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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Iraq - Tokyo

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P 270246Z DEC 06 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 007138

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: MEDIA REACTION Q IRAQ - TOKYO


LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers front-paged
an announcement Tuesday by the Iraqi High Appeals Court
that it has upheld the death sentence for Saddam Hussein.

1. "Chaos in Iraq No Longer Connected with Hussein" Cairo
correspondent Tachino of the liberal Asahi wrote (12/27):
"On Tuesday, the Iraqi High Appeals Court upheld Saddam
Hussein's death sentence.... The al-Maliki government
appears eager to send Saddam to the gallows as soon as
possible in the hope of making a break with the past and
heading off the chaos that grips the country. The current
situation, however, is at this point unrelated with the
former Iraqi president. Following the High Court's
finalization of the death sentence, Prime Minister Maliki
proposed Hussein's execution by year's end, saying that
the sooner it is carried out, the better for the Iraqi
people, drawing criticism from international human rights
organizations. It is also inevitable that the death
sentence will draw criticism from the Kurds, who are
calling for court hearings concerning the massacre of
Kurds when Hussein was in power."

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2. "Finalization of Hussein's Death Sentence Will Fuel
Chaos in Iraq" Cairo correspondent Takahashi of the
liberal Mainichi wrote (12/27): "There are already
concerns that Iraq's security situation could further
deteriorate following the Iraqi High Appeals Court's
ruling upholding Saddam Hussein's death sentence. It is
likely that remnants of the pro-Saddam Baath Party and
military, who regard the al-Maliki government as an
American puppet, will step up their attacks on Iraqi
security forces. Radical groups linked with al-Qaeda will
also likely intensify terrorist attacks on Shiites."

DONOVAN

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