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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/18/08

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 002264

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 08/18/08

Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's weekend, daily schedules (Nikkei)

Political issues:
4) Child porn legislation to be in focus (Mainichi)
5) Diet expected to open Sept. 12 (Nikkei)
6) LDP's Yamasaki suggests need to pass war-on-terror legislation
within November (Yomiuri)
7) Fukuda cabinet's support arte up to 23.6 PERCENT in Jiji press
poll (Tokyo Shimbun)
8) LDP's Aso seen as best choice for post-Fukuda premiership in Jiji
Press poll (Tokyo Shimbun)
9) LDP's Mori backs Aso as next prime minister (Yomiuri)
10) GOJ poll shows 34 PERCENT feel their standard of living has
worsened (Nikkei)

Lower House Speaker Kono in action:
11) Kono to meet with U.S. House Speaker Pelosi in Hiroshima, ask
her about U.S. nuclear policy (Asahi)
12) Kono says NPT should be strengthened (Nikkei)

Beef:
13) Japan to send inspectors to U.S. plant (Asahi)

Int'l cooperation:
14) Japan, China to boost cooperation on 'gyoza' probe (Yomiuri)
15) Japan announces emergency aid to Georgia (Nikkei)
16) Japan, Uzbekistan sign investment deal (Nikkei)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Icho wins gold medal in wrestling final, Hamaguchi settles for
bronze

Nikkei:
Emerging markets overtake U.S., Europe as profit source for major
Japanese manufacturers in April-June quarter

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Bolt sets world record in 100-meter final
(2) Subprime loans: Aim at attaining economic growth by avoiding
bubble economy

Mainichi:
(1) Swiftly reflect school survey results in policies
(2) Secrecy protection legislation: Principle should be information
disclosure to the last

Yomiuri:
(1) Review budgetary allocations among SDF branches
(2) Graffiti on cultural assets might lead to restricting
publication

Nikkei:

TOKYO 00002264 002 OF 008


(1) Auto industry now faces turning point in terms of growth

Sankei:
(1) Trial of Karadzic: Clear up truth and bring about reconciliation
among ethnic groups
(2) Minimum wage naturally should exceed welfare benefits

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Foreign nurses should be received warmly
(2) Accelerate review of local agencies with local zeal

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 15

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 16, 2008

09:59
Attended a cabinet meeting at the Kantei. Finance Minister Ibuki
stayed on.

10:42
Returned to his official residence.

11:24
Offered flowers at the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery for the War
Dead. Afterward chatted with former Lower House Speaker Doi.

11:51
Attended the memorial ceremony for the war dead held at the Nippon
Budokan Hall.

13:19
Met MAFF Minister Ota and MAFF Vice Minister Shirasu at his official
residence.

14:44
Met LDP Secretary General Aso, Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Oshima and Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura. Machimura stayed on.

15:39
Met advisor Ito.

16:40
Met Mitsui Global Strategic Studies Institute President Jitsuro
Terashima.

Prime Minister's schedule, August 16

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

August 17, 2008

Morning
Spent time at his official residence.

14:56
Met advisor Ito.

Prime Minister's schedule, August 17


TOKYO 00002264 003 OF 008


NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

August 18, 2008

10:06
Arrived at his private residence in Nozawa.

14:16
Arrived at his official residence.

4) Ruling camp, DPJ to start talks on revising child pornography
law, aiming enactment in November

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2008

The ruling coalition and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have
decided to start talks in the next extraordinary Diet session in the
fall on revising the Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Prevention Law to strengthen restrictions on child pornography, with
the aim of enacting legislation in November. The focus of attention
is on the question of to what extent Japan will criminalize the
individual possession of child pornography. The ruling camp calls
for banning even simple possession of child pornography currently
held by individuals, while the DPJ insists on prohibiting the
possession of materials acquired only after a revision bill is
enacted into law. The two sides have yet to find common ground.

The 1999 law enacted by House members prohibits the production and
sale of child pornography but does not ban simple possession. Japan
and Russia are the only members of the Group of Eight (G-8) that do
not criminalize possession of child pornography. The ruling camp
submitted a bill amending the law calling for punishing possessors
to the last regular Diet session and carried the bill over to the
next extraordinary Diet session. The DPJ also intends to submit its
own bill to the fall session.

5) Ruling and opposition blocs considering convening next
extraordinary Diet session on Sept. 12 for two months

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2008

The ruling and opposition blocs yesterday came up with the idea of
convening the next extraordinary Diet session on September 12. There
is also a plan to set the session's period at two months. The
Liberal Democratic Party plans to coordinate views with the New
Komeito early this week, which has been opposing the idea of setting
the session's period based on the assumption that a bill extending
the Indian Ocean refueling law would be readopted by the House of
Representatives. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is scheduled to make a
final decision on when to convene the session and other matters, and
the plan will be finalized at a government and ruling bloc liaison
meeting on August 19.

6) LDP's Yamasaki: Antiterrorism law must be enacted in November

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 18, 2008

Former LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki delivered a speech in a
Yamasaki faction workshop held yesterday in Karuizawa Town, Nagano

TOKYO 00002264 004 OF 008


Prefecture. Touching on legislation extending the term of the new
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, he said: "We cannot afford to
withdraw from the war on terror. We should convene the next
extraordinary Diet session early and enact the legislation in
November."

Regarding the fact that the New Komeito is cautious about having the
Lower House readopt the legislation, Yamasaki emphatically said: "A
failure to readopt it would result in a political collapse. That
would escalate into a question of how the Fukuda administration
should take responsibility. The ruling parties must band together to
enact it."

7) Poll: Cabinet support up to 23.6 PERCENT

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 16, 2008

The public approval rating for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's cabinet
was 23.6 PERCENT in an opinion poll conducted by Jiji Press on Aug.
8-11. The Fukuda cabinet's support rate rose for the second month in
a row. However, it rose only 2.5 percentage points. The disapproval
rating was 54.6 PERCENT , down 2.5 points from last month. Fukuda
shuffled his cabinet on Aug. 1 to boost his administration. Fukuda
made an appeal on his reform-oriented policy for the public.
However, the cabinet shuffle seems to have limited its effect partly
because of the Japanese government's failure to make public the fact
that there was food poisoning from frozen Chinese-made 'gyoza'
dumplings in China as well.

The survey was conducted across the nation on a face-to-face basis
with a total of 2,000 persons chosen from among men and women aged
20 and over. The response rate was 65.8 PERCENT .

8) Poll: Aso seen as most suitable for prime minister

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 17, 2008

Taro Aso, secretary general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party,
ranked top at 22.9 PERCENT as the politician most suitable for
prime minister in a recent poll conducted by Jiji Press on Aug.
8-11. Former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ranked second at 15.4
PERCENT . Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), ranked third at 8.1 PERCENT ,
with DPJ Vice President Naoto Kan in fourth place at 4.2 PERCENT .
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was in fifth place at 4.0 PERCENT .

In a similar poll conducted in April, Aso was in second place. In
the latest poll, however, Aso topped all others. Among LDP
supporters, 40.3 PERCENT chose Aso. He made a comeback as LDP
secretary general with Fukuda's appointment of a new lineup of LDP
executives, so he seems to be more acknowledged as the LDP's likely
'post-Fukuda' leader.

Meanwhile, Fukuda was down 3.1 percentage points from 7.1 PERCENT
in April. Even among LDP supporters, his popularity rating was only
10.3 PERCENT . The poll was conducted across the nation with a total
of 2,000 persons chosen from among people age 20 and over. The
response rate was 65.8 PERCENT .

9) Former Prime Minister Mori: Secretary General Aso would be

TOKYO 00002264 005 OF 008


suitable successor to Prime Minister Fukuda

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2008

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, appearing on a TV Asahi program
on Aug. 17, revealed his view that Liberal Democratic Party
Secretary General Taro Aso would be a suitable successor to Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda. Mori said:

"In consideration of his way of thinking and personality, many LDP
members want Mr. Aso to be the successor (to Fukuda as LDP president
and prime minister). Of course, I think so, too."

10) Poll: 34 PERCENT feel living standard worsens

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
August 18, 2008

The Cabinet Office on Aug. 15 released the results of its public
opinion survey regarding living standards.

The proportion of people who feel their standard of living has
worsened as compared with last year reached 34.1 PERCENT , according
to a government survey conducted by the Cabinet Office and released
Aug. 16. The figure is up 9.6 percentage points from the previous
survey taken in July last year and is the second-highest level
following the 1974 survey (34.6 PERCENT ). The survey this time also
posted a sharp increase in the number of people who want the
government to stabilize prices and boost the economy. It clearly
shows that economic stagnation and rising prices are impacting on
people's daily lives.

Asked about daily life as compared with last year, 61.3 PERCENT
answered that it remained unchanged, down 9 points. Meanwhile, 4.4
PERCENT said it had improved, down 0.4 points. When asked about
their future outlook, 36.9 PERCENT expected things to worsen, up
7.8 points.

The survey also found that 70.8 PERCENT were worried about their
everyday life, topping the preceding year's figure for the fourth
year in a row. Respondents were further asked to pick one or more
things that worry them. In response to this question, "planning for
old age" accounted for 49 PERCENT , followed by "health" at 49
PERCENT and "future earnings and assets" at 42.4 PERCENT .

Respondents were also asked what they want the government to pursue.
To this question, "social security reform, including healthcare and
pensions" topped all other answers at 72.8 PERCENT , following the
preceding year. "Price stabilization" accounted for 56.7 PERCENT ,
up 21.8 points from the preceding year. "Boost the economy" also
accounted for 56.1 PERCENT , up 6.5 points. Many in big cities
wanted the government to boost the economy.

The survey was carried out across the nation in mid- and late-June
of a total of 10,000 persons aged 20 and over on a face-to-face
basis. The response rate was 61.5 PERCENT .

11) Lower House Speaker Kono plans to ask U.S. House Speaker about
nuclear policy

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)

TOKYO 00002264 006 OF 008


August 16, 2008

Lower House Speaker Yohei Kono held a press conference on August 15
in the Diet building regarding the G8 Summit of Lower House Speakers
to be held in Hiroshima on September 2. Touching on participation in
the event by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Kono said: "There may
be discussion on nuclear policy in the ongoing U.S. presidential
race. I would like to ask her views on such matters as whether the
United States will continue the current Republican-led nuclear
policy."

The Lower House speakers meeting will be held at the Hiroshima Peace
Memorial Museum. The members will discuss nuclear disarmament under
the theme of the meeting's role in peace and disarmament on the
morning of September 2, and in the afternoon they will exchange
views on the decision-making process in a bicameral legislature.

Kono said: "It bothers me a bit that discussion has been centered on
nonproliferation lately with no debate on nuclear disarmament. I
hope the event will help the representatives of those countries feel
various things in Hiroshima."

12) Lower House Speaker Kono to call for enhanced NPT

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 16, 2008

Lower House Speaker Yohei Kono, in a media interview yesterday
regarding a G8 Lower House chiefs' meeting to be held in Hiroshima
in September, indicated that he would call for efforts to strengthen
the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) regime. He said: "People
say that the NPT has been relaxed slightly. It bothers me that
discussion has been focused on nonproliferation rather than on
nuclear disarmament." He also said about a draft treaty banning
cluster munitions: "I would like to see the government make efforts
to get the Diet approve it at the earliest possible time."

13) U.S. report attributes shipment of beef containing SRM in April
to "human error in packing process"

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 16, 2008

The Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Ministry of
Health, Labor and Welfare yesterday announced a report presented by
the U.S. government on the issue of specified risk materials (SRM)
found in a beef shipment from the U.S. in April. The paper
attributed the cause of the incident to "human error in the packing
process." The two ministries will dispatch officials to the U.S.
meatpacker that shipped the beef in question tomorrow, with an eye
on resuming imports.

The beef with SRM was found in a box of beef that Itochu Corporation
imported for Yoshinoya Holdings, the nation's largest beef bowl
chain, from the California plant of the National Beef Co., a leading
U.S. meatpacker.

According to the Agriculture Department's report on investigation
results, an inspector found damage to a box on the production line
for meat destined for countries other than Japan. When he repacked
the product, the inspector mistakenly used a box labeled "bound for
Japan."

TOKYO 00002264 007 OF 008

The National Beef has compiled a package of preventive measures, and
the Agriculture Ministry has concluded the measures are
satisfactory. In their upcoming investigation in the U.S., the two
Japanese ministries intend to check whether the company has properly
implemented the improvement measures.

A spokesman for Yoshinoya Holdings, which has purchased beef from
another plant of the National Beef since the misshipment was
discovered, said: "Once the safety of its products is confirmed, we
would like to resume imports from the California plant." Daiei
switched suppliers from the California plant to another plant of the
same company, and Maruetsu changed to another company. These two
companies have said they have yet to decide on what to do.

14) Japanese, Chinese foreign ministers agree to solve dumpling
poisoning issue as quickly as possible and boost cooperation on
probe

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2008

Jun Kato, Beijing

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura met on Aug. 17 in Beijing
separately with Chinese State Councilor Dai Bingguo and Foreign
Minister Yang Jiechi. Koumura and senior Chinese officials agreed
that the two countries' investigative authorities would boost
cooperation to solve as early as possible poisoning cases involving
Chinese-made frozen gyoza dumplings.

In the meeting with his Chinese counterpart, Koumura urged Yang to
further disclose information on the poisoning cases, with an eye on
the fact that people in China also had been poisoned by
pesticide-tainted dumplings. Yang promised Koumura that he would
have the office in charge of the poisonings provide Japan with
information in order to push forward with cooperation with the
Japanese government.

Koumura told Yang:

"It is necessary to show the public specific cooperation between the
two countries to shed light on the truth. It is important to put all
our efforts into resolving the poisoning cases, including a link
between the dumpling poisonings in Japan and China."

Yang stated:

"The Chinese government has placed importance on food safety. We
would like to solve the issue as quickly as possible by stepping up
cooperation between the investigative authorities of the two
countries."

15) Japan to provide Georgia with 1 million dollars in emergency
aid

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 16, 2008

The Foreign Ministry announced on Aug. 15 that Japan will provide up
to 1 million dollars in emergency humanitarian aid to Georgia, where
tensions have emerged over the armed conflict with Russia. Japan is

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expected to send food, medical products, blankets and tents. Foreign
Minister Masahiko Koumura then released a statement saying:

"We hope Georgian evacuees will be relieved as quickly as possible.
We will continue to closely watch the situation so that the
ceasefire agreement will be implemented without fail."

16) Government signs investment accord with Uzbekistan

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 16, 2008

The Japanese government signed on Aug. 15 an investment agreement
with Uzbekistan in order to help Japanese companies make inroads
there. Uzbekistan is the 14th country for Japan to conclude an
investment accord with. It is the first time for Tokyo to sign such
an agreement with a Central Asian country. Based on the accord,
Japanese companies that set up in Uzbekistan will be able to receive
the same treatment with firms already there. Japanese companies will
likely expand investment opportunities, including the development of
resources.

Since Uzbekistan is a mineral rich country, Japan has imported
mainly gold. Japan invested about 11 billion yen in Uzbekistan in
2007. As Japanese machinery manufacturers are expected to boost
investment in the country, chances are that Uzbekistan will become a
base for Japanese firms to carry out business in Central Asia.

The investment accord bans the Uzbekistan government from demanding
local procurement of raw materials and technical transfer in case
Japanese companies promote direct investment in the country.

SCHIEFFER

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