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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/27/08

VZCZCXRO9446
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2351/01 2400740
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270740Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6834
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
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 1925
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9561
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3301
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7704
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0141
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5060
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1052
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1381

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TOKYO 002351

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 08/27/08

INDEX:

(1) U.S. Consul General Maher asked to leave Okinawa; Says, "I
conveyed U.S. policy honestly" [Okinawa Times]

(2) Reorganization of Okinawa land prior to return of areas used by
five U.S. military facilities in south of Kadena Air Base; creation
of extensive city aimed at [Ryukyu Shimpo]

(3) Illegal imports of U.S. beef via Costa Rica: Agriculture
ministry imposes total embargo [Akahata]

(4) Aso gives priority to revitalizing corporate activities, evoking
skepticism even from LDP [Asahi]

(5) TOP HEADLINES

(6) EDITORIALS

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, August 26 [Nikkei]

ARTICLES:

(1) U.S. Consul General Maher asked to leave Okinawa; Says, "I
conveyed U.S. policy honestly"

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 26) (Full)
August 27, 2008

(Ginowan City) On the morning of August 26, Zenji Shimada, head of
a litigation group to end roars emanating from Futenma Air Station,
and other civic group members paid a visit on the U.S. Consulate
General in Okinawa and handed over a paper with a resolution that
read: "We protest your anti-Okinawa remarks and demand you leave
Okinawa immediately." In response, Consul General Maher reportedly
stated: "My role is to convey U.S. policy honestly to residents. I
do not make personal remarks."

In the resolution was a protest against Consul General Maher's
remark made in a press conference on July 11 about housing that
neighbors the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City. He
had stated: "I question why Ginowan City allowed such construction."
Consul General Maher asserted that the danger from Futenma Air
Station to the surrounding area was low, if one compared the
neighboring population density and number of flights to such
airports as Fukuoka's. His remark brought about a sharp reaction
from local residents.

(2) Reorganization of Okinawa land prior to return of areas used by
five U.S. military facilities in south of Kadena Air Base; creation
of extensive city aimed at

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
August 26, 2008

Prior to the return of U.S. military facilities located south of
Kadena Air Base to Okinawa, which was agreed on between Tokyo and
Washington as part of the realignment of U.S. bases in Japan, the
Okinawa prefectural government's planning department yesterday
issued a report of a basic study under consideration for drawing an
"effective utilization vision" aimed at the use of base land to be
vacated by the U.S. military. With the return of large-scale land in

TOKYO 00002351 002 OF 005


mind, the Okinawa prefectural government came up with the notion of
reviewing the structure of the Naha-centered local economy and
establishing a broad urban area made up of central and southern
Okinawa. It also drew up tentative plans for the five areas that are
scheduled to be returned to Okinawa. The tentative plans include
connecting roads in Camp Zukeran.

Of the promising industries for this fiscal year in southern and
central Okinawa, the prefectural government will launch a
feasibility study of the medical industry with an eye on creating an
"innovative technology special zone."

Based on the results of the basic research, the prefecture will
formulate an "effective utilization vision" this fiscal year.
Regarding the medical industry area, it will look into a road map
for creating advanced medical enterprises and bringing in such
companies in order to reflect more specialized verification in the
road map.

The basic survey was conducted in 2007. As a result, the prefectural
government came up with two visions: an industry promotion vision to
look into industries to be created and existing ones to be brought
in; and an urban function vision to look into a traffic system in
central and southern Okinawa.

According to the urban function vision, areas south of Kadena Air
Base are regarded as one extensive city. The vision sets these
goals: 1) exchanges with the Asia-Pacific region and contribution to
the region; 2) building a strategic industrial base; and 3)
realizing a new symbiotic life style based on climate and culture.
In order to accomplish these goals, a unique concept was made for
each U.S. military facility site to be returned.

The report proposes creating a large-scale park and new
administrative function at Futenma Air Station, which is located on
the center of south-central Okinawa and regarded as a symbol of the
settlement of postwar issues, by remodeling into a "multifunctional
urban space for international exchanges."

According to the industry promotion vision, the prefecture will
verify the feasibility of 14 projects, including an advanced medical
special zone, bringing in a heavy particle radiotherapy
organization, and an international air distribution network, and
their issues.

Based on that, industrial clusters, which are expected to be set up
in central and southern Okinawa, include: 1) a medical-affiliated
industry cluster; 2) a health business cluster; 3) an Asian gateway
zone; 4) a destination resort; and 5) an information and
communication industry corridor.

(3) Illegal imports of U.S. beef via Costa Rica: Agriculture
ministry imposes total embargo

AKAHATA (Page 1) (Full)
August 27, 2008

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) on August
26 placed a total ban on imports of beef from Costa Rica, because it
was found that U.S. beef had been imported to Japan via that country
in violation of import conditions. This is the first discovery of
the illegal imports of U.S. beef via Costa Rica.

TOKYO 00002351 003 OF 005

According to the Animal Health Division of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, about 1.4 tons (320 boxes) of
ox tongues from U.S. cattle were illegally imported. The random
inspection carried out on August 20 found improper sanitary
certificates that carried the name of the consignor but had no name
for the beef processing plant.

In response to an inquiry by the agriculture ministry, the Costa
Rican government on August 25 replied that the cryopreserved ox
tongues in question were U.S. products from cattle processed at the
Dakota City plant of Tyson Foods Inc.

The government approves imports of beef products from Costa Rica
itself. It also approves imports of such products of 17 other
countries, where there have been no confirmed discoveries of BSE
cases, via Costa Rica.

However, it does not approve imports of U.S. beef. The agriculture
ministry and the health, labor and welfare ministry have `\-[Qsta Rican government
to report on the detailed results of investigations.

According to the Animal Health Division, the importer is a company
based in Fukuoka Prefecture. The consignor in Costa Rica has
received a certificate to process and store beef bound for Japan
only in July this year.

According to the statistics, beef imported from that nation account
for about 0.1% of annual total imports.

(4) Aso gives priority to revitalizing corporate activities, evoking
skepticism even from LDP

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 27, 2008

Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Taro Aso has continued to
call for a package of economic stimulus measures, placing emphasis
on revitalizing corporate activities. His aim is to underscore his
stance of avoiding pork-barrel such as public works projects by
prioritizing measures that are not accompanied by fiscal
disbursements.

When asked by Prime Minister Fukuda on Aug. 1 to take the post of
secretary general, Aso in accepting the offer said: "There is one
challenge I would like you to realize without fail. That is economic
recovery." Fukuda agreed that economic measures should be given
priority. Since then, Aso has continued to make his pitch.

In a speech on the 9th, Aso proposed a tax-free small-sum
capital-gain system. In speeches everywhere, he has expressed his
eagerness to introduce the system, saying: "I was determined to
introduce the system once I become prime minister. But I cannot wait
any longer."

In a press conference on the 19th, Aso said: "It would be better for
companies to make capital investments now," referring to a plan for
capital investment tax reduction.

Aso has noted: "Although the interest rate is now close to zero,

TOKYO 00002351 004 OF 005


companies are hesitant to make capital investment by borrowing
money. A situation that cannot be found in the textbooks on
economics is taking place now." This is what Richard Koo, chief
economist at Nomura Research Institute, also has advocated. What is
needed now is to draw out investment from the private sector. There
is a view that if investments are stimulated, there will be an
increase in tax revenues enough to cover the revenue shortfall
expected from tax cuts "Some might claim that we might become unable
to collect some tax money, but if no measures are taken, it may
become impossible to collect tax money at all."

Some in the party are skeptical about Aso's policy stance. An
ex-senior vice minister said: "His policy is what was pursued during
the Obuchi administration, skipping over the Koizumi administration.
Mr. Aso, with an eye on the next general election, seems to be
declaring that he will go after pork-barrel largesse."

In an attempt to dodge criticism, Aso said: "Those who talk about
'pork-barrel largesse', do not know the meaning of the words." Even
so, he has emphasized the need to take measures to control floods
and improve the Hokuriku Shinkansen lines in the aftermath of the
heavy rains this summer, so it would seem that he is ready to
approve a certain level of fiscal disbursements.

(5) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Russian president recognizes independence of South Ossetia and
Abkhazia

Mainichi:
Taliban forces suspected involved in kidnapping Japanese aid worker

Yomiuri, Sankei, and Tokyo Shimbun:
North Korea suspends disabling nuclear facilities

Nikkei:
Pension shortfalls at listed companies expand 3.6 times in fiscal
2007

Akahata:
MAFF minister logged 23.45 million yen in expenses in 2005 and 2006
by registering secretary's home as office

(6) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) North Korean nuclear facilities: Brinkmanship does not work
(2) MAFF Minister Ota must present supporting documents

Mainichi:
(1) What prime minister wants to do in extra Diet not clear
(2) MAFF minister's offices expenses a problem

Yomiuri:
(1) Ruling parties cannot afford to be divided
(2) Harmful effects of taxi liberalization cannot be left
unaddressed

Nikkei:
(1) Russia must avoid being isolated internationally
(2) Fukuda administration in danger zone

TOKYO 00002351 005 OF 005

Sankei:
(1) Diet session must be extended for continued refueling mission
(2) U.S. presidential race: Deal with Russia resolutely

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Another office expense scandal
(2) U.S. presidential race: Strong leadership necessary

Akahata:
(1) Solid economic stimulus package imperative

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, August 26

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2008

09:30
Attended a party executive meeting at party headquarters.

10:00
Attended a cabinet meeting at the Kantei. Foreign Minister Koumura
stayed behind. Followed by Finance Minister Ibuki, METI Minister
Nikai, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Yosano, and Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura. Nikai stayed behind.

11:29
Met UNESCO Director General Matsuura and others.

14:24
Met Central Japan Railway Company Chairman Kasai.

15:14
Met Education Rebuilding Council member Fumiya Shinohara.

16:54
Met Vice Defense Minister Masuda and Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yanagisawa.

18:01
Attend a ceremony to give gifts to prize winners in the Beijing
Olympic Games and posed for a photo. Later attended a party.

18:51
Returned to his official residence.

ZUMWALT

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