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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/24/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 002045

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 07/24/08

INDEX:

(1) Mayor points to Futenma airfield's danger (Okinawa Times)

(2) Fukuda-style politics (Part 2): Diplomatic concept overwhelming
(Nikkei)

(3) Probe into Fukuda-style politics: Priority on reaching
consensus; His devotion to his job has yet to reach the public's
attention (Nikkei)

(4) Young DPJ lawmakers rising to confront bureaucracy (Tokyo
Shimbun)

(5) Japan's national foundation in danger (Sankei)

(6) Sluggish economy casting pall over fiscal reconstruction:
Cabinet Office revises down its outlook for growth in its economic
projection; Pressure for increased spending mounting with eye on
next Lower House election (Nikkei)

(7) TOP HEADLINES

(8) EDITORIALS

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, July 23 (Nikkei)

(Corrected copy) Interview with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice
Stephen Breyer: Ten months to go until introduction of citizen-judge
system in Japan; More impartiality of trial with involvement of
citizens (Tokyo Shimbun)

ARTICLES:

(1) Mayor points to Futenma airfield's danger

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
July 24, 2008

Ginowan City's Mayor Yoichi Iha yesterday called on the Okinawa
prefectural government office and met with Akira Uehara, chief of
the governor's office. In the meeting, Iha, basing his remarks on
the "clear zones" described in a U.S. military masterplan for
Futenma Air Station, which is located in his city, pointed out the
airfield's danger. Iha called on the prefectural government to share
a common view of Futenma airfield's danger and to discuss such in a
joint working team that would be set up with the central
government.

Uehara said: "Last August, Japan and the United States agreed on a
package of measures to improve the present situation. It's important
now to take further measures as quickly as possible to reduce the
danger." Although Uehara indicated this was the prefectural
government's standpoint, he did not refer to the clear zones. He
continued: "In the last consultative meeting (with the central
government), we agreed to create a working team. We will discuss
various matters there and work hard on this matter."

Iha will visit U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) headquarters in Hawaii
on July 27. "Futenma airfield's flight operations are not based on
the U.S. military's safety standards," Iha said, indicating that he
will call on PACOM to suspend not only heliborne but also fixed-wing

TOKYO 00002045 002 OF 012


aircraft training flights.

(2) Fukuda-style politics (Part 2): Diplomatic concept overwhelming

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2008

In April, there was an event symbolizing the way Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda carries out his diplomacy. It occurred when Japan
extended by six months the economic sanctions it has independently
imposed on North Korea. Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura
released a statement that went: "Once North Korea takes specific
action to resolve such pending issues as the abduction cases and the
nuclear and missile programs, Japan will be able to partially or
completely remove the sanctions." The phrase that can be taken as
that Japan would consider lifting sanctions was inserted in the
statement. An individual connected with the government explained
that that was a message to Pyongyang seeking a dialogue.

Two months later, Tokyo and Pyongyang agreed in working-level talks
that North Korea would reinvestigate the fate of Japanese nationals
abducted to that country. Accepting the reality that the United
States and North Korea are now moving closer, Fukuda's strategy of
seeking ways to resolve the abduction issue through dialogue has
achieved some progress. Immediately after that, Fukuda told
reporters in a strong tone: "If we do not hold negotiations, the
issue will never be resolved. Don't you agree?"

Fukuda has adopted a diplomatic approach of attaching priority to
dialogue, which is completely different from the "pressure approach"
taken by former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Fukuda's diplomatic
principle aims at resolving in turn such issues as the North Korean
problem, gas exploration in the East China Sea, the Takeshima isles
and northern territories disputes. He has adopted a so-called
"resonance diplomacy," taking over from his father Takeo Fukuda's
omnidirectional peace diplomacy.

Fukuda appears to have believed that if relations with other
countries are improved through dialogue, his "resonance diplomacy"
backed by the alliance with the U.S. would speed up the resolution
of the various issues.

His diplomatic method has begun to produce achievements in Japan's
relations with China. Talks between Tokyo and Beijing have paved the
way for the two countries to jointly develop gas fields in the East
China Sea. Fukuda announced in his summit meeting with U.S.
President George W. Bush, which occurred prior to his meeting with
Chinese President Hu Jintao, his intention to attend the opening
ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. In tandem with the United States,
he dispatched a message in which he stated that he places importance
on relations with China.

The intrinsic value of a dialogue approach will now be tested. The
U.S. government has informed Congress of its intention to remove
North Korea from the list of states that sponsor terrorism. If
Washington removes related sanctions on Pyongyang, Tokyo will lose
an important card to press for progress on the abduction front. A
senior Foreign Ministry official, very frustrated, said: "North
Korea will continue to maintain a low profile until August 11 when
it will be delisted. We will have to find our own breakthrough in
the deadlocked situation."


TOKYO 00002045 003 OF 012


Another challenge for the Fukuda administration is to improve ties
with South Korea, now strained over the Takeshima isles (Dokdo in
South Korea) (that both countries claim). The Japanese government's
decision to specify Japan's claim to sovereignty over the islets in
a teachers' manual for junior high schools has sparked a backlash in
South Korea. Since relations between Washington and Seoul also
having worsened, it is difficult for Japan to expect "resonance" to
have much of an effect.

One senior LDP member expressed concern, saying: "In terms of
boosting the Fukuda administration's popularity, there has been no
positive effect. He cannot run ahead only on diplomatic principles."
Of course, it takes a fair amount of time to resolve diplomatic
issues. Still, unless Fukuda steadily produces visible results, he
could be tripped up by diplomacy, his forte.

(3) Probe into Fukuda-style politics: Priority on reaching
consensus; His devotion to his job has yet to reach the public's
attention

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
July 19, 2008

Following the closing of the regular Diet session, Prime Minister
Yasuo on June 23 held a press conference in which he suddenly
decided not to announce one policy. He omitted to say he was
changing part of the government pledge on the pension record issue
and asking for further cooperation from the public to determine
accurate premium contribution records.

Suspends decision to backtrack on government pledge

The government had been busy dealing with the issue of massive
pension record errors, a problem that broke out during the previous
Abe administration. In the process of addressing the issue, it was
found that it would be difficult to meet the pledge to make a
database of original paper work and cross-check pension records due
to numerous related problems cropping up. Special Advisor to the
Prime Minister Tatsuya Ito in June proposed that the government
should make a fresh start, by offering an apology to the public. The
prime minister accepted his proposal.

However, the prime minister changed his decision right before a
press conference. Welfare Minister Yoichi Masuzoe, who had been
exposed to harsh criticism, told the prime minister to change the
contents of the announcement, alarmed that if the government
rescinded its commitment even partially, it could face collapse.
Following his advice, the prime minister stopped short of announcing
the government decision to backtrack on portions of the government
pledge.

The prime minister's sales point is that he attaches importance to
building consensus. That gave a sense of reassurance to those within
and outside the party. However, it can also be said that Fukuda can
be easily swayed by the opinions of experts in areas other than his
bailiwick. As a result, since he has been unable to make drastic
policy changes when it could have affected the whole course of his
administration, his presence has become even less visible.

A similar incident occurred over the environmental issue. After the
early May Golden Week holidays, aides close to the prime minister
started writing the "Fukuda Vision," which contained measures to

TOKYO 00002045 004 OF 012


address the global warming issue. They asked relevant government
agencies to submit numerical targets and policy measures for
inclusion in the vision.

The Fukuda Vision, when announced, however, turned out to be a mere
introduction of estimates for a mid-term goal. Specific measures to
cut greenhouse gas emissions were in effect put on the backburner.
Regarding an emissions trading system, the report simply included a
plan to conduct a demonstration experiment. This is due to the fact
that the prime minister listened to the views of business circles
and the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, which are against
the adoption of a goal that would be strongly enforced.

Absence of message sender

Drastic reform of special-purpose road construction tax revenues is
a major issue that even the Abe administration could not touch. The
issue was supposed to be a good material in buoying up the
administration. However, the prime minister gave consideration to
the wishes of road policy experts in the ruling camp, noting that
the construction of necessary roads would be secure. This stance
gave the impression that his resolve to tackle the road issue was
insincere. One aide to the prime minister said, "That is because he
has no one to deliver messages for the prime minister like former
State Minister for Postal Privatization Heizo Takenaka (during the
Koizumi administration)."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura flattered the prime
minister, "He appears aloof from the world, but he is in fact a very
passionate person." However, since the prime minister's political
style is to attach importance to building consensus and because he
has no one to deliver policy messages for him, he seems to be losing
the chance to turn a crisis into an opportunity.

(4) Young DPJ lawmakers rising to confront bureaucracy

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
July 23, 2008

In a Lower House Budget Committee session in May 2007, Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) Policy Research Committee Deputy Chair Akira
Nagatsuma questioned then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's response to
the question of a large number of unidentified pension accounts. In
response, Abe said in a strong tone: "We must not create anxiety
among the public."

Nagatsuma thought that he had heard a similar phrase somewhere in
the past.

In 1993 when Nagatsuma was a business reporter, he wrote an article
sounding an alarm against nonperforming loans held by housing loan
companies. A Finance Ministry official who had read the article told
him, "Don't inflame the public." Nagatsuma was surprised that the
government's weak crisis mentality had not changed.

Nagatsuma's dogged pursuit of the pension problems has earned him
the nickname "Mr. Pension." He has also uncovered a series of
scandals involving bureaucrats, such as gifts to key ministry
officials from taxi drivers. Nagatsuma's attention has been focused
on the corrupt system allowing bureaucrats and specific industries
to waste taxpayers' money.


TOKYO 00002045 005 OF 012


What bothers Nagatsuma, who continued to take on the bureaucracy, is
that only about 20 PERCENT of the DPJ lawmakers have served in the
administration. He does not want to see DPJ lawmakers dance to the
music provided by bureaucrats after taking the reins of government.
Nagatsuma has been preparing a meticulous blueprint to control
government officials.

Sumio Mabuchi, who played a major role in the Lower House Budget
Committee in the previous Diet session, is also eager to confront
bureaucrats after taking power. Mabuchi noted: "What to do after
winning a race is as important as winning the race itself. We must
be able to take control of the bureaucrats instantaneously."

Mabuchi, who was first elected to the Diet at the age of 43, has
made his name by pursuing the falsification of earthquake-resistance
data on buildings. He also uncovered the fact that the Ministry of
Land, Infrastructure and Transport had produced the road demand
estimates based on old data.

Mabuchi is aware that when a party is not in power, it can take an
account-settlement perspective, but once in power, it must consider
how to allocate budgets and tax revenues. The DPJ is often
criticized as single-mindedly focused on pursuing scandals. Mabuchi
thinks now that the DPJ has moved closer to taking the helm of
government, the party should present its national vision.

Overshadowed by the images of Deputy President Naoto Kan and
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, the presence of young members was
weak in the DPJ. There is no doubt that skilled debaters like
Nagatsuma and Mabuchi have helped increase the DPJ's overall
reputation.

Goshi Hosono has also made his name by pursuing the collection of
hefty retirement allowances by successive Social Insurance Agency
directors generals, who take lucrative sinecures after retirement.
Hosono said: "People used to say that they would support me but not
the DPJ. Recently, people say they support me because I'm a member
of the DPJ. The DPJ is being well received by the public."

Hosono took this view about the DPJ leadership race in September:
"Individuals with eagerness and talents should come forward
voluntarily rather than waiting for being recommended by others.
Moves seeking challenge and change will improve the party." He did
not conceal his concern about those junior members who have been
quiet.

With always the same individuals monopolizing the spotlight in the
Diet, a mid-level DPJ lawmaker complained that not all the junior
members were taking part in the game. Further, although Nagatsuma
and others seem confident in bringing the bureaucrats under control
after taking the reins of government, their ability to achieve that
goal is untested. If they can drive their visions home to voters, a
DPJ administration would become a real possibility.

(5) Japan's national foundation in danger

SANKEI (Page 13) (Abridged slightly)
July 24, 2008

By Kanji Nishio, critic

Moral betrayal by United States

TOKYO 00002045 006 OF 012

The abduction issue is Japan's only patriotic theme transcending
party lines. Persons concerned experienced great difficulty in order
to convince the U.S. government to declare abduction an act of
terrorism. The existence of North Korea's nuclear programs also is a
matter of life or death to Japan.

The U.S. government's notification on a 45-day period before taking
North Korea off its list of terrorism-sponsoring nations is a
declaration, if not a bad joke, to say that it will no longer help
Japan with diplomatic and military affairs. The U.S. government has
irresponsibly slapped Japan with such a crucial decision.

To begin with, it was President George W. Bush who made Northeast
Asia unstable at one stroke by branding North Korea part of an "axis
of evil." Pyongyang has been pushing Washington around since the
former realized before the U.S. went to war with Iraq that
Washington has no intention of using force against the North in
defusing its nuclear threat.

Washington's about-face was expected, so I was aware that the real
problem lay in the Japanese government's lack of measures and its
dependence on the United States. Even so, there is something I must
say to the United States.

The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime is based on the
responsibility and the moral principle of nuclear powers. If the
United States has no intention of defending Japan, there is no
reason for it to possess bases in Japan.

The North Korea delisting announcement is first time for America to
morally betray Japan. Second, it will make Japan's observance of the
NPT regime meaningless. Third, it will effectively annul the
U.S.-Japan Security Treaty.

U.S. noncommittal toward Korean Peninsula

Japan must keep firmly in mind that it can no longer rely on the
United States in rescuing Japanese abductees. The United States also
made it clear that for self-defense, Japan has no other option but
to march toward military independence, including going nuclear.

The government strangely has kept its silence regarding such a
change in the situation.

The problem is clear to anyone's eye: there has been a shift in
America's foreign policy. America's policy toward China has shifted
from confrontation of the Cold War era to a two-pronged strategy to
cooperation.

Giving up on Japan, which has never shown any wish to assume
hegemony in Asia, the United States has begun winking at China's
policy toward Taiwan and South Korea, regarding it as the hegemonic
state in the region. China has established an advantageous foothold
over the Taiwan Straits and Korean Peninsula without fighting with
them.

Views are split on whether the recent rapprochement between the
United States and North Korea resulted from the reported discord
between China and North Korea or from America's decision to totally
leave the management of the Korean Peninsula to China. In either
case, it is undeniable that America's involvement in the Korean

TOKYO 00002045 007 OF 012


Peninsula is evasive.

Depending on how the Middle East situation and the U.S. economy
shift, it might be a matter of time before the U.S. military will
withdraw from Asia. If such occurs, Taiwan would fall in the hands
of China, the sea lanes would be cut off by China, and Japan would
be placed under the control of China. That means the deprivation of
Japan's technology and capital by China.

Japan's nuclear option sealed off

The future seems so dangerous, yet the Japanese political community
has done nothing. It simply keeps silence without even setting off
discussion. The silence obviously comes from the absence of
authority from the center of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

The Japanese political community is keeping its silence, feeling
helpless because authority in Washington suddenly has begun showing
a baffling, suspicious, and fearful look.

Delisting the North as a state sponsor of terrorism means to allow
funds to flow back to Pyongyang through the World Bank and other
international financial institutions. If the government's nerve
center still has authority, Japan must prepare to withdraw its
massive funds kept in those institutions and make an announcement 45
days in advance.

I have insisted from long before that the six-party talks are a
council to seal off Japan's nuclear option.

The North Korean issue has the possibility of turning the Korean
Peninsula into a nuclear power on par with the United States, China
and Russia. Surrounded by all those nuclear powers, should Japan
alone in the Pacific region look on with folded arms?

If Japan still keeps silence about it, the country must be suffering
from dementia totally devoid of political intelligence.

The foot of a sand mound on the beach has been collapsed by the
waves.

Today's Japan resembles a collapsing sand mound with state power and
the state nerve center falling apart.

Incidentally, the LDP has presented a plan to accept 10 million
immigrants with the aim of turning Japan into an immigration nation.
There will always be residents in Japan, but the Japanese race would
disappear because the LDP has abandoned the state. Washed away by
waves, the sand mound will eventually disappear.

(6) Sluggish economy casting pall over fiscal reconstruction:
Cabinet Office revises down its outlook for growth in its economic
projection; Pressure for increased spending mounting with eye on
next Lower House election

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
July 23, 2008

The slowdown of the U.S. economy and the steep rise in crude oil
prices have begun casting a pall over the government's fiscal
reconstruction scenario. The Cabinet Office has revised down its
outlook for economic growth in the economic and fiscal projection

TOKYO 00002045 008 OF 012


for up to fiscal 2009 and presented it to the Council on Economic
and Fiscal Policy (CEFP) on July 22. It is now unclear whether the
government can achieve the goal of moving the primary balance of the
central and local governments into the black. Some in the government
and ruling parties are calling for revising the target. The
government's fiscal reconstruction scenario is now at a crucial
juncture.

Fiscal reconstruction scenario upset

The primary balance is an index indicating whether expenditures are
balanced by tax revenues. Moving the primary balance into the black
by fiscal 2011 is the showcase of the package reform of expenditures
and spending stipulated in the basic policy guidelines on economic
and fiscal management and structural reforms for the fiscal 2004
national budget. State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy
Hiroko Ota said during a press briefing after the CEFP meeting, "The
downward revision of the outlook for economic growth does not mean
that it has become difficult to move the primary balance into the
black. We will achieve the target."

However, the government's fiscal reconstruction scenario has been
upset. According to the latest estimate, the primary balance will
remain in the red to the extent of 3.9 trillion yen, even if the
economy sustains a certain level of growth and expenditures worth
14.3 trillion yen are slashed over five years. If the economy slows
even further and spending cuts remain at 11.4 trillion yen, the
deficit would expand to 7.9 trillion yen. This would necessitate a
hike in the consumption tax by more than 3 PERCENT .

Decline in corporate profits

An unexpectedly severe decline in the economic environment has
contributed to the miscalculation by the government, according to
the Cabinet Office. The Japanese economy has continued its growth
with exports serving as a driving force in the recovery phase, which
started in 2002. However, exports have become sluggish following the
financial uncertainty in the U.S. since last summer and concern
about a U.S. economic recession. Corporate earnings have
deteriorated in one sweep, compounded by the steep rise in crude oil
and raw material prices.

There is a strong possibility of pressure for more spending mounting
further. The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare and industry
groups, including the Japan Medical Association, as well as the
ruling parties, which are increasingly becoming aware of the next
Lower House election, are acting in unity in calling on the
government to withdraw its policy of constraining social
expenditures. Calls for the compilation of a supplementary budget to
finance assistance to the fishing industry as part of measures to
address the soaring crude oil prices are also deep-seated. Some in
the government and the ruling camp have begun indicating their view
that the government should not adhere to the goal of moving the
primary balance into the black by fiscal 2011.

Demand for reinstatement of pork-barrel largesse budget checked

Aware of those calls, one private-sector member of the CEFP at a
meeting on July 22 checked a recent call for the reinstatement of a
pork-barrel larges budget compilation, noting, "If the fiscal
reconstruction principle is ignored, expenditures would increase
endlessly."

TOKYO 00002045 009 OF 012

The situation is so difficult that the government is struggling to
maintain the goal of cutting expenditures to the maximum as
originally planned, including a 3 PERCENT cut in public works and a
constraint on social expenditures worth 220 billion yen a year. In
order to achieve the goal, it is also facing a challenge of cutting
more expenditures, including reducing wasteful spending by the
government. It should also aim at boosting tax revenues, combining
those efforts with measures designed to strengthen growth by such
means as deregulation. The shortfall after all those efforts then
should be covered with a tax hike. This is the principle of fiscal
reform.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda at a CEFP meeting stressed, "The
government will make efforts to strengthen growth potential and
fiscal reconstruction compatible. However, it is a difficult path to
follow.

(7) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Earthquake hits Iwate Prefecture, measuring a strong 6 on Japanese
scale of 7 or 6.8 on the Richter scale

Nikkei:
Toray, Nissan, Honda to co-develop carbon fiber cars

Akahata:
National Confederation of Trade Unions comes up with policy of
eliminating poverty and protecting the Constitution

(8) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) State budget for FY2009: Prime Minister Fukuda must show grand
plan
(2) U.S.-India nuclear cooperation could render null and void the
nonproliferation regime

Mainichi:
(1) Worsening fiscal primary balance: Government must come up with
policy measures to move the situation into the black
(2) Hachioji stabbing incident: Poor interpersonal relations may be
one reason

Yomiuri:
(1) New pension organization must implement its duties in good
faith
(2) No excuses for the increase in the nation's murder rate

Nikkei:
(1) Top priority should be on accurate verification of North Korea's
declaration of its nuclear programs
(2) Legal professionals should be increased

Sankei:
(1) Hachioji stabbing incident: Eliminate meaningless murders
(2) Osaka assembly approves Hashimoto budget plan that will become
model for fiscal reconstruction

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Fiscal reconstruction: Government must keep its pledge

TOKYO 00002045 010 OF 012


(2) Increase of random stabbing incidents

Akahata:
(1) Consumption tax hike unacceptable

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, July 23

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 24, 2008

10:01
Met former Defense Agency Director-General Tamazawa at the Kantei,
followed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura and Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary Futahashi. Machimura stayed on.

11:07
Met Iwate proprietress association chairperson Osawa, Miyagi
association chairperson Isoda and others, followed by MLIT Housing
Bureau Director-General Izumi.

12:21
Met Futahashi.

14:25
Met Declining Childbirth Minister Kamikawa.

15:05
Attended a meeting of the Council for Promoting Consumer Policy.

15:57
Met former prime ministerial advisor Okamoto.

16:49
Met Urban Renaissance Agency Chief Director Ogawa.

17:17
Met Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Saka.

18:43
Met Futahashi, former Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Furukawa,
former Vice-Cabinet Office Minister Uchida and others at his
official residence.

(Corrected copy) Interview with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice
Stephen Breyer: Ten months to go until introduction of citizen-judge
system in Japan; More impartiality of trial with involvement of
citizens

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
July 23, 2008

Preparations for the introduction of a lay judge system next May are
under way, as can be seen in the holding of a mock trial involving
lay judges at the Tokyo District Court, which started on July 22.
The Tokyo Shimbun asked U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen
Breyer (69), now visiting Japan, about the meaning and impact of
citizens being involved in trials. The U.S. jury system, which
allows citizens to be involved in the judicial process, has a
history of 200 years.

Even a judge can serve as jury


TOKYO 00002045 011 OF 012


-- Is it difficult to realize the involvement of citizens in the
judicial process?

"No, it isn't. Citizens are expected to take part in the judicial
process in the U.S. They actually participate in the process and are
satisfied with the results. I incidentally was also satisfied when I
served on a jury. When I was a judge of the federal appeals court,
which is equivalent to Japan's high court, I served on a jury at a
district court in my native state. Though it may be prohibited in
Japan (under the Japanese lay judge system), it is possible for
judges to serve on a jury in Massachusetts.


Juries have their own views. They handed down a guilty verdict to a
defendant who was charged with driving under the influence of
alcohol. The judge then sentenced the person to attend a driving
school and suspended his driver's license. (U.S. juries just decide
whether defendants are guilty or not.) They do not determine
appropriate judgments. I am very interested how Japan's lay judge
system, under which lay judges also determine appropriate
punishments, will work."

-- What impact has the jury system had on the American society?

In my view, the jury system has had a positive impact on the
American society. Courts are a venue for judges to meet defendants
with troubles and listen to whatever they say. Lay juries'
involvement in such a setting helps the system work more
impartially. Furthermore, trials by juries are a good venue to teach
citizens the way justice should be carried out.

Impossible to silence juries

-- In Japan, lay judges have a duty to keep deliberating
(discussions held between judges and lay judges during a trial
process) about their cases. However, juries in the U.S. are allowed
to speak about the details of their deliberations after they
completed their duty. Why is that?

"It is difficult to silence juries. We know from our experience that
there would be no major problems even if they speak about their
concerns. In addition, attorneys sometimes learn from juries. In my
view, it is better for juries not to reveal confidential
discussions. However, there is no way to silence them."

-- You handled the Watergate case in 1972, which forced former
President Nixon to step down.

"I worked as an assistant to a special prosecutor (independent of
the government) for several months. He was loyal to his job. It is
difficult to investigate cases that could bring a serious political
result. However, I learned from that prosecutor that cases like that
require cool-headedness and sincerity. We must not protect or hurt
someone availing ourselves of our position. It is important to
pursue the facts."

-- What do you value as a U.S. Supreme Court associate justice?

"Judgments we have made or will make will have an impact on the U.S.
as a whole, where various ethnic groups with different values live
together, based on the consensus that they abide by the law. As
such, we must not make rigid judgments. Our judgments must be such

TOKYO 00002045 012 OF 012


that help the state stay united.

ZUMWALT

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