Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/05/08

VZCZCXRO5988
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2442/01 2490826
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050826Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7051
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 2090
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9727
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3468
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7848
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0307
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5215
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1209
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1524

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 002442

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 09/05/08

INDEX:

(1) Poll on Fukuda's resignation, political parties, post-Fukuda
premiership (Tokyo Shimbun)

(2) Shock of Fukuda's resignation announcement (Part1): Next prime
minister should dissolve Lower House as soon as possible to end
political stalemate (Nikkei)

(3) Shock from Fukuda resignation (Part 3): Japan-U.S. alliance must
not be allowed to deteriorate (Nikkei)

(4) LDP presidential election: Where will anti-Aso votes go?
Supporters of Ishihara also supporting Koike; Yosano with personnel
network among senior government officials (Yomiuri)

(5) If Obama wins presidency, there will be no need to worry about
"Japan bashing" (Mainichi)

(6) FTC to ask BHP Billiton to submit plan for takeover bid for Rio
Tinto (Asahi)

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, September 4 (Nikkei) 10

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on Fukuda's resignation, political parties, post-Fukuda
premiership

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 4, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote the results of the
last survey conducted Aug. 1-2. The total percentage of multiple
answer choices is over 100 PERCENT .)

Q: Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda announced his resignation on Sept. 1.
What do you think about his resignation still in office?

He's irresponsible 67.8
Don't think he's irresponsible 28.0
Don't know (D/K) + no answer (N/A) 4.2

Q: What do you think the new cabinet should pursue first? Pick only
one.

Social security, including pension issues 36.0
Constitutional revision 2.9
Social divide 8.8
Politics and money 9.6
Economic measures, job security 22.6
Tax system 3.6
Education 6.2
Diplomacy, national security 3.1
Administrative, fiscal reforms 5.2
Other answers (O/A) 0.5
D/K+N/A 1.5

Q: What do you want the next prime minister to have? Pick up to two
from among those listed below.


TOKYO 00002442 002 OF 011


Leadership 43.6
Public accountability 44.0
Experience, actual results 11.5
Public sensitivity 26.8
Sincerity, modesty 16.3
Political ethics, cleanness 23.8
O/A 1.3
D/K+N/A 3.0

Q: The Liberal Democratic Party's newly elected president is
expected to become the successor to Prime Minister Fukuda. Who do
you think is appropriate to be the next prime minister? Pick only
one from among those listed below.

Taro Aso 35.3
Nobuteru Ishihara 7.1
Yuriko Koike 9.2
Junichiro Koizumi 15.0
Masahiko Koumura 0.5
Sadakazu Tanigaki 2.8
Fukushiro Nukaga 0.4
Yoichi Masuzoe 8.5
Nobutaka Machimura 2.0
Kaoru Yosano 1.6
O/A 2.0
D/K+N/A 15.6

Q: Would you like the present LDP-led coalition government to
continue, or would you otherwise like it to be replaced with a
DPJ-led coalition government?

LDP-led coalition government 43.3 (34.8)
DPJ-led coalition government 41.7 (48.2)
D/K+N/A 15.0 (17.0)

Q: The House of Representatives' current term of office is up until
September next year. When would you like the House of
Representatives to be dissolved for a general election?

Right away 30.2
Within the year 24.0
When the Diet opens its ordinary session early next year 11.9
Around next spring after the budget for next fiscal year clears the
Diet at its ordinary session next year 8.8
Upon the current term's expiry in September next year 17.9
D/K+N/A 7.2

Q: Which political party are you going to vote for in the next
election for the House of Representatives under the proportional
representation system?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 38.4
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 34.9
New Komeito (NK) 4.3
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2.2
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2.0
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.5
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.5
Other political parties 0.3
D/K+N/A 16.9

Q: The government and the ruling parties decided on a package of

TOKYO 00002442 003 OF 011


economic stimulus measures totaling 11.7 trillion yen in order to
boost the nation's economy and stabilize prices. In addition, the
government plans to implement an across-the-board tax break for the
income and individual residential taxes in fiscal 2008. Do you
appreciate these measures?

Yes 48.8
No 37.5
D/K+N/A 13.7

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 23.5 (31.5)
No 68.7 (48.1)
D/K+N/A 7.8 (20.4)

Q: Which political party do you support?

LDP 36.8 (28.7)
DPJ 27.0 (30.2)
NK 2.5 (3.4)
JCP 1.7 (2.9)
SDP 1.9 (1.1)
PNP 0.4 (0.5)
NPN 0.8 (0.7)
Other political parties, groups --- (---)
None 26.8 (31.2)
D/K+N/A 2.1 (1.3)

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation from
the evening of Sept. 2 through Sept. 3 by Kyodo News Service on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. Among randomly
generated telephone numbers, those actually for household use with
one or more eligible voters totaled 1,460. Answers were obtained
from 1,013 persons.

(2) Shock of Fukuda's resignation announcement (Part1): Next prime
minister should dissolve Lower House as soon as possible to end
political stalemate

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
September 3, 2008

By Mutsumi Nishida, editorial writer

Another cabinet has been toppled because it was unable to bear the
strain of the politically divided Diet. Following former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, who resigned from his post just one year after
taking office, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda could not hold sway over
his administration for even one year. Everything has come to a
standstill since Fukuda failed to come up with a strategy to enact a
bill extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation
in the Indian Ocean. This triggered his decision to resign as prime
minister.

In an attempt to put an end to the divided Diet situation, Prime
Minister Fukuda, who took office last September, tried to form a
grand coalition with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), headed by
Ichiro Ozawa. However, this idea hit a roadblock because many
lawmakers in the DPJ opposed it. Since then, there has been no doubt
that Fukuda has found it difficult leading his government.


TOKYO 00002442 004 OF 011


Opportunity for policy debate

As the cabinet's approval rate gradually dropped, the Prime Minister
could no longer play his sole card, dissolving the Lower House for a
snap election. Fukuda, who lacks the ability to appeal directly to
the public, was unwilling to risk dissolving the Lower House.

The main reason that Fukuda quit his post was probably the New
Komeito's estrangement from him. Because the New Komeito, as the
Liberal Democratic Party's coalition partner, wanted to exert all
its energy in next summer's Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election, it
begun to press for dissolution of the Lower House at the end of the
year or early next year. Many New Komeito members even thought that
it would better if the party went into the election for the Tokyo
Metropolitan Assembly without Fukuda being in office. The rift
between Fukuda and the New Komeito become increasingly obvious.

Following Fukuda's announcement of his intention to resign as prime
minister, the LDP decided to announce on Sept. 10 that it will hold
a presidential election on the 22nd. Secretary General Taro Aso
already has expressed his intention to throw his hat in the ring.
The focus now is whether former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike will
also run in the election.

There is serious discord in the LDP as to whether the Koizumi reform
initiative should be maintained or modified. With an eye on the next
Lower House election, the LDP presidential race will be a good
opportunity for the party to display its policies, including social
security and tax and fiscal policy reform, by engaging in active
policy debate.

The campaign promises of the next party president will become the
contents of the LDP's campaign pledges for the Lower House election.
With this in mind, Aso should come up with specific policy measures.
In order to restore the public's battered confidence in the LDP due
to the sudden resignation of two prime ministers two years in a row,
the party must have a set of shiny new policies.

Ichiro Ozawa, a DPJ presidential candidate, will unveil his policy
platform in an extraordinary party convention on Sept. 11. The
policy statement will have great significance since it will be
reflected in the party's campaign pledges. Unless the DPJ can come
up with policies that are feasible, it would soon reach a cul de
sac. The party should consider what impact there would be on
Japan-U.S. relations if it continues to oppose the MSDF's refueling
mission. It should also come up with convincing measures for Japan
to make its international contributions. If the party just follows
its campaign pledges for last year's Upper House election, concern
about its capability of assuming the political helm will not
disappear.

A power struggle will take place in the next Lower House election.
If the DPJ takes over the reins of government, the divided Diet
situation will end for while. Even if the LDP-New Komeito coalition
government fails to secure two-thirds of the Lower House seats, the
government will become more confident because it has received the
judgment of people.

After the Lower House election, the notion of forming a grand
coalition, as well as other moves seeking new arrangements, would
emerge again. The terms of the Lower House members will expire next
September, but if the next prime minister puts off the election

TOKYO 00002442 005 OF 011


until then, the political vacuum will only be prolonged. In an
attempt to put an end to the current political turmoil, the next
prime minister should not hesitate to dissolve the Lower House. It
is time for the will of voters to bring change to politics.

(3) Shock from Fukuda resignation (Part 3): Japan-U.S. alliance must
not be allowed to deteriorate

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
September 5, 2008

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's abrupt resignation will unavoidably
bring about a huge loss to the nation's diplomatic relations. A
matter of most concern is the blow dealt to the Japan-U.S.
alliance.

Sharp drop in amount of oil supplied to U.S. warships

On July 7, the eve of the opening day of the Hokkaido Toyako Summit,
there was an undisclosed conversation between Prime Minister Fukuda
and President Bush. Fukuda conveyed to Bush that it would be
difficult for Japan to dispatch Self-Defense Force (SDF) troops to
Afghanistan under the current situation.

Bush seemed to have considered such unavoidable. After the summit,
however, "Unconvinced U.S. government officials came closer to ask
why the dispatch is impossible," according to a government source.
In July, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Central Asia
Bobby Wilkes and other officials rushed to Japan to listen to the
circumstances.

Not only the Bush administration but even the Democratic Party has
placed emphasis on support for Afghanistan, the main battlefield in
the U.S.-led war on terrorism. At such a crucial juncture, Prime
Minister Fukuda suddenly announced his resignation. If diplomatic
matters are made a political issue in the upcoming extraordinary
Diet session and if Japan decides to shrink its international
contributions, the Japan-U.S. alliance would further deteriorate.

There is a dangerous sign. The amount of oil supplied to U.S. naval
ships in the SDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean has sharply
decreased recently. The total volume of oil supplied from February,
when the mission was resumed, through July was only 800 kiloliters,
just one-sixth of that in the same period a year ago. Japan refueled
U.S. ships just twice, one-fifth of that a year ago.

A source connected to Japan-U.S. relations explained why the amount
decreased so significantly: "Although the U.S. military presented a
huge volume of data to Japan last year, Japan continued to question
the U.S. over the alleged use of supplied fuel for Iraq. The U.S.
must have begun to consider that if it continued to depend largely
on Japan's fuel, there might be some trouble or inconvenience at the
critical moment."

In the extra Diet session, the issue of extending the refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean, beside a supplementary budget bill,
will also be high on the agenda. This mission is the sole visible
cooperation Japan has still offered in the war on terror. The ruling
coalition intends to submit a bill extending the relevant law to
continue the mission beyond its expiration next January.

But the opposition bloc remains opposed to the bill. If the

TOKYO 00002442 006 OF 011


Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and other opposition parties
continue to oppose it, they should present an alternative feasible
contribution plan in a proper way.

The environment surrounding Japan is so severe that we must not
allow the Japan-U.S. alliance to deteriorate further. China and
India are gaining influence, and the fissure between the U.S. and
Russia is becoming serious. Politics should be responsible for
giving a reply to a question about how to utilize the alliance in
order for Japan to secure its national interests.

Confrontation between U.S., Russia

It is particularly important to focus on what effect the
confrontation between the U.S. and Russia is likely to have on
Japan's economic and security benefits.

Russia is intensifying its offensive toward Japan with a hard and a
soft approach. A senior Russian Foreign Ministry official tried to
shake the Japan-U.S. alliance, saying: "The U.S. and China in
cooperation are set to launch a Japan bashing. In such a case, there
will be no other means but for Japan and Russia to join hands."
Russia has cast amorous glances toward Japan over energy and other
cooperation. But a Japanese security official said: "(Russia) is
continuing military buildup in the Asian region."

Meanwhile, the U.S. and Britain have urged to Japan to join hands
with them in dealing with Russia. British Ambassador David Warren
called on Prime Minister Fukuda late last month and urged Japan to
take a hard-line stance toward Russia. The showdown between the U.S.
and Russia has made Japan's position difficult.

The political vacuum in Japan would allow North Korea to move the
six-party talks and negotiations on the abduction issue in its
favor. Tokyo had asked Pyongyang to start reinvestigation of the
abduction issue by the end of August. But the North has made no
reply. A government source speculated: "North Korea might be
surmising that even if it delays the reinvestigation, there will be
no problem if the responsibility is shifted onto Japan's political
confusion."

Japan, which has no natural resources, has so far overcome
difficulties by joining forces with super powers since the Meiji
Restoration. The Japan-Britain alliance in the Japan-Russia War and
the Japan-U.S. alliance in the U.S.-Soviet Union Cold War can be
cited as successful cases. In World War II, Japan's attempt to
become an imperial power, antagonizing the U.S., Britain, China, and
Soviet Union, ended in failure.

Being a blind follower of the U.S. is not a rational way to
strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance. But even Germany, France, and
Canada, all of which were against the Iraq war, have dispatched
their troops to Afghanistan. Will Japan continue the ongoing
refueling mission or come up with an alternative plan? In the coming
extra Diet session, a "zero reply" on international contributions is
unacceptable.

(4) LDP presidential election: Where will anti-Aso votes go?
Supporters of Ishihara also supporting Koike; Yosano with personnel
network among senior government officials

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)

TOKYO 00002442 007 OF 011


September 5, 2008

With former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, State Minister for
Economic and Fiscal Policy Kaoru Yosano and former Policy Research
Chairman Nobuteru Ishihara declaring their candidacies against
Secretary General Taro Aso, the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP)
presidential election is showing signs of turning into a melee.
Which candidates will obtain the anti-Aso votes? Who will those who
advocate structural reforms support?

Aim of Ishihara to make preemptive move

Ishihara on the morning of September 4 expressed his intention to
run in the race and played up his determination to do his utmost to
secure 20 endorsement signatures. He said, "I haven't got many days
left. I must make a desperate effort to collect endorsement
signatures."

At the time, he still thought he would have to clear some barriers
before securing 20 endorsement signatures. Even so, he has decided
to run, presumably because he aimed at drawing the attention of
party members by making a preemptive move that would lead to
securing backers.

Ishihara believes that he had played a key role during the Koizumi
administration as state minister for administrative reform. He
endorsed Koizumi when he for the first time faced the challenged of
an LDP presidential election in 1995. Looking back on that election,
Ishihara said, "Mr. Koizumi had difficulty collecting endorsement
signatures in that election. I was involved in that process."

Reformist

Ishihara's declaration of his candidacy has created a stir among
other factions. In particular, Koike seems to have been inspired to
join the race.

Koike had been envisaging a scenario of announcing her bid for LDP
presidency as a champion of the reformists against Aso, who gives
priority not to structural reforms but to economic stimulus
measures. There is a strong possibility of supporters of Ishihara
also supporting Koike.

One veteran lawmaker, who backs Koike, said, "It would be better if
she draws attention by delaying an announcement of her stance, and
then draw in support in one stroke." However, she now has no time to
remain idle. She underscored that she was the quintessence of the
reformists, saying, "Whether structural reforms can really be
promoted and whether they can be surely implemented are being put to
the test. That is the key point."

Policy debate

Yosano, who attaches importance to fiscal discipline, takes a
different stance from the other three. His forte is his personnel
network among senior government officials.

On the 4th, he visited former Prime Minister Nakasone, whom he
respects as his mentor, and former head of LDP caucus in the Upper
House Mikio Aoki, with whom he has had a long-term relationship. He
there conveyed his resolve to run in the presidential race. Aoki has
strong influence not only over the Tsushima faction, to which he

TOKYO 00002442 008 OF 011


belongs, but also over Upper House members of other factions.
Chances are that if Yosano obtains Aoki's support, he would be able
to gain support also from veteran and mid-ranking lawmakers.

Aso keeps low profile

Aso on the afternoon of the 4th continued to write letters to his
acquaintances using a writing brush and rolled letter papers in a
traditional manner. He has been keeping a low profile out of concern
that if he makes a proactive move, while remaining in the post of
secretary general, party members would react negatively.

However, his camp is already on the move. Twenty-five lawmakers who
belong to Taro-Kai, a support group for Aso, the same day assembled
at a Tokyo hotel.

Taro-kai was formed in 2006, when the general election, in which Aso
lost to former Prime Minister Abe, was held. Former Justice Minister
Kunio Hatoyama during the meeting raised his voice, saying: "We are
fellow soldiers. We have held informal meeting 19 times since two
years ago. Fifty of us should rally together."

Voting by party members to be held at 46 local chapters to carry
weight

Local chapters aside from the Ibaraki Chapter will hold voting by
party members. Chances are that voting by party members, instead of
voting by lawmakers, could determine the outcome of the presidential
election as a whole.

The presidential election involves 304 votes from Lower House
members, 83 votes from Upper House members and 141 votes given to
local chapters totaling 528 votes. Voting by party members, which is
not necessarily mandatory, is held in order to decide on a candidate
their local chapters should vote for.

The party views that holding voting by party members will lead to a
public appeal that the LDP is an open party. Thirty five local
chapters held voting by party members in the previous election. This
time, 46 will hold such, apparently reflecting a strong sense of
alarm about the abrupt resignation announcement by Prime Minister
Fukuda.

The voting -- both by lawmakers and local chapters -- will take
place on the 22nd. However, voting by party members will be held one
after another, once the official announcement to hold the
presidential election is made. The party headquarters plans to
notify local chapters that they should not reveal the outcome of the
voting until the 22nd so that the voting behavior at local chapters
will not affect voting by lawmakers. Many local chapters will likely
disobey this order.

If no one obtains a majority in the first election, a runoff
election would be held by lawmakers alone. When there are many
candidates, there is a strong possibility of a runoff election
taking place. There could be a case of the camps of candidates who
took second or lower places aiming at turning the table in a final
vote, by joining forces. Once the campaigning moves into full scale,
maneuvering will likely become active among various camps with a
possible run-off taken into consideration.

(5) If Obama wins presidency, there will be no need to worry about

TOKYO 00002442 009 OF 011


"Japan bashing"

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
Evening, September 4, 2008

By Sumire Kunieda

In the United States, Democratic and Republican national conventions
took place in succession recently in the run-up to the presidential
election in November. The U.S. presidential race is now in full
swing. How would U.S. policy change if Democratic presidential
candidate Barack Obama, 47, wins the presidency? The newspaper asked
Sumitomo Shoji Research Institute senior analyst Masahiko Adachi'a
for his analytical views about members on the Obama policy advisory
team.

The Democratic Party brings back memories of "Japan bashing" in the
early days of the Clinton administration. Many people may recall the
nightmare of the Japan-U.S. trade dispute that resulted from the
U.S. trade deficit with Japan. Will Japan bashing flare up again if
an Obama administration is launched?

Adachi said with a wry smile: "Japan-U.S. relations cooled down
during the Clinton administration, and many people are still
dwelling on that traumatic experience. But this time around, there
is no need to worry."

According to Adachi, when Japan bashing occurred in 1994, the U.S.
trade deficit with Japan accounted for 40 PERCENT of its total
trade deficit. Today, it will be China that will be so targeted by
the United States. U.S. Commerce Department statistics showed that
the U.S. trade deficit was 60 billion dollars as of April 2008 and
that of it, China accounted for one-third. In addition, in the
Democratic Party, there is a wing called the "San Francisco
Democrats" who attach importance to human rights. There is a
possibility of "China bashing" arising as a result of House Speaker
Nancy Pelosi and others locking horns with Beijing over Tibet and
other issues by joining hands with anti-Chinese Republicans who
regard China as an economic and military threat.

Will an Obama administration's Asia policy center on Japan or shift
weight to China?

Adachi has analyzed Obama's foreign policy advisers and finds no
concern that they would advocate a China-centered policy.

Obama's Japan policy advisory team includes former Vice President
Walter Mondale and former House Speaker Thomas Foley, both former
ambassadors to Japan; Michael Schiffer, a former fellow at the
National Institute for Defense Studies in Japan; and Robert Orr, a
former Boeing Japan president who has lived in Japan for some 20
years with his Japanese wife. Adachi also predicted: "Obama's policy
team include some pro-Japan individuals who speak fluent Japanese.
There will be no decline in communication channels between Japan and
the United States."

Adachi also noted: "The Democratic Party's economic policy will take
a middle-of-the road position. Under an Obama administration,
economic policy will head for a social safety net based on the
free-trade principle." The Bush administration's foreign policy has
been characterized by unilateralism, a tendency to turn a deaf ear
to the opinions of other countries. "If Obama takes power, the

TOKYO 00002442 010 OF 011


United States would return to a dialogue and cooperation policy
course with its allies," Adachi said.

(6) FTC to ask BHP Billiton to submit plan for takeover bid for Rio
Tinto

ASAHI (Page 7) (Full)
September 4, 2008

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to order mining giant
BHP Billiton to submit a plan on its bid to acquire smaller rival
Rio Tinto. It is the first time that Japan will call for submission
of a plan regarding a takeover bid between foreign entities, based
on the Antimonopoly Law. This decision came as BHB Billiton has
refused to voluntarily submit its plan. The FTC will soon send a
written order to its main office in Melbourne, Australia.

BHB Billiton offered a takeover bid to Rio Tinto in February. If the
two mining giants are merged, the two companies will hold a 40
PERCENT share of the global iron ore market and supply about 60
PERCENT of Japan's iron ore imports. If resource prices surge as a
result of their control of the global market, the prices of our
daily products may also go up.

Based on the judgment that a merger between the two giants could
undermine competition, the FTC has decided to issue an order. If the
antimonopoly watchdog judges the takeover bid will unavoidably have
some negative effect on the Japanese market, the FTC will be allowed
to hand out a corrective action order to BHP Billiton.

BHP Billiton has already submitted the takeover plan to the
antimonopoly authorities of the European Union (EU) and Australia.
But the Japanese law does not require the company to submit a plan
in advance. The FTC asked BHP to present a paper similar to that
given to the EU antimonopoly authorities on a voluntary basis, but
BHP reportedly has yet to respond.

The EU authorities will decide this December or next January on
whether to approve the takeover plan. The Japanese watchdog is also
expected to come up with a conclusion around that time.

The FTC has started screening the takeover plan. In July it set up
an exclusive team of eight members, including a lawyer. It is quite
unusual for the FTC to establish an exclusive team, except for a
group formed in dealing with the merger between Yahata Steel Corp.
and Fuji Steel Corp. in 1970.

Japan's leading steel corporations agreed on a plan to raise the
prices of iron ore procured from BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto by about
80 PERCENT in fiscal 2008 over the previous fiscal year. Such
Japanese companies are now alarmed at the possible business
integration between BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Five companies,
including Nippon Steel Corp. and JFE Steel Corp., submitted an
opinion paper expressing their concern to the FTC on Sept. 1.

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, September 4

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2008

10:01
Experts meeting to discuss the proper way of managing government

TOKYO 00002442 011 OF 011


documents at the Cabinet Office.

10:30
Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi at the Kantei.

11:00
Met with Defense Ministry Defense Policy Bureau Director General
Takamizawa, Defense Intelligence Headquarters chief Hokazono and
Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani. Mitani remained.

11:50
Met with State Minister for Financial and Administrative Policy
Motegi and Tachibana, executive director of the National Government
Employee System Reform Promotion Headquarters.

12:45
Chair Ozaki of the experts' council to discuss the proper way of
managing government documents, and National Archives of Japan
Director Kikuchi.

14:27
Met with Internal Affairs Minister Masuda and Miyawaki, executive
director of the decentralization reform promotion committee. Masuda
remained.

15:40
Met with Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Shimada.

16:10
Met with former General Council Chairman Horiuchi, followed by Vice
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Mochizuki and Industrial
Science and Technology Policy and Environment Bureau Director
General Suzuki.

17:47
Arrived at the official residence.

18:58
Met with Nippon Kedanren Chairman Mitarai, Hiroshi Okuda, an advisor
to Toyota Motors and Takashi Imai, honorary chairman of Nippon Steel
Corporation at Kensington Terrace at Hotel Okura.

21:19
Arrived at the official residence.

ZUMWALT

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC