Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 02/12/08

DE RUEHKO #0364/01 0430807
P 120807Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) U.S. Marine suspected of raping girl to be sent to the
prosecutors; Prime Minister Fukuda orders cabinet ministers at
meeting to deal properly with issue

(2) Government asks U.S. side to strictly enforce military
discipline in case of schoolgirl rape by U.S. Marine in Okinawa

(3) Paulson underlines need for U.S. financial institutions to
speedily increase capital bases, denies injection of public funds

(4) Japanese, U.S. financial ministers confirm need to maintain
close coordination

(5) U.S. Secretary of Treasury expects to see expansion of domestic
demand in Japan

(6) G-7 joint statement: Host nation shows lack of leadership

(7) New Osaka Gov. Hashimoto's controversial remark on Iwakuni
issue; He has a knack for verbal attacks

(8) METI to craft strategy to nurture green businesses into
83-trillion-yen market in seven years

(9) Indonesian nurses, caregivers to come to Japan as early as by
end of this year

(10) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gas tax\


(1) U.S. Marine suspected of raping girl to be sent to the
prosecutors; Prime Minister Fukuda orders cabinet ministers at
meeting to deal properly with issue

Tokyo Web (Full)
11:05 AM, February 12, 2008

In the case of the U.S. Marine suspected of raping a junior
high-school girl (14) in Okinawa, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
stressed this morning at a meeting of the Lower House Budget
Committee his determination to clear up the facts of the matter and
make efforts so that there would be no recurrence. At a meeting of
his cabinet, he ordered: "This is an extremely serious problem. I
want it handled properly." The Okinawa prefectural police today will
send the case to the prosecutors of U.S. Marine Staff Sergeant
Tyrone Hardnott, who is attached to Camp Courtney and lives at
Shimabukuro in the village of Kitanakagusuku in Okinawa Prefecture.

A strong reaction is growing in the prefecture toward this case.
This afternoon, the governor's director of public affairs Akira
Uehara and educational director Morikazu Nakamura will visit the

Marine base and other locations to protest and demand that there be
no recurrence.

According to the investigation by Okinawa Prefecture, the suspect on
the night of the 10th allegedly raped the girl in his car that was
stopped on the road in front of a public park in Chatan Village. The
suspect has denied the charge.

TOKYO 00000364 002 OF 011

(2) Government asks U.S. side to strictly enforce military
discipline in case of schoolgirl rape by U.S. Marine in Okinawa

Tokyo Shimbun Online (Kyodo) (Full)
11:14 AM, February 12, 2008

In connection with the case of a U.S. Marine in Okinawa having been
arrested on suspicion of raping a schoolgirl, the government as of
today has transmitted its strong regrets to the U.S. side, and asked
the U.S. to strictly enforce military discipline and take thorough
measures to prevent a recurrence. In response, the U.S. side has
stressed its intention to fully cooperate with the investigation.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura at press conference this
morning pointed out: "(In the past, as well,) when there were major
incidents, we repeatedly asked for strict enforcement of military
discipline. This one will be handled properly based on the law and
the evidence, but I cannot help saying that it was extremely
regrettable." Asked about the impact on the realignment of U.S.
forces in Japan, such as the relocation of Futenma Air Station, he
said: "It is not my judgment to make. I would like them to put in
their best effort to swiftly and appropriately settle this matter."

State Minister for Okinawan Affairs Kishida on the 11th made this
comment: "I feel the pain that must be going through the hearts of
the victim and her family. This kind of incident must never happen

(3) Paulson underlines need for U.S. financial institutions to
speedily increase capital bases, denies injection of public funds

NIKKEI (Top play) (Full)
February 9, 2008

Tetsuya Minori, Washington

U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson in Washington gave an
interview to the Nikkei ahead of the G7 meeting of finance ministers
and central governors, to be held in Tokyo on Feb. 9. On the back of
growing concerns for a credit crunch resulting from the subprime
loan crisis, Paulson indicated that the key to economy recovery is
for American financial institutions to increase their capital bases,
saying, "When we go through a period like this, the best thing that
financial institutions can do is to quickly realize their losses and
procure capital." At the same time, he pointed out that speed is
essential in increasing capital, noting: "If there's any doubt that
they will not have enough capital, they should go out and get
capital where it is available."

Secretary Paulson brushed aside the option of using public money and

encouraged self-help efforts by financial institutions, saying,
"There may be other countries where government needs to be involved,
but that is not the case in the United States."

He indicated some alarm about the future of the U.S. economy,
noting: "I think our economy will continue to grow, but I see
housing as the biggest risk. The housing crisis has not bottomed out
yet; it will continue for a while."

About responses by Japan, the United States, and European countries
to the slowdown of the global economy, the Secretary said: "We all

TOKYO 00000364 003 OF 011

need to look at what's going on in our own economies and come up
with policies that are appropriate." About Japan, he commented: "The
emphasis should be on boosting domestic demand. I've long been an
advocate of the reform policies that drive long-term economic growth
and I see a continuing need for that."

He also said that the use of public money was unnecessary because
"the U.S. financial institutions have been moving quickly to realize
losses and to raise capital."

Sovereign Wealth Funds of newly emerging market economies in the
Middle East, Asia and other regions are becoming active as potential
lenders. "The funds we have had dialogues with have all assured us
that they are driven by the investment desire to maximize their
profits after adjusting for risk," the Secretary said in a bid to
discourage emerging moves to refuse foreign capital in the name of
opposing Sovereign Wealth Funds. About Japan's investment in U.S.
financial institutions, as seen in Mizuho Corporate Bank's
investment in Merrill Lynch, Paulson said: "We welcome investment
from Japan. The Japanese have been important investors in the United
States for many years."

He also brushed aside concerns that the dollar might further weaken,
saying: "The U.S.' economic fundamentals are solid, and I believe
that the economy will continue to grow, and that these fundamentals
will be reflected in our currency." At the same time, he said this
about the yuan, China's currency, "Although we note that it has
appreciated, we would like to see it appreciate a little faster than
it has."

As for the deteriorating financial positions of so-called monolines,
bond insurers, he said: "There are a number of people dealing with
this. We have the regulators, because these institutions are
regulated at the state level. We have rating agencies. We have
financial advisors and investors, including financial institutions.
And we're obviously watching them closely. Again, the message is the
same, raise capital. And the emphasis is on the private sector. It
is the private sector that makes capital investments."

Gist of interview with Treasury Secretary Paulson

? Financial institutions hit by the subprime loan crisis should
raise capital.
? The U.S. economy, which is slowing down, needs appropriate policy
? Japan needs to stimulate domestic consumption and to continue
pursuing reform policies.
? The U.S. welcomes investment by Sovereign Wealth Funds.
? A strong dollar serves U.S. national interests. Skeptical about
direct and verbal intervention in the exchange markets.
? Hopes to see the value of the Chinese yuan to rise faster.

(4) Japanese, U.S. financial ministers confirm need to maintain
close coordination

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
Evening, February 9, 2008

Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Henry Paulson met for about 30 minutes this morning ahead of the
meeting of Group of Seven (G-7) finance ministers and central bank
governors. They exchanged views on wide-ranging issues, including

TOKYO 00000364 004 OF 011

the state of the slowing U.S. economy in the aftermath of the
subprime loan crisis. They also discussed their outlooks for the
global economy, over which uncertainty is now looming large. The two
leaders confirmed that financial authorities of the two countries
should work out proper measures and enhance cooperation in dealing
with the subprime mortgage crisis.

This was the second time for Nukaga and Paulson to meet, their first
being in Washington last October. After the meeting, the two
released a statement that went: "We exchanged frank views on the
current state of the global, Japanese, and U.S. economies, the trend
of the financial market, and climate change (the global-warming
issue). We confirmed the need for the two countries to continue to
closely cooperate with each other and keep good bilateral

In the meeting, Paulson explained the current state of the U.S.
economy, the Federal Reserve Bank's (FRB) decision to lower its key
interest rate, and a package of emergency economic-spurring measures
taken by the Bush administration. Nukaga hailed the prompt action
taken by the U.S. He also explained how the Japanese government
dealt with the financial crisis in the 1990s, after the bubble
economy had burst, such as the injection of public funds in banking
institutions to help dispose of their non-performing loans.

Nukaga and Paulson also discussed the idea proposed by Japan, the
U.S., and Britain of creating a new fund for countermeasures against
global warming. They shared the view that the proliferation of such
natural energy resources as wind power and photovoltaic energy in
developing countries would make it possible to simultaneously attain
the two goals of reducing poverty and preserving the global
environment. The two financial leaders agreed to urge other G-7
countries to join in in a bid to swiftly establish the fund.

(5) U.S. Secretary of Treasury expects to see expansion of domestic
demand in Japan

YOMIURI (Page 8) (Full)
February 10, 2008

In a press conference after a meeting in Tokyo of finance ministers
from the Group of Seven (G-7) nations yesterday, United States
Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson said: "Japan has depended on

exports and not on domestic demand. Japan needs to continue its
reforms. Japan should rely more on domestic demand." He expressed
his expectation for Japan to make more effort to expand domestic

On the U.S. economy, Paulson stated: "I believe the American economy
will keep growing. If the economy is growing, there will be no

He then called on banking institutions to shore up their capital
bases as measures to prevent a spread of the credit crunch, saying:
"If they need capital, they should get it while it is available."

(6) G-7 joint statement: Host nation shows lack of leadership

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 12, 2008

The G-7 meeting just held in Tokyo has put the caliber of Japan as

TOKYO 00000364 005 OF 011

the host nation to the test. While Japan was able to display its
presence to a certain extent, reporting the lessons it has learned
from the collapse of the bubble economy and the environmental
measures it is using, it failed to come up with specific proposals
for concerted actions on the key subprime loan issue. Japan also
will host the Lake Toya Summit to be held in July in Hokkaido. The
G-7 has shown clearly how difficult it is for Japan to display its

The United States remains the main source of risk for the global
economy. During the last Tokyo G-7, held about eight years ago,
Japan found itself in a similar position to that of the U.S. now. At
the time, the Japanese economy was in a slump due to the collapse of
the real estate bubble, reminiscent of the subprime loan risk,
prompting increased concern over the risk to the global economy.

Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga, who chaired this G-7 meeting,
stressed how Japan turned around its economy by writing off
non-performing loans. During the host nation's press conference, he
proudly said, "Japan has experience, so I call on other countries to
take all possible measures in dealing with the subprime loan issue,
learning lessons from Japan's case."

However, the subprime loan issue, which is casting a pall over the
global economy, is clearly different from the problem Japan had
faced in the past. The subprime loan crisis is far more serious than
Japan's housing loan crisis. That is because subprime loan claims
have been securitized and marketed in many countries, spreading
risks all over the world.

Japan's prescription based on the bad loan issue settled by
injecting public money into banks cannot be straightforwardly
applied to the subprime loan issue. Lessons Japan may have learned
can only serve as a reference for G-7 members, starting with the

There is a mountain of other risks posing threats to the global
economy, such as the sharp rise in the prices of natural resources
and growing income disparities. Differences in economic situations
among various countries have made the problem complex, as Finance
Minister Nukaga noted. It is naturally difficult for Japan to
spearhead cooperative activities as the host nation. Bank of Japan
Governor Toshihiko Fukui noted, "Even if you do the same, you could
not obtain the same result."

Japan has taken a proactive stance on the environment issue, another
key agenda item. Teaming with Britain and the U.S., Japan announced
a plan to establish a fund to assist developing countries acquire
environment-related technologies, and the three countries succeeded
in convincing other G-7 members to consider joining the project.

The summit this year is characterized as a prelude to the Lake Toya
Summit. Several international conferences are scheduled in the
run-up to the July meeting. Toshitaka Ito, professor at Tokyo
University Graduate School, was harsh in his comment, though:
"Western interest in Japan is not so high. To be brutally frank,
Japan's presence is invisible."

The hard part for Japan, as the G-8 Summit host nation, in
stabilizing the global economy and realizing sustainable growth has
yet to come

TOKYO 00000364 006 OF 011

(7) New Osaka Gov. Hashimoto's controversial remark on Iwakuni
issue; He has a knack for verbal attacks

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 26) (Full)
February 8, 2008

Osaka Gov. Toru Hashimoto, who took office on Feb. 6, has already
created a controversy. Referring to the referendum on the relocation
of carrier-borne aircraft that Iwakuni City in Yamaguchi Prefecture
conducted in 2006, Hashimoto criticized it as if to say that a local
government should not meddle in the country's defense policy. His
skilled verbal attacks are in good form, even after he won a
landslide victory in the recent Osaka gubernatorial election. This
newspaper looked at his knack for bursting out with verbal attacks.

"I don't want to be criticized by constitutional scholars who know
only constitutional arguments," Hashimoto said on Feb. 3 in Fukuoka

On Jan. 31, Hashimoto stressed in a videotape that there are limits
to items subject to referendums under the legal system of Japan,
which uses an indirect representative system. The video was produced
to support a candidate for the Feb. 10 Iwakuni mayoral election. The
candidate supported the relocation plan.

On Feb. 1, he criticized former Iwakuni Mayor Katsusuke Ihara, who
opposes the government's plan, noting: "(Ihara) has not studied the
Constitution at all." However, a constitutional scholar offered a
counterargument that the expression of views by residents is freedom
of speech.

On Feb. 3 in Fukuoka City, Hashimoto then argued: "I don't want to
be criticized by constitutional scholars who know only desktop
constitutional arguments."

Masahiko Goto, a lawyer and co-leader of the citizens' association
to think about Yokosuka, home port for nuclear-powered carriers --
the group preparing for a referendum on whether to make Yokosuka a
homeport for U.S. nuclear carriers -- cast doubts upon Hashimoto's
interpretation, saying:

"The purpose of the referendum in Iwakuni was to ask the citizens
what action the city, which negotiates with the central government,
should take. The referendum did not have direct connection with the
state. If local governments follow all decisions made by the central
government, democracy will be unnecessary. He could say such a thing
because Osaka has no military base. The head of a local government
should not have made that remark."

Hashimoto, however, has made controversial remarks not only on bases
issues but also on other matters since before he assumed the
governorship. When asked about the possibility of his running in the
Osaka gubernatorial race, for example, he replied: "200 PERCENT
impossible." In connection with the murder of the mother and her
baby girl in Hikari City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, he demanded on a TV
program that the team of defense lawyers be reprimanded. On the
other hand, disciplinary action against him has been called for.
Commenting on a sex tour of China by a group of Japanese, Hashimoto
said: "It is like an official development assistance (ODA) project
to China."

Hashimoto has written a book titled, Strongest Negotiation Technique

TOKYO 00000364 007 OF 011

to Bring about Yes at End. In the preface to the book, he writes
that persuading the other party even by employing sophistry and
using excuses and even lies are acceptable, depending on the

Some of the negotiating techniques introduced in the book coincide
with his remarks on the Iwakuni issue. For example, he switched the
focus of argument. The Iwakuni issue stemmed from the central
government's violation of its promise to provide Iwakuni with
subsidies for the construction of a new city hall in return for the
city's acceptance of the relocation of U.S. carrier-based jets to
Iwakuni base. The central government did not keep its promise
because Iwakuni opposed the U.S. plan to relocate air-refueling
tankers to the base in the city. The reason for the Iwakuni issue
involves a relationship of trust between the central government and
Iwakuni, but it has nothing to do with defense policy.

Moreover, Hashimoto writes in his book that adding unreasonable
conditions to what one says is acceptable. He initially talked about
the relations between the referendum and the Constitution, but soon
after he was criticized, he added a condition that (scholars) do not
understand the Constitution when it comes to the actual political

Takeshi Yabe, the philosopher, compared Hashimoto to a child full of
mischief, who pushes the doorbells of other peoples' houses. Yabe
described him:

"He uses the method of 'downstream culture' in which a person trying
to become the focus of public attention pokes fun at himself. But he
has no intention to stick to that stance and so runs off after
pushing the chime. He is coward and a slave to authority. This kind
of person may be jealous of residents who take a respectful attitude
toward the nation."

In his book, Hashimoto writes: "If you are personally attacked, you
should counter that move. (Omitted) I would like to advise you to
avoid such a situation by saying that you will refuse to continue
the conversation if the other tries to correct your view."

Whether his strategy will be effective in serving as governor of
Osaka is uncertain. The value of his literary works will be called
into question, as well.

(8) METI to craft strategy to nurture green businesses into
83-trillion-yen market in seven years

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
Evening, February 9, 2008

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry (METI) plans to expand the
nation's environment-focused business sector to about 83 trillion
yen in 2015 from 59 trillion yen in 2005.

By June, the ministry plans to draw up policies to achieve this
target that will include proposals for popularizing environmentally
friendly technologies and businesses.

The ministry will promote the plan to participants at the Group of
Eight summit meeting, which is to focus on environmental issues, to
be held in the Lake Toya resort area in Hokkaido in July.

TOKYO 00000364 008 OF 011

The ministry estimates the domestic market for businesses tackling
global warming could grow by 54 PERCENT to 49 trillion yen by 2015
from the 2005 level.

The government's estimate comes from expected new demand for
energy-saving technologies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions
and for natural energy, such as solar power.

The ministry also expects the market for services related to
recycling and waste disposal to grow 20 PERCENT to 29 trillion yen,
and that of businesses involved in preventing pollution to jump to
64 PERCENT to 4.8 trillion yen during the period.

The ministry also estimates the number of jobs in
environment-focused businesses will increase 45 PERCENT to 2.6

Achieving the target requires a number of ways, such as developing
technology to halve electricity consumption in large data-processing
facilities, improving the performance of solar and wind power
generation, and increasing the collection of rare metals from
discarded home electronics products.

The ministry's plan will include proposals to encourage development
of environmentally sound technology, measures for increasing
information disclosure to encourage investment in
environment-focused businesses, and suggestions for educating
consumers on the subject.

(9) Indonesian nurses, caregivers to come to Japan as early as by
end of this year

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 11, 2008

It has been learned that Indonesians who will be candidates to work
as clinical nurses and caregivers in Japan will come to Japan by the
end of this year at the earliest, based on an economic partnership
agreement (EPA) that the governments of Japan and Indonesia
concluded last summer. Japan has a plan to accept nurses and
caregivers from the Philippines, as well. The Philippines, however,
has been late in ratifying an EPA with Japan. Indonesia will be the
first country for Japan to officially accept workers other than
those in specialized or technical areas such as engineers and
college professors.

Indonesia's Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, the contact
point for the negotiations, is waiting for the Japanese Diet's
approval of the EPA. The ministry will immediately enter into
final-stage negotiations with the Japanese side on practical
business affairs. The ministry then will start recruiting and
selecting candidates. This was revealed by a senior official.

The two governments have agreed on the dispatch of 400 clinical
nurses and 600 caregivers. Candidates for the clinical nurse slots
require more than two years of work experience after graduating from
nursing school or the nursing department of a college. Candidates
for caring for patients require academic backgrounds similar to the
clinical nurses and educational background equal to or better than
special nursing schools. The candidates to be caregivers must
receiving nursing-care training before leaving Indonesia.

TOKYO 00000364 009 OF 011

The Indonesian Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration has been
studying the contents of training and practice tests in the

Once the Indonesian clinical nurses and caregivers arrive in Japan,
they will acquire nursing skills while working at hospitals and
clinics after receiving Japanese language training for six months.
If they pass the national exam in Japanese, they will be able to
stay in Japan indefinitely to work as clinical nurses or caregivers.
However, those who failed to pass the exam will have to return to
Indonesia. The Japanese government will shoulder their travel
expenses and language training costs. The government included in the
budget bill for fiscal 2008 approximately 1.9 billion yen for the
EPA-related expenditures, including costs for those who will come
from the Philippines.

(10) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gas tax

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 5, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. Figures in parentheses
denote the results of the last survey conducted Jan. 11-12 unless
otherwise specified.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 35 (34)
No 46 (45)

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 30 (26)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 24 (25)
New Komeito (NK) 3 (3)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2 (1)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (0)
None 34 (37)
No answer (N/A) + don't know (D/K) 6 (7)

Q: What do you think about Prime Minister Fukuda's job performance
so far? (One choice only. Figures in parentheses denote the results
of a survey taken Dec. 1-2, 2007.)

Beyond expectations 3 (4)
Up to expectations 21 (30)
Short of expectations 24 (13)
No expectations from the start 47 (48)

Q: Do you think Mr. Fukuda is a person of action? (Figures in
parentheses denote the result of a survey taken Sept. 25-26, 2007.)

Yes 22 (46)
No 66 (32)

Q: Do you appreciate the Fukuda cabinet for its way of handling the
pending issue of unaccounted-for pension records?

TOKYO 00000364 010 OF 011

Yes 33 (26)
No 55 (55)

Q: The gasoline tax is originally 29 yen per liter. However, the
gasoline tax is currently added up to 54 yen with an extra tax
portion of 25 yen for road construction and other road-related
purposes. This added taxation is to expire at the end of March this
year. After that, gasoline will be priced down. Meanwhile, the
road-related tax revenues will decrease to almost a half. Do you
think the 25 yen extra tax should be continued?

Yes 27
No 60

The government has now presented a bill to the Diet for a 10-year
extension of the extra gasoline taxation. The DPJ and other
opposition parties are opposed to this legislation, maintaining that
the extra taxation should be discontinued. Do you think the ruling
and opposition parties should compromise on this legislation?

Yes 55
No 33

Q: The government is thinking of incorporating the gasoline tax and
other road-related tax revenues into the general account budget so
that the road-related tax revenues can be used for other purposes as
well. Do you support this way of thinking? (Figures in parentheses
denote the results of a survey taken Dec. 1-2, 2007.)

Yes 54 (46)
No 35 (41)

Q: There is also an idea that suggests the need to continue the
additional rate of taxation on gasoline and use gasoline tax
revenues for environmental purposes as well. Do you support this way
of thinking?

Yes 63
No 28

Q: The government plans to construct new roads throughout the
country at 59 trillion yen in the next 10 years. Do you think the
government should construct new roads as planned, or do you
otherwise think the government should scale back on the planned
construction of new roads?

Construct new roads as planned 14
Scale back on construction plan 75

Q: Do you think the House of Representatives should be dissolved as
soon as possible for a general election, or do you otherwise think
there is no need to do so?

Dissolve as soon as possible 34 (34)
No need to do so 56 (54)

Q: If you were to vote now in a general election, which political
party would you like to vote for in your proportional representation

LDP 30 (25)
DPJ 32 (36)

TOKYO 00000364 011 OF 011

NK 3 (3)
JCP 2 (3)
SDP 1 (3)
PNP 0 (0)
NPN 0 (0)
Other political parties 1 (0)
N/A+D/K 31 (30)

Q: Would you like the current LDP-led coalition government to
continue, or would you otherwise like it to be replaced with a
DPJ-led coalition government?

LDP-led coalition government 33 (27)
DPJ-led coalition government 37 (35)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Feb. 2-3 over the
telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Respondents were chosen from among the nation's voting population on
a three-stage random-sampling basis. Valid answers were obtained
from 2,082 persons (56 PERCENT ).


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