Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/01/08

DE RUEHKO #3272/01 3360803
P 010803Z DEC 08




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Masakatsu Okamoto, secretary to Prime Minister Aso, bearing
brunt of criticism (Asahi)

(2) Government to withdraw ASDF from Iraq (Nikkei)

(3) Order to pull out ASDF troop from Iraq to be issued today: Plan
to transfer it to Afghanistan derailed; How will Japan respond to
U.S. request?(Sankei)

(4) Premier lackluster about Futenma issue (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(5) Order issued to pull ASDF troops from Iraq (Tokyo Shimbun)

(6) Indictment rate at 13 PERCENT for U.S. military personnel's
crimes in 2007 (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(7) Interview with former ASDF Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami: No
foreign officer speaks ill of his country; Murayama Statement used
as tool to suppress free speech (Sankei)

(8) ASDF Iraq mission to end, with focus shifted to reconstruction
operations in Afghanistan, anti-piracy activities, but next
destination not in sight (Nikkei)

(9) Editorial: Japan should join efforts to protect vessels from
pirates off Somalia (Nikkei)

(10) Space solar energy system: Japan to undergo full-scale research
as card for curbing global warming (Nikkei)

(11) Prime Minister's schedule, November 28 (Nikkei)


(1) Masakatsu Okamoto, secretary to Prime Minister Aso, bearing
brunt of criticism

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 26, 2008

The Aso administration has been wavering. The ruling coalition
parties and government offices in Kasumigaseki are now criticizing
Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence) staff members
supporting Prime Minister Aso. Criticism is strong particularly
against the fifth administrative secretary to the prime minister,
who was picked through the good offices of Prime Minister Aso.
Dissatisfaction has begun to arise toward the appointment of the
fifth administrative secretary, who does not follow the rules set by
Kasumigaseki, as the government's power wanes.

Whenever Aso announces policy after making a decision from the top
down, lawmakers and bureaucrats, who are unhappy with the
appointment of the secretary in question, mention Zensho Okamoto,
with one saying: "Zensho Okamoto forced the prime minister to say."
Another said: "Zensho Okamoto is behind the prime minister."

Okamoto, who was vice minister for policy coordination for the
Ministry of Internal Affairs Communications (MIC), is now serving as
secretary to Aso. His real first name is Masakatsu, but he is
commonly called Zensho. Okamoto is rumored to have influence over

TOKYO 00003272 002 OF 015

Aso because policy measures that the prime minister has come up with
are seen as leaning toward the MIC. For example, Aso came up with a
policy of unifying local branches of the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, and Transportation and the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries, in order to promote decentralization.
Although Aso has retracted his careless remarks, he has expressed
strong enthusiasm for distributing 1 trillion yen in road-related
tax revenues to local governments as new tax allocation grants.

Since 1972, the four administrative secretary posts have been served
by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the
Ministry of Finance (MOF), the Ministry of Economic, Trade and
Industry (METI), and the National Police Agency (NPA). However, this
time around, one post was added to the four existing secretary
posts. Reportedly, Okamoto was appointed to serve in the new post
because his straight talk caught the notice of Aso when he had
served as vice minister for policy coordination under Aso when he
was MIC minister.

Among the administrative secretaries, an official coming from the
Finance Ministry has been often responsible for internal affairs.
However, this time, Aso asked Okamoto to be in charge of making
policies. Okamoto is three to six years senor to other secretaries
in terms of his years in service. He said:

"I draw up policy concepts following the prime minister's
instruction. My role is to make priorities about policies submitting
from ministries and agencies to the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei)."

A senior Finance Ministry official said: "I'm concerned about not
being involved in the Kantei's decision-making process."

However, Okamoto exposed a lack of behind-the-scenes maneuvering
when he wavered back and forth in making policies. He then came
under severe criticism. A secretary to a certain minister said: "It
is not good that the MIC, which receives budget requests, controls

Okamoto is not the only person responsible for a lack of the
Kantei's policy coordination capability. In the background, there is
personnel allocation with an eye on an early dissolution of the
House of Representatives. Since the post of a deputy chief cabinet
secretary, the highest post of the bureaucracy, is now being served
by a former NPA official, who is not versed in policy in general,
the importance of Okamoto has increased. As a result, it can be said
that Okamoto has become the target of criticism.

Kantei staff of Aso administration

Prime Minister Aso
Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura Secretaries to the prime
Deputy chief cabinet secretaries Assistant deputy chief cabinet
secretaries Ichiro Muramatsu (for political affairs)
Jun Matsumoto (Lower House member) Kyoji Aizawa (joined the Defense
Ministry in 1970) Masakatsu Okamoto (MIC class of 1978)
Yoshitada Konoike (Upper House member) Susumu Fukuda (entered the
Finance Ministry in 1971) Masatsugu Asakawa (MOF class of 1981)
Iwao Uruma (ex-NPA chief, NPA class of 1969) Keiichi Hayashi (MOFA
class of 1974) Nobuyuki Muroki (NPA class of 1982)
Kazuyuki Yamazaki (MOFA class of 1983)

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Takao Yanase (METI class of 1984)

(2) Government to withdraw ASDF from Iraq

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
Evening, November 28, 2008

The government held a meeting of the Security Council, headed by
Prime Minister Taro Aso, in the Diet Building this morning and
officially decided to withdraw Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) troops
from Iraq by the end of this year. They have been engaged in
transporting materials as part of reconstruction assistance for
Iraq, with Kuwait as the base. ASDF operational unit members will
start leaving that nation in mid-December and return to Japan later
the month, with some excluded. The airlift mission, which lasted for
five years, will terminate.

In this connection, Aso issued this statement: "Japan will continue
to offer yen loans for projects and technical cooperation. Japan
will aim to establish long-term friendly relations with Iraq in
wide-ranging areas."

A UN resolution that gives legal grounds to the presence of
multinational forces in Iraq is due to expire at the end of this
year. Keeping this in mind, Japan decided to pull out its troops.
The decision also reflects the improving security situation in Iraq.
In response to the government's decision, Defense Minister Yasukazu
Hamada is expected to issue a withdrawal issue this afternoon.

(3) Order to pull out ASDF troop from Iraq to be issued today: Plan
to transfer it to Afghanistan derailed; How will Japan respond to
U.S. request?

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
November 28, 2008

The government on November 28 will formally decide at a security
meeting of Prime Minister Taro Aso and related cabinet ministers to
withdraw an Air-Self Defense Force (ASDF) troop, dispatched to Iraq
based on the Iraq Reconstruction Assistance Special Measures Law.
Following the move, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada will issue a
pullout order the same day.

The ASDF started airlifting operations using three C130 transport
planes in March 2004. They have transported goods and personnel of
multinational troops and the UN from Kuwait to Baghdad Airport and
Arbil in a total of 806 missions (approximately 670 tons in goods)
up until November this year.

With the MSDF troops' withdrawal, Iraq reconstruction assistance
operations by the Self-Defense Forces, one of the two main efforts
in the war on terror, along with the refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean, will end. In the meantime, terrorist attacks, presumably
caused by Islamic extremists, occurred in Mumbai on the evening of
the 26th. The attacks claimed the lives of 101 lives, including one
Japanese national. International pressure seeking Japan's further
contribution to the war on terror will likely mount.

The decision to pull out ASDF troops from Iraq was reached at the
worst timing, coinciding with the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. The
ASDF troop has continued its operations even after the withdrawal of
a Ground Self-Defense troop (GSDF) and accomplished a total of 806

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missions without mishap. The government looked into the possibility
of transferring the troop to Afghanistan, which has become a hotbed
of Islamic militants, starting from the beginning of the new year.
However, the plan was never realized. Although President-elect Obama
has as one of his policy themes the resolution of the Afghan war,
when he takes office in January, the Japanese government will still
have no clear strategy of what to do after the withdrawal from

The government in June dispatched a fact-finding mission to
Afghanistan to look into the possibility of extending additional
assistance to that nation. It wanted to know whether it is possible
to dispatch GSDF's CH-47 copters in response to a U.S. request and
to use the ASDF's C-130 transport planes for transportation
operations in that nation.

As a result, a plan to take part in airlifting operations at the
Bagram Air Base near Cavour and a U.S. air base in Tajikistan
surfaced. However, the plan was derailed with the New Komeito
opposing any dispatch of GSDF troops. Though the withdrawal of the
ASDF troop from Iraq had already been set, the ASDF has been
planning to form a contingent to be dispatched until July next year,
when the related law expires. One involved source was chagrined at
the derailment of the plan, noting, "It was fully possible to
transfer to Afghanistan the troops planned for dispatch to Iraq."

Once the troops are disbanded, it will take a considerable amount of
time to reorganize them and dispatch them to a foreign country. In
the meantime, regarding the dispatch of GSDF copters, the
installation of bulletproof shields against shooting from the ground
and the upgrading of engine power in readiness for flight in high
altitudes in Afghanistan have yet to be carried out. The Defense
Ministry has incorporated the cost of the consolidation work in its
budget request for fiscal 2009. However, even if its budgetary
request is granted, a plan to upgrade the first three aircraft will
not start before fiscal 2012. As such, it will be impossible for the
SDF to dispatch a troop to that nation in a complete form for more
than four years.

(4) Premier lackluster about Futenma issue

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
November 30, 2008

The suspension of consultative meetings between the central
government with Okinawa Prefecture and its municipalities over the
pending issue of relocating the U.S. military's Futenma airfield has
become prolonged. Okinawa Prefecture has asked the government to
modify the Futenma relocation plan, submitting a proposal to move
the airfield's planned relocation site to an area offshore. However,
coordination has hit a snag over this proposed offshore relocation.
In addition, the prime minister's office does not seem to be
enthusiastic about the issue of realigning the U.S. forces in

"There will be no problem if you have a willingness to listen to
local points of view." With this, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima made
a direct appeal to Prime Minister Taro Aso in a national meeting of
governors held at the prime minister's office on Nov. 19, asking the
premier to honor local views and proceed with the relocation of
Futenma airfield.

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Okinawa Prefecture and its municipalities hosting U.S. military
bases asked the government in a consultative meeting with its
officials, including the chief cabinet secretary and the foreign and
defense ministers, to revise the Futenma relocation plan. The
government last held a consultative meeting in July. Since then,
however, no consultative meeting has been held to date. In the
meantime, Yasuo Fukuda stepped down as prime minister. Along with
his resignation, key persons familiar with this issue also left
office. Among them were the chief cabinet secretary, Nobutaka
Machimura, who was in charge of consultations over the realignment
of U.S. forces in Japan when he was foreign minister, and the deputy
chief cabinet secretary, Masahiro Futahashi, who was involved in the
issue as the government's top-ranking administrative official.

In his inaugural policy speech before the Diet, the prime minister
touched on developing incentives to offer Okinawa. However, he made
no mention at all of the U.S. military's realignment. As a result,
he is being seen as reluctant to pursue base issues. Meanwhile, the
Defense Ministry is going through procedures for an environmental
assessment to go ahead with the relocation of Futenma airfield as
planned. As it stands, local officials are doubtful of the
government, fearing that the government may ignore the local
proposal to move the relocation site to an offshore area.

A senior official of the Cabinet Office said: "There may be
differences, but there's no fundamental conflict. It would be better
to hold a consultative meeting in order for us to deepen our
understanding of each other." However, the government has yet to
decide on when to resume its consultations with Okinawa.

(5) Order issued to pull ASDF troops from Iraq

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 29, 2008

The government decided on Nov. 28 to withdraw an Air Self-Defense
Force unit, which is carrying out airlift activities in Iraq before
the end of the year and Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada issued an
order to do so, terminating nearly five years of support for Iraq by
the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). The government will end the SDF
dispatch without verifying its decision on and clarifying
constitutional reasons for the dispatch.

At a press conference on Nov. 28, Hamada stressed: "With no SDF
personnel having suffering injury, Japan will complete its mission
in Iraq. The SDF's mission was highly valued by the international
community." However, there still remain many suspicions about the
SDF dispatch to Iraq.

One of the suspicions is the legitimacy of the SDF dispatch to Iraq.
Soon after the United States began the Iraq war in March 2003, then
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi announced Japan's support for the
U.S.-led war. Establishing the Iraq Special Measures Law in July
2003, Koizumi dispatched to Iraq Grand Self-Defense Forces troops in
January 2004 and ASDF personnel in March.

However, no weapons of mass destruction were ever found in Iraq. As
a result, in Japan, the legitimacy of Koizumi's decision to support
the Iraq war and dispatch of the SDF to Iraq began to waver. Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, Koizumi's successor, however, just reiterated:
"The decision was right." Without verifying the decision on and
responsibility for the SDF dispatch, the government has continued

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the mission.

Another suspicion is the constitutional problem.

Japan dispatched SDF personnel to a battlefield for the first time.
If SDF personnel are involved in combat, such may conflict with the
Constitution, which prohibits the SDF from the use of arms overseas.
Creating the new concept of "non-combat areas," the government
struggled to make the SDF dispatch conform to the Constitution's
rule. Regarding the definition, then Prime Minister Koizumi said:
"Areas in which the SDF carries out its operation are non-combat
regions. In April this year, the Nagoya High Court ruled the ASDF
dispatch to Iraq was unconstitutional.

After the end of the ASDF's airlift mission in Iraq, Japan's
international contribution by the SDF will move to Afghanistan.
Although the government will make efforts for an early enactment of
a bill amending the new Antiterrorism Special Measures Law to allow
the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue its refueling mission in
the Indian Ocean, there is a possibility that the United States will
call on Japan for fresh support.

Japan needs to verify the SDF mission in Iraq, giving up on
expanding SDF activities overseas without debate. To that end, it is
indispensable to disclose information on what the ASDF transported
and what operations Japan has supported.

(6) Indictment rate at 13 PERCENT for U.S. military personnel's
crimes in 2007

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
December 1, 2008

TOKYO-The Justice Ministry has released statistics showing the
numbers of cases indicted and dropped over crimes and other
incidents involving U.S. military personnel in 2007. Public
prosecutors indicted 48.6 PERCENT of all cases, including those
violating the Road Traffic Law and other specific laws. However,
when it comes to criminal cases like robberies and thefts, the
indictment rate was extremely low at 13.3 PERCENT .

In the breakdown of indicted crimes, traffic law violations were
overwhelming at 286 cases, followed by vehicular manslaughters at 30
cases and bodily injuries at 7 cases. Among dropped cases, vehicular
manslaughters topped at 255 cases, followed by thefts at 44 cases
and destructions and secretions at 9 cases.

The Japan Peace Committee and Seiken Akamine, a House of
Representatives member of the Japanese Communist Party, made a
request to the Justice Ministry on Nov. 5 for a data file of
indicted and dropped cases pertaining to crimes and other incidents
involving U.S. military personnel. The ministry complied with the

Jun Chisaka, chief of the Japan Peace Committee's secretariat,
noted: "The Justice Ministry explained that the indictment rate of
crimes involving U.S. military personnel is higher than that of
crimes in Japan. In fact, however, there are more dropped cases than
those indicted."

Based on a Japan-U.S. accord, Japan cannot exercise its jurisdiction
unless Japan informs the United States within 10-20 days of its

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intention to do so. "Traffic violations can be confirmed on the
spot," Chisaka said. He added: "But when it comes to negligence
resulting in death or injury, it will take time to get
circumstantial evidence and to find relevant facts. Prosecutors
probably can no longer indict such cases after a certain period of

Crimes and incidents involving U.S. military personnel in 2007
Indicted Dropped
Criminal cases Interference with police duties --- 1
Trespassing 1 4
Document forgery --- 1
Rape --- 1
Rape resulting in death or injury 1 2
Murder 1 ---
Injury 7 3
Injury resulting in death --- 1
Violence 1 3
Negligence resulting in death or injury 2 1
Vehicular manslaughter 30 255
Other negligence resulting in death or injury 1 1
Duress --- 1
Theft 3 44
Robbery --- 5
Robbery resulting in injury 1 1
Fraud --- 2
Misappropriation --- 4
Destruction, secretion 4 9
Other crimes 1 6
Subtotal 53 345
Specific cases Traffic law violation 286 17
Narcotic & Psychotropic Drug Control Law violation, Opium Law
violation 2 ---
Stimulant Drugs Control Law violation --- 1
Cannabis Control Law violation 3 2
Customs Law Control violation 1 ---
Swords & Firearms Control Law violation 4 6
Other crimes 2 ---
Subtotal 298 26
Total 351 371
(Note) Dropped cases are those not indicted despite Japan's primary

(7) Interview with former ASDF Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami: No
foreign officer speaks ill of his country; Murayama Statement used
as tool to suppress free speech

SANKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
November 28, 2008

Hiroyuki Noguchi

Toshio Tamogami has been dismissed from the post of Air Self-Defense
Force chief of staff due to his essay that raised questions about
(the government's view) that regards the last major war as Japan's
aggression. Tamogami spoke his mind in an interview with Sankei
Shimbun on November 27.

-- It has been one month since your essay caused a huge sensation.

"I never imagined that such a huge commotion would result and that I
would be dismissed from my post. Some might say that I had a poor

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sense of judgment, and that may be true. But I was told to write a
letter of resignation without being given a chance to offer an
explanation. At the time, I thought I could live with being fired as
part of civilian control, but my writing a resignation would be
tantamount to admitting that I had done something wrong. I was told
that if I didn't write a resignation I would face disciplinary
action. So I said, "That's fine with me. Please do so."

-- What prompted you to write the essay?

"I was aware of the essay contest. I decided to write the essay
because I was encouraged by an SDF supporter. My understanding was
that because it did not relate to my duties, I did not have to
notify (my superiors) about it. I wrote the essay and mailed it
before I left for the United States on August 15. In small talk with
the director general of the Minister's Secretariat before August 15,
I told him that I had sent the essay, but that was not for informing
him of it. What I wanted to say in the essay was: Why has Japan
alone been called an aggressor nation when such countries as the
United States, Russia, Great Britain and France were not referred to
as aggressor nations? I wanted to say that if other countries were
not aggressor nations, then Japan, too, was not an aggressor

-- In writing the essay, did you have the Murayama Statement in

"Although I found the Murayama Statement strongly disagreeable, I
did not criticize it in my speeches during my tenure as ASDF chief
of staff. My essay did not touch on the Murayama Statement. I
believed that one was allowed to express his/her view that was even
at variance with the Statement as long as one did not directly
criticize it. If one is not allowed to express one's view that is
not in line with the Murayama Statement, I am afraid that the system
is being used as a tool to suppress free speech. There is an
atmosphere in which people cannot speak freely because of this
Statement, and it is cited in diplomatic documents, as well. Japan
is tying up its own hands. Japan has been defeated before taking any
diplomatic step. As a retired SDF officer, I still say confidently
that the statement should be scrapped. There is no move among
lawmakers to even reconsider it; and that is strange."

-- What do you think of the dismissal?

"What is absurd is that when I said, 'Japan was not an aggressor
nation. It was better than other countries,' I was fired for the
reason that Japan was a bad country in the government's view. In
other words, it means the post of ASDF chief of staff can only be
given to a person who thinks Japan was a rotten country. Officers in
the military of other countries always first defend their respective
countries. I have never met a military officer from another country
who spoke ill of his own nation."

-- To what extent do you think the top ASDF officer is allowed to
speak his mind?

"It cannot be helped that there are certain restrictions on the
freedom of expression of the top ASDF officer. But under the
Constitution, freedom of thought and belief is guaranteed. If people
are not allowed to express their opinions deviating from the
government's views, that is not a democracy."

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-- You testified before the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee on November 11.

"I had planned to state my opinions fairly and squarely at the Diet.
But Chairman Toshimi Kitazawa of the Democratic Party of Japan
restricted me before I uttered a single word. Why did they summon
me? Statements extracted from me were used to attack the government
and the defense minister. The legislative branch and the media, both
advocate freedom of speech, tried to contain different views. It was
like a suicidal action by the legislative branch and the media."

-- What was your view of the responses of various political

"The opposition parties just wanted to grill the government. They
behaved like, 'It's not our concern how much Japan's national
interests are harmed.' It is not appropriate to sacrifice national
interests for party interests. DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama
indicated he had excused himself from a dinner party with me and CEO
Toshio Motoya of the APA Group that organized the essay contest.
That is a plain lie. We spent substantial time with Mr. Hatoyama
discussing matters pleasantly on that occasion. The Liberal
Democratic Party, too, learned toward the left. If one tilts toward
the left to calm down the left-wingers, that is going to be the next
starting point. Repetitions of that would leave no conservative
party in Japan."

-- There is criticism that (your essay) has emboldened the leftist

"Since the start of the 1955 system, an approach has been used to
abstain from making statements to appease the left-wingers and to
accept their opinions to a certain extent. But Japan is not headed
in a better direction. Saying that my essay has bolstered the
leftists is tantamount to calling for the same response as before."

-- Whether civilian control has collapsed has been discussed
actively at the Diet and by the media.

"Most of them did not understand the meaning of civilian control.
The foundation of civilian control comes down to the question of
whether to use the national army when a foreign dispute breaks out.
The right to make that decision rests with legislators. In a
democracy, the numbers of fighters, tanks, destroyers, and troops
are determined under the control of lawmakers. I believe it is the
responsibility of a specialized military area to make the strongest
national army by using the given people and goods. There are
internal bureaus (civilian group) in the Defense Ministry. There is
no national army in the world where civilian control is more assured
than Japan.

-- Inspectors are now keeping close tabs on words and deeds by SDF

"If the ministry's internal bureaus are to check if SDF personnel's
views on history, thoughts and beliefs are compatible with
government's views in the wake of my essay, that would be tantamount
to mentally dismantling the national army. China and North Korea
would welcome it as a move to lower the morale of the SDF. Military
personnel cannot perform their critical duties without a sense of
mission. A sense of mission is a feeling that what they are
performing is just. Military units do not function unless there is a

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feeling that risking their lives for their country is the right
thing to do. I believe patriotism lies at the roots of it. A sense
of mission does not result from such masochistic views, such as that
this country was atrocious and rotten and that everyone becomes a
villain once they get into power."

-- Based on what you said, some people are arguing that the military
took reckless actions in the prewar period.

"I think such people have little faith in Japanese people, that is,
themselves. Or they have no confidence in civilian control. A
country with no freedom of speech to express divergent views is
bound to wane. People should be allowed to express their view that
the country must uphold the three non-nuclear principles. People
should also be allowed to call for a shift to nuclear armament.
Countries with no nuclear weapons might eventually become
subservient to nuclear powers."

-- Japan has been at the mercy of North Korea regarding the nuclear

"The North wants to possess nuclear weapons because if it has even
one nuclear missile capable of reaching the United States, the U.S.
would not be able to conquer the North by force. Such a principle of
nuclear weapons has not been discussed in Japan. Nuclear deterrence
will increase significantly with the demonstration of a willingness
to possess nuclear weapons. At the same time, it is not understood
in the political scene that nuclear deterrence drops with the
outright denial of a nuclear option."

-- There is no guarantee that the Japan-U.S. alliance will not
change in nature.

"The Air Self-Defense Force should edge toward independence. It is
desirable for the ASDF to increase its capability independently as
an air force and for Japan and the United States to supplement each
other's weakness. The United States has been regarded as the spear
and Japan as the shield, but such a conventional view should be
reviewed. Under the system of forcing only young Americans to shed
blood, while Japanese counterparts are positioned in the back, the
Japan-U.S. alliance will not hold."

-- What kind of country should Japan be and how should the
legislators be?

"A country with black-hearted legislators capable of defending the
people is better than a country with good-hearted lawmakers
incapable of defending the public. Competent ill-natured lawmakers
are better than incompetent good-natured politicians. Why do the
legislators of this country always gloss over things? Their views of
history are masochistic, as well. I hope my essay will be discussed
in a normal light someday."

-- How do you feel now?

"I believe SDF officers who come after me will have a hard time, and
I am deeply sorry for that. I have come under heavy criticism, but
that has not disheartened me. I told my wife, 'I will die like a
dog; you should be prepared for it."

(8) ASDF Iraq mission to end, with focus shifted to reconstruction
operations in Afghanistan, anti-piracy activities, but next

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destination not in sight

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 29, 2008

In response to the government's decision to withdraw Air
Self-Defense Force (ASDF) personnel from their reconstruction
mission in Iraq by the end of the year, Defense Minister Yasukazu
Hamada issued an order yesterday afternoon to pull them out of Iraq,
putting an end to one of the SDF's major contributions to the
international community. The next focus of attention will be on a
possible expansion of SDF operations overseas. Meanwhile, the
five-year SDF involvement in Iraq exposed many issues need to be

The ASDF will dispatch a unit of 70 personnel to Iraq to help the
operational unit pull out of the nation in early December.
Operational unit members will start leaving Iraq in mid-December and
return home in late December. The group of 130 troops including
operational unit members will also stay in Iraq after early next
year to engage in packing and transporting equipment, as well as
making adjustments with countries concerned. The withdrawal process
is expected to be completed by the end of this fiscal year, at the

The government will also make utmost efforts to enact a bill to
extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean. But now that international contributions have become a
main duty for the SDF, calls for sending SDF troops to Afghanistan
or waters off Somalia to combat piracy are growing at home and
abroad. Japan needs to create legal procedures governing the
dispatch of SDF abroad.

In April, the Nagoya High Court judged the ASDF operations in Iraq
as unconstitutional. The government refuted that operations are
being carried out in noncombat areas and do not entail the use of
armed force. At that time, a mopping-up operation was being
conducted near Baghdad, so it would have been difficult to define
the city as a noncombat zone. Some have been calling for reviewing
legal interpretation over the dispatch of SDF personnel abroad,
including the use of weapons overseas and the exercise of collective

A senior Ground Self-Defense Force member said: "There were many
precarious scenes" about the safety of dispatched troops. ASDF Chief
of Staff Kenichiro Hokazono also said in a press conference:
"Operations in a sandstorm with a temperature of 50 degrees were
inconceivably harsh." Although no personnel were killed or injured,
there were rocket attacks on the GSDF camp.

In discussing permanent legislation and anti-piracy bills, no
conclusion has yet to be reached on to what extent SDF troops should
be allowed to use armed force in their overseas duties. The defense
minister also refrained from making a clear-cut comment, just
saying: "Introducing permanent legislation should be considered, but
it is quite uncertain whether deliberations will move forward in the
current Diet situation."

In deciding on the pullout of SDF troops, the government gave
consideration not only to the politically divided Diet situation but
also to relations with the U.S., which took the initiative in the
Iraq war. The status of forces agreement that the Iraqi parliament

TOKYO 00003272 012 OF 015

approved specifies that the U.S. will pull its troops out of the
nation by the end of 2011. When the U.S. is shifting emphasis from
Iraq to Afghanistan, Japan's judgment was "hardly reflected in its
withdrawal decision," according to a Liberal Democratic Party member
of the defense-policy clique in the Diet. Japan's next overseas
assignment is still not in sight.

(9) Editorial: Japan should join efforts to protect vessels from
pirates off Somalia

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 30, 2008

Japan needs to dispatch Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) troops to protect
civilian vessels from harm from pirates, who are increasing in
numbers off Somalia in Africa and in the Gulf of Aden.

A nonpartisan group of lawmakers has been formed in order to promote
enactment of a special measures law. In order for Japan to join
efforts to protect civilian vessels, it is necessary for it to
revise the current interpretation of the Constitution in terms of
the right of collective self-defense and enact legislation that will
enable effective action to be carried out.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 79 piracies
occurred in 2008 off Somalia and in the Gulf of Aden as of November
4, almost double the figure recorded in 2007. The number for this
year includes three incidents involving Japanese vessels.

The UN Security Council (UNSC) in October adopted a resolution
authorizing member nations to take measures, including the use of
armed force, against pirates in those areas. The North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) will be in charge of a monitoring
activity. Canada, Spain and India, as well as the U.S., Britain,
France, Germany and Russia will dispatch vessels. The European Union
will also undertake coordination on the military front.

Japan cannot afford to remain unconcerned about such international
cooperation. The government has reportedly begun considering
enacting a special measures law in conjunction with the effort by
the lawmakers' group.

The specifics of the envisaged special measures law reportedly
include: (1) escorting tankers navigating off Somalia; (2) in the
event of spotting a pirate ship, ordering it to stop to prevent it
from causing harm; and (3) authorizing the use of armed force needed
for legitimate self-defense. Aerial monitoring of the sea using P3C
antisubmarine patrol aircraft has been proposed as an option.

All measures involve danger. As such, it is necessary to ease the
guidelines for the use of weapons for the safety of SDF personnel.
That is because there have been reports of cases in which pirates
made preemptive attacks, using machine guns and rockets.

Given such a situation in those areas, it would be necessary to
protect foreign ships as well. In that case, the present
interpretation of the Constitution, which bans the use of the right
of collective self-defense, will become a problem.

The government says that since pirates are private groups,
protecting foreign flag vessels does not fall under the use of the

TOKYO 00003272 013 OF 015

right of collective self-defense. However, what about the case of a
foreign flag ship or a vessel of a foreign country's military being
attacked by an unidentified group of people? Would it be possible to
protect it without altering the constitutional interpretation?

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Chairman Ichiro Ozawa takes the
stand that it is impossible to approve activities for international
cooperation by SDF troops without a UN resolution. Concerning
measures to address the piracies off Somalia, since there is a UN
resolution, there will be no clash with Mr. Ozawa's pet argument. On
the contrary, it will reinforce the grounds for SDF operations.

The survival of a maritime state Japan depends on the safety of seas
of the world. One might imagine that Somalia is far away from Japan.
However, the reality of the globalized world is that safety in that
area is not another country's affair. It is imperative for Japan to
pass legislation to deal with the issue.

(10) Space solar energy system: Japan to undergo full-scale research
as card for curbing global warming

NIKKEI (Page 13) (Full)
December 1, 2008

The government will move ahead with research and development efforts
for the practical application of the space solar power system (SSPS)
designed to supply power obtained from giant solar collectors in
geostationary orbit to the Earth, starting next year. Its aim is to
expand the use of space as well as to use the system as the card for
settling such issues as global warning and energy resources.

The SSPS would use solar panel arrays to gather sunlight while in
orbit and then beam the power down to the Earth in the form of
microwaves. The system can stably supply power, unaffected by
weather. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is
studying the system.

In Japan, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is
conducting basic research. Following its determination that taking
measures to global warming is calling for urgent attention, the
government's Space Development Strategy Headquarters, chaired by
Prime Minister Taro Aso, will incorporate the plan in its basic
space program to be compiled on December 2.

The development of power transmission and a method of building solar
batteries in space next year will be studied, starting next year.
When an outlook for the practical application of the system in
technical terms has been obtained, the government will seek
cooperation from private companies. It will aim for the practical
application of the system by around 2050.

The basic space program sets the direction of the state's space
development for the next five years. It will be formally adopted
around the summer next year.

(11) Prime Minister's schedule, November 28

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 29, 2008

Attended a meeting of the Security Council in the Diet Building.

TOKYO 00003272 014 OF 015

Then, attended a cabinet meeting. Finance Minister Nakagawa stayed
behind. Followed by Agriculture Minister Ishiba.

Visited Prince Hitachi's residence to sign a celebration book for
the birthday of Prince Hitachi.

Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Uruma at the Kantei. Later met
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsumoto.

Met Uruma.

Attended party head talks in the Diet Building.

Met State Minister in Charge of Administrative Reform Amari and
Public Servant System Reform Promotion Headquarters Executive
Secretary Tachibana at the Kantei.

Met Tax Commission Chairman Kosai.

Attended a lawmakers' meeting in the Diet. Later, met Executive
Council Chairman Sasagawa, Election Strategy Council Chairman Koga,
and others.

Attended a Lower House plenary session.

Attended a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy at
the Kantei.

Met Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Nikai. Followed by Finance
Minister Nakagawa, Vice Finance Minister Sugimoto, and Budget Bureau
Director General Tango.

Dined with Chief Cabinet Secretary Kawamura, Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Matsumoto, and Election Strategy Council Vice Chairman
Suga at a Japanese restaurant in the Hotel Okura.

Met with Matsumoto at a bar in the Hotel Okura.

Returned to his private residence in Kamiyama-cho

Prime Minister's schedule, November 29

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

November 30, 2008

Let JR Tokyo station by No. 13 Hayate, with Deputy Secretary General

TOKYO 00003272 015 OF 015

Arrived at JR Sendai station. Left the station by No. 47 Yamabiko.

Arrived at JR ichinoseki station.

Delivered a speech in front of a supermarket in Ichinoseki City,
Iwate Prefecture. Toured inside the store.

Delivered a speech in front of the office of the LDP's potential
candidate in Oushu City in the Lower House election.

Met assembly members on a Koyagi Bridge project in Oushu City.

Visited a pig farm in Hachimantai City.

Met Lower House member Shunichi Suzuki and others.

Left the station by No. 24 Hayate.

Arrived at JR Tokyo station.

Returned to his private residence.

Prime Minister's schedule, November 30

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)

December 1, 2008

Took a walk around his private residence in Kamiyama-cho.

Had hair cut at a barbershop in the Hotel Pacific Tokyo.

Arrived at the Imperial Hotel.

Purchased four books at a bookstore in Yaesu.

Dined with his wife's family members at a sushi restaurant in the
Hotel Okura.

Made a phone call to Indian Prime Minister Singh at his private


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