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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Kosovo Declaration Of

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0427 0500632
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190632Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1816
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 6151
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8538
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4728
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6754
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9816
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1729
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2129
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7797
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8400
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000427

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 - KOSOVO DECLARATION OF
INDEPENDENCE


1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning
included an agreement between the ruling and opposition
camps on procedures concerning Diet approval of
nominees for key portfolios, such as Bank of Japan
governor and Fair Trade Commission Chairman.

2. "How to Avoid Confusion on the Balkan Peninsula" The
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (2/19):
"What must be avoided for the time being is an
accidental clash between Kosovo and Serbian forces.
Self-restraint and due consideration on both sides are
very important. It was a matter of course for NATO,
tasked with ensuring security in Kosovo, to demonstrate
its readiness to intervene in the event of a conflict.
A rise in ethnic sentiment in Serbia is particularly
concerning. Riots broke out across Serbia in protest of
Kosovo's declaration of independence. The Serbian
leadership's crisis-management capabilities are being
tested. Negotiations over the final status of Kosovo
broke down late last year, but a solution that will
lead to regional peace and stability can only be
attained through dialogue. Leaders on both sides need
to search for a fundamental solution."

3. "First Step toward Stability" The liberal Asahi
argued (2/19): "The U.S. and EU have endorsed Kosovo's
declaration of independence. Independence for Kosovo is
the only way to stabilize the region, overcome ethnic
hatred, and achieve reconciliation. It must have been
an agonizing decision. The international community
should patiently support Serbia and Kosovo so that they
can open a new chapter in their history.... In order to
keep the situation from being destabilized, Serbian
concerns must be addressed, and the safety of Serbians
in Kosovo must be ensured. It is also important to keep
talking to Russia about the matter, as Moscow has
opposed independence for Kosovo."

4. "Careful Approach Needed to Avert Ethnic Conflict"
The liberal Mainichi insisted (2/19): "When countries
accept a declaration of independence without UN
authorization, they may end up prompting other ethnic
groups to unilaterally declare independence. Some
nations are concerned that independence for Kosovo may
have opened a Pandora's Box. Historically speaking,
Kosovo's independence is a logical result. The EU, as a
guardian of Kosovo, should join with the U.S. in
persuading Russia and Serbia to coexist with Kosovo."

SCHIEFFER

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