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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 04/17/08

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 001048

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 04/17/08

Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

Japan-China, G-8 summitries ahead:
4) Japan, China eye strategic reciprocity, with emphasis on Korean
Peninsula denuclearization, environmental policy (Nikkei)
5) Political statement not to incorporate Japan's nonsupport for
Taiwan's independence, make no mention of Tibet (Sankei)
6) Ruling coalition execs in Beijing ask China for cooperation on
abduction issue (Asahi)
7) Food issues also on main agenda for G-8 summit (Asahi)

Diet agenda:
8) Fukuda diplomacy being clouded in the aftermath of Diet showdown
(Nikkei)
9) Ruling, opposition parties to set up consultative body on
road-related tax revenues (Nikkei)

North Korea problem:
10) Pyongyang agrees on nuclear declaration for the time being
(Yomiuri)

Defense and security issues:
11) JCG reenacts Aegis collision (Mainichi)
12) Women's group works on Diet parties to stop Japan's HNS spending
for USFJ (Akahata)

Japan-Sweden ties:
13) Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt in meeting with Prime Minister
Fukuda plays up need for China to hold dialogue with Tibet
(Mainichi)
14) Japan, Sweden to work together on greenhouse gas emissions
(Asahi)

Economic topics:
15) LDP mulls comprehensive strategy to boost growth (Nikkei)
16) U.K. hedge fund told to give up on its J-Power bid (Mainichi)
17) Japan, EU eye new multilateral energy-saving framework
(Mainichi)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to deduct part-timers'
national pension premiums from wages from 2009

Mainichi & Tokyo Shimbun:
Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry recommends British fund drop
plan to raise J-Power stake

Yomiuri:
Ten prefectures forced disabled to join new medical system for the
elderly

Nikkei:
Ruling, opposition parties to launch consultative panel on road tax
revenues

TOKYO 00001048 002 OF 009

Sankei:
Government intends not to incorporate the wording "disapprove of
Taiwanese independence" in political document to be compiled by
Prime Minister Fukuda and Chinese President Hu

Akahata:
Japanese Communist Party in policy urges most expensive academic
fees in the word be reduced

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Regulation on J-Power stake: Can national interests of Japan be
secured with this?
(2) Unofficial school websites: Nip bullying in the bud

Mainichi:
(1) Government's recommendation to drop plan to raise J-Power state:
Clear rule necessary
(2) Vaccinations for new flu: Government should consider vaccinating
all those who want flu shot

Yomiuri:
(1) New health insurance system for elderly: Confusion over health
insurance no surprise
(2) J-Power stake: Government's recommendation to TCI appropriate

Nikkei:
(1) Was thorough debate conducted on rejection of British fund?
(2) Concern about overheated Chinese economy

Sankei:
(1) J-Power stake: Recommendation to suspend plan to raise stake
appropriate
(2) Film "Yasukuni": Verify appropriateness of subsidies

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Unofficial school websites: Children, parents need to discuss
rules to use Internet
(2) J-Power stake: Better explanation needed

Akahata:
(1) New health care system for elderly must be scrapped

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, April 16

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 17, 2008

09:07 Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Iwaki at the Kantei.

10:01
Upper House plenary session.

11:11
Arrived at the Kantei.

12:43
Inspected Job Cafe Chiba, a facility to assist job-seeking young

TOKYO 00001048 003 OF 009


people, in Funabashi City, Chiba Prefecture.

13:59
Inspected the Chiba Prefecture Consumer Center in the same city.

16:12
Met with Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt.

17:16
Met with Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka. Then National Council on
Social Security meeting.

19:31
Arrived at the official residence.

4) Japan, China to adopt joint guidelines on cooperation for
denuclearization of Korean Peninsula and environmental policy;
"Strategically reciprocal relations" expected to be specified

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
April 17, 2008

The Japanese and Chinese governments have now undertaken
full-fledged coordination on wording about a joint document they
plan to adopt when Chinese President Hu Jintao visits Japan from May
6. The joint document will serve as a new set of guidelines for
bilateral ties. According to a gist of the joint document revealed
yesterday, the joint document, as a common goal, specifies expanding
"strategically reciprocal relations." As priority areas for
cooperation, the document specifies environmental and energy policy,
as well as the Northeast Asian policy, which features denuclearizing
the Korean Peninsula.

The two governments regard the joint document as the fourth
important document following the 1972 Japan-China Joint Statement,
the 1978 Japan-China Peace and Amity Treaty, and the 1998
Japan-China Joint Declaration.

The joint document mentions the need for the two countries to
cooperate in the agricultural area, including safety measures for
food, as well as the need to accelerate mutual visits by the top
leaders of the two countries. Japan wants to include in the joint
document positive language about its bid for a permanent seat on the
United Nations Security Council. Meanwhile, China reportedly wants
to again specify in the joint document a one-China policy in
connection with the Taiwan issue.

By adopting the joint statement, Japan and China aim to steer clear
of cases of bilateral ties suffering setbacks owing to such pending
issues as gas field development in the East China Sea. Also, there
seems to be the judgment that once common perceptions as well as
goals are put down, the two countries will be able to maintain close
ties even after their leaders are replaced.

5) Nonsupport for Taiwanese independence and riots in Tibet unlikely
to be mentioned in Japan-China political document expected to be
released during Chinese President Hu's visit to Japan in May

SANKEI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
April 17, 2008

The government yesterday informally decided not to incorporate in a

TOKYO 00001048 004 OF 009


political document expected to be released when Chinese President Hu
Jintao is visiting Japan in May Japan's nonsupport for Taiwanese
independence, something China has called for, and instead firmly
maintain the government's previous position on Taiwan. The document
will emphasize the need to strengthen future-oriented Japan-China
relations as well as strategically reciprocal bilateral ties, but
the document is expected to make no mention of the "Murayama
Statement," in which then Prime Minister Murayama offered apologies
for Japan's past colonial rule and aggression. It will also contain
no mention of the riots in Tibet, which have drawn world attention.
The 1998 Japan-China Joint Declaration specifies that the Murayama
Statement should be observed.

6) Ibuki, Kitagawa ask Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu for
cooperation on abduction issue

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
April 17, 2008

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki and
New Komeito Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa met yesterday in
Beijing with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, chair of the
six-party talks, to discuss North Korea. In the meeting, Ibuki asked
the Chinese side for cooperation, saying: "The abduction issue is
significant for Japan."

Wu then revealed his outlook, noting:

"North Korea appears to be unhappy with the (South Korean) new
government's policy toward Pyongyang. South Korea, however, has
taken a cool-headed approach. Although there are strained ties
(between Seoul and Pyongyang), the relations will be improved as a
whole."

Wu also talked about the six-party talks: "I expect the next round
of the six-party talks will be held in the not-too-distant future."

7) Food issues to be high on agenda in Lake Toya Summit

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
April 17, 2008

Reflecting recent sharp rises of prices of such food as rice and
wheat across the world, the government decided yesterday to take up
food issues as a major agenda item in the Lake Toya Summit in
Hokkaido in July. The government has judged it necessary for the
Group of Eight (G-8) leaders to come up with measures to ease
growing political uncertainty that has been causing demonstrations
and riots in the world, mainly in developing countries.

Such relevant ministries as the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Ministry and the Foreign Ministry made the decision. The government
intends to inform representatives from the G-8 of this policy during
a sherpa meeting to be held in Japan next week. The government will
carry out coordination on a plan to lay out immediate emergency
measures in the 4th Tokyo International Conference on African
Development in Yokohama in May and to announce in the G-8 medium-
and long-term measures, such as creating international rules and
increasing food production in order to stabilize food prices.

8) Divided Diet takes toll on Fukuda diplomacy; Prime minister
forgos May European tour

TOKYO 00001048 005 OF 009

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
April 17, 2008

The intensifying confrontation between the ruling and opposition
camps resulting from the divided Diet is beginning to take a toll on
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's foreign policy. The prime minister has
now been forced to give up his planned trip to Britain, France and
Germany during the Golden Week holiday period in May due to Diet
deliberations on road-related bills. There have been minor setbacks
to his plan to buoy up his administration by exhibiting strong
leadership in the G-8 Lake Toya Summit in July on the back of strong
communication channels to other G-8 members.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura in a press conference
yesterday expressed concern that the prime minister's canceled
European tour might negatively affect the country's diplomacy. He
said: "Giving the impression that the prime minister cannot visit
other countries freely won't benefit Japan."

The purpose of the prime minister's European tour was for him to get
acquainted with leaders of G-8 participants ahead of the big event
as the chair. Given the possibility that discussions on global
warming, a major topic in the G-8 Summit, will dictate the process
of crafting a post-Kyoto framework in 2013 and beyond, the prime
minister intended to obtain cooperation from relevant countries
through his European tour.

This is not the first time the prime minister has given up a trip to
Europe. Soon after his assumption of office last September, the
prime minister considered visiting Europe in early January 2008. But
he needed to forgo the plan due to Diet deliberations on a bill
extending the special measures law to resume the refueling operation
in the Indian Ocean. He also had to give up his attendance at the
World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in late January because
the opening of the current Diet session overlapped with it.

The government ostensibly attributed the cancellation of the prime
minister's trip this time to a failure to coordinate timetables
between the three European countries and Japan. But the major cause
is the situation in the Diet.

9) Ruling, opposition camps to set up consultative body on policy of
opening road tax revenues for general use

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Lead Paragraph)
April 17, 2008

The ruling and opposition camps agreed yesterday to set up a
consultative body to discuss the issue of special tax revenues
earmarked for highway construction and maintenance projects. Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda proposed moving highway-related tax revenues
into the general account in late March. The new body, tasked with
discussing what system should be made in line with Fukuda's
proposal, will hold its first meeting tomorrow. This will be the
first full-scale arena for talks between the ruling and opposition
blocs in the divided Diet. Still, there is a wide gap in both sides'
views about the provisional tax rates, so difficult negotiations are
expected from the very beginning of the meeting.

10) DPRK reaches tentative agreement on nuclear declaration related
to uranium enrichment, nuclear technology transfer

TOKYO 00001048 006 OF 009

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
April 17, 2008

United States Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill and
North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan met in Singapore on
April 8 and discussed the North Korean nuclear issue. Speaking
yesterday of this meeting, a senior Foreign Ministry official
revealed that both officials reached a tentative agreement on the
issue of uranium enrichment and the transfer of nuclear technology
to third countries, such as Syria, both of which were the key points
at issue in North Korea's declaration of its nuclear programs.

The official noted, "Working-level officials from the U.S. and North
Korea seem to have reached an accord on uranium enrichment and
Syria." At the same time the official added, "But much remains to be
done, and the road ahead is steep." The official indicated that a
lot of tasks, including how much plutonium the North has extracted
remains to be dealt with before North Korea makes a "complete and
accurate declaration."

11) Third Regional Coast Guard Headquarters recreates Atago
collision

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
April 17, 2008

The Maritime Self-Defense Force's Aegis-equipped destroyer Atago
collided with the fishing boat Seitoku Maru off Cape Nojima, China
Prefecture, in February, leaving two fishermen missing. The Third
Regional Coast Guard Headquarters (Yokohama) began yesterday evening
an on-site investigation by recreating the collision. In the
reproduced accident, the Atago and 10 patrol boats that acted as
fishing boats cruising in the area that fatal day set sail to verify
the wakes and locations of the two ships. The Atago cruised the
waters for the first time since the accident.

The Atago departed from MSDF Yokosuka Base at 1:30 p.m. The
investigation was conduced under the generally same conditions, such
as wind, wave height, and brightness.

12) Women's Association on the Constitution calls for halt to
"sympathy budget" for U.S. military

AKAHATA (Page 5) (Full)
April 17, 2008

Eight representatives of the Women's Association on the Constitution
requested yesterday that all parties and parliamentary groups in the
two Diet chambers pursue polices in line with Article 9 and Article
25 (the right to a minimum standard of living) of the Constitution.

They specifically sought five items: (1) removal of U.S. bases from
Japan, (2) a halt to the "sympathy budget" for the stationing of
U.S. forces in Japan, (3) discontinuation of a plan to pass a
permanent law governing the overseas dispatch of the SDF, (4)
opposition to the start of the Constitution Council, and (5)
discontinuation and abolition of the medical system for the very
old.

Representing the Japanese Communist Party, House of Representatives
member Seiken Akamine received the group. A representative of the

TOKYO 00001048 007 OF 009


group said: "Over 5 trillion yen is earmarked for the sympathy
budget. At the same time, funding for the people's welfare, medical
services and lives is far from sufficient. One can easily tell for
whom politics is conducted." In response, Akamine expressed the
JCP's determination to spearhead the drive to reduce and remove U.S.
bases and defend the Constitution in close cooperation with the
public.

13) Swedish prime minister tells Fukuda: Sweden places importance on
China's dialogue

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
April 17, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met yesterday at his office with his
Swedish counterpart Fredrik Reinfeldt. Referring to the riots in
Tibet, Reinfeldt said: "The rule of law and human rights in China
are important. We stress that dialogue should be held (between
Chinese President Hu and the 14th Dalai Lama)." Fukuda then
explained the Japanese government's position, noting: "We are
calling on those involved to respond calmly."

14) Japan, Sweden to cooperate on greenhouse gas emissions

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
April 17, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda held talks yesterday with Swedish Prime
Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, now visiting Japan, at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence. The two leaders agreed to closely
cooperate on the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by
asking major emitters to take part in an international agreement.
They also confirmed that their countries would step up cooperation
on assistance for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, as well as on
the development of human resources in the peace-building area.

15) Comprehensive strategy to boost economic growth: LDP to set up
special committee to revitalize domestic-demand-oriented industries

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
April 17, 2008

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will compile a Comprehensive
Strategy for Creating Japan's Vitality (tentative name), an economic
strategy aimed at expanding domestic demand and boosting growth. The
envisaged strategy will focus on policies to revitalize
domestic-demand-oriented industries, such as services and
agriculture, and promote environment-related technological
development. The party will set up a special committee on April 18.
It plans to issue an interim report possibly in June and a final
report this summer. It wants to reflect the panel's report in the
basic policy guidelines on economic and fiscal management and
structural reforms for fiscal 2008 and the fiscal 2009 draft
budget.

The envisaged panel is a Special Committee to Create Japan's
Vitality (tentative name). The panel will be chaired by Policy
Research Council Chairman Sadakazu Tanigaki. Takumi Nemoto will
serve as an organizer. Participants will also include Deputy Policy
Research Council Chairman Hiroyuki Sonoda and former Policy Research
Council Chairman Nobuteru Ishihara.


TOKYO 00001048 008 OF 009


The focal point of the comprehensive strategy will be measures to
assist domestic-demand-oriented industries, such as services and
agriculture. The idea is to help those industries, which have a weak
presence abroad, advance overseas so that they can create
high-quality made-in-Japan products like electronic appliances and
automobiles.

Another feature of the strategy is regulatory reform aimed at
creating new businesses. Security, safety and health-related areas
will be taken up with reform for the sake of the public in mind.

16) METI, MOF ask British fund to drop plan to raise stake in
J-Power: First regulatory control under Foreign Exchange Law

MAINICHI (Top Play) (Lead para.)
April 17, 2008

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Ministry
of Finance (MOF) on April 16 asked the Children's Investment Master
Fund (TCI), a British hedge fund that has applied to raise its stake
in J-Power, to drop the plan, citing a possible disturbance of
public order. This is the first case of the government issuing such
a notice in compliance with the Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade
Control Law. The government is expected to issue an order to TCI to
desist from increasing its stake in J-Power, if the fund fails to
comply with the order within 10 days. John Ho, head of the fund's
Asian operations, did not indicate any clear-cut stance regarding
what approach the fund would take. He simply noted, "We will take
our time to look into the notice."

17) Japan, EU to call in joint statement for new international
framework for energy conservation

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
April 17, 2008

Japan and the European Union (EU) will issue a joint statement in
their summit to be held in Tokyo on April 23. According to the draft
unveiled yesterday, both sides will propose in the statement
establishing an International Partnership for Cooperation on Energy
Efficiency (IPEEC), a new international framework to promote energy
conservation as a means of fighting global warming. The statement
will reiterate the need for Japan and the EU to enhance cooperation
in ensuring the safety of imported food.

Japan expects that the establishment of the IPEEC will be agreed on
in the Group of Eight (G-8) energy ministerial in Aomori City in
June and that it will be made one of the achievements in the G-8
Summit (Lake Toya Summit in Hokkaido) in July.

Concern is rising about the safety of imported foods worldwide in
the wake of a poisoning outbreak caused by tainted Chinese
dumplings. Given this, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Prime
Minister Jansa of Slovenia, the chair of the EU, will demonstrate an
eagerness to address such tasks as ensuring food safety and
protecting consumers, in a drive to apply pressure on China and
other countries.

The draft statement reconfirms that Japan and the EU will play a
major role in addressing such challenges as global warming and
economic development in developing countries. In order to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, the draft urges China and other emerging

TOKYO 00001048 009 OF 009


countries to make appropriate contributions in accordance with the
levels of their responsibility and capability.

SCHIEFFER

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