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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Secretary Rice's Visit

VZCZCXRO9384
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0527/01 0590613
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280613Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2091
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 6351
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8746
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4906
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6956
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0019
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1921
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2144
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7984
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8570
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000527

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 - SECRETARY RICE'S VISIT
TO TOKYO, AND NORTH KOREA'S NUCLEAR PROGRAM


1. LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers gave top
play to the admission by Vice Defense Minister Masuda
that top MSDF Staff Council officials questioned the
chief navigator of the destroyer involved in last
week's fatal collision with a trawler without prior
approval from the Japan Coast Guard.

2. "Time Ripe for Renewing Trilateral Coordination" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (2/28): "It is hoped
that the U.S.-Japan foreign ministerial yesterday
forged a sufficient consensus on not just the
reconstruction of bilateral relations through specific
measures but also on enhanced coordination among the
U.S., Japan, and South Korea, all of whom share similar
values. While close coordination among the three is
indispensable for dealing with North Korea and
promoting regional security in Northeast Asia, such
coordination suffered a major setback under former ROK
President Roh, due to his conciliatory approach toward
North Korea. It is high time to reconstruct trilateral
coordination.... Secretary of State Rice reiterated the
U.S. position of calling on North Korea to provide a
complete and accurate declaration of its plutonium,
uranium enrichment, and nuclear proliferation. However,
she should be reminded that easily delisting the DPRK
as a state sponsor of terrorism would inflict serious
damage on the relationship of trust between the U.S.
and Japan."

3. "Constant Efforts Reinforce U.S.-Japan Alliance" The
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri argued in an
editorial (2/28): "Close dialogue and constant efforts
are imperative to maintain the U.S.-Japan alliance.
Secretary of State Rice's visit to Tokyo is an example

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of such efforts.... Before coming to Japan, the
Secretary requested during a ministerial with her

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Chinese counterpart in Beijing that China use every
means of influence it has over North Korea. As Japan
strives to establish a mutually beneficial strategic
relationship with China, it also needs to intensify
pressure on Beijing. Pressing China, which is rapidly
becoming a superpower, into taking responsible actions
as a member of the international community is a
strategic agenda item for the U.S.-Japan alliance."

4. "DPRK Should Swiftly Move into Nuclear-Free New
World" The liberal Mainichi opined (2/28): "During a
speech in January, U.S. Special Envoy for Human Rights
in North Korea Jay Lefkowitz referred to the need to
review U.S. policy on the DPRK in view of Pyongyang's
delay in denuclearization. While Secretary Rice
dismissed the call, saying that Lefkowitz is not
familiar with the status of the six-party talks, such
disarray within the administration makes us nervous. We
wonder whether the U.S. is fully aware of Japan's
position, with Tokyo facing a direct threat from North
Korea's missiles and nuclear program. Through her
meetings with top Japanese officials on Wednesday,
Secretary Rice was reminded of Japan's concern. The

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Bush administration is expected to take advantage of
the historic concert in Pyongyang by the New York
Philharmonic to demonstrate its strong resolve to
denuclearize North Korea while President Bush is still
in office."

TOKYO 00000527 002 OF 002

SCHIEFFER

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