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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Earthquake in China

VZCZCXRO4672
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1325 1360144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150144Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4259
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 7805
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0191
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6137
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8396
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1485
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3344
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2297
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9359
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9824
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001325

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 - EARTHQUAKE IN CHINA


1. LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers gave top
play to the massive damaged caused by Monday's
earthquake in central China.

2. "Earthquake Hits Ethnic Minorities Hard" The liberal
Mainichi wrote (5/14): "Monday's earthquake is a
serious political disaster for the Hu administration,
as it directly hit a 'politically sensitive' area where
a large number of impoverished Tibetans live and as it
came at a very 'delicate time' when China needs to tamp
down the commotion associated with the unrest in Tibet
ahead of the Beijing Olympics. Mishandling the quake
response would make the Hu administration susceptible
to criticism of its policy toward ethnic minorities.
The Chinese leadership appears to be concentrating on
rescue work out of fear that the quake was viewed as a
'man-made' disaster."

3. "Another Challenge for Hu Leadership" The liberal
Asahi's Beijing correspondent reported (5/14): "There
is no question that the earthquake, following the
unrest in Tibet, dealt a heavy political blow to the
Beijing leadership. Politically-sensitive areas were
hit hard by the tremor, which has commanded intense
global attention. President Hu and other Chinese
leaders must be of the view that social unrest from the
quake ahead of the Olympics must be minimized at all
cost.... The Chinese media has failed to provide live
audio of the victims out of concern that viewers would
find it troubling to hear the sufferers complaining
about the government's response. It seems that the
Chinese government's stance of giving top priority to
state stability through media control has not changed."

4. "China Playing up 'Opening'" A Beijing-based
reporter for the liberal Tokyo Shimbun asserted (5/14):
"By expressing understanding for foreign media's
interest in on-the-field coverage of the devastated
area, Beijing appears to be calling for global
attention to an 'opened China' so that its stance can
be compared to that of Burma, which has been steadfast
in rejecting foreign offers for humanitarian assistance
for cyclone victims."

DONOVAN

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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