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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Burma

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1369 1410251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200251Z MAY 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4370
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7890
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0272
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1571
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3428
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2303
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9439
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9899
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001369

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 - BURMA


1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning
included a government panel report on the national
pension system predicting that the consumption tax rate

would have to be raised from the current 5% to up to
18% in order for the basic pension system to be funded
only through taxes.

2. "Burma to Accept Medical Teams from ASEAN" The
liberal Mainichi's report from Bangkok said (5/20):
". . . . Burmese Foreign Minister Nyan Win expressed
during a foreign ministerial held in Singapore on
Monday his nation's readiness to accept medical teams
from ASEAN nations. Whether or not to receive personnel

from nations outside ASEAN will be discussed later by
ASEAN members. . . . However, it remains unclear
whether the decision to accept medical teams from ASEAN

would lead to Rangoon's receiving of personnel from the

U.S. and European nations. . . . The Burmese junta's
concession to ASEAN appears to be aimed at avoiding
additional pressure from the international community
and preventing Rangoon from further isolating."

3. "Junta Aims at Excluding U.S. and Europe from
International Emergency Relief Scheme" The moderate
Yomiuri's Bangkok correspondent argued (5/20): "The
Burmese junta agreed during the ASEAN ministerial held
in Singapore on Monday to host a meeting to be jointly
arranged by ASEAN and the UN regarding international
support for cyclone-hit Burma. Rangoon's move appears
to be intended to create a framework, in which the
nation will receive foreign aid under the junta's
control. ASEAN's role in bridging between Burma and the

international community will be important. . . . The
junta has accepted visits of EU and UN officials for
the past week to demonstrate to the global community
its 'pseudo tolerance.' The move was aimed at
deflecting criticism from the UN, the U.S., and
European nations about Rangoon's rejection of relief
teams."

SCHIEFFER

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