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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/20/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 001699

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DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
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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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 06/20/08


Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

North Korea problem:
4) Secretary Rice in speech says DPRK will submit nuclear report
soon, a premise for dropping it from terror list (Nikkei)
5) Prime Minister Fukuda wants close cooperation with U.S. on issue
of removing DPRK from the list of states sponsoring terrorism
(Sankei)
6) U.S, Japan, ROK officials meet in Tokyo, agree to accept North
Korea nuke report even if number of weapons not specified (Asahi)
7) Director General Saiki asks U.S. to condition removal of North
Korea from list of states sponsoring terrorism to progress on the
abduction issue (Sankei)
8) U.S. hurrying to achieve progress in Six-Party Talks, with focus
on extent of contents of North Korea nuclear report (Nikkei)
9) Making the DPRK abandon its nuclear weapons still a major
challenge (Yomiuri)
10) Japan in asking U.S. to proceed cautiously in removing North
Korea from terror list is afraid that it will be left behind in
six-party process (Nikkei)
11) Japan fears getting out of step with the U.S. in its North Korea
policy (Yomiuri)
12) Japan has to revise its North Korea strategy now that it looks
certain North Korea will be removed from terror list (Yomiuri)
13) Abduction card might be lost to Japan if DRPK no longer on the
U.S. terror list (Tokyo Shimbun)

Defense and security affairs:
14) Government panel on defense ministry reform reaches final stage
of drafting report, focusing now on analyzing cause of series of
scandals (Nikkei)
15) LDP, New Komeito far apart still on a permanent SDF dispatch law
(Asahi)

16) Upper House scraps 25 bills, rejecting continuing deliberation
option (Nikkei)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Questions being raised about Japan's quake-intensity scale

Mainichi:
More than 500 Finance Ministry officials received favors from taxi
drivers

Yomiuri & Tokyo Shimbun:
"Dubbing 10" system to be introduced in Japan next month

Nikkei:
Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Group to invest 100 billion yen in Barclays
of Britain

Sankei:
U.S. State Secretary Rice clarifies intention to delist North Korea
as a state sponsor of terrorism

TOKYO 00001699 002 OF 011

Akahata:
Hokkaido gathering calls for government to protect fisheries
industry from soaring oil prices

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) We want to hear prime minister's real intention on social
security reform
(2) Measures needed to prevent suicides, reflecting number exceeding
30,000

Mainichi:
(1) Human relations imperative to prevent suicides
(2) Incident of boy falling through school skylight window:
Facility-check system must be reviewed

Yomiuri:
(1) Social insurance panel should present in final report clear
vision on consumption tax, pension reform
(2) Continue discussion on permanent SDF-dispatch law

Nikkei:
(1) Work out measures to provide sufficient medical care to those in
need
(2) Set up fair distribution rules for copyrighted works

Sankei:
(1) Rice's unconvincing statement on intent to delist North Korea
(2) Improve working environment for hospital doctors to solve doctor
shortages

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Take suicides as serious social problem
(2) Panel's interim report describes future options for social
security system

Akahata:
(1) Seriously damaged social security system attributed to
constraint policy and dependence on consumption tax

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, June 19

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 20, 2008

09:30
Met Japan-Vietnam special ambassador Ryotaro Sugi at the Kantei.

10:00
Attended a National Council on Social Security meeting.

11:20
Met advisor Ito.

12:01
Had a luncheon meeting with LDP first- and second-term lawmakers in
the presence of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ono.


TOKYO 00001699 003 OF 011


13:01
Underwent a regular eye check at the Mitsui Memorial Hospital.

13:52
Visited Akihabara to offer a prayer for the victims of the killing
spree.

14:17
Returned to his official residence.

15:03
Attended a national credit unions convention at the Keidanren Kaikan
Hall in Otemachi.

15:45
Met Deputy Foreign Minister Kohno and Vice Minister of Finance for
International Affairs Shinohara.

16:16
Met Deputy Foreign Minister Sasae, followed by Deputy Cabinet
Minister Uchida. Afterwards attended a Council for Science and
Technology Policy meeting.

17:30
Met state minister in charge of improving the custodianship of
official documents Kamikawa and Cabinet Secretariat chief Yamamoto,
followed by remote islands promotion committee chairman Miyaji and
others.

18:45
Held a foreign policy study meeting with National Defense Academy
President Iokibe and others, joined by Chief Cabinet Secretary
Machimura.

4) Rice says North Korea will soon submit nuclear declaration,
speaks of intention to delist it as state sponsor of terrorism

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Full)
Evening, June 19, 2008

(Hiroshi Maruya, Washington)

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on June 18 that North
Korea will soon submit a declaration of its nuclear activities to
China, chair of the six-party talks, under a six-party deal. In a
speech she delivered at a think-tank in Washington, Rice also said
that if the North produces a declaration, "President Bush will
notify Congress of our intention to take Pyongyang off the list of
terrorism-sponsoring nations and to exempt it from the application
of the Trading with the Enemy Act." It was the first time for a
senior U.S. government official to clearly express an intention to
remove North Korea from the list if it provides a declaration.

The Bush administration had stressed the need for verifying the
contents of the declaration in delisting North Korea. But Rice
clearly stated that the U.S. government will delist the North if it
complies with its commitment.

The delisting measure goes into effect 45 days after the
administration notifies its intention to Congress. Rice emphasized:
"During the 45 days, we would continue to assess the level of North
Korean cooperation and verify the accuracy and completeness of its

TOKYO 00001699 004 OF 011


declaration. Based on the assessment, we will take action." As it
stands, she also indicated that the U.S. would not delist North
Korea after ascertaining the contents of its declaration.

Rice reiterated in the speech that the six-party talks have produced
achievements, including the North's disabling of its nuclear
facilities in Yongbyon. She then urged Japan and other countries
with pending issues with North Korea to offer cooperation. She said:
"All the member countries of the six-party talks, including the
U.S., are now being pressed to make a difficult choice. We must be
aware that North Korea's denuclearization is our ultimate goal." On
the issue of the past abductions of Japanese nationals by North
Korean agents, she just said: "We have helped promote Japan-North
Korea talks on the tragedy of the abduction victims," without
referring to its relation to the delisting issue.

Rice said that the condition for delisting a designated nation under
a relevant U.S. law is whether the nation extended financial and
physical aid to an international terrorist group over the past six
months," hinting that there is little possibility of a political
judgment being included.

Asked about the possibility that North Korea might not give up its
nuclear development programs, Rice said: "Judging from its past
deeds, there is such concern." She added that if the North does not
comply with its commitment, "the U.S. will re-impose the removed
sanctions and impose new sanctions."

With the aim of resuming the six-party talks, which have been
suspended since last fall, the Bush administration has dispatched
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill to Asia. He will meet
with the Japanese and South Korean chief delegates to the six-party
talks in Tokyo on the 19th. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping also
left for a three-day tour of North Korea on the 17th to meet
President Kim Jong Il and other senior officials in an effort to
resume the six-party talks.

5) Fukuda underlines close contact between Japan and U.S. on
delisting North

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
June 20, 2008

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has suggested that
President George W. Bush will notify Congress of his decision to
delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Asked about
Japan's response by reporters at his official residence last night,
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said: "Japan and the United States have
been in close contact with each other. We will listen to what the
U.S. government has to say."

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told the Lower
House Abduction Issue Special Committee yesterday regarding the
government's intention to partially lift economic sanctions against
the North: "The government did not say that it would do nothing
until the reinvestigation (into the abduction issue) produces
concrete results. The government might begin procedures to (lift
sanctions) as necessary while watching the progress of the
reinvestigation." Machimura indicated the possibility that Japan
will partially ease sanctions once the reinvestigation beings in
compliance with Japan's request.


TOKYO 00001699 005 OF 011


6) North Korea: Japan, U.S., South Korea agree exclusion of nuclear
arms from declaration of nuclear weapons program

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
June 20, 2008

A meeting of chief Japanese, U.S. and South Korean chief delegates
to the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue took place
at the Foreign Ministry in Tokyo on June 19. Participants agreed to
accept the declaration of a nuclear arms program by North Korea,
which expected to occur shortly, even if it does not include
information on nuclear arms, on the condition that North Korea makes
the declaration within a set period of time. A source involved in
the three-party talks revealed this.

According to the same source, participants agreed on the perception
that it is important to make Pyongyang commit itself to making the
declaration without fail in the third stage of its denuclearization
process, an issue to be discussed in the future. Regarding a
concrete method of making Pyongyang pledge to make the declaration
on its nuclear arms, discussion will likely take place under the
six-party framework with the compilation of a separate paper in
mind.

The Japanese side has thus far strongly called for the inclusion of
nuclear arms in the declaration by Pyongyang. However, it has
determined that there would be an extremely slim chance of that
nation including information on nuclear arms, the highest-level
military secret, in the declaration. Since a certain degree of
progress, including reinvestigation into the whereabouts Japanese
abductees at the recent Japan-North Korea talks in Beijing, has been
achieved, Japan has in effect lowered the barrier regarding the
declaration, which Pyongyang is obligated to made in a complete, and
accurate way, with priority given to the resumption of the six-party
talks.

The meeting was joined by Akitaka Saiki, director general of the
Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State Christopher Hill and Kim Sook, the South Korean
Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry's special representative for
Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs.

The informed source also indicated the outlook that it would be
difficult for Pyongyang to make the declaration within June due to
the delayed preparations. This source also indicated the possibility
of either a meeting of chief delegates to the six-party talks or a
meeting of the denuclearization working group being held for
discussions of a method of verifying the declaration before it is
submitted by North Korea.

7) Saiki asks U.S. to premise N. Korea delisting on abduction
progress

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
June 20, 2008

Chief delegates from Japan, the United States, and South Korea to
the six-party talks over North Korea's denuclearization met
yesterday evening at the Foreign Ministry and exchanged views on how
to proceed with North Korea's nuclear issues, including U.S.
Secretary of State Rice's clarification of the U.S. government's
intention of going through procedures to delist North Korea as a

TOKYO 00001699 006 OF 011


state sponsor of terrorism when North Korea declares its nuclear
programs. Akitaka Saiki, director general of the Asian and Oceanian
Affairs Bureau at the Foreign Ministry, reiterated the Japanese
government's position, maintaining that the United States should not
delist North Korea unless there is specific progress on the issue of
Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea. Saiki confirmed that
Japan would continue to cooperate closely with the United States on
this issue.

The meeting was held with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Hill and
Kim Sook, the South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Ministry's
special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security
affairs. Saiki explained the outcome of working-level talks held on
June 11-12 between Japan and North Korea in Beijing. Hill and Kim
expressed their hopes for a solution to the abduction issue with
specific progress. The three also exchanged views on the stagnated
six-party talks. Furthermore, they talked about how to proceed with
the North Korea issue in trilateral cooperation.

"The abduction incident is not only an important issue for Japan,
it's also a matter of concern to the United States," Hill told
reporters after the meeting. "We will keep in close touch with Japan
to see how things will develop," Hill added. Meanwhile, Japan takes
the position that it will not take part in energy aid to North
Korea. In this regard, Kim said, "We hope that Japan will be able to
take early action for energy aid to North Korea."

Concerning North Korea's nuclear declaration as a premise for
delisting that country, Hill stressed that scrapping nuclear weapons
is also one of the requisites. "Our position is the complete
denuclearization of North Korea from the start," Hill said, adding,
"This includes scrapping nuclear weapons."

8) U.S. hurrying to make progress in six-party talks

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
Eve, June 19, 2008

WASHINGTON-U.S. Secretary of State Rice has clarified that the U.S.
government would inform the U.S. Congress of delisting North Korea
as a state sponsor of terrorism in response to North Korea's
declaration of its nuclear programs. This can be taken as indicating
that the United States is in a hurry to find a way out of the
stagnated six-party talks over North Korea's nuclear issue. The Bush
administration is to leave office in January next year. Counting
backward from that timetable, Washington apparently judges that it
is time to bring North Korea into the final phase for scrapping its
nuclear programs. The U.S. government is also seeking to hold a
six-way foreign ministerial meeting for an imprint of diplomatic
results.

In February 2007, the six-party talks reached an agreement
specifying that the U.S. government would start to work for its
delisting of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In an
agreement reached in October, the six-party talks took a further
step, with the United States saying it will implement its promise
along with North Korea's action. Hill has reiterated that the U.S.
government would remove North Korea from its blacklist if North
Korea takes second-phase steps to disable its nuclear facilities and
declare its nuclear programs.

Pyongyang, which gives top priority to its delisting, did not

TOKYO 00001699 007 OF 011


declare its nuclear programs even after an end-of-2007 deadline and
has assumed a wait-and-see attitude, aiming to determine whether its
nuclear declaration would lead to its delisting. Rice's statement
this time implies signaling to North Korea that Washington will
clearly link North Korea's nuclear declaration to its delisting.

9) Japan opposes delisting North as terrorism-sponsoring nation
unless there is progress on nuclear, abduction issues

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 20, 2008

Foreign Ministry Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director-General
Akitaka Saiki, Japan's chief delegate to the six-party talks on the
North Korean nuclear issue, held a meeting with his U.S.
counterpart, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, at the
Foreign Ministry last night. Touching on Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice's announcement to delist North Korea as a state
sponsor of terrorism, Saiki urged Hill not to remove the North from
the nuclear blacklist unless there is progress on the abduction
issue in addition to a complete and correct declaration of its
nuclear programs.

The Saiki-Hill meeting was followed by talks among the chief
delegates of Japan, the United States, and South Korea. In the
session, Kim Sook, the South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade
Ministry's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and
security affairs, said: "We hope to see Japan soon join the energy
aid program for North Korea."

After the series of talks, Hill told reporters: "The abduction issue
is important for Japan, and it is of interest to the United States
as well. We would like to watch the development of (Japan-DPRK
relations) while keeping close contact with (Japan)."

Saiki said: "I explained Japan's standpoint to the U.S. government
on the question of taking the North off the list of
terrorism-sponsoring nations. We have agreed that Japan and the
United States will work in close cooperation."

10) Japan to ask for cautious response

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
Eve., June 19, 2008

Tokyo is poised to keep watching Washington's moves to delist North
Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. "There is no change in
Japan's stance," Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura told a
press conference on the morning of June 19. Machimura stressed that
the Japanese government would call on the U.S. government to remain
cautious and not delist North Korea without specific progress on the
issue of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea.

Japan and North Korea recently held a meeting of their working-level
officials. On that occasion, North Korea promised to look again into
the abduction issue. However, Japan and North Korea will need to
talk about specifics, including the question of how to locate the
whereabouts of Japanese abductees. The Japanese government therefore
has a strong sense of alarm about the abduction issue being left
behind.

11) Japan fears lack of unity with U.S.

TOKYO 00001699 008 OF 011

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
June 20, 2008

U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's announcement that
Washington will delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism
before long worries Japan. Japan, which keeps sanctions against the
North in place for the sake of the abduction issue, specifically
fears a possible lack of unity with the United States, which is
moving closer to North Korea. Japan is under pressure to make a
difficult decision on the question of how to strike a balance
between the six-party talks and progress on Japan-DRPK relations.

Asked by reporters at his official residence last night about
Japan's response to Rice's statement, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
simply said: "We will deal with the matter while keeping close
contact (between Japan and the United States) at all times."

If the United States accepts the North's nuclear declaration, which
is expected to occur before long, and the U.S. begins work to remove
the North from the blacklist, chances are high that Japan will find
itself isolated in the six-party framework. The reason is that Japan
keeps refusing to join the energy aid program for the North,
although the talks will move on to the next phase after the U.S. and
North meet each other halfway.

After President George W. Bush notifies Congress of his decision to
delist the North, six-party members and other bodies are expected to
verity the DPRK's declaration. An insufficient declaration might be
sent back to the North.

Japan has been insisting on a "complete and correct declaration" to
ensure that the United States will not delist the North if its
declaration is insufficient. "If the United States rushes to delist
the North even if its declaration is inaccurate, we will have to
play that up in the verification process in order not to be
isolated," a Japanese government source said.

At the same time, if the North's declaration is proven to be
insufficient and if that puts strains on Washington and Pyongyang,
the six-party talks might remain stalled.

Japan intends to coordinate with the North in advance to make sure
that Pyongyang will carry out a true reinvestigation of the
abduction issue. Japan wants to keep pace with the six-party talks
with this approach. Whether the reinvestigation can bring progress
to the abduction issue remains to be seen.

12) Japan needs to revise its North Korea strategy

Yomiuri (Page 2) (Full)
Eve., June 19, 2008

In response to U.S. Secretary of State Rice's announcement of a
policy course of soon removing North Korea from the list of states
sponsoring terrorism, the Japanese government plans to ask the U.S.
government to give consideration to progress on the abduction issue
at the time that it removes the DPRK from the list. Government
officials will transmit such thinking to Assistant Secretary Hill,
who arrives in Japan on the afternoon of the 19th.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura, meeting with the press corps on

TOKYO 00001699 009 OF 011


the morning of the 19th, stressed: "Japan and the U.S. have always
closely exchanged information and views. There has been no change in
Japan's stance." However, the Japanese government, which has been
pressing the U.S. to consider resolution of the abduction issue as a
premise of the terror list, is under pressure to revise its
strategy. A senior Foreign Ministry official on the morning of the
19th told the press corps in Tokyo; "For Japan, both the nuclear and
abduction issues are essential. It would appear that by only
mentioning the abduction issue, the nuclear issue does not seem
important, but (the nuclear issue, too) must be made to move first."


13) U.S. plans to delist North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism;
Japan may lose leverage on abduction issue

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Full)
June 20, 2008

In the wake of U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice having said
that the United States will move to take North Korea off its list of
terrorism-sponsoring nations, the possibility of Washington
delisting Pyongyang has moved closer to reality. The Japanese
government, however, has opposed delisting before progress is made
on the issue of North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals. It
remains uncertain whether Pyongyang will keep its promise to Japan
that it will reinvestigate the abduction issue. Therefore, Japan is
forced to conduct negotiations not only with Pyongyang but also with
Washington.

Prior to a meeting yesterday with the chief negotiators in the
six-party talks from Japan, the United States, and South Korea, the
Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director
General Akitaka Saiki met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill. After the meeting, Saiki told the press in a
strong tone: "Japan and the United States basically share the view
on the issue." Hill then stated: "While I think there are a number
of difficult problems, if the United States and Japan cooperate,
difficult issues will be resolved easily."

The United States has said that delisting North Korea will be done
in return for a declaration of the North's nuclear activities.
Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura, however, said: "It is also a card
for Japan to achieve progress on the abduction issue." The Japanese
government has closely cooperated with the U.S. government with the
aim of preventing Washington from delisting Pyongyang. It is
believed that the meeting of working-level officials from Japan and
North Korea held on June 11-12 was made possible by the good offices
of the United States, which has called for improvement in relations
between Japan and North Korea as a condition for delisting
Pyongyang.

While talks between the United States and North Korea are moving
forward, Tokyo and Pyongyang are at the stage of "words for words"
as Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura said. Tokyo and
Pyongyang have yet to reach agreement on specifics as to how to
carry out the reinvestigation into the abduction issue the North
promised. Referring to a timetable for the next round of bilateral
talks on the reinvestigation, a senior Foreign Ministry official
said: "We have no idea, since the other side has its own situation."
Losing the delisting card is a blow to Japan.

The Japanese government is determined, however, not to provide

TOKYO 00001699 010 OF 011


energy to North Korea before progress is made on the abduction
issue. Japan may be criticized by other members of the six-party
talks for being an obstacle to North Korea's denuclearization.

Therefore, some in the government believe that Japan has no choice
but to accept the U.S decision, with a senior Foreign Ministry
official saying: "If we talk about only the abduction issue, other
countries will think Japan does not care about the nuclear issue.
Pushing ahead with things is important."

In yesterday's press conference, Machimura took a defensive line
toward U.S., saying: "The question is how the United States will
apply its internal law."

14) Defense Ministry reform: Experts at government-sponsored meeting
agree that emphasis should be placed on analysis of causes of
scandals; Compilation of report could be delayed

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 20, 2008

The government's Defense Ministry (MOD) Reform Council, chaired by
Nobuya Minami, advisor to TEPCO, yesterday, June 19, entered the
final stage of compiling a report before the end of the month. The
panel of experts agreed that the report should focus on analyzing
the causes of a number of scandals involving MOD personnel, such as
briberies over the procurement of equipment, and propose measures to
prevent a recurrence. Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba is insisting
that a MOD-sponsored reorganization plan featuring the integration
of civilians (internal bureaus) and the uniformed officers (Self
Defense Forces' members) be reflected in the panel's report. Since
the panel is having difficulty reaching a consensus, the compilation
of the report could be delayed until July.

The government side explained the outline of the planned report,
which will include the analysis and evaluation of the scandals and
measures to prevent a recurrence. The outline also includes the
improvement of a system assisting the defense minister and the
strengthening of the Kantei's function as the central command. Many
participants called for giving priority to the starting point and
ideals of the reform plan instead of going into a concrete
reorganization plan.

MOD at the previous meeting held in late May proposed a plan to
reorganize the present organization consisting of internal bureaus,
the Joint Staff Council, the Ground Staff Office, the Maritime Staff
Office and the Air Staff Office into an organization divided
according to function. The plan included the abolition of Staff
Offices. According to the MOD plan, the entire organization would be
made the mixture of civilians and the uniformed group. However,
National Defense Academy President Makoto Iokibe, a panel member and
an advisor to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, has presented a plan to
press ahead with the integration of civilians and the uniformed
group, while preserving the existing organization, indicating a gap
with the MOD plan.

15) Interim report on SDF dispatch permanent law: Gap remains
unfilled between LDP, New Komeito

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 20, 2008


TOKYO 00001699 011 OF 011


A project team of members from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) and its coalition partner New Komeito is looking into the
enactment of a permanent law that would enable Japan to dispatch the
Self-Defense Force overseas any time. The team yesterday issued its
interim report. However since the gulf between the two parties
remains wide yet to be bridged, most of contentious issues have been
put on the backburner, although they have agreed on such issues as
Diet approval. The LDP and New Komeito in the interim report agreed
that the SDF would be allowed to participate in UN peacekeeping
operations (PKO) and that the troops would be allowed to join
international peace cooperation activities based on UN resolutions.
The interim report stipulates the New Komeito's assertion that (SDF
troops would be dispatched overseas) based on the conventional
interpretation of the Constitution. Many contentious points on the
issue of constitutional interpretation have been put on hold pending
further discussion.

For example, the LDP called for allowing the SDF as one of their
activities to guard troops of another country, even if they were
positioned far from the Japanese troops, but the New Komeito
rejected the notion. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda also said in a
Diet reply that the law does not allow the SDF to do so. Taku
Yamasaki, head of the project team, stressed: "The LDP itself
proposed adding guarding to the SDF's activities." Natsuo Yamaguchi,
deputy head of the project team, took a cautious stance saying:
"Since differences of opinions have not been ironed out, we cannot
arrive at a conclusion."

The government has decided to forgo submitting a bill to the next
extraordinary Diet session. In a meeting yesterday of his faction,
Yamasaki argued: "I want to make efforts to (present legislation) to
the next regular session at any cost." Yamaguchi, however, sought to
constrain Yamasaki: "Since a bill is not a task for the project
team to which Diet session a bill will be presented."

16) Upper House to scrap 25 bills without carrying them to next
session: Unusual situation caused by submission of censure motion
against prime minister

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 20, 2008

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ or Minshuto) at a meeting of their Diet Affairs Committee
chairmen yesterday decided to scrap all 25 bills remaining in the
Upper House without carrying them over to the next Diet session. The
25 bills include 22 DPJ lawmaker-sponsored bills. This unusual
situation is due to the overall suspension of Diet deliberations
following the adoption of a censure motion against Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda.

Scrapped bills need to be resubmitted to the next Diet session.

In the Lower House, 61 of 66 bills will likely be carried over to
the next Diet session. Both chambers of the Diet have thus taken
different approaches, reflecting the divided Diet.

SCHIEFFER

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