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Cablegate: Embassy and Usfj Discuss Operational Impact Of

VZCZCXRO8602
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0990/01 1011244
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 101244Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 3354
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 2760
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0132
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2216
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 1183
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 8784
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 7213
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 9590
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 0882
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 7806
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3289
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO BRUSSELS PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9307
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 000990

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 04/10/2016
TAGS: PREL MOPS PARM JA NATO
SUBJECT: EMBASSY AND USFJ DISCUSS OPERATIONAL IMPACT OF
BANNING CLUSTER MUNITIONS


Classified By: Charge d' Affairs, a.i. W. Michael Meserve. Reasons 1.4
(B) (D)

1. (S) SUMMARY: Japan remains committed to addressing
cluster munitions (CM) within the Convention on Certain
Conventional Weapons (CCW) but may be forced to sign an
agreement restricting CM under the Oslo Process, Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and Ministry of Defense (MOD)
officials told Embassy Tokyo and U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ)
representatives during an April 4 meeting. Embassy and USFJ
participants explained that if Japan agrees to restrict CM,
it would limit the United States ability to defend Japan.
Specifically, CM limitations would prevent dual use of USFJ,
Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) and civilian facilities,
limit military options for dealing with contingencies, and
require both the United States and Japan to use more
resources to get the same operational results. The MOFA and
MOD participants said the information would be useful in
explaining to members of Japan's Diet the importance of
cluster munitions. End Summary.

Japan's Position Unchanged: Handle CM in CCW, But...
--------------------------------------------- --------

2. (S) Japan remains committed to creating a legally binding
agreement on cluster munitions (CM) within the Convention on
Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW), preferably via a new
Protocol, but may be forced to sign a more restrictive Oslo
Process agreement, MOFA Conventional Arms Division Director
Ryuichi Hirano and MOD Japan-U.S. Cooperation Division
Director Kiyoshi Serizawa told Embassy Tokyo and U.S. Forces
Japan (USFJ) representatives on April 4. While domestic
pressure means Japan cannot ignore the Oslo Process, Japan is
keeping in close contact with ""Like-Minded"" countries, such
as the United Kingdom, France and Australia, to positively
affect the outcome. Hirano noted that Japan had ""subscribed""
but not agreed to the Wellington Declaration and that the May
2008 Dublin Conference would address Japan's concerns over
definitions, implementation time period, and
interoperability.

USFJ: CM Are Different from Anti-Personnel Mines
--------------------------------------------- ----

3. (S) The MOD and MOFA representatives asked how
restricting or banning CM would affect the ability of U.S.
forces to defend Japan and operate with the JSDF. The USFJ
representative said applying the present work-around for
anti-personnel landmines (APL) covered by the Ottawa APL
Treaty Process would be inappropriate because CM have much
broader applications in a greater variety of operations. If
Japan signs on to an agreement limiting or banning CM with
the same language as the APL Treaty, USFJ will only be able
to store CM at a limited number of USFJ bases. In addition,
JSDF personnel or civilians would not be able to transport CM
between or store CM at JSDF or civilian facilities.

Banning CM Means Limiting Ability to Defend Japan
--------------------------------------------- -----

4. (S) USFJ reviewed the training and operations
difficulties both sides might face if CM were to be banned or
restricted. The inability of USFJ to conduct training along
side the JSDF using CM, as currently happens under the
existing restrictions on training with APL, means the
capabilities of JSDF and United States forces are reduced, as
opposed to being improved. In a contingency, United States
warplane squadrons would not be able to relocate to JSDF or
civilian airports (for instance to make room for increased
military transport planes) because the CM would not be able
to be stored, guarded and loaded by JSDF and/or Japanese
civilians. Japan would be unable to participate, either
directly or by providing support such as in-air refueling, in
operations in the region involving the employment of CM.

5. (S) Limiting CM storage to particular locations would
provide the enemy with specific targets to attack. Enemies
could be emboldened to launch attacks on Japan,s outer
islands if they know that CM could not be used to attack
amphibious landing craft and ground troops on beaches.
Without CM, Japan and the United States will have to dedicate
more budgetary, human and material resources to accomplish
the same results. Restricting or banning CM limits United
States options and increases operational risk for both sides.

Rapid Results Needed in CCW
---------------------------

6. (S) Hirano said the Government of Japan understands the
importance of CM in defending Japan and wants to sign a
loose, though binding, protocol under the CCW and not the
Oslo Process. Japan also appreciates the affect that the
current language contained in the Dublin text would have on
interoperability. Ministry officials are explaining the
importance of CM to Diet members, and will incorporate the
examples provided by USFJ, Hirano noted. However, if the CCW
does not provide a quick and satisfactory conclusion,
domestic pressure to take action may force Japan to sign a
treaty proposed under the Oslo Process. Therefore, Japan is
working to change language in the Dublin draft text so that
the affect of a limited ban on JSDF and USFJ operations would
be minimized. By way of example, Tokyo officials noted that
prohibiting States Parties from ""owning or possessing"" CM,
instead of preventing signatories from ""retaining"" CM, would
allow Japanese civilians or SDF personnel to transport CM.
MESERVE

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