Search

 

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

VZCZCXRO5416
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4746/01 2831024
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 101024Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8417
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 6050
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3640
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7304
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2549
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4350
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9432
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5486
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6341

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 17 TOKYO 004746

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 10/10/07


Index:

AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
OFFICE OF TRANSLATION AND MEDIA ANALYSIS
INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
INTERNET E-MAIL ADDRESS: otmatokyo@state.gov
DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS
October 10, 2007

INDEX:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF refueling
mission (Sankei)

(2) Poll: More than half of Fukuda supporters did not support Abe
(Tokyo Shimbun)

(3) Defense minister denies allegation of MSDF fuel diversion,
stating that US warship consumed it in three days (Yomiuri)

(4) Detailed report on Diet debate: Defense Minister Ishiba says he
will disclose information on alleged diversion of fuel provided by
MSDF as much as possible (Yomiuri)

(5) DPJ finds itself in dilemma over Ozawa's proposal; Efforts to
come up with counterproposals to fueling operation run into snags
(Nikkei)

(6) Japan to continue economic sanctions against DPRK for another
half year; Many hurdles lie ahead for Japan to clear before dialogue
possible with DPRK (Nikkei)

(7) Editorial: Continuation of sanctions against DPRK (Mainichi)

(8) Day of nightmare of "nuclear umbrella" disappearing (Sankei)

(9) Japan follows in China's wake in dealing with Burma (Sankei)

(10) How about food safety? BSE (Part 3): Local governments opposed
to review of blanket testing (Asahi) 14
(Corrected copy) How about food safety? BSE (Part 1): Antipathy
deep-seated among Japanese consumers to increasing US beef on
shelves (Asahi)

(11) Political Cartoons

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF refueling
mission

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
September 29, 2007

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?


TOKYO 00004746 002 OF 017


Yes 55.3
No 28.7
Don't know (D/K) + Can't say which (CSW) 16.0

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 33.9 (30.5)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 28.1 (25.9)
New Komeito (NK) 4.4 (4.9)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.4 (3.1)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2.0 (1.6)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.2 (0.5)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.2 (0.5)
Other answers (O/A) 0.4 (1.0)
None 26.1 (30.5)
D/K + Can't say (C/S) 1.3 (1.5)

Q: What's your impression of the Fukuda cabinet's lineup?

None the better for the change 45.1
Balanced 17.2
Featureless 15.9
Competent 14.8
Surprised 2.1
Fresh 0.7
D/K+C/S 4.2

Q: Who do you think is the most hopeful of all in the Fukuda
cabinet?

Health, Labor & Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe 56.8
Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba 4.7
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura 2.1
Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura 1.6
Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama 1.3
Internal Affairs & Communications Minister Hiroya Masuda 1.0
Land, Infrastructure & Transport Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba 1.0
Minister of State for Administrative Reform Yoshimi Watanabe 0.8
Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita 0.5
Education, Science & Technology Minister Kisaburo Tokai 0.4
Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga 0.3
Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi
0.1
National Public Safety Commission Chairman Shinya Izumi 0.1
Minister of State for Declining Birthrate Yoko Kamikawa 0.1
O/A 1.9
None 15.3
D/K+C/S 11.4

Q: Do you have expectations for the Fukuda government over the Abe
government?

His personal character
Yes 63.0
No 25.1
D/K+CSW 11.9

His leadership
Yes 56.5
No 27.4
D/K+CSW 16.1


TOKYO 00004746 003 OF 017


Political approach
Yes 50.1
No 24.1
D/K+CSW 25.8

Cabinet lineup
Yes 43.6
No 37.6
D/K+CSW 18.8

Party lineup
Yes 33.9
No 41.1
D/K+CSW 25.0

Foreign policy
Yes 44.0
No 36.3
D/K+CSW 19.7

Economic policy
Yes 36.2
No 42.8
D/K+CSW 21.0

Q: What would you like the Fukuda government to pursue first?

Pensions 31.1
Economic disparities 21.8
Political scandals over money 13.1
Tax reform, such as consumption tax 7.7
North Korea 6.6
Education reform 5.9
Global warming 4.4
National security 3.0
Yasukuni Shrine 1.6
Constitutional reform 1.5
D/K+C/S 3.3

Q: When would you like the House of Representatives to hold its next
election?

Within the year 16.6
During the 1st half of next year 38.5
During the 2nd half of next year 22.3
The year after next 20.5
D/K+C/S 2.1


Q: How long do you think the Fukuda government will continue?

Step down within the year 8.0
Until around the next election for the House of Representatives
52.9
Until the fall of the year after next 24.7
Continue until after the fall of the year after next 10.6
D/K+C/S 3.8

Q: Do you support a big coalition of the LDP and the DPJ?

Yes 40.3
No 48.0

TOKYO 00004746 004 OF 017


D/K+CSW 11.7

Q: Do you support continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean?

Yes 51.0
No 39.7
D/K+CSW 9.3

(Note) Figures in parentheses denote the results of the last survey
conducted Sept. 15-16.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Sept. 26-27 by the
Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among males and females,
aged 20 and over, across the nation.

(2) Poll: More than half of Fukuda supporters did not support Abe

TOKYO (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 1, 2007

The Tokyo Shimbun yesterday tabulated findings from its recent
online public opinion survey of political monitors conducted along
with the inauguration of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's cabinet.

Asked whether to support the Fukuda cabinet, the proportion of those
who answered "yes" and that of those who answered "yes to a certain
degree" totaled 45.9 PERCENT . The proportions of those who answered
"no to a certain degree" and "no" added up to 54.1 PERCENT . As seen
from these figures, the Fukuda cabinet's disapproval rating topped
its approval rating. However, when the Tokyo Shimbun polled monitors
shortly after the Abe cabinet's shuffle that took place in late
August, the new Abe cabinet's support rate was 25.5 PERCENT , with
its nonsupport rate at 74.5 PERCENT . In the online poll taken this
time, the Fukuda cabinet's support rate was higher than that for the
new Abe cabinet.

In the survey this time, a total of 162 persons supported the Fukuda
cabinet. The Tokyo Shimbun looked into their answers given to the
survey taken right after the Abe cabinet's shuffle. In that survey,
a total of 53.7 PERCENT answered "no" or "no to a certain degree"
when asked whether to support the new Abe cabinet. This shows that
those who support the Fukuda cabinet include a considerable number
of persons who abandoned the Abe cabinet in its last phase.

Respondents were also asked about the advisability of continuing the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian
Ocean. To this question, 47.9 PERCENT said the government should
call off the MSDF's refueling mission and review it, and 25.8
PERCENT said the MSDF's refueling mission should be ended now, with
21.2 PERCENT insisting that the MSDF's refueling mission should be
continued. As seen from these figures, negative answers outnumbered
affirmative ones.

The online poll this time was conducted in late September with a
total of 500 monitors. Answers were obtained from 353 persons (70.6
PERCENT ).

(3) Defense minister denies allegation of MSDF fuel diversion,
stating that US warship consumed it in three days

TOKYO 00004746 005 OF 017

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Eve., October 10, 2007

On the issue of fuel supplied by the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(MSDF) in the Indian Ocean to US supply ships being diverted to the
Iraq war, which would not be for the intended purpose, Defense
Minister Ishiba, appearing this morning in the Lower House Budget
Committee, revealed in detail the contents of a briefing by the
United States that there had not been any diversion of fuel. Ishiba,
noting that "the contents of the US' explanation are extremely
logical," stressed that the Japanese government had concluded there
had been no diversion of fuel.

The charge of fuel diversion was derived from official US Navy
documents and other material obtained by the Japanese NGO Peace
Depot through the US Freedom of Information Act. The NGO charged
that in 2003, the MSDF supply ship Tokiwa, operating in the Indian
Ocean based on the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law, supplied a
US supply ship with 800,000 gallons of fuel, and that this oil was
likely used in the Iraq war.

According to Ishiba's explanation, the Tokiwa supplied 800,000
gallons in fuel on Feb. 25, 2003, to the US supply ship Pecos, which
in turn refueled the US Navy carrier Kitty Hawk and one cruiser. Of
that amount, the aircraft carrier, which was then engaged in
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), the action that began after the
terrorist attacks on the US, was supplied that day with 675,000
gallons of fuel. The carrier later carried out operations in the
Persian Gulf.

According to the US-side's calculation, the average fuel consumption
of a conventional aircraft carrier while on tactical maneuvers is
113,000 gallons per day. The fuel it was provided with, amounted to
one week's supply, using simple arithmetic, but from what the US
side explained, the aircraft carrier's fuel was consumed in three
days from the 25th.

Ishiba indicated three premises: 1) The standard (daily) fuel
consumption, as provided by the US in 2003, was approximately
200,000 gallons; 2) the aircraft carrier at the time it transited
the Holmes Strait was traveling at a fairly high speed of 33 knots;
and 3) it was conceivable that several flight operations were
carried out while it was navigating at high speed. He thus
concluded: "It is logical to assume that the standard daily
consumption of 200,000 gallons a day was exceeded, so in three days,
(the fuel) can be considered as having been consumed. The fuel can
be considered as having been used for OEF."

In addition, he pointed out: "It is extremely reckless to deduce
that because the vessel entered the Persian Gulf, its fuel was used
for other purposes than OEF."

He was replying to a question from Democratic Party of Japan Vice
President Kan.

(4) Detailed report on Diet debate: Defense Minister Ishiba says he
will disclose information on alleged diversion of fuel provided by
MSDF as much as possible

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Slightly abridged)
October 10, 2007

TOKYO 00004746 006 OF 017

Antiterrorism measures

Gen Nakatani (former defense chief): Japanese tankers are in the
Persian Gulf. They cannot navigate safely without being guarded by
the multinational force. What are your measures to protect sea
lanes?

Prime Minister Fukuda: The sea lanes are Japan's lifelines. If
terrorists engage in secret maneuvers, supplies of Japan's life and
blood will come to a halt. (Antiterrorism measures) are aimed at
cooperating with other countries, but they also mean to protect our
country. It is important to take a stance of cooperating with other
countries.

Nakatani: The government should give clear explanations on the
allegation that the fuel provided by the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(MSDF) was used for a purpose other than that under the
antiterrorism special measures law for Afghanistan.

Defense Minister Ishiba: Japan has exchanged official notes with
other countries in which they pledged that fuel provided by Japan
would not be used for purposes other than that listed under the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. We inquired of the United States
and received a confirmation that the US had not used Japan's oil for
other purposes. We have to scrutinize the evidence to back up the
US' explanation. The fact that the US has said so is not enough. I
want to disclose information as much as possible.

Nakatani: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa has
said that he would like to have the SDF participate in the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Is
that possible?

Ishiba: The government has taken a position that the Constitution
does not allow the SDF to take part in the ISAF. Should the SDF
participate in the ISAF, the Constitution will have to be
reinterpreted regarding the use of the right of collective
self-defense. In addition, revising the SDF Law and the law to deal
with armed attacks will be necessary.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura: The positive view that Japan
should participate in the ISAF is better than the position of
opposing everything. However, Japan is not allowed to conduct
activities corresponding to the use of armed force, which is banned
by Article 9 of the Constitution, even though such activities are
backed by UN resolutions. The ISAF has mainly carried out ground
operations. The number of victims has exceeded 300. To put it
plainly, operations are carried out in a combat zone. I don't think
Japan will be able to dispatch the SDF there immediately.

Tetsuo Saito of New Komeito: I believe that it is indispensable to
create a circumstance under which many Japanese people agree with
(MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean) in the nature of
dispatching the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) overseas. What's your
view?

Fukuda: According to the results of recent polls, I think the number
of people who understand this operation has increased. I assume that
there remain many people who do not understand it well. Therefore,
it is necessary to give the public appropriate explanations through
Diet debate. I want the opposition parties to cooperate with us.

TOKYO 00004746 007 OF 017

Right of collective self-defense

Saito: The New Komeito has insisted that the government's
interpretation that Japan cannot exercise the right of collective
defense should be maintained.

Fukuda: I want to hold debate on the relationship between the
Constitution and the special measures law to support Iraq's
rehabilitation and the antiterrorism law when new duties come up. It
is necessary to discuss as to whether and how far the Constitution
allows the SDF to take part in international activities and whether
discussion will be needed. I think the handling of such matters
should be done carefully.

(5) DPJ finds itself in dilemma over Ozawa's proposal; Efforts to
come up with counterproposals to fueling operation run into snags

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
October 10, 2007

Fierce debates began yesterday between the ruling and opposition
camps at the House of Representatives Budget Committee. Main
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ) President
Ichiro Ozawa is trying to intensify the party's offensive against
the government and ruling parties with his UN-centered logic
regarding the controversial question of extending the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. With
many DPJ lawmakers unhappy with Ozawa's approach, forming a
consensus in the party will not be easy. The government's and the
ruling bloc's plan to introduce a bill on new legislation to the
Diet is likely to be delayed to next week or later.

In yesterday's Budget Committee session, Liberal Democratic Party
lawmaker Gen Nakatani criticized Ozawa's statement that a DPJ
government would allow the country to join the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Nakatani said:
"According to the Cabinet Legislation Bureau's interpretation of the
Constitution, Japan is not allowed to take part in an operation
involving the use of force even if that is endorsed by a UN
resolution."

Troops from 37 countries, mostly NATO members, are taking part in
the ISAF, established based on UN Security Council Resolution 1386.
Involving the use of armed force, the mission has cost those
countries many lives.

Despite that, Ozawa still argues that Japan should join the ISAF as
a means of contributing to the international community. This comes
from his belief that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) should take part
even in dangerous UN operations, as necessary. Ozawa is also eager
to send troops to UN peacekeeping operations (PKO) in strife-ridden
in Sudan.

What lies behind Ozawa's statement is his judgment that there is
nothing legally wrong with the SDF joining UN-authorized operations
even if they involve military action. The logic is that joining UN
resolution-based operations does not constitute exercising a
sovereign right of the state and that such is not constrained by
Article 9 of the Constitution prohibiting the use of force. He also
says that whether to actually dispatch the SDF must be determined by
the government at the time.

TOKYO 00004746 008 OF 017

The government and ruling parties do not subscribe to Ozawa's logic,
saying it contravenes the Constitution. Ishiba told the Budget
Committee: "The SDF cannot join (the ISAF) unless the constitutional
interpretation is altered."

Ozawa also says that SDF missions overseas must be strictly
restricted when there is no UN resolution. That is why Ozawa opposes
the MSDF refueling naval vessels of the United States and other
countries engaged in the war in Afghanistan. His view is that the
MSDF's logistical support for the war in Afghanistan that began
without a UN resolution constitutes exercising the right to
collective self-defense, which is prohibited according to the
government's constitutional interpretation.

Many DPJ lawmakers do not agree with Ozawa's logic. A senior DPJ
lawmaker thinks it is difficult to include ISAF participation in a
counterproposal to new legislation, for discussions on specifics
might put strain on the leftists in the party and the united front
with the Japanese Communist Party and the Social Democratic Party.

As an alternative plan, there are moves in the party to recommend
allowing the SDF to extend logistical support to the ISAF or joining
the provincial reconstruction team (PRT), a military-civilian effort
to improve security.

Nevertheless, they are more dangerous than a PKO and require a
review of the five principles of PKO participation, including the
conclusion of a cease-fire agreement between warring parties.

To make a clear distinction and keep rejecting talks with the LDP,
Ozawa seems to be playing up his stock argument, knowing that it
might cause friction within the party.

Ozawa has been developing his stock argument on how Japan should
contribute to the international community, contributing his essay to
the latest issue of the monthly magazine Sekai that went on sale on
Oct. 9.

His view is that even if they involve the use of force, taking part
in operations based on a UN Security Council resolution transcends
the right to self-defense, a sovereign right of the nation, and that
such is not constrained by Article 9 of the Constitution. Japan is
allowed to exercise the right to self-defense either when the
country comes under a direct armed attack or when the country might
come under an armed attack following a contingency in areas
surrounding Japan.

Japan is not allowed to join the exercising of the right to
self-defense by other countries that lacks a UN resolution.
Therefore, the SDF refueling operation for assisting America's war
in Afghanistan that started without a direct UN resolution is
unconstitutional. Japan is allowed to join the dangerous ISAF in
Afghanistan and PKO in Sudan because they are based on UN
resolutions.

In contrast, the government's view is that under Article 9, the SDF
is not allowed to use force overseas irrespective of UN
resolutions.

(6) Japan to continue economic sanctions against DPRK for another
half year; Many hurdles lie ahead for Japan to clear before dialogue

TOKYO 00004746 009 OF 017


possible with DPRK

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 10, 2007

The Fukuda administration decided at a cabinet meeting yesterday to
extend the duration of the economic sanctions now imposed on North
Korea for another half a year. Although Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
has made clear his intention to attach importance to dialogue with
North Korea in order to resolve the nuclear and abduction issues,
Pyongyang is bound to react negatively to this decision. During the
recent inter-Korea summit meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Il
reportedly said that "there are no more Japanese abductees in North
Korea." This remark is creating a stir, making the prospects for
Japan-North Korea bleak.

According to a source familiar with the Japanese and South Korean
governments, the recent inter-Korea summit meeting devoted a certain
amount of time to discussing Japan-North Korea relations. President
Roh Moo Hyun reportedly said that "Japan and North Korea should
resolve their pending issues and improve their relations."
Reportedly, Kim indicated discontent, arguing: "I made efforts to
resolve the abduction issue by jointly working with former Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi to come out with the Pyongyang
Declaration, but the responses Japan later took only disappointed
me."

DPRK grabs information that Japan would continue sanction measures

Speaking of the Japanese abductees, Kim reportedly proclaimed that
"there are no other Japanese abductees than the five (who have
already returned to Japan)." Roh reportedly urged Kim to mend
relations with Japan, explaining that Prime Minister Fukuda's
foreign policy could meet his expectations. In response, Kim
reportedly said: "Then, I'd like to wait and see how Mr. Fukuda will
act from now on."

Reportedly, Kim had already grasped the information that the
Japanese government would soon act to extend the term of economic
sanctions now imposed on the North. In this regard, Roh reportedly
gave an account to Kim this way: "You must consider how strong
public opinion is in Japan."

Prime Minister Fukuda served as chief cabinet secretary in September
2002, when then Prime Minister Koizumi visited the North and signed
the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang Declaration. Since taking office as
prime minister, Fukuda has mentioned the need for dialogue (with the
North), giving consideration to the North, which has called for
"settling past issues," including Japan's colonial rule of Korea.

Japan's North Korea policy "would dramatically change" under the
Fukuda administration, a government source noted, while adding,
"Japan will return to the Koizumi administration's line of placing
importance on the Pyongyang Declaration, from the Abe administration
line of aiming at having the North Korean regime collapse by putting
the screws to it."

However, it will not be an easy task to bridge the gaps between
Japan and North Korea. In response to the North's firing a barrage
of ballistic missiles at the Sea of Japan and its nuclear test, both
of which occurred last year, Japan independently imposed sanctions
on the North and afterwards took the lead in the UNSC for UN

TOKYO 00004746 010 OF 017


sanctions on the North. At one point someone in the Japanese
government suggested using aid to the flood-hit North Korea as a
means to improve relations with it, but the Abe administration put
that idea on hold in line with the Prime Minister's Official
Residence's judgment.

DPRK likely to take a wait-and-see attitude for a while

Late yesterday Fukuda was asked by reporters about extending the
term of the sanctions on the North. He said: "Japan decided to
impose (the sanctions) at a time when (there was no progress on the
abduction issue). So, I don't think even if Japan decides to
continue them, it would not affect bilateral negotiations." On the
other hand, the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan
(Chongryon) released a statement blasting Japan. The statement said:
"It is a serious act that betrays our trust of Japan. It has become
clear who has stood in the way of dialogue between the DPRK and
Japan."

North Korea regards Japan's economic strength as a necessary element
for it to maintain its current system. But the North has shown no
signs of making a move at this time because it cannot read what
action Japan will take. A source familiar with Japan-ROK relations
took this view: "North Korea is likely to take time to assess how
serious the Fukuda administration is about resuming a dialogue with
it."

(7) Editorial: Continuation of sanctions against DPRK

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 10, 2007

The government at a cabinet meeting yesterday decided to extend by
six months its economic sanctions against North Korea. Japan's basic
stance is that there can be no normalization of ties between Japan
and North Korea without a settlement of the abduction issue. Since
there has been no concrete progress on the abduction issue, the
government cannot help but continue its sanctions.

Following the missile launches last July and the nuclear test last
October by North Korea, the government has independently imposed
sanctions against that nation. The sanctions include a ban on
imports of all goods from that nation and a ban on port calls by all
of its ships. The government has extended the ban once again this
time, following the first extension in April.

Financial sanctions, including the freeze on bank accounts held by
missile-related companies and individuals and the ban on exports of
luxury goods, introduced following the adoption of a resolution by
the United Nation's Security Council (UNSC), will also be kept in
place.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura gave two reasons for the
continuation of those sanctions: (1) no progress on the abduction
issue; and (2) various other factors, including the nuclear issue.
Given the fact that Japan's sanctions against North Korea are meant
to apply pressure on the nation because of its nuclear issue, a
concern commonly harbored by the international community, and the
abduction issue involving Japan and that nation, the reasons given
by Machimura are only natural.

Regarding the nuclear issue, participants in the six-party talks

TOKYO 00004746 011 OF 017


reached an agreement in early this month that North Korea disable
its three nuclear facilities by December 31 this year and declare
all of its nuclear development programs. Though there are still some
deficiencies in the agreement, the six-party talks have gotten
underway in the run-up to the implementation of these second-phase
steps by North Korea before year's end.

In the meantime, there has been no concrete progress on the
abduction issue. The government has officially recognized 17
abduction victims, of whom 12 have not yet returned home. Aside
from these people, there are many other missing persons whose
disappearances are probably related to North Korea.

General Secretary Kim Jong Il pledged to reinvestigate the
whereabouts of abduction victims, who are said to have died or whose
whereabouts is reportedly unknown. However, the authenticity of most
of the material evidence, data and records North Korea produced
later was dubious. In addition, Kim during the inter-Korean summit
last week said, "There are no more Japanese abductees." This was
revealed by a South Korean official who joined President Roh Moo
Hyun on his visit to North Korea for the summit.

North Korea may oppose Japan continuing its sanctions. However,
before opposing Japan's decision, it should make a sincere response
in order to make a breakthrough in the abduction issue. If Kim's
remark that there are no more Japanese abductees is true, he must
fulfill his accountability, producing evidence to that effect.

The Japanese side must not impose sanctions for the sake of imposing
sanctions. North Korea has begun showing a delicate change in its
stance with eye on holding talks, as can be seen in that it during a
bilateral working group meeting last month avoided using the
expression "the abduction issue has been settled." Japan should make
efforts to promote talks, by valuing this incipient change.

Japan should calmly continue its sanctions until North Korea makes a
sincere response. However, circumstances in North Korea and the
effects of the sanctions have changed from the time when the
sanctions were launched. Cooperation with the US and South Korea is
increasingly becoming important.

(8) Day of nightmare of "nuclear umbrella" disappearing

SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 5, 2007

In 2009, North Korea would succeed in test-firing the long-range
ballistic missile, "Taepodong 2." It then would declare: "We are now
capable of attacking the United States. It is also possible for us
now to arm our missiles with nuclear warheads." The US would call on
the United Nations to slap sanctions against the North, but China
would insist: "Sanctions are not necessary." Reconnaissance planes
would be rapidly mobilized from US military bases in Okinawa.

Needless to say, this scenario is fanciful. It was dreamed up as a
computer simulation by experts on security issues from Japan and the
US meeting in Tokyo this July to game a possible crisis on the
Korean Peninsula.

However, North Korea actually fired missiles in July of last year
and carried out a nuclear test last October. It has also been
reported that North Korea is developing a new missile dubbed the

TOKYO 00004746 012 OF 017


"Musudan." As it stands, the North has continued provocative acts
toward the international community. The gap between reality and
virtual reality is certainly narrowing.

National Defense Academy President Professor Fumio Ota, who oversaw
the simulation, said: "It thought it was necessary to consider how
the US, China, and South Korea would respond to a nuclear or missile
crisis from North Korea and what Japan should do in such a case."

Officials responsible for defense affairs are worried most about a
case in which Pyongyang succeeds in producing a nuclear ballistic
missile capable of attacking the US.

It has been believed that Japan's safety has been ultimately
guaranteed by the US' "nuclear umbrella," as well as by the presence
of US forces in Japan. However, many persons now wonder if the
Pentagon would respond to seriously protect Japan's security in
earnest if and when China or North Korea develop a nuclear missile
that can reach the US.

When Ota asked this question to a former high-ranking US official in
February of last year, that person replied: "I can neither say 'yes'
nor 'no'." "It was a shocking answer to me," Ota said.

Japan first came to question the "nuclear umbrella" when China's
moves to build up its strategic nuclear force were noticed.

After all, security and water are not provided free of charge. Even
in the Japan-US Security Treaty, the US does not necessarily commit
itself to unconditionally using armed force (to protect Japan).
Article 5 of the treaty specifies that the US will move to protect
Japan only when the US judges the action will be in its interest.

Since the regime under DPRK leader Kim Jong Il, unlike China, is
developing nuclear weapons for its survival, there is the
possibility that it might take a self-destructive step by attacking
Japan. Moreover, the North is a dictatorship that has committed
illegal acts without mercy, so there is a probability that nuclear
deterrence will not normally function with that country, as it did
with Russia in the cold-war era.

Under such conditions, if the North launches a nuclear attack on
Japan, will the US be able to retaliate against it, sacrificing
residents of the West Coast, such as California?

The organizer for the July simulation tried to add this scenario:
The US might abandon its nuclear umbrella. But based on the judgment
this scenario will inevitably give a great shock to parties
concerned, the organizer decided to remove it just before the event.
Japan does not want to think about the day of the nuclear umbrella
disappearing.

Danger of leaving deterrent function in others' hands

Beijing has fiercely pressed North Korea to return to the six-party
talks since the North forcibly carried out a nuclear test (last
October).

China's pressure on the North might be stemming from a desire to
prevent the US from taking hasty military action against that
country. Should the US military launch a strike on the North,
hundreds of thousands of refugees would flow into China. A military

TOKYO 00004746 013 OF 017


occupation of North Korea by the US forces is a security nightmare
for China.

Meanwhile, China is concerned about the possibility of Japan, a huge
economic power, becoming a nuclear power by developing its own
weapons. For Beijing, Japan's nuclear capability is far more
terrible than North Korea going nuclear.

To prevent Japan and the US from making such moves, China needs to
assume the initiative in the six-party talks. Japan, however, is not
a normal country. The fact that Japan has not discussed a nuclear
option openly and widely has alarmed Beijing.

Then Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman
Shoichi Nakagawa said last October: "It should be acceptable to
discuss Japan's option for nuclear arms." This remark, however,
triggered fierce criticism. Even former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe,
who has an understanding about nuclear disputes, had to put the
issue under seal, saying, "I will not place the issue on the
agenda."

Reactions to discussing Japan's nuclear option reflect the view that
although defending the nation is acceptable, deterrence should be
left in the hands of others.

Kenneth Waltz, an expert on US nuclear power, has written an article
titled, "Heading toward nuclear peace," in which he denies the
common idea that Europe's strong defense capability worked to stave
off an attack from the Soviet Union. According to Waltz, not defense
capability but the capability to punish an enemy contributes to
deterring attacks.

Assuming that only nuclear weapons can successfully deal with a
nuclear threat, what options are left for Japan, besides
independently developing a nuclear capability, if the "nuclear
umbrella" becomes dysfunctional for Japan's security? The following
three options come to the fore through discussion with experts on US
nuclear strategy:

Japan should: (1) rent a nuclear testing site in the US under the
Japan-US alliance and possess its own nuclear weapons (British
type); (2) reinforce the "nuclear umbrella" by bringing in nuclear
weapons from the US (former Western Germany type); or (3) coexist
with nuclear weapons of North Korea and China without having its own
ones (coexistence type).

Ota is alarmed: "Unless Japan prepares response measures assuming
every situation, the Japan-US alliance might disintegrate." No
progress has been made on North Korea's denuclearization. On the
contrary, there is even the feeling that the US might vaguely
tolerate North Korea's nuclearization.

Japan is a strange country in which discussing a nuclear option is
not allowed. In this case, there is no other means for now but for
Japanese politicians to make efforts to make the "joint illusion" of
the US' nuclear deterrence more solid. In a Japan-US summit, Japan
should take up the "nuclear umbrella" as an official agenda item and
declare: "Japan will never give up its nuclear option as long as the
North continues nuclear development programs."

By doing so, Japan should draw out a stronger "nuclear umbrella"
from the US, with the aim of strengthening its deterrent capability

TOKYO 00004746 014 OF 017


and protecting the safety and prosperity of its people.

(By Akio Takahata, Hiroshi Yuasa)

(9) Japan follows in China's wake in dealing with Burma

SANKEI (Page 6) (Slightly abridged)
October 10, 2007

Kinya Fujimoto, Bangkok

Japan, like China and India, is expected by the international
community to use its influence on the military junta in Myanmar
(Burma). To be sure, Japan has maintained close ties with that
country since the days when it had been called Burma. But Japan
lacks special personal ties with Burma at present because of a
generational change in the military junta. Instead, Japan has
recently been following in the footsteps of China in its diplomacy.
Relations between Japan and Burma have been historically portrayed
as something very special, but it seems time for Japan to depart
from this illusion.

The international community expects Japan as a major aid-donor to
put pressure on Burma. Japan has been Burma's top aid donor among
the industrial nations since the 1990s.

However, Japan in principle halted new projects under its official
development assistance (ODA) program since 2003, when the
pro-democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi was again placed under house
arrest. Japan's annual ODA disbursements to Burma have dropped
accordingly to 3 billion yen or so, one-tenth of the amount Japan
gave at the end of the 1980s. In this regard, a diplomatic source
commented: "Even if aid from Japan to Burma stopped, there would
little effect on that country."

Nonetheless, other countries expect Japan to put pressure on Burma,
given the special relationship between the two countries in
historical terms.

During Burma's struggle for independence from Britain in 1948, the
so-called "30 Comrades," including General Aung San, father of Suu
Kyi, and former President Ne Win, played an important part. In the
early 1940s, those 30 Comrades received military training from the
Imperial Japanese Army on Hainan Island and later organized the
Burma Independence Army (BIA), the predecessor of the current
Burmese Forces.

These past circumstances contributed greatly to cementing ties
between Burma and Japan. Close relations continued from the 1960s
through the 1990s, during which Ne Win was in power. In those days,
the Japanese side was able to meet with whoever the ranking
officials of Burma might be.

But with the death of Ne Win in 2002, generational change followed,
and bilateral ties between Burma and Japan changed completely.

What disappointed the Burmese military junta most is reportedly when
Japan sided with the United States on the question of whether to put
the Burmese issue on the agenda of the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) and then voted for the issue being on the agenda.
Since then Japan's influence on Burma has been on the decline. In
fact, when the Japanese ambassador to Burma hosted a party at the

TOKYO 00004746 015 OF 017


end of last year, joining it from the Burmese military junta was a
vice foreign minister instead of a foreign minister.

In contrast, when the Chinese ambassador to Burma held a party in
September of last year, the State Peace and Development Council's
(SPDC) First Secretary Thein Sein, the number four leader of the
military junta, attended the party. China is now received most
warmly by the military junta in Burma.

Recently, Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka visited
Burma and asked the junta to allow him to meet with Suu Kyi, but his
request was brushed aside, giving the impression that Japan no
longer receives red-carpet treatment, unlike the days when Ne Win
was in power.

The Japanese government, however, remains unable to clamp down on
the junta, feeling that if it did so, it would only drive the junta
closer to China.

Perhaps out of this concern, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura said onf Sept. 26: "I wonder whether it is a good policy
to simply join hands with the US and European nations to criticize
(Burma)." Japan, however, has no strong diplomatic tools to leverage
the junta.

"The Japanese government appears weak-kneed, despite the death of a
Japanese cameraman, because of the junta's armed crackdown," a
member of a support group for Burma in Bangkok said. The
international audience pays close attention as to how Japan responds
to Burma.

(10) How about food safety? BSE (Part 3): Local governments opposed
to review of blanket testing

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 10, 2007

All 1.21 million head of cattle being raised in Japan in FY2006
underwent BSE testing under the blanket inspection requirement.

At the Tokyo Central Wholesale Meat Market (Minato Ward), the
nation's largest meat-processing plant, biopsies start at 07:30 a.m.
before animals are killed and disassembled. The severed heads are
delivered to the Shibaura Meat Sanitary Inspection Station in the
market to check the extracted medullas, in which abnormal prions
causing BSE tend to accumulate, using a specific reagent chemical.

This station tested about 94,000 cows in FY2006, but there was none
that tested positive. Inspection Department Head Kotoe Ando proudly
said: "We have established a system under which infected cows are
not overlooked, though it is painstaking work."

There is a move to review this blanket testing system. Based on the
judgment that testing is unnecessary for cattle 20 months of age or
younger, the government has decided to discontinue subsidies to
cover the full amount of testing costs (approximately 200 million
yen) for local governments. In response, local governments that
house many livestock breeders have fiercely reacted, one assailing:
"Consumers will feel uneasy." Miyazaki and Wakayama have decided to
independently continue the blanket-testing system.

The government's new policy is based on the report with

TOKYO 00004746 016 OF 017


recommendations issued in 2005 by the Food Safety Commission under
the Cabinet Office. The report noted that the results of testing
more than 4 million cows showed that if the brain and spinal cord
were removed, the risk of BSE to humans was very small.

Although some local governments show an understanding of the
contents of the report, they intend to continue blanket testing out
of consideration to livestock farmers. They also want to reassure
consumers of the safety of beef. Sanitary Management Division Head
Yuichi Nagashima of the Miyazaki prefectural government, which
decided to keep the blanket-testing system, also commented: "I think
cattle 20 months of age or younger are BSE-free, but many do not
think so. We do not want consumers to feel ill at ease."

(Corrected copy) 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 beef that bear tags reading "delicious and safe" and
"American beef" on retail store 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 jumped 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.

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, since annual domestic demand in Japan is 800,000 tons.
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

TOKYO 00004746 017 OF 017


consumers are still harboring a strong distrust in the product.

DONOVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Cyclone Gita: 70% Of Tonga Population Affected

The full scale of destruction is beginning to emerge from Tonga in the aftermath of the severe tropical cyclone Gita. Around 50,000 people, or almost 70% of the country’s population, have been affected, a third of whom are children. More>>

ALSO:

Gita: Samoas Clean Up After Being Swamped By Cyclone

Apia in the wake of Gita Photo: Rudy Bartley The clean up is continuing in the two Samoas after Tropical Cyclone Gita hit on Saturday morning. More>>

ALSO:


Grand Coalition : Germany's two main political parties set to govern under Angela Merkel.

The liberal-conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) negotiated through the night in a marathon final push to nail down an agreement. More>>


80 Passengers: Kiribati Ferry Disaster

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are working with the Government of Kiribati to support children, families and communities affected by the recent Butiraoi ferry disaster. 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. More

ALSO: