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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 05/07/08

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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 05/07/08


INDEX:

(1) Japanese, Chinese leaders in summit meeting agree to develop a
strategic, mutually-beneficial relationship (Yomiuri)

(2) Foundation of Japan-U.S. alliance rocking (Asahi)

(3) Futenma relocation plan still up in the air two years after
Japan, U.S. reach agreement (Asahi)

(4) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill meets with members of
Japanese delegation sent by organizations related to victims
kidnapped by North Korea (Sankei)

(5) WTO talks: Agreement within year at crucial juncture (Mainichi)


(6) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gas tax (Asahi)

(7) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gasoline tax (Tokyo
Shimbun)

(8) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, provisional gas tax,
new health insurance system for elderly (Mainichi)

(9) Simulation of next Lower House election: If 2 PERCENT of LDP
votes go to DPJ, two parties would trade places (Tokyo Shimbun)

ARTICLES:

(1) Japanese, Chinese leaders in summit meeting agree to develop a
strategic, mutually-beneficial relationship

YOMIURI ONLINE (Full)
May 7, 2008

Prime Minister Fukuda this morning met at his official residence
with China's President Hu Jintao, who is visiting Japan as a state
guest. The two leaders agreed to strengthen even further a
"strategic, mutual relationship" that is aimed at expanding the
interests of both countries by cooperating with the international
community.

After the summit meeting, the two leaders signed a political
document titled, "Joint statement between Japan and China on
comprehensively promoting a strategic, mutually beneficial
relationship." In the statement, "facing history directly, aiming at
the future" was the expression used regarding the historical
problem. On the other hand, on global warming countermeasures, the
two issued a "joint statement between Japan and China on climate
change," in which China took a positive stance.

This is the first visit to Japan in ten years by a Chinese
president, who is the head of state. The summit meeting lasted
approximately an hour and a half, starting at 10:26 this morning.
Attending from the Japanese government were five cabinet ministers
including Foreign Minister Koumura and Finance Minister Nukaga. The
Chinese side included Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

At the start of the meeting, the prime minister stated: "I would
like to offer my hear-felt welcome to you on the occasion of the
thirtieth anniversary of the signing of the Japan China Treaty of

TOKYO 00001233 002 OF 017


Peace and Friendship." President Hu replied: "Relations between
China and Japan are now blessed with a new chance to develop even
more."

The joint statement issued today is the fourth political document
since the first one in 1972. That statement was followed by a treaty
of peace and friendship in 1978 and by another joint statement in
1998.

The latest statement in referring to a new bilateral relationship
went: "We will directly face history, facing the future, and build
together a good future for the world." Compared to November 1998,
when then President Jiang Zemin visited Japan during a time of
bilateral friction and repeatedly stated, "with history as a
mirror," this time, the Chinese side stressed a future-oriented
relationship.

Also included in the statement was an agreement for visits by the
two leaders once a year, and the promotion of broad exchanges, such
as mutual visits by senior officials in the national security area.
As areas for mutual cooperation, the statement specified energy and
the environment, as well as "food and product safety," which has
become an issue due to the poisoned dumpling incidents.

In addition, the two countries included in the document the words,
"We will closely cooperate to understand even more and pursue common
values." Having in mind the Tibet issue, on which the international
community is now focused, the two countries took a stance of placing
emphasis on human rights issues.

On the pending issue of developing gas fields in the E. China Sea,
there does not seem to be a specific agreement in the document.
Regarding Japan's becoming a permanent member of the United Nations
Security Council, which Japan is seeking, the expression used was
the same as in last year's statement when Chinese Premier Wen
visited Japan: "We hope to see Japan play an even greater
constructive role in the international community." On the other
hand, in the joint statement on climate change, a positive stance
regarding negotiations on a post-Kyoto Protocol regime that starts
after 2013, China, which is a world-class emitter of greenhouse
gases, took a stance of actively participating.

(2) Foundation of Japan-U.S. alliance rocking

ASAHI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
May 6, 2008

By Yoichi Kato, bureau chief of the American General Bureau of the
Asahi Shimbun

The foundation of the Japan-U.S. alliance is being rocked. Priority
gaps over the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and other matters
are emerging. The mood in the United States to place a high priority
on the alliance with Japan has run out of steam. In the post-Cold
War era, Tokyo and Washington have overcome the alliance "adrift"
relationship by redefining the alliance as capable of playing a role
in the Asia-Pacific and in the world instead of being a set of
security arrangements for the defense of Japan alone. The need to
revamp the alliance is again being mentioned.

Priority gaps over Futenma relocation and FX selection


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Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba was scheduled to visit the United
States during the Golden Week holiday period from late April through
early May. Coordination for that clearly exposed the growing
priority gap. According to a connected source, the U.S. side reacted
strongly to Japan's initial agenda for it did not include the issue
of U.S. force realignment.

For the United States, the biggest problem is that the construction
of a Futenma replacement facility and the relocation of U.S. Marines
to Guam are lagging behind schedule. Washington fears that if this
situation persists, the relocation plan will not be completed by
2014, as originally scheduled, especially given Tokyo's noticeable
lack of enthusiasm for the plan under the Fukuda administration.
Ishiba's trip to the United States fell through in the end.

Japan is discontent with the United States, as well. Washington
declined Tokyo's request for the provision of information on the
state-of-the-art stealth fighter F-22 as a possible candidate for
Japan's next-generation mainstay combat jet aircraft (FX), citing
U.S. law prohibiting exports of the aircraft and the need to hold
strategic talks first. Last spring, even then-Prime Minister Abe
asked for U.S. cooperation. Japan cannot easily back down on the
matter that concerns the foundation of the bilateral alliance
transcending the question of procuring a piece of equipment.

A priority gap also exists in the United States. The difference is
specifically between one group who attach importance to direct
dialogues with China and North Korea in dealing with them and
another placing priority on talks with such U.S. allies as Japan,
South Korea, and Australia.

Former National Security Council Asian Affairs Director Michael
Green thinks the Bush administration belongs to the former. "The
administration eyes achieving results in a short term. Its strategy
regarding the North Korean nuclear issue is a prime example." That
has resulted in Japan's mistrust of the United States for its lack
of consideration, causing the bilateral alliance to become adrift.

There is concern in Japan that such gaps will grow larger following
the change of administration in the United States next January.

The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, the legal basis for the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean,
will also expire next January. This will be followed by expiration
in July of the Iraq Special Measures Law, the legal basis for the
Air Self-Defense Force's airlift mission in Iraq. In view of the
Japanese political situation, extending laws and enacting new
legislation seems difficult. SDF pullout might prompt the next U.S.
administration to conclude that Japan is not dependable.

Move for new declaration

To prevent such an eventuality, an idea has emerged to issue a new
strategic document in 2010 that is similar to the 1996 Japan-U.S.
Joint Declaration on Security. 2010 marks the 50th anniversary of
the conclusion of the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty. The new U.S.
president is also expected to visit Japan to attend the 2010 annual
APEC Summit to be hosted by Japan. The idea is for the Japanese
prime minister and the U.S. President to reaffirm a wide-ranging
Japan-U.S. alliance not confined to the Asia-Pacific region and
security.


TOKYO 00001233 004 OF 017


The U.S. government is reluctant to do so, saying that outstanding
bilateral issues, such relocation of Futenma Air Station, should be
settled first. This is another example of a priority gap. Experts
are also split on the matter, with Pacific Forum CSIS President
Ralph Cossa underscoring the need for revitalizing the alliance,
while Green noting, "Another fancy document with no substance is
ineffective. Given the Japanese political situation, determining
when to produce such a document is a difficult question."

Will Japan and the United States be able to keep pace with each
other? The envisaged new declaration is likely to be a test to
prevent the Japan-U.S. alliance from becoming further adrift.

Interview with former US Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Richard
Lawless -- Realignment agreement must be implemented swiftly

What is your view of the Japan-U.S. alliance today?

The implementation of reform (realignment) of the bilateral alliance
(as was confirmed in the 2006 U.S.-Japan Roadmap for Realignment
Implementation) has been adrift since the establishment of the
Fukuda administration. The relocation of Futenma Air Station is one
example. I hear that the project will be delayed by one year. Unless
the replacement facility is completed, U.S. Marines cannot be
relocated to Guam. This agreement is like a complex instrument. If
one component freezes, the entire instrument freezes.

Will the U.S. side comply with a request for making changes to the
Futenma plan?

No. The reason is because the current plan was presented by the
Japanese government; it is not what the United States hoped for. The
Japanese side guaranteed the plan's fruition, so the (U.S.) side
made a compromise. Change would follow change endlessly, and that
would delay the relocation further. Third, revision talks would drag
the United States into the conflict between Tokyo and Okinawa.

Why is the Japan-U.S. alliance adrift?

That is because the leaders of the Japanese government are
preoccupied with other matters. Procurement scandals and the Atago
collision accident hit the Defense Ministry. Under the previous
Koizumi and Abe administrations, Tokyo had a considerably strong
interest in (U.S. force realignment). Funding the realignment
agreement should be made Japan's national priority. If Japan handles
this agreement as merely a nominal pact, the U.S. Congress would
take an extremely negative view and alter its effort. Although I do
not think the alliance is adrift, unless change is made swiftly, the
alliance would lose its capability that an edge in the Asia-Pacific
region.

What about the idea of issuing a new security declaration?

I think it is an extremely good idea. But unless what is agreed upon
between the two countries is implemented, (the new declaration)
would be meaningless. It would then be known by all countries in the
region.

What is the challenge facing the Japan-U.S. alliance?

It is a new tempo that has emerged in Asia regarding security
policy. Until now, Japan has enjoyed the luxury of taking seven,

TOKYO 00001233 005 OF 017


nine years to decide on one policy. In that time period, other
counties make three decisions and finish implementing them. Japan
must change its tempo in one way or another; otherwise, Japan and
the Japan-U.S. alliance would be marginalized.

(3) Futenma relocation plan still up in the air two years after
Japan, U.S. reach agreement

ASAHI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
May 3, 2008

Two years have passed since the governments of Japan and the United
States reached a final agreement on realignment plans for U.S.
forces in Japan. The municipalities housing U.S. military bases had
initially taken a stiff attitude in reaction to the agreement
reached in disregard of their wishes. But they have since softened
their attitude in response to the policy of dialogue being taken by
the Fukuda administration. A thaw in the atmosphere between the
central and the local governments is now expected. Even so, the plan
of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station remains up
in the air.

Three-way standoff over Okinawa call for moving construction site
further offshore

To break the impasse in negotiations on the Futenma relocation
issue, government officials concerned kept in mind the following
blueprint this spring: 1) The central government and the affected
municipalities would agree on revising the construction site that
involves building a pair of runways; 2) Defense Minister Ishiba
would visit the U.S. during the Golden Week holidays to begin
full-scale negotiations with the U.S; and 3) Around the G-8 Summit
in Hokkaido in July, Japan would reach an agreement with the U.S.
and include necessary expenses in the budget for next fiscal year.

On April 9, representatives from the central and the affected
municipalities held a meeting of the council on the Futenma
relocation issue at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
Representatives from Okinawa insisted that a working-level
consultative body be established. But the central government's reply
was that the issue should be discussed at the council level. After
the meeting, Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi
stayed behind. Twenty minutes later, the three emerged from the room
with hard looks on their faces. An informed official complained:
"The possibility of settlement this year has become remote."

The Koizumi and Abe administrations took a tough stance toward the
government of Nago city, the site of the Futenma relocation, because
of its opposition to the government's plan. They took such tough
measures as freezing subsidies to Nago. But then, Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya, who was taking the initiative in dealing
with Nago, was arrested for corruption. The affected municipalities
placed hopes on the Fukuda administration for its policy of
prioritizing dialogue, and they agreed to resume negotiations last
November for the first time in 10 months.

In a drive to reach an early settlement, Machimura also expressed a
flexible view in a meeting of the said council in February about
Okinawa's request for moving the construction site for the runways
further offshore. He said: "We would like to reach a settlement at
an early date, while keeping Okinawa's request in mind."

TOKYO 00001233 006 OF 017

U.S. Ambassador Thomas Schieffer, however, told Machimura:
"Modifications will be impossible. We have finally gotten control
over the Marines, so (if we make modifications,) it would result in
opening a Pandora's Box. The Marines would demand that the runways
be made longer."

Okinawa Governor Nakaima has basically approved the plan of
transferring the Futenma Air Station to waters off Henoko district.
The prefecture also tacitly permitted the Defense Ministry's start
this March of a full-scale examination in preparation for the
planned environmental impact assessment. Nakaima is also calling on
the central government to turn Okinawa's requests into action. Many
residents of Okinawa do not want the air station to be moved to
another part of the prefecture. Nakaima remains unable to make a
decision ahead of the prefectural assembly election in June. He
fears that he might come under fire unless he shows a willingness to
reflect the wishes of the local people.

Meanwhile, the central government is worried that if it swallows all
requests from Okinawa without securing a guarantee for its
cooperation in promoting the relocation plan, "the negotiations on
the Futenma relocation issue may not move forward," a senior Defense
Ministry official said. The central government and the Okinawa
government remain at odds despite their desire to find a point of
compromise. They plan to submit a preliminary report on results of
the environmental impact assessment this summer, but the submission
is now likely to be deferred to December or later. It is uncertain
whether the relocation plan is completed by 2014 as agreed on
between Japan and the U.S.

A government source involved in negotiations with Okinawa vented:
"The Fukuda administration is losing its grip on power due to
declining public support. Nakaima remains unable to make a decision
out of fear of criticism from the people of Okinawa. The U.S. does
not want to take any risk that could upset the U.S.-Japan agreement.
The three parties concerned are now in a three-way standoff."

On the other hand, the Japanese government has agreed to finance a
plan to move U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam starting next fiscal
year. Japan plans to pay about 600 billion yen of the total
construction cost of approximately 1 trillion yen.

(4) U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill meets with members of
Japanese delegation sent by organizations related to victims
kidnapped by North Korea

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
May 4, 2008

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

A joint delegation sent by the Association of the Families of
Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKN) and the National
Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North Korea
(NAEKN) at noon of May 2 (before dawn of May 3, Japan time) met with
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill (for East Asia and the
Pacific), the U.S. chief delegate to the six-party talks on the
North Korean nuclear issue. Japanese delegates asked Hill not to
remove North Korea from the list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Hill is seen as an "advocate" in the U.S. administration of
delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism, but he

TOKYO 00001233 007 OF 017


refrained from answering directly to the question posed by the
Japanese delegate. Hill also admitted that in negotiations with
North Korea on a declaration of its nuclear activities, he has not
received any account of where a nuclear bomb-manufacturing facility
is located.

The fact that the U.S. has not grasped the location of the facility
means that North Korea's attitude is far from the stage of making a
complete and correct declaration, as demanded by the U.S.
government. Hill, in fact, noted: "That is a problem."

Hill estimated that North Korea may possess 30-50 kilograms of
plutonium, noting, "The problem is that plutonium is stored in a way
to be easily passed on to terrorist groups." Referring to uranium
enrichment programs and cooperation on development of nuclear
weapons, Hill said: "Those activities have now been suspended."

Teruaki Masumoto (52), secretary general of the AFVKN and the
younger brother of Rumiko Masumoto who had been kidnapped by North
Korea at the age of 24, asked Hill not to remove North Korea from
the list of state sponsors of terrorism by putting aside the
abduction issue. In response, Hill went no further than to say: "I
am not in a position to define abductions as an act of terrorism."

Dennis Wilder, senior director for East Asian Affairs at the
National Security Council (NSC), who met with Masumoto and other
delegation members on May 2, gave this account of the question of
whether to delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism:
"President Bush has not decided anything yet. He will make a
decision, taking into consideration not only U.S.-North Korea talks
but also how Japan-North Korea relations are progressing."

Emerging from the meeting, Masumoto said: "Among the reasons why
countries are listed as state sponsors of terrorism is abductions.
If the U.S. removes North Korea from the list, it would mean that
the U.S. makes light of abductions. The probability of Washington
delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is said to be
30 PERCENT . In order to further lower the probability, the Japanese
government's response is an important element."

In the meantime, the U.S. Department of State's North Korean Desk
head Sung Kim is to travel to North Korea shortly and again hold
talks with the North Korean side on the details of a declaration of
its nuclear programs. Depending on the result of their talks, Hill
will travel to Singapore and meet with North Korean Vice Foreign
Minister Kim Kye Gwan for final coordination.

Major exchanges of views between Hill and the Japanese delegation

The following are major exchanges of views between Hill and the
joint Japanese delegation composed of (the AFVKN and the other
group).

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

Nuclear issue

Jin Matsubara, deputy secretary general of the Council of
Parliamentarians to Quickly Rescue Japanese Kidnapped by North
Korea: Has the U.S. lowered the hurdle of removing North Korea from
the list of state sponsor of terrorism? Where is the facility
producing nuclear bombs located? This is an important part of a

TOKYO 00001233 008 OF 017


declaration of nuclear programs.

Hill: The nuclear issue consists of three elements: nuclear
proliferation, uranium enrichment, and plutonium. When it comes to
nuclear proliferation, we have had in-depth discussions with the
North Korean side. They said there was no ongoing nuclear program
with Syria. American intelligence agencies also take the same view.
It's no mistake, however, that they jointly developed nuclear
weapons in the past.

As for uranium enrichment, there is no doubt that North Korea
obtained 140 tons of aluminum tubes, which can be used only for
nuclear development. We've confirmed that they are not used for a
centrifugal machine, but the bad news is that they are used as
missile parts.

As for how much North Korea possesses plutonium, I presume it
possesses 30 to 50 kilograms of plutonium. The problem is that
plutonium is stored in a way to be easily passed on to terrorist
groups. We need to verify how much plutonium was extracted and where
it is stored. It's not fair to criticize us as lowering the hurdle.
We sent a U.S. diplomat to that country and examined aluminum
tubes.

Matsubara: Reaching a lukewarm agreement would mean that the U.S.
has placed more emphasis on North Korea than Japan.

Hill: Relations with North Korea can't be compared to those with
Japan.

Matsubara: Did you get any information from the North Korean side
about the place of a facility to produce nuclear weapons?

Hill: No. That is a problem.

Abduction issue

Teruaki Masumoto, secretary general of the AFVKN: Delisting North
Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism before resolving the abduction
issue would be tantamount to nullifying Japan's efforts to resolve
the issue by pressuring that country. Mr. Hill appears to have
believed the North Korean side's assertion that the victims died.

Hill: I have no idea about whether the victims are alive or not. I
don't want to raise expectations. Japan has enforced the sanction of
banning North Korean vessels from entering Japanese ports. The U.S.
has previously enforced this sort of sanction.

Matsubara: We view abductions as an ongoing act of terrorism. It's
strange to remove that country from the list of state sponsors of
terrorism.

Hill: I am not in a position to define abductions as an act of
terrorism. The North Korean people are quite different from those
whom I have ever met. An Iranian Air office is located near the U.S.
Embassy in Tokyo. In Iran, U.S. diplomats were detained in the past.
Among them was one of my friends. He still suffers the pain he had
at the time. What do you think about this?

Matsubara: I can understand that feeling.

(5) WTO talks: Agreement within year at crucial juncture

TOKYO 00001233 009 OF 017

MAINICHI (Page 7) (Full)
May 4, 2008

It has been more than six years since the multilateral trade talks
(Doha Round) at the World Trade Organization (WTO) started in
November 2001. The talks now face their real test of meeting the
goal of reaching an agreement before year's end. The primary concern
for the time being is whether an agreement in principle, a premise
for a final agreement, can be reached or not. A mood for pushing
forward the talks is heightening as a senior official of the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) noted. However, the
future course of the talks is unclear, as there are still many
challenges and areas of contention in the agricultural, and mining
and manufacturing areas.

Ministerial meeting to be held possibly in late May

The Doha Round has encountered difficulties right from the
beginning. It has been repeatedly suspended or broken down. A
timetable for reaching a settlement has been postponed each time the
talks get bogged down. Chances are that if talks collapse, it will
last a long period of time because the U.S. president will be
replaced early next year. A final agreement must be reached this
year.

Negotiators of concerned countries need to take what was agreed on
in principle to their home countries to work out details before a
final agreement is reached. This process takes about six months. As
such, a ministerial meeting must be held before the end of June at
the latest. The work of revising the chairman's proposal regarding
the agricultural, and mining and manufacturing sectors are now in
progress. The process will likely be completed by mid-May. Then
whether a ministerial meeting can be held based on the chairman's
proposal, following talks at the vice-ministerial and ambassador
levels, will come into focus.

Conflicts of various countries' interests

Compared with the Uruguay Round, which reached an agreement in 1994,
the coverage of the talks at the Doha Round has expanded from trade
in goods to services and rules. The talks have become extremely
difficult due to an increase in the number of member nations and
with 151 nations and territories at odds over various areas of
interests.

Regarding the agricultural area, the top agenda item, exporting
countries, such as the U.S. and Australia are calling on Japan, the
European Union (EU) and India to cut tariffs. On the other hand,
Japan is seeking a cut in agricultural subsidies from the U.S.
Industrialized countries, such as Japan, the EU and the U.S. are
calling on developing countries like Brazil and Argentina, to cut
tariffs. Thus, various countries' stances are intertwined in a
complex manner.

High hopes for comprehensive agreement

Hopes are now high that the talks will make progress, as one
negotiator said, "The atmosphere has changed." The U.S. appears
eager to settle the talks while President Bush is in office. Some
developing countries that had thus far taken a hard-line stance have
reportedly begun showing flexibility.

TOKYO 00001233 010 OF 017

While the future of the global economy increasingly becoming unclear
due to the subprime mortgage crisis and a sharp rise in food prices,
some take the view that a mood for establishing a free trade system
is growing, as one official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry (METI) opined. Even so, in view of the fact that the talks
have involved years of twists and turns, a cautious view that there
is no way of telling the outcome of the talks until the very last
minute remains deep-rooted.

Japan's major challenge is agricultural sector

Japan's major challenge at the Doha Round is the agricultural area.
In particular, how to deal with key trade items, such as rice, will
be in the spotlight. Since special treatment of constraining the
margin of tariff cuts to a modest degree is allowed for key trade
items, Japan is nervous about how many such items it can secure for
protection of its domestic agriculture.

The chairman's proposal presented in February sets the number of key
items at 4 PERCENT -6 PERCENT of taxable items. The number of
Japan's dutiable items stands at approximately 100, which is 40
PERCENT -60 PERCENT of the total number. Japan's proposal for such
a number is over 10 PERCENT , showing a big gap with the chairman's
proposal.

In the meantime, even a partial liberalization of key items will be
imposed in the form of an expanded import framework for low-tariff
imports. Japan accepted the minimum-access quota system for rice at
the Uruguay Round. It now annually imports approximately 770,000
tons of low-tariff rice. It wants to constrain the margin of the
expansion of the import quota to the minimum for protection of
domestic rice farmers.

An increasing number of countries are now restricting exports of
food due to a sharp rise in grain prices. Japan has proposed
introducing a system of mandating prior talks between exporting and
importing countries in order to keep the move from escalating. It
aims at having its proposal included in the agreement in principle
with Agriculture Minister Wakabayashi saying, "Rules for invoking
the export restriction should be clarified."

(6) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gas tax

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
May 2, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. Bracketed figures denote
proportions to all respondents. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey conducted Apr. 19-20.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 20 (25)
No 59 (60)

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 24 (26)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 28 (22)
New Komeito (NK) 4 (2)

TOKYO 00001233 011 OF 017


Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2 (2)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 0 (1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (0)
None 34 (41)
No answer (N/A) + don't know (D/K) 8 (6)

Q: A law adding a gasoline surcharge of 25 yen per liter to the
gasoline tax expired at the end of March. The government and the
ruling coalition have now restored the surcharge in order to secure
tax revenues. Do you support its reinstatement?

Yes 22
No 66

Q: A bill adding a surcharge to the gasoline tax did not pass the
House of Councillors. The ruling coalition then took a second vote
in the House of Representatives and passed the bill with a
concurring vote of more than two thirds. Do you think it was
appropriate for the ruling coalition to take a second vote in the
House of Representatives?

Yes 29
No 54

Q: Following the reinstatement of a gasoline surcharge with a second
vote this time, the ruling coalition will take another second vote
in the House of Representatives in mid-May on a bill to use gasoline
tax revenues for road construction and other road-related
infrastructure projects. Do you think it is appropriate to do so?

Yes 28
No 59

Q: Do you support the idea of incorporating gasoline taxes and other
road-related tax revenues into the state's general account budget to
use the tax revenues for other purposes?

Yes 67
No 22

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes") What would you like to be
done about the gasoline surcharge? Do you think it's all right to
add the gasoline surcharge if gasoline taxes and other road-related
tax revenues will be incorporated into the state's general account
budget, or do you otherwise think it would be better to repeal the
gasoline surcharge?

It's all right to add the gasoline surcharge if gasoline taxes and
other road-related tax revenues will be incorporated into the
state's general account budget 44(29)
It would be better to repeal the gasoline surcharge 44(29)
(TN: Figures on a par)

Q: The DPJ is considering submitting a motion in the House of
Councillors to censure Prime Minister Fukuda over the gasoline
surcharge's reinstatement and other issues. Do you support the DPJ's
standpoint on these issues?

Yes 42
No 40

TOKYO 00001233 012 OF 017

Q: Even if a censure motion is passed in the House of Councillors,
the prime minister does not have to respond. What do you think Prime
Minister Fukuda should do? (One choice only)

Resign 9
Dissolve the House of Representatives for a general election 60
No need to resign or dissolve the House of Representatives 25

Q: If you were to vote now in a general election, which political
party would you like to vote for in your proportional representation
bloc? (Figures in parentheses denote the results of a survey
conducted Feb. 2-3.)

LDP 22 (30)
DPJ 39 (32)
NK 4 (3)
JCP 2 (2)
SDP 1 (1)
PNP 0 (0)
NPN 0 (0)
Other political parties 1 (1)
N/A+D/K 31 (31)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted from the evening of
Apr. 30 through May 1 over the telephone on a computer-aided random
digit dialing (RDD) basis. Respondents were chosen from among the
nation's voting population on a three-stage random-sampling basis.
Valid answers were obtained from 998 persons (58 PERCENT ).

(7) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, gasoline tax

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
May 3, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote the results of the
last survey conducted Apr. 4-5.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 19.8 (26.6)
No 66.6 (59.6)
Don't know (D/K) + no answer (N/A) 13.6 (13.8)

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the previous question)
What's the primary reason for your approval of the Fukuda cabinet?
Pick only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is trustworthy 16.1 (20.7)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Liberal Democratic Party and
New Komeito 16.4 (11.7)
The prime minister has leadership ability 0.8 (1.7)
Something can be expected of its economic policies 4.6 (2.9)
Something can be expected of its foreign policies 4.1 (1.3)
Something can be expected of its political reforms 3.5 (1.7)
Something can be expected of its tax reforms 0.8 (2.1)
Something can be expected of its administrative reforms 3.6 (2.5)
There's no other appropriate person (for prime minister) 48.1
(52.0)
Other answers (O/A) 0.7 (0.9)
D/K+N/A 1.3 (2.5)

TOKYO 00001233 013 OF 017

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the first question) What's
the primary reason for your disapproval of the Fukuda cabinet? Pick
only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is untrustworthy 11.1 (8.9)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Liberal Democratic Party and
the New Komeito 4.5 (5.2)
The prime minister lacks leadership ability 25.7 (32.5)
Nothing can be expected of its economic policies 26.6 (24.0)
Nothing can be expected of its foreign policies 1.3 (2.0)
Nothing can be expected of its political reforms 8.0 (7.9)
Nothing can be expected of its tax reforms 11.6 (6.5)
Nothing can be expected of its administrative reforms 6.9 (6.8)
Don't like the prime minister's personal character 3.3 (4.2)
O/A 0.3 (0.7)
D/K+N/A 0.7 (1.3)

Q: The ruling coalition of the LDP and New Komeito took a second
vote in the House of Representatives on a bill reinstating a
gasoline surcharge to ensure tax revenues for road construction and
other road-related infrastructure projects. A gasoline surcharge of
about 25 yen will be added to the gasoline tax again. What do you
think about this?

Appropriate 21.4
Inappropriate 72.0
D/K+N/A 6.6

Q: The ruling coalition of the LDP and New Komeito agreed to prepare
legislation within the year in order to incorporate gasoline taxes
and other road-related tax revenues into the state's general account
budget from fiscal 2009. Do you support this?

Yes 37.7
No 53.6
D/K+N/A 8.7

Q: The DPJ is considering submitting a motion in the House of
Councillors to censure Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda over the gasoline
surcharge's reinstatement and other issues. Do you support the
move?

Yes 54.7
No 31.9
D/K+N/A 13.4

Q: What do you think Prime Minister Fukuda should do if and when a
censure motion is passed in the House of Councillors?

He does not have to resign because the motion is not legally binding
18.5
His cabinet should resign en masse 8.4
He should dissolve the House of Representatives for a general
election 68.1
D/K+N/A 5.0

Q: In April, the government started a new health insurance system
for the elderly to deduct premiums from their pensions. Prime
Minister Fukuda has ordered his administration to improve its
implementation. Meanwhile, the DPJ and other opposition parties are
calling for the new system to be abolished. Which do you think is

TOKYO 00001233 014 OF 017


better?

Improve implementation 44.0
Abolish the new system 46.5
D/K+N/A 9.5

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 24.3 (27.6)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 30.3 (25.7)
New Komeito (NK) 3.6 (2.5)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.7 (4.1)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.6 (1.4)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.7 (0.3)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) --- ---
Other political parties, groups --- ---
None 34.4 (36.8)
D/K+N/A 1.4 (1.6)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation on
May 1-2 by Kyodo News Service on a computer-aided random digit
dialing (RDD) basis. Among randomly generated telephone numbers,
those actually for household use with one or more eligible voters
totaled 1,478. Answers were obtained from 1,027 persons.

(8) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, provisional gas tax,
new health insurance system for elderly

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
May 3, 2008

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

T P M F
Yes 18 (24) 16 19
No 61 (57) 70 56
Not interested 19 (18) 14 23

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 37
(38) 40 35
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
8 (10) 8 7
Because there's something stable about the prime minister 28 (23) 21
31
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures 18 (24) 24 15

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 8
(5) 9 8
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
37 (45) 29 42
Because there's no fresh image about the prime minister 5 (5) 7 4
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's policy

TOKYO 00001233 015 OF 017


measures 49 (44) 54 45

Q: Which political party do you support?

T P M F
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 20 (24) 18 21
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 28 (22) 36 24
New Komeito (NK) 3 (5) 3 4
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (3) 2 4
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 3 (1) 3 3
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (1) 1 0
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 1 (0) 1 0
Other political parties 1 (1) 0 1
None 39 (41) 36 41

Q: The ruling coalition of the LDP and New Komeito took a second
vote in the House of Representatives on a bill reinstating a
gasoline surcharge and other provisional tax rates and passed the
legislation with a concurring vote of more than two thirds. Do you
appreciate this?

T P M F
Yes 19 21 18
No 74 75 73

Q: The DPJ faced off with the ruling coalition over the gasoline
surcharge and the Bank of Japan's governor post. Do you appreciate
this?

T P M F
Yes 41 47 47
No 51 49 53

Q: In April, the government started a new health insurance system
for those aged 75 and over. Do you appreciate this system?

T P M F
Yes 17 16 17
No 77 80 75

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5 PERCENT . "No answer" omitted. Figures in
parentheses denote the results of the last survey conducted Apr.
5-6.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted May 1-2 over the
telephone across the nation on a computer-aided random digit
sampling (RDS) basis. Answers were obtained from 1,042 persons.

(9) Simulation of next Lower House election: If 2 PERCENT of LDP
votes go to DPJ, two parties would trade places

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
May 5, 2008

Rei Shiratori, a professor at Akita International University,
conducted a simulation on how many votes the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will garner in the
next House of Representatives election. According to the simulation,
if two percent of the LDP's supporting votes go to the DPJ in the
next House of Representatives election, the DPJ will become the
largest opposition party in the Lower House. This newspaper analyzed

TOKYO 00001233 016 OF 017


based on the simulation how the next Lower House election would turn
out to be if the LDP was buffeted by a headwind and how the Japanese
Communist Party's (JCP) votes in the single-seat districts where the
party will not file its candidates would move.

Sharp decrease in LDP seats

According to the Shiratori's simulation, the number of Lower House
seats to be obtained by the LDP would be 230, a large drop from the
296 that the party won in the previous election, while the DPJ would
garner 194, making great strides from the 113 current seats.

The LDP would win 12 district seats (23 in the previous race) of the
25 single-seat constituencies in Tokyo and 11 seats (21 in the
previous race) of the 33 single-seat constituencies of the Tokai
bloc. The party would drastically decrease its Lower House seats in
urban areas.

The New Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner, would garner 32
seats (31 in the previous election), the Social Democratic Party
(SDP) - eight seats (seven in the previous election) and the
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) - nine seats (nine in the previous
election). The seats to be obtained by the three parties would be
nearly unchanged from those they garnered in the previous election.

The simulation shows that although the DPJ would make great stride,
the ruling parties -- the LDP and New Komeito -- would keep the
majority of the Lower House seats.

If LDP buffeted by unfavorable wind

If the unpopularity rating for the Fukuda cabinet continues, the
simulation concludes the number of seats the LDP will capture would
further drop.

If one percent of the LDP supporting votes go to the DPJ, the LDP
would garner 216 seats and the DPJ - 207. Should two percent of the
LDP's supporting votes go to the DPJ, the LDP would get 205 and the
DPJ - 217. The number of seats to be obtained by the LDP and New
Komeito would reach a majority. If three percent of the LDP's
supporting votes go to the DPJ, the DPJ would have an advantage.

According to Shiratori, if the election is conducted under the
unpopular Fukuda cabinet, one percent of the LDP's supporting votes
would go to the DPJ; and if the LDP suffers from an issue similar to
the pension-record mess, a major campaign issue for the Upper House
election last August, about three percent of the LDP's supporting
votes would move to the DPJ.

If JCP narrows down candidates

The JCP, which had initially planned to field its own candidates in
all the 300 single-seat constituencies, intends to decrease the
number of its candidates for the next general election to about 140.
Therefore, the JCP's supporting votes in the 160 single-seat
districts will likely greatly sway the outcome of the Lower House
race.

For this reason, both the LDP and DPJ aim to score with the JCP's
supporters in 160 single-seat constituencies. According to various
exit polls in the April 27 Lower House by-election for the Yamaguchi
No. 2 district, more than 80 PERCENT of the JCP's supporters voted

TOKYO 00001233 017 OF 017


for the DPJ candidate; so, the JCP's supporting votes seems to be
going to the DPJ.

Should 30 PERCENT of the JCP's supporting votes in single-seat
districts in which the JCP will not file its candidates, the LDP
would win 221 and the DPJ would increase to 204.

Should 50 PERCENT of the JCP's supporting votes go to the DPJ, the
LDP would secure 217 seats and the DPJ - 204.

Should votes supporting the LDP be added to the 204 seats, the LDP
would be placed at a disadvantage.

If 30 PERCENT of the JCP's supporting votes and one percent of the
LDP's votes go to the DPJ, the DPJ would become the largest party.
If 50 PERCENT of the JCP's votes and three percent of the LDP's
votes go to the DPJ, the LDP would win 238 seats, exceeding the 184
seats the LDP would secure.

Regarding the above predictions, Shiratori said:

"The LDP won overwhelmingly the 2005 Lower House election. Seeing
the analysis that the two parties would trade places if a just few
percentages of votes go to the DPJ, the LDP did not win big. This is
the result of a mixed electoral system of small and proportional
constituencies."

Shiratori conducted the simulation, assuming that the next Lower
House election would be held on Sept. 6, 2009.

If JCP's supporting votes go to DPJ
0 PERCENT 30 PERCENT 50 PERCENT
If LDP's supporting votes go to DPJ 0 PERCENT LDP
DPJ 230 (seats)
194 221
204 217
208
1 PERCENT LDP
DPJ 216
207 209
215 203
221
2 PERCENT LDP
DPJ 205
217 198
225 192
231
3 PERCENT LDP
DPJ 197
225 190
232 184
238

DONOVAN

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