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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russian Politics And

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PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #1300 1340352
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130352Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4197
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 7757
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1437
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3297
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2295
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9313
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9776
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001300

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 - RUSSIAN POLITICS AND
MAJOR EARTHQUAKE IN CHINA


1. LEAD STORIES: All Tuesday morning papers gave top
coverage to Monday's devastating earthquake in central
China.

2. "Hardliners Maintaining Influence" A Moscow
correspondent for the business-oriented Nikkei wrote
(5/13): "The cabinet and other key portfolio
appointments in the Russian government made on Monday
illustrate that hardliners in the so-called siloviki -
the networks of former and current state-security
officers with ties to the Soviet-era KGB and its
successor agencies - will keep their strong clout.
President Medvedev is positive about a market economy
and democratization. However, given that the
hardliners, who took the lead in state control of
businesses and media, retain key government posts, it
will likely be difficult for Medvedev to exercise
leadership."

3. "China May Seek International Assistance" The
conservative Sankei reported from Beijing (5/13): "The
Hu government has done its utmost to rescue earthquake
victims by mobilizing the PLA. Chances are high that it
will request international relief assistance.... In
view of the continued friction with the international
community over the unrest in Tibet, the Chinese
government may aim to repair its relations with the
international community by accepting international
assistance."

4. "Paramount Challenge Ahead of Olympics" A Beijing-
based reporter for the top-circulation, moderate
Yomiuri noted (5/13): "Monday's massive earthquake
poses an enormous challenge for the communist
government in Beijing, which has been doing its utmost
to ensure social stability ahead of the Olympics. The
government has been taking steps to minimize the damage
and tamp down people's anxieties.... With Chinese
society facing such destabilizing developments as
Tibet, astounding income gaps, employment uncertainty,
and corruption, discontent is simmering among the
hundreds of millions of its poor citizens. The Hu
administration clearly recognizes mishandling the quake
response could light a dangerous fire."

DONOVAN

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