Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/25/08

DE RUEHKO #1735/01 1770118
P 250118Z JUN 08




E.O. 12958: N/A



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

4) President Bush to arrive in Japan July 6 to attend the Hokkaido
Toyako Summit (Nikkei)

North Korea issues:
5) U.S. informs Japan it will remove DPRK from list of
terrorist-sponsoring states but move seen as end of pressure on the
North and a trial for abduction issue (Nikkei)
6) Prime Minister Fukuda accepts U.S. decision to remove North Korea
from terror-sponsor list: "If it resolves the nuclear issue, we
welcome it!" (Sankei)
7) Japan to ask U.S. to thoroughly verify that North Korea has ended
its nuclear programs (Mainichi)
8) Japan's fear becomes a reality: With U.S. removing DPRK from
terror list, resolution of abduction issue may founder (Asahi)
9) Government still intends to press U.S. to place importance on
abduction issue (Yomiuri)
10) Six-Party Talks expected to resume next week (Yomiuri)

China connection:
11) MSDF ship arrives at Chinese port with quake relief goods,
greeted by 400 Chinese sailors (Asahi)
12) China's welcoming MSDF ship arrival does not mask anti-Japanese
feelings among the public (Mainichi)
13) With strong Chinese public distrust of Japan in the background,
two governments seek ways to enhance security exchanges (Nikkei)

14) Panel presents report calling for use of right of collective
self-defense but Prime Minister Fukuda reluctant to go along with
changing Constitution's interpretation (Mainichi)

15) Extra Diet session may open on August 22 (Yomiuri)

16) Big-boned economic and fiscal policy guidelines hit by wave of
criticism from the LDP (Tokyo Shimbun)



Asahi: Mainichi:
Goodwill to pull out of labor dispatch business

Survey finds over 180,000 given blood tests with reused devices

40 PERCENT of listed companies effectively debt-free

Government's confidence recovery draft: Welfare minister to be
appointed as vice premier; Senior vice ministers to be treated as
cabinet ministers

Tokyo Shimbun:
Support for dissemination of solar power: Subsidies for housing to
be reinstated; METI aims at halving installation fees

TOKYO 00001735 002 OF 011

Consumption tax hike: Growing opposition among public


(1) Consumption tax hike put on back burner: 3 trillion yen can be
squeezed with zero-waste policy
(2) Delisting of North Korea: Pursuit of abduction issue continues

(1) Emissions trading: Mechanism useful for cutting carbon emissions
(2) Tourism agency to be launched: Can it offer red-tape-free

(1) Delisting of North Korea: Strict verification of North Korea's
nuclear declaration urged
(2) Right of collective self-defense: Specific arguments for
approving exercise of such a right needed

(1) High prices of resources shaking stock markets in Asia
(2) iPhone will change cell phone market

(1) Proposal on right of collective self-defense: Good opportunity
to change unrealistic interpretation of the Constitution
(2) Shooting incident involving Japanese fishing boat: Government
should stick to its principles on territorial issue concerning
Northern Territories at G-8 as well

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Delisting of North Korea: Assistance should be used as next tool
to settle abduction issue
(2) Palestinian split: Hurry to achieve reconciliation and

(1) Prime minister's statement on consumption tax: He should give up
on hike if he cannot explain reasons to public

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, June 24

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

Met Secretary General Ibuki and Executive Council Chairman Nikai at
LDP headquarters. Later attended a party executive meeting.

Attended a cabinet meeting at the Kantei. Administrative Reform
Minister Watanabe stayed behind. Later, met Health, Labor and
Welfare Vice Minister Edogawa, Health Promotion Bureau Director
General Yatsu, and others. Yatsu stayed behind.


TOKYO 00001735 003 OF 011

Met LDP Food Strategy Taskforce head Kato, Yatsu, and others. Yatsu
stayed behind.

Met Foreign Minister Koumura. Followed by International Peace
Cooperation Headquarters' Chief of Secretariat Ozawa.

Met association of lawmakers considering issues of health facilities
for recuperation members, including Chairman Taro Nakayama and
Secretary General Iijima. Nakayama stayed behind. Later met Cabinet
Consultant Nishimura. Followed by Foreign Ministry's Vice Minister
Yabunaka and Deputy Foreign Minister Sasae. Later met Ibuki.

Met former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Kawasaki and Health
Promotion Bureau Director General Nishiyama. Followed by Research
Commission on Foreign Affairs Chairman Yamasaki and Research
Commission on Security Chairman Nakatani.

Met Shunji Yanai, chairman of the council on reconstruction of legal
basis for national security. Joined by Chief Cabinet Secretary

Made a call of condolence for former Upper House Speaker Inoue at
his residence in Chiba.

Dined with his secretaries and others at a restaurant in Kioicho.

Returned to his official residence.

4) Japan-U.S. summit scheduled for July 6

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

(Hiroshi Maruya, Washington)

The White House announced on June 24 that President Bush will leave
the U.S. for Japan on July 5 to attend the Group of Eight Summit
(Lake Toya Summit) and return home on the 9th. The President is
scheduled to meet Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on the 6th. The two
leaders are expected to discuss problems with North Korea, including
the issue of the U.S. delisting North Korea as a terrorism sponsor.
The President was considering a visit to South Korea, but he will
visit there on another occasion.

5) U.S. to begin steps to take North Korea off list of terrorism
sponsors probably tomorrow; Japan likely to be pressed to revamp
strategy on abduction issue

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
June 25, 2008

The U.S. government is expected to begin steps to delist North Korea
as a state sponsor of terrorism, possibly on June 26 if the North
submits a declaration on its nuclear programs the same day as
Washington expects. If that becomes the case, Japan may be pressed

TOKYO 00001735 004 OF 011

to revamp its strategy on the issue of North Korea's past abductions
of Japanese nationals.

Washington's approach to Pyongyang lay behind North Korea's response
to Japan's call for holding bilateral talks. If the U.S. reduces the
pressure on North Korea, Japan's efforts to resolve the abduction
issue will suffer a setback.

Fukuda approves U.S. policy

The U.S. informed Japan that it would start steps to remove North
Korea from the blacklist immediately after the North produces a
declaration, Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura said in a press
conference yesterday morning. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda told
reporters yesterday:

"If the nuclear issue is resolved, we should welcome it. There is no
difference in opinion (between Japan and the U.S.). Japan has the
abduction issue. Cooperation between Japan and the U.S. is

Washington's designation of North Korea as a terrorism sponsor,
however, is an important negotiating card in applying pressure on
that nation. Koumura said:

"We have asked the U.S. to let Japan use the U.S. card to move
negotiations on the abduction issue forward. The Japanese government
wants more cooperation (from the U.S.)."

Koumura intends to ask U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in
their meeting in Kyoto on June 27 not to weaken pressure on North
Korea. Prior to this, Foreign Ministry Asian and Oceanian Affairs
Bureau Director General Akitaka Saiki is scheduled to meet U.S.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill in Kyoto.

Battle against clock

The delisting of a nation as a terrorism sponsor comes into effect
45 days after the U.S. government informs Congress of its intention.
During this period, the U.S. will look into the content of the
declaration. The U.S. says that if it finds the account
insufficient, it may not delist the North. In the Japanese
government, however, the dominant view is that it is inconceivable
that delisting will not go forward unless the account is severely

Japan wants to turn North Korea's promise in the recent bilateral
talks to reinvestigate the abduction issue into a concrete
arrangement during the 45 days. That is because the possibility
cannot be ruled out that North Korea may delay the reinvestigation
once it is delisted.

Voices of concern in LDP

In a meeting yesterday of the Liberal Democratic Party's committee
to deal with the abduction issue, chaired by Shoichi Nakagawa, views
seeking a cautious response by the U.S. over the issue of delisting
North Korea as a terrorism sponsor were presented in succession.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emphasized: "Japan will regret if
the U.S. delists the North before the abduction issue is resolved.
In such a case, the Japan-U.S. alliance might be negatively

TOKYO 00001735 005 OF 011

6) Fukuda to welcome N. Korea delisting if nuclear issue resolved

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
June 25, 2008

The U.S. administration is expected to inform the U.S. Congress
tomorrow that the United States will remove North Korea from its
terrorism blacklist in line with North Korea's declaration of its
nuclear programs. In this regard, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
indicated yesterday that he would accept the U.S. government's
response. "If North Korea's nuclear issue is going to be resolved,"
Fukuda said, "that is welcome." Fukuda added, "There's no divergence
at all (between Japan and the United States)." Fukuda's remarks
stand out, as almost no government officials are taking a positive
view of North Korea's delisting.

However, Fukuda also said: "Our country will also have to resolve
the abduction issue. Japan and the United States will need to keep
in touch with each other even more closely."

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura indicated that he would
carefully watch the United States' moves. "I don't think the United
States will delist North Korea as soon as there is a (nuclear)
declaration (from North Korea)," Koumura said. "There are as many as
45 days (until delisting), and the United States may not delist
North Korea if there is a problem with North Korea's declaration,"
he added.

Koumura also referred to the Japanese government's stance, saying:
"We'd like to ask the United States to let us use more of the
(delisting) card the United States has. I'd like to talk with
Secretary of State Rice about the government position." With this,
Koumura indicated that he would ask the United States to remain
cautious when he meets with Rice on June 27.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party yesterday held a meeting of its
special committee on North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals,
with former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa
presiding. In the meeting, LDP lawmakers voiced dissatisfaction with
the U.S. government's delisting policy. "I wonder how strongly the
Foreign Ministry told the United States that this problem could
undermine the Japan-U.S. alliance," one of them said. Another was
upset, saying, "I think they're too conciliatory to North Korea."
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, an advisor to the special
committee, also expressed his concern about the United States'
attitude, saying, "It's an extremely serious problem."

LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki voiced his displeasure in a press
conference: "Japan must say the United States is lowering the bar on
the nuclear issue."

Meanwhile, Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), remarked in a press conference
yesterday in the city of Nagano: "It means that the United States'
global strategy will not be affected by Japan's circumstances at
all. The United States said nice things to the families of those
abducted to North Korea, but in the end, it does not give them any

7) Government to urge U.S. to thoroughly examine North's nuclear
declaration regarding delisting; G-8 foreign ministerial to begin

TOKYO 00001735 006 OF 011

tomorrow; Tokyo to apply pressure on Pyongyang

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

North Korea is expected to present a declaration of its nuclear
programs and the United States is likely to begin delisting the
North as a state sponsor of terrorism on June 26. Given the
situation, the government will urge the U.S. government to make a
decision to delist the North after closely examining the contents of
the declaration. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is scheduled to
visit Japan to attend the G-8 foreign ministerial to be held on June
26-27 in Kyoto. She will hold talks with Foreign Minister Masahiko
Koumura on the 27th. In the session, Koumura is expected to urge
Washington to thoroughly examine the North's declaration even after
notifying U.S. Congress of its decision to delist the North and to
continue giving consideration to the abduction issue.

Koumura delivered a speech in Tokyo yesterday in which he first
pointed out the North Korean issue as a topic on the agenda of the
G-8 foreign ministerial, saying: "I would like to see the G-8 urge
the North to abandon all its nuclear weapons and nuclear programs. I
would also like to see the group send a strong message to the
international community for early settlements of humanitarian
issues, such as the abduction issue." Washington is expected to
notify Congress of its decision to delist the North on June 26
following Pyongyang's nuclear declaration earlier in the day.
Chances are high that Secretary Rice will formally announce the step
during the foreign ministerial.

As such, in the Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial, Tokyo is expected to
underline the importance of verifying the contents of the
declaration before the North dismantles its nuclear programs and of
the international community's future steps.

Secretary Rice has indicated that the United States "will not leave
the abduction issue behind after delisting the North." New Komeito
Representative Akihiro Ota said to the press yesterday: "There are
many ways to achieve the final goal of settling the abduction and
nuclear issues. Japan and the United States are in close
cooperation." Japan intends to apply pressure to the North by
confirming close cooperation with the United States.

8-1) No prospects for progress on abduction issue in sight; Japan
loses leverage in talks due to U.S. decision to delist the North as
terrorism-sponsoring nation

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 25, 2008

Tokyo's fears have turned into reality. The United States is
expected to delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism
before any progress is made on Pyongyang's promise to reinvestigate
the abduction issue. Losing the diplomatic leverage to press
Pyongyang for action, the government is having difficulty finding
the next step that can break the gridlock in relations with North

It became inevitable yesterday that the United States would take the
North off its list of terrorism-sponsoring nations. Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda yesterday said ostensibly calmly to the reporters: "If
the North Korean nuclear issue moves toward a resolution, we should

TOKYO 00001735 007 OF 011

welcome it." Asked if he would urge President George W. Bush to
forgo delisting the North, the prime minister said: "The nuclear and
abduction issues are closely linked to each other. Aside from the
Department of State, President Bush is well aware of Japan's

The same phrase has often come from high-ranking government
officials and senior Foreign Ministry officials.

Japan has heavily relied on President Bush, who met with Sakie
Yokota, the mother of abductee Megumi Yokota, and other family
members of Japanese abductees, and expressed strong interest in the
abduction issue. During the Japan-U.S. summit last November,
Washington indicated that it would delist the North before the end
of the year. President Bush also said that he would consider Japan's
standpoint (in delisting the North). Japan has pinned hopes on his

8-2) Japan to press the North harder during 45 days

ASAHI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
June 25, 2008

The option of delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism
has been a powerful bargaining tip in talks with the North. Without
that tool, Japan might find it extremely difficult in dealing with
the North.

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura said in a press conference
yesterday: "We will make efforts to let us use the 'delisting card'
effectively." Koumura revealed a plan to urge Washington once again
to use the "delisting card" while giving consideration to Japan
through in his talks with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
to be held on June 27 in Kyoto.

Japan has other leverages, such as economic aid and energy
assistance. Above all, Tokyo regards the option of diplomatic
normalization as the most powerful leverage. Former LDP Secretary
General Taku Yamasaki who chairs the Parliamentary League to Promote
Diplomatic Normalization between Japan and North Korea yesterday
positively described (the delisting) as a step toward the third
phase leading to the abandonment of nuclear programs by the North.
Yamasaki also indicated that once progress is made on the nuclear
issue, Japan, too, should naturally extend energy aid to the North
irrespective of the abduction issue.

Nevertheless, whether such an approach can produce immediate results
in dealing with the North, which can expect loans from international
organizations following the delisting, remains unknown.

The U.S. government is required to notify Congress of its decision
to delist the North 45 days before the step takes effect. With its
back against the wall, Tokyo now pins hopes on the 45 days. The
government intends to press the North harder via the United States
through this period, with Koumura saying, "(If North Korea's nuclear
declaration) is found out to be insufficient, Washington might
renege on its decision."

In order for U.S. Congress to block the delisting, new legislation
is necessary, and such a development is unlikely. Once the North is
delisted, Pyongyang might opt not to fulfill its pledges with Japan,
such as the reinvestigation into the abduction issue.

TOKYO 00001735 008 OF 011

9) Japan to ask U.S. to place importance on abduction issue

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

North Korea is expected to provide a declaration of its nuclear
programs as early as tomorrow, and the United States is expected to
delist the North as a state sponsor of terrorism. Following these
moves, the Japanese government intends to call on Washington to give
consideration to the abductions of Japanese by North Korea when it
decides to delist and to urge Pyongyang to make progress on the
abduction issue. It plans to take advantage of the upcoming Group of
Eight (G8) foreign ministerial and the Hokkaido Toyako G8 summit.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda last night told the press:

"If (delisting North Korea) brings a settlement to the North Korean
nuclear issue, it should be welcomed. Since our country has the
abduction issue, we should resolve it. To that end, as well, close
cooperation between Japan and the United States is necessary."

The Japanese government has taken the position that the Bush
administration will neither put on the back burner the abduction
issue nor forget it, as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said. It
is therefore expected to call on the U.S government to strengthen
its pressure on North Korea to achieve progress on the abduction
issue during the period of 45 days from the notification to the
effective date.

10) Six-party talks to resume as early as next week

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

A senior Foreign Ministry official revealed to the press yesterday
in Tokyo that the next round of the six-party talks on North Korea's
nuclear programs will be held as early as next week.

Following the expectation that North Korea will present a
declaration of its nuclear programs on June 26, the senior official
stated: "(The six-party talks) will be resumed probably next week.
It is a good idea to hold the talks before the Group of Eight
Hokkaido Toyako summit, which will begin on July 7." The
verification of North Korea's nuclear declaration will likely be the
main topic of discussion.

11) MSDF ship makes 1st visit to China

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
June 25, 2008

ZHANJIANG, Guangdong, China-The Sazanami, a Maritime Self-Defense
Force destroyer, arrived yesterday in the city of Zhanjiang in
China's Guangdong Province as part of a defense exchange program
between Japan and China. The Sazanami is the first MSDF vessel to
visit China. Its crew handed over relief goods, including blankets,
for those affected by the recent Sichuan earthquake.

Raising the flags of Japan and China, the Sazanami arrived at a
naval port, with about 240 onboard. The MSDF ship was greeted by
about 400 Chinese sailors. Su Shiliang, commander of the PLA Navy's

TOKYO 00001735 009 OF 011

south sea fleet, welcomed the Sazanami: "I believe that the visit
will lead to strengthening our two countries' friendship and
confidence-building measures."

12) MSDF vessel's first port call in China: Anti-Japanese public
opinion smoldering: Hu leadership expanding exchanges cautiously

MAINICHI (Page 7) (Full)
June 25, 2008

(Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China)

The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship Sazanami on June
24 made a port call in Zhanjiang, where the Nanhai Fleet Command
Center of the Chinese Navy is located, for the first time as an MSDF
vessel. Anti-Japanese sentiment is still smoldering in China,
including in the military. Strong wishes of the Hu Jintao
leadership, which attach importance to Japan-China relations, seem
to be behind the Chinese military's acceptance of a port call by an
MSDF vessel.

Japanese reporters at a press conference held after the ceremony
asked Commander Su Shiliang of the Nanhai Fleet Command Center
whether the SDF is hated in China. However, Su cut short the
question and did not touch on wartime history.

On the other hand, Su underscored, "Japan dispatched rescue and
medical teams immediately after the earthquake in Sichuan. We
appreciate that from the bottom of our hearts." His comment
indicated the Chinese military's will to mitigate a backlash against
the SDF, by making a public appeal to a domestic audience on Japan's
contribution. Following the quake, the governments of Japan and
China were considering transporting relief goods to China, using the
Air Self-Defense Force's transport plane. However, the Japanese
media's report noting that China asked the dispatch of SDF personnel
brought a fierce backlash. For this reason, relief goods, such as
blankets, the Sazanami brought to China this time were treated as
consolation gifts that were not given at the request of China.

Hong Kong journal "Weekly Yazhou," which is versed in the internal
situation of the Chinese military, in its latest issue reported a
negative mood toward the port call by the MSDF vessel, quoting a
high-ranking Chinese military officer's statement: "It will take a
certain period of time until the furor over the MSDF airlifting
relief goods to China subsides. The Chinese military is doing its
utmost in quake relief activities. The atmosphere is not appropriate
for a Japanese vessel (SDF vessel) to visit China."

The negative mood in the Chinese military has also cast a pall over
exchange events. The Sazanami has about 240 crewmen, including those
belongs to a musical band. Exchange activities are limited to
on-the-base events. A concert planned to be held in the city center
was cancelled for security reasons.

A diplomatic source in Beijing explained: "It is essential for
defense officials of Japan and China to build confidence for a
stable bilateral relationship. The Chinese leadership is cautiously
pressing ahead with such an effort so that it will not stir up
domestic public opinion."

13) MSDF vessel's port call to China: Japan, China have to advance
defense exchange, keeping in mind distrust of Japan in China

TOKYO 00001735 010 OF 011

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 25, 2008

(Ken Sato, Zhanjiang, Guangdong Province, China)

The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship Sazanami's port
call to China demonstrates that confidence-building between Japan
and China on the security front has entered a new stage. The Chinese
military's distrust in Japan tended to undermine Japan-China
relations, but bilateral relations are now at a turning point. As
seen from the cancellation of the Air Self-Defense Force's plan to
dispatch a relief team to China to rescue victims of the massive
earthquake in Sichuan Province, many Chinese people are allergic to
the SDF. Japan and China will have to advance bilateral defense
exchange while keeping in mind public feelings in China.

A member of China's South Sea Fleet told reporters on June 24: "The
mutual visits of both countries' naval ships will lead to
strengthening mutual trust in the security area and promoting their
strategic mutually-beneficial relationship." Shinichi Tokumaru,
commander of the MSDF's Escort Flotilla 4, also emphasized:
"Bilateral exchange will contribute to maintaining peace and
stability in the Asian region."

The Sazanami's port call comes in return for the port call to Japan
by a PLA Navy missile destroyer last November. The mutual visits of
Japanese and Chinese naval vessels have been realized about 10 years
after the two countries signed a basic agreement in May 1998. Behind
the delay are the issues of prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni
Shrine, as well as anti-Japanese sentiment and wariness toward Japan
in the military on the Chinese side. The selection of Zhanjiang in
Guangdong Province, which has attracted little attention unlike
Tianjin or Shanghai, as the calling port reflects these

Even so, there are still deep-seated reactions in China. Rear
Admiral Yang Yi said: "The port call by a vessel with the Japanese
flag will easily remind us of our painful memory." On the Internet
on June 24, a typical comment went: "(The Chinese government) has
approved the revival of Japan's militarism."

14) Collective self-defense acceptable: report

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
June 25, 2008

A government advisory panel for rebuilding the legal foundation of
Japan's national security submitted a report yesterday to Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda, recommending the government allow Japan to
exercise its right to collective self-defense, which is prohibited
under the government's current constitutional interpretation. The
panel studied four cases for Japan's participation in collective
self-defense, with former Ambassador to the United States Shunji
Yanai presiding. The panel report suggests the need for the
government to change its constitutional interpretation. However,
Fukuda will not approve collective self-defense.

The panel report proposes allowing Japan to participate in
collective self-defense in order for Japan's Self-Defense Forces to
guard U.S. naval vessels in international waters and intercept
U.S.-bound ballistic missiles. The report also proposes

TOKYO 00001735 011 OF 011

reinterpreting the Constitution to allow SDF members to use weapons
in order to protect foreign troops coming under attack. In addition,
it recommends the government allow SDF personnel to back up foreign
troops in a combat zone.

15) Extra Diet session likely to open on August 22

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 25, 2008

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Kenji Yamaoka, in a speech delivered in Atami, Shizuoka Prefecture,
said that chances are high that the next extraordinary Diet session
will be convened on August 22.

Yamaoka then stated:

"(The DPJ) should conduct its presidential election in early
September. The ruling camp is considering starting interpellation on
25th and compiling a (supplementary) budget before the end of

16) Storm of criticism against "big-boned reform policy guidelines"
draft; LDP forgoes approving it

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2008

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday deliberated on a
"big-boned reform policy guidelines for fiscal 2008" draft compiled
by the government in its Policy Research Council. Since many council
members criticized the policy of curbing expenditures being
maintained, the LDP forwent approving it. Although the LDP
leadership intends to secure approval from the policy board today,
the deliberations are expected to encounter difficulties.

In the meeting, council members actively criticized the draft, with
one saying: "Why should the 'big-bone reform policy,'" which was a
cause of our defeat in the House of Councillors election, be
continued?" Another said: "If the policy is shifted, the LDP will be
defeated by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)." Another was heard
to remark: "The phrase that 'expenditures will be cut to the fullest
extent' should be omitted."

Regarding specific items, a policy of slashing social security costs
by 220 billion yen per year came under fire, with one member saying:
"A natural increase in the social security expenditure has been
constrained by reform of the system. It is strange to continue
cutting the costs." Some members called for boosting education


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>


  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC