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Cablegate: Media Reaction President Bush's Surprise Visit

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UNCLAS TOKYO 003265

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION PRESIDENT BUSH'S SURPRISE VISIT
TO BAGHDAD - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers front-paged
President Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday.

1. "Bush's Visit to Iraq Aimed at Publicizing Progress"
The business daily Nihon Keizai's Washington
correspondent Kato commented (6/14): "President Bush made
his second surprise visit to Baghdad Tuesday. The visit
was aimed not only at emphasizing complete US support for
the permanent Iraqi government launched last month but
also at publicizing the progress in Iraq ahead of
November's mid-term congressional elections. The White
House is doing its best to try to take advantage of the
political progress in Iraq and the killing of al-Zarqawi,
which it called a 'turning point.'"

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2. "Bush's Swift Move to Regain Public Support" The
liberal Asahi's Washington correspondent Umehara
commented (6/14): "President Bush's surprise visit to
Baghdad Tuesday marked a swift move to play up signs of
improvement in the security situation in Iraq with the
goal of regaining public support for his
administration.... A Gallup survey showed that about 53
percent of Americans called Zarqawi's death a 'great
achievement.' The administration hopes to sustain this
positive public reaction. It is likely, though, that the
security situation in Iraq will not improve as much as
some may expect."

SCHIEFFER

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