Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More

Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10//06

VZCZCXRO9676
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5998/01 2890055
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160055Z OCT 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7457
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 1006
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8468
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1844
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8162
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9541
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4564
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0682
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2270

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 005998

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

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.


Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Prime Minister's weekend schedule: On the campaign trail for the
by-elections

North Korea sanctions:
3) UNSC adopts new sanctions resolution against North Korea for
nuclear test, but questions raised about their effectiveness
4) Government to further expand financial sanctions on North Korea
to include ban on luxury goods
5) US, Japan, ROK foreign ministers to meet on 19th to follow up
UNSC resolution on North Korea

Defense and security issues:
6) Government mulling letting MSDF join ship inspections either
under new law or reinterpretation of old law
7) Foreign Minister Aso: Japan will cooperate appropriately on
international ship inspections under UNSC resolution against
Pyongyang
8) Both camps in gubernatorial election in Okinawa troubled by the
Futenma relocation issue
9) Opposition candidate Itokazu in the Okinawa governor's race
issues platform with creation of no new bases as the central theme
10) LDP policy chief Nakagawa: OK to debate whether Japan should
possess a nuclear option or not
11) Nakagawa remark on nuclear debate set off sharp reactions in
both ruling and opposition camps

12) Prime Minister Abe makes debut on the campaign trail by stumping
over the weekend for the by-elections

13) With Diet's top priority on responding to DPRK nuclear crisis,
important bills such as revised education law may get short shrift


14) Prime Minister Abe orders drafting of mid-term policy plan by
January that would aim at sustaining economic growth

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun & Akahata:
UNSC unanimously adopts sanctions resolution against North Korea

Nihon Keizai:
Toshiba to file a complaint with Sony about recall of laptop
batteries, saying it has lost sales opportunities

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) UNSC sanctions resolution: Use unity for diplomacy
(2) Legal assistance center needs more lawyers

Mainichi:
(1) UNSC sanctions resolution: North Korea should heed world's
warning
(2) Newspaper week: Reporting in a way to help build the future

TOKYO 00005998 002 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06


Yomiuri:
(1) UNSC sanctions resolution against North Korea: Specific,
effective action essential
(2) US Congress draft resolution on military comfort women: Japanese
government should properly rebut it

Nihon Keizai:
(1) No future for country that ignores UNSC resolution
(2) Deepening gloom in Russia due to murder of journalist

Sankei:
(1) UNSC sanctions resolution: Do not relax before all issues are
solved
(2) Printed wooden plate: Thinking about the benefits of writing

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Reproductive treatment: Rules should be set before fait
accompli
(2) Iran oilfield: Japan needs to rebuild its resource-securing
strategy

Akahata:
UNSC sanctions resolution against North Korea: Pyongyang should
answer to the will of the international community

3) UNSC unanimously adopts resolution against North Korea to impose
trade embargo, freeze assets, and inspect cargo; North Korea
"totally rejects it"

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 16, 2006

Yasunori Ishikawa, New York

The United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted on the
afternoon of Oct. 14 (early hours of Oct. 15, Japan time) a
resolution on sanctions against North Korea under Chapter 7 of the
UN Charter in reaction to its claimed nuclear test. The resolution
mandates nuclear disarmament, a trade embargo on materials and
technologies for developing weapons of mass destruction and
ballistic missiles, a freeze on financial assets, cargo inspections,
and other steps.

China's decision not to join cargo inspections raises questions
about effectiveness of UN resolution

(Commentary) Now that it has adopted its resolution, the UN Security
Council will impose severe sanctions on North Korea so as not to
allow it to continue running its nuclear and ballistic missiles
programs any further.

But China has already announced that it would not conduct cargo
inspections, as stipulated in the UN resolution, raising questions
about its effectiveness. Dr. Wade L. Huntley, Program Director at
the Simons Center for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research at
the University of British Columbia, expressed this view to the Tokyo
Shimbun: "Cargo inspections would have a deterrent effect on North
Korea to a certain extent, but China's nonparticipation in the
program would serve as a big loophole." The network of surveillance
may not expand beyond the "coalition of the willing."


TOKYO 00005998 003 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

At the same time, the resolution has effectively given a seal of
approval to the US-led Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI),
according to Huntley. The PSI designed to allow military ships to
inspect vessels on high seas is illegal under international law. But
the PSI has gained validity with the UNSC resolution.

Generally all economic resources for nuclear development would be
cut off, with such requirements as a freeze on financial assets and
a ban on drug trafficking and counterfeiting - steps believed to be
generating funds for nuclear development - effectively constituting
"illegal means."

The UNSC has taken a step to contain North Korea in reaction to its
claimed nuclear test. The step would drive the rebellious North to a
tighter corner, reducing chances for a resumption of the six-party
talks.

4) Government to expand financial sanctions: Exports of luxury goods
also to be banned

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 15, 2006

The government has decided to take additional sanctions measures
once the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopts a sanctions
resolution against North Korea. The package includes an embargo on
luxury goods, withdrawing money from accounts and overseas
remittances of money suspected of links to wrongdoings by North
Korea. Regarding ship searches, the package also eyes ship
inspections by the Maritime Self-Defense Force and full-fledged
consideration to providing logistical support to US vessels,
including fuel supply.

The embargo on luxury goods will be introduced, based on the revised
Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law, targeting such items
as cigarettes and liquor, expensive cars, and electronic
appliances.

As an embargo item, the UNSC resolution includes materials related
to weapons of mass destruction. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and
Industry has already banned exports of such goods to that nation
under its trade regulations.

Regarding financial sanctions, the government has by adopting an
approval system already frozen in effect withdrawal of money from
accounts with domestic banks and overseas remittances by 15
organizations and one individual strongly suspected of ties to North
Korea's development of WMD. The government also intends to expand
the number of designated organizations and individuals, making
financial transactions linked to counterfeiting and drug dealing
also the target of sanctions.

However, since it takes time to coordinate views with concerned
countries, such as the US, and gather information in order to
identify bank accounts related to North Korea, it appears that it
will be some time until those sanctions are invoked.

In order for MSDF troops to take part in ship inspections or provide
logistical support to US vessels, it is necessary either to apply
the Law on a Situation in the Areas Surrounding Japan, recognizing a
contingency in an area surrounding Japan, or to enact new
legislation. The government will compile sanctions measures based on

TOKYO 00005998 004 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

US requests.

5) Japan, US, S. Korea to hold foreign ministerial in Seoul on Oct.
19

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 16, 2006

SEOUL-Japan, the United States, and South Korea has entered into
final coordination to hold a trilateral meeting of Foreign Minister
Taro Aso, US Secretary of State Rice, and South Korean Foreign
Affairs and Trade Minister Ban Ki Moon in Seoul on Oct. 19. The
three countries will consult on their responses following the United
Nations Security Council's adoption of a resolution to impose
sanctions on North Korea. They will confirm trilateral unity for
specific steps, such as how to proceed with sanctions. This is aimed
at urging North Korea to comply with the UNSC resolution, which
calls for North Korea to give up its nuclear programs.

6) Gov't mulls MSDF participation in ship inspection

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Abridged)
October 16, 2006

Following up the United Nations Security Council's adoption of a
resolution to impose sanctions on North Korea, the government
decided yesterday to recognize (North Korea's recent proclamation of
a nuclear test as) a situation (i.e., a contingency) in areas
surrounding Japan and respond to the situation if and when US forces
inspect ships to and from North Korea in the Sea of Japan or
elsewhere in the neighborhood of Japan. The Maritime Self-Defense
Force will participate in ship inspections under the Ship Inspection
Operations Law. In addition, the MSDF will also back up US naval
vessels in the rear through refueling services and other measures
under the Law for Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan or the
so-called regional contingency security law. In case other countries
participate in ship inspections, the MSDF is not allowed under the
current law to provide their naval vessels with rear-echelon
support. The government is therefore mulling a new law.

The regional contingency security law defines situations in areas
surrounding Japan as "situations that will have an important
influence on Japan's peace and security." In 1999, the government
specified "the case where a country's conduct is regarded by the
UNSC as a threat to peace and is subject to economic sanctions." The
government judges that the series of situations this time falls
under this case.

7) Japan to cooperate with US military on ship inspections under
surrounding situations (regional contingency) law

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 16, 2006

In the wake of the United Nations Security Council's adoption of a
sanctions resolution against North Korea over its proclamation of a
nuclear test, Foreign Minister Taro Aso, appearing on NHK and other
TV programs aired yesterday, indicated that Japan should cooperate
with US forces in inspecting the cargoes of ships to and from North
Korea under the Law for Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan or the
so-called regional contingency security law. This envisions
rear-echelon logistics, such as refueling US naval vessels, and ship

TOKYO 00005998 005 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

inspections to be conducted by the Maritime Self-Defense Law under
the Ship Inspection Operations Law.

At the same time, Aso also suggested the need for the government to
consider establishing a special measures law after recognizing
(North Korea's proclamation of a nuclear test as) a situation in
areas surrounding Japan in order to have the MSDF enforce ship
inspections under that law.

The government is now studying whether to recognize a situation in
areas surrounding Japan to further international pressure on North
Korea. "Japan will work together with the international community to
stop North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons," Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe told reporters in Tokyo yesterday. "We're now already
studying (specific measures), but I'd like to make a final
decision," the premier added.

However, the New Komeito party, a coalition partner of the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party, is opposed to recognizing a situation in
areas surrounding Japan at this point.

8) Futenma the Achilles' heel for ruling, opposition camps in
Okinawa gubernatorial election next month

ASAHI (Page 38) (Full)
October 15, 2006

The outcome of the Okinawa gubernatorial election (on Nov. 19) will
significantly affect the future course of the realignment of US
forces in Japan. The two candidates representing the ruling and
opposition blocs are stepping up efforts to drum up support, but
they are faced with difficult issues in connection with the thorny
Futenma relocation issue.

The Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito support Hirokazu
Nakaima, 67, former chairman of the Okinawa Prefecture Chamber of
Commerce and Industry and former vice governor.

Nakaima used to be an official of the Ministry of International
Trade and Industry. After serving as chairman of Okinawa Electric
Power Co., he assumed the post of vice governor in 1990 in response
to an offer by then Governor Masahide Ota. He was in office for two
and a half years while serving as a pipeline between the central and
prefectural governments.

The ruling camp highlights his achievements and skills as a business
leader. Nakaima has pledged to lower Okinawa's unemployment rate,
the highest in the nation, to the national average. But he is
nervous about his career as a former bureaucrat being spotlighted.
Over the issue of relocating the heliport functions of the US Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station, many residents have expressed opposition
to the government's plan to build runways in a V-shape in Nago City.
The present prefectural government has also said the plan is
unacceptable. Given the circumstances, the candidate representing
the ruling camp does not want the image of being "obedient to the
government."

Meanwhile, Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan), the Japanese
Communist Party (JCP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP), the
Okinawa Shakai Taishuto (Okinawa Social Mass Party), and the Liberal
League have decided to field Keiko Itokazu, 59, a House of
Councillors member.

TOKYO 00005998 006 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06


After graduating from Yomitan High School, he became a bus tour
guide to convey the tragedy of war and call for peace. After serving
three terms in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly, she won the Upper
House election in 2004 in the Okinawa electoral district, defeating
the candidate backed by the LDP and the New Komeito, with the
support of Minshuto, the JCP, and the SDP. She is ready to focus on
the base issue in the election campaign.

The Futenma issue is the Achilles' heel for both candidates.
Nakaima's stance on this issue remains hazy. Although he has said,
"I cannot support the V-shape plan," he has refused to promise to
transfer the heliport somewhere outside the prefecture. When asked
if he approves the transfer of the facility within the prefecture,
Nakaima just replied, "Please understand my feelings."

Nakaima was initially in favor of the V-shape plan. A member of his
camp said: "When the current governor based on the stance of
supporting the transfer of the facility within the prefecture was
elected in the gubernatorial election eight years ago, this issue
was resolved. Now, only efforts to try to find common ground are
needed."

Itokazu's assertion "I will not allow the government to build a new
base. Futenma should be moved out of the nation" appears to be
clear-cut. But the local communities involved in the V-shape plan,
including Nago City, have already agreed to accept the plan, though
they do not agree on some contents, like the length of the runway.
In a press conference, Itokazu just said, "Once I become governor, I
will make efforts to bring in municipal government heads who are
against the new base plan."

9) Itokazu reveals basic policy in run-up to Okinawa gubernatorial
election, underscoring objection to government's new base plan

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 14, 2006

In the Okinawa gubernatorial election (official announcement on Nov.
2, election set for Nov. 19), the main point at issue is whether to
allow US base functions to be strengthened or to take steps to
remove US military bases from Okinawa. Keiko Itokazu, who has
announced her candidacy as an opposition contender, gave a press
conference in Naha City yesterday and revealed her basic policy
prior to the kickoff of the election campaign.

Itokazu has concluded an agreement on basic policy with the Japanese
Communist Party, the Okinawa Shakai Taishuto (Okinawa Social Mass
Party), the Social Democratic Party, Minshuto (Democratic Party of
Japan), and the Liberal League. Their representatives also joined
the press conference.

Itokazu will call for the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station to be
immediately closed down and returned to Japan. She will also oppose
the plan agreed on between the governments of Japan and the United
States to build two runways across the tip of Cape Henoko in a
V-shape, and she aims to reduce and remove US military bases.

Her stance is squarely responsive to local citizens' call for a
base-free Okinawa, in contrast to Hirokazu Nakaima, who is supported
by the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito. Nakaima has
indicated a stance of accepting the government's new base plan,

TOKYO 00005998 007 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

saying, "I am willing to confer with the government and reach a
solid settlement while giving full consideration to local people's
intentions and the environment."

Itokazu told reporters, "In opinion surveys, 72% of the people of
the prefecture are opposed to the Cape Henoko plan," and stressed
her determination to highlight the US military base issue as the top
issue in the gubernatorial election campaign.

10) Nakagawa: Debate on nuclear armament acceptable

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
October 16, 2006

Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi
Nakagawa on a TV-Asahi talk show yesterday made the following
comment regarding North Korea's declared nuclear test:

"Possessing nuclear weapons is not prohibited under the Constitution
(of Japan). The possession of nuclear weapons would reduce the
possibility of being attacked by (other countries). The idea of
retaliation is natural. A country whose mindset is beyond our
comprehension has declared that it has (nuclear weapons). Those
weapons must be eliminated at all costs."

Nakagawa's comment has created a stir in the New Komeito, the LDP's
coalition partner, and opposition parties amid growing concern
overseas about Japan arming itself with nuclear weapons.

After the program, Nakagawa explained to reporters:

"(Japan) has the three nonnuclear principles, and we will not
abandon them right away. I'm not discussing the matter on the
assumption that Japan should possess nuclear weapons. The step has
both advantages and disadvantages."

LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa defended the policy chief's
comment this way in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture:

"Mr. Nakagawa's comment was neither emotional nor idealistic. I am
taking it to mean (a discussion for) building a solid rationale for
the continued observance of the three nonnuclear principles as a
cool-headed strategy, as was announced by the prime minister."

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unequivocally indicated in a
speech in Ibaraki City in Osaka yesterday that Japan would maintain
the three nonnuclear rules.

New Komeito policy chief Saito objected to Nakagawa on the same
program: "We will absolutely not possess nuclear weapons. We must
not discuss the matter because this would raise international
speculation." Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Secretary General
Hatoyama also criticized Nakagawa in Ibaraki: "The logic of Japan
going nuclear following North Korea would proliferate nuclear
weapons (throughout the world. The logic is outrageous."

11) Nakagawa's call for nuclear armament draws fire from government
and political community

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 16, 2006


TOKYO 00005998 008 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa on a TV-Asahi
program yesterday raised the idea of Japan arming itself with
nuclear weapons. But his argument is unlikely to gain ground
immediately in the government and the ruling coalition. Nakagawa's
argument -- an international taboo -- has drawn fire from the
government and the ruling and opposition camps following the
international condemnation of North Korea's declared nuclear test.

Nakagawa said on the program: "If possessing nuclear weapons would
reduce the chance of Japan being attacked, playing tit for tat is
natural."

Nakagawa later told reporters: "I'm not discussing the matter on the
assumption that Japan should possess nuclear weapons." As a person
responsible for policies of the ruling LDP, Nakagawa's comment may
cause a sensation at home and abroad.

Defense Agency Director General Fumio Kyuma clearly rejected
Nakagawa's statement while speaking to the Mainichi Shimbun
yesterday: "Such an argument is not prevalent at the moment. There
is no need for it. Japan has been conducting things under America's
nuclear umbrella in accordance with the US-Japan Security Treaty.
That has been the best approach and sufficient."

Another cabinet minister also noted: "The possession of nuclear
weapons would eliminate the need to remain under America's nuclear
umbrella. Even if Japan possessed nuclear weapons, we would not be
able to vie with China, which has hundreds of them."

Former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato took this view: "I don't
understand what made Mr. Nakagawa to make such a comment. We must
put a brake on (such a statement), because otherwise Japan would be
misunderstood in the rest of the world."

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama delivered a speech in Ibaraki City, Osaka, yesterday in
which he criticized Nakagawa: "(Mr. Nakagawa's theory) is an eye for
an eye. Japan possessing nuclear weapons following North Korea would
result in nuclear proliferation. Japan, as the only country in the
world that ever suffered an atomic bombing, must exhibit strong
leadership in nuclear disarmament without possessing nuclear
weapons.

12) Prime minister makes his first stump speeches for candidates in
Lower House by-election; Stresses results of his recent visits to
China and South Korea; Makes public appeal on his policy in relaxed
manner

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 15, 2006

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the afternoon of Oct. 14 made
street-corner campaign speeches at three locations in Kanagawa
Prefecture for a candidate running in the Lower House by-election in
the Kanagawa Constituency No. 16. It was the first time for the
prime minister to make stump speeches.

Abe made a campaign tour to three locations, including Sagamihara
City. A total of 16,000 people, a figure released by the organizer,
gathered to listen to Abe's speeches. He consistently spoke in a
relaxed manner. It appeared that this reflected his confidence that
he has embarked on his administration without a hitch. However, why

TOKYO 00005998 009 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

he spoke in such a slow manner was revealed at the outset of his
speech.

Touching on the candidate running on the Liberal Democratic Party's
ticket, Abe evoked laughter, revealing an episode: "He is a rookie
candidate, but his campaign speeches are wonderful. When I first ran
in an election, members of my support organization told me off,
'Speak more slowly.'" Abe thus appeared to be considerably aware of
his weak point of speaking rapidly.

He then turned serious and spoke on key policy items.

He spared a considerable amount of time for reform of social
security. While referring to the need to cut pension payments to
some extent and raising health insurance premiums due to the
declining birthrate, he touched on reform of the Social Insurance
Agency and stressed, "I will drastically reorganize the agency into
a reliable organization."

13) Government, governing coalition to give top priority in Diet
debate to Japan's response to N. Korea

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 15, 2006

With the end of the question and answer sessions in the budget
committees of both the houses of the Diet, full-fledged discussions
on bills will now start in the Diet. The government and the ruling
coalition intend to give the highest priority to Diet deliberations
on Japan's response to North Korea's claim of having tested a
nuclear bomb, including implementing sanctions. They will speed up
this deliberation process, because the process, if prolonged, would
affect the deliberation schedule for other bills, such as an
amendment to the Basic Education law, which is viewed as one of the
key bills to be dealt with during the current Diet session.

Public expectations

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) plans to incorporate ship
inspections of North Korean and other countries' ships in its new
sanction resolution against that country. In order to enable Japan
to take part in the inspections and provide logistic support to US
forces, the government is examining what situation will be regarded
as the one as described in the Law on Situations in Areas
Surrounding Japan. Some in the ruling parties are calling for
establishing a special measures law so that Japan can conduct ship
inspections and that Japan can work together with not only US troops
but also other countries' troops.

A cabinet meeting would decide whether the situation is recognized
as "a situation in areas surrounding Japan," and in addition, it
necessary to obtain prior approval from the Diet except in the case
of an emergency. In the case of establishing a special measures law,
much more time will be certainly required.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Toshihiro Nikai, asked on Oct. 13 by reporters about the
party's response to the case of establishing a special measures law,
underscored his stance of giving the highest priority to the matter,
telling reporters: "If a bill concerning this matter were submitted
to the Diet, we must reach a conclusion during the current Diet
session; otherwise we would betray public expectations." But

TOKYO 00005998 010 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06

cautious views have been voiced in the LDP's junior coalition
partner New Komeito and the opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto). Chances are that discussions will heat up in the Diet.

No clear timetable in sight for Diet deliberations on bills

Some in the ruling parties, meanwhile, are beginning to express
concern about what will happen to other key bills.

In the Lower House plenary session on Oct. 13, an amendment to the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law came at the top of deliberations
among the key bills. The amendment is intended to extend the term of
refueling US and British forces now going on in the Indian Ocean for
another one year.

But full-scale deliberations on other key bills are unlikely to
occur before late October, which means that there will be less than
only two months left for deliberations before the current Diet
session closes (on Dec. 15). The reason is the first national
elections since the Abe administration came into being. The
by-elections in Kanagawa No. 16 District and Osaka No. 9 District
for Lower House seats are slated for Oct. 22; during the election
campaign, the Diet will be in effect in "political recess."

The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law is due to expire on Nov. 1,
so an amendment to the law needs to be enacted by the end of the
month. The ruling parties are trying to get it through the Lower
House on Oct. 19, but the opposition parties are opposing the
extension of the law.

On an amendment to the Basic Education Law, which Prime Minister Abe
regards as the top priority challenge, the ruling camp wants to have
it passed by the Lower House in early November. But the opposition
camp is insisting that there should not be a rush to get it approved
during the current Diet session. In the Lower House Special
Committee on the Basic Education Law, the post of director to be
filled by a Minshuto lawmaker has yet to be filled, making it
unclear when the committee will be convened.

14) Drafting of mid-term reform policy next January decided at first
CEFP meeting under Abe administration: Prime minister orders
growth-sustaining measures

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 14, 2006

The Council of Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP, chaired by Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe) on Oct. 13 met for the first time under the Abe
administration at the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei).
Participants in the meeting decided to compile a mid-term reform
policy covering the next five years or so next January. The prime
minister ordered the panel to include specific measures designed to
sustain growth of the Japanese economy in the mid-term reform
policy, noting: "I would like the panel to serve as the engine for
the government's reform drive. I want you to consider a path toward
reform at an early date for further growth of the economy."

The meeting brought together four newly appointed private-sector
members of the panel, including Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Japan
Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren) and also chairman of Canon.
Participants exchanged views with the prime minister and related
cabinet ministers for an hour and 10 minutes.

TOKYO 00005998 011 OF 011

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10//06


Private-sector members released a set of proposals titled "For
Creation and Growth." The package proposed a plan to shift the
Japanese economy to a new growth track in about five years and
tackle intensive reform during the first two years. It also included
challenges in seven areas, including improving productivity and
regulatory reform.

Participants in the meeting vowed to press ahead with efforts to
consider proposals offered by private-sector members. They decided
to enter intensive deliberations on key consideration items,
including reform of the decentralization system, at the next session
in preparation for drafting a mid-term reform policy.

Speaking to the press after the meeting, State Minister in charge of
Economic and Fiscal Policy Hiroko Ota noted: "Growth can be achieved
only through comprehensive reform. We would like to deliberate on
issues, based on proposals made by private-sector members."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
 
 
 
World Headlines

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.