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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/05/08

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3314/01 3390815
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040815Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9204
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 3615
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1254
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5045
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9256
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1825
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6662
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2657
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2783

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 04 TOKYO 003314

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 12/05/08

INDEX:

(1) Editorial: How will Hillary Clinton carry out diplomacy?
(Yomiuri)

(2) Japan will urge U.S., China, Russia to sign cluster bomb ban:
Kawamura (Mainichi)

(3) Foreign minister plays up Japan's positive attitude for
elimination of cluster bombs (Asahi)

(4) Japanese, U.S. government officials meet with 14 base-hosting
governors for meeting's sake (Okinawa Times)

ARTICLES:

(1) Editorial: How will Hillary Clinton carry out diplomacy?

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
December 3, 2008

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama has announced his national
security team. Obama named Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of
state and retained Robert Gates in his current defense secretary
post. Obama picked former Marine Corps General James Jones as
national security adviser.

The new Obama administration will be inaugurated on Jan. 20. Obama's
security and economic teams will have to produce tangible results in
dealing with the global financial crisis, the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan, as well as nuclear development in North Korea and
Iran.

We think the appointments of Gates and Jones are pragmatic. Their
selections probably are aimed at compensating for Obama's lack of
experience in foreign policy and security affairs.

However, the question is that Obama gave a key post to Clinton, with
whom he fiercely fought for the Democratic presidential nomination.
During the primaries, Clinton blasted Obama as being naive for his
willingness to seek dialogue with dictators without preconditions.

Obama looked confident in a press conference that he would be
handing his powerful rival a key post. "I expect that there will be
differences in tactics and different judgments. But I will make
decisions," Obama said. It is questionable, however, if Obama and
Clinton no longer have anything on their minds.

Under the administration of President George W. Bush, there have
been run-ins in the State Department, the Defense Department and the
White House over the war on terror. Such a situation should not be
allowed to emerge again.

All eyes will be on what decisions the Obama administration will
make and what actions it will take in its foreign and security
policies. In this sense, Obama, Clinton and Gates must closely work
for policy coordination.

The hard-line policy toward Japan taken by the Democratic
administration that took power in the early 1990s is still fresh in
our memories.


TOKYO 00003314 002 OF 004


The so-called Japan-passing peaked as the United States pressed
Japan to eliminate U.S. trade deficits by meeting numerical
targets.

The Japan-U.S. alliance was eventually strengthened as the two
countries were confronted with such challenges as North Korea's
nuclear development and tensions in the Taiwan Strait. Bill Clinton,
the U.S. president during that time, and Hillary's husband, appeared
to lean toward China. Bill Clinton's stance was called
Japan-passing.

Hillary Clinton stated last year that the U.S. relationship with
China will be the most important bilateral relationship in the
world. If she puts greater emphasis on relations with China and
plays down the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance, it could be
problematic in many respects for stability in Asia.

Japan will need to constantly hold close consultations on foreign
and security policies with the Obama administration in dealing with
such issues as the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan and
preventing nuclear development.

(2) Japan will urge U.S., China, Russia to sign cluster bomb ban:
Kawamura

MAINICHI (Online) (Full)
12:35, December 4, 2008

Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura, meeting the press today,
underscored the significance of Japan's signing of the Cluster Bomb
Ban Treaty. "Humanitarian consideration was given first," Kawamura
said. "Japan was able to participate (in the signing of the
treaty)," he added, "and I find it very significant." Kawamura also
indicated that Japan would work on the United States and other
nonsignatories to join the treaty. He said: "The United States,
China, and Russia have yet to sign the treaty, so it's important to
work together with all other (signatory) countries to call on these
countries (to join the treaty). From the perspective of
humanitarianism as well, the world is now in a tendency to abolish
the cluster munitions."

(3) Foreign minister plays up Japan's positive attitude for
elimination of cluster bombs

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2008

After signing the treaty banning cluster bombs (in Oslo on Dec. 3),
Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone delivered a speech in which he
said: "The use of weapons renewing people's hatred even after the
end of conflicts must not be allowed." The statement was based on
Japan's support for demining in areas near the Cambodia-Thailand
border and his visits there. Nakasone also played up Japan's
efforts, informing the conference of the Japanese government's
assistance totaling 7 million dollars (approximately 700 million
yen) for measures against cluster bombs.

Reversing its reluctance toward the Oslo process, Japan has decided
to join the treaty based on former Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's
political decision in deference to public opinion. Despite strong
objections from the Self-Defense Forces and others, Japan will
abolish all four types of cluster bombs it possesses. The government

TOKYO 00003314 003 OF 004


will ask for the ratification of the treaty possibly in next year's
regular Diet session. The cluster munitions must be abolished in
eight years of the effectuation of the treaty. The Defense Ministry
has produced a fiscal 2009 budgetary request for 200 million yen to
study how to dispose of Japan's cluster bombs.

The problem cannot be resolved with the disposal of cluster
munitions by Japan alone. Lower House Speaker Yohei Kono, who chairs
an anti-cluster bomb parliamentary league, underlined in the
league's general meeting last month the need to urge such countries
as the United States and Russia to join the treaty. The reason is
because non-signatory countries possess 70 PERCENT -90 PERCENT of
the cluster munitions in the world. Prime Minister Taro Aso said
last night: "I am going to work upon as many non-signatory countries
as possible to join the treaty."

Japan has focused on regulating cluster munitions within the
framework of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW),
which includes the United States, China and Russia. It is important
for Japan to work upon other countries at CCW meetings separate from
the Oslo treaty.

It is also essential that bombs be abolished in a transparent
manner. In many countries, the numbers of cluster bombs they possess
are classified as military secrets. Japan Campaign to Ban Landmines
member and Chuo University Professor Motoko Mekata took this view:
"Japan must exhibit a positive posture by clarifying the budget and
places for disposing of its cluster munitions."

(4) Japanese, U.S. government officials meet with 14 base-hosting
governors for meeting's sake

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
December 4, 2008

(Commentary)

In the wake of a series of heinous crimes committed by U.S. military
personnel this year, a liaison conference was held (yesterday)
between the Japanese and U.S. governments and the governors of 14
prefectures hosting U.S. military bases at the request of the
governors' association (headed by Kanagawa Gov. Shigefumi
Matsuzawa).

The association's request stemmed from its strong distrust of the
two governments, although Tokyo and Washington have made efforts to
prevent similar incidents and accidents from recurring. The
governors' association was motivated to have local views reflected
directly in the efforts of Tokyo and Washington. Therefore, the
association has called for setting the liaison conference under the
Japan-U.S. Joint Committee, which works out official arrangements
between the two countries.

However, the two governments deem it difficult to accept the
request, explaining that the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement
(SOFA) stipulates that the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee is made up of
representatives from the governments of Japan and the United States.
The conference was eventually held at U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Thomas Schieffer's idea of holding a liaison conference as a
"different channel" from the formal meetings of officials from the
two governments.


TOKYO 00003314 004 OF 004


Immediately after a U.S. service member's fatal stabbing of a taxi
driver in Kanagawa Prefecture, Gov. Matsuzawa stated:

"If they remain elusive about our request even though they say they
will listen well to local residents, that's unacceptable. A
conference should be something that will lead to the Japan-U.S.
Joint Committee."

Matsuzawa emphasized the meaning of setting the conference under the
Japan-U.S. Joint Committee.

However, in yesterday's meeting, Matsuzawa toned down, saying: "We
will ask them to have our arguments reflected in the Japan-U.S.
Joint Committee's discussions." It is undeniable that the liaison
conference was held just for the sake of a meeting. The hour-long
meeting ended up with greetings and briefings by representatives.

Even so, Matsuzawa spoke very highly of the conference. He said, "It
was an epoch-making event in the history of the Japan-U.S. security
alliance." However, the Foreign Ministry says the Japanese and U.S.
governments still have no plans for the next meeting. It is also
unclear how the two governments will handle more than 100 requests
from the governors' association. There are many difficult issues in
store.

In order for the association to have local views reflected for
solutions to U.S. base issues, the government will have to work out
clear-cut visions and make strategic efforts.

SCHIEFFER

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