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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Iraq - Tokyo

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PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #4027 2010235
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200235Z JUL 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4480
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7292
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0598
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3375
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1151
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9518
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1255
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 004027

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION Q IRAQ - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Thursday morning's Mainichi gave top play
to a plan by the USG and GOJ to conclude an accord
concerning intelligence sharing for the joint operation
of missile defense (MD) systems.

1. "GSDF Withdrawal from Iraq: Reviewing the Experience"
The liberal Asahi editorialized (7/20): "Japan's Ground
Self-Defense Force (GSDF) troops have arrived in Kuwait
after leaving Samawah. About 600 GSDF personnel will soon
return home to Japan, bringing an end to their two-and-a-
half-year humanitarian and reconstruction mission. What
was the meaning of sending the GSDF to a country still in
a state of war? Did the GSDF adequately fulfill its role?
On the occasion of their withdrawal, it is necessary to
review the roles and activities these troops played in
Iraq and use this review for the basis of future
discussions. More than anything else, we are glad there
were no casualties among the Japanese troops and that
they did not hurt any Iraqi people....

2. "During their deployment, the GSDF troops seldom
ventured outside their camp into nearby towns. The GSDF
each day hired as many as 1,100 Iraqis to help rebuild
schools and serve as interpreters. This helped them meet
local expectations for jobs and wages while also keeping
them from spending long periods of time outside their
camp exposed to danger.... The deployment had cost the
GOJ 74.3 billion yen by the end of March. If the goal was
to have hired local residents to rebuild the area, Japan
could have contributed a great deal more by entrusting
the same amount of aid to NGOs, which are much more
experienced in such undertakings.... We believe the
dispatch of SDF personnel to Iraq was flawed from the
start. Just because the troops have completed their
mission safely does not mean that this should be made
into any kind of precedent. The GOJ should also withdraw
Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) personnel from Iraq as soon
as possible.

SCHIEFFER

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