Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/21/06

VZCZCXRO5756
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3454/01 1720835
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210835Z JUN 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3527
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/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/COMPATWING ONE KAMI SEYA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9463
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6852
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0109
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 6760
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8003
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2926
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9078
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0853

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 003454

SIPDIS

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 06/21/06


INDEX:

(1) Tokyo, Washington agree on US beef import resumption: Japan to
conduct prior inspections

(2) Withdrawal of SDF from Iraq: Ruling parties highlight
achievements through dispatch, while opposition camp calls
withdrawal "natural"

(3) Key points in Koizumi's remarks in press conference on SDF
withdrawal from Iraq

(4) Evaluation of SDF mission in Iraq

(5) North Korea preparing Taepodong-2 missile launch, may be using
missile card as bargaining chip in reaction to protracted US
sanctions

(6) Patriot deployment to Kadena base likely this year against North
Korea's Taepodong missiles

(7) Analysis of Patriot missile deployment to Kadena: Reversal of
move to lessen Okinawa's security burden; MD rises to a new stage

(8) Prediction of personnel changes in Kasumigaseki: Focus on who
will be picked as directors general of bureau and department to be
established

ARTICLES:

(1) Tokyo, Washington agree on US beef import resumption: Japan to
conduct prior inspections

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Evening, June 21, 2006

Japan imposed the second ban on US beef imports, following the
discovery of vertebral columns, a material banned in Japan as a BSE
disease risk. The governments of Japan and the US have resumed
bureau director-level telephone talks this morning at the Foreign
Ministry to discuss this issue and ultimately agreed to resume beef
imports.

Following the development, inspectors of the Ministry of Health,
Labor and Welfare (MHLW) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries (MAFF) will start inspecting US meatpacking plants at
35 locations as early as June. If they find no problems, the import
ban will be lifted possibly in late July.

US beef imports, which have been suspended for the second time since
Jan. 20, will thus be resumed after a hiatus of about six months.

The governments of Japan and the US also held a teleconference
earlier that lasted from the evening of the 20th until shortly after
12:00 a.m. on the 21st. Cliffhanger talks continued today.

The Japanese delegation during the second round of the talks this
morning reaffirmed import conditions, including the number of
inspectors to be dispatched to US meat processing plants and the
scope of inspections they will carry out. The two countries have
also undertaken coordination on responses they will take in the
event the US exported beef products that violate the export
conditions that the two countries agreed on, such as the inclusion

TOKYO 00003454 002 OF 010


of vertebral columns.

As a condition for Japan to resume imports, the US agreed to draft a
working manual to be observed by meatpackers and other employees to
make them fully familiar with export conditions for Japan-bound
products. It has also been decided that Japanese inspectors would
conduct inspections of US meat-processing plants and witness
surprise inspections being performed by the US Department of
Agriculture.

As a domestic measure, it has also been decided that Japan
strengthens its water's edge inspection system at airports.

Japan suspended US beef imports, following the finding of a
Canadian-born BSE-infected cow in the US in December 2003. Though it
allowed the resumption of imports in Dec. 2005, Japan again imposed
a ban due to the discovery of vertebral columns, a material whose
shipment is in a violation of the Japan-US agreement, in a US beef
shipment.

(2) Withdrawal of SDF from Iraq: Ruling parties highlight
achievements through dispatch, while opposition camp calls
withdrawal "natural"

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 21, 2006

The government issued an order for the Ground Self-Defense Force's
(GSDF) unit stationed in Samawah in southern Iraq to withdraw. Many
senior members in the ruling camp have praised their achievements,
one officer saying: "SDF troops' reconstruction mission has been of
great help to the Iraqi people, resulting in showing Japan's
willingness to contribute to the international community."
Meanwhile, the opposition camp calls the withdrawal only "natural."
It also raps the government's decision to expand the Air
Self-Defense Force's (ASDF) services.

Speaking before reporters at party headquarters yesterday, Liberal
Democratic Party Secretary General Takebe heaped the highest praise
on GSDF troops' activities:

"They helped the Iraqis reconstruct and rebuild their nation,
without having any casualties and even firing a single bullet. They
have won high praise and have received words of gratitude. They can
be proud of themselves."

Yasuo Fukuda, who was serving as chief cabinet secretary when Japan
dispatched the first reconstruction support group to Iraq, also told
reporters:

"No one was injured, and it was splendid. Some suggested that troops
should be pulled out earlier, but (the timing) was good. Many
countries now say that their troops should emulate the civil
activities of GSDF troops."

After meeting with Prime Minister Koizumi, New Komeito President
Kanzaki stated:

"Their humanitarian and reconstruction assistance has produced good
results and helped the Iraqis become independent in the
reconstruction and security areas. The decision on the withdrawal is
proper. ... In part because the request came from United Nations
Secretary General Annan, it is important for the ASDF to transport

SIPDIS

TOKYO 00003454 003 OF 010


food and medical goods."

Former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato, who opposed the dispatch
plan, commented:

"The Iraq war waged by President Bush has come under heavy fire. No
mass-destruction weapons were ever found, and in a move to promote
democratization, the situation (in Iraq) fell into a state of near
civil war. Whether the dispatch was proper should be discussed
later."

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Secretary General Hatoyama, who
has taken a negative stance toward the dispatch plan, said: "We
appreciate SDF personnel's services despite the harsh conditions,"
but he made the following criticism in his statement: (1) Since
services by the ASDF will be expanded, a decision on a complete
withdrawal has been put off; (2) although the SDF's mission will be
shifted to rear support, the government has yet to be fully
accountable; and (3) the government's decision to pull troops out of
Samawah, timing it with the British military's withdrawal, shows the
lack of autonomy.

Japanese Communist Party Chairman Shii emphatically said in a press
conference:

"Withdrawing troops is quite natural. The continuation and expansion
of ASDF activities will lead to direct support for (the US
military's) cleanup operations, so we ask the government to
immediately decide to withdraw the ASDF troops, as well."

Social Democratic Party President Fukushima told reporters:

"I agree with the withdrawal, though it seems somewhat late. It was
good that nobody was injured and that weapons were not used."

But she added:

"If ASDF troops' activities are expanded, they may be involved in
operations in combat areas."

(3) Key points in Koizumi's remarks in press conference on SDF
withdrawal from Iraq

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 21, 2006

After consulting with the United States, British, Australia, and
other member countries of the coalition forces, the government has
judged that Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops fulfilled a
certain level of role in their mission to help reconstruction
efforts and has decided to pull them out of Iraq. Japan would like
to consider what it can do in rebuilding Iraq and to continue to
provide as much aid as possible while cooperating with other
countries and the United Nations (UN).

I do not mean that I want to or must withdraw troops while I am in
office as prime minister. But I am happy to be able to announce the
withdrawal now, based on a judgment from a comprehensive viewpoint.
I am not thinking about a tour of Iraq as of now, because my visit
will cause other countries extra duties and consideration in terms
of security.

I think various steps taken against Iraq based on UN resolutions

TOKYO 00003454 004 OF 010


were proper. Successfully overcoming the perception gap that was
evident when the war started, the international community now is in
accord on the need for each nation to offer their appropriate
assistance. While recognizing the importance of the Japan-US
alliance, Japan will make efforts to deepen international
coordination. Regarding a permanent law (pertaining to SDF dispatch
overseas), we must thoroughly discuss it, without trying to
hurriedly enact it, for instance, in the next Diet session.

(4) Evaluation of SDF mission in Iraq

ASAHI (Page 37) (Slightly abridged)
June 21, 2006

Prime Minister Koizumi yesterday announced the government's decision
to pull out a Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) unit based in Iraq.
He decided on the dispatch amid active debates over its pros and
cons and has now decided to draw the curtain on it while he is still
in office. Moves to choosing a successor to Koizumi are picking up
speed. The Asahi Shimbun asked 10 readers who cast their ballots in
favor of the Koizumi-led Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in last
year's Lower House election to take part in a survey on how the
public has viewed the dispatch over the past two and a half years.

SDF personnel have done a good job; Opposed to idea of their
carrying weapons

Masahiko (25) of Osaka took part in an NGO's Peace Boat, when he was
a freshman in college. On a three-month mission, he visited various
countries in the world. When he returned home, he found that his
views had dramatically changed. He now thinks, "War will never
disappear."

When he visited Eritrea, a country continuously engaged in conflict,
children with glittering eyes surrounded him. He thought that they
were welcoming him, but they attacked him and snatched his luggage
away. At another time, he found himself to be at gunpoint, and he
felt weak at the knees. There was no room for human contacts in such
situations. He attended a peace lecture held on the ship, but now
what he learned there sounds meaningless.

He returned home in late 2002. Shortly after that, Japan was in a
commotion over the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq. He hates the idea
of such thinking as "it is all right as long as my country is
affluent and in peace." He thinks that SDF personnel did their best
even though it was half-baked. However, he does not praise them. He
thinks, "If I were to go to Iraq, I would like to go as a member of
a military troop that can properly perform a security-keeping
operation." In view of Asia diplomacy, he has pinned his hopes on
Fukuda as the successor to the current prime minister.

The next comments come from Masaru (43) of Hokkaido. In 2003, the
year before SDF troops were dispatched to Iraq, Masaru's friend, who
was engaged in PTA activities at an elementary school, told him that
children were not energetic.

There were many pupils whose fathers are SDF members at that school.
Wives whose husbands were slated for Iraq were anxious, wondering
how they should explain the situation to their children. Masaru has
a friend who is an SDF member. However, they deliberately avoid
bringing up the topic of the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq. Even
when there was a growing mood in the area to praise SDF troops
dispatched to Iraq, SDF members and their families became even more

TOKYO 00003454 005 OF 010


reticent. Masaru thought the atmosphere during the war was perhaps
similar to this.

Masaru thinks that it was a mistake for Japan to have dispatched SDF
personnel to Iraq. Weapons of mass destruction, the reason for the
US attack on Iraq, have never been found, and yet, the government
gave no explanation about that.

"I am proud that we have completed our mission," says Joint Staff
Council chairman

On June 20, when an order on the pullout of the GSDF unit based in
Iraq was issued yesterday, Hajime Massaki, chairman of the Joint
Staff Council, told a news conference: "The GSDF has waged a united
drive to perform its duties over the past two and a half years. I am
proud that we have completed our mission and can now withdraw."

To successor to Prime Minister Koizumi; Eyes of 10 watchers

Question: What is your interest in the dispatch of SDF troops to
Iraq after two years and a half?

Answer
Pollee (age)Place of residence
Reason
Favorite LDP presidential candidate
down
Masahiko, fourth year university student (25) Osaka
Why now? The medical services system and infrastructure in Iraq
cannot have been fully consolidated. I wonder, have SDF troops been
dispatched at the request of somebody and will they now return home
at the request of that same person?
Fukuda (in previous survey) down Aso (replied in this survey)
down
Keiko, systems engineer (27)Kanagawa
What I felt when I heard the news of the government decision to pull
out the GSDF unit from Iraq was surprise that they were still in
that country.
Abe down Abe
down
Kazuo, employee of manufacturing co. (34)Tokyo
I was initially against the dispatch, but now I think SDF personnel
have contributed as much as they can within the restriction under
Article 9 of the Constitution.
Abe down Abe
down
Mie, housewife (35)Fukuoka
It is strange to make a fuss only over their dispatch and pullout. I
want to see the schools SDF personnel built, children's' smiles and
the reconstruction process.
Abe down Abe
down
Masaru, first-class registered architect (43)
The greatest objective of SDF troops operating in Iraq is to comply
with the request from the US. Assistance for Iraqi reconstruction is
the reason provided by the government.
Abe down Abe
up
Naoko, housewife (47)
The dispatch might have been unavoidable in view of the presence of
North Korea and other factors
Fukuda down Do not know
down

TOKYO 00003454 006 OF 010


Asako, rice farmer (50)Fukushima
I have an acquaintance whose husband has been dispatched, but she
keeps mum about it.
Aso down Aso
down
Tadashi, employee of telecommunications co. (56)Tokyo
Japan provided only money during the Gulf War, and its contribution
was not appreciated. The prime minister should tell the world about
the dispatch of SDF troops this time.
Fukuda down Fukuda
-
Yukio, former department manager of travel co. (68)Aichi
They have well fulfilled their duties in the savage heat. I want to
say, "Thank you," to a transport plane, when it flies over my house
on its way to Komaki Base.
Abe down Abe
-
Michiyo, unemployed (72)Kyoto
It is time for GSDF troops to pull out of Iraq. If they had stayed
longer, it could have been said that they had invaded that country.
Aso down Aso

(5) North Korea preparing Taepodong-2 missile launch, may be using
missile card as bargaining chip in reaction to protracted US
sanctions

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
June 20, 2006

Tensions are running high in the international community, mainly in
Japan and the United States, as North Korea is preparing to launch a
ballistic Taepodong-2 missile. Observers see Pyongyang's moves as a
strategy of brinksmanship intended to draw the US into bilateral
negotiations, but the US has no intention to hold negotiations with
it. Why did Pyongyang decide to take provocative action?

In the six-party talks on its nuclear development program in
September 2005, North Korea signed a joint statement noting that it
would disband its nuclear program in exchange for economic aid from
and normalization of relations with Japan and the US. Washington,
however, invoked financial sanctions against a Macao-based bank
linked to Pyongyang's overseas holdings, citing North Korea's
illegal activities, such as counterfeiting American 100 dollar
bills. Since then, the nation's shortage of foreign currency
reportedly has become serious.

In reaction, North Korea, while boycotting the six-party talks,
thrust a proposal at the US that it remove its sanctions in exchange
for the North's return to the talks. But the US has declined this
proposal. On June 1, Pyongyang called for Assistant Secretary of
State Christopher Hill, the chief US envoy to the six-party talks,
to visit the communist nation, but Washington turned the request
down. It is fully conceivable that Pyongyang has decided to toughen
its stance by resorting to the missile card, in addition to the
nuclear card, dissatisfied that its compromise proposal was "repaid
with malice." That nation must also have judged that it has used up
all of its other resources.

North Korea likely has in mind past successful cases of the use of
brinksmanship. On the occasion of the first nuclear crisis during
1993 -1994, the US agreed to provide the North with two light-water
reactors, together with Japan and South Korea. When the Taepodong-1
missile was fired in 1998, the US eased its economic sanctions by

TOKYO 00003454 007 OF 010


providing aid in return for its freeze on future missile launches.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il told South Korean Unification
Minister Chung Dong Young when he visited Pyongyang in June 2005:
"We are ready to scrap all our medium to long-range missiles if
North Korea and the US could normalize diplomatic relations." It
stands to reason that the North judged it possible to convince the
US to enter direct negotiations by demonstrating its "nuclear and
missile" cards.

In addition, there seems to be another practical reason. North Korea
has sold missiles to Syria, Iran, Pakistan, and other countries,
reportedly earning 500 million dollars annually. Kim himself stated:
"The export of missiles is trade. If there are buyers, we will sell
the products." North Korea might anticipate that a success of a
Taepodong-2 missile launch would turn into a perfect advertisement
and contribute to making up for the money lost due to the financial
sanctions imposed by other countries.

(6) Patriot deployment to Kadena base likely this year against North
Korea's Taepodong missiles

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Full)
June 21, 2006

TOKYO-The United States has told Japan in their recent
intergovernmental talks over the planned realignment of US forces in
Japan that the US military would deploy state-of-the-art Patriot
Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) surface-to-air guided missiles to the
US Air Force's Kadena base in Okinawa Prefecture, officials said
yesterday. According to an official in the realignment talks, the
Japanese and US governments held a consultative meeting of
working-level officials in Hawaii on June 17 to talk about missile
defense (MD) and the US government then suggested the necessity of
PAC-3 deployment within the year due to North Korea's making of
preparations to fire a Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic missile. In
the meeting, Japan did not refuse the proposed deployment of PAC-3
missiles. Japan will instead ask the United States for detailed
explanations about the planned deployment of PAC-3 missiles,
including how to share intelligence. The Japanese government had
initially expected PAC-3s to be deployed by the end of fiscal 2006.

The Japanese and US governments have released a final report on the
US military's realignment, incorporating their agreement on the
Self-Defense Forces' joint use of the Kadena airbase with the US
military. However, Kadena Town Mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi remains
cautious about it. The mayor will likely oppose the PAC-3 deployment
to the base, taking the position that it will lead to a further
reinforcement of base functions.

The US government told the Japanese government this year after their
release of an interim report on the US military realignment that the
US military would deploy PAC-3 missiles to the Kadena base,
according to a Japanese government official. Their on-base
deployment site is unknown, but the base's ammunition depot area is
apparently considered.

The Japanese and US governments have already agreed to deploy PAC-3
missiles in Japan. The final report on the realignment of US forces
specifies the US military's plan to deploy its PAC-3 capabilities to
its existing facilities and areas and to make them operational at
the earliest possible date.


TOKYO 00003454 008 OF 010


Japan and the United States are planning to introduce an MD system
designed to detect enemy-launched ballistic missiles and intercept
them before their landing. An Aegis-equipped ship on stage first
launches a sea-based SM-3 (Standard Missile-3) missile to shoot down
a ballistic missile in outer space. In case the SM-3 fails to shoot
down the projectile, ground-based PAC-3 missiles will shoot it down
in the atmosphere.

The PAC-3 deployment is said to be mainly for the purpose of
deterring North Korea and China against the threat of their
ballistic missiles. In addition, the PAC-3 is also presumed to be
operational with the intelligence-gathering functions of
Kadena-based RC-135 electronic reconnaissance aircraft.

(7) Analysis of Patriot missile deployment to Kadena: Reversal of
move to lessen Okinawa's security burden; MD rises to a new stage

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
June 21, 2006

It has been learned that in missile defense (MD) talks between the
Japanese and US governments, the US argued for the deployment within
the year to Okinawa's Kadena Air Base state-of-the-art Patriot
ground-to-air intercept missiles (PAC-3). The proposal would speed
up deployment now planned for the end of fiscal 2006. The reason for
the early deployment lies in the moves of North Korea, which is said
to be readying a launch of its Taepodong-2 long-range ballistic
missile. The plan is to deploy the PAC-3 missiles first at Kadena
and then in order at such bases as Iruma in Saitama Prefecture and
Hamamatsu in Shizuoka Prefecture. Accompanying the progress made in
the realignment of the US forces in Japan, MD cooperation between
Japan and the US also has entered a new stage.

For the local governments in the area, such as Kadena-cho, the
deployment of PAC-3s would only strengthen the functions of the
base. Criticism is likely to come from affected local governments
that this would reverse the principle of reducing the burden on
Okinawa.

In connection with the problem of North Korea readying its
Taepodong-2 for launching, there is a strong view in the central
government that it will not launch it. However, a senior official in
the Defense Agency pointed out on June 16: "(Even if Taepodong-2 is
launched,) we will be able to intercept and shoot it down in another
several months." His comment seemed to suggest a deployment within
the year could come, and it underscores that Japan and the US
already are in agreement on the need for an early deployment.

The Japanese government, having in mind the need to deal with a
missile attack from either North Korea or China, is taking the
position of "basically welcoming" a deployment in Japan of PAC-3
missiles, according to a government source. However, Kadena Air
Base was once rumored to be the relocation site for Futenma Air
Station, but the idea was withdrawn due to local objections. Such
reactions can be expected if PAC-3s are deployed, as well.

A government source stated: "Although we know the political risk, if
we say anything, the US side will react sharply, asking us if we are
again bringing in a local government issue." It seems that the
government has no recourse but to accept the US proposal.

(8) Prediction of personnel changes in Kasumigaseki: Focus on who
will be picked as directors general of bureau and department to be

TOKYO 00003454 009 OF 010


established

JIHYO (Page 43) (Full)
June 2006

Many in the Foreign Ministry believe that Administrative Vice
Minister Shotaro Yachi will be retained in his post. He assumed the
current post in January last year. He entered the ministry in 1969
after completing graduate-school work at the University of Tokyo.
Full-scale personnel changes of senior ministry officials will
likely be carried out after Koro Bessho, who will have served as a
prime ministerial secretary for five years and five months when
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi steps down from office, returns to
the ministry.

The focus of this summer's personnel changes is on who will be
picked as director general of the International Cooperation Bureau
and director general of the South Asian Affairs Department. The
International Cooperation Bureau will be established by integrating
the related sections of the Global Issues Department into the
Economic Cooperation Bureau, in order to improve the planning
function of the official development assistance (ODA). The South
Asian Affairs Department will also be newly set up as an organ in
charge of the Asia-Pacific region, excluding such countries as
China, the Korean Peninsula and Australia, for which the Asian and
Oceanian Affairs Bureau is responsible. The expectation is that the
personnel changes will be announced as of August 1 in time with the
organizational reform. A rumor is going around that Middle Eastern
and African Affairs Bureau Director General Motohide Yoshikawa will
be appointed as first director general of the International
Cooperation Bureau, and that Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
Deputy Director General Toshihisa Takata will be picked as director
general of the South Asian Affairs Bureau. Yoshikawa joined the
ministry in 1974 after graduating from the Faculty of Arts of
International Christian University. Takata entered the ministry in
1976 after graduating from the Law Faculty of the University of
Tokyo.

The ministry is considering naming International Legal Affairs
Division Director Takeo Akiba, who has never taken Chinese language
training, as the replacement of China and Mongolia Division Director
Hiroyasu Izumi. If Akiba is picked as director of the China
Division, a non-China School member will serve in the post for the
first time in 32 years. Akiba, a graduate of the University of
Tokyo, served in such posts as director of the UN Policy Division
and director of the Treaties Division after he entered the ministry
in 1982. Vice Minister Yachi intends to have Akiba work on repairing
Japan-China relations, which are cool because of Prime Minister
Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine and other issues. Another reason
is to stem growing political criticism of the so-called China
School, whose members are known for always giving consideration to
China. The China School members, however, strongly reacted to
proposed personnel changes. The ministry initially planned to change
the division directors in January, but the personnel actions have
slipped to this summer.

Yachi is also considering appointing Bessho when he returns to the
ministry from the Prime Minister's Official Residence, to be the
successor to Economic Affairs Bureau Kaoru Ishikawa, since Chikao
Kawai, who joined the ministry the same year as Bessho, has been
picked as director general of the North American Affairs Bureau. If
so, there is a possibility that either Deputy Minister for Political
Affairs Tsuneo Nishida or Deputy Minister for Economic Affairs

TOKYO 00003454 010 OF 010


Mitoji Yabunaka will retire or assume an ambassadorial post. Nishida
or Yabunaka who will be retained in their current post will be the
replacement of Vice Minister Yachi, who will likely retire next
January or next summer.

Post-Yachi candidates are Nishida, Yabunaka, and Ambassador to
Indonesia Shin Ebihara. The Prime Minister's Official Residence
highly appreciates Yabunaka's handling of North Korea diplomacy,
such as the abduction issue, during his tenure as director general
of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau until January last year.
Nishida, however, failed in Japan's bid for a permanent seat on the
UN Security Council. Ebihara was sacked in January by the Prime
Minister's Official Residence as assistant deputy chief cabinet
secretary. However, many take the view that Yachi's choice will be

SIPDIS
Ebihara. The Foreign Ministry desires to avoid anything that would
prompt the Prime Minister's Official Residence to interfere in its
personnel changes. The vice administrative minister race will likely
move into full swing in the fall when Prime Minister Koizumi steps
down.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>