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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Iraq and Us-Japan

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UNCLAS TOKYO 004198

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 - IRAQ AND US-JAPAN
SUMMIT


LEAD STORIES: There were no papers published on Monday
morning because of a press holiday. TV news programs
gave top play to press remarks by Prime Minister Abe in
Sydney on Sunday, in which he expressed his
determination to continue the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean.

1. "9/11 and US Society" The liberal Asahi
editorialized (9/9): "...Six years after 9/11, American
society is divided over the war in Iraq. According to a
Gallup poll conducted in August, 60% of the American
people said the Iraq war was a mistake.... US
presidential candidates are conducting a heated debate
about the Iraq war, and it is natural that many of them
are critical of 'Bush's war.' Democratic candidates are
trying to outdo each other in criticizing the Bush
administration. None of them, however, dares to make a
statement that could be interpreted as a call for a
complete withdrawal of US troops.... The vague
positions on the Iraq war held by these presidential
hopefuls appear to reflect the confusion in American
society.... How will the American people patch up this
fissure? They are groping for an answer to this
question in the presidential election next year."

2. "International Community Wants Japan's Continued
Commitment to War on Terrorism" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri editorialized (9/9): "The
international community's hopes for Japan's continued
commitment to the war on terrorism have been
reconfirmed. President Bush called on Prime Minister
Abe to continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
(MSDF) refueling operation in the Indian Ocean by
telling the premier that Japan's support is vital for
the members of the international community taking part
in the war on terror. It is not only the US president.
Australian Prime Minister Howard, German Chancellor
Merkel, and Pakistani President Musharraf expressed
their hopes as well.... It is important for the Abe
administration to give a detailed explanation to the
Japanese public regarding the significance of the MSDF
mission."

SCHIEFFER

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