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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/27/07-1

DE RUEHKO #2897/01 1780132
P 270132Z JUN 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


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

US-Japan comfort-women row:
4) U.S. House Committee Passes 'Comfort Women' Resolution
5) Abe diplomacy toward the US hurt by House passage of
comfort-women resolution
6) US has growing doubts about the historical views of the prime
7) House Committee's passage of comfort-women resolution reveals
increase of human-rights activists among Democrats in Congress
8) Japan worried about comfort women resolution being treated as
human-rights issue
9) Government concerned that with passage of comfort-women
resolution, the issue will spread across the US
10) Government to make efforts to seek US understanding before full
House votes on the comfort-women resolution (2 reports)
11) Fear that House Committee passage of comfort-women resolution
will lead to a chain of negative reactions
12) Vote on comfort-women resolution by the full House expected next
13) Views in Japan on the comfort-women resolution are split



366 retired bureaucrats of independent administrative agencies land
jobs through amakudrari, taking advantage of loophole in law

Japanese left behind in China at the end of WWII: Ruling parties to
propose paying additional 20,000 yen as allowance

Relief for students that obtained scholarships to be continued into
next spring; Japan High School Baseball Federation to reach
conclusion in November

Nihon Keizai:
Information on real estate prices to be consolidated; MLIT to create

Prevention of leaks: GSDF members with foreign spouses to be
transferred from intelligence sections

Tokyo Shimbun:
Air pollution lawsuit in Tokyo: Plaintiffs to accept settlement

US House Committee to adopt "comfort women" resolution, calling for
Japanese government to offer formal apology


(1) SIA's summer bonus: Just returning bonuses will not do at
private companies
(2) High school students who obtain baseball scholarship: Rules

TOKYO 00002897 002 OF 010

befitting the times needed

(1) SIA officials return their bonuses: Strange way of taking
(2) High school students who get baseball scholarship: System that
does not allow wrongdoings needed

(1) Pension premium payment determination committee: Priority should
be given to swift and accurate recovery of pensioners' right
(2) Bull Dog Sauce M&G: Investment fund incurred negative reaction
from stockholders

Nihon Keizai:
(1) Another amendment to AML needed to root out bid-rigging

(1) Court decides to seize Chongryon headquarters: Use court
enforcement in finding breakthrough
(2) SIA officials return their bonuses: National feeling has not
quieted down

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Return of summer bonuses by SIA officials: Attention should not
be shifted from the pension fiasco
(2) Revision to AML: Strengthening punishments unavoidable

(1) Minced beef labeling scam: Stick to starting point of providing
safe food

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, June 26

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2007

Attended cabinet meeting in the Diet building. Internal Affairs
Minister Suga remained in the office. Met later with State Minister

Met at Kantei with Finance Minister Omi and Vice Finance Minister
Fujii. Omi remained in the office.

Attended ceremony for those who are awarded for their efforts for
assistance second challenge program. Met with Cabinet Intelligence
Director Mitani.

Had lunch with journalist Tahara.

Met with incoming and outgoing chairman of Japanese Bankers
Association Masayuki Oku and Nobuo Kuroyanagi. Followed by Tsuyoshi
Kajitani, chairman of the third-party committee on the pension
record fiasco.

TOKYO 00002897 003 OF 010

Met at LDP headquarters with Deputy Secretary General Mogi.

Met at Kantei with Guyana President Jagdeo. Attended signing
ceremony and held joint statement.

Returned to his official residence.

4) U.S. House Committee Passes 'Comfort Women' Resolution

Kyodo, June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON --The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs
Committee passed a resolution Tuesday seeking an apology from Japan
over the sexual exploitation of Asian women by the Japanese military
during World War II.

Tom Lantos, chairman of the committee, and some other members have
proposed a change in wording in the resolution to somewhat soften
the demand for an apology and also added a line to note the
importance of Japan-U.S. relations.

The changes were approved and the resolution passed the committee by
a majority after deliberations. The move comes despite Tokyo's claim
that Japanese prime ministers have repeatedly offered apologies over
the issue. Japanese Ambassador to the United States Ryozo Kato has
warned that the passage of what he says is a factually unfounded
resolution would harm otherwise sound Japan-U.S. relations.

Rep. Michael Honda, a California Democrat of Japanese descent, and
some Republicans submitted the resolution in January urging the
Japanese prime minister to offer an official apology to the victims,
known euphemistically in Japan as "comfort women."

Now that the committee has voted in favor of the resolution,
attention will shift to whether it will be put to a vote on the full
floor of the House, with Honda saying the resolution could be voted
on possibly in mid-July.

Similar resolutions have been submitted to Congress four times. The
last resolution won committee-level approval in September, but a
full vote by the lower chamber was blocked by the then majority
Republican Party.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has previously offered an apology
for the suffering endured by the women. He has also repeated that he
stands by a 1993 official statement acknowledging and apologizing
over the matter.

Abe came under fire earlier this year when he said he believes the
Japanese military did not use ''coercion'' in connection with the

During his visit to the United States in April, Abe expressed regret
about misunderstandings over his remarks and reiterated that he
feels sorry for the women who suffered.

5) Abe's US diplomacy stumbling: US House committee to adopt comfort
women resolution despite Tokyo's lobbying against it

TOKYO 00002897 004 OF 010

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2007

Japan's diplomacy toward the United States appears to be stumbling.
The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs is expected to adopt on
June 26 a resolution calling on the Japanese government to offer an
apology to former comfort women. On the North Korean issue, Tokyo is
apparently irritated at Washington's much more conciliatory attitude
toward North Korea. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe officially stated,
"The Japan-US alliance remains solid," but apprehensions and
discontent are growing stronger in Japan.

Hiroshi Maruya, Washington

The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs yesterday afternoon
discussed a resolution calling on the Japanese government to admit
"historical responsibility" for the so-called wartime comfort-women
issue allegedly caused by the former Imperial Japanese Army and
apologize. The co-sponsors of the resolution have now numbered 145
or one-third of the House of Representatives. The resolution is
expected to be approved by a majority. The focus is now on whether
the resolution will be adopted at the full session of the House.

The resolution was introduced in the House by Representative Mike
Honda (D-CA). It has no legal binding force, but the Japanese
government has lobbied against the resolution by noting that Japan
has acknowledged its responsibility and apologized, and that the
contents of the resolution go against the facts. The ongoing
development as to the resolution is likely to affect Japan-US
relations, albeit subtly.

Regarding this issue, Abe offered an apology when he met with
members of Congress during his visit to the United States in April
in his efforts to calm the situation. However, his remarks made
before his US visit that "there is no evidence to prove coercion in
the narrow sense" had provoked protests in the US.

Afterwards, on June 14, an opinion advertisement prepared by a group
of eminent Japanese individuals, including lawmakers from the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party and opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) as supporters for the advertisement, was put in the
Washington Post denying coercion regarding the comfort-women issue.
This advertisement gave an opportunity for civic groups aiming for
the adoption of the resolution to lobby for it, observers analyzed.

Yesterday evening, Abe, when asked by reporters at his official
residence about the resolution expected to be put to the vote
shortly, said: "When I visited the US, I explained my thoughts. I
have nothing to add." "It is my firm belief that Japan-US relations
are an irreplaceable alliance that remains solid," he emphasized.

6) US suspicious of Prime Minister's historical views

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 7) (Abridged)
June 27, 2007

On June 26th, the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs
Committee adopted a resolution calling for a formal apology from the
Japanese government regarding comfort women. But over the long term,
there is a possibility that the resolution, which appears likely to
pass the full floor of the House, may be a "crossroads" in US-Japan

TOKYO 00002897 005 OF 010


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's remarks in March were one factor leading
to this situation. Responding to questions from the Diet, the prime
minister stated that "there was no evidence to prove the coercion
(of comfort women)." Abe was criticized in the US media, and US
support for the resolution increased dramatically.

The Japanese government claims that the comfort women issue had been
resolved after a 1993 statement by then-Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yohei Kono, apologizing and expressing remorse for colonial
occupation during World War II, and the subsequent establishment of
the Asian Women's Fund to provide monetary compensation to victims.

Although the prime minister expressed "regret" for the comfort-women
issue during his April visit to the US, and there were signs that
the matter was calming down, the House committee did not listen to
Japan's claims.

Even if the full House passes the resolution, it is difficult to
think that US-Japan relations will rapidly worsen. However taking
into consideration the reactions of the House and the media -- which
were driven by emotion rather than logic -- this resolution can be
seen as an expression of suspicion not limited to the comfort women
issue, but rather directed toward Prime Minister Abe's revisionist
stance toward history.

Although the US expresses interest in constitutional amendments that
would strengthen the US-Japan security alliance, judging from this
event, it reacts strongly to efforts to revise history. If Japan
continues to move in this direction, friction could develop in the
relationship between the US and Japan.

7) US House panel to adopt resolution on comfort women; More
Democrats for human rights

YOMIURI (Page 7) (Full)
June 27, 2007

WASHINGTON, LOS ANGELES-The US House of Representatives Foreign
Relations Committee is expected to adopt a resolution on June 26
calling for the Japanese government to apologize for the so-called
comfort women issue. The US Congress is now likely to adopt the
resolution in its plenary sitting. What lies behind the move is a
change in the makeup of lawmakers in the US Congress.

In September last year, a similar resolution was adopted over the
comfort women issue for the first time in a meeting of the
International Relations Committee of the Republican-controlled House
of Representatives. However, the resolution was not brought to the
floor of the House thanks to the good offices of Republican Rep.
Henry Hyde, the then chairman of the International Relations
Committee. Eventually, the resolution was scrapped.

In January this year, however, the Democratic Party gained control
of the US Congress as a result of last November's midterm elections
in the United States. In the US Congress, key posts went into the
hands of human-rights liberals, such as Democrat Rep. Nancy Pelosi,
the speaker of the House of Representatives, and Tom Lantos, who is
a survivor of the Holocaust and chairs the House Foreign Affairs
by the committee like before, according to a source familiar with

TOKYO 00002897 006 OF 010

Japan-US relations.

In the meantime, US-based Chinese and South Korean groups worked on
the Democratic Party's leadership. Their lobbying also seemed to
have had an influence on Congress.

The resolution will likely be brought to a plenary session of
Congress in mid-July for a vote. The House of Representatives
currently has a total of 435 members, and 145 of them, or about 30 %
of all House members, sponsor the resolution. However, there is
still no predicting whether the resolution can get a majority of 218

8) US House Committee passes comfort women resolution, warning Japan
on human rights issue

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 26) (Excerpts)
June 27, 2007

The United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
is expected to pass a resolution on June 26 seeking an official
apology from the Japanese government in connection with the wartime
comfort-women issue during World War II. Many persons in Japan
involved with this issue have criticized the government and the
Foreign Ministry for their responses to the comfort-women issue.

Postwar Compensation Network Chief of Secretariat Ken Arimitsu said:
"Since the issue has not been prominently reported in Japan, people
might think the resolution came out of the blue, but many
resolutions on the comfort women and human trafficking issues have
been submitted in the US Congress since 1990 as issues that should
be addressed internationally."

Arimitsu spoke of the contents of the resolution: "The resolution
does not use anti-Japan expressions but points out the comfort women
as a serious abuse of human rights. It implies that Japan as a
nation contributing to the world should understand at least this

Data Center for Asian Women Chief of Secretariat Noriko Motoyama
stated: "Female victims, whom the government ignored, have died one
after another. The government must meet face-to-face with them

In South Korea, the government under President Roh Moo Hyun, just
after its inauguration in 2003, adopted a resolution calling on the
Japanese government to tackle the issue. In Taiwan, the Legislative
Yuan also adopted the same kind of resolution unanimously in 2002.
In Japan, no deliberations on legislation related to the
comfort-women have been conducted since 2003, but Arimitsu
commented: "Japan is being tested over how it should take the
judgment on this by the international community. Three opposition
parties have submitted a bill to the House of Councillors Cabinet
Committee, so the government should immediately start deliberations
on the bill."

9) Gov't concerned about US backlash on "comfort women" issue

ASAHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
June 27, 2007

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will now

TOKYO 00002897 007 OF 010

adopt a resolution calling for the Japanese government to offer an
official apology over the issue of comfort women. On this matter,
the government takes the position that it will have to continue its
efforts for understanding. "That's all we can do," Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shiozaki remarked. Some lawmakers in the ruling Liberal

Democratic Party are dissatisfied with the resolution. The
situation, however, could affect Prime Minister Abe's advocacy of a
"Japan-US alliance based on common values." The government therefore
does not want the issue to continue.

"This is a resolution of the US Congress," Abe told reporters
yesterday at his office. "So," Abe added, "it's not a matter I
should comment on." Abe also said: "I stated my view when I visited
the United States (in April). I have nothing to add."

Ambassador to the United States Ryozo Kato and other government
officials have been lobbying people in the US Congress.
Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi said, "Japan has
made efforts for their understanding of Japan's position and its
people's feelings." One LDP lawmaker decried the resolution, saying:
"That's really an insane resolution. Prime Minister Abe apologized
in vain." Another LDP member lamented the lack of parliamentary

10-1) Government to lobby against a vote in US House plenary

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2007

Given the likelihood that the US House of Representatives Foreign
Affairs Committee will pass on June 26 a resolution seeking Japan's
formal apology over the so-called comfort women issue, the Japanese
government is struggling to deal with the situation, as seen in a
senior Foreign Ministry official's comment: "It's difficult for the
Japanese government to block the US Congress' activities, which is
regrettable." Although the government will refrain from openly
filing a protest in order to avoid a strong reaction from the United
States, it plans to continue lobbying behind the scenes against a
vote on the resolution in a US House plenary session.

10-2) US congressional resolution on "comfort women": Tokyo to seek
US understanding by stressing its upholding of Kono Statement

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
June 27, 2007

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will
likely adopt a resolution calling on the Japanese government to
offer a formal apology for the wartime "comfort women" -- the
Japanese euphemism for foreign women who were forced into sexual
slavery for the Imperial Japanese Army. Following the move, the
Japanese government intends to make efforts to calm down the
situation, while seeking understanding from the US government for
its stand to abide by the 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yohei Kono, in which Japan expressed an "apology and

regret" to the victims.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters yesterday: "When I visited
the United States, I stated my view on the matter." He indicated
that he did his best by making an "apology" in accord with the Kono
Statement to President George W. Bush and senior congressional

TOKYO 00002897 008 OF 010

leaders when he visited Washington in April. He only responded to
questions by reporters, just saying, "I have nothing to add."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, at a press conference
yesterday, stated: "The prime minister made his and government
positions clear to US congressional leaders. We would like to
continue to make efforts to seek understanding from the US."

A person close to Abe said, "The government though the prime
minister obtained the US side's understanding when he visited
Washington." The government, therefore, is surprised at the pending
adoption of the comfort women resolution. However, because Abe's
remark in March that there had been "no coercion in a narrow sense"
(of women to become sex slaves) raised hackles in the US, the
Japanese government intends to take a cautious response this time

11) Fear that House Committee passage of comfort-women resolution
will lead to a chain of negative reactions

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
June 27, 2007

The immediate reason for the US House of Representatives Foreign
Affairs Committee adopting a resolution calling on the prime
minister of Japan to formally apologize for the comfort-women issue
was the opinion ad that was run in the Washington Post on June 14.
With 40 lawmakers from the ruling and opposition camps lending their
names to the advertisement, the House resolution was a direct
rebuttal to "a deliberate distortion of reality."

The ad invited a storm of criticism, including Congressional
Research Service specialist Larry Niksch, who stated: "It did not
transmit the entire picture of what the former Imperial Japanese
Army did." It served to worsen the atmosphere in the Congress that
had been assuaged in late April when Prime Minister Abe visited

According to an informed source, one House member whose election
district was filled with "interest" on this issue, was prepared to
vote for the resolution, but then was cautioned by the foreign
affairs staff that the resolution was "not in the US' best
interests." The member was then ready to practice self-constraint,
but the ad completely destroyed that balance.

One US government source stated: "A constructive response by Japan
would be to make no response at all." If there is another Japanese
reaction, such as a second opinion ad directed at the Congress, it
would lead to a chain of negative reactions as the US side responded
in turn.

12) US House committee to pass comfort women resolution; Approval by
plenary session in July likely

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2007

Fumi Igarashi, Washington

The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee will pass
a resolution seeking a formal apology from the Japanese government
over the so-called comfort women issue on the afternoon of June 26

TOKYO 00002897 009 OF 010

(early hours of June 27, Japan time). There is a high likelihood
that a House plenary session will take a vote on the resolution in
July. Although the resolution is non-binding, a backlash from Japan
is expected. It will be a second time for a House committee to pass
a resolution condemning Japan over wartime sexual slavery following
one in September 2006.

The number of cosponsors of the resolution, submitted on Jan. 31 by
Michael Honda (D-Cal.) of Japanese descent, grew to 145, Democrats
and Republicans combined, as of June 26. Pointing out that the
Japanese government issued official orders to recruit young women to
serve as sex slaves for the former Imperial Japanese Army from the
1930s through World War II, the resolution demands that the Japanese
government officially acknowledge its responsibility, apologize, and
accept its historical responsibility. It also urges the Japanese
prime minister to release a statement of an official apology.

The Japanese government has sought the resolution be retracted or
revised, claiming that the coercive recruitment of young women for
sex slaves and other matters are not based on objective facts.

13) Views split on US House committee's resolution on comfort women

ASAHI (Page 34) (Full)
June 27, 2007

Following the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs' passage of a
resolution on the "comfort women issue," the Asahi Shimbun asked
researchers and persons concerned for their comments.

Koichi Sugiyama, a composer, ran an advertisement titled "The Facts"
in the June 14 issue of the Washington Post noting that "there is no
document proving the Japanese Imperial Army's coercion of wartime
sex-slavery." Sugiyama said that the preparation of the opinion ad
had stemmed from the judgment that if Japan remained mum on reports
about the resolution, it would be taken that Japan recognized the
reports as true.

Sugiyama commented:

"The resolution contains many factual errors. Although I deeply
sympathize with the comfort women and their unfortunate
circumstances, there is no evidence to back the allegation that the
government or the Japanese Imperial Army coerced young Japanese and
Korean women into sexual slavery. There will be no other means but
for the government and the private sector to continue to patiently
assert that the government at that time had prohibited coercion."

Yoshiaki Yoshimi, professor at Chuo University, who authored the
book titled Comfort Women, said: "Japan should seriously take the
advice by the US recommending Japan offer an official apology." He

"The compensation offered by the Asian Women's Fund and the letter
of apology sent from the prime minister did not serve to completely
resolve the problem. The Japanese government should acknowledge the
responsibility of the government of the time and the Japanese
Imperial Army. It also should issue a statement including an apology
and state compensation. It might be necessary to take legal steps to
provide compensation."

Shinichi Arai, professor emeritus at Ibaraki University, said: "The

TOKYO 00002897 010 OF 010

US has taken the comfort women issue as a serious abuse of human
rights. Should Japan take the wrong steps, the influence of the
Japan-US alliance over Asia might be negatively affected."

According to Arai, debate on Japan's responsibility for the war
welled up in 1991-1992 and around 2000. He described the recent move
as "the third wave." Arai sees behind "the third wave" a sense of
alarm toward the trend of growing nationalism in Japan, set off by
former Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine. Based on
this view, Arai said:

"Many Asians and people from the Asia-Pacific region are included
among the lawmakers who supported the resolution. Human trafficking
in various Asian countries is becoming a grave problem. In part
because the comfort women issue was linked to the trafficking
problem, an increasing number of Congress members supported the

Professor at the University of Tokyo Yasuaki Onuma, who served as
director at the disbanded Asian Women's Fund, stated: "The
resolution defines the Asian Women's Fund as a private-sector fund
and does not refer to the prime minister's letter of apology, which
was well-received by victims." But he emphasized: "The perception
shown in the resolution is proper. The Japanese government has not
explained to the world that it has already carried out compensation,
including the prime minister's letter of apology. So the
responsibility for allowing the US Congress to adopt the resolution
also rests with the government, in a sense." Onuma added:

"The government is now being sought to offer compensation taking one
step forward, instead of doing so since it was told by the US to do


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