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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/06/08

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E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11/06/08

Index:

Reactions to Obama victory:
1) Prime Minister Aso congratulates President-elect Obama and vows
to strengthen the alliance (Nikkei)
2) U.S.-Japan alliance to be tested under the Obama presidency
(Mainichi)
3) Japanese business circles expect to see leadership asserted by
the new U.S. president (Yomiuri)
4) Obama administration expected to keep the status quo in trade
policy toward Japan (Yomiuri)
5) Japan worried that Obama administration might place more emphasis
on China at expense of Japan (Yomiuri)
6) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) sees Obama win as a tailwind for
its own drive to become the next administration (Mainichi)
7) LDP anxious to see a summit meeting with Obama as soon as
possible (Nikkei)
8) Japan at the upcoming Financial Summit wants to show leadership,
while cooperating with the United States (Sankei)
9) Aso-Bush meeting on the 14th (Mainichi)

Defense and security affairs:
10) Upper House committee questions SDF units on Afghan assistance
(Mainichi)
11) DPJ willing to see bill extending the Indian Ocean refueling
adopted in return for the summoning of former ASDF chief Tamogami to
the Diet as a witness (Mainichi)
12) Tamogami to be summoned to testify in the Diet as early as next
week (Tokyo Shimbun)
13) Double punch for the Defense Ministry: Tamogami fired for
opposing government position and former defense vice minister
sentenced for corruption (Yomiuri)
14) Some members of the ruling camp are incensed by Tamogami
receiving lucrative pension (Mainichi)

Diet affairs:
15) Ruling camp seems to have no strategy for the last half of the
current Diet session (Mainichi)
16) Important bill to strengthen financial system to pass the Lower
House today (Mainichi)

Articles:

1) Prime Minister Aso: I will maintain Japan-U.S. relations

NKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
November 6, 2008

With the election of Barack Obama elected as president of the United
States, Prime Minister Taro Aso stated yesterday: "It is most
important for me to maintain with the new U.S. president the
bilateral relationship between Japan and the United States that has
been fostered for over 50 years."

When asked about the possibility of a meeting with President-elect
Obama, Aso said:

"I don't think we have to meet immediately. President George W. Bush
will be in office until Jan. 20, 2009. I think it will be possible
for me to meet (Obama) after the new president is inaugurated."

Aso released yesterday a statement that wrote:

TOKYO 00003088 002 OF 010

"Working together with President-elect Obama, I would like to make
every effort to strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance and to resolve
such various challenges the international community faces when
addressing issues such as the international economy, terrorism and
the global environment."

2) Japan-U.S. alliance to be tested; Possibility of Japan being
asked to provide more assistance to fight the war on terror, as
well

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
November 6, 2008

With the election of Barack Obama as U.S. president, Prime Minister
Aso issued a statement that "the Japan-U.S. alliance is the
cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy." The Japanese government, which
has no direct channels to Mr. Obama, aims to construct a
relationship with him based on the alliance, but the view is
spreading that Japan will be asked to provide additional
contributions on the security front, centered on the war on terror
in Afghanistan. It seems likely that Japan will be tested as to how
well it can line up with the international cooperation line that Mr.
Obama has been espousing.

The Prime Minister in his statement yesterday stressed: "Japan and
the U.S. share values of freedom, democracy, respect for human
rights, and the advancement of the market economy." He also stated:
"The Japan-U.S. alliance is the cornerstone of Japan's diplomacy and
the foundation of peace and stability of the Asia-Pacific region."

His reaffirmation of those principles reflect concern that the Obama
administration could take a stance of placing emphasis on China in
its Asia policy, and this could lead to the relative decline of
Japan's ability to influence the U.S. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Kawamura tried to wipe away such concerns in his news conference on
the 5th, but for the U.S. government, relations with China have
undeniably become increasingly important.

In specific policy terms, Mr. Obama has clearly taken a policy
stance of shifting the battle line in the war of terror to
Afghanistan, so there is a possibility that Japan may be asked for
new assistance measures in addition to continuing the refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean. As each participating country
increases their troop presence in Afghanistan, President Bush, too,
has quietly sounded out Japan about dispatching Ground Self-Defense
Force helicopters to mainland Afghanistan. The government probed
that possibility by sending a survey team to the local area in June,
but the judgment was that "it would be difficult due to the
extremely bad public security." The situation as it stands it that
Japan "lacks policy choices," according to a senior official in the
Defense Ministry. In case Japan is asked to provide additional
assistance, it is conceivable that Japan-U.S. relations could become
awkward.

On North Korea policy, Mr. Obama has referred to the possibility of
direct dialogue with that country, and he even released a statement
of not ruling out a military option in dealing with the threat. A
senior Foreign Ministry official said, "It is unclear whether a hard
or flexible line will emerge."

3) President-elect Obama: Business circles pin hopes on his

TOKYO 00003088 003 OF 010


leadership

YOMIURI (Page 10) (Full)
November 6, 2008

Following Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election,
many Japanese business leaders and market insiders expressed
expectations for his ability to tackle the financial crisis and help
stabilize the global economy.

Japan Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) Chairman Fujio Mitarai
told reporters, "I want Mr. Obama to display leadership in swiftly
resolving economic and financial challenges." Chairman Tadashi
Okamura of the Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry released a
comment, which went, "I hope the president-elect will participate in
the financial summit on November 15 and take the initiative in the
creation of a framework for preventing a global recession."

Among market insiders, Takahide Kiuchi at the Nomura Securities
Financial and Economic Research Center took the view: "Mr. Obama is
positive about using public money in dealing with the financial
crisis, albeit conditionally. This would raise expectations for his
financial and economic countermeasures in the U.S., leading to a
rise in stock prices and a lower yen and stronger dollar."

Others, however, voiced concern about unstable movements in yen and
dollar exchange rates with Masaki Fukui at Mizuho Corporate Bank
saying, "If U.S. fiscal deficit worsens following increased public
spending and the economy deteriorates further, the trend of moving
away from the dollar will accelerate over the mid- to long term."

The prevailing view is that once Obama administration is launched,
the U.S. would switch to a positive approach to taking measures to
address global warming. Chairman Hiromasa Yonekura of the Japan
Chemical Industry Association noted, "I hope Mr. Obama will play a
leading role in promoting a substantial cut in greenhouse gas
emissions."

4) U.S. trade policy with Japan likely to be maintained

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The Japanese government is increasingly convinced that there will be
no major change in Japan-U.S. economic relations, such as trade
policy and cooperation on the financial crisis, under Obama.

Democratic administrations have inclined toward protectionism with
consideration given to trade unions, their support base. Bilateral
trade friction was fierce during the Clinton administration.
However, now that Japan's leading automakers are creating jobs at
their expanded local operation bases, few are concerned about a
possible reemergence of trade friction.

Obama has indicated a stance of taking a second look at the trade
policy promoted by the Bush administration, criticizing the North
American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as lacking a clause for
protecting employment. Some domestic observers are concerned that if
the employment issue becomes serious due to a recession, the U.S.
would opt for protectionism, as one senior official of the Ministry
of Economy, Trade and Industry noted.


TOKYO 00003088 004 OF 010


Japan, the U.S. and European countries are strengthening cooperation
in dealing with the financial crisis. One senior Finance Ministry
official projected that there would be no major policy change,
noting, "Though there is a possibility of revisions to financial
regulations, compared with the time during the Bush administration,
they would be made with cooperation." Some, however, believe that
former Treasury Secretary Summers could be brought back. Summers
once strongly urged Japan to expand domestic demand and dispose of
bad loans held by financial institutions. There is lingering concern
that the U.S. might strengthen pressure on Japan on the
macroeconomic policy front as well.

5) Obama may shift emphasis toward China; Some concerned about weak
ties between Japan and U.S. Democratic Party

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 6, 2008

In the wake of Democratic Senator Barack Obama's victory in the U.S.
presidential election, the government, while closely monitoring his
policy toward Japan, intends to strive to rebuild the kind of
relationship with the United States that was referred to as the
"golden age" under the administration of Republican President George
W. Bush.

U.S. Embassy Tokyo Public Affairs Minister-Counselor Ronald Post
told the press corps in Tokyo yesterday: "The perception among
American leaders is that U.S.-Japan relations are important. The
change of administration will have no impact on that." But chances
are high that President-elect Obama, who advocates change, will
shift the policy focus held by the Bush administration. The
Democratic Clinton administration (in the 1990s) tilted toward
China. Many observers think that Obama, too, will shift policy
weight toward China, with a senior Foreign Ministry official saying:
"Successive presidents tended to totally repudiate the stances of
their predecessors." LDP Secretary General Hosoda noted: "He does
not know Japan very well." Some are concerned about weak connections
between the U.S. Democratic Party and Japanese political circles.

However, one senior Foreign Ministry official rebutted such views,
saying: "America's Asia diplomacy will continue to be based on the
alliance with Japan." That view comes from what Prime Minister Aso
stated yesterday: "Japan and the United States share such values as
freedom, democracy, basic human rights, and the promotion of the
market economy." Another official source said: "In diplomacy, first
impressions are important. If Japanese politics continues to remain
in turmoil after Obama is sworn in as President next January, his
eyes would turn to China." Some have also indicated that Obama's
diplomacy would have an impact on the divided Diet. Immediately
after taking office, the new President will have to face scores of
challenges, including assistance to Afghanistan, the North Korean
issue, and the realignment of U.S. forces.

LDP Research Commission Chairman Taku Yamasaki predicted: "The
United States will urge Japan to join security operations in
Afghanistan, in addition to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean." Some are alarmed at possible
discord over the North Korean abduction issue.

6) With Obama victory in U.S. presidential election, DPJ expects
tailwind to grab power


TOKYO 00003088 005 OF 010


MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 6, 2008

With the victory of Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the U.S.
presidential election, the Democratic Party will return to power
after a lapse of eight years. This election has already affected the
Japanese political world, in which the ruling and opposition camps
have continued horse-trading over the timing for the dissolution of
the House of Representatives for a snap election. The Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) defines the victory of Obama, who emphasized
the need for change in the campaign, as a tailwind for the party to
grab political power. In contrast, some ruling coalition members
have voiced apprehension about its impact on the next Lower House
election, with one remarking: "We may face a hard battle." Another
said: "The government now finds it more difficult to dissolve the
Diet."

In a joint meeting of senior DPJ Diet Affairs Committee members in
front of the posters of Obama and President Ichiro Ozawa, Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka made this remark: "The
appearance of the first black president on the stage marks a
significant change that was inconceivable in U.S. history. Major
force is also generating in Japan to topple the administration of
the Liberal Democratic Party, which has lasted for the 60-year
postwar period." Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama also expressed his
expectations speaking before reporters: "Japanese people must be
also seeking change in Japan."

In the ruling coalition, many members appeared calm when asked for
their views about whether Obama's victory will favorably work for
the DPJ, with New Komeito President Akihiro Ota saying: "That is
unrelated." But Hidehisa Otsuji, chairman of the LDP caucus in the
House of Councillors told reporters in the Diet Building: "American
people are seeking change because they are having a hard time. The
same is true for Japanese people," adding: "The next election will
undoubtedly be hard for the LDP."

Former Senior Vice Foreign Minister Ichita Yamamoto also commented
in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun: "It is impossible for the
government to dissolve the Diet under the current situation. The
change of government in the U.S. will inevitably influence Japanese
voters' state of mind."

Even so, not all DPJ members necessarily welcomed the U.S. election
outcome. Vice President Seiji Maehara pointed out: "The world
economy next year is expected to become worse than this year. It is
important for us to look at the situation from the medium- to
long-term point of view, focusing on how Obama will be evaluated at
the time of the dissolution of the Lower House and the general
election."

Japanese Communist Party President Kazuo Shii issued this comment:
"The policies put forth by Obama include increasing U.S. troops in
the Afghan war and asking U.S. allies to offer cooperation in the
war. We will carefully watch how his reform policies will take
shape."

7) LDP secretary general: Japan-U.S. summit should be held soon

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 6, 2008


TOKYO 00003088 006 OF 010


A series of statements yesterday came out of senior officials from
the ruling and opposition camps on U.S. Sen. Barack Obama's victory
in the presidential election.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Hiroyuki Hosoda
stated: "It is said that (President-elect Obama) does not know Japan
well. I hope he will deepen his understanding of Japan so that
Japan-U.S. relations will be further improved." He then sought an
early Japan-U.S. summit, saying: "I would like to (Mr. Obama) to
meet with Prime Minister Taro Aso as early as possible."

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama
said: "There should be political change in Japan, as well. I hope
the Japanese people think Japan also needs a change." He expressed
his hopes in his remarks that the U.S. Democratic Party's victory
would become a driving force for the DPJ.

8) Challenge for Japan is cooperation with U.S.: How will it take
lead in financial summit?

SANKEI (Page 9) (Abridged Slightly)
November 6, 2008

Democratic Senator Barack Obama has assumed the mantle of U.S.
president-elect. A key diplomatic agenda item for the Japanese
government is policy cooperation with the U.S. in dealing the
financial crisis. In its Asia diplomacy, the U.S. is devoting its
energy to expanding relations with China. Japan's presence is
increasingly waning. All the more for that reason, it is imperative
for it to display leadership at the emergency financial summit to be
held in Washington on November 15, joined by leaders of 20
industrialized countries and rapidly emerging countries.

The U.S. has passed the Emergency Financial Stabilization Act to
inject public money worth up to 700 billion dollars. Since the
present administration conferred on the matter with Obama in the
preparatory stage, Obama is expected to take specific financial
measures based on that law. As such, one senior Finance Ministry
official took the view that there would be no major change in U.S.
financial measures under Obama.

Japan at the financial summit wants to contribute to efforts to come
up with measures to address the financial crisis, using its
experience in the financial crisis of 1997, when Yamaichi Securities
and Hokkaido Takushoku Bank went under. Prime Minister Taro Aso is
expected to propose: (1) international cooperation on supervision
and control of financial institutions; (2) regulation on
credit-rating agencies; and (3) easing the current value accounting
system. State Minister for Fiscal and Financial Policy Shoichi
Nakagawa will also attend the financial summit. Japan as the host
nation of the G-8 is expected to display leadership at the upcoming
summit, which is to be joined by emerging countries, such as China
and India, by coming up with a strong message for the stabilization
of the financial market.

Some government officials take the view that election pledges and
the actual management of administration are different. When it comes
to implementing specific measures, there would be a great change,
depending on the lineup of the new administration.

9) Japan-U.S. summit set for Nov. 14; Coordination to set up meeting
with President-elect Obama

TOKYO 00003088 007 OF 010

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 6, 2008

It was firmed up on Nov. 5 that, prior to the emergency financial
summit to be held in Washington, Prime Minister Taro Aso will meet
with President Bush on the 14th. The Prime Minister has expressed
his desire to meet with President-elect Obama on the same day, and
coordination is now going on.

10) Upper House committee summons two organizations for questioning
about Afghan aid

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The House of Councillors' Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
yesterday summoned members from two organizations that have been
engaged in reconstruction assistance in Afghanistan to ask about the
security situation there. The Upper House committee is now
deliberating on a bill amending the new Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law designed to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean.

Tetsu Nakamura of the Peshawar-kai, a non-governmental organization,
pointed out: "Air strikes by foreign forces have accelerated
deterioration of the security situation." Asked about his view on
whether Japan should dispatch Self-Defense Forces personnel to
Afghanistan, Nakamura stressed: "There would be no good and a lot of
harm."

Juro Chikaraishi, public relations officer of the Japan
International Cooperation Agency, said: "(If SDF troops are
dispatched to Afghanistan), they will not be welcomed."

11) DPJ to vote refueling bill on condition of summoning ex-ASDF
chief to Diet for testimony

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to agree to
take a vote on a bill amending the New Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean on the condition of summoning Toshio
Tamogami to the Diet for testimony in a meeting of the House of
Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. Tamogami was
dismissed as Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff over a
controversial essay contradictory to the government's view on
Japan's wartime history. The ruling coalition has also decided to
approve the DPJ proposal to summon Tamogami to the Diet, so the
amendment bill is expected to clear the Diet in mid-November.

In order to swiftly submit bills related to a second extra budget
for fiscal 2008 to the Diet, the government has judged it necessary
to enact the refueling bill at an early date without delaying
deliberations. Senior members of the DPJ caucus in the Upper House
intend to take a vote today on the summoning of Tamogami to the Diet
and summon him as early as Nov. 11.

The ruling parties will oppose the summoning, but if it is approved,
they will accept the decision.

TOKYO 00003088 008 OF 010

Once the opposition side votes down the refueling bill in the Upper
House, the ruling camp will take an override vote in the House of
Representatives to reinstate the bill in the current Diet session.

12) Ex-ASDF chief of staff likely to be summoned next week; DPJ
bases vote on refueling legislation on his summoning

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
November 6, 2008

It has become likely that former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of
Staff Toshio Tamogami, who has been dismissed from the post due to
his essay justifying Japan's war of aggression, will be summoned to
the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee as
early as next week.

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan decided yesterday to
base a vote on a bill amending the New Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law to continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean on the summoning of Tamogami. If the
Upper House decides on Tamogami's testimony, the ruling camp, too,
now seems likely to follow the decision.

As a general rule, the summoning of a person to the Diet requires a
unanimous decision. Even if the ruling parties oppose summoning
Tamogami, the DPJ intends to decide on the matter by the rule of
majority. The ruling bloc plans to oppose the summoning, insisting
that priority be given to a vote on the refueling legislation. But
an LDP Diet affairs officer said: "We don't intend to hide Mr.
Tamogami or defend him. If the summoning is decided by the rule of
majority, that cannot be helped."

The DPJ's policy course has been decided through talks between Upper
House Caucus Chairman Azuma Koshiishi and Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee principal director Keiichiro Asao and others.
Tamogami is likely to be summoned either on Nov. 11 or 13 when the
Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee regularly meets.

Given Tamogami's positive stance about responding to the call for
his Diet testimony, the DPJ is alarmed, with a Diet affairs officer
saying, "He must not be used for propaganda." Asking for the
attendance of Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Takeo Kawamura, and Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone,
the DPJ plans to grill the government over the questions of
Tamogami's retirement allowance and of oversight responsibility.

13) Defense Ministry gets a double punch

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
November 6, 2008

The dismissal of Toshio Tamogami as Air Self-Defense Force chief of
staff over his essay on the Showa War that was at variance with the
government's view continued to haunt the government yesterday.
Contrary to the government's intent, there are no signs of an early
end to the scandal.

In a ruling bloc executive meeting yesterday, New Komeito Secretary
General Kitagawa raised a question about the Defense Ministry's
decision to retire Tamogami under the age limit, saying: "Is it
appropriate to give him a hefty retirement allowance? Shouldn't he

TOKYO 00003088 009 OF 010


receive a dishonorable discharge?" LDP Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Tadamori Oshima also expressed a similar view.

Also yesterday, the Tokyo District Court sentenced former
Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, who had been
indicted in connection with a bribery case over defense equipment
procurement, to a prison term. In handing down the decision, the
presiding judge said: "It's astonishing that the top defense
bureaucrat had such a weak awareness of public standards."

Hit by two major scandals involving top defense officers, one in
uniform and the other civilian, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada
said to the press corps in a serious tone: "It is a fact that the
public has feelings of distrust in the ministry. I will do my utmost
to revamp the system."

14) Objections emerging from senior ruling members to payment of 60
million yen in retirement allowance to Tamogami

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 6, 2008

Objections emerged yesterday from among senior ruling party members
to the Defense Ministry's approval of the retirement of Toshio
Tamogami, ex-Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff, dated Nov. 3.
New Komeito Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa said in a meeting of
the ruling parties' secretary generals and other senior members: "Is
it alright to allow him to receive the retirement allowance? Is it
proper for him not to be dismissed in disgrace?"

Liberal Democratic Party Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori
Oshima also said in a meeting of the party's Diet Affairs Committee
chairman and vice chairmen: "The problem of retirement allowance for
the ex-ASDF chief remains on our mind." The ministry will pay about
60 million yen in retirement allowance to Tamogami unless he refuses
to receive it.

15) Ruling camp unable to chart strategy for latter half of Diet
session

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the New Komeito discussed how
to manage the latter half of the current Diet session in a meeting
of their secretaries general and Diet affairs committee chairmen
yesterday. Following a package of additional economic measures
adopted recently, they agreed to push ahead with work to compile a
second supplementary budget for fiscal 2008 to finance such extra
measures, but they were unable to decide on the timing for
submitting related bills. Prime Minister Taro Aso has decided to
forgo the next House of Representatives election originally planned
for sometime before the end of this year, while the opposition bloc
has clearly demonstrated a confrontational stance. Under such a
situation, the government and the ruling camp remain unable to chart
a strategy for the latter half of the Diet session.

Speaking before reporters in the Diet building yesterday, LDP Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima said: "The prime minister
pledged to take such large-scale economic measures. I hope that a
second extra budget will be compiled after details of the measures
are closely examined." On the timing for related bills to be

TOKYO 00003088 010 OF 010


submitted to the Diet, however, Oshima just said: "Once compilation
work is started, the timing should naturally come into sight."

The current Diet session will be adjourned on Nov. 30. In order to
have bills related to a second extra budget enacted, observers see
it necessary to extend the session to late next January. Given this,
many ruling party members are cautious about submitting related
bills to the current Diet session, with a senior New Komeito member
remarking: "The ongoing session should be closed at the end of this
month. In December, we should start discussion on budget compilation
and tax reform."

Uncertainty is also looming over the fate of a bill amending the
Financial Function Strengthening Law, on which the government and
the ruling parties have placed importance. The bill is expected to
clear the Lower House today, but the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
is poised to seek thorough deliberations, including talks on
revising the bill in the House of Councillors. It now seems
difficult to enact the bill by the financial summit on Nov. 15 as
aimed at by the government and the ruling camp.

The DPJ has prepared a strategy to conduct deliberations on second
extra budget bills thoroughly, underscoring its confrontational
stance, and then force the government to dissolve the Lower House
late this year or early next year. To prevent a dissolution of the
Lower House in line with the opposition camp's scenario, some ruling
members have suggested that deliberations on the bills should be
carried out only in the Lower House in the current Diet session.

16) Financial functions strengthening bill to clear Lower House
today

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The House of Representatives Financial Affairs Committee yesterday
adopted a ruling coalition-submitted revised bill on the Financial
Functions Strengthening Law by a majority of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), its coalition partner New Komeito, and the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest opposition party. The
bill will enable the government to inject public funds into regional
financial institutions. The revised bill is expected to clear the
Lower House today.

In their prior consultations, the ruling coalition and the DPJ
agreed to include in the revised bill such phrases as that
management responsibility of financial institutions to which public
founds would be injected should be made clear. However, since the
ruling camp refused to accept the DPJ's demand that Diet approval be
required when public funds are injected into Norinchukin Bank
(agricultural cooperative bank) and that the ShinGinko Tokyo be
excluded from the financial institutions subject to injecting public
funds, the DPJ plans to vote against the revised bill in a Lower
House plenary session today.

SCHIEFFER

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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>>

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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>>

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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>>

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