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Cablegate: Cluster Munitions: Japan Previews Dublin Meeting

VZCZCXRO6015
OO RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1354/01 1371000
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 161000Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4326
INFO RUEHXP/ALL NATO POST COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 3394
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0137
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2300
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 1189
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 9405
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 7855
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 0237
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 1536
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 8446
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3329
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1244
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 9863

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 001354

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/16/2023
TAGS: PREL MOPS PARM JA NATO
SUBJECT: CLUSTER MUNITIONS: JAPAN PREVIEWS DUBLIN MEETING

Classified By: Classified By: Political Minister-Counselor W. Michael M
eserve. Reasons 1.4 (B) (D).

1. (S) SUMMARY: Japan remains committed to handling cluster
munitions (CM) in the Convention on Conventional Weapons
(CCW) but will likely join an expected consensus reached at
the Dublin meeting of the Oslo Process, Ministry of Foreign
Affairs Deputy Director-General Masatoshi Shimbo told Embassy
and U.S. Forces Japan representatives on May 16. If a
consensus is reached, Japan would register reservations to
the text, which would still need to be signed in November in
Oslo before Japan would consider ratification. DDG Shimbo
said Embassy outreach to Diet members, if done discretely and
in a low-key manner, now and after the Dublin meeting would
be useful in educating members of the debate that will follow
in Japan. He also suggested the Secretaries of State,
Defense, and/or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
offer high-profile public statements regarding the importance
the U.S. places on resolving CM in the CCW. End Summary.

Dublin Meeting Preview
----------------------

2. (S) After reaffirming Japan's preference for handling CM
in the CCW, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Disarmament,
Non-proliferation and Science Department Deputy
Director-General Masatoshi Shimbo told Embassy Tokyo and U.S.
Forces Japan representatives on May 16 that he expects the
Dublin meeting of the Oslo Process will produce a consensus
on a text banning CM. The Core Group in the Oslo Process
wants to reach this consensus, as opposed to using the
two-thirds vote, and as such will incorporate some changes
suggested by ""Like-Minded"" nations regarding definitions of
CM covered by the text, interoperability and an
implementation period. This will give Japan a ""fighting
chance"" to deal with the negative affect on U.S.-Japan
interoperability that the Oslo Process will create. DDG
Shimbo noted that France and Germany wish to avoid tampering
with Articles 1 (b) and (c), which they believe hold a
symbolic meaning for the Core Group and NGOs, by introducing
a new article which would address interoperability issues.

3. (S) DDG Shimbo said that if the Dublin participants reach
consensus, Japan will need to become a member of the
consensus but will express reservations with the text by
noting Japan's preference for the CCW and Japan's need to
careful consider the text before ratification. Following
Dublin, the text would be in final form and ready for signing
at Oslo in November, DDG Shimbo said. He argued that the
Dublin text would not be legally binding and that Tokyo would
have no legal obligation to adhere to the treaty until it is
ratified by the Diet.

Suggestion for High Level U.S. Pressure Outside Japan
--------------------------------------------- --

4. (S) MOD U.S.-Japan Security Division Director Kiyoshi
Serizawa noted that Deputy Secretary Negronte's decision to
raise cluster munitions with Foreign Minister Koumura during
their May 9 meeting in Tokyo proved beneficial and increased
the awareness level of the issue at senior levels in Japan.
MOD now believes, however, that the perception Japanese
officials have been pressured by foreign government argues
against further direct approaches by other high-level U.S.
officials to their Tokyo counterparts. MOFA DDG Shinbo added
the GOJ would find it helpful if the Secretaries of State or
Defense, and/or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
offered high-profile public statements regarding the
importance of resolving CM in the CCW. Direct approaches by
senior U.S. officials to NATO members, Latin American
countries and the Core Group in the Oslo Process would also
be helpful. This would indirectly show Japan's senior
officials and Diet members the high priority the United
States places on the issue and give MOFA and MOD ammunition
in pushing the CCW over the Oslo Process with Core Group
members, according to DDG Shimbo.

Outreach to Diet Members Would Be Beneficial
--------------------------------------------

5. (S) Embassy Tokyo representatives meeting with Diet
members now and after the Dublin Conference would also be
useful in shaping the debate over the implications of a
cluster munitions ban if done with extreme discretion and in
a low-key manner, Shinbo offered. Meeting some of the more
moderate members of the new intra-parliamentary league
focused on banning CM, such as LDP Lower House member Kenji
Kosaka who is friendly to U.S. interests, would reap the most
benefit.

6. (S) During meetings with Diet Members, the U.S. side
should stress that CM better enables the United States to
meet its treaty obligations to defend Japan and maintain
peace and security in East Asia, DDG Shimbo said. If
possible, the U.S. should share with Diet members specific
operational requirements for CM, such as countering North
Korean WMD and missile threats to Japan. Diet members will
respond better to this line of argument, as well as the
potential negative affect on interoperability between U.S.
forces and Japan's Self-Defense Force (JSDF). Many Diet
members briefed by MOD have dismissed claims that the JSDF
need CM to defend Japan from an invasion that most Diet
members doubt will ever occur, according to DDG Shimbo.
Embassy Pol-Mil Unit Chief told DDG Shimbo that it is
critical to focus on what the Alliance needs, as opposed to
just what the U.S. needs, to defend Japan and maintain peace
and security in the region. In a contingency, for example,
it is crucial that U.S. forces be allowed operate with CM out
of SDF bases. An Alliance-centric approach will also avoid
accusations that the U.S. is only seeking to protect its own
CM equities.

Following the European Lead
---------------------------

7. (C) Following the meeting, MOFA Conventional Arms Division
Director Ryuichi Hirano outlined Tokyo's position in terms
indicating that Japan would refuse to be isolated in the
Dublin diplomatic process. Hirano said Tokyo believed
European and some other ""Like-Minded"" states would refuse to
join consensus on a Dublin text that did not adequately
address concerns about interoperability. Under those
circumstances, Japan would join the Europeans in rejecting
the text. If, however, the Europeans and others decided to
join consensus on a Dublin text, even one which did not
resolve interoperability issues, Japan will not block
consensus.
DONOVAN

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