Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 01/08/08

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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

4) Assistant Secretary Hill, now in Tokyo, slams North Korea for not
providing full information on its nuclear plans (Yomiuri)

5) Fujisaki named as new ambassador to the United States; Ebina to
be envoy to UK (Yomiuri)

Diet agenda:
6) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decides neither to vote on new
antiterrorism bill in the Upper House nor to file a censure motion
against the prime minister (Yomiuri)
7) With DPJ not acting on antiterrorism bill in the Upper House, the
measure will be passed by the Lower House on the 12th, applying
60-day constitutional rule (Tokyo Shimbun)
8) Final days of extraordinary Diet session lack tension, with
ruling and opposition camps both trying to avoid confrontation - for
awhile (Mainichi)
9) Bill to provide relief to Hepatitis-C victims will pass Diet
tomorrow, with DPJ approval (Nikkei)
10) Regular Diet session, which opens on the 18th, is expected to be
tumultuous (Sankei)
11) Defense scandal: Alleged "fixer" Akiyama to be called as a sworn
witness to the Upper House defense committee (Nikkei)

12) Former postal rebel Hiranuma expects to form a new conservative
party with 30 members (Tokyo Shimbun)

13) Japan fumes over EU's setting emission trading quotas regarded
as excessive (Yomiuri)

14) Transport ministry to crack down on safety of foreign air lines
after series of mishaps (Asahi)



Hepatitis bill to be passed by Diet as early as this week; "This
will pave the way for total settlement," say plaintiffs

Drug-induced hepatitis: Victim relief bill to be passed into law
this week: LDP, New Komeito introduce legislation to Lower House;
Basic legislation to be carried over to next Diet session

Reorganization of industrial high schools, commercial high schools:
Government, LDP considering introducing five-year vocational high
school system

Matsushita to develop TV with Internet capability jointly with

Vaccine against cervical cancer to be approved as early as before

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year's end

Tokyo Shimbun:
New refueling legislation to be adopted again in Lower House on Jan.
12: DPJ decides not to put bill to vote in Upper House; 60-day
regulation to be adopted

Sagawa Express affiliate found to have dispatched 10,000 temporary
workers dispatched by Goodwill to other companies: Order to improve
business practice to be issued


(1) New refueling legislation: Do not abandon road to breakthrough
(2) Peace process in Middle East: Put end to 60 years of conflict

(1) Low stock prices; High crude oil prices; Do not hesitate to
inject public money
(2) EU: Time to show effects of integration and expansion

(1) Toward new order: Framework for policy promotion needed;
Political stagnation stemming from opposition camp's control of
Upper House

(1) Road to low-carbon society: Initiative for environmental
diplomacy that will impress international community needed

(1) Revitalization of public education: Nurturing awareness of
discipline is urgent

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Thoughts at the start of the New Year: How should China issue be

(1) Osaka gubernatorial election: Bring change to administration
jointly with prefectural citizens

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, January 7

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2008

Met at Kantei with Vice Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Erikawa.

Attended executive meeting at LDP headquarters.

Attended government / ruling coalition meeting.

Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

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Attended New Year's party hosted by three economic organizations at
New Otani Hotel.

Returned to Kantei.

Attended party hosted by Rengo (Japan Trade Unions Confederation).

Issued written official appointment to Toray President Sakakibara as
member of the Council for Science and Technology Policy, attended by
Machimura and Science and Technology Minister Kishida. Met
afterwards with Environment Minister Kamoshita and Vice Environment
Minister Murata.

Met with secretaries.

Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

4) U.S. Assistant Secretary Hill criticizes DPRK, saying,
"Information from DPRK does not address nuclear programs"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2008

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the U.S. chief
delegate to the six-party talks, yesterday met with the Japanese
chief delegate to the talks, Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of
the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry at the
ministry. The two officials agreed to continue to work together to
call on North Korea to provide a "complete and correct declaration
of its nuclear programs" as North Korea failed to meet its
commitment to declare all its nuclear programs by the deadline of
the end of last year.

After the meeting, Hill indicated to the press that he would take a
tough line, saying, "I held a number of discussions with North
Korean officials, but the information they (provided me) did not
include nuclear programs and nuclear facilities. Their declaration
must be complete, and a 90 PERCENT declaration is not acceptable."

Moreover, Hill said, "They may intend not to make their nuclear
programs open to the public. Another major reason would be that the
North Korean government is highly closed," and criticized North
Korea's response.

Sasae said: "Correct and complete contents are more important than
when (the declaration) is made."

Prior to the meeting, Hill told reporters at Narita Airport: "The
process of disabling nuclear facilities has been 75 PERCENT

5) Fujisaki to be named ambassador to U.S.; Ebihara to be ambassador
to Britain

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)

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January 8, 2008

The government yesterday held a cabinet meeting on personnel
appointments at the Prime Minister's Official Residence. The meeting
approved the voluntary retirement of Administrative Vice Foreign
Minister Shotaro Yachi. It informally decided to promote Deputy
Foreign Minister (for political affairs) Mitoji Yabunaka to the vice
minister's post, replacing Yachi. The government will appoint Asian
and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director General Kenichiro Sasae to
serve as a deputy foreign minister, succeeding Yabunaka; Akitaka
Saiki, currently deputy chief of mission at the embassy in
Washington, to be the successor to Sasae; and former Ambassador to
Ireland Keiichi Hayashi to serve as deputy vice minister. Their
appointments will be formally decided in a cabinet meeting in

The government has also decided to pick Ichiro Fujisaki, ambassador
to the International Organizations in Geneva, as the replacement of
Ambassador to the U.S. Ryozo Kato, and Ambassador to Indonesia Shin
Ebihara as the successor to Ambassador to Britain Yoshiji Nogami.
The ambassadors' appointments are expected to be formally decided in
a cabinet meeting in late January or later.

Ichiro Fujisaki, ambassador to the United States: Left Keio
University's law faculty in mid-course in 1969; served as minister
at the embassy in Washington, director general of the North American
Affairs Bureau, and deputy foreign minister; born in Kagoshima
Prefecture; age 60.

Shin Ebihara, ambassador to Britain: Left the University of Tokyo's
law faculty in mid-course in 1971; served in such posts as deputy
chief cabinet secretary and ambassador to Indonesia; born in Tokyo;
age 59.

Keiichi Hayashi, deputy vice minister: Graduated from the University
of Tokyo's law faculty in 1974; served as director general of the
International Legal Affairs Bureau and ambassador to Ireland; born
in Yamaguchi Prefecture; age 56.

6) DPJ not to vote on new antiterror bill, postpone filing censure

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
January 8, 2008

A government-introduced antiterrorism bill resuming the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean is now
before the Diet for a vote during its current session. The leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) will seek to carry
over the legislation to the next Diet session without voting on the
bill in the House of Councillors. In addition, the DPJ has also
decided not to submit a censure motion against Prime Minister Fukuda
in the House of Councillors, even if the ruling parties vote again
on the bill in the House of Representatives. The DPJ held a meeting
of its executives yesterday at its headquarters, including President
Ozawa, Vice President Kan, Secretary General Hatoyama, DPJ House of
Councillors Chairman Azuma Koshiishi, and Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Kenji Yamaoka. In the meeting, they discussed the DPJ's
future course of action for the Diet over the new antiterror

If the new antiterror bill is not put to a vote in the House of

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Councillors before Jan. 12, the bill can be taken as being voted
down in the House of Councillors and can be put to a second vote in
the House of Representatives as stipulated in the Constitution. The
DPJ had therefore intended to vote down the bill in the House of
Councillors before that date in order to show its stance of opposing
the legislation. However, the DPJ chose to let the ruling parties
regard the bill as being voted down and vote again on the bill in
the House of Representatives. "In that case," a DPJ executive said,
"the ruling parties' overbearing attitude is clear in the public

Meanwhile, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition
partner, New Komeito, will not agree to carry over the new
antiterror bill to the next Diet session. The ruling coalition will
vote again on the bill in the House of Representatives on Jan. 12
and enact it into a law.

The DPJ has now decided not to submit a censure motion against the
prime minister during the current Diet session. The DPJ will reserve
it as a 'trump card' to show when the party faces off with the
governing parties in the Diet over gasoline tax rates, pension
record-keeping flaws, and other issues that will directly affect
public life.

7) New refueling bill to be re-adopted in Lower House on Jan. 12 as
DPJ decides to forgo taking vote on bill in Upper House

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Full)
January 8, 2008

The current extraordinary session of the Diet has focused on the new
antiterrorism special measures bill (new refueling bill) that will
allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) to resume the refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean. This new refueling bill is now highly
likely to be re-approved by two-thirds or more of votes from the
ruling parties in the Lower House on Jan. 12 and be enacted into
law. Behind this development is the major opposition Democratic
Party of Japan's (DPJ) decision made after intra-party discussion on
the bill not to take a vote on it in the Upper House and carry it
over to the next session of the Diet. As the bill will mark the 60th
day on Jan. 11 after it was sent to the Upper House, the ruling bloc
considers the bill rejected by the Upper House in accordance with
the provisions in Article 59 of the Constitution and intends to
re-adopt the bill in the Lower House.

Re-approving the bill in the Lower House and enacting it into law
will be the first time ever since 1957. When it comes to bills that
were re-adopted in the Lower House 60 days after they were sent to
the Upper House, the new refueling bill will be the second case
after the Special Measures Law for the Transfer of Assets Belonging
to the Special Account of National Hospitals.

The DPJ held a meeting of its four top officers, including President
Ichiro Ozawa, yesterday afternoon for final discussion on how to
treat the new refueling bill. Details of the discussion was not made
clear, but the DPJ has called on the ruling bloc to deliberate on
the new refueling bill and the DPJ's counterproposal together in the
upcoming ordinary session of the Diet to be convened on Jan. 18.
The opposition bloc is expected to take the procedures on Jan. 11 in
the Upper House, which is under its control, to carry over the
refueling bill to the next session of the Diet.

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Meanwhile, the government and the ruling bloc confirmed its policy
at a liaison meeting yesterday that they would do their utmost to
get the new refueling bill passed into law with the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party's (LDP) Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki noting, "We
stand firm in our resolve (to pass the bill into law)." They intend
to swiftly re-adopt the bill in the Lower House on Jan. 12, the day
that will mark the 61st day after the bill was sent to the Upper

At a meeting yesterday afternoon of directors from the Upper House
Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, the ruling bloc suggested
taking a vote on the new refueling bill today (in the Upper House),
but the DPJ presiding at the committee rejected the ruling bloc's

The new refueling bill passed the Lower House on Nov. 13 of last
year. The bill restricts the MSDF's activities in the area of
supplying oil and water and it does not require Diet approval for
(dispatch of the MSDF abroad).

8) Sense of intensity absent from resumed regular Diet session;
Ruling, opposition camps want to avoid head-on clash

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
January 8, 2008

The extraordinary year-crossing Diet session resumed yesterday. The
government and ruling parties intend to enact the new antiterrorism
special measures bill, which is now a focus of attention, in the
current session by taking a second vote in the House of
Representatives on Jan. 12. The current Diet session is nearing its
climax. However, a sense of intensity is lacking, as both the ruling
and opposition camps truly want to avoid an "accidental" Lower House

Yesterday, major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka had a
meeting in the Diet building with his Liberal Democratic Party
counterpart Tadamori Oshima. In the session, Oshima humbly said:
"There is a rumor that we will have a (Lower House) election this
year. We would like to value talks as much as possible."

When the government decided in mid-December on a lengthy extension
of the Diet session and the ruling bloc decided to have the Lower
House readopt the new antiterrorism special measures bill, there was
an observation in both the ruling and opposition camps that those
decisions would result in a Lower House dissolution.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, however, made moves to improve his
image, as seen in his decision on lawmaker-initiated legislation to
offer blanket relief to people with hepatitis C caused by tainted
blood products. At the same time, his rejection of the idea of
dissolving the Lower House before the Hokkaido Lake Toya G8 Summit
in July has also prompted the opposition bloc to soften its
arm-twisting approach. The DPJ, for instance, has decided to forgo a
plan to submit a censure motion to the Upper House against the prime
minister. To begin with, the DPJ does not want to see a Lower House
dissolution resulting from the new antiterrorism legislation.
Appearing on a television program yesterday, DPJ President Ichiro
Ozawa indicated a plan to watch the situation for the time being,
saying: "Even the use of a special technique will not be able to
(result in Lower House dissolution)." The emerging plan to allow the

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Lower House to readopt bills without having the Upper House vote
them down also reflects the opposition bloc's intention to reduce

The LDP, too, has already given up on a plan to have the Lower
House's endorsement for amendments to the special taxation special
measures law before the end of January in the next Diet session.
Although the prime minister has managed to improve the image of his
cabinet with his decision on the HCV issue, the cabinet support rate
is still low. This does not now allow him to dissolve the Lower
House. The prime minister also thinks it is not wise to irk the

The ruling and opposition camps, however, share the view that a
series of scandals involving the Ministry of Defense could result in
tumultuous developments toward the end of the current Diet session.
Naoki Akiyama, a director of the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and
Cultural Exchange, is scheduled to testify before the Upper House
Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee today. Any change in the
current situation might push the DPJ back toward the hard-edged

9) Hepatitis relief bill to be enacted tomorrow

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
January 8, 2008

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner
New Komeito submitted yesterday to the House of Representatives a
bill to provide blanket relief to people who contracted hepatitis C
after being administered with contaminated blood products. Following
the submission of the bill, the ruling and opposition camps held a
directors meeting of the Lower House Committee on Health, Labor and
Welfare and the meeting agreed to take a vote on the bill today in
the committee. It is certain that the legislation will clear the
Lower House today and will be adopted in a plenary session tomorrow
of the House of Councillors, since the main opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) has expressed its intention to
approve it.

10) Next regular Diet session to open Jan. 18; Stormy developments
expected; LDP split over fixed-deadline bills

SANKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
January 8, 2008

In the wake of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's decision to postpone
shuffling his cabinet in January, the government and ruling parties
decided yesterday to convene the next regular Diet session on Jan.
18. It will run for 150 days through June 15. The focus would be the
handling of 43 annual revenue-connected bills that are slated to
expire at the end of March. A failure to enact them by the end of
March would hinder fiscal resources. The major opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), however, is set to put up
do-or-die resistance, demanding the abolition of the provisional tax
rate on gasoline, now used for improving roads. With the House of
Councillors Liberal Democratic Party strongly calling for the bills
be sent to the Upper House before the end of January, the ruling and
opposition camps are expected to clash head-on with each other from
the start of the next Diet session.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura called on the House of

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Representatives Rules and Administration Committee last evening to
tell it the government's plan to make a cabinet decision on Jan. 8
about opening the next regular Diet session on Jan. 18. The prime
minister is expected to deliver his policy speech in both chambers
of the Diet on Jan. 18, followed by interpellations by party leaders
on Jan. 21-23. Deliberations on the supplementary budget bill
totaling 1.78 trillion yen for agricultural and disaster recovery
measures and other steps are likely to begin on Jan. 24.

The government and ruling parties eye enacting bills with fixed
deadlines before the current fiscal year ends on March 31, though
the leaderships of the two chambers remain split on it.

Upper House LDP Caucus Chairman Hidehisa Otsuji thinks that the only
way to ensure the enactment of bills is to take second votes in the
Lower House and that a time limit will result from calculating them
backwards. For this reason, the Upper House LDP is strongly calling
for the bills be sent to the upper chamber before the end of
January, bearing in mind the application of the constitutional rule
that the Upper House's inaction for 60 days after receipt of a bill
is regarded as de facto rejection.

But in such a case, the Diet will have to discuss the supplementary
budget bill along with other bills with fixed deadlines.

The Lower House is considering letting the Financial Affairs
Committee deliberate on many deadline bills as one package by using
the Budget Committee's unused time and making the General Affairs
Committee discuss the local tax-connected bills. Machimura, however,
indicated that in view of a political timetable, having them clear
the Lower House before the end of January is difficult.

11) Upper House panel to summon Akiyama today as unsworn witness
over scandals involving Defense Ministry

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2008

The House of Councillors Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense
will summon today Naoki Akiyama, the executive director of the
Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange, as an unsworn
witness. Akiyama is regarded as a pipeline between defense-related
companies and the defense policy clique in the Diet. The center was
subjected to a search by the special investigation squad of the
Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office as an organization related to the
case of embezzlement by a former executive of defense equipment
trading house Yamada Corp., who was arrested for embezzling
corporate funds.

Since the center is suspected of receiving about 120 million yen
from Yamada Corp., the Upper House committee aims to shed light on
its relations with politicians and political maneuvering. The
outcome of the Diet testimony will likely have an impact on future

12) Hiranuma aims at new party with over 30 members

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2008

Former Economy, Trade, and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma,
appearing on a Nippon BS Broadcasting program yesterday, revealed a

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plan to aim at a new party with some 30 conservative lawmakers from
both houses of the Diet. He said:

"I want over 30 lawmakers, including Upper House members. I have
been associating with capable mid-level and junior Democratic Party
of Japan lawmakers. Former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman
Shoichi Nakagawa has launched a study group of (conservative
members). I would like to make preparations for a third pole by
closely associating with such people."

He also indicated that he envisions teaming up with the People's New
Party, as well, saying: "When a new situation results, we must
discuss matters with the People's New Party, as well."

13) Emissions trading requires overhaul: EU emissions quotas too
generous; Challenge to Japan with G-8 close at hand

YOMIURI (Page 8) (Full)
January 8, 2008

It was learned that the European Union (EU) allocated generous
emissions quotas to several companies, based on its greenhouse gas
emissions right trading system. The revelation indicates that this
system needs a major overhaul. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry (METI) and the Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren)
have pointed out problems about the system beforehand, including the
difficulty of setting fair emissions rights. They instead proposed
another system of each industrial sector separately tackling
emissions cuts. Japan is pressed to make a difficult decision, as it
is necessary for it as the nation hosing the Lake Toya Summit in
Hokkaido to display leadership in setting a long-term policy course
for the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU tried to make an environment tax a showcase of its global
warming preventive measures in 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was
adopted. However, meeting strong opposition from industrial circles,
it ended with the introduction of an emissions right trading

As such, the EU has allocated higher emissions quotas to companies
in the region, by estimating higher growth rates. Since EU members
include developing East European countries, companies in such
countries with lax environmental regulations were apparently
allocated with too generous quotas. If such companies sell their
redundant emissions rights, they can procure funds to improve
management efficiency without making efforts to cut emissions.

However, the EU stands firm on its stance that further improvement
of the system would lead to global-scale cuts in greenhouse gases.

Japan in tight spot

In Japan, industrial sectors are making efforts to cut greenhouse
gas emissions 6 PERCENT from the fiscal 1990 level as set under the
Kyoto Protocol. However, it is not easy for them to meet the goal in
the FY2008-FY2012 period.

Since Japanese companies' technologies for environmental measures
are already at the highest level in the world, a further reduction
in emissions will cost them an enormous amount of money.

For instance, Japan's steel industry has environmental technologies

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that are more advanced that those of Europe and the U.S., and yet it
has to purchase emissions credits from foreign countries in order to
achieve the goal. Other industry sectors might also suffer a decline
in international competitiveness if they have to spend more money to
cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Chances are high that if Japanese industry's international
competitiveness declines, growth of the Japanese economy could slow.
In order to deal with the graying society, Japan needs to lead
global efforts to create a mechanism for cutting carbon emissions.

14) Gov't to boost safety guidance on foreign airlines

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
January 8, 2008

There were troubles at domestic airports involving foreign airlines
operating in Japan, such as a China Airlines plane's explosion into
flames and an Air Canada jumbo jet's taxiing onto the wrong runway.
In response to such events, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and
Transport will strengthen its officials' boarding inspections of
foreign planes arriving at Japanese airports in fiscal 2008. The
ministry will assign special inspectors to domestic airports and
step up safety oversight and guidance on a routine basis. The skies
are now being liberalized with the government's Asia Gateway
initiative, and foreign airlines are expected to extend low-priced
flights to Japan. The ministry will therefore take steps for

The Land and Transport Ministry will establish a managerial post of
"foreign aircraft safety inspection officer" in its Flight Standards
Division in fiscal 2008. The ministry will post two officials under
the inspection officer in the fall of this year to conduct guidance
on foreign airlines, exchange information, and cooperate with
foreign civil aviation authorities. In addition, the ministry will
also assign more examination officers for on-the-spot inspections.

The Land and Transport Ministry will set about strengthening its
surveillance of foreign airlines due to their troubles. There were
five mistakes that could have led to serious disasters. In January
last year, a Korean Air Lines plane mistakenly landed on an approach
at Akita Airport. In October and November, an Air Canada plane and a
China Southern Airlines plane mistakenly entered the wrong runways.

In August last year, a China Airlines plane exploded into flames at
Naha Airport. This accident seriously damaged public faith in
foreign airlines. In September last year, another China Airlines
plane at Saga Airport was discovered to have a 77-centimeter crack.


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