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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - U.S.-Russia Summit, Nato Summit, And

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070424Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5550
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000939

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 - U.S.-RUSSIA SUMMIT, NATO SUMMIT, AND
NORTH KOREA

1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Monday morning included the
disruption of the Olympic torch relay in London by a group of
protestors opposing the Chinese crackdown in Tibet, as well as
Sunday's summit in Sochi, Russia, between President Bush and Russian
President Putin. They reportedly adopted a new 'strategic framework'
for bilateral cooperation, but failed to hammer out an agreement on
the U.S. plan to deploy MD platforms in Eastern Europe.

2. "U.S., Russia Rely on 'Personal Bond'" The liberal Asahi wrote
from Sochi (4/7): "President Bush and President Putin called each
other by their first names and concluded their joint press
conference with a handshake. However, with Russia remaining
steadfastly opposed to the idea of deploying MD platforms in Eastern
Europe, the summit exposed the limits of U.S.-Russia relations,
which at present rely heavily on personal ties between the two
leaders.... From a Russian viewpoint, the fact that President Bush
met with President-elect Medvedev and hence recognized the
legitimacy of the power transition at the Kremlin was the foremost
accomplishment of the summit...."

3. "MD Deployment in Eastern Europe Proceeding in View of U.S.
Initiative" The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri's Washington
correspondent reported from Sochi (4/7): "A gap remained between the
U.S. and Russia over the former's plan to deploy MD platforms in
Eastern Europe. However, Washington is set to go ahead with the plan
while giving consideration to Moscow's concerns. The Bush
administration is determined not to give up on its initiative to
defend against ballistic missiles, which it considers a real
security threat in the 21st century.... The U.S., while welcoming a
recent agreement with Russia to explore the idea of establishing a
joint MD system in the future, will not allow that to be used as an
excuse to postpone the planned deployment."

4. "NATO Unity Being Tested" The business-oriented Nikkei
editorialized (4/6): "French President Sarkozy has committed an
additional 700 troops to Afghanistan. The French decision is
welcome, as it will help with the war on terrorism. However,
problems still remain. NATO is divided between those who attach
importance to military operations and those who value civilian
assistance. The gap between the two camps may widen in the event of
a stalemate in operations to eradicate terrorists in Afghanistan.
NATO unity is being tested."

5. "NATO Remains Cohesive Entity" The Yomiuri's European bureau
chief commented (4/6): "Along with its decision to endorse the
future membership of Ukraine and Georgia, NATO during its summit in
Bucharest also approved membership for Croatia and Albania, while
French President Sarkozy said that France will return to NATO's
joint military command. With all these developments taken together,
the summit appears to have proven that NATO is still a cohesive
entity ready to expand further.... NATO is currently facing the
critical challenge of improving security in Afghanistan. However,
one cannot argue that the organization's raison d'tre rests on
success in nation-building in Afghanistan. From a long-term
standpoint, NATO members are likely to pass the hard lessons of the
Afghan operations on to the organization's next generation."

6. "Do Not Be Duped by Pyongyang's Provocations" The
economic-oriented Nikkei insisted in an editorial (4/7): "North
Korea customarily ups the ante and looks to attract international
attention as a way of seeking economic aid and other benefits. South
Korea is the top target of Pyongyang's brinkmanship at present. The
Lee administration must not allow itself to be duped by North Korean
provocations. Seoul should react in a cool-headed manner in

TOKYO 00000939 002 OF 002


coordination with the U.S. and Japan, while keeping a close eye on
U.S.-DPRK nuclear negotiations."

SCHIEFFER

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