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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 02/26/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 000505

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 02/26/08

INDEX:

(1) Japan has high expectations for President Lee's "pragmatic
diplomacy" (Mainichi)

(2) Japan-South Korea summit gives momentum to resuming EPA
negotiations (Yomiuri)

(3) Japan, Australia start EPA negotiations in Tokyo (Yomiuri)

(4) All municipal assemblies in Okinawa to adopt resolution of
protest against recent alleged rape of junior high school girl by
U.S. Marine (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(5) U.S. military in Okinawa to continue a 24-hour ban on leaving
base until March 3 (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(6) Foreign Minister Koumura: Government's preventive measures
tentative; Okamoto stresses need to educate U.S. military personnel
so that there is zero-crime rate; Gabe points out important for
government to recognize crimes in entire U.S. military (Okinawa
Times)

(7) Okinawa calls on gov't to stop 3 surveys in Futenma relocation
prelim study (Okinawa Times)

(8) What is Fukuda administration's environmental diplomacy? (Part 3
-conclusion): Need for debate on balance of work and life (Asahi)

(9) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, Aegis accident,
LDP-DPJ grand coalition (Sankei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Japan has high expectations for President Lee's "pragmatic
diplomacy"

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
February 26, 2008

The first summit meeting between Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has paved the way for resuming
reciprocal visits, which have been on hold since the former Koizumi
administration, ushering a new age for Japan-South Korea relations.
Japanese government and political leaders have high hopes for the
new South Korean administration, which is exhibiting a harder stance
toward North Korea than the previous administration.

In their first summit meeting, Prime Minister Fukuda and President
Lee confirmed their intention to build a new, future-oriented era in
Japan-South Korea relations. This is not the first time that the top
leaders of the two countries have discussed such a plan. Similar
words were exchanged five years ago when then Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi held a meeting with President Roh Moo Hyun
immediately after his inauguration. Although it was welcomed as an
indication of Roh's stance attaching importance to Japan, relations
between the two countries have strained since then.

On the installment of a conservative administration in South Korea
after a hiatus of ten years, a senior Foreign Ministry official said
with deep emotion, "A true new era has opened in Japan-ROK
relations." A large number of Japanese political and business

TOKYO 00000505 002 OF 013


leaders also attended Lee's inauguration apparently out of
expectations for change. They are hopeful that Lee, a former
businessman, can bring true change to South Korea, drawing a
distinction from Roh, who brought his own visions into foreign
policy by presenting himself as president with the common touch.

In November 2005, then President Roh presented the Yasukuni,
historical, and the so-called wartime comfort women issues to then
Prime Minister Koizumi apparently in an effort to impress the South
Korean public with his hard-line stance toward Japan. The
relationship between Tokyo and Seoul has estranged as a result.

At the same time, the number of travelers between the two countries
is nearly 5 million annually owing to the waves of economic
investment and cultural exchanges, including the Korean cultural
boom. The Japanese government is hopeful that the wave of popular
diplomacy will spill over to intergovernmental talks due to the Lee
administration's pragmatic diplomacy.

The resumption of reciprocal visits by top leaders of Japan and
South Korea is a symbol of that. President Lee's visit to Japan in
late April, Prime Minister Fukuda's another trip to South Korea
within this year, Fukuda's invitation of Lee to the G8 Lake Toya
Summit in July are all indented to strengthen the foundation for
political relations of the two countries.

Specific discussion may give rise to disputes

"You are the first guest (for me to see as president)," President
Lee said at the outset of his meeting with Fukuda. The comment
indicated that the two countries have returned to relations in which
both regard each other as special. President Lee can get credit from
the normalization of Japan-South Korea relations, which have
constantly been marked with disputes. The Lee administration also
wants to actively use a friendly mood with Japan for the general
election in April.

Nevertheless, discussion of specifics might result in policy debate
in South Korea. That is because the Grand National Party led by Lee
is in center-right sandwiched by two conservative and progressive
parties.

For instance, the Japanese media reported on Feb. 22 that Fukuda and
Lee were likely to reach an agreement to resume the talks on an
economic partner ship agreement (EPA). The South Korean Foreign and
Trade Ministry rebutted it in a press release on the same day. The
press release clarified South Korea's basic position that the talks
can be resumed if Japan has wishes to make improvements, listing
topics for discussion, such as a review of the standards for opening
up the agricultural market.

Lee won the election for being strong in economics. Making major
concessions on the economic front would directly drag down his
support rate. Although an agreement has been reached on holding
preliminary talks for resuming the EPA talks, discussion of
specifics has been postponed until after the general election. Once
detailed discussion beings, a dispute might result in.

Further, gaps seem to exist in views between Tokyo and Seoul on
enhancing cooperative ties between Japan, the United States, and
South Korea. After the summit, Japanese authorities noted that
President Lee had referred to strengthening bilateral ties. The

TOKYO 00000505 003 OF 013


South Korean side did not mention this part, however.

Before its inauguration, the Lee administration received a strong
protest from China in January. Lee has given consideration to China,
as seen in the fact that he always touches on "cooperation between
Japan, China, and South Korea" when he refers to "cooperation
between Japan, the United States, and South Korea." In his inaugural
address, President Lee said that South Korea will strengthen ties
not only with the United States but also with Japan, China, Russia,
and Central Asian countries. President Lee is expected to continue
giving consideration to those countries until the foundation of his
administration becomes stable.

Rebuilding cooperative ties in policy toward North Korea

The Japanese government welcomes Lee's inauguration, thinking that
Japan, the United States, and South Korea will be able to rebuild
close trilateral relations in policy toward North Korea.

A Japanese source familiar with Japan-DPRK talks took this view
regarding the former Roh administration, which put high priority on
reconciliation between the South and North:

"South Korea placed disproportionate weight on support for North
Korea without any quid pro quo. That has strained relations between
Japan and the United States. Disarray between Japan, the United
States, and South Korea has encouraged the North's brinkmanship."

President Lee, on the other hand, has made it clear that the
denuclearization of the North should come first, while revealing his
intention to continue with humanitarian and economic aid to the
North. A senior Japanese Foreign Ministry official doe not think
that President Lee will take reconciliatory policy unilaterally.
Tokyo intends to enhance cooperative ties with South Korea within
the six-party framework.

Japan held TCOG (Trilateral Coordination and Oversight Group)
meeting with the United States and South Korea as necessary to
coordinate policy toward the North. The group has not met since
2003. Japan intends to reinforce cooperative ties by, for instance,
rebuilding TCOG.

Tokyo also wants to obtain Seoul's close cooperation under President
Lee on the issue of Japanese abducted by North Korea. In his meeting
with Fukuda, Lee said: "I am well aware of the (abduction) issue. I
would like to cooperate for resolving the issue." The South Korean
government has defined the abduction issue as one humanitarian
issue. Attention is now focused on how far the South Korean
government will change that stance.

(2) Japan-South Korea summit gives momentum to resuming EPA
negotiations

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
February 26, 2008

Following the meeting held yesterday between new South Korean
President Lee Myung Bak and Prime Minister Fukuda, the governments
of Japan and South Korea kicked off efforts to resume negotiations
on concluding an economic partnership agreement (EPA), which have
been suspended since November 2004. Japan has largely lagged behind
other countries in competing to sign EPAs. By quickly reopening EPA

TOKYO 00000505 004 OF 013


talks with South Korea, Japan hopes to catch up with the U.S. and
Europe in the EPA race. In South Korea, however, some persons are
cautious about a strengthening of relations with Japan. Given this
situation, negotiations may not go smoothly.

Yearly growing trade value

The value of trade between Japan and South Korea has been growing
yearly, topping 9 trillion yen in 2006. However, since Japan has had
a trade surplus with South Korea for years, some South Koreans are
worried that if the two countries sign an EPA, their country's trade
deficit with Japan might swell further.

South Korea has imposed an 8 PERCENT tariff on imported automobiles
and precision machinery in a bid to protect its domestic markets.
The ratio of tariff-free products to all industrial products is
about 77 PERCENT in Japan and about 38 PERCENT in South Korea.
Some people in South Korea are alarmed that a removal of tariffs in
more sectors may lead to a sharp increase in imports from Japan.

In past negotiations, South Korea called on Japan to significantly
raise its 24 PERCENT tariff-abolition rate in the agricultural
sector. There are also such political issues as school textbooks
pending between the two countries. These factors reportedly were
behind the suspension of EPA negotiations.

Sense of alarm in Japan

Japan is now eager to reopen talks with South Korea on an EPA just
after the new administration was inaugurated there, because Japan
has largely lagged behind the U.S., Europe, and South Korea in
competition over EPAs. South Korea has promoted EPA negotiations
with other countries while negotiations with Japan have been up in
the air. In April 2007, Seoul concluded the negotiations with the
U.S. In EPA negotiations with the European Union (EU), observers
anticipate that South Korea will soon reach an agreement.

Now that no progress has been made in the new round of global trade
talks (Doha Round) under the World Trade Organization (WTO), the
U.S. and Europe have placed importance on bilateral economic
relations. Asian countries are also stepping up efforts to conclude
EPAs. The EU has imposed high tariffs on autos and flat-screen
televisions. Japanese manufacturers are concerned that they might
sustain a disadvantage in competition for exports to the EU if the
EU builds a trade partnership with South Korea.

Expectations and concerns

There are many South Korean companies that process components and
intermediate products imported from Japan and export such processed
products to third countries. If Japan and South Korea concludes an
EPA, the prices of components and intermediate products from Japan
will come down, and eventually "the products made in South Korea and
exported to third countries will become more competitive," a South
Korean trader said. Further, moves may gain momentum for a
partnership to be formed in wide-ranging areas, such as steel,
autos, and home electric appliances.

Meanwhile, some South Korean companies voice concerns about an
increase in imported home appliances and autos from Japan if an EPA
is concluded between South Korea and Japan. Now that the South
Korean auto industry has the dominant market share, automakers are

TOKYO 00000505 005 OF 013


wary of Japanese cars bolstering their price competitiveness.

The Japanese and South Korean leaders agreed to hold preliminary
talks in preparation for resuming EPA negotiations. But it remains
to be seen whether both sides will be able to begin full-scale
negotiations while anti-Japanese feelings still persist in South
Korea.

(3) Japan, Australia start EPA negotiations in Tokyo

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
February 26, 2008

The governments of Japan and Australia started the fourth round of
talks on an economic partnership agreement (EPA), designed to
abolish tariffs, in Tokyo yesterday. They mark the first EPA talks
between the two countries the new Australian administration was
launched last December.

In the talks yesterday, Japan requested that such mainstay products
as rice, wheat, beef, dairy products, and sugar be placed outside
the scope of subjects for negotiations in the agricultural sector.
In past negotiations, Australia continued to turn down the request.
The focus of attention is on to what extent both sides will make
concessions. In the ongoing talks, Japan and Australia will also
discuss energy and mineral resources, besides goods and services.
The talks are scheduled to last until Feb. 29.

(4) All municipal assemblies in Okinawa to adopt resolution of
protest against recent alleged rape of junior high school girl by
U.S. Marine

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 26, 2008

The number of municipal assemblies in 38 cities, towns, and villages
in Okinawa Prefecture that adopted a resolution of protest or a
request against the recent alleged rape of a junior high school girl
in Okinawa, which occurred in the central area of the main Okinawa
island, came to 38 as of Feb. 25. Today, the Kumejima Town Assembly
and the Zamami Village Assembly will adopt a resolution of protest
and a request. With the Minami Daito Village Assembly expected to
adopt a resolution of protest at its special session on Feb. 28, all
the municipal assemblies in addition to the prefectural assembly
will come to adopt a resolution of protest against the incident.

The Liaison Council for the Okinawa Children's Associations and the
Federation of Women's Associations in Okinawa plan to stage a
prefectural rally in protest against the incident. Riding on the
strength of the ongoing move by municipal assemblies in the
prefecture to adopt a resolution of protest, they will ask the
prefectural assembly to play a leading part in staging a supraparty
rally.

Most resolutions of protest call for making apologies to and
compensation for the victims, strengthening the disciplines among
the U.S. military personnel and paramilitary personnel and measures
to prevent a recurrence of similar incident, and reviewing the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. Many municipal assemblies,
such as Naha City, Itoman City, and Motobu Town, have called for
scaling down the U.S. military facilities. The Yomitan Village
Assembly has adopted a request insisting on even a removal of the

TOKYO 00000505 006 OF 013


bases on the ground that every time an incident took place, it
protested against U.S. military authorities and demanded that the
U.S. tighten the disciplines among its military personnel, but no
positive effect has been produced."

As for a prefectural rally, the Liaison Council for the Okinawa
Children's Associations, the Federation of Women's Association in
Okinawa, the Prefectural Federations of Elderly Clubs, the
Prefectural Federation of Parent-Teacher Associations of Senior High
Schools, the Association to Discuss Youth, and the Prefectural
Council of Youth Organizations will meet today and decide on the
date and the venue for a prefectural rally. Afterwards, Tetsuei
Tamayose, chair of the Liaison Council for the Okinawa Children's
Associations and others will call at the prefectural assembly and
present to it a petition asking it to stage a prefectural rally
under its leadership.

(5) U.S. military in Okinawa to continue a 24-hour ban on leaving
base until March 3

RYUKU SHIMPO (Page 31) (Full)
February 26, 2008

In response to the alleged rape of a junior high school girl by a
U.S. Marine, a ban on leaving the bases or an order commanding
confinement to quarters has been imposed on all United States
military personnel in Japan as a "period of reflection." Regarding
this ban, the U.S. Marines in Okinawa yesterday revealed that as a
result of consultations on Feb. 24 between Lt. Gen. Richard Zilmer,
the top commander of U.S. forces in Okinawa, and other leading
officers, the ban will be continued at least until March 3, when
Zilmer and other representatives of the U.S. military in Okinawa
will reexamine the situation and decide what to do about the ban.

On February 24, Zilmer and leaders of the U.S. military in Okinawa
discussed the effects and impact of the "period of reflection." As a
result, they decided to continue the confinement order unless
otherwise instructed. Leaders of the U.S. military in Okinawa will
continue to discuss the question of whether to strengthen the
disciplines among the U.S. military service members in Okinawa
unless otherwise instructed.

According to a press officer of the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa,
Zilmer noted: "Leaders of the U.S. military (in Okinawa) need to
instruct most (U.S. military personnel) to behave as if they are a
U.S. ambassador. We encourage the U.S. service members and their
families to continue to use facilities within the bases."

The Naha District Court has allowed the prefectural police to hold
in custody until March 3 Tyrone Hadnot (38), the U.S. Marine
arrested and investigated by the Okinawa Prefectural Police on the
charge that he raped a school girl.

(6) Foreign Minister Koumura: Government's preventive measures
tentative; Okamoto stresses need to educate U.S. military personnel
so that there is zero-crime rate; Gabe points out important for
government to recognize crimes in entire U.S. military

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
February 25, 2008

Appearing on an NHK program on the morning of Feb. 24, Foreign

TOKYO 00000505 007 OF 013


Minister Masahiko Koumura stated on the government's preventive
measures worked out after a series of sexual assaults on Okinawan
girls by U.S. military members: "These are stopgap measures and I
don't think they are sufficient. Really effective disciplinary steps
and preventive measures will have to be worked out" He stressed that
the government would continue looking into measures in the future as
well.

Asked about growing critical views of U.S. military personnel and
others living off base following the series of incidents, the
foreign minister indicated that the government would respond to the
issue by reviewing the conditions. He said:

"We are not thinking that the U.S. service personnel should not live
outside their bases. I think (local residents) want the government
to show there are clear qualifications for U.S. military personnel
to live off base."

Yukio Okamoto, an advisor on international issues, and Masaaki Gabe,
professor at Ryukyu University also appeared on the NHK program.

Okamoto pointed out:

"There are more than 20,000 U.S. military servicemen in Okinawa
alone. The scale is almost the same as a city, which has the
population of several tens of thousands. Some in the U.S. military
say that they will try to prevent crimes but it is impossible to
completely prevent them. But they are wrong."

Okamoto also underscored, saying:

"Whenever U.S. commanders change, discipline (among American troops)
becomes lax. Each commander has to educate his service personnel
that eliminating incidents and accidents is as important as
maintaining security in East Asia."

Prof. Gabe said:

"I wonder how much (the government) recognizes crimes in the whole
U.S. military and in bases in Japan. Without knowing such
circumstances, it is probably impossible to (eliminate crimes
committed by U.S. military personnel) outside the bases alone."

Referring to an impact on the realignment of U.S. forces Japan, Gabe
pointed out:

"The plan to reorganize U.S. forces in Japan was worked out from
military viewpoint. However, the series of recent incidents have
brought up an issue that how political and social costs (of U.S.
bases in Okinawa) should be paid.

Gabe took a view that the USFJ realignment plan should be revised.

(7) Okinawa calls on gov't to stop 3 surveys in Futenma relocation
prelim study

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 26, 2008

The assembly of Okinawa Prefecture continued a question-and-answer
session yesterday afternoon, during which Kenji Chinen, director
general of Okinawa Prefecture's Cultural and Environmental Affairs

TOKYO 00000505 008 OF 013


Department, noted that the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Defense Bureau
conducted three preliminary surveys without the prefectural
government's consent in waters off Henoko Point in the prefecture's
northern coastal city of Nago for the planned relocation of the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma airfield. Chinen stated that the Okinawa
Defense Bureau, in its preliminary study of the relocation site's
environs, used piles at the dugong's seaweed bed, carried out a
baseline survey over coral reefs, and cited the "manta method"
(diving probe) to survey the distribution of coral reefs. "We have
requested the Okinawa Defense Bureau to stop these surveys," Chinen
added. He was replying to a question asked by Yoshikazu, an
independent member of the assembly.

(8) What is Fukuda administration's environmental diplomacy? (Part 3
-conclusion): Need for debate on balance of work and life

ASAHI (Page 17) (Abridged)
February 7, 2008

(From the fifth panel discussion of the Asahi Shimbun's Council to
Discuss Asahi Shimbun News Reports.)

Kunio Kojima, council member: The Fukuda cabinet has been described
as not being enthusiastic about pushing structural reform amid
falling stock prices since the beginning of the year.

The Asahi dealt with the government-adopted streamlining plan for
independent administrative agencies in its Dec. 28 morning edition
under the caption, "Don't allow bureaucrats to run away after
gaining what they want." Its point of view was appropriate, but the
time when the editorial appeared was not good, because the problem
was then generally being resolved. I wanted to read such an
editorial earlier.

The Asahi looked at reform of independent administrative agencies
from the viewpoint of a feud within the cabinet in its article on
Dec. 20 under the caption, "Prime minister to make decision on
reform of independent administrative agencies." But such a point of
view is apparently trivializing the problem. The real problem lies
in bureaucrats' awareness of defending themselves.

In connection with drastic reform of the National Civil Service
System, the Asahi was quick to report on Prime Minister Fukuda's
advisory panel's proposal banning in principle contacts between
public servants other than those for political affairs and Diet
members. Reform of the National Civil Service System is a very
important theme in view of structural reform. I hope the daily will
follow up the developments.

Junichi Takahashi, editor for economic policy: In the Koizumi
administration days, structural reform produced some results in
terms of slicing the bloated bureaucracy. I was interested in how
such reform was going under the Fukuda administration. The Asahi in
its Dec. 13 edition under the caption, "Deregulation clouded," dealt
with the state of the Council for the Promotion of Regulatory
Reform. Bureaucrats in Kasumigaseki appear to be backpedaling on
structural reform. The Asahi will keep tabs on such moves.

Tetsuya Kumaoka, member of the council: When it comes to the
subprime mortgage issue, the initial interest rates were set low,
but they jumped two or three years later. I think what is happening
now would have been predictable to some extent. Once a problem

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emerges, an article analyzing it is important, but I want to read
news reports written from a long-term perspective, as well.

With the ongoing globalization of the economic and financial
systems, a collapse of one system could lead to chain-reaction
damage via bond markets across the world. Other countries took the
subprime issue seriously and have come out with measures since last
fall, but the Japanese government remains slow to deal with the
issue. I want the daily to delve into this point.

Nobuyuki Sugiura, editor for industrial and banking affairs: Some
economists had previously predicted that the damage from the
subprime issue could spread worldwide. The Asahi has dealt with
America's trends and bubble economy in terms of structural aspects
in its weekly column "The changing economy" and an article that
appeared in December under the caption, "Subprime crisis." As for
matters that may affect people's livelihoods, such as stock prices
and interest rates, we want to carefully write an outlook focusing
on what will come next and what effects there will be.

Sanae Ariga, council member: The Asahi took up the balance of work
and life in its Dec. 31 editorial titled "10 proposals for a society
full of hope," and advised men to stop "working overtime" and
instead have greater latitude and be sensible. I expect debate to
proceed with an eye on how to be professional in this context.

Kenichi Miyata, deputy editor in chief: On the question of balancing
work and life, one difficult point is how to keep corporate
competitiveness and increase productivity with employees heading
home without working overtime.

(9) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, Aegis accident,
LDP-DPJ grand coalition

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
February 26, 2008

Questions & Answers

(Note) Figures shown in percentage. Figures in parentheses denote
the results of the last survey conducted Jan. 13-14.

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 28.7 (36.6)
No 52.2 (47.3)
Don't know (D/K) + Can't say which (CSW) 19.1 (16.1)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 27.8 (32.1)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 25.3 (25.0)
New Komeito (NK) 5.2 (4.0)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 1.9 (3.5)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.6 (2.1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.5 (0.6)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.2 (0.3)
Other answers (O/A) 1.0 (0.9)
None 35.0 (30.6)
D/K + Can't say (C/S) 1.5 (0.9)

Q: Do you appreciate Prime Minister Fukuda and his government on the

TOKYO 00000505 010 OF 013


following points?

Economic policy
Yes 15.3 (17.0)
No 69.9 (64.7)
D/K+CSW 14.8 (18.3)

Foreign policy
Yes 23.6 (30.9)
No 57.2 (48.8)
D/K+CSW 19.2 (20.3)

Response to pension issues
Yes 20.8 (28.0)
No 69.0 (64.0)
D/K+CSW 10.2 (8.0)

Response to food safety problems
Yes 22.9
No 60.6
D/K+CSW 16.5

Response to incidents caused by U.S. military personnel
Yes 16.8
No 70.0
D/K+CSW 13.2

Response to Maritime Self-Defense Force Aegis destroyer's collision
with fishing boat
Yes 11.6
No 76.1
D/K+CSW 12.3

Q: What do you think about Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba's
responsibility over the recent collision of an MSDF Aegis destroyer
with a fishing boat?

He should resign right away to take responsibility 6.5
He should resign when ready to come up with preventive steps 32.0
He should continue to do his job, such as overhauling the Defense
Ministry, without resigning 59.5
D/K+C/S 2.0

Q: Do you support a "grand coalition" of the LDP and the DPJ?

Yes 30.5 (33.7)
No 50.8 (54.6)
D/K+CSW 18.7 (11.7)

Q: Do you hope to see political realignment in the near future?

Yes 58.9
No 33.2
D/K+CSW 7.9

Q: The Fukuda cabinet has taken over almost all of the former Abe
cabinet's ministers. Do you think Prime Minister Fukuda should
shuffle his cabinet substantially at an early date?

Yes 48.9 (44.0)
No 41.5 (51.1)
D/K+CSW 9.6 (4.9)

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Q: When would you like the House of Representatives to hold its next
election?

During the first half of this year 17.6 (23.6)
After this July's G-8 summit in Japan and during the latter half of
this year 45.3 (45.9)
Upon the current term's expiry or next year 34.0 (29.0)
D/K+C/S 3.1 (1.5)

Q: How long do you think the Fukuda government will continue?

Until around the next election for the House of Representatives 49.1
(46.7)
Until the fall of next year 33.6 (34.0)
Continue until after the fall of next year 13.6 (15.8)
D/K+C/S 3.7 (3.5)

Q: What's your impression of Prime Minister Fukuda on the following
points?

Friendly
Yes 34.2
No 61.9
D/K+CSW 3.9

Political clout
Yes 24.8
No 65.0
D/K+CSW 10.2

His own imprint
Yes 19.3
No 68.9
D/K+CSW 11.8

Too bad he cannot carry out his policies because the Diet is
divided
Yes 49.0
No 43.9
D/K+CSW 7.1

Prime Minister Fukuda is trustworthy as Japan's leader
Yes 16.1
No 72.4
D/K+CSW 11.5

Q: What do you think or do about food safety on the following
points?

Try to use "China free" products
Yes 88.3
No 9.4
D/K+CSW 2.3

Restrict food imports from China
Yes 87.8
No 9.3
D/K+CSW 2.9

Q: What do you think about the rate of provisional taxation on
gasoline?

TOKYO 00000505 012 OF 013

Continue the provisional tax for local roads 7.7
Review the provisional tax's period and rate for continuation 58.1
Abolish the provisional tax, given the high price of crude oil and
other factors 32.1
D/K+CSW 2.1

Q: Do you appreciate the following cabinet ministers and governors?

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura
Yes 29.5
No 51.1
D/K+CSW 19.4

Financial Services Minister Yoshimi Watanabe
Yes 41.2
No 36.9
D/K+CSW 21.9

Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama
Yes 16.7
No 68.8
D/K+CSW 14.5

Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe
Yes 72.3
No 18.4
D/K+CSW 9.3

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura
Yes 35.0
No 40.2
D/K+CSW 24.8

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba
Yes 43.1
No 40.8
D/K+CSW 16.1

Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba
Yes 14.1
No 67.3
D/K+CSW 18.6

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
Yes 21.5
No 65.3
D/K+CSW 13.2

Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Yes 57.0
No 33.2
D/K+CSW 9.8

Former LDP Secretary General Taro Aso
Yes 52.9
No 26.9
D/K+CSW 20.2

DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa
Yes 26.5
No 58.2

TOKYO 00000505 013 OF 013


D/K+CSW 15.3

Osaka Gov. Tohru Hashimoto
Yes 42.5
No 27.9
D/K+CSW 29.6

Miyazaki Gov. Hideo Higashikokubaru
Yes 85.2
No 7.9
D/K+CSW 6.9

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Feb. 23-24 by the
Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among males and females,
aged 20 and over, across the nation.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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