Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 04/22/08

DE RUEHKO #1101/01 1130658
P 220658Z APR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A



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

Japan-ROK summitry:
4) Outline of joint press conference (Nikkei)
5) Main points from Fukuda-Lee meeting (Nikkei)
6) Prime Minister Fukuda asks President Lee to tell Pyongyang that
there will be "bonus" from Japan to North Korea (Mainichi)
7) President Lee asks the Emperor to visit S. Korea (Nikkei)

G-8 summitry:
8) Food crisis on agenda: Prime Minister Fukuda (Nikkei)

Japan-China ties:
9) Japan, China hold 1st meeting to set up defense hotline (Nikkei)

10) Japan, China to hold 1st policy dialogue on Mekong basin
development (Asahi)

Defense & security issues:
11) Upper chamber panel to vote Apr. 24 on Japan's HNS budget plan
for USFJ (Nikkei)
12) Upper house to reject HNS plan (Mainichi)
13) "Sympathy" unfit for USFJ: letter to the editor (Tokyo
14) Plan floated for moving U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Hawaii
15) Japan to enact space law for national defense, space exploration
16) LDP, DPJ, New Komeito junior lawmakers call for permanent SDF
dispatch law (Nikkei)
17) Japan tanker comes under attack off Yemen (Tokyo Shimbun)

Political topics:
18) Ex-Foreign Minister Aso tops 'post-Fukuda' leadership poll

Townsend Harris:
19) Historical manuscript describing Tokugawa Shogunate menu for 1st
U.S. Consul General to Japan Townsend Harris discovered in Nagano
village (Asahi)



Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry considers increasing pension
payments to low-income recipients

Health insurance unions for company employees expect losses to grow
by 400 billion yen in FY2008

Nomura Securities employee, Chinese national in charge of mergers
and acquisitions suspected of having been engaged in insider trading

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Nomura Securities employee suspected of trading shares using insider
information on mergers and acquisitions

Great Japan! MWT95 is strongest rotorcraft

Tokyo Shimbun:
Japanese tanker fired on off Yemen

Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya pleads guilty to bribery


(1) 25 PERCENT cabinet support rate: Prime Minister Fukuda, what
will you do?
(2) Japan-U.S.-South Korea cooperation: Use trilateral cooperation
to prod North Korea

(1) President Lee's visit to Japan: Strengthen cooperation among
Japan, U.S. and South Korea
(2) Olympic torch relay in Nagano: China must dispel world concerns

(1) Fukuda-Lee meeting marks dawn of new era
(2) Moriya's first hearing: Former vice minister's crime teaches
entire bureaucracy a lesson

(1) Fukuda, Lee must realize future-oriented Japan-South Korea
(2) World laments patriotic fever in China

(1) Fukuda-Lee summit: Japan-U.S.-South Korea cooperation vital
(2) "Patriotic" demonstrations in China: Extreme nationalism will
ruin Beijing Olympics

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Japan, U.S., South Korea must deepen cooperation
(2) Scandals involving Defense Ministry: Take scalpel to amakudari

(1) New medical system for elderly: Government must hear public
opinions and views of those providing medical services

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, April 21

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

Photo session with South Korean President Lee Myung Bak at the
Kantei. Then summit.


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Representatives of Japanese and South Korean economic organizations,
such as Nippon Keidanren President Mitarai and Federation of Korean
Industries Chairman Cho, reported to both leaders. Then held a joint
press conference.

Met with State Minister for Disaster Management Izumi.

Met with Vice MEXT Minister Zeniya, followed by Toyota Motors
President Watanabe, chairman of the IT New Reform Strategic
Evaluation Experts Council under IT Strategic Headquarters, MEXT
Minister Kishida and Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saka.
Then met with Special Advisors to the cabinet Kusaka and Nishimura,
Saka, and Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Fujioka.

Met with Upper House members Kazuya Maruyama and Masahisa Sato. Then
met with Vice Finance Minister Tsuda and Budget Bureau Director
General Sugimoto, followed by Japan Medical Association Chairman

Executive meeting in the Diet.

Met with State Minister for Consumer Affairs Kishida, joined by
Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

Met with former Prime Minister Mori.

Hosted a dinner party welcoming Lee.

Arrived at the official residence.

4) Main points of Japanese and South Korean leaders' press

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
April 22, 2008

The following are the major exchanges of views at a joint press
conference yesterday by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and South Korean
President Lee Myung Bak.

Bilateral ties

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda: We have made a very good start to our
reciprocal visits. Both of us have agreed to upgrade bilateral ties
to a closer and more mature partnership. I plan to visit South Korea
in the latter half of this year. I want to open a new era in
bilateral ties by frankly exchanging views with the president on
such occasions as the upcoming Group of Eight Toyako Summit (G-8
Toyako Summit).

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak: Both countries, while squarely
facing the past, must open the way to the future under a joint
vision. Both of us have shared the perception that the two countries
must upgrade bilateral ties to something like a 'tree that takes

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root so deeply that it will not be toppled even by a strong wind"
for peace and prosperity in Northeast Asia as well as the world.

Nuclear and abduction issues

Fukuda: On the nuclear issue, we have confirmed that North Korea
needs to come up with a complete and accurate declaration of its
nuclear programs as swiftly as possible. We have agreed to work in
close cooperation between Japan and South Korea, as well as among
Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Regarding Japan-North
Korea relations, I explained that Japan's position is to
comprehensively resolve a number of issues, including the abduction,
nuclear, and missile issues, settle the past (involving the two
countries), and then normalize diplomatic relations with North
Korea. On the abduction issue, the president told me, "I will make
every possible effort to resolve the issue."

Lee: Acknowledging that North Korea's nuclear development is posing
a threat to the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia, we exchanged
views for closer cooperation so that the nuclear issue can be
resolved peacefully through the six-party talks. I have understood
the Japanese side's position of embarking on diplomatic
normalization talks with North Korea after a number of issues,
including nuclear, missile, and abduction, are all resolved.

Historical perception

Lee: We can't forget the past. But we must avoid a case of being
overly fettered by the past, which would only create barriers to the
future. A future-oriented relationship between Japan and South Korea
will help the two countries to prosper.

Economic partnership agreement (EPA)

Lee: On some economic issues, there are wide gaps between Japan and
South Korea. There is concern that if we sign an agreement leaving
the gaps, the gaps will broaden even further. Based on mutual
cooperation among companies, I want to promote (EPA negotiations) in
a way in which both countries will have a win-win relationship.

Fukuda: We have agreed to hold working-level talks in order to
restart EPA talks. I hope some economic issues will be resolved as
EPA talks make progress.

Youth exchanges

Fukuda: The two countries need to deepen mutual understanding even
further so as to build a strong relationship. We have agreed to
expand the working holiday program in order to expand youth

President: We have reached a concrete agreement on the expansion of
youth exchanges that will serve as the cornerstone of the future
relationship between the two countries. By expanding the working
holiday programs on both sides, we will respectively send some 7,200
young people to the other side in 2009, and the number will be
gradually expanded to 10,000 persons.

5) Gist of Japan-ROK summit

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
April 22, 2008

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The following are major exchanges of views in the Japan-ROK summit.

North Korean issue

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda: I want to work on North Korea to
implement denuclearization measures, including a complete and
accurate declaration of its nuclear programs. After comprehensively
resolving such outstanding issues as the abduction, nuclear, and
missile issues, I will achieve diplomatic normalization with that

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak: Denuclearizing the Korean
Peninsula is an indispensable factor in order to bring peace and
stability to Northeast Asia.

Both leaders: We have shared the perception that in order to resolve
this issue, it is important for Japan, South Korea, and the United
States to work in close cooperation. We have confirmed the need to
obtain cooperation from China in this regard.

Economic partnership agreement (EPA)

Fukuda: Concluding an EPA between Japan and South Korea is
significant in many aspects, including strengthening competitiveness
of the two countries. I will give support to President Lee and the
officials involved so that lively debate will take place at
working-level talks slated for June, and that EPA negotiations will
be resumed as quickly as possible.

Lee: I fully agree with the prime minister. I think it is necessary
to discuss how to contribute to both countries.

Climate change

Fukuda: I think it is essential for Japan and South Korea as
industrialized nations to take part in a post-Kyoto framework that
will be applicable in 2013 and beyond.

Lee: I pin hopes on Prime Minister Fukuda's leadership. South Korea
will cooperate.

Japan-China-South Korea summit

Fukuda: I hope to have a summit meeting among Japan, China, and
South Korea aside from meetings related to ASEAN. I want to exchange
views from a broad perspective.

Lee: A Japan-China-South Korea summit will be meaningful in terms of
creating the future of Northeast Asia. I agree that Japan should
host such a summit.

Local suffrage for South Korean permanent residents in Japan

Lee: I hope you will proactively consider granting local election
voting rights to South Korean permanent residents in Japan.

Fukuda: This concerns Japan's election system. Discussion on the
matter has yet to be concluded. I will pay attention to debate on it
in the Diet and other forums.

6) Prime Minister Fukuda asks South Korean President Lee to tell

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North Korea there will be "bonuses"

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
April 22, 2008

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak briefed Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda on his plan to open up permanent liaison offices in Seoul and
Pyongyang. In this regard, a source accompanying Lee revealed
yesterday that Fukuda told Lee: "When you try to convince North
Korea, I want you to tell Pyongyang there will be a bonus from Japan
as well."

Although Fukuda gave no specific explanation on the contents of the
"bonus," he appears to have indicated that Japan was ready to come
up with fresh steps to promote progress on the nuclear and abduction

In this connection, a Foreign Ministry official explained:

"Prime Minister Fukuda stated that he was ready to extend economic
assistance to North Korea after diplomatic ties between Tokyo and
Pyongyang are normalized. He just expressed his approval of the
setting up of the liaison offices in Seoul and Pyongyang."

7) South Korean President Lee invites Emperor to visit his country

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

The Emperor and Empress met visiting South Korean President Lee
Myung Bak and his wife yesterday afternoon at the Imperial Palace.
The Emperor, receiving an invitation to visit South Korea, responded
in this way: "My overseas trips are considered and decided by the
government. I appreciate your invitation." No visit to South Korea
by the Emperor has been realized, although successive South Korean
presidents have offered invitations when they visited Japan.

The imperial couple met the South Korean president and the first
lady for about 20 minutes at the Bamboo Room in the palace from just
past 2:30 p.m. According to the Imperial Household Agency's Grand
Master of Ceremonies Koichi Haraguchi, the Emperor told Lee: "I am
glad that the Japan-South Korea relations will improve further with
your visit to Japan this time around." Lee briefed the Emperor on a
plan to expand the number of exchanges of young people between the
two countries, saying: "I had a good meeting with Prime Minister
Fukuda." The Emperor reportedly responded: "That is good." Fukuda,
referring to the possibility of a visit to South Korea by the
Emperor, told the press: "I would like to consider it in the

8) Fukuda to take up issue of rising food prices at Lake Toya

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
April 22, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda decided yesterday that the government
will bring up the recent rise in food prices as a major theme at the
Lake Toya Summit in July. Surging prices of such key grains as rice
and wheat have increased social unrest in developing countries. The
prime minister sent United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and
World Bank Governor Zoellick letters seeking their cooperation in

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dealing with the issue by providing Japan with information.

9) First meeting held on Japan-China defense liaison system

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

The governments of Japan and China held the first working-level
meeting on April 21 in Beijing to build a defense officials' liaison
system for unexpected events at sea, such as the East China Sea.
Discussing the option of setting up a hotline by
division-director-level defense officials, the two sides reached an
agreement that building a liaison system would contribute to
promoting mutual trust. The next meeting will be held in Tokyo.

10) Japan, China to hold first policy talks on Mekong River Region
in Beijing on April 25

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
April 22, 2008

The governments of Japan and China will hold their first policy
talks on the Mekong River Basin in Southeast Asia in Beijing on
April 25. The two countries have played a key role in economic
activities and assistance in the region. Prior to the planned visit
to Japan by Chinese President Hu Jintao, Japan and China will try to
expand their mutual strategic interests (in the Mekong River Region)
in Asia.

According to sources connected to Japan-China relations, the talks
will be held by deputy director generals responsible for Asian
affairs of the foreign ministries of the two countries. They will
exchange views about the political and economic situations in the
five countries in the Mekong River Region (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos,
Vietnam, and Burma), as well as their policies toward the region.

Japan and China share the view that stability and development in the
region is vital. They were pursuing an arena for talks on the
region, given the recent improvement in their bilateral ties.

11) Sympathy budget to be put to vote on April 24

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) yesterday decided to
hold a vote at the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
on a new special agreement proposal regarding host-nation financial
support for U.S. military stationed in Japan or the so-called
sympathy budget allocations. The DPJ, the Japanese Communist Party
and the Social Democratic Party are expected to vote down the bill
at the said Committee and an Upper House plenary session. However,
since the agreement is categorized as a treaty, priority is given to
a decision reached in the Lower House. As such, the bill is expected
to obtain Diet approval. This will avoid causing confusion, such as
a delay in the payout of personnel expenses for U.S. military base
workers for April.

12) Sympathy budget expected to be voted down in Upper House; DPJ
decides to take vote

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)

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April 22, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan decided yesterday to take a vote on a
special measures agreement, the basis for Japan's host-nation
support (sympathy budget) for the costs of stationing U.S. forces in
the country, in a House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee meeting on April 24. The agreement will likely be voted
down due to opposition by the Japanese Communist Party and the
Social Democratic Party, as well. It is also expected to be voted
down in an Upper House plenary session on April 25. The agreement in
question is a kind of a treaty. According to the Foreign Ministry
Treaties Bureau, it will be the first case for a treaty approval
plan to be rejected by the Upper House under the current

But because a constitutional provision stipulating the precedence of
a House of Representatives decision on a treaty, the agreement is
expected to take effect following Diet approval after talks at a
consultative council of the two Diet chambers on April 25. The
government has not been able to implement the sympathy budget since
the special agreement expired on April 1.

13) Letter to the editor: Word "sympathy" improper for U.S.

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 5) (Full)
April 22, 2008

By Takeshi Miyazawa, 63, unemployed (Nakano Ward, Tokyo)

Host nation support for the U.S. military in Japan is called the
"sympathy budget." But this doesn't sit well with me.

It might be proper for Japan to offer sites for bases to the U.S.
military, but I have reservations regarding Japan bearing even
housing construction costs and living expenses (for U.S. military
personnel), as well as wages for Japanese workers for U.S. military
bases. Its allies house U.S. military bases, but I think only Japan
has borne such costs.

Additionally, we usually do not use the word "sympathy" for the
strong. In my view, sympathy money should be offered to elderly
persons, children, the poor, and the disabled. The sympathy money
should be allocated to victims of earthquakes or other disasters. I
want the government to formulate a considerate budget for such
people in the same way as it does for the U.S. military.

I think that high-ranking government officials and smart bureaucrats
worked out the word "sympathy" so that they will not rub public
feelings the wrong way. To me, however, the "sympathy budget" is
tantamount to "protection money." I hope the media, without using
the word "sympathy," will make accurate reports upon ascertaining
the actual situation.

Japan and the U.S. should review the Security Treaty. Japan then
should associate with the U.S. as a true friend, I think.

14) U.S. Marine Hawaii relocation plan emerges

SANKEI (Page 7) (Full)
April 22, 2008

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Kyodo, Washington

In connection with the planned relocation of U.S. Marines from
Okinawa to Guam, a key part of the realignment of U.S. forces in
Japan, a plan has cropped up in the U.S. Marines to relocate some
functions to Hawaii, it was learned on April 20 through the website
of a U.S. Representative elected from Hawaii.

A source close to Japan-U.S. relations said: "At this stage, (the
United States) is not asking Japan for changes to the plan. This
also shows that there are a variety of opinions in the U.S.
military." This source thus revealed that there is dissatisfaction
in the United States about the fact that the relocation of Futenma
Air Station, the basis for the Guam relocation, has been delayed due
to Japan's circumstances, such as an environmental impact

15) Ruling parties, DPJ agree to enact basic space legislation to
lift ban on using space for defense purposes

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
April 22, 2008

The ruling parties and the major opposition Democratic Party of
Japan reached a basic agreement yesterday to jointly submit to the
current Diet session a basic space bill to promote the development
and use of space. The legislation is mainly designed to expand the
peaceful use of space, which has been limited to nonmilitary fields
in principle, to include defense purposes, as well to set up a space
development strategic headquarters in the Cabinet Office. They
intend to enact the legislation later this month by revising the
ruling bloc's plan, which has been under deliberation since the
regular Diet session last year.

Stipulating that space must be used in a way to secure international
peace and security and to contribute to the security of Japan, the
bill has put forward a direction to remove the ban on (using space)
for defense purposes. This will allow the Defense Ministry to
directly operate high-performance reconnaissance satellites. There
has also been a view regarding missile defense that intercepting a
missile outside of the earth's atmosphere runs counter to the
principle of using space for peaceful purposes.

16) Junior parliamentary league defines enactment of permanent
legislation as imperative

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

The Young Parliamentarians' League to Establish a Security System
for a New Century, composed of members of the Liberal Democratic
Party, Democratic Party of Japan, and New Komeito, has come up with
an action policy specifying as imperative the establishment of a
permanent law (general law) allowing the government to dispatch the
Self-Defense Forces overseas as necessary. The group will hold a
general meeting on April 23 to resume activities after a lapse of
about three years. LDP Research Commission Chairman Gen Nakatani,
DPJ Deputy President Seiji Maehara, and New Komeito member Isamu
Ueda are likely to serve as the group's co-representatives.


17) Japanese tanker hit by rocket off Yemen: No injuries

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TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Excerpts)
April 22, 2008

Nippon Yusen K.K.'s (Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo) large crude oil tanker
Takayama (150,053 tons with 23 crewmembers) was hit by a rocket from
a small unidentified ship, apparently a pirate ship, approximately
440 kilometers east of Aden, Yemen, around 10:10 a.m. on April 21,
Japan time. There are no reports of injuries. The vessel is
navigating safely.

According to a report from the Takayama, there were four gunshots
after the vessel was hit. The Takayama fled the scene. The
unidentified ship eventually moved away from the Takayama and

TMM (Minato Ward, Tokyo), which controls marine navigation, reported
to the Japan Coast Guard that the Takayama was hit by a rocket. The
type of the weapon has yet to be identified.

18) Poll: Aso tops 'post-Fukuda' premiership list

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 22, 2008

Taro Aso, a former secretary general of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party, topped all other politicians at 21 PERCENT in a
popularity rating for potential prime ministers, the Nihon Keizai
Shimbun found from its recent public opinion survey conducted Apr.
18-20. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi was close behind at
20 PERCENT . Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fukuda ranked third at 8
PERCENT . Among others, Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), was at 6 PERCENT ,
and the DPJ's Naoto Kan at 4 PERCENT , followed by the LDP's
Sadakazu Tanigaki and Yuriko Koike at 3 PERCENT each and the DPJ's
Katsuya Okada also at 3 PERCENT .

Among LDP supporters, Koizumi outstripped all others at 30 PERCENT ,
followed by Aso at 28 PERCENT . Among DPJ supporters, Aso paralleled
Ozawa at 16 PERCENT . Among those with no particular party
affiliation, Aso stood at 21 PERCENT , with Koizumi at 14 PERCENT
and Kan at 7 PERCENT .

19) Blue Pencil Column

ASAHI (Page 31) (Full)
April 22, 2008

Old documents, including the menu of dishes the government of Edo
served to first U.S. Consul General Harris, who visited Japan to
sign a Japan-U.S. Friendship and Commerce Treaty, have been found in
Shimojo Village, Nagano Prefecture.

The documents have been stored for more than 100 years in a
warehouse of Shoji Iijima (55), a farmer whose ancestor was a
village headman at the time. It appears that a village doctor who
studied in Edo brought back the documents to the village.

The Opening of Yokohama Port Resource Center checked the documents.
It is now planning to recreate dishes on the menu, including botan
shrimp, sea bream, and botargo. The menu includes a variety of
seafood. Iijima noted, "My ancestors were looking at the menu in a
mountainous countryside. I would like to offer real seafood from the

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menu to my family altar."


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