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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Fukuda Resignation

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2381 2460323
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020323Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6927
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9632
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1995
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7766
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0213
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3373
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5129
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2513
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1122
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1448
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002381

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 - FUKUDA RESIGNATION

1. LEAD STORIES: Prime Minister Fukuda's sudden
resignation dominated Japanese newspaper coverage on
Monday morning.

2. "Irresponsible Surrender of Premiership" The liberal
Mainichi editorialized (9/2): "It is quite unusual that
two Japanese prime ministers in a row, each of whom was
in office only a short time, suddenly surrendered the
post. This is an act that hurts Japan's national
interest. It also raises doubts about whether the LDP
is capable of governing."

3. "Early Dissolution of Lower House Needed to Rectify
Unreasonable Political Situation" The liberal Asahi
argued in an editorial (9/2): "The difficulty in
formulating policy is a structural problem given the
fact that the two chambers of the Diet are controlled
by different parties. Regardless of who takes the helm
of the LDP and becomes prime minister, policy
management will hit a snag sooner or later. So long as
this fundamental inconsistency remains unresolved,
public support for the new premier will not rise. The
task for the next prime minister is to dissolve the
Lower House swiftly and seek the voters' judgment.
Without this, strong policy management will be
impossible."

4. "Strong Cabinet Needed to Implement Policies" The
liberal Mainichi editorialized (9/2): "Japan is
confronted with daunting tasks politically and
economically at home and abroad. Such issues as the
subprime loan crisis and soaring oil prices cannot be
dealt with by Japan alone.... Given that New Komeito is
cautious about using the ruling coalition's two-thirds
majority in the Lower House to override decisions in
the opposition-dominated Upper House, it is believed
that an extension of the New Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law is far from assured. The next
administration should rebuild the LDP's ties with New
Komeito in order to enact an extension."

ZUMWALT

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