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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/09/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 001573

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 06/09/08


INDEX:

(1) LDP's Machimura faction internally strained by leadership
struggle between Machimura and Nakagawa (Yomiuri)

(2) China may be testing ballistic missiles in the Yellow Sea
(Sankei)

(3) Energy ministerial among Japan, U.S., China, India and South
Korea exposes difficulty in policy coordination; Differences in
views evident over subsidies (Nikkei)

(4) Energy ministers feel sense of impasse over unusually high
current price of oil (Yomiuri)

(5) Closed-loop of Japan-China gas field issue: Odds are against
Japan's claim (Sentaku)

(6) Fukuda's Kantei and Sichuan earthquake (Part A): Inside story on
aid to China after quake; Foreign Ministry: "If U.S. is to extend 50
million yen in aid, Japan needs to provide 10 times that amount";
Chinese vice-foreign minister: "Time is not ripe for SDF dispatch"
(Yomiuri)

(7) Japan should not join cluster banning treaty (Sankei) 8

ARTICLES:

(1) LDP's Machimura faction internally strained by leadership
struggle between Machimura and Nakagawa

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 8, 2008

Discord has surfaced in the Machimura faction, the largest in the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).with a membership of 86. A
leadership struggle between Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura, 63, chief caretaker of the faction, and former LDP
Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa, 64, another faction heavyweight,
has opened up. Gaps are now clear in their views on the selection of
a successor to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The discord in the
faction from which Fukuda hailed could rock the political base of
his administration.

Nakagawa, in a party he hosted on June 5, was proud of a best
selling book he wrote that is titled Collapse of a
Bureaucracy-Controlled Nation. He bragged: "In just 10 days after
its release, more than 40,000 copes were sold."

In the book, Nakagawa refers to bureaucrats and special-interest
cliques in the Diet as a "stealth complex", and he severely
criticizes those calling for a tax hike and the bureaucracy. The
book has created a major stir in the faction.

Based on this book, the faction's policy committee on June 4 set up
a study group to consider measures to bring about fiscal
reconstruction. A total of 32 faction members, including Nakagawa,
Kosuke Ito, former national land agency chief, and former Justice
Minister Seiken Sugiura, joined it. The members included some
lawmakers who do not have close ties with Nakagawa, but the words
"Nakagawa Study Group" were printed on the materials distributed to
the participants. Some are therefore calling it a subgroup of the

TOKYO 00001573 002 OF 010


faction. Some faction members refrained from taking part in it, with
one lawmaker saying: "I can only surmise that there is a separate
intention for using a book as a text written by a certain
politician."

Nakagawa has not served in any key party post after serving as
secretary general last July, when the LDP suffered a crushing defeat
in the Upper House election. In place of Machimura who is now
serving as chief cabinet secretary, Nakagawa has been in charge of
policies in the faction. He does not hide his enthusiasm for being
able to stand on the political front stage, saying: "The next three
years will become a compilation of my political career." He has
reportedly made critical comments about the way Machimura is
handling his job, such as: "He is unable to communicate with the
prime minister." Many faction members think that Nakagawa wants to
change the faction's name from the Machimura faction to the Nakagawa
faction.

Machimura, meanwhile, appears to be taking a wait-and-see approach,
with an aide saying, "(Machimura) does not regard Nakagawa's move as
creating a group within the faction." Some faction members see
Machimura as calm and composed since he has served in such key posts
as foreign and education ministers. They see him as the faction's
hope. But one junior lawmaker said: "I am sometimes invited
separately by the two to small meetings." This remark indicates that
a leadership struggle is indeed going on behind closed doors.

Some in the faction are concerned about the fact that Machimura and
Nakagawa, who are responsible for supporting the Fukuda government,
have made provocative remarks. Machimura's call for a review of the
government's rice acreage reduction policy incited resentment in the
LDP. On the other hand, Nakagawa referred to possible political
realignment centered on reform of the government office district of
Kasumigaseki. Their remarks have made some inside and outside the
faction concerned.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, supreme advisor to the faction,
appears to be increasingly frustrated with the internal discord. In
a meeting on June 5 of the faction, Mori said: "I want you to
refrain from hamstringing the prime minister." Although Mori
reportedly told his aides that what he had said in the meeting was
"a general view," he, after a Lower House plenary session on June 6,
intentionally had stand chatting for a long time with former
Secretary General Taro Aso, who has distanced himself from Nakagawa.
A senior faction member, who saw the two chatting, reportedly said:
"I felt that Mori was showing off toward Nakagawa."

While some faction members support Machimura as a candidate for the
next prime minister once Fukuda steps down, there is speculation
that Nakagawa may field former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike as a
presidential candidate instead of running himself. Former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, advisor to the faction, has strong ties with
Aso.

Of the faction's 60 Lower House members, 27 are those serving in
their first- and second-term in the Diet. Of the 27 Upper House
members, 15 are now serving in their first-term. The observation is
that junior lawmakers have a weak sense of loyalty to factions and
many of them are quietly watching the leadership struggle between
Nakagawa and Machimura.

(2) China may be testing ballistic missiles in the Yellow Sea

TOKYO 00001573 003 OF 010

SANKEI (Top play) (Full)
June 4, 2008

It was learned yesterday from intelligence analysis by the Defense
Ministry and the U.S. Forces Japan that there is a high probability
China's Navy in late May carried out the testing of ballistic
missiles (SLBM), scheduled to be mounted on state-of-the-art
submarines, in the Yellow Sea in a direction facing west toward the
Korean Peninsula. The SLBMs that were launched appear to have been
JL2 types now being developed. An investigation and analysis has
begun on the details by the Defense Ministry's Intelligence
Headquarters and other offices.

According to the Defense Ministry, the missile launch was carried
out on May 29. They were launched from a Golf-class ballistic
missile submarine constructed for use in developing the JL2
missiles. The JL2 missile has a range of 8,000 kilometers, placing a
portion of the U.S. mainland under its range. Reportedly, the
missile will be mounted on the Chinese Navy's state-of-the art Type
094 Jin-class atomic-powered ballistic missile- submarine.

The first Jin-class submarine was launched in 2004. It reportedly
has undergone every kind of navigational test, the aim being to
combat deploy it to a port on Hainan Island, a strategic point in
southern China. The submarine reportedly is capable of mounting 12
code JL2 missiles.

The Defense Ministry, from analysis of every sort of intelligence,
sees the SLBM that was test launched this time from underwater as
having flown low over the water for a short range. In addition, the
U.S. forces did not adopt a stance of heightening its warning
posture, such as bringing in its "observation island," a
missile-tracking vessel that is deployed in case there were signs of
a ballistic missile launch by North Korea.

For that reason, intelligence analysis in the Defense Ministry is
proceeding from the standpoints of: 1) it was a dummy missile
mounted with a simulated warhead; 2) the experiment launched from
underwater only the missile body without a warhead; or 3) the launch
was a failure.

The Defense Ministry strengthened its warning surveillance after
having received U.S. intelligence that there was a possibility
around May 20 that the Chinese military would carry out a
ballistic-missile firing test. In addition, on May 30, North Korea
launched into the same Yellow Sea three short-ranged ship-to-ship
missiles. Intelligence is being collected to see if the two
incidents were connected.

(3) Energy ministerial among Japan, U.S., China, India and South
Korea exposes difficulty in policy coordination; Differences in
views evident over subsidies

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
June 8, 2008

A meeting of the energy ministers of the Group of Eight, held amid
soaring oil prices, has again exposed difficulty in policy
collaboration.

The G-8 ministerial followed a meeting of responsible ministers of

TOKYO 00001573 004 OF 010


Japan, the United States, China, India and South Korea. The meeting
agreed on countermeasures against skyrocketing oil prices, but it
exposed differences in views between industrialized and
less-developed countries over specifics.

Following the meeting, a joint press conference, including a
question-and-answer session, was held. A disturbing mood enveloped
when questions were asked on the governments' price subsidy systems
for crude oil and natural gas. METI Minister Amari still said: "It
was significant that an agreement was reached on the gradual
abolition of subsidies with courage." Indian Ambassador to Japan
Singh rebutted Amari, "We have not reached an agreement." This
forced Amari to rephrase his statement, "An agreement was reached on
the need to abolish subsidies."

According to the International Energy Agency, China's subsidies
total 25 billion dollars a year and that of India 20 billion
dollars. Industrialized countries hope that if subsidies are
reduced, domestic prices would rise to meet the reality of markets
and would lead to curbing consumption and promotion of energy
conservation.

In response, Ambassador Singh said: "It is not possible for
developing countries to completely reflect soaring oil prices in the
prices of goods." China's State Development Planning Commission
Vice-Chairman Zhang Guobao also rebutted, "Although you called it
China's and India's problem, the United States, too, subsidizes
renewable energy." Abolishing subsidies in developing counties at
one stroke might result in strong discontent among farmers and
others as a result of inflation.

(4) Energy ministers feel sense of impasse over unusually high
current price of oil

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
June 8, 2008

Although the meeting of the energy ministers of five countries that
was held on the 7th could have served as perfect timing to stem the
flow of 'hot money' of speculators into the oil market, it turned
out instead to underscore the difficulty of achieving unity among
oil consumers.

At the meeting attended by Japan and the United States, China, South
Korea, and India - five countries that command a 50 PERCENT share
of world energy consumption (calculated in crude oil) - a joint
statement was issue that expressed strong alarm: "The recent rise in
oil prices have been the fastest and biggest in history." The other
ministers nodded their heads when Minister of Economy and Trade
Amari said: "The recent soaring oil prices are unusual. They are
neither in the best interests of the oil consumers nor that of the
oil producers." The debate hardly ever focused on measures to
counter global warming, which was supposed to have been the main
subject, but it instead focused on the high price of oil.

But since the situations for developed countries and developing
countries are different, the summary of meeting went no further than
to say that all shared the same sense of alarm. Even on the cause of
the high oil prices, U.S. Energy Secretary Bodman gave as the reason
an insufficient supply of crude oil in the market, saying, "Compared
with the steep rise in demand, production has been flat." In
response, China and India, where demand is rapidly growing,

TOKYO 00001573 005 OF 010


expressed the view that the money game was driving up prices, with
Zhang Guobao, chief of China's State Energy Bureau, stating, "(Oil
markets, with the flowing in of speculative money) are becoming
financial playgrounds."

The United States, whose economy is centered on its financial
market, is negative about any means that would restrict excessive
movements of money in the market. On the other hand, China and
India, which are regarded as the major culprits driving up the
prices on the oil market through their rising domestic demand, are
concerned they will be forced by the international community to
constrain crude-oil consumption and find their economic growth
blocked.

Even among the consuming countries, adjusting the interests of
developed countries and developing countries is proving to be
difficult, and even at the G-8 plus China, India, and the Republic
of Korea meeting that is being held on the 8th, it will not be easy
to come up with cooperative measures that will quiet the markets.

(5) Closed-loop of Japan-China gas field issue: Odds are against
Japan's claim

Sentaku (Page 66-67) (Excerpts)
June, 2008

Chinese President Hu Jintao visited Japan starting on May 6. His
visit brought attention to the issue of settling the development of
gas fields in the East China Sea, a thorny issue that has become
politicized between the two countries since 2004. However, no
progress has been made, despite a beaming Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda stressing that there had been major achievements.

Touching on the East China Sea gas field issue, Fukuda, during the
two-hour press briefing on May 7 after the summit, played up the
talks: "Significant progress has been made. We have reached an
outlook for settling this long-standing issue." Hu also echoed
Fukuda, "We now see prospects for settling the issue."

Various dailies gave top play coverage to a report that following an
agreement in principle on the joint development of gas fields, Japan
and China would work out the details at the working level. However,
the released joint statement simply notes that the two countries
would make the East China Sea a "sea of peace, cooperation and
friendship." Little progress has been made since Junichiro Koizumi's
tenure as prime minister, when a statement that the two countries
would make the East China Sea "a sea of friendship" instead of a
contested area was adopted.

Key is demarcation of development area

The real crux of the gas field issue is the designation of areas
that would subject to joint development. If the government fails to
specify which gas fields would be jointly developed and when the
projects would be launched, it is the same as a failure to produce
results. Demarcating areas subject to joint development is not an
issue that can be settled at the working-level. It is a highly
politicized issue to be tackled at the heads of state level. As
such, it is nothing more than the usual pesky diplomatic issue that
the Foreign Ministry always tries to put off.

All countries are entitled to claim their right to natural resources

TOKYO 00001573 006 OF 010


in areas extending up to the outer edge of the continental shelf.
However, the adoption of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea has
made it complicated to settle disputes among states. The Treaty
includes two definitions for an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) --
either up to the outer edge of the continental shelf or up to 200
nautical miles (approximately 379 kilometers) from the coast line,
or if the distance between the coast lines of the two countries is
less than 400 nautical miles, up to the median line between the two
countries.

Japan has consistently made the following self-serving requests at
the bilateral working-level talks: (1) jointly developing four gas
fields, starting with the Chunxiao gas field (Shirakaba in
Japanese), where development by the Chinese side is underway; (2)
provision of geologic information on areas around the East China
Sea, which China has already obtained; and (3) halting the
development of the Chunxiao gas field until the two countries arrive
at an agreement on joint development. The Chinese government has
brushed aside those requests.

The tension between the two countries eased when Shinzo Abe took
office as prime minister in September 2006. Japan and China agreed
to settle the issue of jointly developing four gas fields by the
time Abe visited China in the fall of 2007.

However, no conclusion has been reached even when Prime Minister
Fukuda visited China in December 2007. It was then decided to settle
the issue when Hu visited Japan during the cherry blossom season in
2008. However, the talks that were held then in 2008 made no
headway.

International trend is continental shelf

As such, the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) and the
Foreign Ministry have resorted to using a secret card: Foreign
Minister Masahiko Koumura and Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka
quietly working on Chinese Foreign Minister Yang to put the EEZ
demarcation issue on the back burner and to persuade China instead
to agree to press ahead with talks aimed at realizing joint
development.

The Chinese government also had a vulnerable aspect in that Hu
wanted to show his eagerness to improve relations with Japan in
order to secure its support for the Beijing Olympic Games, which
were being affected by the Tibet issue.

One confident Foreign Ministry official optimistically commented
that since Hu had agreed to a joint development of the Chunxiao gas
field and to distribute profits in proportion to the amount of money
the two countries had invested, all that needed to be done now was
for China to deal with domestic public opinion.

However, reaching an actual accord on joint development is nothing
but wishful thinking by the Japanese government, for it goes against
the domestic situation in China and international conventional
wisdom regarding joint resources development.

Given the situation in China, in the event the Chinese government is
quick to make a compromise on the joint development of gas fields on
the Chinese side of the median line, the military, which takes a
hard-line stance of being prepared to take a military action if
Japan starts exploring an oil field near the median line, is bound

TOKYO 00001573 007 OF 010


to object. The Hu administration is not united. It has yet to
completely put the military under its control. China has disputes
with Vietnam, Taiwan and the Philippines over the development of oil
resources in and around the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.
If it makes concessions on the development of oil fields in the East
China Sea in such a way as to damage its national interests, it
could have an adverse effect on its other disputes with neighboring
countries over natural resources.

Prime Minister Fukuda said that prospects had been obtained for the
joint development of the Chunxiaon gas field. However, China's New
China News Agency carried no report about that. If China swallows
Japan's proposal, an anti-Japanese movement centered on the Internet
would spring up among young people, influence by their patriotic
education, even if the government imposed news censorship. Should
that occur, it would seriously shake the very foundation of the
administration.

The commonsense trend in the world in settling disputes over natural
resources involving two countries is contrary to the Japanese
government's scenario. In the dispute between Australia and Timor
over the development of oil resources, Australia claimed its
exploration right up to the outer edge of the continental shelf,
while Timor claimed its right up to the median line. In other words,
China takes the position similar to that of Australia, while Japan
takes the stand similar to that of Timor.

In the end, a settlement was reached on adopting the stand of
Australia, that is to say, the area subject to joint development is
the area from the median line up to the outer edge of the
continental shelf. It means that China's claim has become the main
trend in the world. Japan and China jointly exploring an area from
the median line up to the Okinawa trough on the Japanese side of the
median line is a settlement in line with the global trend.
Hard-liners against China, such as former Economy, Trade and
Industry Minister Shoichi Nakagawa and Yoshiko Sakurai, are bound to
object strongly, if the Fukuda administration agrees on such an
idea. In other words, there is no feasible compromise resolution at
all with the public opinion in Japan and in China differing on the
issue.

Working-level talks are under suspension due to the Sichuan quake.
Settling the issue by the G-8 in July, as senior government
officials optimistically hoped for, is sheer nonsense.

(6) Fukuda's Kantei and Sichuan earthquake (Part A): Inside story on
aid to China after quake; Foreign Ministry: "If U.S. is to extend 50
million yen in aid, Japan needs to provide 10 times that amount";
Chinese vice-foreign minister: "Time is not ripe for SDF dispatch"

MAINICHI (Pages 1 and 3) (Abridged slightly)
June 8, 2008

It has been nearly one month since the devastating earthquake struck
Sichuan, China. In the wake of the deadly quake, the strength of the
"mutually beneficial relationship," confirmed by Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda and President Hu Jintao during the Chinese president's
visit to Japan days before the temblor, is now being tested.
Although the government sent the Japan Disaster Relief Team to China
ahead of other countries, it has become clear that public opinion
and administrative work are lagging behind the improved top-level
Japan-China relations.

TOKYO 00001573 008 OF 010

The quake occurred at 3:28 p.m. May 12, Japan time.

On the evening of May 12, Fukuda ordered the Foreign Ministry to
send letters of sympathy to President Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao. In
the wake of a major disaster in a foreign country, it is customary
for Japan to send a telegram to that country in the name of the
prime minister. In addition to this custom, Fukuda revealed his
intention to send personal letters expressing his thoughts.

Before the day was over, the Foreign Ministry via its embassy in
Beijing presented China with an aid plan including: (1) financial
aid, (2) relief supplies, (3) an emergency relief team, (4) a
medical team, and (5) SDF troops. The ministry immediately began
determining the size of the financial aid.

Upon obtaining information from a U.S. source that Washington would
extend aid worth approximately 50 million yen, the Foreign Ministry
determined the size of the aid on May 12 on the grounds that if the
United States is to extend 50 million yen, Japan should contribute
10 times that amount. Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura announced on
May 13 that Japan would extend 500 million yen in aid to China as
its neighbor.

After some twists and turns, Japan has implemented the first four
aid measures. The SDF dispatch plan followed a wild path.

On May 27, China sounded out Japan on mobilizing SDF aircraft as a
means of delivering relief supplies. Although it was an informal
request from the Chinese military, the government, carried away by
the excitement of the request for the SDF, took it as an official
request from Beijing.

The information found its way to the Japanese media on May 28, and
Machimura told a press conference: "There has been requests for aid,
including one request involving the SDF. They are under
consideration by the government." The matter made front-page
headlines on May 29, and Chinese Internet forums were swamped by
anti-SDF posts. The government generally decided to forgo the SDF
plan on the night of May 29.

A meeting was held between Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei
and Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director-General Akitaka Saiki
in Beijing on May 29 in which the former said, "The time is
premature," while pointing out public opinion expressed via the
Internet. Wu's statement was conveyed to Prime Minister Fukuda that
day, and the prime minister decided to call off the plan, according
to a senior Foreign Ministry official.

An agreement was also reached in the Saiki-Wu meeting on the need to
avoid the Japanese public stiffening their attitude toward China by
attributing the government's decision to a rejection of the SDF by
China. Both Tokyo and Beijing, which had been elated by the
Fukuda-Hu talks, misread Chinese public opinion.

(7) Japan should not join cluster banning treaty

SANKEI (Page 13) (Full)
June 6, 2008

Satoshi Morimoto, professor at Takushoku University's graduate
school

TOKYO 00001573 009 OF 010

I wonder why there are so many would-be pacifists in Japan. They
should now stop holding on to the negative legacy of Japan's defeat
in the war. They think to themselves that peace is attainable if
they only keep saying something about it. It is an illusion that
cannot pass muster with international realpolitik. Such an attitude
is a betrayal of Japan and its people. It will become clear when
Japan encounters a crisis. If they do not understand it or pretend
not to understand it, they are not real pacifists.

One good example is participation in a treaty that bans cluster
munitions. Japan should not join this treaty. If the government
signs the treaty, the Diet should not ratify it.

Japan is an exception that has reduced its defense budget, while
other countries have been spending more on their defense. Basically,
the cluster munitions that the Self-Defense Forces would use to
defend Japan are an effective use of the budget. They are defensive
weapons. Cluster munitions, each of which contains a number of
submunitions or bomblets, are effective weapons to block airborne or
seaborne landing enemy troops. Their deterrent effect is
significant, and it would not be easy to replace them with a large
number of troops and other weapons.

Cluster bomblets do have a defect, for approximately 10 PERCENT of
them do not explode. But when using cluster munitions in Japan,
civilians would be evacuated under the Civil Protection Law. The
SDF, after using cluster munitions, would sufficiently remove
unexploded shells. It is not appropriate to cite the case of
civilian victims in East Europe, the Middle East, and Gulf states,
where such unexploded ordnance (UXO) was not well removed. As a
matter of course, Japan will not use cluster munitions on the
enemy's land.

Needless to say, Japan has a long coastline. Besides, the SDF's
manpower is also limited. Cluster munitions are effective not only
for the defense of Japan's mainland but also for the defense of its
outlying islands. Britain used cluster bombs in the Falklands War of
1982 and conducted operations to its advantage.

Some people argue like this: "Where on earth is the country that
would try to invade Japan?" China, South Korea, North Korea, Russia,
and the United States have cluster munitions. However, they do not
participate in the cluster bomb banning treaty, nor will they come
out to attend even a conference on the treaty. Yet people think that
although there is a threat of aggression against these countries,
there can never be aggression against Japan... Such thinking is a
fantasy that does not make sense in the real world. Those thinking
in this fashion are not qualified to talk about national defense or
security.

Many European countries have joined this treaty. However, if cluster
bombs are not used in East European countries or other countries
that are not in the treaty, for example, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO), they would not be seriously troubled in their
military operations. The Cold War is over. Nowadays, NATO is tasked
with securing Europe by organizing and dispatching multinational
forces to the outside of its members' territorial space, instead of
protecting their territories.

The security of a region like Asia-where a country is being
threatened or endangered-cannot be discussed in the same logic as

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Europe's. Moreover, this time, foreign governments are only catering
to the fierce campaign of nongovernmental organizations that once
worked for the Convention on the Prohibition of Antipersonnel
Landmines. Germany proposed exempting technologically advanced
munitions from the definition of cluster munitions. However, Germany
produces bombs to be exempted. Germany wants to sell its weapons
after cluster munitions are banned. This is why.

There are objections to the definition of cluster munitions. The
treaty bans only those that have no self-destructive or guiding
functions and that are unreliable and inaccurate. In the Diet, there
is a suprapartisan group of lawmakers who are aware of this fact
about Europe but forget all about the strategic environment of Asia.
In response to the cluster ban treaty that would spoil Japan's
national defense or security resources, they have formed a
parliamentary league seeking to prohibit cluster munitions and
campaigning against cluster munitions. That is quite absurd.

It is only natural that weapons are inhumane. Some people develop
their own logic, maintaining that cluster bombs are inhumane because
such weapons do not take the lives of people all at once. Then, what
about weapons that take the lives of people all at once? Are they
humane? There are also people asserting that cluster bombs are
inhumane because they victimize civilians. This kind of logic is not
convincing, either. Many of them account for noncombatant victims
while citing the case of countries where weapons are under extremely
insufficient control. Why don't they place more confidence in the
SDF?

As a consequence of participating in the treaty, Japan will have to
spend a lot of its taxpayers' money to scrap its weapons.
Furthermore, U.S. Forces Japan will also be substantially affected
in its operations for the defense of Japan. Troubling the U.S.
forces, at least in materiel transportation or training, will be
unavoidable. This could bring about a serious problem for the
Japan-U.S. alliance.

At any rate, Japan possesses weapons from the perspectives of how to
use and manage them as deterrent resources for its national defense
and how to save the lives of its people. To say it is humane to
prohibit such weapons is only the logic of people insisting on
unarmed neutrality.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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