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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/21/06

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210156Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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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 0296
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7726
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1054
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7542
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8834
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3832
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9963
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1658

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 004762

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 08/21/06


Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
Prime Minister's daily schedule: None. On vacation

3) Prime Minister Koizumi is off to visit Central Asia on the 28th


Russian border patrol incident:
4) Japan sending top senior diplomat to Russia after Russian patrol
kills fisherman, arrests crew for poaching in northern waters
5) Fishing incident in northern waters presents number of difficult
jurisdiction problems

Defense and security affairs:
6) US Navy deploying 6 Aegis warships to the Pacific to counter
missile threat
7) Yokosuka Navy Base to set up center to handle possible leakage
incident from planned nuclear carrier

Political affairs:
8) Arson by rightist at home of LDP's Koichi Kato receiving little
attention from party, prime minister
9) LDP presidential candidate Tanigaki still unable to line up 20
supporters in order to officially run in the race
10) Foreign Minister Aso readies policy platform, with educational
reform as showcase
11) Poll shows Abe on top with 53% of public wanting to see him as
next premier'
12) Internet monitoring survey on LDP presidential election: 25% of
votes from Fukuda supporters go to Tanigaki, 22% to Abe, 10 % to Aso


Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi: Sankei: Tokyo Shimbun:
Sakawa River swells hit 25 anglers and campers at six locations: One
dies, one missing

Mainichi:
Desktop exercise on IT hindrances between government and companies
in 10 infrastructure-related companies; first case of
government-private sector cooperation; Recent Tokyo area power
outage also in mind

Yomiuri:
State-sponsored public projects, including procurement of
construction materials: Government decides to shut out crime
syndicates, subcontractors

Nihon Keizai:
Proposals for reviewing amakudari: Criminal punishment to be imposed
on offenders; Early retirement system for civil servants to be
curtailed

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Setsuri (Providence): Do not be taken in by cults

TOKYO 00004762 002 OF 008


(2) Hepatitis: Treatment with peace of mind

Mainichi:
(1) Arson at lawmaker Kato's house: Concern over trend to contain
speech
(2) Koizumi era: Achievements and limitations of maverick premier

Yomiuri:
(1) Technology and sense of urgency needed to boost nuclear power
in Japan
(2) Off-the-book money in Gifu Prefecture: Where is "reform"?

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Terrorism aimed at containing political activities and speech
cannot be allowed
(2) Eliminating tragedies in the northern waters

Sankei:
(1) Post-Koizumi contenders should show how they will set policies
(2) New era for planets: Beautiful names needed

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Shooting of fishing boat: "Retaliation" will not settle issue
(2) Major power outage: Make more efforts to reduce damage

3) Prime Minister Koizumi to leave for Central Asia on Aug. 28

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 18, 2006

The government announced yesterday that Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi would visit Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia on
Aug. 28-31. It is the first time for an incumbent Japanese prime
minister to visit Central Asia. The purpose of Koizumi's trip to
these two countries, which have abundant energy resources such as
petroleum, natural gas among other resources, is to strengthen ties
with them, as well as to seek to check China and Russia, which are
conducting active diplomacies there.

Koizumi is expected to meet Kazakhstan's President Nursultan
Nazarbayev and Uzbekistan's President Islom Karimov.

4) Fishing boat shooting incident: Senior vice foreign minister
dispatched to Russia to seek release of crew

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 18, 2006

Following the incident in which a Russian Border Guard patrol vessel
fired at a Japanese fishing boat in waters near Kaigarajima, part of
the disputed Northern Territories, and crew member Mitsuhiro Morita
(35) was killed, the government yesterday evening dispatched Senior
Vice Foreign Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki to Moscow for talks with the
Russian government for the release of the fishing boat crew. MOFA
Parliamentary Secretary Akiko Yamanaka yesterday arrived in Nemuro
City, Hokkaido, to receive the body of Morita, which is on Kunashiri
island now. She will leave for the island as early as today.

Since the incident involves jurisdiction over the Northern Islands,
including investigations into and prosecution of the crew, and
compensation for damage to the boat, the government intends to
settle the issue in high-level talks.

TOKYO 00004762 003 OF 008

Shiozaki left Narita yesterday evening. He plans to meet with a
high-level Russian government official in Moscow and strongly demand
the release of the crew. He also intends to exchange views on
measures to prevent a recurrence of such incidents and ways to
secure safe fishing in waters near the Northern Territories.

Yamanaka intends to land on Kunashiri on a Japan Coast Guard vessel
as soon as coordination with the Russian side on the handover of
Morita's body is made. She said she also wanted to debrief the three
surviving crewmembers.

5) Russians fire at fishing boat: Number of jurisdictional issues
being faced, including handing over of the Japanese fisherman,
release of crew members

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2006

The incident on Aug. 16 near Kaigarajima in the northern territories
in which a Russian patrol boat fired on and captured a Japanese
fishing boat stems not only from the unresolved territorial dispute
over the northern islands. The issue of jurisdictional control in
waters in this area also is a major impediment to resolving the
situation. The government, considering the northern territories as
Japan's possession, is demanding the immediate release of the
crewmembers, and punishment of the person responsible for shooting
and killing one of the fishermen. The Russian government, which has
effective control of the four islands, takes the position that "it
was an appropriate action taken within our country's territory," so
it is inevitable that negotiations will face rough going.

No visa access

The government has stressed the following to the Russian government
following the incident: 1) the body of the slain crewman, Mitsuhiro
Morita, should be handed over at once; 2) the person responsible for
the shooting should be punished; and 3) Japan reserves the right to
seek damage compensation for the loss of life and goods.

Currently, if former island residents or other Japanese go to the
northern territories, they present identification documents as
requested by Russian authorities and can visit in the form of not
having a visa. This time, the government has asked that Vice Foreign
Minister Akiko Yamanaka and other Foreign Ministry officials going
to the northern territories to recover the body of the slain
fisherman be covered under the regular no-visa procedure. Although
the Russian authorities have agreed, one source pointed out, "The
current situation of having to get approval for access without a
visa is symbolic of the difficulty of resolving the northern
territories' issue."

6) US to deploy six Aegis ships in Pacific to cope with threat from
North Korea

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2006

Kei Ukai, Washington

The US Defense Department has decided to double the number of Aegis
ships capable of shooting down enemy ballistic missiles in the

TOKYO 00004762 004 OF 008


Pacific to six by the end of the year. This is part of efforts to
cope with the threat from North Korean missiles. Rear Adm. Alan
Hicks, program manager for Aegis ballistic missile defense, revealed
this plan to reporters after a meeting in Alabama on Aug. 16.

The six Aegis ships carry the Standard Missile 3 (SM3) system. Hicks
said: "It will become possible to shoot down short- to medium-range
ballistic missiles," adding that the US would increase the number of
Aegis ships carrying the SM3 system to 18 in several years.

7) US Navy to set up emergency unit for possible radioactive
incident at Yokosuka base

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2006

The US Navy is planning to set up an emergency operation center
(EOC) at Yokosuka Naval Base (Kanagawa Prefecture) to deal with
possible radioactive incidents involving a nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier to be deployed at the base. According to informed sources
yesterday, a dozen experts on prevention of radiation accidents from
the military and the Energy Department will be stationed at the
center.

The US Navy had said: "A large scale accident of radiation leakage
to the outside is inconceivable." But it has been found that it is
preparing to set up a system to deal with an emergency.

According to the informed sources, the EOC will be set up in a
building adjacent to the US Navy Command Center located about one
kilometer from the 12th birth at which the nuclear aircraft carrier
George Washington (102,000 tons) will be berthed in the summer,
2008. In the center, such equipment will be installed as a monitor
to see the state of the atomic furnace and an instrument to measure
the volume of radiation around the furnace. In times of emergency,
the expert staff will collect information and instruct measures to
prevent damage.

The US Navy reportedly plans to complete a system to prevent
radiation leaks in the base by the summer, 2007, and training will
be carried out, assuming the leakage of water or gas containing
radiation, until the carried is deployed.

8) Sluggish responses in government, ruling camp to LDP Kato's house
fire, with no comment from prime minister

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 18, 2006

A fire broke out and burned down the parental home and office of
Liberal Democratic Party member Koichi Kato on Aug. 15. In front of
the house, a man was found with stab wounds. Police have found that
the man is a member of a rightwing group and now believe that he had
set fire to the home in reaction to Kato's critical stance of Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi visiting Yasukuni Shrine. In political
circles, though, sluggish responses have been made to the incident,
with very few commenting on it in the government and ruling
parties.

In a meeting of the Yamasaki faction yesterday, Taku Yamasaki, a
friend of Kato, said: "Some take the incident as reflecting the
trend of resorting to violence to try to suppress speech on Asia

TOKYO 00004762 005 OF 008


diplomacy. This is a serious problem. I would like to discuss future
options for Asia diplomacy in supra-factional meetings."

Last night, senior members of the "association to consider a
national secular war memorial," chaired by Yamasaki, met in Tokyo.
Kato is also a member of this group. In addition to the two,
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama, New Komeito President Takenori Kanzaki, and others joined
the meeting. The participants shared the view that "the incident is
unforgivable." Based on the view that the prime minister's Yasukuni
visits are highly undesirable, they agreed to ask the government to
secure a budget for studying the feasibility of constructing a
national secular war memorial.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister's Office remains silent about the
arsone incident. An aide to the prime minister said: "There is no
plan to issue a comment." Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Seiji
Suzuki only told reporters: "We have not been informed of details,
and coordination is underway."

In the opposition camp, House of Councillors member Renho of
Minshuto said: "Setting fire to a house with the aim of suppressing
speech is a terrorist act and unforgivable." Japanese Communist
Party Secretary Ichida commented: "The arson is almost undoubtedly a
dirty terrorist act to suppress political activities over the issues
of Japan's war culpability and Yasukuni Shrine." Social Democratic
Party President Fukushima said: "The act is to suppress freedom of
speech and political activities, and that is indisputably political
terrorism."

Kato told reporters yesterday: "I feel the current trend is moving
in a unilateral way. This is an undesirable social trend. I have
responsibility to continue to make statements."

9) 2006 LDP presidency: Securing 20 members difficult; High wall for
Tanigaki and Aso to get 20 supporters

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 18, 2006

In order to run in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in September,
Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki and Foreign Minister Taro Aso are
now trying desperately to secure recommendations by 20 LDP
lawmakers, the minimum required number to qualify for running in the
presidential race. Tanigaki belongs to a 15-member faction; and the
faction to which Aso belongs has only 11 members. Cooperation with
other factions is absolutely necessary for them to run in the
election. However, with other factions calculating that supporting
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe would be better for them, the
trend of betting on the winning horse continues. Many lawmakers seem
to be thinking that if they don't back Abe, they will later get the
cold shoulder. In particular, Tanigaki is in a serious situation
since he has assumed a stance of facing down Abe.

In a meeting of the Tanigaki faction yesterday, House of
Representatives member Koichi Yamamoto expressed his sense of crisis
over the Tanigaki campaign: "The Abe train is packed with
passengers. Also the deck is filled to capacity. The rooftop is the
only place for passengers to stand."

The Tanigaki faction initially expected support from the Niwa-Koga
faction, which will not field anyone in the presidential race, and a

TOKYO 00004762 006 OF 008


faction spun from the former Miyazawa faction. Recently, however,
faction heads Yuya Niwa, former health and welfare minister, and
Makoto Koga, former LDP secretary general, as well as deputy head
Hakuo Yanagisawa, former financial services agency chief, expressed
their support for Abe. The number of supporters has increased in the
Yamasaki faction, which worked with coalition to the so-called Kato
rebellion (in November 2000 in which Kato called on then Prime
Minister Yoshiro Mori to step down). It is now impossible for
Tanigaki to get recommendation from those factions.

Therefore, all the Tanigaki faction members are now asking
individual LDP members to support Tanigaki. The faction intends to
play up the value of Tanigaki, noting, "Do you mind if the party
will be led by Abe or Aso, who are hawks politically?" Other
factions are reacting coolly, however. A junior Yamasaki faction
member commented: "Senior and mid-level members are reluctant to
back Mr. Tanigaki since they are anxious about posts in the
future."

10) Aso's campaign pledges in bid for LDP presidency: Would lower
the age for starting compulsory school education; Advocates plan to
double feeling of being affluent

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 18, 2006

Foreign Minister Taro Aso will announce on Aug. 21 his campaign
pledges for the September Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
presidential election. The pledges titled "Japan's Fundamental Power
- Challenge to Vitality and Security" were revealed yesterday. In
his campaign pledges, Aso advocates lowering the minimum age for
starting compulsory school education and a plan to double one's
feeling of affluence, which would be realized by increasing personal
living space by flexibly applying public investment. In the foreign
policy area, he will take a stance of attaching importance to Asia.
He does not mention when he would hike the consumption tax,
stipulating that priority would be placed first on strict cuts in
expenditures.

Plan to double feeling of affluence

In order to create a society in which people feel they have real
affluence, it is necessary to shift a policy of quantitative
expansion to a policy of qualitative improvements in lifestyles.
Productivity can be doubled by technical innovation. He advocates
the application of public investment for projects directly linked to
such quality of life areas as improving railroad crossings and
laying power lines underground. He proposes a
three-generation-family plan by building housing with broad living
space, which can be financed by reviewing the tax system. He
supports child care programs.

Economic policy

He is not a fundamentalist on fiscal reform. He would implement
drastic policy tax cuts so that industries would be able to develop
new technologies and move ahead in growth areas. He places top
priority on first reducing expenditures and later consider
increasing taxes.

Education reform


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He would lower the starting age for compulsory school education by
one or two years from the current age of six. Give children during
that period thorough moral and basic education.

Foreign policy

Makes efforts to stabilize ties with Asia, based on the Japan-US
alliance. Good Japan-China relations are indispensable for regional
stabilization in Asia. Deepen strategic ties with India. Create a
diplomatic strategy with an eye on the Korean Peninsula in the
future.

Simple and warm government

Aims to create a simple and warm government that is small but strong
under the leadership of the prime minister. Reorganize the present
Cabinet Secretariat, Cabinet Office, the Internal Affairs and
Communications Ministry to be organizations that would in charge of
a comprehensive national strategy.

Decentralization

He would introduce the "regional bloc or doshusei " system, making
about 10 regional blocs in the country.

Political reform

Senior research commission members would also serve as senior vice
ministers and parliamentary secretaries. If necessary, commission
chairmen would become cabinet members.

11) Kyodo News Agency poll on LDP presidential race: With 53%
popularity rating, Abe as before picked as most appropriate to be
next prime minister

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 18, 2006

According to a nationwide opinion poll by Kyodo News August 15 - 16,
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe held firmly to his place as the
top candidate, with 53.0% of the public picking him as appropriate
to succeed Prime Minister Koizumi, a jump of 4.9 points over the
previous survey in July. Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki secured
second place at 14.8%, a leap of 13.2 points from the previous
survey. The support rate for Aso rose 5.7 points to 11.2%.

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda (22.4% in the previous
poll), who had held the second slot following Abe, announced his
decision not to run in the election. About half of Fukuda's
supporters seem to have shifted to Tanigaki, who is also critical of
Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. The support rate for Abe among
LDP supporters reached 73.5%. Abe's views are seen as close to those
of rank and file LDP members and friends of the LDP.

Regarding the prime minister's Yasukuni visit on August 15, 69.1% of
those who supported Abe approved of it, outdistancing the 25.9% who
replied, "The prime minister should not have visited Yasukuni."

12) Internet monitoring survey on LDP presidential election: 25% of
votes from Fukuda supporters go to Tanigaki, 22% to Abe, 10 % to
Aso


TOKYO 00004762 008 OF 008


YOMIURI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
August 18, 2006

The 3rd Internet monitoring survey on post-Koizumi contenders,
carried out by the Yomiuri Shimbun on August 4 through 8, found that
25% of votes from supporters of former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo
Fukuda, who gave up on running in the race, went to Finance Minister
Tanigaki, 22% went to Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe and 10% to Foreign
Minister Aso.

Since this poll continuously monitors the same persons, it is
possible to follow up changes in their replies from the previous
survey.

It is believed that the largest bloc of votes from Fukuda supporters
went to Tanigaki, because his stances on Asia diplomacy and other
issues are close to those of Fukuda, as can be seen in his criticism
of Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. However, 27%
of pollees replied, "There are no appropriate candidates for
premiership," indicating that Tanigaki did not fully take over all
supporters of Fukuda.

Abe maintained first place at 48%, down 1 point though. Tanigaki
came in second at 15%, a rise of 3%. Aso secured 10%, up 4 points
over the previous survey.

Broken down by party affiliation, 71% of those who support the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) named Abe, followed by Tanigaki with
11% and Aso with 9%. Among those who support the Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto), 25% supported Abe, followed by Tanigaki with 21%
and Aso with 13%.

DONOVAN

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