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Cablegate: Media Reaction Q Iraq - Tokyo

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 290234Z DEC 06
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9474
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9375
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2893
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 007185

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: Friday morning's Asahi front-paged a GOJ
plan to conclude a General Security of Military
Information Agreement (GSOMIA) with the U.S.

1. "Prudence Needed in Final Approval of Saddam's
Execution" The moderate Tokyo Shimbun editorialized
(12/29): "The death sentence for former Iraqi President
Saddam Hussein has been finalized. Despite this, if
Saddam's execution is carried out hurriedly, it will
intensify sectarian strife, which has already left Iraq
in a state of civil war. Prudence is needed in Iraq's
final judgment of Saddam's execution so as not to add
fuel to the chaos which grips the nation.... Under
current Iraqi rules, Saddam is to be executed within 30
days after the Iraqi High Appeals Court upheld his death
sentence. It is natural that the former dictator should
be tried and sentenced for the crimes he committed while
he was in power. But IraqQs courts were established with
capital punishment restored under the US military
administration. Given the fact that Iraq's trial of
Saddam Hussein received full U.S. support, we cannot help
but get the impression that Saddam's death sentence was
inevitable from the beginning. The UN and international
human rights groups are skeptical about the fairness of
the Saddam trial, which came to an end only 14 months
after the initial hearing.... While the Iraqi president
and vice president need to sign off on Saddam's
execution, President Talabani is said to be less than
supportive of the execution."

DONOVAN

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