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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/15/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 004598

SIPDIS

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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 08/15/06

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Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
Prime Minister's daily schedule: Took Monday off

August 15:

Kyodo: Prime Minister Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, leaving his
residence in a limousine around 7:30. He was dressed in a formal
tailcoat.

3) Prime Minister Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine
4) Prime Minister to visit Yasukuni Shrine today on 61st anniversary
of the end of the war
5) Ruling and opposition camps issue statements on August 15
anniversary of end of war
6) ROK President Roh ready to "strongly protest" if Koizumi visits
Yasukuni today
7) LDP's Koichi Kato again urges Koizumi to stay away from Yasukuni


LDP presidential race:
8) Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe standing before his father's grave
expresses his desire to run for LDP president
9) Abe to make constitutional reform a key campaign pledge
10) LDP's Taku Yamasaki, now out of the race, to back Finance
Minister Tanigaki for party president
11) LDP faction leader Mori already speculating about who will be in
Abe's cabinet and party lineup

12) Ruling parties' secretaries general leave for Australia and
other stops in international junket

13) METI learns from Chinese government that production has not
started yet in controversial gas field in EEZ

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Labor shortage at legal rescue center to be launched in October;
Twenty attorneys secured, but plan is to assign 300 lawyers

Mainichi:
Ten consumer credit companies found to have taken out life insurance
policies on all borrowers

Yomiuri:
Internet distribution of TV programs: Communications Ministry
looking into possibility of adopting copyright registration system

Nihon Keizai:
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. to cut overseas production bases
50%; Selective guidelines to be introduced to strengthen earning
power

Sankei:
Tokyo area blackout: Accident near upstream part of power supply
grid escalates damage -- TEPCO reprimanded for delay in service
restoration

TOKYO 00004598 002 OF 007

Tokyo Shimbun:
Prime Minister Koizumi determined to visit Yasukuni Shrine today,
61st anniversary of end of World War II

Akahata:
Revision of Basic Education Law for the worse: Education ministry
sending senior officials to teachers' training sessions and PTA
conferences for campaign

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Thoughts on nationalism: What should be done to calm things
down?

Mainichi:
(1) Control nationalism: Break Koizumi's spell

Yomiuri:
(1) Anniversary of end of World War II: Questioning responsibility
for "Showa War"

Nihon Keizai:
(1) We want to console the souls of the war dead quietly and thing
about war and the postwar era
(2) Major power outage raises questions about protecting
infrastructure

Sankei:
(1) August 15 should be a quiet day for the deep repose of the souls
of the war dead

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Thoughts on the anniversary of the end of World War II: Pacifism
is Japan's pledge

Akahata:
(1) Anniversary of end of World War II: We should make best use of
determination for peace

3) Prime Minister Koizumi visits Yasukuni Shrine

YOMIURI (Website, 8:18 am, top story) (Full)
August 15, 2006

On August 15, the anniversary of the end of World War II, Prime
Minister Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine in Tokyo.

Koizumi had pledged during the race for the LDP presidency in 2001
that he would visit Yasukuni on August 15, but in the face of strong
criticism from China and other countries, he had previously avoided
this date while making his annual visit. With Koizumi due to step
down in September, he showed a strong determination to fulfill his
pledge to visit on this date. This is the first time for a sitting
prime minister to go to Yasukuni on August 15 since then PM Nakasone
did so in 1985.

This is Koizumi's sixth visit to Yasukuni, the first since October
2005.

Clad in a formal morning coat, Koizumi made his way into the

TOKYO 00004598 003 OF 007


shrine's main hall and signed his name in the guestbook as "Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi." He paid the 30,000 yen for flowers out
of his own pocket.

Speaking on August 9 about his pledge to visit on the 15th, Koizumi
stated: "The pledge is still valid, and I think it should be kept."
On the 10th, he refuted criticism of his Yasukuni visits, saying:
"There is no reason for Japan's prime minister to be criticized no
matter what facility he decides to visit. After reflecting on the
war, Japan has developed as a peaceful nation that has not gone to
war even once in the ensuing 61 years."

In July, it came to light that a former high-ranking official in the
Imperial Household Agency had written a memo documenting the late
Emperor Showa's (Hirohito) displeasure with Yasukuni's enshrinement
of Class-A war criminals (in 1978). Soon afterward, public opinion
turned more cautious about the prime minister visiting Yasukuni. As
this will be Koizumi's last visit to the shrine during his term in
office, doing so on August 15 indicates his strong opposition to any
compromise on the matter.

When he visited the shrine in April 2002, Koizumi released the
following comment: "Insisting on visiting on or around August 15,
raising concerns and tensions both within and outside Japan, is not
my intention."

It also became known recently that Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe,
considered the most likely candidate to replace Koizumi, visited
Yasukuni this April. Some observers are of the opinion that
Koizumi's homage on August 15 was intended in part to lay the
groundwork for the next prime minister to continue visiting
Yasukuni.

Both China and South Korea are opposed to the prime minister
visiting Yasukuni, with Beijing and Seoul refusing to hold summits
with Tokyo since April 2005 and November 2005, respectively. Koizumi
argued in response: "It's strange to refuse to hold a summit just
because opinions are different on one issue." A summit in the days
before Koizumi steps down appears unlikely.

It also appears that Yasukuni will become an issue in the LDP
presidential race, with the debate extending not just to whether or
not the prime minister should visit but also the enshrinement of
Class-A war criminals and the idea of turning Yasukuni Shrine into a
nonreligious corporation.

When he visited Yasukuni on August 13, 2001, Koizumi stated: "I
carefully took into account the domestic and international
situations and decided on my own to avoid August 15 in making my
visit." Koizumi later visited the shrine on April 21, 2002; January
14, 2003; January 1, 2004; and October 17, 2005.

4) Prime Minister Koizumi determined to visit Yasukuni Shrine today,
61st anniversary of end of World War II

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2006

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi yesterday decided to visit Yasukuni
Shrine on August 15, the 61st anniversary of the end of World War
II. Koizumi has visited the shrine five times -- once a year --
since becoming prime minister in April 2001. However, this will be

TOKYO 00004598 004 OF 007


the first time for him to visit Yasukuni on August 15. China and
South Korea are bound to oppose his visit, if he carries it out.

Campaign pledge for LDP presidential election to be implemented

After attending a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence starting 10:00 a.m., the prime minister will offer flowers
at the Chidorigafuchi National Cemetery. He will then attend a
national memorial service for the war dead at the nearby Budokan
Hall. He is expected to visit Yasukuni either before or after these
official events.

Koizumi pledged to visit Yasukuni Shrine on August 15 during a
campaign for the LDP presidential race on April 2001. However,
meeting opposition from China and South Korea, which make an issue
of the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals there, he visited the
shrine on August 13 that year. Since then he has visited it during
the spring or autumn festivals, avoiding the anniversary of the end
of World War II.

5) Ruling, opposition parties issue statements in commemoration of
day marking end of WWII

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 15, 2006

Ruling and opposition parties issued statements in commemoration of
the day marking the end of World War II.

Liberal Democratic Party: Japan must positively develop
peace-oriented diplomacy through international cooperation based on
the Japan-US alliance. It is also necessary to deepen friendly
relations with neighboring countries and play a role as a
responsible member of the international community.

New Komeito: It is important to create a facility where all the
people can pay homage to the war dead without any hesitation and
pray for peace, in order to demonstrate to the world that Japan is a
peaceful country,

Minshuto: Blindly following the United States, the Koizumi
administration has taken a stance that has led to undermining the
achievements and confidence in East Asia and the rest of the world.
We would like to renew our resolve to do our best to create peace
under global cooperation and make utmost efforts to that end.

Japanese Communist Party: Japan will inevitably find itself isolated
in Asia and in the world as long as (the prime minister) continues
to visit Yasukuni Shrine. We are determined to defend the
Constitution drawn up on the basis of reflection on Japan's past
military aggression.

Social Democratic Party: A person in a position of leadership must
pay attention so as not to fan parochial nationalism.

6) South Korean premier: "Government will lodge strong protest" if
Prime Minister Koizumi visits Yasukuni

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2006

Hiroshi Minegishi, Seoul

TOKYO 00004598 005 OF 007

Amid speculation that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will visit
Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the day marking the end of World War II,
South Korean Prime Minister Han Myeong Sook said yesterday: "The
prime minister's Yasukuni visits have undermined future-oriented
relations between South Korea and Japan." He thus tried to
discourage Koizumi from visiting the shrine on that day. He added
that if Koizumi visits the shrine, "The South Korean government will
lodge a strong protest," according to the Yonhap News Agency.

7) LDP's Kato calls on Prime Minister Koizumi to refrain from
visiting Yasukuni Shrine

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 15, 2006

Former Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Vice President Taku Yamasaki
said yesterday on a TBS program: "I think (the prime minister) will
pay homage at Yasukuni Shrine (on Aug. 15) in order to keep his
campaign pledge." Former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato,
appearing on a Fuji TV program, called on Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi to cancel his planned visit to Yasukuni (on Aug. 15),
stating, "Although the prime minister says his visit is a matter of
the heart, he should consider it from diplomatic, domestic and
historical viewpoints."

8) Abe announces candidacy for LDP presidency to father at family
grave

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 15, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe yesterday announced his candidacy for
the Liberal Democratic Party presidential election in September to
his father, former Foreign Minister Shintaro Abe, at the family
grave in Nagato City, Yamaguchi Prefecture. Abe, accompanied by his
wife Akie, placed his hands together in prayer before his father's
tomb. Later, he told reporters: "I am now in a position of being
expected by many people as a prime ministerial contender. I am
determined to brace myself and make efforts to tidily perform duties
for the sake of the nation."

Speaking before about 100 residents, Abe said: "In the memorial
service held by the community for my father 15 years ago, children
sang the school song Furusato or hometown. In this song, there are
these lyrics: "I will return to my hometown sometime after
accomplishing my aim." With this feeling, I would like to do my
best."

9) Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe intends to include constitutional
revision in manifesto for LDP presidential race

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe will release a manifesto for the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election on Sep. 1. It
was learned yesterday that his manifesto will include revising the
Constitution. The specific wording has yet to be determined.
However, Abe intends to have his manifesto mention the LDP's stance
and the need for legal consolidation for constitutional revision,
based on the fact that enacting an independent constitution has been

TOKYO 00004598 006 OF 007


the LDP's policy since its formation. With Abe, the front-runner in
the race to replace Koizumi, coming up with a stance favoring
constitutional revision, it will likely become a campaign issue.

Since he was elected in 1993 for the first time, Abe's political
conviction has been to establish an independent constitution. When
the LDP drafted a new constitution, he spearheaded the work as
acting chairman of the preamble sub-committee of the drafting
committee.

10) LDP's Yamasaki, Kato to support Tanigaki for LDP presidency

NIHION KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 15, 2006

The expectation is that Taku Yamasaki, head of a Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) faction, and Koichi Kato, who belongs to no faction,
will back Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki in the LDP presidential
election. Yamasaki and Kato failed to field a candidate from the
anti-Koizumi forces after Yasuo Fukuda announced he would not run in
the race. The two veteran lawmakers have determined that Tanigaki,
who has pledged that he will refrain from visiting Yasukuni Shrine,
is their best choice for the next LDP president.

In the form of responding to questions from reporters in his home
constituency of Fukuoka Prefecture, Yamasaki formally announced that
he would not run for the presidency. He said of Tanigaki: "I have a
good feeling toward him."

Kato, who headed the predecessor of the Tanigaki faction, has said,
"Mr. Tanigaki is a former associate, and his views are similar to
mine."

11) Former Prime Minister Mori: Nakagawa, Koga, Kyuma, Nukaga would
be suitable persons to become next cabinet secretary

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 15, 2006

Appearing on a TV Asahi program on Aug. 13, former Prime Minister
Yoshiro Mori, a Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) member, revealed his
prediction about the lineup of the next cabinet on the premise of
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe becoming the next prime
minister.

As suitable persons to serve as the next secretary general, who will
take charge of the next summer's House of Councillors election, Mori
mentioned the names of LDP policy chief Hidenao Nakagawa, former
Secretary General Makoto Koga, General Council Chairman Fumio Kyuma,

SIPDIS
and Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga. Mori said, "A person who
can talk frankly with Upper House LDP Chairman Mikio Aoki and
Secretary General Toranosuke Katayama is appropriate."

SIPDIS

12) Takebe, Fuyushiba off for Australia, Cambodia and Vietnam

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 15, 2006

Ruling Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe and
Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, secretary general of the LDP's coalition partner
New Komeito, left last night for a trip to Australia, Cambodia and
Vietnam. In Australia, the two ruling party secretaries general are

TOKYO 00004598 007 OF 007


expected to meet with Prime Minister John Howard and Foreign
Minister Alexander Downer. They will exchange views with the
Australian leaders in an attempt to have Pyongyang return to the
six-party talks at an early time.

13) METI quoting reply from Chinese government: China has yet to
start production in Chunxiao gas field

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2006

Takuya Sumikawa from an Asahi Shimbun helicopter

China is preparing to develop the Chunxiao gas field near the
Japan-China median line in the East China Sea. China National
Offshore Oil Corp. indicated the other day that China has already
started production, but seen from the above, there are no signs of
production as of now. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
(METI) said yesterday it has obtained through diplomatic channels a
reply from the Chinese government saying that China has yet to start
production.

In the Chunxiao gas field, situated about 400 kilometers northwest
of the mainland of Okinawa, the construction of an offshore rig is
considered to have already been completed, but no flame atop the rig
was visible.

But exploitation work has already started on the Duanqiao gas field,
located about 18 kilometers north-northeast of Chunxiao, with a
Chinese flag fluttering atop a rig and an orange flame visible.

SCHIEFFER

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