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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/12/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3138/01 3162306
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 112306Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
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RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
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RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3293
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RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8961
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1504
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6350
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2333
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2499

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 003138

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 11/12/08

INDEX:

(1) Obama's America: Focus of attention on lineup of advisers for
Obama on Asia policy (Mainichi)

(2) Obama's America-Japan-U.S. relations (Part 2): Futenma a
difficult assignment (Yomiuri)

(3) Challenge facing US under Obama: Launching of new administration
to provide good chance for North Korea to improve ties with U.S.
(Yomiuri)

(4) Japan-U.S. relations: Distrust casting shadow on alliance
reaffirmation (Asahi)

(5) TOP HEADLINES

(6) EDITORIALS

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, November 11 (Nikkei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Obama's America: Focus of attention on lineup of advisers for
Obama on Asia policy

MAINICHI (Page 6) (Full)
November 12, 2008

Masaya Oikawa, Washington

While U.S. President-elect Barack Obama is now preparing for the
inauguration of his administration, the focus of attention is now on
the roster of advisers for Obama on Asia policy. Obama's foreign
policy advisers plan to exchange views on policy toward Asia with
the delegates of relevant countries on the occasion of the
forthcoming emergency summit of 20 countries and regions on the
global financial crisis, which will start on Nov. 14 in Washington.

Sights on policy toward China

The emphasis of Obama's Asia policy is placed on China. Obama
intends to build a strategic relationship with China based on the
principle of "cooperation and competition." The dominant view in the
group of foreign policy advisers to Obama is that China policy will
become a major challenge for the Obama administration.

In telephone talks on Nov. 6 with Prime Minister Taro Aso, Obama
said that he would like to strengthen the U.S.-Japan alliance in
order to push ahead with such global challenges as measures to
prevent global warming. Obama stressed that there would be no change
in the United States' position of giving priority to U.S.-Japan
relations.

However, there are differences in the positions of the current
Republican government, which aims at expanding Japan's role, and of
the incoming Democratic government, which is reluctant to expand
Japan's military role. U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
senior staff member Frank Jannuzi said: "The United States should
not force Japan to do what it does not want to."

Concerned about the possibility of worsening Japan-China relations,

TOKYO 00003138 002 OF 008


Obama has taken a stance of not hesitating to interfere in bilateral
relations between Tokyo and Beijing.

Attention being paid to whether Hill will be retained

There are many China specialists in the group in charge of planning
Asia policy for Obama. Center for Strategic and International
Studies (CSIS) Senior Adviser Derek Mitchell is considered to be
slated for a key post in the Asia policy team. Mitchell served as
senior director for Japanese affairs at the Department of Defense
under the Clinton administration. He is also well versed in the
issue of realignment of U.S. forces in Japan.

The observation is growing that Jannuzi, who has close ties to Sen.
Joe Biden; Peter Ogden, chief of staff at American Progress, which
is a Democratic Party-affiliated think tank; and Stanley Foundation
researcher Michael Schiffer will assume posts in the Obama
administration. Having the experience of living in Japan, they have
supported Obama. Attention is being paid to the course of action of
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill. Some have contended
that he might be retained in the new government.

(2) Obama's America-Japan-U.S. relations (Part 2): Futenma a
difficult assignment

YOMIUIRI (Page 4) (Full)
November 11, 2008

Obama and his administration can finish the assignment... Such an
expectation is growing in Okinawa.

It means the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, which is called
the "assignment" among government officials in charge of policies
toward the United States and which is to be carried out by 2014.

The realignment of U.S. forces in Japan is linked to the
transformation of U.S. forces around the world and will mitigate
Okinawa's base-hosting burden through such steps as relocating
Futenma airfield, which is contiguous to Ginowan City's residential
areas, and relocating Okinawa-based U.S. Marines to Guam. However,
Okinawa has raised an objection to the intergovernmental agreement
reached between Japan and the United States on Futenma relocation.
The task assigned to the government is therefore facing rough
going.

The United States will now have a Republican president for the first
time in eight years since the Clinton administration, which decided
to return Futenma airfield. "The Obama administration will accept
Okinawa's standpoint," says a senior official of the Okinawa
prefectural government. Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima is in high
spirits, saying, "I will visit the United States before the new
president is inaugurated, and I want to collect information there."

When it comes to the issue of relocating Futenma airfield, however,
factors from the perspective of military strategies in East Asia are
greater than political factors. "There will be no difference between
the Bush administration and the Obama administration," a senior
official of the Foreign Ministry says. Futenma could be the first
big issue for Japan to face with the Obama administration in the
security area.

The U.S. Department of Defense will submit its budget plan for

TOKYO 00003138 003 OF 008


fiscal 2010 (from October 2009) to Congress in February next year.
In its FY2010 budget plan, the Pentagon will earmark costs for
strengthening the functions of bases in Guam to prepare for moving
8,000 troops from the U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam. However,
Futenma relocation has been falling behind schedule. U.S. Congress
budget authorities therefore raised a question about the feasibility
of Futenma relocation, which is in a package with the Marines' Guam
relocation.

The Japanese and U.S. governments have agreed on a plan to relocate
Futenma airfield to a coastal area of Camp Schwab in Nago City.
Meanwhile, Okinawa Prefecture has been calling for the construction
site of an alternative facility to be moved to an offshore area in
order to ensure safety for local residents. Environment
protectionists are also opposed to Futenma relocation to Nago. The
government needs to finalize its Futenma relocation plan next spring
at the latest, including where to lay down the newly planned
airfield's runways. After that, the government will have to submit a
report to Okinawa Prefecture in preparation for an environmental
impact assessment. The alternative facility needs landfills in
public waters. However, the governor may not permit such reclamation
from the sea.

This summer, the Pentagon asked the Defense Ministry to come up with
an endorsement in written form to make sure Futenma relocation will
be completed by 2014." The Defense Ministry answered that it would
be possible to shorten the period of construction. On Nov. 5,
however, U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Commander Keating implied that
the relocation of Marines from Okinawa to Guam would be in 2015 or
later. "We've not received any explanation about such a change in
the target year," Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura told the press
yesterday. So saying, Kawamura was desperate to deny conjectures
about a delay in the Marines' Guam relocation or an increase in
Japan's burden sharing for it.

In 1996, the then Hashimoto cabinet reached the accord on Futenma
relocation. Futenma relocation, however, has been stagnated. This
was primarily attributable to Japan's circumstances. In 1999, the
government made a cabinet decision to relocate Futenma airfield to a
sea-based site in waters off Nago City's Henoko district. That
offshore relocation plan was changed to the current plan. In 2003,
Defense Secretary Rumsfeld visited Okinawa to see Futenma airfield.
He was then worried about a delay in the 1999 plan. The United
States feared that the stagnation of Futenma relocation could
compromise the Japan-U.S. alliance. In Japan, however, the
successive prime ministers have been insensitive to that feeling in
the U.S. government.

In the Fukuda cabinet, two key government officials at the prime
minister's office (Kantei), namely Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Masahiro Futahashi, who
topped all government bureaucrats, took the initiative to grapple
with Futenma relocation. They proposed a minor change to move the
relocation site to an offshore area about 50 meters from the coast.
However, the U.S. military rejected the proposal, citing the Marine
Corps' opposition.

The Aso cabinet is now in office. Both Machimura and Futahashi have
left the Kantei. "There's no one that takes the initiative," says a
senior official of the Defense Ministry.

The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), which

TOKYO 00003138 004 OF 008


is aiming for a change of government in the next election for the
House of Representatives, takes the position that the party will
constantly verify Japan's fiscal spending of over 1 trillion yen in
its burden sharing of costs for the U.S. military's realignment,
including the Marines' Guam relocation. The DPJ has also advocated
relocating U.S. military bases in Okinawa to overseas locations, and
this alerts the United States.

In such a political situation, a high-ranking official of the
Japanese government recalls what a high-ranking official of the U.S.
government said to him 10 years ago. That U.S. official said, "Do
you think Futenma will move?" He added, "I think it's impossible."

(3) Challenge facing US under Obama: Launching of new administration
to provide good chance for North Korea to improve ties with U.S.

YOMIURI (Page 7) (Full)
November 11, 2008

Yoshiharu Asano, Seoul

"We are ready to respond to whichever side is elected," North Korean
Foreign Ministry's America chief Ri Gun confidently told reporters
on Nov. 6 after meeting with U.S. officials in New York.

North Korea continued to be subject to pressure from the Republican
Bush administration over the past eight years, while being denounced
as an "axis of evil" and the frontline base of oppression. The
handover of power to the Democratic Party will provide the good
opportunity that leader Kim Jong Il, whom the U.S. once dubbed as a
tyrant, has long been waiting for.

According to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency, when Choi Song (TN:
phonetic), a member of the South Korean largest opposition
Democratic Party, met senior North Korean government official while
in Pyongyang in early November, all of them welcomed Obama's
election in the U.S. presidential race. One said: "Obama is better
than McCain," and another remarked: "I expect Obama's victory will
work positively for the U.S. and North Korea to normalize their
relations." North Korea is taking note of the pledge Obama made
during the election campaign to meet leader Kim, with Choi saying:
"They (North Korean officials) had high hopes on the inauguration of
the Obama administration."

During the Democratic Clinton administration (from 1993 through
January 2001), the U.S. significantly pushed forward relations with
North Korea upon overriding the first nuclear crisis that started in
1993 and ended in 1994. A plan on President Clinton's visit to North
Korea was about to turn into reality in 2000 - the last days of the
administration. Reminiscent of those days, North Korea is placing
high hopes on the launch of a Democratic administration.

The framework accord reached in 1994 between the U.S. and North
Korea in 1994, which contributed to contain the first nuclear
crisis, proposed providing the North with two light-water reactors
in exchange for the freeze of its nuclear development program and
establishing diplomatic offices in Washington and Pyongyang. But the
U.S. has yet to implement these pledges since the Bush
administration disclosed that North Korea had a secret program to
enrich uranium for nuclear development.

Given this, the goal of Pyongyang is to see these commitments

TOKYO 00003138 005 OF 008


translated into action through negotiations with the Obama
administration. Although the vision of a U.S.-North Korea summit has
melted away under the Bush administration, since Obama is eager to
meet the leader of North Korea, there is no need for the North to
make an approach. If there is a matter of concern, it is only Kim's
health condition.

North Korea has already made arrangements to attain this goal.
Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test in October 2006. As anticipated
by the North, the U.S. administration, which was bogged down in the
Iraq war, changed its confrontational stance into a policy of
engagement. In a desperate effort to maintain the framework of the
six-party talks, the Bush administration used even the valuable
negotiating card of delisting that nation as a state sponsor of
terrorism in response to an indication by the North to resume its
Yongbyon nuclear facility. The focus of discussion in the six-party
talks will surely shift to North Korea's complete denuclearization
and the offer of light-water reactors in return for
denuclearization.

Paek Sung-chu, chief of the National Defense Policy Research Office
in the Korean Institute for Defense Analyses, a policy research
institute under the South Korean Ministry of National Defense,
categorically said: "North Korea will not dismantle its nuclear
program." But he indicated that U.S.-North Korea relations will
steadily improve, saying: "The Obama administration is expected to
set up a new forum for discussions between ranking U.S. and North
Korean government officials, as a separate framework from the
six-party talks."

Some experts in South Korea predict that a Democratic administration
may deal with such issues as human rights and nuclear proliferation
more strictly than the Republican administration. But Obama has not
referred to the need for "pressure" on North Korea yet, just
mentioning the need for "dialogue."

(4) Japan-U.S. relations: Distrust casting shadow on alliance
reaffirmation

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 9, 2008

Yoichi Kato, Washington

On Nov. 6, two days after his victory, President-elect Obama talked
over the telephone with the leaders of nine countries in the world.
Among them was Japan's Prime Minister Aso. In the two-year-long
presidential race, Obama made almost no mention of Japan. For the
time being, however, Japan seems to be acknowledged as an important
ally and friend at the first diplomatic gateway before the
inauguration of a new U.S. administration.

The present relationship between Japan and the United States,
however, is saddled with serious problems. Obama's administration
will be inaugurated in January next year, and the two countries will
make a fresh start. Meanwhile, people, both in Japan and in the
United States, are voicing concerns about the present situation.

The biggest problem is that Japan and the United States, failing to
coordinate their policies and strategies, have a growing sense of
distrust and dissatisfaction toward each other.


TOKYO 00003138 006 OF 008


In October, the U.S. government delisted North Korea as a state
sponsor of terrorism without consulting well with Japan. This is a
prime example. There is another example. The Maritime Self-Defense
Force conducted a joint drill with Russia's naval forces that month.
The U.S. Department of Defense, which was growing wary of Russia
over Georgia, was opposed to such a joint exercise. Japan postponed
the drill and carried it out later at a different place.

U.S. government officials are dissatisfied with Japan, saying Japan
has not fulfilled its diplomatic responsibility in backing up the
wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Japanese government has been
unable to develop its policies because the Diet is divided with the
ruling coalition holding a majority of the seats in its lower
chamber and the opposition bench dominating its upper chamber. U.S.
government officials are in a strong mood to forsake Japan as a
narrow-minded country rather than show understanding for such
circumstances.

There is deep-seated dissatisfaction within the Democratic Party,
which will shore up Obama's administration. One of its officials
said Japanese government officials and Diet people have ignored the
Democratic Party, only meeting people in the Republican Party.
Japanese government officials may say it cannot be helped because
the Republican Party has been in office over the past eight years.
However, Japan counted totally on former Deputy Secretary of State
Armitage and former Senior Director for Asian Affairs at the
National Security Council (NSC) Michael Green. For this reason, it
is also true that no one in the Democratic Party is unable to take
their place at once.

Obama and his administration, as well as the Bush administration,
will attach importance to Japan-U.S. relations. This was already
revealed by former Ambassador to Japan Mondale, honorary chair of a
group that advises Obama on Japan. However, Obama's administration
would inevitably reevaluate or relativize relations with Japan. In
other words, the Japan-U.S. alliance will be called into question
over whether it is substantive enough.

Japan will tackle immediate challenges, such as assisting with
Afghanistan and realigning U.S. forces in Japan. In the meantime,
Japan would also like to beef up its alliance with the United
States. The year 2010 will mark the 50th anniversary of the
Japan-U.S. Security Treaty. Moreover, Japan will host the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum that year, and Obama
is expected to visit Japan. Japanese government officials are
considering a plan to release a strategic document on that occasion
to reaffirm the bilateral alliance. If Japan keeps making
preparations for that, the alliance would be all right... It appears
that there is also such a calculation among Japanese government
officials.

Basically, the United States is ready to respond. In the United
States, however, there are also arguments calling for visible
results rather than to forge an idealistic agreement. "We're not
very interested," a Japan hand on the Obama camp said. Even so,
Japan cannot expect to see progress on political issues. With such a
dilemma deepening on one hand, there are also arguments calling for
Japan passing on the other hand.

(5) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:

TOKYO 00003138 007 OF 008


Government not to set income cap for cash benefit plan; Coordination
underway to urge people with income of 18 million yen or more to
decline cash benefits

Mainichi:
Appeals court should respect lay judge decisions

Yomiuri:
Police to question broker of organs for transplant to Japanese in
China

Nikkei:
Government to urge electric power firms to disclose alternative
energy costs

Sankei:
Former Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian held on suspicion of illicit
enrichment

Tokyo Shimbun:
Stock plunge halts operation of Hartford

Akahata:
JCP unveils emergency economic stimulus package to defend people's
livelihoods

(6) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Tamogami testimony: Point of freedom of speech missed
(2) Governors' objections to Yodogawa dam project must be taken
seriously

Mainichi:
(1) Government's handout plan incoherent and unnecessary
(2) Tamogami testimony: Cadet education system must be revealed

Yomiuri:
(1) LDP tax panel: Both tax cuts and hikes are important
(2) Tamogami misses point on freedom of speech

Nikkei:
(1) Steel industry needs to earnestly reflect on its cartel
practice
(2) Tamogami essay may not be isolated case

Sankei:
(1) Tamogami summoned: In-depth discussion hoped for
(2) Objections to Daido dam project should help promote
decentralization

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Testimony by ex-ASDF chief: Civilian control should be ensured
(2) MLIT should lend ear to opposition to Yodogawa dam project

Akahata:
(1) New drive necessary to eliminate nuclear weapons from world

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, November 11

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

TOKYO 00003138 008 OF 008

09:00
Attended cabinet meeting in Diet building. Education Minister
Shionoya remained.

09:40
Met at Kantei with astronaut Naoko Yamazaki and JAXA President
Tachikawa. Met afterwards with Lower House member Taro Nakayama,
chair of the Japanese side of Japan-Arab Forum.

10:37
Met with Administrative Vide Foreign Minister Yabunaka, Deputy
Foreign Minister Sasae, followed by Economic and Fiscal Policy
Minister Yosano.

12:39
Hosted luncheon party for Spanish King Carlos and Queen Sofia.

15:10
Taping at LDP headquarters for public relations. Met with Public
Relations Chairman Furuya.

16:05
Met with LDP Secretary General Hosoda and Treasury Bureau Director
General Miyaji.

16:20
Met at Kantei with Fukuda and Hayashi, assistant deputy chief
cabinet secretaries. Met later with Chief Cabinet Secretary
Kawamura, followed by Environment Minister Saito and Deputy Vice
Minister Minamikawa.

17:16
Met with Seiichiro Okuhara, vice president of Hiroshima Chamber of
Commerce and Industry. Met later with Mayor of Niimi City Ishigaki,
joined by Lower House member Yoshitaka Murata.

18:40
Held informal meeting with cabinet press club cap at Chinese
restaurant in Kudankita.

20:25
Met with Mayor of Numazu City Kurihara, Defense Minister Hamada,
Consumer Affairs Minister Noda, former Consumer Affairs Minister
Kishida and LDP Senior Deputy Secretary General Hayashi at Japanese
restaurant in Hotel New Otani.

21:05
Met with former U.S. Vice President Quayle and Education Minister
Shionoya at Bar Capri in Hotel New Otani.

21:31
Met with secretary at Kato's Dining & Bar in Hotel New Otani.

23:11
Returned to his private residence in Kamiyama-cho.

SCHIEFFER

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