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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 03/07/08

VZCZCXRO8028
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0610/01 0670746
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070746Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2329
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8923
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6530
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0198
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5063
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7133
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2093
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8148
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8729

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000610

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 03/07/08


INDEX:

(1) Base-hosting governors to ask gov't for drastic SOFA revision
(Ryukyu Shimpo)

(2) Joint patrol effective: U.S. consul general in Okinawa (Ryukyu
Shimpo)

ARTICLES:

(1) Base-hosting governors to ask gov't for drastic SOFA revision

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
March 7, 2008

An association of governors from 14 prefectures hosting U.S.
military bases, chaired by Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi Matsuzawa, will
urgently request the government, the Foreign Ministry, and the
Defense Ministry, to carry out a drastic revision of the Japan-U.S.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) in the wake of a U.S. serviceman's
rape of a junior high school girl in Okinawa Prefecture. The
association has made annual requests to the Japanese and U.S.
governments, including a revision of SOFA provisions. However, it is
unusual for the association to make a request concerning a specific
incident.

Akira Uehara, chief of the governor's office of Okinawa Prefecture,
revealed that plan in his reply to a question asked by Akira Uehara
(TN: phonetically same name as the chief of the Okinawa governor's
office) from the Komei Kenmin Kaigi party in a meeting yesterday of
the budget committee of Okinawa Prefecture's assembly. After the
incident, the Kanagawa prefectural government, which serves as a
secretariat to the association, has coordinated a schedule.

SIPDIS
Matsuzawa is thinking of making the request with Okinawa Gov.
Hirokazu Nakaima.

Following the incident, the Okinawa prefectural government studied
specific preventive steps and worked out a 7-point proposal
specifying preventive measures in 20 cases. The proposal includes
revising the SOFA to turn over U.S. military personnel involved in
incidents.

In August last year, the association requested the Japanese
government to revise the SOFA as one of its priorities. At the time,
the association suggested the necessity of applying
environment-related domestic laws and reviewing the scope of
jurisdiction. It requested the government to set about a drastic
revision the SOFA within a couple of years, or at the earliest
possible time, in order to improve SOFA implementation.

(2) Joint patrol effective: U.S. consul general in Okinawa

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
March 7, 2008

The Japanese government has now proposed conducting joint patrols
and installing security cameras to prevent a recurrence of incidents
involving U.S. military personnel. "It's effective," Kevin Maher,
U.S. consul general in Okinawa, told a regular press conference
yesterday. "A working team will discuss specific steps from
tomorrow," he said. Okinawa prefectural police, however, are
negative about joint patrol because the U.S. military has arrest

TOKYO 00000610 002 OF 002


authority. "I don't get the impression that the prefectural police
are concerned about it," Maher said. "It will not lead to a revision
of the SOFA," he added, "and we're ready to discuss improvements in
the SOFA's implementation at the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee."

On Mar. 3, the U.S. military eased its lockdown. Asked whether the
lockdown was effective, Maher said: "We should focus our attention
to whether we can take specific steps to prevent incidents, rather
than to whether it was (effective). The period of reflection is not
to prevent a recurrence but is set to consider whether it is
possible for an organization to eliminate crimes. Considering
Japanese culture, it's important to reflect." With this, Maher
avoided showing his evaluation of the lockdown.

There were incidents (in Okinawa) even during the period of
reflection. Concerning this fact, Maher said: "Those who committed
crimes had not fully reflected, but I understand that it's necessary
for an organization to make still greater efforts."

The U.S. military has decided to continue its investigation into the
incident. In this regard, Maher said the U.S. military has yet to
decide on whether or not to try the suspect. He added: "Military
authorities will objectively take a second look at evidence and will
continue to investigate the incident. The U.S. military will judge
how to handle this case after seeing evidence and findings from
investigations under the U.S. military's law. I will not try to make
a guess on the part of the U.S. government." So saying, Maher
avoided giving his prediction.

Asked about the possibility of hearing the victim, Maher only said:
"That is a legal procedure. I don't want to guess."

SCHIEFFER

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