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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Georgia-Russia Crisis

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2310 2350449
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220449Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6754
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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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 9505
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1867
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7652
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5009
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2497
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0999
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1335
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002310

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 - GEORGIA-RUSSIA CRISIS
AND MISSILE DEFENSE

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Friday morning papers gave
prominent top play to the Japanese team's gold medal in
women's softball in the Beijing Olympics.

2. "Russia's Continued Stationing of Troops
Unacceptable" The conservative Sankei editorialized
(8/22): "Russia's announcement that it will continue to
station ground troops in Georgia tramples on the
principles of the ceasefire.... Does the Russian
military plan to stay in Georgia long-term? If so,
Georgia's sovereignty will be ignored and its
territorial integrity violated. The Russian military
reportedly plans to set up a security zone in Georgia
in order to guarantee the truce. However, it runs
counter to international norms for a party to a
conflict to be involved in monitoring the ceasefire....
Russia appears to be ramping up an expansionist policy,
as it has reconstituted its power following the surge
in energy prices. If things stand unchecked, additional
conflicts may break out. It is high time for the U.S.
and Europe to commit to accelerated NATO membership by
Georgia and Ukraine from the viewpoint of crisis
preemption."

3. "Concerns about Cooling of U.S.-Russia Relations"
The business-oriented Nikkei asserted in an editorial
(8/22): "Was it really necessary for the U.S. to rush
into a missile defense accord (with Poland) at a time
when tensions with Moscow have become more pronounced
over the crisis in Georgia?... Tensions between the
U.S. and Russia will significantly affect coordination
on issues facing the international community, including
the war on terrorism, nuclear disarmament, the nuclear
programs of North Korea and Iran, and global warming. A
revival of the Cold War must be avoided, as it would
run against the current of the times."

4. "Is the Folly of the Cold War Being Repeated?" The
liberal Tokyo Shimbun contended (8/22): "The problems
confronting the globalized world cannot be resolved by
the U.S and Russia alone. It is imperative to come up
with a conflict resolution mechanism takes into account
the emergence of China, India, and Iran.... Relying on
force to resolve conflicts is untenable. The folly of
the Cold War must not be repeated."

5. "U.S. Should Halt Deployment of Missile Defense
System" The liberal Asahi insisted (8/22): "Unlike
during the Cold War, the U.S. and Russia need each
other in dealing with international security issues.
Russia is working diplomatically with the U.S. and
Europe to press Iran to halt uranium enrichment. A
deeper schism between Russia and the U.S. over the
deployment of a missile defense system against Iran
would weaken negotiating leverage vis-a-vis Tehran.
This vicious circle would risk endangering security in
Europe and around the world.... What is needed at this
moment is not a confrontation over missile defense but
the reestablishment of a relationship of cooperation by
encouraging Russia to withdraw its troops from Georgia.
The U.S. must first suspend its hasty plan to deploy an
MD system (in Poland)."

SCHIEFFER

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