Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 10/09/07

VZCZCXRO4105
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4721/01 2820800
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090800Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8369
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 6024
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3613
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7275
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2523
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4324
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9405
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5459
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6314

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 004721

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 10/09/07

Index:

(1) Outline of draft legislation: New anti-terrorism special
measures law (tentative name) (Sankei)

(2) Fukuda tells Lower House Budget Committee that MSDF operation is
not violation of Constitution (Yomiuri)

(3) US experts give warning to Japan on MSDF's withdrawal (Sankei)

(4) Alleged diversion of Japanese fuel by US vessel -- End-users
must be clarified (Yomiuri)

(5) China to attack Japan's southwestern archipelago if Japan gets
involved in Taiwan: China's top brass officer (Sankei)

(6) Interview with Victor Cha, former director for NSC Asian
Affairs: Improvement in abduction issue is condition for delisting
North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism (Sankei)

(7) LDP, DPJ preparing for next Lower House election (Nikkei)

(8) Sankei poll on triangular mergers: Respondents viewing them as a
threat drop from 46 PERCENT to 21 PERCENT ; Companies are steadily
adopting defense measures (Sankei)

(9) How about food safety? BSE (Part 1): Antipathy deep-seated among
Japanese consumers to increasing US beef on shelves (Asahi)

ARTICLES:

(1) Outline of draft legislation: New anti-terrorism special
measures law (tentative name)

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 6, 2007

1. Purpose of the law

In order to contribute positively and independently to the efforts
of the international community to stop and eliminate international
terrorism, refueling operations by the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)
toward the vessels of each country participating in maritime
interdiction operations (MIO) will continue to be carried out
similar to the cooperative assistance operations that are now going
on under the current anti-terrorism special measures law (United
Nations Security Council Resolution No. 1368 and 1776 to be written
in).

2. Operational contents stipulated in the law

Similar to the cooperative assistance operations now being carried
out based on the current anti-terrorism special measures law, the
SDF will limit its refueling operations to ships of each country
participating in MIO.

3. Relation to the Diet

(1) Specific details of operational provisions, such as the SDF
unit. There will be provisions in the new anti-terrorism special
measures law stipulating the contents of Diet approval items found
in the current anti-terrorism special measures law.

TOKYO 00004721 002 OF 013

(2) Fulfilling the provision on reporting to the Diet. In addition
to the item on reporting to the Diet found in the current
anti-terrorism special measures law, there will be a new one making
it mandatory to report to the Diet after one year the operations
carried out based on the new anti-terrorism special measures law.

4. Time limit for the law

The law will be limited to two years. However, under this law, there
is nothing hindering the time limit from being set for less than two
years, or extended longer than that.

(2) Fukuda tells Lower House Budget Committee that MSDF operation is
not violation of Constitution

YOMIURI NET (Abridged slightly)
11:45, October 9, 2007

The House of Representatives Budget Committee conducted this morning
the first basic question-and-answer session under the Fukuda
cabinet, with Prime Minister Fukuda and all cabinet ministers
attending.

Touching on Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ) President
Ichiro Ozawa's view that the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean is a violation of the Constitution,
Prime Minister Fukuda said: "It does not constitute the use of armed
force, and the operation has been limited to non-combat zones. The
operation does not run counter to the Constitution."

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura also said: "The operation is in
line with the consensus of the international community, based on a
UN resolution."

Regarding Ozawa's eagerness for participation in the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, Defense Minister
Shigeru Ishiba said: "Under the Constitution, Japan is not allowed
to join the ISAF, which involves the use of armed force."

Fukuda, touching on the ruling coalition's crushing defeat in the
July House of Councillors election, also said: "We have neglected
problems resulting from (structural) reforms. We must renew our
resolve to make utmost efforts for the stability and happiness of
the people."

Given the opposition bloc's control of the Upper House, Fukuda also
asked for the opposition camp's cooperation in running Diet
affairs.

They were responding to questions by Liberal Democratic Party Policy
Research Council Chairman Sadakazu Tanigaki and former Defense
Agency Director-General Gen Nakatani.

(3) US experts give warning to Japan on MSDF's withdrawal

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
October 6, 2007

Yoshihisa Komori, Washington

The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law is certain to expire shortly.

TOKYO 00004721 003 OF 013


If the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) now refueling
multinational-force vessels in the Indian Ocean withdraws from the
Indian Ocean, what reaction will arise in the United States, which
has strongly wanted the MSDF to continue its refueling operations?
The Sankei Shimbun interviewed three American experts on Japan-US
security relations.

Dr. James Auer, who is currently professor at Vanderbilt University,
once served as Japan desk director at the Department of Defense
(DOD). He noted:

"It would trigger a sense of deep disappointment in the United
States in terms of national politics, regardless of Republican or
the Democratic party facilitation. As part of the global war on
terrorism, the US and Pakistan have been engaged in the
antiterrorism campaign in the Indian Ocean. Japan committed itself
to providing logistic support for the campaign. But Japan's
logistical support is being used as a domestic political bargaining
chip, and the service is about to stop. Those concerned Americans
who know well Japan's domestic circumstances would file their
discontent with Japan."

Besides cooperation in the war on terror, Dr. Auer pointed out that
Japan is a major consumer of oil transported (from the Middle East)
to Japan via the Indian Ocean. He made this comment: "If Japan gives
priority only to domestic politics, brushing aside international
aspects, then it would significantly damage its reputation."
"Criticism of Mr. Ichiro Ozawa, president of the major opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), would increase in the US because he
has essentially caused this situation as a means to attack the
ruling bloc."

Nicholas Szechenyi, researcher at the Center for Strategic &
International Studies, said:

"Purely in military terms, even if Japan withdraws its vessels from
the Indian Ocean, it would not bring about any serious loss in the
overall campaign against terrorism. But politically and
diplomatically, it would be a serious backtracking for Japan."

Szechenyi noted that Japan's decision to withdraw its vessels from
the Indian Ocean would only lead to its losing the good reputation
it has earned internationally, given that as a world leader, Japan
has been recognized by other countries and has won their respect as
evidenced by international opinion polls conducted by the British
Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

John Tkacik, senior research fellow on China issues at the Heritage
Foundation, who also a student of Japan-US security issues, made
this comment about the case of Japan discontinuing its refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean:

"Psychologically, it would deal a serious blow to the US-Japan
alliance. The American public, too, may widely share the critical
view that Japan is moving away from the US, and that it may follow a
self-centered path and become unwilling to contribute to the
Japan-US alliance and international community."

Tkacik continued: "The US has given the impression that the Japan-US
alliance has been becoming a tight bond like the US-Britain
alliance, overcoming the differences of views between the political
parties of the two countries. But if Japan suspends its refueling

TOKYO 00004721 004 OF 013


mission in the Indian Ocean, this impression would collapse.
Criticism that the Japan-US alliance is still a one-way street would
spread widely instead."

Tkacik added: "I am absolutely furious about Mr. Ozawa, who is
merely one leader of the opposition bloc but who is selfishly
playing with an operation linked to the Japan-US alliance, taking
advantage of the current political situation in Japan, even though
such activitie3s should have been backed by all parties. The
left-wing group in the US would denounce the Bush administration for
a failure in its Japan policy if Japan withdrew its vessels from the
Indian Ocean. Anyway, it would lead to weakening the base of the
Japan-US alliance."

(4) Alleged diversion of Japanese fuel by US vessel -- End-users
must be clarified

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Abridged slightly)
October 9, 2007

Allegation

Based on copies of declassified US Navy documents it has obtained,
the nonprofit organization Peace Depot pointed out last week the
possibility of the fuel provided to a US supply vessel by the
Maritime Self-Defense Force having been used in the Iraq war.

On February 25, 2003, about a month before the start of the Iraq
war, the USS Pecos received about 800,000 gallons (3,000 kiloliters)
of fuel from the MSDF supply vessel Tokiwa. According to Peace
Depot, it was highly likely that the Kitty Hawk, which received this
fuel from the Pecos, was engaged in a surveillance mission in the
Persian Gulf. The organization accused the MSDF's action as a
deviation from the Antiterrorism Law's purpose of supporting the
Operation of Enduring Freedom (OEF) in the wake of 9/11.

The matter was also taken up at the Diet in May 2005, in which then
Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda and others indicated that the US
oiler had received 200,000 gallons (750 kiloliters) of fuel -- the
volume consumed by an aircraft carrier in a day -- from the Tokiwa
and that there was no problem with it because the Kitty Hawk was
carrying out OEF. But it has become clear from the US Navy documents
obtained by Peace Depot that the Tokiwa provided 800,000 gallons of
fuel, four times the volume the government indicated. This has
complicated the matter even further.

Facts

The MSDF's ship-to-ship refueling began in December 2001. The
government has exchanged with 11 countries notes indicating that the
MSDF would provide fuel gratis to naval vessels participating in the
OEF.

All requests for oil from OEF-participating countries first go to
the combined maritime forces headquarters in Bahrain for
coordination with the MSDF liaison officers there, and then they are
conveyed to the SDF command in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture.
As the next step, the SDF fleet command upon receiving the defense
minister's approval issues an order to the refueling unit in the
Indian Ocean to provide the fuel.

In many cases, the MSDF has refueled supply vessels instead of

TOKYO 00004721 005 OF 013


destroyers on the OEF, and this has raised suspicion about the
diversion of Japanese oil. In fact, of the 480,000 kiloliters of
fuel the MSDF provided to foreign vessels as of Aug. 31, 2007,
270,000 kiloliters went to supply ships.

An MSDF officer said: "The MSDF supply vessels should have made
certain that they refueled supply vessels only and that the vessels
refueled by the MSDF provided that fuel to other vessels in their
respective operational areas. We were hardly aware of where the
Japanese fuel ultimately went."

Fleet Commander Adm. Yoji Koda took this view: "All countries are
aware that the MSDF refuels the OEF vessels alone. When the option
of refueling Australian naval vessels was considered four years ago,
the Australian Navy, which was mostly supporting the Iraq war,
refused the MSDF service, saying that such would be a deviation of
the spirit of the Antiterrorism Law. If Japanese oil had been used
for other purposes, that would concern faith."

Challenges

Whether Japanese oil has been used for other purposes remains
unclear. There are two challenges for the government and MSDF.

One is, in refueling foreign ships, the MSDF should have ascertained
how its fuel would eventually be used. Back in late February 2003,
the US-led OEF and the Operation Southern Watch (OSW) were underway
simultaneously in the region. Some US naval vessels were taking part
in both operations -- a breeding ground for suspicion of diversion
of Japanese oil. This can explain why the MSDF has "drawn a line" in
the refueling area.

Chances for diversion are slim at present because the area of the
MSDF operation is limited and only because a few vessels are taking
part in the operation. But in the event the MSDF has to refuel
supply vessels in the future, it must make certain that the combined
maritime forces headquarters discloses the names of the end-users.

Another point is that the government is accountable for any SDF
operations. Did the government seek the full understanding of the
OEF participating countries about the MSDF operation when it decided
to dispatch troops to the Indian Ocean? Following the government's
decision in 1994 to send ground troops to Zaire for helping refugees
in Rwanda, then Defense Agency Director-General Tamazawa briefed
President Mobutu in person on the purposes and the duration of their
mission. Activities must be controlled by the capital.

That would require regular reporting to the Diet and probing
discussions. The Defense Ministry explained that the MSDF had
mistaken the (200,000 gallons of fuel) for that to a US destroyer
that also received fuel on the same day. If Diet reporting was
mandatory, any mistakes would be pointed out in discussions.

(5) China to attack Japan's southwestern archipelago if Japan gets
involved in Taiwan: China's top brass officer

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
September 28, 2007

While Japan's eyes are riveted on North Korea's nuclear issue, the
balance of power over the Taiwan Straits are now undergoing a sea
change.

TOKYO 00004721 006 OF 013

Last November, a private-sector organization held a Japan-China
military forum in Tokyo. The forum was not open. A general from the
People's Liberation Army was there. This top brass officer from
China was quoted as warning: "We're ready to use armed force to stop
Taiwan from becoming independent. Japan should never get involved in
that event. If Japan does, we will have to attack the Southwestern
Islands." This remark was based on a prepared paper, according to a
source who participated in the forum. It was not an ad hoc threat.
The Southwestern Islands constitute an archipelago of contiguous
islands outlying from the southern extremity of Kyushu to an island
near Taiwan.

China has prepared its military for more than 10 years to unify
Taiwan.

The Chinese military threatened Taiwan with its missile launches
into waters near Taiwan and landing maneuvers from the summer of
1995 through the spring of the following year. However, the United
States dispatched two aircraft carriers. China ate dirt as it had to
suspend the maneuvers.

Since then, China has probed sea areas ranging from the Southwestern
Islands to the Ogasawara Islands in order to block the US military's
intervention against China's invasion of Taiwan, according to a
retired general of the Self-Defense Forces. This SDF veteran used to
watch the Chinese military's moves.

US Forces Japan may move south to defend Taiwan, and Japan may also
back up US military operations. In that case, the Chinese military
would move out to occupy the Southwestern Islands. "They will place
mines," the retired SDF general said. "And," this SDF veteran added,
"their submarines will ambush to block Japanese and US support for
Taiwan."

Concurrently, the Chinese military will land its troops on Taiwan.
"When they invade the main island of Taiwan, they would make frontal
attacks from the east," a Taiwan military source said. "They would
also attack from behind (i.e., from the west)," the source added,
"and that's their scenario we anticipate." The main island of Taiwan
is only 110 kilometers away from the island of Yonagunijima on the
western tip of the Southwestern Islands.

The Chinese general's warning can be taken to divide Japan and the
United States. It was apparently based on China's military readiness
to unify Taiwan.

Taiwan's Sungshan Airport is on the northern extremity of Taipei
City. On the northern side of this airport is an arcane military
base, which is called the "Hengshan command post." This heavily
fortified underground facility, which can endure a nuclear attack,
is to serve as operational headquarters for government and military
leaders, from the president on down, if and when Taiwan comes under
attack from the Chinese military. The fortress is networked with
fiber optics and is fully loaded with hi-tech systems, reportedly
commanding a panoramic view of enemy moves on a supersize liquid
crystal screen in the event of a Chinese military invasion. The
command post, also linked up with the US Pacific Command in Hawaii,
is Taiwan's nerve center for its defense.

The hi-tech base, however, has been attacked by Chinese hackers, who
are called "online army troops." Taiwan forces have been annually

TOKYO 00004721 007 OF 013


conducting military exercises and intelligence wargames, centering
on the Hengshan command post, in preparation for China's military
invasion. In recent years, however, the command post has frequently
encountered serious incidents. For instance, the command post often
came under attacks from China's online troopers. In those
cyberattacks, its maneuver scenarios were stolen in their entirety.
Moreover, its computer systems were even destroyed. Taiwan forces
have maintained their qualitative superiority of equipment and
operational systems over China. However, such cyberattacks show that
Taiwan's hard- and software superiority is gradually becoming
uncertain.

China's military invasion of Taiwan is believed to begin with
jamming and destroying Taiwan's communication systems and to go on
with missile attacks and landing operations. For now, however,
Taiwan is feared to be seriously damaged in intelligence and
psychological warfare, a prelude to a war.

In Taiwan, President Chen Shui-bian and his administration have a
growing sense of crisis. One official of Chen's government presumes
that China cannot attack Taiwan until the Beijing Olympics, so Chen
and other Taiwan leaders are now gearing up for Taiwan's
independence.

In the spring of next year, a presidential election will take place
in Taiwan. Along with that political event, Chen is planning to poll
residents on the advisability of joining the United Nations in the
name of Taiwan. China was strongly repulsed by the plan. Beijing
called it a move for Taiwan's choice of becoming independent. Taiwan
could face an emergency at any time should China and Taiwan misread
each other's will. That is an emergency of Japan.

Brain-dead between US, China

Even if Taiwan manages to do its presidential election and
referendum uneventfully, there are even more difficulties in store
for Taiwan. China's military potential is expected to substantially
outpace Taiwan's armed forces in and after 2010. Then, a war is even
more likely to break out.

China-as one case for it to use armed force against Taiwan in and
after 2010-is now beginning to cite the case where the Taiwan
government indefinitely refuses peace talks for the unification of
China and Taiwan. Furthermore, in March 2005, China established an
anti-secession law, which allows China to attack Taiwan at any time
against whatever China regards as an act of seceding. If and when a
war breaks out between China and Taiwan, US forces would stand
behind Taiwan. Also, in that eventuality, Japan may back up US
forces. In that case, it could escalate into a major war involving
Japan, the United States, China, and Taiwan.

In the face of such a serious situation, however, Japan is covered
in a curious silence. China warns: "The Taiwan issue is an internal
affair of China. Any foreign intervention is unacceptable."
Overwhelmed by such a strong posture of China, Japanese politicians
and government officials have fallen brain-dead.

However, Japan can never be an outsider of this difficult problem.
There is almost no doubt that the United States will come to the
help of Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, which stipulates
"serious concern" about the security of Taiwan, if and when China
moves out in an attempt to unify Taiwan with its use of armed force,

TOKYO 00004721 008 OF 013


unless otherwise Taiwan unilaterally declares independence.

If USFJ launches into operations, China's naval forces would strike
US military bases on Okinawa and in other parts of Japan. Then, if
Japan backs up US forces under its regional contingency security
law, it would be also inevitable for Japan to enter into a state of
war with China.

Even so, Japan cannot refuse to back up US forces. If Japan does,
its alliance with the United States will collapse at once. If China
successfully unifies Taiwan, Japan's sealane will be under China's
control and the East China Sea will be China's inland sea. Of
course, Japan cannot secure its southwestern archipelago of Senkaku
islets.

Japan should now face up to the Taiwan issue, bearing its gravity in
mind. In addition, Japan should also step up its dialogue and
cooperation with both the United States and China and also with
Taiwan-not only in order for Japan to maintain its national security
but also in order for the region to maintain its peace. However,
Japan is a far cry from that at present.

First of all, Japan and the United States have held almost no
discussions between their foreign and defense ministers on how to
ready the two countries for a crisis of Taiwan. "The US military
wants Japan's backup against Chinese submarines," an SDF source
says. "But," this source added, "they say nothing about this matter,
probably because they think we may spill the beans."

Taiwan wants to post its military personnel in Japan on a standing
basis to get and keep in touch with the Defense Ministry and the
SDF. However, Japan remains reluctant for fear of irritating China.
The United States posts its military attaches to Taipei for military
exchanges with Taiwan. However, Japan is out of the loop. For Japan,
Taiwan's crisis really "depends on how things go," according to the
SDF veteran.

There is a hopeful factor. In late August, Chinese Defense Minister
Cao Gangchuan visited Japan. At the time, Japan and China basically
agreed to set up a hotline between their defense authorities to
avoid an eventuality.

Japan should now work to build confidence with China in order to
avoid a crisis in the East China Sea and the Taiwan Straits.
Meanwhile, Japan should also step up its security dialogue with the
United States and Taiwan. From now on, the United States and China
would further intensify their power games over hegemony in the
Asia-Pacific region. Japan, sandwiched between the two big powers,
should have its own role they cannot do.

This is the second of a series on Japan's defense posture.

(6) Interview with Victor Cha, former director for NSC Asian
Affairs: Improvement in abduction issue is condition for delisting
North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism

SANKEI (Page 7) (Full)
October 5, 2007

Victor Cha, former director for Asian affairs of the National
Security Council (NSC), who served as deputy chief negotiator of the
US delegation to the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear

TOKYO 00004721 009 OF 013


ambition until the end of April, revealed on Oct. 3 to the Sankei
that North Korea's implementation of the second-phase actions agreed
to on that same day and improvement in the abduction issue would be
necessary conditions for delisting the North as state sponsor of
terrorism.

-- What's your assessment of the six-party agreement?

Cha: The agreement stipulates that North Korea would disable its
nuclear facilities and provide a complete and correct declaration of
all of its nuclear programs by the end of 2007. It is important to
decide on specific measures and the date in negotiations with North
Korea. Therefore, the accord is good. There are left only three
months until Dec. 31. Six-party talks have a rocky road ahead.

-- The agreement did not specified the date when the US would remove
the North from its list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Cha: If Pyongyang wants to remove itself from the list by the end of
this year, it should implement the agreement and improve its
relations with Japan and address the abduction issue. I am not
speaking of the position of the US government, but these two matters
are absolutely necessary.

-- It is difficult to determine on improvement in bilateral
relations and in the abduction issue.

Cha: I don't think we can specify clearly in advance. The Fukuda
administration has to determine whether there has been improvement
or not. Japan should take an uncompromising stance toward North
Korea, but it should also take a practical approach.

-- There is a continuing argument over the definition of disabling
North Korea's nuclear weapons.

Cha: Disablement stems from the (complete, verifiable, irreversible
disarmament) principle. Therefore, it is not appropriate to
criticize the six-party talks for changing its policy and abandoning
the principle. It stands between freezing and abandoning.

-- It is said that about one year is needed to reactivate nuclear
facilities.

Cha: It took only several weeks for North Korea to restart its
nuclear programs after having dismissed International Atomic Energy
Agency (IAEA) inspectors in 2002. Compared with that, one year is a
good bit of time. It is difficult to use a core after it has not
been used for one year. It is different from just turning a light
off and on.

-- The agreement did not mention the uranium enrichment problem.

Cha: Speaking of my experience in negotiations, we have had a long
and serious debate on this issue. The US' position is clear. This
issue must be resolved.

-- How do you assess the South-North Korea summit?

Cha: The summit this time was held in a more sober atmosphere than
in 2000 between North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and then South
Korean President Kim Dae Jung. It was probably because the second
summit was held soon before the South Korean presidential election.

TOKYO 00004721 010 OF 013


It is significant that President Roh Moo Hyun was able to get a
promise from Kim Jong Il that South and North Korea would jointly
make efforts to implement the six-party agreement.

-- The joint declaration issued by the two Koreas included that they
would hold meetings to build a reconciliation structure.

Cha: It is too early for the two Koreas to push forward with a peace
agreement. I think that they probably just drew up a grand picture
heading in that direction.

(Interviewed by Takashi Arimoto, Washington)

(7) LDP, DPJ preparing for next Lower House election

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 8, 2007

With a dissolution of the House of Representatives coming closer,
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the largest opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have increased the pace in selecting
their candidates to run in the next Lower House race.

The LDP has chosen candidates to run in 280 out of 300 single-seat
electoral districts. The party has to hurry now to pick candidates
to run in the remaining 12 single-seat constituencies, leaving out
eight seats, which it has decided to concede to its coalition
partner, New Komeito. Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki instructed the
18 deputy secretaries general to complete before the end of their
year fact-finding surveys on electoral districts across the nation.
The aim of the fact-finding surveys is to choose those candidates
who definitely will win their races.

Appearing on a Fuji TV program, Ibuki stated on Oct. 7: "One option
is that candidates will be chosen through elections of local members
of the party (in each electoral district)." This would be a set of
primary elections by local members of the party. In addition to
this, an idea has emerged for determining "local power" by the
results of its own opinion polls in electoral districts as well as
by campaign activities by lawmakers.

In the background is that coordination on the selection of
candidates will likely be difficult in six constituencies, in which
there are two incumbents -- one is a postal rebel and the other is
one of the so-called "Koizumi children" - politicians who were
elected in the 2005 Lower House election for the first time. The
typical example is the Gifu No. 1 district, in which a "female
contest" will likely occur between Yukari Sato and Seiko Noda. Some
have contended that the Koizumi children lack "local (vote-getting)
power."

Ibuki is expected to attend a meeting of the secretaries general of
the Hokkaido bloc, were the number of votes obtained in the
proportional representation segment was low in the July Upper House
election. The party headquarters took the initiative in choosing
candidates for the 2005 Lower House election. The LDP reportedly,
however, will respect the views of the prefectural chapters in
selecting candidates for the next Lower House election.

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ and Minshuto) has
endorsed 204 candidates for single-seat constituencies. The DPJ will
file 250 to 260 candidates. The party will strengthen election

TOKYO 00004721 011 OF 013


cooperation with other opposition parties, including the Social
Democratic Party (SDP). DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa resumed his
nationwide stumping tour in late October. He might pick candidates
on his own in electoral districts where it is having trouble
cooperating with other opposition parties.

There is a rumor that the DPJ may score with LDP lawmakers who might
leave the party due to a result of coordination on the selection of
candidates between the postal rebels and Koizumi children.

Of the 300 single-seat electoral districts, the DPJ predicts that
there will be 20 to 30 "vacant districts" where the opposition
parties will not field any candidates. Postal rebel candidates will
run in 13 single-seat constituencies. Many of the 13 districts will
overlap with the vacant districts. One veteran DPJ lawmaker
commented: "The LDP might file postal rebels or Koizumi children in
the vacant districts." There is a speculation in the ruling
coalition that the DPJ might aim to split the LDP conservatives by
winning conservative independent lawmakers over to its side.

(8) Sankei poll on triangular mergers: Respondents viewing them as a
threat drop from 46 PERCENT to 21 PERCENT ; Companies are steadily
adopting defense measures.

SANKEI (Top Play) (Full)
October 9, 2007

In a poll conducted by the Sankei Shimbun of 134 leading companies,
only 20 PERCENT of respondents replied that they view triangular
mergers, which have paved the way for the buyouts of Japanese
companies by foreign companies, as a threat, a substantial drop from
the number in the previous survey carried out in late April. About
30 PERCENT replied that they adopted measures to defend against
takeover bids. The number of respondents who consider M&As as a
management strategy reached about 70 PERCENT , indicating that a
growing number of companies are now providing for the arrival of
full-fledged M&As. The quickly growing awareness of M&As is seen in
the survey results.

The questionnaires were sent to 134 leading companies in
mid-September.

A ban on triangular mergers, a method of mergers allowing foreign
companies to acquire Japanese companies using their subsidiaries in
Japan, was removed in May. According to the results of the poll,
only 21.6 PERCENT of respondents replied that they view triangular
mergers as a threat, falling below 50 PERCENT who replied that they
do not view such as a threat.

In the previous survey conducted on 120 companies before the lifting
of the ban, 46.7 PERCENT of pollees viewed triangular mergers as a
threat, replying, "Corporate buyouts by foreign companies would
increase." However, since hostile takeover bids are in fact
difficult under the present system, the sense of alarm appears to
have weakened. Some respondents sent cautious replies, such as that
requirements for mergers should be made stricter and that they will
closely watch how legal systems will be consolidated. However,
replies such as that feasibility of triangular mergers is low and
that such mergers are not a threat if companies make efforts to
enhance their value were visible.

The triangular merger of the Nikko Cordial Group with Citigroup, a

TOKYO 00004721 012 OF 013


leading US financial group, was released after the poll. However,
since Citigroup had a business tie-up with the Nikko Cordial Group,
the merger between the two companies was not a hostile takeover.

Thirty-seven companies, or 27.6 PERCENT of respondents, replied
that they had already adopted measures to fend off takeover bids,
extensively exceeding 17.5 PERCENT in the previous survey. Of the
37 companies, 15 introduced such measures over the past year,
bearing out the fact that an increasing number of companies adopted
such measures in readiness for stockholders meetings, which were
concentrated in June this year. Many proposals were made at those
meetings.

In addition, three companies replied that they would adopt such
measures before the end of next year. Thirteen companies answered
that they had a plan to do so, but when to do so had yet to be
decided. The number of companies that have already introduced such
measures and companies that are positive about doing so totaled
about 60 PERCENT , if the number of companies that are considering
doing so is included.

The number of companies that replied that they would use M&As as a
management strategy reached 90 or 67.2 PERCENT of respondents. As
reasons for that, many companies said that they want to expand their
business, avoid risks involved in advancing into foreign countries,
and save time.

Regarding hostile M&As, 28.4 PERCENT replied they would refrain
from resorting to such a method, noting that the environment for
adopting such a method has yet to be consolidated in Japan. The
reasons they gave included that it will increase costs; there will
be no merger effects, even if they succeed in such a merger; and
such a method is against their management principles. However, 6.0
PERCENT replied that they would adopt such a measure both at home
and abroad, if circumstances require.

(9) How about food safety? BSE (Part 1): Antipathy deep-seated among
Japanese consumers to increasing US beef on shelves

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 8, 2007

We see beefs that bear tags reading "delicious and safe" and
"American beef" on shore shelves recently.

The leading supermarket chain Seiyu began this March placing US beef
on the store shelves after the government lifted a ban on imports
levied in reaction to the discovery of the first case of BSE in the
United States in December 2003. Makoto Ishimi, a buyer of livestock
products, said that a growing number of consumers want to have
cheap, juicy US beef.

Other leading supermarkets followed Seiyu, with Ito-Yokado Co. and
Uny Co. resuming US beef in June and the Daiei Co. in August. The
total volume of imported US beef skyrocketed from about 2,000 tons
until May to about 4,000 tons in August.

For US beef, Japan has set the requirements of exporting only beef
from cattle 20 months of age or younger and removing specified risk
materials (SRM) such as the brain and spinal cord. At ports and
airports in Japan, quarantine officers carry out sampling
inspections.

TOKYO 00004721 013 OF 013

Nonetheless, vertebral columns were found in a veal shipment from
the US only one month after the ban on imports was lifted in later
2005, underscoring the sloppiness of US processing procedures. Japan
again imposed a ban on US beef imports for six months. Under such a
situation, Seiyu dispatched its employees to the plants certified to
export beef to it, and they reportedly confirmed that the plants
have introduced a double check system for SRM removal.

Again, though, inspectors discovered the internal organs and the
tongues from cattle of uncertain age in US veal shipments this
spring in quarantining beef from another dealer. Consumers now have
strong antipathy to the safety of US beef.

Although US beef imports certainly increased, the volume still
remains low at only 800,000 tons annually. While Japan was
restricting US beef imports, beef from Australia sharply increased.
Now, seven times more beefs have been imported from Australia than
those from the US. The US is calling on Japan to ease its import
requirements, but it is questionable that the US will be able to
stimulate demand in Japan for its beef when Japanese consumers are
still harboring strong distrust in the product.

DONOVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Ramzy Baroud: Year in Review Will 2018 Usher in a New Palestinian Strategy

2017 will be remembered as the year that the so-called ‘peace process’, at least in its American formulation, has ended. And with its demise, a political framework that has served as the foundation for US foreign policy in the Middle East has also collapsed. More>>

ALSO:


North Korea: NZ Denounces Missile Test

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has denounced North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test. The test, which took place this morning, is North Korea’s third test flight of an inter-continental ballistic missile. More>>

ALSO:

Campbell On: the US demonising of Iran

Satan may not exist, but the Evil One has always been a handy tool for priests and politicians alike.

Currently, Iran is the latest bogey conjured up by Washington to (a) justify its foreign policy interventions and (b) distract attention from its foreign policy failures.

Once upon a time, the Soviet Union was the nightmare threat for the entire Cold War era – and since then the US has cast the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Islamic State in the same demonic role. Iran is now the latest example…More


Catalan Independence:
Pro-independence parties appear to have a narrow majority. More>>