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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 01/16/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0127/01 0160835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160835Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1009
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7906
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5512
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9177
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4185
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6118
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1119
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7186
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7840

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 14 TOKYO 000127

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 01/16/08


INDEX:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law
(Tokyo Shimbun)

(2) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law
(Asahi)

(3) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law,
permanent SDF dispatch legislation (Nikkei)

(4) Sense of alarm spreading in ruling camp over policy of keeping
provision tax rate, given declining public support for Fukuda
cabinet (Yomiuri)

(5) Cornered ruling parties to once again apply measure of last
resort: Determined to adopt amendment to gas tax in second vote in
Lower House; Passage of bill within current fiscal year uncertain
(Tokyo Shimbun)

(6) 2008 Hokkaido Lake Toya Summit: NGOs to assemble in Hokkaido to
provide policy proposals to G-8 leaders (Mainichi)

(7) Seiron (Opinion) column by Hisahiko Okazaki: Hope for DPP-led
government to bring peace to the Taiwan Strait (Sankei)

(8) Koga, Tanigaki factions to formally agree today to merger plan;
Factional realignment to be accelerated with eye on Lower House
dissolution (Mainichi)

(9) Extraordinary session of divided Diet closes without breaking
away from 1955 political framework (Asahi)

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
January 13, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote the results of the
last survey conducted Dec. 15-16 last year.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 41.4 (35.3)
No 42.8 (47.6)
Don't know (D/K) + no answer (N/A) 15.8 (17.1)

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the previous question)
What's the primary reason for your approval of the Fukuda cabinet?
Pick only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is trustworthy 20.5 (22.9)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Liberal Democratic Party and
New Komeito 8.4 (7.5)
The prime minister has leadership ability 4.3 (4.4)
Something can be expected of its economic policies 5.6 (3.2)
Something can be expected of its foreign policies 6.2 (5.9)
Something can be expected of its political reforms 3.3 (2.3)
Something can be expected of its tax reforms 1.9 (1.9)

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Something can be expected of its administrative reforms 3.3 (2.4)
There's no other appropriate person (for prime minister) 45.1
(46.6)
Other answers (O/A) 0.3 (0.9)
D/K+N/A 1.1 (2.0)

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the first question) What's
the primary reason for your disapproval of the Fukuda cabinet? Pick
only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is untrustworthy 7.9 (12.5)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Liberal Democratic Party and
the New Komeito 9.8 (8.4)
The prime minister lacks leadership ability 19.6 (16.5)
Nothing can be expected of its economic policies 25.9 (21.6)
Nothing can be expected of its foreign policies 3.6 (2.7)
Nothing can be expected of its political reforms 12.6 (13.5)
Nothing can be expected of its tax reforms 8.3 (8.4)
Nothing can be expected of its administrative reforms 4.7 (8.7)
Don't like the prime minister's personal character 6.5 (5.2)
O/A 0.7 (1.7)
D/K+N/A 0.4 (0.8)

Q: The Diet has now enacted a new law that replaces the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. This law is for the Maritime
Self-Defense Force to back up U.S. and other foreign naval vessels
in the Indian Ocean with fuel and water supply. Do you appreciate
this law?

Yes 44.1
No 43.9
D/K+N/A 12.0

Q: This law was voted down in the House of Councillors with the
opposition bench voting against it, and it was enacted in a second
vote of the House of Representatives with the ruling coalition of
the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito voting for it with a
majority of two-thirds. Do you think the lower chamber's overriding
of the upper chamber's decision was appropriate?

Yes 41.6
No 46.7
D/K+N/A 11.7

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the foregoing question) Why?
(One choice only)

Because there's no need for refueling activities 25.0
Because the Diet did not fully deliberate on it 48.8
Because it should have been scrapped without the House of
Representatives' second vote 22.3
O/A 1.4
D/K+N/A 2.5

Q: Would you like the current LDP-led coalition to remain in office,
or would you otherwise like it to be replaced with a coalition
centering on the Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)?

LDP-led government 35.0 (28.5)
DPJ-led government 41.5 (44.7)
D/K+N/A 23.5 (26.8)


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Q: The House of Representatives' current membership is up until
September 2009. When would you like the next election to take place
for the House of Representatives?

During the first half of this year 22.9
During the latter half of this year 29.6
During the first half of next year 8.4
Upon the current term's expiry in September next year 31.8
D/K+N/A 7.3

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 32.0 (25.2)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 27.0 (28.5)
New Komeito (NK) 4.4 (3.1)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2.3 (3.6)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.5 (1.5)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.6 (0.3)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.4 (0.2)
Other political parties, groups --- (---)
None 30.5 (36.0)
D/K+N/A 1.3 (1.6)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation on
Jan. 11-12 by Kyodo News Service on a computer-aided random digit
dialing (RDD) basis. Among randomly generated telephone numbers,
those actually for household use with one or more eligible voters
totaled 1,470. Answers were obtained from 1,027 persons.

(2) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
January 13, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. Bracketed figures denote
proportions to all respondents. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey conducted Dec. 19-20, 2007.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 34 (31)
No 45 (48)

Q: Why? (One reason only. Left column for those marking "yes" on
previous question, and right for those saying "no.")

The prime minister is Mr. Fukuda 19(6) 4(2)
It's an LDP-led cabinet 32(11) 36(16)
From the aspect of policies 21(7) 50(22)
No particular reason 26(9) 8(4)

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 26 (27)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 25 (25)
New Komeito (NK) 3 (3)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 1 (2)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (1)

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None 37 (33)
No answer (N/A) + don't know (D/K) 7 (8)

Q: The U.S. and other countries have sent naval vessels to the
Indian Ocean for antiterror operations in Afghanistan. The
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which was for the Self-Defense
Forces to back up their naval operations in the Indian Ocean,
expired on Nov. 1, and the SDF discontinued its activities there. Do
you think Japan should resume SDF activities there?

Yes 34 (37)
No 48 (48)

Q: The Diet has now enacted a new law that replaces the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. This law limits SDF activities
in the Indian Ocean to fuel and water supply for a period of one
year, and it does not require the government to ask the Diet for its
approval of SDF activities there. Do you support this law?

Yes 36
No 40

Q: This law was enacted in a second vote of the House of
Representatives with a majority of two-thirds after it was voted
down in the House of Councillors. Do you think the ruling
coalition's overriding of the upper chamber's decision was
appropriate?

Yes 41
No 41

Q: A bill voted down in the House of Councillors is passed in a
second vote of the House of Representatives for enactment into law
with a majority of two-thirds. Do you support this way of doing
things for other bills?

Yes 18
No 35
Can't say which 44

Q: The Diet has now enacted a law to provide across-the-board relief
to all hepatitis C victims of government-approved blood products
over their class action lawsuits against the government. Do you
support Prime Minister Fukuda's response to this issue?

Yes 71
No 19

Q: Do you appreciate the Fukuda cabinet for its way of handling the
pending issue of unaccounted-for pension records?

Yes 26 (36)
No 55 (46)

Q: Do you think the House of Representatives should be dissolved as
soon as possible for a general election, or do you otherwise think
there is no need to do so?

Dissolve as soon as possible 34 (39)
No need to do so 54 (48)

Q: If you were to vote now in a general election, which political

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party would you like to vote for in your proportional representation
bloc?

LDP 25 (23)
DPJ 36 (38)
NK 3 (3)
JCP 3 (3)
SDP 3 (1)
PNP 0 (0)
NPN 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (1)
N/A+D/K 30 (31)

Q: Would you like the current LDP-led coalition government to
continue, or would you otherwise like it to be replaced with a
DPJ-led coalition government?

LDP-led coalition government 27 (28)
DPJ-led coalition government 35 (41)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Jan. 11-12 over the
telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Respondents were chosen from among the nation's voting population on
a three-stage random-sampling basis. Valid answers were obtained
from 956 persons (60 PERCENT ).

(3) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, new antiterror law,
permanent SDF dispatch legislation

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 13, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote findings from the
last survey conducted in December last year.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 42 (43)
No 46 (46)
Can't say (C/S) + don't know (D/K) 12 (11)

Q: Which political party do you support or like now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 36 (38)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 30 (34)
New Komeito (NK) 4 (4)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (4)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 3 (2)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (1)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 1 (0)
None 16 (12)
C/S+D/K 6 (5)

Q: The Diet has now enacted a law to resume the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. A bill
for this law was voted down in the House of Councillors, and the
ruling coalition passed it in a second vote of the House of
Representatives for enactment into law. Do you support this
legislation?


TOKYO 00000127 006 OF 014


Yes 43
No 38

Q: The LDP and the DPJ have plans to create a permanent law for
Japan to send the Self-Defense Forces for overseas missions whenever
necessary. Do you support this legislative initiative?

Yes 35
No 46

(Note) The total percentage does not become 100 PERCENT in some
cases due to rounding.

Polling methodology: The survey was taken on Jan. 11-12 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 1,277 households with
one or more eligible voters were sampled, and answers were obtained
from 744 persons (58.3 PERCENT ).

(4) Sense of alarm spreading in ruling camp over policy of keeping
provision tax rate, given declining public support for Fukuda
cabinet

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
January 16, 2008

The latest opinion poll by Yomiuri Shimbun found a drop in public
support for the Fukuda cabinet. Even while showing a cool response
to the survey result, the government and the ruling camp are
becoming nervous about future moves by the opposition camp over the
government's bill amending the Special Taxation Measures Law and
public reactions to it.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura said in a press conference
yesterday: "Without being affected by public support rates for the
cabinet, we will continue to do our best. This basic stance remains
unchanged."

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Ibuki said the same
day: "If the public opinion survey results lead politicians to
determine politics, the result would be that lawmakers will lower
themselves." On the approach taken by the ruling camp of using its
two-third lower chamber overriding vote to pass the new
antiterrorism bill, the ayes and nays are equally divided among the
public. In reference to this, Ibuki commented: "Criticism of both
ruling and opposition camps for leading to the use of an overriding
vote is included in negative replies."

Learning that about 60 PERCENT said they were against the ruling
coalition's policy of keeping the current provisional high tax rate
on gasoline, many in the government and the ruling camp harbor a
sense of alarm. A first-time-elected lawmaker of the LDP grumbled:
"If the party takes a wrong step on this issue, public support for
the cabinet may plummet at one stroke."

In this connection, LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori
Oshima told reporters in the Diet building: "(If asked,) (the
people) are expected to say that it is desirable to see (the prices
of) gasoline drop, but such replies are different from their
comprehensive judgment." He then stressed that the government will
give a full explanation to the opposition bloc and the public to

TOKYO 00000127 007 OF 014


have them understand the ruling camp's policy.

Speaking before reporters at party headquarters, Democratic Party of
Japan Secretary General Hatoyama spoke of the public opinion survey
result on the provisional gas tax rate and indicated that his party
will step up its attack on the government over the issue in the
ordinary Diet session to open on Jan. 18. He said: "The result
showed that most respondents think that the provision tax rate
naturally should be scrapped when it expires. Our party, together
with the public, will fight against the ruling camp to protect the
people's livelihood."

(5) Cornered ruling parties to once again apply measure of last
resort: Determined to adopt amendment to gas tax in second vote in
Lower House; Passage of bill within current fiscal year uncertain

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
January 16, 2008

The ruling parties yesterday decided to pass a bill amending the
Special Tax Measures Law, including the maintaining of the
provisional rate added to the gasoline tax, out of a sense of alarm
that the Fukuda Cabinet would suffer a major blow if it fails to
maintain that tax. However, it will not be an easy task for the
government and the ruling parties to maintain the provisional tax
and prevent gasoline prices from falling even resorting to using its
last card, putting the bill to a second vote in the Lower House.

Liberal Democratic Party Diet Policy Committee Chairman Tadamori
Oshima speaking to a meeting of secretaries general and Diet Affairs
Committee chairmen of the ruling parties yesterday, appealed that
the provisional tax rate be maintained, "Let's tackle it with
resourcefulness and solidarity so that we can resolve the issue by
the end of March."

The ruling parties even decided to resort to a second vote in the
Lower House, which could bring about a backlash from the public.
They made the judgment that giving up on maintaining the
provisional tax would deal a greater blow to the Fukuda cabinet than
approving the bill again in the Lower House. The government and the
ruling parties intend to maintain the provisional tax for another
decade as special-purpose road construction resources. They are
concerned that failure to obtain Diet approval for the bill amending
the Special Tax Measures Law would affect various fields in such a
way as to cause commotion in the financial market, triggered by a
drop in gasoline prices.

However, their last resort of approving the bill again in the Lower
House backed by the overwhelming two-third majority of the ruling
parties could not be used unless the bill is voted down in the Upper
House or 60 days pass after the bill was sent to the Upper House.

As such, the ruling parties want to submit the bill around Jan. 25,
although it used to do so in February in the past. It intends to
finish deliberations in about 20 days so that the measure clears the
Lower House in mid-February instead of early March as has been the
pattern in the past. This is in order to secure sufficient
deliberation time in the Upper House so that conditions for the DPJ
to take a vote on the bill within the current fiscal year can be
set.

The DPJ yesterday formed a gasoline price cut force consisting of

TOKYO 00000127 008 OF 014


junior lawmakers with eye on even applying physical resistance in
the Diet.

Deputy President Naoto Kan during the inauguration ceremony
encouraged members, "Do your best in a clean-slate state with the
determination to press hard when necessary."

LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki during a press conference
yesterday sought to check the DPJ from increasingly becoming
hard-lined, noting, "It is strange for the Upper House to spend 50
days on deliberations on the bill, when the Lower House can take a
vote on it in some 20 days." However, the DPJ is increasingly
turning up its voltage. The ruling parties' troubles will likely
continue for some time to come.

(6) 2008 Hokkaido Lake Toya Summit: NGOs to assemble in Hokkaido to
provide policy proposals to G-8 leaders

Mainichi online (Full)
January 12, 2008

? G-8 summit a test case for central and Hokkaido governments to
establish ties with NGOs

Various groups, including nongovernmental organizations (NGO), are
proactively pushing ahead with preparations to have civic voices
reflected in the upcoming Lake Toya Summit (the annual major
industrialized countries' summit to be held on July 7-9). In recent
G-8 summits, NGOs demonstrated their enhanced presence, for
instance, by presenting policy recommendations to the G-8 leaders. A
number of groups, including the G-8 Summit NGO Forum, a community
composed of domestic NGOs based in Tokyo, have decided to gather
together in Hokkaido in conjunction when the Lake Toya Summit and
send a message to the world. Administrative organizations are
remotely related to civic groups in Japan, compared with those in
Western countries. The upcoming summit will serve as a test case for
the central and Hokkaido governments to establish relations with
NGOs.

The G-8 Summit NGO Forum was set up in January of last year, with an
eye to the Lake Toya Summit, as the nation's first cross-sectional
organization with 103 NGOs and other groups addressing international
tasks as its members. The forum plans to compile a package of
recommendations covering the areas of (1) the environment; (2)
poverty and development; and (3) human rights and peace. The group
will present the report to the governments of the G-8 countries. The
group is preparing to hold an alternative summit (tentative name) in
Sapporo on July 6-8 in cooperation with the G-8 Summit Civic Forum
Hokkaido in Sapporo - composed of 40 groups inside and outside
Hokkaido.

Plans have also been made to hold a summit of indigenous peoples
across the world and another summit of religious leaders from about
20 countries, both in Sapporo, in order to offer opinions to the
leaders.

NGOs - well versed in the actual state of assistance for developing
countries - have increased their influence in the international
community recently. In the Cologne Summit in Germany in 1999, the
G-8 leaders agreed to relinquish their loan claims on poor countries
in response to a call from NGOs. In the St. Petersburg Summit in
2006 in Russia and the Heiligendamm Summit in 2007 in Germany,

TOKYO 00000127 009 OF 014


representatives from NGOs met government representatives from the
G-8 countries and also met even with the president and the prime
minister of the host nation in each summit. The G-8 Summit NGO Forum
Secretariat has continued negotiations with the Foreign Ministry in

SIPDIS
hopes of being given an opportunity to make policy advice directly
to the Japanese prime minister this time, too.

In Heiligendamm, 100,000 persons linked to NGOs assembled in
neighboring towns. During the session, camping grounds were opened
for NGO members, and admission cards to the International Media
Center (IMC) were issued to 100 members of 50 groups. Although there
was a scene in which an anti-globalism demonstrative gave rise to
confusion, International Cooperation NGO Center President Masaaki
Ohashi said: "Only violent demonstrations were focused on in
reporting, and most were peaceful activities."

An official of the Foreign Ministry's G-8 Summit Preparation Office
said: "Since there are geographical restrictions, unlike Europe, we
cannot forecast how many people will gather this time." But the
secretariat expects several thousand people to enter Hokkaido.

SIPDIS

In the Kyushu / Okinawa Summit in 2000, the Foreign Ministry
provided NGOs a base of operations but did not allow them to enter
the IMC. An NGO member claimed: "We were isolated diplomatically."
President Ohashi stated: "Most NGOs are against the use of violence.
We want the government to give us a chance to make an appeal in
Hokkaido, without becoming too nervous."

Major events planned by NGOs in Hokkaido:

? Alternative summit (July 6-8) to be co-sponsored by the G-8 Summit
NGO Forum and the G-8 Summit Civic Forum Hokkaido. Symposiums on
"the environment," "poverty and development," and "human rights and
peace" will be held during the session.

? Summit of indigenous peoples: (from June 28 through July 4) to be
sponsored by the Indigenous People Summit Ainu Mosir 2008, inviting
about 20 natives from the United States, Latin America, and Asia.
Reports with recommendations will be compiled on three themes: "the
environment;" "the recovery of rights;" and "education and women."

? G-8 summit of various religious leaders: (July 1-4) to be
sponsored by the World Conference on Religion and Peace (WCRP). More
than 100 representatives of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and other
religions from about 20 countries will participate in the summit to
work out action programs on the environment, poverty, nuclear
nonproliferation, and other issues.

? G-8 summit of university presidents: (from June 29 through July 1)
to be sponsored by Hokkaido University, bringing together more than
30 university presidents inside and outside Japan to draw up a
statement focusing on both efforts for environment protection and
economic development, with "sustainability" as the buzzword. It will
also hold symposiums intended for citizens.

The university summit will be held at a Sapporo hotel, and other
meetings are planned to be held at the Sapporo Convention Center.

(7) Seiron (Opinion) column by Hisahiko Okazaki: Hope for DPP-led
government to bring peace to the Taiwan Strait

SANKEI (Page 13) (Slightly abridged)

TOKYO 00000127 010 OF 014


January 11, 2008

Hisahiko Okazaki, former ambassador to Thailand

Proposal for abandonment of arms?

The following passage, which was not given wide press coverage, was
included in a report President Hu Jintao made to the 17th National
Congress of the Communist Party of China last fall.

"We would like to make a solemn appeal: On the basis of the
one-China principle, let us discuss a formal end to the state of
hostility between the two sides, reach a peace agreement, construct
a framework for peaceful development of cross-Strait relations, and
thus usher in a new phase of peaceful development."

Since the moment I heard of that passage, I have considered it an
important proposal.

Taiwan has previously called on China to abandon the option of using
armed force, but China rejected Taiwan's call. If a peace agreement
as stated in Hu's report means renouncing the use of armed force, it
is a landmark proposal and meets the Japanese and American policy
goals of seeking a peaceful solution of the Taiwan Strait issue.

Neither the reunification of two Chinas nor Taiwan's acceptance of
"one country, two systems" is made a condition. What (Hu) made a
basis is the "one-China principle." "One China' is indeed the very
basis of the Taiwan issue and an adaptable concept.

When both sides across the Taiwan Strait decided in 1992 to hold a
dialogue, China made it a condition for (Taiwan) to accept the
"one-China principle." But the result was that without reaching a
clear agreement on what one China actually means, bilateral talks
between Koo Chen-fu and Wang Daohan took place in April 1993.

Afterwards, China noted that Taiwan accepted the "one-China
principle," while Taiwan asserted: "Both sides of the Taiwan Strait
have not reached any specific conclusion about the expression 'one
China' neither in the Hong Kong talks set by the (Beijing-based)
Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Strait and the
(Taiwan-based) Straits Exchange Foundation, both of which were
authorized by their respective governments to arrange the talks, nor
in the development that followed the talks.'" (Taiwan Weekly Review
issued on May 5, 2005)

Kuomintang would follow China's lead

Reportedly, the Taiwanese side suggested that both China and Taiwan
interpreted one China in their own ways respectively. At any rate,
the talks between both sides of the Taiwan Strait were held, setting
aside China's assertion that the condition for the talks to be held
is for both sides to reach agreement on one China.

My conclusion is that if the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) wins
in the next presidential election, it will be good for Taiwan to
start negotiations with Beijing on the basis of Hu Jintao's
proposal. Why the DPP? The reason is that negotiations with China
will be delicate as seen in the question of one China, so I believe
persons who have principles about Taiwan's identity like those
members of the DDP should engage in negotiations.


TOKYO 00000127 011 OF 014


This does not mean I do not trust Ma Ying-jeou. In fact, Ma
reportedly states he does not favor reunification and that it is no
problem that China and Taiwan have their respective interpretations
of one China.

What Ma has said, however, is different from what the Kuomintang has
asserted in the past. And I also can't sweep away the worry that the
Kuomintang-led government may follow the lead of China.

Tough negotiator necessary

Hu Jintao declared a one-China principle, but because of complex
domestic circumstances, China has yet to spell it out. It would do
so but only after discussing it with Taiwan in the future and
coordinating views at home. Until then, China and Taiwan can be
expected to engage in tough-minded, fierce negotiations. Given this,
I think it is necessary for a person with a strong beliefs about
Taiwan's identity to engage in such talks.

If the DPP serves as a negotiator with China, I think it is not a
bad idea for Taiwan to come to terms with China on the term "one
China."

Specifically, the best policy is that Taiwan will add the condition
that China must agree to Taiwan's membership in the United Nations
in return for Taiwan conceding on the one China principle. If that
is realized, a number of principles stated in the U.N. Charter, such
as sovereign equality, noninterference in internal affairs, and a
peaceful solution of the dispute, would come true.

If that condition is set as an absolute condition, I do not care if
someone backed by Kuomintang assumes the post of the president of
Taiwan. It would be good if no such unnecessary conditions as "being
neutral" or "future reunification" are added. In the case of Hong
Kong, "one country, two systems" has been introduced. As a result,
no popular election has taken place for the past 10 years (after
Hong Kong's reversion to China). What has made me worry is the fact
that there are only 40 years in which Hong Kong can enjoy a free
society.

Hu Jintao is rumored to be flexible in his political approach toward
other countries.

Hu may come to seek to settle the cross-strait issue in a couple of
years upon judging that it would be unavoidable that the Taiwanese
public would become more Taiwan-oriented year after year. If he does
so, Taiwan will have an upper hand. Taiwan will not have to
compromise at all on the issue of obtaining UN membership.

If Hu is such an insightful person and has strong political power
enough to be flexible in political approach, East Asia can realize
the dream of bringing peace to the region after a half century of
hostility.

(8) Koga, Tanigaki factions to formally agree today to merger plan;
Factional realignment to be accelerated with eye on Lower House
dissolution

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
January 16, 2008

The Koga and Tanigaki factions in the ruling Liberal Democratic

TOKYO 00000127 012 OF 014


Party (LDP) will formally agree on a merger in May in a meeting
today of their heads, Makoto Koga, chairman of the LDP Election
Committee, and Sadakazu Tanigaki, chairman of the party's Policy
Research Council. The two factions were derived from the former
Miyazawa faction (Kochikai). The move is in anticipation of a
possible dissolution of the House of Representative for a snap
general election. It is apparently aimed at the group becoming a
force to support Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The new faction will
advocate that it is a liberal force and that its policy will be to
give priority to the daily lives of people. There is a move in
conservative forces to support the policy line of former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe. As a result, the trend of factional realignment
is now accelerating.

"As showed in former Prime Minister Hayato Ikeda's income-doubling
plan, the mission of Kochikai is to focus on the daily lives of
people," Tanigaki stressed in a speech delivered on Jan. 12 in Ayase
City, Kyoto.

The membership of Koga and Tanigaki factions totals 61, making it
the third largest LDP faction, following the second largest Tsushima
faction (membership of 68).

Kochikai was founded by former Prime Minister Ikeda in June 1957. As
former Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's following, it followed a
dovish policy line of placing more priority on the economy than on
Japan arming itself.

Kochikai later changed its name to the Miyazawa faction. The
Miyazawa faction was divided into two groups -- one headed by Koichi
Kato and the other led by Yohei Kono. The Kono group is now called
the Aso faction. Because of the so-called Kato rebellion in November
2000, in which he called on then Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori to step
down, the Kato faction split into the Koga and Tanigaki factions.
The factions have been prevented from recommending their members for
cabinet posts since the inauguration of the Koizumi government.
Seiwakai, the Machimura faction, from which the past three premiers
and the incumbent prime minister hailed, has sharply grown in its
strength. The political presence of the former Kochikai has been on
the decline.

The aim of the merger of the two factions is to restore their
assertiveness in the LDP. It is difficult for them to secure public
support by advocating the principle of being "liberal." Tanigaki
indicated in his remarks that he wants to promote instead a policy
of giving priority to the daily lives of people, which the Fukuda
government has underscored, and use this principle to realign the
LDP. Former Vice LDP President Taku Yamasaki said in a meeting of
his faction: "The new core of forces giving consideration to the
daily lives of people will definitely rise up." Meanwhile, the
conservative force, which suffered a setback due to Abe's
resignation, aims at recovering its position. Shoichi Nakagawa, a
member of the Ibuki faction, launched last December a
cross-factional study group. Although the group includes many
lawmakers who support former Secretary General Taro Aso, it
generally gives favorable consideration to Abe's policy of building
a "beautiful country." One member said: "When it is time to find a
candidate to succeed Prime Minister Fukuda, I will move to support
Aso." As a result, LDP members supporting Fukuda feel alarmed by
such a development.

(9) Extraordinary session of divided Diet closes without breaking

TOKYO 00000127 013 OF 014


away from 1955 political framework

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged)
January 16, 2008

The divided Diet, in which the opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ or Minshuto) is the largest party in the House of Councillors,
presented Japanese politics with a good opportunity to replace the
"1955 framework" of choosing postponement or the rule of majority,
symbolized by the Liberal Democratic Party's dominated system dating
back to 1955 when the party was formed, with a 2007 system. But in
handling the government-sponsored refueling support bill, neither
the ruling camp nor the opposition bloc took action to find common
ground, placing importance on managing the Diet. The Diet is
required to make concessions in order to find the answer, while
playing the role of making contentious points clear through
standoffs. The task of creating a new system for managing the Diet
by nurturing the move that emerged in the just-ended Diet session
has been carried over to the next regular session.

Enacting priority bills by the rule of majority and postponing less
important legislation is the basic style that has been widely
accepted by the ruling and opposition blocs under the 1955
framework. The opposition camp has constantly played up its
opposition to taking votes on bills by protracting Diet
deliberations. One example was the enactment in 2006 of the Basic
Education Law with a majority vote of the ruling parties after a
total of 190 hours of deliberations in the two houses of the Diet.

The 1955 framework has been effective in highlighting priority
bills' contentious points, while avoiding the abuse of numerical
superiority. But it has failed to prompt the ruling and opposition
camps to join efforts to enact good laws by finding common
denominators.

People had been hopeful that the divided Diet would bring change to
the political scene, with National Graduate Institute for Policy
Studies Professor Jun Iio calling it a great chance to fundamentally
review the established practice and precedents. Specifically, they
expected that the ruling camp's adoption of the opposition bloc's
viewpoint would result in fiscal and security policies reflecting
popular will.

Nevertheless, the refueling support legislation, a top priority for
the government and ruling parties, followed a path typical of the
1955 system. In November, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa sealed off
inter-party talks, saying, "We will not use any means that looks
like rigging a bid between political parties." The ruling coalition,
too, decided to readopt the legislation in the Lower House soon
after the talks with the DPJ on forming a grand coalition fell
through. As a result, despite 86 hours of Diet deliberations, the
two sides endeavored only to play up their respective standpoints to
the public and failed to search for common ground.

Buds of revision talks and change

There were some signs of change toward a 2007-model management of
the Diet, while being tied to the 1955 political system.

Some government-initiated bills were enacted after incorporating the
ruling block's viewpoint into them. For instance, the opposition
bloc had fiercely objected to a Broadcast Law revision including

TOKYO 00000127 014 OF 014


administrative measures against television broadcasters, presented
under the former Abe cabinet. Before the Diet was divided, the
ruling parties planned steamroller it, but during the latest Diet
session, the ruling camp sounded out the DPJ on substantially
revising the legislation and successfully enacted it in cooperation
with the largest opposition party in the end.

The DPJ had also called for the retroactive application of the
lawmaker-initiated revision of the Law to Support the Rebuilding of
Lives of Disaster Victims as well as for direct support. The ruling
parties opposed the DPJ's requests in line with the government's
wishes, but it managed to enact it during the latest Diet session
owing to concessions by the largest opposition party.

It was particularly epochal that the ruling parties and the DPJ
established a panel in a committee to discuss the legislation.
Another inter-party council was set up to discuss subsidies to those
who contracted hepatitis C after being administered with
contaminated blood products. Those panels might result in a system
of establishing subcommittees or regularly using upper- and
lower-house councils.

The previous Diet, however, was undoubtedly marked by face-offs
between the ruling and opposition blocs with Lower House dissolution
in mind. Cooperation between the two camps on the aforementioned
legislations owed much to personal ties between lawmakers of the two
sides who were responsible for the subjects. Many challenges must be
overcome before realizing a 2007-model Diet of facing off over
controversial bills and making visible concessions on legislations
containing common denominators.

For separating the political situation from deliberations on bills,
aiming at an agreement through talks between the two camps and
identifying unattainable challenges beforehand is one idea.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in a press conference yesterday said: "I
had to use the trial-and-error method in the Diet session that
closed today. I would like to see the opposition parties harbor a
sense of crisis as well." The ruling and opposition camps share a
sense of crisis now. This is a good opportunity for the buds that
emerged in the latest Diet session to burst into bloom.

26 bills enacted

The 128-day extraordinary Diet session closed yesterday after two
extensions and enacting a total of 26 bills. Of them, the government
endorsed 14, fewer than the 18 enacted in the 85-day extraordinary
Diet session in the fall of 2006. This comes from the government's
cautious stance with the divided Diet in mind.

At the same time, the ruling and opposition blocs jointly submitted
many lawmaker-initiated relief bills. A bill revising the Law to
Support the Rebuilding of Lives of Disaster Victims and legislation
offering blanket relief to people with hepatitis C caused by tainted
blood products were enacted one after another.

The bill to establish a Japanese National Security Council (JNSC),
submitted by the former Abe cabinet, was the only
government-sponsored bill that was scrapped.

DONOVAN

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