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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Bush Visit to Middle

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UNCLAS TOKYO 000092

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: Most Friday morning papers front-paged
the planned enactment of the new antiterrorism
legislation today, noting that this will allow the GOJ
to resume the refueling operation in the Indian Ocean
in mid-February.

2. "Bush Should Urge Parties to Coexist" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun editorialized (1/11): "Many have said
that President Bush was not active in seeking Middle
East peace due to his preoccupation with the Iraq war.
However, his first visit to the region, coming on the
heels of the Middle East peace conference held in the
U.S. last fall, offers a ray of hope for a breakthrough
in the Palestinian situation.... Some 60 years have
passed since the founding of the state of Israel and
the subsequent outbreak of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Coexistence between the Israelis and Palestinians is
the only way to end the cycle of conflict and
confrontation that has characterized the time since.
President Bush needs to work on both sides in order to
stabilize the region. Without exercising strong
leadership, including echoing calls for Israel to stop
the expansion of Jewish settlements on the West Bank,
the president will not be able to secure what he calls
a 'historic accomplishment' in his remaining term."

3. "No Accomplishment on Peace" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri's correspondent wrote from the
Palestine territories (1/11): "In his separate talks
with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian
leader Abbas, President Bush did not make clear his
position on the key issue of Israeli settlements. He
failed to realize any substantive accomplishment toward
peace in his first visit to the region.... The
president said that Arab states will have to recognize
Israel and urge Palestinians to make a tough choice.
However, many Arabs believe that there will be no
progress in peace talks without U.S. pressure on
Israel. While President Bush intends to ask Arab states
for cooperation in dealing with Iran, it remains to be
seen whether the President's shuttle diplomacy will
satisfy them."

DONOVAN

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