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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Inauguration of New

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PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #1248/01 1290704
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 080704Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4053
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7666
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1345
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3207
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2283
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9224
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9704
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001248

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 - INAUGURATION OF NEW
RUSSIAN PRESIDENT, JAPAN-CHINA SUMMIT, AND CYCLONE
RESPONSE BY BURMESE JUNTA


1. LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers gave
prominent front-page coverage to Wednesday's summit
between Chinese President Hu and Prime Minister Fukuda,
during which the two appeared to reach a basic accord
on joint development of natural gas fields in the East
China Sea.

2. "Russia Embarks on New Journey Loaded with Heavy
Tasks" The liberal Mainichi's Moscow correspondent
wrote (5/8): "In his inauguration address on Wednesday,
Russian President Medvedev called public attention to
his liberal line by playing up his advocacy of civil
liberties and rights. However, few predict any major
change to the 'two-headed' power-sharing arrangement
between Medvedev and Prime Minister-designate Putin.
The Medvedev administration will have to deal with such
challenges as surging prices and government
corruption."

3. "Can Russia Win Back International Trust?" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (5/8):
"Russia is unabashed in its attempts to bring the
former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine back
into its sphere of influence. Is this appropriate
behavior from a major power? The response to this issue
will demonstrate the policies and character of the new
administration. President Medvedev is a lawyer who has
claimed that he will restore the rule of law in Russia.
Russia has no future unless it seriously addresses the
issue of corruption. Concurrently, Russia cannot be
treated as a genuine superpower if it does not respect
international law."

4. "Agony of Nominal Head of State" A Moscow-based
reporter for the conservative Sankei commented (5/8):
"Despite the grandiose inauguration of President
Medvedev, Prime Minister-designate Putin is expected to
effectively lead the new administration. While he is
officially the head of state, Medvedev is a token
president without real power. The prevailing view is
that this 'two-headed' setup is just a temporary power-
sharing arrangement."

5."Momentum Created for 'Mutually-Beneficial Strategic
Partnership,' But Issues Remain" The business-oriented
Nikkei argued in an editorial (5/8): "With regard to
Tibet, what concerns the international community most
is the issue of human rights. However, judging from the
remarks made at their press availability, it appears
that Chinese President Hu and PM Fukuda did not have in-
depth discussions on the matter.... The international
community also has a critical view of China on such
issues as Darfur and Burma. In order to clear the dark
clouds hanging over the Beijing Olympics, President Hu
should exercise leadership to resolve these problems."

6."Burma Must Open Its Doors to Humanitarian
Assistance" The liberal Asahi editorialized (5/8):
"Despite the junta's announcement that Burma will
accept aid donations from the international community,
delays in the issuance of visas have prevented NGO and
UN representatives from entering the devastated areas.
This is likely because the junta does not want others
to see the reality of the devastation and the delays in
relief activities. We are forced to make this
conclusion, because the junta has prioritized

TOKYO 00001248 002 OF 002


maintaining its grip on power over the lives and human
rights of its people.... Is a referendum (on a
constitutional draft) possible, given the lack of
relief activities? What is most important for the
junta at this moment is to do its utmost to rescue
victims and open up its borders to humanitarian
assistance. The Burmese people should not be allowed to
suffer more."

DONOVAN

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