Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/29/06

DE RUEHKO #6770/01 3332235
P 292235Z NOV 06





E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) DPRK "hunted for medicines," such as epidemic disease vaccines,
procured them in Japan

(2) Readmission issue casts shadow over Abe administration;
Reform-oriented image damaged; Voter assessments shifting

(3) Editorial: Voters not convinced by LDP decision to reinstate
postal rebels

(4) NATO to expand cooperative framework by including Japan, South
Korea, Australia

(5) Editorial: Nakaima must deliver on his Futenma pledge

(6) Nakaima asks for LDP lawmakers' support for realizing his
campaign pledges

(7) Abe's special advisors seem fearful of appearing before the Diet
to answer questions

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 28 8


(1) DPRK "hunted for medicines," such as epidemic disease vaccines,
procured them in Japan

SANKEI (Page 31) (Full)
November 29, 2006

A Tokyo-based North Korean-affiliated trading house, which was
charged this June by the Kanagawa Prefectural Police with the
violation of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Law, had exported
pharmaceuticals, including vaccines for legally-designated
infectious diseases, to some 30 companies in North Korea, including
a firm under the direct management of North Korean leader Kim Jong
Il, customs officials revealed. Of those 30 firms, five are listed
by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) as "firms
highly concerned with the development of weapons of mass destruction
(WMD). It seems likely that pharmaceuticals were exported for the
use of the military and the Korean Workers' Party's (KWP)
leadership. Also, it came to light from police investigations that
the North Koreans had hunted for massive amounts of medicines in

A number of senior members of the Science and Technology Association
of Korean Residents in Japan, a group affiliated with the
pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan
(Chongryuon), are on the management list of a Tokyo-based North
Korean-affiliated company that exported medicines (to some 30 firms
in North Korea). Of such 30 firms, five -- Rungra888, Daesong No. 6
Trading Co., Daesong No. 8 Trading Co., Mang Yong Trading Co., and
Pyongyang Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospital -- are designated by
METI as firms of concern.

Customs officials conducted a follow-up survey of the past export
examinations of the North Korean-affiliated trading company in
question as well as pharmaceutical wholesalers in Tokyo. As a
result, they found that exports had included medicines, such as
vaccines for legally-designated epidemic diseases and organic

TOKYO 00006770 002 OF 009

Reportedly, in North Korea, Japanese pharmaceuticals and chemical
agents are never distributed or circulated among the general public,
but they are available to the ruling class, such as military
personnel and members of the KWP. Japanese police authorities are
interested in finding out how such a large quantity of medicines and
chemical agents exported from Japan were used.

According to a South Korean intelligence official, Rungra888 is a
dummy company of the chief accounting section in charge of procuring
daily necessities, food, and luxury goods for North Korean leader
Kim Jong Il. In doing foreign trade, that section identifies itself
as Rungra888. According to the information Japanese police
authorities have received so far, abductee Megumi Yokota's former
husband, Kim Young Nam belongs to that company, and another abductee
Kyoto Matsumoto, who was kidnapped at the age of 29, worked at that

Daesong No. 6 and Daesong No. 8 Trading Companies are affiliated
with the Daesong Group, which is under the wing of the 39 office
(financial and accounting section) tasked with managing secret money
for Kim Jong Il. In 2001, the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department's
(TMPD) Public Safety Bureau and police authorities revealed that a
firm affiliated with this group was financially involved in the case
of the illegal export of a used fishing boat to North Korea. Suspect
Kim Se Ho, who is now on an international wanted list as the
kidnapper of Hiroshi Kume, 52, when kidnapped, identified himself as
an employee of a firm affiliated with the Daeson Trading Co. when he
entered Japan.

In the recently exposed case of the transfer of intravenous (IV)
solution bags without authorization from a doctor living in Tokyo to
the wife of a senior member of the Science and Technology
Association of Korean Residents in Japan, the suspicion emerged at
one point that that wife might have been instructed to smuggle
massive medicines from Japan into the North, but now, with the
discovery that a large volume of pharmaceuticals were transferred to
North Korean leader Kim Jong Il-affiliated firms and others, the
suspicion that the North Koreans, at the order of the state, hunted
for pharmaceuticals has rather increased.

As part of the investigation into the case of the transfer of IV
solution bags from a doctor to the wife of a senior member of the
association, TMPD's Public Safety Bureau yesterday raided Fuji Unyu
in Niigata City, a transportation firm that served as a ship agent
for the North Korean cargo-passenger ship Man Gyong Bong.

(2) Readmission issue casts shadow over Abe administration;
Reform-oriented image damaged; Voter assessments shifting

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 3) (Abridged)
November 29, 2006

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's decision to allow postal rebels to
rejoin the Liberal Democratic Party is casting a shadow on his
administration. The matter might undermine Abe's "reform-oriented
image," leaving the voters with the impression that he has given in
to pressure from within the party to make compromises for the sake
of the Upper House election next year. A Nihon Keizai Shimbun poll
has indicated that the Abe administration has been losing
popularity. There are also signs of change to the trend of the Abe
administration, which made a good start just two months ago.

TOKYO 00006770 003 OF 009

The LDP Reform Headquarters held a meeting on Nov. 27 in which 26
spoke up. Of them 22, including Hideaki Omura and Yukari Sato,
expressed opposition to readmitting the postal rebels to the party,
while the remaining four took positive views.

At that point, the momentum was gathering to readmit 11 postal
rebels to the party.

The LDP Upper House leadership, which has played a central role in
the readmission debate, is counting on the postal rebels'
vote-collecting power. But if voters harbor doubts about the Abe
administration's reform posture, the plan might backfire on the

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun conducted an opinion survey on Nov. 24-26
in which 54% of LDP supporters expressed opposition to the
readmission of postal rebels, while 32% favored their readmission.
At the same time, 52% of unaffiliated voters opposed their
readmission, while 17% supported it.

Above all, people in large cities are showing icy reactions to the
readmission issue. In the Tokyo metropolitan area and the Kansai
region that served as a driving force for the LDP's overwhelming
victory in last year's Lower House election, positive answers
accounted for 19%, while negative views marked 66%.

Voters' views of the Abe administration have changed while the LDP
has been engrossed with inward looking debate on whether to take in
postal rebels for the sake of the Upper House election or whether to
prioritize sentiment over principle. Although the cabinet's support
rating is still high at 59%, it has declined 9 points from October.

As the reason for not supporting the cabinet, "bad policy" marked
37%, up 9 points from September, and "a lack of eldership" also
increased 8 points to 35%.

Abe's decision to readmit the postal rebels to the party has
overshadowed his diplomatic achievements, including his meetings
with the top leaders of the US, China, South Korea, and Russia on
the sidelines of the APEC forum earlier this month.

Abe's decision reflects his consideration to former Prime Minister
Yoshiro Mori and LDP Upper House Caucus Chairman Mikio Aoki. Abe has
also failed to make a clear decision even after the schism within
the leadership came to light, leaving the matter entirely to
Nakagawa. The approach of searching for common ground behind the
scenes between public opinion and the wishes of LDP heavyweights
brings back memories of the old LDP, which Abe's predecessor,
Junichiro Koizumi, detested.

If Abe again fails to exhibit leadership in budget compilation later
this year and tax reform, his administration's posture to carry out
reform would be called into question.

(3) Editorial: Voters not convinced by LDP decision to reinstate
postal rebels

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

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) received requests to rejoin the
LDP from 11 of the so-called "postal rebels" who were ousted from
the party last year. The ruling party intends to approve the

TOKYO 00006770 004 OF 009

reinstatement of 11 out of the 12 lawmakers who were forced out of
the party after voting against then Prime Minister Koizumi's postal
privatization package. Only Takeo Hiranuma remains adamant about his
opposition to postal privatization. Citing the outcome of the
general election held last year to seek the people's judgment on
postal privatization, we have often asserted that the readmission of
postal rebels is unreasonable. It will be difficult for the LDP to
obtain understanding for its decision to bring back the postal
rebels into the party.

LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa set the following conditions
for the postal rebels to return to the party: (1) Observe the
party's manifesto, including the privatization of postal services;
and (2) abide by the party rules and reflect on their antiparty
activities. The 11 rebels, excluding Hiranuma, agreed to meet the
conditions. We wonder if the voters will be convinced with the LDP's

The LDP dissolved the Lower House for a snap election last year to
seek the people's judgment on whether they were for or against
postal privatization. As a result, the LDP scored a landslide
victory, winning nearly 300 seats. Only one year after the election,
those who cried out against privatization in the election campaign
are about to rejoin the LDP. This move might negate the significance
of the general election last year.

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shoichi Nakagawa and House of
Councillors Secretary General Toranosuke Katayama said, "Compassion
is necessary in carrying out politics." Such remarks are quite
disgraceful. If politicians give priority to compassion toward their
colleagues over party pledges to the voters or the just causes of an
election, voters will not be able to find a standard to use in
determining for whom they should vote. Such irresponsible statements
will only amplify public distrust in politics.

In an election under the single-seat constituency system, political
parties present to the voters their clear-cut manifestos and seek
their judgment of their policies. Lawmakers accordingly are required
to take action in line with their manifesto more faithfully than
under the multiple-seat constituency system. In the LDP, there are
some politicians who are still unable to emerge from the mind-set
under the multiple-seat constituency system.

The Upper House LDP pressured Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the LDP
executive to reinstate postal rebels into the fold, out of desire to
obtain their cooperation in local elections with an eye to the Upper
House election next year. According to the latest opinion survey
conducted by the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, nearly 60% of respondents
expressed opposition to the reinstatement of rebels. The public
support rate for the Abe cabinet dropped 9%age points from the
previous survey. These results might indicate that the LDP's forced
reinstatement of the postal rebels could place the party at a
disadvantage in the Upper House election.

Prime Minister Abe should not underestimate the current serious
situation. Some might suspect that the Abe administration and the
LDP would change or retreat its current reformist policy course. If
not, the administration should show the voters a clear message
stressing its determination to push ahead with reforms in the course
of compiling the budget for next fiscal year.

(4) NATO to expand cooperative framework by including Japan, South
Korea, Australia

TOKYO 00006770 005 OF 009

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 8) (Slightly abridged)
November 28, 2006

In its summit meeting starting on Nov. 28, the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization (NATO) will designate Japan, South Korea, and Australia
as its new "partners." The aim is to promote cooperation and
information exchanges in the Asian region. NATO is also willing to
prepare a setup to deal with several small-scale operations, like
counterterrorist activities, in the place of large-scale war assumed
during the Cold-War period. But some NATO members are calling for
caution about its expansion approach.

In the summit in Latvia, United States President Bush will propose
the expanded cooperation plan. In an effort to explore a new role
for NATO in the post-Cold War period, the US and Britain are calling
for a plan to use NATO a means to ensure global security. NATO has
so far designated Middle Eastern countries as its partners, but it
will add as its new partners Asian-Pacific countries that share
democratic values.

On the Eurasia continent, China, Russian, and Central Asian
countries are pushing ahead with a scheme to cooperate in ensuring
security under the framework called "Shanghai cooperation
organization." Under an expanded cooperative framework by joining
hands with Japan, South Korea, and Australia, NATO expects that
monitoring such moves will become possible.

NATO aims to establish a cooperative relationship with Japan in
offering reconstruction assistance in areas affected by natural
disasters or conflict. NATO is eager to strengthen ties through
enhanced political dialogue on the situation in East Asia and joint
military training, with the ultimate goal of strengthening
interoperability. This May, Foreign Minister Taro Aso visited the
NATO headquarters in Brussels and expressed Japan's willingness to
deepen cooperation with NATO.

In the summit in Latvia, NATO will review the current guidelines for
an operation scheme. It anticipates that terrorism, weapons of mass
destructions, and attacks on information and telecommunications
networks will constitute a major threat to security in the next
dozen years or so. Based on this view, NATO will shift policy
priority from large-scale operations, like a war, to small-scale
disputes that could take place simultaneously.

NATO is preparing to establish a system to enable operations in
areas outside the North Atlantic region. Some member countries,
including France, however, are negative about the expansion
approach, asserting that NATO's role should be limited to ensuring
security in the region. Negotiations among member countries may
become stormy.

(5) Editorial: Nakaima must deliver on his Futenma pledge

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 5) (Full)
November 29, 2006

In a press conference after the cabinet meeting yesterday, Defense
Agency Director-General Fumio Kyuma rejected a request of Okinawa
governor-elect Hirokazu Nakaima, who has pledged to close down
Futenma Air Station in three years. Kyuma said, "Such is effectively

TOKYO 00006770 006 OF 009

Closing down the Futenma airfield in three years is one of Nakaima's
campaign pledges. Nakaima's pledge was turned down by the defense
chief ahead of the governor-elect's assumption of office on Dec.

During his election campaigning, Nakaima said: "In order to
eliminate the dangerous nature of Futenma Air Station, I will study
all possible means, including the option of building a temporary
heliport on Camp Schwab. I will also promise you that Futenma Air
Station will cease to function and be closed down in three years."

Winning the race on that pledge, Nakaima must take all available
steps to have the US military close down the Futenma airfield.

Nakaima is not allowed to withdraw his pledge just because a cabinet
minister rejected it.

In the press conference, Kyuma emphatically said: "Futenma Air
Station is in now use by the US military, so it cannot just be
closed down. I will tell Mr. Nakaima about that. Japan does not have
the option of shutting down a base that is in use by the US

Nakaima, who now represents the Okinawa public, must not back down
in the wake of the defense chief's rejection.

He needs to show his mettle to convince the defense chief by
spelling out the need to quickly remove that danger.

The Japan-US final report on the realignment of US forces in Japan
aims to build a Futenma alternative facility on Camp Schwab in Nago
City by 2014. It also reads: "The relocation will be implemented
when the facility becomes totally functional."

Even if the bilateral agreement is implemented smoothly, the dangers
associated with Futenma Air Station would persist for the next eight

There is no guarantee that another helicopter will not crash into a
residential area during that period. An accident could turn into a

Removing the dangerous nature of Futenma Air Station is the most
important and urgent task for ensuring the safety of Okinawa
residents. That is why Nakaima called for its closure in three

To the local residents, who are being forced to live with the base,
the logic of the defense chief, who flatly rejected Nakaima's
request, is totally unacceptable.

The government must turn a serious ear to Okinawa's call for
shutting down Futenma Air Station and study ways to have the US
military halt its functions there.

(6) Nakaima asks for LDP lawmakers' support for realizing his
campaign pledges

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
November 29, 2006

TOKYO - Okinawa governor-elect Hirokazu Nakaima, calling on
influential Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers and cabinet ministers

TOKYO 00006770 007 OF 009

in succession yesterday, asked for the government and the ruling
coalition's support for realizing his campaign pledges, while
expressing his gratitude for their assistance during election
campaigning. Nakaima also affirmed that he would uphold dialogue
with the government to attend the next meeting of the consultative
council to discuss the relocation of Futenma Air Station between the
government and affected municipalities.

Nakaima met yesterday afternoon with LDP Secretary General Hidenao
Nakagawa, former LDP Vice President and Okinawa Promotion Council
Chairman Taku Yamasaki, Okinawa Affairs Minister Sanae Takaichi, and
others. Nakaima said, "In order to realize many public pledges, I
need the ruling bloc's assistance."

In response, Yamasaki said: "Our party will firmly support you so
that you can realize your public pledges 120%. We would like to see
your plan take shape in the next four years (the first term)
regarding the realignment of US forces in Japan. You should meet
with the defense chief in order to resume talks (with the
government)." In response, Nakaima said, "I will discuss matters
(with him) fully."

After the meeting, Yamasaki told reporters: "(As the chair of the
Okinawa Promotion Committee), I have responsibility for the
implementation of Mr. Nakaima's pledges. We intend to continue the
economic package for the northern part, as well."

Secretary General Nakagawa congratulated Nakaima for his victory in

the gubernatorial race, and he urged him not just to "succeed" to
the policies of the Inamine administration but to make them lead to
"development" of the prefecture.

In the session with Takaichi, Nakaima agreed to step up efforts to
reduce unemployment by promoting information technology and other
means. Nakaima also appears to have confirmed his intention to
continue the dialogue with the government by an early meeting of the
Futenma council.

(7) Abe's special advisors seem fearful of appearing before the Diet
to answer questions

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 27, 2006

Miyuki Ando

The five prime ministerial special advisors, who have until recently
drawn much attention as a driving force in the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei), are beginning to put restraints on
their activities. They are doing so because if they play a role that
is not specified in the roles of advisor specified under the Cabinet
Law, they may be required to answer questions in the Diet. They were
initially expected to make wide-ranging activities not influenced by
authorities and the role-sharing factors, but this initial image is

Take a look at the recent moves of the five special advisors.

One is Yuriko Koike, special advisor on national security. She is
fretting about how to push discussions at the Council to Strengthen
the Kantei Functions in Area of National Security, a panel set up in
preparation for the establishment of a Japanese version of the
National Security Council (NSC). Koike serves as acting chair of the

TOKYO 00006770 008 OF 009

panel. Takumi Nemoto, special advisor on the economy and finances,
devotes his energies to the Asia Gateway Strategic Council.

Hiroshige Seko, special advisor on public relations, at first
intended to hold a regular press conference for the government, but
he now tackles overseas public relations activities instead.

Eriko Yamatani, special advisor on revitalization of education,
serves as chief of the Secretariat for the Council on Revitalization
of Education, and Special Advisor on the Abduction Issue Kyoko
Nakayama, too, serves as chief of the Secretariat for the Abduction
Issue Headquarters.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki at a press conference on
Nov. 17 praised the way the special advisors are doing their jobs:
"There was some concern about their activities at first, but now a
system for them to address priority policy lines set by the prime
minister has been forged."

Although the roles played by the special advisors have now been made
clear, they are restricted like state ministers to a particular
field, leaving the impression that their roles are not as
wide-ranging as initially expected.

A primary reason why the special advisors have limited their roles
is apparently because of the opposition parties' calls on them to
take the floor in the Diet to answer questions.

The government has rejected such requests, however, defining the
roles of special advisors as "giving advice to the prime minister
but not being in a position to speak (before the Diet), representing
the cabinet," as Shiozaki commented.

However, the opposition parties are trying to come up with ways to
somehow force special advisors to appear before the Diet as
"government witnesses," as specified in the Upper and Lower House
Rules. Government witnesses, however, are usually supposed to be
chosen from the bureaucracy, so no politician has ever appeared as
such a witness. However, under the argument that the special
advisors are deeply engaged in the government's policy-decision
process, they could be summoned to the Diet. On that question,
discussions are underway at the Lower House steering committee to
reach a final judgment.

The special advisors think that because they are not bound by the
Diet, they can feel at ease in working for the Kantei. Not wanting
to be summoned to the Diet, they may be narrowing down the range of
their activities simply for that reason. If so, they could be
criticized as putting the cart before the horse.

(8) Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 28

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
November 29, 2006

Attended a cabinet meeting in Diet. Agriculture Minister Matsuoka
remained. After he left, met with Minister of Land, Infrastructure
and Transport Fuyushiba and later State Minister in Charge of
Administrative Reform Sata.

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shimomura at Kantei.

TOKYO 00006770 009 OF 009

Attended a Lower House General Affairs Committee meeting.

Arrived at Kantei.

Met with Finance Minister Omi.

Met with former Ambassador to Thailand Hisahiko Okazaki.

Met with Japan Junior Chamber Chairman Yoshitaka Ikeda. Later, met
with State Minister in Charge of Economic and Fiscal Policy Ota,
joined by Deputy Assistant Chief Cabinet Secretary Saka and others.

Photo shoot with Indonesian President Yudhoyono and later held
summit talks with the president.

Attended a signing ceremony for a Japan-Indonesia joint statement
and a joint press conference.

Photo shoot with his wife Akie and President Yudhoyono and his wife.
Later, host a dinner party for the president and his wife.


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