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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Arab Summit and Unrest

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P 310655Z MAR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 000869

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 - ARAB SUMMIT AND UNREST
IN TIBET


1. LEAD STORIES: Monday morning's Yomiuri gave top play
to the police finding that a U.S. sailor hinted at his
involvement in the March 19 murder of a taxi driver in
Yokosuka during a phone call to an acquaintance that
night.

2. "Absence of Some Leaders Exposes Schism" The liberal
Asahi's Damascus-based reporter wrote (3/30): "It was
quite unusual that leaders of major members of the Arab
League skipped a summit. The conference, originally
meant to play up the league's unity, exposes an
internal schism and highlighted the group's inability
to solve its own problems."

3. "Arab League Hints at Review of Middle East Peace
Plan" The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri reported
from Damascus (3/31): "The Arab League summit concluded
on Sunday with the adoption of a declaration hinting at
a review of a comprehensive peace offer to Israel. As
leaders of almost half the members, including the
pro-U.S. Saudi Arabia, skipped the session to protest
Syria's policy toward Lebanon, the division within the
league became more pronounced, prompting such anti-U.S.
states as Syria to oppose the Middle East peace
process.... It cannot be denied that Washington's
hostile policy toward Damascus has made it more
inflexible, encouraged it to move closer to Iran, and
prompted it to back away from the peace process."

4. "Japan Should Press China to Hold Dialogue" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (3/31): "The option
of boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing
Olympics is not intended to humiliate China. Just as
the British and French leaders have said that what is
needed at this moment is genuine dialogue for
reconciliation between the Chinese government and the
Dalai Lama, the threat of a boycott is intended to
encourage dialogue, which is the only way to tamp down
the situation.... Japan's presence in this affair
remains small.... Prime Minister Fukuda needs to tell
Chinese President Hu that the Olympics should not be
marred by Beijing's human rights violations."

SCHIEFFER

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