Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/21/06

VZCZCXRO5653
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #6650/01 3252241
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 212241Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8510
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 1383
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8891
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2301
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 8487
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9934
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4953
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1057
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2555

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 006650

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 11/21/06


INDEX:

(1) US lawyer: Priority to efficiency caused incident of unapproved
glandular material mixed in shipment

(2) In BSE debate, US lawyer points out loose management of anti-BSE
safety measures: "Even beef from sick cattle is allowed into US food
chain"

(3) Changing Okinawa (Part 1): Voters place emphasis more on economy
than base issue; New governor to look for common ground on Futenma
relocation

(4) Interview with former defense chief Shigeru Ishiba -- Nuclear
debate must not be suppressed

ARTICLES:

(1) US lawyer: Priority to efficiency caused incident of unapproved
glandular material mixed in shipment

NIHON NOGYO SHIMBUN (Page?) (Full)
November 10, 2006

It has been disclosed that sweetbread, a glandular material that is
not authorized for exports to Japan, was found in a US veal shipment
to Japan. In this connection, Felicia Nestor, an American lawyer who
supports whistle-blowing activities about the insufficient
implementation of anti-BSE safety measures in the US, stressed in a
speech in Osaka on Nov. 9 that the meatpacker in question is "famous
for its quick slaughter process." He attributed the incident to its
stance of giving priority to efficiency. Nestor also reported on the
loose management of safety measures across the US, saying, "There
are not many government meat inspectors. In addition, they have not
been granted enough authority to give instructions on improvement
measures."

In slaughterhouses in the US, meat inspectors determine the age of
cattle and check if specified risk materials are fully removed.
Nestor said, "Some inspectors are asked to inspect (almost
simultaneously) two or three plants which are located 200 kilometer
away from one another. The number of inspectors should be increased
by 10 to 15%."

When a violation of rules on anti-BSE and other measures takes
place, the responsible inspector submits a report on the violation
to the government, but according to Nestor, "(They have no authority
to give instructions to the plant in question, and) only with the
plant's presentation of improvement measures, it is concluded that
improvement measures have already been taken."

Of the 35 plants certified to export meat to Japan, violation cases
involving 26 facilities have been recorded. Regarding these cases,
the Japanese government's data note that improvement measures have
been taken, but Nestor said, "The plants in problem might have taken
only make-shift measures."

Nestor handled internal complaints from meat inspectors until 2004
as a government project member in the US Food Safety Department. He
still supports whistle-blower activities.

(2) In BSE debate, US lawyer points out loose management of anti-BSE
safety measures: "Even beef from sick cattle is allowed into US food

TOKYO 00006650 002 OF 007


chain"

AKAHATA (Page?) (Full)
November 12, 2006

"The United States has not excluded sick cattle from its
distribution channel." During a debate session on BSE in Toyo on
Nov. 11, Felicia Nestor, a US lawyer supporting whistle-blowing
activities by meat inspectors of the US Department of Agriculture,
underscored the sloppiness of safety procedures taken at
slaughterhouses and packing plants in the US.

In Japan, the government has taken safeguard measures, but in the
US, meatpackers are responsible for ensuring the safety of beef.
According to Nestor, six cows are slaughtered in one second, but
"government inspectors have no authority to stop the process even if
they think it is dangerous." Nestor further said that the process is
slowed down when foreign inspectors are watching it, adding, "The
speed is picked up again once the investigators leave the site. It
is impossible to conduct a snap inspection (as suggested by the
Japanese government)."

Just after Japan ended its original import ban on US beef imports,
vertebral columns, designated as a specified risk material, were
found in a US veal shipment. In reaction, Japan reinstated the ban.
The reinstated ban was lifted this July, but only three months after
that, sweetbread, an unapproved glandular material, was found in a
shipment. Nestor said, "Most of the workers at leading companies are
migrant workers. Even if executives intend to thoroughly observe
safety procedures for Japan-bound beef, such workers do not
understand English."

In a lecture delivered in the debate session, Tokyo Medical College
Professor Kiyotoshi Kaneko (former acting chairman of the prion
panel under the Food Safety Commission) explained how the
government, though the safety of US beef remained unconfirmed
scientifically, used the panel's report of recommendation compiled
on the assumption of implementation of a program of exports to
Japan. He then pointed out, "The US and Japan have used different
safety standards."

Zenkoku Shokkenren (National Food Health Association) sponsored the
debate session. One participant stressed, "The fog is now clearing.
Japan should call on the US to take the same safety measures as
Japan's."

Focusing on the repeated Beef Export Verification (BEV) violations
by the US, the office of House of Councillors member Tomoko Kami of
the Japanese Communist Party has produced a report titled, "BEV
violation records at US slaughterhouses with licenses to ship beef
to Japan.

(3) Changing Okinawa (Part 1): Voters place emphasis more on economy
than base issue; New governor to look for common ground on Futenma
relocation

ASAHI (Page 37) (Full)
November 21, 2006

Hirokazu Nakaima, 67, former chairman of Okinawa Electric Power
Company, won Sunday's Okinawa gubernatorial election, defeating
former House of Councillors member Keiko Itokazu, who had the
backing of opposition parties, by a margin of about 37,000 votes.

TOKYO 00006650 003 OF 007


Nakaima won about 350,000 votes. What is now occurring in Okinawa?

Late at night of Nov. 19 Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, 60, the mayor of
Nago City, to which area the US Marine Corps Air Station Futenma is
slacted to be relocated (from Ginowan City), was in the office of
Nakaima, the candidate-backed by the ruling coalition for the
gubernatorial election. When it was reported that Nakaima was sure
to win the race, Shimabukuro, his face beaming, said: "The
prefecture's administration cannot be run by advocating only peace.
(This view) became a strong driving force for the victory."

Shimabukuro was elected the mayor of Nago City in January, pledging
to take over the policy led by the late Mayor Takeo Kishimoto.

Kishimoto locked horns with the central government over the Futenma
relocation issue, while joining hands with the central government.
He urged the government to accept seven requests, including reaching
a conclusion on the use of the base, as conditions for constructing
a facility in the offing of Henoko district, in Nago City. When the
Japanese and US governments picked Cape Henoko adjacent to
residential areas as a new relocation site, Kishimoto reacted
strongly, arguing, "That's out of question!"

During the campaign for the mayoral election, Shimabukuro also
vowed: "I cannot accept any ideas that are not within the scope of
the Henoko offing plan." However, he eventually accepted the
government's V-shaped runway plan, which was designed to avoid
flights over residential areas.

On the morning of Nov. 20, Shimabukuro told a group of press corps:
"We have assumed a position of accepting the V-shaped runaway plan.
I will move things while consulting with Mr. Nakaima."

Nakaima will follow the prefectural administration led by Gov.
Kenichi Inamine. Like Shimabukuro, Nakaima seems to be willing to
cooperate with the central government regarding the Futenma
relocation.

Inamine accepted the relocation of Futenma heliport within the
prefecture on the condition that a 15-year limit should be set on
the use of the replacement facility for Futenma. He opposed,
however, the Cape Henoko plan even though tensions grew between
Okinawa and Tokyo.

Nakaima, who was serving as chairman of the Okinawa Chamber of
Commerce and Industry, was one of those who openly criticized
Inamine's policy line. Nakaima said in a meeting of an economic
circle: "It is not to good to clash with the government." The
dominant view in Okinawan business organizations was that it would
be wise for Okinawa to elicit assistance from the government to
promote its economy, making compromises with Tokyo.

Nakaima, however, took a vague stance toward the V-shaped runaway
plan, while saying, "I cannot accept the plan as is." When asked by
reporters about how he would deal with the V-shaped plan, he
revealed the view of seeking common ground, responding, "I would
like to look for a satisfying answer, consulting with the
government."

The mayor of Nago City has changed from Kishimoto to Shimabukuro,
and Nakaima will replace Okinawa Gov. Inamine. Changing times call
for new leaders.


TOKYO 00006650 004 OF 007


In a bid to reduce Okinawa's burden of US military bases, the Henoko
offing plan was hammered out within the framework of the Japan-US
Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO), which was set up
following the rape of a schoolgirl by US servicemen in 1995.

The purpose of the transformation of US forces is to bolster the US
military posture to cope immediately with global terrorism. In
Japan-US consultations, the priority was placed on reaching an
agreement between the two governments, leaving local sentiments on a
back burner.

One Okinawa government official, feeling a change in the tide,
said:

"The maneuvering of taking US bases hostage no longer worked in
negotiating the realignment of US forces. Gov. Inamine, who followed
SACO, had to wrap up his term in office along with SACO. Mr. Nakaima
will likely place emphasis on the economy rather than politics in
dealing with the US base issues."

(4) Interview with former defense chief Shigeru Ishiba -- Nuclear
debate must not be suppressed

Shukan Asahi (Pp.22-25) (Abridged slightly)
December 1, 2006

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa's remarks have
ignited "debate on possessing nuclear weapons." Many segments of the
Japanese media are dismissive of nuclear debate. Is Japan not
allowed to discuss such an option? Isn't it appropriate for Japan to
discuss it as the only country in the world that suffered from
atomic bombings? Writer Eiji Oshita interviewed former Defense
Agency Director-General Shigeru Ishiba.

Q: Remarks on possessing nuclear weapons by Foreign Minister Taro
Aso and LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakgawa have
sparked controversy. As the person holding the record of the
second-longest serving defense chief in the country, what do you
think of their comments?

A: The Japanese media have been dismissive of just discussing the
subject. I think we should debate whether or not Japan should
possess nuclear weapons. If you compare advantages and disadvantages
of possessing a nuclear arsenal, the disadvantages outnumber
advantages, making it clear that possessing nuclear arms does not
serve our national interests in any way.

Q: Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe has indicated that no Cabinet,
government, or party panels would discuss the option of possessing
nukes. What do you think of that?

A: If one thinks Japan should go nuclear or make changes to the
three non-nuclear principles, including one not allowing bringing
nuclear weapons into Japan, and believes that is important for
Japan's independence and peace, then voicing such a view openly
would be his responsibility as a lawmaker.

Q: One should express one's view openly.

A: I agree. I hear that Secretary General (Hidenao) Nakagawa said in
a press conference that the party would not discuss it. If we don't
discuss matters, we will lose our ability to think. If we don't give
logical thought to security affairs, the country could swing to an

TOKYO 00006650 005 OF 007


extreme direction, giving way to idealistic arguments, as it did in
the past. Not discussing matters is very dangerous.

Q: You have a point there. Without discussion, the country will head
for a dangerous direction.

A: As a party in power, the LDP must have its panel discuss the
matter. That's lawmakers' job. If one is keeping his mouth shut for
fear of losing votes from being labeled as a hawk or a rightist, he
is not fulfilling his responsibility as a lawmaker.

Q: Prime Minister Abe has presented himself as a
middle-of-the-roader. But his lack of warnings to Mr. Aso and Mr.
Nakagawa suggests that he is flying a trial balloon by using those
two.

A: I don't know about that. But if he really believes that Japan
should uphold the three non-nuclear principles, he should present
the reasons for it in party-head debates. His ambiguity may come
from his hesitation about paving the way for possessing nuclear
weapons at this point in light of his international strategy.

Q: What is your view as a former defense chief?

A: Some people think Japan should possess nukes but I don't find
their argument realistic. Their argument is impulsive rather than
strategic. I'm afraid other countries feel Japan's nuclear debate is
dangerous. We, security experts, are realists. My belief is that
defense affairs must be discussed pragmatically, not
idealistically.

Q: What would happen if Japan goes nuclear?

A: National livelihood would be affected tremendously. Forty% of
Japan's electricity depends on nuclear power generation. Possessing
nuclear weapons means a departure from the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty. As the next step, Japan would have to cancel its nuclear
cooperation treaties with America, Canada, Australia, France,
Britain, and other countries. As a result, the imports of fuel,
reprocessing, and the supply of technology would stop, and nuclear
power plants would eventually cease to operate.

Q: Can the country's electricity generated by the nuclear power
plants now in place be substituted by other means?

A: It's not possible to substitute it with wind electricity because
we wont' be able to build enough windmills. The use of solar light
and heat would require a tremendous area just for generating the
electricity equivalent to one nuclear reactor, and would cost 25
times more. I'm sure Mr. (Shoichi) Nakagawa is aware all that
because he once served as economy, trade, and industry minister.

Q: What about relations with the United States?

A: Japan going nuclear would be regarded as a declaration that
America's nuclear umbrella is untrustworthy. There are all sorts of
people in the United States. Some academics think Japan should
possess nuclear arsenal. Even some government officials say the same
thing off the record. But the US government will never think that
Japan should arm itself with nuclear weapons, for such would lead to
an announcement of its distrust of the Japan-US alliance that might
tremendously deteriorate relations with Japan. To Americans, Japan
is a fearful country, with which they fought war for four years.

TOKYO 00006650 006 OF 007

Q: You think America has latent fear toward Japan?

A: I think so. It has fear toward China, as well. A US-China
alliance might emerge the day Japan possesses nuclear arms. Japan
would lose a great deal of what it has gained from the Japan-US
security setup. "Anti-America" might strike a chord with many
Japanese people because it sounds cool, but we must discuss squarely
what we might lose because of it. That's why I'm saying that nuclear
deterrence and nuclear armament should be discussed.

Q: I would like to see more debate on those factors.

A: Japan's possession of nuclear weapons would fundamentally rock
the NPT system. Some other countries would say, "Because Japan, the
only country ever to have suffered nuclear devastation, possesses
nuclear arsenal, we will follow suit." South Korea, Taiwan,
Malaysia, and Indonesia would all rush to nukes. A world filled with
nuclear powers would be far worse than the NPT system today. I don't
understand why Japan has to trigger to build such a world.

Q: Obviously, those believing in advantages in a "nuclear deterrent"
don't agree with you.

A: Japan is becoming like North Korea. (Laughter) Having nukes as a
deterrent is North Korea's logic. North Korea is isolated in the
world, whereas Japan is America's ally and has relations with many
countries in the world. The two should not say the same thing.

Q: Some people just don't see reality.

A: Nuclear weapons would inflate defense spending. Maintaining nukes
would require tremendous costs. It would be even more costly if
Japan pursues a complete, independent defense capability by walking
away from the Japan-US alliance. That would take a heavy toll on
people's livelihood. That is exactly what's happening in North
Korea.

Q: Then, how should Japan deal with nuclear weapons targeting
Japan?

A: In the near future, Japan will be able to intercept an incoming
nuclear missile by using the missile defense system.

Q: What are the chances of intercepting an incoming missile?

A: Pretty high, because it's a two-staged system - at sea and
ground.

Q: You mean right now?

A: The ground system will be in place in December this year, ahead
of original schedule. Japan will finish deploying the overall system
in five to ten years.

Q: Progress in research will enable Japan to shoot down 999 missiles
out of 1,000?

A: That's possible in the future.

Q: Will the government budget funds for it?

A: The government decided to introduce the missile defense system

TOKYO 00006650 007 OF 007


when I was serving as defense chief. At that time, many people
harshly criticized me. They didn't know anything about the missile
defense system. They said the system would be useless.

Q: Mr. Ishiba, you are now serving as chair of the LDP defense
policy subcommittee.

A: Once our debate on the right to collective self-defense is over,
we are scheduled to discuss "Japan's national policy," including the
three non-nuclear principles.

Q: But the secretary general has indicated that the party should not
discuss such matters. Is there a possibility that Mr. Nakagawa will
order discontinuing discussion?

A: That would depend on the time.

Q: If he said so, you would not be able to discuss the subject?

A: The Policy Research Council has exclusive authority over policy
discussion. I don't know at this point if the secretary general's
decision can sway the PRC's policy direction and what would be
discussed by the General Council.

Q: The situation is quite severe, isn't it? The other day, I watched
the TV program "Discuss until Morning," in which 55% of viewers said
Japan should consider going nuclear, while 41% did not think so.
Such figures might prompt some lawmakers to call for Japan going
nuclear.

A: I didn't expect those figures. I noticed that even those who
think Japan should not go nuclear remained in the realm of emotional
argument. They repeated, "as the only country in the world that ever
suffered atomic bombings." People on either side lacked solid logic.
That's why I think realists must step in and clearly explain why
Japan must not possess nuclear arms.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN News: UN Strongly Condemns Knife Attack Inside Nice Church Which Left Three Dead

The UN Secretary-General on Thursday strongly condemned a knife attack inside a French church in the southern French city of Nice, which reportedly left three worshippers dead. In a statement released by his Spokesperson, António Guterres extended his ... More>>

ALRANZ: Denounces US Senate Confirmation Of Judge Barrett

ALRANZ Abortion Rights Aotearoa denounces the US Senate’s confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court seat formerly held by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg. “This action demonstrates the rank hypocrisy of the once-respected upper chamber ... More>>

UN News: Millions Affected As Devastating Typhoon Strikes Viet Nam

A major typhoon has struck central Viet Nam, affecting millions of people – including about 2.5 million children – in a region already reeling from the effects of severe floods, according to UN agencies in the country. There are also reports that 174 ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>