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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/28/06

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 006738

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 11/28/06


Index:

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

4) Abe Cabinet support rate plummets 9 points to 59% in Nikkei poll,
with 57% of public unhappy about his reinstating postal rebels into
the LDP

Postal rebels get reprieve:
5) LDP starts procedures to reinstate 11 of 12 postal rebels into
the party, but rebel leader Hiranuma will not take pledge to support
postal privatization
6) Former METI minister Hiranuma will still have three or four more
chances to rejoin LDP before next summer's Upper House election
7) Former "assassin candidates", LDP candidates used in last
election to oust postal rebels erupt angrily at reinstatement of
party enemies into the fold
8) For Prime Minister Abe, bringing postal rebels back into the LDP
was a matter of "good faith"; Resigned to take hit in opinion polls
for action
9) Many in the LDP are disgruntled with the reinstatement of postal
rebels
10) New Komeito's Ota wants the LDP to explain to his party's
supporters why the postal rebels are being brought back into the LDP


11) Six out of eight town meetings on educational reform bill were
packed with board of education supporters

North Korea problem:
12) Meeting expected today between US, DPRK delegates in Beijing
prior to rescheduling of date for six-party talks
13) Sudden increase in North Korean imports of pharmaceuticals since
May

Defense and security issues:
14) Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) against the revision of SDF
Law, refused to allow main duty become overseas dispatches due to
Iraq experience
15) Ruling camp expects the bill making JDA into a ministry to clear
Lower House committee today

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Students win tuition fee refund case

Mainichi:
Abe agrees to reinstate 11 postal rebels in LDP

Nihon Keizai:
FSA eyes stricter risk assessment rules for bank loans offered to
investment funds

Akahata:
Instruction on national anthem in revision of education guidelines
steps into children's heart: JCP member


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2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Readmission of 11 postal rebels: Will "assassins" be
disposable?
(2) Tuna quota cut: Consumer nation must work out measures to
protect resources

Mainichi:
(1) Reinstatement of postal rebels is unreasonable
(2) Ruling in tuition fee refund case: Universities should work to
attract students

Yomiuri:
(1) Abe must demonstrate leadership in dealing with LDP postal
rebels
(2) Cut in tuna quota the bill for overfishing

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Voters cannot understand reinstatement of postal rebels
(2) Universities must improve enrollment guidelines

Sankei:
(1) Government urged to eliminate illegal exports to North Korea
(2) Obtaining wide-ranging support necessary for readmission of
postal rebels

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Who will be convinced with readmission of postal rebels?
(2) Tuna quota reduction: We cannot afford massive consumption

Akahata:
(1) Revision to Article 10 of the Basic Education Law unacceptable

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 27

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
November 28, 2006

08:59
Attended a welcome ceremony for Indonesian President Yudhoyono held
at Imperial Palace.

10:19
Met with Special Advisor Koike at Kantei. Afterwards, met with Chief
Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki.

11:30
Met with Vice Foreign Minister Yachi.

13:02
Attended the meeting of the chairmen of the LDP Public Relations
Headquarters at LDP headquarters.

13:40
Met at Kantei with Ambassador to Indonesia Ebihara and MOFA
Southwest Asia Division Director Atsumi.

15:22
Recorded "Live Talk Kantei" for the government's Internet TV

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program. Afterwards, met with MOFA Parliamentary Secretary Sekiguchi
and Middle Eastern and African Affairs Bureau Director-General
Okuda. Later, met with Public Security Intelligence Agency
Director-General Oizumi.

16:27
Met with Secretary General Nakagawa.

17:04
Attended the party executives' meeting in Diet. Photo shoot for a
brochure for recruitment of guards. Later, met with Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary Suzuki.

17:55
Met with New Komeito Representative Ota and others at Kantei.

18:27
Arrived at residence in Kantei.

19:11
Attended a dinner party for President Yudhoyono at Imperial Palace.

22:43
Arrived at residence in Kantei.

4) Poll: 57% opposed to reinstating postal rebels; Abe cabinet's
support rate down to 59%

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
November 28, 2006

The rate of public support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his
cabinet was 59% in a public opinion survey conducted by the Nihon
Keizai Shimbun on Nov. 24-26. The approval rating was down 9%age
points from a previous survey taken in late October. The disapproval
rating was 29%, up 8 points. In the survey, respondents were asked
whether they support the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's move to
reinstate ex-LDP and now-independent lawmakers who voted against
postal privatization and left the LDP. In response to this question,
57% answered "no," up 6 points from the last time. "Yes" accounted
for only 25%, down 8 points. The survey shows the public's
displeasure on this issue.

The Abe cabinet's approval rating is still considerably high
compared with its predecessors. However, the Abe cabinet's approval
rating has gradually gone down, as it was 71% in late September
right after its inauguration, 68% in late October, and 59% in the
latest survey.

In the breakdown of political party supporters, 85% of those who
support the LDP supported the Abe cabinet, down 4 points from the
last time. Among those who support the leading opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (Minshuto), the Abe cabinet's approval rating in the
last survey was comparatively high at 45%. In the latest survey,
however, it nosedived to 30%. Among those who support no particular
party, the approval and disapproval ratings changed places, with
approval at 36%, down 12 points, and disapproval at 41%.

In the breakdown of reasons for not supporting the Abe cabinet, 37%
answered that its policies are bad, with 35% saying it lacks
leadership ability and 29% saying it is unstable. The proportion of
those who said "because it's an LDP cabinet" was 28%. In the last

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survey, this reason topped all other reasons at 35%. In the latest
survey, there was an increase in the number of persons choosing more
specific options.

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 51%, with the DPJ at 20%, both leveling off from the last
time. Among other parties, the Japanese Communist Party was at 4%
and the Social Democratic Party (Shaminto) at 3%. The New Komeito,
the LDP's coalition partner, was at 2%.

Even among LDP supporters, the proportion of those opposed to
reinstating the postal rebels in the LDP reached 54%, up 7 points,
and those in favor of their return to the LDP accounted for 32%,
down 6 points. Among those with no particular party affiliation,
negative answers overwhelmed affirmative ones at 52% to 17%.

Asked whether those postal rebels' comeback to the LDP would work to
the LDP's advantage, 23% answered "no," with 16% saying "yes."

The survey was taken by Nikkei Research Inc. over the telephone on a
random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, samples were
chosen from among men and women aged 20 and over across the nation.
A total of 1,543 households with one or more voters were sampled,
and answers were obtained from 872 persons (56.5% ).

5) Abe orders procedures for reinstatement of 11 postal rebels
except for Hiranuma; Official decision later this week

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also the president of the Liberal
Democratic Party, announced his decision before a party executive
meeting last evening that he would allow 11 of the 12 postal rebels
except for former Minister of Economy, Trade, and Industry Takeo
Hiranuma, to rejoin the LDP. The 12 were expelled from the LDP last
year for opposing the postal privatization bills. Abe has decided
not to readmit Hiranuma to the party because he has not submitted a
written pledge to, among other things, support postal privatization.
The LDP Ethics Committee will meet later this week to make an
official decision on the reinstatement of the 11 members.

In the executive meeting, Abe said:

"The eleven lawmakers have submitted (written pledges) fulfilling
the conditions presented by Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa. To
our regret, Mr. Hiranuma has failed to do so. Given the situation,
we cannot allow him (to rejoin the party). I would like to see the
Ethics Committee begin examining the reinstatement of the 11
members."

6) Hiranuma still searching for possibility of returning to LDP,
expecting a couple more chances until Upper House election

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

Former Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Takeo Hiranuma, who has
served as a negotiator for the so-called postal rebels, intends to
search for opportunities to be readmitted to the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP), waiting for the right time when Prime Minister Abe will
needs him to come in, as his aide put it. As part of such efforts,

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he wants to come up with policies and ideals with a strong
conservative flavor as chairman of the nonpartisan parliamentary
group to address North Korea's abductions of Japanese. However, the
view is strong that unless he withdraws his opposition to postal
privatization, there will be no chance of his readmission to the LDP
realizing until the Upper House election next summer.

Postal rebels yesterday held talks yesterday. Eleven lawmakers
during the meeting strongly asked Hiranuma to submit a written
pledge to support postal privatization together. Hiranuma, however,
refused to agree, noting, "I am sorry, but please let me carry
through with my belief. It is not possible to support postal
privatization in light of my political creed."

One rebel said, "Mr. Hiranuma cannot make a backroom deal. He has an
obstinate side of adhering to carrying through with logic more than
anyone else. It is questionable whether he was appropriate as a
negotiator."

Hiranuma has indicated his intention to transfer the role of a
negotiator to former LDP Executive Council Chairman Mitsuo Horiuchi.
He said he has no intention of forming a united parliamentary group
with the LDP. However, he stressed during a meeting of his
supporters' association held on the evening of the 26th in Maniwa
City, Okayama Prefecture, his view that opportunities for his return
to the LDP will come again. He said: "There is still time until the
Upper House election. There will be a couple of more chances like
this until then."

7) LDP approves return of 11 postal rebels; Former assassins express
dissatisfaction

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

In response to the filing of requests for readmission to the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) by 12 postal rebels, including Takeo
Hiranuma, the party executive yesterday afternoon convened a meeting
of the Party Reform Implementation Headquarters. A number of
participants during the meeting voiced their opposition to the
readmission of the so-called postal rebels. Not only freshman
lawmakers elected in what were once the postal rebels' home
constituencies but also mid-ranking lawmakers opposed their
readmission. Prime Minister Abe during an executive meeting held
afterwards approved the return of 11 lawmakers, excluding Takeo
Hiranuma, leaving those opposed to readmission in limbo.

In response to the submission of requests for readmission yesterday
morning, the Party Reform Implementation Headquarters met at 3:00
p.m. Following explanations given by Acting LDP Secretary General
Nobuteru Ishihara, Mikio Aoki, the chairman of the LDP caucus in the
Upper House who had called for unconditional readmission of postal
rebels, including those who lost their seats in the Lower House
election, said: "We should warmly welcome them back. They cast a
white vote meaning approval at a plenary Diet session, instead of a
blue vote. This is the most serious way of expressing their view."

Aoki made this statement and left out of consideration for the fact
that he would appear to be fleeing if he excused himself partway
through the meeting without having said anything.

However, as soon as Aoki left the room, many newcomer lawmakers

TOKYO 00006738 006 OF 011


expressed a cautious view toward allowing readmission to the party.

Freshman Lower House member Koichiro Shimizu insisted that
importance should be attached to the will of the people as expressed
in last year's postal election, noting, "Chairman Aoki made that
statement, but for the people nothing is weightier than a general
election." Lawmaker Jiro Ono, who was elected in Yamanashi
Constituency No. 3, to which Takeshi Hosaka will return as his
rival, urged Ishihara, "The LDP won support as a reborn party, not
through emotional appeals. The party should devote sufficient time
to carefully discussing readmission."

Lower House member Hideaki Omura left halfway through the meeting
and called Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa into the secretary
general's office to express his opposition to readmission. He
stressed, "The time is not ripe to approve the readmission of the 12
postal rebels."

Omura was elected in Aichi Prefecture, where the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) is strong. Concerned about a negative impact
on upcoming elections, he told reporters, "A gubernatorial election,
unified local elections, and the Upper House elections are close at
hand in Aichi. The time for their readmission is not ripe yet."

Prior to the meeting of the Party Reform Implementation
Headquarters, about 20 members of the Group to Consider the
Readmission Issue, mainly consisting of freshman lawmakers opposed
to early readmission of the postal rebels, met and conferred on ways
to deal with the issue. Regarding the sudden call for a meeting of
the headquarters, participants felt increasingly distrustful of the
party executive, with one member saying, "The meeting was set almost
like a surprise attack. I am very displeased."

Key members of the group, including Upper House member Ichita
Yamamoto, yesterday evening released a statement that said: "We have
no choice but to oppose the party approving the readmission of
postal rebels so easily. There must be procedures in place and
adequate time to win the understanding of the people." They intend
to lodge a protest with Nakagawa.

8) Abe allows 11 postal rebels to rejoin LDP based on his trust in
them; Ready to take a hit on his support rating in the polls

SANKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

"We can't let the rift and confusion in the party expand any
further," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told to an aide after deciding
to reinstate 11 independent postal rebels. The reinstatement of the
11 lawmakers would not benefit the Abe administration, for it is
certain to lower his support rating, leaving seeds of conflicts
within the party, as well. This can explain why LDP executives,
including Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa, took cautious views.
Against all odds, Abe has decided to allow the 11 members to rejoin
the LDP, giving priority to his trust in them.

"As the LDP president, I made a responsible decision. The public
will make a decision on political decisions like this through
elections. I am going to continue explaining my views to the public
thoroughly."

Standing before the TV cameras at the Prime Minister's Office

TOKYO 00006738 007 OF 011


yesterday evening, Abe looked invigorated. Asked by a reporter on a
possible negative impact on his support rating, Abe said, "I'm fully
aware of that."

The question of readmitting the postal rebels to the LDP has been
the thorniest issue for Abe in running the party. With the LDP Lower
House holding more than 290 seats, there was no reason to readmit
them to the party in a hurry. Although the party leadership was
eager for their reinstatement with the aim of using them for
collecting votes in the upcoming Upper House election, the step
involved the risk of denting Abe's popularity, thereby adversely
affecting the Upper House race. It was beneficial for Abe to put the
reinstatement issue on a backburner until after the next Lower House
election.

Abe puts his trust in the postal rebels, however. Abe acted together
with many postal rebels in dealing with the history textbook and
Yasukuni issues based on their common political beliefs. The Diet
dissolution for the snap Lower House election last year that forced
the 11 members to leave the LDP has left a bitter memory for Abe.
Even after the LDP achieved an overwhelming victory in the election,
Abe deplored the treatment of the postal rebels.

Before assuming office, Prime Minister Abe occasionally met postal
rebels to encourage them and clearly indicated to voters that he
would allow the postal rebels to come back to the party. Abe
apparently could not bear to hear people say, "Why did you reverse
your position once you became prime minister?"

9) Objections voiced in LDP

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 28, 2006

Koichi Yonemura

While 11 postal rebels yesterday were allowed to return to the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), objections to their return were
voiced in the party. At an emergency general meeting of the party's
Reform Implementation Headquarters, which took place at the request
of lawmakers, a majority voiced a cautious view about their return
to the party, with House of Representatives member Hideki Makihara
arguing, "If their return to the party is allowed as a result of
intra-party discussions only, we will lose public confidence."
Another House of Representatives member, Hideaki Omura insisted,
"Given elections set for next year, I think the time is not ripe (to
allow them to return to the party)."

LDP Upper House Caucus Chairman Mikio Aoki, who had insisted that
all postal rebels be allowed to return to the party, also attended
the meeting. At the outset of the meeting, Aoki indicated he favored
their return to the party, noting: "It was a significant fact that
in the prime ministerial election they voted for Shinzo Abe." Aoki,
however, excused himself from the meeting before it ended.

Later in the day, first-time lawmakers opposing the rebels' return
to the party held a press conference at LDP headquarters and
released a statement. The statement stressed, "If the LDP allows
their return without giving a rational account to the public, voters
who voted for LDP candidates in the elections last year will move
away from the LDP." The statement insisted on adopting a two-step
return, stating: "They should organize a parliamentary group and

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work with the LDP in the Diet. Then, while seeing what they do, the
LDP should decide whether to allow them to return. This may make it
easy for the public to understand."

During the press conference, Jiro Ono, who ran as an "assassin" in
last year's general election and defeated a postal rebel, criticized
(the party leadership): "What did the general elections last year
mean?" Yukari Sato, as well, complained: "I applied in the public
recruitment of candidates and ran in the election, but if the return
of the rebels is resolved in an ambiguous manner, I think it will
become difficult for a variety of people to run next time."

10) New Komeito Representative Ota: "LDP is accountable to New
Komeito supporters"

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 28, 2006

Takashi Tanigawa

New Komeito Representative Akihiro Ota yesterday delivered a speech
at a meeting in Tokyo of the Asia Council, which is headed by former
Ambassador to the US Takakazu Kuriyama. In the speech, referring to
the question of the postal rebels' return to the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP), Ota indicated his party would ask the LDP to account
for their return in a way convincing to New Komeito supporters,
noting: "It is a matter for the LDP to decide, but the New Komeito
backed 'assassins' (in last year's Lower House elections). Our party
needs to explain this to our supporters."

After the speech, Ota met with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and said:
"You are accountable to the public and our party." Abe told Ota: "I
think that consideration of what happened in the past and the
conditions that were set (for them to return to the LDP) constitute
an explanation." Ota agreed.

11) Cabinet Office report: Government "mobilized" people for six out
of eight education reform town meetings

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

The Cabinet Office Town Meeting Research Committee yesterday
released a preliminary report on prefectural surveys. The report
shows that local governments "mobilized" people to participate in
six out of eight education reform town meetings at the request of
the central government. It also shows that the advertisement agency
commissioned to run the town meetings received inflated payments for
excessive staffers.

12) US, North Korea may hold bilateral talks on nuclear issue today

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
November 28, 2006

Yasunobu Kiuchi, Norihiro Shinkai, Beijing

North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, the country's chief
delegate to the six-party talks, may visit Beijing on Nov. 28,
according to informed sources yesterday. South Korea's Yonhap News
Agency also quoted an informed diplomatic source in Beijing as
saying that Kim is likely to arrive in Beijing in the morning of the

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same day for talks with United States Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill, the head of the US delegation.

Should a meeting between Hill and Kim be brought about, the
groundwork may be laid for the next round of multilateral talks.

According to diplomatic sources, China called on North Korean
officials to visit China, stemming from the judgment that bilateral
talks between the US and North Korea are indispensable in order to
resume the six-party talks.

Asked about the possibility of a visit to China by the North Korean
chief delegate, Japanese Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian
Affairs Bureau Director General Kenichiro Sasae, now in Beijing as
the head of the Japanese delegation, replied, "Since the Chinese
government has engaged in negotiations, I want to wait until China
makes an announcement." Hill, who arrived in Beijing on the
afternoon of the same day, told reporters at the airport, "We have
always said that we are prepared to meet with North Korean
officials."

Sasae met with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and Foreign
Assistant Minister Cui Tiankai in succession the same day. Sasae
told the Chinese officials that a resolution of the abduction issue,
in addition to North Korea's nuclear and missile ambitions, is
imperative for the two countries to improve their bilateral
relations. In response, the Chinese officials expressed
understanding, according to Sasae. Sasae also exchanged views with
Hill.

According to a report by Yonhap, South Korean Deputy Foreign
Minister Chun Yong Woo, the head of the nation's delegation to the
six-party talks, met with Chinese chief delegate Wu on the afternoon
of the same day.

Japan, the US, and South Korea have shared the view that it is
important to urge North Korea to take specific action toward
scrapping its nuclear programs. The three countries have launched a
coordination effort under the lead of China, which chairs the
six-party talks.

13) A surge in pharmaceutical exports in May attributable to DPRK's
attempt to secure them before sanctions?

SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
November 28, 2006

The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's Public Safety Bureau and
the Niigata Prefectural Police, which are investigating the case of
a relative of a senior official of the science and technology
association of Korean residents in Japan -- an organization
affiliated with the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean
Residents in Japan (Chongryon) -- on charges of having attempted to
smuggle a large number of bags of intravenous solution (IV solution)
into North Korea via its cargo-passenger boat Man Gyong Bong,
yesterday found that exports of pharmaceuticals via that boat had
surged since May. Envisioning the likelihood that Japan will step up
sanctions against North Korea if it test-launched missiles and
conducted a nuclear test, North Korean officials might have
accelerated exports (of medicine from Japan to the North). Japanese
police authorities will rush to find out whether Chongryon had a
hand in this case. On the same day, the Public Safety Bureau and

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police authorities searched six locations, such as Chongryuon's
Tokyo headquarters in Tokyo's Bunkyo Ward and its central
headquarters' Niigata branch office on home visits in Niigata City,
Niigata, on charges of violation of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law
and other laws.

The relative is the wife, 74, of a board member living in Tokyo's
Setagaya Ward of the science and technology association. This
relative attempted to smuggle into the North amino acid IV solution
bags for nutritional support, as well as drugs for liver, which are
said to be effective for radiation exposed people. Police
authorities, suspecting that the relative attempted to smuggle those
drugs into North Korea ahead of the nuclear test in October so that
exposed engineers could use them, will investigate into what
purposes those drugs were supposed to be used.

According to police authorities, a Japanese pharmaceutical maker has
since August of last year suspended shipments of medicine to a
pharmaceutical sales firm in Tokyo that had exported pharmaceuticals
to the North because of the abduction and other issues. This sales
firm looked for a new medicine supplier, but this June it was
charged by the Kanagawa Prefectural Police with the violation of the
Pharmaceutical Affairs Law.

Since April of last year, the law has been tightened, and it is now
required to obtain prescriptions in order to sell drugs unlike in
the past, when it was possible to sell them if there were doctors'
"instructions".

With the decrease in the number of drug suppliers for the North
Koreans, exports of IV solution bags to the North have surged since
the beginning of this year from hundreds of bags last year to 10,000
or more bags for this year to date. Exports were concentrated
particularly on the April-June period. On May 18, the relative in
question attempted to smuggle drugs into the North via the Man Gyong
Bong.

14) DPJ to vote against SDF law revision if ruling parties refuse to
preclude Iraq dispatch from SDF's primary missions

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 28, 2006

The Security Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives is
now deliberating on a government-introduced package of legislative
measures to upgrade the Defense Agency to the status of a ministry.
In this regard, the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) entered into coordination yesterday to vote against only
amendments to the Self-Defense Forces Law, which incorporate tasking
the SDF with activities in Iraq, if the ruling parties reject the
DPJ's call for precluding the SDF's Iraq activities from its primary
missions overseas. The DPJ is poised to vote for the Defense Agency
upgrading legislation, making it a precondition to take preventive
steps against the Defense Facilities Administration Agency's
bid-rigging scandal, improve the morals of Defense Agency personnel,
and preclude the SDF's Iraq dispatches from its primary missions
overseas. However, the ruling coalition will presumably refuse to
preclude the SDF's Iraq dispatches.

15) Ruling coalition to vote today on Defense Ministry bill

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)

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November 28, 2006

The ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New
Komeito decided yesterday to take a vote on a government-introduced
package of legislative measures upgrading the Defense Agency to the
status of a ministry in a meeting of the House of Representatives
Security Affairs Committee today. The ruling parties then conveyed
this course of action to the opposition parties. The ruling parties
had initially planned to take a vote on the morning of Nov. 30 and
then to lay the legislation in a plenary sitting of the House of
Representatives for its passage that afternoon. However, Democratic
Party of Japan (Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa's attitude toward
the legislation was still unclear. The ruling parties therefore made
the decision. "If we wait for the DPJ's answer, there's no guarantee
that we can hold a meeting of the committee on the morning of the
30th," an LDP Diet Affairs Committee source said.

However, if the ruling camp forces through the legislation, it would
affect Diet deliberations on a bill amending the Fundamentals of
Education Law. So there are also cautious arguments in the ruling
parties.

SCHIEFFER

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OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... 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>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>