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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/21/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 000454

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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 02/21/08


Index:

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

Okinawa base problem:
4) Prime Minister Fukuda seeking immediate measures to stop
recurrences of rapes and other incidents by U.S. military personnel
(Tokyo Shimbun)
5) Another Okinawa Marine suspected of raping Philippine woman
(Tokyo Shimbun)
6) Okinawa police will soon file arrest papers for Marine suspected
of raping Philippine woman (Sankei)
7) Ban on troops at Okinawa, Iwakuni leaving bases ("lockdown") to
last for indefinite period (Sankei)
8) Efficacy of forbidding U.S. troops from leaving Okinawa, Iwakuni
bases questioned (Mainichi)
9) Tougher restrictions on off-base housing residents designed to
prevent more Okinawa incidents (Yomiuri)
10) Okinawa reacts with a mixture of appreciation and concern for
base lockdown (Mainichi)

Aegis collision with fishing boat:
11) Delay in reporting collision of Aegis destroyer and fishing boat
reveals stovepipe channeling of communication in defense channels
(Nikkei)
12) Defense Ministry to replace MSDF chief of staff over Aegis
collision (Nikkei)

13) Democratic Party of Japan wants Defense Minister Ishiba to
resign to take responsibility for Aegis collision (Asahi)
14) Criticism welling up against Defense Ministry for unsatisfactory
response to the Aegis accident (Yomiuri)
15) Defense Ministry to revise system for immediate communication of
incident or accident (Asahi)
16) Senior MSDF officer unaware of current regulation requiring
reporting incident or accident to top levels within an hour
(Mainichi)
17) Lower House committee will probe Aegis accident on Feb. 22
(Yomiuri)

18) Prime Minister Fukuda in meeting with newly inaugurated ROK
President Lee to float suggestion for EPA negotiations (Sankei)

19) Japan, U.S. to co-host a second summit conference at the G-8
main event that will discuss global warming (Nikkei)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Aegis destroyer crew spotted fishing boat 12 minutes before
collision

Nikkei:
Japan planning to co-host climate change summit with U.S. by taking
advantage of G-8 Toyako Summit with aim of taking lead in post-Kyoto
framework talks

Akahata:

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Aegis destroyer collision: Missing fishermen need to be rescued
quickly and a full account of the accident necessary

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Process of Diet approval of selection of BOJ governor should be
made open to the public
(2) Pakistan: Voters' will must be used to stabilize the country

Mainichi:
(1) Government panel needs to come up with a plan to invigorate
households
(2) Time for U.S. to reconsider sanctions against Cuba

Yomiuri:
(1) Time to break free from dependence on oil
(2) Castro's retirement: Glory of the revolution lost luster after
collapse of U.S.S.R.

Nikkei:
(1) New BOJ governor needs to be quickly selected under new rules
set by Diet
(2) Voters judge Musharraf harshly

Sankei:
(1) Pakistan needs to listen to world's concerns and expectations
(2) Next-generation DVD battle ends: Don't forget that the market
chooses winners

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Time for Tokyo metropolitan government to retreat from ShinGinko
Tokyo
(2) We hope Pakistan will remain at the forefront of war on
terrorism

Akahata:
(1) Tax-related bills lack viewpoint of working people

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, February 20

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 21, 2008

08:22
Attended a meeting of cabinet ministers connected with measures for
small business at the Kantei.

09:10
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ono.

10:01
Attended a Lower House Financial Affairs Committee meeting.

12:08
Attended a cabinet luncheon meeting at the Kantei.

13:21
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi.


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14:35
Met Ono, Deputy Foreign Minister Sasae, AND Asian and Oceanian
Affairs Bureau Director General Saiki.

15:18
Met former Justice Minister Nanno, followed by executive committee
chairman Toshihiko Kuwashima and others of the national small
retailer's summit.

16:04
Met Indonesian regional assembly chair Ginandjar, followed by Vice
Foreign Minister Yabunaka, Resources and Energy Agency Director
General Mochizuki. Afterward met Cabinet Intelligence Director
Mitani.

17:27
Met Lower House member Takeshi Noda.

18:05
Met Environment Minister Kamoshita and Vice Minister Tamura.

18:43
Attended a foreign policy study meeting at his official residence.

Articles:

4) Prime minister calls for swift, new preventive measures

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
February 21, 2008

In the wake of the alleged sexual assault (on Feb. 10) against a
junior high schoolgirl by a U.S. Marine, U.S. Forces Japan has
imposed a lockdown on U.S. service members in Okinawa banning them
from going out of their bases. In reaction, Prime Minister Fukuda
last evening urged the U.S. military to come up with additional
preventive measures, saying: "The question is how to build a system
that can prevent a recurrence of such an incident. I would like to
see Japan and the United States combine their innovative ideas to
come up with new preventive measures swiftly."

At the same time, he gave high marks to the lockdown, saying: "The
U.S. military is giving serious thought to the latest incident. I
think the lockdown is an unusual step." The prime minister was
responding to questions from reporters at the Prime Minister's
Office.

5) U.S. serviceman held for allegedly raping Philippine woman in
Okinawa

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
February 21, 2008

U.S. military authorities took an Okinawa-based U.S. Army member
into custody in the middle of this month on suspicion of assaulting
a Philippine woman in Okinawa Prefecture, investigative sources
revealed yesterday. The incident follows an Okinawa-based Marine's
(alleged) rape of a local junior high school girl. The woman has
filed a claim with Okinawa prefectural police. The prefectural
police will seek an arrest warrant soon on a rape charge.

In Okinawa, a U.S. Marine was arrested only on Feb. 11 for allegedly

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raping a local junior high school student on Feb. 10. The U.S.
military recently announced a plan to enforce stricter discipline.
Soon after that, however, another rape took place. This fact could
be a serious blow to the Japanese and U.S. governments in their
ongoing review of preventive measures. The latest incident is likely
to further damage local sentiment toward U.S. forces.

The Philippine woman's case occurred in the middle of this month in
the central part of Okinawa's main island, according to sources
familiar with the case. Police have yet to reveal anything specific
about the factual circumstances. However, the prefectural police
seem to be investigating the case. In addition to the junior high
school student rape, there were other incidents involving U.S.
military personnel. In Okinawa, a Marine was arrested for driving
under the influence, and another Marine was held for trespassing
after he was found passed out on a sofa in a private residence. The
U.S. military locked down its bases in Okinawa yesterday morning to
bar all Okinawa-based Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps
personnel in principle, including civilian employees, from leaving
their respective bases. The U.S. Marine Corps' Iwakuni base in
Yamaguchi Prefecture has also taken similar action.

6) U.S. soldier held for assaulting Philippine woman

SANKEI (Page 29) (Full)
February 21, 2008

U.S. military authorities took an Okinawa-based U.S. Army member
into custody in the middle of this month on suspicion of sexually
assaulting a Philippine woman in Okinawa Prefecture, investigative
sources said yesterday. The incident follows another Okinawa-based
U.S. serviceman's alleged rape of a local junior high school girl.
The woman has filed a charge with Okinawa prefectural police. The
prefectural police will shortly seek an arrest warrant for the U.S.
Army member on suspicion of raping the woman.

In Okinawa, a U.S. Marine was arrested only on Feb. 10 for his
alleged rape of a junior high school student. There was another rape
following the U.S. military's enforcement of stricter discipline.
This fact could be a serious blow to the Japanese and U.S.
governments in their ongoing studies of preventive measures.

The alleged rape of the Philippine woman took place in mid-February
in the middle part of Okinawa's main island, informed sources said.
Anything specific about the crime has yet to be fully revealed, but
the prefectural police appear to be investigating the incident.

In addition to the rape of a junior high school student, a Marine
was arrested over drunken driving and another Marine was held for
trespassing after he was found passed out on a sofa at a private
residence.

7) U.S. military begins indefinite lockdown in Okinawa, Iwakuni

SANKEI (Page 29) (Full)
February 21, 2008

The U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa has been enforcing stricter
discipline based on educational programs for its troops in the wake
of an Okinawa-based Marine's alleged rape of a local junior high
school girl. That incident was followed by other incidents involving
U.S. military personnel. In Okinawa, a Marine was arrested recently

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over drunken driving and another Marine was held for trespassing
after he was found drunk and passed out on a sofa at a private
residence. The U.S. military yesterday locked down its bases in
Okinawa to bar all U.S. military personnel and civilian employees in
principle-including Army, Navy, and Air Force members-from going out
of their bases for "period of reflection."

Meanwhile, the U.S. Marine Corps' Iwakuni Air Station in Yamaguchi
Prefecture and Camp Fuji in Shizuoka Prefecture have also banned
their troops from leaving base.

According to the Marine Corps press division, all Okinawa-based
Marines are forbidden to leave their respective bases, except for
going on official duties or otherwise going to chapels or medical
facilities. There are U.S. servicemen living in off-base private
housing like a Marine staff sergeant who was arrested for the
alleged rape of a junior high school student. They are also
forbidden to leave their homes, except for their duties.

8) Both appreciation and concerns exist in Okinawa, Iwakuni

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
February 21, 2008

U.S. Forces Japan has imposed a total lockdown on all U.S. service
members in Okinawa and the Marines at the Iwakuni base (Iwakuni,
Yamaguchi Prefecture). The unusual step has drawn a positive
reaction in Okinawa, where a rash of incidents involving U.S.
service members has occurred. At the same time, puzzlement has been
expressed by store owners and others in entertainment districts that
are frequented by U.S. servicemen.

The Okinawa prefectural government office received a letter
yesterday morning from Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer, regional coordinator
of U.S. forces in Okinawa, reporting on the decision to impose a
lockdown. Governor Hirokazu Nakaima told the press: "I have a strong
impression that (the U.S. military) has acted speedily. I expect
(the U.S. side) to take all possible measures. The task of producing
preventive measures still lies ahead. I would like to see strict
enforcement of measures." The prefectural government had no plan to
ask the U.S. military for a lockdown, viewing it as a matter for the
U.S. military to decide.

Meanwhile, new Iwakuni Mayor Yoshihiko Fukuda, who conditionally
supports the controversial plan to relocate a U.S. carrier-based air
wing to the base in the city, raised a question, saying: "A lockdown
alone will not be effective. I believe other things should be done."
"I wonder how long it is going to last," said the 28-year-old
manager of a Mexican restaurant near JR Iwakuni Station. Some 70
PERCENT to 80 PERCENT of the restaurant's customers are
U.S.-military-affiliated people. Moritoshi Nagamine, 68, who has
long been running a bar near the base, said with a sigh: "A total
lockdown has never been imposed. The local damage is immeasurable."

9) USFJ to tighten requirements for military personnel to live
off-base as part of measures to prevent recurrence of crimes
committed by military personnel

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
February 21, 2008

An overall picture became known yesterday of the measures being

TOKYO 00000454 006 OF 012


coordinated between the Japanese government and the United States
Forces Japan (USFJ) in order to prevent a recurrence of similar
incidents to the recent alleged rape of a junior high school girl by
a U.S. Marine in Okinawa. The main features of the measures include:
(1) tightening the requirements for the U.S. military personnel to
live off-base and conducting a survey of the actual situation (of
U.S. military personnel living off-base), and (2) patrolling by U.S.
military officers and Okinawa Prefectural Police officers. The
central government will present these measures to the Okinawa
prefectural government by the end of the week and then enter into
final coordination with the prefectural government and the Okinawa
police.

Given that the recent alleged sexual assault was committed by a
Marine living off-base, the preventive measures focus on tightening
the regulations that allow military personnel to live off-base.
Specifically, U.S. military personnel will be strictly screened as
to their past problematic behaviors when they apply for permission
to live off-base. In addition, in order to respond to the strong
criticism that the actual state of officers and soldiers living
off-base is unclear, a survey will be conducted to grasp how many
U.S. military personnel live outside the bases, and the results will
be shown to local municipalities.

At present U.S. military personnel patrol the areas near the Kadena
Air Base late at night to give "daily life guidance." The proposed
joint patrol would have prefectural police officers join this patrol
program. From now on, the patrol would be more frequently conducted
and the areas to be patrolled would be broadened.

If an incident or an accident occurs while on patrol, "The
prefectural police's authority to detain U.S. military members would
precede the U.S. side's," a senior Foreign Ministry official said.
The U.S. military police would not join the patrol.

U.S. military personnel at certain ranks or above or those who live
with their families are allowed to live off-base. The number of
those military personnel is on the increase in part because of
convenience for shopping and leisure-time activities. In Okinawa,
some 5,000 households (as of last September) are said to live
off-base.

10) U.S. side imposes lockdown on service members ahead of
government's request, raising question about effectiveness of future
preventive measures

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
February 21, 2008

In the wake of a series of improprieties by U.S. service members,
such as the alleged sexual assault (on Feb. 10) against a junior
high schoolgirl by a U.S. Marine in Okinawa, U.S. Forces Japan in a
rare move yesterday imposed a total lockdown on its service members.
The U.S. side made the move ahead of the Japanese government, which
did not actively take action to prohibit U.S. military personnel
from leaving their bases. The U.S. step has raised a question about
the effectiveness of preventive measures to be produced later this
week.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura indicated in a press
briefing that he "appreciates" the step taken by USFJ. At the same
time, he emphasized the posture of putting high priority on the

TOKYO 00000454 007 OF 012


production of preventive measures later this week, describing (the
lockdown) as a "first step toward earnest talks" between Japan and
the United States. Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Kazuo Kodama
also said in a press briefing: "Work is underway to announce within
this week a basic direction of preventive measures."

The latest step was taken under the initiative of the U.S. side,
which was highly alarmed at the strong local outcry. Defense
Minister Shigeru Ishiba said before the House of Representatives
Budget Committee on the morning of Feb. 29: "It is difficult for the
Japanese government to request a lockdown (on U.S. service members)
in principle." USFJ announced the lockdown about 12 hours later.
Kantoku Teruya of the Social Democratic Party, who hurled a question
at Ishiba, criticized the decision made without a request from the
government, saying: "Nothing moves forward unless the U.S. military
takes the initiative."

Activities by U.S. service members are affecting the local economy.
There is a view that it is a strategy to wait for discontent to
emerge from local people.

11) Delay in reporting Aegis vessel's accident reveals harmful
effect of bureaucratic sectionalism in the Defense Ministry; Urgent
need for reform

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
February 21, 2008

The stir created by the delay in reporting to Defense Minister
Ishiba and Prime Minister Fukuda the accident involving an Aegis
destroyer, the newest member of the Maritime Self-Defense Force
fleet is continuing to spread. The delay seems to have been caused
by insufficient channels of communication between the internal
bureaus of the Defense Ministry and senior levels of the joint
chiefs-of-staff command. The discussion of organizational reform
that the Prime Minister's Official Residence has been advocating is
now likely to be drastically reviewed.

The collision of the destroyer and the fishing boat took place at
4:07 on the morning of the 19th. It took 41 minutes until the
information was transmitted to the operations room from the site of
the accident to the MSDF command and the joint command. At that
point, neither the MSDF command nor the joint staff command informed
the Defense Minister. At 5:00 AM, or 53 minutes after the accident
occurred, contact was made with MSDF Chief of Staff Yoshikawa and
the operations officers of the internal bureaus, but it was not
until 5:40 AM or 93 minutes after the accident that Defense Minister
Ishiba learned about it.

At a joint meeting of relevant defense-related committees of the
Liberal Democratic Party yesterday, a torrent of criticism about the
delay in contacting senior officials erupted. The harmful effect of
bureaucratic sectionalism that separates the internal bureaus from
the staff commands was pointed out.

12) Defense Ministry to replace MSDF chief of staff over Aegis ship
accident

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
February 21, 2008

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) has begun coordination on replacing as

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early as March Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) Chief of Staff
Eiji Yoshikawa, who is the top brass over the MSDF. The reasons lie
with the crescendo of criticism of MSDF over the collision accident
of an Aegis destroyer Atago with a fishing boat, and the subsequent
delay in reporting to upper levels of the government.

Chief of Staff Yoshikawa was appointed to his post in August 2006.
During his tenure last year, the incident of leakage of intelligence
on the Aegis was discovered. In addition, there have been a series
of unfortunate incidents in the MSDF, including the mistake in
recording the amount of fuel supplied by a supply ship in the Indian
Ocean, and then the cover up of the mistake, the fire aboard the
destroyer Shirane, and the mistaken destruction of ship logs. The
ministry is now coordinating on who will be his successor.

13) DPJ to demand resignation of Defense Minister Ishiba

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
February 21, 2008

In a press conference yesterday, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama sought the resignation of
Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba to take responsibility for the
collision between the Atago, an Aegis-equipped destroyer of the
Maritime Self-Defense Force, and a fishing boat. He said: "He should
resign as defense minister." Since the Japanese Communist Party,
Social Democratic Party, and People's New Party also appear to be
pursuing Ishiba on the collision incident, the defense minister's
responsibility might become an issue facing the ruling parties,
depending on the developments of investigations into the incident.

Hatoyama, in the press meeting yesterday in Shizuoka City, pointed
out the Aegis destroyer's delayed action to avoid the collision. He
also indicated that his party would soon call on Ishiba to quit his
post to take responsibility for the collision incident, saying:
"(Ishiba) should feel seriously responsible. It will be difficult
for him to remain in his post." SDP Chairperson Mizuho Fukushima
also said in a press briefing: "He should resign to take
responsibility for the serious incident."

When a mid-air collision occurred between an SDF fighter and ANA
plane over Shizukuishi in Iwate Prefecture in 1971 and the Nadashio,
a MSDF submarine, collided with the large-scale fishing boat No. 1
Fujimaru in 1988, the then Defense Agency chiefs stepped down from
their post. Therefore, the largest opposition party intends to step
up its pursuit of Ishiba.

14) Waves of criticism of Defense Ministry over Aegis collision

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
February 21, 2008

Yesterday the Defense Ministry came under criticism from the ruling
and opposition parties over its belated action following the
collision between the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis-equipped
destroyer and a fishing boat.

In a meeting yesterday of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's
National Defense Division, many participants said that Defense
Minister Shigeru Ishiba should immediately go to the scene of the
accident to hear from the family members of victims and those
involved in the fisheries cooperative. Many also criticized the

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MSDF's delay in reporting the collision to the Defense Ministry.
Former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike said: "Changing the
organization and the method of communication would be a waste of
time if rules are ignored."

One participant stressed: "A relationship of trust (with the
Self-Defense Forces) is needed for debate on a permanent law that
would allow the SDF's overseas dispatch."

In yesterday's LDP meeting, the Defense Ministry revealed that a
MSDF crewmember first saw the fishing boat 12 minutes before the two
vessles collided, not one minute before the collision. According to
individuals connected with the matter, this information was not
reported to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at the time when the meeting
ended at 6:30 p.m.

New Komeito Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa stated in a press
conference yesterday: "The Defense Ministry should take appropriate
action after shedding light on the truth."

Opposition parties are calling for the resignation of the defense
minister. Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama said in a press conference in Shizuoka City:
"The incident is serious. So it will be difficult for the defense
minister to retain his post in light of it. I personally think that
he should step down from his post." Social Democratic Party head
Mizuho Fukushima also said: "Ishiba should resign."

15) Defense Ministry to review rules to require immediate reporting
of incident and accident, reflecting on Aegis collision blunder

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 21, 2008

The Defense Ministry was slow to inform Defense Minister Ishiba of
the collision between a Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis-equipped
destroyer and a fishing boat, in violation of its internal rule.
Reflecting on this, the ministry decided yesterday to establish a
new communication system in times of emergency. The ministry has so
far focused mainly on cases involving security in setting up a
communication system, but it will establish new rules so that
information of an incident or an accident will also be immediately
given to the defense minister and the Prime Minister's Office.

Ishiba stressed in a meeting of the Liberal Democratic Party
yesterday: "I want to speed up work to overhaul the system of
communication within the ministry." The current rule on reporting of
an incident or an accident to the minister within one hour is
applied only in serious cases. Given this, the Defense Ministry
plans to review the existing rules, including widening the scope of
cases subject to the requirement of reporting to the minister, as
well as to require the immediate reporting of such cases.

In the Aegis collision case, it is likely that responsible officers
of the Maritime Staff Office and the Joint Staff were ignorant of
the existence of the internal rule pertaining to what response
should be taken when an accident occurs. The Defense Ministry will
also review its communication manual, which sets different systems
of communication from the Self-Defense Force and different
communication methods for different cases.

16) Aegis accident: Responsible senior Maritime Staff Office officer

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did not know about rule on reporting to defense minister within one
hour after accident

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 21, 2008

A senior officer of the Maritime Staff Office's Operations
Department responsible for dealing with accidents did not know the
existence of the Defense Ministry's internal rule requiring that if
a serious accident occurs, information be given directly to the
defense minister's secretary, not to a relevant internal division,
according to Defense Ministry officials yesterday. That was why it
took as much as one and a half hours until Defense Minister Shigeru
Ishiba learned of the collision between a Maritime Self-Defense
Force Aegis-equipped destroyer and a fishing vessel.

In the accident this time, since information was conveyed to the
defense minister's secretary by the Operations Section first and
then to the defense minister, Ishiba was informed of the accident
one and a half hours after it occurred.

When a Chinese atomic-powered submarine intruded into Japanese
territorial waters in November 2004, information from the Defense
Agency to the prime minister was delayed. Reflecting on this, the
Defense Agency worked out countermeasures. In September 2005, the
agency classified accidents into three categories according to
severity and specified to whom information of an accident should be
given first in each category. In the case of an accident classified
as the most serious accident, senior officers in the SDF department
concerned are required to let directly a secretary to the defense
minister know of the accident. But according to investigation by the
ministry, since the senior Operation Department officer did not know
about the rule, it was not followed. The rule also specifies that if
an accident takes place, information should be given to the defense
minister within one hour.

17) Question-and-answer session on Aegis ship accident set for
tomorrow in Lower House Security Committee

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
February 21, 2008

The Lower House Security Committee held a board of directors meeting
yesterday, in which both the ruling and opposition parties agreed to
(1) hold a question-and-answer session tomorrow toward Defense
Minister Ishiba and Foreign Minister Koumura, both of whom are to
deliver a policy speech today respectively; and (2) hold intensive
deliberations on Feb. 26 on reform of the Defense Ministry. The
recent collision of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis
destroyer and a fishing boat is expected to be put on the table for
discussion.

18) Japan-ROK summit: Prime minister to sound out Seoul on possible
resumption of EPA talks

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 21, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday decided to sound out Seoul on
the possibility of taking up three issues -- resuming the
Japan-U.S.-ROK Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group (TCOG) to
discuss North Korea, a bilateral Economic Partnership Agreement

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(EPA), and reciprocal visits between the top leaders of both
countries -- during a summit with the new South Korean president to
be held on the sidelines of his inauguration in Seoul. Those
activities have been suspended during the Roh Moo Hyun
administration.

Fukuda will leave Haneda Airport by government plane on the
afternoon of Feb. 24. He will attend President-elect Lee Myung Bak's
inauguration on the morning of the 25th and return home, after
holding a summit with him in the afternoon.

The TCOG is a bureau-director-level forum established in 1999 for
the purpose of Japan, the U.S. and South Korea cooperating on North
Korea policy, mainly its nuclear program. However, official talks
have not been held since June 2003.

That is because President Roh adopted a flexible policy toward
Pyongyang. However, Lee intends to make a policy turnabout to
strengthen ties among the three countries. Fukuda also intends to
work on Lee for an early resumption of the TCOG in cooperation with
the U.S.

EPA talks started in Dec. 2003. However, no talks have been held
since November 2004, following a confrontation that occurred during
talks to end tariffs.

Lee is expected to indicate during the summit his intention to visit
Japan at an early time. The prime minister will welcome a visit to
Japan.

Lee plans to visit the U.S. after a general election in the ROK on
Apr. 9 and then come to Japan. He is expected to adjust his schedule
to visit Japan with eye to late April.

19) Government to co-host climate meeting with U.S., coinciding with
G-8: EU, China and India expected to join

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
February 21, 2008

The government has started coordination with the possibility of
holding in conjunction with the G-8 Lake Toya Summit in Hokkaido in
July a meeting of major economies to discuss global warming,
involving more participants, such as China and India. Measures to
address global warming are a major part of the summit agenda. Japan
believes that more productive discussions would come about through
parallel talks involving leaders from major emitters of greenhouse
gas. It will co-host the envisaged meeting with the U.S. and aim at
taking the initiative in talks on a framework to replace the Kyoto
Protocol, which expires in 2012.

The planned meeting, regarding which participation of heads of state
will be considered, is a U.S.-led meeting of major economies to
address energy security and climate change. The Bush administration,
which has been viewed as negative toward efforts to combat climate
change, has come up with the initiative with the aim of exercising
its influence on the creation of a post-Kyoto Protocol framework.
The participants will include 16 countries, such as European
nations, the U.S., China and India, the European Union (EU) and the
UN. The 16 countries and regions account for approximately 80
PERCENT of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.


TOKYO 00000454 012 OF 012


The first meeting was held in Washington in September last year,
bringing together foreign ministers. Participants in the second
meeting, held in Hawaii in late January, agreed to hold a meeting of
heads of state in mid-2008.

SCHIEFFER

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