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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/19/06

DE RUEHKO #4011/01 2000826
P 190826Z JUL 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

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(1) Foreign Minister Aso, US Ambassador Schieffer in telephone
conversation agree that resolution on North Korea the result of
Japan-US cooperation

(2)Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe already on diplomatic stage; His
capability being tested in run-up to LDP presidential election

(3) Adoption of UN resolution against North Korea: Result of Japan's
tough diplomatic approach 3

(4) ASDF troops on Iraq mission expected to serve as the US
military's contractor; Attacks on Baghdad Airport in combat zone
commonplace; Transporting US troops may drag ASDF into America's war

(5) Budget request ceiling: Finance, foreign ministries agree to 3%
cut in ODA in fiscal 2007 6

(6) Defense Agency to be restructured into 5 bureaus 6

(7) Minshuto to notify local chapters across country it is
establishing workplace chapters in industrial associations, aiming
to undermine LDP stronghold ahead of Upper House election 7

(8) LDP presidential election campaign underway: Yamasaki faction
proposes secular memorial for the war dead; Tanigaki faction calls
current relations with China abnormal; Nikai Group remains silent
out of consideration to Abe? 8

(9) Number of guest foreign workers to be expanded, LDP special
committee decides 9


(1) Foreign Minister Aso, US Ambassador Schieffer in telephone
conversation agree that resolution on North Korea the result of
Japan-US cooperation

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
Evening, July 19, 2006

Foreign Minister Aso talked with US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer by
telephone this morning. The Ambassador, commenting on the resolution
on North Korea adopted by the United Nations Security Council,
stated: "A strong message was sent thanks to the cooperation of the
US and Japan. I thank Japan for its efforts." The Foreign Minister,
too, expressed his appreciation, replying, "Success came from the
close cooperation of Japan and the United States." He then reported
that Ground Self-Defense Force troops had completed their withdrawal
from Iraq. The Ambassador noted, "The operations of the Self-Defense
Forces were a great achievement."

(2)Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe already on diplomatic stage; His
capability being tested in run-up to LDP presidential election

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

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe is considered as the favorite to
succeed Prime Minister Koizumi. The Japanese government's response
to North Korea's missile launches has served an important test of

TOKYO 00004011 002 OF 010

his diplomatic acumen. He played a leading role in drafting a
sanctions resolution presented to the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) as a deputy for Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who
was traveling abroad. Abe has won popular support from the people,
using the keywords abduction and North Korea in making a full-scale
diplomatic debut.

When discussions at the UNSC entered the homestretch on the evening
of July 14, Abe rushed back to the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei) to have a telephone conference with deputy
national security advisor to the US President Stephen Hadley. He
told Hadley: "The positions of Japan and the US are in complete
agreement. The two countries have completely agreed not to change
their determination to adopt a binding resolution that includes

Reiterating that there would be no compromise, Abe during a press
conference repeatedly used the word completely. The word is close to
categorical expressions Prime Minister Koizumi has frequently used
at critical political junctures. He used this word with an image of
a strong leader in mind.

Masaharu Kono, director general of the Foreign Policy Bureau of the
Foreign Ministry, who served as a secretary to his father Shintaro
Abe, when he was a foreign minister, fully reported what was going
on at the series of debates at the UN. He visited the Kantei early
in the morning on the 14 as well and analyzed the situation in Abe's

The US is strongly aware of Abe's presence. During the prime
minister's absence, Ambassador Schieffer met with Abe twice at the
Kantei. On the 14th, Abe urged Schieffer that Japan and the US
should fall in step with each other for the adoption of the draft
sanctions resolution, noting: "This is a matter of an emergency. I
would likely you to relay my message to President Bush and Secretary
of State Rice."

A government source said: "An acting prime minister is empowered to
do almost anything. The words from the prime minister are tantamount
to the will of the Japanese government." Great authority means great
responsibility. Success and failure of Abe's handling of the North
Korea issue has a rebound effect on the evaluation of himself as a
candidate for the next prime minister.

(3) Adoption of UN resolution against North Korea: Result of Japan's
tough diplomatic approach

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
July 17, 2006

"This is a great result and victory for Japan's diplomacy. This
achievement has come owing to Japan's efforts. We have shared this
view with Britain and France."

This generously complimentary remark came from US Presidential
Assistant Hadley for National Security Affairs, during a telephone
conversation with Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe early on July 16,
Japan time, soon after the United Nations Security Council (UNSC)
decided to unanimously adopt a resolution condemning North Korea. In
a phone discussion with Foreign Minister Aso right after Hadley's
call, US Secretary of State Rice also praised Japan's diplomatic

TOKYO 00004011 003 OF 010

For the first time since it became a UN member on Dec. 18, 1956,
Japan projected an unprecedented strong presence in that
international diplomatic arena when the UNSC adopted the

On of the major pillars of Japanese diplomacy has been its focus on
the UN. But until now, Japan had never taken the lead in submitting
a resolution to the UNSC. In its first submission, Japan tenaciously
called for the need to adopt a severe resolution that would include
sanctions. It remained firm in its basic position to the end.

North Korea's missile launches created a national crisis for and
posed a threat to Japan. In contrast, when Pyongyang launched a
Taepodong missile in 1998, all the UN did then was to only issue a
press statement, the weakest form of showing the UN's view. Learning
a lesson from this experience, Japan took a firm stand this time.

Japan and the United States stuck to the idea of referring to
Chapter 7 of the UN Charter till the last moment, because they
thought that chapter can serve as the ground for the imposition of
sanctions against North Korea, but this idea was not realized due to
opposition by China and Russia. Faced with the reality in the UNSC
where its permanent members have a veto right, "Japan was forced to
choose between a resolution mentioning Chapter 7 that could not win
unanimous approval and a resolution without any mention of Chapter 7
that was unanimously approved. A unanimously adopted resolution
would have a stronger message," Aso said. Japan preferred to the
latter option.

A senior Foreign Ministry official explained: "In the past Japan had
aimed at realizing international cooperation in the way to play
along with other countries, but this time Japan aimed at playing a
role to build international cooperation." This means Japan sought to
depart from its "passive" diplomacy. Kazuya Sakamoto, professor of
international political science at Osaka University, praised Japan's
new diplomatic approach: "Japan, because of its prewar experience,
had tended to be overly fearful of being isolated in the
international community, but this time Japan, not fearing isolation,
maintained a firm stand. This stance was good."

North Korea, however, refused to accept the resolution, replying
less than an hour after it was adopted. Japan succeeded in having
its resolution against North Korea adopted, but this does not mean
the North Korean threat to Japan has vanished. This is the harsh
reality Japan must face.

The diplomatic tug of war over the resolution has made Japan realize
anew the difficulty in narrowing the gap in views with China and
Russia. Japan also finds itself in a "twisted" situation where South
Korea is supposed to see the North's missiles as a threat like Japan
but it was opposed to Japan's response to the North's missile
launches this time. Although "It would be impossible for all the
countries on the planet to synchronize with each other," according
to Sakamoto, the question facing Japan is how to make good use of
such international forums as the six-party talks, the UN, and the
Group of Eight (G8), and how to reinforce the encircling net around
North Korea.

The adopted resolution is merely a milestone for there is a long way
to go. The true value of Japan's diplomatic capabilities will be
tested in the coming months.

(4) ASDF troops on Iraq mission expected to serve as the US

TOKYO 00004011 004 OF 010

military's contractor; Attacks on Baghdad Airport in combat zone
commonplace; Transporting US troops may drag ASDF into America's

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Pages 27 & 28)
July 19, 2006

The Ground Self-Defense Force has now completely pulled out of Iraq,
putting an end to its humanitarian and reconstruction assistance
without incurring any casualties in its mission. But the
Kuwait-based Air Self-Defense Force will continue its airlift
mission. The government has decided to expand the ASDF mission to
fly to Baghdad Airport, which has constantly been under attacks by
armed insurgents. The government has defined Baghdad Airport as
being in a non-combat zone. What kind of role is the Kuwait-based
ASDF going to play?

Mika Yamamoto of Japan Press, who has been covering the news in
Iraq, took this view about the government's decision to expand the
ASDF mission:

"Baghdad Airport is not a non-combat zone. When I was at the airport
about six months ago, seven or eight thunderous rockets landed in
its premises, shaking the ground. Airport workers' reactions
indicated that such was a daily occurrence. Attacks on the airport
are so common that they do not make the news anymore. There is no
guarantee that rockets will not hit the C-130 transport planes."

Defense Agency Director-General Fukushiro Nukaga told the Lower
House Iraq Reconstruction Assistance Special Committee in June: "The
SDF may engage in activities at Baghdad Airport, which is in a
non-combat zone."

The ASDF's mission would require C-130 transport planes to land in
the northern part of Iraq and Baghdad Airport. ASDF personnel on
transport planes have worn helmets and flak jackets. An ASDF public
affairs officer explained: "We have taken the maximum level of
safeguards available under today's technology."

Specifically, every C-130 is now armed with equipment to detect
incoming missiles, a flare to emanate heat sources to avoid
infrared-guided missiles, a bubble window over the cockpit to watch
outside, bulletproof sheets around the cockpit, and so on.

It is a fact that militants have attacked aircraft using Baghdad
Airport. In January 2004, a large US transport plane was attacked
from the ground immediately after taking off from the airport. With
its engine blown up, the aircraft made an emergency landing. In
January last year, the British military's C-130 crashed when
attacked shortly after taking off from Baghdad Airport, killing 10
crewmembers. In November 2004, a ground-based missile hit the US
military's transport plane. The plane's left engine was engulfed in
flames for about 10 minutes before making an emergency landing.

Even Iraqis back away from Baghdad Airport.

Yamamoto warned:

"A car bomb slammed into an airport entrance. Many people hostile
toward the multinational forces live around the airport. Iraqi
residents don't approach the airport. The road between the airport
and downtown Baghdad is so dangerous that you have to pay 100,000
yen to a taxi driver for a 30-minute drive. On entering the airport,

TOKYO 00004011 005 OF 010

you have to ride with an armed bodyguard sandwiched by two
additional vehicles and run at 100 km per hour. The airport can be
seen clearly from many spots in its vicinity dotted with palm trees
and private houses."

Military analyst Motoaki Kamiura noted:

"A mobile anti-air missile is launched 10 - 15 degrees upward for
safety reasons. Such a missile is suitable for attacking a plane
taking off from behind the sniper. A missile can destroy a C-130
engine and a wing."

Of the 5,500 SDF personnel dispatched to Iraq, six have committed
suicide after returning home. Although the causes remain unknown,
the Iraq mission built up tensions. ASDF troops are likely to be
exposed to greater risks. Some 100 ASDF rotational troops left for
Kuwait earlier this month.

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi trumpeted the withdrawal of the
ground troops who had not fired even a single shot or shed blood.
Political commentator Minoru Morita offered this view:

"The role of the ASDF, which will remain in Kuwait, is totally
distinct from that of the GSDF. The GSDF deployment was politically
aimed at preventing the Bush administration from being isolated in
the international community. In contrast, the ASDF is going to take
military action practically in sync with the US military."

Lower House member Nobuto Hosaka of the Social Democratic Party, who
regards the ASDF's role as a flying truck, noted:

"The GSDF mission in Samawah was limited to humanitarian and
reconstruction assistance in limited geographical areas. The ASDF's
role is not limited. Air troops would not airlift water and medical
supplies alone. The task of transporting US troops may draw the ASDF
into America's war."

The government and the ruling coalition have also begun discussing a
permanent law allowing Japan to swiftly deploy SDF troops overseas
without a UN resolution.

The question of establishing a permanent law will unmistakably be a
challenge for the next administration.

But given the ever-changing international situation, time-limited
legislation instead of a permanent law is the prevalent
international trend, according Rei Shiratori, professor of politics
at Akita International University. Shiratori explained: "The
government was allowed to decide to pull the ground troops out of
Iraq at this time because the Iraq Reconstruction Law is a
time-limited law. A permanent law would not have allowed it."

It is said that a permanent law will help turn Japan into a normal
country that can independently determine the SDF's overseas mission.
Morita does not agree:

"In reality, Japan would just follow in the US' footsteps. Japan
simply sent troops to Iraq in compliance with a US request, not
based on a UN resolution. If this situation persists, the SDF would
become the US military's subcontractor. Even though such danger is
eminent, nobody dares to voice opposition. When Prime Minister
Tsuyoshi Inukai was killed in 1932, one journalist wrote, 'It is

truly dreadful that nobody says anything about it.' The situation

TOKYO 00004011 006 OF 010

today resembles those days."

Kamiura said this on behalf of ASDF personnel:

"The multinational forces have sufficient transport capability. SDF
personnel think it is absurd for the prime minister to decide to
(keep the ASDF in Kuwait) simply because he was asked by President
Bush. But they have no choice but to go to Kuwait because if they
refuse, other personnel would be sent there. Can the government
ensure the safety of such personnel? I feel sorry for the ASDF."

(5) Budget request ceiling: Finance, foreign ministries agree to 3%
cut in ODA in fiscal 2007

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, July 19, 2006

Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and Foreign Minister Taro Aso
this morning discussed by telephone the ceiling for budget requests
to be set for fiscal 2007. They agreed to a 3% cut in the official
development assistance (ODA) budget from the fiscal 2006 level
(which was 759.7 billion yen). The government with include this
policy decision in the budget ceiling planned for cabinet approval
on July 21.

The policy course of continuing annual ODA cuts ranging from 2 to 4%
over the five-year period of fiscal 2007-2011 will be included in
the basic economic and fiscal policy guidelines 2006, which form the
basic policy line for the government's Council on Economic and
Fiscal Policy to manage the economy. Although the Finance Ministry
sought a 4% cut in the fiscal 2007 ceiling, the Foreign Ministry
objected strongly, resulting in a cut that was about the same as
that in fiscal 2006.

(6) Defense Agency to be restructured into 5 bureaus

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Abridged)
Eve., July 14, 2006

The Defense Agency decided on July 14 on a restructuring plan to
disband the Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) over its
bid-rigging. The DFAA's current setup of four departments, including
the Construction Department and the Facilities Department, will be
reorganized and absorbed into the Defense Agency's newly planned
sections. The agency plans to establish two new bureaus for
infrastructure construction and local planning and also to establish
a central acquisition office. In addition, the agency will also
establish an inspector general's office for auditing and compliance
oversight in order to prevent bid-rigging.

The Defense Agency, which currently has a total of 57 divisions
including those in the DFAA. The agency will reduce about 10% of
these divisions so as not to only end up a merger with the DFAA. The
government will present bills to the Diet at its ordinary session in
January next year to revise relevant laws.

Consequently, the Defense Agency will have a total of five bureaus,
including the Defense Policy Bureau (Defense Bureau up until the end
of July), which determines a basic course of action for Japan's
national security, and the Operations and Planning Bureau (Defense
Operations Bureau at present), which deals with specific

TOKYO 00004011 007 OF 010

The Central Acquisition Office will be a combined body of the
Central Contract Office and the Finance and Equipment Bureau Cost
Accounting Department. In late July, the agency will also launch a
central equipment office, which will be further reorganized later.

(7) Minshuto to notify local chapters across country it is
establishing workplace chapters in industrial associations, aiming
to undermine LDP stronghold ahead of Upper House election

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
July 14, 2006

The Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) yesterday decided to
actively establish workplace chapters that would become a power base
for industrial associations across the country -- a switch from its
previously cautious stance. Minshuto will convey this decision to
the party's prefectural chapters throughout the country during a
national convention of the prefectural chapter secretaries general
in Naha City on July 14. This move came on the heels of a Minshuto
dentists association being established by members of the Ibaraki
Dentists Federation, a local organization of the Japan Dentists
Federation, a powerful support organization for the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP). The aim for Minshuto is to chip away at LDP
support groups prior to the Upper House election in 2007. The LDP
and Minshuto have already begun vying to capture votes from
industrial associations.

According to Minshuto's party rules, workplace chapters are treated
as voluntary groups and do not come under the category of official
party organizations. This is different from the LDP, whose party
rules treat local chapters as official local organizations that can
receive political funds on behalf of the party. This difference
reflects Minshuto's desire to avoid cases of such chapters turning
into pressure groups, as well as to avoid opaqueness in the flow of
political funds. Minshuto was until recently less eager about
creating workplace chapters, in part because industrial
organizations have been all viewed as being the LDP's stronghold.

A senior Minshuto member pins his hopes on the rising move to
establish such party chapters in one-seat constituencies that will
face the Upper House election next year. Those constituencies are
said to determine whether the party will win victory. "It is of
great significance for our party to have established our industry
chapter in a conservative district like Ibaraki. We'd like to spread
this Ibaraki pattern in various industry circles, such as post
offices, agricultural cooperatives, and small firms," this senior
member said.

In order to deal with an unfavorable move in Ibaraki Prefecture
involving the Japan Dentists Federation, the LDP sent its
prefectural chapters across the country the following view dated
July 5: "In order for the Japan Dentists Federation to attain its
goals politically, it needs to back the LDP, for doing so is a
pragmatic approach." The party has sought the federation's full
support for the LDP.

The LDP's industry-specific chapters are on a marked decline, with
membership dropping from some 1,610,000 persons in 2000 to 590,000
in 2005.

Confusion involving industry chapters is continuing in the LDP. For
instance, the Japan Medical Association, a major support body for
the LDP, was divided over the election of its chairman, involving an

TOKYO 00004011 008 OF 010

LDP House of Counselors member. The National Federation of
Agricultural Cooperative Associations' (Zennoh) federation of
national farmers farm policy campaign has decided in a primary
election to field a newcomer for the Upper House election next year
instead of the incumbent the LDP whom the federation supported in
the 2001 Upper House election.

(8) LDP presidential election campaign underway: Yamasaki faction
proposes secular memorial for the war dead; Tanigaki faction calls
current relations with China abnormal; Nikai Group remains silent
out of consideration to Abe?

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
July 19, 2006

Differences in the positions of various factions in the Democratic
Party of Japan (LDP) over Asia diplomacy and the prime minister's
visits to Yasukuni shrine - both contentious issues in the party
presidential election in September - are visible in their policy
proposals. The Yamasaki faction led by former deputy LDP president
Taku Yamasaki, who is trying to unite anti-Abe forces, yesterday
came up with a set of policy proposals including a call to look into
the possibility of constructing a national secular memorial for the
war dead. The Tanigaki faction led by Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki criticized the current Japan-China relations as abnormal.
The Nikai Group, which is regarded as having a deep relationship
with China, refrained from making detailed reference to the issue,
generating a view that it giving consideration to frontrunner Abe in
the upcoming LDP presidential election.

The Yamasaki faction unveiled a policy vision at a political
fund-raising party held on July 1. The package categorically noted
the need to look into the possibility of constructing a facility
where people can offer their sincere condolences to the war dead and
renew pledges to protect peace. It also calls for looking into what
kind of place Yasukuni Shrine should be. Yamasaki told a news
conference, "Though there are arguments for and against constructing
such a facility, the package included my position as the chairman."
Japan was unable to have a sanctions resolution that invokes Chapter
7 of the UN Charter adopted at the United Nations Security Council
(UNSC). Touching on this incident, Yamasaki in a speech given the
same day pointed out that the "absence of dialogue with China is
causing a serious setback." He underscored the significance of
constructing a national secular memorial and realizing the East Asia
Community Initiative, saying: "Japan-China relations have been cold
politically but hot economically, a situation the post-Koizumi
administration must correct. What is hampering this effort is the
Yasukuni issue."

The Tanigaki faction strongly criticized the Japan-China relations
during the Koizumi administration and is positive about improving

The Niwa-Koga faction also incorporated in its policy proposal a
call for strengthening relations with China, advocating the need to
promote the East Asia Community Initiative. However, the package
stopped short of mentioning the Yasukuni issue, regarding which
former LDP Secretary General Makoto Koga, co-chairman of the
faction, has proposed separate enshrinement of Class-A war
criminals. This stance reflects the internal situation of the
faction, which has no potential candidate to succeed Koizumi and
many of whose members are close to Abe.

TOKYO 00004011 009 OF 010

Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Minister Toshihiro Nikai, who
chairs the Nikai group, on the 15th told a news conference, "There
is no need for our group to express views on the Yasukuni issue or
the China issue." He thus indicated his intention of not including
those issues in the group's policy proposals. In view of the fact
that the Nikai group had been considering including a proposal for
joint history research by Japanese and Chinese experts, this
statement is viewed as Nikai having given consideration to Abe, who
wants to avoid the Yasukuni issue in the election campaign.

Reference to Asia diplomacy in policy proposals issued by LDP
factions (extracts)

Mori faction
No special reference

Tsushima faction

Plans to issue policy proposals on August 10. Intends to bring up
the issue as one of various themes.

Niwa-Koga faction
Strengthen future-oriented Japan-China relations with the aim of
building confidence

Yamasaki faction
Look into the possibility of constructing a facility where people
can offer their sincere condolences to the war dead and renew their
pledge to protect peace, as well as considering the nature of
Yasukuni Shrine

Ibuki faction
Aim for Japan that coexists with a prosperous Asia through further
consideration to diplomatic efforts

Tanigaki faction
Correct the current abnormal relationship with neighboring countries
and region.

Komura faction
Make efforts to maintain and develop a good political relationship
with various Asian countries

Nikai group
Plans to issue policy proposals as early as August 9. No special
reference to the issue

Kono group
Coordination under way to release policy proposals in late August

(9) Number of guest foreign workers to be expanded, LDP special
committee decides

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
July 19, 2006

The Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Special Committee on Foreign
Workers (chaired by Yoshio Kimura) at a meeting on July 19 finalized
guidelines aimed at increasing the number of guest foreign workers
to be allowed into Japan. The report called on the government to
newly set up a system of accepting competent personnel who have a
certain level of Japanese language ability and skills. In
particular, the report incorporated a call for allowing foreigners
who have obtained Japanese licenses for nursing-care and social

TOKYO 00004011 010 OF 010

welfare service providers to take up employment in Japan. Regarding
existing educational and technical training systems for foreigners,
which have been pointed out as leading to an inflow of unskilled
workers, the report proposed extending the duration of such training
from the current three years to five years, while keeping in mind
the need to prevent such workers from staying permanently.

The guidelines also included: (1) fiscal assistance to
municipalities where foreign residents are sharply increasing; (2)
providing Japanese language education to foreign pupils and students
at public schools; and (3) establishing a council of government
agencies tackling the foreign worker issue. The panel intends to
call on the government to look into the details of the report and
revise necessary laws accordingly, after obtaining approval from
Policy Affairs Committee Chairman Ichiro Nakagawa.


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