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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/10/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2495/01 2540815
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100815Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7150
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 2157
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9794
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3536
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7911
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0372
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5276
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1270
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1583

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 002495

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 09/10/08

INDEX:

(1) Poll on post-Fukuda premiership (Mainichi)

(2) Political maneuvering starting over Lower House election to
choose new administration; LDP hopes for policy debate, DPJ wants to
eliminate bureaucratic power (Nikkei)

(3) I Corps will not move to Zama: U.S. commander (Yomiuri)

(4) Editorial: Seven years since 9/11 -- Let's create new common
ground (Asahi)

(5) METI's new economic strategy calls for increasing resilience to
soaring resource prices (Nikkei)

(6) TOP HEADLINES

(7) EDITORIALS

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, September 9

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on post-Fukuda premiership

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
September 10, 2008

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: What do you think is needed for prime minister?

T P M F
Experience 3 3 4
Determination 33 35 31
International sensibility 3 3 3
National popularity 2 2 2
Policy implementation 36 35 37
Foresight 9 11 8
Coordinating ability 3 3 3
Personality 4 3 5
A sense of morality 2 2 3
Youthfulness 1 1 1

Q: Who do you think is appropriate for prime minister now? (Free
choice)

T P M F
Taro Aso 23 24 23
Junichiro Koizumi 7 6 7
Ichiro Ozawa 7 9 4
Yuriko Koike 4 3 5
Nobuteru Ishihara 4 4 4
Kaoru Yosano 1 1 1
Shigeru Ishiba 1 1 1
Other ruling party lawmakers 3 3 3
Other opposition party lawmakers 2 3 2
Other than lawmakers 3 4 2
None + no answer (N/A) 46 42 49


TOKYO 00002495 002 OF 009


Q: Do you appreciate Prime Minister Fukuda and his cabinet over the
past year?

T P M F
Yes 21 18 23
No 73 76 71

Q: Do you appreciate Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) President
Ichiro Ozawa?

T P M F
Yes 22 28 17
No 72 67 77

Q: Which form of government do you think is desirable?

T P M F
The current coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and
the New Komeito 14 12 16
A grand coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic
Party of Japan 37 33 41
The LDP's single-party government 10 13 8
A DPJ-led coalition government 17 21 14
The DPJ's single-party government 6 8 4
A non-LDP, non-DPJ coalition government 6 5 6

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation on
Sept. 5-7. For the survey, a total of 4,602 persons were chosen from
among men and women, aged 20 and over (as of Sept. 30), at 300
locations on a stratified two-stage random sampling basis. Answers
were obtained from 2,563 persons (56 PERCENT ).

(2) Political maneuvering starting over Lower House election to
choose new administration; LDP hopes for policy debate, DPJ wants to
eliminate bureaucratic power

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
September 9, 2009

Lower House dissolution in October eyed

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa yesterday was
reelected to a third term unopposed. He immediately sent out a
signal to take over the reins of government from the ruling
coalition. In the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), meanwhile,
policy debate is now moving into full swing among candidates for the
party's presidential election. Both the LDP and DPJ are eyeing a
dissolution of the House of Representatives in October and a general
election in November. How will the ruling and opposition parties put
an end to the politically divided Diet?

Ozawa's press conference on Sept. 8 lasted for about 40 minutes,
twice the length of his regular press meeting. In it, Ozawa stressed
the need for shifting the center of gravity of the government from
bureaucrats to politicians. He said: "No matter who assumes its
presidency, the LDP does what it is told to do by the bureaucrats."
He tried to say that smoldering frustration among the public over
pensions, medical services and jobs have resulted from the "nature"
of the LDP and the bureaucracy at Kasumigaseki.


TOKYO 00002495 003 OF 009


Ozawa, who left the LDP 15 years ago, underscored that he would risk
his political life to take over the reins of government. He
announced on Sept. 8 a set of basic policies, in which he expressed
his determination to create a government system, which would be
controlled by politicians, by increasing the number of senior vice
ministers and parliamentary secretaries.

Regarding the prospect for the next Lower House election, Ozawa
said: "The situation is tough." In consideration of such a
situation, the package of basic policies includes measures that may
be criticized for pork-barrel largesse. The measures include:
creating a child-rearing support system under which the government
would pay 26,000 yen per child per month; and abolishing provisional
gasoline-related taxes; and income support for individual fishermen.
It is believed that the package needs fiscal resources worth over 18
trillion yen.

Ozawa's argument is that cozy relations between the LDP and
Kasumigaseki have created the wasteful use of tax revenues. Ozawa,
therefore, believes that fiscal resources would be secured by
political change. He has said that he will explain how to secure
fiscal resources soon or later. However, it is uncertain when he
will present a roadmap, including the date for implementing the
measures. If the package is a copy of the party's manifesto for last
July's House of Councillors election, which estimated the necessary
amount of fiscal resources at 15.3 trillion yen, it will lack
persuasiveness.

How about the policies of the LDP presidential candidates? Secretary
General Taro Aso, the front-runner, takes a clear stance. He said in
a meeting of freshman lawmakers from the two Diet chambers: "It is
no good to implement fiscal reconstruction based on
fundamentalism."

In the background, Aso is concerned about the general election.
Since the LDP was defeated by the DPJ in last year's the Upper House
election, LDP prefectural chapters have called on party headquarters
to carry out warm-hearted politics for provisional areas, which have
been impoverished due to structural reforms. Aso has repeatedly
visited rural areas since he stepped down as secretary general in
the Abe administration. So, it may be only natural for Aso to
advocate the need for aggressive fiscal spending. On Sept. 8
Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Kaoru Yosano, who places
priority on fiscal reconstruction, and former Defense Minister
Yuriko Koike, who attaches importance to economic growth, formally
announced their candidacies for the presidential race. They are
expected to hold heated policy debate. The question is how much of
their policies will be reflected in the party's manifesto for the
Lower House election. Some lawmakers have sought to constrain
Yosano, with one saying: "If we say we will hike the consumption
tax, we won't be able to win the election."

Aso and New Komeito Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa held a meeting
on the night of Sept. 8 at a Tokyo hotel. The meeting was also
attended by LDP Election Strategy Council Chairman Makoto Koga and
New Komeito Electoral Policy Committee Chairman Yoshihisa Inoue. No
matter who becomes LDP president, it seems unavoidable that the New
Komeito's demand for a fixed tax reduction worth several trillion
yen will be included in the ruling coalition's platform.

The will of voters that will be shown in the next Lower House
election will make clear which party becomes the axis of government.

TOKYO 00002495 004 OF 009


Voters need elaborative manifestos to judge for which party they
should vote. How the debate will turn out cannot be predicted.

(3) I Corps will not move to Zama: U.S. commander

YOMIURI (Page 31) (Full)
September 10, 2008

U.S. Army Japan (USARJ) Commander Francis Wiercinski, meeting the
press yesterday, said the U.S. Army 1st Corps' headquarters,
currently located in the U.S. mainland state of Washington, and its
forward-deployed command established at Camp Zama, a U.S. Army base
straddling the cities of Sagamihara and Zama in Kanagawa Prefecture,
are "quite different organizations." The commander indicated that
the 1st Corps will not relocate its headquarters to Camp Zama.

A reporter asked, "Local residents are worried that the First Corps'
headquarters may come to Camp Zama." Commander Wiercinski admitted
that the 1st Corps sent troops, but he denied its involvement. He
added, "The forward-deployed command is an on-site organization
prepared for emergencies in the Far East." With this, he stressed
the difference between the two organizations.

The forward-deployed command was set up at Camp Zama last December
as part of the U.S. military's realignment intended to enhance its
readiness against terrorism and other eventualities. Local residents
were concerned about the forward-deployed command's establishment.
"In the future," one local resident said, "it may be integrated with
the First Corps and the base's functions may be reinforced."

The commander also referred to a plan on building a command exercise
facility (simulation center) on the premises of the U.S. Army's
Sagami Depot in the city of Sagamihara. "We want to have it built as
early as possible," he said. The facility's design is now in the
finishing touches. Construction work will start before the summer of
2009 and is planned to be completed in the fall of 2010, the
commander said.

(4) Editorial: Seven years since 9/11 -- Let's create new common
ground

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
September 10, 2008

In the wake of the 9/11 attacks, many people from around the world
expressed support for the determination of the United States to
confront terrorism. Sharing the sorrow, shock, and anger with the
United States, people in many countries felt compelled to eradicate
terrorism.

Every country must work hard so as not to allow international
terrorist groups to repeat barbarous acts. Such a sense of unity was
prevalent. There was clearly an atmosphere to consider steps to
combat terrorism based on a common ground.

Solidarity weakening

Seven years will have passed tomorrow since then.

Antiterrorism operations started in Afghanistan and Iraq under the
leadership of the United States, and the subsequent military
control, still continue. There has been no major terrorist attack on

TOKYO 00002495 005 OF 009


the United States (since 2001). President George W. Bush boasts that
the country's security has been defended because of the war on
terror being waged outside the country. But there no longer exists
the sense of unity that was shared by many people across the globe.

What happened? The bond between the United States and its
traditional allies was strained, and such phrases as "old Europe,
new Europe" and the "coalition of the willing" were used often. The
bond between the United States and its European allies was strained
over the Iraq war, and the countries are still out of step with each
other in rebuilding Iraq.

Although Afghanistan is supposed to be headed for democracy, the
security situation in that country is deteriorating because the
Taliban has regained influence over the last two to three years.
Osama bin Laden has yet to be caught. The United States has asked
its allies to send more troops to Afghanistan, but most of them are
reluctant to do in view of its price and poor prospects.

In Pakistan, President Perves Musharraf, who had been cooperative in
the U.S.-led war on terror, has been forced to resign, and the
country's political situation is still unstable.

Foreign Affairs (July/August issue) carried Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice's essay that read: "Al Qaeda's theory of victory is
to hijack the legitimate local and national grievances of Muslim
societies and twist them into an ideological narrative of endless
struggle against Western, especially U.S., oppression." Although the
United States was aware of such theory, it has been at a loss what
to do with the anti-American sentiment that has spread in Muslim
societies over the last seven years.

The Iranian president's pursuit of an uranium enrichment program,
instigated by anti-American sentiment, is probably not totally
divorced from that.

Theory of defeating terrorism

Former Russian President Vladimir Putin once said: "We are with the
people of the United States." Russia has recently shown a stance of
challenging the United States on the strength of its economic might
backed by its petro-money.

Where has that sense of unity gone?

The Bush administration "with-us-or-against-us" theory is to blame.
Behind terrorism lies a variety of factors, such as history and
ethnicity. U.S. allies have their own circumstances. To begin with,
Muslim countries were distrustful of the United States that
constantly supported Israel.

The Bush administration has lost global trust and influence because
it excessively tilted toward war on "American grounds," so to speak.
The common ground seems to have eroded as a result.

What are the plans of U.S. presidential candidates, Barack Obama and
John McCain, to revamp the war on terror? They have unveiled their
own strategies. One candidate would withdraw from Iraq and the other
would continue the present military operation. The basic question,
though, is how to rebuild the common ground.

How to create a ground that can be accepted by many Moslem

TOKYO 00002495 006 OF 009


countries, Russia and China, not to mention Japan and European
nations?

Although armed strength is necessary, how military might is used
must be reexamined. To eliminate the breeding ground for terrorism,
we must extend enhanced support that can help each country
demonstrate its own capabilities.

Secretary Rice explained "our theory of victory" this way: To offer
Muslim peoples a democratic path to advance their interests
peacefully -- to develop their talents, to redress injustices, and
to live in freedom and dignity.

We cannot agree more. We must recreate the ground where the
countries around the world can combine efforts for this theory.

Japan, too, must explore an accord

Japan has constantly struggled to cooperate with the United States.
The dispatch of the Self-Defense Force to Iraq under the former
Koizumi administration is a prime example. Thanks to that, relations
with the Bush administration have been good. But how should Japan be
involved in the international effort to eliminate terrorism? Japan
has yet to determine its direction.

Over the question of continuing the refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean, the Liberal Democratic Party asks if Japan alone should be
allowed to drop out of the war on terror. The Democratic Party of
Japan opposes it, calling the refueling mission unconstitutional.

The propriety of the refueling mission must be examined from the
viewpoint of the stability of Afghanistan. Are there any other ways
for Japan to contribute under its military constraints? The two
parties are responsible to build a common ground in Japan to address
common international issues.

President Bush's tenure of eight years will come to an end shortly.
The next U.S. leader will bear enormously heavy responsibility to
restore international solidarity. At the same time, how should
Japan's next leader take and support it? The season of election to
answer that question has rolled in.

(5) METI's new economic strategy calls for increasing resilience to
soaring resource prices

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
September 9, 2008

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has drafted a new
economic growth strategy to increase the Japanese economy's growth
potential from the medium- to long-term perspective. The draft
stresses the need to increase resilience to soaring oil and other
resource prices, as well as to promote exports and investment in
emerging countries. The draft incorporates specific measures aimed
to expedite energy conservation by lowering taxes on capital
investment and other specific measures. The new strategy estimates
that the country would realize real annual growth of 2.4 PERCENT in
gross national income (GNI) by fiscal 2015.

Focus on attracting overseas funds; Regulatory reform insufficient

METI Minister Toshihiro Nikai will announce the new strategy today.

TOKYO 00002495 007 OF 009


In 2006, the government released the New Economic Growth Strategy,
as its first policy guidelines to realize an over 2 PERCENT
economic growth in real terms despite the nation's declining and
aging population. Given recent soaring oil prices, structural
changes in the global economy, as well as global warming, the
ministry decided to significantly review the original report.

Because Japan has few natural resources, it largely relies on
imports. Accordingly, huge income has flown out of Japan due to
skyrocketing oil prices. Income outflows to foreign countries in
fiscal 2007 registered a record high of about 21 trillion yen. In
the nation, deteriorating corporate profits and stagnant personal
consumption have pushed the economy into a recessionary phase.

In accordance with its subtitle, "Change this critical situation
into a good opportunity," the latest strategy suggests: (1)
radically improving productivity to wring out even more from the
nation's few natural resources; and (2) fully promoting
globalization in order to maximize the benefits of rapid economic
growth in the Middle East, Russia, Australia, and other countries.

The proposed specific measures to conserve resources include
promoting intensive investment by lowering taxes on capital
investment. For instance, a group of companies at an oil complex
would get tax breaks if they jointly replaced old boilers with poor
thermal efficiency with start-of-the-art equipment with superior
thermal efficiency.

Tax preferential measures for energy conservation usually target
efforts by a single company for a single facility. But the new
strategy support joint efforts by multiple companies.

The report also proposes measures to help install solar power
generation systems, to improve distribution efficiencies by having
container terminals operate around the clock and other steps.
Further, the report unprecedentedly calls for large companies to
raise wages, focusing on rising consumer prices and the falling
purchasing power of households amid stagnant income growth.

In terms of globalization, the report stresses the need not only to
boost exports to resource-rich countries and emerging countries but
even to attract overseas funds and to bringing back the overseas
income of Japanese companies.

The report proposes measures to introduce a fund tax system to
facilitate foreign capital to invest in Japanese firms through funds
set up in Japan. It also calls for expediting the signing of
investment pacts to facilitate domestic companies to invest in risky
resource-rich and emerging countries. Small businesses are also
encouraged to expand overseas.

The new strategy mainly focuses on tax and fiscal measures, so it
has not fully stepped into regulatory reform in medical and other
areas. Additional regulatory-reform measures are also necessary to
buoy up the nation's economy, besides tax and fiscal measures.

Keidanren Chairman stresses firm support for extending refueling
mission

In a press conference yesterday, Japan Business Federation (Nippon
Keidanren) Chairman Fujio Mitarai said regarding the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's ongoing refueling mission in the Indian Ocean:

TOKYO 00002495 008 OF 009

"I firmly support a plan to extend the mission. If the maritime
operation is suspended, it may become impossible for Japan to obtain
support for Japanese vessels' safe navigations from other countries.
What is worse, a rift may occur in the Japan-U.S. alliance, the
bedrock of Japan's diplomacy."

Mitarai pointed out: "Japanese oil tankers and other vessels are
continuing their voyages in the grip of an attack by pirates or
terrorists." In connection with policy debate in the Liberal
Democratic Party presidential election, he said: "I firmly back
Japan's continued involvement in the war on terrorism."

Asked about the presidential election campaign, Mitarai commented:
"I would like the candidates to conduct active policy debate." He
said that the focus will be on how to promote economic stimulus
measures, a big-boned economic growth strategy, and reforming the
tax, fiscal and social security systems in a package." He added: "I
hope that the new government will continue to pursue the goal of
returning the nation's primary balance to the black in fiscal 2011
as a measure to reconstruct the nation's financial system."

(6) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
70 PERCENT of coral lost in past five years in Sekisei reef lagoon
off Okinawa

Mainichi:
Official campaigning to begin today for LDP presidential election
amid expectation of general election

Yomiuri:
40 PERCENT of LDP lawmakers likely to vote for Aso in LDP
presidential election

Nikkei:
Economic, fiscal policies major issues in LDP presidential election

Sankei:
National livelihood poll: 57 PERCENT of families feeling financial
pain

Tokyo Shimbun:
Tainted rice sold to 36 confectioners

Akahata:
JCP chairman delivers roadside speech in Shibuya

(7) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Seven years since 9/11: Create new cooperation system

Mainichi:
(1) Pension records falsified by SIA officials
(2) JR must make greater efforts for safety and public trust

Yomiuri:
(1) A waiver that shakes NPT to its core
(2) Injection of public funds into two U.S. mortgage financing
giants not enough

TOKYO 00002495 009 OF 009

Nikkei:
(1) Tainted rice exposes low awareness of food safety
(2) Can Japan Sumo Association make fresh start?

Sankei:
(1) Georgia agreement pleases only Russia
(2) Sumo needs bold reform

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Falsified pension records require thorough investigation
(2) Sale of tainted rice no accident

Akahata:
(1) Minimum-access rice-import system no longer working properly

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, September 9

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 10, 2008

08:41
Attended meeting of four cabinet ministers to discuss global
warming.

09:30
Attended meeting of ministers related to pension-record issue. Met
later with Finance Minister Ibuki.

10:01
Attended cabinet meeting.

12:54
Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

14:47
Met U.N. Association of Japan President Genshitsu Sen.

17:00
Attended the cabinet-hosted international consumer symposium held at
Mita Kaigisho.

17:29
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi.

18:37
Attended symposium hosted by the national council to establish
consumers-centered administrative body held at Shinagawa Grand
Central Tower. Chatted with Upper House member Masako Mori.

19:37
Attended funeral for the late writer Daikichi Terauchi at Zojoji
Temple.

19:54
Attended "African Day Reception" at Roppongi Hills.

20:21
Returned to his official residence.

ZUMWALT

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