Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/07/07
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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11/07/07
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
4) Ozawa agrees to withdraw resignation as head of Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ), with priority given to avoiding a split in the party
5) Kyodo poll finds 56 PERCENT of public negative about LDP-DPJ
grand coalition, 58 PERCENT critical of Ozawa's resignation as DPJ
head (Tokyo Shimbun)
6) Junior DPJ members felt shocked, "betrayed" by Ozawa's caper
7) Only 14 Upper House DPJ members would have bolted the party if
Ozawa did not return to head it (Yomiuri)
8) Fierce reaction to the Ozawa caper from other opposition parties
9) Government and ruling parties now expect DPJ to more receptive to
"dialogue" following Ozawa's withdrawal of his party-head
10) Current Diet session likely to be extended 28 days, with a final
decision today (Sankei)
11) Stronger mood in the ruling camp, including the New Komeito, for
re-voting on the new antiterrorism bill in Lower House after it is
rejected by the Upper House (Nikkei)
12) Timetable for adopting the new antiterrorism bill is still
13) DPJ prepares draft bill to counter the ruling camp's new
antiterrorism bill (Yomiuri) 10
14) Gist of DPJ's special measures bill (Yomiuri) 10
15) Disaster relief bill expected to pass the Diet this week - the
first of the session (Asahi) 11
16) Cooperation between LDP, DPJ allowed the disaster relief bill to
pass Diet (Asahi) 12
Defense and security issues:
17) Defense Ministry announces results of investigation into MSDF
refueling operations: No diversion of fuel to Iraq war in all 794
cases (Tokyo Shimbun)
18) Yamada Yoko Corp. owner may have concealed 15 billion yen in
company money in 2004 (Tokyo Shimbun)
19) China constraining activists from approaching Senkaku Islands
out of consideration to Japan (Asahi)
Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun & Akahata
DPJ President Ozawa retracts resignation offer in response to
executives' efforts to have him to stay on
(1) Democratic Party of Japan President Ozawa's about-face shameful
(2) Government should return Japan Green Resources Agency's projects
to starting point
TOKYO 00005130 002 OF 013
(1) No other way but for DPJ to make frontal attack
(2) We expect Americans to make wise choice in presidential
(1) DPJ counterproposal on antiterrorism questionable as refueling
(2) Impossible to settle difficult situation in Pakistan with
(1) It's not easy to restore confidence in Ozawa-led DPJ
(2) Only disabling nuclear facilities in North Korea insufficient
(1) Will situation change only with Ozawa's remaining in office?
(2) US-China hotline: US should also take measures to build
confidence with Taiwan
(1) Ozawa should give full explanation and make efforts to rebuild
(2) Strengthen mechanism to prevent repeat offensives
(1) Government should totally cancel plan to Increase burden of
medical expenses on elderly
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 6
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 7, 2007
Attended a meeting of the Headquarters for Promotion of the
Cultivation of Youth. Afterwards, attended a cabinet meeting.
Met with Vice Minister of Land, Infrastructure & Transport Minehisa
Arrived at Kantei residence.
Attended a ceremony for the Emperor to confer a grand cordon on
recipients held at Imperial Palace.
After stopping over in Kantei residence, met with Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary Futahashi at Kantei.
Attended a ceremony of announcing medal recipients at Imperial
After stopping over in Kantei residence, met with Minister in Charge
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of Science and Technology Kishida at Kantei.
Met with Kim Su Han, chair of the ROK-Japan Central Friendship
Association and others, joined by Michio Ochi, chair of the
Japan-ROK Central Friendship Association.
Met with former Keidanren Chairman Shoichiro Toyoda. Afterwards, met
with Japan-Vietnam Friendship Parliamentary League Chairman Takebe,
joined by Ambassador of Friendship to Vietnam Ryotaro Sugi.
Met with Tokyo Stock Exchange Regulation President Masakazu
Dined with leaders of the Seven Press Companies' Association,
including Yomiuri Shimbun Group Head Office Chairman Tsuneo
Watanabe, at a restaurant at First Square in Otemachi.
Arrived at his private residence in Nozawa.
4) DPJ President Ozawa retracts resignation offer in response to
executives' efforts to avoid party breakup
ASAHI (Top Play) (Full)
November 7, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa told Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama and other party leaders last night that he
would retract his resignation offer, saying: "I would like to give
it another go." He will attend a joint meeting of both Houses today
to explain how things came to this pass and then formally announce
in a press conference his intention to stay on. Party leaders gave
priority to avoiding a breakup of the party by containing some
members' dissatisfaction at Ozawa's provocative words and deeds,
including his meetings with Prime Minister Fukuda.
Ozawa, in a sense, won the confidence of the party again. But some
members harbor a sense of distrust in Ozawa for his attempt to form
a grand coalition with the Liberal Democratic Party during his
meetings with Fukuda, and it seems difficult to mitigate the
dissatisfaction. The immediate focus of attention is on how Ozawa
will explain to the people and to what extent he will be able to
regain lost ground in the party, with an eye on the next general
Hatoyama, Deputy President Naoto Kan, and House of Councillors
Chairman Azuma Koshiishi met Ozawa at Ozawa's private office in
Tokyo yesterday. Earlier in the day party lawmakers had held
meetings in groups organized in accordance with the number of times
elected and had approved the executives' stance of urging Ozawa to
retract his resignation. The executives informed Ozawa of the
consensus formed there and asked him to remain in his post. Hatoyama
quoted Ozawa as saying: "I feel sorry for causing trouble, but I
appreciate you. Although I feel I have made an exhibition of myself,
I would like to give it another go at any cost in response to your
intentions." Both sides did not place any conditions for Ozawa to
withdraw his resignation, and Hatoyama returned the letter of
resignation submitted by Ozawa to him in the meeting, according to
TOKYO 00005130 004 OF 013
After he met Ozawa, Hatoyama told reporters: "Reflecting on the
mess, we will have to solidify our party, as the proverb goes,
'After a storm comes the calm.'"
In the meetings in groups classified by the number of times elected,
Hatoyama and other executive members explained the circumstances.
One participant asserted: "If Mr. Ozawa retracts his resignation, he
should give a thorough explanation to the people," and another
insisted: "We should accept the president's criticism of our party,
but it was undesirable for him to have publicly criticized the
party. He should make an apology." But in the end, all groups gave
their approval to the party executive's stance.
Meanwhile, Ozawa summoned other party heavyweights - former Prime
Minister Tsutomu Hata, former Vice Lower House Speaker Kozo
Watanabe, and party Deputy President Hajime Ishii - at a Tokyo hotel
to hear the results of the lawmakers' meetings. The three also
persuaded Ozawa to remain in his post.
Ozawa's decision to stay on has put an end to the fiasco for now,
but there is deep-seated distrust in Ozawa's attempt to form a
coalition government. Many members in the main opposition parties
are in favor of the party taking a confrontational stance toward the
ruling camp, as a junior Upper House member said: "I expected Mr.
Ozawa would play the leading role of confronting the ruling camp."
How Ozawa will respond to such views will be worth noticing.
Ozawa held a press conference on Nov. 4 and expressed his intention
to resign as party head, saying: "There was turmoil in the party
over the prime minister's proposal for forming a coalition. To take
the responsibility, I decided to step down from the party presidency
and submitted my resignation to entrust the fate of my career to a
decision of the party." Hatoyama and other executives acted to build
a consensus in the party in order to convince Ozawa to change his
5) Poll: 56 PERCENT negative about grand coalition
TOKYO (Page 1) (Full)
November 7, 2007
The initiative to go for a "grand coalition" of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party and the leading opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto) came up in a recent one-on-one meeting of Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda, who is LDP president, and DPJ President
Ichiro Ozawa. Following up this move, Kyodo News conducted a
telephone-based spot nationwide public opinion survey on Nov. 5-6.
In the survey, respondents were asked if they thought the grand
coalition initiative was desirable. In response to this question,
56.4 PERCENT answered "no," with 25.8 PERCENT saying "yes."
The DPJ rejected the initiative. Respondents were also asked if they
thought it was good. To this question, 55.9 PERCENT answered "yes,"
with 23.5 PERCENT saying "no."
The Fukuda cabinet's support rate was 47.0 PERCENT , down 3.2
percentage points from the last survey conducted Oct. 27-28. The
nonsupport rate was 36.6 PERCENT , up 7.0 points.
Ozawa recently offered to resign as DPJ president. Asked whether it
TOKYO 00005130 005 OF 013
was appropriate, 58.4 PERCENT answered "no," with only 30.5 PERCENT
Asked about the desirable form of government, 40.7 PERCENT picked
the current form of LDP-led coalition government, with 35.5 PERCENT
opting for the form of DPJ-led coalition government. The proportion
of pro-LDP answers was 5.2 points higher than that of pro-DPJ
Meanwhile, Japan has now called off the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. In this regard,
respondents were asked if they thought the MSDF's refueling
activities should be resumed there. To this question, 46.1 PERCENT
answered "yes" while 43.9 PERCENT answered "no."
Respondents were further asked when they thought the next election
for the House of Representatives should be held. In response, 45.5
PERCENT answered that the election should take place "some time in
the first half of next year." Among other answers, "some time during
the latter half of next year" accounted for 20.6 PERCENT , "the year
after next" at 12.1 PERCENT , and "within the year" at 11.0 PERCENT
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 38.2 PERCENT , up 2.7 points from the last survey. The DPJ
was at 27.5 PERCENT , down 3.6 points. The drop can be taken as
reflecting the turmoil in the party over the coalition initiative.
New Komeito, currently in office as the LDP's coalition partner, was
at 3.6 PERCENT , up 0.5 points from the last survey. The Japanese
Communist Party was at 3.3 PERCENT , up 0.9 points. The Social
Democratic Party (Shaminto) was at 1.9 PERCENT , down 0.1 points.
The People's New Party (Kokumin Shinto) was at 0.4 PERCENT , down
0.4 points. The New Party Nippon (Shinto Nippon) was at 0.1 PERCENT
, down 0.3 points. "None" accounted for 23.5 PERCENT , down 0.4
6) Junior DPJ lawmaker: It is not that easy to forget that we were
YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
November 7, 2007
Now that Ozawa has withdrawn his resignation as president of the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), the turmoil in the
largest opposition party will calm down. But the wounds in the party
that were caused by Ozawa will not heal that fast.
Ozawa, in the press conference on Nov. 4 in which he announced his
intention to resign as DPJ president, stated: "The DPJ still lacks
strength. The public has doubts whether the DPJ is capable of taking
power. So it would be difficult for the party to win the next lower
House election." DPJ lawmakers have strongly reacted against this
comment. This is the biggest reason for many lawmakers criticizing
Ozawa in meetings of party members, who were grouped in accordance
with the number of times they have been elected to the Diet.
"I cannot erase the shock that I was deceived by Mr. Ozawa, whom I
trusted," said one young lawmaker. Many members share this feeling.
Therefore, Ozawa's hold over the party will inevitably decline.
The DPJ's strategy for the next Lower House election has likely been
TOKYO 00005130 006 OF 013
It will take a lot of time for junior and mid-level lawmakers to
dispel distrust in and suspicions about Ozawa.
One of the party leaders, said, "I still am concerned that he may
bring up a coalition concept or political realignment." There is
also a view that there would be another move before the end of the
year. Another senior party member told the press last night: "The
damage is big. We have to think of the damage in positive terms. The
same thing happened when we suffered from the e-mail fiasco."
Restoring confidence in Ozawa will be a rocky road.
7) Ozawa aide: Only 14 DPJ Upper House lawmakers would side with
YOMIURI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
Ichiro Ozawa, president of the main opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) has great influence over junior party
lawmakers as he fulfilled leadership in the campaigning for the July
House of Councillors election, in which the DPJ won a landslide
victory. Because of this reason, a senior party member said:
"If the party accepted Mr. Ozawa's offer to resign as party head, he
would leave the party along with more than 17 Upper House members;
and as a result, the ruling coalition would regain a majority in the
A person close to Ozawa said last night: "Last night I counted the
number of Upper House members, who would side with Ozawa. Only 14
members were sure to follow him." The view is now spreading in the
capital district of Nagatacho that this is the main reason that
forced Ozawa to decide to withdraw his offer to quit as party head.
8) JCP, SDP criticize Ozawa's decision to withdraw his resignation
as irrational; Negative impact on united front expected
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
decided yesterday to withdraw his resignation as party head. This
has elicited criticism from opposition parties as being irrational.
At the same time, the ruling parties expressed hope that this would
help advance policy talks.
Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii released this comment:
"Driving talks on a coalition forward is a betrayal of the popular
will. Is the DPJ going to allow (Mr. Ozawa) to stay on as its
president by ignoring this critical problem? I would like to watch
how Mr. Ozawa and the DPJ are going to explain this." Social
Democratic Party head Mizuho Fukushima indicated that she would
carefully monitor the opposition bloc united front, saying: "I'm
afraid that a coalition in a different form might move forward and
that (the DPJ) might also push ahead with discussions on a permanent
law governing the overseas dispatch of the SDF with the LDP. The
situation has become far more critical than before for the
Constitution and peace."
9) Ozawa retracts his intention to resign as DPJ president;
government, ruling parties expect dialogue with DPJ
TOKYO 00005130 007 OF 013
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 2, 2007
Now that the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ)
President Ichiro Ozawa has withdrawn his intention to resign as
party chief, the government and the ruling coalition intend to
continue their efforts to call on the DPJ to work together to create
a framework for the ruling and opposition blocs to have
consultations. But the government and the ruling bloc are yet wary
of a future move by Ozawa toward them.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Tadamoro Oshima late yesterday told reporters in Tokyo: "It
is my understanding that (Mr. Ozawa's) line of holding talks with
(the ruling bloc) about matters that need to be discussed might be
shared widely in his party."
Minister of Economy, Trade & Industry Akira Amari, as well, noted,
"In terms of preventing a political stalemate, I welcome the fact
that the turmoil in the DPJ has been settled in a short period of
time," adding, "I expect the DPJ to assume responsibilities for
promoting policy talks with the ruling bloc."
Expectations are growing in the ruling bloc that a dialogue-based
management of the Diet can be maintained. The junior coalition
partner New Komeito's Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa noted: "Mr.
Ozawa is well aware of the need for the ruling and opposition
parties to hold talks for the realization of policies."
10) Government, ruling coalition to make final decision today on
Diet extension for 28 days
SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 7, 2007
The government and ruling parties yesterday began final coordination
on a plan to extend the current session of the Diet for 28 days
until Dec. 8. The secretaries general and Diet Affairs Committee
chairmen of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New
Komeito will determine the plan in their meeting this morning. In
order to enact a new antiterrorism measures bill to resume the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian
Ocean rues in the ongoing session, the government and ruling
coalition are determined that it is necessary to secure sufficient
time for deliberations on the bill. They intend, however, to watch
what action the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will
take after Ichiro Ozawa decided to remain as party president. There
still remains an uncertainty, therefore, about the passage of the
The ruling camp plans to get the legislation through the House of
Representatives within the week. They also intend to take a vote on
a bill extending the current session in a Lower House plenary
session on Nov. 9. The DPJ, in a meeting yesterday of the directors
of the Lower House Special Committee on Antiterrorism, however,
sought a delay of the vote in the committee to the 12th or later.
The ruling bloc expects about 30 hours for deliberations in the
House of Councillors after the bill passes the Lower House. So they
have assumed that two to three weeks will be needed until voting. If
the bill is voted down in the Upper House, the ruling coalition will
TOKYO 00005130 008 OF 013
immediately take a vote again in the Lower House to get the bill
passed with a two-thirds majority of the lawmakers.
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda ordered LDP Secretary General Bunmei
Ibuki to extend the Diet session and continue discussion with the
DPJ. The dominant view in the ruling camp is that the DPJ will step
up its hard-line stance since Ozawa has decided to stay on in the
presidency. In consideration of Prime Minister Fukuda's planned
overseas trip in mid-November, the government and ruling camp plan
to substantially extend the current session.
11) Government, ruling bloc leaning toward Lower House re-adoption
of new refueling legislation; New Komeito to approve the option
NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
November 7, 2007
The view is gaining ground in the government and ruling parties that
in the event the bill designed to resume the refueling operation in
the Indian Ocean was rejected in the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors, the legislation should be adopted by a second vote in
the House of Representatives. There is a judgment that given the
turmoil in the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) due to its President Ichiro Ozawa's announcement to step
down, it would be difficult to submit a censure motion against the
prime minister even if the legislation was readopted (in the Lower
House). The New Komeito is also expected to give a nod to taking a
second vote by reversing its cautious stance.
Liberal Democratic Party Upper House Caucus Chairman Hidehisa Otsuji
said to reporters in Tokyo last night: "The bill would be sent to
the Upper House, knowing that it would be rejected there, (the
ruling) bloc plans to readopt it in the Lower House where it holds a
two-thirds majority." A New Komeito executive, too, took this view:
"If Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda decides on re-adoption, it would be
difficult for the party to oppose it in the end."
Buds of discussions on a permanent law allowing the government to
dispatch the SDF overseas as necessary -- the option emerged during
the party head talks -- have been left intact due to Ozawa's
decision to stay on. There is concern in the New Komeito that if
gaps in views with the prime minister on foreign and security
affairs grow wide, the grand coalition vision might flare up again.
12) No agreement reached between ruling, opposition parties on
taking a vote on new antiterrorism legislation
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 7, 2007
At a session yesterday of the Lower House Special Committee on
Prevention of Terrorism, which is discussing a new antiterrorism
special measures bill, the ruling and opposition parties failed to
reach agreement on the question of whether to take a vote on the new
The special committee intermittently held a board of directors
meeting yesterday in and after a question-and-answer session and
agreed to hold three hours of intensive deliberations this afternoon
with Prime Minister Fukuda's attendance there.
While the ruling bloc again insisted that after intensive
TOKYO 00005130 009 OF 013
deliberations, a final question-and-answer session be held, and that
a vote on the new bill be taken, the opposition bloc asserted that
it was too early to take a vote on the bill because more time would
be necessary for thorough discussion of the bill. Both sides in the
end failed to reach agreement.
The ruling parties intend to get the bill passed in the Lower House
during the current session of the Diet. They want to take a vote on
the bill tomorrow, Nov. 8.
The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is calling on
the ruling bloc behind the scenes to delay taking a vote on the bill
until next week on the premise of extending the term of the current
Diet session. Even in government and the ruling parties, some are
pointing out the need for a flexible response.
Meanwhile, a board of directors' meeting yesterday of the Upper
House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense discussed the matter
that a decision on summoning former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa
Moriya to a Diet committee had been made without the attendance of
the ruling parties.
The ruling bloc insisted that the decision was invalid, indicating
that it would abstain from a committee meeting to which Moriya was
to be summoned. The ruling bloc instead suggested summoning him as a
witness after the new antiterrorism bill went into deliberations in
the Upper House on the premise that the Diet session would be
extended, but the opposition bloc refused the ruling bloc's
proposal. Both sides failed to find common ground as the committee's
Chairman Toshimi Kitazawa (of the DPJ) indicated his intention to
summon Moriya as a witness as planned.
13) DPJ's antiterror bill the outcome of intra-party consideration
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged)
November 7, 2007
The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)
yesterday released an outline of its counterproposal to the
government's new antiterror legislative measure. The DPJ's
counterproposal of its own bill is tentatively titled "Bill for
Special Measures to Implement Humanitarian and Reconstruction
Assistance Activities in Afghanistan and Eradicate International
Terrorism." DPJ President Ozawa is positive about sending the
Self-Defense Forces on overseas missions based on United Nations
resolutions. However, DPJ members stemming from the now-defunct
Japan Socialist Party are cautious about it. The DPJ's draft bill
showed consideration for their respective standpoints.
The DPJ's draft bill, in its portion of principles, features
importing Ozawa's theory almost as is. It incorporates Japan's
participation in collective security measures based on United
Nations resolutions and provided in Chapter 7 of the Charter of the
United Nations as a "basic principle." In addition, it cites
"international standards" for the use of weapons. According to the
government's current constitutional interpretation, SDF personnel
are not allowed to use weapons overseas. However, the DPJ's bill
allows them to use weapons in order to carry out their duties.
14) Main points from DPJ's draft bill
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
TOKYO 00005130 010 OF 013
November 7, 2007
The following is a gist of the "Bill Concerning Special Measures to
Implement Humanitarian and Reconstruction Assistance Activities in
Afghanistan and Eradicate International Terrorism," drafted by the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto).
1. (Omitted (by the Yomiuri Shimbun))
2. The bill is to expressly stipulate basic principles for Japan to
invoke its right to self-defense under the Constitution of Japan and
participate in collective security measures under Chapter 7 of the
United Nations Charter. Japan is to play a leading role to establish
a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (UNEPS).
3. (Omitted (ditto))
4. Japan is to make efforts to disarm illegal armed groups,
demobilize them, help with their rehabilitation, reform police
organizations, and reform the nation's armed forces.
5. Japan is to send experts, including personnel from the
Self-Defense Forces, as civilians to assist these reforms.
6. The SDF is not to send any combat troops and is only to send its
members for humanitarian and reconstruction assistance,
infrastructure construction, etc. The SDF is not to participate in
the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and is also not
to participate in rear support activities.
7. Japan is only to conduct civilian activities, such as taking part
in a provincial reconstruction team (PRT), after a ceasefire
agreement or otherwise in areas where Afghan civilians will sustain
8. Japan is to work in four priority areas: 1) ensuring food
production through farmland restoration, irrigation, etc.; 2)
providing medical support to the Afghan people; 3) transporting
relief supplies for disaster-stricken people; and 4) reforming
police and administration for public security.
9. Japan is to send SDF members as well as civilians, including
police officers and doctors. They are to work together in an
10. The government is to ask the Diet for its approval of a
masterplan for Japan's activities. The period of time for Japan's
humanitarian and reconstruction assistance activities is limited to
11. If and when combat breaks out or is feared to break out in a PRT
area, all SDF members and civilians are to withdraw at once. If and
when there is a Diet resolution, they are to withdraw. Consideration
is needed for the security of civilians participating in Japan's
12. If and when maritime interdiction operations (MIO) are conducted
as United Nations activities based on a UN resolution, Japan is to
consider participating in these activities.
(Note) Weapons use is to be based on international standards.
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15) Disaster Victim Relief Law also to be applied to victims of
Chuetsu Earthquake after amendment during current Diet session: Diet
approval likely, possibly within this week
ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
Regarding an amendment to the Law Concerning Reconstructing
Livelihoods of Disaster Victims aimed at approving assistance to
victims of major natural disasters, such as earthquakes and
typhoons, to rebuild their houses, the ruling parties and the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) during revision talks on
Nov. 6 agreed to apply the law to victims of disasters that have
occurred since this January. Coordination was undertaken to
designate four disasters, including the Chuetsu Earthquake in Nigata
Prefecture, as four specified disasters and to mention such in a
supplementary provision of the amendment bill so that victims can
apply for subsidies under the new system. The Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP), the New Komeito and the DPJ will jointly submit the
bill again to the Upper House. The bill will likely secure Diet
approval as early as this week.
The DPJ had strongly called for the application of the law to
victims of disasters that have occurred this year. The ruling
parties were reluctant, viewing it as unfair to victims of disasters
that have occurred in previous years. However, they have decided to
approve new applications as exceptions. Since victims can apply for
the application of the law up to seven times, the amended law can
virtually be applied going back to disasters that occurred before
the amendment. This is an unprecedented decision. Households that
have already received subsidies based on the existing law will
likely be paid the balance.
16) Both sides make concessions in Diet
ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
The application of the Law Concerning Reconstructing Livelihoods of
Disaster Victims to damages caused to houses themselves, which has
been rarely approved thus far, has come to fruition with the
opposition's strength exceeding that of the ruling parties in the
Upper House. Aware of the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ or
Minshuto) stance, the ruling parties have taken a step to amend the
law, and the DPJ has also made a major concession in order to
The DPJ has thus far submitted along with other opposition parties a
bill amending the Disaster Relief Law aimed at its application to
houses themselves four times. However, only one hour was given to
deliberations on the bills, and all the bills were killed. This is
because the Finance Ministry has taken a reluctant stance, since
assisting in the reconstruction of houses leads to property
accumulation using tax money.
The DPJ submitted an amendment for the sixth time during the current
Diet session. The government and the ruling parties had been looking
into the possibility of considering the issue in the regular Diet
session next year. However, following the crushing defeat in the
Upper House election in July, they have taken the initiative in
introducing a counterproposal allowing the payment of subsidies to
reconstruct damaged houses to the current Diet session.
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17) Defense Ministry releases investigative report concluding no oil
was diverted in 794 cases
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 7, 2007
The Defense Ministry yesterday released its investigative report
concluding that no fuel oil provided to foreign vessels on 794
occasions by the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean
under the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law had been diverted for
use in Iraq operations.
According to the report, the MSDF directly refueled foreign vessels
on 647 occasions between December 2001 and November 1, 2007, when
the law expired. Of them, there were 160 cases in which foreign
vessels might have engaged in operations other than Operation of
Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the maritime interdiction operation
(OEF-MIO) that were subject to MSDF fuel provision. It was also
confirmed that they had consumed amounts in excess of the volumes
provided by the MSDF during the periods of the two operations.
The MSDF also indirectly refueled foreign vessels via supply ships
on 147 occasions. Although in some cases, the ministry was not able
to determine the amounts of fuel provided, it confirmed that the
fuel had been consumed during the two operations based on
assumptions from past records of vessels subject to receiving oil
from the MSDF.
18) Former owner of Yamada Yoko suspected of concealing assets when
settlement was reached with RCC in 2004
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 27) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
Tokyo Shimbun has learned from an informed source that Masashi
Yamada (83), former owner of Yamada Yoko, a trading house
specializing in military procurement, located in Minato Ward, Tokyo,
reached a settlement at talks between his group companies and
Resolution and Collection Corporation (RCC) in 2004, while
concealing his personal assets (stocks worth approximately 15
billion yen). Motonobu Miyazaki (69), former executive director of
Yamada Yoko, whose collusive ties with former Administrative Vice
Minister Takemasa Moriya (63), have been unveiled, established Nihon
Mirise, becoming independent from the company out of fear that it
might be sold off. The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office
Special Investigation Department appears to have determined a
similar fact in the questioning of involved sources.
According to the same source, the Yamada Group consists of
approximately 20 companies located both at home and abroad,
including Yamada Yoko, a company that runs golf courses and a
fisheries company, with Yayoi Real Estate in Chuo Ward as a core
company. Yayoi Real Estate purchased a large amount of real estates,
such as golf courses and buildings, during the bubble era. Those
real estates became bad assets, when the bubble burst, leaving the
company in a slump. The company strapped with debts worth
approximately 11.3 billion yen was then placed under the authority
A settlement with RCC was reached in March 2004 subject to
conditions including that Yayoi Real Estate would repay 3.7 billion
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of its debts in a lump sum and amortize another 3 billion yen by
2016 and that the RCC would abandon the remaining claims worth 4.6
billion yen. The agreement also included the provision that Yamada
would transfer all of his personal stocks to third parties and
resign as director of the 17-member company group.
According to the informed source, Yamada reached a settlement with
RCC without telling it of the existence of stocks of a US subsidiary
of the Yamada Group which he personally possessed. The note of
settlement included more than 10 names of companies and individuals
as recipients of his stocks, but Yamada in fact only transferred his
stocks to his eldest son.
19) China constrains activists who advocate China's ownership of
Senkaku Islands, attaches importance to Japan in order to surround
ASAHI (Page 7) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2007
Kenji Minemura, Beijing and Nozomi Hayashi, Hong Kong
Chinese authorities are stepping up their carrot-and-stick policy to
contain activists who have protested against Japan on the
territorial dispute over Senkaku Islands. This move reflects a
changing Japan-China relationship, as well as rising tensions
between Taiwan and China. The activists are being forced to turn
According to one activist who approached the Senkaku Islands at the
end of October, four like-minded activists, after returning before
dawn of Oct. 30 to a port in Zhangzhou City of Fujian Province, were
detained and transferred by public security officers of Amoy City of
the same province to the city and confined to a private house.
Public security officers demanded that they sign a written pledge
not to sail again. The four were released late at night on Oct. 31.