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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - African Union Summit,

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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5943
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UNCLAS TOKYO 000316

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 - AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT,
GLOBAL ECONOMY, AND AFGHAN RECONSTRUCTION


1. LEAD STORIES: Wednesday morning's Sankei gave top
coverage to Russian President Putin's letter to Prime
Minister Fukuda, in which Putin allegedly agreed to
Fukuda's earlier proposal to move bilateral ties to a
higher level.

2. "AU Must Demonstrate Will to Resolve Conflicts" The
business-oriented Nikkei editorialized (2/6): "While
the African Union held a summit over the weekend to
discuss measures for enhancing its industrial base, the
meeting was overwhelmed by the situations in Kenya and
Chad. Strife also exists in other parts of Africa,
including Darfur and Somalia. In order to make better
use of Western aid, the AU will need to play an active
role in resolving these conflicts.... Some within the
AU believe the organization should aim for unification
along the lines of the EU, including the creation of a
united government. However, discussions about a central
government without demonstrating a commitment to
resolving conflicts on the continent would be
meaningless."

3. "G-7 Must Respond to Crisis" The liberal Tokyo
Shimbun asserted (2/6): "Participants in the upcoming
G-7 meeting of financial ministers and central bank
governors in Tokyo need to share a sense of urgency and
issue a strong message that they will act together to
deal with the financial crisis. While the Fed and
central banks in Europe coordinated closely to increase
market liquidity at the end of last year, the Bank of
Japan did not join them. This was because the financial
losses incurred by Japanese financial institutions were
not as bad as those of U.S. and European banks.
However, Japanese banks have since then reported
greater losses. Japan should join with the other G-7
members at the coming meeting to put forward a
coordinated approach to the crisis."

4. "Time to Review Support for Afghan Reconstruction"
The liberal Asahi stated (2/6): "It would be a stretch
to say that the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and
reconstruction efforts there are going smoothly.
Against this backdrop comes an international conference
in Tokyo, with Afghan Foreign Minister Spanta and 12
other Afghan ministers participating. The meeting
provides an opportunity to review progress on
reconstruction and international aid.... Who is the
real enemy in Afghanistan? How can military operations
be combined with civilian support? Which country will
play what role? The international community needs to
coordinate anew. There should be a new, UN-centered
framework."

DONOVAN

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