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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/13/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 000371

SIPDIS

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DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 02/13/08


Index:

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

Okinawa incident:
4) Prime Minister Fukuda in meeting with Secretary Rice to press for
stronger USFJ discipline and measures to stop recurrences of rape
incidents in Okinawa (Mainichi)
5) Government protests alleged rape incident in Okinawa to American
Embassy charge d'affaires (Tokyo Shimbun)
6) Naha consul general, Marine commandant apologize to Okinawa
governor for Marine incident (Asahi)
7) Okinawa Prefecture sends letter to U.S. military on Okinawa
seeking measures to stop rape incidents from reoccurring (Yomiuri)

8) Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to issue protest resolution against
Marine incident (Mainichi)
9) Okinawa protests widen (Asahi)
10) 250 demonstrators gather to protest Marine incident (Mainichi)

11) Arrested Marine: "I thought she was an adult" (Asahii)
12) Prime Minister's exchange in the Diet on the Okinawa incident
(Mainichi)
13) Foreign Ministry dispatching top official to Okinawa (Yomiuri)


14) Opposition parties issue protest messages, with some lawmakers
calling for reducing U.S. bases (Tokyo Shimbun)
15) Government shocked by alleged rape incident in Okinawa,
concerned it could derail USFJ realignment process (Tokyo Shimbun)

16) Rape incident puts Futenma relocation plan in peril (Sankei)

17) USFJ housing at Sasebo paid for by Japanese road taxes
(Mainichi)

18) Democratic Party of Japan President Ozawa seeks to check growing
enmity toward him in the party over choice of Bank of Japan governor
(Mainichi)


19) Former FSA minister Ito picked as prime ministerial assistant
for social welfare (Yomiuri)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Bridgestone suspects 150 million yen paid as bribes in 20 projects

Mainichi:
Okinawa prefectural assembly set to adopt protest resolution over
alleged rape of 14-year-old girl by U.S. Marine; Top U.S. military
official in Okinawa apologizes

Yomiuri:
Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to begin offering subsidies to
cover pay for obstetricians at financially troubled hospitals in
rural areas

TOKYO 00000371 002 OF 012

Nikkei:
Fujifilm to acquire Toyama Chemical

Sankei:
China conducting internal investigation into tainted gyoza dumpling
case, aiming to resolve it before Hu's Japan visit

Tokyo Shimbun:
Shinginko Tokyo to ask metropolitan government for 30-40 billion
yen

Akahata:
U.S. Marine rapes14-year-old junior high school girl in Okinawa

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Schoolgirl rape: Okinawa's patience running out
(2) Carrot-and-stick approach worked in Iwakuni mayoral race

Mainichi:
(1) Okinawa rape: Heinous crime must not be repeated
(2) Afghanistan: Discord in NATO worries us

Yomiuri:
(1) Government must take time on consumer affairs reform
(2) Lowering patent fees will help reduce corporate burden

Nikkei:
(1) Why another incident in Okinawa?
(2) Centralized administration for consumer affairs essential

Sankei:
(1) Fallout of Okinawa rape must be minimized so as not to affect
overall U.S. force realignment plan
(2) Toxic gyoza scare underlines importance of "food terrorism"
viewpoint

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Another rape in Okinawa
(2) New chairman of Japan Federation of Bar Associations must
continue pursuing reform

Akahata:
(1) U.S. Marine's heinous crime unforgivable

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, February 11 and 12

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Feb. 11
Spent whole day at his official residence.

Feb. 12

08:10
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ono.


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08:31
Attended cabinet meeting in the Diet building. Health, Labor and
Welfare Minister Masuzoe remained in the office.

09:03
Attended Lower House Budget Committee session.

12:18
Met at Kantei with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

13:04
Attended Lower House Budget Committee session.

17:19
Met at Kantei with Special Advisor Nakayama. Held talks on phone
with British Prime Minister Brown.

18:08
Attended meeting of the consumer administration promotion council.

19:28
Returned to his official residence.

4) Prime Minister Fukuda to ask U.S. to take measures to prevent
recurrence of similar incidents when meeting with U.S. secretary of
state

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Yudai Nakazawa, Ken Utsuka

As part of the efforts to deal with the recent rape of a junior high
school girl in Okinawa, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday
decided to ask the U.S. side to strengthen discipline among U.S.
military personnel, for instance, by tightening the current U.S.
military's program to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents,
when he is expected to meet with Secretary of State Rice on Feb. 26.
The government is alarmed by the possible impact of the incident on
the realignment of the U.S. forces in Japan. Administrative Vice
Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka summoned Joseph Donovan, deputy
chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, to his ministry and
filed a protest with him. Senior Vice Foreign Minister Itsunori
Onodera will visit Okinawa today and ask Lt. General Richard Zilmer,
the commander of the U.S. forces in Okinawa, and other U.S.
officials to take measures to prevent a recurrence of similar
incidents.

After the rape of an elementary school girl by three U.S. Marines in
the northern part of Okinawa in September 1995, U.S. forces in Japan
created a program to prevent a recurrence, but the details of the
program have not been made clear so far. Late yesterday, Fukuda,
speaking of the latest rape, told reporters: "Is it all right to
simply follow past measures? I think various ideas are necessary.
While conferring with municipalities in Okinawa, I want to address
the matter seriously." These remarks are taken to mean that Fukuda,
based on the desires of the Okinawa people, intends to ask the U.S.
side to come up with specific and effective measures.

Meanwhile, Yabunaka yesterday conveyed dismay to Donovan over the
incident. After the session with Yabunaka, Donovan told the press:
"I apologize to the victim and her family for the incident. We will

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fully cooperate with the Japanese government in order to shed light
on the entire incident."

5) Japan to call for all-out preventive measures; Gov't lodges
strong protest with U.S. Embassy's charge d'affaires

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, attending the House of Representatives
Budget Committee meeting yesterday afternoon, referred to the recent
incident in which a third-year junior high school girl was raped by
an Okinawa-based U.S. Marine. "It's truly regrettable," Fukuda
stated before the committee. "We must make a strong request to the
United States so that this kind of incident will never happen
again," he added. With this, Fukuda stressed that the Japanese
government would strongly ask the U.S. government to take
thoroughgoing measures to prevent such an incident from recurring.

In this connection, Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji
Yabunaka called in U.S. Charge d'Affaires Donovan to the Foreign
Ministry to lodge a strong protest. "We have asked the United States
time and again to prevent such an incident from recurring," Yabunaka
told Donovan. "Nevertheless," Yabunaka went on, "a U.S. serviceman
has been arrested." He added, "It is extremely regrettable." Donovan
expressed his "heartfelt sympathy" to the victim and her family. He
promised to extend full-fledged cooperation on investigations. U.S.
Forces Japan Deputy Commander Flock, who was present with Donovan,
stressed: "The U.S. military would never tolerate any kind of sexual
violence."

6) U.S. officers, including consul general, apologize to Okinawa
governor

ASAHI (Page 35) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Following the arrest of an Okinawa-based Marine Corps sergeant on
suspicion of raping a junior high school girl, U.S. Consul General
in Okinawa Kevin Maher and Marine Corps Bases Japan Commander Lt.
General Richard Zilmer called on Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima
at the prefectural government office last evening. Zilmer said: "I
deeply regret the incident involving a 14-year-old girl." He then
promised to make utmost efforts to prevent similar incidents.

During the meeting with the two American officers, which started a
little past 6:00 p.m. and lasted for about 15 minutes, Governor
Nakaima kept a stone-like expression, hardly looking them in the
eye.

Zilmer explained a plan to give education on ethics and behavior to
all Marines under him during this week, saying: "Taking the incident
seriously, we will fully cooperate with the police investigation and
bring out the truth. We would like to maintain good relations with
you as our good friends."

Looking at his notes, Nakaima stated: "I find it truly regrettable
that this kind of incident occurred again. I want you to strengthen
discipline and give thorough education, as well as to do your best
to prevent a recurrence of similar incidents."

7) Rape of girl by U.S. Marine: Okinawa Prefecture submits written

TOKYO 00000371 005 OF 012


request to U.S. military to prevent recurrence

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

A third-year junior high school girl, 14, was sexually assaulted by
a U.S. Marine in Okinawa Prefecture. The Okinawa Prefectural Policy
referred Tyrone Hadnott, 38, a staff sergeant belonging to the U.S.
Marines' Camp Courtney, to the Naha District Public Prosecutors
Office on suspicion of rape. The police are now collecting evidence,
including seizing the car allegedly used in the crime. In protest
against the incident, the prefectural government the same day
submitted to the U.S. military a letter of request calling for the
prevention of a recurrence. Lt. General Richard Zilmer, commander of
the U.S. Marine Corps in Japan, visited Governor Hirokazu Nakaima
and offered an apology, noting, "I sincerely regret the incident."

8) Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to adopt resolution of protest
against alleged rape of girl by U.S. Marine; Top commander of U.S.
forces in Okinawa apologizes

MAINICHI (Top play) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Teruhisa Mimori, Junichiro Nagasawa

Lt. General Richard Zilmer, the top commander of U.S. forces in
Okinawa, and U.S. Consul General Kevin Maher yesterday evening
visited Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima at his prefectural government
office and apologized for the alleged rape of a 14-year-old girl by
a U.S. Marine, who has been arrested by the Okinawa police. The
Okinawa prefectural government has filed a protest with the U.S.
side against the incident and asked it to prevent a recurrence of
similar incidents. The prefectural assembly also intends to adopt a
resolution of protest.

In meeting with Gov. Nakaima, Lt. General Zilmer said, "I deeply
deplore that such an incident occurred. I am worried about the
damage to the 14-year-old girl and her family," and stressed: "I
will give all U.S. Marines stationed in Japan instructions about
morals and daily activities and discipline them." Also, Zilmer said,
"I would like you to understand that the incident contradicts the
values shared among the U.S. military personnel," and sought the
Japanese side's understanding.

Consul General Maher, as well, apologized for the incident by
saying, "The United States government takes the incident
seriously."

Nakaima told them: "It is an extremely serious incident. Now that
the Okinawa people's rage has erupted, there may be a serious impact
on base issues. I would like you to take every measure to prevent a
recurrence of similar incidents."

Meanwhile, the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly's Special Committee on
U.S. Military Bases is expected to adopt a resolution of protest
against the incident and a written request calling on the U.S.
military to compensate the victim and strengthen discipline among
U.S. military personnel after discussing both. The resolution and
the request are both to be expected to be adopted by a full session
of the prefectural assembly slated for tomorrow.


TOKYO 00000371 006 OF 012


The man who has been arrested and sent to prosecutors is Tyrone
Hadnott (38), a staff sergeant who belongs to Camp Courtney and who
lives in Kitanakagukusu Village, Okinawa.

According to the police investigation, Hadnott is suspected of
raping a 14-year-old junior high school girl in his car parked on a
street in front of a park in Chatan Town, Okinawa. Reportedly,
Hadnott denied the allegations and insisted, "I kissed and touched
her in the car, but I did not rape her." He also reportedly said, "I
did not think she was underage." Allegedly Hadnott spoke to the girl
in the city of Okinawa and took her with him by telling her, "I will
take you home."

9) Alleged raping of girl by U.S. soldier: Increasing number of
local governments adopting resolutions protesting incident; U.S.
Embassy charge expresses regret

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

A U.S. Marine (38) has been arrested on suspicion of raping a
third-year junior high school student (14). Following the incident,
the Naha Assembly on Feb. 12 adopted a resolution calling for an
apology to the victim. Such a move is spreading to other local
governments in Okinawa.

The Naha City Assembly on the 12th unanimously adopted a resolution
protesting the incident that will be sent to the commander of the
U.S. forces stationed in Japan and a written statement addressed to
the prime minister. Both missives criticize the incident, noting
that the assembly strongly feels indignant toward the unchanging
nature of the U.S. forces in Japan and the U.S. servicemen who
commit such incidents Both call for and apology, a consolidation
and reduction of U.S. bases, and a drastic revision of the
Japan-U.S. Status-of-Forces Agreement (SOFA).

Senior prefectural government officials, including Education Board
Chairman Morikazu Nakamura, visited Camp Zukeran on the 12th and
filed a protest on the incident. They called on the U.S. side to do
its utmost to prevent a recurrence. The assemblies of Okinawa City,
where the victim met the suspect, and Chatan Town, where she was
allegedly sexually assaulted, presented resolutions on the 12th
protesting the incident and prepared written statements. Both will
likely be adopted at their extraordinary assembly sessions on the
13th. The prefectural assembly will also adopt a similar resolution
at a regular assembly session to be held on Feb. 14.

Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka called in U.S. Embassy Charge
Joseph Donovan and conveyed his regret to him. He also asked him to
take thorough measures to tighten discipline and prevent a
recurrence. Regarding an investigation into the incident, Yabunaka
noted that the Japanese side would deal with the matter properly,
based on Japanese law and evidence, and seeking the cooperation of
the U.S. side. He also asked Donovan to convey this policy to
Ambassador Schieffer.

Donovan said, "The incident was regrettable. The U.S. takes to heart
what happened. We would like to offer a sincere sympathy to the
victim and her family." He added, "We will fully cooperate in the
investigation by the Japanese side.

Regarding measures to prevent recurrence, Prime Minister Fukuda told

TOKYO 00000371 007 OF 012


reporters, "We must use our resourcefulness, including the question
of whether it is all right to take the same approach as before. I
would like to tackle the issue properly this time."

10) 250 gather together for protest rally

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Takeshi Noda

In reaction to the rape of a junior high school girl, the civic
group Okinawa Heiwa Undou Center and other organizations held an
emergency rally yesterday evening in front of Camp Zukeran, where
the United States Marine Corps headquarters is located. Camp Zukeran
is situated in the village of Kitanakagusuku, Okinawa.

The rally was participated in by some 250 labor union members and
others. Shikou Sakiyama, chairman of the Okinawa Heiwa Undou Center,
declared a strong protest against the incident by saying, "Following
the 1995 rape of an elementary school girl, an incident that must
not reoccur has taken place. It is an absolutely unforgivable
crime."

After the rally, participants marched in a demonstration in front of
the base.

11) U.S. marine accused of raping girl: "I thought she was an
adult"

ASAHI (Page 35) (Full)
February 13, 2008

In questioning by police in Okinawa Prefecture, Tyrone Hadnott, 38,
an Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant who was arrested
on suspicion of raping a junior high school student, 14, said: "I
thought she was over 20." According to investigators, the girl
attempted to run way from him, but Hadnott forced her into his car
after chasing her down and he then drove around.

Hadnott told police in the questioning: "When I looked at her, I
thought the girl was over 20, so I spoke to her." When a police
interrogator told him that the girl was a junior high school
student, he seemed surprised. The suspect is also quoted as saying:
"I caused trouble for my country by committing this kind of
incident." The suspect has admitted that he touched her body but
denied the allegation, saying: "I never raped her."

According to investigators, Hadnott took her to his house by
motorbike and they then drove around by van. The girl told him a
lie: "My house is near here, so let me off around here," but Hadnott
forced her to get into the van again, saying: "Let me know your
phone number," and "Let's go for a drive." The police handed the
suspect over to the Naha district public prosecutors office
yesterday.

12) In Lower House Budget Committee meeting, Eda of New Komeito:
"Rape incident by U.S. Marine unforgivable;" Fukuda: "We will deal
with the case based on Japanese law"

MAINICHI (Page 27) (Excerpts)
February 13, 2008

TOKYO 00000371 008 OF 012

Mikio Shimoji (People's New Party, Sozo): The rape incident
involving a junior high school girl by a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant
is unforgivable. We must seriously face the fact that the steps
taken to prevent any recurrence (following similar incidents in the
past) have produced no results. How about taking such measures as
having Okinawa Prefecture Police and the U.S. military jointly go on
patrol in shopping and amusement districts on every weekend?

Prime Minister Fukuda: Since the idea of joint patrol seems
effective, we would like to also consider the measure in
discussions.

Yasuyuki Eda (New Komeito): The U.S. Marine rape incident is
absolutely unforgivable. We strongly demand that steps be taken to
prevent similar incidents.

Fukuda: The government will hold full negotiations with the U.S. We
will do our best to clear up the truth of the incident and to do our
best to come up with preventive measures. We will deal with the case
based on Japanese law and the evidence.

13) Government to dispatch senior vice foreign minister to Okinawa
for talks with U.S. military on alleged rape of junior high school
girl by U.S. serviceman

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Following the incident in which a junior high school girl was
sexually assaulted by a U.S. Marine, the government on Feb. 12
decided to dispatch Senior Vice Foreign Minister Itsunori Onodera to
Okinawa on the 13th for talks with prefectural and U.S. military
sources.

Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka on the afternoon of the 12th
summoned Joseph Donovan, deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy
in Tokyo, to the Foreign Ministry. He lodged a protest with him,
noting, "It is extremely regrettable that a U.S. serviceman was
arrested over an incident like this. I would like to ask you to take
steps to tighten discipline and prevent a recurrence." Donovan
offered an apology, saying, "What happened is deplorable. We take it
seriously." He conveyed that the U.S. government is ready to fully
cooperate in the investigation by the Japanese side. Ambassador
Schieffer will visit Okinawa today and hold talks with Governor
Hirokazu Nakaima.

14) Opposition parties express regret, call for base reduction

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
February 13, 2008

Concerning the recent schoolgirl rape in Okinawa, all opposition
parties in the Diet yesterday called for reviewing the Japan-U.S.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and scaling back on U.S. military
bases in Japan.

Ichiro Ozawa, president of the Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto),
told reporters, "It is very regrettable that such a scandal has
happened again." He also said, "If Japan and the United States are
not on an equal footing to talk about base issues and scandals,
that's a big problem." Yoshio Hachiro, foreign minister in the DPJ's

TOKYO 00000371 009 OF 012


shadow cabinet, commented: "The Japan-U.S. Status of Forces
Agreement is said to be unequal. However, the government has only
improved its implementation of SOFA provisions instead of revising
it. This remains an obstacle to the reduction of similar crimes."

Tadayoshi Ichida, chief of the Japanese Communist Party's
secretariat, told reporters, "There are heinous crimes in places

SIPDIS
where there are U.S. military bases, and this is the reality of
Japan as a country of military bases." With this, Ichida called for
reducing and removing U.S. military bases in Japan and carrying out
a drastic review of the SOFA.

Mizuho Fukushima, president of the Social Democratic Party
(Shaminto), also told reporters, "U.S. military bases and women's
human rights cannot stand together." She added, "We will need a
drastic revision of the SOFA." Hisaoki Kamei, secretary general of
the People's New Party, said, "We want to ask the United States to
take strict action."

15) Marine rape in Okinawa shocks gov't over realignment

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 13, 2008

A U.S. Marine based in Okinawa-Japan's southernmost island
prefecture-has been arrested on suspicion of raping a local girl. On
the sidelines of this rape incident, the government is now
desperately trying to minimize the repercussions on Japan-U.S.
relations, including the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. The
incident reminds local people of an incident in 1995 in which three
Okinawa-based U.S. Marines gang-raped a local schoolgirl. This time
as well, Okinawa's local communities are erupting in anger. Okinawa
will likely call for Tokyo to review its U.S. military realignment
plans, such as the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in the prefecture's central city of Ginowan, and to revise
the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

The government yesterday requested the U.S. Embassy's Charge
d'Affaires Donovan and other U.S. officials again to enforce
discipline and take preventive steps in a thoroughgoing way. The
government will send Senior Vice Foreign Minister Itsunori Onodera
to Okinawa Prefecture today in order to lodge a direct protest and
request with U.S. forces in Okinawa.

Meanwhile, in Yamaguchi Prefecture, the city of Iwakuni held a
mayoral election on Feb. 10, with the focus on the advisability of
accepting the proposed relocation of U.S. carrier-borne fighter jets
to the U.S. Marine Corps' Iwakuni Air Station. In the end, a
candidate in favor of hosting U.S. jets won the mayoral race. The
government then expected to see progress in the planned realignment
of U.S. forces in Japan. Shortly thereafter, the rape took place.
The government is therefore greatly shocked. "I wonder if we can
hold down the negative impact on Japan-U.S. relations," Foreign
Minister Masahiko Koumura said. "I can't say there will be no
impact," he added. Above all, the government is nervous about the
deterioration of feelings toward the United States in the nation's
local communities hosting U.S. military bases.

After the 1995 Okinawa rape, the United States did not comply with
the Japanese government's request to turn over the suspects. At the
time, Okinawa's local communities held a rally of 85,000 local
residents in protest of the incident. As seen from that, Okinawa's

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local sentiment exploded in pursuit of reducing the U.S. military
presence on the island. In the following year, the Japanese and U.S.
governments agreed to relocate Futenma airfield.

More than 10 years later, however, Futenma airfield has yet to be
relocated. The government and Okinawa are now finally at the stage
of reaching a basic agreement to start an environmental impact
assessment. Okinawa Prefecture and its base-hosting localities have
been calling for the government to move the construction site of a
newly planned alternative facility to the sea. The government and
Okinawa remain divided over the relocation site. The incident this
time could make it even more difficult for Tokyo and Okinawa to iron
out their differences.

At the time of the 1995 incident, the SOFA was called into question
over its stipulation that the United States would retain custody of
suspect prior to indictment.

16) Rape incident casts pall on Futenma relocation plan

SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
February 13, 2008

The alleged rape of a 14-year-old junior high schoolgirl in Okinawa
by a U.S. Marine has cast a pall over the government's effort to
realign U.S. forces in Japan. The central and Okinawa governments
are in agreement to begin an environmental impact assessment this
month in the sea area around Camp Schwab in Nago, the relocation
site for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. The
government's failure to take fundamental steps to prevent a
recurrence of a similar incident might draw strong protest from
people in Okinawa and eventually stall the relocation plan.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in a House of Representatives Budget
Committee session yesterday afternoon condemned the incident,
saying: "We must strongly urge the United States to take steps to
absolutely prevent a recurrence of a similar incident." Angry views
emerged from opposition party members, including Democratic Party of
Japan President Ichiro Ozawa, who described the repetition of
incidents as "truly regrettable."

In the wake of Sunday's Iwakuni mayoral race in Yamaguchi
Prefecture, in which a candidate supporting the relocation of a
carrier-based air wing, won, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura elatedly said: "The stage has been set for U.S. force
realignment to move forward steadily." The government is now busy
calming down a new storm.

The latest incident reminded government and ruling party executives
of the 1995 rape of a schoolgirl in Okinawa by U.S. servicemen. The
incident sparked a huge demonstration by local residents demanding
the return of U.S. bases in the prefecture that eventually resulted
in a Japan-U.S. agreement to return Futenma Air Station. In
yesterday's press conference, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba even
suggested a plan for Japan and the United States to jointly study
steps to prevent a recurrence. His suggestion comes from strong
mistrust of U.S. efforts that have failed to prevent a recurrence.

Moving the deadlocked U.S. force realignment plan forward is one of
the top priorities for the Fukuda cabinet. That is why the
administration has pursued dialogue-oriented policy toward relevant
local governments. If trust in U.S. forces in Japan wavers, such

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efforts of the government would go down the drain.

17) 2.8 billion yen from road-use revenue disbursed for relocation
of U.S. military housing in Sasebo

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 13, 2008

It was learned yesterday in a question-and-answer session of the
House of Representatives that about 2.8 billion yen from the
provisional tax revenue for road construction had been disbursed for
the relocation of U.S. military housing in Sasebo City, Nagasaki
Prefecture. The relocation of the military housing was needed for
construction of a West-Kyushu motorway. Land, Infrastructure and
Transport Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba and other officials admitted to
the fact by responding to a question by Nobuto Hosaka of the Social
Democratic Party.

A total of 11 military housing units were relocated within Sasebo
due to the construction of an interchange. Hosaka questioned: "About
250 million yen was spent for the construction of one housing unit,
which is too luxurious."

Fuyushiba stressed that there was no problem, responding: "The
relocation site was chosen at the request of the U.S. military side,
which wanted their housing near the base. For land acquisition, 1.4
billion yen was needed." Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba also
stated: "It was done to compensate for the relocation. Housing was
built on a small plot of land. So they are not luxurious.

18) DPJ President Ozawa seeks to constrain internal opposition to
promotion of Muto to BOJ governor

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
February 13, 2008

When asked by reporters yesterday about his view on the idea of
separating monetary policy from financial authorities, something
intertwined with the selection of governor of the Bank of Japan,
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
said: "At present, since (financial authorities) issue government
deficit bonds worth as much as 1,000 trillion yen, they are closely
related to monetary policy. There is a view that the issue cannot be
resolved by the idea of separating monetary policy from financial
authorities." Ozawa appears to have made the remark in an attempt to
constrain some members in his party opposing the party's policy of
going along with the promotion of current BOJ Vice Governor Toshiro
Muto to the post of BOJ governor.

Meanwhile, the DPJ's financial affairs department yesterday came up
with four conditions for the criteria for deciding on a BOJ
governor: A person should be independent from the government and
Diet, well-versed in the domestic and international financial
situations, have crisis management capability, and have
communication skills with markets. The panel did not refer to the
idea of separating monetary policy from financial authorities in
consideration of Muto.

19) Former Financial Services Agency head Ito named special advisor
to prime minister on social security

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)

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February 13, 2008

The government yesterday established the post of special advisor to
the prime minister on social security and informally decided to
appoint Tatsuya Ito, former Financial Services Agency chief, to
serve in the new post. Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura
will reveal the decision in a press conference on Feb. 13. The
appointment is scheduled to be announced today.

The expectation is that Ito will be in charge of the government's
Social Security National Council, which was inaugurated in late last
month, as well as responsible for coordination between the
government and ruling parties. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda aims to
play up efforts by the government and ruling coalition to deal with
the pension-records mess, as well as to review the social security
system.

A high government official told reporters yesterday:

"(Ito) is a well-balanced person who is well versed in social
security policy but does not belong to any policy clique in the
Diet. He has no intention of raising the burden on the public first.
We highly valued his cabinet experience."

Ito is the fifth person to serve as special advisor to the prime
minister, serving alongside Kyoto Nakayama, special advisor on the
abduction issue, and Eriko Yamatani, special advisor on education
reform.

Tatsuya Ito, a Lower House member from the Tokyo No. 22 district and
former Financial Services Agency chief, graduated from Keio
University. He is now serving in his fifth term in the Diet. He is
46. He is a member of the LDP's Tsushima faction.

SCHIEFFER

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