Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 07//08

VZCZCXRO6850
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1942/01 1970126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150126Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5812
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 1211
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8837
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2569
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7058
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9420
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4350
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0341
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0752

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 001942

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

Index:

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

Opinion polls:
4) Fuji-Sankei poll: Majority of public sees no effective results
from G-8 Summit; Fukuda Cabinet support rate sinks to 21.7 PERCENT
(Sankei)
5) Asahi poll: 60 PERCENT fault Fukuda for "lack of leadership" at
G-8 Summit; Cabinet support low remains low at 24 PERCENT (Asahi)

6) Yomiuri poll: 52 PERCENT of public give the G-8 summit low
marks; Cabinet support rate inches up to 27 PERCENT (Yomiuri)
7) Mainichi poll: Fukuda Cabinet support rate remains low at 22
PERCENT , while 62 PERCENT unhappy with prime minister's "lack of
leadership" (Mainichi)
8) Kyodo poll: Cabinet support rate about the same at 26 PERCENT
(Tokyo Shimbun)
9) Public favors Fukuda (37 PERCENT ) over DPJ President Ozawa (28
PERCENT ) as more "appropriate" to be prime minister (Asahi)

Korean Peninsula issues:
10) Japan isolated in the Six-Party Talks on North Korea since it
refuses to provide aid to that country pending results on abduction
issue (Yomiuri)
11) Flap widens between Japan, Republic of Korea over disputed
Takeshima isles being mentioned in teacher guidelines for
middle-school textbook (Asahi)
12) ROK recalls ambassador to protest inclusion of Takeshima as
Japan's territory in teacher's guideline for textbook (Asahi)

Defense and security issues:
13) 30,000 demonstrate in Yokosuka against deployment of
nuclear-powered carrier, USS George Washington (Akahata)
14) P3C patrol planes likely to be sent as part of SDF's plan
dispatch to Afghanistan of reconstruction aid, but New Komeito
remains wary (Sankei)
15) When GSDF was stationed in Samawah, Iraq, the unit was fired on
13 times in total, despite being in a "non-combat zone" (Tokyo
Shimbun)
16) Final set of proposals for Defense Ministry reform would
integrate some bureaus and offices (Mainichi)

Political scene:
17) LDP election committee chair Koga urges Fukuda to shuffle his
cabinet (Yomiuri)
18) Fukuda on vacation starting tomorrow for six days, mostly at
home (Yomiuri)
19) DPJ decides to resume participation in deliberations when
extraordinary Diet session opens in late August (Mainichi)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Takeshima specified in middle school textbook guidelines

Mainichi:
FTC to start full-fledged investigation into alleged bid-rigging on

TOKYO 00001942 002 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

vehicle driving services ordered by MLIT

Yomiuri:
Erroneously issued emergency quake warning halts subway systems

Nikkei:
Summer bonus payments to drop for first time in six years

Sankei:
Japan's sovereignty over Takeshima not specified in middle school
guidelines

Tokyo Shimbun:
Fishermen to halt operations today due to soaring fuel costs

Akahata:
30,000 citizens rally against deployment of U.S. nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier to Yokosuka

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Takeshima issue: Japan, South Korea must prevent chain of
negative reactions
(2) U.S. financial crisis needs bold steps

Mainichi:
(1) Territorial issues including Takeshima require calm responses
(2) Fukawa incident: Take steps speedily to rescue falsely accused
individuals

Yomiuri:
(1) Teach the truth: Takeshima part of Japan
(2) Public-interest corporation reform: Put end to vicious cycle of
hiring retiring bureaucrats and receiving orders

Nikkei:
(1) U.S. government to inject public funds into mortgage giants
(2) Future of Korean Peninsula murky

Sankei:
(1) Cabinet support ratings: Prime minister's foreign policy vision
unclear
(2) Teach children clearly that Takeshima is Japan's territory

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) DPJ leadership race: Preliminary election called for
(2) Calmness essential in Takeshima issue

Akahata:
(1) JCP celebrate 86th anniversary today

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, 13 & 14

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 15, 2008

July 13
Spent the whole day in his official residence.


TOKYO 00001942 003 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

July 14
10:04
Met at Kantei with Agriculture Minister Wakabayashi and Agriculture
Vice Minister for International Affairs Murakami, followed by Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi and Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Saka. Futahashi remained.

11:24
Met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kono and Defense Ministry Defense
Policy Bureau chief Takamizawa.

11:40
Handed written official appointment to Mitsui Bussan's advisor
Aihara as member of the Japanese side of the APEC Business Council,
joined by Foreign Ministry Economic Affairs Bureau chief Otabe and
METI Trade Policy Bureau chief Ishige.

12:01
Attended government-ruling coalition meeting.

14:40
Met with Special Advisor Ito.

15:01
Attended monthly economic report-connected meeting. Met with Chief
Cabinet Secretary Machimura. Met afterwards with Foreign Ministry
Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau chief Saiki.

16:02
Returned to his official residence.

17:23
Had photo session with Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai at Edo Tokyo
Museum.

18:16
Held informal meeting with reporters assigned to Kantei at
okonomiyaki restaurant Matsunami in Nihonbashi-Ningyocho.

20:41
Returned to his official residence.

4) Fuji-Sankei poll: Fukuda cabinet support rate reaches its lowest
at 21.7 PERCENT , with no boost coming from the G-8 Summit; Public
dissatisfied with Prime Minister's leadership

SANKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
July 15, 2008

In a public opinion survey carried out jointly by the Sankei Shimbun
and the Fuji-Sankei Network on July 12-13, the support rate for the
Fukuda Cabinet, which was 22 PERCENT in the last poll (June 14-15),
slipped 0.3 point to 21.7 PERCENT , the lowest rating (in this
series). The non-support rate, too, stayed high at over 60 PERCENT ,
recording 61.2 PERCENT . Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda had hoped that
the G-8 Summit held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido would bring about a
recovery of his support rate, but many people saw the Prime Minister
there as lacking in leadership, and so were disappointed.

Among the questions on the results of the G-8 Summit, the reply to
the one on the shared target of halving greenhouse-gas emissions by
2050, found a majority or 52.5 PERCENT evaluating it positively.

TOKYO 00001942 004 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

However, on the abductions issue having been included in the leaders
statement, 47.7 were unappreciative, far more than 36.5 PERCENT who
positively evaluated the move. The reason for the dissatisfaction
seems to be that even though the abduction issue was mentioned for
the first time in the leaders' statement, it and the North Korea
nuclear issue were referred to with a few words.

On the question of Fukuda's leadership at the G-8 Summit, only 19.9
PERCENT have him high marks, while about 70 PERCENT (69.9 PERCENT
) did not appreciate his performance. About 80 PERCENT (79.6
PERCENT ) gave the Prime Minister low marks for leadership in
running his administration. Only 10.7 PERCENT said they appreciated
his leadership. The public's disgruntlement toward the Prime
Minister's lack of leadership indeed is deep-seated.

Regarding party support rates, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
for the first time (in this series) outweighs the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP). In the survey, the support rate for the DPJ rose 4.4
points to 29.0 PERCENT , while that of the LDP slipped 1 point to
23.0 PERCENT . The gap has widened to six points. The trend of the
DPJ's support rate outpacing that of the LDP has strengthened,
bringing about a sense of alarm in the ruling camp toward the next
Lower House election.

5) Poll: Cabinet support remains low at 24 PERCENT

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
July 15, 2008

The Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based nationwide public
opinion survey on July 12-13, in which the rate of public support
for Prime Minister Fukuda's cabinet remained low at 24 PERCENT (23
PERCENT in the4 last survey taken June 14-15). The Fukuda cabinet's
support rate has been below 30 PERCENT since April. The nonsupport
rate was 58 PERCENT (59 PERCENT in the last survey). In the
survey, only 24 PERCENT answered "yes" and 60 PERCENT said "no"
when asked if Fukuda had displayed leadership as the host of the
Group of Eight (G-8) summit held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido. The G-8
summit does not seem to have given any boost to the Fukuda
administration.

The G-8 leaders decided at the summit to call on the world to halve
greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, and they also agreed to share the
goal without setting a numerical benchmark. In the survey,
respondents were also asked if they had appreciated this result. In
response, ""no" accounted for 53 PERCENT , and "yes" was at 32
PERCENT . China, India, and other newly emerging countries insisted
that advanced countries should first reduce their greenhouse gas
emissions. Asked if this standpoint was convincing, 37 PERCENT
answered "yes," with 50 PERCENT saying "no."

Meanwhile, the United States is now in the process of delisting
North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. In the survey,
respondents were asked if they appreciated this. To this question,
"yes" accounted for only 17 PERCENT , with "no" reaching 71 PERCENT
. Asked how this move for delisting would affect a solution to the
issue of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea, 51 PERCENT
were concerned about a "bad impact," with 30 PERCENT saying there
would be "no impact" and 4 PERCENT saying there would be a "good
impact."

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling

TOKYO 00001942 005 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

Liberal Democratic Party stood at 26 PERCENT (22 PERCENT in the
last survey), with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) at 24 PERCENT (22 PERCENT in the last survey). The LDP
outstripped the DPJ for the first time since April.

6) Poll: Cabinet support up slightly to 27 PERCENT

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
July 15, 2008

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a face-to-face nationwide public
opinion survey on July 12-13, in which the rate of public support
for Prime Minister Fukuda's cabinet was 26.6 PERCENT , showing a
slight increase of 1.5 percentage points from last month. Meanwhile,
the nonsupport rate was 61.3 PERCENT , showing a decrease of 2.1
points from last month. The Fukuda cabinet's support rate, which was
on the decline in the January and following surveys, stopped
dropping for the time being.

Fukuda hosted the recent Group of Eight (G-8) summit held at Lake
Toya in Hokkaido, expecting it to boost his administration. In the
survey, however, 44 PERCENT answered "yes" and 52 PERCENT said
"no" when were asked if they appreciated the G-8 summit. The event
does not seem to have boosted the Fukuda cabinet's support rate,
which remains below 30 PERCENT .

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party stood at 27.2 PERCENT , up 1.2 points from
last month, with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) at 18.8 PERCENT , down 1.7 points from last month. The
DPJ, though squaring off with the Fukuda administration, remains
unable to expand its public support.

Respondents were also asked which political party they will vote for
in their proportional representation blocs if and when there is an
election for the House of Representatives. To this question,
however, the DPJ outstripped the LDP, with the DPJ scoring 27
PERCENT (down 1.0 points from last month) and the LDP at 26 PERCENT
(up 1.0 points from last month). The DPJ was above the LDP in the
latest survey, following the survey taken last month.

7) Poll: 27 PERCENT see Fukuda as displaying leadership at G-8
summit; Cabinet support level at 22 PERCENT

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
July 15, 2008

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based nationwide public
opinion survey on July 12-13. The rate of public support for Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda's cabinet was 22 PERCENT , up 1.0 points from
the last survey taken in June. Fukuda hosted the recent Group of
Eight (G-8) summit that at Lake Toya in Hokkaido on July 6-9. In the
survey, when respondents were asked if they thought Fukuda displayed
leadership, 62 PERCENT answered "no," with 27 PERCENT saying
"yes." Respondents were also asked if their evaluation of Fukuda
changed after the G-8 summit. In response, 83 PERCENT answered
"no." The figure shows that the G-8 summit does not seem to have
boosted Fukuda's administration.

The Fukuda cabinet's support rate, which hit a low of 18 PERCENT in
this May's survey, increased for the first time since the last
survey and reached 21 PERCENT . The government and the ruling

TOKYO 00001942 006 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

coalition expected a boost for the Fukuda administration, taking it
that the support rate stopped dropping. However, the support rate
was slightly up for the second time in a row. The nonsupport rate
was 54 PERCENT , showing a decrease of 6.0 points from the last
survey. Those not interested accounted for 21 PERCENT , up 4.0
points.

8) Poll: Cabinet support levels off

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged)
July 13, 2008

The approval rating for the cabinet of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
was 26.8 PERCENT in a public opinion survey conducted by Kyodo News
across the nation on July 11-12 after the Group of Eight (G-8)
summit held at Lake Toya in Hokkaido, leveling off from the 25.0
PERCENT rating in the last survey taken in June. The disapproval
rating was 53.5 PERCENT , showing a decrease of 6.7 percentage
points. In the survey, respondents were asked if they thought Fukuda
had displayed leadership as the chair of the G-8 summit. In response
to this question, 51.4 PERCENT answered "no," with 30.3 PERCENT
saying "yes."

Fukuda's aides wanted the G-8 summit to give a boost to his
administration. However, the survey did not show such an effect. The
nonsupport rate also remains high, topping 50 PERCENT . Fukuda will
still face difficulties in steering his government, including his
decision whether to shuffle his cabinet.

In the survey, respondents were asked about the framework of
government they would support. To this question, 45.3 PERCENT chose
a coalition government centering on the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), up 4.9 points. Meanwhile, 31.2
PERCENT picked a coalition government centering on the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party, down 3.9 points. The DPJ topped the LDP
for the fourth time in a row. The gap between the two parties
expanded from 5.3 points in the last survey to 14.1 points.

In the breakdown of public support, the LDP and the DPJ were on a
par at 28.6 PERCENT . The LDP was down 0.5 points, with the DPJ up
5.0 points.

9) Asahi poll: Who is more appropriate to be prime minister? 37
PERCENT of public pick Fukuda, 28 PERCENT choose Ozawa; DPJ head
Ozawa unpopular among unaffiliated voters

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
July 15, 2008

In a national opinion poll carried out (by telephone) July 12-13,
the question was asked whether people found Prime Minister Fukuda or
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa more appropriate to
be premier. In the response, 37 PERCENT of the public chose Fukuda,
while 28 PERCENT picked Ozawa. Fukuda was the favorite. However, 35
PERCENT of the respondents chose the answer, "other, can't
answer."

Among the respondents to the question, 72 PERCENT of the supporters
of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) chose Fukuda, and 59 PERCENT
of the DPJ supporters picked Ozawa. Among the large numbers of
unaffiliated voters, 31 PERCENT were for Fukuda, and 22 PERCENT
were for Ozawa. That margin gave Fukuda the edge (in the overall

TOKYO 00001942 007 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

number of 37 PERCENT ).

Asked to evaluate Ozawa as president of the DPJ, 36 PERCENT
answered that they "greatly evaluated" him of "evaluated him to a
certain extent," while 61 PERCENT answered that they "did not
evaluate him very much," or "did not evaluate him at all." Limited
to the supporters of the DPJ, 66 PERCENT evaluated him, while 33
PERCENT did not.

10) Six-party talks: Japan faces isolation due to its refusal to
provide assistance to North Korea; South Korea expresses
disgruntlement

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2008

Beijing, Yoshiharu Asano, Yuji Anai

Akitaka Saiki, director general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and
Oceanian Affairs Bureau, at a meeting of chief delegates to the
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear program held on July 11
explained Japan's stand: "Since there has been no tangible progress
on relations between Japan and North Korea, including the abduction
cases, the situation is not yet conductive to allow us to extent
energy assistance to that nation. Japan is ready to join assistance
activities carried out by other nations as soon as possible,
provided that concrete progress has been made." However, Japan is
having difficulty dealing with the situation with other member
nations increasingly expressing their dissatisfaction with it.

According to a government source, the top U.S. envoy reportedly made
a statement showing understanding toward Japan's stance of attaching
importance to the abduction issue, saying, "The abduction issue is a
major issue. We hope North Korea will deal with the matter swiftly."
A Chinese delegate also reportedly noted, "We hope that North Korea
will seriously respond to Japan's concern."

On the other hand, referring to Japan's decision not to take part in
energy assistance to North Korea because of the unsettled abduction
issue, South Korea's top envoy Kim Sook, special representative for
Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs of the Foreign Affairs
and Trade, during a press conference held after the chief envoys'
meeting pointed out, "The U.S., South Korea, China and Russia are
not all convinced by Japan's stance." He sought Japan's
participation in the assistance activities.

11) Takeshima for first time mentioned in teachers manual for middle
school curriculum guidelines: Difference in stances of Japan, South
Korea described

ASAHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
July 15, 2008

The government on July 14 released a teachers manual for middle
school curriculum guidelines, which for the first time refers to the
Takeshima group of islets (known as Dokdo by South Korea), which
both Japan and South Korea claim. The manual does not use words "an
integral part of Japan" in referring to the islets, consideration
having been given to South Korea. However, the reaction from South
Korea has been strong.

The government was supposed to write a new manual this month before

TOKYO 00001942 008 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

the work of writing new school textbooks starts in fiscal 2009,
following the amendment to school curriculum guidelines in March. At
present, three out of six textbooks of geography and three out of
eight civics textbooks describe the Takeshima islets. It is viewed
that many more textbooks will mention the Takeshima islets in 2012,
when the use of textbooks written based on the new school curriculum
starts, as a result of the release of the manual this time.

Regarding the Northern Territories issue, the manual mentions that
it is necessary (for school textbooks) to properly deal with the
fact that Japan is seeking the return of the islands from Russia.
This time, for the first time the words are included: "It is
important (for teachers) to deepen students' understanding of our
country's territories as in the case of the Northern Territories, by
referring to a difference in the stances of Japan and South Korea
over the Takeshima islets."

The manual mentions that the Northern Territories are an integral
part of Japan. By mentioning that the Takeshima islets should be
treated similar to the Northern Territories issue, the manual
encourages teachers to indirectly tell students that the Takeshima
islets are an integral part of Japan.

Though South Korean President Lee Myung-bak had expressed a grave
concern about the matter, the government has stood firm on the
description of the Takeshima islets. However, it has given maximum
consideration to South Korea, by referring to a difference in the
stances of the two countries over the islets and adding new words
"illegally occupied" only to the description of the Northern
Territories issue.

12) South Korean government "deeply disappointed": Ambassador to
Japan to be recalled

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Following the Japanese government's decision to include the
Takeshima islets in a manual for school curriculum guidelines for
middle schools, the South Korean President's Office on July 14
released President Lee Myung-bak's comment expressing deep
disappointment and regret at the Japanese government's decision in
view of the agreement reached at the bilateral summit to pursue a
future-oriented partnership.

Lee then ordered a strict and resolute measure. Foreign Affairs and
Trade Minister Yu Myung-hwan on July 14 summoned Ambassador to South
Korea Toshinori Shigeie to the Foreign Ministry to lodge a protest.
He sought the removal of the description. South Korean Ambassador to
Japan Kwon Chul Hyun will file a protest with Foreign Minister
Koumura on the 15th and temporarily return home the same day.

The South Korean government will decide what to do about the
resumption of summit diplomacy, which both countries have agreed on,
and whether to change other diplomatic schedules, after determining
the Japanese government's response and moves in public opinion in
the nation.

The ROK Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs on July 14
released a Dokdo Utilization Implementation Program totaling 8.4
billion won (approximately 900 million yen) covering 14 items in
five areas in order to strengthen the nation's control of the

TOKYO 00001942 009 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

islets.

In the meantime, senior officials of the ruling Grand National Party
and the opposition Democratic Party on the morning of the same day
landed at Takeshima and encouraged coast-guard personnel there.
Voices criticizing Japan are growing in South Korea.

13) 30,000 protest against US aircraft carrier deployment to
Yokosuka

AKAHATA (Top Play) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Under the blazing sun on July 13, more than 30,000 people gathered
at the Verny Park in Yokosuka City, from which people can see U.S.
Yokosuka Naval Base. They held placards stating: "No aircraft
carrier," and "I Love Peace." The 7/13 National Large Rally in
Yokosuka was held at the grass-roots level to protest the deployment
of a U.S. aircraft carrier and the realignment and reinforcement of
U.S. naval base, the aim of being to place the government in a
difficult position.

Katsutoshi Nakai, 22, of the Kanagawa Civil Engineering Yokosuka
Miura branch, said: "Meeting a lot of participants, I felt close
ties to people across the nation. Yokosuka will do its best." Nakai
and his group's members held up about 70 plastic umbrellas reading,
"The purpose of the aircraft carrier is not to protect Japan."

Kazumi Shibahara, 55, a resident of Ishikawa Prefecture, in which
the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) Komatsu base is shared by U.S.
forces, enthusiastically said: "I want to prevent Yokosuka from
becoming a front line base, which would be involved in America's
war. I came here to join with others protesting the deployment of
the U.S. nuclear carrier."

Mitsuo Sakauchi, chairman of the National confederation of Trade
Unions, pointed out that the deployment of a nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier is an affront to the people of a country that
suffered from atomic bombs, as well as to the democratic rights of
Yokosuka residents. In order to strengthen nationwide cooperation,
he called on the participants to put a halt to the realignment and
reinforcement of U.S. forces in Japan. The participants responded by
chanting: "Yes!"

After the gathering, the demonstrators marched through the city and
protested in front of the gate of the U.S. base.

14) Government likely to use P-3C patrol planes in assistance for
Afghanistan in consideration of New Komeito's concerns

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
July 12, 2008

The government began considering on July 11 adding patrol activities
to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's operation in the Indian Ocean
as part of Japan's assistance to Afghanistan, which is certain to
take center stage in the extraordinary Diet session expected to open
in late August. Coordination is underway to add the step to the
MSDF's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean in amending the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which is scheduled to expire
next January.


TOKYO 00001942 010 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

Although the government is also considering using Ground
Self-Defense Force helicopters and Air Self-Defense Force transport
planes to airlift supplies, the New Komeito, the LDP's coalition
partner, is reluctant to agree to using such means. The government
is endeavoring to bridge the gap with the New Komeito in order to
make a final decision on contents of aid in early August.

According to a government source, the Defense Ministry considered
the contents of assistance by the Ground, Maritime, and Air
Self-Defense Forces after receiving a report by the government's
fact-finding team that stayed in Afghanistan from June 8 through
18.

As a result, a plan has emerged to use the GSDFs' CH-47 helicopters
to airlift personnel and supplies from Bagram Air Base near
Afghanistan's capital of Kabul to the International Security
Assistance Force's (ISAF) hub airport up in the north. The ASDF will
carry out transport activities between Bagram Air Base and a U.S.
base in Tajikistan using C-130s. A plan has remained to use the
MSDF's P-3Cs to carry out patrol activities in the skies over the
Diego Garcia-Oman-Djibouti triangle in the Indian Ocean.

The fact-finding team's results showed a great need for ground
assistance in the unstable southern part of the country. At the same
time, the relatively stable northern part is also in need of CH-47
helicopters. A Defense Ministry source has described the northern
part as the safest area where the GSDF can carry out activities.

But concerned about the safety of SDF personnel and the possible use
of force, which is prohibited under the Constitution, the New
Komeito has reacted negatively to this plan. The party has shown the
same reaction to using the ASDF's C-130s to airlift supplies. In the
event the MSDF's P-3C patrol plane finds a suspicious vessel, it
would report it to the U.S. military for action by multinational
force vessels. In terms of safety, this makes it easier to obtain
understanding.

15) Details unveiled of 13 attacks on GSDF camp in Samawah, with 22
shells landing, exposing danger of "noncombat area"

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Excerpts)
July 13, 2008

The details of 13 mortar and rocket attacks on the Ground
Self-Defense Force (GSDF) camp in Samawah, Iraq, have been disclosed
through the data of the Joint Staff Office obtained by the Tokyo
Shimbun. Of the shells fired, 22 landed, with four falling on the
site of the camp and 14 dropping within one kilometer from the camp.
July 16 marks the second anniversary of SDF troops having left Iraq.
The data show how dangerous the government-claimed "noncombat area"
was.

A rocket shell dropped on the SDF camp on Oct. 22, 2004, for the
first time. After that, three more rocket shells landed on the site
in a series of attacks, indicating that the shooters were expert at
handling weapons.

A shell fired Oct. 31 the same year went through a container on the
west side of the camp. At that time, tents were being used as
troops' quarters. In response to growing calls for strengthened
defense measures, the GSDF established concrete quarters, taking
more than one year.

TOKYO 00001942 011 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08


The shells were all fired from somewhere near a housing district
north of the camp. The attackers disappeared into the darkness
immediately after firing, so their motives remain unknown. Former
GSDF Chief of Staff Hajime Massaki, now advisor to the Defense
Ministry, said: "Since there were no intensive attacks, it is
inconceivable that the shooters' aim was to have the SDF withdraw
from Iraq. It is highly likely that the attacks were made by a tribe
dissatisfied at having been unable to get jobs at the camp."

A senior Joint Staff Office member remarked: "Japan constructed
hospitals in 13 locations in Iraq with official development
assistance. Iraqi people placed excessive expectations on the SDF,
but what they could do were limited. I think people's frustration
against Japan's reconstruction aid exploded."

The 13 attacks with 22 shells were more critical than expected. SDF
troops, while reinforcing defense, tried to establish a friendly
relationship with local residents by proactively mingling with them.
Small projects were also carried out with grassroots grant aid under
the jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry in an effort to prevent
attacks.

16) Final draft of Defense Ministry reform calls for integrating
internal bureaus and SDF staff offices

MAINICHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
Evening, July 12, 2008

The government's council on Defense Ministry reform, chaired by
Tokyo Electric Power Co. Advisor Naoya Minami, outlined its final
report today. The report includes measures to integrate and
reorganize civilian personnel from internal bureaus and uniformed
personnel from the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) staff offices. By
forming a mixed organization, the panel aims to reduce harmful
influences from the traditional sectional rivalries. The panel will
submit the final report to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on July 15.

It has been pointed out that a lack of cooperation between civilian
personnel and uniformed personnel and their attitude of laying blame
on the other side have led to a series of scandals. The final draft
calls for maintaining in principle the current organization system
with internal bureaus and the Joint, Ground, Maritime, and Air Staff
Offices. But it proposes enabling uniformed personnel to assume up
to the post of vice chief in internal bureaus, though such personnel
are unable to assume a higher post than division director under the
current system, as well as allowing civilian personnel to become
vice president at joint offices, in a bid to strengthen cooperation
between civilian personnel and uniformed personnel

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba proposed integrating and
reorganizing internal bureaus and each of the SDF's staff offices
into three sections. But the Prime Minister's Office (Kantei)
expressed concern about the proposal, with one official grumbling:
"If SDF personnel are deeply involved in policymaking, problems
might appear in terms of civilian control." Partially introducing
the Ishiba proposal, the draft report comes up with the policy of
promoting the establishment of a mixed organization.

On administrative work of units, the report suggests that the
operation and planning bureau among the internal bureaus be
disbanded and leave the task only in the hands of the unit operation

TOKYO 00001942 012 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

section in the Joint Staff Office. However, the report specifies
that the defense policymaking bureau will be tasked with
policymaking for unit operations, giving consideration to the
concern harbored by the Kantei.

17) LDP's Koga calls for cabinet shuffle

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Appearing on a TV program on July 14, Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Election Strategy Council Chairman Makoto Koga said that in order to
narrow the economic disparities in society by correcting the
structural reform policy line, the cabinet should be shuffled. He
said: "We won't fight an election unless the Fukuda government makes
clear its direction. To show the public a change in the
administration's policy line from the Koizumi government's reform
policy, there should be a cabinet shuffle."

Referring to the possibility of political realignment after the next
House of Representatives election, Koga pointed out: "It is only
natural that there will be political realignment. We should head in
that direction."

18) Prime Minister Fukuda to take summer vacation from tomorrow

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
July 15, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is expected to take summer vacation for
six days from July 16 when he turns 72, until the 21st. Taking
advantage of the six-day vacation, which he will take for the first
time since assuming office, he intends to consider whether to
shuffle his cabinet and how to handle his administration, including
how to deal with the upcoming extraordinary Diet session, which will
be convened as early as late August. Fukuda plans to spend the
vacation in his official residence and private residence in Nozawa,
Tokyo.

19) DPJ set to return to deliberations in extraordinary Diet
session

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) started final coordination
yesterday to attend deliberations from the outset of the
extraordinary Diet session to be convened in late August. The main
opposition adopted a censure motion against Prime Minister Fukuda at
the House of Councillors in the latest ordinary Diet session, with
the aim of pressing the government to dissolve the House of
Representatives for a snap election by boycotting deliberations. But
the prime minister ignored it.

Keeping in mind the need to tackle such imminent tasks as
skyrocketing oil prices, the DPJ has judged it would be more
advantageous for it to grill the government in Diet deliberations.

In a press conference on July 10, Deputy President Naoto Kan
referred to soaring oil prices: "It is necessary to determine in the
extraordinary Diet session what response measures, including
budgetary ones, should be taken." He said: "It is naturally possible

TOKYO 00001942 013 OF 013

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07//08

for the party to present emergency economic measures to deal with
rising oil prices in the form of law," premised on the party
returning to Diet deliberations.

Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka said in a press
conference on the 7th: "(In the ruling camp,) there are calls for
taking up a supplementary budget to finance measures closely linked
to people's livelihood, such as countermeasures against natural
disasters.

CEKUTA

© 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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO: