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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/30/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1791/01 1820810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300810Z JUN 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5494
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
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 1029
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8653
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2382
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6885
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9238
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4166
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0157
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0572

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 001791

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 06/30/08

INDEX:

(1) 61 PERCENT opposed to lifting economic sanctions against North
(Nikkei)

(2) Nikkei poll: Cabinet support rate rises to 26 PERCENT (Nikkei)


(3) DPJ's hard-pressed finances: Too much money spent on Upper House
election last year (Tokyo Shimbun)

(4) Annual IWC meeting: Mood for holding dialogue on whaling
dwindles: Meeting winds up reviving voting battle (Asahi)

(5) Interview with U.S. Undersecretary of Science Orbach: Non-food
biofuel technologies imperative (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun)

(6) TOP HEADLINE

(7) EDITORIALS

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, June 28 (Nikkei)

ARTICLES:

(1) 61 PERCENT opposed to lifting economic sanctions against North

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
June 30, 2008

The government has announced that it would partially lift its
economic sanctions against North Korea if an agreement was reached
on the form of Pyongyang's reinvestigation into the issue of
Japanese abducted by North Korea in the past. In a recent Nikkei
opinion poll, 61 PERCENT of respondents expressed opposition to the
government's policy to lift sanctions, while 25 PERCENT voiced
support for it. The government's response to the abduction issue is
still under intense public scrutiny.

Even of those supporting the cabinet, 44 PERCENT reacted negatively
to the government's policy, while 39 PERCENT reacted positively.
Among unaffiliated voters, negative answered added up to 70 PERCENT
and positive replies 19 PERCENT .

By party, 56 PERCENT of LDP supporters voiced opposition and 32
PERCENT support. Negative reactions were also dominant among DPJ
supporters and unaffiliated voters, with the former marking 67
PERCENT and the latter 56 PERCENT .

(2) Nikkei poll: Cabinet support rate rises to 26 PERCENT

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
June 30, 2008

The rate of support for the cabinet of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
stood at 26 PERCENT in a Nikkei public opinion survey conducted on
June 27-29, up 2 points from the previous survey conducted in late
May. The disapproval rate was still high at 63 PERCENT , though it
dropped 1 point from the previous survey. By party, the Liberal
Democratic Party overtook the Democratic Party of Japan for the
first time since April by 1 point at 36 PERCENT to 35 PERCENT .
Views on a consumption tax hike were fairly evenly split.

TOKYO 00001791 002 OF 007

In a question asking for reasons for not supporting the cabinet, 61
PERCENT of respondents cited "a lack of leadership", 46 PERCENT
referred to "bad policy," 33 PERCENT "a lack of stability" and 22
PERCENT "a lack of international sensitivity." As for reasons for
supporting the cabinet, 43 PERCENT said the prime minister's
personality was trustworthy and 37 PERCENT indicated that it is an
LDP cabinet.

Although the support rate sank to 21 PERCENT , the lowest ever (in
Nikkei polls), in early May due to the reinstatement of the
provisional gasoline tax rate and the introduction of the healthcare
system for people aged 75 and older, it is inching up. The DPJ and
LDP swapped places in early May, and the DPJ remained more popular
than the LDP in late May. In the latest survey, the LDP overtook the
major opposition party.

Prime Minister Fukuda has indicated that the government will decide
on a consumption tax hike in two to three years. Regarding this
matter, 47 PERCENT indicated the rate must not be hiked, while 46
PERCENT said a hike cannot be helped. By party, 58 PERCENT of LDP
supporters reacted positively and 37 PERCENT negatively to a tax
hike. In contrast, among DPJ supporters, negative answers added up
to 52 PERCENT and positive answers 41 PERCENT . Among unaffiliated
voters, 47 PERCENT expressed opposition to and 43 PERCENT support
for a tax hike.

Nikkei Research conducted the telephone-based opinion poll of 1,555
men and women selected by a random digit-dialing (RDD) system. Valid
answers came from 900, or 57.9 PERCENT of the total.

(3) DPJ's hard-pressed finances: Too much money spent on Upper House
election last year

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2008

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been
experiencing financial difficulties because it spent too much money
on the July 2007 House of Councillors election. Even if the largest
opposition party can force Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to dissolve
the House of Representatives at an early date, a shortage of funds
may hamper it in such a campaign.

The DPJ's budget for this year totals 16.4 billion yen, a drop of
6.4 billion yen from 22.8 billion yen last year. This is because the
balance brought forward was reduced, since more money was spent on
the Upper House election than expected. In addition, the party spent
its funds for campaigns for the Osaka gubernatorial election, the
Lower House by-election for the Yamaguchi No. 2 constituency, and
the Okinawa assembly election.

President Ichiro Ozawa gave a pep talk to party members, saying:
"The possibility is high that a Lower House election will be held by
late this year." The party plans to start in early September the
finalization of its official candidates. In that case, "The party
will give funds (to the candidates) and make posters, so a great
deal of money will be needed," said Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Kenji Yamaoka.

The DPJ plans to hold a fund-raising party on July 14 in Tokyo. It
hopes to secure 250 million yen by selling tickets. A senior party

TOKYO 00001791 003 OF 007


member, however, said: "We want 20 billion yen to contest the Lower
House election."

The DPJ reportedly has found it difficult recently to get loans from
banks. Another senior member lamented: "In the past, President Ozawa
lent us money." Ozawa reportedly told senior party members: "I want
you to use money carefully.

DPJ Financial Committee Chairman Taisuke Sato said:

"There are two methods for us for resolving financial difficulties:
either individual lawmakers will put up their houses and land as
collateral for loans, or the party will collect contributions and
increase its membership dues and charges for parties."

He also called on DPJ members to stop the wasteful use of party
money, saying: "The party will not allow the creation of excessive
banners and pamphlets."

(4) Annual IWC meeting: Mood for holding dialogue on whaling
dwindles: Meeting winds up reviving voting battle

ASAHI (Page 6) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2008

The 60th annual meeting of the International Whaling Commission
(IWC) wrapped up its five-day session on June 27. Participating
countries have decided to set up a working group to improve the
present situation of the IWC, where whaling countries and
antiwhaling countries are in conflict. However, whether talks at
such a setting will produce any effects is doubtful. Though whaling
countries, including Japan, have hinted at creating a new framework,
their cash position in terms of research whaling, which Japan is
promoting, is deteriorating.

A split in views developed when Denmark proposed allowing the
hunting of 10 humpback whales. The IWC Science Committee reported
that it would cause no problem to take a small number of them, since
there is humpback population of some 3,000. Nevertheless,
antiwhaling countries, such as the European Union (EU), rejected the
proposal, leading to a voting battle despite efforts by both
antiwhaling and whaling countries to avoid such.

Chairman Hogarth of the U.S., who had been making efforts to
normalize the proceedings, looked crestfallen when he said: "We have
failed to reach a consensus at this meeting. I am so disappointed."

The session started with a brief mood of a thaw occurring. Japan
refrained from making overconfident statements, assuming a stance
that mutual trust should be developed. This allowed anti-whaling
countries to take the lead in discussions in an effort to turn the
IWC into a whale-preservation agency. Research whaling was attacked.
Discussions ranged from climate change to even the adverse effect of
whale-watching boats on whales. Brazil and South Africa proposed
placing a ban on whaling in the entire south Pacific south of the
equatorial line.

Australia, represented by Environment Minister Garrett, a former
rock singer who has criticized Japan's research whaling as slaughter
in the name of science, insisted that the IWC must transform itself
from an organization that sets whaling quotas to one that protects
whales. It also added that the effective use of whales should be

TOKYO 00001791 004 OF 007


limited to whale watching, which neither kills nor consumes whales.

The normalization of the IWC has been put off until the next annual
meeting to be held in June next year. The IWC will aim at drafting a
package of proposals which can satisfy member nations. However
distrust between whaling and antiwhaling countries is deep-rooted.

An antiwhaling NGO was alarmed by the moves of whaling countries,
with one member saying, "Even if we stop the voting battle, Japan
would not stop catching whales." Caribbean countries, which are in
favor of whaling, seem to be harboring a sense of crisis noting,
which one source saying, "We might have remained silent for too long
a time and made too many concessions."

Japan aims at resuming coastal hunting of minke whales. However,
precarious factors still remain. Fisheries Agency Deputy Director
General Akira Nakamae, who hinted at a possible withdrawal by Japan
from the organization during the annual meeting last year, strongly
appealed to participating countries, "We will fasten hopes on the
last chance next year in order to realize the resumption of
small-scale coastal whaling that has been a traditional way of life
for small fishing villages."

Responding to an interview by the Asahi Shimbun, Minoru Morimoto,
representative of the Japanese government, said, "If it is
impossible for the IWC to go back to where it started as an
organization to manage whaling, we must concurrently look for a new
framework for whaling.

Research whaling facing fund shortage

Foreign pressure is not the only element that gets in the way of the
future of Japan's research whaling. Research whaling is facing a
funding shortage.

According to the financial report of the Institute of Cetacean
Research for the fiscal year covering October 2007 to September
2008, estimates for income from the sale of whale meat will likely
drop from 7.5 billion yen to 5 billion yen due to a drop in the
number of whale catches caused by obstruction by antiwhaling groups.
The Institute announced a 6.1 PERCENT increase in the price of
whale meat on average on June 24. However, the effect of the price
increase is only 160 million yen. The institute gave up on
significantly raising the prices of whale meat due to opposition
from senior Fisheries Agency and whale meat traders, who were
concerned about a drop in sales due to high prices.

The Institute's finances have deteriorated due to a significant
price cut in fiscal 2005 and a fire on a vessel. It has received 3.6
billion yen in interest-free loans as operating funds from a
judicial foundation under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. It plans to borrow more.
However, if it becomes unable to pay, the debts will be made up for
with tax money.

(5) Interview with U.S. Undersecretary of Science Orbach: Non-food
biofuel technologies imperative

NIKKEI SANGYO SHIMBUN (Page 11) (Full)
June 23, 2008

The U.S., which has promoted the production of biofuels as a global

TOKYO 00001791 005 OF 007


warming countermeasure, tends to be at odds with developing
countries, which claim that the production of biofuels using grains
has pushed up the prices of those commodities. But the U.S. is also
eager to promote the research and development (R&D) of second
generation biofuels that do not threaten food supplies. Visiting
U.S. Undersecretary of Science Raymond Orbach said that second
general biofuels are expected to be widely used by 2020.

-- What about the current state of progress in R&D of second
generation biofuel technologies?

It is said that the increased use of corn for biofuel has raised
corn prices, but only about 3 PERCENT of the margin of the price
rise is attributable to the use of corn in making biofuel. When
considering the long-term stable supply, however, the use of next
generation biofuels is imperative. The U.S. government has invested
a huge amount of money to meet this challenge, taking the lead in
biofuel research across the world.

The key points are how to resolve plants into their basic components
and how to skillfully produce fuels. In addition to such vegetation
as poplars, research on bacteria is also moving along. It is
desirable to use plants that can survive in a harsh environment, for
instance, with little precipitation or fertilizer. The production of
fuels that use such raw materials will contribute to ensuring a
long-term stable supply of energy. Over the next five years, we
intend to come up with a plan for using next generation fuels and
then over the following five years, develop an application
technology so that we can fully disseminate such fuel.

-- Attention is also being focused on carbon capture and storage
(CCS) technology as means to contain global warming.

The U.S. is at the forefront in meeting this challenge. This
technological development will likely become one of the world's most
important tasks in the near future. The U.S. is conducting
meticulous study and research, including basic research, such as
what impact will appear if CCS technology is used under various
geographical conditions. We are going to urge other countries also
to launch research by emphasizing the effectiveness of CCS.

-- What technical assistance is the U.S. planning to offer to
developing countries in Africa and other regions?

Providing advanced technologies is necessary, but since using such
technologies cost a lot, developing countries will find it difficult
to use them. It therefore is necessary to extend comprehensive aid
that includes financial support, such as a fund for the effective
use of clean energy. We would like to also make a contribution in
the agricultural area by providing food-production technology and
other means. I believe that relations between the U.S. and Africa
will deepen in various research areas in the future.

(6) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
10 municipalities considering restricting late-night convenience
store operations for sake of conservation

Mainichi:
Tension runs high in Toyako with one week to go before G8 summit


TOKYO 00001791 006 OF 007


Yomiuri:
More seasoned athletes go to Olympics

Nikkei:
Rising material costs drag slowing Japan economy

Sankei:
Prime Minister Fukuda's decision not to take up Northern Territories
issue in G8 summit the loss of a good opportunity to apply
international pressure

Tokyo Shimbun:
Many commodity prices to be raised in July

Akahata:
JCP symposium on agricultural revitalization in Hokkaido urges
nation to increase self-sufficiency rate

(7) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) G-8 and global warming: Set greenhouse gas emissions reduction
target that can be understood by working generations as well

Mainichi:
(1) False labeling of eels: Malicious intent to take advantage of
consumer anxieties about food safety
(2) Hereditary candidates: DPJ should limit hereditary candidates
running in elections

Yomiuri:
(1) Inquiry into Atago accident: Maritime Self-Defense Force should
take second look at training
(2) Tokyo Metropolitan Government's CO2 ordinance: Is it possible to
impose fair reduction rates?

Nikkei:
(1) Management of U.S. financial policy increasingly difficult
(2) False labeling of eels: Impossible to get away with deception

Sankei:
(1) Public pension records fiasco: Identify all contribution
records
(2) Tokyo Metropolitan Government's CO2 ordinance: Consistency with
state system needed

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Revision to minimum wages: Zero working-poor policy needed
(2) Fierce competition in cell phone market due to iPhone and free
basic software

Akahata:
(1) Goodwill pulls out of labor dispatch business: Drastic amendment
to Labor Dispatch Law a pressing issue

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, June 28

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 29, 2008

09:20 Attended a Tokyo G-8 plus 5 global environment lawmakers'
meeting held at the Tokyo Prince Hotel.

TOKYO 00001791 007 OF 007


10:00 Met University of Tokyo Professor Akihiro Sawa at his official
residence.
Afternoon Spent time at his official residence.

Prime Minister's schedule, June 29

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 30, 2008

09:56 Met at his official residence Deputy Foreign Minister Kono,
Economic Affairs Bureau Director-General Otabe, and Assistant Chief
Cabinet Secretary Ando, joined by Special Cabinet Advisor Nishimura

13:02 Met Nishimura.

SCHIEFFER

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