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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Cross-Border Assault In

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3007 3020749
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 280749Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8327
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0638
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 2996
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8707
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1211
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4421
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6071
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2580
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2068
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2296
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003007

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 - CROSS-BORDER ASSAULT IN
SYRIA

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Tuesday morning papers gave front-
page coverage to Monday's fall in Tokyo stock prices to
the lowest level in 26 years, as well as an informal
decision by Prime Minister Aso to postpone a snap
election until next year so that he can concentrate on
dealing with the economic turmoil.

2. "Cross-Border Attack Meant to Apply Pressure on
Syria?" The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote
from Cairo (10/28): "The possibility is high that the
cross-border attack in eastern Syria from Iraq was a
special operation carried out by the U.S. military
aimed at preempting terrorists from entering Iraq....
The fact that the attack was launched during daylight
hours reflects the U.S. intention to play up the
operation at home and abroad. One view holds that the
outgoing Bush administration displayed U.S. military
power in order to press Syrian President Assad not to
provide shelter to terrorists. However, Syria is moving
out from international isolation, as it has established
diplomatic relations with Lebanon, which Damascus had
long considered a protectorate. The U.S. attack in
Syria has actually enhanced Syria's diplomatic
standing, with President Assad probably looking to ask
the next U.S. administration to review U.S. policy
toward his country."

SCHIEFFER

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