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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/14/07

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
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RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2543
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6151
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8364
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4428
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5400

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 003727

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 08/14/07

Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

Ambassador Schieffer in action:
4) In press interview, Ambassador Schieffer offers to share
classified information on Afghan situation with Diet members,
including DPJ
5) Ambassador Schieffer during press interview urges DPJ head Ozawa
to reconsider anti-terror bill stance, even offers to meet him again


Abe diplomacy:
6) Prime Minister Abe will offer India a 400 billion yen loan during
his upcoming visit, in part as means of checking China's influence

7) Abe skips vacation in order to prepare for overseas tour,
upcoming Diet session

Aso diplomacy:
8) Foreign Minister Aso meets Jordanian counterpart
9) Aso during visit will join four party peace talks in Palestinian
territory

10) Cabinet shuffle: Name of Nikai being floated for chief cabinet
secretary, replacing Shiozaki

SIPDIS

11) Defense Minister Koike threatens to resign at one point in
squabble over her replacing Vice Minister Moriya with candidate of
her own selection

12) Government plans to half CO2 emissions over 10 years by
technological breakthroughs

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Experts on assistance to crime victims to be assigned: 50 parole
officers, 100 probation officers

Mainichi:
Downfall of LDP: Local mayor in Shimane Prefecture decides to
distance himself from the party

Yomiuri:
All Japan Federation of Social Insurance Associations to introduce
manual for offering apology for medical accidents to be adopted by
52 hospitals

Nikkei:
Kawasaki Heavy Industries to undertake joint enterprise to produce
freight carriages; Japanese companies focusing on demand for
infrastructure

Sankei:
Prime minister to announce yen loans worth 400 billion yen to India
during summit: Strengthening bilateral ties and checking China aimed
at

TOKYO 00003727 002 OF 009

Tokyo Shimbun:
Taliban release two South Korean hostages

Akahata:
Economic growth slows: GDP for April-June period marks only 0.1 %
increase due to sluggish personal consumption

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Revitalizing regional economies: Organize the "third sector"
(2) Videotaping of interrogations: The Diet must hurry and
legislate

Mainichi:
(1) Take measures to help household finances until they recover
(2) Make use of the lessons learned from the earthquake: Put them to
use within and outside of the country

Yomiuri:
(1) GDP slowdown: Wariness towards the future of the economy has
increased
(2) Global warming: Kyoto Protocol is not the goal

Nikkei:
(1) Hurry and take a necessary second look at sustainable long-term
care insurance

Sankei:
(1) Do not miss the chance to normalize the interest rate
(2) Suspect commits suicide: Overly shabby police response

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) GDP bulletin: Sense of uncertainty has increased
(2) Preventing false charges: Review the system

Akahata:
(1) Air pollution lawsuit: Fulfill your responsibility to rescue
citizens and eradicate suffering

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 12 & 13

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Aug. 12

Spent all day at his private residence in Tomigaya.

Aug. 13

10:45
Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki at the Kantei.

13:46
Met Special Advisor Yamatani. Followed by Defense Ministry Vice
Minister Moriya and Defense intelligence Headquarters Chief
Mukunoki.


TOKYO 00003727 003 OF 009


15:09
Met Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani. Followed by former Bombay
(now Mumbai) Consul General Muto.

16:11
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matoba. Later met Central Japan
Railway Company Chairman Kasai, chairman of the committee on
monitoring pension business and the Social Insurance Agency.

17:00
Met Lower House members Yoshitaka Sakurada, Taimei Yamaguchi, and
Akihiro Nishimura. Later met Special Advisor Nakayama.

18:06
Met Defense Minister Koike.

18:49
Returned to his official residence.

4) US ambassador reveals plan to provide DPJ with classified
information on Afghanistan in September to solicit flexibility on
Antiterrorism Law

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
August 14, 2007

In an interview with the Nikkei at his official residence in Tokyo
yesterday, United States Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer said
that the US government would provide possibly in mid-September the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), in addition to the government and
the ruling camp, with classified information related to Afghanistan.
By explaining the activities by the Taliban, an anti-government
organization that supported the terrorist attacks on the US in 2001,
and other details, the US aims to solicit a softened stance from the
DPJ on the issue of extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law, which is to expire Nov. 1.

On the time of information disclosure, Ambassador Schieffer said:
"The US is making preparations to hold a meeting sometime in the
second or third week in September to disclose its classified
information to lawmakers of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the
DPJ and other political parties." The ambassador plans to return to
Washington in early September, prior to the planned meeting with
Japanese lawmakers, and to exchange views with President Bush and
Secretary of State Rice to determine the US government's approach to

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the Japanese lawmakers.

In connection with the LDP's crushing defeat in the July House of
Councillors election, the ambassador remarked: "(In the election
campaign,) diplomatic issues were not taken up. Views calling for
(Self-Defense Force troops') withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq
were not presented, either." He then indicated that the Koizumi and
Abe administrations' policy of prioritizing relations with the US
has not been rejected, saying: "More than 80% of the Japanese
people support the Japan-US alliance, so I believe the alliance will
also continue to be important in the future."

The DPJ, which has control of the Upper House, has expressed
opposition to the extension of the Antiterrorism Law. Ambassador
Schieffer earlier met Ozawa and asked for his cooperation on the
issue, but Ozawa declined the ambassador's request.


TOKYO 00003727 004 OF 009


5) Anti-terrorism Special Measure Law: US Ambassador Schieffer in
interview urges Ozawa to reconsider opposition, willing to meet him
again

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Responding to an interview request from the Mainichi Shimbun
yesterday, US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer referred to the bill to
extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measure Law, which expires on Nov.
1, saying, "It is extremely important not only for the United States
but also for the international community as well." He strongly
urged Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro
Ozawa to reconsider his opposition to the extension of the law. In
addition, he announced that he was willing to meet again with Ozawa
and other DPJ leaders in order to persuade that party, and he took a
stance of requesting that the issue be resolved from a non-partisan
basis.

The ambassador stressed that the oil-refueling operations being
carried out in the Indian Ocean by the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(MSDF) under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law "are not just
(Japan) raising the flag in the multinational force; these are truly
meaningful operations." In the event that MSDF refueling is halted,
"It is my understanding that the US does not have that capability;
only Britain has. It would be up to the UK's decision."

In addition, he said that in case the extension of the anti-terror
law failed to pass the Diet, "It would be seem to be an announcement
by Japan that it is withdrawing from the war on terror, and it would
send a terrible message not only to America but to the international
community, as well."

Regarding Ozawa's stance of opposing the bill's extension as stated
during their meeting on Aug. 8, the ambassador said: "Although he
stated the position he had previously taken, it was not certain
whether he was clearly rejecting (an extension)." He indicated that
he was willing not only to meet again with Ozawa but also with Seiji
Maehara, the previous president, and other DPJ leaders. "For the
sake of extending the special measure law, we are willing to provide
the needed information, including classified intelligence."

6) Prime minister to announce yen loans worth 400 billion yen to
India during summit: Strengthening bilateral ties and checking China
aimed at

SANKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 14, 2007

The Indian government is aiming at building a fast-speed freight
train system, the first full-fledged type to be built in Asia. In
this connection, the government yesterday decided to extend yen
loans worth 400 billion yen to cover portions of the cost of the
construction of the system totaling approximately 5 billion dollars
or about 600 billion yen over a five-year period starting in 2008.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) is now conducting
a field survey for the realization of the project. The governments
of Japan and India are set to formally sign a contract as early as
October. Prime Minister Abe will convey this policy of the Japanese
government to the Indian side during the bilateral summit to be held
on Aug. 22 during his stay in that nation.


TOKYO 00003727 005 OF 009


The aim is to check China, which is increasing its influence in Asia
on the strength of its rapid economic growth and military build-up,
by putting efforts to strengthen ties with India into shape.

Following the survey by JICA, the government will extend the
envisaged yen loans, based on the Special Terms for Economic
Partnership (STEP) scheme, under which the Japan Bank for
International Cooperation (JBIC) provides loans at a lower interest
rate than that applied to regular yen loans, making it a condition
that Japanese materials and equipment be used. Conditions for
applying the STEP scheme are that major contractors be Japanese
companies and more than 30% of the total contract amount be used
for procurement of Japanese materials and equipment. The interest
rate of loans provided under this scheme is lower than that applied
to regular normal yen loans. The loan period is 40 years.

According to the governments of Japan and India, the planned railway
system covers 2,800 kilometers connecting Delhi and Mumbai, the
largest commercial city in India, and Kolkata, a major city in
eastern India. The construction is expected to be completed in 2012.
Freight transport in India is growing at an annual rate of 15 % ,
but transportation capacity is reportedly approaching the limit. The
Indian government has asked the Japanese government for cooperation,
noting that the consolidation and reinforcement of its railway
system is absolutely necessary for the growth of the Indian
economy.

The Japanese government is envisaging a plan to realize a train
system that can operate trains at about 100 kilometers per hour,
nearly three times faster than existing ones, through practical
cooperation both on the hardware front, such as the introduction of
the state-of-the-art cars, and on the software front, including the
application of operation know-how.

7) Prime Minister Abe forgoes summer vacation, spends time preparing
for overseas trip and extra Diet session

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was at his desk yesterday at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) even during the mid-August
O-Bon holiday break. A person close to Abe said that the prime
minister planned not to take summer holidays. Abe appears to show
his stance of making efforts for rebuilding his administration,
forgoing a summer vacation in consideration of severe criticism from
within and outside the party toward his decision to say in office
even after the LDP's defeat in the July House of Councillors
election.

Besides Abe, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki, deputy chief cabinet
secretaries Shimomura and Matoba, and Lower House member Takumi

SIPDIS
Nemoto -- the so-called "Team Abe" members -- also showed up at the
Kantei. After meeting with Defense Minister Koike and LDP lawmakers,
Abe responded to questions from reporters twice yesterday.

Abe is expected to attend a cabinet meeting and the annual Memorial
Ceremony for the War Dead on Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of
World War II. He is now preparing for his trip to India and two
other countries from Aug. 19 to 25, as well as for his policy speech
for an extraordinary Diet session to be convened in September.


TOKYO 00003727 006 OF 009


In particular, Abe appears to be spending most of his time at the
Kantei for the selection of the new LDP executive and cabinet
members, which he will carry out on Aug. 27.

During the May Golden Week holidays, Abe enjoyed playing golf at his
villa in Yamanashi Prefecture for the first time since he assumed
office. He also decided last September at this villa on the lineups
of the LDP executive and the cabinet. Some in the government say
that the prime minister needs to rest. Some other government
officials, however, are concerned about criticism from within the
LDP and the public over Abe's decision to remain in office, with one
aide to Abe saying, "Now is not good timing for the prime minister
to enjoy his hobbies."

Past prime ministers have taken summer holidays in August. Prime
ministers in the 1990s and later took several days to two weeks for
their summer vacation. Prime ministers who gave up on taking summer
holidays include Junichiro Koizumi, who dissolved the Lower House
for a general election in 2005, and Keizo Obuchi, who formed a
cabinet after the LDP suffered a defeat in the Upper House election
in 1998. Obuchi spent most of his three-day holiday studying
financial policy at the Kantei.

8) Aso to Jordanian foreign minister: "I am worried about split in
Palestinian territories"

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Matsunaga, Amman

Foreign Minister Aso, currently visiting Jordan, met with Jordanian
Foreign Minister Abdelelah Al-Khatib at the Foreign Ministry in
Amman on the morning of Aug. 13, local time.

In reference to Hamas, an Islamic fundamentalist group, taking
control of the Gaza Strip in the Palestinian territories, Aso said:
"I am worried about the current division in the Palestinian
territories." In response, Al-Khatib remarked: "The problem was
caused by a coup d'etat by Hamas. It is crucial for the Palestinian
National Authority government to restore its legitimacy."

9) Aso to take part in four-party talks in Palestinian territories
tomorrow

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Manabu Shimada, Amman

Foreign Minister Taro Aso, now visiting the Middle East, announced
in a press conference in Jordan on the morning of Aug. 13, local
time, that Japan would hold a four-way cabinet-level meeting with
Israel, the Palestinians, and Jordan in Jericho in the West Bank,
where Aso will be arriving on Aug. 15, with the aim of promoting the
peace process in the Middle East. Representatives will discuss how
to implement the concept of creating a Corridor for Peace and
Prosperity, a project put forward by Japan. The planned four-way
meeting will be the second following a meeting in Tokyo in March.

Ahead of the press conference, Aso met his Jordanian counterpart
Abdelelah Al-Khatib at the Jordanian Foreign Ministry and agreed

TOKYO 00003727 007 OF 009


with him to support the Palestinian Authority government led by
Chairman Abbas.

10) Nikai being rumored as new chief cabinet secretary; Tanigaki
likely to serve in new cabinet

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
August 14, 2007

There was a rumor yesterday that Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Toshihiro Nikai would be named as chief
cabinet secretary, a pivotal post in the cabinet, replacing Yasuhisa
Shiozaki, when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffles his cabinet
slated for Aug. 27. Since Nikai has communication channels to the
opposition camp, he is regarded as a suitable person to serve in the
post in order for the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
influencing on Diet management under the present Diet situation, in
which the opposition camp controls the House of Councillors. Chances
are that Abe will ask former Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki to
serve in a cabinet post. Abe intends to forgo asking former Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda to enter his new cabinet. Fukuda
appears ready to decline an offer.

Since Nikai is a former aide to Ichiro Ozawa, president of Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan), he is one of the few persons who knows
how Ozawa will play his cards in the fall extraordinary Diet
session, in which the question of whether to extend the
anti-terrorism special measures law will become a focus of
attention. Soon after the LDP suffered a crushing defeat in the July
Upper House race, Nikai expressed his support for Abe's decision to
stay in office. It seems that Abe highly values Nikai's act. In
consideration of former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori's proposal for a
unanimous party arrangement, Abe will likely ask Tanigaki, who also
ran in last year's LDP presidential race, to join his cabinet.

11) Commotion over position of vice defense minister; Chief cabinet
secretary says next minister to decide; FM Koike threatens to

SIPDIS
resign

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Yesterday, the Japanese government decided to wait on a decision
about the post of vice defense minister until after the
reorganization of the cabinet on August 27. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Shiozaki met with Foreign Minister Koike and informed her of the
government's decision saying: "The person who is selected as the
foreign minister in the new cabinet lineup will decide on the next
vice defense minister." Koike is strongly protesting this
pronouncement. She told Shiozaki that she will take it as her
responsibility to get Tetsuya Nishikawa (60), director-general of
the defense minister's secretariat, appointed. She also suggested
that she will consider resigning as foreign minister.

Koike had decided to retire Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya
(62) in September and replace him with Nishikawa, who formerly
worked at the National Police Agency. Moriya, who holds the real
power in the defense ministry, has been in his post for an unusually
long period of over four years. Koike has said: "I must think of the
rejuvenation of the organization."

However, Koike did not consult Moriya about her plans regarding the

TOKYO 00003727 008 OF 009


post of vice defense minister, nor were preparations made for a
cabinet meeting to discuss new personnel. These cabinet meetings are
usually held when deciding on new top officials for each ministry,
and they are a place where chief and deputy secretaries can take a
look at candidates before the final decision is made.

According to a government source, four chief and deputy cabinet
secretaries, including Shiozaki, met unofficially regarding this

SIPDIS
issue on August 7, while Koike was visiting the US. They agreed
first that they would not accept personnel decisions that had not
gone under review in an official cabinet meeting, and second that
the person who will be foreign minister after the cabinet
reorganization will decide on the post. Last night, Prime Minister
Abe told reporters that "the personnel issue has not yet been
decided. The Chief Cabinet Secretary will hold a cabinet meeting to
discuss personnel matters." It appears that for the time being, he
is taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the situation.

Meanwhile, Moriya, who heard about his retirement in a shocking
manner, is making moves behind the scenes, reaching out to those in
the office of the prime minister in attempts to affect the choice of
his successor. Moriya has in mind Shinshiro Yamazaki (60), head of
the defense facilities administration bureau who previously belonged
to the former Defense Agency.

Defense strategies in recent years have grown complicated as the
Japan-US alliance has grown stronger. Moriya wants to leave matters
in the hands of someone who has experience with defense policy
rather than someone from a different agency or ministry. As for
Moriya's post-retirement plans, he rejected Koike's offer that he
become "Defense Ministry special advisor" in charge of Okinawan
affairs.

This is not the first time that there has been a battle over the
post of vice minister. In January 2002, then Foreign Minister Makiko
Tanaka asserted that she wanted to replace then Vice Foreign
Minister Yoshiji Nogami. Then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ended
up sacking both Tanaka and Nogami.

12) Government plans technical development to halve CO2 emissions: 1
trillion yen budget covering 10 years eyed

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2007

The government yesterday decided to work out a plan for technical
development to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It will
undertake coordination with the possibility of investing up to 1
trillion yen over a decade. The idea is to compile a technical plan
jointly with the US and Europe based on this plan and to propose it
at the Hokkaido Lake Toya Summit to be held next summer.

New technologies to be incorporated in the plan include a totally
new iron-making technology that will cut CO2 emissions by removing
oxygen from iron ore with the use of hydrogen instead of coke; a
solar battery technology that boosts power-generation efficiency
three to four times over the present level and reduces the cost to a
level equivalent to thermal power generation; and the development of
smaller nuclear reactors, demand for which is growing in developing
countries.

The government is now coordinating views with the possibility of

TOKYO 00003727 009 OF 009


injecting approximately 60 billion yen in the fiscal 2008 budget.

It wants to enhance the efficiency of the development project
through an international labor-division system under which
industrialized countries contribute with a field of specialization.
It will first propose to the US setting up a framework for
international talks and urge various European countries to take
part.

The likelihood is that the government will present a basic
initiative for this international framework at a meeting of the
Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP) to
be held in Bali, Indonesia in December.

Prime Minister Abe proposed the initiative to halve greenhouse gas
emissions by 2050 at the Heiligendamm Summit in June. Following his
proposal, summit participants agreed to seriously consider cutting
greenhouse gas emissions at least by 50% by 2050.

MESERVE

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