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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/17/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 004720

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 08/17/06


INDEX:

(1) TOP HEADLINES

(2) EDITORIALS

(3) New Komeito to keep delicate distance from Abe government

(4) Round-table discussion on prime minister's Yasukuni visit on day
marking end of WWI, ways to resolve Yasukuni issue: Evaluation of
Aug. 15 shrine visit

(5) Ruling coalition to field Okinawa Electric Power chairman in
Okinawa gubernatorial race; Minshuto finds it difficult pick
candidate

(6) In Japan-US strategic security talks, requests presented by US
keep coming

ARTICLES:

(1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Illegal, unfair employment of foreigners increasing across Japan,
with 125 cases reported as of end of July

Mainichi:
In poll, 50% back Koizumi's Aug. 15 Yasukuni visit, while 46%
critical

Yomiuri:
Government demands Russia's apology and release of detained
fishermen

Nihon Keizai:
29 financial institutions to jointly set up Internet-based
settlement system

Sankei:
Three more planets in solar system likely to be added to make 12 in
new definition

Tokyo Shimbun:
Poll: 51% welcomed prime minister's Yasukuni visit, while 44%
against it

Akahata:
Nurses' labor union in Akita applies for setting minimum wages

(2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Arson of lawmaker Kato's house: Political terrorism
unforgivable
(2) Shooting at fishing boat: Return to having safe seas

Mainichi:
(1) Shooting at Japanese fishing boat: Wasn't this excessive border
control?
(2) Dignity of state shaken with growing gap between the winners and
the losers (by editorial committee member Noriaki Kondo)


TOKYO 00004720 002 OF 007


Yomiuri:
(1) Labor and Economy White Paper: Youths' work patterns exhibit a
worrying trend
(2) Blackout in metropolitan area: We need preparedness for electric
power failure

Nihon Keizai:
Revitalization of regional economy: Hokkaido's challenge to depart
from depending on public demand

Sankei:
(1) Burning down of Kato's home: Terrorism against freedom of speech
is unacceptable
(2) Russian patrol ship fired on Japanese fishing boat: Barbarous
act that is reminiscent of Soviet Union

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Arsonist torches Kato's house: An unacceptable act to silence
someone who speaks out
(2) Lebanon ceasefire: Effort for ceasefire must be continued

Akahata:
Pool accident: Effort needed to secure safety to bring smiles to
children

(3) New Komeito to keep delicate distance from Abe government

SANKEI (Page 4) (Full)
August 17, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe is far ahead of the other
candidates in the upcoming Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
presidential election. Under such circumstances, the New Komeito,
the junior partner in the ruling coalition led by the LDP, is
worrying about how to keep a distance from Abe. It is widely said
that the ruling coalition will face an uphill battle in next
summer's House of Councillors election. The New Komeito then might
slip from power. Therefore, close cooperation between the LDP and
New Komeito is indispensable. However, there is a gulf in foreign
policy between Abe and the New Komeito. Depending on what kind of
foreign policy Abe would adopt, the New Komeito may be forced to
make a difficult decision.

Tough election

An annual study session of senior members of the New Komeito and its
backer Soka Gakkai, the religious sect, was held in the period of
late July through early August in Nagano Prefecture. Prior to the
opening of the session, attention was fixed on the party's personnel
changes. Once the session started, however, considerable time was
spent on measures for the Upper House election.

The New Komeito's objective is secure 13 seats of those up for grabs
in the next Upper House election. In order for the ruling camp to
hold 65 seats, the majority of the Upper House, the LDP will have to
obtain 52 seats, reducing from the New Komeito's pre-election
strength. "It is extremely difficult to get 52 seats," said a senior
New Komeito member. Based on an analysis, the New Komeito and Soka
Gakkai members reportedly shared a sense of crisis that should the
ruling bloc failed to secure the majority in the Upper House race,
the Lower House would be dissolved for a snap election.

If the ruling coalition is defeated in that snap election, both the

TOKYO 00004720 003 OF 007


LDP and New Komeito would fall into the opposition. In the study
session, therefore, one participant said in a strong tone, "Should
we be defeated in the Upper House poll, the coalition government
would become a lame duck."

Coordination in ruling coalition

The New Komeito has predicted that if Abe becomes prime minister,
the LDP, in an attempt to win the Upper House election by boosting
support from conservatives, may move in the direction of approving
the use of the right to collective self-defense in the security and
foreign policy areas.

If the New Komeito keeps too much in step with Abe, who is known for
his hard-line stance toward China and South Korea, objections might
be raised from among party members, as well as from the religious
sect Soka Gakkai. In fact, a senior party member commented: "Frankly
speaking, I preferred former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda
(who quit running in the presidential race) to Mr. Abe."

Reportedly, such concern was talked about in the study session and a
rightward-tilt-policy line by an Abe government was discussed.

Soka Gakkai has characterized the 80th anniversary of its founding
in 2010 as a special year for it to make the next leap. Over the
next four years until then, "In order to expand the party's strength
and prosperity of its backer, the New Komeito cannot stumble in the
middle," said an informed source.

The New Komeito has to walk a precarious tightrope, while paying
attention to both sides: the reality that it will have to go along
with the LDP led by Abe, who is regarded as being a hawk
politically; and its policy differences with Abe.

(4) Round-table discussion on prime minister's Yasukuni visit on day
marking end of WWI, ways to resolve Yasukuni issue: Evaluation of
Aug. 15 shrine visit

ASAHI (Page 12) (Full)
August 16, 2006

Takeshi Noda: LDP Lower House memberIsao Tokoro: professor, Kyoto
Sangyo University Kan Sanjun: professor, University of Tokyo

-- How do you evaluate the prime minister's visit to Yasukuni Shrine
on Aug. 15?

Noda: I guess Prime Minister Koizumi supposedly is now satisfied,
having brought about a crowning achievement just before he steps
down. But Japan's relations with Asian countries, particularly, with
China and South Korea, have never been in worst shape. Improvement
in those sets of bilateral relations will be left as a task for the
next prime minister. In World War II, many people were killed on the
mainland China, the number being several times more than that of the
Japanese killed in the war. The prime minister has not referred to
the victims in other countries. We expected the prime minister, as
the leader in Asia, to consider matters from a broad standpoint and
then convey his historical views to the people.

Tokoro: Politicians must implement what they promised to the
people, and it is significant that the prime minister followed
through with his initial intention. Nonetheless, I think the prime
minister's choice of Aug. 15 to make his visit is undesirable. Aug.

TOKYO 00004720 004 OF 007


15 marks the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II, in
other words, a day of sorrow and remorse. For China and South Korea,
it is the day of their liberation. Yasukuni Shrine is a place where
those who died for their country have been enshrined since the end
of the Edo period. Given this, it is appropriate to pay homage at
the shrine during the great spring or autumn shrine festivals.

Kan: There is much to lose by his paying homage there. The prime
minister has drawn the curtain on his one-man show at the Koizumi
Theater based on his own philosophy. But the visit might trigger a
"patriot game" in Asia in the future. The prime minister's latest
visit has made it more difficult for the emperor to visit the
shrine.

-- Prime Minister Koizumi has said that he will not be affected by
angry reactions from China and South Korea. Taking up the
controversial issue of the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals, he
stressed that he has not paid homage to any specific person.
Regarding the principle of separating religion and state, he cites
freedom of thought.

Noda: That is a switch in the focus of argument. Such remarks by the
prime minister have fanned undesirable nationalism or xenophobia. It
is very dangerous for the leader to say: "Those who criticize my
shrine visits are plants from China and South Korea." In reference
to the issue of Class-A war criminals, the prime minister claims
that the dead should be treated equally," but Yasukuni Shrine
discriminates against the dead. Only officers who belonged to
imperial forces are enshrined, and Takamori Saigo, a rebel army
member, is not honored there.

Then Chief Priest of Yasukuni Shrine Nagayoshi Matsudaira, who
decided to enshrine Class-A war criminals, stated: "Unless the
historical views shown at the Tokyo War Crimes Trials are erased,
the spirit of Japan will never be restored." The main purpose of the
existence of Yasukuni Shrine was changed from honoring the souls of
the war dead into denying the Tokyo Trials, resulting in
complicating the situation.

Tokoro: Chinese and South Korean peoples certainly have harbored
bitter feelings. It is inevitable for their governments to criticize
Japan on behalf of them. But there are even accusations based on
deliberately exaggerated views or by distorting history, as well as
ill-directed criticism.

Enshrining the Imperial Army officers was intended for Japan to
maintain uniformity and justification as a modern state. Saigo is
not enshrined at Yasukuni, but there are many shrines across the
nation honoring him, and the Meiji government also approved the
enshrinement of him.

Kan: In many countries, the government memorializes those who gave
their lives for the country. But it is unusual to separate imperial
force members and rebel army members and give them different
treatment. There is the issue of Class-A war criminals' culpability
for Japan's defeat in the war. Although the Allied Forces handed
down judgments at the Tokyo Trials, the issue has been left
unresolved in the people's hearts.

It is necessary to consider, based on prewar history, why separation
of religion and state is clearly stipulated (in the Constitution).
The issue of Yasukuni Shrine as a religious corporation is different
in nature from the issue of customary practices.

TOKYO 00004720 005 OF 007

Tokoro: Japanese did not pursue the issue of war leaders'
culpability for losing the battles just after the end of the war. On
the contrary, an increasing number of people began to criticize the
management of the Tokyo Trials immediately after Japan became
independent based on the Treaty of San Francisco. Many were also
calling for pardoning those labeled as war criminals. The Diet also
unanimously adopted a resolution calling for it.

Noda: Prior to the official visit to Yasukuni Shrine by Prime
Minister Nakasone in 1985, I visited China to discuss the matter
with then China-Japan Friendship Association Vice Chairman Sun
Pinghun and others. I explained: "The prime minister will not pay
homage to the Class-A war criminals," but the Chinese side's reply
was: "Although we understand the Japanese people's feelings, we
Chinese have also our own national feelings. The prime minister's
bow on behalf of the people will lead to recovering the honor of the
Class-A war criminals, so the Chinese people remain unconvinced."

The Chinese government's response to Nakasone's shrine visit was far
more modest than recent fierce reactions. Because of such a stance,
though, the government was under heavy fire from the public. Some
complain: "China has used the Yasukuni issue as a diplomatic card."
I want them to understand that this is a deep, special issue for the
Chinese government. As some say: "There are shrines honoring
Takamori Saigo in Japan, and there are a variety of ways of honoring
him," creating a Tojo shrine is also an option. There is no need to
adhere to Yasukuni.

Kan: You said: "Japanese did not pursue the issue of culpability for
the lost war," but this statement is questionable. There were moves
to try to resolve this issue. Instead, the argument that it was a
war of self-defense and that the judgments of the Tokyo War Crimes
Trials were improper have been brought to the forefront at present.
People have not seriously considered that this argument creates a
serious situation. Prime Minister Koizumi has not considered it,
either.

Tokoro: The Greater East Asia War developed into a total war, and
many Japanese soldiers detained in Siberian labor camps continued to
die even after the war. These factors contributed to expanding the
category of those who are enshrined at Yasukuni. The government set
the criteria, and the former Health and Welfare Ministry compiled a
name list and sent it to the shrine. Yasukuni enshrined the souls of
listed persons as deities.

(5) Ruling coalition to field Okinawa Electric Power chairman in
Okinawa gubernatorial race; Minshuto finds it difficult pick
candidate

SANKEI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 17, 2006

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner
New Komeito decided in a meeting yesterday in Naha City of their
commissions to chose a candidate for the Nov. 19 Okinawa
gubernatorial election to field Okinawa Electric Power Company
Chairman Hirokazu Nakaima, 66, who also chairs the Okinawa Chamber
of Commerce and Industry.

The top issue for the gubernatorial race will be the relocation of
US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station to (Ginowan City) as part of the
realignment of US forces in Japan. Okinawa has opposed the final

TOKYO 00004720 006 OF 007


report agreed by the governments of Japan and the United States. A
senior LDP member said, "If the ruling camp loses the gubernatorial
race, the USFJ realignment plan will deadlock. As a result, such
will have a serious impact on the relationship of trust between
Japan and the US, as well as on bilateral security alliance."

The largest opposition party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) is
focusing on House of Reprehensive member Mikio Shimoji,
representative of the political organ "Sozo" made up of independent
conservative lawmakers, and Tokushin Yamauchi, former Okinawa
prefectural government chamberlain.

Minshuto initially looked into fielding Shimoji in cooperation with
other opposition parties. The party gave consideration to the
Japanese Communist Party, which is reluctant to run Shimoji. In
order also to play up standoff with the LDP, the main opposition
party is considering recommending Yamauchi, who is being recommended
by the Social Democratic Party, Okinawa Shakai Taishuto, and the
Liberal League. However, both Shimoji and Yamauchi are eager to run
in the race. Coordination will likely be difficult.

(6) In Japan-US strategic security talks, requests presented by US
keep coming

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 17, 2006

Japan and the United States held three-day strategic security talks
at a Tokyo hotel starting on Aug. 9. In the talks - sponsored by the
Japanese and US military industries - a number of requests were
presented from the US side, including a call for Japan's monitoring
activities in the Indian Ocean by the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(MSDF). The US also urged the signing of a general security of
military information agreement (GSOMIA) to be concluded at an early
date as measures to prevent leaks of military secrets in order to
facilitate Japan and the US to jointly promote the development of
the missile defense (MD) initiative.

New guidelines

The Japan-US security strategic talks were held under the
sponsorship of the Security Parliamentary Council, chaired by former
Defense Agency Director general Tsutomu Kawara, the US Heritage
Foundation, and other organizations. The theme in its 8th session
was: "Strategy for new QDR (the Quadrennial Defense Review for 2006)
and expectations for the Japan-US alliance." Participating in the
talks were former Defense Secretary Cohen and others from the US
side and those who had once served as Defense Agency (JDA) director
general, including former JDA Director General Fumio Kyuma of the
Liberal Democratic Party, as well as former Minshuto (Democratic
Party of Japan) head Seiji Maehara, and others from Japan. They
discussed the policy direction of strengthening the Japan-US
alliance in response to the new US strategy.

Keeping in mind the new QDR strategy calling for its allies' to make
more contributions, Cohen said: "A new agenda is necessary under the
theme of US-Japan defense cooperation." He then indicated the need
to rewrite the current bilateral defense cooperation guidelines.

Cohen first praised the launch of the Japan-US joint MD development
project this year and stressed: "It is necessary to alter the
current state legally and systemically (both in Japan and the US) as
measures to protect leaks of military classified informationl." He

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reiterated the need for Japan and the US to swiftly conclude a
GSOMIA, as well as for Japan to take measures to prevent military
secrets from being leaked under domestic law.

SIPDIS

Jim Auer, former Japan Desk director at Pentagon, said: "Under the
new QDR, the US regards Britain and Australia as its particularly
close allies, but since Japan is not an ordinary country, that
nation is not included in their group." He urged Japan, as its ally,
to totally remove its constitutional restrictions in the military
area.

SCHIEFFER

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