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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/18/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 004857

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 10/18/07


Index:

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

Anti-terror bill:
4) Government presents new antiterrorism special measures bill to
the Diet (Mainichi)
5) MSDF will be withdrawn from Indian Ocean Nov. 2 with the existing
legislation's expiration (Yomiuri)
6) Restarting MSDF refueling operations in the Indian Ocean not
likely until after next spring (Nikkei)
7) Ruling camp is troubled by the new anti-terror bill and desires
to speed up the legislative process for an early passage (Sankei)
8) US hopes for early restarting of MSDF refueling services, but
some voice concern about Japan's withdrawal from the OEF damaging
alliance relations (Nikkei)
9) Government's priority on gaining public approval for the
anti-terror bill explains its Diet strategy (Yomiuri) 8
10) Exchange in the Upper House Budget Committee on the anti-terror
bill (Yomiuri)

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in action:
11) DPJ in own bill countering the government's anti-terror bill
will use mercenaries instead of SDF or police for security as part
of its ISAF participation (Sankei)
12) DPJ President Ozawa's vague strategy confusing the party's
attempts to draft a coherent counterproposal to the government's
anti-terror bill (Mainichi)
13) DPJ's Kan, Hatoyama, Maehara meet former Pentagon official
Campbell, discuss the anti-terror bill issue (Mainichi) 10
14) DPJ ready to present bill to Diet scrapping the Iraq Special
Measures Law (Mainichi)

15) Okinawa budget of 10 billion yen for economic measures remains
unused (Yomiuri)

16) Tough words on the northern-territories issue from Russia's
foreign minister prior to his trip to Japan (Yomiuri)

17) Prime Minister Fukuda's trip to the US likely to be Nov. 17-19
(Mainichi)

18) Inspectors block 225 boxes of US beef product at border for
violation of import agreement (Tokyo Shimbun)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Two printing companies monopolize production of stickers for car
parking registration

Mainichi:
New antiterrorism bill introduced to Diet

Yomiuri:
Cabinet endorses new antiterrorism bill

Nikkei:

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CEFP endorses assessment that consumption tax needs to be raised 2.5
points if nominal growth slows to 2.2 PERCENT

Sankei:
MHLW to introduce generic drug trial system starting in FY2008

Tokyo Shimbun:
Ruling bloc agrees to delay by one year the planned raise of medical
fees for the elderly

Akahata:
JCP calls for cancellation of government's plan to raise medical
fees for the elderly in April

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) New refueling law must be free from any oil diversion
allegations
(2) Government funds for disposal of WWII chemical weapons
misappropriated

Mainichi:
(1) New refueling legislation looks opportunistic

Yomiuri:
(1) Japan mustn't quit war on terrorism
(2) Punished Kameda family and collapsing boxing world

Nikkei:
(1) DPJ must come up with counterproposal for antiterrorism law
(2) Planned medical fee hike for the elderly must be implemented
swiftly after short freeze

Sankei:
(1) Prime minister's determination the key to enactment of new
antiterrorism law
(2) School textbooks must treat Okinawa mass suicide fairly

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) New refueling legislation a good opportunity for reviewing
international contribution
(2) Power harassment must not be allowed at workplace

Akahata:
(1) New administration expected from Higashi-Osaka mayoral race

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 17

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 18, 2007

09:05
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Iwaki.

10:00
Attended Upper House Budget Committee session.

12:48
Met at Kantei with Cabinet Office Vice Minister Uchida.

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13:00
Attended Upper House Budget Committee session.

18:14
Met at Kantei with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura. Attended
National Security Council meeting. Attended afterwards extraordinary
cabinet meeting.

18:59
Attended Economic and Fiscal Policy Council meeting.

20:51
Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

4) New antiterrorism legislation submitted to Diet; Refueling
operation to be discontinued

MAINICHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 18, 2007

The government adopted at a special cabinet meeting yesterday a new
antiterrorism bill to continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean. The bill was later
submitted to the Diet. Although the current Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law expires on Nov. 1, there is no prospect that the new
law will clear the Diet by then. As such, the government will
inevitably be forced to recall the MSDF supply vessel temporarily.
The MSDF will not be able to resume its operation in the Indian
Ocean until the new law takes effect. Forcible enactment of the law
might throw the Diet into turmoil and that might result in Lower
House dissolution for a snap general election. Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda is now under pressure to steer a difficult course to resolve
this situation.

The government has decided to present the new legislation replacing
the current law, concluding that the temporary suspension of the
refueling operation would be inevitable.

At yesterday's House of Representatives Rules and Administration
Committee directors meeting, the ruling bloc expressed its desire to
explain the new legislation at a plenary session as early as Oct.
18. The opposition bloc rejected the request as being premature. The
opposition parties are set not to begin deliberations this week. The
explanation of the bill may not occur until Oct. 23 or later.

Major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary-General
Yukio Hatoyama underlined the party's intention to block the new
law's passage, saying to reporters: "Be it refueling activities or
whatever, we are opposed to a bill intended to cooperate in a war."
In order to enact the new legislation, the current session of the
Diet must be extended beyond the Nov. 10 deadline.

A lengthy extension might affect the planned year-end budget
compilation. A short extension or no extension might prompt
Washington to question Tokyo's commitment to the war on terrorism.

In the event the legislation fails to clear the
opposition-controlled House of Councillors, the ruling bloc would
have to aim at re-adoption by the Lower House by using the
two-thirds majority rule. Such an event is likely to draw fire from
the opposition bloc as neglecting the Upper House. Consequently, the

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Upper House might pass a censure motion against Prime Minister
Fukuda and that might be followed by Lower House dissolution and a
snap general election.

5) MSDF pullout set for Nov. 2

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
October 18, 2007

The Maritime Self-Defense Force-currently tasked with refueling
activities in the Indian Ocean under the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law-will be ordered soon to withdraw its squadron of
vessels there. Since the antiterror law is set to expire Nov. 1, the
government decided yesterday to recall the MSDF squadron on Nov. 2.
The MSDF supply ship Tokiwa and destroyer Kirisame, currently
engaged in refueling activities in the Indian Ocean, will carry out
their last fuel supply there on Oct. 27 and return home in about
three weeks.

The government first considered keeping the MSDF squadron in
neighboring waters even after its withdrawal for exchanges or
training exercises with foreign naval vessels from the perspective
of resuming its activities at an early date. The government decided
in a cabinet meeting yesterday to adopt a new antiterror
legislation. However, the new legislation is not expected to get
through the Diet. The government therefore deemed it unavoidable to
recall the MSDF squadron.

Japan has so far provided fuel to naval vessels from 11 countries in
the Indian Ocean, including the United States, Britain, and
Pakistan. The government, following up its decision to withdraw the
MSDF vessels, will contact these countries through diplomatic
channels, such as their ambassadors in Japan, to explain its MSDF
withdrawal decision as well as its course of action to enact the new
legislation into law at an early date. Meanwhile, on Oct. 17-18, the
United States will host a meeting of liaison officers from foreign
naval forces participating in maritime interdiction operations. On
that occasion as well, Japan will convey such a course of action. In
addition, the government is also planning to release a statement on
Nov. 1 through the chief cabinet secretary.

6) Possibility that resumption of MSDF refueling operation will not
be until after next spring, with ruling parties cautious about
re-voting on the bill in the Lower House (Nikkei)

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
October 18, 2007

With the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that authorizes
refueling operations by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in
the Indian Ocean expiring on Nov. 1, Defense Minister Ishiba next
week will order the MSDF to cease operations on that day. The new
antiterrorism bill that would allow refueling to continue could be
passed even if it is rejected in the Upper House, where the
opposition parties hold a majority, under a constitutional
provision, if the Lower House re-votes on the bill and it passes by
a two-thirds majority. However, within the ruling parties, there is
a deep-seated caution about re-voting on the bill, and the
possibility is growing greater that the restarting of the refueling
could slip until after next spring.

The defense minister order to halt operations is in fact an order

TOKYO 00004857 005 OF 012


for the ships to withdraw from the area. The government already has
informed the United States, Britain and other concerned countries of
its intention. It will take two or three weeks for the ships to
return to Japan, and they will probably arrive home around Nov. 20.

"As long as there is the possibility of the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) showing some good sense, there is no need at
this point to talk about a two-thirds (re-vote in the Lower House),"
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Ibuki told the
press corps yesterday, making it clear that he was negative about
the Lower House taking another vote after the bill is rejected by
the Upper House.

Alarm about censure motion against the prime minister

The ruling camp's reason for being reluctant to re-vote on the bill
is because the DPJ will then lash back by presenting and then
passing a censure motion in the Upper House against the prime
minister. If deliberations stop in the Upper House and the political
situation is thrown into disarray, the possibility emerges of the
ruling camp being pressed toward Diet dissolution and a snap
election.

If it comes to the option of re-voting on the bill not being used,
as long as the DPJ does not turn toward approval of the bill, there
is no hope for its passage. Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura at a
press conference last evening pointed out: "A positive change can be
seen in the DPJ about the need to respond in some fashion." He
added: "I have the impression that gradually that conditions are
being built for talks." He expressed his expectation for the DPJ to
adopt a flexible stance.

Priority on budget deliberation

Even if the deliberation on the new anti-terror bill is carried over
to the next regular Diet session that starts in January, the
prospect for its passage remains unclear. The government and ruling
parties must give priority first to deliberation on the state budget
bill for fiscal 2008. After that, it will aim at passage of the new
anti-terror bill, but passage at the earliest would be after May, so
the restarting of the refueling service would not be until June or
later. That case also hinges on the sole option of re-voting in the
Lower House and using the ruling camp's two-thirds strength there.

The DPJ inevitably will resist fiercely. After the Lower House
passes the new bill, the DPJ will use such tactics in the Upper
House as its right to pursue a policy investigation, so it is
possible that deliberations could be blocked. If after Lower House
passage, 60 days go by in the Upper House without voting action, and
the ruling camp uses the provision that regards such as a rejection
by the Upper House, the passage of the bill would not be until July
or later. Accordingly, the restarting of refueling would not be
until August.

7) On new antiterrorism legislation, lack of unity already seen in
ruling camp

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
October 18, 2007

The ongoing extraordinary Diet session has entered a crucial stage
following the government's submission of a new antiterrorism bill to

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the Diet. The ruling camp has agreed to start deliberations on the
bill at an early date, but some in the ruling camp have already
begun to suggest that the bill should be carried over to an ordinary
Diet session next year. The government regards enacting the bill in
the current Diet session as one of the top priority agenda items.
The discord in the ruling camp may lead to escalating the confusion
in the Diet.

In an antiterrorism special measures committee meeting of the
Liberal Democratic Party yesterday, in which the new bill was
endorsed, former Vice President Taku Yamasaki, who chairs the ruling
camp's project team, said:

"To take a vote again in the House of Representatives, approval from
the New Komeito is necessary. We should carry things out in a
cautious manner in order to win public support."

His remark is tantamount to a suggestion that if the gap between
ruling and opposition camps is not filled in Diet debate, a
re-voting in the Lower House should be given up and deliberations
should be carried over to the next regular Diet session. This
suggestion stems from the judgment that if a vote is taken again in
the Lower House, the opposition camp might issue a censure motion
against the prime minister in the Council of Councillors and create
an atmosphere for dissolution of the Lower House. This can be taken
as reflecting the intention of the New Komeito, which is against an
early dissolution.

Delivering a speech in Higashi Hiroshima on Oct. 13, former
Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa said: "We should also consider

SIPDIS
the possibility of carrying deliberations on the bill over to the
next ordinary Diet session." A mid-ranking LDP official stated: "If
the session is extended for a lengthy period, some effects might
appear on deliberations on budget compilation and tax system
reform."

However, if the bill is carried over, it will become more difficult
to enact it in the ordinary Diet session. Japan will come under
heavy fire from the international community. Moreover, the framework
of maritime intercept operations will collapse and eventually the
sea lanes for transporting Japan's oil may be exposed to danger.

Keeping such a possibility in mind, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura emphasized yesterday: "The bill should naturally be
enacted in the extraordinary Diet session." Secretary General Bunmei
Ibuki also categorically said: "To avoid confusion in the people's
daily lives, I will risk my political life. Our basic policy is to
enact the bill in the current Diet session."

8) US hopes for early resumption of MSDF refueling operation

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
October 18, 2007

Hirotake Maruya, Washington

The Bush administration expects Japan to resume as soon as possible
the Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling mission after its
suspension in the Indian Ocean, based on a new anti-terror law. US
Joint Chiefs of Staff Director for Operations Lt. General Carter Ham
revealed in a press briefing on Oct. 16 that the US was preparing
for a possible suspension of Japan's refueling operation. He stated:

TOKYO 00004857 007 OF 012


"The US Central Command is now looking for ways to supply fuel once
Japan discontinues its mission."

Coalition of the Willing member countries have suspended or scaled
down their antiterrorism operations. Japan's suspension of its
refueling mission would strengthen further criticism of the Bush
administration's foreign policy, prior to the US presidential
election next November.

Lt. General Ham expressed hopes for a continued refueling operation
by Japan. State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Kacy welcomed on the
17th the cabinet's adoption of a new refueling bill. The US
government, however, in expectation of Japan's suspension of its
refueling operation, has been considering alternative measures with
an eye on a refueling operation by a US supply ship.

The US government is also preparing a statement specifying the
details of refueling to pave the way for a continued Japan's
refueling mission.

In this connection, former high US government official expressed
concern, saying: "If the refueling operation is not resumed at an
early date, such will undermine the Japan-US alliance," after
saying, "There will be no problem if the suspension is for a short
period."

9) Cabinet adopts new antiterrorism bill; Top priority on securing
public support for refueling mission

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 18, 2007

In a new antiterrorism measures bill the cabinet adopted yesterday,
the government placed top priority on obtaining the public
understanding for continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
antiterrorism operations by underscoring the UN Security Council
Resolution 1776 expressing appreciation for the maritime
interdiction operation. However, the new legislation does not
stipulate specific measures for preventing the diversion of fuel to
vessels engaged in operations other than the maritime interdiction
operation.

Article 1 of the new legislation states that the UNSC Resolution
adopted on Sept. 19 stressed the need for Japan's continued
refueling operation, while highly praising the maritime interdiction
operation, including Japan's mission. This is the government's
counterargument against Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro
Ozawa's assertion that the MSDF refueling mission is support for the
US self-defense war and unconstitutional. Foreign Minister Masahiko
Komura stressed in yesterday's cabinet meeting:

"The United Nations and other countries highly value our country's
(refueling) operations. Since they have high hopes for the
continuation of the operation, it is absolutely necessary for our
country to continue the MSDF refueling operation."

The new legislation does not stipulate that Diet approval is needed,
which the present Antiterrorism Special Measures Law does. The
reason is that with the Diet divided -- the ruling camp holding a
solid majority of the House of Representatives and the opposition
bloc controlling the House of Councillors -- it would be difficult
for the government to get Diet approval. In order to avoid being

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criticized by the opposition camp for playing down civilian control,
however, the new bill limits the MSDF mission to the refueling
operation alone. The government reasons that when the Diet approves
a refueling law, ex post facto Diet approval is not necessary.

10) Diet interpellations

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged)
October 18, 2007

The following is a gist of questions and answers in a meeting
yesterday of the House of Councillors Budget Committee.

New antiterror legislation

Keiichiro Asao (Democratic Party of Japan or Minshuto): Are you
ready to stake your position (for the Diet passage of a new
antiterror legislation)?

Prime Minister Fukuda: This is a very serious challenge for me as a
politician.

Asao: Will the legislation be sent to the House of Councillors?

Fukuda: I want to do my best so the new legislation will be enacted.
However, when it comes to the Diet session, that is up to the Diet,
so I can't say anything about it.

Asao: Do you think it's not a violation of the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law to engage (the Self-Defense Forces) in both missions:
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Southern Watch (OSW)
in Iraq?

Foreign Minister Komura: Speaking from the law's principle, it's
lawful if Japanese fuel is actually used for OEF. If they use up
Japanese fuel when they are engaged in OEF, there's no problem at
all.

11) DPJ to propose employing foreign security company as civilian
guards

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
October 18, 2007

The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) is now
preparing its own legislative measure for Japan's assistance to
Afghanistan in its counterproposal to the government's new
antiterror legislation. The DPJ, in its counterproposal, proposes
sending civilians to Afghanistan to provide assistance to its
people. In this regard, the DPJ has plans to employ a foreign
private-sector security company instead of the Self-Defense Forces
for the security of civilians, party sources revealed yesterday.

The DPJ's counterproposal features civilian assistance in various
areas, such as education, medical support, and infrastructure
construction. The question, however, is how to secure the safety of
civilians in Afghanistan when they are sent there. In the DPJ, there
were also arguments insisting on the necessity of sending Ground
Self-Defense Force troops to escort civilians. "If we ask a foreign
country to protect them, Japan won't be appreciated in the
international community," one DPJ lawmaker asserted. However, the
DPJ's leadership turned down their arguments. "It's inconceivable to

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send out SDF troops as our political judgment," DPJ Policy Board
Chairman Masayuki Maoshima said. The DPJ therefore has plans to
entrust a foreign country's private security company to provide for
the security of the civilians, expecting that security company would
hire local guards to protect the civilians.

One DPJ executive cited the fact that foreign countries' civilians
and embassies in Afghanistan also hire foreign private security
companies. "If Japan sends armed SDF troops there, the local
favorable image of Japan will worsen," the DPJ executive said. The
DPJ leadership therefore thinks that it is rational to use a private
security company. However, one middle-ranking DPJ lawmaker said: "We
need to secure them. But I wonder if we have to go so far as to
avoid the SDF."

12) DPJ's Ozawa to continue to take "ambiguous strategy" on SDF
dispatch

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
October 18, 2007

The government submitted a new bill to replace the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law to the Diet after it was endorsed at a cabinet
meeting yesterday. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
has started work to draw up a counterproposal focusing on aid for
public welfare. On the issue of dispatching Self-Defense Force (SDF)
troops, a key theme in drafting a counterproposal, President Ichiro
Ozawa intends to continue take an "ambiguous strategy" for the time
being while watching moves to be taken by the government and the
ruling camp.

In a press conference on Oct. 16, Ozawa stopped short of specifying
the propriety of dispatch of SDF, just saying: "At this stage, I
can't speak of the contents." In the monthly magazine Sekai released
on Oct. 9, Ozawa revealed his plan to have the SDF participate in
the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan if
his party assumes political power. He defines it as constitutional
for SDF troops engaged in operations endorsed by a United Nations
resolution, like those by the ISAF, to use armed force overseas.
Policy Research Council Chairman Masayuki Naoshima said: "It should
be possible theoretically to dispatch SDF troops to the ISAF."

If the DPJ submits a bill specifying the dispatch of the SDF to the
Diet, the government and the ruling parties, which deem the dispatch
unconstitutional, and the DPJ, which views it as constitutional,
will inevitably clash over Ozawa's view, which Liberal Democratic
Party's Policy Research Council Chairman Sadakazu Tanigaki called in
a speech yesterday "an extremely peculiar interpretation of the
Constitution." In such a case, the axis of conflict will become
vague, resulting in upsetting Ozawa's strategy for a snap election
after the House of Representatives is dissolved.

If the SDF-dispatch issue is excluded, it will be difficult to find
a difference between the Ozawa proposal and the government's ongoing
aid program. LDP Secretary General Fumiaki Ibuki said: "The
government has already offered more than 120 billion yen in aid,
though the aid is not endorsed by law."

In an executive meeting on Oct. 16, Ozawa said: "Our party will not
dispatch a combat force," but a senior party member explained that
Ozawa still leaves open the possibility of dispatching the SDF,
saying: "He did not rule out the possibility."

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The DPJ is looking into sending (1) noncombat units, such as
water-supply or medical units; and (2) not SDF troops but
self-defense officials to such organizations as the Japan
International Cooperation Agency.

However, leftwing members in the party have fiercely reacted to the
Ozawa idea. House of Representatives Vie Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi,
a member of the former Japan Socialist Party group, told Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama: "SDF troops absolutely should not be
dispatched." A senior party member close to Ozawa also commented:
"If the party decides to dispatch the SDF, party members will never
be united." A senior member of the Policy Research Council engaged
in crafting a counterproposal remarked: "We may work out a bill that
stops short of mentioning whether to send the SDF vague."

13) Senior DPJ officials meet with former Deputy Assistant Secretary
of State Campbell to confer on refueling operations

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 18, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Deputy President Naoto
Kan, Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama and Vice President Seiji
Maehara yesterday met at a Tokyo hotel with Kurt Campbell, deputy
assistant secretary of defense during the Clinton administration.
According to a participant in the meeting, Campbell sought
explanations on the DPJ's stance toward the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

Campbell, who has been urging Japan to continue its refueling
operations, at first, requested a meeting with President Ozawa. He
appears to have contacted the DPJ through a mutual contact between
the opposition parties of the two countries with the aim of taking
its pulse regarding why the DPJ will not change its opposition to
continuation of the refueling operations. However, the DPJ judged
that now would be a delicate time for the president to meet him,
according to a senior party official. Kan, Hatoyama and Maehara, who
is personally close to Campbell, instead met with him.

According to the same DPJ official, Campbell indicated understanding
in the explanation given by the DPJ. When Hatoyama asked him whether
there is an exit strategy regarding the situation in Afghanistan,
Campbell reportedly rebutted, "There is no exit in the war to
eliminate terrorism."

In the meantime, Ozawa met with Gerald Curtis, a professor at
Columbia University of the US, at the party headquarters. Curtis
also met with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda for about three hours on
Oct. 13.

14) DPJ to submit to Upper House bill to scrap Iraq Special Measures
Law

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 18, 2007

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DJP or Minshuto)
decided yesterday to submit today to the House of Councillors a bill
abolishing the Iraq Special Measures Law aimed at forcing a
withdrawal of the Air Self-Defense Force troops deployed in Iraq.


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If the new antiterrorism law submitted yesterday to the House of
Representatives is sent to the Upper House, the two bills will be
discussed at the Upper House Committee on Foreign Affairs and
Defense, whose chairmanship is held by the DPJ. Through
deliberations on the bill scrapping the Iraq law, the DPJ intends to
pursue the allegation that the Maritime Self-Defense Force operating
in the Indian Ocean indirectly fueled a US aircraft carrier engaged
in the Iraq war. The DPJ appears to be aiming to take the initiative
in deliberations on the new refueling legislation in the Upper House
by submitting its own bill to abolish the Iraq law.

15) Okinawa budget of 10 billion yen for economic measures remains
unused

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 18, 2007

It was learned yesterday that 10 billion yen allocated in this
fiscal year's national budget to finance economic stimulation
measures for the northern part of Okinawa Prefecture remains
unspent. The government has included in this fiscal year's budget 5
billion yen to fund projects to construct roads and other facilities
and another 5 billion yen to promote the IT industry. Until last
year, the government used the budget funds for Okinawa economic
measures in the summer. This year, however, the Defense Ministry has
expressed disapproval of using the budget funds, citing that no
progress has been made in negotiations between the central and local
governments on the planned relocation of the US Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station in Ginowan to a coastal area of Camp Schwab.

The government aims to establish an alternative facility with a
V-shaped pair of runways in a coastal area of Camp Schwab, but the
Okinawa Prefecture and Nago City insist that the newly planned
runway should be moved to an offshore site. No negotiations have
been held between the government, the prefecture, and the local
governments involved in the relocation plan since the third session
this January. A senior Cabinet Office member takes the view that the
budgeted funds might be carried over to next fiscal year if unused.
Under the lead of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Masahiro Futahashi,
government agencies concerned, including the Cabinet Office and the
Finance Ministry, will discuss and decide on what to do about the
funds.

16) Northern Territories: "Tokyo Declaration has no binding power,"
Russian foreign minister takes hard-line stance before visiting
Japan

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 18, 2007

Responding to questions asked by some Japanese news companies prior
to his visit to Japan starting on Oct. 23, Russian Foreign Minister
Lavrov yesterday put his replies on the Russian Foreign Ministry's
website. Regarding the Northern Territories, Lavrov pointed out that
the 1956 Japan-USSR joint declaration, which stipulates the return
of the Habomais and Shikotan after signing of a peace treaty, is
evidence that both countries accepted the results of World War II.
Concerning the 1993 Tokyo Declaration, which notes a resolution of
the four islands issue, Lavrov indicated his country's view that it
is a mere political paper that has no legally binding power. He thus
clarified his stance toward talks on the issue, noting that the four
northern islands belong to Russia.

TOKYO 00004857 012 OF 012

17) Fukuda to visit US on Nov. 17-19

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 18, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda ordered final coordination yesterday for
his visit to the United States on Nov. 17-19, his first foreign trip
cine assuming office. After the United States, he plans to attend
the ASEAN+3 (Japan, China, and South Korea) and East Asian Summit to
be held on Nov. 20-21 in Singapore and hold summit talks with
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao.

His visit to the United States ahead of Asian countries is also
intended to play up the importance of the Japan-US alliance.

18) Banned fibrous meat found in US beef shipment: Fifth case since
resumption of imports

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
October 18, 2007

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (MAFF) and the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) yesterday announced
that 250 boxes of fibrous beef (approximately 1.5 tons), which were
not included in the hygiene certificate issued by the US government,
were found in a US beef shipment arrived at Kobe Port. This is the
fifth case of products banned in Japan over safety concerns since
imports resumed last summer. Japan will suspend for the time being
procedures for imports from the plant that shipped the products in
question.

The product in question was found in frozen beef shipments from the
Dodge City plant of Cargill. Inspectors checked 124 cartons out of
1,333 (approximately 9 tons) that arrived on Sept. 20 and found
three cartons containing the banned product. Inspectors then checked
all boxes and found a large amount of such products.

Though fibrous meat is not a specified risk material (SRM), which
has connection with BSE, it could be from cows aged 20 months or
older, a violation of the import conditions set by Japan, because
they are not attached with certificates.

SCHIEFFER

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