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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/22/06

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DE RUEHKO #4783/01 2340058
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220058Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5582
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
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 0305
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7736
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1065
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7551
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8843
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3841
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9972
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1667

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 004783

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 08/22/06


Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Prime Minister's daily schedule: On vacation

Opinion polls:
3) Fuji-Sankei poll finds nation split 44.6% against, 41.4% against
prime minister's 8/15 visit to Yasukuni Shrine
4) Nikkei poll finds 54% of public willing to accept hike in
consumption tax

Political season:
5) New Komeito cool toward LDP presidential candidate Shinzo Abe's
call for use of collective self-defense
6) In campaign for LDP presidency, candidate Abe to promise 3% real
economic growth but vague about raising the consumption tax
7) Foreign Minister Aso announces his candidacy for LDP president,
but his public image remains slight
8) Aso outlines his policy platform and discusses positions with the
press
9) Minshuto President Ozawa seeking to counter Abe's influence by
presenting own policy positions on Constitution, alliance with US

Defense issues:
10) US Navy to deploy Aegis ship Shiloh to Yokosuka on the 29th
11) JDA Vice Minister Moriya rules out temporary heliport at Futenma
relocation site

12) Birth rate in Japan increases for first time in six years

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Waseda Jitsugyo wins first championship in National High School
Baseball Tournament

Mainichi:
Number of births increases for first time in six years

Yomiuri:
Abe to pledge 3% annual economic growth; Will not mention
consumption tax

Nihon Keizai:
30,000 IT employees could work at home

Akahata:
Distributors crying out for help due to new parking regulations

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Waseda Jitsugyo wins 1st summer baseball title
(2) Will Aso's candidacy lead to vigorous policy debate?

Mainichi:
(1) LDP presidential race: Aso, Tanigaki should brace themselves
further against Abe

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(2) High school championship final was fun and exciting

Yomiuri:
(1) Aso candidacy expected to spur policy debate
(2) Step up measures to help female doctors return to work after
childbirth

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Pursue medical service that balances quality with fiscal
responsibility

Sankei:
(1) Aso declares candidacy for LDP presidency: Focus on how to
strengthen command functions
(2) National High School Baseball Tournament: Thanks for the
excitement

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) LDP presidential race: Asia diplomacy will be major campaign
issue
(2) Food self-sufficiency: Begin with dialogue at the dinner table

Akahata:
(1) Using society's power to eliminate bad business practices

3) Poll: Public split over Aug. 15 shrine visit

SANKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 22, 2006

The Sankei Shimbun carried out a public opinion survey on Aug. 19-20
with Fuji News Network (FNN) to probe into the public attitude
toward politics. With the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's
presidential election slated for this September, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Abe topped all other post-Koizumi candidates at 46.9%, up

SIPDIS
1.3%age points from a previous FNN poll conducted July 29-30. Among
LDP supporters, Abe stood at 68.1%, maintaining an overwhelming
advantage in the race.

Other candidates remained low, with Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki at 9.4%, up 0.1 point, and Foreign Minister Taro Aso at
6.7%, up 1.1 points. Among LDP supporters, Tanigaki stood at 5.6%,
with Aso at 6.5%.

In the survey, respondents were also asked if they approved of Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi's August 15 visit to Yasukuni Shrine,
with 44.6% saying "no" and 41.4% saying "yes."

Respondents were further asked if they thought the next prime
minister should visit Yasukuni Shrine. In response, "no" accounted
for 47.4%, with "yes" just 26.9%. Among LDP supporters, however,
affirmative answers outnumbered negative ones, with "yes" accounting
for 42.8% and "no" 28.9%.

4) Poll: 54% favors raising consumption tax

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 22, 2006

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun has found from its Aug. 18-20 public
opinion survey that a total of 54% are in favor of raising the
consumption tax, broken down into 35% saying it would be unavoidable

TOKYO 00004783 003 OF 008


to do so in the future if such a hike would be used to raise funds
for pensions or other limited purposes and 19% saying it would be
unavoidable to do so for fiscal reconstruction. Those insisting on
maintaining the consumption tax rate at the current level accounted
for 24%. Meanwhile, 9% insisted on abolishing the consumption tax.

The proportion of opinions for raising the consumption tax was up
6%age points from this June's survey, and the proportion of opinions
against raising the consumption tax was down 6 points. In the
survey, those for raising the consumption tax were further asked
about the acceptable ceiling of the consumption tax rate. In
response, 56% said they would accept a consumption tax increase of
up to 10%, followed by 25% for an increase of up to 8%, 10% for up
to 15%, and 4% for up to 12%.

5) Komeito party exec pegs CCS Abe against his standpoint for
collective defense

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 22, 2006

Junji Higashi, chairman of the co-ruling New Komeito party's Diet
affairs committee, sought to check Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo
Abe on his published view insisting that Japan should be allowed to
exercise the right of collective self-defense, which is not allowed
in the government's constitutional interpretation. "If he comes up
with this in our interparty talks for coalition government, our
talks would become considerably tough," Higashi said in his party's
forum held yesterday in Tokyo. "We cannot say yes," he added.
Another Komeito executive explains that Higashi asked for Abe's
understanding of the Komeito's stance before Abe announces his
political initiative or manifesto to take over the reins of
government.

6) Abe to promise 3% real economic growth in policy platform for
presidential election but sidestep consumption tax

YOMIURI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2006

Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, 51, decided yesterday to pledge
in a policy platform for the Liberal Democratic Party presidential
election in September to achieve an annual real economic growth rate
of 3%. As specific measures to attain this goal, he will present
measures to adopt preferential taxes to help private firms advance
technical innovation, as well as to promote market liberalization by
concluding free trade agreements (FTA) with Asian countries in an
effort to expand exports and promote investment from Japan.
Concerning the consumption tax, Abe has decided not to present a
specific rate of hike, just noting that he would look into the issue
in conjunction with the planned raise by FY2009 of the rate of the
burden that pensions place on the national treasury.

Abe will announce his candidacy for the LDP presidency and release
the policy platform on Sept. 1.

In its new economic growth strategy out in July, the government
presented its scenario for the nation to continue to achieve a real
growth of more than 2.2% in gross domestic product annually. Abe
will come up with a higher goal than this, with the aim of
minimizing the range of increase in the consumption tax hike by
automatically increasing tax revenues.

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7) Aso announces candidacy for LDP presidential race; Policies lack
uniqueness, are close to Abe's

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2006

Foreign Minister Taro Aso held a press conference at LDP
headquarters yesterday to formally announce his candidacy for the
LDP presidential election. He also promised to shift diplomacy and
create a society that can guarantee peace of mind and real affluence
apparently in an effort to send a strong message to rank-and-file
local LDP members. But Aso's vision lacks concrete policies, such as
Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki's plan to raise the consumption
tax to 10%. His differences with Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe,
who is way ahead, remain unclear.

Tanigaki declared his candidacy on July 27, and Abe is scheduled to
follow suit on Sept. 1.

Main policies by LDP presidential candidates

1. Aso
2. Abe
3. Tanigaki

Asia
1. Diplomacy needs a shift. Pursue stability based on the Japan-US
alliance. (Campaign pledge)
2. Politics must be separated from economics regarding Japan-China
relations. Japan, the United States, Australia, and India must
cooperate closely as democracies. (Book)
3. Not being able to hold summits with China and South Korea is
abnormal. The situation must be corrected as soon as possible.
(Campaign pledge)

Fiscal reconstruction
1. Tax hikes must follow strict spending cuts. Implement bold
policy-related tax cuts. (Campaign pledge)
2. Strict spending cuts are a top priority. Make a decision on the
consumption tax with an eye on the economic situation. (Press
conference)
3. Hike the consumption tax rate to 10% in the early 2010s.
(Campaign pledge)

Constitution, education
1. Constitutional revision requires national debate. The compulsory
education age must be lowered by one or two. ((Campaign pledge)
2. There are limits to dealing with issues by changing the
interpretation of the Constitution. Would make "unfit teachers"
resign. (Book)
3. The use of the right of collective self-defense requires
constitutional revision. The public education system needs to be
improved. (Website, etc.)

8) Aso announces candidacy for LDP presidential race

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2006

A gist of an administrative vision unveiled yesterday by Foreign
Minister Taro Aso

TOKYO 00004783 005 OF 008

Affluence doubling plan

Turn the policy from quantitative expansion to qualitative
improvement with a view to true affluence. Strengthen
countermeasures for railroad crossings and utility poles to double
the living space. Create more jobs for women, the aged, young people
not in education, employment or training (NEET), and others. Advance
decentralization to revitalize unique local areas. Affluence cannot
be attained without challenges. Present the world with a society, in
which the aged, local areas, and industries can make challenges.

Economic policy

Finances are a means to realize policies. Restoring fiscal health is
not the iron rule. Implement policy-related tax cuts to allow
industries to challenge new techniques. Tax hikes will follow
stringent spending cuts.

Educational reform

Japan's future hinges on the development of human resources.
Educational reform must not be postponed. Lower the compulsory
education age, now set at six, by one or two. Realign colleges and
universities and pave the way for them to accept foreign students.

Foreign policy

Pursue Asia's stability based on the Japan-US alliance. Good
Japan-China relations are essential for the stability of Asia. Give
top priority to the victims of abductions by North Korea, make
resolute efforts for its settlement to defend the country's
sovereignty. Realize an East Asian Community at Japan's initiative.

A simple and warm government

Realize a strong government to meet public expectations at political
initiative. Realign such agencies as the Cabinet Office and the
Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry into organizations
responsible for state strategy.

Diet reform

Reform the Budget Committees into committees to discuss state basic
issues. Increase the efficiency of committee deliberations.

Decentralization

Advance the trinity reform to reshape regional finances and
decentralization at political initiative. Introduce the doshu
(province) system.

LDP reform

Senior vice-ministers or parliamentary secretaries must fill major
department posts. The policy research council chairman must serve as
minister in charge of policy as necessary

Main points from Aso's press conference

Announcement of his candidacy


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I have secured the backing of 20 LDP lawmakers. The biggest
challenge for the next LDP president would be elections, including
next year's Upper House election. We must turn our eyes to local
areas. Correcting regional disparities is politics' responsibility.
Japan has a good international reputation, and we must speak up to
the world with confidence. I want to turn Japan into a country where
lively senior citizens can work actively.

The consumption tax

I would like to refrain from mentioning exactly when and how much
the government will raise indirect taxes because such might dampen
economic growth at a time when we don't know how much corporate
taxes will grow.

Diplomacy

It's not normal that Japan cannot hold summits with (China and South
Korea) because of a single issue. Views spit over whether to blame
Japan or those countries. In any case, the situation must be
corrected.

Differences from other candidates

The biggest difference is my experience. I have revamped a company,
and that has struck a chord with other candidates. Another point is
that I am well aware of local areas. Foreign policies should not
differ too much; local areas are ailing. We must make efforts to
eliminate regional disparities.

In case the ruling coalition fails to win a majority in the Upper
House election

The LDP will consider measures, such as joining hands with elected
independents. It's up to the prime minister whether he should resign
or not.

Top priorities

In the short run, the Basic Education Law is most important. In the
long run, constitutional reform and fiscal reconstruction are the
LDP's public pledges. Yasukuni Shrine must also be reformed so that
(the Emperor) can visit there calmly. Politics should be blamed for
a lack of reform of the shrine. Lower House dissolution is out of
the question.

9) Ozawa's basic policy: Will he be even more specific about the
Constitution, security

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2006

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa is now
seriously putting together his basic policy. Amid the strong
possibility of his uncontested reelection, Ozawa is paying attention
to the presidential election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
rather than arguments in his party. He aims to make clear the
distinction in deregulation and agricultural policy between the
post-Koizumi government and his party. However, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shinzo Abe, the frontrunner in the LDP presidential race,

SIPDIS
has placed priority on constitutional amendments and on foreign and
security policies. Since it is difficult for Minshuto to iron out

TOKYO 00004783 007 OF 008


differences of opinions within the party, the focus will be on
whether the largest opposition party will be able to come up with a
more penetrating stance regarding foreign and security policy.

Appearing on a TV program on Aug. 20, Ozawa revealed his policy
plans focusing on decentralization by providing local governments
with subsidies in a lump sum, allowing them to use funds at their
own discretion and by creating a double layer system of the central
government and municipalities, expanding the authorities of basic
autonomous bodies (municipalities). Ozawa stated:

"Reviewing the centralized administrative framework, individual
subsidies should be abolished. Both money and authority should be
handed over to (municipalities). Integrating the present
municipalities into 300 to 400 across the country, a double layer
system of the central government and municipalities should be
created."

Ozawa's recent remarks over basic policy focus on decentralization,
agriculture, and employment areas. Regarding agricultural policy, he
will advocate a policy of improving the government's support for
small- and mid-size farmers, in addition to the party's target of
increasing the nation's food self-sufficiency to 100%. As to the
employment issue, he will express his view to maintain the lifetime
employment system for general workers, while introducing free
competition in management positions.

Ozawa has, however, refrained from making specific remarks on the
constitution issue, and foreign and security policy. When he
belonged to the LDP, he insisted on letting the Self-Defense Forces
participate in a UN force by changing the government's
interpretation of the Constitution. Even after he joined Minshuto,
he expressed his view that an armed standby force (unit) for UN
missions should be created based on UN resolutions and the exercise
of force should be allowed under the present Constitution. He has
not made such remarks since he assumed the party's presidential post
in April.

10)US Aegis cruiser to Yokosuka on Aug. 29 for deployment

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 22, 2006

The USS Shiloh, a US Navy Aegis-equipped cruiser loaded with SM-3
sea-based intercept missiles, will be deployed to the US Navy's
Yokosuka base in Kanagawa Prefecture on Aug. 29, sources revealed.
It is the first time that a US naval force capable of intercepting
ballistic missiles will be deployed to Japan. The US Navy plans to
stage six SM-3 Aegis vessels on the Pacific front within the year.
Meanwhile, the Maritime Self-Defense Force also plans to deploy an
SM-3 Aegis vessel next fiscal year.

11) Defense Agency nixes provisional heliport plan as infeasible

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 22, 2006

Defense Agency Administrative Deputy Director General Takemasa
Moriya, meeting the press yesterday, reiterated the Defense Agency's
negative stance about Okinawa Prefecture's proposed plan to install
a provisional heliport at Camp Schwab in the city of the island
prefecture's northern coastal city of Nago over the issue of

TOKYO 00004783 008 OF 008


relocating the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from the city of
Ginowan to a coastal area of the camp. "Japan and the United States
have now finalized the relocation plan as a result of
intergovernmental consultations," Moriya said. "It would be
difficult to bring up the heliport plan at bilateral consultations,"
he added.

12) Number of births for Jan-June period increase for first time in
six years

MAINICHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 22, 2006

The number of births for the first half of this year increased
11,618 over the same period a year ago to 549,255, marking the first
growth in six years, according the dynamic statistics of population
released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare yesterday. The
ministry believes that an increase in the number of marriages owing
to improvement in the job market and a decrease in the number of
abortions might have contributed to the increased number of births.
The nation's total fertility rate in 2005 sank to a record low of
1.25. Since 1997, the rate has continued to drop or stay at the same
level. The birth rate in 2006 is expected to take an upward turn.

DONOVAN

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