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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 12/17/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 005573

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 12/17/07


Index:

Opinion polls:
1) Fukuda Cabinet support rate drops 12 points to 43 PERCENT in
Nikkei poll, with Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) support now
challenging that of LDP (Nikkei)
2) Kyodo poll: Fukuda Cabinet support plummets 11 points to 35
PERCENT , with 52 PERCENT of the public citing "broken promise" on
pension mess, 46 PERCENT against antiterror bill (Tokyo Shimbun)
3) Jiji poll: 60 PERCENT of the public prefer to see Diet
dissolution and election after budget bill is passed in the spring
(Tokyo Shimbun)

Political agenda:
4) Prime Minister Fukuda: Even if opposition passes censure motion,
will not dissolve the Diet for a snap election (Tokyo Shimbun)
5) DPJ head Ozawa calls Fukuda administration "corrupt" and expects
an early Diet dissolution and general election (Tokyo Shimbun)
6) DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama does not see an Upper House vote
on the antiterrorism bill until after the New Year (Tokyo Shimbun)

7) DPJ strategy is to delay Upper House vote until early next year
in order to give more time for pummeling Fukuda government on
defense scandals, pensions (Nikkei)

Defense issues:
8) Government is way behind schedule in carrying out USFJ
realignment plan, starting with Futenma relocation (Nikkei)
9) Sankei retracts with apology part of report that accused former
Deputy Secretary Armitage of taking money from defense contractor
while in office (Sankei)
10) Vice defense minister's office had hefty secret slush fund that
grew when Moriya was in office (Tokyo Shimbun)
11) MD-related PAC3 missile drill again postponed out of
consideration for Diet deliberations on sensitive antiterrorism
bill, defense scandals (Sankei)

12) Fukuda's new economic growth strategy centers heavily on
environmental and energy conservation cooperation with Asia (Nikkei)


Artricles:

1) Poll: Cabinet support sags to 43 PERCENT

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
December 17, 2007

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun conducted a public opinion survey on Dec.
14-16, in which the rate of public support for Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda and his cabinet was 43 PERCENT , down 12 percentage points
from the last survey conducted in November. The nonsupport rate for
the Fukuda cabinet was 46 PERCENT , up 13 points. The Fukuda
cabinet's disapproval rating topped its approval rating for the
first time since it came into office in September. In the survey,
respondents were asked if they thought the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean should be resumed.
In response to this question as well, the proportion of negative
answers topped that of affirmative ones, with "no" accounting for 44
PERCENT and "yes" at 39 PERCENT .

The Fukuda cabinet has pledged to check pension records up for about

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50 million unidentified persons by March next year and inform them
of their pension records. However, it has now become difficult to do
so. In addition, the Defense Ministry has been involved in a series
of scandals. The sharp drop in the cabinet support rate can be taken
as reflecting these events.

Among men, the Fukuda cabinet's support rate was 39 PERCENT , down
13 points. Among women, it was 46 PERCENT , down 12 points. By age,
the nonsupport rate topped the support rate in all age brackets
except those in their 70 and over. Those who do not support the
Fukuda cabinet were asked to pick one or more reasons. To this
question, 43 PERCENT gave the prime minister's lack of leadership.
This answer topped all other answers. Among other answers, 33
PERCENT said its policies are bad.

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party stood at 38 PERCENT , down 4 points from
the last survey. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) was at 34 PERCENT , up 6 points. The DPJ closed in on the
LDP with a margin of 4 points.

The survey was taken by Nikkei Research Inc. over the telephone on a
random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, samples were
chosen from among men and women aged 20 and over across the nation.
A total of 1,487 households with one or more eligible voters were
sampled, and answers were obtained from 870 persons (58.5 PERCENT
).

2) Poll: Fukuda cabinet's support rate nosedives to 35 PERCENT

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Abridged)
December 17, 2007

In a telephone-based poll conducted by Kyodo News across the nation
on Dec. 15-16, the rate of public support for Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda and his cabinet was 35.3 PERCENT , down 11.7 percentage
points from a survey taken in early November. The nonsupport rate
for the Fukuda cabinet rose 11.0 points to 47.6 PERCENT . The Fukuda
cabinet's disapproval rating topped its approval rating for the
first time. The government has now given up resolving the issue of
pension records up for unidentified persons. In the survey,
respondents were asked if they thought this violated the Fukuda
cabinet's public pledge. To this question, 57.6 PERCENT answered
"yes," with 34.3 PERCENT saying "no."

"Some people say it's a breach of my cabinet's public pledge, but I
wonder if it's as big as they say." Fukuda gave this remark when
asked about the pension issue. Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry has
been involved in a series of scandals. The sharp drop in the Fukuda
cabinet's support rate can be taken as reflecting these events.
Meanwhile, the Diet, in its reextended session, is focusing its
debate on a new antiterror bill intended to resume the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. In
the survey, respondents were asked if they supported the
legislation. To this question, 46.7 PERCENT answered "no," with
38.8 PERCENT saying "yes."

Respondents were also asked about the desirable form of government.
In the last survey, those choosing a coalition government led by the
Liberal Democratic Party outnumbered those preferring a coalition
government led by the Democratic party of Japan (Minshuto). This
time, however, 44.7 PERCENT chose a DPJ-led coalition government,

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with 28.5 PERCENT picking an LDP-led coalition government.
Respondents were also asked when they would like an election to be
held for the House of Representatives. In response to this question,
47.0 PERCENT answered that they would like it to be held "by the
first half of next year," with 26.0 PERCENT saying "by the latter
half of next year" and 12.8 PERCENT saying "the year after next."

Respondents were further asked if they thought the ruling coalition
should revote on the new refueling legislation in the House of
Representatives to enact it into law if the House of Councillors
votes it down. In response to this question, public opinion was
split, with 41.2 PERCENT saying "yes" and 43.6 PERCENT saying
"no."

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 25.2 PERCENT , down 13.0 points from the last survey. The
LDP was below the 28.5 PERCENT rating for the DPJ. New Komeito, the
LDP's coalition partner, was at 3.1 PERCENT . Among other political
parties, the Japanese Communist Party was at 3.6 PERCENT , with the
Social Democratic Party (Shaminto) at 1.5 PERCENT , the People's New
Party (Kokumin Shinto) at 0.3 PERCENT , and the New Party Nippon
(Shinto Nippon) at 0.2 PERCENT . Those with no particular party
affiliation accounted for 36.0 PERCENT , up 12.5 points.

3) Jiji poll: 60 PERCENT think next spring or later desirable time
for Lower House dissolution; Priority given to passage of fiscal
2008 budget

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
December 15, 2007

In an opinion poll carried out by Jiji Press on Dec. 14, 60 PERCENT
of respondents replied that it would be desirable to dissolve the
Lower House after passage of the fiscal 2008 budget in the spring at
the earliest. Only about 20 PERCENT called for a Diet dissolution
at the end of the year or at the outset of the regular Diet session
to be convened in January next year. With the confrontation between
the ruling and opposition parties getting fierce over the new
antiterror special measures bill, there are growing calls for a Diet
dissolution at an early date. However, the findings of the poll
revealed that many eligible voters do not want to see the political
situation become fluid until the budget bill for the next fiscal
years secures Diet approval.

The poll, carried out on Dec. 6-9, was directed at 2,000 men and
women throughout the nation, based on an individual interview
formula. The rate of effective replies recovered was 65.7 PERCENT .

Regarding a timetable for a Diet dissolution, the largest number of
27.5 PERCENT cited "after passage of the fiscal 2008 budget in the
spring," followed by 18.6 PERCENT , who gave "2009 (including after
the termination of the term)," and 13.8 PERCENT , who cited, "after
the Hokkaido Lake Toya Summit in July, 2008." Only 4.4 PERCENT
cited, "at the end of the year," and 11.8 PERCENT gave, "at the
outset of the regular Diet session."

4) Prime Minister Fukuda will not dissolve Lower House even if
censure motion against him is submitted to Upper House

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
December 15, 2007


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Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda decided on Dec. 14 that he will not
dissolve the House of Representatives even if the main opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) submits a censure motion
against him to the House of Councillors and the motion is adopted.
Several senior ruling coalition members revealed this. In the
current extraordinary Diet session, which was extended again until
Jan. 15, the focus will be on whether the DPJ decides to submit a
censure motion after the ruling camp readopts a new antiterrorism
special measures bill at the Lower House.

In an interview by reporters attached to the Cabinet on the 14th,
Fukuda denied the possibility of dissolving the Lower House before
the compilation of the state budget for fiscal 2008. He stated: "We
will have to carry out deliberations on the budget so that there
will be no adverse effect on the livelihood of the people."

Considering that a censure motion against the prime minister has no
binding force unlike a no-confidence motion against the cabinet, a
senior Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) pointed out: "We are free as
to how to respond to it." Another senior LDP member stated: "We will
ignore a censure motion even if it is adopted."

A senior member of the New Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition
member, noted: "We will entirely ignore (a censure motion against
Fukuda). Unless we make such a determination, we won't be able to
override an Upper House decision."

The government and ruling coalition aim to complete the compilation
of the state budget for fiscal 2008 before the end of the year and
adopt it before the end of this fiscal year (March), convening a
regular Diet session as early as Jan. 18.

5) DPJ hopes for early Lower House dissolution

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
December 17, 2007

With about 20 PERCENT of the some 50 million public pension
accounts that remain unidentified still unaccounted for, calls are
growing in the main Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) for
an early dissolution of the House of Representatives and a snap
general election that would follow. Many lawmakers in the largest
opposition party used to feel worried about the possibility of an
early Lower House election because of such reasons as the internal
uproar over party head Ichiro Ozawa's on again off again resignation
and the party's delay in making preparations for the election. But
if the election is conducted with the public angry about the
pension-record fiasco, the DPJ now feels it would be possible for it
to win the election, forcing the now ruling parties into the
minority camp in the Lower House, a replay of what had happened in
the July House of Councillors election.

In a party meeting yesterday in the city of Noda, Chiba Prefecture,
DPJ President Ozawa stressed his resolve to drive (Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda) into a situation under which he would have no choice
but to dissolve the Lower House at an early time. He said:

"Both the pension-record fiasco and the Defense Ministry issue
occurred because politics and the bureaucracy have been corrupted. A
long-term government is sure to become corrupt."

In addition to the series of scandals involving the Defense

TOKYO 00005573 005 OF 010


Ministry, another reason for the DPJ's waning fear of election is
the ruling camp's series of mistakes, such as Fukuda's remark that
he did not think the pension-record fiasco involved a broken pledge
by the government.

6) DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama: Re-extension of Diet session
straight through New Year inevitable; Maneuvering between ruling and
opposition camps to intensify over re-voting on new antiterrorism
bill in Lower House

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
December 17, 2007

In the wake of the government's decision to re-extend the current
Diet session until Jan. 15, the ruling and opposition camps will
start from this week fierce maneuvering over on the timing of the
vote on the new antiterrorism special measures bill in the House of
Councillors. Although the ruling coalition still aims to enact the
bill before the end of the year, the opposition camp, including the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), which controls the
Upper House, has called for placing priority on pursuing the
pension-record fiasco and a series of scandals involving the Defense
Ministry. The outlook is for the fierce wrangling to continue in the
Diet.

The Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has held
deliberations for about 20 hours. The ruling bloc has called for
holding deliberations on the bill not only Tuesdays and Thursdays
but also other days of the week. The DPJ, as the largest party in
the Upper House, along with the other opposition parties, have not
accepted the request, however.

If the committee continues to hold deliberations twice a week, it
will be not be until Dec. 17 when the total time for deliberations
will reach about 41 hours, equal to the time spent in the House of
Representatives, which the DPJ has sought. The ruling coalition
envisions that it will readopt the bill at the Lower House before
the end of the year if the opposition decides to takes a vote on the
bill at the committee on Dec. 17 and to reject it at an Upper House
plenary session on the 28th.

Appearing on an NHK talk show program yesterday, DPJ Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama stated: "It would be difficult to put the
bill to a second vote without resolving the series of scandals
involving the Defense Ministry. It is inevitable that we will go
straight through the New Year in the re-extended session."

7) DPJ gives up on taking vote on new refueling legislation in Upper
House before year's end in order to determine propriety of
submitting censure motion

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
December 16, 2007

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto)
decided yesterday to forgo taking a vote on the new legislation
designed to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean in the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors before the end of the year. By postponing a vote until
early next year, the DPJ intends to watch developments in scandals
involving the Ministry of Defense (MOD) and to make a decision on
whether to submit a censure motion against Prime Minister Yasuo

TOKYO 00005573 006 OF 010


Fukuda.

Now that the current Diet session has been re-extended to Jan. 15,
the new legislation is certain to clear the Diet. But the subsequent
delay in taking a vote is likely to cause new developments in the
MOD scandals to affect the political situation that might lead to a
Lower House dissolution for a general election. The next regular
Diet session is scheduled to open on Jan. 18. If the standoff
between the ruling and opposition camps escalates over a vote on the
new refueling legislation, a severe confrontational mood might
linger on in the next regular Diet session.

The Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has already
discussed the refueling bill for 21 hours. If six hours are spent
each on the planned weekly regular session, total deliberation time
would come to 41 hours on Dec. 27, as was requested by the
opposition camp.

A senior DPJ member indicated yesterday that shedding light on the
MOD scandals is closely associated with the timing for taking a vote
on the new legislation, saying: "Deliberation time is not the only
prerequisite for a vote." The committee is expected to take a vote
either on Jan. 8 or 10.

Because the committee is controlled by the opposition bloc, it
cannot bring the legislation to a vote without the concurrence of
the DPJ and other opposition parties.

Over the MOD scandals, the DPJ is demanding the party be allowed to
question former Yamada Corp. executive Motonobu Miyazaki, who is
under arrest. The largest opposition party is also set to grill the
government, demanding intensive deliberations on the pension
recordkeeping fiasco.

8) USFJ realignment suffering from deadlocked Futenma relocation and
MOD scandals

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
December 16, 2007

The government is concerned about the delay in implementing plans
for the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. Although Japan is in
agreement with the United States to complete the realignment by
2014, coordination with affected municipalities over a plan to
relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station is having
rough-going. As if to add insult to injury, former Vice-Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya has been arrested. The realignment of USFJ
is designed to serve as the foundation for future Japan-U.S.
security cooperation. Stalemate in the process might cast a pall
over the unity of the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The U.S. Army 1st Corps forward command will be established on Dec.
19 on Camp Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture, as was agreed upon between
Tokyo and Washington in May 2006. The number of personnel at the
forward command is scheduled to increase from 30 to some 300 next
summer to serve as the headquarters in the Far East. The Ground
Self-Defense Force's Central Readiness Command is also scheduled to
move from Camp Asaka to Zama by 2012 to increase the level of
cooperation between the two countries.

However, the overall USFJ realignment program is behind schedule.
Particularly serious is the deadlocked Futenma relocation plan, a

TOKYO 00005573 007 OF 010


pivotal element in the realignment plan. If this situation persists,
completing the Futenma relocation by 2014 will be difficult.

The government held Futenma relocation consultative council meetings
in November and December and conveyed to Okinawa its plan to
unfreeze the 10-billion-yen economic package for northern Okinawa.
With this as an incentive, the government plans to obtain Okinawa's
cooperation for the Futenma relocation. Okinawa is seeking changes
to the government's plan to build a V-shaped pair of runways on the
coast of Camp Schwab. The prefectural side is not showing any signs
of concessions.

Another pillar in the USFJ realignment is the relocation of some
8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam. A plan is afloat to start
work in 2012. But a senior Defense Ministry official said
apprehensively: "Unless Futenma relocation is realized, the planned
relocation of Marines to Guam, as well as the (agreed-upon) deal to
return U.S. military sites south of Kadena Air Base to Japan, will
be called off, dealing a fatal blow to the Japan-U.S. alliance."

The revelation of scandals involving the Defense Ministry is also
casting a blight on the realignment plan. It has been found out that
a former managing director of defense contractor Yamada Corp., who
was on friendly terms with former Vice-Defense Minister Moriya, was
involved in the Guam relocation plan. Japan is to contribute
approximately 6.1 billion dollars (690 billion yen), or 60 PERCENT
of the total, to the project. Questions have been raised about the
basis for that amount.

The government is truly concerned about the deadlocked USFJ
realignment, because it might have a negative impact on the
bilateral alliance far more serious than that of the discontinued
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean.

A new refueling bill is expected to be enacted in the current Diet
session, and as a result, Japan might be able to resume the
refueling operation as early as the end of February. Talks on the
Japan-U.S. Special Measures Agreement on Japan's host-nation support
(the so-called sympathy budget) have also been settled. Those
matters are easy. The hard part for Japan and the United States is
the realignment of USFJ.

9) Correction and apology: Mr. Armitage did not receive any fees
from Yamada during his tenure as deputy secretary of state

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
December 15, 2007

On Dec. 1, the Sankei Shimbun carried an article titled "Yamada
Corp. paid over 100 million yen to Armitage in consultant fees, even
during his tenure as deputy secretary of state." The newspaper
retracts the part reading "the firm continued to pay Armitage even
during his tenure as deputy secretary of state."

The Sankei Shimbun has received a complaint from Mr. Armitage
pointing out: "There was a description indirectly saying that I had
received money from Yamada Corp. during my tenure as deputy
secretary of state. The description is not true."

SIPDIS

The article was based on records of payments by Yamada International
Corporation, Yamada Corp.'s subsidiary in the United States, and
accounts by persons concerned that the firm had paid a total of 1

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million dollars (110 million yen) in consultant fees to Armitage
Associates, a firm established by Armitage, and companies associated
with Armitage Associates, over the last seven years.

But Mr. Armitage pointed out: "I became deputy secretary of state on
March 26, 2001, but I had severed relations with Armitage Associates
before taking on the job." Explaining that the company name was
changed into AALC by former partners, Mr. Armitage also explicitly
said, "I had no interests in AALC."

The article was solely intended to point out that a former Yamada
Corp. executive and others had used a large amount of money to build
channels to U.S. government officials. There was not intention of
defaming Mr. Armitage.

However, taking Mr. Armitage's complaint that he did not receive any
fees from (Yamada) during his tenure as deputy secretary of state to
heart, we apologize to Mr. Armitage.

10) Defense Ministry slush fund: Vice minister's office receives
hundreds of thousand of yen per month; Amount increased when Moriya
was in office

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
December 17, 2007

The Defense Ministry has been accused of setting aside portions its
annual rewards budget worth approximately 160 billion as a slush
fund that could be tapped as pleased, It has been learned that the
vice minister's office received hundreds of thousand of yen per
month in such money during the tenure of Vice Minister Takemasa
Moriya, who is now under arrest on the charge of receiving bribes
from a former executive director of a defense-related trading
company. The fund's existence was verified by several sources in the
Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) yesterday.

According to the sources, the Ministry Secretariat Secretarial
Division has controlled and distributed the slush funds to the
defense minister and such high officials as the senior vice minister
and other vice ministers. Until Moriya took office, 200,000 yen or
so was allotted to the slush fund in the vice minister's office. The
amount reportedly was increased after he came into office.

In the wake of the bribery scandal involving the former vice defense
minister and the revelation of the existence of such a fund, the
ministry intends to stop the practice of using off-the-book funds
drawn from the rewards budget, starting in fiscal 2008. The Defense
Ministry as a whole reportedly has at least several tens of millions
of yen in a secret account. What to do with these funds will likely
be on the agenda.

The ministry has launched an internal investigation into the
slush-fund issue. However, since many bureaus and divisions are
involved in the matter, to what extent it will be able to grasp the
situation and release the findings is unknown. Officials seemed to
have faked a great number of receipts in order to clear auditing by
the Board of Audit and to use up the budgeted money each year.
However, since those receipts are reportedly kept only for five
years, it seems impossible to investigate the matter much further.

11) PAC3 drill again delayed, consideration having been given to
bill under deliberation and series of scandals

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SANKEI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
December 16, 2006

In connection with the ground-to-air ballistic missile PAC3, which
forms the core of the missile defense (MD) system that is being
deployed around the Tokyo metropolitan area, the Defense Ministry
has decided to delay until next year a mobilization drill originally
planned for mid-December. The drill was planned for this month at
state controlled Shinjuku Gardens (in Shinjuku ward) and at a site
in Ichigaya owned by the Defense Ministry, and then later at the
park at Harumi Wharf, also under government control (Chuo-ku).
Apparently, the postponement was due to consideration having been
given to the ongoing deliberations in the Diet on the antiterrorism
special measures bill, as well as the strong reaction to the Defense
Ministry's series of scandals.

12) EXTERNAL ECONOMIC RELATIONS & ENVIRONMENT

Premier's new economic growth strategy uses environment to link Asia
and Japan

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
December 17, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has come up with an Asian Economy and
Environment Community Initiative aimed at using the environment to
deepen links with Asian countries as a feature of his new economic
growth strategy. The package characterizes Japan's forte, the
highest-level environmental technology in the world, as a driving
force for that purpose. It also plays up Japan's role as a bridge
between industrialized countries and developing countries in the
run-up to the G-8 (Lake Toya Summit) to be held next summer. The
prime minister expects the strategy to serve a triple role also for
his synergistic diplomacy of linking the Japan-U.S. alliance to Asia
diplomacy.

The prime minister, appearing on an TBS program on Dec. 15, stressed
his view that strengthening ties with Asian economies, the growth
center of the world, will lead to accelerating Japan's growth. He
noted, "Japan's growth rate is between 1 PERCENT and 2 PERCENT ,
but the economies of its neighbors are growing at the rates of
between 6 PERCENT and 10 PERCENT ." He indicated his determination
to speed up efforts to map out specific measures to be incorporated
in a policy speech he will deliver in January next year.

An aide to the prime minister said, "Japan's future will hinge on
environmental technology. It will also be a solution to two issues
-- prevention of global warming and promotion of economic growth."

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) was behind the
effort to map out the strategy. Reducing the environmental load and
promoting energy-conservation efforts will be indispensable in order
to sustain economic development in Asia. According to an estimate by
METI, the scale of the environmental and energy-conservation markets
in Asia will expand from the current 5 trillion yen to 24 trillion
yen by 2020. Japan's advantage in environmental technology is
overwhelming.

The focus of a post-Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gas reduction
framework for 2013 and beyond, a major agenda item for the Lake Toya
Summit, will be technology transfer and financial assistance to

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developing countries. In order for Japan to take the initiative as
the host nation, it is imperative for it to come up with specific
models.

The prime minister ordered METI Minister Amari, when he visited him
to give a prior briefing on the strategy in late November, not to
forget Japan-U.S. relations. He made this request, indicating his
interest that synergistic diplomacy, which aims at linking the solid
Japan-U.S. alliance to proactive diplomacy toward Asia, should be
incorporated in the package. The words "open community" were
hurriedly included in the paper the METI minister presented at a
meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy on Dec. 14.

SCHIEFFER

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Deal On Paris Implementation: Rapid Action Urged At Climate Change Conference

Following a year of devastating climate disasters around the globe, from California to Kerala, and Tonga to Japan, the annual UN Climate Change Conference opens with the goal of finalising the implementation guidelines for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. More>>

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New Report: Refugees In PNG Being Pushed To The Brink

Refugee Council of Australia and Amnesty International paint a stark picture of a traumatised refugee population hit hard by Australia's recent healthcare and counselling service cuts, as well as continued threats to their safety. More>>

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Jamal Khashoggi: UK, France, Germany Join Calls For Credible Investigation

Germany, the United Kingdom and France share the grave concern expressed by others including HRVP Mogherini and UNSG Guterres, and are treating this incident with the utmost seriousness. More>>

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MSF Not Wanted: Nauru Government Shows Continued Callousness

The Nauruan Government’s decision to ask Doctors Without Borders to immediately leave shows continued callousness towards asylum seekers desperately seeking a safe place to call home, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman said today. More>>

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