Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 05/30/08

DE RUEHKO #1492/01 1510758
P 300758Z MAY 08




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Interview with Senator Joseph Lieberman, foreign affairs adviser
to presidential candidate John McCain -- Reaching U.S.-DPRK
agreement under Bush administration not possible; New multilateral
organization to complement United Nations essential (Nikkei)

(2) TICAD IV: Government develops aggressive resources diplomacy

(3) Japan presents aid plans in succession at Africa conference to
counter China (Yomiuri)

(4) Vacuum in Japan's defense-oriented policy now created due to
Tokyo's decision to join treaty totally banning cluster munitions

(5) Former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike in interview says Prime
Minister Fukuda should adopt policies agreeable to the public (Tokyo

(Corrected copy) Medical service system for elderly people over 75 a
campaign issue for Okinawa Prefectural Assembly (Mainichi)


(1) Interview with Senator Joseph Lieberman, foreign affairs adviser
to presidential candidate John McCain -- Reaching U.S.-DPRK
agreement under Bush administration not possible; New multilateral
organization to complement United Nations essential

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Full)
May 30, 2008

U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, an influential foreign policy adviser
to Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, gave
an interview to a Nikkei reporter in Tokyo on May 29. In the
interview, the Senator indicated that chances are extremely slim for
North Korea to reach a "complete, verifiable and irreversible
agreement" on all its nuclear programs with the Bush administration
before the President leaves office. He also expressed his desire to
establish a multilateral consultative body complementing such
organizations as the United Nations and the summit of major

Lieberman, an influential legislator who is a member of the
Democratic Party, has been close to McCain, as seen in his support
for the Iraq war along with the Republican presidential candidate.
Lieberman is regarded as the leading candidate to become secretary
of State under a "McCain administration."

Senator Lieberman emphatically indicated that it is not enough to
disable the nuclear facilities around Yongbyon for producing
military plutonium. He said: "There still remain many issues, such
as highly enriched uranium (HEU), the nuclear weapons that already
exist in the North, and the question of proliferation of nuclear

He added: "It seems impossible to seek something (agreement) that is
comprehensive, verifiable, transparent, and irreversible in the next
six or seven months before the Bush administration steps down."

TOKYO 00001492 002 OF 010

On Asia policy, he unveiled the following ideas: (1) strengthening
relations with allies, such as Japan; (2) establishing a spontaneous
multilateral alliance by such democracies as Japan, the United
States, Australia, and India to complement the United Nations and
the summit of major nations; and (3) taking a pragmatic approach by
accelerating or starting nuclear disarmament talks with China and

Shifting the focus to the Middle East, the Senator expressed concern
over Iran's assistance to radical Islamic groups. He also warned
that a prompt withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq would end up
intensifying such a trend. Pointing out that Iran has yet to abandon
its nuclear weapons ambitions, he indicated that Israel or other
countries might take military action.

Main points from statement by Lieberman

(Japan-U.S. alliance)

The alliance with Japan is the cornerstone of America's Asia policy.
Sharing and maintaining such common values as democracy and the
market economy benefit the two sides. The rise of China particularly
requires the two countries to work closely together.

(North Korea)

The North Korean nuclear issue cannot be settled by the disablement
of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon alone. The issue embraces a wide
range of matters, including a nuclear program that uses HEU, the
existing nuclear weapons, and the proliferation of nuclear
technology. It seems impossible to seek something (agreement) that
is comprehensive, verifiable, transparent, and irreversible in the
next seven months before the Bush administration leaves office.
Although the abduction issue is important, a balance must be struck
(with the nuclear issue).

(Multilateral consultative organization)

Along with bilateral relations with such countries as Japan,
Australia and India, the United States must strengthen multilateral
relations. I am considering a spontaneous alliance that can
complement the roles of the United Nations and other organizations
when they cannot take action freely. Senator McCain thinks Russia
must be removed from the Group of Eight. Their concentration of
power at the center is a problem. The idea of adding China to the
G-8 as its formal member also seems premature.

(Middle East peace, Iran)

The United States must become proactively involved in the
Palestinian-Israeli peace talks. The United States must firmly
support the Palestinian autonomous government and especially
cooperate in aiming at enhanced police and security capabilities.
The most serious factor for Middle East peace is an expansionist
Iran. Although Senator Obama says that the U.S. military should
withdraw from Iraq by the end of 2009, such would only benefit Iran
and the Al-Qaeda. Iran would not hold talks sincerely unless it can
sense that the United States and other countries might take economic
sanctions and military action.

(2) TICAD IV: Government develops aggressive resources diplomacy

TOKYO 00001492 003 OF 010

MAINICHI (Page 9) (Full)
May 30, 2008

The government is proactively developing diplomacy at the Fourth
Tokyo International Conference for African Development (TICAD IV),
now being held in Yokohama City. Africa is attracting the world's
attention for its rich resources, starting with untapped oil,
natural gas and rare metals. Japan is visibly lagging behind China,
which has been actively investing in Africa for many years. It is
now doing its utmost to strengthen ties with African countries,
seeing the TICAD Conference as the perfect opportunity, as a senior
official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) put

Marathon talks

METI Minister Akira Amari on the afternoon of May 29 pursued
"marathon talks" with the presidents of five African countries,
including South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The main items on the
agenda of the talks with those countries were resources development
and technology aid for the promotion of development.

Africa is one of the few areas that produce rare metals, such as
cobalt and platinum, materials used for the manufacturing of cell
phones and automobiles. The amount of rare metal deposits in the
world is limited. However, demand for such is increasing as newly
emerging countries grow, bringing about a sharp rise in prices. The
situation is seriously affecting Japan's industries. A major
challenge for Japan is to secure resources, such as rare metals, by
strengthening ties with African countries.

However, Japan is visibly lagging behind other countries in building
relations with African countries. China, in particular, is actively
strengthening ties with them, pledging a large amount of investment
in talks with leaders of various countries. The total amount of its
exports and imports vis-`-vis Africa in 2007 increased to
approximately 73 billion dollars, or about six times the level of
five years ago. In contrast, Japan's trade with African countries
stood at approximately 26 billion yen. The margin of the increase is
only 250 PERCENT , compared with five years ago.

In a bid to bring about a rollback, Japan at the TICAD Conference
has come up with a number of measures intended to boost relations
with African countries. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda released a plan
to double the amount of investment in the region. METI Minister
Amari also tried to appeal to African countries, noting, "Japan
wants to double trade with Africa."

In concrete terms, Nippon Export and Investment Insurance (NEXI), an
independent administrative agency under METI's jurisdiction, and
public insurance agencies joined by African countries concluded an
agreement for cooperation aimed at promoting investment in Africa.
Japan and South Africa during a bilateral summit agreed to set up a
joint trade committee. According to the agreement, the two countries
will hold regular meetings more than once a year to discuss such
issues as boosting trade and investment and Japan's assistance for
South Africa's energy-saving effort.

One senior METI official, who was present at Amari's series of
meetings with leaders of various African nations, noted that he
sensed a good response, saying, "Many sought stronger ties with
Japan." Many African countries sought assistance for the

TOKYO 00001492 004 OF 010

consolidation of infrastructure. Their poor infrastructure is
preventing their economies from growing.

The government also agreed to provide fund aid for the building of a
port and an airport in Madagascar. In return, the country has
pledged to offer a preference to Japanese companies regarding the
mining and refining of nickel. The government wants to fully
establish a reciprocal relationship for the stable procurement of
resources, by helping Africa grow stably through proactive
assistance or the consolidation of infrastructure, etc.

Consolidation of infrastructure

Leading trading houses are already active trying to find investment
opportunities in Africa. Mitsubishi Corporation in 1998 took part in
an aluminum refining business in Mozambique. The business expanded
and now it accounts for about 20 PERCENT of that nation's GDP.
Mitsui & Co. and Marubeni Corporation took part in a liquefied
natural gas (LNG) project worth 140 billion yen in Equatorial
Guinea. Sojitz Corporation has already secured interest in vanadium
and other rare metals in South Africa.

However, in Africa, there are many areas where the political
situation is highly unstable. These areas have many challenges to
settle, including improving worsened public security and delay in
the building of infrastructure. One employee at a leading trading
house said, "There is a shortage of education facilities. It is not
easy to secure personnel."

Mitsubishi Corporation has established a fund totaling approximately
2.6 billion yen as part of its contribution to the region. It is
using the fund for the building of elementary schools,
infrastructure and a police organization.

(3) Japan presents aid plans in succession at Africa conference to
counter China

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Slightly abridged)
May 30, 2008

The 4th Tokyo International Conference on African Development
(TICAD4) will end today after adopting three documents, including
the Yokohama Declaration specifying the philosophy of aid to African
countries and the Yokohama Action Plan spelling out measures and
goals for aid over the next five years. The government believes that
Japan succeeded in establishing a foothold to develop vigorous
diplomacy toward Africa as a result of taking the initiative in
producing a comprehensive aid package. But its real worth will be
judged from now.

Representatives from 51 countries of all the 53 in Africa have
participated in the 4th TICAD, including 40 top leaders. The leader
of Guinea cancelled his planned visit at the last minute due to
ongoing domestic political unrest. A senior Foreign Ministry proudly
said: "The conference this time is at the largest ever scale among
the international conferences held under the sponsorship of the
Japanese government. This shows that Japan has won their

In preparations for TICAD, the Japanese government was keeping in
mind China's boosting economic advancement to Africa with the aim of
securing natural resources there. The China and Africa Cooperation

TOKYO 00001492 005 OF 010

Forum in Beijing in 2006, hosted by China, brought together the
heads of 35 countries. A Japanese government source said with a sigh
of relief: "This (the number of participant countries in TICAD4) is
a good showy number."

In the ongoing conference, the Japanese government has come up with
proactive aid plans in succession, including a measure to double the
government's official development assistance (ODA) disbursements to
Africa over the next five years and to offer up to 4 billion dollars
in yen loans. In a meeting held yesterday to discuss soaring food
prices, Fukuda also stressed: "I promised to help Africa with
improvement in plant species and other efforts in order to increase
food and farm production. Japan is ready to make more

China's trade with Africa (in 2007) in value terms reached 73.5
billion dollars, three times larger than Japan's 26.6 billion
dollars. Japan, which has continued aid to Africa since the first
TICAD in 1993, seemingly had a sense of rivalry with China.

The measure to double yen loans is aimed to improve the environment
for an increase in investment by building vast road systems and
taking other measures.

Some observers, though, point out that a trick is hidden in the "4
billion dollars." In many cases of Japan extending yen loans, the
government announces an amount worked out by deducting repayment
money of past debts. But even repaid money is included in the 4
billion dollars.

On the issue of climate change, the Japanese government was willing
to contain in the Yokohama Declaration the wording "a 50 PERCENT
cut by 2050" at a target for reducing global greenhouse gas
emissions, but it had to give it up in the face of a fierce reaction
by South Africa, a major gas emitter.

Major aid measures announced by Fukuda in TICAD4

(Acceleration of economic growth)
? Extend yen loans worth up to 4 billion yen over the next five
years for traffic and other infrastructure building.
? Develop natural resources by using Japanese technology
? Dispatch a government-private sector joint economic mission to
? Establish a fund to support the plan to double investment in
Africa in the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and double
the scale of financial aid to 2.5 billion dollars in five years.
Guarantee direct investment in Africa and Japanese banks' loans to
? Allocate a considerable portion of emergency food aid worth 100
million dollars to Africa.
? Double ODA disbursements to and investment in Africa by the
private sector in five years. Double grant aid and technical

(Establishment human security)
? Double rice production in Africa in 10 years.

African countries seek business, rather than aid

In TICAD4, African leaders have called for expanded trade and
investment. South African President Thabo Mbeki categorically said:

TOKYO 00001492 006 OF 010

"Aid is certainly essential, but trade is to support the future of
Africa, and not aid."

Of the assistance measures set forth by Prime Minister Fukuda,
African leaders have paid much attention particularly to such
measures as improving trade insurance and establishing a fund to
support doubling investment in Africa.

But many leaders have complained of Japanese companies' halfhearted
posture toward advancement to Africa, as Botswana's Vice President
Mompati Merafhe said: "Africa and Japanese firms are only remotely
related." Many are calling for a new relationship to be established
based on business.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said in an interview with Yomiuri
Shimbun: "China's moves are active, but we rarely see Japanese

President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, the chair of the African Union
(AU), complained: "85 PERCENT of investment in Africa from Japan
goes to South Africa and Egypt." Even if Japan augments direct
investment in and trade with Africa, many countries in the region
will not highly evaluate Japan if this biased state is rectified.

African leaders naturally have expresses appreciation for Japan's
aid projects, including those to fight poverty.

A reporter of state run Burkina Faso broadcasting station, however,
expressed this severe view: "I cannot be aware of any effect of
overseas aid in our daily lives. I do not think the general people
have placed high hopes on TICAD."

Some countries might disappoint Japan on UNSC reform

Prime Minister Fukuda has engaged in marathon talks with all the 40
African leaders who have attended the conference, as well as with
people related to aid to Africa.

In the meetings, Fukuda has asked for their support for Japan's bid
for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
By winning support from African countries, which hold one-fourth of
all the seats of the UN General Assembly, the prime minister aims to
add momentum to reforming the UNSC.

Fukuda held talks with 45 persons by the 29th, but their responses
vary. Ghana president John Agyekum Kufuor expressed his positive
support for Japan's bid, but Nambia President Hifikepunye Pohamba
only replied: "I will study it in our home country." A government
source said: "We have gained understanding or support from most of
the countries, but few have expressed more penetrating support than
their past words. Egypt, Algeria, Libya, and many other countries
have said they cannot support Japan's bid because they cannot become
permanent members. Some of them could betray Japan."

(4) Vacuum in Japan's defense-oriented policy now created due to
Tokyo's decision to join treaty totally banning cluster munitions

SANKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
May 30, 2008

Masato Kimura, Dublin

TOKYO 00001492 007 OF 010

(The Dublin Conference) of international disarmament talks under the
Oslo Process, aimed at concluding a ban on cluster munitions by the
end of the year, reached agreement on May 28 on a draft treaty
totally banning cluster bombs, except for "newer smart bombs." Such
smart bombs are capable of identifying targets to attack so that
unexploded duds would not exist to pose a threat later to civilians.
The draft treaty is to be formally adopted today, the last day (of
the Dublin Conference).

Hiroyuki Noguchi

Cluster bombs have been viewed as a trump card for Japan to prevent
enemies from invading the homeland, but an immediate, total ban on
cluster bombs would force Japan to drastically reconsider its
previous strategy and tactics, including its national credo of "sole
defense-oriented policy." Japan eventually may try to buy a large
number of newest cluster munitions (not subject to a total ban), but
this would require an enormous amount of money. It would take Japan
a decade to completely deploy the state-of-the art cluster bombs,
but that would create a 10-year vacuum in Japan's defense posture.
At present, although there is less possibility of invading forces
landing in Japan, compared with the Cold War period, but national
defense is not a matter of probability. The important factor in
national defense is to demonstrate the state's resolve and then to
create a deterrent force. It is agonizing to see non-combatants
killed or wounded by duds. That is the major reason for calls to
totally ban cluster munitions. However, it would be likewise a
tragedy if the security of the nation is endangered (due to the
vacuum created be removing all cluster bombs).

The common factor among countries opposed to a total ban on cluster
bombs is that they do not possess cluster bombs or they possess only
old cluster munitions. Those countries' military calculation of
enhancing their countries' safety by adopting a radical treaty is
seen through their opposition under the guise of humanism. It is
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that have led the discussion
in the (Dublin Conference). They brought countries that possess no
cluster munitions to the conference table and had them advocate
their opposition to cluster munitions. In this context, an approach
that was the same as during the debate at the International Whaling
Commission (IWC) that was swayed by emotional views.

Nonetheless, the fact is that the Japanese government was inept in
the talks (of the Dublin Conference). Japan at least should have
insisted on adding to the draft treaty the condition that "cluster
bombs should be used primarily to prevent forces from invading the

(5) Former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike in interview says Prime
Minister Fukuda should adopt policies agreeable to the public

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
May 30, 2008

-- You are regarded as one of the potential candidates to succeed
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.

Koike: My name is being tossed around without my permission. I'm
very annoyed with that. I've been focusing on what kind of policies
Japan needs for the future. I've been working on such issues as the
environment, security, and social security in a comprehensive

TOKYO 00001492 008 OF 010

-- The word "change" is now a buzzword in the U.S. presidential
campaign and it has even been used as the title of a TV drama. What
do you think are qualifications necessary for the leader?

Koike: I haven't seen that drama, anyway. I think the public always
seeks change. Japan nor any other country can survive unless it is
willing to change. Voters support anyone whom they think is

-- The Machimura faction to which you belong is the largest faction
in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Koike: Because it is not that long since I joined the faction, I
don't know about it well. I think former Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi reduced the importance of factions.

-- Politicians are now actively on the move with an eye on possible
political realignment. What do you think is the key to realignment?

Koike: Small government or big government, putting a distance
between the government and the bureaucracy, and centralization or
decentralization. I think the key to political realignment will be
extremely basic issues.

-- It is noticeable that you are carrying out activities focusing on
women such as the formation of a policy group along with Yukari Sato
and Kuniko Inoguchi.

Koike: There are many approaches that can move society. I am now
focusing on women from the viewpoint of changing our way of
thinking. I think this country will become better if women stimulate
(politics) as an "introduced species."

-- How do you view the current political situation with the Diet
divided between the ruling and opposition camps?

Koike: It is similar to driving on both the right and left sides of
the street. However, there are some good effects, such as Prime
Minister Fukuda's proposed freeing up of tax revenues earmarked for
road projects for general expenditures. So, the divided Diet is not
always necessarily wrong.

-- What do you think of the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ)

Koike: Just inciting anxiety is not good for a party aiming at a
change of government. The DPJ places top priority on the daily lives
of people, but President Ichiro Ozawa always prioritizes political
maneuvering. But Mr. Ozawa has not changed his policy of aiming at
political change. His political belief has been consistent.

-- What should the prime minister do?

Koike: Before he is forced to do something, he should do what he
believes in. Through such a way of doing things, he will be able to
get more public support.

-- Do you think the prime minister is not good at appealing to the

Koike: Public support is necessary for coming up with policies. This

TOKYO 00001492 009 OF 010

is not populism. If the policy is agreeable to the public, it will
be able to get their understanding even if it places a burden on
them. With the graying of society, there will be more sad stories
than happy ones. It is important to have the public understand that.
The people know the necessity of protecting the nation and society
(even if their burden increases).

-- Specifically?

Koike: The environment problem is a good example. Since people are
aware of environmental preservation, they understand the charge
imposed for plastic grocery bags and that the number of people using
eco-friendly shopping bags has been increasing. I think public
support will spread once (the government side) steadily introduces
its policies.

(Corrected copy) Medical service system for elderly people over 75 a
campaign issue for Okinawa Prefectural Assembly

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
May 30, 2008

The Okinawa Prefectural Assembly elections slated for June 8 will be
officially announced on May 30. Both ruling and opposition camps are
staging an all-out battle, airing TV commercials and sending in
senior party officials. That is because since both camps are equally
matched in strength, if the opposition parties win, the government
of Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, who supports the relocation of the
U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station within the prefecture, would
become a minority government, which is bound to affect the
relocation issue. In addition, the key campaign issue is the new
medical service system for elderly people over 75, the focus of
attention in the final phase of the ongoing Diet session.

The fixed number of seats in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly is 48,
of which 27 are held by the ruling parties -- the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP), the New Komeito, etc., and 20 are held by opposition
parties. One seat remains vacant. There are many closely-contested
constituencies due to mergers of municipalities. One LDP lawmaker
elected from the prefecture expressed his sense of alarm, "The
ruling and opposition are equally matched in strength. If the
opposition camp wins, the Nakaima-controlled prefectural
administration would be rejected by the public."

Okinawa Assembly election results will influence national
administration of the Futenma relocation issue. This can be seen in
a past prefectural referendum held to ask residents about the
propriety of consolidating and realigning U.S. military bases.
Because of such a background, both camps are tackling the election
in an exceptionally serious manner.

The LDP has made TV commercial on the medical service system for the
elderly, featuring former LDP lawmaker Koichi Hamada (79), about
making efforts to revise the system. It will be aired in Okinawa
from the 30th. New Komeito head Akihiro Ota visited Okinawa from the
23rd through the 26th and delivered speeches, pledging a revision to
the medical service system. Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa also
visited Okinawa to support the election campaign.

Among opposition parties, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) Deputy President Naoto Kan, Japanese Communist Party
Executive Committee Chair Kazuo Shii, Social Democratic Party

TOKYO 00001492 010 OF 010

President Mizuho Fukushima and People's New Party President Tamisuke
Watanuki will visit Okinawa on June 1 to give sidewalk speeches. Kan
during a press conference yesterday said, "Elderly people are all
strongly opposing the system. I want to make a public appeal on this
issue as a key campaign issue."


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