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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/11/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 004766

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 10/11/07


Index:

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

Antiterrorism law furor:
4) Cabinet to adopt new anti-terror bill on Oct. 17 (Yomiuri)
5) New anti-terror law to be limited to maritime interdiction
operations (MIO), with no supplying of ships supporting Afghan air
strikes (Mainichi)
6) Pentagon releases details of MSDF refueling operations (Asahi)
7) US, Japan fall in step in denying diversion of MSDF fuel for
other than MIO purposes (Asahi)
8) Opposition camp unconvinced by government's explanation of use of
MSDF fuel, calls information released insufficient (Yomiuri)
9) Exchanges in the Lower House Budget Committee on anti-terror
issue (Yomiuri)
10) Government rejects sounding out about Japan's ISAF participation
(Tokyo Shimbun)

DPJ's Ozawa on the move:
11) DPJ President Ozawa tones down remarks on Japan's participation
in ISAF's military operations (Mainichi)
12) President Ozawa says that if any members of the DPJ are unhappy
with his ISAF proposal, let them leave the party (Yomiuri)
13) Former DPJ President Maehara: My views are different than Mr.
Ozawa's (Sankei)
14) SDP head Fukushima calls Ozawa's proposed ISAF participation
would be unconstitutional (Tokyo Shimbun)
15) Ozawa to sell legally-questionable real estate purchased with
political funds (Tokyo Shimbun)

Diet doings:
16) DPJ submits two bills that are tax and fiscal related, but only
to throw a monkey wrench into the budget compilation timetable
(Asahi)
17) Old feud between Tanaka and Fukuda families to be rekindled
tomorrow as Makiko Tanaka grills Yasuo Fukuda in Diet
interpellations (Yomiuri)

18) Japanese university student abducted by insurgents in southeast
Iran; Foreign Ministry forms task force (Yomiuri)

19) Prime Minister Fukuda planning visit to US in mid-November
(Mainichi)

20) Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura stresses that Fukuda's first
overseas trip will be to the US (Sankei)

21) Fukuda wants a comprehensive solution to North Korea issue
covering nuclear and abduction issues (Mainichi)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Man held in killing of suicidal woman

Mainichi:
New refueling law to limit scope of MSDF mission

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Yomiuri:
Japanese college student held captive in Iran

Nikkei:
Japanese steelmakers to double auto sheet output abroad in 3 years

Sankei:
Prime Minister Fukuda exposed to barrage of questions from DPJ at
Lower House Budget Committee session

Tokyo Shimbun:
Tokyo District Court rules that utility of videotaping
interrogations is limited

Akahata:
JCP lawmaker Sasaki pursues Prime Minister Fukuda at Lower House
Committee: Higher burden on elderly, tax breaks for major companies

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Doubts on the fuel diversion remain dismissed
(2) 50 years of space age: Make best use of Japan's specialties

Mainichi:
(1) DPJ has not reached consensus on support for antiterrorism
operations
(2) Man in Toyama acquitted: Questions about lawyers and courts
remain

Yomiuri:
(1) DPJ should submit own bill on ISAF participation
(2) Time lost cannot be recalled even though man acquitted

Nikkei:
(1) Ruling, opposition camps should deepen policy debate to find
common ground
(2) European financial realignment without sense of exaltation

Sankei:
(1) Now is not time to come to conclusion on SDF participation in
ISAF in Afghanistan
(2) Japan-made airliners: Japan makes its dream reality

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Man acquitted: Prosecutors, lawyers, judges urged to reflect
seriously
(2) Make genuine efforts to promote gender-equal society

Akahata:
(1) Measures against global warming: Japan's response being tested

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 10

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

06:58
Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ohno at the Kantei.

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09:00
Lower House Budget Committee meeting.

12:03
Returned to the Kantei.

13:00
Lower House Budget Committee meeting.

17:04
Met with Chairman Mun Hui Sang of the South Korea-Japan
Parliamentarian League. Finance Minister Nukaga, secretary general
of the Japan-South Korea Parliamentarian League, was present.

17:37
Met with Takebe, head of the Party Reform Implementation
Headquarters, at the Kantei. Then met with US Senator Daniel Inoue.

20:08
Arrived at his residence in Nozawa.

4) New antiterrorism legislation to be approved in cabinet meeting
Oct. 17

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The government and ruling coalition decided yesterday that in order
to start deliberations as early as the 18th at the House of
Representatives, the cabinet of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will
approve in a meeting on Oct. 17 the new antiterrorism special
measures bill aimed at continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
(MSDF) refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. In a meeting today of
the Lower House Steering committee, they will propose their plan to
the opposition camp.

Interpellations at the House of Councillors Budget Committee are
scheduled to run until the 17th. After the Upper House Budget
Committee completes the question-and-answer sessions, a National
Security Council meeting will be held. After this meeting, the
Fukuda cabinet will hold a meeting to approve the new antiterrorism
legislation for submission to the Lower House. The government and
ruling camp intend to deliberate the legislation each and every day
at the Lower House Special Committee to Prevent Terrorism and aim to
pass it through the Lower House in early November.

5) Japanese oil to be limited to MIO vessels; Warships supporting
air strikes will be excluded, says Komura

MAINICHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura told the House of Representatives
Budget Committee yesterday that the government would present new
legislation allowing the Maritime Self-Defense Force to provide fuel
only to the vessels taking part in the maritime interdiction
operations (MIO) in the Indian Ocean. He thus indicated that the
MSDF would not refuel warships supporting air strikes on
Afghanistan. Komura was responding to a question by Katsuya Okada of
the Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ).


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In posing the question, Okada said regarding the US-led Operation
Enduring Freedom (OEF) that started in 2001 in Afghanistan that
missile attacks and air strikes have been conducted on Afghanistan.
In response, Komura admitted that the MSDF had temporarily refueled
warships attacking Afghanistan as part of its logistical support,
saying: "(At the initial stage of the OEF), the MSDF conducted its
operations based on the right to self-defense (of the United States
and other countries). The MSDF provided (fuel) under the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law in the OEF. After the
establishment of the Karzai administration, the MSDF extended
logistical support upon obtaining the concurrence of the
administration."

Komura also said: "There is no problem under international law. We
recognize that the MSDF is not doing so at present." Okada further
asked: "Can you say for certain that (warships refueled by the MSDF)
will not directly strike or launch missiles at Afghanistan (in the
future)?" In response, Komura said: "Such will not occur because the
new legislation we are going to submit to the Diet will not allow
them."

6) Pentagon unveils details on MSDF fueling

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

WASHINGTON-In February 2003, shortly before the Iraq war, a Maritime
Self-Defense Force supply ship, codenamed "Tokiwa" and operating in
the Indian Ocean under Japan's Antiterrorism Special Measures Law,
indirectly refueled the USS Kitty Hawk, a US Navy aircraft carrier.
In this connection, the Kitty Hawk is suspected of having used
MSDF-supplied fuel for operations in Iraq. On this issue, the US
Department of Defense announced on the morning of Oct. 10 (or
yesterday evening Japan time) that the suspicion is "wrong." The
Kitty Hawk consumed more fuel than the amount of MSDF-supplied fuel
during a period of three days when she was engaged in Operation
Enduring Freedom (OEF) against Afghanistan before her entry into a
mission to watch Iraq in a northern area of the Persian Gulf,
according to a Pentagon official.

The Pentagon, in its Oct. 10 statement released for the Japanese
media, unveiled the quantities of MSDF fuel supplies and other
details.

According to the statement, the Tokiwa refueled the Pecos, a US
naval oiler, with 800,000 gallons on Feb. 25, 2003. Shortly
thereafter, the Pecos supplied 675,000 gallons to the Kitty Hawk.
Given that this fuel supply of 675,000 gallons from the Pecos to the
Kitty Hawk was entirely provided by the Tokiwa, the Kitty Hawk could
have consumed the 675,000 gallons in the light of her speed and
operations within a three-day timeframe, the Pentagon says.

7) Tokyo, Washington deny fuel diversion, attempt to bring issue to
close

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The Maritime Self-Defense Force, which has been on a refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean, indirectly refueled the USS Kitty Hawk,
a US aircraft carrier, in February 2003. On this issue, the Japanese
and US governments yesterday released data denying the suspected

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diversion of MSDF-supplied fuel for operations in Iraq. The two
governments explained that the 675,000 gallons of fuel indirectly
provided by an MSDF supply ship to the Kitty Hawk was "burned within
a three-day time period" before her participation in Iraq
operations. In the Diet, full-fledged debate kicked off, with the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) pursuing the
suspected diversion of MSDF-supplied fuel in a meeting yesterday of
the House of Representatives Budget Committee. However, the Japanese
government wants to draw this issue to a close, saying it has now
accounted for the matter.

The government is preparing to make a cabinet decision on Oct. 17 to
adopt a new antiterror legislation in order for Japan to continue
the MSDF's refueling activities.

However, the Kitty Hawk switched her mission to back up Operation
Southern Watch (OSW) against Iraq three days after she received the
fuel. Given this fact, her suspected fuel diversion cannot be
completely denied. The opposition bench is poised to continue
pursuing the suspicion.

8) Opposition parties unconvinced by government's explanation on
alleged diversion of MSDF-provided fuel for use in Iraq war

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

In a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee
yesterday, Defense Minister Ishiba denied the allegations that fuel
provided by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to a US supply
vessel in the Indian Ocean allegedly had been used in the Iraq war
by disclosing the details of an explanation by the US government on
the issue. The opposition camp, however, was not convinced with the
government's explanation, criticizing it as insufficient. The
showdown between the ruling and opposition parties is expected to
escalate further.

It has been suspected that the US aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk
indirectly received fuel from a MSDF refueling vessel on Feb. 25 in
2003 and then engaged in the war in Iraq. Over this charge of
diversion, the government and the opposition bloc crashed head-on in
the Budget Committee meeting yesterday. The point of contention was
how the mission of the Kitty Hawk in the Persian Gulf was linked to
the Iraq war. If it is proved true that the aircraft carrier had
been involved in the Iraq war, the MSDF refueling service will be
judged as violating the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.

Upon admitting that the Kitty Hawk had entered the Persian Gulf
after it indirectly received fuel from the MSDF, Ishiba stressed:
"The aircraft carrier consumed all the fuel within three days (from
Feb. 25). The fuel was not used in operations in Iraq (joined by the
aircraft carrier) in March. He also revealed that Japan had received
similar explanations from the US government.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Deputy President Naoto Kan assailed
that it was unnatural for the Kitty Hawk in the Persian Gulf to fly
aircraft toward Afghanistan in the reverse direction. He then
emphasized: "It is natural to see that the aircraft carrier had
engaged in monitoring activities in Iraq."

Ishiba made this counterargument: "It is extremely irrational to
reach the conclusion (that the MSDF-supplied fuel was used in the

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Iraq war), citing the reason that the aircraft carrier had sailed
into the Persian Gulf." The basic plan in the Antiterrorism Law
specifies "the Indian Ocean, including the Persian Gulf" as the area
of supportive activities. However, even government officials say
that the operations remain ambiguous, with a Foreign Ministry source
commenting: "Although we hear that aircraft had flown from the
Persian Gulf to Afghanistan, we were not informed of the details of
the aircraft carrier's operations in the Persian Gulf, because such
information is a military secret."

Meanwhile, the DPJ is set to press the government to disclose
information on the diversion allegation and the MSDF refueling
operation. Vice President Katsuya Okada said: "Various questions
have come up regarding the Antiterrorism Law. There are many matters
on which information should be disclosed."

9) Diet debate: Defense minister learns from US that amount of fuel
provided by MSDF to USS Kitty Hawk was 675,000 gallons

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

Refueling mission in Indian Ocean

Kan (Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)): On the morning of Feb. 25,
2003, the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) supply ship Tokiwa
refueled the US supply ship Pecos, and on the afternoon of that day,
Pecos refueled the USS Kitty Hawk. In this regard, then Chief
Cabinet Secretary Fukuda stated positively at a press briefing on
May 9 that it would be impossible to use (the fuel provided by
Tokiwa) for operations in Iraq.

Prime Minister Fukuda: There was an error in collecting data. What I
said at the time was incorrect.

Kan: Which part of your remark at the time was wrong?

Fukuda: I made two mistakes. First, the amount of fuel provided by
Japan to the US supply ship (was 800,000 gallons in actuality) but
it was mistakenly entered into the computer system as 200,000
gallons. Afterwards, we on the part of the government explained that
the amount of fuel provided by (Pecos) to Kitty Hawk was 800,000
gallons, but we learned after inquiring of the US about this matter
that the amount of fuel in question was 675,000 gallons.

Kan: I have a suspicion that then Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda
might have known that Kitty Hawk had headed for the Persian Gulf.

Defense Minister Ishiba: Tokiwa refueled Pecos during the period
from 6:30 a.m. through 10:00 a.m. of Feb. 25. The amount of fuel
provided was 800,000 gallons. In order to join Kitty Hawk by noon,
Pecos moved in the direction of the Strait of Hormuz. By around
20:00 p.m. of that day, Pecos completed refueling Kitty Hawk. The
amount of fuel provided by Pecos to Kitty Hawk was 675,000 gallons.
After being refueled, Kitty Hawk passed the Strait of Hormuz by
20:00 p.m. of Feb. 25 and was engaged in operations in the Persian
Gulf.

According to the US report shown to us in 2003, Kitty Hawk consumed
some 20 gallons of fuel per day on average. We have been told by the
US side that Kitty Hawk was engaged in Operation Enduring Freedom
(OEF), and that after being refueled by Pecos, Kitty Hawk "consumed

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all the fuel" provided by Pecos in three days starting Feb. 25.

Ishiba: The most important point is that Kitty Hawk was cruising for
a considerably longer period of time at the high speed of 33 knots
when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz. It seemed that
Kitty Hawk also was cruising at the high speed when it was engaged
in several flight operations. I presume in these cases Kitty Hawk
would have consumed more fuel than its average consumption. I
therefore think the US side's explanation that (Kitty Hawk) consumed
675,000 gallons in three days or by the end of February is highly
reasonable. It is thought that the fuel provided would have been
used for OEF. Operation Southern Watch (ODW) in Iraq started in
early March.

10) Government turns down request for participation in ISAF

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The Tokyo Shimbun learned yesterday that the government declined an
unofficial request from countries participating in the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) for the Self-Defense Forces'
participation in their operations.

More than one source revealed this. The sources said that the reason
for the rejection is that it is constitutionally impossible to
comply with such a request. Land operations by the ISAF involve more
dangers than the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operations
in the Indian Ocean. In addition, the point has been made that such
activities could be integrated into the use of armed force by other
countries.

11) Ozawa becomes cautious about joining ISAF military department

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa
held a press conference yesterday in which he exhibited cautiousness
about directly joining the military department of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, saying, "I have
questions about the ISAF's security operations." He also underlined
the need to support the public welfare of Afghanistan, saying,
"Above all, it is most important to bring stability to the general
public." The DPJ's newsletter dated Oct. 5 carried Ozawa's statement
that said: "Once our party holds the reigns of government, I would
like to bring about Japan's participation in the ISAF."

Touching on ISAF participation, Ozawa maintained in the press
conference that an action based on a UN resolution is not
unconstitutional, saying, "Our policy platform also says so." With
cautious views inside and outside the party in mind, Ozawa also
said: "There is a minority opinion, but party members must act in
accordance with party policy. If they don't like it, there is no
other option but to leave the party."

Regarding the question of obtaining income from renting out
condominiums purchased by his fund-management organization
Rikuzan-kai with political funds, Ozawa indicated that he is
considering selling one unoccupied condominium shortly and not
receiving rental fees for another condominium from a foundation by
letting Rikuzan-kai donate the rent to that foundation. He also

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revealed a plan to sell other properties after redeeming the loans.
Regarding the Mainichi Shimbun's report on this problem, Ozawa said:
"It is politically intended to libel me."

12) Ozawa: Members opposed to his idea on ISAF should leave party

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 11, 2007

In a press conference yesterday, Democratic Party of Japan President
Ozawa referred to his idea of Japan's participation in the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan and
suggested that Japan's operations should be related mainly to
livelihood-related aid. Ozawa said: "Public welfare activities are
included in ISAF. I am skeptical of the ongoing security
activities." He also said: "DPJ members should follow party policy
that was decided on by a majority. Those who do not agree with this
idea should leave the party."

However, Vice President Seiji Maehara said in a panel discussion in
Tokyo last night: "Views in the party have yet to be unified on the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law and antiterrorism operations."

Social Democratic Party President Fukushima criticized the Ozawa
idea in a press conference yesterday:

"President Ozawa's idea is unconstitutional. It is now necessary for
all opposition parties to take joint steps on the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law and new legislation to replace it in pressing
the ruling camp to disclose related information. At such a time, why
has he come up with such a proposal? It is hard to understand."

13) Maehara points to difference in views with Ozawa

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Seiji Maehara, former president of the Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto or DPJ), attended an open forum, held at a Tokyo hotel
last night. Touching on President Ichiro Ozawa's proposal for
joining the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in
Afghanistan, Maehara said:

"President Ozawa's view is different from mine. Views in the party
have yet to be unified. I do not subscribe to the view that a
country can do anything as long as there is a UN resolution. Many
traditional DPJ members (since before the merger with the Liberal
Party) find Mr. Ozawa's thinking disagreeable. Then again, we must
all follow party policy."

14) "Mr. Ozawa's stance is unconstitutional," says SDP President
Fukushima

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Social Democratic Party President Mizuho Fukushima during a press
conference yesterday criticized Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) President Ozawa's proposal for participation in the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), noting, "The
standpoint of the Constitution does not allow the use of armed force
in any circumstance. Mr. Ozawa's stance is unconstitutional."

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Fukushima also said, "I do not understand why Mr. Ozawa says such a
thing at a time when opposition parties should press the government
in unity to disclose information."

15) "We will sell the properties in the near future," says DPJ head
Ozawa

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ozawa,
referring yesterday in news conference to the issue of Rikuzan-kai,
his fund management body, earning rent income from condominiums
purchased with political funds, said, "We are still repaying loans
for other properties as well. However, since the repayment of loans
will be over soon, we want to sell those properties." He revealed
that he plans to sell more than ten properties owned by
Rikuzan-kai.

Regarding the body earning rent income, Ozawa explained, "At first,
the plan was to rent them without charge. However, since the tenants
later told us that they wanted to pay rent in some form or other, we
charged them rent." He once again indicated his view that the case
is not a violation of the Political Funds Control Law, which bans
such transactions.

16) DPJ to submit two tax, fiscal bills to Diet to undermine
government budget compilation

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has decided to submit two bills
- a bill related to fiscal resources and another bill related to tax
reform - to an ordinary Diet session to be held early next year. The
main opposition party intends to present ways to secure fiscal
resources to implement its pledges for the earlier House of
Councillors election. It also aims to play up its capability to
assume political power by challenging the government on budget
compilation. Meanwhile, even with an eye on a consumption tax hike,
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will shift priority to fiscal
discipline and pose questions about the DPJ's stance of putting a
consumption tax hike under seal. A dispute on fiscal resources may
be taken up as a campaign issue in the next general election.

The DPJ has decided to push ahead with work on legislation to
coincide with the government's work to reform the tax system and
compile a budget bill for next fiscal year. The LDP and the DPJ are
likely to engage in fierce competition over specific measures to
reform expenditures and revenues.

The DPJ plans to compile early next year its own FY2008 budget bill
that would include policies presented in its manifesto for the
latest Upper House election. In an interview with Asahi Shimbun
yesterday, Tax System Research Council Chairman Hirohisa Fujii said:
"We will show a difference between the bills of ours and the LDP. We
will represent the bases of the fiscal mechanism and the tax system
in our bill."

17) Another "Kaku-Fuku war"; Makiko Tanaka to question at Lower
House committee session tomorrow

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YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto)
decided yesterday to have former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, an
independent belonging to the DPJ's parliamentary group, appear as a
questioner in a session tomorrow of the House of Representatives
Audit and Oversight of Administration Committee, in which Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda is expected to attend. Fukuda's father, former
Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda, and Tanaka's father, former Prime
Minister Kakuei Tanaka were engaged in a bitter political battle
called the "Kaku-Fuku war," competing for the prime minister's
post.

A senior DPJ member said:

"We want Tanaka to grill the prime minister with her bitter tongue.
As the second Kaku-Fuku war, the plan would attract public
attention. The DPJ will not make any special requests so that she
can pose questions in her own inimitable way."

Fukuda was chief cabinet secretary in the first cabinet of Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who sacked Tanaka from the foreign
minister's post. He was called "shadow foreign minister" since he
gave foreign ministry officials directions from the Prime Minister's
Official Residence.

18) Japanese college student kidnapped in Iran

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) established an emergency
headquarters headed by Senior Vice Foreign Minister Itsunori Onodera
in response to the information that a 23-year-old male Japanese
college student had been kidnapped in Iran when he was traveling in
Southeast Iran.

According to MOFA, this Japanese man contacted the Japanese Embassy
in Teheran on Oct. 8 and told it that "I was detained by someone."
Since then MOFA has been collecting information about this case and
also has telephoned Iranian Foreign Minister Motaki and asked for
cooperation so that the detained Japanese man would be released
safely.

Upon confirming the information, MOFA has now judged that there is
no doubt that the Japanese man was kidnapped. As for who kidnapped
the Japanese man and what the kidnapper is demanding, MOFA said that
"we can't reveal them."

The security situation is aggravating in East Iran bordering with
Afghanistan and South Iran as armed groups and security troops are
clashing with each other. Foreigners have become the target of
kidnapping and in fact, they have been detained in those areas.

MOFA in its overseas travel information has given this advice about
East Iran bordering with Afghanistan: "It is advisable to postpone
traveling this area." Regarding Southeast Iran bordering with
Afghanistan, where the Japanese man was kidnapped this time, MOFA
has given this advice: "It is advisable to reconsider whether to
travel there."

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19) Prime Minister to visit US in mid-November or later

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Hirohiko Sakaguchi

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura yesterday made mention of
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's first overseas trip as a prime
minister in a speech given in Tokyo and noted: "I think the prime
minister will presumably choose the United States as a county for
him to visit as his first overseas trip. Although it is impossible
to set his overseas trip within this month, we need to start
preparations so that the prime minister can visit the US sometime in
November." In this regard, a government source commented, "It is
unlikely that the prime minister will visit the US sometime before
Nov. 10, (until then the Diet is in session)," indicating that the
prime minister would visit the US in mid-November or later.

The prime minister's attendance at a summit of ASEAN plus Japan,
China, and South Korea in Singapore slated for Nov. 20 has been
already set. The prime minister's plan is to visit the US around
that time and hold the first summit meeting with President Bush
after taking office as prime minister. Following this plan,
coordination is underway between Japan and the US.

A high-level government official said yesterday, "It is desirable
for the prime minister to travel to China early next year,"
revealing that coordination is underway for the prime minister to
visit China in January.

Also, Fukuda told reporters at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence, "Japan-US relations form the basis of Japanese diplomacy.
I need to visit the US first. I want to travel to Asian nations
(after visiting the US)." Fukuda thus revealed that his US visit
would come first.

20) "The US will be the destination of the prime minister's first
foreign visit," says Machimura

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Delivering a speech in Tokyo, Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura
yesterday noted that the government is now undertaking coordination
in order to realize the prime minister's US visit. He said, "The US
will be the first country Prime Minister Fukuda will visit." He
said, "It is not true that the Fukuda cabinet will tilt toward China
in one sweep, neglecting Japan's relations with the US. The
selection of the US as the destination of his first foreign trip
will send a message that he is attaching importance to Japan-US
relations." Prime Minister Fukuda himself also said the same
evening, "I had conversation with US President Bush. We talked that
we should meet as soon as possible."

21) Prime Minister Fukuda intends to modify the previous pressure
line toward DPRK and "comprehensively resolve" the nuclear and
abduction issue

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

TOKYO 00004766 012 OF 012

Kahori Onaka, Ryuko Tadokoro

In response to a Diet question about the North Korean issue
yesterday, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda noted, "The important thing
is to comprehensively resolve it," indicating his intention to
comprehensively resolve a number of issues involving North Korea,
including abductions of Japanese nationals, as well as nuclear and
missile developments, and then to normalize diplomatic ties with
that country. Fukuda was replying to a question by Seiji Maehara of
the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) at a Lower
House Budget Committee session yesterday. Fukuda gave a similar
reply at a Lower House representative interpellation on Oct. 4.
Although his predecessor, former Prime Minister Abe stated, "No
diplomatic normalization without resolving the abduction issue,"
Fukuda has now again given the impression that he is shifting away
from the former Abe administration's pressure line.

Maehara asked what was the basis of the Fukuda administration's
policy toward North Korea, arguing, "If you insist that Japan will
not offer any assistance without any progress on the abduction
issue, that will only limit a range of diplomatic approaches for
Japan to make." In response, Fukuda said: "We need to resolve the
abduction issue, but we also need to resolve the nuclear and missile
issues. My basic stance is to make efforts to comprehensively
resolve all of them, while keeping a balance between them."

DONOVAN

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