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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11//08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3126/01 3160126
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110126Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8719
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 3258
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 0898
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4685
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8928
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1469
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6335
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2310
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2489

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 003126

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

Index:

Opinion polls:
1) Aso Cabinet support rate at 37 PERCENT , drops below non-support
rate of 41 PERCENT in Asahi poll, with 63 PERCENT of public
unappreciative of government's planned handouts (Asahi)
2) Kyodo poll finds Aso Cabinet support rate of 40.9 PERCENT now
below the non-support rate of 42.2 PERCENT (Tokyo Shimbun)

Aso diplomacy:
3) Prime Minister Aso to meet President-elect Obama at APEC meeting
in late November (Yomiuri)
4) Aso to meet separately with leaders of newly emerging economies
at financial summit (Yomiuri)

Defense and security affairs:
5) U.S. Embassy apologizes for unannounced arrival of U.S.
nuclear-powered submarine at Naha's White Beach (Mainichi)
6) U.S., Japan to basically review tactics for responding to Korean
contingency (Yomiuri)

Tamogami incident:
7) Former ASDF chief Tamogami is unrepentant of historical views in
appearing before Diet, denies giving order to subordinates to write
contest essays (Asahi)
8) Main exchanges of Tamogami in his Diet testimony (Tokyo Shimbun)

9) Democratic Party of Japan to pursue Tamogami incident at length
in the Diet, putting aside issue of bill extending the MSDF
refueling mission in Indian Ocean (Yomiuri)
10) National Defense University uses textbook that justifies the
past war, calling it "basically self-defense" (Akahata)

11) Corporate bankruptcies breaking all records in October with
1,231 cases (Yomiuri)

Articles:

1) Poll: 63 PERCENT see Aso's cash payout policy as unnecessary;
Cabinet support down to 37 PERCENT

ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
November 11, 2008

Only 26 PERCENT of the nation's voting population think Prime
Minister Aso's plan to hand out cash benefits to individual
households-a showcase of the government's additional package of
economic stimulus measures-is a necessary policy, the Asahi Shimbun
found from its telephone-based public opinion survey conducted Nov.
8-9 regarding a potential general election for the House of
Representatives. Meanwhile, negative answers accounted for 63
PERCENT , overwhelming positive responses. The Aso cabinet's support
rate was 37 PERCENT , with its nonsupport rate at 41 PERCENT . The
nonsupport rate topped the support rate for the first time, with the
approval rating at 41 PERCENT and the disapproval rating at 38
PERCENT in the last survey.

The Aso cabinet's approval rating fell below 40 PERCENT for the
first time. Among men, the support rate was markedly down from 42
PERCENT to 36 PERCENT . Among those in their 30s to 60s, the
nonsupport rate was higher than the support rate. In the public's
choice of political parties for proportional representation in the

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

next general election for the House of Representatives, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party scored 30 PERCENT (33 PERCENT in the last
survey), with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) at 33 PERCENT (30 PERCENT in the last survey). Asked
about the desirable form of government, the option of an LDP-led
coalition government was somewhat down from 33 PERCENT to 29
PERCENT , with a DPJ-led coalition up from 37 PERCENT to 40 PERCENT
. In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 30 PERCENT (32 PERCENT in the last survey), with the DPJ
at 24 PERCENT (19 PERCENT in the last survey).

2) Poll: 58 PERCENT don't appreciate gov't payouts; Cabinet support
down to 42 PERCENT

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Abridged)
November 11, 2008

A total of 58.1 PERCENT of respondents do not appreciate Prime
Minister Taro Aso's plan to pay out 2 trillion yen in cash benefits
to households as part of the government's new economic stimulus
package, according to a telephone-based public opinion survey
conducted across the nation by Kyodo News on Nov. 8-9. Meanwhile,
31.4 PERCENT answered "yes" when asked whether they appreciate it.

In the survey, respondents were asked about the government's new
package of economic stimulus measures adding up to 27 trillion yen.
Asked whether they appreciate the economic package, 47.9 PERCENT
answered "no," with only 37.1 PERCENT saying "yes." The figures
show that the government's economic stimulus package has failed to
obtain public support. This can be taken as indicating that the
public thinks the efficacy of such government payouts is unclear and
that the public is concerned about a finance crisis resulting from
such spending.

The approval rating for the Aso cabinet was 40.9 PERCENT , down 1.6
percentage points from the last survey conducted Oct. 18-19. The
disapproval rating was 42.2 PERCENT , up 3.2 points. The nonsupport
rate topped the support rate for the first time since the Aso
cabinet's inauguration.

Asked about the desirable form of government, 43.2 PERCENT of the
respondents opted for a coalition government centering on the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), with 36.1
PERCENT choosing a coalition led by the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party. Meanwhile, the DPJ marked 35.5 PERCENT in the popularity
ranking of political parties for proportional representation in the
next election for the House of Representatives, with the LDP at 33.6
PERCENT . The LDP was below the DPJ both in the public choice of
government and in the popularity ranking of political parties for
proportional representation.

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 33.8 PERCENT and the DPJ at 26.5 PERCENT . The New
Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner, was at 3.5 PERCENT . Among
other political parties, the Social Democratic Party was at 3.0
PERCENT , the Japanese Communist Party at 2.5 PERCENT , the People's
New Party at 0.5 PERCENT , and the New Party Nippon at 0.1 PERCENT
.

3) Prime Minister Aso to hold talks with U.S. President-elect Obama
late this month


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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 11, 2008

Government officials revealed yesterday that coordination is
underway for Prime Minister Taro Aso to meet with U.S.
President-elect Barack Obama in the United States, after Aso attends
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Conference in Peru on
Nov. 22-23.

According to the government officials, during a telephone
conversation with Obama on the morning Nov. 7, Aso conveyed his
hopes to stop over at the United States on his way back from Peru
and Obama told Aso that he would like to meet him.

4) Prime Minister Aso to hold summit meets with leaders of emerging
countries

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 12, 2008

Prime Minister Taro Aso will make a four-day trip to the United
States from tomorrow to attend an emergency financial summit that
will take place in Washington Nov. 14-15 (local time). The
government is now arranging summit meetings for Aso with Brazilian
President Silva, Indonesian President Yudhoyono and British Prime
Minister Brown on the 14th (local time).

Aso wants to hold such meetings with the top leaders of newly
developing countries in order to show them Japan's intent to play a
"bridging" role between developing and industrial countries,
according to a government official. In his visit to Washington,
therefore, Aso intends to give priority to holding meetings with the
leaders of emerging countries, rather than with Group of Eight (G-8)
leaders.

Appointing former Vice Finance Minister for International Affairs
Toyoo Gyoten and former Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Yoshiji
Nogami as special advisors to the cabinet, the government has
already dispatched them to South Korea and Indonesia, which will
send their leaders to the upcoming financial summit. The government
also plans to send envoys to India and China in order to seek their
cooperation for such Japan's proposals as forming an international
framework for supervising and controlling financial institutions,
reviewing market-value accounting, as well as introducing
regulations on rating companies.

5) U.S. nuclear sub calls at Okinawa without notice, U.S. Embassy
apologizes for 'error in reporting'

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
November 11, 2008

The USS Providence, a 69,000-ton nuclear-powered attack submarine of
the U.S. Navy, made a port call yesterday at waters off White Beach,
a U.S. military facility in Okinawa Prefecture's Uruma City, without
prior notice to the Japanese government. The Providence stayed there
for about two hours. This is the second port call without prior
notice since the U.S. government stated in August 1964 that it would
inform the Japanese government at least 24 hours before entering
port. The U.S. Embassy in Japan apologized to the Foreign Ministry
in response to its protest, saying it was due to an error in
reporting within the U.S. Navy.

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08


The Providence belongs to the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet. She stayed
at waters 5.1 kilometers off the naval berth of White Beach from
around 10 a.m. to a little before noon on Nov. 10. The Foreign
Ministry explained that there were no abnormal readouts to show
radiation leaks.

An Okinawa-based patrol ship of the Japan Coast Guard happened to
spot the Providence yesterday at around 10 a.m. The JCG reported the
submarine's presence there to the Ministry of Education, Culture,
Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), which is in charge of
checking radiation leakage. MEXT reported it to the Foreign
Ministry's Status of U.S. Forces Agreement Division. A MEXT
monitoring team was then prepared for the scheduled port call of the
USS Hampton, another U.S. nuclear-powered submarine, as the Japanese
government had received prior notice from the U.S. government about
its port call scheduled for the afternoon of Nov. 10.

Shinichi Nishimiya, director general of the North American Affairs
Bureau at the Foreign Ministry, called U.S. Embassy Minister Zumwalt
at around 11 a.m. yesterday to lodge a protest.

6) Japan, U.S. to carry out basic review of Korean contingency
tactics, focusing on over a dozen items, including selection of
airports

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
November 11, 2008

It has been learned that the Japanese and U.S. governments have
begun to work on a basic review of the joint tactical plan of the
U.S forces and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) for meeting a regional
contingency, such as a Korean Peninsula emergency, as well as a
Japan emergency. This was revealed on Nov. 10 by multiple informed
sources. More than a dozen items from the plan are up for
consideration, including the selection of private airports to be
used by U.S. forces during a contingency, the arrangements for
transporting wounded U.S. soldiers and selection of the hospitals
that will accept them. With the deteriorating health of North
Korea's General Secretary Kim Jong Il, the two governments see
elements of instability on the Korean Peninsula, and plan to
accelerate the work of reviewing the plan, aiming at completion by
next fall.

This will be the second basic revision of the plan, following one
carried out during 2006-2007. Both governments have never announced
the existence of such a plan. The contents of the current study
covers more than a dozen items including the following: 1) selection
of private airports and harbors to be used by the U.S. forces
during an emergency situation; 2) air space control that includes
flight restrictions; 3) transport of wounded U.S. soldiers and a
system of medical support that would include facilities to accept
the casualties; 4) handling by the Japanese government of persons
regarded as prisoners of war by the U.S.; 5) coordination regarding
the priority use of radio frequencies by the U.S. forces and the
SDF; 6) response to CBRN attacks; 7) the strengthening of
intelligence sharing between Japan and the U.S.; 8) close inspection
of facilities prioritized for protecting U.S. forces; 9)
consideration of mutual logistical support; and 10) handling of the
war dead and those missing in action.

In the selection of private airports and harbors, the U.S. forces

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

have proposed the use of approximately 30 facilities, and since last
year in the spring, coordination has been going on. But with such
new factors as rumors of unstable health of General Secretary Kim
Jong Il, the Japanese side has speeded up coordination with relevant
organs. The government will clarify the role sharing of relevant
ministries and agencies, such as providing medical support, use of
frequencies, and responding to CBRN attacks.

7) Tamogami denies giving an order for sending essays to contest
before Upper House Defense Committee as unsworn witness

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
Evening, November 11, 2008

The House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
summoned earlier today Toshio Tamogami, who has been dismissed from
the post of Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff due to his essay
justifying Japan's war of aggression and colonial rule, as an
unsworn witness. Tamogami admitted that he had informed the Air
Staff Office Education Division chief of the essay contest but he
also indicated that he had not issued an order for sending essays to
the competition. He also denied any improper relations with the APA
Group that organized the contest, such as the provision of funds.

Main points from Tamogami's testimony

? Although he informed the Air Staff Office of the essay contest he
did not give an order for sending essays.
? He has not received funds, such as "car fees," from the APA Group
that organized the essay contest.
? He was not warned when he contributed a similar essay to the ASDF
journal in May 2007. This time around, his essay has become a hot
topic because it has created a stir.
? He told the ASDF deputy chief of staff that it would be better to
examine his essay (in the process of a disciplinary action) to make
it clear where the problem lies.
? Freedom of speech for SDF personnel should not be controlled. He
thinks it is strange to control the freedom of speech based on the
government's view.

8) Gist of questions to and answers by Tamogami in Diet

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 11, 2008

Former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami was
summoned to the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee as an unsworn witness yesterday. Major exchanges there are
as follows:

Keiichiro Asao (Democratic Party of Japan): Whom in the Air
Self-Defense Force did you tell about the essay contest?

Tamogami: I mentioned the essay contest to the Air Staff Office's
Education Division chief. Some persons claim that I instructed
members to submit essays, but if I had given such an instruction,
more than 1,000 (ASDF personnel) would have sent essays.

Asao: Did you receive funds or any benefits from the APA Group (the
organizer of the essay contest)?

Tamogami: No. I didn't receive anything.

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08


Asao: Did the Internal Bureau of the Defense Ministry issue a
warning to you for contributing that essay to its internal magazine
in May of last year?

Tamogami: No, it didn't.

Asao: Why do you think that essay has become a problem now?

Tamogami: That is because the essay evoked public criticism, I
think.

Asao: Why didn't the ministry issue a warning last year?

Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada: Since it (the essay in question)
was carried in an internal magazine, we did not pay close attention.
We did not check it fully.

Asao: The lack of a check was the government's mistake.

Hamada: I do not deny that (the essay) affected many SDF members.

Asao: Do you think the responsibility rests with Director General of
the Defense Ministry's Secretariat Kimito Nakae?

Hamada: That is right.

Asao: Was your essay intended to prompt the people to realize the
need to change the government's interpretation of the Constitution
over the use of the right to collective self-defense?

Tamogami: Although I did not make such an appeal in my latest essay,
I think it would be better to change the interpretation because
views are divided over the issue of how to protect the nation.

Asao: For what reason do you think you were dismissed?

Tamogami: I was dismissed for the reason that I expressed a view
contradictory to a statement by then Prime Minister Tomiichi
Murayama (apologizing for Japan's colonial rule and aggression), but
I believe my view is not wrong. From the viewpoint of civilian
control, I think it is politically quite natural for the ministry to
dismiss me, based on the judgment that my view is different (from
successive Japanese administrations). I do not think at all what I
wrote is wrong, and I think (what I wrote) is necessary in order for
Japan to move in the right direction.

Tadashi Inuzuka (DPJ): Why wasn't disciplinary action taken?

Hamada: We wanted to avoid demoralizing SDF members by allowing him
to make a new assertion different from the government's view (in a
disciplinary trial).

Inuzuka: If there were a trial, would you have expressed your own
view?

Tamogami: Since I think the Murayama statement was a political
statement, I would have insisted that we have the right of free
speech.

9) DPJ ready to pursue Tamogami essay issue at length, treating it
separately from refueling bill

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08


YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 12, 2008

Ex-Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami was
summoned to the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee as an unsworn witness to testify on his controversial
essay yesterday. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has asserted
that this incident revealed that civilian control over Self-Defense
Force's (SDF) ranking officers is not properly functioning. The main
opposition party intends to pursue at length the government and the
ruling c*:dE+ut linking it to a bill amending the
New Antiterrorism Special Measures Law to continue the SDF's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The bill is scheduled to be
voted on at the said committee tomorrow.

The opposition camp has been pursuing the responsibility of the
prime minister and the defense minister for having appointed
Tamogami as ASDF chief of staff, despite his repeated expression of
his private views about Japan's wartime aggression to SDF and
external audiences.

DPJ President Ozawa told reporters in Kobe yesterday afternoon: "His
(Tamogami) views and thinking were present in the ASDF from before.
Despite this, the government appointed him but when the facts were
revealed, forced him to retire. Such a way of disposing of the
matter presents a very serious problem." He pointed out the prime
minister's responsibility for appointing him and criticized the
government's method of disposing of the problem.

Japanese Communist Party Chairman Shii also emphasized in a news
conference: "It is necessary to clarify why the government left this
issue unattended."

In an executive meeting of the said committee held yesterday
afternoon, the DPJ called for: (1) intensive deliberations to be
joined by the prime minister, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, and the chiefs of staff of the Ground Self-Defense Force, the
Maritime Self-Defense Force, and the Air Self-Defense Force; and (2)
a live telecast question-and-answer session with the participation
of the prime minister. But the party said that it would accept a
plan to hold intensive deliberations after a vote is taken on the
refueling bill.

Such a stance reflects the calculation of the party, as explained by
a senior Upper House member, that if the ruling parties promise to
conduct intensive deliberations after a vote, the party will find it
easier to thoroughly grill them over the issue without soliciting
public criticism of its approach as an attempt to delay the voting."
Upper House Secretary General Kenji Hirata said in a press
conference yesterday that the Tamogami issue and the voting of the
refueling bill are separate matters.

Criticism even from among ruling party members

Even some ruling party members criticized Tamogami's replies in the
meeting of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

New Komeito President Ota contended in a news conference: "His
replies remarkably lack the ability to be aware of the
responsibility and the social impact of acts and deeds by himself as
the top ASDF officer." He added: "Future options for personnel

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

appointments should be reconsidered, and proper education should be
given to SDF officers, including senior members."

In the ruling camp, a senior Upper House member stated: "The
participation of the four chiefs of staff might be difficult,
because if so, they will be pressed to make political statements,
but I think intensive deliberations joined by the prime minister
will be unavoidable."

10) Akahata obtains National Defense Academy textbook justifying
past wars from Japan-Sino War to Great East Asian War as acts of
"self-defense"

AKAHATA (Top play) (Abridged slightly)
November 11, 2008

An "overview on national defense," a required subject at National
Defense Academy, is using a textbook titled the Introduction to
Defense, which specifically calls World War II a "rising national
interests and warfare based on self-defense." Akahata has discovered
this from material obtained as of Nov. 10 from government sources.
The textbook bears some similarity to an essay by dismissed Air
Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami, who wrote that
Japan is not an aggressor nation, a position at a variance with the
government's position. With this, the teaching of history at the
National Defense Academy is likely to be called into question.

The Introduction to Defense was published in March 2007 during the
former Abe cabinet by the National Defense Academy for use in
national defense classrooms. The 143-page textbook, which is defined
as a comprehensive textbook combining all defense areas to be
handled in the four-year education period based on defense science
to taught at National Defense Academy, consists of seven chapters,
including security, the present strategy, Japan's defense and the
SDF.

The textbook sees aggression by Hitler's Nazi Germany and Japan's
militarism as only natural in its Chapter 4 Section 2 on history of
world wars. The text states: "In Germany under the onerous and
punitive Versailles System, it was natural for nationalism to flare
up and for that country to resolve to retaliate. This feverish
nationalism spread to Italy, Japan, Spain and other countries."

Chapter 4 Section 3 on history of Japan's wars discusses Japan's
past wars by referring to them as the Japan-China War, Japan-Russian
War, World War I, Manchurian Incident, China Incident, Great East
Asia War-- the names used in those days. The textbook also discusses
Japan's wars of aggression (acts) since the Meiji Era from a
viewpoint of self-defense, stating: The cause of the wars was
basically self-defense against the invasion of Asia by Western
powers as part of rising self-interests and the clashes that
accompanied such."

On Nov. 9, the Mainichi Shimbun carried a commentary by National
Defense Academy President Makoto Iokibe that read: "I have
reexamined the contents of history education at National Defense
Academy, and I could not find any contents that glorified that
war."

11) Record number of 1,231 companies went bankrupt in October

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)

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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11//08

November 12, 2008

The private credit research company Teikoku Databank (TDB) released
yesterday the results of a research. According to the results, 1,231
companies (total liabilities of more than 10 million yen) went into
bankruptcy in October. The number was up 13.7 PERCENT from October
last year, making the largest number since April 2005, when
statistical criteria were revised. The possibility is strong that
the total number of companies going bankrupt this year will reach a
record high since 2005, because 10,524 companies have already gone
under since January.

Total liabilities were approximately 979 billion yen, 2.2 times
those in the same month last year, making this the second largest
amount since September, when liabilities marked a record high due to
the failure of Lehman Brothers, Japan. In October, there were 12
major bankruptcies with a total deficit of more than 10 billion
yen.

About 80 PERCENT of the 1,231 companies went bankrupt due to the
business slump. Breaking the number down by industrial groupings,
many construction and real estate companies became bankrupt and the
bankruptcies of manufacturers were up 30.4 percent from last
October.

SCHIEFFER

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