run-up for the compilation of a final report
in the fall.


TOKYO 00003164 005 OF 006


Local third party committees for confirming pension payment records
to start receiving investigation requests

Internal Affairs and Communications (MIAC) Minister Yoshihide Suga
during a press conference on the 10th announced that the ministry
will launch third-party committees to confirm pension premium
payment records, which are responsible for final examination of
pension benefit payment records at 50 locations throughout the
nation and start accepting requests for payment record examination
through Social Insurance Agency offices.

MIAC will hold a national meeting of 50 local committee chairs. It
plans to explain basic guidelines for identifying premium
contributors compiled by the central panel on the 9th so that
participants would familiarize themselves the guidelines.

Local panels will be set up at the Internal Affairs Ministry's
administrative evaluation bureau's offices in 50 locations
throughout the country. Their job is to examine payment records,
based on the basic guidelines and standards set by the central panel
and actual identification cases.

However, local panels will only deal with cases regarding which
social insurance offices found errors when they checked payment
records but judged that they would not make decisions because
claimants did not have receipts for their premium payments.

(11) Editorial: Pension benefit guidelines must be applied
impartially

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 5) (Full)
July 11, 2007

The Central Third-Party Committee to Check Pension Records,
established by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication,
has come up with a set of guidelines, paving the way for those with
no premium payment records to claim their benefits. We would like to
see the government make every effort to, for instance, eliminate
regional disparities in approving claims.

The guidelines are designed in principle to approve claims that are
not "unreasonable and appear credible." The government is urged to
deal with diversified claims flexibly.

We are concerned that decisions by 50 local committees in the nation
on similar claims might vary.

As was explained by the panel's chair, Go Kajitani, decisions will
be made based on the principle of free evaluation of evidence. In
other words, local committees will make decisions based on the
"degree of certainty" by comprehensively judging the contents of
claims, data other than receipts, and accounts by persons
concerned.

Not to allow regional disparities to arise, local committees are
urged to seek the central committee's assistance in making difficult
decisions and the central committee in turn should convey its
results to all local committees as often as possible.

Although the central committee has already presented some approved
cases, it must present additional approval/disapproval situations
once full-fledged recognition work gets underway. The central

TOKYO 00003164 006 OF 006


committee should also make clear what kind of data or accounts made
a difference.

The cooperation of claimants is essential in recognition work. The
presentation of approved cases is likely to help claimants prepare
necessary documents and thereby restoring their rights to receive
benefits speedily.

We believe it is possible to make public the results of individual
cases while giving consideration to their privacy.

In some cases, Social Insurance Agency (SIA) records do no show
employees' premiums withheld at source that should have been paid
into the employees' pension program. As possible causes, the
employers' failure to pay into the program and embezzlement by SIA
workers are being mentioned. Under the existing law, such employees
are not entitled to receive benefits, which is unreasonable.

The central committee is calling for legal steps to allow them to
receive benefits, which is natural.

The government should respond to the call during the extraordinary
Diet session scheduled to open in the fall, making a distinction
with the question of the responsibility of the employers and others.
The step will coincide with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's declaration
that the government will pay benefits in full to those who dutifully
paid their premiums.

The guidelines are intended to approve claims broadly based on the
belief that human nature is fundamentally good. At the same time,
the government must study measures against false claims.

SCHIEFFER

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