Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/05/08

P 050829Z JUN 08
USFJ //J5/JO21//
CTF 72




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) U.S. Trafficking in Persons Reports urges Japan to improve

(2) Former U.S. POW group chief calls for "establishing a fund" for
reconciliation (Asahi)

(3) Government to send survey mission to Afghanistan to determine
feasibility of dispatching GSDF there (Asahi)

(4) DPJ to submit censure motion against Fukuda next week, to
underscore confrontational stance (Nikkei)

(5) DPJ to submit censure motion against Fukuda to play up
confrontational stance (Yomiuri)

(6) Debate on introduction of life imprisonment without parole
gaining steam (Asahi)

(7) Takeo Hiranuma in interview says a citizen-oriented new party is
necessary (Tokyo Shimbun)

(8) Ronten (Point in controversy) column by Hiroyuki Yushita: How to
improve relations between Japan and China? Need to explain to the
public about how to determine sea boundary (Yomiuri)


(1) U.S. Trafficking in Persons Reports urges Japan to improve

June 5, 2008, 12:20

Kenichi Komatsu, Washington

The U.S. State Department yesterday released its Annual Trafficking
in Persons Report concerning international trafficking in persons
for prostitution and forced labor. In the Annual Trafficking in
Persons Report 2004, Japan had been designated as a Tier 2 Watch
List country, but since 2005 Japan has been categorized as a Tier 2
country and has been removed from the Watch List for four years in a
row. But this year's report, referring to Japan, said that Japan
"has failed to take protective measures fully for victims of
trafficking, and that Japan has failed to improve law enforcement
related to punishing criminals." In addition, the report mentioned
the foreign trainee system and urged the Japanese government to
improve it, noting, "Reportedly, the system serves to exploit
foreign workers."

The annual report began to be released in 2001, when the Bush
administration came into being. This year's report covers 170
countries and regions. The countries that are designated as the best
group are 29 countries and a region, such as Britain, South Korea,
and Hong Kong. The countries that are placed in the worst group are
14 countries, including North Korea, Myanmar (Burma), and Iran.

As for China, the report noted that female defectors from North
Korea have been forced into prostitution, marriage, and slave labor.
Furthermore, the report noted that forced labor involving children
was a serious problem in China and designated China as a Tier 2
Watch List country.

(2) Former U.S. POW group chief calls for "establishing a fund" for

ASAHI (Page 14) (Full)
Eve., June 4, 2008

Lester Tenney (87), the chairman of an organization of former
prisoners of war (POWs) who were forced into slave labor after being
captured by the former Imperial Japanese Army in World War II,
arrived in Japan. On the afternoon of June 4, Tenney is to meet with
Japanese lawmakers, including Upper House President Satsuki Eda, and
to ask them to work on the Japanese government to acknowledge the
cruel treatment of POWs and to establish a reconciliation fund.

Tenney was taken prisoner by the former Japanese Imperial Army in
the Philippines in 1942 and he survived the Bataan Death March. In
1943, he was sent to a POW camp in Omuta, Fukuoka Prefecture and
forced to do slave labor at a Mitsui-Miike coal mine until Japan's
defeat in the war. Tenney filed a lawsuit in the U.S. seeking
compensation and an apology from the Japanese company, but in 2003,
the U.S. Supreme Court turned down his case, noting, "The U.S.
waived the right to claim under the San Francisco Peace Treaty with

This May, Tenney assumed the post of chairman of the former POW
organization American Defenders of Battaan and Corregidor. He said
this organization will be dissolved next May because the advanced
age of the members. As the last chairman of the organization, he
came to Japan, paid for by the contributions of his friends, in
order to call on the Japanese government and companies associated
with the POW issue to move to establish a fund. Tenney also has
asked to meet with Prime Minister Fukuda.

On June 3, Tenney visited the Wadatsumi no Koe Memorial Hall,"
(located in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward), which displays the belongings of
students killed in the war. In a speech, Tenney said, "I will not
ask for compensation. It is my hope that Japan will invite former
POWs and their family members to Japan so that Americans and
Japanese can understand each other and will never repeat such a
tragedy." He is appealing for the creation of a fund for
reconciliation and friendship.

(3) Government to send survey mission to Afghanistan to determine
feasibility of dispatching GSDF there

13:15, June 5, 2008

The government has begun coordination for sending shortly a survey
mission composed of officials in charge from the Foreign and Defense
Ministries to Afghanistan in order to determine the feasibility of
dispatching ground troops there for the reconstruction of that
country, in addition to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean, according to several government

Dispatching ground troops to Afghanistan requires a new law. A
high-ranking government official has defined the planned mission as
an administrative survey to determine the conditions, rather than a
survey based on the dispatch of GSDF troops. DPJ President Ichiro
Ozawa takes a positive view about joining the International Security

Assistance Force (ISAF). Given the situation, the step also seems to
aim at calling on the DPJ for debate on security affairs, such as a
permanent law (general law) for the overseas dispatch of the SDF
toward the next extraordinary Diet session in the fall.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura in a press conference
earlier today said: "Over 40 countries have sent troops (to
Afghanistan). Whether or not to conduct an on-site survey is
included in a wide-range of subjects for study." Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda, too, made the following comment on June 1 about
sending the GSDF: "We can do it if conditions are met for Japan's
cooperation. I have been thinking of such a possibility at all

(4) DPJ to submit censure motion against Fukuda next week, to
underscore confrontational stance

June 5, 2008, 1:30 PM

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided today to submit a
censure motion against Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to the House of
Councillors next week. With the last day of the ongoing Diet session
just around the corner, the main opposition has now judged it
necessary to underscore its confrontational stance against the
ruling coalition over such issues as the new health care system for
people aged 75 or older. The Japanese Communist Party and the Social
Democratic Party have decided to support the DPJ policy. A censure
motion against the prime minister is now likely to be adopted for
the first time.

Despite the fact that there are cautious views in other opposition
parties about the submission, a senior DPJ member clearly said this
morning: "The (DPJ's) decision to submit a motion remains
unchanged." The party has decided to submit a motion upon
coordinating views with other three opposition parties. Even if no
agreement is reached, the party intends to go ahead with the plan
even independently. As for the timing for the submission, the party
eyes early next week. But Diet deliberations will inevitably be
delayed after the submission, and debate on the bills which the DPJ
is aiming to pass in the current Diet session and the planned party
head talks will be inevitably affected. Given this, some members
suggest submitting a motion in the latter half of next week.

Although a number of DPJ members, particularly Upper House members,
had been calling for shelving the submission during the current Diet
session. However, since President Ichiro Ozawa began to look into
the possibility in a positive manner with the aim of underscoring
the party's confrontational stance, the party made a policy switch.
In a meeting of the secretaries general of opposition parties
yesterday, cautious views were presented from other opposition
parties. Despite such voices, the DPJ made the decision.

(5) DPJ to submit censure motion against Fukuda to play up
confrontational stance

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 5, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to submit a
censure motion against Prime Minister to the House of Councillors.
Recently, a reconciliation mood is generating as the main opposition

has agreed with the ruling coalition on a bill amending the National
Civil Service Law and other matters just before the current Diet
session ends on June 15. The DPJ came up with the decision, stemming
from the judgment that unless the DPJ plays up a confrontational
stance against the Fukuda administration, the party might be
marginalized as the main opposition. Meanwhile, the government and
the ruling camp intend to put it on the side even if a motion is
submitted. Given this, some in the opposition bloc have voiced
doubts about its political effect.

In a party executive meeting yesterday, Deputy President Naoto Kan
touched off the issue, saying: "The (Lake Toya) Summit in Hokkaido
and the Beijing Olympics will be held soon. If the current Diet
session ends smoothly, people might forget the fiascos over the
health insurance system for people aged 75 or order and special tax
revenues for highway construction and maintenance. We should present
a censure motion." Upper House Chairman Azuma Koshiishi echoed Kan.
President Ozawa also stressed: "When I travel across the nation,
many local residents ask me to do something about the new health
insurance system for the elderly. I wonder if it is all right to end
the Diet session smoothly." Reflecting such voices, the party made
the decision.

During the current session, the DPJ considered submitting a censure
motion when the provisional gasoline tax rate was revived and on
other occasions. But a censure motion has no legal binding power.
Even if a motion is adopted, if the prime minister ignores it, it
will be worth nothing. For such reasons, the party sidestepped a

In the final phase of the session, the DPJ has decided to submit a
motion, but the party has yet to determine the best time and the
main reason for the submission.

In a meeting of the secretaries general of four opposition parties
yesterday, Japanese Communist Party Secretary General Ichida said:
"If a censure motion is adopted, we will become unable discuss
matters with the prime minister. Are you keeping in mind such a
situation in making the suggestion?" DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama
replied: "Under the principle of one censure motion against one
cabinet, it will naturally become impossible to hold deliberations."
But there was a scene in which Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji
Yamaoka denied the Hatoyama remark, saying: "We have not considered
to that extent."

People's New Party Secretary General Hisaoki Kamei said: "If that
(the submission of a censure motion) end with just a ceremony, the
motion will become meaningless." A senior DPJ member also stressed:
"It is impossible to obtain public understanding. The idea is off
the point."

A senior Liberal Democratic Party member said: "If the censure
motion is adopted, the government and the ruling coalition will
disregard it."

In response to a question in informal talks with accompanying
reporters in Rome on the 4th about what response he would make if
the censure motion is adopted, Fukuda replied:

"I have yet to know whether the contents (of the motion) are weighty
or are only for pro-forma sake. I will have to make a judgment,
depending on the circumstances of the time, including on whether we

can seriously respond to it."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura told a press conference last
evening: "I would like to tell them to do what they want."

(6) Debate on introduction of life imprisonment without parole
gaining steam

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
June 5, 2008

A supra-partisan movement to introduce life imprisonment without
parole is gaining momentum. Both those supporting and opposing
capital punishment are aiming to introduce life imprisonment before
the lay judge system starts next May.

In late May, the Supra-partisan Group to Consider the Sentencing
System met for the second time in Tokyo.

In the session, House of Representatives member Koichi Kato said:
"The discussion should begin with the question of whether or not we
should allow lay judges to make decisions on the death penalty."
Another Lower House member, Katsuei Hirasawa, warned: "This is not a
venue to discuss capital punishment. We should discuss the matter
premised on the continuation of capital punishment."

The meeting was also attended by former LDP Secretary General
Hidenao Nakagawa, DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, and New
Komeito deputy head Toshiko Hamayotsu. They all argued on different
planes. But in a meeting the following week, an agreement was
reached smoothly to submit a life imprisonment bill to the next
extraordinary Diet session to be convened in the fall. "I'm sure no
one will oppose it," Hirasawa said after the meeting.

Life imprisonment legislation was initially aimed at by the
Parliamentary League for Abolition of the Death Penalty, headed by
Shizuka Kamei. For this reason, the subject of life imprisonment
without parole has long been a taboo for those supportive of capital

But the mood in the capitol district of Nagatacho has changed as a
result of a series of executions under Justice Minister Kunio
Hatoyama, such as the death sentence for the murder of a mother and
her daughter in Hikari City, Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Kato, who last November joined the opposition-dominated
Parliamentary League for Abolition of the Death Penalty, wondered if
the number of death sentences might increase following the
implementation of the lay judge system. He invited Hirasawa, a
former police officer who advocates the death penalty, to join the
league to discuss the introduction of life imprisonment without
parole by setting aside the propriety of the death penalty.

In the wake of the sentence for the Hikari case, Hirasawa thought
the gap between capital punishment and life imprisonment was too
huge. He decided to join the league, telling Kato that he would quit
the group if it began discussing the abolition of the death

Shizuka Kamei, who has long advocated the abolition of capital
punishment, has never mentioned his stock argument in league
meetings. "It is high time to make even small progress, which is

better than nothing," Kamei said.

The Supra-partisan Group to Consider the Sentencing System now has
some 140 members. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori serves as its
supreme adviser. More than a half of the members are said to be in
favor of the death penalty.

The ongoing discussion on life imprisonment has also cast a shadow
on civic groups involved in the movement to abolish the death

Amnesty International Japan Secretary General Makoto Teranaka
commented: "Life imprisonment without parole is something we cannot
proactively advocate. Then again, we cannot clearly oppose it as
long as it is one option for abolishing capital punishment."

A record-high 1,670 people were serving a life sentence at the end
of 2007, according to the Justice Ministry. A person who receives an
indefinite prison sentence may be paroled after serving 10 years.
The average period of imprisonment before parole has surpassed 30
years. Many calling for the abolition of capital punishment take the
view that life imprisonment without parole is as harsh as the death

To Kato, who played a central role in establishing the
supra-partisan group, it is a surprise that the group is moving
toward submitting legislation.

A senior LDP lawmaker predicted: "With legislators becoming
depressed by the divided Diet which cannot decide on anything,
legislation sponsored by the supra-partisan group will attract much
attention." In fact, there has been a string of lawmaker-sponsored
legislation, such as the relief law for drug-induced hepatitis C
patients and the law to enhance R&D to increase international
competitiveness in science and technology.

The Justice Ministry has discounted calls for life imprisonment
without parole as a minority opinion peculiar to the opposition
bloc. The ministry can no longer ignore the movements of the
supra-partisan group led by ruling party members.

(7) Takeo Hiranuma in interview says a citizen-oriented new party is

TOKYO SHIMUBN (Page 2) (Full)
June 5, 2008

-- What is your view on the present political situation?

Hiranuma: It seems to me that politics that disregards the interests
of the people has been conducted due to the politically divided Diet
situation. The level of confidence toward all of politics, not just
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ), has dropped. After a House of Representatives election,
political realignment should be carried out, giving consideration to
the public.

-- You have unveiled your plan to form a new party, which would be
made up of some 30 members.

Hiranuma: Creating a new party is one of my options, but I would
like to avoid a hasty decision. There are calls across the nation

from Hokkaido to Okinawa asking me to start a new trend.

-- You reportedly plan to support 13 people who are expected to run
(in the next Lower House election).

Hiranuma: I have been stumping nationwide with the understanding
that I should send as many sound conservative politicians as
possible to the Diet.

-- How about cooperation with incumbent Diet members?

Hiranuma: I have been keeping in contact with solid conservative
forces in the LDP and DPJ. The People's New Party (PNP) is also a
gathering of conservative politicians. While doing so, what I should
do is to make a new party that would focus on the people.

-- You have continued holding meetings separately with LDP Secretary
General Bunmei Ibuki, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, and PNP leader
Tamisuke Watanuki.

Hiranuma: It is true that I have received offers from various

-- When do you think is the right timing for forming a new party?

Hiranuma: Sometime before the next Lower House election is

-- When do you predict the Lower House will be dissolved?

Hiranuma: Prime Minister Fukuda will keep going until after the
Hokkaido Toyako Summit of Group of Eight countries in July. Once
that is over, (the political situation) will probably grow tense.

-- What do you mean by a sound conservative mean?

Hiranuma: It means to drastically reform what should be reformed and
to protect thoroughly what should be protected. For example, the
Imperial system should not be changed by thoughtless arguments by
so-called experts. It is necessary to protect society, so that a
commercialism that allows people to make easy money becomes
unacceptable. The tendency of the younger the better is also wrong.

-- Do you think voices of the elderly are not being reflected in the
present politics?

Hiranuma: That's right. In Japan those seventy five years of age are
called "the advanced aged" because it was rare in ancient times for
people to live for seventy years. But we have a longer life span
nowadays. So, revising the present employment systems, we should
create a society under which senior citizens can make good use of
their experiences.

-- Do you have any suggestions for economic policy?

Hiranuma: It is not good for politicians to just talk about such
gloomy and depressing stories that a two-percent economic growth is
impossible and that a 10 PERCENT tax hike is the only way to
improve the economy. Politicians should give the public something to
dream for. By adopting a proactive economic policy, the government
should reduce the income and investment taxes, but it should not
raise the consumption tax rate.

-- There is the view that fiscal austerity is unavoidable since the
central and local governments have a huge amount of debts.

Hiranuma: It is said that a consumption tax hike is necessary to
reduce a debt of 840 trillion yen held by the state and local
governments. After deducting the total amount of foreign currency
reserves and U.S. government bonds from the 840 trillion yen,
Japan's debt totals 250 trillion yen, which is similar to those of
European countries. So, it is unfair that the government has not
informed the public of this fact.

(8) Ronten (Point in controversy) column by Hiroyuki Yushita: How to
improve relations between Japan and China? Need to explain to the
public about how to determine sea boundary

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Full)
June 5, 2008

Hiroyuki Yushita, guest professor of international law and foreign
policy at Kyorin University

Following the realization of a visit to Japan by Chinese President
Hu Jintao to Japan as a state guest, the Japanese and Chinese
governments issued a joint statement saying that the two countries
would comprehensively push a strategic, beneficial relationship.
Since the two countries are important to each other, their
maintaining good relations is very meaningful not only for both
sides but also for their neighbors.

On the economic front, Japan and China have already been closely
linked to each other with China having become Japan's largest
trading partner. At one point in the past, political ties between
the two countries were so cold that they were even described as
being cool politically but hot economically. It is a delightful
change to see that relations have since improved at a fast and broad

Japan sent an international emergency rescue team to the region hit
by the Sichuan earthquake. This was appropriate in terms of popular
exchanges. I hope to see the Beijing Olympics this summer help the
Japanese public to be more interested in China and grassroots-level
exchanges to deepen even further.

I served as minister in the Japanese Embassy in Beijing from 1986
through 1988. At the time both the Japanese and Chinese did not
understand each other very well. Japan and China are neighbors, and
even though they may not like each other, they can't move far away
from each other. If both countries associate with each other
properly, they can benefit each other as evidently seen in their
economic relations. Mutual understanding and trust are both
essential in this context.

I take note particularly of the fact that the top leaders of the two
countries agreed in their summit meeting recently to promote not
only top-level exchanges to facilitate mutual understanding and
trust but also a broad-range of exchanges and cooperation, including
youth exchanges and defense exchanges in the security field.

In the past, wars constantly occurred between France and Germany,
but Europe centering on those two countries established the European
Union. This fact may be a good reference for Japan and China.

Meanwhile, Japan and China have some issues to resolve. In order to
do so, the shortest way would be for the two countries to share
convictions related to where the two countries are heading for, as
well as to share convictions about their general standpoints. If the
two countries rely on incorrect knowledge and emotional arguments,
they would simply fail to resolve the issues in a satisfactory

Good news about those outstanding issues facing the two countries is
that the leaders of the two countries declared that they have now
obtained some prospects for the issue of exploring gas fields in the
East China Sea to be resolved. Reportedly they share the view that
they would discuss the issue in detail in weeks ahead and reach
agreement as quickly as possible. I hope bilateral negotiations will
advance smoothly and clinch a deal.

Yet, there is one thing that concerns me. It is the way mass media
are reporting about the sea boundary between Japan and China. They
simply report that Japan insists that the median line between Japan
and China is set as the sea boundary, while China insists on using
the Okinawa Trough as the sea boundary.

Since the end of World War II, international laws concerning the sea
went through major changes in succession, but with the adoption in
1982 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea,
disputes over those international laws were finalized.

China's assertion that the Okinawa Trough should be used as the sea
boundary is based on the notion that China's continental shelf
naturally extends to the Okinawa Trough. In some cases, this kind of
assertion was accepted before the system of establishing exclusive
economic zones was introduced in accordance with the above Law of
the Sea. But at present, legal precedents by international laws have
changed. In the case of demarcating the boundary between the two
countries facing each other, the distance from the shore is used as
a basis to determine the sea boundary regardless of ocean floor
topography. China's assertion in this sense is no longer

This fact needs to be properly explained to the peoples of the two
countries, or it would become difficult to resolve the issue

Hiroyuki Yushita: is 72 years old and was former ambassador to the


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