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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/17/06

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DE RUEHKO #4686/01 2290129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170129Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5464
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT 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 0264
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7692
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1015
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7512
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8802
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3796
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9926
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1627

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 004686

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 08/17/06

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Index:

Prime Minister's daily schedule: On vacation

Opinion polls:
1) Cabinet support rate up a point to 45% in Mainichi poll
2) Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe nets a whopping 53 support rate for
bid as prime minister in Yomiuri poll
3) Mainichi poll: 50% of Japanese approved 46 opposed Prime Minister
Koizumi's Aug. 15 Yasukuni Shrine visit, but 47% want the next
premier to stop going
4) Kyodo poll: 51% thought it was "good" that Koizumi visited
Yasukuni Shrine
5) Yomiuri poll: 53% supported Koizumi's Yasukuni visit, but 54%
worried about future Japanese relations with China, South Korea
6) 60% of public want a memorial for the war dead to be someplace
other than Yasukuni Shrine: Yomiuri poll

Russian patrol boat shooting incident:
7) Government seeking apology from Russia for shooting and killing
Japanese fisherman in northern waters, return of body and captured
shipmates
8) Shooting incident makes it unlikely that Northern Territories
issue can be soon re-addressed

9) Taiwan group sets sail for disputed Senkaku Islands as protest
gesture against Koizumi's Yasukuni visit

Defense issues:
10) Kanagawa governor accepts deployment of US nuclear carried as
"inevitable"
11) Government floats idea of preparatory meeting to set up Futenma
consultative body with Okinawa prefecture

Campaign trail:
12) Abe to pledge complete rewriting of Constitution in election
campaign
13) Ozawa's Minshuto moving closer to party rebel Hiranuma as
prelude for possible Upper House election cooperation

Articles:

1) Cabinet support rate hits 45%

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 17, 2006

In a nationwide opinion poll carried out on Aug. 15-16, the Mainichi
found the Koizumi Cabinet support rate had risen 1 point from the
July poll to 45%, while the non-support rate had dropped 3 points to
37% . The main reason for supporting the Cabinet, cited by 45% (4
points higher than last time) was, "The way of carrying out politics
seems to be changing," followed by, "Leadership can be expected from
Prime Minister Koizumi," chosen by 29% (up 2 points). The main
reason for not supporting the Koizumi Cabinet, cited by 55% (up 2
points) was, "I can't feel that the economy has recovered."

As for political party support rates, the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party rose 1 point to 32%, while the main opposition party Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) dropped 2 points to 17% . The New
Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party each rose a point to 5% and
4%, respectively. The Social Democratic Party stayed the same at 2%

TOKYO 00004686 002 OF 007


. Those who chose no party affiliation totaled 37%, up 1 point from
last time.

2) Abe support rate at 54% ; Tanigaki's at 11% in Yomiuri poll

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 17, 2006

In a spot opinion poll taken after the visit to Yasukuni Shrine by
Prime Minister Koizumi, the question was asked who would be the most
appropriate person to succeed Koizumi, choosing from the three
Liberal Democratic Party candidates in the race. The candidate that
respondents chose most frequently was Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe,
who received 54% of the tally. Coming in second place was Finance
Minister Tanigaki with 11%, and third was Foreign Minister Aso with
7% . Compared to a telephone-based spot survey July 6-7 following
North Korea's launching of missiles, Tanigaki picked up 9 points in
support, many former Fukuda supporters shifting his way. Abe's
support rose 7 points, while Aso's was up 3 points. The Koizumi
Cabinet support rate in the new poll was 52.3%, up 3.8 points from
the July poll.

3) Mainichi poll following Prime Minister Koizumi's August 15 visit
to Yasukuni Shrine: 50% approve; 46% critical, but view about
successor making visits is severe

MAINICHI (Top play) (Excerpt)
August 17, 2006

Following Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's paying homage at
Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of the war,
the Mainichi Shimbun carried out a spot nationwide opinion poll on
Aug. 15-16 to gauge public reaction. The result was that 50% of
respondents positively evaluated the visit, while 46% did not. On
the other hand, asked about whether the next prime minister should
visit Yasukuni, 47% were opposed, and 42% approved. It is clear that
even in the case of Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe's April 15 visit to
Yasukuni, those who disapproved outweighed those who approved. The
public has looked on Prime Minister Koizumi's paying homage at the
shrine in a different light, it appears.

4) Kyodo poll: 51% thought the Prime Minister's Yasukuni visit was
"good"; 44% were against it

TOKYO (Top play) (Excerpt)
August 17, 2006

Following the visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Prime Minister Koizumi on
Aug. 15, the anniversary of the end of the war, Kyodo News Service
carried out a spot nationwide telephone-based opinion poll on Aug.
15-16 to gauge public reaction. The result showed 51.5% or a
majority of the public thought the "visit was good," but when asked
about a visit by the next prime minister, negative views outweighed
positive ones, with 44.5% saying, "He should not go," and 39.6%
saying that he should. Asked about Class-A war criminal enshrined at
Yasukuni Shrine, 60.4% said that they "should be separated" from the
shrine.

5) Yomiuri poll: 53% support Prime Minister's paying homage at
Yasukuni Shrine, but 54% worried about worsening Japanese relations
with China, ROK


TOKYO 00004686 003 OF 007


YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpt)
August 17, 2006

Following Prime Minister Koizumi's paying homage at Yasukuni on Aug.
15, the anniversary of the end of the war, the Yomiuri Shimbun
carried out a nationwide spot opinion poll Aug. 15-16
(telephone-based) to gauge public response. The result showed that
53% of the public either supported or somewhat supported the shrine
visit, while 39% in total were against it. Asked to choose from
different reasons for supporting the visit, the most chosen response
with 35% of the respondents was "it is only natural that the prime
minister honor the war dead," while 31% chose, "in order to make a
pledge for no more war." Among those who did not support the visit,
41% chose the answer, "relations with China and South Korea have
worsened," 27% picked, "because Class-A war criminals are enshrined
there," and 16% said, "it violated the principle of separation of
church and state."

6) Yomiuri poll: Asked about where would be an appropriate place for
a war-dead memorial, 60% preferred it should be "other than Yasukuni
Shrine as it is now"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
August 17, 2006

In this newspaper's spot opinion poll following Prime Minister
Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni Shrine, the question was asked where
would be an appropriate place to honor the war dead of the country.
Over 60% of the respondents chose answers indicating that they
wanted it to be "other than Yasukuni Shrine as it is now." In
comparison, compared 25% picked Yasukuni Shrine. Breaking the 60%
down, 30% chose "a new facility run by the government with no
religious association," while 19% chose "Yasukuni Shrine after the
Class-A war criminals are removed." Another 11% wanted
"Chidorigafuchi Cemetery to be expanded and built" into a war
memorial cemetery.

7) Government demands Moscow's apology and release of crew members
of boat shot by Russian patrol boat; "Japanese fishing boat is
responsible," Russia says

YOMIURI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 17, 2006

A Russian Border Coast Guard patrol boat fired at a Japanese
crabbing boat, No. 31 Kisshin Maru, yesterday morning in waters near
Kaigara island, one of the Habomai islets in the Russia-held
northern territories. Mitsuhiro Morita, 35, one of the crew members
was shot and killed. The Japanese government yesterday called on
Russia for speedy handover of the body of Morita and immediate
release of other crew members. The Russian Boarder Coast Guard
notified the Japanese Consulate in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk of the handover
of Morita's body soon after inquest on it. The body of Morita will
be handed over to Japan tomorrow at the earliest. However since
Russia has insisted that the Japanese fishing boat is responsible
for the incident, it is uncertain when the other three crew members
will be released.

According to the consulate, the three crew members are not injured
and are being questioned by prosecutors on Kunashiri, one of the
four northern islands, on suspicion of border violation and illegal
fishing operations. The prosecutors are now detaining the three.

TOKYO 00004686 004 OF 007

The Russian Border Coast Guard said, "The skipper has admitted they
entered waters on the Russian side. The consulate said, "Whether the
three will be indicted is unknown at present."

According to the news agency Interfax, the fishing boat fled,
ignoring the Russian patrol vessel's command to stop and its crew
members threw away its catch of crabs and octopus. The Russian
patrol boat fired a warning shot at the Japanese fishing boat but
the fishing boat stopped after patrol boat fired a second warning
shot. The patrol boat found a large amount of crabs, 10 kilograms of
octopus, and 25 crab baskets on the ship.

8) Russian patrol boat shoots at Japanese fishing boat; Territorial
dispute to drag on further; Emotions in Japan and Russia worsen

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 17, 2006

A Russian boarder patrol boat yesterday fired on a Japanese fishing
boat, killing one of the crewmembers and detaining the other three.
The incident took place near Kaigara, one of the Habomai islets.
With the occurrence of the incident, a resolution of the Northern
Territories dispute will unavoidably be delayed.

Foreign Minister Taro Aso summoned the charge d'affaires at the
Russian Embassy in Tokyo and protested strongly, saying, "This
incident occurred near the Northern Territories, which are Japanese
territory. This absolutely cannot be allowed."

Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Russian President Putin held
talks last November in Tokyo. Koizumi called for reaffirming the
1993 Tokyo Declaration, which stipulates that the two countries will
conclude a peace treaty after resolving the issue of ownership of
the four islands that constitute the Northern Territories. Putin,
however, rejected it, making clear Russia's stance of not making
concession to Japan on the territorial issue.

9) Taiwanese group sailing for Senkaku islets in protest against
prime minister's Yasukuni visit

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 17, 2006

Nobomi Hayashi, Hong Kong

In a move to protest against Prime Minister Koizumi's latest visit
to Yasukuni Shrine and other issues, five members of the Taiwanese
group claiming Taiwan's sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands (called
the Diaoyutai Islands in Chinese) left Taiwan for the islands by
fishing boat last night. They are expected to arrive at the islands
this morning.

One of the members stated before leaving the port:

"We criticize Prime Minister Koizumi's Yasukuni visit and also
protest against Japan's obstruction to fishing operations by
Taiwanese fishing boats in waters near the Senkaku islets."

The Taiwanese group was scheduled to arrive at the islets together
with a group from Hong Kong on Aug. 15, but since Chinese
authorities caught the Hong Kong group members, the Taiwan group

TOKYO 00004686 005 OF 007


decided to take action independently.

From Taiwan and Hong Kong, at least four boats sailed for the
Senkaku islets in protest in and after 1996.

10) Kanagawa governor decides to accept US nuclear carrier
deployment at Yokosuka

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 26) (Full)
August 17, 2006

Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa revealed yesterday that the prefectural
government would accept the United States' plan to deploy a nuclear
aircraft carrier at Yokosuka Naval Base in Yokosuka City, Kanagawa
Prefecture. Matsuzawa said: "There will be no option but to accept
it on the condition that systems be firmly established to ensure
safe operations and prevent accidents."

The governments of Japan and the US agreed last October to deploy a
nuclear carrier in 2008. In response, Yokosuka Mayor Ryoichi Kabaya
announced this June his government's acceptance of the deployment.

Governor Matsuzawa, however, had put off a decision by the
prefecture, citing unclear points in a document presented by the US
military this April on the safety of the nuclear aircraft carrier.
He also feared an accident that would inevitably bring about a
serious effect on far-reaching local communities.

Governor Matsuzawa said: "I was able to confirm the two governments'
positive stance to ensure the safety of the nuclear carrier."
Specifically, he favorably responded to this reply by the Foreign
Ministry to his inquiries: "A system has been established to require
the US military to report even a minor accident to the Japanese
government and relevant local communities, and the impact of any
accident would be limited to a 3-km radius."

11) Government to unofficially ask Okinawa to hold preparatory
meeting for establishment of "Futenma" council

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
August 17, 2006

The central government will unofficially ask the Okinawa prefectural
government today to hold meetings to prepare setting up a council
tasked with discussing plans to construct a new facility to take
over the US Futenma Air Station's heliport functions. The government
has set forth the participation of the central government, the
prefectural government, and relevant local governments such as Nago
City as the precondition for establishing the council. With no
agreement reached between the central and prefectural governments,
the idea has been in limbo. The government intends to discuss in the
three-party preparatory meetings what the council should be,
including whether or not to place the requests from Okinawa on the
agenda, and try to find common ground.

Defense Agency Director General Nukaga plans to visit Okinawa this
week to make a similar proposal to Governor Keiichi Inamine and
others.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Masahiro Futahashi met Defense
Facilities Administration Agency's Facilities Department Director
General Watanabe and others at the Prime Minister's Official

TOKYO 00004686 006 OF 007


Residence yesterday. They decided to unofficially call on the
relevant local governments to hold preparatory meetings. Watanabe
will be visiting Okinawa today to convey this idea to relevant
prefectural government officials.

12) Abe to propose broad constitutional revision in policy platform,
give priority to growth, spending cuts

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
August 17, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the most likely winner of the
Liberal Democratic Party presidential election, will release a
policy platform on September 1. According to an outlined released
yesterday, Abe will propose revising the Constitution, including
ending the ban on the exercise of collective self-defense. In
economic policy, he is willing to give priority to economic growth
and spending cuts without referring to the timing and size of a hike
in the consumption tax. The policy platform also stresses the need
to promote concluding free trade agreements (FTA) with Asian
countries, as well as countries rich in natural resources, such as
those in the Middle East.

In the policy platform, Abe expresses his intention to basically
continue the Koizumi administration's structural reform line but
also indicates a willingness to alter parts of the Koizumi policy
line by specifying program under which the government helps failed
companies or the employed regain their footing or find another job.
The platform contains policies of a more conservative bent than
those of the Koizumi administration. For instance, it proposes
educational reform respecting feelings toward families, hometowns,
and the state, as well as a revision of the Basic Education Law.

The policy platform suggests that the current standards in the
social security system as a safety net should be maintained. In
order to make the system sustainable, Abe aims to reform the
pension, medical, and nursing systems in a package.

On amendments to the Constitution, the platform does not come up
with specific proposals, but it sets forth the policy of promoting
discussion based on the revision plan drafted by the LDP last year.
On the controversial issue of revising Article 9, the platform
specifies that Japan will possess a "Self-Defense Military." Abe is
willing to endorse collective defense not by stating it clearly in
Article 9 but by changing the government's interpretation of the
article. He proposes rewriting the preamble to clarify that it is
Japan's own Constitution.

On the diplomatic front, Abe will stress the importance of
strengthening the Japan-US alliance and expanding democracy in Asia
in a bid to apply pressure to China. He also proposes establishing a
Japanese-version of the National Security Council (NSC) tasked with
working out diplomatic and security strategies. He will also express
his determination to resolve the abduction issue.

Abe will not refer to the Yasukuni issue in the policy platform in
order to prevent it from becoming a diplomatic matter.

13) Takeo Hiranuma to lecture Ozawa group next month

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 17, 2006

TOKYO 00004686 007 OF 007

A group of junior lawmakers from the main opposition party Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) will hold a study session in September
in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. The group is called Isshin-kai.
Former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, who bolted the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) after he voted against the government's
postal-privatization bill, will attend the session as a lecturer, it
was learned yesterday.

The study session will be held on Sept. 2-4. Hiranuma is expected to
give a lecture on Sept. 4, the last day of the session. Hiranuma has
been carrying out political activities as an independent since he
left the LDP last October. The Isshin-kai apparently aims to
strengthen its alliance with anti-postal-privatization LDP rebels
with an eye on next summer's House of Councillors election.

It is certain that Minshuto and the LDP will clash in the
single-seat constituency in Hiroshima, from which Hiranuma comes.
Toranosuke Katayama, secretary general of the LDP caucus in the
Upper House, is expected to run in the race. The largest opposition
party Minshuto, however, has yet to pick its own candidate. The
party thinks that if its candidate defeats Katayama, it will mean
the party wins the Upper House election. Therefore, Minshuto is
looking forward to obtaining support from Hiranuma.

SCHIEFFER

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