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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/25/08

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RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1008
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 002323

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 08/25/08

Index:

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

Defense & security issues:
4) GOJ mulling antipiracy legislation (Yomiuri)
5) Nagasaki Prefecture asks GOJ to step up U.S. nuclear sub
radiation leak monitoring (Mainichi)
6) Defense Ministry to release white paper, drawing attention to
wording for disputed islets (Nikkei)
7) Defense Ministry earmarks 95 billion yen for F-15 upgrade due to
delay in FX selection (Nikkei)
8) GOJ to overhaul Japan's defense plan (Nikkei)

Japan in action:
9) Japan, Australia to work together on all nuclear powers for
nuclear disarmament (Nikkei)
10) Japan's initiative with Australia for nuclear disarmament aimed
at urging China to exercise self-restraint (Nikkei)

China & North Korea ties:
11) Now that Beijing Olympics is over, Japan to gear up talks with
China for progress on bilateral issues (Nikkei)
12) North Korea likely to start probe into abductions this month
(Tokyo Shimbun)

Political & economic issues:
13) Diplomatic calendar filled for Prime Minister Fukuda (Mainichi)

14) Foreign Minister Koumura suggests need for Japan to continue
refueling mission in Indian Ocean (Tokyo Shimbun)
15) LDP to draft manifesto in November for election (Nikkei)
16) GOJ eyeing 8-trillion-yen stimulus package (Yomiuri)
17) Justice Ministry eyes bills for lawsuits against foreign
businesses (Tokyo Shimbun)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun and Akahata:
Beijing Olympics end, baton passes to London

Nikkei:
Japanese firms boost use of recycled materials due to soaring
material costs

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) China must take steps toward political reform after Olympics
(2) Russia must completely withdraw from Georgia

Mainichi:
(1) Baton passed to London
(2) China must embody harmony

Yomiuri:
(1) Olympic baton must pass to next generation
(2) Test begins with end of Olympics

TOKYO 00002323 002 OF 008

Nikkei:
(1) Beijing Olympics reflected China at turning point

Sankei:
(1) Foreign nurses: System must be reviewed based on reality
(2) Law enforcement: Steady efforts needed

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Hopes for a more open China after Olympics
(2) Are lavish Olympics necessary?

Akahata:
(1) Be prepared for torrential rains

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 22

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 23, 2008

09:30
Met at the Kantei with Finance Minister Ibuki, Economic and Fiscal
Policy Minister Yosano, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.
Joined by Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nikai.

10:01
Attended a cabinet meeting. Later, attended a meeting of the Drug
Abuse Prevention Office.

10:27
Met Ibuki, Nikai, Yosano, and Machimura. Followed by Defense
Minister Hayashi.

11:26
Met Secretary General Aso and Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Oshima. Joined by Machimura. Machimura stayed behind.

12:26
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretaries Shionoya and Iwaki.

14:30
Met Public Security Intelligence Agency Director General Yanagi.

15:02
Met former LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa and former
Agriculture Minister Shimamura, supreme advisors of the LDP's action
policy study group to revive shopping districts, Lower House member
Kiyoshi Nakano, chairman of the group, and others. Nakagawa stayed
behind. Followed by Yosano. Later met Foreign Ministry's
International Cooperation Bureau Director General Kitera and African
Affairs Bureau Director General Akimoto.

15:49
Met Nikai, former Defense Agency Director General Aichi, and former
National Public Safety Commission Chairman Izumi.

16:06
Met Special Assistant Ito. Followed by Machimura. Later met Yosano
and Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Saka.


TOKYO 00002323 003 OF 008


17:40
Met Shinichi Shogenji, the agriculture department head of the
University of Tokyo.

18:37
Met Foreign Ministry's Foreign Policy Bureau Director General
Bessho.

19:23
Returned to his official residence.

Prime Minister's schedule, August 23

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

August 24, 2008

Spent the morning at his official residence.

14:16
Met Tokyo University Professor Yoshikawa, chairman of the Social
Security National Conference.

Prime Minister's schedule, August 24

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

August 25, 2008

Spent all day at his official residence.

4) Government eyes antipiracy legislation

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 23, 2008

The government decided on Aug. 22 to introduce new legislation to
clamp down on piracy and other illegal activities by foreign-flagged
vessels on the high seas. The government specifically plans to
submit a bill to revise the penal code or a bill to establish a new
law to an ordinary Diet session possibly next year. Under the UN
Convention on the Law of the Sea, signatories are allowed to crack
down on piracy on the open sea. The government plans to take this
step to increase the security of sea lanes.

5) Nagasaki calls for enhanced system to monitor U.S.
nuclear-powered vessels in wake of submarine's radiation leak

MAINICHI (Page 24) (Full)
August 23, 2008

In the wake of the leak of radiation by the U.S. nuclear-powered
submarine Houston, Nagasaki Gov. Genjiro Kaneko requested on Aug. 22
the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology
(MEXT) to tighten the system to monitor the amounts of radiation at
Sasebo port in the prefecture which is visited by U.S. Navy
nuclear-powered vessels.

The petition calls for the establishment of additional radiation
monitoring posts in the southern area of Sasebo port which has often
been visited by U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carriers in recent
years, while pointing out that the leaks of radioactive substances

TOKYO 00002323 004 OF 008


for two years are unacceptable.

Upon receiving the petition from Keinosuke Tanaka, chief of the
Nagasaki governor's office, MEXT Nuclear Safety Division Director
Shinnichi Kuroki said: "Although we think the current setup is
sufficient, we are considering whether to seek funding for the
additional monitoring posts."

6) Government to announce defense white paper for 2008; Description
of Takeshima likely to draw attention

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 25, 2008

The annual White Paper on Defense, or the Defense of Japan, is a
report on the security environment surrounding Japan and the
organizational system of the Self-Defense Forces. Defense Minister
Yoshimasa Hayashi is expected to report on the 2008 version of the
Defense of Japan to a cabinet meeting on Sept. 5.

The 2008 version includes a new chapter on reform of the Defense
Ministry and also touches on China's use of space and its growing
missile force and the intensifying activities of the Russian
military backed by the economic boom. The report also explains a
permanent law governing the overseas dispatch of the SDF, a
highlight in the upcoming extraordinary Diet session.

The description of Takeshima -- a group of islets known as Dokdo in
South Korea, claimed by both Japan and South Korea -- is also likely
to draw attention. Since the 2005 version, the Defense of Japan has
specified: "The questions of sovereignty over the Northern
Territories and Takeshima, both Japan's inherent territories,
remains unsettled." The government plans to follow this policy
direction in the 2008 version as well. The matter is likely to draw
fire from South Korea, which has fiercely reacted to the reference
of Takeshima in Japan's new educational guidelines for school
teachers.

7) Defense Ministry to request 95 billion yen for upgrading F-15s

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
August 25, 2008

The Defense Ministry has decided to incorporate in its 2009
budgetary request some 95 billion yen for upgrading the Air
Self-Defense Force's F-15 mainstay fighter jets, including their
radar systems. The funding covers the upgrading of 22 F-15s and the
procurement of components for additional 38 F-15s to be used in the
future. Although the numbers exceed those specified in the Midterm
Defense Buildup Program up to fiscal 2009, the ministry has
concluded the funding indispensable in order to maintain the
country's air defense capability, given the delay in determining the
next-generation mainstay fighter (FX).

As successors to some 90 F-4 fighters, the ministry planned to
procure the first seven FXs in fiscal 2009. But that will be slipped
to the next Midterm Defense Program that stars in fiscal 2010.
Similarly, the ministry will drop the planned purchase in fiscal
2009 of next-generation cargo planes (CX) and of the Ground
Self-Defense Force's AH-64D helicopters due to the delay in
development and high price tags.


TOKYO 00002323 005 OF 008


The budgetary request totals 4.8449 trillion yen, up 2.2 PERCENT
from last year's initial budget. The increase is largely
attributable to skyrocketing fuel costs.

8) Government to fundamentally review National Defense Program
Guidelines earlier than scheduled with China, North Korea in mind

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2008

The government has decided to drastically revise the National
Defense Program Outlines (NDPG) that specifies Japan's basic
security policy. In addition to reformulating the defense strategy
in view of changes in the international situation, such as China's
military buildup and expectations for the Self-Defense Forces'
international contributions, the government has decided to review
the NDPG earlier than initially planned in order to have Defense
Ministry reform reflected in the outlines in the wake of a string of
inappropriate conducts by ministry officials. The government plans
to set up an experts' council at the Prime Minister's Office this
fall for a cabinet decision at the end of 2009.

The NDPG will be reviewed along with a revision of the Midterm
Defense Buildup Program (FY2010 - FY2014). Its new version is likely
to show strong concerns over the situations in neighboring
countries, such as China's defense spending, which has been showing
a two-digit year-on-year increase, the unclear future of North
Korea's planned abandonment of its nuclear weapons, and Russia's
intensifying activities from the economic boom.

9) Japan to call on all nuclear powers for nuclear arms reduction

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2008

The government has decided to submit a resolution calling for "all
nuclear powers" to reduce their nuclear weapons to the United
Nations General Assembly session, which will begin in late
September. Since all the recognized nuclear powers -- the United
States, Britain, China, France and Russia -- except China have made
efforts for nuclear arms reduction in some fashion, the resolution
is effectively aimed at China. The expectation is that the motion
will be adopted by a majority, as the Group of Eight (G-8) members
will likely support it.

10) Japan to submit to UNGA resolution calling for arms reduction in
order to urge China

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2008

Commentary

Japan will submit to the upcoming United Nations General Assembly
session a resolution calling for all nuclear powers to reduce their
nuclear weapons. The purpose of Japan's decision is to urge China,
which has continued its military buildup, to exercise restraint by
involving the other nuclear powers -- the United States, Britain,
France and Russia. However since UNGA resolutions, different from
sanctions adopted by the UN Security Council, have no binding force,
the resolution's influence over China, North Korea and Iran would be
limited.

TOKYO 00002323 006 OF 008

The resolutions Japan has submitted to the UN every year calling for
eliminating nuclear weapons have been adopted by a majority. The aim
of Japan's resolution this time is to send a strong message to
China.

11) Government to urge China to make progress on dumplings food
poisoning issue

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 25, 2008

Following the end of the Beijing Olympics, the government intends to
urge again the Chinese government to make progress as early as
possible on such pending bilateral issues as the Chinese-made frozen
dumplings food poisoning issue and the exploration of gas fields in
the East China Sea. Tokyo will call on Beijing to continue dialogue
with the Dalai Lama's side so that the human rights in Tibet will
not backslide even after the end of the Beijing Olympics.

It was learned in early August that gyoza dumpling poisonings had
occurred in China. According to a source familiar with Japan-China
diplomacy, Foreign Minister Koumura, during his China visit last
week, persistently asked his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and
other Chinese leaders to provide Japan with information on the
dumpling poisoning issue. Tokyo intends to speed up cooperation on
China's investigations into the issue in order to shed light on it.

Although Tokyo and Beijing reached a basic agreement in June on the
joint development of gas fields, the move has been put on hold
because of China's reasons such as public opposition on the Web.
Japan aims to initiate negotiations on specifics as the Olympics are
now over.

The government has welcomed the resumption in July of dialogue
between the Chinese authorities and the Dalai Lama's side and it
expects the situation will change for the better by continuing the
dialogue. However, there is a view in the government that the
Chinese government held the dialogue with the Dalai Lama's side in
an attempt to show the world its efforts to improve the human rights
in Tibet in consideration of the Olympics, according to the source
familiar with Japan-China diplomacy.

12) North Korea may start reinvestigation into abductions this
month

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 23, 2008

It was learned yesterday that North Korea had conveyed to Japan its
plan to start the reinvestigation of its abductions of Japanese
nationals probably before the end of August. Japan and North Korea
have agreed at working-level talks that Pyongyang will reinvestigate
its abductions.

The Japanese government will lift restrictions on North Korean
visits and charter flights between the two countries once North
Korea begins the reinvestigation.

However, it is uncertain whether the reinvestigation will lead to
the discovery of Japanese abductees and their return home, to which
Japan has been attaching top priority.

TOKYO 00002323 007 OF 008

13) Tight diplomatic schedule for Fukuda might affect length of Diet
session

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 25, 2008

In the upcoming extraordinary Diet session, heated debate is
expected between the ruling and opposition camps over a bill
designed to extend the New Antiterrorism Special Measures Law beyond
its expiration next January. But the diplomatic schedule for Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda is tightly packed. Preparations are now
underway for Japan to hold a Japan-China-South Korea summit in Kobe
on Sept. 21. Some overseas trips have also been planned. These trips
by Fukuda will inevitably affect the timetable for deliberations on
the antiterrorism bill and may also affect the haggling over the
length of the Diet session in the ruling parties.

Major diplomatic events this year

Sept. 12? Convocation of extraordinary diet session
Sept. 21? Japan-China-South Korea summit (Japan)
Sept. 23 ~ UN General Assembly (New York)
Oct. 24-25 Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) (Beijing)
Nov. 22-23 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum (Lima)
Dec. 15-17 East Asia Summit, etc. (Bangkok)

14) Refueling should be continued: Koumura

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 25, 2008

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura attended a meeting yesterday in
Nagano Prefecture's Karuizawa Town, where he, referring to the issue
of whether Japan should continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean, said Japan cannot obtain
the international community's understanding if Japan pulls out of
its activities there.

"Japan is constitutionally not allowed to conduct maritime intercept
operations," Koumura said. "But instead," he added, "Japan is
providing fuel and water to foreign vessels."

15) LDP to prepare manifesto by November for election

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 25, 2008

The Liberal Democratic Party's National Strategy Office, headed by
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, decided yesterday to set up a mid- to
long-term vision compilation committee this week to have it compile
a draft manifesto that includes mid- to long-term policy measures
for the next House of Representatives election by November. The new
panel will appoint 21 deputy heads mainly from among those who once
served as cabinet ministers.

16) Government to finalize economic package worth 8 trillion yen by
end of August

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpt)
August 23, 2008


TOKYO 00002323 008 OF 008


The government yesterday unveiled a draft plan for comprehensive
economic measures that the government and the ruling camp plan to
finalize by the end of this month. The draft package includes
measures worth approximately 8 trillion yen to help small businesses
raise funds; subsidize fishermen now being affected by the recent
sharp rise in fuel prices; and to save energy. The government will
start full-scale talks with the ruling parties next week, aiming at
finalizing the package by the end of August.

17) Justice Ministry to set rules on civil suits against foreign
firms

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 25, 2008

The Justice Ministry decided yesterday to draw up a new bill that
sets rules for civil suits in Japanese court against foreign firms.
The ministry has already started legal preparations for lawsuits
against foreign governments. Justice Minister Okiharu Yasuoka plans
to submit the two bills to the Legislative Council on Sept. 3 to
seek its advice. The ministry will step up efforts to establish
legal systems to deal with international problems that are
increasing recently as a result of the rapid integration of the
global economy.

In dealing with international civil cases, courts have so far made
judgments based on precedent. Under the current system, whether a
trial will be held in Japan or in the country of the defendant is
unknown until the suit is actually filed. In cases where the trial
is held in the country of the defendant, the plaintiff has to bear a
heavy financial burden.

The Justice Ministry intends to submit the new legislation involving
foreign governments to the ordinary Diet session next year and the
one involving foreign firms to the 2010 ordinary session.

ZUMWALT

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