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

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040754Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9466
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7083
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0752
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5529
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7679
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2638
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8665
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9198

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 000929

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 04/04/08


INDEX:

AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
PUBLIC AFFAIRS SECTION
OFFICE OF TRANSLATION AND MEDIA ANALYSIS
INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
INTERNET E-MAIL ADDRESS: otmatokyo@state.gov
DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS
April 4, 2008

INDEX:
(1) Information on U.S. deserters not provided; Calls growing for
sharing information (Yomiuri)

(2) Editorial - Arrest of U.S. seaman: Information about deserter
should have been available to Japanese side (Asahi)

(3) Editorial: U.S. sailor's arrest-SOFA's flexible implementation
needed (Sankei)

(4) Masanori Yamazaki, whose wife was killed by U.S. serviceman in
2006: U.S. military has changed nothing; Day of reflection, curfew
empty measures (Asahi)

ARTICLES:

(1) Information on U.S. deserters not provided; Calls growing for
sharing information

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
April 4, 2008

A U.S. service member has been arrested in connection with yet
another heinous crime. The suspect is a sailor who fled from a base.
There are growing calls for tighter U.S. military surveillance of
service members of loose morals, as well as for information on
deserters.

On April 3, U.S. Ambassador to Japan J. Thomas Schieffer called on
Mayor Ryoichi Kabaya of Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture, to offer
an apology. A stern-faced Kabaya told a press conference after his
meeting with Ambassador Schieffer and others: "We asked the U.S.
military to take specific measures, such as a system that will not
produce deserters and a solid communication system with our city."

The arrested was Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a 22-year-old seaman apprentice
(itto suihei) of Nigerian nationality. He deserted from Yokosuka
Naval Base on March 8 after causing trouble there. The U.S. military
declared him a deserter on March 10.

The U.S. Navy did not ask the Japanese side for investigative
cooperation until the murder occurred on March 19. The city received
information (on Ugbogu) for the first time on March 20. A political
assistant at U.S. Navy command in Japan said on the phone, "There is
a possibility that a deserter is involved in the murder."

The Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement provides that (the U.S.
military) is allowed to request Japanese investigative authorities
to arrest deserters. According to the National Police Agency, U.S.
Forces Japan made such requests a total of nine times between 2005
and March 31, 2008. Of them, two deserters have not been
apprehended. The U.S. Navy command has not made public the number of

TOKYO 00000929 002 OF 006


deserters, while indicating it "cannot comment" on what situations
the U.S. military asks for cooperation.

In Yokosuka, an aircraft carrier crew member committed a murder in
January 2006. In July 2007, a sailor also stabbed two young women in
the city. There is growing outrage in the city, with one citizen
saying, "What has the U.S. military been doing over the last two
years?"

In Okinawa, a U.S. Marine allegedly assaulted a middle school girl
in February this year. This was followed by a string of incidents by
persons connected with the U.S. military, such as drunk driving and
trespassing. Governor Hirokazu Nakaima said critically, "The U.S.
military has not strictly enforced discipline."

Tetsuei Tamayose, 73, the chairman of the Prefectural Liaison
Council for Nurturing Children who also served as chief organizer of
a prefectural protest rally against incidents and accidents by U.S.
service members, held in March this year, said: "The seaman's
involvement had been suspected all along since the incident
occurred. Japanese police have not been able to interview (the
seaman), and that I feel is a barrier of the Japan-U.S. Status of
Forces Agreement."

Yokosuka City Base Affairs Division Chief Masashi Suzuki noted, "We
have never heard of a crime committed by a deserter. Information
must be shared in one way or another." But when it comes to specific
measures, he said, "It is a matter for the U.S. military to
consider." The U.S. Navy headquarters in Japan also said: "There is
only one way not to produce deserters: lock up the service members
in their bases."

Government concerned about possible ill effects on Japan-U.S.
relations

The government is concerned that a string of crimes committed by
service members based in Japan might adversely affect Japan-U.S.
relations.

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura yesterday afternoon called U.S.
Ambassador to Japan J. Thomas Schieffer to his ministry and
protested, saying, "It is truly regrettable that another murder has
been committed by a U.S. service member." The Ambassador apologized,
saying: "It was truly a tragic incident and one that we could not
have prevented. We are deeply sorry." (Editor's note: The note taker
indicates that the Ambassador did not specifically say that the
incident was one that we could not have prevented.)

The government is also intensely concerned about the fact the
incident occurred in Yokosuka, which "has a deep understanding of
U.S. forces in Japan," a Foreign Ministry source put it. The U.S.
military is scheduled to deploy a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier
-- the first in Japan -- at Yokosuka Naval Base in August this year.
The Yokosuka mayor accepted its deployment after fierce debate.

Foreign Minister Machimura applied pressure on Ambassador Schieffer,
saying, "(The incident) will impair the mayor's position. Caution
must be practiced."

The government was especially shocked by the fact that the crime was
committed by a deserter. Under the SOFA, U.S. service members are
allowed to enter Japan without passports. The governments of Japan

TOKYO 00000929 003 OF 006


and the United States have reached an agreement to consider how
information on deserters and other matters should be provided. It
will be discussed soon by the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee.

Meanwhile, the secretaries general of three opposition parties,
including the Democratic Party of Japan, presented yesterday a SOFA
revision plan to Foreign Minister Koumura and others. The plan is
designed to (1) apply the alien registration system to U.S. service
members living off base, and (2) expand the scope of pre-indictment
handover to include all crimes.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda asked reporters at his official
residence yesterday, "If the SOFA is revised, will such an incident
not occur?"

(2) Editorial - Arrest of U.S. seaman: Information about deserter
should have been available to Japanese side

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
April 4, 2008

U.S. Ambassador to Japan J. Thomas Schieffer apologized: "I deeply
regret this incident and apologize for it." But this apology had a
hollow ring amid a succession of crimes committed by U.S. military
personnel.

A half month has passed since a taxi driver was killed on the job in
a residential area in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. A U.S.
serviceman of Nigerian nationality was handed over to Kanagawa
prefectural police from the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base and was
arrested on suspicion of robbery and murder.

The taxi driver was attacked and stabbed to death by a passenger he
picked up. This was a terrible incident for other taxi drivers, as
well.

Yokosuka City also had an incident two years ago, in which a U.S.
serviceman robbed a women and killed her. This past February, a U.S.
Marine was arrested on a charge of raping a junior high school girl
in Okinawa, but this case was dropped, as the victim withdrew her
complaint.

Measures have been taken to prevent a recurrence, but a heinous
crime has again taken place.

What has surfaced in the ongoing police investigation is one
important factor, which is the fact that the arrested U.S. seaman
deserted more than 10 days before committing the crime, and that the
U.S. military were searching for his whereabouts. But the
information about the existence of such a deserter was not known to
local governments until the incident occurred.

The Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) does not obligate
the U.S. to inform Japan of missing U.S. military personnel.
Reportedly, the seaman who killed the taxi driver caused trouble in
the base and disappeared. Presumably, he might have fled without
much money on him. Given this, it was fully conceivable that he
could cause trouble outside the base.

If the Japanese side had been told about the deserter, the police
would have more frequently patrolled the vicinity of the base and
could have found the deserter before he committed a murder. Taxi

TOKYO 00000929 004 OF 006


drivers also would have been wary of any foreigner they picked up,
suspecting he might have deserted from the military.

If there are U.S. servicemen who may commit a crime, we ask the U.S.
military to let the Japanese side know that fact.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military have been cooperative toward the
Japanese police investigation this time. The U.S. military, which
had taken the deserter into custody, has conveyed to prefectural
police every detail of its interrogations. With the planned
deployment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier at Yokosuka in
August, the U.S. forces wanted to avoid incurring any negative
reaction from the local community.

Under SOFA, however, if the U.S. military take a serviceman into
custody, the U.S. side will not hand him over to the Japanese side
before indictment. We wonder, however, whether SOFA should be kept
as it is. In this case, the U.S. side handed the seaman to the
Japanese side before indictment. This treatment has been taken as
"favorable consideration" by the U.S. to Japan.

In order to prevent and settle incidents, how will Japan and the
U.S. share information and work together? We think it is high time
to reconsider SOFA and the way it is implemented.

There have been 7 cases heinous crimes committed by U.S. servicemen
in Japan during the past year involving 10 persons. If the number of
crimes is not reduced, local communities housing U.S. military bases
will only become more fearful. Mutual trust, the foundation of
Japan-U.S. relations, could then waver.

We again ask the U.S. military to devise measures to prevent heinous
crimes.

(3) Editorial: U.S. sailor's arrest-SOFA's flexible implementation
needed

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 4, 2008

There have been heinous crimes involving U.S. military personnel.
The anxiety and anger of local communities hosting U.S. military
bases is growing.

In February this year, a U.S. Marine was arrested for (allegedly)
raping a junior high school girl in the Okinawa prefectural town of
Chatan. In the wake of that incident, U.S. Forces Japan pledged to
prevent similar incidents from recurring. U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Schieffer also expressed his regret and offered apologies. We ask
USFJ to educate and guide its personnel in a thoroughgoing way.

A taxi driver of Tokyo's Shinagawa Ward was recently stabbed to
death in his taxi on a street near the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in
Yokosuka City, Kanagawa Prefecture. In this incident, a U.S. Navy
seaman apprentice of Nigerian nationality, who was in the U.S.
Navy's custody at the U.S. naval base, is strongly suspected of
having committed the crime. Kanagawa prefectural police have now
arrested this U.S. sailor on the charges of robbery and murder.

Kanagawa prefectural police obtained an arrest warrant for the U.S.
sailor on suspicion of murdering the taxi driver. Local
investigative authorities asked the U.S. Navy to turn over the

TOKYO 00000929 005 OF 006


sailor before his indictment, based on an intergovernmental
agreement on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement's improved
implementation, and they executed the arrest warrant upon the
sailor's transfer to local police.

The arrested U.S. serviceman has basically admitted to the
allegations, and Kanagawa police are now investigating him to pursue
what happened and why he killed the taxi driver.

The SOFA, concluded between Japan and the United States in 1960,
provides that the United States will detain suspects in its custody
until Japanese investigative authorities indict them.

As it stands, if U.S. military personnel commit a crime in Japan and
run into a U.S. military base, Japanese police cannot do anything
until they are indicted.

Admitting that this is too unfair and will only worsen Japanese
sentiment toward U.S. forces, the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee agreed
in 1995 to improve the SOFA's implementation. Based on this
bilateral agreement, the United States is to favorably consider
Japanese requests for turning over U.S. military personnel involved
in heinous crimes. In other criminal cases involving SOFA-status
personnel as well, the United States is also to consider Japanese
requests if Japan has serious concern about the cases. The
agreement, though equivocal, improved the SOFA's implementation.

In the incident this time, a Yokosuka-based U.S. serviceman came up
as a material witness from the start. The U.S. Navy, which
investigated him on a charge of desertion, has remained committed to
fully cooperating in the Japanese police's investigation. The
suspect was smoothly handed over to local police through the
Japan-U.S. Joint Committee's procedures.

There is no end to crimes involving U.S. military personnel in
Okinawa and other prefectures hosting U.S. military bases. On this
occasion, the U.S. military should take every possible measure in
enforcing discipline for its personnel and should also take even
more flexible and elastic actions for the SOFA's implementation in
order to earn Japan's confidence.

(4) Masanori Yamazaki, whose wife was killed by U.S. serviceman in
2006: U.S. military has changed nothing; Day of reflection, curfew
empty measures

ASAHI (Page 31) (Full)
April 3, 2008

The Kanagawa Prefectural Police have decided to seek an arrest
warrant for a Yokosuka-based U.S. Navy seaman on suspicion of
killing a tax driver. In this regard, Masanori Yamazaki, 60, whose
wife was killed by a U.S. military serviceman in January 2006 in
Kanagawa Prefecture, angrily said: "The U.S. military has not
changed anything. I feel frustrated. The incident has made my blood
boil."

A crewmember of the USS Kitty Hawk attempted to rob Yamazaki's
56-year-old wife in the early morning of Jan. 3, 2006, on her way to
work. His wife resisted and was murdered after being beaten and
stomped by the Kitty Hawk sailor. The sailor stole 16,000 yen in
cash and fled. Four days after that, the sailor was arrested on
suspicion of a robbery and murder. In June 2006, the Yokohama

TOKYO 00000929 006 OF 006


District Court sentenced him to an indefinite prison term.

The U.S. serviceman offered no apology during the trial. In October
2006, Yamazaki filed suit against the United States and the sailor
for about 200 million yen. He claimed that the sailor's superior had
not taken any such measures as forbidding him from drinking,
although he had gone bar-hopping before he killed the woman.

The special civil law on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement
(SOFA) stipulates that if a U.S. service member illegally inflicts
damage on other people while on duty in Japan, the Japanese
government will pay the damages. Although the sailor committed the
crime off duty, Yamazaki has pursued the responsibility of the U.S.
military, claiming that the U.S. military has supervisory
responsibility. Yamazaki also has asserted that the nation does not
take measures for crimes committed by U.S. military personnel.

Besides the lawsuit, Yamazaki had called for eradicating crimes by
U.S. military personnel by participating in protest rallies. In a
rally in mid-February in Tokyo protesting sexual assaults against
schoolgirls in Okinawa by U.S. servicemen, Yamazaki before about 80
participants stressed:

"I believed that the U.S. military is deployed to protect Japan, but
my wife was brutally killed. I cannot suffer in silence. I want to
make efforts until there are no crimes (committed by U.S. service
members)."

Under such circumstances, the tragic taxi driver murder occurred
just two years after Yamazaki's wife had been slain.

Yamasaki said:

"It was wrong that the U.S. side did not report anything to the
Japanese government at the time the suspect deserted. Even though
the U.S. military set aside a day for reflection and imposed a
temporary ban on leaving the base, they were empty measures. If
eliminating the U.S. bases in Japan is difficult, I want at least
U.S. service members to stay on the bases."

SCHIEFFER

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