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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 04/30/08

VZCZCXRO1662
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1182/01 1210820
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300820Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3866
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9919
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7534
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1213
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5904
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8129
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3072
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9087
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9591

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 001182

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 04/30/08


INDEX:

(1) No option for plan revision: Maher (Okinawa Times)

(2) U.S. military to return Camp Zukeran's industrial area along Rt.
58: Maher (Okinawa Times)

(3) MOD to reconsider golfing facilities available to SDF personnel
at low fees (Sankei)

(4) Reporters' monthly report: Prime Minister Fukuda makes careless
remarks, seems to be tired (Tokyo Shimbun)

(5) Editorial: Inclusion of spinal columns in U.S. beef shipment;
Regrettable, but need to deal with incident in cool-headed manner
(Sankei)

(6) Africa begins to walk on its own (Sankei)

ARTICLES:

(1) No option for plan revision: Maher

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
April 30, 2008

Okinawa Prefecture and the government have been facing difficulties
in their negotiations over where to build an alternative facility
for Futenma airfield. The Okinawa Times interviewed U.S. Consul
General in Okinawa Kevin Maher about the U.S. government's view.
Maher took part in the intergovernmental agreement on the planned
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan as security affairs officer at
the U.S. Embassy in Japan,

-- It has been two years since the Japanese and U.S. governments
finalized their realignment agreement.

Maher: Politically, Okinawa Prefecture and Nago City differ with the
government. Specifically, however, an environmental impact
assessment has also started and is now well under way. I believe
that the construction of an alternative facility can be completed by
2014. We must not forget that the agreement has two purposes. One is
transformation, and the other is realignment. We need to alleviate
Okinawa's burden and improve the capability of our bilateral
alliance at the same time. It (change) is under way with the
deployment of PAC-3 batteries (in Okinawa), the joint use of bases
with the Self-Defense Force, and the relocation of Kadena-based
fighter jets' flight training missions. This has been fairly
successful. At the same time, we have to relocate Futenma airfield
and alleviate Okinawa's burden as soon as possible.

-- Okinawa Prefecture has been insisting on offshore relocation.

Maher: The Japanese government coordinated with local communities on
its plan to build a V-shaped pair of airstrips, and then the
Japanese government proposed the plan. The U.S. government has
accepted the proposal. I took part in the talks until the end.
However, we agreed on the plan because the Japanese government
listened to local communities and came up with a well-balanced plan
that gives consideration to the environment. Coordination is over
now, and we entered the phase of implementation two years ago. The
environmental assessment cannot be the reason for offshore

TOKYO 00001182 002 OF 007


relocation. That is because there would be more landfill then and
that would have a major impact on the environment. The two options
are whether to implement or not implement the plan. Revising the
plan is not an option.

-- There is still no explanation to local communities about the
scale of Camp Zukeran's reversion.

Maher: We have yet to announce this officially. However, there is no
problem about returning an area on the east side of Route 58.
Further reversion is linked to Guam, so we are now coordinating on
the housing area. But I can say we can expect large-scale reversion.
We will focus on Futenma and Guam first, and then on the bases south
of Kadena in the next phase.

(2) U.S. military to return Camp Zukeran's industrial area along Rt.
58: Maher

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Full)
April 30, 2008

Along with the planned realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, the
United States has agreed with Japan to return a partial area of the
U.S. Marine Corps' Camp Zukeran (Camp Foster) in Okinawa Prefecture,
U.S. Consul General in Okinawa Kevin Maher told the Okinawa Times in
an interview yesterday. The area is on the premises of Camp Zukeran,
which covers a total area of about 640 hectares, and is situated
along Route 58, straddling Chatan Town and Ginowan City. On May 1
two years ago, Japan and the United States finalized their plan
(roadmap) for the U.S. force realignment in Japan. However, this is
the first time that a U.S. government official has revealed a
specific area of Camp Zukeran to be returned. The area is about 100
hectares.

"There is no problem about (returning) the industrial area that is
situated along Route 58," Maher said. Japan has asked the United
States to return more than 320 hectares. However, Maher said: "This
is linked to the Guam relocation, so we're now adjusting the needs
for family housing for those remaining in Okinawa. I think it is
possible to expect large-scale reversion."

Camp Zukeran is one of the six U.S. military bases located south of
the Kadena base incorporated in the roadmap. This is the only case
in which the scale of reversion has yet to be determined. The area
on the east side of Route 58 is an industrial area with warehouses
and motor pools.

Meanwhile, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has been calling on the
U.S. military to close down Futenma airfield within three years. "We
need to maintain (the airfield's current) capability (until the
construction of an alternative facility is completed," Maher said,
"so we can't do it within three years." He added, "We will have to
relocate the airfield at an early date in order to resolve the
concerns of local residents in the vicinity of Futenma airfield."

(3) MOD to reconsider golfing facilities available to SDF personnel
at low fees

SANKEI (Top play) (Full)
April 29, 2008

It became clear on April 28 from a fact-finding survey by the

TOKYO 00001182 003 OF 007


Ministry of Defense (MOD) that there are 11 golfing facilities
available to Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel and related
officials free or at low rates. Those facilities are located inside
SDF bases across the country. It was not publicly known until now
that the SDF have those golfing facilities. Although MOD is
toughening discipline among its personnel in the wake of a series of
scandals and accidents involving the organization, one senior SDF
officer pointed out: "We need to reconsider those golfing facilities
in order to restore public confidence." Defense Minister Shigeru
Ishiba instructed the staff to discuss what to do about the golf
courses.

According to MOD, the Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) has one
golfing facility at Camp Kisarazu (in Chiba Prefecture). The
Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) has two courses, including one at
Shimofusa Air Base (in Chiba Prefecture). The Air Self-Defense Force
(ASDF) has eight courses, including one at Iruma Air Base (in
Saitama Prefecture).

Most golfing facilities have been constructed on safely secured
grassy areas near airfields and anti-aircraft training ranges. The
facilities were constructed for the purpose of helping SDF personnel
build up their physical strength and effectively use their spare
time. The largest facilities are located at the ASDF Iruma Base and
the GSDF Kisarazu Base. They are equipped with a teeing-off area,
bunkers, and greens with 11 holes and 9 holes, respectively.

Most facilities are available only to SDF personnel and ex-SDF
personnel, but some ranges are available also to their family
members and friends. Most courses are free and some courses operate
under a membership system (a monthly membership fee ranges from
1,000 yen to 3,000 yen). Those ranges are operated and managed by
SDF personnel with maintenance of the ranges and mowing handled by
SDF personnel. Reportedly SDF personnel use those ranges when they
are off duty, on Saturdays and Sundays, or on national holidays.

MOD says, "Legally, there is no problem about using security sites
as golf facilities." But residents in the vicinities have not been
informed of the existence of those courses. At some bases, the
facilities are concealed by surrounding trees and are called
"special training grounds."

A senior MOD officer, casting doubts on continuing the existence of
such facilities, noted, "Bases and other facilities are constructed
on state-owned land. Those golfing facilities are available at lower
fees than general golf courses. I wonder if it is a good thing to
keep them open, since we have to restore the public confidence we've
lost owing to a spate of scandals and accidents."

Defense Minister Ishiba, who is energetically advancing reform of
the ministry, also has instructed concerned bureaus to consider what
to do about the on-base golfing facilities. Measures being
considered at present include scrapping all golf courses or making
them available to citizens under certain conditions.

(4) Reporters' monthly report: Prime Minister Fukuda makes careless
remarks, seems to be tired

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
April 30, 2008

With the defeat of the candidate of his party, the ruling Liberal

TOKYO 00001182 004 OF 007


Democratic Party (LDP), in Sunday's Lower House by-election in the
Yamaguchi No. 2 constituency, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will find
it increasingly difficult to steer his administration. The support
rate for the Fukuda cabinet has now dropped to below 30 PERCENT ,
entering a danger zone (historically for prime ministers). Moreover,
the prime minister has recently made some remarks that reporters
assigned to cover him feel are controversial.

On April 20 when Fukuda visited Yamaguchi Prefecture to support the
LDP candidate running for the Lower House by-election, he said: "The
purpose of the health-care system this time around is to let (the
elderly) shoulder a little (of the cost of medical insurance
premiums)."

Fukuda might have tried to explain (the health-care system) to make
it understandable, but his speech appeared to have lacked
consideration to those voters concerned about the situation. Sure
enough, people there listening to his speech fell quiet, as one
would expect.

The prime minister hosted a cherry blossom party at Shinjuku-Gyoen
on April 12. There, he made a remark that raised eyebrows.

Before approximately 10,000 guests, including politicians, business
leaders, and celebrities, Fukuda said: "There are many kinds of
issues, such as rising prices. But we such can't be helped. It is
important for us to withstand and overcome them."

A senior ruling coalition member made this candid comment about his
remark that rising prices could not be helped: "It is a politician's
role to resolve such issues."

With the prime minister frequently coming out with such careless
remarks, one could assume that he may be getting tired.

Until April 28, Fukuda took only one day off in the month. In
addition to stumping for the LDP candidate running in the Lower
House by-election, and a visit to Hokkaido, Fukuda made a trip to
Russia. In addition, Foreign Ministry officials often call on him at
the Prime Minister's Official Residence. A person close to the prime
minister said that Fukuda was really tired, but still, his making
careless remarks just will not do.

(5) Editorial: Inclusion of spinal columns in U.S. beef shipment;
Regrettable, but need to deal with incident in cool-headed manner

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 30, 2008

Spinal columns, one of the materials that must be removed from U.S.
beef coming into Japan, have been found in a shipment less than two
years since U.S. beef imports were resumed. We must say that the
incident is extremely regrettable.

However, what happened this time appears to have been caused by a
simple mistake with the meatpacker putting beef destined for the
U.S. market into a box bound for Japan.

A similar incident occurred two and a half years ago. However,
structural problems, such as that meat-processing plants and
inspectors not being familiar with Japan-bound export standards,
were behind that incident. It must be taken into account that the

TOKYO 00001182 005 OF 007


cause of the incident this time is different from that of the past
incident in terms of seriousness.

Though the specified risk material (SRM) was found in only one out
of 700 boxes (totaling 17 tons) shipped to Japan by the meatpacker
in question, all boxes were immediately disposed of. Following the
incident, the government has strengthened the quarantine system. It
has also placed a total ban on imports of beef from that plant for
the time being. More importantly, it was fortunate that the meat was
not put on the table.

It is only natural that even though the incident was caused by a
simple mistake, Japan strongly called on the U.S. to find the cause
of the incident and take measures to prevent a recurrence. An
emotional reaction will not solve anything. We must make sure that
we always need to tackle the BSE issue, based on scientific grounds
in a cool-headed manner.

A total ban was placed on imports of U.S. beef, when a BSE-infected
cow was for the first time discovered in the U.S. in late 2003. In
resuming U.S. beef imports, Japan and the U.S. agreed that only beef
obtained from cattle 20 months of age or younger is eligible for
exports and that SRM, such as spinal columns and brains, where
agents causing BSE tend to accumulate, must be removed completely.

The discovery of spinal columns in the previous incident occurred
immediately after the resumption. An embargo was placed again, which
had been in place until imports were resumed in July 2006.

Experts are divided in their views of Japan's beef safety standards.
Beef-exporting countries are critical of Japan's standards as being
too strict, compared with international standards. Japan's
restaurant industry has also sought that the age criterion be eased
to match the international standard of 30 months or younger.

Talks between Tokyo and Washington are continuing on the easing of
Japan's import standards. Chances are that reaching a settlement
could be put off due to the incident this time.

Many observers are of the opinion that Japan is the strictest in the
world in terms of food safety. It is not easy to regain consumer
trust once it is lost. It is necessary for the U.S. to seriously
reflect on its repeated violations of the agreement. If it does not
take the incident seriously as having been caused by a simple
mistake, Japanese consumers might completely turn their backs on
U.S. beef for the last time.

(6) Africa begins to walk on its own

SANKEI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
April 30, 2008

Yukio Okamoto, international affairs advisor

The year 1960 was called the year of Africa, but since then until
recently, Africa had been left behind. Now again, Africa has grabbed
the spotlight for two notable reasons.

First, there is the negative aspect of it being a civilization that
has become a nest for terrorism and AIDS. Second, Africa has become
an important continent in terms of its economic aspects. The
continent has moved remarkably into the international spotlight

TOKYO 00001182 006 OF 007


because of its natural resources. With rapid economic growth in such
emerging countries as China and India, the demand for natural
resources across the world has been rising.

Chinese President Hu Jintao has already traveled to 14 African
countries and Premier Wen Jiabao has visited eight African countries
over the past few years. Japan has embassies in 27 African
countries, but China has 47 embassies. China aims to secure oil and
mineral resources in Africa. China hosted the China-Africa
Cooperation Forum in Beijing in 2006. In the meeting, China declared
it would establish a development fund by investing $5 billion in it.
Of China's overseas aid to other countries of the world, more than
40 PERCENT has been directed toward Africa. Africa has become a
strategic target for China.

The problem about China's moves is that the country spreads money
around freely and without being fettered by any rules set by the
OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC), which are applied to
the industrialized countries. All China wants is to do is secure
resources. China doesn't care to whom they grant money: human rights
violators or dictators.

Meanwhile, Japan is an honest aid provider, but regrettably, the
amount of aid provided by Japan is very small. Japan's economic
cooperation budget has been trimmed every year in the course of
budget examination. As a result, the current budget is a 40 PERCENT
decrease from a decade ago because during that timeframe, the aid
budget has been cut across the board in line with the principles for
economic and fiscal management and structural reform concerning
budget compilation. The budget for economic cooperation is now
merely 1.5 PERCENT of the general budget. It is possible to handle
that budget as an exceptional case from budget cuts if a political
decision is made to do so. ODA is a kind of world tax for Japan to
survive in the world.

China has decided to donate a huge building to be used as the
headquarters of the African Union (AU). This donation has gained
publicity not only in Ethiopia, where the AU headquarters is
located, but also all over Africa. All Japan can do about that is
just watch.

Japan is to host the 4th round of the Tokyo International Conference
on African Development (TICAD) in Yokohama City. The session is to
kick off on May 28. It is expected to be joined by representatives
from 53 African countries. Of them, more than 40 countries will send
their top leaders. This will be an unprecedented gathering of so
many top leaders from Africa, but Japan has yet to gain momentum as
a host country. One reason seems to lie in the fact that under the
current public relations budget of the Japanese government, it is
not allowed to create anything but a limited number of brochures and
posters on the upcoming TICAD.

Drastic changes in relations between countries and economic
competition are gaining impetus across the world. Africa's
population exceeds 900 million persons. It was unlikely in the past
that destitute areas with an overcrowded population would grow
economically, but now an overcrowded region is growing. Africa's
economic growth rates are higher than those of the Group of Eight
industrialized countries. Africa's economy is about to take off.
Japan has succeeded in having more than 40 top leaders from Africa
join the TICAD meeting. This is great. I praise the Japanese
government's efforts in this regard. Africa relies on Japan. Africa

TOKYO 00001182 007 OF 007


has began to walk on its own. This is to be noted.

SCHIEFFER

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