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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Japanqs Relations with China

VZCZCXRO3876
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #4732 2300409
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180409Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5522
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
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 7716
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1043
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3823
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1200
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9953
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1650
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 004732

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 JAPANQS RELATIONS WITH CHINA
AND SOUTH KOREA - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Top stories Friday morning included
Japan's dispatch of a senior vice foreign minister to
Moscow for talks regarding Wednesday's shooting of a
Japanese fisherman by the Russian Border Guard.

1. "After Koizumi's Yasukuni Visit: China and South Korea
Look to Improve Relations with Next Prime Minister" The
liberal Tokyo Shimbun carried a front-page commentary
jointly written by Beijing and Seoul correspondents,
which said (8/18): "...China's reaction to Prime Minister
Koizumi's visit on August 15 to Yasukuni Shrine was quick
and organized, illustrating that the government there is
aware of the strong anti-Japanese sentiment among the
public and is looking for an opportunity to improve
relations with Tokyo. Speaking to visiting leaders of
Japan-China friendship associations in March, President
Hu called for 'efforts that would allow China to move
forward.' China's economy continues to post 10-percent
growth every year, and this is supported by Japanese
investment.... China is forced to rely on Japanese
technology to solve its environmental problems... The
Chinese government is carefully controlling anti-Japanese
sentiment in order to keep the door open to improving
relations with Tokyo after Koizumi steps down. One
leading academic downplayed the April visit to Yasukuni
by Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe, Koizumi's likely
successor, saying, 'Whether or not he visited in the
past, we would welcome him if he does a good job.'
However, another expressed concern over Abe, saying that
he has yet clarified whether he would visit Yasukuni
after taking office.

2. "Meanwhile, Japan-ROK relations have cooled rapidly
since last spring over such issues as Takeshima/Dokdo and
history textbooks. Koizumi's visit to Yasukuni last
October put a permanent end to relations between the two
countries' leaders. Seoul had already given up on Koizumi
and viewed his shrine visit this week as no surprise.
According to an ROK official, 'Yasukuni has not been a
high priority within the government.' South Korea's
policy has been to put its efforts into resolving the
Takeshima/Dokdo and textbook issues and let Beijing take
the lead on Yasukuni.... Prime Minister Koizumi seems to
have inflated Yasukuni as an issue all by himself...
Seoul appears to be waiting to see what the next Japanese
prime minister will do."

SCHIEFFER

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