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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Tibet

VZCZCXRO4594
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0828 0860524
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260524Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2888
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 6872
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9255
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5346
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7468
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0539
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2418
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2183
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8460
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9012
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 000828

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 - TIBET


1. LEAD STORIES: Top items on Wednesday morning include
the growing likelihood that gas prices will drop in
April, as it has now become certain that parliamentary
deliberations on the GOJ's omnibus tax bill, which
includes an extension of provisional gasoline
surcharges for road construction, will be delayed into
April.

2. "Dialogue Rather than Strong-Armed Policy" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (3/26): "The Beijing
Olympic Committee is reportedly asking governments that
will host the Olympic torch relay that they prevent not
just direct obstruction of the event and related
ceremonies but also prevent such activities as hoisting
banners bearing anti-Chinese messages. Preventing
violent protests is a matter of course. However,
respect for freedom of expression, including opposition
to the Olympics, is also regarded as a principle of any
democratic state.... Dialogue between the Chinese
government and the Tibetan government in exile is the
only way to cast off the dark clouds hanging over the
Beijing Olympics."

3. "China Concerned about Its Image" The liberal
Mainichi's Beijing correspondent wrote (3/26):
"Demonstrations at the torch lighting ceremony in
Greece reminded China of the worldwide reverberations
of the situation in Tibet. If more demonstrations occur
around the world in the course of the four-month torch
relay, there is a possibility that the Olympics' image
would be damaged, as the torch would turn from a symbol
of peace to a symbol of constraints on human rights."


SCHIEFFER

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