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

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DE RUEHKO #0959/01 0990828
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8718
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 000959

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 04/08/08


INDEX:

(1) "Governor Shirakawa" to attend G-7 meeting (Yomiuri)

(2) Discord in DPJ over selection of BOJ deputy chief; Government,
ruling coalition frustrated with DPJ's response (Tokyo Shimbun)

(3) Fukuda administration beset with troubles both at home and
abroad: No breakthrough for environmental strategy (Asahi)

(4) DPJ President Ozawa, at the two year mark, going forward with
preparations for his "last fight" for the party, with next Lower
House election in mind (Nikkei)

(5) What is the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee? (Mainichi)

(6) Editorial: Change the policy line to one enhancing ODA (Nikkei)

(7) Sankei-FNN poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gasoline
tax (Sankei)

ARTICLES:

(1) "Governor Shirakawa" to attend G-7 meeting

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Excerpts)
April 8, 2008

It became certain yesterday that Bank of Japan Deputy Governor
Masaaki Shirakawa will become the central bank's new governor,
paving the way for his attendance at the G-7 meeting of finance
ministers and central governors to be held on April 11. The
development that narrowly escaped the deputy governor's attendance
at the upcoming G-7 meeting has elicited sighs of relief from BOJ
officials. A Shirakawa-led central bank, which has been toyed with
by lawmakers, is likely to continue facing a rocky road.

Japan Business Federation Chairman Fujio Mitarai told a press
conference yesterday: "Amid global financial uncertainties, the BOJ
governorship must not be left vacant. Mr. Shirakawa, who has
abundant experience and international awareness, is fit for the
job."

Many market players are also supportive of Shirakawa's promotion,
with Shinko Research Institute economist Norio Miyagawa saying, "Mr.
Shirakawa is one of the members who have built the BOJ's logical
framework. He is fully qualified for the job."

Shirakawa and Hiroshi Watanabe, candidate for one of the two BOJ
deputy governor posts, will deliver policy speeches in the Diet on
April 8. If their nominations are approved in the plenary sessions
of both chambers of the Diet on April 9, Deputy Governor Shirakawa
will immediately become the new central bank governor and head for
the United States on April 10 to attend the G-7 meeting.

The governor's timetable is packed with vital events, such as the
BOJ regional managers meeting on April 18 to discuss local economic
situations. All eyes will be on Shirakawa's caliber to handle a
plethora of challenges, including the U.S. subprime loan issue.

The central bank is scheduled to hold a monetary policy meeting on
April 8-9, chaired for the first time by Shirakawa. The bank is

TOKYO 00000959 002 OF 011


expected to decide to keep its interest rate at 0.5 PERCENT .

(2) Discord in DPJ over selection of BOJ deputy chief; Government,
ruling coalition frustrated with DPJ's response

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
April 8, 2008

Yesterday the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) executives
were in disarray over whether to accept the government nomination of
Hiroshi Watanabe, professor at Hitotsubashi University graduate
school, as one of the two deputy governors of the Bank of Japan
(BOJ). The government and ruling parties have strengthened criticism
of the DPJ for lacking coordination on internal views.

On April 4 Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki
told his DPJ counterpart Yukio Hatoyama that the government and
ruling coalition would like to promote incumbent Deputy Gov. Masaaki
Shirakawa to the top post and nominate Watanabe as Shirakawa's
successor. Senior DPJ members reached an agreement to endorse the
promotion of Shirakawa, but they remained at odds over the
nomination of Watanabe, a former vice finance minister for
international affairs, for the reason that if the party endorses
Watanabe's nomination, it will go against its assertion that the
amakudari practice of placing retired senior government officials
into top positions at private and public entities be terminated.

Appearing on an NHK talk show on April 6, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa
indicated his opposition to Watanabe's nomination, saying: "The DPJ
has strongly called for discontinuing the amakudari (golden
parachute) practice." Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka,
Ozawa's aide, took a position of opposing the nomination of
Watanabe.

Hatoyama, however, expressed his willingness to accept the Watanabe
nomination plan, telling the press yesterday: "I don't really think
that nominating Watanabe is necessarily included in the category of
the amakudari practice." He disapprovingly told a member of the
party's subcommittee on personnel shuffle: "Just two (Ozawa and
Yamaoka) are opposed to Watanabe's nomination." This reflects a move
in the DPJ to prevent the stalemate from turning into hopeless mess
regarding the selection of the BOJ executives.

Following the presentation of the nominations of Shirakawa and
Watanabe as the new chief and deputy chief of the central bank, the
DPJ held an executive meeting last night. In it, the executives just
confirmed that internal unity should be solidified. Some in the DPJ
have contended that the confrontation between Hatoyama and Yamaoka,
who are the contact points for the government and ruling coalition,
is the cause for confusion.

One of the mid-level members, who are critical of Ozawa, commented:
"It has now become clearer that party head Ozawa is losing his grip
on the party." This might impact adversely on Ozawa's management of
party affairs.

Meanwhile, the government and ruling camp are increasingly
frustrated with the DPJ's response.

Feeling that they will be able to secure approval from the largest
opposition party for the Watanabe nomination, the government and
ruling bloc decided on April 7 to present the nominations. When the

TOKYO 00000959 003 OF 011


situation took a dark turn, the government and ruling parties
desperately tried to look for the DPJ's real intention, but they
failed to do so. Therefore, their initial plan to present the
nominations at noon yesterday slipped to yesterday evening. A senior
LDP member said in disgust: "What's up with the DPJ? I give up!"

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda appeared to be reluctant to present the
nominations yesterday, telling a senior LDP member on the phone last
evening: "I wonder if I may be hurting Watanabe." After that, as
well, the government and ruling coalition failed to feel out the
DPJ's intention. But they decided to present the nominations, with
one government official saying: "If waiting, the situation will not
change."

In a press conference, Ibuki urged Hatoyama to get moving, saying:
"The DPJ needs more coordination. It is the practice in society that
the person who took the agreement to his party deals with the matter
in a responsible manner." A high government official, too, made this
comment: "The coordination this time around was carried out between
the secretaries general. So I want Mr. Hatoyama to do his best."

(3) Fukuda administration beset with troubles both at home and
abroad: No breakthrough for environmental strategy

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
April 6, 2008

Prime Minister Fukuda on April 5 appealed his proposal for realizing
a low carbon society to the public from Lake Toya in Hokkaido, the
venue of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit. However, with his
administration's power base waning, following a decline in public
support rates for his cabinet, he now has found it difficult to
display powerful leadership as a champion of a campaign to combat
climate change.

G-8 close at hand, but showcase issues have yet to be found

The prime minister on April 5 hosted the government's round-table on
global warming at The Windsor Hotel Toya by Lake Toya situated on
the summit of a snow-clad mountain. He expressed his desire to see
Japan lead discussions on the environmental issue: "In July, there
will be much greenery here, which will make leaders from G-8 nations
feel that the environment is important."

A number of experts warned that a delay in a shift to a low carbon
society, which makes full use of energy conservation and natural
energy, such as sunlight, could significantly damage national
interests.

The prime minister after the two-hour meeting said, "I felt a sense
of urgency. I would like the panel to come up with substantive
proposals, obtaining a national consensus by the G-8."

Participants decided to set up a subcommittee to consider concrete
measures to cut global warming greenhouse gas emissions. The
challenge would be enhancing "visibility," meaning introducing a
domestic emissions trading system and an environment tax, and
indicating the amounts of carbon emissions regarding manufactured
goods and services.

The prime minister, who is having trouble dealing with the divided
Diet, wants to show his presence as the chairman of the G-8, where

TOKYO 00000959 004 OF 011


measures to deal with global warming greenhouse gases will become a
major item of the agenda, thereby buoying up his administration.
However, public support rates for the cabinet stood at just over 30
PERCENT in an opinion poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun due to
his administration's declining power base and other issues, such as
the unfilled Bank of Japan governor position and the expiry of the
provisional gas tax rate. It is unclear whether Fukuda can obtain a
domestic consensus on the introduction of a carbon emissions rights
trading system and an environment tax, as the proposals are meeting
deep-rooted opposition from industrial circles.

The prime minister repeatedly pointed out that Japan's gas tax is
lower than those of Europe and the U.S. He was visibly impatient,
noting, "Other countries are raising taxes due to the environment
issues. However, Japan has lowered the gas tax. How can I explain
this to leaders of other countries?"

The Japanese government has yet to choose showcase issues to be
taken up at the G-8. One foreign ministry official noted, "Japan
should set a specific reduction goal to be achieved by 2050 in order
to clarify when its carbon emissions take a downward turn." An aide
to the prime minister took a cautious view, "We must not make the
G-8 a beauty contest for numbers."

Developing countries opposing Japanese proposal

Japan is struggling to have its proposal accepted in international
talks aimed at setting up a post-Kyoto Protocol framework. The first
taskforce meeting by signatories of the UN Framework Convention on
Climate Change has been held until early hours of the 5th. The April
5 edition of Bangkok Post, Thailand's English daily, front-paged the
meeting with the headline "Japanese proposal withdrawn."

Japan proposed a method of cutting greenhouse gas emissions called a
sector-specific approach. Under this method, the level of
energy-conserving technology would be set for each industrial
sector, such as the steel and power industries, and those sectors in
industrialized countries would reduce their carbon emissions by
transferring their technologies to developing countries. The total
goal of emissions cuts to be achieved by each country would be
calculated, by adding amounts of cuts each sector can achieve.

Developing countries are welcoming technology transfer, but they are
strongly opposing the Japanese proposal, citing that it could lead
to their accepting mandatory greenhouse gas emissions. With pros and
cons clashing over the Japanese proposal, the sector-specific
approach was removed from the list of main agenda items at the next
meeting in June. It was postponed until the third meeting. One
member of the delegation from Thailand, the host nation, noted, "We
were alert to the possibility of the Japanese proposal leading to
mandatory emissions cuts to be achieved by developing countries."

It is not only developing countries that are opposing the
sector-specific approach. Industrialized countries are also harsh
toward the Japanese proposal. One representative from the European
Union (EU) said, "There is a possibility of the Japanese proposal
becoming a key option for developing countries." However, this
source did not highly evaluate the Japanese proposal as a method of
setting a total carbon emissions reduction goal on each country,
citing that it is questionable whether the amount of target
emissions worked out for each sector will reach a level necessary
for preventing global warming.

TOKYO 00000959 005 OF 011

One member of the Climate Action Network, formed by NGOs tackling
the global warming issue throughout the world, said, "The
sector-specific approach contains edible mushrooms (technology
transfer) and poisonous mushrooms (compulsory emissions cut) for
developing countries. However, all mushrooms are viewed as
poisonous."

If the sector-specific approach comes under fire at the G-8, in
which China and India will also take part, the meeting might not
result in success. The Japanese government in early May will host in
Paris a dialogue among research organs of various countries. It is
increasingly heightening a sense of crisis with one senior
government official noting, "If Japan fails to promote the
sector-specific approach to a joint proposal, it would find itself
isolated."

(4) DPJ President Ozawa, at the two year mark, going forward with
preparations for his "last fight" for the party, with next Lower
House election in mind

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
April 7, 2008

Two years ago today Ichiro Ozawa assumed the post of president of
the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Having
just-recently brought about a gasoline price cut in the country, he
will now push forward with preparations for the next Lower House
election, which he calls his "last battle" for his party. Ozawa,
however, appears caught in a dilemma that the more harshly he
attacks Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda in the Diet, in a bid to force
dissolution of the Lower House, where the ruling bloc holds a
two-third majority at present, the less likely is the chance such
dissolution will take place. Ozawa's confrontational stance reveals
his dilemma: he has to continue to run at full speed with an eye on
the DPJ presidential election in September while removing the
effects of his failed scheme last year to form a grand coalition
with the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

After a long hiatus, Ozawa recently appeared on TV in a succession
of programs. He had not been on TV for a long after the uproar
caused last year over his concept of forming a grand coalition with
the LDP. He condemned the government for its poor handling of the
unidentified pension premium accounts. Ozawa reiterated: "The only
way to deal with the situation is to seek the public's judgment
(through an election)."

Ozawa aims for dissolution of Lower House for snap election before
G-8 Toyako Summit

Ozawa said with conviction:

"My first goal is to bring about dissolution of the Lower House for
a snap election before the Group of Eight industrialized nation
summit (G-8 Toyako Summit in Hokkaido) in July. I aim to change the
current situation by the end of the year even if the Lower House is
not dissolved before the G-8 summit,"

Ozawa's scenario is that should the prime minister decide to
reinstate the higher gasoline price, the opposition bloc will submit
and adopt a censure motion against the prime minister to the Upper
House, where the opposition parties hold a majority. Then, backed by

TOKYO 00000959 006 OF 011


public opinion, the opposition camp will boycott Diet debate until
June or the end of the current session of the Diet and force the
government to dissolve the Lower House. If the prime minister keeps
the gasoline price as is, Ozawa then will look into the possibility
of submitting a censure motion against the prime minister at the
beginning of an extraordinary Diet session slated for this fall.

This past March, Ozawa resumed a nationwide stumping tour, which in
the Upper House election last year, led the DPJ to a landslide
victory. Ozawa has already stumped in eight prefectures and has
begun consolidating support for the DPJ among local organizations,
such as those labor unions under the wing of the Japanese Trade
Union Confederation (Rengo). The 300 single-seat constituencies for
the Lower House are more subdivided than the electoral districts for
the Upper House. So, the Lower House's 300 single-seat
constituencies are more affected by the difference in organizational
power between the DPJ and the LDP.

However, even if the prime minister is driven into a tight corner,
it is not necessary safe to say that he will decide to dissolve the
Lower House. If a snap election arises in a situation unfavorable
for the ruling bloc, it will be certain to lose some of the seats it
holds now. If, as a result of a snap election, the ruling bloc is
unable to re-approve bills rejected by the Upper House by a
two-third majority of votes or more in the Lower House since the
Upper House is under the opposition bloc's control, it is obvious
that the Diet will be even worse off than it is now.

Meanwhile, the DPJ is not necessarily perfectly ready for a snap
election, either. Ozawa stresses the need for the party to grab at
least 150 seats in the 300 single-seat constituencies for the Lower
House. But if with the DPJ becoming the first party (in the Lower
House), the opposition bloc holds a majority of seats in the Lower
House, a change of government will come true. The DPJ aims to grab a
total of 260 seats in a next Lower House election, but the number of
candidates ready to run at present is 237. In a meeting with members
of the Rengo Ibaraki chapter, Ozawa was asked by them for a DPJ
ticket, but he rejected the request by telling them: "If your
candidate becomes a hopeful, I will officially adopt that candidate.
This is the way I nominate a candidate."

Ozawa spurs junior lawmakers to do their best

The question is what to do if the tide of the battle is determined
by a slim margin or if the Lower House is not resolved until
September of next year, when the prime minister's term of office is
to expire. The divided Diet will remain until then, and political
realignment that will involve both the ruling and opposition parties
will become more likely. An anti-Ozawa group in the DPJ is alarmed
by this sort of political realignment. It is concerned by Ozawa's
stance of keeping a dialogue line with the prime minister for a
while, even after failing to realize the concept of forming a grand
coalition with the LDP, and also by rumors that a one-on-one between
the heads of the LDP and the DPJ will be held to discuss such issues
as the Bank of Japan head.

Meanwhile, if the DPJ continues to reject policy talks (with the
ruling bloc) on such issues as tax revenues for the construction of
road and the reform of the pension system on the pretext of
principles, the party will be then exposed to this criticism that
the DPJ lacks the capability to take the reins of government.
Ozawa's previous top-down management is no longer easily accepted in

TOKYO 00000959 007 OF 011


the party. Given this, it may be safe to say that he is not as
influential in the party as he was before.

"You should fully ready yourselves for election campaign. A next
general election will be the last battle for the DPJ." This remark
has come out from Ozawa since this past March at gatherings of the
party's junior lawmakers he had held every week. Whether Ozawa can
maintain this confrontational stance against the government depends
on the trends in public opinion. Once the view spreads that there
will be no snap election for a while, at a time when there is only
less than a half year before the DPJ presidential election, there is
a possibility that moves to find a successor to Ozawa will gain
momentum.

(5) What is the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee?

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
April 8, 2008

Question: When a U.S. deserter from Yokosuka Naval Base was arrested
on murder and robbery charges, newspapers reported that he was
handed over based on a concurrence of the Japan-U.S. Joint
Committee. What does the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee do?

Answer: It serves as a venue for the governments of Japan and the
United States to discuss such matters as the use of bases by U.S.
Forces Japan (USFJ) and the legal status of U.S. service members. It
is based on the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, which was
concluded based on the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. In the latest
case, the U.S. sailor was in the custody of the U.S. military, so
the Japanese side sought his handover through the Japan-U.S. Joint
Committee, and the U.S. side agreed to do so.

Q: Difficult. What is the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement
(SOFA)?

A: It is a treaty specifying arrangements requiring Japan to provide
USFJ with facilities and areas and criminal procedures against U.S.
service members suspected to have committed crimes. Under the SOFA,
the United States is not required to hand over service members
before indictment. But a schoolgirl rape incident in Okinawa in 1995
resulted in strong calls in Japan for revision of the SOFA. Given
the situation, the U.S. side has decided to hand over even before
indictment its service members who are suspected to have committed
heinous crimes, such as murder and rape. Since 1995, Japan has made
five pre-indictment handover requests through the Joint Committee.
Of them, the U.S. side agreed to do so in five cases.

Q: Who are the members of the Joint Committee?

A: The Japanese side is led by the North American Affairs Bureau
chief of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and the U.S. side by
the USFJ deputy commander. Other Japanese members are mostly senior
officials from the Foreign Ministry and the Defense Ministry. But
when, for instance, livestock is affected by a U.S. military drill,
senior Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry officials join
the committee, and when contamination of soil on a U.S. base becomes
a problem, senior Environment Ministry officials do the same. The
members meet about twice a month either at a MOFA conference room or
the New Sanno Hotel in Tokyo's Minami-azabu in turn.

Q: Is what is determined there made public?

TOKYO 00000959 008 OF 011

A: Agreements on return of land and other matters are posted in the
Defense Ministry's website, but sensitive military information, such
as the sites of U.S. military communications facilities, is not made
public. Because vital agreements connected to the Japan-U.S.
security setup are reached by this framework, some people call the
Japan-U.S. Joint Committee as the "security mafia."

(6) Editorial: Change the policy line to one enhancing ODA

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
April 8, 2008

Japan has slipped to fifth place in the list of donors of official
development assistance (ODA). This is extremely regrettable. Aid
policy has a significant diplomatic tool for Japan. Foreign Minister
Masahiko Koumura has said he would aim at halting the downward trend
in ODA and reverse it. Given Japan's international status, it is
only natural for him to have made such a statement.

According to the ODA report issued by the Development Assistance
Committee (DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD), the record of Japan's ODA performance in terms
of net disbursements was 7.7 billion dollars in 2007, but this was a
drop of 30 PERCENT from the preceding year. As a result, Japan has
slipped from third to fifth place in the ODA donor list.

The ratio of Japan's ODA to its gross national income (GNI) is 0.17
PERCENT , ranking 20th among the 22 DAC members.

One reason for the drop in Japan's ODA is that debt forgiveness
offered to Iraq and other countries from 2005 through 2006 ended
last year. The main reason for the decrease, however, is
attributable to fiscal constraints. The government aims at turning
the primary balance into black by fiscal 2011. To that end, it has
had to slash the aid budget.

The government should continue its fiscal reconstruction policy,
because until fiscal reform makes headway, aid policy will not be
implemented in a stable manner. Even so, the decline in Japan's ODA
to fifth place was shocking in a way, because Japan from 1990 to
2000 topped the ODA donor list

Japan will host the Tokyo International Conference on African
Development (TICAD) in May and the G-8 Summit in July. It is in a
position to take the lead in improving aid to developing countries.
It is unacceptable for it to let the downward trend in its ODA
continue.

Granted it will be difficult matter to increase ODA while continuing
fiscal reconstruction, but if Prime Minister Fukuda's proposal for
shifting special-purpose road construction revenues to the general
account would produce excess funds that can be diverted to ODA
loans.

Needless to say, aid policy must be implemented in a strategic
manner. Implementing an ODA policy from such viewpoints as securing
resources and energy and taking measures to combat climate change,
as well as to provide humanitarian aid as before, will remain
important.

According to the DAC, ODA extended last year by 22 member nations

TOKYO 00000959 009 OF 011


dropped 8.4 PERCENT , compared with the preceding year. The DAC
notes that if the situation is left unattended, it would be
impossible to meet the Millennium Development Goals agreed on at the
UN in 2000 or the African Aid Goals set at the G-8 in Gleneagles in
Britain in 2005. Japan should stop giving the impression that it is
dragging its heels.

(7) Sankei-FNN poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gasoline
tax

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
April 5, 2008

Questions & Answers

(Note) Figures shown in percentage. Figures in parentheses denote
findings from the last survey conducted by Fuji News Network (FNN)
on Feb. 23-24.

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 23.8 (28.7)
No 59.0 (52.2)
Don't know (D/K) + Can't say which (CSW) 17.2 (19.1)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 27.4 (27.8)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 24.9 (25.3)
New Komeito (NK) 4.1 (5.2)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.2 (1.9)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.6 (1.6)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.7 (0.5)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.2 (0.2)
Other answers (O/A) 1.8 (1.0)
None 33.8 (35.0)
D/K + Can't say (C/S) 2.3 (1.5)

Q: Do you appreciate Prime Minister Fukuda and his government on the
following points?

Economic policy
Yes 12.2 (15.3)
No 74.5 (69.9)
D/K+CSW 13.3 (14.8)


Foreign policy
Yes 21.1 (23.6)
No 55.4 (57.2)
D/K+CSW 23.5 (19.2)

Personal character
Yes 55.3
No 28.3
D/K+CSW 16.4

Leadership
Yes 11.9
No 75.4
D/K+CSW 12.7


TOKYO 00000959 010 OF 011


Response to pension issues
Yes 19.6 (20.8)
No 67.6 (69.0)
D/K+CSW 12.8 (10.2)

Q: The rate of provisional taxation on gasoline expired at the end
of last month. What do you think about this?

Continue the provisional gasoline tax for road projects 9.8 (7.7)
Review the provisional tax's period and rate for continuation 58.1
(58.1)
Abolish the provisional tax 29.4 (32.1)
D/K+CSW 2.7 (2.1)

Q: The opposition camp is poised to pass a censure motion against
Prime Minister Fukuda in the House of Councillors if the ruling
coalition passes a bill to restore the provisional gasoline tax. Do
you support the move?

Yes 45.4
No 36.5
D/K+CSW 18.1

Q: Do you agree to the following opinions about the provisional
gasoline tax rate's expiry?

It's good because the ruling and opposition parties have changed
places in the House of Councillors
Yes 44.8
No 38.0
D/K+CSW 17.2

It's good because gasoline is now priced down
Yes 71.8
No 18.2
D/K+CSW 10.0

It's not good because there is confusion over gasoline prices, etc.
Yes 52.0
No 38.4
D/K+CSW 9.6

It's not good because state and local finances will sustain revenue
shortfalls
Yes 55.7
No 29.8
D/K+CSW 14.5

The House of Representatives should be dissolved for an election
Yes 56.0
No 31.6
D/K+CSW 12.4

Q: The ruling and opposition parties have recently been at odds over
the following matters. Which side do you think is more to blame?

Bank of Japan governor nomination
Government, ruling parties 24.7
Opposition parties 17.9
Both sides about the same 50.9
C/S 6.5


TOKYO 00000959 011 OF 011


Gasoline tax and other revenue-related bills
Government, ruling parties 28.5
Opposition parties 16.3
Both about the same 43.8
C/S 11.4

Q: The House of Representatives is currently dominated by the ruling
coalition, and the House of Councillors is under the opposition
camp's control. Do you think there is a problem with this
situation?

Yes 61.0
No 27.3
D/K+CSW 11.7

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the foregoing question)
What do you think is the first thing to do to resolve the present
situation?

Shuffle the Fukuda cabinet 7.4
Dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election 22.6
The Fukuda cabinet's resignation en masse 7.4
Positive talks between the ruling and opposition parties 27.7
A grand coalition of the LDP and the DPJ 7.0
Political realignment involving all lawmakers beyond the current
framework of political parties 21.8
D/K+CSW 6.1

Q: When would you like the House of Representatives to hold its next
election?

During the first half of this year 19.6 (17.6)
After this July's G-8 summit in Japan and during the latter half of
this year 44.2 (45.3)
Upon the current term's expiry or next year 31.6 (34.0)
D/K+C/S 4.6 (3.1)

Q: How long do you think the Fukuda government will continue?

Several months at longest 27.5
Until around the next election for the House of Representatives
43.2
Until around the fall of next year 18.8
Continue until after the fall of next year 5.9
D/K+C/S 4.6

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Apr. 2-3 by the Sankei
Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among males and females,
aged 20 and over, across the nation.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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