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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/31/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 006302

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 10/31/06

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Index:

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

Defense and security issues:
4) Interview with JDA chief Kyuma on North Korea nuclear issue
5) Kyuma meets with China's military brass, as exchanges resume
after long hiatus
6) LDP, Minshuto reach compromise on bill to raise JDA to ministry
status
7) Likelihood now that JDA will be raised to a ministry this Diet
8) Ruling parties' candidate for Okinawa governor Nakaima would
allow prefecture to accept Futenma relocation
9) Interview on base issues to local paper by Naha Consulate General
Kevin Maher

Political flaps:
10) Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shimomura apologizes to LDP execs
for causing trouble with his remark about reviewing comfort-women
issue
11) LDP policy chief Nakagawa continues to stress constitutional
right for Japan to possess nuclear arms, though willing to accept
three no-nuclear principles

Political agenda:
12) Ruling and opposition camps lock horns in Diet committee over
amending Basic Education Law
13) Prime Minister Abe: Postal rebels must approve postal
privatization first before being reinstated into LDP
14) Argument for separating souls of war criminals enshrined at
Yasukuni seems to have faded into background following Abe's trips
to China, ROK

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Schools' failure to teach compulsory subjects dominate Basic
Education Law committee discussion; Who should be held responsible -
the government, boards of education, or schools?

Mainichi:
Three major consumer loan companies to post huge debts in September
term

Yomiuri:
MEXT to expand national university tuition fee exemption program
starting next spring

Nihon Keizai:
Toshiba Ceramics to tie up with domestic and foreign investment
funds for MBO

Sankei:
Lower House committee begins deliberations on bullying, lack of
required credit units, and education law revision; Government
oversight to be strengthened

Tokyo Shimbun:

TOKYO 00006302 002 OF 010


Government to help students failing to acquire required credit units
with 70 hours of extra lessons

Akahata:
Education law revision a counterproductive approach to bullying

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Buy more natural energy
(2) Postal privatization: Concrete steps to downsizing essential

Mainichi:
(1) Basic Education Law revision: Look at reality first
(2) Softbank's number portability fiasco

Yomiuri:
(1) Kono Statement: Question is whether "comfort women" were forced
to provide sexual services against their will
(2) Surprise discount plan sparks confusion

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Softbank harms public trust in number portability system
(2) Reinstatement of postal rebels inappropriate

Sankei:
(1) School bullying resulting in suicides
(2) Number portability fiasco exposes telecom carriers'
responsibility

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Bullying and suicides: Break the link
(2) Softbank must strike balance between fees and credibility

Akahata:
(1) Law Supporting the Independence of the Handicapped must be
reviewed

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 30

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2006

09:00
Met Education Minister Ibuki at Kantei, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Shiozaki, and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shimomura. Shimomura
stayed behind.

10:01
Attended a meeting of the Lower House's Special Committee on the
Basic Education Law.

12:07
Met Shimomura at Kantei.

13:00
Returned to the meeting of the special committee.

17:03
Attended an LDP executive meeting in the Diet building.

TOKYO 00006302 003 OF 010

17:58
Met at Kantei with Nippon Yusen Chairman Kusakari, chairman of the
Regulatory Reform and Liberalization Promotion Committee.

18:35
Dined at a restaurant in the Otemachi First Square with members of
the Seven Companies' Association of media firms, including Yomiuri
Shimbun President Tsuneo Watanabe and TV Tokyo Advisor Yutaka
Ichigi.

20:30
Returned to his private residence.

4) Interview with JDA chief Kyuma on North Korea's nuclear issue

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
October 31, 2006

-- In the talks on Oct. 18 between you and United States Secretary
of State Rice, both agreed to launch working-level talks on
implementing sanctions against North Korea. Are the two countries
going to start full-scale talks after the mid-term elections in
early November?

It is not correct to think that the US does not start talks before
elections, but the US is watching the next move by North Korea.

-- Now that the United Nation Secretary Council has adopted a
resolution calling for sanctions, including cargo inspections, what
can Japan do now?

In addition to monitoring (by the Self-Defense Force) and the
collection and transmission of intelligence, Japan can offer fueling
service (also to warships from other countries than the US) under
the Goods Control Law and the Financial Law.

-- You remain cautious about invoking the regional contingency law
to enable Japan's rear support for the US military and ship
inspections, don't you?

We are not in a tense situation. It is not proper to draw up a basic
plan (on support for the US military) and obtain Diet approval now.
When the need arises, we should decide what we should do and then
lay out a basic plan.

-- It has been reported in South Korea and other countries that
North Korea is pushing ahead with preparations for another nuclear
test. Are there any signs to prove such a report?

I have not heard anything yet. But that nation might be making
preparations before we know.

-- The government acknowledged on Oct. 27 that North Korea had
conducted a nuclear test. Was it based on the official
acknowledgement by the US and South Korea?

Although Japan has not received any decisive information, the US
announced that it has obtained (radioactive) materials, and South
Korea, which is located closer to the North than Japan, said that it
detected earthquake waves. These countries have said with confidence
that Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test. It is therefore proper for

TOKYO 00006302 004 OF 010


the government to judge that the North conducted a nuclear test and
to think that some countermeasures are necessary.

-- Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi
Nakagawa's statements over debate on Japan's nuclear option have
caused controversy.

Even if Japan possessed nuclear weapons, (the result would be to
only heat up the nuclear arms race, so) it would not serve as a
deterrent. The US has consistently maintained in the postwar period
that "since Japan cannot protect itself independently, we will
protect it under our 'nuclear umbrella." Japan therefore should keep
its three antinuclear principles."

5) Kyuma meets China's military brass

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2006

Defense Agency Director General Fumio Kyuma yesterday met at his
office with a visiting Chinese group of 20 military brass officers
from the People's Liberation Army of China. They are now visiting
Japan on a bilateral defense exchange program for field officers. In
the meeting, Kyuma invited Chinese naval vessels and Chinese Defense
Minister Cao Gangchuan to visit Japan. A Chinese fleet visit to
Japan was scheduled for 2003 but has been suspended due to the two
countries' respective circumstances, such as the worsening of
bilateral relations. The Chinese delegation responded to the
invitation, with one of them saying China wants to do so at the
earliest possible date. In addition, Kyuma stressed the necessity of
denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. The Chinese delegation also
expressed strong concern about North Korea's nuclear test.

6) LDP, Minshuto agree to resume deliberations on bill upgrading
Defense Agency to a ministry

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2006

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the main opposition
party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) engaged in a fierce
battle yesterday over a bill designed to upgrade the Defense Agency
to the status of a ministry. On the premise of agreeing to carry out
deliberations on the bill, Minshuto demanded that concentrated
discussion on a bid-rigging scandal involving the Defense Facilities
Administration Agency (DFAA) be carried for two days. The LDP
initially suggested holding a discussion only one day but the
largest opposition party assumed a hard-line stance of being ready
to boycott the deliberations on the bill. The LDP, therefore,
accepted the Minshuto's demand late last night. As a result, the two
parties reached an agreement to attend the debate on the bills.
Last evening, Hiroshi Imazu of the LDP, who serves as chief director
of the House of Representatives Security Committee, and Ryuzo Sasaki
of Minshuto held talks in the Diet building. Sasaki there told Imazu
that even if the LDP held a session on the afternoon of Oct. 31, he
would not attend it, saying, "We cannot yield our demand for a
two-day debate." Imazu then accepted Minshuto's demand at last.

Minshuto, however, has not make clear its stand toward the bill as
to whether or not approve of it because the party appears to be
unwilling to destroy cooperation with the Japanese Communist Party
and the Social Democratic Party, which have clearly opposed the

TOKYO 00006302 005 OF 010


bill, in the Nov. 19 Okinawa gubernatorial election as they have
jointly backed the same candidate.

In the largest opposition party, however, many lawmakers are in
favor of the bill upgrading the Defense Agency to a ministry. A
young conservative lawmaker voiced concern about the fact that the
party brandished the treat of boycotting the deliberations, saying,
"People may misunderstand that Minshuto is opposed to the upgrade of
the Defense Agency to a ministry."

7) 'Defense Ministry' bill likely to pass Diet during current
session

TOKYO (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2006

A government-introduced package of legislative measures, including a
bill revising the Defense Agency Establishment Law to upgrade the
agency to the status of a ministry, is now likely to pass the Diet
at its current session ending Dec. 15. The House of Representatives
Security Affairs Committee yesterday held a meeting of its senior
directors from the ruling and opposition parties to schedule
deliberations. As a result, the legislation will enter into
full-fledged deliberations on Nov. 7 and is expected to pass the
lower chamber after Nov. 10.

The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) called
for a two-day session of intensive deliberations over the Defense
Facilities Administration Agency's bid-rigging scandal. The ruling
coalition insisted on a one-day session of intensive deliberations
but has now complied with the DPJ's request. The DPJ therefore
agreed to deliberate on the legislation.

However, the DPJ is expected to vote against the legislation in
consideration of a possible impact on the opposition camp's joint
struggle in Okinawa Prefecture's gubernatorial election scheduled
for Nov. 19.

8) Nakaima may accept Futenma relocation within Okinawa

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2006

Former Okinawa Electric Power Co. Chairman Hirokazu Nakaima, 67, who
has now announced his candidacy for Okinawa Prefecture's
gubernatorial election scheduled for Nov. 19 as an independent new
face recommended by the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic
Party and the New Komeito, held a press conference in Naha City
yesterday and remarked for the first time that he would likely
accept relocating the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station within
Okinawa Prefecture. Nakaima has so far avoided clarifying his
standpoint about where to relocate the airfield.

Meanwhile, Keiko Itokazu, 59, currently seated on the House of
Councillors, is an independent new face recommended by anti-LDP and
anti-Komeito parties, including the Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto), the Japanese Communist Party, and the Social Democratic
Party (Shaminto). Itokazu is calling for relocating the airfield
elsewhere outside Okinawa Prefecture or overseas. The two candidates
have now made clear the difference between their respective
assertions.


TOKYO 00006302 006 OF 010


9) US Consul General Kevin Maher in Okinawa: Dangers will be
eliminated with realization of Futenma relocation

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
October 28, 2006

Interviewer: Go Watanabe

-- During the relocation work for the US Marine Corps Air Station
Futenma, there was an arrest.

Consul General Maher: "It is my understanding that one reason why
the previous Henoko relocation plan was derailed was a campaign by
opponents of the relocation plan. One reason why the United States
has accepted a new relocation plan is because the Japanese
government has insisted that it is confident it can make the plan
come true, and another reason is our judgment that the plan is
feasible. Given these things, my understanding about the removal of
a sit-in protest staged in front of the gate is that the Japanese
government demonstrated its strong will to implement the plan. I
respect the right to protest, but a protest movement should be
staged legitimately and peacefully."

-- How will you plan to remove dangers of the Futenma airfield?

"If the objective of the US military transformation is simply to
'reduce the burden,' it is possible to close Futenma airfield
immediately, but the current security environment is not so
favorable. I know, of course, that the citizens of Ginowan City are
concerned about safety and noise. Realistically, the best approach
would be to implement the plan as quickly as possible."

-- Why are you going to deploy Patriot missiles at Kadena Air Base?

"We've decided to deploy them from a comprehensive standpoint,
taking into account such factors as the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF)
plan to deploy the PAC-3, and the plan to deploy the X-Band radar
and the Aegis ship. If you ask whether these things are for the
defense of the Kadena base or for the defense of Okinawa, our answer
is to defend both. Our role is to defend Japan, as well as to
contribute to peace and security in the Far East. At the same time,
Japan's role is to provide facilities to us. In order for us to
fulfill our duties, we need bases, and we need to defend bases."

-- What is your plan to return the bases located south of Kadena?

"We will make a master plan by next March, but I've no idea at
present how detailed it can be. Regarding the functions of the
facilities south of Kadena that are planned to be returned to Japan,
we need to decide where the necessary portion of the functions will
be relocated to which units that will stay in Okinawa. Regarding the
functions of Naha Port, our plan is to relocate them to a reclaimed
area in Urasoe City. Regarding others, our basic idea is to combine
them in US military facilities. For instance, the Kadena Munitions
Depot, (Camp) Hansen, and (Camp) Schwab Depot."

-- The Guam relocation plan shows the relocation of a Marine Corps
combat unit. Is there a possibility that drills for that unit will
be carried out in Okinawa?

"The plan will take shape in the weeks ahead, so I have no idea
about details. If a combat unit is deployed in Guam, I think there

TOKYO 00006302 007 OF 010


is a possibility that it will have drills in Okinawa under a unit
deployment program (UDP). However, I don't think that the scale of
drills conducted in Okinawa or the number of times of drills will
expand."

-- Will anything other than the headquarters of the US Marine Corps
in Okinawa be relocated to Guam?

"There's no such relocation plan. If there is an increase in Marine
Corps personnel in Guam, Marines will be sent from the US mainland.
The US military transformation plans to enable the Marine Corps to
flexibly respond to a crisis in the area near Guam, Okinawa, and
Hawaii. Even after the headquarters is relocated to Guam, the combat
unit and the functions of the Futenma base will remain in Okinawa.
In Okinawa, the Futenma base must be relocated by 2014. The package
deal (concerning the relocation of Futenma and Marines) must be kept
in mind."

10) Shimomura apologizes to ruling party execs

TOKYO (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2006

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hakubun Shimomura met with Liberal
Democratic Party Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Toshihiro Nikai and
New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio Urushibara in the
Diet yesterday afternoon to offer his apologies for his recent
remarks over the issue of comfort women. Shimomura said, "I troubled
many people, and I intend to be more careful."

Shimomura had suggested the necessity of reinvestigating the facts
about former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei Kono's statement that
admitted to the now-defunct Japanese military's compelling of
comfort women.

11) LDP policy chief Nakagawa: Japan can possess nuclear weapons
constitutionally, but in reality Japan has three nonnuclear
principles

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2006

Referring to the question of whether Japan should debate a nuclear
option in a speech delivered yesterday in Numazu City, Shizuoka
Prefecture Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Policy Research Council
Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa stated:

"According the government's interpretation of the Constitution,
nuclear weapons are included in minimum necessary armaments.
However, there are the three nonnuclear principles in Japan. In view
of the actual policy, Japan is not allowed to possess nuclear
weapons, but the government says Japan can have them
constitutionally."

Commenting on North Korea's nuclear test, he underscored the need
for a debate on whether or not Japan should possess nuclear weapons,
noting:

"What should we do if missiles come from the North? In order to
prevent such a situation, Japan needs to cooperate with the United
States and China. And we should debate on a nuclear option now."


TOKYO 00006302 008 OF 010


In a lecture meeting yesterday at a Tokyo hotel of the Asia Research
Institute, which is chaired by former Ambassador to the US Kuriyama,
LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa stated on the fact that
policy chief Nakagawa and others have advocated the need for Japan
to consider a nuclear option: "We must not suppress views calling
for study (of policy issues)." He indicated that the party would
allow to individual politicians to speak their personal views.

12) Basic Education Law Special Committee intensively discusses
students' lack of required credit units and bullying; Ruling
coalition accelerates debate on review of boards of education

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 31, 2006

The Lower House Basic Education Law Special Committee began
deliberations yesterday on Basic Education Law revision with
discussion centering on problems associated with schools, such as
high school students' lack of required credit units and students'
bullying resulting in suicides. The government and the ruling
coalition are accelerating the argument calling for reviewing
prefectural boards of education by criticizing them. The approach
seems to reflect their intention to shield the government and the
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry from
criticism.

Responsibility and authority

In yesterday's education committee session, education minister
Bunmei Ibuki lashed out at prefectural boards of education regarding
their responses to bullying, saying: "They lack a sense of
responsibility. In the event idealistic arguments (do not work), the
system must be reviewed." Prime Minister Shinzo Abe also described
schools' failure to teach compulsory subjects as a violation of the
rules. Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Yoshihiko Noda pursued the education ministry's
responsibility, arguing, "If only one school had failed to meet the
requirements, that could be settled with an apology of the principal
of that school, but violations have occurred throughout the
country." In response, Ibuki said, "I am to blame partially." At the
same time, he ruled out legal responsibility.

Ruling bloc on offensive over patriotism

Former education minister Tadamori Oshima of the Liberal Democratic
Party, who took the floor as the first questioner, pressed Minshuto
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, who had presented the Minshuto

SIPDIS
plan, for revision talks, saying, "Reflecting the Minshuto plan on
the government plan would serve the interests of society and the
general public." Oshima's call was intended to shake the Minshuto's
strategy to prolong deliberations, although the ruling coalition
thinks revision was out of the question.

The focus of Basic Education Law revision was the description of
"patriotism," which is specified in both the ruling and Minshuto
plans. The Minshuto plan simply reads, "to nurture a mind to love
Japan." The difference with the government plan that reads, "to
nurture an attitude that loves the nation and homeland," did not
become clear. The LDP, which thinks that all contentious points have
been discussed, aims to obtain Lower House approval in early
November.


TOKYO 00006302 009 OF 010


Views held by the government and Minshuto over educational issues

Issue
1. Government
2. Minshuto

A lack of required credit units

1. The results are attributable to schools' encouragement to violate
rules in a bid to achieve good results in college entrance
examinations. (Prime Minister Shinzo Abe)

2. The matter concerns not only some schools and boards of education
but also the government and the education ministry. (Diet Affairs
Committee Chairman Yoshihiko Noda)

Bullying

1. There is a tendency that teachers and boards of education play
key roles in bullying and hide bullying incidents. (Education
minister Bunmei Ibuki)

2. It is not clear about who is responsible. Interviews have been
insufficient. (Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama)

Basic Education Law

1. I am skeptical about handing educational rights to chiefs to be
selected in elections. (Education minister Ibuki)

2. A system must be established in which ombudsmen will audit it
under the responsibility of municipalities. (Secretary General
Hatoyama)

13) Prime Minister Abe: Supporting postal privatization a condition
for postal rebels to return to LDP

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2006

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa
said that if postal rebels want to rejoin the LDP, they should
support the government's postal privatization plan. Asked by
reporters yesterday at his office (Kantei) about his view on
Nakagawa's remarks, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe responded: "It is only
natural for them to agree to my policies, which are included in my
policy speech. My policy speech stipulates the (postal-privatization
plan)." Abe indicated that he would agree to the reinstatement of
postal rebels if they approve postal privatization.

14) Idea of separately enshrining Class-A war criminals now up in
air following prime minister's visits to China, South Korea

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 31, 2006

Uncertainty is looming over the idea of removing the souls of
Class-A war criminals from Yasukuni Shrine. Debate on the idea
appeared to gather momentum following the proposal made by Japan
War-Bereaved Association Chairman Makoto Koga, a Liberal Democratic
Party member. But deliberations have been low key since the LDP
presidential election. Views in the bereaved association are split.

TOKYO 00006302 010 OF 010


In addition, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's meetings with the Chinese
and South Korean leaders have lowered the issue's priority on the
political agenda. Abe successfully brought about summits with China
and South Korea under the strategy of stopping short of whether he
would visit Yasukuni Shrine

In a speech at the Fukushima Prefecture War-Bereaved Association's
convention held in Fukuoka yesterday, Koga said, "We must work out a
way under which anyone can pay homage without any hesitation." Koga
thus indicated his willingness to continue to advocate the idea of
separately enshrining Class-A war criminals, although he did not
directly refer to it.

In his policy statement released this May with an eye on the
presidential race, Koga advocated the idea of unenshrining Class-A
war criminals and called on association members to look into the
idea. Koga, who distanced himself from former Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi, also stressed the need to improve Japan's
relations with China and South Korea, which were strained over
Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine.

Removing the war criminals enshrined at Yasukuni is the "third way"
that can satisfy the bereaved association, which is calling for the
prime minister's annual visit to the shrine, and serve to restore
the strained relations with China and South Korea.

However, with an eye on the House of Councillors election next
summer, many bereaved association executives want to avoid fissures
in their organization as a result of stepping into the delicate
issue. Furthermore, the birth of the Abe administration has turned
around the situation. Abe's meetings with the Chinese and South
Korean leaders moved relations with the two countries in the
direction of improvement, resulting in placing the idea of
unenshrining war criminals in limbo.

SCHIEFFER

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