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Cablegate: Japan Economic Scope for November 12, 2008

VZCZCXRO2533
RR RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3163/01 3210815
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 160815Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8845
INFO RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1001
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9021
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3360
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4789
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1570

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 003163

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/J

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EFIN EAGR PREL SENV JA
SUBJECT: Japan Economic Scope for November 12, 2008

SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED. PLEASE PROTECT ACCORDINGLY.

1. (U) This cable contains the Japan Economic Scope for
November 12, 2008.

Food and Agriculture
--------------------

2. (SBU) USDA Urges Changes To New Wheat And Rice Tender Regs

USDA's General Sale Manager W. Kirk Miller met with Ministry of
Agriculture (MAFF) Director General for the Staple Food Department
Masaaki Okuhara November 7 to express U.S. concerns about the new
contract specifications for wheat and rice tenders. Okuhara's
department was instrumental in developing MAFF's new specs that
require wheat or rice found unfit for human consumption to be either
destroyed or re-exported. These new specs, issued in response to
the "tainted rice" scandal in which MAFF was implicated, lack
clarity in terms of liability disposal accommodation and other
issues that continue to disrupt trade in wheat and rice. Okuhara
confirmed MAFF has been in regular discussions with grain traders
about the contract changes. While there has been agreement on many
things, there are still unresolved contractual points he said. With
the most recent rice tender scheduled going unfulfilled, Okura noted
his office would engage the traders and work to iron out the
remaining problems in the contract. He asserted Japan would fill
its rice quota and live up to its commitments. USDA also passed a
letter to MAFF DG Machida expressing the same concerns, which also
noted failure to fulfill Japan's tenders might be attributable to
MAFF's inadequate specifications, but not to market factors such as
price.

Japan's Foreign Relations
-------------------------

3. (U) Surveys for the Improvement of Harbor and Transportation
Infrastructure in Ghana and Tanzania

The GOJ agreed to implement preliminary surveys for the improvement
of harbor and transportation infrastructure in Ghana and Tanzania,
which may lead to the promotion of direct investment by Japanese
companies. In Ghana, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
will conduct a preparatory survey for cooperation concerning harbor
and transportation infrastructure. In Tanzania, the Ministry of
Economy, Trade and Industry and JETRO will implement an emergency
survey for needs connected with an Mtwara Harbor expansion project.
These projects are the outcome of the public-private Joint Missions
for promoting trade and investment dispatched to Africa in
September.

4. (U) Emergency Assistance For Flood Disaster In Yemen

On October 28, the GOJ agreed to provide emergency relief goods
(tents, blankets, plastic sheets, sleeping mats, water purifiers,
etc.) equivalent to about $180,000 to the Government of the Republic
of Yemen, which sustained damage from flooding caused by torrential
rainfall.

5. (U) Emergency Assistance For Earthquake Disaster In Pakistan

On October 29, the GOJ agreed to provide emergency relief goods
(blankets, tents, etc.) equivalent to about $110,000 to Pakistan for
earthquake-related relief.

6. (U) Japanese Grant Aid To The Palestinian Authority

Japan will provide $10 million of non-project grant aid to ease the
budgetary burden of the Palestine Authority. In an exchange of
notes on October 29, Japan committed to help Palestinians improve
their economy, institutional capacity, and livelihood, and to
support the peace process. Japan has proposed "The Corridor for
Peace and Prosperity Initiative" to build an agro-industrial park in
the Jordan Valley, which will provide the Palestinians job
opportunities by facilitating the export of value-added products.
Japan's contributions since the Oslo Process started in 1993 total
$1 billion.

7. (U) Japan Assists Southern Sudan Through UNHCR With High-tech
Water Purifiers

The GOJ decided October 28 to provide assistance through the UNHCR
to Sudan for refugee relief. The number of refugee returnees to
Southern Sudan is anticipated to increase to at least 80,000 within
a year following the end of this coming rainy season and the general

TOKYO 00003163 002 OF 002


election planned for 2009, according to UNHCR. There is concern
rapid deterioration of sanitary conditions in the region resulting
from the influx of refugees may lead to disease outbreaks. The
GOJ's assistance includes 60 portable-type high-technology water
purifiers and 60 spare filters to be used at nine medical
facilities.

8. (U) JICA Exchanges MOU With The African Development Bank (AfDB

JICA President Ogata signed a Memorandum of Understanding October 29
in Tokyo with the President of the African Development Bank, Donald
Kaberuka, to strengthen the partnership between the two
organizations. The MOU aims to ensure sustained economic growth
throughout the continent. Ogata and Kaberuka agreed that in an
increasingly complex environment for development aid, the ability to
deliver effective assistance depends on much closer cooperation and
collaboration between organizations such as JICA and AfDB. The new
MOU is designed to "facilitate collaboration" and "maintain a
continuous working relationship" between the signatories, with the
overall aim of improving Africa's economic performance. Areas of
cooperation include regional infrastructure development,
agricultural productivity, private sector development, environment
and climate change, water and sanitation, and post conflict
situations. The parties also agreed to strengthen cooperation in
research, staff exchanges, and knowledge-sharing in areas such as
the relevance of Asia's "economic miracle" to Africa's current
situation.

Trade
-----

9. (SBU) Jail For Ex-Vice Defense Minister Moriya (SBU)

The Tokyo District Court sentenced former Vice Minister of Defense
Takemasa Moriya to two and half years in prison and ordered him to
pay 12.5 million yen in penalties for taking bribes totalling
roughly the same amount from defense equipment trading company
Yamada Yoko Corporation. The court refused Moriya's request for a
suspended sentence. Moriya was also convicted of giving false
testimony to the Diet. Motonobu Miyazaki, former managing director
of Yamada Corporation, received a two-year prison sentence for
bribing Moriya. Two other Yamada executives received suspended
sentences.

SCHIEFFER

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