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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - President Bush In

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P 190100Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 001356

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 - PRESIDENT BUSH IN
MIDEAST


1. LEAD STORIES: Most Monday papers gave top play to
the continuing rescue efforts in quake-hit Sichuan
Province in China.

2. "Poor Results from Mideast Tour" The liberal Asahi's
correspondent report from Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
claimed (5/19): ". . . . Although President Bush made
additional commitments to Middle East peace during his
recent tour of the region, he failed to present any
concrete measures to reach an agreement. . . . For the
President, Iran, which the U.S. labels as a state
sponsor of terrorism, constitutes a more serious
problem, as the nation appears to support anti-U.S.
groups in Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, and Lebanon.
The next step President Bush will be able to take will
be limited, as he has stated that he will not have
direct negotiations with Iran until it freezes its
nuclear development programs."

3. "Clouds Hanging over Middle East Peace" The moderate
Yomiuri's correspondent report argued (5/19): ". . . .
Although the biggest goal of President Bush's tour of
the Middle East was promoting peace in the region,
prospects for reaching a peace agreement by the end of
this year appear dim, as Arab nations reacted strongly
to the President's pro-Israel position expressed during
the trip."

4. "No Progress in Middle East Peace" The business-
oriented Nikkei's Washington correspondent contends
(5/19): ". . . . Although President Bush's visit to the
Middle East was aimed at promoting negotiations between
the Israelis and Palestinians, the focus was placed on
the war on terrorism in the face of Iran's nuclear
development. It appears difficult to regain momentum
toward Middle East peace, as Arab nations are showing a
strong reaction to the lack of progress in the peace
talks."

SCHIEFFER

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