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Cablegate: Cluster Munitions Demarche Delivered to Japanese

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RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKO #5624/01 3540753
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 200753Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0472
INFO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2480
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN 0128
RUEHHE/AMEMBASSY HELSINKI 0276
RUEHBUL/AMEMBASSY KABUL 0544
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO 1166
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6809
RUEHSM/AMEMBASSY STOCKHOLM 0648
RUEHVI/AMEMBASSY VIENNA 0132
RUEHWL/AMEMBASSY WELLINGTON 1014
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHMFISS/USFJ

C O N F I D E N T I A L TOKYO 005624

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR PM/WRA KATHERINE BAKER

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/19/2017
TAGS: PREL PARM MOPS JA
SUBJECT: CLUSTER MUNITIONS DEMARCHE DELIVERED TO JAPANESE

REF: STATE 167308

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission Joe Donovan for reasons 1.4(b) a
nd (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Japan believes the optimal solution to the
cluster munitions issue is a legally binding agreement
arrived at through the CCW process. However, because such an
outcome is not certain, Japan will continue to participate in
the Oslo Process in order to be able to influence any final
outcome it may reach. Japan concurs with our position
regarding the utility of cluster munitions, but is also
heavily influenced by press and public opinion which is
generally strongly supportive of disarmament efforts. MOFA
officials would like to coordinate closely with counterparts
from both the United States and Europe to assure we are all
speaking with one coherent voice, and is interested in
meeting bilaterally with U.S. officials either before or
during the upcoming January 14-18 CCW meetings in Geneva.
END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Per reftel, Embassy Tokyo Political Officer met
December 19 with MOFA officials Michiko Makino of the
Conventional Arms Division of the Disarmament,
Non-Proliferation, and Science Department, and Takuma Kajita
of the Treaties Division of the International Legal Affairs
Bureau to discuss U.S. views on cluster munitions. The
discussion emphasized that the U.S. shares humanitarian
concerns about the use of cluster munitions and that we fully
support negotiations on this issue within the framework of
the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) process.
Both papers contained in reftel were discussed and left.

------------------------------
JAPAN SHARES OUR VIEWS, BUT...
------------------------------

3. (C) Japan shares our views on the utility of cluster
munitions, said Kajita, and agrees completely that the most
desirable outcome is to resolve any concerns about their use
within the CCW process. However, because the CCW process
works by consensus and it is unclear whether the Russians are
fully on board, it is uncertain whether an agreement will be
possible. Accordingly, Japan believes it necessary to
participate in the Oslo Process in order to be able to
influence any final outcome or agreement in that forum.
Kajima pointed out that several NATO members are also
participating in the Oslo Process.

4. (C) Ideally, Japan would like to see a legally binding
agreement worked out in the CCW process, rather than simply a
set of guidelines. Kajita noted that since the CCW process
includes major producers of cluster munitions, any agreement
reached will be more effective than anything the Oslo Process
will achieve, even if any restrictions on use are not as
comprehensive.

5. (C) Kajita said it is critical to understand what the ""red
lines"" are for both Japan and the United States on this
issue. Obviously, a total ban is a red line, but it seems
inevitable that some restrictions are forthcoming, and it
would best to understand right now what is acceptable to each
party. Japan believes it important for countries sharing
like views to coordinate our approach on this so we can speak
with a single coherent voice, and welcomes the opportunity to
meet bilaterally with us prior to or on the sidelines of
meetings coming up in Geneva January 14-18.

-------------------------------
... PUBLIC OPINION PLAYS A ROLE
-------------------------------

6. (C) Despite the fact Japan's view on the utility of
cluster munitions is similar to ours, Kajita and Makino
pointed out that on this issue, public and press opinion in
Japan will play a key role. Although there are many
activists in the United States who are campaigning against
cluster munitions, Kajita asserted they are not as organized
or effective as those in Japan, where disarmament is always a
hot-button political issue. He claimed that, for example, at
the November Oslo meeting, eighty percent of the journalists
who attended were from Japan, and that the only television
news camera there was from Japan's NHK network. In addition,
the day prior to the meeting, parliamentarians held a
conference on cluster munitions. Japanese attendees included
Liberal Democratic Party Diet member and former Minister for
Gender Equality Kuniko Inoguchi, who also served as
Ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament in 2003-2004, and
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) representative and former
""shadow Foreign Minister"" Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi. And as
recently as December 18, the question of a ban on cluster
munitions had been raised in Upper House debates. Because
the Upper House is now controlled by the opposition DPJ, the
potential for cluster munitions to become a major subject for
debate is a real possibility, warned Kajita.

7. (C) Political Officer replied that we are aware of the
political sensitivities in Japan concerning cluster
munitions, but that we hope MOFA and MOD officials, along
with like-minded Diet members, will use the materials in our
two papers to help explain to the public the true facts about
the utility of these munitions and the possible ramifications
of enacting bans that also include criminal penalties.

8. (C) A copy of the two non-papers were also provided to
Ministry of Defense officials.
SCHIEFFER

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