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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Fao Conference On World

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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8216
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0192
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001544

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 - FAO CONFERENCE ON WORLD
FOOD SECURITY


1. LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Friday morning included
a potential scandal at the Ministry of Finance, which
disclosed on Thursday that 383 ministry officials have
admitted to receiving inducements, including cash, from
taxi drivers to use their companies' services
exclusively for trips reimbursed with taxpayer money.

2. "Blueprint Necessary for Age of Food Shortages" The
liberal Asahi editorialized (6/6): "...The FAO
Conference on world food security was expected to
establish a new international order for an age of food
shortages. It is regrettable that differences, rather
than agreements, ended up being highlighted. The first
problem was the confrontation between food importers
and exporters over food export restrictions. Another
issue was the gap between nations promoting biofuels,
such the U.S. and Brazil, and countries opposing the
move.... The world is shifting from an age of abundance
to one of shortages. New approaches will be needed to
adjust to the new era, and swift preparations are
necessary ahead of the G-8 summit in July."

3. "Effective Measures Needed" The liberal Mainichi's
editorial argued (6/6): "...At the food summit in Rome,
the U.S. and Brazil, which are promoting biofuels,
strongly challenged criticism that biofuels are the
cause of rising food prices, calling that argument an
exaggeration. Food importers and exporters argued over
food export restrictions. However, food issues directly
impact people's lives, so it is an urgent task to
implement effective measures regardless of the debate
at the food summit."

4. "Food Summit Presents First Step" The moderate
Yomiuri's report from Rome stated (6/6): "A declaration
to be adopted at the world food summit on Thursday will
be the first step for the international community to
create a new framework to overcome the current food
crisis. The roughly 150 participants at the conference
shared a common understanding of the seriousness of the
situation. They agreed on the need to increase
agricultural production worldwide as a long-term
solution.... Although the conference failed to include
such issues as export restrictions and biofuels in its
agreement, the participating nations shared a common
perception on the importance of the need for additional
research and dialogue on such issues. G-8 nations will
need to come up with specific measures at their
upcoming summit in July."

SCHIEFFER

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