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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - China Olympics And

VZCZCXRO5107
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2164/01 2200151
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070151Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6407
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9277
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1651
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7460
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9860
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3016
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4788
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2468
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0776
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1143
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002164

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - CHINA OLYMPICS AND
PRESIDENT BUSH IN SOUTH KOREA

1. LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers
front-paged the likelihood that Japan has entered a
recession.

2. "Make Olympics Step Toward Open China" The liberal
Mainichi editorialized (8/7): "During the Olympic
Games, Beijing will be the center of information
distribution, with journalists around the world
assembling there.... They will file vivid reports on
things the Chinese government does not want outsiders
to see.... China will have to be prepared to show its
true situation to the world. The international
community is paying close attention to whether China,
which has often been criticized for being closed in
terms of its policies toward ethnic minorities, will
seize the opportunity of hosting the Olympics to become
an 'open superpower.'"

3. "Meaning of China Hosting Olympics" In a front-page
commentary, the business-oriented Nikkei's Asia news
section chief wrote (8/7): "If the Beijing Olympics
helps deepen China's engagement with the international
community and prompts it to change, the event will be
more than just a gateway to success by a developing
country."

4. "Hosting Olympics Warrants Freedom at Home" The
conservative Sankei argued in an editorial (8/7):
"...The Olympics exposes the limits of China's
one-party autocratic rule. These limits are
demonstrated by the continued restrictions at the main
press center on access to websites the authorities view
as unfavorable.... Governing in a manner to protect
civil rights and lives, to guarantee freedom of
expression, and to preempt terrorist acts and riots is
in line with the Olympic spirit. It is hoped that the
Beijing Olympics will become an opportunity for Chinese
people to learn about true international standards."

5. "Concerns about Excessive Precautions" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun's editorial asserted (8/7): "What the
world will be paying attention to during the Olympics
is not just the management of the events. The world is
closely monitoring how the Chinese government treats
civil liberties and freedom of the press. The Chinese
government should be aware of this."

6. "Tasks Remaining for Enhanced Alliance" A Washington
correspondent for the top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri
reported from Seoul (8/7): "The summit between
President Bush and South Korean President Lee failed to
set a specific roadmap toward the enhancement and
development of the U.S.-ROK alliance, exposing the
limits of a U.S. president whose term expires in less
than six months.

7. "Repair of Bilateral Relations Put off" The liberal
Asahi wrote from Seoul (8/7): "The U.S.-ROK summit
appeared to put off dealing with all the outstanding
bilateral issues, including the redefinition of the
alliance, until at least next year. The reconstruction
of bilateral relations that had started following the
inauguration of the Lee administration has ground to a
halt in view of the strong reaction by the South Korean

TOKYO 00002164 002 OF 002


public to the resumption of U.S. beef imports. The
summit failed to find a way to jumpstart the repair
process."

SCHIEFFER

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