Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/25/07
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2847/01 1760130
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250130Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4814
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4124
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1709
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5282
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 0835
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 2529
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7572
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3625
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 4733
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 002847
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 06/25/07
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's weekend schedule
Hill visits to Pyongyang and Tokyo:
4) Prime Minister Abe; Hill visit to Pyongyang produced a certain
amount of result
5) Abe will look now for action from the DPRK, stresses importance
of resolving abduction issue
6) Hill in meeting with Japan's delegate to six-party talks Sasae
says he expects North Korea to shut down nuclear facility in three
7) Hill: North Korea did not show positive attitude toward abduction
issue when he brought it up
8) Japanese government heightens concern about lack of progress on
abduction issue s DPRK seemingly moves on first stage of nuclear
9) Yomiuri editorial: DPRK urged to take concrete action toward
scrapping nuclear program
10) Mainichi editorial: Concern that US-Japan cooperation on
denuclearization of North Korea might be lost
11) Negative ad in Washington Post by Japan's anti-comfort-women
issue forces pro backfires: Angry House of Representatives to vote
on Honda resolution tomorrow
Defense and security issues:
12) USFJ Commander Lt. Gen. Wright justifies cost of USFJ
realignment: Cheaper than war 9
13) USFJ chief says Aegis data leak "very serious" 10
14) Defense Minister Kyuma says that missile defense 99 %
effective against missile attacks 10
1) TOP HEADLINES
Asahi & Yomiuri:
Hokkaido police search meat processing firm over false labeling of
ground beef, seek to establish fraud case
Poll: five political parties call for reviewing 1997 cabinet
decision to reduce number of medical students
SESC to review all investment funds starting in September
Winning 45 seats might save Prime Minister Abe's job
Chongryon real estate sale: Prosecutors may apply charges of fraud
JCP Chairman Shii says on NHK program that pensions, poverty, and
Constitution included in party's campaign pledges for Upper House
TOKYO 00002847 002 OF 010
(1) Grand beef false labeling: both meat processing firm and
administrative institutions responsible
(2) Air pollution suit: Make best use of Supreme Court's
recommendation to settle the case amicably
(1) Palestinians, don't make independence dream wither away
(2) Chytridiomycosis: Pay attention to crisis of ecosystem!
(1) Urban ozone: "Transborder smog" from China problematic
(2) Doctor-Heli system: Improvement in critical care system urged
Need for new growth strategy
(1) Chongryun real estate sale: Shed light on involvement in the
sale by Chongryun vice chairman
(2) Grand beef false labeling is antisocial crime to ignore
(1) Japan should play role to break deadlock in WTO talks
(2) People's understanding of environmental technology will reduce
green house gas emissions
Residential tax: Vent the anger on LDP and New Komeito
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, June 23
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
Left Haneda Airport by JAL 905.
Arrived at Naha Airport.
Offered a wreath at Okinawa National Cemetery for war dead in Peace
Memorial Park in Itoman City, Okinawa. Then attended a memorial
ceremony for all the war dead in Okinawa.
Met with Upper House President Ogi and Okinawa Governor Nakaima at
Left Naha Airport by JAL 910.
Arrived at Haneda Airport.
Had a haircut at Barber Muragi at Hilton Hotel.
TOKYO 00002847 003 OF 010
Arrived at the official residence.
Dined with his wife Akie and her father Akio Matsuzaki, advisor to
Morinaga & Co., at a Chinese restaurant at Strings Hotel Tokyo
Arrived at the official residence.
Prime Minister's schedule, June 24
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
Appeared on a TV program at the NHK Chiyoda Broadcasting Hall at
Arrived at the official residence.
Left Haneda Airport by JAL 1259.
Arrived at Yamagata Airport. Greeted by Yamagata Governor Saito.
Inspected a cherry farm at Endo Farm in Higashine City.
Speech meeting hosted by the LDP's Yamagata Chapter at Yamagata Big
Wing in Yamagata City.
Press conference at Yamagata Grand Hotel. Then met with Susumu
Yamasawa, president of the Yamagata Chamber of Commerce and
Industry. Lowe House member Toshiaki Endo was present.
Left JR Sendai Station by Hayate 28.
Arrived at JR Tokyo Station.
Arrived at the official residence.
4) "Mr. Hill's North Korea visit has produced a certain degree of
results," says prime minister
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2007
Touching on the North Korea visit by Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill, top US envoy to the six-party talks, Prime
Minister Abe, in a speech delivered in Yamagata City, took the view
that Hill's visit to Pyongyang had produced a certain degree of
results for the US-North Korea talks. He noted, "Fortunately, an
atmosphere has been created for the holding of six-party talks and
TOKYO 00002847 004 OF 010
for North Korea taking initial denuclearization steps, including the
dismantlement of the Yongbyon facility, as agreed on in February."
But he also pointed out, "We must carefully monitor whether North
Korea will actually carry out that action."
5) Prime Minister Abe will "look now for action" by North Korea,
stresses again the importance of resolving the abduction issue
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 23, 2007
Commenting last evening on North Korea's having indicated its
intention to carry out such commitments in the six-party agreement
as shutting down and sealing a nuclear facility, Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe pointed out last evening, "We must watch now to make sure
this shows up in its actions, not just in its words." He then added:
"Since the abduction issue is Japan's highest priority challenge, we
must resolve it by cooperating with the international community." He
was answering questions from the press core at his official
The government evaluates as "a first step forward" (senior Foreign
Ministry official) the revealing that North Korea discussed the
first stage measure as "the next step." However, the issue of
transferring North Korea's funds, which became the reason for the
delay in carrying out the first stage of the agreement, was never in
the six-party agreement. Even if North Korea makes progress in
carrying out the first stage, Japanese officials remain concerned,
one saying, "The possibility cannot be denied that a new difficult
problem might not emerge."
Japan is concerned, too, that there is little interest in the
abduction issue among the concerned countries. Foreign Minister Aso
in a telephone conversation with Secretary Rice on June 21 stressed
this point about Assistant Secretary Hill's visit to Pyongyang: "We
would like him to tackle the abduction issue head on with North
Hill in a press conference in Seoul stressed, "I urged them to
tackle the resolution of the abduction issue," but according to
aides to the prime minister, North Korea did not seem to respond
with a forward-looking stance. The Japanese government plans to ask
Hill, when he arrives in Tokyo on the 23rd, a day later than
scheduled, to directly confirm North Korea's reaction and to give
his outlook for the future course.
6) Hill tells Sasae, "DPRK will shut down its facility within three
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Eve., June 23, 2007
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief US
negotiator in the six-party talks, arrived in Japan this morning and
met with his Japanese counterpart Kenichiro Sasae, director-general
of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau.
Hill said to Sasae that he confirmed during his meetings with North
Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, the chief negotiator in
the six-party talks, and Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun North Korea's
will to fully implement the first-stage action, including shutdown
of the nuclear facility in Yongbyon, in line with the February
TOKYO 00002847 005 OF 010
agreement. Hill told Sasae that the shutdown of the facility would
be completed within three weeks. Both Japanese and US negotiators
agreed to accelerate talks to push North Korea to implement
"next-phase action," including disabling all the nuclear facility.
On the abduction issue, Hill told Sasae that he urged North Korea to
address it positively, by noting, "Japan is the largest economic
power in the world. It's important to improve relations with that
country." On the other hand, Hill said, "There was no fresh response
from the North Korean side."
7) No progress in sight on abductions of Japanese citizens by North
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 24, 2007
Returning from North Korea, US Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill on June 23 met with Director-General Kenichiro
Sasae of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau
and told Sasae that North Korea did not come up with a positive
response toward resolving the issue of abductions of Japanese
citizens by North Korea. The government and the ruling parties had
previously presumed that if there had been a sign of the abduction
issue making progress, that would have helped buoy the government
and the ruling parties in the upcoming Upper House election, because
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe attaches importance to the issue. But now
some are expressing the concern that the stalled abduction issue
could overshadow the election campaign.
"I told the North Korean side that it's important to improve
relations with Japan and to resolve the abduction issue, among other
issues," Hill said on June 23 and emphasized that he urged North
Korea to resolve the abduction issue. But no favorable remark came
from the North Korean side. Hill explained: "Because I have said
that to North Korea at every opportunity, North Korea was not
surprised by my remark. Its response was the same as the one it had
8) Hill's visit to Pyongyang: Japanese government heightens its
concern about no progress on abduction issue prior to implementation
of first stage of agreement
ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
June 23, 2007
"Only the toes of the North Koreans can be seen sticking out," said
a Foreign Ministry official. Voices of concern have quickly risen in
the Japanese government about the United States and North Korea
having taken a stance of accelerating their dialogue before progress
on the abduction issue and prior to even the North fulfilling the
first stage of measures leading to the scrapping of its nuclear
Even regarding Assistant Secretary of State Hill's statement of
intention to see six-party talks resume in late July, officials are
skeptical, one saying, "If you don't continue to pedal a bicycle, it
will fall over."
Foreign Minister Aso, at a press conference on the 22nd, indicated
his outlook that the six-party talks process would not move forward
as well as the US expects, saying, "My sense is that just going (to
TOKYO 00002847 006 OF 010
Pyongyang) would not immediately lead to settling things."
An informed source on the Japanese side saw Hill as trying to grasp
leadership over the entire six-party framework. Hill, who met on the
June 19 in Tokyo with MOFA Asia-Pacific Bureau Director General
Sasae proposed that instead of the usual dragged-out six-party
talks, he as the senior delegate would have informal talks after
which formal talks could be convened. He was thinking of a
cabinet-level meeting in Beijing in mid-July. He floated the same
idea in Pyongyang, as well. A government source said: "I sense that
there will be a cabinet-level meeting. If there are no results from
such a meeting, nothing will change, even with a ministerial
On the other hand, regarding the priority issue of the abductions,
there not even being any contacts with North Korea, Japan finds
itself in the dilemma of staking its only chance on riding on
progress between the US and North Korea.
This time, too, Hill was asked prior to his Pyongyang trip to bring
up this issue with the North Koreans. A top Foreign Minister leader
on June 22 acknowledged the reality that Japan was up against the
wall on this issue, saying, "All we can do is to continue to talk
about the abduction issue every chance we get."
9) Editorial: North Korea urged to take concrete action toward
scrapping of nuclear program
YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
June 23, 2007
Can North Korea be made to take concrete action toward its required
carrying out of the dismantling of its nuclear program?
Assistant Secretary of State Hill, who is the United States' top
envoy to the six-party talks, traveled to Pyongyang where he met
with North Korea's foreign minister and other senior officials.
North Korea is still not implementing first-stage measures that it
had promised at the six-party talks in February to do within 60
Saying, "I would like to make up for lost time," the assistant
secretary transmitted his intention to bring about progress in the
process of the North's scrapping its nuclear program, and he stated
that North Korea has indicated a desire to fulfill the agreement,
such as shutting down a nuclear facility.
North Korea last week announced that it would allow an IAEA
delegation into the country. The US in keeping with the Feb.
agreement worked to bring about the return of funds to North Korea
that had been frozen in a Macao bank. The effort to remit the money
finally is being carried out.
It is only natural to ask North Korea now to quickly carry out its
obligations. The problem is how far Pyongyang is willing to go in
scrapping its nuclear program.
In the next stage that will follow the first one, North Korea must
report all of its nuclear plans and render inoperable its existing
nuclear facilities. However, on the key issue of scrapping its
nuclear weapons and existing plutonium, talks have yet to be carried
TOKYO 00002847 007 OF 010
Even in negotiations on the next stage, it is difficult to think
that North Korea will take kindly to acknowledging its uranium
enrichment program and respond by dismantling that nuclear facility.
That is because it considers its nuclear weapons to be its single,
most important card to play in order to guarantee the security of
its own country. It likely wants to obtain if possible something in
return by coming out with unreasonable demands, such as being
offered light-water reactors.
If it carries out the first stage measures, it would activate the
diplomatic activities of concerned countries, such as the convening
of a meeting of the foreign ministers of the six countries. The
problem is whether the other five countries, Japan, the US, China,
Republic of Korea, and Russia can agree on the action to be taken.
The responses of the other countries must not fall out of line,
giving North Korea the chance it has been waiting for.
For Japan, it is crucial that close relations with the US continue
to be upheld. In the Feb. agreement, the US promised to start
efforts to remove North Korea from the list of countries designated
as terrorist-sponsoring states. North Korea asked that its name be
removed, its nuclear program scrapping premised on the US ending its
policy of regarding North Korea as its enemy. However, it is
difficult for Japan to accept such unless the current situation of
no progress on the abduction issue front is ended.
Prior to Assistant Secretary Hill's visit to Pyongyang, Foreign
Minister Aso, in a telephone conversation with Secretary Rice, asked
the US to work on North Korea to address its bilateral issues with
Japan, including the abductions. The assistant secretary said he
urged the North to have talks with Japan on the abduction issue.
Japan must continue to maintain its stance of seeking a
comprehensive resolution of the North Korea problem that includes
the nuclear, abduction, and the missile issues.
10) Editorial: Do not destroy the cooperation on nuclear
non-proliferation between Japan and US
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpt)
June 23, 2007
"All of us have been waiting for you," said Yi Gun, America Bureau
director general, displaying the North Korean sense of satisfaction.
Yi had come out to greet the arrival in Pyongyang of Assistant
Secretary of State Hill, the chief delegate to the six-party talks.
When Hill left North Korea, he stated, "We had good talks." North
Korea reportedly told him its intention to carry out the first-stage
measures, which included shutting down and sealing a nuclear
facility. We would like to welcome this development at this stage,
but we note that actions are more important than words.
This was the first visit to Pyongyang by a senior US official since
then Assistant Secretary of State Kelly in October 2002. Immediately
before Hill's surprise visit to North Korea, the effort of
transmitting North Korea's funds in the BDA was completed. Since the
BDA issue allowed the North to gain advantage by complaining, that
country welcomed the visit of Hill with the first stage of the
measures still unaccomplished. For the North Koreans, there could
not have been a better measure of their success.
TOKYO 00002847 008 OF 010
Hill met with North Korean Foreign Minister Pak Ui Chun and Vice
Foreign Minister Kim Gye Gwan. After the visit, in a press
conference in Seoul, Hill said the North Koreans stated that they
were ready, in addition to implementing the first stage measures, to
go on to the next step of rendering inoperative the Yongbyon nuclear
However, it is only natural that the North carry out the agreement
(first stage measures) reached at the six-party talks, once the BDA
issue is generally tidied up. We were concerned by Hill's view on
North Korea's denuclearization, namely, that it was conceivable that
it would take some time. Is he saying that during the Bush
administration, it would not be possible to resolve the North Korea
nuclear problem? Moreover, in order to have a denuclearized North
Korea, it is necessary to know what the complete nuclear program is.
There was no detailed explanation about what sort of talks there
would be on the North presenting a comprehensive list. On this
point, too, we remain dissatisfied.
11) "Negative" advertisement in US on wartime comfort-women issue
backfires with House resolution calling for apology likely to be put
to vote tomorrow
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
June 25, 2007
Masaya Oikawa, Washington
The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs is to take a vote tomorrow
on the resolution calling on Japan to apologize for the wartime
comfort-women issue. The resolution is expected to be adopted. In
that case, the resolution will be the second one that has cleared
committee, following the one last year. The focus is on whether the
resolution will clear the full session of the House.
The resolution is set to be put to the vote tomorrow morning (late
at night, Japan time of that day). The resolution was introduced in
late January by Japanese-American Representative Mike Honda (D-CA).
The co-sponsors of the resolution have now numbered 145 out of the
435 House of Representatives as of June 23 amid the growing interest
in former comfort women as a human rights issue because of their
miserable circumstances. The resolution is certain to be adopted
with Committee Chairman Tom Lantos, as well, likely to favor it.
At one point the resolution was scheduled to be put to the vote
after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to the United States in late
April, but the vote was tabled.
However, observers note that because a bipartisan group of Japanese
lawmakers, journalists and others put a full-page advertisement in
the Washington Post in its June 14 edition that went, "No historical
documents have been found to prove that the former Imperial Japanese
Army forced comfort women to work as prostitutes," objections to
Japan's attitude have grown stronger. Japanese Ambassador to the US
Ryozo Kato on June 20 revealed: "I was asked about (the full-pace
advertisement) by US government officials and members of Congress."
The Japanese government, in its effort to block the adoption of the
resolution, expressed sympathy toward comfort women through the
prime minister's meetings with Lantos and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
during his tour of the US. But because South Korean-affiliated
organizations continued to lobby for the resolution, Japan was
TOKYO 00002847 009 OF 010
unable to block the vote-taking.
12) DEFENSE & SECURITY
USFJ commander: Japan's share of relocation cost would be cheaper
AKAHATA (Page 2) (Full)
June 23, 2007
USFJ Commander Lt. Gen. Bruce Wright delivering a speech in Tokyo on
June 22 indicated that Japan's share of expenses for USFJ
realignment estimated at over 3 trillion yen was just. He said,
"Defense is costly, but it is cheaper than war."
The commander said: "In estimation, Japan's share would come to 26
billion dollars (3.22 trillion yen)."
US Deputy Defense Undersecretary Richard Lawless mentioned the
figure 26 billion dollars last March. Wright became the first USFJ
commander to refer to that figure.
Wright also pointed out that: (1) the United States annually
disburses 5 billion dollars for USJF personnel and equipment, and
(2) Japan's military spending to GDP is less than 1 % , while that
of the United States is over 3.5 % . The commander pressed Japan to
shoulder a large portion of the realignment costs, saying: "Although
it seems large, if war broke out in this region, military spending
would increase at an exponential rate."
A newly-launched blue-ribbon panel on the right to collective
self-defense has been studying the propriety of intercepting a
ballistic missile fired at the United States. Touching on that new
development, Wright said: "We appreciate such a discussion on a
policy level. Once the discussion becomes mature and guidelines are
shown to US forces and the Self-Defense Forces, who and at what
point such a missile should be shot down would become clear."
13) USFJ Commander: Leak of Aegis data "very serious"
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 23, 2007
Speaking to the press corps in Tokyo on June 22, US Forces Japan
Commander Lt. Gen. Wright called the incident of Aegis data
belonging to the Maritime Self-Defense Force having been leaked a
"very serious national-security issue." He stated that in his view
it would be necessary for Japan and the United States to make joint
efforts to determine the contents of the leaked data and take steps
to correct the problem. Referring to the blue-ribbon panel appointed
by Prime Minister Abe to consider the possible use of the right of
collective-self defense, the commander welcomed the move, saying, "I
highly appreciate it."
On the temporary deployment from Feb. to May of the US'
state-of-the-art F-22A Raptors, he noted, "The aircraft's first
overseas deployment ended successfully."
14) MD accuracy at 99 % : Kyuma
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
June 25, 2007
TOKYO 00002847 010 OF 010
Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma delivered a speech yesterday at a hotel
in Miyakojima City, Okinawa Prefecture. In his speech there, Kyuma
referred to how Japan will defend itself if and when it comes under
attack from foreign countries like North Korea with their ballistic
missiles. "The current missile defense (MD) system can do away with
99 % ," Kyuma said. Japan's MD readiness is a two-tier system
consisting of the Standard Missile 3 (SM-3), a sea-based missile
intercept system, and the Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3), a
ground-based system. "The SM-3 can intercept more than 90 % ,"
Kyuma said. "The PAC-3 will shoot down 90 % of the rest," he
Meanwhile, the Defense Ministry recently sent the Maritime
Self-Defense Force to conduct an on-the-spot environmental survey
for the planned relocation of the US military's Futenma airfield.
"From now on, we will not have to do such a thing, and I think
things will go smoothly," Kyuma said. With this, he indicated that
the Self-Defense Forces would not be mobilized for Futenma