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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/08/06

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5108
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 0133
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7555
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0868
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7391
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8670
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3641
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9780
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1488

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 004438

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 08/08/06

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Index:

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

4) Yomiuri poll: Koizumi Cabinet support rate up slightly to 51%,
while Abe still the far out favorite for the next premier

US beef is back:
5) As first shipment arrives, US beef will slowly be making its way
back to selected store cases
6) Distribution of US beef expected to initially be about one-tenth
of pre-ban flow

Political agenda:
7) If elected prime minister, Abe plans a top-down Kantei-led
political system and to set up a spokesman in the Cabinet Office
8) LDP's Koichi Kato: If Abe becomes next prime minister, the LDP
will lose the Upper House election next summer
9) Government is not making attendance at memorial service for
former Prime Minister Hashimoto an obligatory event

Yasukuni row:
10) LDP policy chief Nakagawa wants to prevent Yasukuni issue
dominating the LDP presidential campaign
11) LDP's Yamasaki again calls on Prime Minister Koizumi not to
visit Yasukuni on August 15
12) ROK politicians coming to Japan to try to block visit to
Yasukuni on August 15
13) China spokesperson impressed by move in Japan to separate
Class-A war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni

14) Tokyo trying to ascertain if China has started production in gas
field in E. China Sea

Defense and security affairs:
15) JDA considering assisting domestic defense industry in order to
speed up MD-related production of intercept missiles
16) Camp of GSDF troops serving on PKO team on Golan Heights is
being shelled, possibly by Hezbollah
17) In talks over Futenma relocation, Okinawa deputy governor
conditions deal on a temporary heliport at new site

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo:
Education Ministry finds 1,600 pools lack drain-cover grating to
prevent accidents

Mainichi:
1,900 defects in pools found nationwide

Nihon Keizai:
Government to open 11 projects to public-private bidding in FY2007

Akahata:
Matsushita allegedly illegally received employment subsidies

2) EDITORIALS

TOKYO 00004438 002 OF 009

Asahi:
(1) Tanaka's defeat: He failed to mature as governor
(2) Law must be fully utilized to prevent elderly abuse

Mainichi:
(1) Tanaka's defeat shows theater-type politics now at turning
point
(2) Koizumi continues to call out to Yasukuni in his self-centered
world

Yomiuri:
(1) Both labor, management opposed to new labor legislation
(2) DVD format war: Victor to be determined by consumers

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Deteriorating economy in Nagano led to Tanaka's defeat
(2) Defense White Paper keeps China in mind

Sankei:
(1) Dangerous trends exposed in Nagano gubernatorial election
(2) Use of "loophole" drugs comes at high price

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Post-Tanaka administration in Nagano expected to move forward
(2) Acceptable draft resolution must be worked out for ceasefire in
Lebanon:

Akahata:
(1) Prime minister should stop visiting Yasukuni

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 7

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

10:40
Met with Ambassador to Israel Katori, Ambassador to Denmark Okada,
Ambassador to Greece Kitamura, and others. Then met with Shoichiro
Toyoda, chairman of the Aichi World Exposition Association.

11:32
Met with State Minister for Financial, Economic and Fiscal Policy
Yosano and Cabinet Office Director General Takahashi.

12:03
Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe

14:54
Met with Deputy Foreign Minister Nishida and Asian and Oceanian
Affairs Bureau Director General Sasae.

15:32
Met with Upper House member Yoriko Kawaguchi, followed by Naoki
Tanaka, chairman of the Postal Privatization Committee.

16:52
Met with Vice Foreign Minister Yachi.

17:19

TOKYO 00004438 003 OF 009


Met with Foreign Minister Aso.

18:43
Returned to the official residence.


4) Poll: Abe leads post-Koizumi race at 45%, Tanigaki up 7 points to
9%

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 8, 2006

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a face-to-face nationwide public
opinion survey on Aug. 5-6, in which respondents were asked to pick
an appropriate person from among four lawmakers in the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party as the next prime minister. In this rating,
Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe ranked first at 45%, followed by Finance
Minister Tanigaki at 9% and Foreign Minister Aso at 7%.

Abe leveled off from this July's survey, but Tanigaki was up
7percentage points and Aso up 3 points. Tanigaki has risen in
particular as compared with others. Former Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yasuo Fukuda has now given up on his candidacy for the LDP
presidential election, so many of his supporters seem to have backed
Tanigaki, who, as well as Fukuda, is critical of Prime Minister
Koizumi paying homage at Yasukuni Shrine. However, those who
answered there is no appropriate person on the list also accounted
for 30%, up 6 points from last month's survey. This shows that
Tanigaki has yet to become an alternative for Fukuda's supporters.

The approval rating for the Koizumi cabinet was 51.1%, showing a
slight increase of 0.9 points from July's survey.

5) First shipment of US beef since removal of second embargo
arrives; US beef will likely make slow comeback to store shelves;
Main purchasers are privately-run restaurants; High prices

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 3) (Full)
August 8, 2006

The first shipment of US beef since Japan lifted the second embargo
yesterday arrived at Narita Airport. Products will be put on sale as
early as later this week for the first time in seven months. Many
restaurant chains and retailers are taking a wait-and-see attitude.
Though Yoshinoya D&C and some local supermarkets are preparing to
purchase US beef, consumer anxieties about its safety and high
prices will likely work as backlash. As such, the return of US beef
to the Japanese market will likely be quiet.

The first shipment is 5.1 tons, and the importer is Costco Wholesale
Japan Inc., in Meguro Ward, a major membership-based US wholesaler.
Products will be put on sale at its five outlets in Chiba, Yokohama,
Amagasaki, etc., later in the week at the earliest, after they go
through quarantine and customs procedures. Major customers are
privately-run restaurants and consumers in general. Those who like
US beef, which is said to be fatty and tasty, will likely purchase
them.

According to the US Meat Export Federation (USMEF), the first ship
cargo will arrive later this month. Since products transported by
ship come in large amounts and at lower costs, the amount will
likely top 10 tons.

TOKYO 00004438 004 OF 009

Restaurant chains and retailers are preparing to purchase US beef. A
Yoshinoya chain spokesman said, "We are working hard to secure US
beef." Cow Boy, which runs supermarkets in Hokkaido, has started
price negotiations with trading companies with the aim of restarting
the sale of US beef in early September.

However, only a few companies are at the moment positive about
purchasing US beef. The primary reason for their reluctance is a
consumer response. Many consumers are still distrustful of the US
inspection system. They are reacting in a negative way to US beef
because of vague anxieties about BSE.

6) US beef in distribution channel likely to just 10% pre-ban
level; Government to inspect all cartons for time being

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 3) (Excepts)
August 8, 2006

Following the resumption of US beef imports, government measures to
prevent a recurrence of the inclusion of specified risk materials
(SRM), such as vertebral columns, in shipments will get underway.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry
of Health, Labor and Welfare will start quarantine operations. They
will open all cartons and check them to see whether they contain
SRM. They will also conduct regular and surprise inspections of US
meat processing plants based on the agreement reached between the
two countries. The government will thus seek understanding from
consumers regarding the safety of US beef. However, there is only a
slim chance of US beef imports sharply increasing.

The consumption of imported beef in Japan has dropped to 60% of its
peak level while US beef was banned. Australian products now account
for approximately 90% of beef imports. A source in the restaurant
industry noted, "Now there is less need to use US beef." An
executive of a leading US meat company estimated that the
distribution of US beef for the time being would be "no more than
2,000 tons a month, or 10% of the pre-ban level."

7) Abe plans to utilize cabinet spokesperson to help his top-down
Kantei-led politics

SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 8, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the front-runner in the
post-Koizumi race, is considering establishing a political system
led by the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence) by reducing
the burden on the post of chief cabinet secretary, now serving as
the cabinet's spokesman, to let the chief cabinet secretary devote
himself to conducting inter-ministerial policy coordination and Diet
measures. Specifically, Abe plans to empower the post of cabinet
public relations secretary, now vacant, to hold press conferences in
place of the chief cabinet secretary. Abe also intends to buoy up
the administration by defining the cabinet public relations
secretary as a key cabinet post.

SIPDIS

Reviewing the responsibilities of the cabinet public relations
secretary, Abe has decided to make the maximum use of the post in

SIPDIS
running his administration. Abe has noted regarding the new image of
the cabinet public relations secretary: "It is noteworthy that the
post of cabinet public relations secretary is designed to maintain a

TOKYO 00004438 005 OF 009


good communication level between the prime minister, the chief
cabinet secretary, the administration, and the public." Abe
reportedly intends to give the post to someone from the private
sector. The chief cabinet secretary has conducted two press
conferences a day in principle. Abe apparently intends to let the
cabinet public relations secretary conduct part of those press
conferences to give the chief cabinet secretary some political
freedom.

8) LDP's Kato: Abe landslide would make Upper House election
difficult

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Koichi Kato, former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) secretary
general, gave a speech yesterday at a 2006 Mainichi Forum sponsored
by the Mainichi Shimbun in Tokyo. Referring to the possibility of
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe winning big in the September LDP
presidential election, Kato said, "A landslide would make it
difficult for the LDP in the next Upper House election."

Should the LDP and New Komeito fail to win a majority in the Upper
House, Kato said:

"Many LDP members are concerned that key bills would die in the
Upper House Steering Committee, and the next Lower House election
would be conducted in three to four months."

9) Government: Silent prayer for former Prime Minister Hashimoto not
compulsory

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 8, 2006

The government has asked local governments and public schools to
hold silent prayer for former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto on
Aug. 8, the day of the memorial service held for him jointly by the
cabinet and the Liberal Democratic Party. In a press conference
yesterday, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Masahiro Futahashi said:
"It is not compulsory. We want you to understand this point." This
statement reflects the negative reaction by Kochi Governor Daijiro
Hashimoto, Ryutaro's younger brother, who remarked: "That is not
what my brother hoped for."

On the 8th, all government agencies will lower flags to half-mast
and offer silent prayers for Hashimoto. In a cabinet meeting on July
25, the government decided to ask public institutions, including
local governments, to do the same. In response, Governor Hashimoto
expressed his intention in a special press conference on Aug. 5 to
ask the government, as the will of the bereaved family, to cancel
the request made to public institutions, saying: "The public might
view it as compulsory." The Kochi prefectural government has decided
not to accept the request.

The government has been perplexed at this development. Keeping in
mind previous cases for late former prime ministers, a senior
government official said: "It is not unreasonable to pay respects to
a person who served as prime minister." Futahashi also commented: "I
would like to give an explanation again to have the bereaved family
understand."


TOKYO 00004438 006 OF 009


10) Nakagawa reiterates Yasukuni state control plan to prevent the
shrine from becoming campaign issue

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Hidenao
Nakagawa reiterated yesterday a plan to place Yasukuni Shrine under
state control with the concurrence of bereaved families and the
shrine and consider a bill allowing the government to determine
those subject to collective enshrinement. Nakagawa revealed the plan
in his speech in Tokyo in connection with the question of
unenshrining Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni. Nakagawa, who is
close to Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, apparently has begun
actively commenting on the subject of Class-A war criminals in a bid
to prevent Yasukuni from escalating into a campaign issue in the LDP
presidential race.

Nakagawa said: "Government members should refrain from discussing
the matter in relation to religious freedom under the Constitution."
He thus insisted that incumbent cabinet ministers must not discuss
the option of making Yasukuni Shrine a nonreligious corporation in
connection with the LDP presidential race.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki,
Abe's rivals in the post-Koizumi race, are cautious about visiting
Yasukuni Shrine. Aso and Nakagawa are close when it comes to the
idea of making Yasukuni a nonreligious corporation. Tanigaki is also
positive about unenshrinement. Nakagawa apparently intends to give
the impression that Yasukuni will not become a campaign issue by
stressing that there are no major differences in ways to settle the
matter.

The Japan War-Bereaved Association plans to study the propriety of
unenshrinement after the LDP presidential election in September.
With that in mind, Nakagawa also said, "The party should consider
the matter after the association reaches its conclusion." Meanwhile,
Abe said in a press conference, "The government has nothing to say
about the Yasukuni issue." Nakagawa's statement reflects his
consideration to Abe, who has been forced to make cautious comments
as the government's spokesman.

11) Former LDP Vice President Yamasaki: Premier should refrain from
visiting Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Taku Yamasaki, former vice president of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), delivered a speech at the Japan National Press Club. In it,
he urged Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi not to visit Yasukuni
Shrine on Aug. 15, saying,

"I cannot approve of a visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15 (the
anniversary of the end of World War II). Thinking that there will be
repercussions if he goes, he should not take such a visit lightly.
That would affect future assessments of the Koizumi government."

12) South Korean ruling and opposition party lawmakers to visit
Japan to prevent visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Koizumi; Plan to tour
Yushukan Museum


TOKYO 00004438 007 OF 009


TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Kiyoshi Nakamura, Seoul

Ten South Korean parliamentarians from both the ruling and
opposition parties will visit Japan on Aug. 11-13 to try to prevent
a visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Ruling Uri Party member Kim Hui Son announced the plan yesterday at
a press conference in Seoul.

According to Kim, the South Korean lawmakers, along with Taiwanese
legislative members and Japanese opposition party Diet members, are
expected on Aug. 11 to submit to the Japanese government a letter of
request calling on Koizumi and Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe to
refrain from visiting Yasukuni. They plan to tour the Yushukan war
museum on the premises of Yasukuni. They are also expected to hand
to the shrine a letter calling for the removal of the names of
Korean war dead from the shrine, as well as for a list of the names
of those who are enshrined there to be disclosed.

13) Chinese Foreign Ministry Press Bureau chief: Unenshrinement of
Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni would be meaningful

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Referring to Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni
Shrine in April, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's press bureau chief
yesterday stated that the Japanese prime minister should not visit
the Shinto shrine. The official said: "Whoever Japan's next prime
minister will be, if that person makes an effort to remove the
obstacle between China and Japan, we will welcome the next prime
minister."

Regarding speculation that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi may
visit the shrine on Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of World War
II, the Chinese official sought Koizumi's self-restraint, stating,
"There is no change in the Chinese government's position regarding
the history issue."

The official also commented on the idea of unenshrining the Class-A
war criminals from Yasukuni, saying: "That would be meaningful. The
responsibility for the war should be taken by those who waged it. In
that sense, the Class-A war criminals were responsible for the start
of the war."

14) Government trying to ascertain if China has started production
in gas field in East China Sea

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 8, 2006

A Chinese offshore oil producer said on its Web site that China has
started development and production in the Chunxiao field (called
"Shirakaba" or white birch by Japan) in the East China Sea. Bureau
director-level negotiations are going between Japan and China on a
plan to jointly develop the oil field. If China is found to have
unilaterally begun production, the ongoing conflict between the two
countries will inevitably escalate, resulting in negatively
affecting the negotiations. That information, though, was deleted
from the Web site after being posted for several days. Since it is

TOKYO 00004438 008 OF 009


uncertain whether the information is accurate, Tokyo is trying to
hurriedly ascertain if the information is true.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. said on its Web site around Aug. 2
that Zhang Guobao, vice chairman of China's National Development and
Reform Commission, had inspected the gas field in late July and had
said: "Full-scale development and production have begun." But it
also quoted Zhang as saying: "A lack of demand has limited the
normal development pace," so it remains to be seen whether China has
actually begun production."

15) Defense Agency to subsidize intercept missile makers for earlier
deployment

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
August 8, 2006

The Defense Agency is thinking of subsidizing intercept missile
manufacturers in order for the Self-Defense Forces to expedite the
deployment of a missile defense (MD) system in Japan. In the wake of
North Korea's recent missile launches, the agency is planning to
subsidize them at about 5% of their contracts on state-of-the-art
PAC-3 ground-to-air missiles. The agency will move up its MD plan
for deployment at least one year earlier than scheduled.

The MD system is to shoot down enemy-launched ballistic missiles
with intercept missiles. Japan's planned system would intercept
ballistic missiles in two stages. First, an Aegis-equipped destroyer
of the Maritime Self-Defense Force would launch Standard Missile 3
(SM-3) missiles to shoot down ballistic missiles in their launch and
post-launch phase. Should the SM-3 miss these missiles, the PAC-3
would intercept them.

The SM-3 is a US-made missile. However, Japan will also manufacture
PAC-3 missiles. The PAC-3 will be first deployed to the Air
Self-Defense Force's Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture within the
current fiscal year. The Defense Agency plans to deploy PAC-3s to
four ASDF bases in Japan by fiscal 2010. The government has
earmarked PAC-3 costs in its budgetary estimates since FY2004, and
some makers have already begun production.

In order to frontload the deployment plan, the Defense Agency will
need to ask manufacturers for cooperation in building more
facilities and increasing on-site manpower. The agency's
subsidization plan is being considered for new contractors, in
addition to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and several dozen relevant
firms. The agency will subsidize them or will otherwise increase the
amount of their contracts. The agency estimates necessary costs for
next fiscal year at approximately 5 billion yen and will earmark the
costs in its MD-related budget estimates totaling 150 billion yen.

16) Rocket shells land near GSDF camp on Golan Heights

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 8, 2006

In connection with Israeli strikes on Lebanon, rocket shells landed
near Camp Ziouani on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, where
the Ground Self-Defense Force stations its personnel to participate
in the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF), Defense
Agency officials said yesterday. The GSDF members took shelter for a
while, according to the officials. An officer of the Self-Defense

TOKYO 00004438 009 OF 009


Forces' Joint Staff Office at the Defense Agency confirmed the GSDF
members' evacuation. However, the officer says the agency has yet to
find out whether the rocket shells fell on the camp. None of the SDF
members or their equipment was harmed, according to the officer.

The rocket shells landed around Aug. 4, according to informed
sources. The Defense Agency has yet to be informed of how far from
Camp Ziouani or how many rocket shells were involved. After the
rocket shells landed, 31 GSDF members at the camp were evacuated at
UNDOF's order and took shelter for a while.

The projectiles landed on the Israeli side, so they are highly
likely to be rockets of the Katyusha type, a multiple-launch rocket
system (MLRS) that is the same as those fired by Hezbollah, a Shiite
militia in Lebanon.

17) Temporary heliport plan presented as condition for Okinawa's
participation in consultative council

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 8, 2006

Atsushi Watanabe, head of the Defense Facilities Administration
Agency's Defense Facilities Department, yesterday called on Okinawa
Vice Governor Hirotaka Makino at the prefectural government office
and asked the prefectural government to join a consultative body to
be established by the central government and affected municipalities
to discuss the relocation of the US Marine Corp's Futenma Air
Station and other matters. In response, Makino presented the
following conditions for the prefectural government's participation:
(1) inclusion of a temporary heliport plan in the agenda and (2)
separation of the Futenma relocation plan from economic assistance
for base-hosting municipalities.

SCHIEFFER

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