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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/24/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 004834

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 08/24/06

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Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
Prime Minister's daily schedule: On vacation.

3) Prime Minister Koizumi's ends vacation of hunkering down in his
official residence

4) No surprises in poll on Koizumi's 8/15 Yasukuni visit: 85.8% of
the public expected it

Political campaign:
5) Abe considering setting up Japanese-style CIA directly under the
prime minister in order to strengthen Japan's intelligence
capabilities
6) Abe supporters in the party not all in line, with junior
lawmakers balking at letting Mori faction take lead
7) Finance Minister Tanigaki, campaigning for LDP presidency, warns
about growing "biased nationalism" in Japan

New Komeito changing leadership:
8) New Komeito Representative Kanzaki announces he will not seek
another term in office
9) Komeito under Ota, the next party representative, may have a more
difficult relationship with ruling coalition partner Liberal
Democratic Party

10) One week after Russian shooting, capture of fishing vessel, no
early resolution in sight, with bilateral talks not converging

Defense and security issues:
11) JDA requests a 1.5% increase in its FY2007 defense budget 8
12) JDA to go for bulk-item contracts on front-line equipment in
order to save costs
13) Yamaguchi governor accepts the transfer of US Navy carrier-based
jets to Iwakuni
14) JDA asks for more budget money in order to speed up deployment
of PAC-3 missiles
15) Marine Commander Camp Butler anticipates Ospreys will be
deployed to new facility at Camp Schwab replacing Futenma
16) LDP panel completes outline of draft permanent legislation to
allow overseas dispatches of SDF troops, even without a UN
resolution

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Financial Services Agency urges life insurers to fully check consent
of new enrollees due to consumer loan firms using policies as
security

Mainichi:
Oji Paper's Hokuetsu buyout plan appears unlikely to materialize

Yomiuri:
Government to review assistance measures for NEETs

Nihon Keizai:
Nippon Steel, Mittal to expand tie-up; New plant to be built in US

TOKYO 00004834 002 OF 011

Sankei:
Abe mulling setting up Japanese version of CIA under prime
minister's direct control

Tokyo Shimbun:
Experts council on construction of underground highways to come up
with final report on Sept. 15

Akahata:
US forces, SDF have conducted joint drills 416 days so far; Number
of days for joint exercise increased by 85 days in FY2005 from
FY2004

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Iran's nuclear issue: Buying time cannot be allowed
(2) Gauss Prize: The depth of mathematics

Mainichi:
(1) Underground highways: First step for a review of public
investment
(2) Koizumi's dumping issues on the laps of his cabinet members was
effective for disposing of nonperforming loans (Tasuyuki Kitamura,
editorial committee member)

Yomiuri:
(1) Iran's suspension of uranium enrichment is first step for Tehran
to regain international confidence
(2) Beach garbage: First thing to do is to eliminate the vertically
fragmented system of administration

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Iran's buying time unallowable
(2) Arrest of wrong person: Criminal justice system must learn
lesson

Sankei:
(1) Iran's refusal of calls to halt nuclear development:
International community must return to starting point for
nonproliferation
(2) J-Com debacle lawsuit: Open debate is meaningful

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Iran's nuclear issue: Buying time cannot be allowed
(2) Arrest of wrong person: Investigative authorities must examine
all process of investigations

Akahata:
Gifu prefectural government's slush funds: Shed light on the truth
about the scandal and find those responsible

3) Koizumi to resume official duties today after spending entire
summer break at official residence

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
August 24, 2006

Winding up his summer break, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will
resume his official duties today. Since returning from Mongolia on
the night of Aug. 11, he has strictly remained at his official

TOKYO 00004834 003 OF 011


residence except for his visit to Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15. During
that period, his secretaries briefed Koizumi on such events as the
shooting of a Japanese fishing boat by the Russian Coast Guard and
the blackout in the Tokyo metropolitan area on Aug. 14. In response,
Koizumi simply ordered thorough measures. "We don't know what he's
been doing at his official residence," sources connected with the
Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) have all said.

Lounging around doing nothing has been Koizumi's way of enjoying his
summer vacation. He has done so with the exception of last summer,
in which the Lower House election campaigning began. This year, he
has not gone to view movies or plays. "Once he resigns as prime
minister, he can do whatever he wants to at any time. He has avoided
outings that would require heavy security," a Koizumi aide
explained.

4) Poll: No surprise from Koizumi's Aug. 15 shrine visit

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
August 24, 2006

The Tokyo Shimbun tabulated findings from its recent Internet
polling of political monitors yesterday, focusing on Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi's Aug. 15 visit to Yasukuni Shrine. In that Net
poll, 85.5% said they had expected Koizumi to visit the shrine, with
only 2.8% saying they did not think he would do so. His visit to
Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15-the anniversary of the end of World War
II-was said to be the "last surprise" he would make before stepping
down (next month as president of his ruling Liberal Democratic Party
and as prime minister). However, the poll shows that his shrine
visit that day did not surprise the general public.

Asked whether they support Koizumi's Aug. 15 visit to Yasukuni
Shrine, 31.0% answered "yes," with 57.8% saying "no." Even among
those who thought he would visit the shrine on Aug. 15, "no"
accounted for 56.6%. Among those who support the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party, however, "yes" accounted for 58.0%.

The Tokyo Shimbun chose 500 monitors for its third Internet poll on
Aug. 16-21 and obtained answers from 429 persons or 85.8%.

Respondents were asked who they would like to become LDP president.
In this popularity ranking, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe
topped all others at 47.3%, though slightly down from 51.5% in the
last survey. Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki, who has criticized
Koizumi for his Yasukuni visits and has said he would not visit the
shrine, was at 24.5%, substantially up from 13.0% in the last
survey. Foreign Minister Taro Aso was at 10.3%, up from 8.8% in the
last survey.

5) Abe mulling Japanese equivalent of CIA that reports to prime
minister; Strengthening intelligence gathering capability eyed

SANKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2006

It was learned yesterday that Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe,
assuming he will take office as the next prime minister, is looking
into the possibility of establishing an external intelligence agency
that reports to the prime minister in order to strengthen the
government's intelligence gathering capability. The envisaged
intelligence agency will apparently be the Japanese equivalent of

TOKYO 00004834 004 OF 011


the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Abe's proposal is
motivated by an awareness of the problem that Japan without being
able to gather intelligence on its own would not be able to manage
well its foreign and security policies, ensure the safety of the
nation and the people, and meet national interests.

Currently the government's intelligence apparatus consists of the
National Police Agency, the Public Security Investigative Agency
(PSIA) and the Cabinet Information Research Office (CIRO). However,
these organizations focus their activities on the collection and
analyses of intelligence on domestic public safety. Japan,
therefore, lagging behind foreign countries regarding the collection
of foreign intelligence. Its foreign intelligence collection
functions are extremely weak in terms of both personnel and
authority. It can be said that intelligence gathering is the area
post-Japan has neglected most, as a senior Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) member put it.

In order to prevent international terrorism at the water's edge, it
is absolutely necessary for the nation to gather intelligence on its
own and share intelligence with intelligence agencies of other
countries. Britain has recently succeeded in foiling a terrorist
plot to explode civilian airplanes due to cooperation with other
countries. Intelligence on North Korea's political and military
movements is especially important for Japan.

Abe's plan is, therefore, to establish the envisaged foreign
intelligence in the Cabinet Secretariat and have it gather
intelligence on international terrorism within and outside Japan and
foreign political and military intelligence. The plan also includes
the establishment of a system that enables cooperation with
intelligence agencies of other countries, such as the CIA and
Britain's Military Intelligence 6 (MI6), including exchange of
intelligence. Competent personnel will be recruited from the NPA,
the Defense Agency, CIRO, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the
private sector.

6) 2006 LDP presidential race: Junior second chance league members
reject Mori faction's leadership in campaigning for Abe

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2006

Discord has emerged between junior and mid-level members of the
Parliamentary League to Support a Second Chance and senior members
of the Mori faction, to which Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe
belongs, over a support system for Abe in the LDP presidential
election in September. The Mori faction intends to establish a
cross-factional election campaign taskforce involving the
parliamentary league. But the parliamentary league, unhappy with the
Mori faction's idea, plans to conduct activities independently. The
discord between the two groups is a cause of anxiety for the Abe
camp.

A meeting was held at a Tokyo hotel yesterday morning between Mori
faction executives, including Policy Research Council Chairman
Hidenao Nakagawa and former Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, and
the league's Yuji Yamamoto of the Komura faction and Yoshihide Suga
of the Niwa-Koga faction.

In the session, Nakagawa called for united efforts. In response,
Yamamoto asked for understanding toward the league's independent

TOKYO 00004834 005 OF 011


activities, saying: "Some league members have decided to back Mr.
Abe even by risking their factional membership. Cooperating with
factions at this point would leave a bad aftertaste. The Mori
faction should not take the lead in supporting Mr. Abe." Nakagawa
and others asked Suga to head the envisaged campaign taskforce, but
Suga declined the offer, saying, "I have conducted my activities
separate from any faction."

The Mori faction plans to hold a preliminary meeting of factions
supporting Abe tomorrow to officially launch the campaign taskforce
on Sept. 1. LDP Tax Commission Chairman Hakuo Yanagisawa of the
Niwa-Koga faction is expected to head the taskforce to dilute the
Mori flavor.

In tandem with the Mori faction's move, veteran members of various
factions, such as former Science and Technology Minister Koji Omi of
the Mori faction and Policy Research Council Acting Chairman Akira
Amari of the Yamasaki faction, held a meeting in Tokyo on Aug. 23
and decided to back Abe's campaign as a group of senior members.

Meanwhile, the second chance support league is scheduled to hold an
expanded executive meeting on Aug. 29 and start full-fledged
campaign activities on Sept. 1. Although Suga and others will take
part in the campaign taskforce, they will secure a separate office
in party headquarters once the election campaign officially kicks
off on Sept. 8. This means Abe will have two separate campaign
groups.

7) Tanigaki criticizes current state of Japan-China relations,
stressing need to conquer parochial nationalism

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 24, 2006

Finance Minister Tanigaki, who has declared his candidacy for the
Liberal Democratic Party presidency, expressed his views about the
current state of relations between Japan and China yesterday in
response to questions from reporters in an interview at the Foreign
Correspondent's Club of Japan:

"There are cases in which both countries' raw nationalism clash with
each other. This situation is against their national interests....
If we nurture sound conservatism, it will be possible to conquer the
current parochial nationalism that reminds us of the situation in
the 1930s (before World War II)."

Tanigaki cited "the Japanese people's loss of confidence following
the bursting of the bubble economy" as one cause for the parochial
nationalism in the nation, adding:

"Progressing urbanization and reduced intimacy in people's
relationships have deepened (people's) sense of isolation and
eventually have served to prompt them to jump at something radical.
It might be possible for them to overcome their sense of group
affiliation by restoring strong ties in households and
communities."

8) New Komeito leader Kanzaki reveals intention to step down from
post; Ota most likely to replace him

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2006

TOKYO 00004834 006 OF 011

In response to an interview to the Asahi Shimbun yesterday, New
Komeito Representative Takenori Kanzaki revealed his intention to
step down from his post in a shakeup of the party's leadership at a
convention scheduled for Sept. 30. He said:

"Any organization should be renewed. I served as leader for nine
years, one year as head the New Party Peace and eight years as
representative of the New Komeito. I would like younger generations
to continue to make further efforts."

Since early this year, Kanzaki has been telling persons close to him
that he wanted to resign when his term of office expires. Timed to
the Sept. 20 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election to
choose a successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and late
September leadership election of the main opposition party Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan), in which President Ichiro Ozawa is
expected to be reelected, the New Komeito intends to shuffle its own
leadership lineup.

Kanzaki stated in the interview: "The LDP and Minshuto will face off
(in elections in the future). I want the next party head to make the
utmost effort to display our party's political identity."

Acting Secretary General Akihiro Ota is expected to succeed Kanzaki.
He served as youth division chief of the religious sect Soka Gakkai,
the New Komeito's chief supporter. He has long been regarded as a
future leader of the New Komeito.

9) New leadership of New Komeito may find it difficult to maintain
ties with LDP

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Slightly abridged)
August 24, 2006

The New Komeito has decided to reshuffle the leadership, promoting
Acting Secretary General Akihiro Ota to the party's top post. The
aim of the planned reshuffle is to play up the new image of the
party by a generational change in line with a political change that
will take place following the presidential election of the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). However, Ota seems to be lacking the
ability to bring his party together, with some previously calling
for Acting Representative Toshiko Hamayotsu to replace Kanzaki. On
assuming the top post, Ota will likely face difficulties such as how
to build relations with an "Abe administration, which would have a
strong conservative flavor and is calling for completely rewriting
the Constitution.

The New Komeito has decided to prepare for next year's elections by
altering the executive lineup. The party regards next year when
unified local elections and a House of Councillors election will
both occur as the year of "great political battles." Ota, who served
as youth division chief of the religious sect Soka Gakkai, which is
the support body of the New Komeito, has long been touted as
Kanzaki's successor.

Under such circumstances, Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, the
strongest candidate in the LDP presidential race, has already
conveyed to the New Komeito his hope that Hamayotsu would be picked
as the next party head or that she would be allowed join his new
cabinet. Abe apparently aims to take advantage of the high
popularity of Hamayotsu in the Soka Gakkai's women's division,

TOKYO 00004834 007 OF 011


looking at next year's Upper House election. Concerned about
possible internal disorder, Tomio Fujii, supreme advisor to the New
Komeito, once looked into the possibility of retaining Kanzaki in
his post. Kanzaki, however, strongly refused to remain due to a
health condition. Hamayotsu as well turned down an informal offer of
the top party post. After consulting with Soka Gakkai, the New
Komeito now has decided to pick Ota as party head.

10) A week after fishing boat shooting incident: No prospects for
release of seized fishermen; Japan, Russia at odds

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2006

August 23 marked the seventh day since a fishing boat from Nemuro
City, Hokkaido, was fired on and seized by a Russian Coast Guard
vessel. Backlash against and voices protesting Russia's refusal to
release the Japanese crew it seized are spreading among the ruling
and opposition parties and the local community. There are no
prospects for Russia to release the crew, with Interfax reporting a
comment by the Russia Coast Guard that the crew will be detained in
Kunashiri until the investigations are over.

Yoshiaki Hara, chairman of the Lower House Foreign Affairs
Committee, yesterday called summoned the Russian Acting Ambassador
to Japan Galuzin to the Diet and called for the early release of the
crew, the return of the fishing boat, and the prevention of a
recurrence, noting: "It is excessive to fire on an unarmed fishing
boat. There is no justification for such an action."

In response, the acting ambassador noted: "The Russian authorities
are now investigating the crew on suspicion of intruding into
Russian's territorial waters and poaching. Russia's law is applied
in those waters (waters near the Northern Territories)." He also
stressed, "The fishing boat, which intruded into our waters with no
lights on at night and engaged in poaching, is responsible for what
happened."

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) is calling for the early
release of the detained fishermen through various diplomatic
channels. However, the Russian side replied, "We are carefully
inspecting the vessel. It takes time to investigate the crew through
an interpreter." The view is that the inspection of the vessel is to
endorse the firer's statement that he did not intend to hit the
fisherman." There is information that the investigation will take
more than 30 days. MOFA plans to dispatch Senior Vice Minister
Katsutoshi Kaneda as early as August 30 to find a breakthrough in
the situation.

Some are beginning to question the responsibility of the government,
which has no effective means to bring progress in the situation.
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ = Minshuto) Secretary General
Hatoyama yesterday called on Foreign Minister Aso to settle the
issue at an early date. He later told reporters: "I pointed out that
there has been no progress on the Northern Territories issue, and
the foreign minister replied, 'I am doing my job properly.' However,
his perception is far from that of the people." Lower House member
Muneo Suzuki (New Party Daichi), who has long been involved in the
Northern Territories issue, pointed out: "During the five years of
the Koiuzmi administration MOFA has not made serious efforts to
improve relations with Russia and build confidence between the two
countries. It is now being forced to pick up the tabs for its

TOKYO 00004834 008 OF 011


negligence."

11) JDA to request 4.86 trillion yen in FY2007 budget, up 1.5%

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2006

The Defense Agency (JDA) will request 4,863.6 billion yen in the
FY2007 budget, up 1.5% over the FY2006 initial budget. Although
other government agencies have been asked to trim their budget
requests, only the JDA has taken a bullish stance, demanding a
larger amount of funds for missile defense (MD) given the recent
friction with North Korea. The agency has also been calling for a
separate budgetary framework to be set up for the realignment of US
forces in Japan. Difficult coordination is expected between the JDA
and the Finance Ministry.

Regarding the JDA budget request for next fiscal year, a senior
official said: "Our request includes only necessary funds for
national defense. There is no part to be cut." In the Basic Policies
for Economic and Fiscal Management for 2006, the government called
for slashing the defense budget by 400 to 600 billion yen over the
coming five years, evoking a strong reaction from the JDA.

Behind the Defense Agency's bullish request is the growing tension
in areas around Japan in the wake of North Korea's missile launches
in July and other issues. For the MD project, the agency calls for
219 billion yen, 1.5 times more than this fiscal year. The funds are
to finance additional measures to deal with possible ballistic
missiles launches (22.7 billion yen), in addition to maintenance
costs for interceptor missiles and radars, which have been included
in its past budgetary requests. The budget also includes costs for
repairing electronic surveillance aircraft.

Japan's MD, though, is a huge project worth one trillion yen, so
many in the government and the ruling parties have voiced doubts
about its cost-benefit performance. One government source
categorically said: "Although I admit that there are risks, MD alone
should not be treated specially."

The JDA has divided individual plans on US force realignment into
those designed to strengthen bases and others to reduce base-hosting
communities' burden. In the latter part, the JDA does not present a
specific amount of money to fund local economic incentives, as well
as a plan to relocate the US Marine Corp's Futenma Air Station in
Okinawa to a coastal area of Camp Schwab, saying that it is
difficult to determine the budget in advance.

The total cost of US force realignment in Japan is estimated at 3
trillion yen. The JDA has requested that this spending be separated
from the defense budget, probably in an attempt to apply pressure to
the Finance Ministry, which has expressed opposition to the request
by the JDA.

12) JDA to adopt package equipment-purchase system to reduce
spending

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 24, 2006

The Defense Agency (JDA) decided yesterday to reduce its
expenditures by procuring defense equipment in a package starting in

TOKYO 00004834 009 OF 011


FY2007. JDA planned to procure five F-2 fighter planes each in
FY2007 and FY2008, but it will procure 10 in FY2007 in order to save
about 13.6 billion yen by reducing production costs. The JDA also
will procure 16 multi-purpose helicopters for the Ground
Self-Defense Force (GSDF) in a package and will save approximately
1.9 billion yen.

Regarding US force realignment costs, the JDA will include 15.9
billion yen in its budget request, including research expenses for
relating the GSDF Central Readiness Command to Camp Zama.

13) Yamaguchi gov. to accept US carrier-based wing redeployment to
Iwakuni

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2006

Yamaguchi Prefecture's Governor Sekinari Nii will call at the
Defense Facilities Administration Agency and the Foreign Ministry
today to tell the government that he will accept the planned
redeployment of US carrier-borne fighter jets to the US Marine
Corps' Iwakuni Air Station in the city of Iwakuni, Yamaguchi
Prefecture, in the process of realigning US forces in Japan.
Meanwhile, Iwakuni is opposed to their redeployment to the city, so
Nii has so far avoided clarifying whether he would accept it. Nii
will come up to Tokyo and ask the government to take budgetary
action to resume civilian flights to and from the base. He will meet
DFAA Director General Iwao Kitahara and other government officials
to tell them that he will accept the redeployment of fighters to
Iwakuni.

In his petition, Nii notes that the government has now made a
cabinet decision on the realignment of US forces in Japan. "I
understand that the realignment will be carried out in a steady
way," Nii states in the letter. He also notes that his proposal to
resume an airport for commercial flights is "closely linked to US
force realignment." With this, the governor will ask the government
to bear the total cost of new facilities.

14) Defense Agency to request PAC-3 deployment funding ahead of
schedule

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2006

In the wake of the launches of ballistic missiles by North Korea,
the Defense Agency decided yesterday to incorporate in its fiscal
2007 budgetary requests outlays for an early deployment of some
PAC-3 ground-based interceptor missiles under the missile defense
(MD) system. The agency originally planned to earmark funds in
fiscal 2008 and 2009 for producing dozens of PAC-3 missiles under a
licensing system. But the agency has now decided to purchase them
from the United States. The MD-related budgetary request, including
the frontloading portion, will come to 220 billion yen.

The Defense Agency plans to deploy PAC-3 missiles at the Air
Self-Defense Force's Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture by the end of
fiscal 2006 as the first case. The number of missiles is limited.
Following Pyongyang's test launching of seven missiles on July 5,
Tokyo has asked Washington to deploy PAC-3 missiles in Japan on a
priority basis, citing a lack of missiles. The US has responded
positively to Japan.

TOKYO 00004834 010 OF 011

15) US Marine Commander declares possible use of Ospreys at new
Okinawa base at Camp Schwab

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2006

Brigadier General Joseph Medina of the US Marine Corps on Okinawa
(commander of Camp Butler) stated on Aug. 23 that there was a
possibility Ospreys, an aircraft that can take off and land
vertically, might be used at the new Marines base to be built on the
shores of Camp Schwab, as planned under the US forces realignment
agreement. The reply came to a question by Japanese Communist Party
lawmaker Akamine and others who were present as members of a special
Lower House committee on Okinawa and Northern Territories, who had
been invited to visit the Marine base.

Akamine also asked why under the USFJ realignment plan was the
length of the new facility extended to 1,800 meters, when under the
SACO plan agreed to by Japan and the US in 1996 the length was
supposed to be 1,500 meters.

Brigadier General Medina revealed that in the USFJ realignment
talks, the US had requested a 2,000-meter long facility, but "(as a
result of the talks,) it became 1,800 meters," he noted. "An
1,800-meter runway is long enough to be used during a contingency by
C-130s (transports) and Ospreys," he added.

The US Marines have already revealed a plan to deploy Ospreys to
Okinawa starting in 2012. However, the Japanese government has
repeatedly explained, "At this point, nothing concrete has been
settled."

The statement by Brigadier General Medina indicates once more the
danger that Ospreys will be operated at the new base.

The members of the special committee on Okinawa and Northern
Territories starting on Aug. 22 have been touring US bases and other
areas on Okinawa. In addition to Akimine, the group includes members
of the Liberal Democratic Party, Minshuto (Democratic Party of
Japan) and New Komeito.

16) LDP eyes legislation for SDF missions overseas without UN
resolution

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
August 24, 2006

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party yesterday held a meeting of its
defense policy subcommittee to review a draft bill for a permanent
law allowing Japan to send the Self-Defense Forces overseas for
international peace cooperation. The subcommittee, with former
Defense Agency Director General Shigeru Ishiba presiding, approved
the draft bill. The legislative measure does not necessarily require
a United Nations resolution or an international organization's
request. In addition, the legislation eases the government's
guidelines for SDF personnel's use of weapons or the rules of
engagement (ROE). It is intended for Japan to make its own proactive
contributions to international peace.

The government has so far created a number of separate laws in order
for Japan to take part in international peace cooperation activities

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overseas, such as humanitarian reconstruction assistance in Iraq.
However, Japan cannot respond quickly with such legislative steps,
according to an agency official. So the government needs a permanent
law to prompt and facilitate SDF activities overseas.

The draft SDF bill allows the government to send SDF troops to
engage in overseas activities if and when there is a UN resolution
or an international organization's request. In addition, the
legislation also allows the government to do so without
authorization from the United Nations or any other international
organizations if and when the government recognizes it necessary for
Japan to conduct activities overseas under the banner of
international cooperation.

Japan has carried out humanitarian reconstruction assistance,
ceasefire surveillance, and logistical support for foreign forces
under the UN Peacekeeping Cooperation Law and the Iraq Special
Measures Law. In addition, the draft bill also incorporates security
missions and ship inspections. The scope of security missions
includes possible activities intended to maintain public security in
Iraq, and ship inspections are intended to prevent terrorist
movements and ensure the effectiveness of economic sanctions.

SDF members on overseas missions are currently not allowed to use
weapons even in the event unattended Japanese nationals or
independently operating troops from a foreign country in cooperative
relations with Japan come under attack.

The draft bill allows SDF personnel to use weapons in that case if
they are in their operational area.

DONOVAN

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