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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/18/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3175/01 3220810
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170810Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8880
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 3384
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1025
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4813
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9045
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1594
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6445
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2427
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2587

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 003175

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 11/18/08

INDEX:

(1) LDP fears policy of delaying submission of second extra budget
bill going off track [Asahi]

(2) Dip in GDP for two straight quarters: Recovery unlikely before
2010 or later [Mainichi]

(3) Tamogami essay shows SDF's longtime frustration [Asahi]

(4) New phase for Japan and the United States; Differences in
administrative bases evident [Asahi]

(5) Whaling: Research without killing, Australia checks Japan
[Asahi]

(6) Sailing ceremony for research whaling cancelled this year
[Asahi]

(7) TOP HEADLINES

(8) EDITORIALS

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, November 17 [Nikkei]

(10) Political Cartoon [Asahi]

ARTICLES:

(1) LDP fears policy of delaying submission of second extra budget
bill going off track

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 18, 2008

If the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) rejects taking a vote on a
bill amending the New Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, the ruling
camp will inevitably be pressed to review its Diet strategy. The
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership fears, keeping in mind his
stance of giving top priority to economic growth, that Prime
Minister Aso would respond to the DPJ's call on the government to
submit a second extra budget bill to the current Diet session. In an
effort to avoid being pressed to dissolve the Lower House later this
year, the leadership is eagerly charting a strategy.

LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima met with former
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, former Secretary General
Bunmei Ibuki, and Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nikai in
Tokyo last night. They agreed to continue to make efforts to push a
budget bill for next fiscal year and a second extra budget bill
through the Diet.

Many LDP members expect the government to decide to give up on
submitting a second extra budget bill to the ongoing Diet session
and to dissolve the House of Representatives in the spring or later
after the next fiscal year budget bill clear the Diet. They fear
that if this policy line also goes off track, the Aso administration
may be unable to survive.

In the ongoing extraordinary Diet session, which is due to end on
Nov. 30, the ruling camp has given top priority to enacting the
refueling bill and a bill to strengthen financial functions. Based

TOKYO 00003175 002 OF 008


on the judgment that it is unnecessary to extend the session because
the House of Councillors DPJ once promised to agree to take a vote
on the bill by the end of November, the ruling side envisioned it
would adjourn the current session on Nov. 30 and open the next
ordinary Diet session in early January, when a second budget bill
would be submitted..

If the extra budget bill is submitted to the ongoing session, the
situation will inevitably turn into a quagmire. If so, the
government might be driven to dissolve the Lower House later this
year. In the snap election following the dissolution of the Diet,
there will be little chance of winning for the ruling camp. The
ruling side hopes to nip such a risky possibility in the bud.

If the DPJ toughens its posture and rejects voting on the two bills,
it will become necessary for the ruling camp to consider the option
of obtaining final Diet approval through a revote in the Lower
House. The refueling bill cleared the Lower House on Oct. 21. Under
the so-called 60-day rule, it becomes possible to bring the bill
back into the Lower House for a revote on Dec. 20. If so, the Diet
session will have to be extended up until late December.

In addition, if the DPJ resorts to a tactics to delay a vote on the
bill to strengthen financial functions, which passed the Lower House
on Nov. 6, it is impossible to take a revote before Jan. 5. To
ensure the bill will be enacted, it will become necessary to extend
the Diet session until early January. Since it is possible to extend
an extraordinary Diet session twice, if the session is extended
until late December first and then until early January once again.

The focus of attention is on whether the government would respond to
the DPJ's call for submitting a second supplementary budget during
the current Diet session.

LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Oshima told his DPJ counterpart
Kenji Yamaoka yesterday: "It is impossible to submit the bill during
the current Diet session." If the session is extended to early next
year, the DPJ will undoubtedly intensify its call on the submission
of a supplementary bill. If the ruling side responds to the DPJ
call, the DPJ will be given a chance to grill the government over a
fixed-amount cash handout program, on which coordination in the
government ran into trouble. In this case, the Diet would be thrown
into confusion, and it would become more likely for the government
to be pressed to dissolve the Lower House. The government and the
ruling camp have decided to forgo the planned dissolution of the
Lower House within this year. The decision reflects their policy of
protecting themselves by giving a boost to the Aso administration
through the enactment of next fiscal year's budget bill and
accumulated achievements in its summit diplomacy.

A senior government official also was negative about submitting the
extra budget bill to the current Diet session, saying: "Even if the
session is extended to late December, the government should not
deliberate (on the refueling bill) and should take an override vote
in the Lower House 60 days after the bill is sent to the Upper
House." But how will the government be able to push the bill through
the Diet while taking a protective stance? The government will
likely find itself difficult to steer Diet business.

(2) Dip in GDP for two straight quarters: Recovery unlikely before
2010 or later


TOKYO 00003175 003 OF 008


MAINICHI (Page 9) (Full)
November 18, 2008

The gross domestic product (GDP in annualized terms) in real terms
for the July-September fell for two straight quarters for the first
time in about seven years. Many economists now subscribe to the
severe view that the Japanese economy will not recover before 2010
or later. Exports and capital investment, the locomotives that drive
the Japanese economy, are down and unlikely to recover soon. The
economies of the U.S. and Europe also are likely enter a
recessionary phase. The economies of emerging countries -- the last
resort for growth in the global economy -- are also visibly slowing
because of poor prospects for export growth.

The nation's GDP already substantially dipped as of the April-June
quarter, marking a 3.7% drop from the preceding quarter in
annualized terms. However, some market players took an optimistic
view as of August this year, when the GDP figures for the April-June
quarter were released, with one noting, "The economy will be on a
mild recovery track by the spring of 2009."

However, the financial crisis has reached the real economy across
the board. As a result, the economies of emerging countries, such as
China and Russia, are also slowing at a pace much faster than
expected due to the bursting of the crude oil, real estate and
stock-price bubbles, as Shinya Ueno at Mizuho Securities put it.
Almost no market players expect the government's economic
pump-priming measures to produce results. Many take the view that
the economy will continue its downward trend in the October-December
quarter, when the impact of the global stock plunges and the sharp
rise in the value of the yen will be spreading. The Japanese economy
is in a situation where there is no exit from the recession.

(3) Tamogami essay shows SDF's longtime frustration

ASAHI (Page 15) (Full)
November 13, 2008

Toshiyuki Shikata, professor at Teikyo University and former Ground
Self-Defense Force lieutenant general

That essay was inappropriate.

First of all, its timing was bad. "As there is a time to speak, so
there is a time to keep silent." This is from the Bible. Even
though the essay may be a manifestation of what was in his heart,
there is a time to speak. It is inappropriate that Toshio Tamogami
made public the essay he wrote as the incumbent in the top brass
post of Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff.

In the Mongolian Invasions of the 13th century, a large number of
Japanese people were killed by the allied forces of Mongolia and
Goryeo. Today, however, there is no one that criticizes it. That is
because a long time has passed and it has already become history.
However, Japan's relations with China and South Korea in the 20th
century are still vivid. There are also people still living who
experienced those days. One who is in a position as ASDF chief of
staff should not have stated a view of history as he did in the
essay. It was not in the national interest of Japan.

Second, there is a problem about procedures. Tamogami, based on the
Defense Ministry's internal regulations, should have written to the

TOKYO 00003175 004 OF 008


chief of the Defense Minister's Secretariat for permission about his
essay before contributing it. However, Tamogami assumed that since
the essay was about his view of history, it had nothing to do with
his duties as ASDF chief. He only told the chief of the Defense
Minister's Secretariat about it. This is strange.

A view of history has something to do with his duty. The
Self-Defense Forces' top echelon has had a hard time maintaining
morale and keeping it high. So did I. SDF members are hard trained
and told by their commanders to be prepared to die for their country
in an emergency. A view of history is extremely important. Japan was
a wicked country that did terrible things in the past... With such
in mind, I wonder if young SDF members can proudly die for their
country. We need fighter planes and missiles, but even before that,
we need to elevate the morale of SDF members. We love our country
and we are proud of our country. This kind of feeling cannot be
nurtured by a masochistic view of history. The essay probably wanted
to say that.

If Tamogami had asked the chief of the Defense Minister's
Secretariat in written form for permission about his essay, his
entry into the essay contest would have been halted by someone who
would have noticed its inappropriateness. He might have been aware
of that. There would have been no problem if he had contributed the
essay after resigning as ASDF chief of staff. But then, no one would
have paid attention. He was the top brass officer, so the essay drew
public attention. In this sense, he might have been prepared to
resign.

This incident was probably a great nuisance for the SDF. However,
some personnel may have thought to themselves that he was right.

Then, the question is what to do. From the start, the SDF has been
pent up for years. I think such pent-up feelings need to be wiped
away.

To begin with, politicians should talk about a view of history with
their own words. Whenever the prime minister changes, his successor
only says he will follow the Murayama Statement, which recognized
colonial rule and aggression. Even in the case of going along with
it, why do they not speak of it as their own view of history?

What underlies the problem is the Constitution. The present
Constitution does not define the SDF. Such a situation has lasted
too long and created pent-up feelings. One idea is to amend the
Constitution to expressly stipulate the SDF and its existence.

It is easy to denounce him for publishing such an essay as a problem
about an individual who was ASDF chief of staff. This, however, will
not dispel whatever it pent up in the SDF. I want the government to
take a good look at what lies behind the problem and what underlies
it.

Civilian control is a categorical imperative. Japan is a country
under the rule of law, so we need the prime minister's leadership
and a revision of the Constitutional. However, I wonder if there is
an atmosphere within the SDF to freely allow them to make
suggestions. The SDF, once ordered, will move in perfect order.
However, the SDF must create a better climate for its members to be
able to say things to their officers like "it might be better not to
do so." They need the courage to admonish their officers.


TOKYO 00003175 005 OF 008


Shikata was born in 1936, and he filled the posts of GSDF Ground
Staff Office Personnel Department director general, GSDF 2nd
Division commanding general, and GSDF Northern District Army
commanding general.

(4) New phase for Japan and the United States; Differences in
administrative bases evident

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
November 18, 2008

By Hiroshi Hoshi, editorial writer

American people like playing on words. In footage on a rally
celebrating the victory of President-elect Barack Obama, I saw a
person wearing a T-shirt saying "Yes We Did" -- a play on Obama's
slogan, "Yes We Can."

An American friend of mine once said to me, "Our strength comes from
SMILE." It meant that screens (movies), military and money,
Internet, law, and English have conquered the world.

* * * * *

The U.S. economy has deteriorated markedly due to the financial
crisis triggered by the subprime loan problem. Confidence in the
U.S. dollar - the M in SMILE -- has dropped. The automotive industry
is also having a hard time. An agreement was reached in think the
crisis will come to an end so easily.

The views of America watchers on the future of that country are
split. There is a theory that regards this as the beginning of the
end of a unipolar world. The theory predicts that the power of the
United States, which has neglected producing goods as a result of
opting for the so-called Casino Capitalism [entailing such risk
taking as pouring all one's funds, including pensions, into the
stock market], will decline, and the influence of emerging nations,
like China, and European countries will increase. Keio University
Prof. Masaru Kaneko, s strong believer in this theory, noted: "The
decline of the automotive industry that represents the oil
civilization is a symbolic of the end of the hegemony of the United
States."

At the same time, many observers think the United States will come
back to life sooner or later. Sojitz Research Institute Executive
Vice-President Tatsuhiko Yoshizaki said: "When an economic crisis
occurs, a country that has democracy and a market economy is
extremely resilient. Once the adjustment period is over, I believe
the United States will bounce back quickly."

There is no doubt that Obama's United States is at a crossroads.
Seeing his calm and reassuring manner during the presidential race,
I felt that Obama would smoothly and steadily deal with outstanding
issues. His smile was appealing, as well.

Japan's relationship between the United States is also expected to
change significantly, for Japan will soon enter a new phase. From a
short-term perspective, Japan has been pressed to cooperate to
revive the slumping U.S. economy and to draw the United States
toward a policy course of international cooperation with European
nations and emerging countries in order to deal with such global
issues as the environment and poverty from a mid to long-term

TOKYO 00003175 006 OF 008


perspective. The question is whether the Aso administration is
capable of performing such a difficult task.

The clear difference between Obama's United States and Aso's Japan
is the footing of their respective administrations. Obama garnered
66 million votes. Democrats have gained control of both the Senate
and the House of Representatives. Aso's ruling bloc lost its
majority in the latest Upper House election. The Lower House has not
been dissolved for a general election under the two previous
administrations and the Aso administration.

Flip-flops over a fixed-sum cash-handout program, which was supposed
to be a showcase of the economic stimulus package, have exposed the
administration's weak foundation. The idea of a second supplementary
budget to shore up the economy was something that never once
occurred to most lawmakers and bureaucrats, who had expected Lower
House dissolution and a general election either in October or
November. Even so, the cash-handout program has followed an
extremely rough path.

The Aso administration's weakness stems from its disregard for the
public will. To rectify that, there is no other option but to
swiftly dissolve the Lower House and let an election establish an
administration that reflects the popular will. An early dissolution
of the Lower House is key to stimulating the domestic economy, as
well as building a new Japan-U.S. relations.

(5) Whaling: Research without killing, Australia checks Japan

ASAHI (Page 34) (Full)
November 18, 2008

Akihito Sugii, Singapore

Australian Environment Minister Garrett on November 17 announced
that Australia will conduct on its own a scientific ecological whale
survey without killing them. The country will invest approximately 6
million Australian dollars (approximately 370 million yen), which
also covers the cost of developing research technology. Garrett
explained, "The project is part of the government policy of stopping
Japan's research whaling."

The environment minister insisted that it is possible to conduct
ecological research on whales, by such means as sonic research and
aerial inspection. He then added, "The Australian government
believes that it is not necessary to kill whales in understanding
whales' ecological system." He noted that Australia will call on
members of the International Whaling Commission (IWC), including
Japan, to take part in its research.

According to Australian AAP, regarding whether Australia will send a
patrol ship to track Japan's research whaling, as it did last year,
the environment minister told reporters, "We have yet to make up our
minds."

(6) Sailing ceremony for research whaling cancelled this year

ASAHI (Page 34) (Full)
November 18, 2008/11/18

Japanese ships that carry out research whaling in the Southern
Ocean, hold a sailing ceremony every year in Shimonoseki City,

TOKYO 00003175 007 OF 008


Yamaguchi Prefecture. However, Asahi Shimbun learned on November 17
that there would be no sailing ceremony this year. The reason for
the cancellation of the ceremony is to prevent sabotage by
anti-whaling organizations, which became an issue last year. Now is
the time for whaling vessels to leave the port. An official of the
Fisheries Agency Far Seas Fisheries Division said, "We cannot even
reveal whether vessels have left port or not."

Mayor Kiyoshi Ejima revealed at a press conference that the sailing
ceremony was cancelled. He said, "In my view, it is regrettable.
However, research whaling suffered major damage from acts of
obstruction. We must pour our energy to ensure safety and a piece of
mind in implementing research whaling."

(7) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi & Sankei:
Extension of Diet session unavoidable

Mainichi:
Calls growing for extending Diet session

Yomiuri & Tokyo Shimbun:
Democratic Party of Japan to reject taking vote on refueling bill

Nikkei:
Eight countries in Asia plus Australia to join hands in trade
reinsurance

Akahata:
Only 28% of applicants remitted all tuition fees at national
universities

(8) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Negative GDP growth: Government urged to chart strategy to
survive recession
(2) Policies, political situation under Aso administration remain
confused

Mainichi:
(1) Japan, U.S., and Europe in recession: Boost public works
spending to buoy economy
(2) Set up system to prevent drunk driving

Yomiuri:
(1) Negative GDP growth urges for policy switch
(2) Hit-and-run accident a vicious crime that leads to murder

Nikkei:
(1) Make full preparations for prolonged global recession
(2) We expected both ruling, opposition camps to prioritize policies
over Diet dissolution

Sankei:
(1) Diet dissolution should not be opted for now
(2) Hit-and-run accident a heinous crime equivalent to murder

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Its' not time for Aso, Ozawa to engage in tactful game
(2) Aso government urged to come up with economic stimulus measures

TOKYO 00003175 008 OF 008

Akahata:
(1) Negative GDP growth: Take measures to support family budgets

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, November 17

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 18, 2008

10:04
Had a walk around his private residence in Kamiyamacho.

12:28
Signed in at the Imperial Palace to report his return.

14:30
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Uruma at the Kantei.

15:00
Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura, followed by Japan Junior
Chamber President Yoshihiko Oda and others.

16:13
Met Gifu Gov. Yoshida, followed by LDP Secretary General Hosoda and
Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Oshima. Afterward handed a letter of
appointment to Cabinet Councilor Toyoda in the presence of Hosoda
and others.

17:44
Met Kawamura at the Kantei joined in by Hosoda.

17:59
Held talks with DPJ President Ozawa in the presence of Hosoda, DPJ
Secretary General Hatoyama, Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yamaoka,
and Lower House member Tenzo Okumura.

18:29
Met Kawamura and Hosoda.

19:07
Met at his official residence LDP General Council Chairman Sasagawa,
hid deputy Funada and others, in the presence of Kawamura and
Hosoda.

20:36
Returned to his private residence.

SCHIEFFER

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