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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/24/06

DE RUEHKO #6710/01 3302246
P 262246Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A

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(1) Okinawa undergoes changes-Electorate's choice and its meaning
(Part 2): Changing popular will-No tailwind to antibase campaign

(2) Vacillating conservatism (Part 2): Dispersed philosophy with
loss of focus of confrontation

(3) Realism needed for security debate: Koike

(4) Conservatism: Interview with Koichi Kato, former LDP secretary
general; LDP's mainstream conservatism opportunistic

(5) Draft platform of Minshuto underscores Ozawa's policy imprint

(6) Coservatism - part 1: Interview with Gakushuin University
Professor Tsuyoshi Sasaki, who urges reconstruction of national

(7) Issue of reinstating postal rebels: Prime Minister Abe weaving
between public opinion and sympathy


(1) Okinawa undergoes changes-Electorate's choice and its meaning
(Part 2): Changing popular will-No tailwind to antibase campaign

ASAHI (Page 33) (Full)
November 22, 2006

On Nov. 15, four days before Okinawa Prefecture's gubernatorial
election, a bill of amendments to the Fundamentals of Education Law
with "the spirit to love the country" cleared a special committee in
the House of Representatives. However, none of the opposition
parties' committee members was there.

Keiko Itokazu, 59, the candidate backed by the opposition parties
who lost, began campaigning at once against the bill, calling the
amendments a "change for the worse." However, there were no signs of
a strong tailwind for her. The ruling Liberal Democratic Party,
based on findings from its own polling of Okinawa's voting
population, anticipated that its proposed legislation of educational
reform would not affect the gubernatorial election, and things
developed as expected by the LDP.

As a result of Japan's prewar imperialistic education, one out of
every four people in Okinawa Prefecture died in devastating ground
battles. An age ago, the spirit to "love the country" touched the
island people's heartstrings. However, Toshio Ohama, 59, who
presides over a local union of teachers, noted the dullness of local
concern and sensitivity. "Local people's attitudes seem to have
changed," Ohama says. The same can be said of the Japan-US Security
Treaty and US military bases.

In her election campaign, Itokazu focused on the US military
presence as the biggest bone of contention. There were many factors
that might have well worked to her advantage.

Tokyo and Washington decided to realign US Forces Japan (USFJ) in
disregard of the wishes of Okinawa's base-hosting localities. USFJ
deployed the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3), a surface-to-air
guided missile system, to a base on Okinawa in the face of strong
opposition from the local hosts. The Defense Agency director general

TOKYO 00006710 002 OF 009

said Okinawa and its people should be pleased with the deployment of
PAC-3 missiles in Okinawa... Even so, the island's population did
not flame up in anger.

The opposition parties were also desperate to catch the electorate,
of a kind they had never known. When the race was in the
homestretch, a piece of paper was posted in their election offices,
reading: "The stance of Itokazu against building the new base is
acknowledged. We need to make a proactive appeal on employment and
economic development in order to win over unaffiliated voters."

But it was too late. Itokazu failed to hammer out her policies that
could win the hearts of local voters.

The Party of Citizens (Shimin no To) helped a female candidate win
Shiga Prefecture's gubernatorial election. This time, this party
backed Itokazu. Its representative, Masashi Saito, 55, says: "There
are still progressive parties from the days when they could get
votes if they only cry out against US military bases. It is the same
as the reformist parties in Tokyo, and they are on the decline."

Many of the opposition parties' politicians also have a growing
sense of crisis. "We want the US military presence reduced. That's
what we want, regardless of whether we are conservative or
reformist. If we persist in this standpoint only, we will be left
behind the times." This opinion came from Satoko Taira, 27, a Naha
City municipal assembly member of the Okinawa Socialist Masses Party
(OSMP). Tadashi Uesato, 33, a Naha City municipal assembly member of
the Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), said, "There were many
challenges, such as the regional system and Okinawa's
self-sustainability, but the opposition parties did not come up with
any visions on their own."

Itokazu was the opposition camp's trump card. In 2004, Itokazu ran
in an election for the House of Councillors. She garnered about
320,000 votes in her home electoral district and overwhelmed her
opponent who ran on the ruling ticket of the LDP's alliance with the
New Komeito. She was the candidate whom all the six local political
parties with different policies and ideologies could somehow
recommend, so her defeat in the gubernatorial election was a great
shock to them.

However, although Okinawa's anti-base sentiment may weaken at times,
it will never fade away as long as the overly heavy burden of
hosting US military bases continues.

On Nov. 20, the day after the gubernatorial election, Natsume Taira,
a 44-year-old clergyman, was sitting in a tent with a group of
several friends by the sea near Cape Henoko in the northern Okinawa
city of Nago, where the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station is to
be relocated, to protest Futenma airfield's relocation.

"People aged up to 61 do not know an Okinawa with no military
bases," Taira said. "Even so," he added, "300,000 people voted for
Itokazu to demonstrate their antibase opinions, so it's really

The tent, on its outside, has number tags that show how many days
the sit-in was going on. On Nov. 20, the tags were showing "Day
946." In anticipation of more than 1,000 days, the tent already has
a fourth-digit hook for tags to hang on.

(2) Vacillating conservatism (Part 2): Dispersed philosophy with

TOKYO 00006710 003 OF 009

loss of focus of confrontation

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
November 23, 2006

In the late evening of Nov. 19, after the results of the Okinawa
gubernatorial election showed the winner to be Hirokazu Nakaima, the
candidate backed by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and
its junior coalition partner New Komeito, his rival candidate Keiko
Itokazu, backed by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the Japanese
Communist Party (JCP), the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and other
opposition parties, met the press. She made this comment with a
fixed expression on her face: "Opposition parties were well united
in campaigning and did their best. It's incorrect to view the
outcome as progressivism's defeat."

The election result was 350,000 vs. 310,000. The campaign split
prefectural public opinion, bringing about a face-off between
conservatives and progressives. But the choice between conservatism
and progressivism no longer is a big campaign issue in Japan except
for Okinawa, where the presence of US bases remains a major bone of

With the decline of progressivism, conservatism is proliferating,
but the the nature of conservatism is becoming ambiguous. Itokazu
received strong support from Minshuto, but even in that party, some
are saying, "Prime MInister Abe is not a genuine conservative.
Rather, our party Minshuto is the 'conservative mainstream.'"

Minshuto's Acting President Naoto Kan, a civil society activist
turned politician, is among those who make that claim. Recently, Kan
has frequently used that phrase to criticize the Abe administration.
According to Kan, that phrase means: "In postwar Japan, the way of
thinking of the conservative mainstream is to pursue a policy of
being a lightly-armed nation that stresses economic growth. This aim
started with the administrations led by Shigeru Yoshida and then by
Hayato Ikeda. Minshuto's way of thinking has many points in common
with the so-called conservative mainstream rather than Prime
Minister Abe, whose political approach is to keenly pursue something
like national prestige as did his grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, when
prime minister."

Postwar conservatism in Japan is often divided into two groups. For
instance, former Prime Minister Nakasone once stated: "Past cabinets
in (postwar) Japan may be classified as those that stressed the
economy and those that were swayed by psychological factors, such as
ethnicity. I think the cabinets led by (Ichiro) Hatoyama, Kishi, and
myself were the ones that emphasized the importance of ethnicity and

Masayoshi Ohira and Kiichi Miyazawa followed the so-called "Yoshida
line of politics" or "Ikeda line" and emphasized having a country
that was only lightly-armed in order to give more stress to the
economy. But in the present LDP, there are few who view the faction
led by Ohira and later by Miyazawa as conservative mainstream.

Former LDP Secretary General Koichi Kato, who headed the same
faction after Ohira and then Miyazawa, stated coolly: "The phrase
'conservative mainstream' has no definition. It is used merely for
expediency." Kato made such a remark, presumably taking into account
the fact that when Ohira and Miyazawa took the helm of the state,
they had to act in concert with the Kakuei Tanaka faction and later
its successor the Noboru Takeshita faction, which was clever

TOKYO 00006710 004 OF 009

tactically in the Diet and in elections. "It's not conservatism to
leave the defense of Japan to America in the name o light armaments
and to simply pursue money making. This notion should be called
'materialist mainstream,'" Kato said severely.

The main reason postwar conservatives succeeded in staying in power
is "because there was an agreement reached between economic growth
and national pride," said Takeshi Sasaki, professor at Gakushuin
University. The traditional "LDP conservatism" had nowhere else to
go with the Japanese public's loss of confidence in the Japanese
economy, Sasaki added.

With economic growth not expected to grow now as in the past, there
is no room for the social democratic way of profit-allocation to
work well as it once did.

"What will be linked to national pride has become an important
political subject at present. Isn't the Abe administration exploring
a way for that? Perhaps, it is looking for something 'wonderful,'
which Japan can be proud of in the world," Sasaki analyzed.

The slogan of stressing the economy (over security) has now lost its
luster with the end of the high economic growth era and the bursting
of the economic bubble. A sea change in the security environment
surrounding Japan at the end of the Cold War also has made a push
for a review of the lightly-armed posture.

Present-day conservatism cannot be viewed simply in the context of
dualism between "Yoshida politics and Kishi politics."

(3) Realism needed for security debate: Koike

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

The following is an interview with Yuriko Koike, special advisor to
Prime Minister Abe on national security:

I have a very strong feeling of indignation at the fact that North
Korea, which has upheld its policy of acquiring nuclear weapons for
years, conducted a nuclear test as its ultimate card. They probably
thought they had a new card.

North Korea dumped the six-party talks and is aiming to go nuclear.
This means that they can no longer see the world as it is. North
Korea wants to maintain its regime, and that's its biggest purpose.
Pyongyang doesn't think at all about its people's human rights or
about the betterment of life for its people. This is really typical
of military-first politics. In that sense, the issue of human rights
for the North Korean people is a major challenge, as well as the
issue of Japanese nationals abducted to North Korea. This point must
not be forgotten.

North Korea maintained that the financial sanctions should be called
off before its return to the six-party talks. This proves in itself
that the tightening of financial controls is working well, so we
must not loosen up on the pressure.

The United States may reportedly change its policy toward North
Korea as a result of the midterm elections. However, diplomacy is an
exclusive area of matters for the president. So I don't think the
United States will suddenly turn around to an appeasement policy.
Excluding North Korea, the five countries for the six-party talks

TOKYO 00006710 005 OF 009

should keep sharing their understanding of cooperation. Each country
may have its own circumstances. However, it's extremely important to
cooperate in order to deal with North Korea, which is a big

We're concerned about North Korea's nuclear test. I think that there
are various arguments about technologies, weapons, and strategies.
However, it's true that the security environment of Japan has
undergone a sea change. We should now think more realistically about
what we should do to defend our country. Basically, politics is
realism. We should be coolheaded to clear up the arguments with
realism. We need to look hard at reality when talking about the
problem, and we need respond in a realistic manner.

(4) Conservatism: Interview with Koichi Kato, former LDP secretary
general; LDP's mainstream conservatism opportunistic

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 23, 2006

In Japan conservatism as an ideology has been a combination of
liberalism, UN-centered principles, and being a member of Asia,
while basing diplomacy on Japan-US cooperation.

Conservatism as a policy comes second. Its notion is that good
policies should be kept intact as much as possible. The Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) has drastically changed Japanese society. It
disbanded many agricultural villages and the entire coal industry,
which had once been one of the nation's largest industries. It has
also changed society, based on the idea of globalization.

Third, I would like to think about what mainstream conservatism in
the LDP is. Some regard the administrations of Shigeru Yoshida and
Hayato Ikeda as epitomizing mainstream conservatism. Then how can we
categorize the Tanaka faction, which was the strongest group in the
LDP? At a time when people felt that it was the right time for the
Tanaka faction, a faction that had power or influence was considered
mainstream conservatism. There is no definition for the words
"mainstream conservatism." It is an opportunistic attitude. Even I,
considered to be the legitimate son of the Kochi-kai Group, an
outgrowth of Mr. Yoshida, thought it strange. It would be more
understandable if mainstream conservatism is rephrased as the "old
guard" instead.

When Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Secretary General
Yukio Hatoyama criticizes the prime minister, he says, "You say that
the view of the Kochi-kai Group is in agreement with your view, but
you are just saying that Kochi-kai members are all good people."
Deputy party head Kan's statement that the DPJ is "mainstream
conservative" is also meaningless.

People regard the recent rise of nationalism as a sign of a drift to
the right.

There are three types of nationalism. The first would be a
contentious type of nationalism that fights with neighbors over
territory and history. Second is a healthy competitive nationalism,
as seen in people who save money to go see the World Cup and wave a
Rising Sun flag during the games. Now, people are all seeking this
kind of proud nationalism.

In the area of domestic policy, there will be a time when a certain
degree of constraint will be put on market principles. There will

TOKYO 00006710 006 OF 009

presumably arise a confrontation between the left wing, which wishes
to constrain excessive market economy, attaching importance to Asian
diplomacy, and the right wing, which would seek market principles
that place importance on the private sector, by showing off
nationalism in Asia.

Koichi Kato: Born in Yamagata Prefecture. Graduated from the Tokyo
University Law Department. Served in such posts as chief cabinet
secretary and LDP secretary general. 67 years old.


(5) Draft platform of Minshuto underscores Ozawa's policy imprint

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 24, 2006

Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) has entered the final stage of
working out its policy platform, with an eye to the House of
Councillors election next summer. The platform is likely to be in
line with the Ozawa vision, a private plan presented by Ozawa in the
September party presidential election. The main opposition party has
long been dogged by the image of lacking consistency in its
policies. By demonstrating party head Ozawa's original policy
imprint in its platform, the party aims to erase the negative image
and devote itself to confronting the ruling parties. On pension and
security issues, however, views in the Ozawa vision are
contradictory to the party's conventional stance.

In a press conference on Nov. 22, Minshuto Policy Research Council
Chairman Takeaki Matsumoto categorically said, "Since we lost (the
election), the views the party presented for the election have
already become invalid."

In its manifesto for the House of Representatives election last
year, Minshuto proposed unifying the nation's pension systems and
raising the consumption tax on the premise of introducing a system
to tax revenues (with 3% assumed) for paying basic pension benefits,
which the party suggested should be equal across the board. But
since Ozawa has rejected the idea of a tax hike, the draft policy
platform finalized on Nov. 22 specified that the current 5%
consumption tax rate would be kept unchanged. The party has decided
to propose all revenues from the consumption tax be used for pension
payments with insurance premiums making up for a shortfall.

Minshuto's conventional call for tax revenues to be used to finance
basic pension payments stems from a desire to reduce unfairness,
like pension negligence, and stabilize the balance of financial
resources and payments. But many party members criticize the
decision to leave the burden that pensions place on the national
treasury unattended. One member complained: "Pension reform was a
main sales point in our policy platform, but Minshuto's plan will
have no major differences from that of the government and the ruling
camp." Another criticized, "Is it acceptable for lawmakers who won
the election to neglect the party's manifest while citing our
party's loss in that election?"

In the security area, too, Minshuto's draft platform approves part
of the right to collective self-defense, though it has consistently
denied it. To play up Ozawa's policy imprint, the platform
formulation committee (chaired by Hirotaka Akamatsu) composed of
nine members including Ozawa, engaged in mapping out the draft.

Ozawa plans to release the draft early next week and hold several
policy council meetings to be joined by all party members, with the

TOKYO 00006710 007 OF 009

aim of finalizing the party's platform by year's end. Given
dissatisfaction smoldering in the party at the party's policy of
cooperating with other opposition parties in election campaigning
and dealing with Diet affairs, party head Ozawa is required to
demonstrate leadership in solidifying the "Ozawa setup" before the
regular party convention in January.

(6) Conservatism - part 1: Interview with Gakushuin University
Professor Tsuyoshi Sasaki, who urges reconstruction of national

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 23, 2006

Conservatism appeared in the course of history in reaction to the
French Revolution. The notion of conservatism in Europe therefore is
one of protecting the traditional order that includes a status
system and a monarchy. With the United States, however, the story
became more complex, since the US never had such an order, but
worked to build its nation based on liberalism and republicanism,
rising to eventually become a key player in the world.

The conservatism of US President Reagan and British Prime Minister
Thatcher in the 1980s gave momentum to playing up a way of life in
those countries that focuses on self-reliance and responsibility and
a way of life that does not rely on government, with a focus on
market principles. Conservatism in this context was a movement to
destroy social democratic liberalism, such as Keynesianism, which
was totally different from the notion of maintaining the status quo.
Instead, the two countries created a trend for reform of the status
quo and for structural reforms.

The conservatism of the Reagan era had two elements - nationalism
and market principles. The stage moved a step forward with the
emergence of globalism in the 1990s. Should conservatism aim for
globalism or should it aim for unilateralism? The emergence of
another axis, globalism, shook the traditional basis of

Japan's postwar politics fell into the pattern of
conservatism-vs.-liberalism for decades. But there was a difference
between this trend and that of Europe and the US. The Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) has functioned as a distributor of profits, a
role played by socialist parties in other countries. Profit
allocation has been a contentious issue not among political parties
but within the LDP.

The LDP administration has been bolstered by economic growth, which
boosted national pride. The collapse of the bubble economy battered
national harmony. People are no longer sure about where national
pride can be found. LDP-style conservatism, which included many
elements and was unlike the conservatism found in other countries,
is now over. The party does not know where to head for now.

If various arguments over searching for national pride crop up, the
next stage would be a conservative-vs.-non-conservative pattern.

I would venture to say that it might be a right way to stake
national pride on challenges common to all human beings, such as the
aging society and the environment. Japan has reached a stage where
it should live on soft power.

Takeshi Sasaki: Born in Akita Prefecture. Graduated from the Tokyo

TOKYO 00006710 008 OF 009

University Law Department. President of Tokyo University until March
200t, after serving as associate professor and professor at Tokyo
University. 64 years old.

(7) Issue of reinstating postal rebels: Prime Minister Abe weaving
between public opinion and sympathy

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
November 24, 2006

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is now mulling the reinstatement
of independent lawmakers, the so-called "postal rebels," who bolted
the party in opposition to the government's postal-privatization
bills at last year's Lower House election. In dealing with this
issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe wavered as to whether he should
place priority on public opinion or sympathy for the postal rebels.
Takeo Hiranuma, who represents the postal rebels, was Abe's senior
in the Mitsuzuka faction. The two have similar views of the state
and ideas and belief. Looking at the results of opinion polls, many
opposed the LDP's plan to readmit the postal rebels, however. If Abe
makes a mistake in handling the matter, the political base of his
government, which has enjoyed high plurality since its inauguration,
might be shaken and lose its momentum.

"I didn't expect the matter took that direction and caused
controversy," Abe said to a party executive member on Nov. 22. He
indicated in his remarks that he had made a mistake in his
calculation regarding the issue of reinstating the postal rebels.
Some LDP lawmakers have predicted that it would be difficult for the
party to smoothly readmit them since the issue has got complicated
that much and that Abe may want first to form a parliamentary league
with the postal rebels and then let them join the LDP after next
summer's Upper House election.

In his meeting on Nov. 22 with Hiranuma, Secretary General Hidenao
Nakagawa demanded that the postal rebels submit to the party a
written pledge as a precondition for their return to the party. The
written pledge would include: their self-examination on their
conduct at last year's Lower House election among other things.
Nakagawa also told Hiranuma that the written pledge should be
submitted before noon of Nov. 27. Hiranuma will delay rejoining the
LDP since he has said that he voted against the postal-privatization
legislation in accordance with his belief.

The LDP started mulling the issue of readmitting the postal rebels
during the campaign for the LDP presidential election in September
after Abe had said the LDP should find ways to cooperate with (the
postal rebels) if they head the same direction with the party. On
Oct. 10 at a Tokyo hotel, Abe held a secret meeting with former
Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, Mikio Aoki, chairman of the LDP caucus
in the Upper House, and Nakagawa. Abe arranged the meeting very
carefully, announcing that he planned luncheon with his


In the meeting, Mori and Aoki called for an early reinstatement of
the postal rebels. They urged Abe to resolve the issue as quickly as
possible. Abe, however, did not give his assurance. After the
meeting, the rumor went around the LDP that Abe concurred to
reinstate all postal rebels, including those who were defeated in
the Lower House election last year. Underlying such a rumor is the
close relationship between Abe and Hiranuma.

In the summer of 1998, when Mori succeeded to the Mitsuzuka faction,

TOKYO 00006710 009 OF 009

Shizuka Kamei, who currently heads the People's New Party, Hiranuma,
Shoichi Nakagawa, and some other members left the faction. At that
time, the rumor was that Abe would leave the faction along with
Hiranuma and others. One postal rebel, who knows well about the
relationship between Abe and Hiranuma, feels certain that he will be
readmitted to the party.

Hidenao Nakagawa's hard-line stance and the passage of time upset
the calculation of the postal rebels. Nakagawa, who played a leading
role in helping Abe become prime minister, was appointed secretary
general and boosted his political sway. Nakagawa and Hiranuma, both
of who are now serving in their 9th-term in the Lower House, were
rivals when they belonged to the Mitsuzuka faction. There is a
contrast between the two lawmakers: Hiranuma has strong flavor of
being a hawk politically, while Nakagawa is regarded as a rather
liberal politician. Nakagawa's reluctance about readmitting the
postal rebels is not completely unrelated to his confrontation with

The issue of reinstating the postal rebels is asking Abe as to whom
-- Nakagawa or Hiranuma -- he sides with. A delay in negotiations on
the issue -- from sometime after the Lower House by-elections in
October to after the Okinawa gubernatorial election in November --
drew more public attention to the issue. Although Nakagawa has
advocated the importance of public opinion, Hiranuma has no choice
but to go on the defensive.

On the night of Nov. 22, Nakagawa reported on the phone to Abe the
content of his meeting with Hiranuma, and Abe then simply replied,
saying, "I understand." Hiranuma and other postal rebels are
expected to discuss the matter again on Nov. 24.


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