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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/21/08

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P 210806Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1854
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9492
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3232
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7639
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0072
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4996
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0986
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1322

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 002307

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 08/21/08

INDEX:

(1) Defense Minister Hayashi: No logical reason for moving
replacement facility offshore (Okinawa Times)

(2) Japan providing free fuel that is purchased from U.S.; Checkbook
contributions evident (Tokyo Shimbun)

(3) SDF possesses large armaments for overseas missions, including
200-billion-yen helicopter carrier (Akahata)

(4) SDF dispatch (Part 2): Permanent legislation fades out in
changing political situation (Mainichi)

ARTICLES:

(1) Defense Minister Hayashi: No logical reason for moving
replacement facility offshore

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2008

After meeting with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, Defense Minister
Yoshimasa Hayashi held a press conference yesterday afternoon at a
hotel in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture, where he visited for the
first time since taking office. In the press meeting, Hayashi
reiterated that without a logical reason it would be difficult to
move the planned replacement facility for the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station offshore from the government's original plan.

Asked by reporters about his impression of Okinawa, Hayashi said: "I
felt anew that four U.S. military bases are concentrated here." He
then stressed: "The realignment of U.S. bases in Japan is a chance.
Taking this opportunity, we must endeavor to implement the
realignment."

Regarding his meetings with Nakaima and Nago Mayor Yoshikazu
Shimabukuro, Hayashi said with confidence: "In order to work
together, we reached a consensus on forging relations. I think we
have the same position."

The Hayashi-Shimabukuro meeting on the morning of Aug. 20 was
closed, except for its opening. In addition to moving the alternate
facility offshore, Shimabukuro made four requests, including that
local companies be given priority in placing orders and that a
portion of Camp Hansen's land be continued to be used. It has been
decided that the land in question will be gradually returned to
Okinawa.

According to the Defense Ministry, Shimabukuro said he would like to
engage in energetic consultations on an agreement on land use.

Shimabukuro, after the meeting, expressed his desire, saying:

"The working team has been created. We will promote discussion in
detail, while acknowledging each other's positions. I think we will
discuss matters in the relocation committee."

In Hayashi's luncheon meeting with the heads of municipalities in
northern Okinawa, Takeshi Gibu, the chairman of the association of
the municipalities in northern Okinawa and mayor of Kin Town, called
on Hayashi to give priority to residents in the northern region when

TOKYO 00002307 002 OF 006


hiring employees for the base.

Hayashi viewed areas around Futenma No. 2 Elementary School, Futenma
Air Station, and the takeoff and landing of FA-18s from Kakazu
Takadai Park. He received a briefing from Okinawa Defense Bureau
chief Ro Manabe on aerial surveillance and the location of Okinawa
International University, where a CH-53 once crashed.

Regarding the fact that he had not set a meeting with Ginowan Mayor
Yoichi Iha, Hayashi in the press conference said: "Due to time
constraints, I was unable to set any meeting with him. It is
important to exchange views with various people, seizing every
opportunity. I will look into the (possibility of meeting with Iha)
in the future."

(2) Japan providing free fuel that is purchased from U.S.; Checkbook
contributions evident

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Abridged)
August 21, 2008

The Self-Defense Forces, which have been providing fuel to vessels
of other countries in the Indian Ocean free of charge, have
purchased fuel from the U.S. military for their airlift mission in
Iraq. The refueling operation at sea started for supporting the
United States, which began attacks in Afghanistan in retaliation for
9/11. "Charging fees is an international norm. Providing anything
free is unusual," a senior Defense Ministry official said. What does
the Japanese public, who is suffering under soaring oil prices,
think of such services?

The Maritime Self-Defense Force provided naval vessels of the United
States and other countries with fuel worth 22.4 billion yen free of
charge under the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that was in
force for the six years from 2001 to 2007. People still remember
that a U.S. oiler was suspected to have diverted its fuel from Japan
to the war in Iraq.

The MSDF provided over 800 million yen worth of fuel to a total of
40 foreign oilers between January and July 31 this year under the
new antiterrorism law (refueling law). Pakistan tops the list at a
total of 16 occasions, followed by France, Germany, Canada, the
United States, Britain and New Zealand. The MSDF has provided free
fuel not only to Pakistan, which is subject to Japan's official
development assistance (ODA), but also to industrialized countries
as well.

When an MSDF training fleet visited a French port in July 2005, it
received 30 million yen worth of fuel from the country in return for
providing free fuel to a total of over 50 French naval vessels in
the Indian Ocean. That was the only occasion the MSDF has received
free fuel.

Meanwhile, the Air Self-Defense Force contingent in Kuwait has
purchased fuel for its Iraq airlift mission from the U.S. military,
which has fuel storage tanks at the same base, in accordance with
the Japan-U.S. Acquisition and Cross-Servicing Agreement (ACSA).

The antiterrorism law, refueling law, and Iraq measures law have
articles allowing Japan to provide other countries with supplies
free of charge.


TOKYO 00002307 003 OF 006


A Defense Ministry International Cooperation Division source said of
the reason why the article was applied only to the refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean and not to the airlift mission in
Iraq: "It reflects the decision based on Japan's contribution
policy." What was the decision?

The antiterrorism law was enacted only after 25 days of Diet
deliberations following the U.S. and British forces' air strikes on
Afghanistan in October 2001. Asked his view on the law in a Lower
House Budget Committee session on October 10, 2007, Prime Minister
Yasuo Fukuda admitted Japan's "support for the war," saying: "The
United States took action for self-defense following the enormously
shocking 9/11 attacks. We were in a position to cooperate with it."

The United States' war in self-defense ended with the establishment
of the interim Afghan government on December 22, 2001, but Japan's
refueling operation has continued and expanded to deal with 11
countries.

The government has defined the refueling mission as part of the
country's support for (the U.S. military's) Operation Enduring
Freedom Maritime Interdiction Operation (OEF-MIO). The U.S. Navy,
which has been leading the operation, has changed the MIO into the
Maritime Security Operations (MSO) for building a maritime
environment that is safe and stable. The operations do not dovetail
with the government's explanation.

A refueling operation at sea that ignores the ever-changing
situation brings back memories of Japan's checkbook diplomacy during
the 1991 Gulf War, when the government provided 3 billion dollars.
Fuel from oilers from the United States and Britain does not come
free. A Defense Ministry source has indicated that the government is
not considering switching the refueling operation to paid services
at this point in time.

(3) SDF possesses large armaments for overseas missions, including
200-billion-yen helicopter carrier

AKAHATA (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
August 20, 2008

The August 23, 2007, launching ceremony of the Hyuga, a Maritime
Self-Defense Force helicopter destroyer, made the August 30, 2007,
issue of the Asagumo, the Defense Ministry and Self-Defense Forces
newsletter. The newsletter also described the 13,500-ton,
197-meter-long destroyer as one of the largest vessels the MSDF
has.

Bearing a close resemblance to an aircraft carrier, the Hyuga is
comparable to the British aircraft carrier Invincible (209 meters)
and Italia's Giuseppe Garibaldi (180 meters) in size. The destroyer
is capable of carrying up to 11 helicopters.

The procurement of the Hyuga was determined in 2003 by the then
Defense Agency. The agency cited the need to flexibly carry out
overseas missions, such as long-term support for the U.S. military
in the Indian Ocean, as the reason for building large vessels.

The Hyuga cost 105.7 billion yen. The ministry has begun building
another Hyuga-class destroyer for 97.5 billion yen.

The MSDF also has large refuelers comparable to the Hyuga: the Mashu

TOKYO 00002307 004 OF 006


and Oumi (both 13,500 tons in displacement and 221 meters in
length).

The two vessels have repeatedly been dispatched to the Indian Ocean
to provide naval vessels of the Untied States and other countries in
the Indian Ocean with fuel and water free of charge. One Indian
Ocean tour lasts five to six months. The Mashu has made three tours
since it was commissioned in March 2004 and the Oumi two tours since
March 2005. It is not an exaggeration to say that they were
commissioned for refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

It cost the country 85.5 billion yen to build the two refuelers that
have been ridiculed as free gas stations in the Indian Ocean.

Besides those vessels, the MSDF possesses three 8,900-ton, 178-meter
transport vessels -- Osumi, Shimokita, and Kunisaki -- that
sea-lifted vehicles and supplies to Iraq for the Ground Self-Defense
Force.

Building the three vessels cost 115.4 billion yen. The construction
cost of five vessels, including the two large oilers, ran up to 290
billion yen.

The government once declared that it would not possess any air
tankers. Reversing its policy course, the government has now decided
to introduce five KC-767 air tankers. It has already concluded
contracts on four air tankers for 89.2 billion yen.

Air tankers are designed to refuel fighters and other aircrafts in
the air. They make it possible for fighters to fly further and
attack other countries. Equipped with transport functions to be used
in international cooperation activities, the government also
envisages using the KC-767 as aircraft for transporting troops
overseas.

The cost of building four P1 next-generation patrol planes for the
MSDF was incorporated for the first time in the fiscal 2008 budget
with the aim of enhancing the country's overseas deployment
capability. The government has decided to introduce a total of 65 P1
next-generation patrol aircraft. The government is also trying to
introduce next-generation transport planes sharing some frame
structures with the P1 for the ASDF in the name of international
cooperative duties.

Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the SDF's international peace
activities are on the decline with the failure of the Bush
administration's preemptive strike strategy.

In the face of growing national opinion opposing the MSDF's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, some in the ruling bloc think
the new antiterrorism law, the legal basis for the refueling
operation, must not be extended beyond next January. The UN
resolution backing the ASDF's Iraq airlift mission is also scheduled
to expire at the end of this year. The government is desperately
trying to find new overseas missions, such as one in Sudan, but
there is a huge inconsistency between its intentions on the one hand
and the Constitution and popular will on the other.

Major armaments for overseas deployment and their procurement costs

Helicopter carriers
(Destroyers carrying helicopters)

TOKYO 00002307 005 OF 006


Hyuga 105.7 billion yen
Hyuga-class second helicopter carrier
97.5 billion yen
Total 203.2 billion yen

Large refuelers
Mashu 45.3 billion yen
Oumi 40.2 billion yen
Total 85.5 billion yen

Large transport vessels
Osumi 45 billion yen
Shimokita 35.3 billion yen
Kunisaki 35.1 billion yen
Total 115.4 billion yen

KC-767 air tankers
No.1 KC-767 22.3 billion yen
No.2 21.1 billion yen
No.3 22.3 billion yen
No.4 23.5 billion yen
Total 89.2 billion yen

P1 next-general patrol aircraft
Four aircraft 92.4 billion yen

(4) SDF dispatch (Part 2): Permanent legislation fades out in
changing political situation

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 20, 2008

Last fall, the political world was shaken in an uproar over the
initiative to form a "grand coalition" of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party and the leading opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto). If the LDP and the DPJ had been allied, the Diet
could have enacted a permanent law allowing Japan to send the
Self-Defense Forces overseas as needed.

"If you're ready to discuss this permanent legislation in our talks
for a coalition government (of the LDP and the DPJ), then we will
cooperate to pass the bill for a new antiterrorism special measures
law to resume the (Maritime Self-Defense Force's) refueling
activities in the Indian Ocean." DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa made
this overture to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. This offer from Ozawa
touched off the uproar. At the time, Fukuda was in a fix as the
MSDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean was soon to be
terminated under a time-limited special measures law. Fukuda could
therefore find a way out of the difficulties. Moreover, it was also
possible to devise a plan for Japan to make still greater
contributions in the international community. Ozawa's proposal was
more attractive than killing two birds with one stone.

At the time of the 1990 Gulf crisis, Japan was called on to make
international contributions. Ozawa, as the then LDP secretary
general, worked out a legislative measure (scrapped later) for a de
facto permanent law allowing Japan to send SDF troops overseas in
conformity with a United Nations resolution. The government faced
difficulties in sending SDF troops to Iraq. Meanwhile, Fukuda also
pushed for creating a permanent law when he was chief cabinet
secretary.


TOKYO 00002307 006 OF 006


It takes time to create and enact a law for special measures each
time Japan sends SDF troops to such countries as Afghanistan and
Iraq. Moreover, the outcome of such legislative measures can be
easily affected by the political situation. The permanent law is to
list general guidelines for Japan to send SDF personnel overseas,
and it is also to show a menu of activities for SDF personnel to be
sent overseas. This law will allow Japan to send SDF personnel
overseas as needed if the Diet approves the government's masterplan
for SDF missions.

There are differences between the Gulf and Iraq wars. However, both
Fukuda and Ozawa had a hard time of it over the SDF's overseas
dispatch. The two were once about to join hands for the permanent
legislation.

It was also Ozawa who refused to do so. The initiative to form an
LDP-DPJ grand coalition drew unexpected negative reactions from
within the DPJ. In point of fact, Ozawa took back the initiative.
Ozawa then shifted his goal from the grand coalition initiative to a
change of government in an election. "We can agree with the DPJ's
defense policy clique, but the DPJ's leadership is quite hard to
persuade," one LDP executive lamented.

Ozawa has now made an about-face while taking it as a change of
course in the political situation. In the meantime, Fukuda was still
hanging on to the permanent legislation. "I want to work out a bill
during the ordinary Diet session," Fukuda said in March this year.
He wanted another chance to talk with the DPJ. However, Ozawa was
cold on Fukuda.

Meanwhile, the New Komeito-the LDP's coalition partner-was concerned
about a potential general election for the House of Representatives.
In June, the LDP and the New Komeito hit snags in their talks.
Fukuda is now saying almost nothing about the permanent legislation.
The top leaders of the two parties once tried to break the political
deadlock with the permanent legislation-which, ironically enough, is
now far from being realized in the changing political situation.

SCHIEFFER

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