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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Us-Japan Summit

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190419Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9628
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4469
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 6872
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3263
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5137
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8134
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0192
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1965
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6244
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7016
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005277

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - US-JAPAN SUMMIT


LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Monday morning included
Sunday's mayoral election in Osaka, in which an
opposition candidate defeated the incumbent, who was
backed by the ruling coalition.

1. "Solid Alliance Must Be Maintained" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri argued (11/19): "Prime
Minister Fukuda and President Bush in their first
summit agreed to reinforce the US-Japan alliance. Each
hoped to ease the doubts of the other, which, if
unaddressed, could undermine the bilateral alliance.
Specifically, the interruption of the MSDF refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean and the potential
delisting of North Korea as a state sponsor of
terrorism were the paramount issues facing the two
leaders.... During the summit, they also discussed such
pressing items as US force realignment in Japan, host
nation support for the US military, and the beef trade.
These issues must be steadily resolved in order to
strengthen the alliance."

2. "Policy Coordination for the Future" The liberal
Asahi insisted (11/19): "The US-led 'war on terrorism'
is grinding to a standstill around the world, including
in Iraq. Some presidential candidates in the US are
openly calling for a pullout of troops from Iraq. The
division in Japan over a resumption of the refueling
mission is related with such sentiment. As for North
Korea, some have welcomed Washington's positive
approach toward Pyongyang, while others have voiced
concern that the US might be moving too fast. These
gaps must be bridged through summits and other means,
but being an ally in and of itself does not mean that
the US and Japan have identical interests on all
issues.... Each side, while focusing on its own
national interest, cooperates with the other in order
to seek common ground. That should be the goal of
mature US-Japan relations."

3. "Lack of Post-Summit Press Conference Signals
Decline of US-Japan Relations" The business-oriented
Nikkei editorialized (11/19): "The fact that President
Bush and PM Fukuda left the podium without answering
reporters' questions is symbolic.... Even though the US-
Japan alliance has a long history with many
accomplishments, the two leaders and the diplomatic
authorities of both countries apparently decided
against holding a joint press conference out of concern
that they might face questions about minor differences
in their positions. They may have worried that
answering questions would expose such differences and
make them bigger. This demonstrates the seriousness of
the situation in the security arena, an area that has
always been solid and has formed the foundation of US-
Japan relations."


DONOVAN

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