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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Bush Visit to Middle

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UNCLAS TOKYO 000129

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 - BUSH VISIT TO MIDDLE
EAST


1. LEAD STORIES: Lead stories on Thursday morning
included the continued fall in Tokyo stock prices.

2. "Realism Becomes More Pronounced" A Washington-based
reporter from the liberal Mainichi accompanying
President Bush wrote from Riyadh (1/17): "President
Bush's diplomatic goal of 'spreading freedom and
democracy,' which was unveiled during his second
inaugural address, completely lost its appeal during
the course of his Middle East tour. The president
refrained from pressing the authoritarian regimes of
the Middle East to democratize and instead took a more
realistic approach in order to prioritize unity with
them in order to encircle Iran. It is noteworthy that
in the Middle East the U.S. has abandoned its
overarching emphasis on elections and U.S.-style
democracy.... Bush's hard line of 'ending tyranny' has
changed completely."

3. "Bush Visit Fails to Deliver" A Washington
correspondent for the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri
reported from Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt (1/17): "President
Bush visited Israel and the Palestinian territories for
the first time to call for Middle East peace talks,
which he followed up with a five-nation tour of the
region, calling for support for peace talks and the
containment of Iran. However, the cost of the
president's failure to address Middle East peace for so
many years appears to be high, as he was unable to
elicit any specific pledges from Arab leaders, who
distrust the U.S. administration.... Bush's remaining
term in office is too short to seal a peace accord and
to restore the trust and prestige of the U.S. in the
Middle East."

DONOVAN

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