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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Dprk-Syria Nuclear

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DE RUEHKO #1158 1190113
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280113Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 001158

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 - DPRK-SYRIA NUCLEAR
CONNECTION AND NATIONALISM IN CHINA


1. LEAD STORIES: All Monday morning papers gave top
coverage to the landslide victory of the DPJ candidate
over his LDP rival in Sunday's bi-election in
Yamaguchi.

2. "Is Bush Administration Going Back to Hard line?"
The business-oriented Nikkei editorialized (4/26): "The
impact of the Bush administration's astonishing
statement on a DPRK-Syria nuclear connection serves as
a stark reminder of the fear of nuclear proliferation
in the Middle East. Additionally, the U.S.
administration will be forced to change its soft line
toward North Korea, which has been pushed by Assistant
Secretary of State Hill.... The timing of the release

SIPDIS
of the information on this nuclear link can be viewed
as an expression of discontent on the part of the White
House at negotiations with North Korea undertaken by
the State Department."

3. "U.S. Silence Remained Too Long" The liberal
Mainichi argued (4/26): "Judging from past experiences,
it cannot be possible that the U.S. was not aware of an
outline of an Israeli attack on a Syrian facility last
September.... While Washington may have been concerned
about the effects of the Israeli military operation on
the six-party talks, it should have made an
announcement of the operation in a timely manner. It is
terrifying for Japan to think that the Bush
administration considered delisting North Korea as a
state sponsor of terrorism while withholding
information on a Pyongyang-Damascus connection. A
nontransparent deal with North Korea would create
problems for the future."

4. "Nuclear Proliferation Is Frightening" The liberal
Asahi claimed in an editorial (4/26): "A nuclear
declaration by North Korea can never be accepted if it
fails to address the issue of suspected nuclear
cooperation between it and Syria.... At the same time,
it must not be forgotten that holding patient
negotiations at the six-party talks are the only way to
find a solution to the North Korean nuclear problem.
The DPRK is obliged to answer questions held by the
international community about the alleged nuclear link
with Syria, as well as its uranium enrichment. The U.S.
should carefully and yet effectively use the issue of
delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism
as a trump card."

5. "Rising Nationalism Is Double-Edged Sword" The
liberal Tokyo Shimbun contended (4/28): "A surge in
nationalism in China is a double-edged sword, as it
could misguide the nation. A boycott of French products
prompted by information on the Internet developed into
demonstrations.... It was apparent from the start that
any boycott of foreign products would undermine the
development of China, which is striving to open up its
economic system.... The time has already come for China
to give up on its hard line fed by nationalism and
instead begin genuine dialogue with the Dalai Lama."

SCHIEFFER

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