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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Iranian Nuclear Program

VZCZCXRO5451
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #0358 0430353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 120353Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1651
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6028
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9697
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1615
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2115
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7675
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8303
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000358

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 - IRANIAN NUCLEAR PROGRAM
AND BURMA


1. LEAD STORIES: There were no Tuesday morning papers
because of a press holiday. Most broadcasters gave top
coverage to Monday's arrest of an Okinawa-based Marine
on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old local
girl.

2. "New Source of Contention with West" The liberal
Mainichi's Washington correspondent wrote (2/11):
"Iran's decision to test a powerful new centrifugal
separator reflects not just Tehran's determination to
proceed with nuclear development but also the fact that
it has been making steady progress. It is possible that
such a test may develop into a new source of contention
with the U.S. and Europe, which are demanding that Iran
cease enriching uranium.... Because a successful test
would enable Iran to replace the existing separator
with a new model without radically changing the layout
of the plant, this represents a rapid upgrading of
Iran's ability to enrich uranium."

3. "Cosmetic Shift to Civilian Rule" The
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri reported from Bangkok
(2/11): "Saturday's announcement by the Burmese junta
of a national referendum on a draft constitution, to be
followed by a general election ... represents Rangoon's
policy of going forward with a 'cosmetic' shift to
civilian power in defiance of calls by the
international community to include domestic democratic
forces. Concerns are mounting that UN mediation efforts
to promote true democratization in Burma will falter."

DONOVAN

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