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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/13/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1620/01 1650755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130755Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0722
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8346
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2053
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6622
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8932
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3893
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9892
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0312

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 001620

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 06/13/08


INDEX:

(1) No repercussions on realignment plan: Maher (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(2) Coordination underway for regional special committee on U.S.
military base issues: Foreign Ministry official (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(3) AWWA donates 700 million yen over 36 years: "We want to maintain
good relationship of trust with Okinawa," chairperson says (Ryukyu
Shimpo)

(4) Time for change in U.S. foreign policy (Yomiuri)

(5) Many difficult issues in next extra Diet session (Yomiuri)

(Corrected copy) G-8 finance ministerial to start today (Mainichi)

ARTICLES:

(1) No repercussions on realignment plan: Maher

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
June 13, 2008

U.S. Consul General in Okinawa Kevin Maher, meeting the press
yesterday, laid emphasis again on the United States' stance of
pushing for the agreement with Japan to relocate the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station to the coastal area of Henoko in the city
of Nago, while referring to the fact that the opposition camp
opposing Futenma airfield's relocation to Henoko won a majority of
the seats in Okinawa Prefecture's assembly as a result of its recent
election. "I don't think we will have a big problem for the U.S.
military realignment plan," Maher said, adding: "The security
arrangement is based on a policy at the national level. In terms of
legal authority, an environmental impact assessment requires
authorization from the governor, not from the prefectural assembly.
I hope the prefectural assembly will also take a realistic view of
things."

The Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) has indicated that it would
aim to have Futenma airfield relocated to another prefecture in
Japan or otherwise to an overseas site. "If there is a new proposal,
there will be no change in the facts (about Futenma relocation
within Okinawa Prefecture)," Maher said. "Even if we discuss this
matter from scratch," he added, "I believe we will have the same
result,"

In connection with a potential impact on the planned realignment of
U.S. forces in Okinawa, Maher also indicated that an
intergovernmental agreement should not be affected by the outcome of
an election. "If we need to review it whenever there is an election,
we cannot mitigate the burden at all," he said.

Meanwhile, the United States will elect its new president in time.
Asked about its potential impact on the U.S. military realignment,
Maher answered: "I don't think it will be affected even if there is
a change of administration under the Republican Party or the
Democratic Party." Meanwhile, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima has been
calling for the planned Futenma replacement facility to be moved to
an offshore location. "The runway location is not a strategic matter
at the presidential level but is a technical matter, so there will
be no change," Maher said.

TOKYO 00001620 002 OF 006

(2) Coordination underway for regional special committee on U.S.
military base issues: Foreign Ministry official

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
June 12, 2008

Japan and the United States have launched a working team, which is
made up of representatives from U.S. forces in Okinawa Prefecture,
Japanese government organizations, and base-hosting local
governments to discuss how to prevent incidents involving U.S.
military personnel. The Foreign Ministry held a meeting of the
working team's core group yesterday at its Okinawa Liaison Office,
inviting local officials from Okinawa City, Chatan Town, and Kin
Town, which have been involved in such incidents. In the core group
meeting, Osamu Izawa, director of the Status of U.S. Forces
Agreement Division at the Foreign Ministry, referred to the fact
that the governors of prefectures hosting U.S. military bases have
called on the Japanese government to set up a regional special
committee of representatives from U.S. forces and base-hosting local
governments under its intergovernmental joint committee with the
United States. In this regard, Izawa reported that the Japanese and
U.S. governments are currently in coordination so its meeting can be
held. The regional special committee is now highly likely to be set
up.

In the meeting, Izawa referred to community patrol (CP) and other
preventive steps already announced by the U.S. military. In
addition, he also explained the progress of the Japanese
government's ongoing study of measures.

Meanwhile, base-hosting local communities are concerned about U.S.
military personnel living outside their bases. However, Izawa did
not touch on anything about how to deal with their case. One local
official therefore noted the need for a further explanation. "This
matter is not discussed from the perspective of recurrence
prevention but is discussed from the perspective of administrative
services, so it's inappropriate to take up this matter in a meeting
of the working group," Hideaki Kuramitsu, deputy chief of the
Foreign Ministry's Okinawa Liaison Office, told reporters after the
meeting. According to Izawa, the U.S. military will shortly announce
the number of off-base U.S. military residents as of April this
year.

Mark Franklin, chief of the office of the regional coordinator of
U.S. forces in Okinawa, reported the U.S. military's efforts, noting
that the U.S. military has set up a sexual assault response
committee (SARC), which is made up of U.S. military officials to
prevent sexual crimes. He also explained that the U.S. military
would inform the Japanese government of deserters.

(3) AWWA donates 700 million yen over 36 years: "We want to maintain
good relationship of trust with Okinawa," chairperson says

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 22) (Full)
June 13, 2008

The American Women's Welfare Association (AWWA, chaired by Tamala
Smith) has continued exchanges with local residents through
donations to welfare institutions in Okinawa since the foundation of
the association in 1972. Their activities are appreciated by many
people at those institutions. The AWWA donated approximately 15

TOKYO 00001620 003 OF 006


million yen in fiscal 2007, bringing the total amount of donations
made over 36 years to approximately 700 million yen.

More than 500 members, mainly the wives of U.S. servicemen, run a
gift shop and a secondhand store on U.S. military bases and use the
proceeds to help local communities. The areas of their activities
include such isolated islands as Miyako Island, Ishigaki Island and
Nishiomote Island. They have so far donated vehicles, washing
machines, and Braille printers to welfare institutions.

Joy Burns (30), a board member for this fiscal year, looked happy
when she explained, "If you actually visit welfare facilities and
see people pleased about our donations, you would learn how they
appreciate them." Cathleen Leonard (42) showed her gratification,
noting that they were able to know the lives of local residents
through their activities. She said, "We can see the Yuimaru spirit
(mutual aid) of Okinawa through contacts with physically challenged
persons and children."

Ryoko Murata (55), head of the Support, Employment, Living and
Participation Center (SELP) in Urasoe City, who has had contacts
with the AWWA for more than 10 years, expressed gratitude to the
AWWA, saying: "I am so grateful to the AWWA. They make follow-up
visits even after they donate various welfare goods. They say that
being disabled is nothing unusual. They find something nice in
handicapped persons and praise it. Their understanding of physically
handicapped persons is deep. We have learned from them that people
can help each other regardless of country or race."

The U.S. military imposed a curfew following a series of crimes
involving U.S. servicemen in February, coinciding with the time when
AWWA members were to visit facilities in isolated islands. Special
permission to leave the base was reportedly given to AWWA members,
because the AWWA has won confidence for their past activities, and
the purpose of their activities was understood.

Chairperson Smith (30) told us that the AWWA has built a good
relationship of trust with people in Okinawa, which the AWWA wants
to maintain, by helping local communities through its activities.

(4) Time for change in U.S. foreign policy

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Excerpts)
June 13, 2008

University of Tokyo Law Dept. Professor Fumiaki Kubo -- Japan-U.S.
alliance as bedrock of America's Asia policy

In U.S. presidential races in the past, black candidates tended to
represent only black interests. Senator Barack Obama, on the other
hand, has spoken of issues common to whites and blacks.

Young people, people with high academic backgrounds and high income,
and unaffiliated voters reacted strongly to Obama's speech that
went: "If America becomes one, we can accomplish matters that were
thought to be impossible." To those who voted for Obama, making him
president in itself is their objective.

The Democratic Party has been ahead of the Republican Party in
opinion polls asking, "Which party do you want to see in power?"
Nevertheless, voters tend to judge presidential candidates as
individuals. John McCain is highly popular as an individual, so the

TOKYO 00001620 004 OF 006


chance (of Obama winning the race) is 50-50.

If a Democratic administration comes into office, substantial
changes are expected to occur. Even if another Republican
administration under McCain is launched, there would be change in
the United States' Iraq policy and the administration would also
take policy that is more flexible than that of the Bush
administration toward the global environment issue. The basic
diplomatic tone would also be less unilateral than the Bush
administration's.

As for policy toward Japan, a McCain administration would
considerably follow the Bush administration's policy course and deal
with Japan as an ally. In the event Japan's level of cooperation
falls short of America's expectation, the administration might feel
disappointed.

I believe the Obama camp, too, regards the Japan-U.S. alliance as
the bedrock of America's policy toward Asia. Many Japanese
government and business leaders are alarmed at a Democratic
administration because they still remember that the United States
shifted its focus to China amid heated trade conflicts with Japan
during the Clinton administration. Their view is also based on
Japan's "honeymoon relations" with the Bush administration (that
followed the Clinton administration).

China has drastically changed over the last decade, and even a
Democratic administration would find it difficult to pursue China
policy unconditionally by defining it as its strategic partner.
Japan-U.S. relations are already on a supra-partisan base in the
United States, but some groups in both the Democratic and Republican
parties have harsh views on China. The Democratic Party's foreign
policy that multilaterally tackles development aid is not out of
line with Japan's foreign policy. Japan and the United States will
be able to cooperate even under a Democratic administration.

National Defense Academy President Makoto Iokibe -- Japan needs
bargaining power in dealing with U.S. and China

Criticism of the Iraq war is growing inside and outside the United
States. Japanese people like stability and continuity, while the
United States is a society where starting a revolution is regarded
as a civil right, so to speak. The U.S. system requires revolution
in every eight years (the President is allowed to serve up to two
four-year terms).

When deadlocked, American people seeking change would look back and
pursue new possibilities. In view of the economic situation as well,
it seems politically reasonable for the Democratic Party to wrest
power from the Republican Party. Needless to say, accidents cannot
be ignored. Anything can turn around the trend.

Personality and leadership are also vital factors in a race. The
trend can shift with how one presents himself, his policy, and
strategy, and what he says and does at a moment of truth.

The United States has often made mistakes, such as the Vietnam War
and the Iraq war. But in the United States, a society of diversity
and freedom, mistakes draw criticism and criticism results in a new
horizon. I would like to see the presidential race turn into a new
historic drama, overcoming the past.


TOKYO 00001620 005 OF 006


China's Hu Jintao administration puts high priority on relations
with the United States. But the United States would probably
continue putting efforts into the Middle East. For the stability of
East Asia, it is critically important for Japan and South Korea to
encourage and urge the United States as its allies. Sooner or later,
China would experience economic difficulties. It would inevitably
bounce back and restore stability, however. Japan and the United
States would have to get China engage in the international community
so that it will not throw the world into turmoil by doing something
strange with its power projection.

A superpower acts on its own will. Once it makes up its mind, no one
can change it. Dealing with two superpowers at a time is not easy,
but Japan has to have the capability to do so. Cherishing the
alliance with the United States and pursuing cooperation with China
so that it can advance as a healthy major power are an extremely
important challenge for Japan in the 21st century. I hope to see
that this presidential race will serve as a good turning point for
the Asia-Pacific community.

(5) Many difficult issues in next extra Diet session

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 13, 2008

The opposition parties, excluding the Japanese Communist Party
(JCP), yesterday began boycotting Diet deliberations after approving
a censure motion against Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on June 11. To
counter the passage of the non-binding censure motion, the ruling
parties yesterday adopted a resolution of confidence in the Fukuda
cabinet based on Article 69 of the Constitution. Given that,
deliberations in the current Diet session have now wrapped up in
effect. The ruling and opposition parties are eyeing the next
extraordinary session, and the government and ruling coalition will
likely continue to find it difficult to manage Diet affairs in the
extra session as well.

The question of whether to retain the new Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which will expire on January 15, 2009, will be the
biggest issue in the next Diet session. The reason is that the
measure was voted down in the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors during the previous extra session, and the main
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is certain to oppose a
bill revising the legislation. The handling of bills such as one
amending the government health insurance subsidy special measures
law that are expected to be carried over to the next extra session
for deliberations in the Lower House will be an issue.

Referring to a bill scrapping the new health insurance system for
people aged 75 or older, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet Affairs
Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima clearly stated: "The bill will be
carried over to the next session for deliberations." It will become
a source of contention in the next extra session.

With an eye to the constitutional rule that allows the Lower House
to revote on a bill 60 days after it has been sent to the Upper
House, the government and ruling camp aim at an early submission of
important bills, including one amending the new Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law. If they set a term for the session and a
timetable for deliberations with that in mind, the opposition is
certain to react negatively. Many take the view that the government
will have to walk a tightrope in managing Diet affairs before the

TOKYO 00001620 006 OF 006


compilation in December of a state budget. A senior LDP member
yesterday said that even if the extra session is convened in late
August in order to wrap it up in November, it would take time before
starting deliberations due to a clash with the opposition camp.

DPJ Upper House Chairman Azuma Koshiishi told the press yesterday:
"We will not ignore humanitarian and urgent issues, or issues that
affect people's daily lives." He indicated that the DPJ might
cooperate with the ruling coalition. However, there is smoldering
discontent among ruling coalition members that they cannot trust the
DPJ's outwardly cooperative stance.

The government has submitted 80 bills to the current Diet session, a
figure smaller than that of most Diet sessions. The number of bills
enacted by June 12 is 63 or 78.8 PERCENT , a major decline from the
91.8 PERCENT in last year's regular session.

(Corrected copy) G-8 finance ministerial to start today

MAINICHI (Page 9) (Full)
June 13, 2008

The two-day Group of Eight nations finance ministerial, joined by
Japan, the U.S. European countries and Russia, will start in Osaka
on June 13. The focus of the meeting will be to what extent
participants can agree to cooperate over measures on a growing
concern about global inflation due to the rise in crude oil prices
linked to the weak dollar, the steep rise in grain prices, and the
global warming issue.

The G-8 finance ministerial will start on the evening of the 13th at
a dinner meeting joined by finance ministers and officials from
Australia, Thailand, China, South Korea Brazil and South Africa as
well as the G-8 member nations. Japan, the host nation, will aim at
strengthening cooperation with Brazil and China for the prevention
of global warming in the run-up to the G-8 Summit to be held in
Hokkaido in July.

Discussions at the plenary meeting on the 14th will focus on the
movements of the global economy and the turmoil in the financial
market following the subprime mortgage crisis. The meeting will
close on the 14th, after releasing a joint statement on the
afternoon.

Talks between Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga and U.S. Treasury
Secretary Paulson will take place on the afternoon of the 13th prior
to the G-8 finance ministerial. The stance of the U.S., which has
recently repeatedly issued statements checking the weak-dollar
trend, will be watched with attention.

SCHIEFFER

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