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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07//08

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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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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 07//08

1) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

North Korea problem:
2) President Bush when he meets Prime Minister Fukuda at the G-8
Summit will pledge close cooperation to work to resolve the
abduction issue (Sankei)
3) Ambassador Schieffer meets abductee families, convinces Sakie
Yokota the U.S. is "serious" about helping resolve the abduction
issue (Sankei)
4) Schieffer tells the Yokotas and other abductee families the U.S.
will put in every effort to help resolve the abduction issue
(Nikkei)
5) The G-8 Summit in Hokkaido will take up weapons of mass
destruction as theme, focusing especially on pressing the DPRK to
abandon nuclear programs (Nikkei)
6) New testimony from former North Korean agent traces the life of
Megumi Yokota during 1982-83, so far a missing period (Sankei)

7) Russian President Medvedev in interview says there is a chance
for a resolution of the northern territory issue, hints at revision
of policy line (Asahi)

8) As part of peace process, Japan to build agro-industrial park in
Palestinian territory (Asahi)

9) Japan, U.S. to agree on Africa aid initiative at the upcoming G-8
Summit (Yomiuri)

10) Prime Minister Fukuda will fly to Beijing August 8 for the
Olympics opening ceremony in an ASDF U-4 aircraft instead of
official government plane (Sankei)

11) Komeito leader believes Fukuda may step down if his popularity
in the polls continues to drop (Yomiuri)

12) DPJ reportedly broke and needs 10 billion yen to fight in the
next election (Asahi)

Articles:

1) Prime Minister's schedule, July 2

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 3, 2008

08:56
G-8 International Lawmakers' Conference on Population and
Sustainable Development at a Tokyo hotel.

09:30
Met with Special Advisor Ito at the Kantei.

10:04
Met with Deputy Foreign Ministers Sasae and Kono, and Economic
Affairs Bureau Director General Otabe.

11:00
Person of Merit for Safety Award ceremony. Then met with Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi.

13:31
Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

TOKYO 00001824 002 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08


13:59
Met with former Prime Minister Abe at the Members' Office Building.
Abe: "I would like you to send a strong message for a settlement of
the abduction issue." Fukuda: "Naturally, I am thinking of that."

14:17
Met with Futahashi, followed by Cabinet Intelligence officer Mitani.


15:05
Met with Hitotsubashi Graduate School Professor Watanabe, followed
by Foreign Minister Koumura.

16:07
Met with Palestinian Minister of Planning Abdullah, Israeli
Environment Protection Minister Ezra, Jordanian Foreign Minister
Al-Bashir and Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka.

17:20
Met with Agriculture Minister Wakabayashi.

18:17
Arrived at the official residence.

2) U.S. to cooperate closely with Japan for solution to abductions:
Bush

SANKEI (Page 6) (Full)
July 3, 2008

WASHINGTON-U.S. President Bush will vow to cooperate closely with
Japan for a prompt solution to North Korea's abduction of Japanese
nationals when he meets with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on July 6
in Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido on the sidelines of
the upcoming Group of Eight (G-8) summit to be held at Lake Toya
there. National Security Council (NSC) Senior Director for Asian
Affairs Wilder revealed this to reporters at the White House on July
1.

Japan and the United States last held a meeting of their leaders
when Fukuda visited the United States last November. This is the
second time for Fukuda and Bush to meet. Wilder indicated that Japan
and the United States would confirm cooperation within the framework
of the six-party talks in order to urge North Korea to abandon its
nuclear development. Meanwhile, Wilder also touched on criticism
arising in Japan over the U.S. government's decision to remove North
Korea from its terrorism blacklist. "The president will promise
again to the Japanese people that he will never forget the issue of
North Korean abductions," he said.

Fukuda and Bush are slated to meet the press after their meeting,
when Bush is expected to play up the abduction issue. The two
leaders and their wives will dine together on the evening of July 6.
In the Japan-U.S. summit, Fukuda and Bush will talk about bilateral
issues, such as moving U.S. Marines to Guam in the planned
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. In addition, they will also
discuss how Japan and the United States should deal with
international issues, such as the Zimbabwe problem and the Doha
round of trade talks.

Bush, meeting the press yesterday, touched on climate change. On

TOKYO 00001824 003 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

this issue, Bush revealed his perception, maintaining that it would
be less effective for the G-8 nations alone to take action, given
the rapid expansion of greenhouse gas emissions from China, India,
and other newly emerging markets. With this, Bush repeated the U.S.
government's position that setting a long-range global target for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions needs a framework involving all
major emitters.

3) Abductees' families meet U.S. Ambassador

SANKEI (Page 3) (Slightly abridged)
July 3, 2008

The U.S. government has started procedures for delisting North Korea
as a state sponsor of terrorism, changing the circumstances
surrounding the issue of North Korea's past abductions of Japanese
citizens. In that environment, family members of abduction victims
met yesterday with Ambassador Thomas Schieffer at his official
residence. One family member emphasized: "We truly regret the U.S.
delisting decision. We hope that the U.S. will not delist the North
if there is no progress on the abduction issue." Meanwhile, the
family members have begun to question the Japanese government's own
approach to resolve the issue.

The Ambassador met four family members: Shigeo Iizuka, 70, chairman
of the Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North
Korea, Shigeru Yokota, 75, Sakie Yokota, 72, and Teruaki Masumoto,
52.

The U.S. Embassy suddenly extended an unexpected invitation to the
families on the evening of July 1. The Ambassador has long indicated
great interest in the abduction issue. He once visited the site in
Niigata where Megumi Yokota, then 13 years old, was kidnapped.

The Ambassador repeatedly quoted President Bush's remarks: "The U.S.
promises to do its best to resolve the abduction issue;" and "The
U.S. will never forget the abduction issue." Sakie commented after
the meeting: "I felt he was serious about the issue, just as he used
to be. I believe him."

Before meeting the Ambassador, Mr. and Mrs. Yokota gave a press
conference at the Foreign Correspondent's Club of Japan. Speaking
before the foreign press, Shigeru Yokota said: "We are asking the
U.S. for cooperation but not to resolve the issue," posing a
question about the Japanese government's capability to do such.

4) U.S. Ambassador in meeting with abductees' families: "We will do
our best to resolve the issue"

NIKKEI (Page 38) (Full)
July 3, 2008

Family members of victims abducted by North Korean agents met with
U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer at his official residence
yesterday. The Ambassador sought their understanding regarding
Washington's decision to delist North Korea as a terrorism sponsor,
stating: "The abduction issue is important before and after the
decision." Noting that North Korea's had withdrawn its assertion
that the abduction issue had already been settled, Schieffer said:
"This might be a small step forward, but we will do our best so that
the issue is resolved."


TOKYO 00001824 004 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

The meeting was held at the request of the Ambassador. Shigeo
Iizuka, 70, elder brother of abduction victim Yaeko Taguchi (who
went missing at the age of 22), told reporters after the meeting:
"Although we regret the U.S. decision, the Ambassador said, 'Unless
there had been this decision, not even the topic of the abduction
issue would have ever come up'. We gained the impression that the
U.S. is trying hard to help." Iizuka serves as chairman of the
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Koreas.
Iizuka added: "We asked the Ambassador that the U.S. include
progress on the abduction issue among the conditions for
implementing the delisting decision."

Shigeru Yokota, 75, father of Megumi Yokota, another abduction
victim (13 at that time) commented: "The Ambassador explained that
the designation of the North as a terrorism sponsor is just one of
many sanctions the U.S. has imposed on the North and is not a very
big one. We will watch carefully now to see how things will
develop."

Teruaki Masumoto, 52, younger brother of abduction victim Rumiko
Masumoto (24 at that time), said disappointedly: "We had continued
telling (the U.S.) in a strong tone that the delisting issue would
affect the fate of the families of the abduction victims. It might
be impossible to develop a shared understanding of this issue."

5) G-8 to urge N. Korea for complete nuke abandonment

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 3, 2008

Japan will soon host this year's Group of Eight (G-8) summit at Lake
Toya in its northernmost main island of Hokkaido, and the political
agenda for the G-8 summit includes strengthening a multilateral
regime for the nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction. When
it comes to nuclear weapons, the G-8 will call on all nuclear
powers, including major countries, for transparent disarmament.
Specifically, the G-8 summit will call for North Korea-which has now
declared its nuclear programs-to abandon its nuclear development
completely, and will step up international pressure. In addition to
a summit declaration and a chair summary, the G-8 summit will also
adopt a special antiterror document.

The G-8 leaders appreciate the fact that the United States, Britain,
France, and Russia have been promoting disarmament while showing the
number of nuclear weapons remaining in their arsenals. In this
regard, the G-8 summit will confirm that its members will make
further efforts for nuclear disarmament. This is also meant to
constrain China, which is not necessarily pushing for disarmament in
a visible way.

In addition, the G-8 leaders will discuss how to deal with North
Korea, which has declared its nuclear programs, and with Iran, which
is enriching uranium. The G-8 will also urge North Korea to give up
its nuclear development completely through the six-party talks.
However, Russia is cautious about clear pressure.

The G-8 summit will also feature casting a dragnet on biochemical
weaponry. Its members will make still greater efforts for the safe
control of materials that could be used to develop weapons. The G-8
has already established a regime that helps Russia dismantle its
retired nuclear-powered submarines. In this connection, the G-8
summit will consider expanding its framework for former Soviet

TOKYO 00001824 005 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

states, Southeast Asian countries, and Middle East countries.

The G-8 leaders will also talk about enhancing international
cooperation against the threat of terrorism.

6) Former North Korean agent: Megumi Yokota was at guest center in
1982-1983

SANKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
July 3, 2008

Ruriko Kubota, Seoul

A former North Korean agent, who uses the pseudonym of Kang Yong Il,
provided some details to the Sankei Shimbun July 2 on the life in
North Korea of Megumi Yokota, who was kidnapped in 1977 at the age
of 13. According to the 44-year-old former North Korean agent, who
now lives in South Korea, Megumi lived for about one year from 1982
in a guest center for agents in Pyongyang where Kang lived as well,
and he saw her again at a hospital for agents in 1986. Since the
whereabouts of Megumi in 1981 and 1982 has been unknown, the focus
is now on what the former North Korean agent has revealed about
Megumi's life as an abductee. Kang also revealed that he had
witnessed about 10 Japanese who had been abducted.

In 1997, former North Korea agent An Myong Jin was the first to
provide testimony regarding Megumi. Kang was an agent of the
International Department of the Workers' Party of Korea. He was
arrested in a third country in the first half of the 1990s and
transferred to South Korea.

Kang, who was selected as an agent of the International Department,
was educated at an isolation facility in Pyongyang called "guest
center" for about one year from 1982. During that period, he often
saw a young Japanese woman who was living with a North Korean woman
in the same room in the guest center. According to Kang, about 10
years later in South Korea he learned that the Japanese woman was
Megumi.

When Kang was at the isolation facility, Megumi told him that she
was Japanese and she would return to Japan in three years. Kang said
that she was a person with a sunny disposition and wore
Japanese-made training wear. There is also information that Megumi
was told that if she mastered Korean, she would be able to go back
to Japan where her mother lives, according to a Japanese source
familiar with the abduction issue.

Kang met Megumi again in the summer of 1986 in the agent hospital
called the 915 Guest Center in Pyongyang. Megumi came to Kan, and
said: "Mr. Kang." They stood chatting. At that time, too, she was
accompanied by a North Korea woman and she wore a black suit. She
told him that she had undergone a gynecological examination. Kang
said that her Korean was extremely fluent and that she was a
beautiful woman.

Megumi told Kang that she was living in a guest center in the
Samsok district and she left the hospital along with the North
Korean woman in a Mercedes-Benz, according to Kan.

7) Russian president expresses willingness to resolve territorial
issue with Japan: Possibility of modifying policy line


TOKYO 00001824 006 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

ASAHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
July 3, 2008

Russian President Medvedev on July 1 gave an interview to the Asahi
Shimbun and other major dailies of the G-8 nations. Referring to the
Northern Territories issue, Medvedev said, "Japan and Russia should
confer on the issue, based on the various past statements and make
progress on it." He indicated a strong desire to settle the issue,
saying, "If we work in an amicable way without allowing our contacts
to slacken, we will have a chance to reach an agreement." Chances
are that talks on the territorial issue, which are at a deadlock,
will gain impetus, occasioned by the bilateral summit with Prime
Minister Fukuda slated to be held at the G-8 summit in Hokkaido
starting on July 7.

This is the first time for Medvedev to meet a Japanese news company
since he took office in May. He also gave high scores to North
Korea's submission of a nuclear declaration, based on the six-party
agreement, and its blowing up of a nuclear facility, as a step in
the right direction. He then indicated his government's stance,
"Russia will continue to fulfill its obligations, including fuel
assistance to Pyongyang, in order to bring about an overall
normalization of the situation on the Korean Peninsula."

The president prior to the G-8 summit talked about Russia's internal
affairs and the international situation, including foreign affairs,
financial uncertainties and the energy issue, in an interview with
news companies of G-8 member nations, which lasted for about an hour
and a half. He also highly evaluated the present state of
Japan-Russia relations, saying: "Prospects for bilateral trade are
favorable as can be seen in the fact that the trade has topped 20
billion dollars. Both countries are also in agreement on their
stances toward issues facing human beings, such as terrorism and
climate change."

Outline of interview

? Japan and Russia should confer on and bring progress to the
Northern Territories issue, based on the various past statements.
? Russia will continue to fulfill its obligations for the
normalization of the Korean Peninsula.
? A new financial system is necessary, because various international
economic systems created in the 1960s and 1970s are not functioning
well.
? In order to settle the soaring energy price issue, it is necessary
for consumer nations, producer nations and transporter nations to
confer on the matter.
? There is no change in my policy priorities from the Putin
administration. However, the accentuation of the implementation of
policy will change.
? Tackle the corruption issue.

8) Japan to construct agricultural complexes in West Bank as part of
assistance for Middle East peace process

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
July 3, 2008

Cabinet ministers from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Jordan and
Japan met yesterday, July 2, in Tokyo, in connection with Japan's
initiative of creating a "Corridor for Peace and Prosperity" that
would promote the economic independence of the Palestinians.

TOKYO 00001824 007 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

Participants agreed to start building infrastructure needed for the
construction of agricultural complexes, the key part of the concept,
possibly in 2009.

The Japan-proposed concept is aimed at indirectly helping move the
peace process forward through the use of economic assistance at a
time when peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority
have stalled. The participants for the first time issued a press
statement that included specific details.

According to the statement, the envisaged agricultural complexes
will be constructed in the southern part of Jericho in the
autonomous area governed by the Palestinians on the west bank of the
Jordan River. The project envisages a future expansion into
neighboring areas. Foreign Minister Koumura stated, "It would be
possible to create up to 6,000 jobs, as the project progresses. The
project will create jobs for people in the area and offer hopes for
the future." The Tokyo meeting, joined by Israeli Environment
Protection Minister Ezra, Palestinian Minister of Planning Abdullah
and Jordanian Foreign Minister Al-Bashir, is the third ministerial,
following the one held in Jericho in August 2007.

Japan wants to show a stance of being engaged in the Middle East
peace process as a country hosting the Lake Toya Summit in Hokkaido.
However, tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are
rising due to Israel's move to expand its settlements. The
autonomous area is split with the Fatah effectively ruling the West
Bank and the Gaza Strip ruled by the Hamas. As such, the project
only targets the West Bank.

9) Japan, U.S. to agree in upcoming bilateral summit to assist
Africa in combating infectious diseases

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
July 3, 2008

The governments of Japan and the United States decided yesterday to
jointly extend assistance to Africa in the field of healthcare, such
the eradication of cholera and endemic diseases. An agreement will
be reached in a Japan-U.S. summit to be held on July 6, the day
before the Group of Eight Lake Toya Summit begins. Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda also will ask other G-8 members for cooperation during
their talks on July 7.

Japan and the United States will jointly assist Africa in combating
14 neglected tropical diseases (NTD), such as cholera, dengue, and
filarial disease, plus three major infectious diseases -- AIDS,
tuberculosis, and malaria. Taking countermeasures is imperative in
order to stem spreading diseases and high death rates in developing
countries that are the results of poor hygiene.

Of all subjects to be discussed in the G-8 summit, President George
W. Bush is said to place top priority on African issues. The
President announced in February this year the United States would
contribute 350 million dollars to a program providing medical
supplies for eradicating the NTD. The policy to use the official
development assistance budget to curb or eradicate the NTD is
specified in the Yokohama Action Plan, adopted at the fourth Tokyo
International Conference on African Development (TICAD) held in
Yokohama in May.

Japan plans to make special efforts to nurture human resources by

TOKYO 00001824 008 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

giving technological guidance to medical institutions, improve
habitual patterns, and secure safe water. A senior Foreign Ministry
official said: "The United States places an emphasis on the
provision of medical supplies, while Japan aims at enhancing the
system, such as technology and human sources. A combination of the
two will add up to effective countermeasures against diseases."

10) Fukuda to leave for Beijing by ASDF U-4 multipurpose aircraft to
attend Olympics' opening ceremony

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
July 3, 2008

The government has considered using U-4 multipurpose aircraft,
instead of government aircraft, as a means to transport Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda to Beijing to attend the opening ceremony of
the Beijing Olympics on Aug. 8, according to informed sources
yesterday. The U-4 multipurpose craft is small-sized and
economically efficient. It will be the first time for a prime
minister to make use of U-4 aircraft for an overseas trip. It will
also be the first time for Self-Defense Force (SDF) aircraft to land
on Chinese land, excluding the special government plane belonging to
the Air Self-Defense Force. The government planned to transport
rescue goods by SDF aircraft for victims of the massive earthquake
in Sichuan Province in China in May, but the plan was cancelled due
to strong reactions from the Chinese public. SDF aircraft's landing
on China is likely to be finally realized.

When a prime minister makes an overseas trip, the government usually
flies a reserve plane in preparation against an accident. Based on
this practice and also out of the need to send personnel
accompanying the prime minister, the government intends to fly two
U-4 planes.

Fukuda is scheduled to leave Japan for Beijing by U-4 aircraft on
the morning of Aug. 8, the day of the opening ceremony. After
attending the ceremony on the night of the same day, he will leave
Beijing in the early hours of the 9th. He needs to arrive at Oomura
Airport in Nagasaki in time for the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Victims
Memorial Peace Prayer Ceremony to start at 10:40. He also plans to
attend an atomic bomb victims' memorial ceremony in Hiroshima on the
6th.

Fukuda initially planned to hold bilateral meetings with Chinese
President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Bush while in Beijing, but
given the tight schedule, he has given up these meetings.

Usually, the government uses government aircraft - a Boeing-made
jumbo jet (747) with about 150 seats - for overseas trips by the
Emperor, the Empress, and the prime minister. In contrast, the U-4
plane has only 19 seats, so it is featured by freedom of movement
and is economically efficient. The ASDF has five U-4 airplanes.

11) New Komeito's Kanzaki: "Prime Minister might have to resign if
his support rates remain low"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
July 3, 2008

Takenori Kanzaki, a former representative of the New Komeito,
delivering a speech in Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, last night,
indicated that Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda might have to resign from

TOKYO 00001824 009 OF 009

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 07//08

the post before the next Lower House election depending on how the
rate of support for his cabinet shifts. Kanzaki said: "We don't know
when the next Lower House election will occur. It is also unknown
whether the lower chamber will be dissolved under Prime Minister
Fukuda after his support rates rise or whether it will be dissolved
under the prime minister after Fukuda, who may have to resign due to
sagging support ratings." Kanzaki has become the first ruling party
heavyweight to publicly mention the possibility of Prime Minister
Fukuda resigning.

In the wake of the LDP candidate's defeat in a Lower House Yamaguchi
by-election in April, there is discontent in the New Komeito, with
one lawmaker saying: "We cannot fight the next Lower House election
while the prime minister's support rates are so low." Kanzaki's
statement apparently reflected such a mood in his party.

12) DPJ lacks funds for summer; Lower House race requires 10 billion
yen

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
July 3, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan has been sending out messages about
its lack of funds. Although President Ozawa has declared that the
party will enter full-fledged election mode in summer, a party
executive complained: "We don't have money. Things could go terribly
wrong if a Lower House race were to begin now." But their complaints
are so bold that some take the view that it is a DPJ ploy to lure
Prime Minister Fukuda into an early Lower House dissolution.

The party's income centers on political subsidies that are
distributed in accordance with the number of seats and votes
collected. Its subsidies for fiscal 2008 come to approximately 11.8
billion yen. Some 10 billion yen is required as campaign funds.
Because political subsidies are provided in four installments
annually, only part of the subsidies is in the party's coffers.
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, the "cash-box keeper," has implied
that his party currently lacks funds, saying to his aide, "We will
be fully ready when the term of the Lower House members expires (in
September 2009)."

The DPJ is scheduled to throw a fund-raising party on July 14 with
the aim of raising 250 million yen. Some described the amount a
small sum. The party is chronically suffering from a lack of money.
Even President Ozawa jokingly said to Hatoyama, who has considerable
wealth, over a dinner in early April, "Give us your assets."

SCHIEFFER

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