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Cablegate: Cluster Munitions: Japan Still Working Ccw And

VZCZCXRO9203
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2625/01 2670916
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 230916Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7426
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING PRIORITY 5457
RUEHDL/AMEMBASSY DUBLIN PRIORITY 0151
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW PRIORITY 2535
RUEHNY/AMEMBASSY OSLO PRIORITY 1216
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL PRIORITY 1453
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA PRIORITY 9984
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA PRIORITY 2344
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE PRIORITY 3727
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO PRIORITY 0560
RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA PRIORITY 3403
RUEHNO/USMISSION USNATO PRIORITY 1283
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHMFISS/COMUSKOREA SEOUL KOR PRIORITY
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK PRIORITY 1750
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 002625

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/23/2023
TAGS: PREL MOPS PARM JA PINR NATO
SUBJECT: CLUSTER MUNITIONS: JAPAN STILL WORKING CCW AND
OSLO PROCESS

Classified By: Ambassador J. Thomas Schieffer. Reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1. (S) SUMMARY: Japan still expects to sign the Oslo
Convention banning cluster munitions (CM) on December 3,
Ministry of Foreign Affairs Deputy Director-General Asahiko
Nakajima told Political-Military Affairs Bureau Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State Ganyard on September 10. At the
same time, Japan will continue to cooperate with the United
States to reach consensus on a binding protocol on CM during
the November meeting of the Convention on Conventional
Weapons (CCW). Japan still views Article 21 of the Oslo
Convention as allowing USFJ operations, including transport
and storage, involving CM. However, Japan is very concerned
that when the public learns of the UK request to the United
States to remove CM from its territory, the Government of
Japan will face domestic political pressure to follow suit.
Even more worrisome is a potential ruling by the UK Attorney
General that the Oslo Convention legally compels this request
by the UK, as this could undermine the Japanese Government's
legal interpretation of Article 21. DDG Nakajima asked DAS
Ganyard to provide a continual flow of information on
interactions with the UK on this issue. DAS Ganyard thanked
Japan for its efforts to protect U.S.-Japan interoperability,
agreed with the need for cooperation at the CCW and said he
would keep Japan informed of the discussions with the UK.
End Summary.

Oslo Convention
---------------

2. (S) Japan anticipates signing the Oslo Convention banning
CM on December 3, MOFA Disarmament, Non-proliferation and
Science Department and Foreign Policy Bureau Deputy
Director-General Asahiko Nakajima told State Department
Bureau of Political Military Affairs Deputy Assistant
Secretary for Plans, Programs and Operations Stephen T.
Ganyard during a September 10 meeting that included
representatives from U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) and the
Ministry of Defense. The Government of Japan is studying how
to destroy its existing CM stockpiles and what alternative
systems to purchase to fill the capability gap. Japan still
views Article 21, Paragraph 3, of the Oslo Convention as the
legal basis for allowing unhindered continuation of USFJ
operations involving CM, including transport and storage by
the Japan Self Defense Forces and private Japanese entities,
DDG Nakajima said. DAS Ganyard thanked DDG Nakajima for
Japan's efforts during the Oslo Process to protect U.S.-Japan
armed forces interoperability and the ability of the United
States to employ CM in the defense of Japan.

Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW)
--------------------------------------------- ---

3. (S) DDG Nakajima said significant progress was made at the
fourth CCW Government Experts Meeting in Geneva and called
for continued cooperation with the United States, especially
on negotiations over Article 3 and Article 4. It is
important to Japan, and for the CCW's credibility, that
consensus is reached on a strong, legally binding protocol on
CM during the next round of meetings in November. Two groups
are obstacles to this conclusion -- one is the Oslo core
group of nations, who feel the CCW waters down the Oslo
Convention language, and another is a group led by Russia and
China. DDG Nakajima said Russia's concerns with a protocol
on CM are more financial than military, as Russia is looking
at the high costs over 13 years to dispose of its CMs and to
buy alternative systems. However, Russia's representatives
seem to have taken a more reasonable line during recent
discussions at the CCW, DDG Nakajima observed, so perhaps
Russia could be moving closer to Japan's position. DASD
Ganyard said the United States looks forward to continued
cooperation with Japan in the CCW to develop a protocol that
includes the right balance between the military necessity and
the humanitarian concerns associated with CM.

UK's Request to United States to Remove CM
------------------------------------------

4. (S) DDG Nakajima asked DAS Ganyard for an update on U.S.
discussions with the UK over the removal of U.S. CM from UK
territory. Japan is particularly concerned with the method
of notification, because if the UK request becomes public,
the Government of Japan will face domestic political pressure
to follow suit. Japan hopes the UK request, U.S.-UK
discussions and follow-on actions will be kept as low key as
possible. This will help limit the possibility that Japanese
politicians, NGOs and the general public will loudly call on
the Government of Japan to make the same demand of the United
States, DDG Nakajima said.

5. (S) DAS Ganyard said he understands Japan's concern and
expressed disappointment with the UK decision to ask the
United States to remove its CM from the British Isles within
10 years. DAS Ganyard said he would make clear to the
British that the decision affects the U.S. ability to
cooperate with, defend and otherwise meet treaty obligations
to its other allies. When he visits London in the coming
weeks to negotiate the process and language of the official
written notification, expected to be a letter from Foreign
Secretary Milliband to Secretary Rice, he would urge the UK
to keep the issue as low profile as possible. However, as
the UK is bowing to domestic political and NGO pressure in
taking this action, HMG will likely feel compelled to
publicize its actions.

6. (S) DAS Ganyard said he expects the letter to the United
States to reflect an upcoming ruling by the UK Attorney
General on how binding the Oslo Convention is on the UK. DDG
Nakajima expressed strong concern that a ruling that the
Oslo Convention makes it illegal for U.S. CM to be stored in
the UK will undermine the Government of Japan's
interpretation and explanation that Article 21 legally allows
USFJ to store CM in Japan. DDG Nakajima requested a
continual flow of information from and coordination with the
United States regarding its interactions with the UK that
could have critical ramifications on operations of the U.S.
military in Japan.

U.S. Operations Involving CM
----------------------------

7. (S) DDG Nakajima said he expects the Diet, during its
deliberation on the Oslo Convention, to ask questions
regarding the U.S. military's planned use of CM. The key
question will be whether the United States would drop CM on
Japanese soil. The public and the Diet would accept that the
U.S. military would use CM against North Korea to defend
Japan, but would have a much harder time accepting the usage
of CM on Japanese soil, according to DDG Nakajima. DAS
Ganyard suggested that the responses focus on the legitimate
military necessity of CM for the defense of Japan, that any
U.S. employment would be at minimal levels to get the job
done, and that over the next ten years the United States will
ensure that its CM stocks have less than a one percent
unexploded ordinance rate.

8. (S) COMMENT: Within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), there is an influential group of Diet members who are
vocally against CM. The Japanese government went out on a
limb by supporting the inclusion of Article 21, and while
committed to ensuring U.S. CM remain in Japan, it faces a
tough time defending this decision against these and other
forces in the Diet. When the UK announcement becomes public,
we can expect loud voices, on both sides of the aisle, to
state that if the UK, the premier ally of the United States,
has asked the United States to remove CM, there is no reason
for Japan not to do the same. To counter this, Post
recommends a regular flow of information to Japan regarding
talks with the UK to allow MOFA and MOD, in coordination with
post and USFJ, to start formulating Diet strategies.

9. (S) Bio information: DDG Nakajima, born on December 3
(year unavailable), speaks excellent English.

10. (U) This cable as been cleared by DAS Ganyard.
SCHIEFFER

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