Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/28/06

DE RUEHKO #3555/01 1790056
P 280056Z JUN 06





E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

Opinion polls:
4) CCS Abe leads Fukuda in post-Koizumi race: Yomiuri poll of LDP
5) Asahi poll shows 49% positive, 35% negative about Japan's troop
deployment in Iraq, 55% against continued airlift mission
6) 52% against, 37% for US beef import resumption: Asahi poll

Defense and security issues:
7) Futenma talks yet to start, Okinawa governor refuses to attend
8) USFJ warming up new radar to watch out for Taepodong missiles
9) Japan to go beyond Far East in cooperation with US for global

North Korea problem:
10) Japan to raise abduction issue at G-8 foreign ministerial, ask
for cooperation against North Korean missiles
11) Japan alert to Taepodong-2 missile, aiming to contain North

ROK, China, Japan politics:
12) Japan to claim EEZ waters from Nagasaki Prefecture's Torishima
isle against South Korean demand
13) DPJ President Ozawa to visit China next month
14) CCS Abe to announce candidacy in late August for post-Koizumi
LDP presidency



Kidnappers confess they planned to take daughter of famous cosmetic
surgeon after seeing extravagant lifestyle on TV

Number of children per older married couple plummets to 2.09,
affected by trend of late marriage

Poll: LDP members favor Abe as next prime minister, with 57% for
Abe, 24% for Fukuda

Nihon Keizai:
Government, ruling coalition to put off plan to reallocate taxes
used only for road construction for general expenditures

Government to demand that South Korea accept Japanese EEZ based on

Tokyo Shimbun:
Japan Post proposes stopping mail-collection service at 1,048 post
offices in many local areas starting in September


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(1) Renewal system for teachers' licenses unnecessary
(2) Prime Minister should not agree to US-India nuclear agreement

(1) Will license renewal system produce reliable teachers?
(2) Compilation of FY2007 budget viewed as test case for spending

(1) Government urged to review M&A standards
(2) US-India agreement on nuclear power poses question about
sustainability of nuclear non-proliferation framework

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Effective measures necessary for moving postal services to
private sector
(2) DPJ member Matsui must give explanation

(1) Japanese, US leaders expected to give strong warning to North
Korea's nuclear threat
(2) Witness help resolve college student kidnapping incident

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Bankruptcy legislation must not impair local government
(2) With Arcelor-Mittal merger deal, Japanese steelmakers urged to
work out response measures

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, June 27

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2006

Attended an executives' meeting at party headquarters.

Attended a cabinet meeting at Kantei. Foreign Minister Aso remained.
Later, attended a joint meeting of the Administrative Reform
Promotion Headquarters and the Policy and Financial Reform Promotion

Met with Intelligence Officer Mitani, JDA Defense Policy Bureau
Director General Oko, and Intelligence Office Chief Mukunoki.

Left Haneda Airport for a tour of Canada and the US on a government

Local time

Arrived at airport in Toronto, Canada.

4) Poll: 57% of LDP members favor Abe as next prime minister, 24%
support Fukuda

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YOMIURI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2006

The Yomiuri Shimbun learned yesterday from its survey that a
majority of the rank-and-file members of the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) would vote for Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo in the LDP
presidential election in September, and some 20% would support
former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda. Other potential
candidates Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki are facing an uphill battle. Abe, who has come out on top
in various opinion polls regarding possible candidates to succeed
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, also appears to have the backing
of many LDP rank-and-file members who could sway the outcome of the
party presidential race. His high popularity among party members
could affect other LDP lawmakers and their strategies for the

Yomiuri conducted the telephone survey on June 23-25 on 738 LDP
rank-and-file members from 47 prefectures, of which 568 (344 men and
224 women) responded.

Asked who is the most appropriate person to succeed Koizumi as LDP
president and prime minister, Abe ranked first with 56.5% and Fukuda
followed with 23.9%. The two leading potential candidates garnered
more than 80% of the total, suggesting the rank-and-file members
expect a showdown between them.

However, Aso and Tanigaki, who have indicated they plan to run in
the race, scored just 2.3% and 1.8%, respectively.

In a Yomiuri poll conducted on eligible voters on June 17-18, 44% of
respondents supported Abe, while 19% backed Fukuda. The survey of
party rank-and-file members clearly showed Abe as the favorite among
party members with direct voting rights to chose the next party

5) Poll: 49% support SDF dispatch to Iraq, 35% say SDF mission was
"not good"; 55% oppose continued ASDF deployment

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
June 28, 2006

The Asahi Shimbun learned from its nationwide survey on June 24-25
that 49% supported the dispatch of Self-Defense Forces troops to
Iraq, saying that the mission was good for Japan, while 35% said it
was not good. Asked about the planned continuation and expansion of
transport assistance by Air Self-Defense Force personnel, 55% were
opposed, with 33% supporting it.

Some 54% of male respondents supported the SDF mission in Iraq,
while 44% of female respondents supported it. Separating the
responses by age, those in their twenties were highest at 55%.

On the question of whether the government's decision to continue and
expand ASDF operations, 41% of male respondents said, "Appropriate,"
and 51% opposed it, while 26% of female respondents supported it and
58% were opposed. Among supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), 46% supported it and 42% were opposed.

Asked whether the government's decision to pull out the Ground
Self-Defense Force troops from Iraq at present, 34% said,
"Appropriate," while 53% said that the GSDF personnel should have

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withdrawn earlier. Only 6% said the troops should not be pulled

6) 52% oppose resumption of US beef imports, 37% support it

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
June 28, 2006

According to an Asahi Shimbun survey, 52% opposed the resumption of
US beef imports, while 37% supported it. Asked about whether they
would eat US beef after it was imported, 71% said that they did not
want to eat it. Women were especially reluctant to eat US beef. The
figure showed that many Japanese consumers were concerned about the
safety of US beef.

In a survey conducted last October, 67% opposed and 21% supported
the previous resumption of US beef imports. In the latest survey,
the percentage of those opposing the resumption decreased, while the
support rate increased. Some 60% of female respondents opposed it,
with only 27% in support, while 44% of male respondents opposed it
with 47% support.

Asked whether they would eat US beef after imports were resumed, 23%
said they would eat it, while 71% said they did not want to. As many
as 81% of female respondents said they would not eat it. Among those
supporting the resumption of beef imports, 36% said they did not
want to eat it.

This is the fourth survey conducted by Asahi, and the percentage of
those who said they "don't want to eat US beef" was highest at 67%
in the survey last October and was 62% in the January survey.

7) Establishment of Futenma consultative body likely to be delayed
due to Inamine's rejection; Government considering talks without

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
June 28, 2006

The central government, the Okinawa prefectural government, and
affected municipalities originally planned to establish a
consultative body this summer to discuss specific plans to relocate
Futenma Air Station and local economic stimulus measures -- focal
points in the realignment of US forces in Japan. But the
establishment of the body is now likely to be delayed because
Okinawa Governor Kenichi Inamine is refusing to participate. The
government, which wants to map out detailed plans by October, has
begun considering establishing the new body without Okinawa.

"I know it will take time, but we would like to continue talks with
you, the local people, persistently." Following the event
commemorating the Battle of Okinawa on June 23, Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi underlined the government's plan to push ahead
with talks with local governments to realize the Futenma relocation

In May, the government and Okinawa exchanged a basic confirmation
noting that Futenma Air Station will be relocated "based on the
government's plan." They also decided later in May to establish the
consultative body.

Futenma relocation is a prerequisite for reducing Okinawa's burden

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by relocating Okinawa-based US Marines to Guam and other steps. For
relocating Futenma, the government plans to complete a V-shaped pair
of runways at Cape Henoko in Nago in eight years. To that end, the
government intends to work out detailed plans by October and compile
a budget including necessary expenses.

But Inamine declared: "I will not join the consultative body if it
discusses the government's plan alone." Inamine remains adamant that
he will not join the body unless it also considers Okinawa's
counterproposal for a temporary heliport.

Possible negative impact on the budget

If this situation persists, the government may not be able to
establish the body even in August when it will present rough
budgetary requests for fiscal 2007. Given the situation, a plan has
emerged in the government to begin talks with affected
municipalities first without Okinawa and obtain Okinawa's
concurrence before mapping out specific plans. Nago Mayor Yoshikazu
Shimabukuro and others are willing to hold talks with the central

Nago does not like the idea of establishing such a body without the
Okinawa government, however. Given the fact that the central
government discontinued its economic assistance to the northern part
of Okinawa, the prefecture strongly hopes to discuss a new economic
package with the central government. Okinawa wants to discuss new
stimulus measures first apart from the Futenma relocation plan.

Okinawa is hoping that government will shift its attitude with the
changeover of the prime minister in September before the Okinawa
gubernatorial election in November.

Situation may change with the election

Behind Okinawa's reluctance to join the new body lies the
gubernatorial election in November. Learning of Inamine's intention
not to run for reelection, the Liberal Democratic Party and the New
Komeito have begun looking for a candidate. There is a view that if
Inamine sat at the negotiating table to realize the government's
plan by disregarding Okinawa's anti-base sentiment, a candidate seen
as Inamine's successor would not able to win the race.

The LDP Okinawa chapter confirmed at its June 24 convention a policy
direction of aiming for the early construction of an alternative
Futenma facility -- a step closer to the government's plan.

The LDP chapter has yet to determine to what extent it will
cooperate with the government. The LDP originally planned that if
the party was able to find a gubernatorial candidate by June 29,
when LDP members would ask questions at the Okinawa Assembly, it
would let Inamine announce his decision not to run in the race in
the form of answering questions. But that plan is likely to defer.

Meanwhile, such opposition parties as Minshuto (Democratic Party of
Japan), the Japanese Communist Party, and the Social Democratic
Party are selecting their candidates under the anti-Futenma
relocation banner. "If an opposition candidate won the race, the
relocation plan would again stall," an alarmed senior Foreign
Ministry official said. The government and Okinawa have drawn the
scenario based on a victory by a ruling-party candidate in the
gubernatorial election.

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8) USFJ starts new radar test

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Abridged)
June 28, 2006

US Forces Japan (USFJ) has now deployed an antimissile mobile early
warning radar system, codenamed X-band radar, at the Air
Self-Defense Force's Shariki Detachment base in the city of Tsugaru,
Aomori Prefecture, sources said yesterday. USFJ seems to have been
test-operating the X-band radar, according to the sources. The newly
installed radar is expected to go operational within the year. North
Korea is now making preparations to launch a long-range ballistic
missile that is believed to be a Taepodong-2, so USFJ appears to
have gone ahead with the new radar's test operation.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport,
USFJ has informed the ministry that the US military plans to start
radar operation on June 26. The ministry has set up a no-fly zone
with a radius of 6 kilometers and a height of 6 kilometers on the
west side of the base. "US forces seem to have already started radar
operation, but I'd like to abstain from making a formal comment," a
senior official of the Defense Agency said.

9) US force realignment and Japan-US alliance: Focus of alliance
likely to be shifted from responses to national contingencies to
preventive measures for global stabilization

ASAHI (Page 15) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2006

In the June 29 Japan-US summit, the two leaders are expected to
confirm in their joint statement the new role of the Japan-US
alliance in a global context, based on the final agreement reached
in May on plans for US force realignment in Japan. The planned
realignment is part of efforts to establish a military setup under
the lead of the United States to deal with terrorist threats. The
realignment plans covering the Asia-Pacific region have China's
recent military buildup in mind. Reflecting also ongoing changes in
the bilateral alliance relations, the US is likely to expect Japan
more to take joint steps with it.

Expansion of cooperation beyond Far East

The main purpose of the realignment of US forces in Japan is to
reduce the security burden on the base-hosting local communities and
enhance the sustainability of the Japan-US alliance. Under the US
force realignment plan in South Korea, key US Army units will be
significantly trimmed. Compared with it, the planned realignment in
Japan will be on a smaller scale. The realignment plan for Japan,
though, will inevitably have a major effect on the Japan-US

Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) Japan Desk
Director Green said that the US would expect Japan to: (1) join the
like-minded coalition to fight terrorism and engage in
disaster-relief operations, even if Japan does not undertake the
same mission as Britain and Australia; and (2) apply pressure on
moves by China and North Korea.

Green added:

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"Ten years ago, China would have judged that Japan would play no
role in dealing with a crisis in the Taiwan Strait, but that nation
may fear Japan's moves now. Such fear should work to discourage
China from taking action."

Once US force realignment plans are implemented, Japan and the US
are expected to carry out joint training between the US military and
the Self-Defense Forces in Guam. The document of agreement reached
between the two countries last October specifies: "Opportunities for
training will increase." On this issue, the two countries will soon
start talks.

Once facilities and the environment are arranged, Air Self-Defense
Force and Maritime Self-Defense Force troops are expected to go to
Guam for training for air battles and anti-submarine warfare,

If the role of the Japan-US alliance in a global context is
highlighted in the upcoming Japan-US summit, it will become
necessary to discuss how to expand the framework of cooperation,
which is now limited to the Far East region under the Japan-US
Security Treaty.

The Japan-US alliance is designed to deal with contingencies based
on the principle of defending Japanese territory for now. But the
plan for US force realignment in Japan is also likely to change the
alliance in nature and role into a preventive one aimed at
stabilizing the world, in addition to a geographical change.

10) G-8 foreign ministerial to kick off tomorrow; Foreign Minister
Aso to raise abduction issue; Will ask for cooperation on North
Korean missile

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2006

Moscow, Yoshitaka Kuribayashi

Foreign Minister Taro Aso arrived in Moscow on the evening of June
27 (night of the same day, Japan time) to attend the Group of Eight
(G-8) foreign ministerial meeting to be held on the 29th. During the
meeting, Aso will call for the issue of the abductions of Japanese
nationals by North Korean agents to be on the agenda at the G-8
Summit (St. Petersburg Summit) in July. He will also bring up the
issue of North Korea's preparations to launch a Taepodong-2 and ask
for cooperation to prevent a launch.

Commenting on the upcoming foreign ministerial, Aso told a news
conference held on the morning of the 27th: "The nuclear programs of
North Korea and Iran will be high on the agenda. Regarding the
missile issue, the situation of waiting for North Korea's response
is continuing. The abduction issue will also be on the summit

Aso will call for tough measures, including the submission of the
issue to the UNSC and economic sanctions, in the event that North
Korea launches a missile. Attention is being paid to how Russia,
which is friendly to Pyongyang, will respond. When it comes to the
nuclear issue, Aso will present the government's view that North
Korea should return to the six-party talks at an early date.

On Iran's nuclear issue, he will indicate the view that it should

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accept at an early date a package proposed by the five permanent
members of the UNSC plus Germany.

11) Government continues to be on alert over Taepodong-2; Intends to
call for self-restraint, step up pressure on Pyongyang

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2006

North Korea is now preparing to launch a Taepodong-2 long-range
ballistic missile. The government will remain alert, while eyeing
the possibility of the situation becoming protracted. At the same
time, it will aim at having the international community besiege that
nation at such venues as the Japan-US summit on June 29.

Reuters on June 12 quoted a US government official as saying that
Pyongyang was preparing to launch a Taepodong-2 missile. Several
days later, it was confirmed that an object thought to be a missile
was mounted on a launch pad. Since then, there has been no marked
move, according to a source informed of Japan-North Korea

Defense Agency Director-General Fukushiro Nukaga yesterday told a
news conference, "As long as a crisis is there, we will remain

Views are divided over whether the injection of liquid fuel, a
yardstick in judging whether a launch is drawing near, has been
completed. It is believed that a mixture of kerosene and an
oxidizing agent is used as fuel for the Taepodong-2. Since oxidizing
agents are corrosive, once fuel is injected into a missile tank, it
has to be launched within a month or so. Otherwise, there might be
the danger of a fuel leak.

The Japanese government has yet to find out the aim of the North. As
a Foreign Ministry official noted, "We do not know yet." It is now
carefully analyzing the situation in cooperation with the US. Some
take the view that, hard hit by financial sanctions by the US, the
Kim Jong Il regime is trying to bring the US to the negotiating
table by creating a crisis.

The Japanese government plans to bring up the Taepodong-2 issue at
the Japan-US summit to be held on the 29th and the G-8 foreign
ministerial meeting to be held in Moscow. During those meetings,
Japan will convey to various countries that in the event Pyongyang
launches the missile, it will take harsh measures, including
economic sanctions and suspension of aid.

12) Government decides to set Torishima Island, Nagasaki Prefecture,
as base point of EEZ to counter ROK's demand

SANKEI (Top play) (Full)
June 28, 2006

Ahead of the planned negotiations with South Korea on the
demarcation of the exclusive economic zones (EEZ) in waters around
the Takeshima/Dokdo islets, the government yesterday decided to urge
South Korea to agree to set Torishima in Goto City, Nagasaki
Prefecture, as the base point of Japan's EEZ. This move has come,
because South Korea altered its previous position and now has
demanded that Takeshima, Japan's territory, be used as the base
point of South Korea's EEZ.

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During the next round of Japan-South Korea talks in Seoul slated for
September, Japan intends to propose to South Korea that Torishima be
used as the base point of Japan's EEZ in order to broaden Japan's

The government had until recently asserted that Japan's EEZ should
be demarcated with Takeshima as the base point, and at the same time
it had pointed that Torishima is an island enabling Japan to use it
as the base point to establish its EEZ in accordance with the United
Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. On the other hand, South
Korea has insisted that Torishima is a rock, so it is not possible
to set the EEZ based on Torishima.

During the recent demarcation talks in Tokyo June 12-13, South Korea
began asserting suddenly that Takeshima, which the South Koreans
until then had regarded as a group of rocks, was a group of islets.
Departing from its previous assertion that the base point of South
Korea's EEZ is Ullungdo Island, South Korea then proposed changing
the base point to Takeshima, thereby greatly expanding South Korea's

South Korea's about-face came amid the Roh Moo Hyun administration's
political motive to put more pressure on Japan over Takeshima, which
is claimed by both Japan and South Korea and which South Korea has
illegally occupied, by shifting the Takeshima territorial issue to
the history issue, as well as the administration's steady efforts to
create a fait accompli by having a South Korean fisherman and his
wife live there to make it an "inhabited island."

Both Japan and South Korea have agreed to hold demarcation talks in
accordance with the agreement reached during the Japan-South Korea
summit in 1996 that states the two countries will promote EEZ
demarcation talks, setting aside the territorial issue involving

In the recent bilateral talks, Japan refused to accept South Korea's
assertion that Takeshima be used as the ROK base point. In future
negotiations, Japan intends to inquire as to why South Korea
suddenly shifted its position.

A senior Foreign Ministry official explained: "South Korea's
assertions are inconsistent. There is a possibility that Torishima
could develop its own economic activities." Japan intends to assert
that it should use Takeshima as the base point of its EEZ in the Sea
of Japan and Torishima as the base point of its EEZ in the East
China Sea. Given these factors, intense negotiations are likely.

13) Three Minshuto officials to visit China starting July 3

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
June 28, 2006

It has been decided that Ichiro Ozawa, head of the Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ, or Minshuto) will visit China starting July 3. He
will meet with Chinese leaders, including President Hu Jintao, on
the 4th and 5th. It has also been formally decided that Acting DPJ
President Naoto Kan and DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama will
travel with Ozawa. Their China visit will likely serve as an
occasion to make a public appeal regarding the party's stance of
attaching importance to Asia, as well as party solidarity.

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Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi yesterday left Japan for his last
visit to the US and Canada as prime minister. It appears that Ozawa
wanted to show his differences with Koizumi by choosing China as the
first country for his visit. He will return home on the 5th or the

14) Abe to declare candidacy in late August for LDP presidential

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
June 28, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe decided yesterday to declare his
candidacy in late August for the Liberal Democratic Party
presidential election in September. Abe conveyed this intention to
former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, the chairman of the Mori
faction, to which Abe belongs.

Abe has determined that the circumstances surrounding the
presidential race could change depending on whether Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the day marking
the end of World War II. Abe seems to have judged it wiser to watch
closely to see what moves former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo
Fukuda, another likely candidate of the same faction, would make.


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