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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/06/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 005819

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 10/06/06


Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

4) Japan-China second summit meeting set for APEC forum in November


North Korea problem:
5) In interest of expediency, Japan may settle for UNSC press
statement instead of chairman statement against North Korea nuclear
testing
6) Working level talks in UN Security Council are drafting statement
on North Korea nuclear test issue
7) US military steps up surveillance of North Korea for nuclear test
signs, while Japan increase intelligence gathering
8) US spy plane lands at Okinawa base after presumably observing
North Korea activities
9) North Korea uses dummy companies to purchase equipment it needs
overseas

Defense and security issues:
10) Education and science ministry will not rule out that US sub
leaked radioactive material near Yokosuka Navy Base
11) US government loses bid-rigging case against companies that
worked on projects at Atsugi Base

12) Bid-rigging practices are prevalent in awarding ODA grants,
study shows

Iran oil deal:
13) METI vice minister denies that Iran has cancelled contract for
Iran's Azadegan oil field development
14) Chief cabinet secretary says oil talks with Iran continue
15) Japan loses right to Azadegan oilfield project: Delaying
measures reach limit; Iran likely to further press Japan
16) Inpex calls on Iran to maintain Japan's stake in Azadegan
oilfield at 15%

Political agenda:
17) Minshuto head Ozawa is well and out of the hospital and ready to
take on Prime Minister Abe in Diet debate on Oct. 18
18) Second round of Diet interpellations today to focus on social
disparity issue
19) Abe: My grandfather and others made mistakes in judgment in
starting a war
20) Yasukuni Shrine, out of consideration to US, to change English
descriptions at Yushukan Museum, but ignore words that offend Asian
sensitivities

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Hino Motors employed 1,100 workers illegally under guise of
temporary workers

Mainichi:
Prosecutors to file criminal charges against former Fukushima
governor for bid rigging in violation of Public Offices Election

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Law

Yomiuri:
ODA projects awarded to firms at 99% of estimated prices in FY2005;
Bid rigging rampant

Nihon Keizai:
Aeon to begin negotiations with Marubeni to obtain trading firm's
30% stake in Maruetsu

Sankei:
NHK to take legal action against 10 million people for not paying
viewer fees

Tokyo Shimbun:
Schindler Co. to face criminal charges over fatal elevator accident

Akahata:
Contract workers suffering heavy toll under strict parking
enforcement

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Prime Minister Abe must discuss history humbly
(2) Supreme Court's mistaken decision on vote disparity

Mainichi:
(1) Is conspiracy legislation necessary?
(2) Fiscal reconstruction requires zeal

Yomiuri:
(1) New government and economy: Sustainable growth needs specific
measures
(2) Top court demands electoral reform

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Auto industry still in realignment
(2) Hospital equally guilty for illegal organ transplant

Sankei:
(1) Shanghai's top party boss fired in power struggle
(2) Convenience top priority for next-generation DVD format

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Changes in China a good opportunity for improving relations with
Japan
(2) GM-Nissan talks break off

Akahata:
(1) Illegal war in Iraq spreads danger

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 5

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2006

08:02
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shimomura.


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09:00
Attended Lower House Budget Committee meeting.

12:12
Met at Kantei with Shimomura.

13:00
Attended Lower House Budget Committee session.

17:30
Attended Security Council meeting at Kantei. Met with Special
Advisor Koike, followed by Foreign Minister Aso.

18:05
Met with Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani.

19:26
Returned to his private residence in Tomigaya.

4) Japan, China during Abe's visit to China on the 8th likely to
agree to hold summit again in November on sidelines of APEC summit
in Hanoi

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2006

It is now likely that Prime Minister Abe and Chinese President Hu
Jintao during their summit to be held on Oct. 8 will agree to hold a
second summit on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation forum summit in Hanoi Nov. 18-19, according to a
government source. Japan-China summits have often been held on the
sidelines of annual APEC talks. However, one did not take place last
year due to former Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni
Shrine.

Prime Minister Abe is aiming to repair the strained Japan-China
relations with his first meetings with Hu and Wen Jiabao as
stepping-stones. Abe during the upcoming talks intends to ask both
leaders to visit Japan at an early date. He also wants to put mutual
exchanges of the leaders of the two countries back on track by
holding a second summit on the sidelines of APEC without a long
pause after the first one.

5) As expression of international condemnation against North Korea,
Japan aims to issue "press statement" instead of UNSC president's
statement, with priority given to speed

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2006

Masako Nagato, New York

In response to North Korea's statement indicating a possible nuclear
test, Japan, which presides at the United Nations Security Council
(UNSC) during this month, has come up with a draft statement warning
Pyongyang of additional action if it actually conducts a nuclear
test. Yesterday, Japan decided that it would officially propose
issuing a press statement of that sort instead of a presidential one
that requires unanimous agreement. Tokyo aims to get this proposed
statement adopted before the end of the week, bearing in mind the
planed summit meetings with China on Oct. 8 and South Korea on Oct.
9.

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The UNSC yesterday morning (early hours of this morning, Japan time)
discussed the draft statement at a working-level meeting.

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guanya said of Japan's proposed
draft statement: "The question is what is written in it. We don't
care whether it is issued in the form of a press statement or a
presidential one." Japan drafted the statement in close
collaboration with the United States, Britain, and France. According
to Japanese Ambassador to the UN Kenzo Oshima, "It is important for
the UNSC to issue an appropriate statement as quickly as possible,"
so Japan drafted a statement avoiding using the word "sanctions" and
also decided to aim to issue a press statement that would not be
recorded, instead of the presidential statement Japan initially
wanted to issue.

The draft statement expresses "deep concern" over North Korea's
statement and warns that if it ignores international calls and
conducts a nuclear test, that would endanger peace and security
beyond the region and also "would provoke international
condemnation." In addition, the draft statement calls on North Korea
to return to the six-party talks unconditionally.

6) UNSC starts talks on Japan's statement urging sanctions against
North Korea

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Tetsuya Suzuki, New York

The UN Security Council started working-level talks on Oct. 5 over a
statement Japan drafted to urge North Korea to refrain from a
nuclear test. The focus of discussion is on what expression should
be used regarding sanctions if Pyongyang forges ahead with a test.
China was cautious about intensifying pressure, but it has begun to
indicate a flexible posture. The Japanese government aims at an
early announcement of the statement, giving priority to an agreement
by accepting even the form of a "statement to the press," lower than
a president's statement in rank.

China and Russia have close ties with North Korea. Avoiding using
strong wording that they would oppose, the draft statement takes on
a strong implication of warning. The statement, though, notes that
should the North go ahead with a nuclear test, "The UNSC will take
action to fulfill its primary responsibility as defined in the UN
Charter." It thus refers to additional action that reminds us of
sanctions in the future.

Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guanya told reporters the same
day, "Of importance is its contents, rather than whether it should
be a president's statement or a statement to the press." In
coordinating this wording, there is likely to be much wrangling.

7) US military aircraft watching for North Korean nuke test

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2006

In the wake of North Korea's recent statement on a nuclear test,
Japan and the United States yesterday raised the level of warning
and surveillance. US Forces Japan (USFJ) has additionally deployed a

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WC-135 atmospheric observation plane to Kadena Base in Okinawa
Prefecture, and the WC-135 yesterday went on a surveillance flight
mission with an air tanker. The Defense Agency is exploring signs,
such as changes in North Korean radio communications, with the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's electronic surveillance aircraft and
the Defense Intelligence Headquarters' telecommunications facility.

The WC-135 has the capability of collecting and analyzing
radiological substances in the atmosphere after a nuclear test. "We
have various kinds of information, so we're intensifying our
intelligence-gathering activities," Defense Agency Administrative
Deputy Director General Takemasa Moriya told a press conference
yesterday. He also said the agency could not definitely rule out the
possibility of North Korea going ahead with a nuclear test.

8) US reconnaissance aircraft takes off from Okinawa; Will it
monitor North Korea?

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
October 6, 2006

The US Air Force's WC135-C reconnaissance aircraft capable of
collecting and analyzing radioactive materials in the air yesterday
morning took off from the US Kadena Air Base in Okinawa Prefecture.
The purpose appears to be to step up monitoring of North Korea's
movements.

According to observers who monitor the Kadena Base, the spy aircraft
departed the base at around 11:00 a.m. yesterday.

The aircraft is attached to an air base on the US mainland, but
since May of this year, it has been apparently assigned to Kadena.

Along with the spy aircraft, a refueling plane took off. The spy
plane, if refueled, can remain in the air for hours.

The US forces have temporarily deployed the spy aircraft at the
Kadena Base in the past, as well, in order to watch North Korean
moves for nuclear weapons development.

9) North Korea trying to bring about remittances via dummy companies
by getting cooperation from Russian trading firms

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2006

As a means to evade financial sanctions, a North Korean special
agency in charge of foreign trade asked Russian and Chinese trading
firms to serve as dummy companies so that North Korea can receive
remittances, sources revealed yesterday. Last month, Japan and some
other countries imposed financial sanctions on North Korea,
targeting some trading firms. If Pyongyang conducts a nuclear test,
no doubt much tougher sanctions will await it. The North is
apparently looking for ways to evade sanctions.

According to informed sources in the Russian Far East, a North
Korean spy agency has sought cooperation from Russian, Ukrainian,
and Chinese companies on a plan that enables North Korea-affiliated
companies earning profits in Japan to use dummy firms to remit money
abroad. If those companies accept the North's request, their dummy
firms will receive all the profits, and later, they will return 70%
of the profits to North Korea-affiliated firms in the form of

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payments to their specified bank accounts abroad.

If financial sanctions are further stepped up, North Korea will
suffer from a greater shortage of foreign currency. The spy agency
has already sold the North Korean won at considerably lower rates
than the official rate in the Russian Far Eastern region and other
places and instead has begun buying a large amount of such foreign
currencies as the yen and the US dollar.

10) US nuclear sub's discharge cannot be ruled out: MEXT

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Slight amounts of radioactive materials were recently detected from
seawater in the port of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, after the USS
Honolulu, a US nuclear-powered submarine, left port there. On this
problem, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology (MEXT) concluded yesterday that it could not rule out the
possibility of discharge from the Honolulu. MEXT implied that it was
not caused by an accident or trouble in the Honolulu and that
radioactive substances mixed in drainage was discharged from the
Honolulu into the sea.

The Honolulu left port in Yokosuka on Sept. 14, but cobalt 58 and
cobalt 60-low-level radiological substances that do not affect human
health or the environment-were detected from samples MEXT collected
that day from seawater near the Honolulu's stern. MEXT conducted
another monitoring test of seawater and also surveyed sea-bottom
soil. MEXT yesterday held a meeting of experts and checked into its
analytical results.

In the meeting, MEXT explained that cobalt 58 was detected again at
a low level from samples collected from seawater near the Honolulu's
stern. This substance was not detected from other samples collected
from seawater near the Honolulu's stem or from the sea-bottom soil.
MEXT also revealed that there are no laboratories using cobalt 58
near the port of Yokosuka.

MEXT therefore pointed to the possibility of discharge from the
Honolulu. In the case of radioactive leakage resulting from an
accident or trouble, radiological substances other than cobalt are
also detected. This time, however, cobalt, the level of which is
low, was only discovered in a narrow area in the sea. So MEXT ruled
out the possibility of discharges resulting from an accident or
trouble.

According to MEXT's account, a slight amount of cobalt 58 and other
radiological substances were once detected from a septic tank
outside the radiation-controlled area of Chubu Electric Power Co.'s
Hamaoka Atomic Power Plant. That was because a plant worker went out
of the plant's controlled area with radiological substances on his
body and washed his hands.

In the expert meeting, one pointed out that cobalt mixed in drainage
might have been discharged in the case of the Honolulu as well.
"It's inconceivable that there were problems with safety," MEXT's
nuclear safety division explains. MEXT wants to continue its close
monitoring survey.

11) Court rejects US claim for bid-rigging damages


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TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 6, 2006

The Tokyo High Court yesterday rejected the US government's claim
for damages over local contractors' bid-rigging practices for
facilities construction and engineering work ordered by the US
Navy's Atsugi base in Kanagawa Prefecture. The US government
instituted a lawsuit at the Tokyo District Court against 13
construction companies for damages totaling about 680 million yen,
claiming that contract prices were raised in their repeated
bid-rigging practices. The district court rejected the claim, and
the US government made an appeal to the Tokyo High Court. The high
court upheld the district court's ruling and turned down the US
appeal.

The high court, with Toshimi Ouchi as its presiding judge, looked
into a total of 86 claimed contract cases to see if there were
bid-rigging practices, and acknowledged 55 bid-rigging cases among
those 86 contracts. "The US side's damage can be estimated at
approximately 100 million yen," Ouchi said. "However," the judge
added, "the US side has already received about 200 million yen from
those companies out of court, so the damage has been compensated."

12) Bid-rigging common in ODA projects: Contracts awarded at cost of
99% of initial estimates in 80% of projects in FY2005

YOMIURI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2006

In more than 80% of the 71 construction projects funded by
nonrefundable official development assistance (ODA) grants in
FY2005, contracts were awarded at a cost of over 99% of the initial
estimates, according to an investigation by the Yomiuri Shimbun.
Executives of several general contractors admit that rigging bids is
common. In the nation, the government's crackdown efforts have
contributed to lowering the successful bidding ratio. But the ratio
remained high in the case of ODA projects in FY2004. Although the
Finance Ministry ordered construction firms to correct their
bid-rigging practices last year, the results of the investigation
show that the instruction has been ignored.

The Yomiuri Shimbun looked into ODA grants for both general and
marine projects, for which the Foreign Ministry has released cost
estimates. In these projects, roads and hospitals are built,
equipment is provided, and port facilities are consolidated. Allowed
to participate in such projects are only Japanese firms with a
proven track record working on overseas construction projects. In
the FY2005 budget, 75.4 billion yen and 5.6 billion yen have been
earmarked for general and marine projects, respectively. The total
figure accounts for nearly half the total ODA grants.

In 68 of the 114 projects in FY2005, the%age of successful bid
prices to initial estimates was more than 99%. Excluding the
provision of equipment, successful bids in 57 of the 71 projects
worth 52.2 billion yen) were for more than 99% of the initial
estimates. The average successful bidding ratio was a hefty 97.8%.
Two rounds of bidding were held for 35 of these projects, but since
the bidding firms' offers were higher than the initial estimates,
the tender was withdrawn. As a result, contracts were awarded to the
companies that offered the lowest prices.

13) Azadegan oilfield: Vice METI minister denying cancellation of

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contract, saying, "Talks will continue for a long time"

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 5) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Referring to the difficult talks between Inpex and Iran over
development of the Azadegan oilfield in Iran, Vice Economy, Trade
and Industry Minister Takao Kitabata yesterday told a news
conference, "Since there are many items of negotiations, the talks
will continue for a long time." He denied a local media report that
the Iranian side on Oct. 4 suspended the talks, noting, "The talks
were held on the 5th as well."

Though Iran has hinted at the possibility of canceling the contract,
Kitabata countered: "This is an important project not only for Japan
but also for Iran. I have no perception of Japan's right to
developing the oilfield being cancelled."

14) Chief cabinet secretary indicates that Azadegan oilfield
development talks are continuing

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 5) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Commenting on Iran's Azadegan oilfield, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yasuhisa Shiozaki yesterday told a news conference, "I have no
received report that the talks have been closed." He thus indicated
his perception that the talks are still going on.

15) Japan loses right to Azadegan oilfield project: Delaying
measures reach limit; Iran likely to further press Japan

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 9) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Torn between diplomatic policy and the need to secure energy
resources, the government has adopted delaying tactics in dealing
with talks on development of the Azadegan oilfield in Iran. However,
this strategy is now beginning to falter following Iran's statement
on Oct. 4 that the Japanese company's right to develop the Azadegan
oilfield has expired. In the event of expiration, Japan needs to
secure new sources for its oil interests in order to increase crude
oil developed on its own. However, this is not easy amid the global
rise of natural resource nationalism. The government is again
pressed to make a hard response to this thorny energy strategy
following the situation with the Sakhalin-2 project.

Commenting on the statement issued by the president of Iran's
state-run oil company that Japan's right to the Azadegan oilfield
development has expired, Vice Economy, Trade and Industry Minister
Takao Kitabatake yesterday repeatedly told a news conference "I am
not aware that this is the situation." He said, "The talks will
continue." However, it is true that the government has been rocked
by Iran's repeated provocative words.

In dealing with the Azadegan issue, the government has tried to
delay the talks until such international issues as the adoption of a
resolution on sanctions against Iran by the United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) and getting Iran to abandon its nuclear arms program
are settled. The US is taking a hard-line approach to Iran. Its
negative stance toward development of the oilfield, which will
benefit the nation, has also affected Japan's policy.

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In the meantime, Japan on its part had no intention to propose
ending the talks out of concern that if it does so, imports of crude
oil from other oilfields in Iran, which account for about 14% of
Japan's total crude oil imports, might stop.

One METI official viewed Iran's provocative attitude as a
negotiation ploy, explaining, "The government had no other choice
but to distance itself from the talks, because once it directly
involves itself, it will have to reach a definite conclusion."

Aware of the position in which Japan finds itself, Iran is applying
further pressure. Chances are high that Japan's delaying tactics
have reached their limit.

16) Inpex calls on Iran to maintain Japan's stake in Azadegan
oilfield at 15%

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 5) (Full)
October 6, 2006

A news agency run by Iran's Petroleum Ministry on Oct. 5 reported
that Inpex has agreed to lower its stake in the Azadegan oilfield
development project from the current 75% and is now calling on Iran
to maintain the ratio at least at 15%. The Iranian government
appears to want to lower Inpex's stake to below 15%.

17) Minshuto head Ozawa released hospital; Diet debate with Prime
Minister Abe on Oct. 18

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 6, 2006

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa was
discharged from a hospital yesterday after 10 days of observation.
Ozawa was hospitalized on Sept. 25 after feeling unwell. Party
members are now feeling temporarily relieved. He will return to duty
on Oct. 10 when the official campaign for Lower House by-elections
kicks off. However, since he was admitted to the hospital soon after
his re-election to the party's helm, absenting himself from
interpellations at the Diet, concerns about his health still remain
in the largest opposition party. Now that it has been decided that a
face-to-face Diet debate with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will take
place on Oct. 18, it remains to be seen how much Ozawa, 12 years
older than Abe, can demonstrate his political presence.

Asked about Abe's speech by reporters yesterday, Ozawa criticized
Abe's replies at the Diet, saying: "He has not clearly stated his
opinions. I could not see his views, as he only used flowery words."
In a party executive meeting yesterday, Ozawa expressed strong
eagerness for a confrontation with the Abe government, saying,

"I want to devote myself to winning the elections. In order to get
the reins of power, I will concentrate all my energies on the
current Diet session and on victory in next year's Upper House
election victory."

Minshuto has been preparing for next year's Upper House election
under the initiative of Ozawa supported by Acting President Naoto
Kan and Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama. Due to Ozawa's sudden
hospitalization, the party had to send Hatoyama and Kan to Diet
interpellations in place of Ozawa. The party executive initially

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stated that Ozawa would be in the hospital two or three days, but a
rumor was that he might be hospitalized for 50 days. A junior member
voiced concern, saying, "The myth that Ozawa always wins elections
may disappear," though Ozawa plans to start campaigning in the Osaka
No. 9 constituency.

In an attempt to win next year's Upper House election, Ozawa himself
has visited electoral districts across the nation and met senior
members of the People's New Party and other parties. Party members
are concerned about his health, with a midlevel lawmaker saying,
"I'm concerned about whether he will be able to go across the nation
through next summer's Upper House election."

It was decided yesterday that a face-to-face Diet debate between
Ozawa and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe would take place on Oct. 18 for
the first time. The decision was in a meeting of the secretaries
general of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its
coalition partner New Komeito in the form of accepting a request by
opposition parties. The debate between Abe and Ozawa will likely
affect the Oct. 22 Lower House by-elections for the Kanagawa No. 16
and Osaka No. 9 constituencies.

18) Minshuto to attack Prime Minister Abe, citing "social
disparities" at today's Diet battle

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 6, 2006

At a House of Representatives Budget Committee session yesterday,
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Acting President Naoto Kan
barraged Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who plans to hold summits with
the top leaders of China and South Korea, with tough questions
mainly about his views of history and Asia diplomacy. The main
opposition party will send to today's Budget Committee session
former Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, an independent, and former
party head Katsuya Okada. Tanaka and Okada will question Abe about
such issues as social disparities. They intend to attack Abe, who
has vowed to take over the reform drive of former Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi, regarding the negative legacy of Koizumi's
political approach.

Referring to Abe's remarks that he will not reveal to whether he
will or has visited Yasukuni Shrine, Kan pointed out: "(Before
assuming the prime minister's post) he said that the next prime
minister of course should go." He also said to Abe, citing Abe's
book in which he writes that it is necessary to make a principle of
the separation of politics and economy, "Your view that it is all
right that if political relations are cold so long as economic
relations are warm is wrong."

In response, Abe rebutted: "I want you to read my book thoroughly. I
did not write 'It is good that political relations are cold.'"

The election campaign will kick off on Oct. 10 for Lower House
by-elections for the Kanagawa No.16 and Osaka No. 9 districts. An
Upper House election will be carried out next summer. Minshuto is
attacking Abe's past remarks aimed at tarnishing his image so that
the party will able to strengthen its hand in election battles.

19) Abe: "Those in the leadership, including my grandfather, made a
mistake" in deciding to sign war order


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NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 6, 2006

In reference to the Tojo cabinet's decision to initiate war against
the United States, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stated in a
question-and-answer session yesterday: "There were various
circumstances at that time. Even so, politicians should take
absolute responsibility, and naturally their decision was a
mistake." He responded to a question by Minshuto (Democratic Party
of Japan) Acting President Naoto Kan asking about the propriety of
the signing by his grandfather, Commerce and Industry Minister
Nobusuke Kishi (who assumed the premiership afterward), of the
imperial order to open war as a member of the Tojo cabinet.

The prime minister replied:

"Japan was defeated in the war, and many people lost their lives. As
a result, serious scars have been left among many Asian people. . .
. Those in the leadership, including my grandfather, bear heavy
responsibility."

Asked about the statement on historical views issued in 1995 by
Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama, Abe categorically said: "Our
cabinet honors the statement. It is also natural for me as prime
minister to honor it." Regarding the statement on the problem of
comfort women issued by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono in 1993,
the prime minister said: "The government, including me, accepts
it."

Many have criticized the prime minister's historical views as
inconsistent. In response, the prime minister told reporters last
night: "Politicians have to take responsibility through elections.
There are many people who agree with my views."

20) Yasukuni Shrine to alter Yushukan descriptions in deference to
criticism from US; No changes to Asia-related exhibits

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
October 6, 2006

Yasukuni Shrine's top decision-making body decided yesterday to
review US-connected WWII descriptions on display at its Yushukan war
history museum in reaction to criticism from the United States. The
shrine plans to produce corrected texts later this month to make
changes to the displays before the end of this year. The shrine,
however, does not intend to review exhibits that have drawn fire
from Asian countries, such as China and South Korea, as lacking in
awareness about the war of aggression and trying to justify it from
the perspective of Asian independence.

Corrections will be made to the following description on the global
situation during WWII: (US President) Roosevelt's Grand Strategy --
The only path available to Roosevelt was to force resource-poor
Japan into waging war. With (Japan's) participation in the war, the
US economy completely recovered." The description drew a strong
reaction from the United States. US Ambassador to Japan Thomas
Schieffer and former Deputy Sectary of State Richard Armitage openly
criticized it.

Aug. 24, the Sankei Shimbun carried an op-ed by former Ambassador to
Thailand Hisahiko Okazaki, a strong supporter of prime ministerial
visits to Yasukuni Shrine, urging Yushukan to remove "immature

TOKYO 00005819 012 OF 012


anti-US historic views." Yasukuni Shrine chief priest Toshiaki Nambu
and others called on Okazaki the same day to ask his opinion.

The shrine held consultations with military history experts and
others. As a result, the shrine decided to change the title to
"Roosevelt and America's participation in WWII," and to remove such
descriptions as "forcing (Japan) into waging a war" and "the
recovery of the US economy" and add Roosevelt's speech criticizing
Japan as aggressive. The set of changes was reported to the top
decision-making body yesterday, and the body endorsed it.

A member of the body asked the shrine if it would consider reviewing
China-related descriptions, as well. In response, the shine said,
"There have been no specific criticisms." But in reality, Chinese
press officer Liu Chienchao last November criticized the museum as a
central facility of Yasukuni's historical views glorifying Japan's
militarism.

The shrine explained: "With the museum marking its fifth anniversary
next July, we will consider reexamining them from the viewpoint of
shedding light on Shinto deities." A person concerned said,
"Admitting acts of aggression is inappropriate in shedding light on
Shinto deities."

DONOVAN

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