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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - 2+2 Talks in Russia

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UNCLAS TOKYO 004804

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - 2+2 TALKS IN RUSSIA


LEAD STORIES: There were no papers on Monday morning
because of a press holiday. Broadcasters gave top play
to the anticipated commencement today of debate in the
Upper House Budget Committee, predicting that cabinet
ministers and opposition lawmakers will engage in
heated discussion on an extension of the MSDF refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean.

1. "Russia's Hard Line Pronounced" Moscow correspondent
Seguchi of the top circulation, moderate Yomiuri
reported (10/14): "During a 2+2 defense and foreign
ministerial with the US in Moscow, Russian President
Putin called for the cancellation of US plans to deploy
a missile defense system in Eastern Europe by hinting
that it might withdraw from the Intermediate Nuclear
Forces (INF) Treaty. By raising that possibility, Putin
is apparently attempting to head off the deployment of
MD. Behind his hard line position ... lies Russia's
opposition to 'unipolar rule' by the US, as well as
Putin's need to play up a 'strong Russia' ahead of Duma
elections in December and a presidential election in
March."

2. "Conciliatory Posture Consistent" Washington-based
reporter Miyazaki of the top circulation, moderate
Yomiuri wrote (10/14): "In the 2+2 meeting in Moscow,
the US failed to achieve anything specific concerning
its plans to deploy an MD system in Eastern Europe and
was unresponsive throughout to Russia's tough
negotiating posture, including an implied threat to
withdraw from the INF treaty.... Washington cannot
easily disregard Moscow's displeasure on the MD issue,
as the US needs Russia's cooperation on Iran's nuclear
program and the six-party talks on North Korea's
nuclear ambitions. In the face of a slew of major items
on the diplomatic and security agenda, including the
question of independence for Kosovo, the US, while
pushing forward on MD deployment, is keen to avoid
worsening its relations with Russia."

SCHIEFFER

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