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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Secretary Rice's Travel

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DE RUEHKO #3460 2110215
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P 300215Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5946
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2299
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4724
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1351
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3073
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5897
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8109
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5199
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003460

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 - SECRETARY RICE'S TRAVEL
TO MIDDLE EAST


LEAD STORIES: All Monday morning papers led with the
Democratic Party of Japan's landslide in the House of
Councillors election on Sunday. Despite the ruling
LDP's crushing defeat, Prime Minister Abe expressed his
resolve Sunday night to hold on to power.

"Can US Elicit Saudi Promise to Support Iraqi
Government?" Washington correspondent Arimoto of the
conservative Sankei reported (7/30): "Secretary of
State Rice and Defense Secretary Gates will visit the
Middle East beginning Monday to seek cooperation from
countries in the region regarding restoring order in
Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Given that the
Bush administration is increasingly dissatisfied with
what it believes is an attempt by Riyadh to weaken
Iraq's al-Maliki government, attention is focused on
whether Secretaries Rice and Gates will be able to
elicit a promise from Saudi Arabia to support the Iraqi
government. Secretary Rice will visit Egypt, Saudi
Arabia, Israel, and the Palestinian territories, with
Secretary Gates accompanying her to Egypt and Saudi

SIPDIS
Arabia. It is unusual for the US secretaries of state
and defense to visit foreign countries together,
meaning that the USG views the joint visits to Egypt
and Saudi Arabia as particularly important.... Although
Saudi Arabia is the most important country in the
region for the US, bilateral relations have been
awkward since the start of the Iraq war in 2003, with
Saudi King Abdullah in March criticizing the
'unjustified occupation' of Iraq by the US military.
Some in the Bush administration have voiced concern
that the Saudis are supporting anti-government forces
in Iraq. US military and intelligence sources estimate
the number of foreign fighters entering Iraq each month
at 60 to 80 and that nearly half are coming from Saudi
Arabia...."

SCHIEFFER

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