Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 07/18/06

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

Opinion polls:
4) Koizumi Cabinet support rate up slightly to 41.6% in Jiji poll,
but no boost from North Korea missile issue
5) Abe now has a 30 point lead over Fukuda as public's favorite for
next premier: Jiji poll

Koizumi diplomacy:
6) Prime Minister Koizumi at G8 Summit calls on North Korea to
return to 6-party talks
7) Prime Minister leads the way to keep North Korea issue high on
the G8 summit agenda, despite Middle East flare up
8) Koizumi's successful swan song at the G8 summit
9) Minshuto's Ozawa dismisses Japan's accomplishments in obtaining
UNSC resolution on North Korea

Iraq reconstruction:
10) GSDF completes scheduled withdrawal from Iraq
11) ASDF will expand operations in Iraq, while Tokyo moves to pass a
permanent dispatch law
12) Defense chief Nukaga welcoming troops in Kuwait also calls for
permanent dispatch law
13) Nukaga praises SDF troops for accomplishing immediate goal in
14) GSDF effort in Iraq a first step forward for Japan's
international contributions

Defense affairs:
15) Prime Minister Koizumi rules out any possibility of Japan opting
for preemptive strikes
16) Nukaga to Okinawa next month to continue dialogue on USFJ base
realignment process
17) Minshuto leadership Ozawa, Hatoyama, Kan tour US bases on
Okinawa in preparation for upcoming elections

18) LDP presidential hopeful Abe publishes a book on his political
thinking titled, "Toward a Beautiful Country"



UN considers sending international forces to Lebanon

G-8 statement stipulates North Korean nuclear, missile and abduction
issues, not mention measures for Middle East

G-8 calls for early resolution to North Korean abduction issue

Nihon Keizai:
Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry to enable people aged 65 and
older to be newly covered by unemployment insurance


TOKYO 00003967 002 OF 011

G-8 statement condemns North Korean missile launches

Tokyo Shimbun:
G-8 statement strongly calls for North Korea's complete abolition of
nuclear weapons and giving up of nuclear programs


(1) What G-8 should do is take action
(2) Zidane's ejection: Racial discrimination should also be given a
red card

(1) End of G-8: No ideas regarding oil dependence
(2) Environment tax: Need for a new tax system that can change
economy and society

(1) End of G-8: Make international cooperation on North Korea
(2) Science Olympics: Support young people in intellectual pursuits

Nihon Keizai:
(1) G-8 must unite on Middle East crisis

(1) G-8 cooperation significant
(2) Learning kanji spurs love of reading

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) G-8 should show examples
(2) Thought should not be litmus test for renewal of teaching

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, July 16

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2006

Working dinner with Summit participants at the Constantine Palace in
a suburb of St. Petersburg.

Prime Minister's schedule, July 17

Meetings with leaders of guest countries and delegates from
international organizations at the palace.

Working lunch, followed by a photo session.

Met with Indian Prime Minister Singh at the cottage allocated to
Japan. Gave a press conference for domestic and foreign reporters at
the International Media Center.

4) Poll: Cabinet support rate inches up to 41%

TOKYO 00003967 003 OF 011

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
July 15, 2006

The approval rating for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's cabinet
was 41.6%, according to findings from a Jiji Press poll released
yesterday for July. The figure was up 1.0 percentage points from the
preceding month. The disapproval rating was 38.4%, down 0.2 points.
The government was questioned about its action in the wake of North
Korea's recent firing of missiles, but there was no big change in
the approval and disapproval ratings for the Koizumi cabinet. In the
breakdown of public support for political parties, the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) was at 11.0%, down
1.1 points. The DPJ sustained a drop in its popularity rating for
the first time since DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa took the party helm
in April.

The survey was conducted July 7-10 across the nation on a
fact-to-face basis, with a total of 2,000 persons chosen from among
males and females aged 20 and over. The retrieval rate was 69.0%.

In the breakdown of public support for other political parties, the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party stood at 23.9%, down 0.5 points from
last month. The DPJ dropped for the first time in three months. The
New Komeito party, an LDP-allied coalition partner, was at 3.4%, up
0.1 points. The Japanese Communist Party was at 1.7%, up 0.4 points.
The Social Democratic Party (Shaminto) was at 1.2% and the People's
New Party (Kokumin Shinto) at 0.1%, respectively leveling off from
last month. No respondents picked the New Party Nippon (Shinto
Nippon). Those who have no party to support accounted for 57.1%.

5) Poll: Abe leads Fukuda in post-Koizumi race

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
July 16, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe ranked top at 47.1% as a
politician appropriate to be the next prime minister, according to
findings from a Jiji Press poll released yesterday. His popularity
in July was down 1.4 percentage points from the preceding month.
Yasuo Fukuda, one of Abe's predecessors in the CCS post, ranked
second at 17.0%, down 4.1 points. Their margin has increased from
27.4 points in the last poll to 30.1 points in the latest poll.

The survey was conducted July 7-10 across the nation on a
fact-to-face basis, with a total of 2,000 persons chosen from among
men and women aged 20 and over. The retrieval rate was 69.0%.

Among other politicians, Foreign Minister Taro Aso ranked third at
3.8%, followed by Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki at 1.6% and
Senior Vice Justice Minister Taro Kono at 0.8%. Abe gained an
advantage among all political party supporters. Among those
supporting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, Abe stood at 65.7%,
with Fukuda at 15.2. Among those supporting New Komeito, the
coalition partner of the LDP, Abe was at 51.1% and Fukuda at 21.3%.
Among those supporting the leading opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto), Abe was at 36.8% and Fukuda at 29.6.

6) Prime Minister Koizumi calls on North Korea to return to 6-party

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
July 18, 2006

TOKYO 00003967 004 OF 011

By Nobusuke Tanaka in St. Petersburg, Russia

Prime Minister Koizumi, speaking to the domestic and foreign press
corps following the end of the G8 Summit on the evening of July 17
(Same evening in Japan), stressed the following in referring to the
recently passed resolution against North Korea by the United Nations
Security Council: "I think that North Korea did not imagine that it
would be passed by unanimous agreement, including China and Russia.
North Korea should take this message seriously." He also pointed
out: "The North should consider its own security and economic
development in that context by returning as soon as possible to the
six-party talks." He urged that country to quickly rejoin six-party

7) Prime Minister Koizumi displays leadership on North Korea issue
in avoiding discussions from becoming concentrated only on Middle
East; Ways for settlement remain unclear

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2006

St. Petersburg, Masanori Yamaguchi

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on July 17 completed his 6th and
last G-8 Summit (St. Petersburg Summit) schedule. Amid the ongoing
military action by Israel against Lebanon, European leaders were
keen to discuss the Middle East issue. However, the prime minister
displayed his presence as a regular participant, conducting
discussions on the North Korea issue and secured the solidarity of
the Summit members on Pyongyang's missile, abduction and nuclear

Discussions on the afternoon of the 16th and during the luncheon on
the 17th were centered on the regional situations. According to a
participant, members pursued heated discussions on Israel's strikes
on Lebanon and how to reconstruct the Middle East peace process. The
Middle East issue took up about three quarters of the session on the
afternoon of the 16th. Some delegates who were not at the conference
took a sober view of the development of the discussions, noting,
"The North Korea issue has ended with the adoption of a resolution
at the UNSC."

Under such circumstances, the prime minister resorted to a strategy
of attracting the interest of leaders of participating countries by
introducing messages from leaders of concerned Middle East
countries, which he visited right before the Summit, instead of
forcibly guiding the topic of discussions to the North Korea issue.
Once he attracted the attention of participants to his statement, he
called for solidarity over the North Korea issue.

8) North Korea, Middle East come into in spotlight: Prime Minister
Koizumi bows out at his sixth G-8 Summit in triumph

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Almost Full)
July 18, 2006

The St. Petersburg Summit is the last summit for Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi, who is to step down in September. He appears to
have made his presence felt by reporting to the other leaders on the
situation in the Middle East, which he visited right before the
summit, or leading discussions on North Korea's missile launches.

TOKYO 00003967 005 OF 011

Though his Asia diplomacy lacks luster, he appears to have managed
discussions with other summit participants well, marking a brilliant
close to his final summit.

President Putin on July 15 started off the Japan-Russia talks with
the remark, "We are looking forward to hearing a report on your
visit to the Middle East." The prime minister responded: "This is my
last summit. I will cooperate so that this summit, which Russia
chairs for the first time, will be a meaningful one."

He reported on his visit to the Middle East during a session on the
international situation on the 16th. He revealed that his meeting
with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was held in a tense
atmosphere on the day when the abduction of Israeli soldiers by
Hezbollah took place. He then introduced his own plan for a corridor
of peace and prosperity, which advocates the realization of peace in
the Middle East.

Regarding North Korea's missile launches, the prime minister
expressed concern and called for international solidarity for a
comprehensive settlement of issues related to that nation, including
nuclear development, missiles, and the abduction issue. Other
leaders supported Koizumi's call, noting, "We are all in unity over
the North Korea issue," or "We totally agree with you. In
particular, we support Japan on the abduction issue."

Winding up the day's long session, the prime minister took a walk on
the beach near his room to view the sunset over the Baltic Sea. He
then bumped into Canadian Prime Minister Harper and his wife. He
told them, "I am also a setting sun." Mrs. Harper then showed
consideration to him, responding, "No, you a rising sun."

Koizumi has participated in six G-8 summits, the largest number of
any Japanese prime minister, topping the five marked by Yasuhiro
Nakasone. It is certain that he made his presence felt in the
international community.

9) Ozawa denies Japan took initiative in UNSC resolution on North

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2006

Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading opposition Democratic Party
of Japan (Minshuto), delivered a speech in Tokyo yesterday. In it,
he denied that Japan played a leading role in the United Nations
Security Council's adoption of a resolution denouncing North Korea
in which there was no mention of the UN Charter's Chapter 7. "Japan
was made to play the role of a hardliner, and behind the scenes,
backroom wheeling and dealing between the United States and China
and also between the Untied States and Russia was carried on," Ozawa
said. "Japan is unwilling to admit its own defeat (while saying the
resolution is binding) in interpretation, but in point of fact,
Japan only played a role," he added.

"In the end, they had no choice but to cross out Chapter 7 (as an
endorsement of sanctions against North Korea)," Ozawa noted.

10) GSDF completes pullout of troops from Iraq; Japan dispatched
55,000 troops to Iraq in two and a half years

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpt)

TOKYO 00003967 006 OF 011

July 18, 2006

Koichiro Takano, Kuwait

The last 220 Ground Self-Defense Force troops of a 600-member
contingent dispatched to the southern Iraq city of Samawah arrived
at 1:35 p.m. on July 17 at Ali Al Salem Air Base in Kuwait after
leaving Taril Airport in Samawah on an Air Self-Defense Force C-130
transport plane. All the 600 GSDF members have pulled out of Iraq
safely and they will return to Japan by the end of this month.

11) Moves for establishing a permanent SDF dispatch law likely to
gain momentum; GSDF completes troop pullout from Iraq; ASDF troops
to continue activities for a while, engage in broader range of

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
July 18, 2006

Yoso Furumoto

Ground Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops deployed to Iraq were all
withdrawn yesterday from Iraq after finishing two and a half years
of reconstruction assistance to that country. The dispatch of GSDF
troops was a symbol of Koizumi diplomacy that has focused on the
strengthening of the alliance with the United States. Without having
suffered a single casualty, GSDF ended its tour with a successfully
completed withdrawal. This success is likely to serve as a foothold
for Japan to move on to the next stage of SDF cooperation with the
US. On the other hand, Japan intends to continue the deployment of
Air Self-Defense Forces (ASDF) troops to Kuwait for a while and
widen their activity of transporting goods and personnel for the
multinational forces and the United Nations (UN). Moves to establish
a permanent law that will enable the SDF to dispatch its troops
abroad on such missions as peacekeeping operations are likely to
gain momentum in the next administration after Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi steps down.

"Those who are unwilling to be dispatched must not be dispatched,"
Koizumi reiterated. Lying behind this phrase was his concern that
the loss of lives could happen.

Japan therefore gave the top priority to safety in considering SDF
activities. Iraq's southern city of Samawah is said to be relatively
stable, but Japan judged that overland transportation of goods would
be dangerous, so SDF activities in that city were centered on water
supply, medical guidance, and the supervision of repair works. These
activities were carried out without pointing a gun at residents; as
a result, SDF troops were able to build friendly ties with the local
community. They have also received a good evaluation from other
countries as a model for reconstruction assistance carried out by

Japan dispatched GSDF troops in response to the US request. In order
to pull out the troops, it was necessary for Japan to obtain
America's understanding and in return for the pullout to expand ASDF
troops' activities to cover Baghdad and the northern province,
Arbil. Japan's basic plan for reconstruction assistance under the
special measures law on Iraq reconstruction assistance will expire
in December. The government then will be forced to make a decision
whether to continue the ASDF troop deployment.

TOKYO 00003967 007 OF 011

When the plans for the realignment of US forces in Japan are
implemented, the SDF and US forces will be even more unified in
their activities. The New National Defense Program Guideline also
has worked out the policy of expanding activities for international
peace and cooperation. When the US deploys their troops abroad next
time, the US will likely expect Japan to do more than it did in the
dispatch of its troops to Iraq.

In anticipation of such a possible request, the Liberal Democratic
Party has already begun discussing the question of establishing a
permanent law relating to the overseas SDF dispatch.

12) JDA chief Nukaga emphasizes need to establish a permanent law on
overseas SDF dispatch

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2006

Kyodo News Service, Kuwait

At a press conference yesterday afternoon (late at night on the same
day, Japan time), Defense Agency (JDA) Director-General Fukushiro
Nukaga spoke of the question of whether to establish a permanent law
that will enable the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to dispatch its
troops abroad as needed and emphasized the need to establish such a
law, saying: "I think it is desirable that a general law will be
established so that the SDF will take action swiftly and expand
their activities."

In addition, Nukaga said, "This matter should be discussed in the
ruling parties," indicating he welcomed the start of a full-fledged
discussion on the matter in the ruling camp.

13) Nukaga: GSDF's original objectives accomplished

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
July 18, 2006

Takashi Imai, Kuwait

Defense Agency Director-General Fukushiro Nukaga held a press
conference at a hotel in Kuwait City on the evening of July 17
(night of July 17, Japan time). Referring to the fact that all
Ground Self-Defense Force troops withdrew from Iraq, the defense
chief said: "The GSDF has assisted the reconstruction of Iraq by the
Iraqi people. The GSDF has completed its original objectives."
Nukaga also noted regarding conditions for a withdrawal of
Kuwait-based Air Self-Defense Force troops, who have been engaged in
an airlift mission: "We will consider it by taking into account a
broad range of factors, such as Iraq's security situation and
management by the Iraqi government."

Nukaga also met with Kuwaiti Defense Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak
al-Hamad as-Sebah in Kuwait City on the night of July 16 (early July
17, Japan time) and asked for support for the ASDF. In response,
Jaber said: "We greatly appreciate Japan's assistance to Iraq. Japan
is an important country for Kuwait, and we plan to extend any
assistance possible."

14) Unstable security situation In Iraq forces government to review
its private-sector strategy

TOKYO 00003967 008 OF 011

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
July 18, 2006

Takashi Imai, Kuwait

The Ground Self-Defense Force's reconstruction assistance in Iraq
that has lasted two years and a half has finally come to an end. The
Iraq mission provided Japan with an opportunity for further
international contributions and challenges.

On July 13, a ceremony was held at the Olympic stadium in the
southern Iraqi city of Samawah to transfer security duties from the
multinational force to the Iraqi government.

The stadium's grounds, devastated by war, have been improved by GSDF
troops, and its plumbing and spectators' seats have been repaired
with funds from Japan's official development assistance (ODA). The
ceremony was an embodiment of Japan's successful combination of the
SDF and the ODA.

Unlike peacekeeping operations led by the United Nations, Japan
independently arranged the Iraq mission, including its destination,
its duration, and its specific activities. Japan's comprehensive
assistance in Iraq, including ODA, has won high marks

In some areas, Japan's assistance has not preceded as planned

The government has hoped that private firms would continue with the
GSDF's reconstruction assistance in Iraq in order to turn interests
linked to energy in Japan's favor by establishing communication
channels with them. But the unstable security situation in Iraq due
to intensifying terrorism and sectarian conflicts is forcing Japan
to review its strategy of sending private firms to Iraq.

Private corporations remain unable to conduct advance surveys for
ODA projects. In October 2003, the government announced ODA totaling
5 billion dollars (about 550 billion yen) to Iraq. Of its yen loans
worth 3.5 billion dollars, the use of 2.8 billion dollars has not
been determined.

15) Japan will not carry out preemptive attack: Koizumi

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
July 18, 2006

St. Petersburg-Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, meeting the press
at the International Media Center in the city of St. Petersburg,
Russia, yesterday evening (yesterday night Japan time), referred to
the United Nations Security Council's adoption of a resolution
denouncing North Korea, and he urged North Korea to return to the
six-party talks at an early date. "It's extremely important that the
Security Council unanimously adopted the resolution," Koizumi said.
"North Korea should take this message seriously and should return to
the six-party talks as soon as possible," he added. At the same
time, Koizumi also said, "If they come back to the six-party talks,
they can hold bilateral talks, as well as behind-the-scenes talks."
With this, Koizumi indicated that it would be possible for North
Korea to hold talks with the United States as desired by North Korea
if North Korea returns to the six-party talks.

In addition, Koizumi ruled out the idea of carrying out a preemptive

TOKYO 00003967 009 OF 011

attack against North Korea in connection with the rise of arguments
over the advisability of striking enemy bases in the wake of North
Korea's recent firing of missiles. "We're exclusively
defense-oriented, and we have no intention at all to carry out a
preemptive attack against any country," Koizumi remarked.

However, Koizumi indicated that Japan would improve the Self-Defense
Forces' equipment, saying, "We should maintain our own deterrent
capabilities so that they will not misunderstand and think that
Japan would not resist even if it is attacked."

16) JDA chief Nukaga to visit Okinawa in late August, eager to
advance plans for the realignment of US forces in Japan

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
July 18, 2006

Takashi Imai, Kuwait

Defense Agency Director-General Nukaga late at night on July 16
(early July 17, Japan time) told reporters traveling with him at a
Kuwait hotel that he would visit Okinawa in late August. He is
scheduled to meet with Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro of Nago City, a
planned relocation site for the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station
currently in Ginowan City, and other officials. Nukaga highlighted
his eagerness to advance plans for the US force realignment,
including the relocation of MCAS Futenma, which has made little

On the relocation of Futenma, the central government and the Okinawa
prefectural government agreed on May 11 that they would basically
follow the government plan to relocate the base to a coastal area of
Camp Schwab.

On May 20, the cabinet approved a basic policy concerning the US
force realignment in Japan that includes the establishment of a
consultative organ among the central and prefectural governments,
and relevant municipalities. But the prefectural government has been
opposed to the central government's attitude of going ahead with the
government plan as a prearranged course. No prospects are in sight
for such a consultative organ, let alone when its first meeting will
take place.

The central government intends to map out a construction plan for an
alternative facility by October. By making a tour of Okinawa, Nukaga
apparently intends to pave the way for the relocation, with an eye
on Prime Minister Koizumi's stepping down in September.

According to a senior JDA official, the following view is emerging
in the government: "A preparatory organization for a consultative
organ should be first established, and discussions with Nago City
and other municipalities willing to talk with the central government
should be held first, bypassing the Okinawa prefectural

17) Three Minshuto executives tour US bases in Okinawa to pave way
for combining efforts of anti-LDP forces

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
July 16, 2006

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa, acting

TOKYO 00003967 010 OF 011

president Naoto Kan, and Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama separately
toured US bases in Okinawa on July 15. The purpose was to play up
the party's stance of placing high priority on Okinawa and its
strong rivalry toward the ruling coalition with an eye on the
Okinawa gubernatorial election this fall and the Upper House
election next summer. But the party's stance remains elusive
regarding the highly controversial plan to relocate Futenma Air

Ozawa visited Futenma Air Station in Ginowan and Kan and Hatoyama
toured Camp Schwab in Nago, the relocation site for Futenma Air

After the tour, Ozawa harshly criticized the government and the
ruling coalition before reporters in Naha, saying: "If Japan is
America's true ally, the two countries must talk things over. Japan
is at America's beck and call, and that is embodied in the base

Ozawa is digging in his heels against the ruling coalition over the
US force realignment issue apparently with the Okinawa gubernatorial
election this fall and the Upper House election next summer in

Five opposition parties in Okinawa, including Minshuto, have decided
to field a single candidate for the gubernatorial race under the
slogan of opposing US force realignment.

To Ozawa, eager to bring about regime change, Okinawa is a symbol of
Japan-US relations and a vital constituency for joining forces
opposed to the LDP-New Komeito coalition. A victory by the
opposition camp's candidate in the Okinawa gubernatorial election
could pave the way for rallying anti-LDP forces together for next
year's Upper House election.

But Minshuto's stance remains unclear regarding the planned
relocation of Futenma Air Station to Camp Schwab, a major campaign

Last August, the party released its Okinawa vision urging the
government to look for ways to relocate Futenma Air Station out of
Okinawa first and then to aim for relocation abroad based on changes
to the environment surrounding its strategy. The party also backed a
candidate advocating a site outside Okinawa in the Nago mayoral race
in January this year.

The circumstances have changed tremendously since last August, as
evidenced by an agreement between Tokyo and Washington to relocate
Futenma functions to the coastal area of Camp Schwab and the Nago
mayor's approval of the plan.

A senior Minshuto member said, "At present, we cannot say 'yes' or
'no' to the relocation plan."

On July 15, Ozawa only said, "It's best to reflect the wishes of
local residents," without referring to the government's Futenma
relocation plan.

18) Abe to publish book containing his political vision

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 18, 2006

TOKYO 00003967 011 OF 011

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, considered to be the most likely
candidate to succeed Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, will publish
a book on July 20 titled "Toward a Beautiful Country." It will
contain a draft of the political vision he will use in the September
Liberal Democratic Party presidential election. Some LDP lawmakers
assume that Abe may aim to use this book to further boost popular
support even though he already has the edge over other possible

Abe writes in the book his basic thinking about Asia diplomacy, the
Constitution, education and social security.

On Asia policy, Abe criticizes Chinese and South Korean leaders for
refusing to hold meetings a the summit level due to Prime Minister
Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. The expectation is that he seek
to improve Japan's relations with other Asian countries, including
India and Australia. The book also likely contains measures to
create a society in which those who once failed once can have
another chance to try again, giving consideration to criticism of
the Koizumi reform drive for widening the income gap.

Abe has put off the announcement of his candidacy for the LDP
presidential race planned until sometime after the G-8 summit,
probably to late August. There was a view that the publication of
his book might be delayed like his planned announcement of
candidacy. But a person close to Abe said, "The book will go on sale
on July 20."


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