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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 10/31/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 005061

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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 10/31/07


Index:

(1) Nikkei photo: Ambassador Schieffer speaks to the press after the
12-country briefing of Diet members on MSDF refueling operations in
the Indian Ocean (Nikkei).

(2) Ambassadors of 12 countries hold briefing session for lawmakers,
make appeal for continuing MSDF refueling services (Mainichi)

(3) US denies that the expiration of the antiterrorism law tomorrow
will have an effect on the alliance relationship (Asahi)

(4) Reversing his stand, Ozawa holds first meeting with Fukuda; Two
leaders alone for 45 minutes behind closed doors (Asahi)

(5) Diet testimony by former Vice Defense Minister Moriya deepens
suspicions (Mainichi)

(6) Defense Ministry mulls calling in SDF brass for Diet replies
(Mainichi)

(7) Fair Trade Commission to strengthen oversight by expanding scope
of M&A cases subject to screening (Nikkei)

(8) Battle between political, business circles and FTC over judge
system: Focus of amending AML is whether to abolish the system
(Yomiuri)

(9) Interview with Sadako Ogata, president of JICA: Need for
stepping up aid to Africa (Asahi)

ARTICLES:

(1) Nikkei photo: Ambassador Schieffer speaks to the press after the
12-country briefing of Diet members on MSDF refueling operations in
the Indian Ocean.

(2) Ambassadors of 12 countries hold briefing session for lawmakers,
make appeal for continuing MSDF refueling services

MAINICHI.JP (Internet site) (Full)
October 31, 2007

In connection with the refueling operations in the Indian Ocean that
the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) has been carrying out for six
years, ambassadors from 12 countries, including the United States,
which also receives such fuel, this morning held a briefing session
for Japanese Diet members at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo to make
an appeal for continuing the services. Approximately 70 lawmakers
from the ruling and opposition camps attended. With the current
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that forms the grounds for the
MSDF dispatch expiring on Nov. 1, it is certain that refueling
operations will be stopped. Since there is no telling when the
services will be restarted or whether new operations will begin,
other countries that are participating in the international "war on
terror" have launched an exceptional effort to persuade the
lawmakers.

The same ambassadors on Sept. 27, as well, issued a joint statement
thanking the MSDF for its refueling operations and urging that the
service be continued, but this is the first time for a large-scale
briefing session to be scheduled targeting the members of the Diet.

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The 12 co-sponsors included 11 countries, such as the US, Britain,
France, and Germany, which are carrying out maritime interdiction
operations (MIO) in the Indian Ocean, and Afghanistan. Attending
were the ambassadors, military attaches, and other officers.
However, in contrast to the approximately 50 Liberal Democratic
Party participants from the Japanese side, the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) only sent six representatives. There was a
great difference in interest between the ruling and opposition
camps.

Each country briefed, with the main presentation by the US
representative who explained the current situation regarding MIO and
the amounts of fuel the MSDF provides to each country. Data was
presented showing that the US relied on the MSDF for 7 PERCENT of
its fuel, while Italy and Pakistan's reliance each reached over 90
PERCENT . The cancellation of MSDF refueling services would greatly
impact on the MIO, they appealed. The aim of the briefing was to
give impetus to Diet debate on the new antiterrorism special
measures bill, which the government has presented in order to
continue the refueling.

This question came from the Japanese side (a DPJ lawmaker),
"Although the refueling operation is important, don't you agree that
what Japan can do now are only such efforts as removal of weapons
from former soldiers and social reconstruction?" In response, the
Afghanistan ambassador reportedly replied, "We would like to ask
Japan for various other types of assistance, not just limited to
refueling activities."

After it was over, US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer told the press
corps: "Refueling is an operation that transcends issues between
political parties. I would like to see DPJ President Ozawa in the
end accept such as an international duty."

(3) US denies that the expiration of the antiterrorism law tomorrow
will have an effect on the alliance relationship (Asahi)

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpt)
Eve., October 31, 2007

Sueya Kaibara in Washington

Commenting on the expiration on Nov. 1 of the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law that forms the basis for the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's (MSDF) refueling operations in the Indian Ocean, a
responsible official at the US Department of Defense on Oct. 30
stated: "It is not a problem of the nature of having an effect on
the alliance relationship. It is a problem to be debated within
Japan as to what kind or role Japan should play." The official was
speaking to members of the Japanese press corps in the US.

(4) Reversing his stand, Ozawa holds first meeting with Fukuda; Two
leaders alone for 45 minutes behind closed doors

ASAHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 31, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
used to reject requests for talks (with the Liberal Democratic Party
president), saying that he would not make backroom deals. Reversing
such position, Ozawa held a party-head meeting with Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda yesterday. Although they remained wide apart on the new

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refueling legislation, for which Fukuda asked for support, the two
leaders decided to meet again later this week. With an end to the
current Diet session only a little over 10 days away, the deadlocked
divided Diet took an unexpected turn. The 45-minute closed-door
session, however, has drawn doubts and criticism from within the two
parties.

Lower House dissolution or grand coalition? Speculations rampant in
ruling and opposition blocs

The meeting triggered a variety of speculations, such as about a
secret deal for Lower House dissolution or about forming a grand

SIPDIS
coalition.

The DPJ is also alarmed at Ozawa's action. He has been playing up a
plan to take power through the next general election. The
Fukuda-Ozawa meeting that might have discussed a grand coalition
allowing the DPJ to join the government made most DPJ lawmakers
edgy. A senior DPJ member noted, "A grand coalition or Lower House
dissolution would be the only topic for a discussion without the
secretaries general." Another senior member denied the grand

SIPDIS
coalition theory, saying, "If a grand coalition was formed, our
party would collapse. There will absolutely be no grand coalition."

"Speculations are afoot because the session was held behind the
closed doors," a mid-ranking DPJ lawmaker said. The secretaries
general and Diet affairs chiefs of the two parties were allowed to
be present only at the beginning and the ending of the session.
Fukuda and Ozawa were alone for about 45 minutes. Denials by Fukuda
and Ozawa cannot stop people from reading too much into their
meeting. Some attendees also offered sketchy and stimulating
accounts.

One lawmaker who had attended the session quoted Prime Minister
Fukuda as saying at the outset of the meeting: "I have tried for a
month now, but both domestic and foreign affairs have not proceeded
well. I would like to consider new ways to move politics with you."
If a policy was realized by joint efforts by the two parties, that
would be a step toward a grand coalition. The press asked Fukuda
last night if he would not rule out forming a grand coalition as a
new means to conduct politics. In response, Fukuda said: "I don't
know about forming a ruling coalition, but we need to think of some
ways to shift politics."

The closed-door session with no third party also drew fire from
within the ruling bloc.

LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki said during the session: "Holding
a party-head meeting that is not open might fall short of public
expectations." In response, an annoyed Ozawa said: "I am a country
bumpkin, so I cannot do sophisticated things." Receiving a similar
question from the press, Ozawa also said: "Why do you call this a
closed-door meeting? It is a formal party-head meeting, of which we
have informed you properly. If this is still called a closed-door
session, that is because our views differ."

The party-head debate scheduled for Oct. 31 at the Diet has been
postponed. LDP Upper House Secretary General Masaaki Yamazaki took
this view yesterday: "The party-head debate (planned for Oct. 31)
has been called off. If we don't know about what was discussed, that
would be too secretive. But we really don't know what happened."
Japanese Communist Party secretariat head Tadayoshi Ichida also

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said: "We cannot give a nod to the idea of the two parties holding
meetings behind the closed doors."

Ozawa, who has been keeping the upper hand over the ruling parties
in the current Diet session, accepted Fukuda's request and had the
face-to-face meeting with him, knowing that it would trigger
criticism and speculations. What is Ozawa up to? A senior DPJ member
close to Ozawa explained, "Mr. Ozawa wants to know something from
Mr. Fukuda in person. They are trying to probe the intention of
another." His view is that with the Diet session scheduled to end
shortly, Ozawa met Fukuda in an effort to find a way out of the
current deadlock.

Ozawa met yesterday afternoon with Deputy President Naoto Kan,
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, and Upper House Caucus Chairman

SIPDIS
Azuma Koshiishi to brief them on his meeting with Fukuda. In the
briefing session, Ozawa reportedly said that Fukuda had made no
proposals requiring Ozawa's replies by the next meeting. He also
said about Fukuda's and the LDP's aims, "I really don't know what
they are thinking about."

Setting up the one-on-one session, the LDP has begun brandishing
Lower House dissolution and a grand coalition at the DPJ to apply
pressure on the largest opposition party.

Former LDP Secretary General Hidanao Nakagawa delivered a speech
yesterday in which he said: "The political situation is alarming.
People sharing the same view belong to different parties. How should
the lopsided situation be dissolved? It is important for lawmakers
to combine efforts. I earnestly hope that the lopsided situation
will be resolved through talks between the two party heads."

Buds of cooperation on livelihood-oriented issues and personnel
appointments

Although the party-head session failed to find common ground, there
have appeared signs of the ruling and opposition blocs shifting away
from confrontation to cooperation.

"Representing bills to adopt them as chairmen's proposals is one
way," DPJ Upper House Secretary General Kenji Hirata said in a press
conference yesterday afternoon.

What have in mind are livelihood-oriented themes, such as the
legislations to provide relief for drug-induced hepatitis C patients
and assistance for disaster victims. The idea is to enact them in
the form of chairmen's proposals in the current Diet session by
mutually making compromises to avoid a credit-taking race. LDP
members, too, hold high expectations for the new cooperative policy
direction.

Stalled procedures for a Diet agreement on personnel appointments
were also set in motion yesterday. An agreement was reached to
establish a joint council of the directors of the Steering
Committees of the two houses of the Diet on Oct. 31.

The DPJ has so far taken a "storm of bills" strategy of presenting
to the Upper House such bills as banning the government from using
pension premiums for other purposes and rescinding the Iraq Special
Measures Law, while adamantly opposing the refueling special
measures legislation.


TOKYO 00005061 005 OF 011


Changes have also appeared to deliberations on the refueling
legislation, a symbol of the DPJ's opposition. In a Lower House
Antiterrorism Special Committee meeting that started shortly after
the Fukuda-Ozawa session, DPJ lawmaker Akihisa Nagashima asked: "Is
the government going to establish a special measures law every an
act of terrorism occurs?" At the venue the opposition camp was
supposed to pursue an alleged diversion of Japanese oil and the
scandal involving former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, many
asked questions about bills.

A senior New Komeito lawmaker commented in a puzzling tone: "The DPJ
members earnestly discussed the contents of some bills and
international commitment. What happened to that party?"

Ozawa's about-face has drawn bewildering reactions from within the
DPJ. After the Fukuda-Ozawa meeting, a DPJ Upper House member, who
has been locking horns with the Fukuda administration in the budget
committee, complained: "It was (Mr. Ozawa) himself that told us not
to hold prior consultations. I don't want to see him remove the
ladder."

Although the DPJ has translated its Upper House election pledges
into a storm of bills, the party really wants to accomplish visible
results in some fashion, with an end to the current Diet session
approaching. In the wake of the party-head meeting, there is a
possibility that the DPJ will accelerate the cooperative policy line
at a committee level.

(5) Diet testimony by former Vice Defense Minister Moriya deepens
suspicions

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 30, 2007

In his testimony as a sworn witness at the Diet yesterday, former
Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, 63, repeatedly
denied allegations that he had given favors to defense equipment
trader Yamada Corp. and Nihon Mirise Corp. He revealed his cozy
relationship with a former executive of Yamada Corp by admitting
that he had played golf more than 200 times with a former executive
of Yamada Corp., who also paid for his trip to Hokkaido. Suspicions
have deepened because Moriya refrained from providing clear answers
to questions regarding his administrative authority with an eye on
investigations by the special investigation squad of the Tokyo
Public Prosecutors Office, and because his answers were odd.

Moriya denied completely any involvement in the selection of the
engine of the CX next-generation transport aircraft. He said that
Self-Defense Forces units select defense equipment in terms of
operation, maintenance and supplementation.

His testimony revealed the existence of an equipment screening
panel, which in a meeting on Aug. 8, 2003, selected a General
Electric-made engine from among three major foreign companies. The
panel, an advisory organ to the defense minister, was composed of
top-ranking officials, including the director general of the
Minister's Secretariat, the Defense Policy Bureau chief, and
chairman of the Joint Staff Council. The panel members assembled to
discuss important issues. Moriya chaired the panel.

Moriya played golf on over 200 occasions from 1995 to April 2007.
August 2003, when the panel held that meeting, was during that

TOKYO 00005061 006 OF 011


period. There is a possibility that if as the chairman, who had the
right to make the decision, Moriya received entertainment from
Yamada Corp. with the knowledge that Yamada was serving as the
Japanese agent for GE, he could be charged with receiving bribes in
return for favors. Whether he had this knowledge is an important
factor in the investigation into the scandal.

When pursued on that point, Moriya appeared perplexed. He avoided
answering, saying, "Since that is an issue of the authority of the
administrative vice minister, I would like to have time to consult
with an attorney." Committee Chairman Takashi Fukaya, however, urged
the witness to provide an appropriate answer. Moriya then replied:
"I did not know." Is it true that Moriya was unaware even though he
had close relations -- playing golf four times a month and mah-jongg
for money?

Moriya admitted that he had asked an Aircraft Division official why
a (discretionary contract) could not be concluded with Nihon Mirise
Corp., which was established by former Yamada Corp. executive
Motonobu Miyazaki.

He, however, explained that reason, saying:

"Since the (Defense Ministry) has adopted both general competitive
bidding and discretionary contract systems, I said I didn't
understand why a discretionary contract was unable to be concluded.
But I understood it after hearing that the policy was changed by the
Finance Ministry's instruction that general public bidding should be
conducted first."

He emphasized that his remark had not suggested that favors were
given to Nihon Mirise.

(6) Defense Ministry mulls calling in SDF brass for Diet replies

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
October 29, 2007

The Defense Ministry has plans to let the Self-Defense Forces' brass
officers attend parliamentary interpellations so they can answer
questions in the Diet. From the perspective of civilian control, the
Defense Ministry has customarily had its bureaucrats answer
questions in the Diet for nearly a half century. Meanwhile, the SDF
has been tasked with more overseas missions. Accordingly, the
Defense Ministry is now asked more often about SDF operations and
equipment. Therefore, the Defense Ministry is going to review its
parliamentary custom. Some are expecting civilian control to be
strengthened as a result of imposing accountability on the SDF
brass. However, there is also a deep-seated feeling of recusal both
within the ruling parties and within the opposition parties. As it
stands, this issue will likely become controversial.

"I think the SDF's uniformed members from the Ground, Maritime, and
Air Self-Defense Forces should state their views from expertise,
technical perspectives," Defense Minister Ishiba stressed when he
sat in yesterday on the House of Representatives Special Committee
on Antiterror Measures. "All advanced countries have their military
personnel in uniform state their views in parliament," Ishiba stated
before the committee. "Japan is the only exception," Ishiba noted.
"Then," he also said, "I wonder if those in uniform must not be
allowed to come to the Diet, so I would like to ask the Diet to make
a decision on this matter." He added, "The Defense Ministry and the

TOKYO 00005061 007 OF 011


Self-Defense Forces are ready to call in the SDF's uniformed
members."

Toshio Tamogami, chief of staff of the Air Self-Defense Force, also
tuned in to Ishiba. "There are various views even among the
uniformed members," Tamogami said when he met the press yesterday.
The ASDF's top brass officer also said: "I think it's only natural
to do so (reply before the Diet). Those in the Self-Defense Forces
have a better knowledge of what we're doing, so it might be better
to have them answer questions."

The Defense Ministry has set up an in-house panel to review civilian
control in the wake of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's cover-up of
an error in the quality of fuel it supplied in the Indian Ocean. The
panel will discuss the matter and reach a conclusion in March next
year.

According to the Defense Ministry, the SDF's uniformed staff members
attended about 20 parliamentary meetings after the Police Reserve
Force, which is the SDF's predecessor, was established. In December
1959, the ASDF chief of staff at that time made a Diet reply. Since
then, the SDF's uniformed staff members have never replied before
the Diet. The Defense Ministry once thought over Japan's prewar
militarism, and there was a negative atmosphere about their
appearance on the center stage of government.

"It's now clear that the Defense Ministry is in the habit of
covering up the truth," Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), told a news
conference yesterday. "I think it's all right to set up some
occasions for us to hear their voices, if that's helpful in
unveiling the truth," Hatoyama added.

However, there are also negative views in the Defense Ministry and
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party. "The uniformed staff may
increase their voice," one said, adding, "But I think that's a
problem from the perspective of civilian control." In addition,
there are also cautious views even among the SDF's uniformed
officers. "If a supervisor is pursued in the Diet, his troops will
be let down in their morale," another said.

(7) Fair Trade Commission to strengthen oversight by expanding scope
of M&A cases subject to screening

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Full)
October 31, 2007

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to expand the scope of
merger and acquisitions (M&A) and stock purchase subjected to the
requirement of reporting to the FTC. Included in the expanded
requirement will be stock purchases by investment funds and
triangular mergers in which a target Japanese company is merged into
a subsidiary formed by an acquiring foreign company for the merger.
The FTC aims to strengthen its oversight to prevent some companies
from monopolizing the market through M&As.

The FTC intends to work out details by the end of the year and
include specific measures in a bill amending the Antimonopoly Law to
be submitted to a regular Diet session next year.

Under the existing law, if a company of a certain size acquired
shares of more than 10 PERCENT , 25 PERCENT , or 50 PERCENT in

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another firm, the company is required to file with the FTC its plan.
The FTC examines whether the plan has undermined market competition.
If the FTC judges the market share of the acquiring company as too
high, the watchdog is authorized to order it to dispose of the
purchased shares.

The current law requires an acquiring company to report a stock
acquisition to the FTC within 30 day. But the new legislation would
enable the FTC to screen M&A plans before actual transactions if
more than 20 PERCENT shares are traded. Additionally, investment
funds under the control of firms with a certain level of turnover
would also be mandated to report their share-acquisition plans.

Currently, only stock companies are subject to the FTC's M&A
screenings, and most investment funds are exempt. Meanwhile, in the
United States and the European Union (EU), authorities examine even
cases of stock purchases by investment funds, without distinguishing
investment funds and companies in principle. The business community
in Japan has begun to propose that investment funds should be
treated as the same way as companies.

The FTC will also study the possibility of mandating independent
investment funds to report their share-purchase plans. This measure
is intended to prevent such funds from monopolizing the market as a
result of purchasing shares in several companies in the same day. If
US investment fund, Steel Partners, which has stakes in several
Japanese food companies such as Nisshin Food Products Co., and
Bull-Dog Sauce Co., plans to buy shares in another food company, it
could be required to report the plan.

The FTC will further review how to treat overseas parent companies
and subsidiaries. In judging whether a company that plans an M&A
should be subject to the reporting requirement, the commission would
take into consideration, under the new law, the sales of its parent
company or subsidiaries overseas on the Japanese market. Currently,
the total sum of assets is used as a basis for judgment, but the
proceeds of parents firms or subsidiaries overseas are not taken
into account.

Under the new policy, even in triangle-merger cases, such as US
Citigroup's purchase of shares in Nikko Cordial Corp. through its
subsidiary in Japan, the reporting requirement would be applied,
depending on the rate of acquired shares.

While expanding the scope of investors subject to its screenings,
the FTC will seek to lighten the burden on companies. It will ease
its criteria to require reporting only cases of M&A plans exceeding
20 PERCENT or 50 PERCENT . In addition, only M&A cases that would
be treated in an acquirer's consolidated earnings would be subject
to the reporting requirement.

(8) Battle between political, business circles and FTC over judge
system: Focus of amending AML is whether to abolish the system

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
October 31, 2007

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) and political and business circles
are at odds over a judge system to decide whether administrative
punishment imposed on companies that violated the Antimonopoly Law
(AML) is appropriate. The FTC intends to submit a bill amending the
AML incorporating continuation of the system to the regular Diet

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session next year. However, there is growing criticism of the system
among political and business circles, as the FTC judges the
propriety of the punishment it has imposed, with one noting, "It is
a system like public prosecutors administering justice."

FTC assailed from all sides

Responsible officials of the FTC, the Japan Business Federation
(Nippon Keidanren) and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
(METI) advanced their opinions at an executive meeting of the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) AML Research Council. Many called for
the abolition of the judge system, with a representative from METI
noting, "It lacks fairness for an organ that cracks down on AML
offenders to serve as a judge," or a representative from METI
saying, "Given the situation in various industrialized countries,
Japan is the only country where a competition watchdog doubles as an
administrative complaints examiner." Nippon Keidanren has proposed
a system of directly appealing to a district court in the event in
which there are complaints about administrative punishment.

Political circles' response toward the FTC's judge system has also
been harsh. Lawmakers during meetings of the AML Research Council
and the Legal System Research Council of the LDP criticized the
system, noting that those who make decisions lack neutrality and
fairness. A member of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) at a meeting of the Lower House Committee on Economy and
Industry on Oct. 24 criticized the system, noting that the judge
system should be separated off from the FTC.

The bill amending the AML to be submitted to the Diet this time
expands the coverage of practices subject to administrative
surcharges to illegal labeling of commercial products. The statute
of limitations would also be extended from the current three years
to five years. Both the ruling and opposition parties generally
support the proposal. However, the FTC is being assailed from all
sides.

Reform proposal

It is viewed that the FTC wants to maintain authority by retaining
decision-making power over AML violation cases.

Concerning the amendment to the AML, the FTC has made preemptive
moves to contain an argument calling for scrapping the judge system,
by coming up with such reform proposals as including at least one
legal professional in the consultative body of judges and not
appointing a person who has an interest in a violation case.
However, its proposals have hardly been given high marks.

The FTC is seeking understanding for continuation of the judge
system, citing that the examination section responsible for
investigating AML violations and the judgment section are clearly
divided and that judges need legal knowledge as well as economic
expertise.

Speculation

Some take the view that business circles are against the judge
system out of another desire. Its real intention is to oppose the
idea of toughening regulations, such as expanding the coverage of
practices subject to administrative surcharges. However, given the
situation in which bid-rigging practices are frequently occurring,

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the public would see its opposition as corporate egoism. As such,
they want to halt the move to amend the law itself, with focus on
the maintaining of the judge system, as Hosei University Professor
Daitaro Kishii explained.

If the judge system has to be abolished or altered due to opposition
from business circles, it would become necessary to substantially
rewrite the amendment bill. Should that occur, chances are that the
FTC would not be able to submit the bill itself.

The FTC wants to persuade business and political circles. However,
some take the view that the FTC would not be able to get off without
doing anything about it, as a METI official put it.

(9) Interview with Sadako Ogata, president of JICA: Need for
stepping up aid to Africa

ASAHI (Page 9) (Full)
October 31, 2007

Noriyuki Wakisada, Hirotsugu Mochizuki

Sadako Ogata stresses the need to step up aid to Africa as she did
in the past to help refugees in Africa when she served as United
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Why now again? The Asahi
Shimbun interviewed her.

Question: How has the situation in Africa changed since the 1990s,
when you were making a great effort to help refugees?

Ogata: Africa was in a serious situation because of, for instance, a
string of disputes that created millions of refugees. When I see
conflicts occurring even now in Sudan and Congo and Zimbabwe
collapsing, my heart aches. But all in all, the number of conflicts
are on the decline, and Africa's economic growth rate is close to
six percent on average. Leaders of Africa have begun calling for the
rest of the world to help Africa establish systems for higher
education and construct infrastructure.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD)
will hold a meeting in Japan next May after a lapse of five years.
The question is how to spur economic growth (in Africa) while
eliminating poverty. Ahead of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit in
Lake Toya, Hokkaido, slated for next July, I think Japan should send
a clear message to the international audience.

Question: What do you think is the difference between Japan's aid
and other countries'?

Ogata: The United States and European nations at times suspended
their aid to "fragile states" that lack the ability to govern. But
my idea is that we should decide to continue aid in consideration of
the way the people should be instead of how the state should be (as
shown in the idea of "human security"). Enhancing the people's
ability would lead to building a good country. I'd like to attach
importance to linking development of the people's capabilities at
the grass-roots level to economic growth.

Question: Several years ago, the international community addressed
the issue of reducing the debts of African nations. Loan-based
support for infrastructure construction could again saddle African
nations with debts.

TOKYO 00005061 011 OF 011

Ogata: Sometime in the past we moved away from the idea of
constructing buildings and instead placed emphasis on antipoverty
measures, but calls for construction of infrastructure have been
emerging at home and abroad since last year. However, we will not
force countries lacking repayment capacity to borrow money. When
(JICA) merges with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation's
(JBIC) loan sector, we can combine yen loans with technical
cooperation and quickly implement them.

Question: Japan has shown signs of approaching aid to Africa in
various ways, as Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Amari is
set to visit Africa shortly as part of resource diplomacy.

Ogata: I have raised JICA's aid to Africa to 22 PERCENT of the
whole since taking office as president of JICA four years ago, and
we've now seen such results as the spread of new rice for Africa in
the agricultural sector. Industry and resources development will be
the next sectors to grow. JICA has long helped Asia. Asia is now
growing. As a future project, we would like to help Africa in
cooperation with Asian nations. I think it is possible to increase
our aid to Africa. I'd like to nourish the emerging hope in Africa.
And I've told my staff to come up with good proposals regarding aid
to Africa.

SCHIEFFER

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