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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russia and Burma

VZCZCXRO9165
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1257 1300410
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090410Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4086
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 7691
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0074
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6041
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8284
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1370
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3232
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2285
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9249
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9729
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001257

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 - RUSSIA AND BURMA


1. LEAD STORIES: Friday morning's Yomiuri gave top play
to the finding that the GOJ has asked the ROK Lee
administration for help in arranging a meeting in South
Korea between the parents of Japanese abductee Megumi
Yokota and Megumi's daughter, who is in North Korea.

2. "Medvedev Needs to Be Independent" On the official
start of the 'two-headed' government in Russia, the
liberal Asahi editorialized (5/9): "Confusion (in
Russian politics) is unavoidable, as the division of
roles between Medvedev and Putin is still uncertain....
Russia is facing rising inflation and a widening gap
between rich and poor. There could be a power struggle
over who will take responsibility if discontent rises
among the people. Russia's ties with the West have
cooled, while its relations with Georgia and Ukraine
continue to be strained. Medvedev and Putin cannot
conduct diplomacy separately. The new president must
move swiftly to assert his independence."

3. "Perilous Launch of Two-Headed Russia" The business-
oriented Nikkei argued in an editorial (5/9): "If
President Medvedev attempts to implement the rule of
law, a confrontation with special interest groups will
be unavoidable. Medvedev has stressed the continuation
of Putin's policies. However, the two-headed government
itself poses risks."

4. "Can Russia Move Toward Openness?" The liberal
Mainichi asserted (5/9): "Improving relations with the
U.S. is imperative for Russia. The new government with
Medvedev at the helm needs to change Russia's image
abroad and to launch a diplomatic line conciliatory to
the West and Japan. Such steps would be a key factor in
ensuring global stability."

5. "Why Not Accept Humanitarian Assistance?" The top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (5/9): "The Burmese
junta plans to carry out a national referendum on a
constitutional draft on Saturday as scheduled, with the
exception of some devastated areas. Democratic forces
are strongly opposing the draft, given that it is meant
to prolong the junta's rule by stipulating that 25
percent of seats in both chambers of the legislature be
given to military officials. Is there any need to hold
a referendum given the current situation?"

6. "Junta Neglecting to Protect People" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun contended (5/9): "It cannot be denied
that the tragedy (associated with the cyclone) is a
manmade disaster spawned by negligence on the part of
the junta. Citizens were not given appropriate warnings
or evacuation orders. It is not an exaggeration to say
that the episode clearly illustrates the character of a
junta that has long ruled its country while ignoring
the people.... The junta is poised to go ahead with a
planned referendum on a constitutional draft that is
meant to preserve its power. Responsibility for
protecting people's lives rests with the government. It
must first find a way to weather the current crisis by
cooperating with a broad range of citizens."

DONOVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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