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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/19/08

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 002277

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 08/19/08

Index:

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

Fallout from Musharraf's resignation:
4) Japan to keep an eye on developments in Pakistan as President
Musharraf steps down (Yomiuri)
5) Prime Minister Fukuda says there will be no change in the war on
terror for the time being (Nikkei)
6) Prime Minister Fukuda willing to continue Japan's refueling
mission in Indian Ocean (Asahi)
7) DPJ set to vote against MSDF refueling bill (Asahi)
8) Prime Minister Fukuda mum about whether to take overriding second
vote on antiterror legislation (Yomiuri)

Whaling:
9) Arrests sought for Sea Shepherd members; Chief Cabinet Secretary
Machimura says police action "only natural" (Asahi)
10) Arrest warrants issued for 3 SS members, including Americans;
Suspects shortly to be on Interpol list (Asahi)

North Korea problem:
11) Prime Minister Fukuda may send State Minister for Abduction
Issue Nakayama to Pyongyang (Yomiuri)

Diet agenda & political topics:
12) Prime Minister Fukuda likely to call Diet session in
mid-September (Nikkei)
13) Ex-METI Minister Amari says LDP SecGen Aso will become prime
minister if Prime Minister Fukuda's popularity rating falls below 20
PERCENT (Asahi)

Defense & security:
14) Defense Minister Hayashi to visit Okinawa today (Nikkei)
15) Yokosuka citizens planning to campaign against USS George
Washington's deployment (Akahata)

Foreign policy:
16) Japan to gear up Africa diplomacy (Mainichi)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo:
Pakistani President Musharraf resigns in response to growing
impeachment pressure; U.S.-led war on terror may be affected

Nikkei:
Government to conduct experiments with utility firms to store CO2
underground in Japan

Akahata:
Soaring fuel prices force Pacific saury boats to suspend operations


2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Musharraf's resignation: Lead democratization to stabilization

TOKYO 00002277 002 OF 007


(2) Prosecuting activists for obstructive acts at whaling research
vessels a matter of course, but questions remain

Mainichi:
(1) International community should extend cooperation for stability
in post-Musharraf Pakistan
(2) Beijing Olympics enters second week

Yomiuri:
(1) Don't allow vacuum following Pakistan president's resignation
(2) Speculative funds begin to leave oil market

Nikkei:
(1) Pakistan must not forget war on terror after Musharraf's
resignation
(2) Japan should pursue diplomacy that can provide people with peace
of mind

Sankei:
(1) Treating violent attacks against whaling vessels as criminal
matters the best approach
(2) Use DPJ presidential election as opportunity to demonstrate
credentials to run government

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) World records in Olympics open new door
(2) Step up measures to prevent bank transfer scams

Akahata:
(1) Increase in CO2 emissions: Change in energy policy needed

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 18

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 19, 2008

09:56
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi at the Kantei.

10:24
Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura, followed by Lower House
member Akiko Yamanaka.

14:24
Met new Ambassador to Thailand Komachi and other newly-appointed
ambassadors, followed by Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka.

15:54
Met Foreign Ministry Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
Director-General Saiki.

16:55
Attended the inaugural ceremony for the Japan-China-ROK Children's
Storybooks Exchange 2008, held at the National Institution for Youth
Education in Yoyogi.

17:50
Met Futahashi at the Kantei.

18:59

TOKYO 00002277 003 OF 007


Met former MEXT Minister Nakayama and his wife, Abduction Issue
Minister Nakayama at his official residence.

4) Government to carefully watch developments in Pakistan following
Musharraf's resignation

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 19, 2008

The government intends to carefully watch how things will develop in
Pakistan following President Pervez Musharraf's announcement of his
resignation on Aug. 18. Speaking before reporters at his official
residence last night, Prime Minister Fukuda said: "I do not think
there will be some changes in the war on terror and the situation in
Afghanistan for the time being, but the situation afterward is
unpredictable."

Pakistan is the only Islamic state that possesses nuclear weapons,
so the government is strongly concerned about an outflow and
proliferation of nuclear technology, etc., to terrorist groups under
the confused situation. A government source said last night: "I am
concerned that the political situation would become unstable, from
the viewpoint of the war on terror and nuclear nonproliferation. We
must carefully watch the situation." A senior Foreign Ministry
official also indicated the ministry's willingness to extend
necessary assistance to Pakistan to stabilize that country,
remarking: "We hope that the change of government will be carried
out without hitch and the situation will be quickly stabilized."

5) Prime Minister Fukuda predicts no change in war on terror for
time being

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, regarding Pakistani President Pervez
Musharraf's decision to resign, commented yesterday: "I don't think
there will be any immediate change in the war on terror or the
situation in Afghanistan." In response to questions from reporters
at his official residence, the prime minister also said: "A variety
of events could unfold. But I am not in a position to predict what
might happen."

6) Prime minister eager to continue refueling operation

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 19, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is expected to announce his view on the
much-talked-about next extraordinary Diet session in today's
government and ruling coalition liaison meeting. The prime minister
yesterday reiterated the need to extend the refueling support
special measures law. Explicitly telling reporters that the
government would "enact necessary legislation" along with economic
measures and a consumer agency bill, the prime minister reiterated
his view that the next session should be convened at an early date.

The prime minister also expressed eagerness for extending law that
provides the basis for the country's refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean during the next extra session, saying: "How to associate with
the international community is an extremely important matter. Japan
is not completely unconnected with this issue. (The question of

TOKYO 00002277 004 OF 007


extending the refueling operation) must be determined
comprehensively." Touching on the possible impact of Pakistani
President Musharraf's decision to resign, the prime minister said:
"How this might affect the war on terror and the situation in
Afghanistan remains to be seen. I don't think it will result in any
change for the time being."

7) DPJ leaders agree to oppose extension of Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa dined last
night with Lower House Vice Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi; Azuma
Koshiishi, chairman of the DPJ caucus in the Upper House; and Yoshio
Hachiro, foreign minister of the shadow cabinet. The four DPJ
leaders agreed that their party will oppose an extension of the new
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, under which the Maritime
Self-Defense Force is currently tasked with refueling activities in
the Indian Ocean. Yokomichi, Koshiishi and Hachiro, who were members
of the former Japan Socialist Party, have clarified that they will
support Ozawa in the party's presidential election.

8) Fukuda makes no mention of overriding vote on MSDF bill

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Prime Minister Fukuda yesterday evening avoided referring to whether
his ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New
Komeito will take an overriding second vote in the House of
Representatives on a government-planned bill amending the new
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law for the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's continued refueling activities in the Indian Ocean if the
bill is voted down in the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors. "There's no need to say that now," Fukuda told
reporters. He added: "I have been saying we should continue Japan's
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. I should take it into
consideration and make a judgment on this matter." He was replying
to a question from reporters at his office.

9) MPD seeks arrest warrants for three U.S. environmental group
members for obstructing a research whaling ship's activities

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
Evening, August 18, 2008

The Metropolitan Police Department Public Security Bureau sought
earlier today arrest warrants for three members -- two Americans and
one Briton -- of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SS), a U.S.
environmental group, on suspicion of obstructing a Japanese research
whaling ship's activities in the Southern Ocean. In a series of
obstructive activities, the three are suspected of having thrown
smoke candles in February last year onto the Kaiko Maru, the leading
ship of the Japanese whaling fleet by the Institute of Cetacean
Research. The Public Security Bureau has decided to establish a case
against them, concluding that their acts were "systematic and highly
dangerous and malicious."

The arrest warrants were sought for two Americans aged 30 and 41 and
a 28-year-old Briton. After obtaining the arrest warrants, the

TOKYO 00002277 005 OF 007


bureau intends to ask the International Criminal Police Organization
(ICPO) to put them on its international waned list through the
National Police Agency. Once their whereabouts are confirmed, the
bureau also plans to seek their custody under a treaty on
extradition or via diplomatic channels. Difficulties are expected
before the handover of their custody.

The 41-year-old American is suspected to have thrown 18 smoke
candles onto the Kaiko Maru's deck from an SS vessel on February 12,
2007, causing several of them to release fumes. The 30-year-old
American and the 28-year-old Briton are suspected to have
transferred themselves to a dinghy and threw a rope into the sea,
which coiled around the Kaiko Maru's propeller.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, in a press conference
earlier today made the following comment regarding the fact that the
MPD has sought arrest warrants for the members of the environmental
group: "It is only natural to seek arrest warrants after concluding
there was a crime. No matter what sort of argument one holds, a
situation where physical interference causes injuries or threatens
the lives of those involved should not be forgiven."

10) MPD obtains arrest warrants for three Sea Shepherd members;
Plans to put them on Interpol list shortly

ASAHI (Page 35) (Excerpts)
August 19, 2008

The Metropolitan Police Department Public Security Bureau obtained
yesterday arrest warrants for three members of the Sea Shepherd
Conservation Society (SS), an U.S. environmental group, for throwing
smoke candles and other objects onto the Kaiko Maru, the lead ship
of the Japanese whaling fleet by the Institute of Cetacean
Institute, which was conducting research whaling in the Southern
Ocean in February 2007.

The MPD has obtained arrest warrants for Jonathan Batchelor, 30, and
Ralph Koo, 41, who are both U.S. nationals, and Daniel Bebawi, a
28-year-old Briton. The MPD plans to ask before long the
International Criminal Police Organization (ICPO) to put them on its
international wanted list.

11) Prime Minister Fukuda: Visit to Pyongyang by abduction minister
possible

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda met last night at his official residence
with State Minister for Abduction Issue Kyoko Nakayama and her
husband, former Education Minister Nariaki Nakayama. In the meeting,
Fukuda indicated the possibility of sending the abduction minister
to Pyongyang in order to seek progress on the issue of North Korea's
abductions of Japanese nationals. He told them: "If it comes to the
crunch, I may send Abduction Minister Nakayama to Pyongyang." The
meeting lasted for about three hours over dinner.

12) Fukuda eyes mid-September as opening day of Diet session

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


TOKYO 00002277 006 OF 007


Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda decided yesterday to set the opening day
of the next extraordinary Diet session at sometime in mid-September.
Fukuda plans to hold the session earlier than in usual years out of
a desire to enact such key bills as one amending the New
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law to extend the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.
The decision also stems from his consideration for New Komeito,
which has insisted on sometime in late September. The junior ruling
partner is still cautious about taking a revote in the House of
Representatives to pass the bill. Attention is being focused on how
New Komeito will respond.

Fukuda had been calling for opening the session sometime between
late August and early September, based on the stance of giving
priority to enacting legislation to enable the MSDF to continue the
refueling mission, while the New Komeito was opposed to premising
the schedule on a revote. The convocation in mid-September is a
compromise proposal, in a sense. The most likely possibility is that
the session will be opened on September 12 and last for about two
months.

13) Amari: If Fukuda cabinet's approval rate drops below 20 PERCENT
, Aso will become next prime minister

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Appearing on a satellite television program yesterday, Akira Amari,
former minister of economy, trade and industry, who is regarded as
an aide to Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Taro
Aso, indicated that if the Fukuda cabinet's slump in the polls
continues, Aso will become the next prime minister before the next
House of Representatives election. Amari stated:

"If the (Fukuda cabinet's) support rate drops to below 20 PERCENT ,
some in the LDP would call for a change of the cabinet. I believe
Secretary General Aso is the person who will be chosen (as the
successor to Fukuda) when that occurs."

14) Defense minister to visit Okinawa today

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 19, 2008

Defense Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi will make his first official
visit to Okinawa Prefecture on Aug. 19-20. Hayashi will meet with
Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima today and with Nago City's Mayor
Yoshikazu Shimabukuro and other municipal heads tomorrow to talk
about the pending issue of relocating the U.S. military's Futenma
airfield in the city of Ginowan (to a coastal area of Camp Schwab, a
U.S. military base in the island prefecture's northern coastal city
of Nago). Meanwhile, the government has been facing difficulties in
its coordination with local officials over Futenma relocation.
Hayashi intends to show a stance of attaching importance to talks
for a solution to the issue.

15) Yokosuka civic group launches activities to oppose deployment of
U.S. nuclear carrier

AKAHATA (Page 15) (Excerpts)
August 19, 2008


TOKYO 00002277 007 OF 007


People who are opposed to the deployment of a nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier at the U.S. Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka City,
Kanagawa Prefecture, held a press conference at the Yokosuka
municipal government office yesterday and revealed their plan for
future activities.

The group, set up on July 6, insists, "We don't need a
nuclear-powered aircraft carrier." It has launched activities
against the planned deployment of a nuclear carrier in cooperation
with many citizens. The group plans a demonstration on the streets
once a month and several small-scale gatherings every week.

16) Foreign Ministry to strengthen Africa diplomacy

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Slightly abridged)
August 19, 2008

Africa is becoming an area to which Japan is giving increased
diplomatic priority. The government sent in July and August a
fact-finding team (to Sudan to prepare for a planned dispatch of its
Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel) to United Nations peacekeeping
operations (PKO). The Foreign Ministry appointed promising young
diplomats as ambassadors to three African countries, including
Ghana.

The government announced at the Fourth Tokyo International
Conference on African Development in May in Yokohama that it would
double its official development assistance (ODA) to Africa. In
addition to the establishment of embassies in three African
countries in 2007, Japan plans to set up in fiscal 2008 embassies in
two countries, including Mauritania.

Such issues as SDF participation in PKOs, global warming, and energy
shortages are connected in Africa. The Foreign Ministry, therefore,
wants to strengthen Japan's foreign policy toward Africa using the
energy of young diplomats.

SCHIEFFER

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