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Cablegate: Haneda Airport Internationalization Heats Up

VZCZCXRO2735
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2272/01 2310738
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180738Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6660
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4948
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 2738
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 1078
RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 1888
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0938
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9443
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6575
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7596
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1805
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3182
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0023
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHINGTON DC
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002272

SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J, EEB/TRA FOR BYERLY
USTR FOR BEEMAN
DOT FOR GRETCH

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR EINV PGOV JA
SUBJECT: HANEDA AIRPORT INTERNATIONALIZATION HEATS UP

REF: A. TOKYO 1432
B. TOKYO 24
C. TOKYO 1489

1. (SBU) Summary: Japan has concluded its first agreements,
with Malaysia and Korea, for international flights into
Tokyo's Haneda Airport from 2010. The agreement with Korea
marks the first time the GOJ has allocated daytime slots at
Haneda Airport for scheduled international flights under
Japan's "Asia Gateway Initiative." Executives from U.S. and
Japanese carriers laud Haneda,s internationalization. U.S.
carriers too would like increased access to Haneda, even if
it means giving up slots at Narita where the GOJ moved
international flights years ago. The U.S. carriers believe
they are at a competitive disadvantage compared to Japanese
airlines and are concerned foreign carriers' access to Haneda
may exacerbate the problem. End Summary.

-------------------------------------------
Japan,s Agreements with Malaysia and Korea
-------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) Consistent with an MLIT official,s statement in
late July that Japan would begin negotiating Haneda Airport
slots with Asia Gateway Initiative countries, Japan has
concluded its first and second agreements for international
scheduled passenger flights at Haneda Airport beginning in
2010 after Haneda's expansion is complete.

3. (U) In air talks July 24-25, Japan and Malaysia agreed to
up to seven flights per week for each Japanese and Malaysian
airline.

4. (U) In talks August 12-13, Japan and Korea agreed to 12
scheduled daytime flights per day between Korea,s Gimpo
Airport and Haneda Airport. Four of these flights per day
could alternatively be operated between Haneda and Pusan.
The agreement with Korea marks the first time MLIT has
allocated daytime slots at Haneda Airport for international
flights. In addition, carriers from both countries can
operate a total of four flights during nighttime hours (10pm
) 7am). Though the destinations of these flights are not
yet finalized, Inchon is a probable one. Currently, eight
scheduled "charter" flights per day operate between Haneda
and Gimpo.

5. (U) The air talks follow JCAB,s July 23 meeting when
three Tokyo area prefectures (Tokyo, Chiba and Kanagawa)
agreed to the Fuyushiba Plan, which allocates 60,000 total
slots (half daytime and half nighttime) to international
flights at Haneda Airport when its expansion is complete in
2010.

---------------------------
Reaction from U.S. Carriers
---------------------------

6. (SBU) Econoff spoke with executives from four U.S.
carriers. Two stated August 15 Haneda internationalization
will negatively affect operations at Narita, and one
indicated he would need to draw down at Narita for any flight
he could fly out of Haneda. He continued he would like to
move his airline's entire operation to Haneda, but that his
airline would "take what we can get." Regarding a
conversation he had with a GOJ official who said eventual
U.S. carrier Haneda operations would be limited to nighttime
and West Coast services, the airline executive believes the
GOJ will have difficulty explaining opening daytime flights
to other countries but not the U.S.

7. (SBU) A third executive stated he is unhappy about Japan's
agreement with Korea, calling it "another example of unfair
practice against carriers, especially incumbent carriers that
have also built up their presence over the years, invested
heavily in Japan, forced to move to Narita and then later
advised Haneda will be international yet we can,t move our

TOKYO 00002272 002 OF 002


operations back." Executives from several U.S. carriers have
reiterated in conversations with emboff that MLIT,s
regulations favor Japanese carriers and are anti-competitive.


--------------------------------------------- ---
Japanese Carriers on Haneda Internationalization
--------------------------------------------- ---

8. (SBU) In a June 18 meeting with econoff, an All Nippon
Airlines (ANA) executive stated Haneda Airport must be
internationalized. However, he believes the GOJ-planned
30,000 slots are inadequate, and instead a 110,000-slot
increase (more than half international) is more appropriate.
He supports liberalization of all slots, without
restrictions, and ideally, airlines could fly anywhere.
However, Haneda cannot be internationalized overnight, he
continued, and no matter how much negotiation takes place,
restrictions cannot be lifted all at once. Interestingly, he
believes no U.S. airlines are interested to fly out of Haneda
at this time.

9. (SBU) A Japan Airlines (JAL) executive had told econoff in
a July 31 meeting that capacity is too limited in the Tokyo
metropolitan airports because flights cannot fly over densely
populated Tokyo, and because Yokota airspace limits
commercial airspace. If Narita operated 24 hours a day, he
added, it would be better, but complicated historical factors
make this impossible. Ideally, he said, domestic and
international flights would all be concentrated out of one
airport: Haneda. However, he stated U.S. airlines hold
nearly one-third of available slots and are leasing them out,
so if U.S. airlines did not "abuse" their slots and instead
returned some of them, the capacity problem would be
alleviated somewhat. (Comment: Conversely, a U.S. airline
executive complained July 30 to econoff that Japanese
airlines are flying smaller aircraft to take up more slots
and keep competitors out.)
SCHIEFFER

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