Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 02/29/08

DE RUEHKO #0543/01 0600818
P 290818Z FEB 08





E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Okinawa Prefecture calls for several-year environmental impact
assessment of Futenma relocation site (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(2) Okinawa likely to approve environmental assessment next month
for Futenma relocation; Panel finishes discussion on additional
data, calls for multiple-year dugong survey; Prefectural opinion to
be sent to Okinawa Defense Bureau (Okinawa Times)

(3) Municipalities to be informed about removal of all PCB from U.S.
bases in Japan when removal process completed; Details unknown until
next January (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(4) Japanese security guards carry guns outside U.S. bases: Request
to end practice not complied with; U.S. military gave false reply to
defense bureau? (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(5) Okinawa gearing up for rally to protest sexual assault by U.S.
Marine on schoolgirl, with resolutions adopted by prefectural
assembly, all municipal governments (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(6) Okinawa adopts protest resolutions against alleged U.S. Marine's
rape of junior school girl; "Let's make Okinawa's voice known to
Japanese and U.S. governments (Okinawa Times)

(7) Cases involving U.S. military personnel: In four cases, U.S.
service members not indicted by Japan but three indicted by U.S. and
found guilty in military trial (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(8) MSDF's lying nature exposed by recent Aegis destroyer collision

(9) Aegis accident: "Baby birds" syndrome must be corrected (Asahi)

(10) FTC to cooperate with other government agencies in cracking
down on illegal business practices (Nikkei)


(1) Okinawa Prefecture calls for several-year environmental impact
assessment of Futenma relocation site

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
February 29, 2008

The Okinawa Prefectural Government's environmental impact assessment
council, chaired by Ryukyu University Honorable Professor Seikou
Tsukayama, and its environment policy division finalized in its

meeting last evening an opinion paper on the environmental impact
assessment of the site of relocation for the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station. The Okinawa Defense Bureau has rewritten its
document concerning procedures for conducting the assessment. The
paper compiled by the prefecture will be submitted to the Defense
Bureau. The opinion paper calls on the Defense Bureau to also take
measures that are not listed in the revised document, such as a
measure to take several years for the assessment of the impact on
the dugong's ecological system and of other environmental effects,
as well as to specify the form of flight training over villages. In
the meeting, participants also decided to ask the Defense Bureau to
disclose what items will be assessed and how the assessment will be
made just before the start of the assessment, in order to confirm

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that the assessment will be made in accordance with the prefecture's

The items cited for the assessment are expected to total about 100.
The prefecture also pointed out many defects in the new documents
written in response to the governor's suggestion.

The prefecture intends to submit the opinion paper to the Defense
Bureau early next week. The bureau has said to the prefecture that
it will publicize the assessment method and items once again in
response to its request. Regarding the request for taking several
years for the assessment, however, the bureau is likely to stop
short of mentioning it, because it is speeding up the procedure for
translating the transfer plan into practice.

Even if the Defense Bureau launches the assessment without
reflecting the prefecture's views, the prefecture will not be able
to stop the assessment until the stage of screening a preparatory

The prefecture called in its opinion paper for researching the
dugong, seagrasses, and the Sterna hirundo over a several years. On
the dugong, the paper proposes increasing the number of days for the
assessment and clarifying what type of research equipment will be
used and where the equipment will be installed. The paper also
suggests that the survey should be conducted one hour after the sun
rises and one hour before the sunset. The new document by the
Defense Bureau notes that it is difficult to specify the form of
flight training over villages, but the paper calls for giving it
specific form.

(2) Okinawa likely to approve environmental assessment next month
for Futenma relocation; Panel finishes discussion on additional
data, calls for multiple-year dugong survey; Prefectural opinion to
be sent to Okinawa Defense Bureau

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Full)
February 29, 2008

In connection with additional adjustment data on an outline of
details of the planned environmental impact assessment, required in
building a replacement facility for the U.S. Futenma Air Station in
Okinawa, the prefecture environmental assessment council, chaired by
Professor Emeritus Seiko Tsukayama of the University of the Ryukyus,
yesterday issued a report (urging the government) to survey noise
levels and low-frequency sounds by using actual aircraft and to
conduct a multiple-year survey on dugongs in nearby waters. As the
next step, the Okinawa prefectural government will in early March
send "Okinawa's views" on the additional adjustment data to the
Okinawa Defense Bureau. After receiving the views, the bureau will
determine the outline of the assessment and re-announce it. The
prefectural government is expected to approve the assessment as
early as March.

The Okinawa Defense Bureau initially planned to conduct a wintertime
assessment in February. The possibility has become strong that this
will be postponed to December this year.

The council discussed 86 cases in 24 items in a collection of views
in Okinawa that put together opinions in Nago City and Ginoza
Village on the additional adjustment data. Of them, council members
expressed their views on 53 cases.

TOKYO 00000543 003 OF 013

The report calls for steps to avoid or reduce an impact on the
environment by, for instance, abolishing the plan to build service
yards on large expanses of reclaimed land or by building yards on a
reclaimed area for the replacement facility.

About aircraft noise and low-frequency sounds, the report points out
the need to clarify the specific form of flight training over
residential areas, concluding that aircraft could fly over
residential areas depending on the formation of aircraft. In
consideration of possible effects on dugongs, the report also calls
for setting several survey and observation points on the surface and
under the sea off the Henoko and Kayo districts.

The paper further urges the government to actually fly the aircraft
that are planned to be used at the replacement facility in order to
find out noise levels after undertaking coordination with Nago City
and Ginoza Village that are close to the replacement facility, as
well as with the prefectural government. It also underlines the need
to observe and assess the environment at spots as far offshore as
possible, including points mentioned in Nago's plan.

The prefectural environment policy division has had the council wind
up its discussion, on the grounds that it has thoroughly discussed
the additional adjustment data. The division also revealed a plan to
finalize the prefecture's views and convey them to the Okinawa
Defense Bureau as early as next week.

The bureau plans to determine the outline of the assessment after
giving thought to the prefectural views and then re-announce the
assessment. The environment policy division pointed to the
possibility that the assessment would start before the end of March,
indicating that the prefectural government would approve the
requested assessment after the public announcement.

(3) Municipalities to be informed about removal of all PCB from U.S.
bases in Japan when removal process completed; Details unknown until
next January

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
February 29, 2008


The United States Forces Japan (USFJ) has informed the Japanese
government that it will be removing in February Japanese-made
polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) from its bases across Japan,
including Okinawa, to the U.S. mainland. However, it was learned
yesterday that the USFJ will not notify municipalities of the action
until after the removal process completes.

When asked about whether the removal operation has continued in
February, the Ministry of Environment (MOE), the supervisory agency
of the removal, stated that it cannot answer the question, in part
due to the USFJ's convenience. MOE stated that it has not notified
any affected municipalities about the removal. The USFJ has now
indicated that it will continue the removal process until next Jan.
9. This implies that nothing will be clarified before the ongoing
removal process across the country is completed.

When the similar removals were carried out in (Okinawa) Prefecture,
the municipalities involved called for disclosing detailed

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information about the removals, including a notice that would be
issued immediately before the start of the removal process.

According to MOE, what is going to be removed this time from the
U.S. military facilities is PCB material contained in Japanese-made
transformers and other devices. Extracted PCB will be carried out of
the bases based on the type of transformer. Nothing has been made
clear as to the exact amount of PCB to be removed, the details of
the removal process, and the times of removals.

Asked why the USFJ refrains from giving a notice immediately before
the removal process begins or giving an ex post facto notice every
time each removal is completed, a USFJ spokesperson said: "Because
PCB is a harmful substance, we need to manage with strict safety."

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the U.S. usually bans
materials containing foreign-manufactured PCB from entering its
soil, but at times it sets a timeframe for such materials to be
brought in from abroad. The applicable timeframe this time is set at
one year starting on Jan. 7. The previous one was set from April 18,
2003 through April 17, 2004. During that period, the removed
materials were brought out of Okinawa by sea on Aug. 15, 2003 and
April 10, 2004.

(4) Japanese security guards carry guns outside U.S. bases: Request
to end practice not complied with; U.S. military gave false reply to
defense bureau?

RYUKY SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
February 29, 2008

Japanese security guards serving at U.S. military bases in Okinawa
Prefecture went outside the bases carrying guns loaded with real
bullets on Feb. 11 and 12 at the order of the commander of the
military-police unit of the U.S. Marine Corps. Regarding this issue,
it was found on Feb. 28 that when a labor management officer of the
Okinawa Defense Bureau visited the Okinawa-based U.S. Marine Corps
foreign area unit (G-5) on the 13 after the incident, the deputy G-5
chief did not pass on the fact that the incident already took place,
saying, "That practice is not being carried out at the moment," a
statement that can be taken as a false report. It has also been
revealed that the Okinawa Defense Bureau had asked the U.S. side in
advance on Feb. 8 to stop the practice, citing that it could
infringe on the domestic law, but the U.S. military side rejected
the request and carried out the practice.

Receiving a report on Feb. 21 from the Okinawa Prefectural Police
that Japanese security guards were carrying guns outside the bases,
the Okinawa Defense Bureau referred the matter to the U.S. military
through the Defense Ministry. However, it has not yet received any
response from it as of the same day.

According to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, at 2:00 p.m., it received
information from the U.S. Marine Corps Japan-U.S. assistance and
administration office noting that the chief of the military-police
unit of the U.S. Marine Corps would release on Feb. 11 an
announcement that Japanese security guards will be approved to move
between military bases, while carrying guns. An official responsible
for labor affairs at the Defense Bureau the same day orally asked
the assistance and management office to cancel the plan, noting that
such a practice could infringe on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA) and the Swords and Firearms Control Law.

TOKYO 00000543 005 OF 013

Following the incident, a labor management official on the 13th
actually asked the G-5 in writing (to explain details). The deputy
G-5 chief, who met the official, simply replied, "Coordination with
the USFJ is now underway. The practice is not being carried outside
the bases as of this moment." This official, therefore, had the
perception that the announcement was in fact put on hold. Eizo
Yanamine, chairman of the All Japan Garrison Forces Labor Union's
Okinawa District Headquarters on the afternoon of the 28th visited
the Okinawa Defense Bureau and sought the accounting of what
happened and the abolition of a practice of having Japanese security
guards carry guns. Regarding the order given by the commander of the
military-police unit, Labor affairs management officer Kunio Akamine
said, "What happened is extremely regrettable. I would like to ask
the U.S. military to end the practice."

(5) Okinawa gearing up for rally to protest sexual assault by U.S.
Marine on schoolgirl, with resolutions adopted by prefectural
assembly, all municipal governments

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
February 29, 2008

As of yesterday, the Okinawa prefectural assembly and all 41
municipal assemblies in the prefecture have adopted resolutions and
/ or opinion papers protesting the recent sexual assault by a U.S.
Marine on a junior high school girl. The Minami Daito village
assembly, chaired by Aragaki, held a special meeting yesterday and
unanimously adopted an opinion paper and a resolution of protest
calling on the government to completely compensate the victim for
her sufferings and to review the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA). Now that all resolutions and opinion papers set on
the table, momentum is gearing up for an Okinawa prefectural rally
to be held on March 23 at the proposal of a social educational group
and other organizations.

The Okinawa Prefectural Liaison Council for Development of
Kodomo-kai (children's association), chaired by Tetsuei Tamayose,
and other proponents decided yesterday to hold a prefectural rally
in protest of a series of sexual assaults by U.S. soldiers at a
squire in front of the baseball field in Chatan Park starting at
14:00 on March 23.

The liaison council has filed with the prefectural assembly a
petition calling for a bold revision of the SOFA and a prefectural
rally to be held under the initiative of the prefectural assembly.
Chairman Tamayose said: "The adoption of resolutions by all
municipal governments has been arousing a wave of protests across
the prefecture. We would like to speed up preparations for the
Okinawa prefectural rally." He intends to work on other municipal
governments to attend the rally.

Following Naha municipal government's adoption at its special
meeting on Feb. 12, other assemblies endorsed resolutions of protest
and opinion papers in succession. The Okinawa prefectural assembly
unanimously adopted on Feb. 14 a resolution calling for complete
compensation for the victim and her family and other two measures.

Federation of women's organizations to take protest action

The National Federation of Regional Women's Organizations, chaired
by Tsuyako Nakaaze, held its meeting in Kyoto on Fe. 26 and decided

TOKYO 00000543 006 OF 013

to take a protest action against the recent case of a U.S. Marine
raping a junior high school girl in Okinawa. The group will
determine the contents of a letter of protest and other details. It
plans to read out the letter in the prefectural rally planned in
Chatan on March 23.

(6) Okinawa adopts protest resolutions against alleged U.S. Marine's
rape of junior school girl; "Let's make Okinawa's voice known to
Japanese and U.S. governments

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
February 29, 2008

About two weeks have passed since a U.S. Marine allegedly raped a
junior high school girl in Okinawa. The prefectural assembly and all
the prefecture's municipal assemblies yesterday adopted resolutions
of protest against the alleged rape case. One of the heads of the
municipalities that host U.S. bases stressed: "We want to make our
actions an opportunity to make Okinawa's voice known to the Japanese
and U.S. governments." A civic group, which aims to hold a
prefectural rally of all parties, has now been encouraged by the
resolutions of protest adopted by the prefectural and municipal
assemblies. Mitsuko Tomon, the mayor of Okinawa City, flatly said:
"It proves that the prefectural residents are angry." She then

"We must raise our voices of protest against the repeated incidents
committed by U.S. military servicemen. I want to the prefectural
rally to be successful in making our anger known to the governments
of Japan and the United States."

Chatan Mayor Masaharu Noguni emphasized the need for a drastic
revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement. He stated:

"Such incidents occur anywhere in Okinawa where there are U.S.
bases. (Adoption of the resolution) sends a message that Okinawa
residents, who have children and grandchildren, have taken on the
victim's suffering as their own."

Seiko Nihime, chairman of the Federation of Okinawa High Schools'
Parents and Teachers Associations, bitterly said: "Although a
ranking U.S. government official offered an apology, we have to
clearly express our protests against the incident." He then stressed
the significance of the unity of the residents of Okinawa, saying:
"It is important for all municipal governments to unite for one

Okinawa Women's Association Chairperson Haruko Odo underscored: "For
the sake of the victims, and with the feelings that the damage
suffered from the bases should be eliminated, we Okinawa residents
have linked our minds together." He then called for a prefectural
rally, saying: "I would like to use this favorable wind to lead us
to the prefectural rally."

Meanwhile, Ryukyu University Prof. Jun Shimabukuro, who is an expert
on local government, pointed out: "It is only natural for Okinawa to
adopt a resolution of protest. It is also necessary to consider a
new response taking advantage of the right to establish ordinances."
He suggested that measures for victims be decided based on

NFRWO adopts resolution calling for recurrence of incidents

TOKYO 00000543 007 OF 013

The National Federation of Regional Women's Organizations, chaired
by Tsuyako Nakaaze, yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution
calling for preventing a recurrence of similar incidents in a
meeting of directors from the prefectures and government-designated
cities. Okinawa Women's Federation Chairperson Haruko Odo proposed
the resolution. The national federation will formally announce
within a few days a written resolution of protest. It plans to
activities to petition relevant organizations, including the central

(7) Cases involving U.S. military personnel: In four cases, U.S.
service members not indicted by Japan but three indicted by U.S. and
found guilty in military trial

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
February 29, 2008


At a session yesterday of the third panel under the Lower House
Budget Committee, the Ministry of Justice's Criminal Affairs Bureau
Director-General Kotaro Ono revealed that of criminal cases
involving U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan, there were
four in 2007 that were not indicted by the Japanese side but
indicted by the U.S. military.

Those four cases occurred during a period from 2004 through 2007. Of
them, three were indicted by the U.S. side on charge of theft and
were found guilty in military court. One case committed by a U.S.
serviceman who was charged with professional negligence resulting in
bodily injury. The serviceman was indicted on charge of injury, but
a not guilty verdict was handed down.

Seiken Akamine, a lawmaker of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) who
took the floor in the session to question, noted: "I suspect that
the reason why the Japanese side was unable to indict is because it
was unable to take U.S. military personnel into their custody. In
this context, I have my doubts about servicemen indicted by the U.S.
side on the same charges being found guilty. I think there is
something wrong with the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement

In response, Ono went no further than to say: "Prosecutors, based on
laws and evidence related to each case, decided whether it is
appropriate or not to indict U.S. military personnel."

Regarding a joint patrol by Japanese and U.S. authorities, which the
government decided as part of the efforts to prevent a recurrence of
crimes committed by U.S. service members, Foreign Minister Masahiko
Koumura said: "I understand the prefectural police's concern that
the suspect might be handed over to the U.S. side. I'll undertake
necessary coordination regarding the exercise of police authority so
that such would not occur."

(8) MSDF's lying nature exposed by recent Aegis destroyer collision

AERA (Pages 26-27) (Abridged)
March 3, 2008

Shunji Taoka, military journalist

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The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) once had a reputation for its
high proficiency. In fact, in the Rim of the Pacific Exercise
(RIMPAC), which the United States Navy holds every two years by
inviting allied military forces from the Pacific Rim nations, the
MSDF outperformed the U.S. Navy, thereby gaining praise from a U.S.
commander. As if to make an excuse, the commander said: "The
Japanese crewmembers are two years senior on average than the
American crew. This difference was significant."

In the past I have accompanied the MSDF's military exercises many
times and stood at the bridge of a warship at night. On those
occasions, I always felt the traditions inherited from the former
Imperial Japanese Navy, whose forte was night battle, when I saw
MSDF personnel behaving with perfect composure, for instance, their
way of reporting when they were on lookout duty this way, "A torpedo
is approaching on the starboard side." In addition, I was impressed
by the way the captain was giving instructions, and the way the
quartermaster was reciting what he or she did.

I was therefore astonished to hear of the news reports that the
Aegis destroyer Atago (with a full capacity of 10,000 tons and whose
captain was Captain Ken Funato) collided with the fishing boat
Seitoku-maru (with a full capacity of 7.3 tons and whose captain was
Haruo Kichisei) before dawn of Feb. 19. I thought to myself then how
low the MSDF has degraded itself. An Atago crew member on lookout
duty spotted the red light of the fishing boat on a starboard bow 12
minutes before the collision, but the duty officer ignored the light
and did not even bother to monitor it on radar. The collision was
apparently caused primarily by the Aegis vessel navigating straight
ahead carelessly. I wondered what happened to the information about
the fishing boat? Why did the vessel fail to avoid colliding with
the fishing boat? The collision was caused by a very rudimentary
error. At the time of the accident, visibility was 20 kilometers and
wave height was 50 centimeters. Given those ideal conditions for the
lookout, the duty officer and other crew members should have
witnessed the fishing boat approaching with the naked eye. One
retired vice admiral lamented: "I can't believe it. Did they forget
seamanship as a result of being desperate to learn how to operate
high-tech equipment?"

A number of ships, including fishing boats, are seen in waters off
Nojimazaki cape on Boso Peninsula in Chiba Prefecture coming in and
out from Tokyo Bay. When the Aegis destroyer was approaching there
before dawn of that day, the crew should have most carefully watched
the area, but while the captain was then still in bed, the destroyer
was on automatic pilot as it approached the shore. This would have
been one cause of the collision. From the beginning, the destroyer
does not have to have any automatic pilot device on, given that a
good number of quartermasters are installed there. If those crew
members have nothing to do in the ship, they may snooze. The
destroyer rarely navigates alone, and when it joins in formation, it
needs to change the course at frequent intervals. That is why an
automatic pilot was not installed in the destroyer for many years.

Lies that should have been noticed

The Maritime Staff Office (MSO) of the Ministry of Defense (MOD) was
informed about the collision at 4:40 a.m., 33 minutes after the
accident, but the information reached Defense Minister Ishiba at
5:38 a.m., one hour afterwards. Prime Minister Fukuda learned of the
accident around 6:00 a.m. after TV news programs came out with the
first report of the collision. Given this, it is only natural for

TOKYO 00000543 009 OF 013

MOD to come under fire, but what is more serious is the fact that
the collision was reported by the MSO and MDO in a haphazard way.

On the night of Feb. 19, the MSO announced that an Atago crew member
on lookout duty spotted the green light in the right direction. The
crew member saw the light approaching, and later at around 4:06 a.m.
he confirmed the light as that of a fishing boat. The duty officer
gave an order for the ship to go astern.

If the Atago crew member had spotted the green light of the fishing
boat on its starboard, it would mean the fishing boat would have
been navigating in the right direction or that it would have been
passing the Atago. In such a case, no collision would have occurred.
There would have been no need accordingly for the destroyer to go
astern. The above announcement raised doubts with one MSO officer
saying: "I can't understand how the two ships were sailing. It's not
that I am asking whether this report is true or not."

Naturally, Adm. Eiji Yoshikawa, chief of staff of the MSDF, from his
seamanship, should have been aware that there was something
questionable about the report, but he reported on the same as the
announcement to Ishiba. Yoshikawa and Ishiba afterwards called on
Prime Minister Fukuda at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
(Kantei) at 4:00 p.m. that day and reported on the same to Fukuda.
Afterwards, Ishiba told the same at a meeting of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party's (LDP) national defense panel.

The report did not refer at all to the fact that the destroyer saw
the red lights of a few fishing boats that were sailing southwest at
the time. Nor did the report reveal whether those fishing boats were
monitored by radar. These things were omitted from the report not by
confusion but by intention.

Four-month hiding of accident

If the prime minister, who is the top commander of the Self-Defense
Forces (SDF), is given false reports, no civilian control is
possible. If the commander on the spot or the mid-level command
makes false or cosmetic reports to the supervisor or the supervisory
command, the military organization cannot function properly.

The MSDF has a history of 60 years, dating back to its predecessor
mine-sweeping unit, which was set up in 1948 in the Maritime Safety
Agency (currently Japan Coast Guard). Perhaps because of this long
history, the MSDF tends to be lacking in vigor and deterioration can
be seen advancing in the organization. Senior officers tend to only
think of being promoted and protecting themselves. This tendency is
not only seen in the MSDF but in the Ground Self-Defense Force and
the Air Self-Defense Force, as well. One senior officer grumbled:
"Everybody thinks of protecting himself or herself. In this sense,
the SDF has truly become an organization that thinks only of
protecting itself."

In this climate, the SDF personnel tend to try to hide scandals and
mistakes and to think only about how to avoid tarnishing their
career. Let me give you an example. On last Dec. 14, a fire broke
out in the destroyer Shirane when the ship anchored in Yokosuka
Port. The battle command office filled with electronic equipment
worth 20 billion yen or more was destroyed by fire. But the SDF did
not even announce which part of the ship had been on fire.

In January of last year, the police seized classified documents on

TOKYO 00000543 010 OF 013

the Aegis missile system at the house of a petty officer 2nd class
of the destroyer Shirane who is married to a Chinese woman. As a
result of a police investigation of how the documents were
transmitted, a lieutenant commander, who was the first person to
leak the documents, was arrested.

When suspicion arose that the fuel oil provided by Japan to other
countries' vessels in the Indian Ocean might have been used for the
war in Iraq, it was discovered that the logbook of the supply ship
Towada had been discarded, an act that violated the archive rules.

Do these scandals have something to do with the atmosphere and human
relations in the MSDF?

In pre-war Japan, the Naval Academy made its students chant five
reflections: be of utmost sincerity, be faithful in word and deed,
be full of vigor, make efforts, and don't be lazy. In terms of these
reflections, it is laziness to use the automatic pilot in
heavily-trafficked waters as seen in the collision this time. The
omission of mentioning either the red light or the radar can never
be seen as a sincere act.

Now that the SDF are dispatched abroad more often than in the past,
making a correct report from their deployed location is more
important than ever. The trigger for the Manchurian Incident was an
attack by the Imperial Japanese Army, but the Japanese military
abroad reported to Tokyo that the Japanese troops were engaged in
war in self-defense after being attacked by the Chinese forces. The
government and the press took action in the belief that that report
was true.

The way the SDF reported on the Atago collision with a fishing boat
should give the SDF an important lesson. The SDF should take this
opportunity to educate its personnel to practice utmost sincerity
under the slogan, "Anyone who falsifies reports is not SDF."

(9) Aegis accident: "Baby birds" syndrome must be corrected

ASAHI (Page 11) (Full)
February 28, 2008

Kazuhisa Ogawa, military analyst

Crisis management needs action at an appropriate timing. Crisis
management taskforces in advanced countries make it a rule to give a
three-minute briefing with options to commanding officers, based on
an initial report of what happened. Commanding officers make a
decision within 15 minutes. On the front of emergency medical care
as well, it goes without saying that initial treatment is done
within 15 minutes.

The Atago, an Aegis destroyer of the Maritime Self-Defense Force,
collided with a fishing boat in waters off Chiba Prefecture, leaving
two crewmen missing. This accident was belatedly reported within the
government. It took one and a half hours to report its occurrence to
the defense minister and two hours to the prime minister. In this
respect, I cannot but say the government is disqualified from crisis
management. If it had been a ballistic missile or a terrorist
attack, Japan would have undoubtedly sustained a deadly blow. The
Self-Defense Forces is a government-controlled organization of armed
forces. In respect of this civilian control as well, such a delay in
communication is pregnant with serious problems.

TOKYO 00000543 011 OF 013

I also have experienced one incident. In February 2006, the MSDF's
confidential information leaked large quantities on the Internet

from a personal computer owned by one of an MSDF destroyer's crew.
At that time, press reporters inquired of the MSDF Maritime Staff
Office about that leak of confidential information. However, the
then Joint Staff Council chairman, who heads all SDF personnel, was
not informed of the information leak incident. Five hours after
that, I touched base with him. Until then, the top SDF officer did
not know anything about it. The then Defense Agency director general
was not informed of it, either. SDF staff officers in charge were
aware of it. However, they did not report the incident for they
could not understand how serious it was.

Needless to say, in the Hanshin-Awaji earthquake disaster, Japan
failed to manage a number of crises due to delays in communication.
Such blunders are too numerous to mention, as seen from the cases of
the Ehime Maru incident in waters off Hawaii, a North Korean spy
ship spotted off the island of Amami Oshima, and a Chinese
nuclear-powered submarine that violated Japan's territorial waters.
There was an error of command and control judgment due to a delay in
communication. I have called this a "baby birds syndrome." The rank
and file is only waiting for instructions from those above them,
with their mouths open like baby birds waiting for feeding from
their parents. Top-echelon officers also sigh with their mouths
open, saying there is no information from their people at the front.
As a result, they do nothing. This inaction exposes the nation to

Then, the question is what to do. Here, I would like to present a
model case, with the accident this time as a lesson.

First, the government should build a real-time information sharing
system for all of its crisis management organizations to share the
first report of an accident. The Defense Ministry and the SDF,
teaming up with the Japan Coast Guard, should be ready to take
action for rescue operations within about five minutes after
receiving the first report of an accident, and then to send
reinforcements. Crisis management organizations should have an
intelligence evaluation team on standby at all times. If and when
there is a case that should be left to the prime minister's
decision-making, the team should report the case to the prime
minister within about five minutes after the first report. The team
is to be made up of those who can judge whether the reported case is
such that the prime minister or the defense minister must be shaken
out of bed even in the middle of the night and what options should
be presented in that case.

The prime minister, when informed of an accident, issues a statement
for public faith and then orders thoroughgoing preventive steps to
be taken (within about 10 minutes after the first report). The
government dispatches a heliborne information-gathering team to the
scene of that accident from the prime minister's official residence
or the Defense Ministry's roof heliport to prevent information
confusion and cover-up (within 15-20 minutes after the first
report). The defense minister arrives there on a helicopter to offer
apologies or for other purposes (within 30 minutes after the first

As we have seen, the prime minister's decision-making without delay
is needed, as well as civilian control under the political

TOKYO 00000543 012 OF 013

To tell the truth, this is part of a national security council's
functions. Former Prime Minister Abe's cabinet presented a bill to
the Diet for this NSC initiative. The bill, however, was scrapped in
the end. In its blueprint, the NSC was an entity designed to show
feasible solutions to problems as a 'control tower' of the
government's bureaucracy and as the prime minister's brain trust.
Prime Minister Fukuda seems to have conformed to a suggestion from
some bureaucrats claiming that the existing organizations can
respond to eventualities. However, the existing organizations do not
function, as is evident also from the accident this time. I hope the
government will immediately present the bill to the Diet again to
establish public safety with the opposition parties' understanding.

(10) FTC to cooperate with other government agencies in cracking
down on illegal business practices

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Full)
February 27, 2008

In a bid to strengthen its efforts to crack down on illegal business
practices, such as dumping, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC) will
create a framework to investigate companies in cooperation with
other government agencies, including the Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry (METI). Under the envisaged framework, officials of
related government agencies would double as FTC officials so that
they can conduct on-the-spot investigation into companies under the
FTC's jurisdiction. It will also establish a system of other
government agencies reporting on illegal business practices. It will
thus toughen a surveillance system in cooperation with other
government agencies that have jurisdiction over relevant industrial
circles so that it can collect information and investigate unfair
business practices in a flexible manner.

METI officials to double as gasoline dumping monitors

Under the envisaged framework, the FTC will strengthen its crackdown
capability in such business areas as gas stations, the construction
industry and liquor stores. Calls for cracking down on dumping,
under which some companies sell products below cost, thereby
shutting their competitors out of the market, or the abuse of
dominant bargaining position, with which major companies force
disadvantageous transactions on their sub-contractors, are growing
stronger. The FTC has toughened surveillance on dumping and issued
warnings against 1,031 cases in fiscal 2006. However, only one order
to stop such a practice was issued.

In a bid to correct this situation, the FTC will toughen crackdowns
on unfair business practices, by setting up a cooperative system
with related government agencies. It has already reached an
agreement with METI, which is in charge of small and medium-size
businesses and has jurisdiction on gas stations, to introduce the
new system.

Under the new framework -- temporary doubling system, the FTC will
appoint officials of related government agencies to double as FTC
officials on a temporary basis and have them investigate illegal
business practices. Appointed officials will be transferred to the
FTC head office or its local offices and conduct on-the-spot
investigation and check related papers under the FTC's supervision.

Regarding the doubling system, those with appointing power can make

TOKYO 00000543 013 OF 013

personnel appointments without any inhibition, based on the National
Civil Service Law and the rules laid down by the National Personnel
Authority. There is no need to take such procedures as revising
relevant laws. Since the FTC can issue such an order, it can deal
with illegal business practices in a more flexible manner, including
increasing officials doubling as FTC officials, depending on the
size of issues and their urgency.

Regarding the reinforcement of the reporting system, the FTC is now
undergoing coordination with related agencies with the possibility
of exchanging a memorandum with them. Under the plan, the FTC would
ask related government agencies to investigate unfair business
practices and the government agencies would report on information
obtained from involved sources, such as what competitors of
offending companies have to say. The FTC would then conduct
on-the-spot investigation, by using officials who are dispatched
from other government agencies, if there is a strong possibility of
illegal practices being involved.

Following a flurry of crackdowns on major bid-rigging practices and
cartels, the FTC finds it difficult to monitor unfair business
practices with its 500-strong inspection system. Calls for toughing
the use of government agencies with jurisdiction over related
business areas have been mounting stronger.


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