Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/29/07

DE RUEHKO #2958/01 1800321
P 290321Z JUN 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


1) Top headlines

2) Editorials

3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

4) Yomiuri election-series poll: Abe support rate up slightly to 34
percent, but non-support rate remains high at 51.8 percent; Voters
also prefer DPJ (24 percent) over LDP (22 percent)

5) Upper House committee rams through pension bills in raucous
atmosphere; civil service reform bill sent directly to floor

6) Eager to prepare for upcoming Upper House election, lawmakers in
Diet clash over remaining bills, with opposition readying
no-confidence motion

7) Ex-Peruvian president Fujimori's decision to run for an Upper
House seat creates headache for the Foreign Ministry

8) Foreign Minister Aso refuses to be pessimistic about upcoming
Upper House election

9) LDP rates its 2005 political manifesto (campaign pledges) as 34
percent achieved

10) Former intel chief arrested for fraudulent real estate scheme
involving pro-Pyongyang Chosen Soren

11) Survey shows over half of social dropouts (NEETs) were bullied
in the past

12) Defense Minister's advisory panel proposes revision of rank and
pay scheme in SDF

13) Japan in sub-cabinet talks asks Iran to stop uranium enrichment

14) China blasts Japan on historical responsibility issue

15) JCP lawmaker in Diet committee presses Abe government to
"clearly apologize" for comfort-women issue, in wake of House
committee passing resolution

16) Japan, Russian delegates to six-party talks emphasize important
of North Korea quickly implementing first stage of its nuclear

17) Japan seeks additional documents and date from US in ongoing
beef talks

18) METI prepares new strategy for FTAs, plans to simplify export

Asahi: Mainichi: Yomiuri: Sankei: Tokyo Shimbun:
Former Public Security Intelligence Agency director general under
arrest on suspicion of fraud involving sale of Chongryon head
office: Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office decides investment
offer was fake

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Sale of state-owned land: Finance Ministry to introduce new system
of examining land utilization plans, when selecting buyers, to
prevent reselling

Missing pension premium payment records: "We will send payment
records to all contributors," says MEXT minister

(1) Adoption of SIA reform bill by Upper House committee is a snap
(2) Sale of Chongryon head office: It is flabbergasting that former
Public Security Intelligence Agency (PSIA) director general
arresting on suspicion of fraud

(1) Former PSIA director general under arrest: Truth behind the sale
of Chongryon headquarters should be unraveled
(2)Former Prime Minister Miyazawa passes away: Symbol of a dovish
politician till the end

(1) Former PSIA director general Ogata under arrest: Thorough
investigation into Chongryon case urged
(2) Former Prime Minister Miyazawa dies: Living witness to post-war

(1) Tokyo District Court respects wishes of Bull Dog Sauce
stockholders regarding takeover bids
(2) Shed light on full picture of fraud involving former PSIA
director general

(1) Former PSIA director general arrested: Shed light on relations
with Chongryon as well
(2) TBS shareholders meeting: It is time for Rakuten to lay down its

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Former PSIA director general under arrest: What happened in the
(2) Death of former Prime Minister Miyazawa: Another politician with
good sense gone

(1) SIA reform bill: It is not possible to dissolve pension
anxieties with forced adoption of the bill

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, June 28

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 29, 2007

Met at Kantei with Finance Minister Omi.

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Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki.
Met at LDP headquarters with Policy Research Council Chairman
Met with LDP Election Bureau chief Yatsu.
Met at Kantei with Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister
Visited the residence of late Miyazawa to pay his respects to the
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matoba.
Returned to his official residence.

4) Poll: Cabinet support up slightly to 34 percent; 24 percent to
vote for DPJ, 22 percent for LDP

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
June 29, 2007

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted its second telephone-based serial
public opinion survey on June 26-28. The rate of public support for
Prime Minister Abe and his cabinet was 34.4 percent, with the
nonsupport rate at 51.8 percent. The support rate marked a slight
increase of 1.5 percentage points from the last survey conducted
June 5-7, and the nonsupport rate showed a slight decrease of 1.9

In the breakdown of support for the Abe cabinet, male support
accounted for 37 percent, with female support at 33 percent. In the
last survey, female support was higher than male support. This time
around, however, male support topped female support. Support
decreased in the brackets of those in their 20s to 40s but increased
among those over the age of 50. Among those in their 60s, support
was up 8 points. In the breakdown of supporters for political
parties as well, the Abe cabinet's support rate posted a slight
increase among those who support the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party. Among those who support New Komeito, the LDP's coalition
partner, the support rate rose nearly 20 points. As seen from these
findings, the Abe cabinet's support rate seems to have stopped

Respondents were also asked which political party they would like to
vote for in the July 29 election for the House of Councillors. In
response to this question, 24 percent picked the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), with 22 percent choosing the
LDP. In the last survey, the LDP was slightly above the DPJ. In the
breakdown of public support for political parties, however, the LDP
stood at 31.5 percent, down 1.6 points, and the DPJ at 19.9 percent,
also down 2.6 percent. The proportion of those with no particular
party affiliation reached 34.8 percent, up 4.2 points.

In the survey this time, respondents were further asked to pick one
or more policies or issues they would like to view as important. To
this question, "pensions" scored 67 percent, topping all other
issues as in the last survey. Among other answers, "education,"
third in the last survey, was in second place with 41 percent.
"Politics and money" was in third place with 40 percent.

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Abe has now put off the House of Councillors election for a week and
extended the current Diet session. Asked about this, a total of 61
percent gave negative answers, with a total of 27 percent
affirmative. Meanwhile, a total of 65 percent were negative about
the government's response to its pension record-keeping flaws, with
a total of 27 percent affirmative. Respondents were further asked if
they thought the government's plan would resolve the pension
problem. In response, 67 percent answered "no," with 26 percent
saying "yes." The figures denote the public's deep-rooted distrust.

5) Upper House committee forces through vote on SIA reform and
pension bills; National civil service revision bill to be sent
plenary session skipping committee vote

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
June 29, 2007

A set of bills related to reform of the Social Insurance Agency and
a bill to remove the five-year statute of limitations on pension
claims (to cover unpaid pension benefits in full) were adopted
yesterday by a majority of the ruling parties at the House of
Councillors Committee on the Health, Labor and Welfare. Despite
resistance from opposition parties, including Minshuto (Democratic
Party of Japan), the ruling coalition rammed the vote through
committee. Strongly reacting against the ruling camp's tactics, the
opposition bloc intends to submit a no-confidence motion against the
cabinet. The ruling coalition, meanwhile, plans to send a bill
amending the National Civil Service Law to a plenary session,
bypassing a committee vote. A fierce battle between the ruling and
opposition camps will reach a climax at the final stage of the
regular session of the Diet.

The Upper House committee ended the question-and-answer session
regarding the SIA reform related bills before 7:00 p.m. yesterday.
Committee Chairman Yosuke Tsuruho, a member of the ruling Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), then proposed putting the legislation to a
vote. He took a vote then, while surrounded by opposition lawmakers
vocally opposing the vote-taking.

A bill amending the Political Funds Control Law to require
lawmakers' political fund management organizations to attach
receipts to their funding reports for every item costing 50,000 yen
or more was approved by a majority of the ruling parties in a
session yesterday of the Upper House Special Committee on
Establishment of Political Ethics and Election System. The ruling
parties plan to adopt the measure at a plenary session today along
with the bills related to reform of the SIA.

The Upper House Committee on the Cabinet yesterday spent six hours
for deliberations on the bill amending the National Civil Service
Law. After the session, the ruling camp proposed taking a vote on
the bill, but Committee Chairman Seiji Fujiwara, a Minshuto member,
did not accept the ruling camp's proposal. The session, therefore,
was dismissed. The committee has now spent 29 hours for the
deliberations on the measure, an hour short of the ruling
coalition's goal of 30-hour-debate. LDP Upper House Diet Affairs
Committee Chairman Tetsuro Yano conveyed to his Minshuto counterpart
Akira Gunji his intention to put the legislation to a vote at a
plenary session today, skipping a committee vote.

The opposition intends to do their best to prevent the bill from
being passed, even sitting up all night. They plan to submit

TOKYO 00002958 005 OF 012

no-confidence motions against Health, Labor and Welfare Minister
Hakuo Yanagisawa and against Tsuruho to the Upper House and a
no-confidence motion against the cabinet to the Lower House. Chances
are that the fierce battle will continue until the early morning of
June 30.

6) Extended Diet session seems likely to end late this week, before
July 5, amid calls for early start of preparations for Upper House

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
June 29, 2007

Shoichi Takayama, Katsumi Sekiguchi

The current Diet session, which was extended until July 5, is
unlikely to last until that day, as the ruling coalition appears to
be rushing all key bills through the Diet by the end of this week,
despite protests from the opposition parties. Because of the
extension of the Diet session, the Upper House election was delayed
for one week, but the Diet session seems likely to come to an end in
effect before July 5. Why?

The ruling coalition's initial plan was to pass the bills related to
reform of the Social Insurance Agency (SIA) and a bill lifting the
statute of limitations on pension claims into law on June 29 and a
bill revising the National Civil Service Law into law on July 4.

However, the ruling bloc turned around this line to "boldly"
introduce the bill revising the National Civil Service Law in a full
session of the Lower House without taking a vote on the bill at a
committee in a bid to get the bill enacted into law today. In spite
of objections from the ruling bloc, these bills are expected to be
passed into law possibly early tomorrow.

Behind this move is the mood of lawmakers wanting to devote all
their energies to election campaigning for the Upper House as
quickly as possible. For those lawmakers, "It's better to rush the
key bills through the Diet," a senior Upper House member of the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) said.

If the bills were to be put to the vote the day before the Diet
session ended, the opposition parties would think they would be able
to drive the ruling bloc into killing the bills. The ruling parties
apparently do not want to see this sort of situation arise.

In addition, the ruling coalition is concerned about the opposition
parties' strategy of shedding light on the ruling bloc's
"highhandedness relying on the strength of numbers." It is thus no
wonder that the ruling bloc would think it is wise to take a vote on
particularly the bill amending the National Civil Service Law, which
is critically called "a bill promoting amakudari (practice of
retired bureaucrats getting jobs in the private sector)," together
with other bills, including the bill intended to reform the SIA.

The opposition parties are fiercely protesting against the way the
ruling coalition is running the Diet session, but they, too, want to
end deliberations on the bills by the end of the week.

Lawmakers of the opposition bloc also want to devote their energies
to election campaign as quickly as possible.

TOKYO 00002958 006 OF 012

The opposition parties intend to focus on the missing pension
records in their election campaign with a senior member in charge of
Diet policy of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)
saying: "Using the pension issue as our grounds, we want to submit a
no-confidence motion against the cabinet at the end of the Diet
session and appeal to the public about our stance against the
government in the Upper House election." In short, the opposition
bloc has calculated that it will be able to successfully make a
strong appeal to the public if the Diet session ended after
deliberations on the pension reform bill ended, instead of
continuing deliberations on the bill revising the National Civil
Service Law after a no-confidence motion is rejected.

7) Fujimori announces his candidacy for Upper House election

SANKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 29, 2007

Michiya (?) Matsuo, Los Angeles

Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, currently under house
arrest in Chile, formally announced on June 27 that he would run in
Japan's House of Councillors election on the People's New Party
ticket. Fujimori's decision, coming at a time when the Chilean
Supreme Court is examining whether he should be extradited to Peru,
came as a surprise.

In announcing his candidacy, Fujimori said: "I'd like to use my
experience for the benefit of Japan, where my parents are from. I
will tackle Asian affairs and the North Korean issue."

Fujimori also indicated that he would stay in Chile until the court
examination is over without considering going back to Japan for the
time being.

In November 2005, the former Peruvian president entered Chile after
spending years in exile in Japan. The Peruvian government is seeking
his extradition, on the grounds that he was involved in murder and
corruption during his 10-year tenure as president from 1990.

Under Japan's Public Offices Election Law, it is possible for a
person to run in a Japanese election while under house arrest in a
foreign country. Fujimori, a citizen of both Japan and Peru, has
Japanese suffrage.

It would be unprecedented for a former foreign head of state to run
in a Japanese national election. Being under house arrest, it would
be effectively impossible for Fujimori to conduct election campaign
in Japan, and even if he were elected, he would not be able to
attend Diet sessions or carry out political activities in Japan.
Some Japanese lawmakers have begun speculating about his motive.

PNP deputy head Shizuka Kamei, in a press conference at party
headquarters yesterday, made a telephone call to Fujimori which went
as follows:

Kamei: "Hello, please tell everybody about your resolve."

Fujimori: "I am going to run in the race to tackle Asian affairs and
for the security of Japan. I am going to work hard for the people of

TOKYO 00002958 007 OF 012

Fujimori's candidacy can said to be the last resort for the PNP,
which is struggling to win national recognition. Kamei, who had sent
his secretary to Chile to live in Fujimori's home for two weeks to
convince him to run in the race, said smilingly: "I would like to
see him inject vitality into Japanese society as the last samurai."

There has been talk since this spring that Fujimori would run in the
race. Some say that the PNP asked Fujimori to run and others say
that he sold himself. Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama said: "Mr. Fujimori asked us to back him, but
we declined it."

The PNP planned to field Fujimori for the Tokyo electoral district,
but the former president, who was secretly studying Japan's
situation, insisted on running in the proportional representation
segment, according to sources.

Under the Citizenship Law, anyone with a parent born in Japan can
have Japanese nationality. Fujimori's family register is in Kumamoto
City, and he has a Japanese passport. So he has no legal problem in
entering Japan. But chances are slim for the Chilean government to
remove Fujimori from house arrest to allow him to conduct election
campaign in Japan. Given the situation, his campaign would be
confined to roadside speeches and disseminating flyers by PNP
members on his behalf.

Kamei said: "When Mr. Fujimori applies the Chilean government for
his departure from the country, I would like to see the Japanese
government assist him." In the meantime, Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yasuhisa Shiozaki simply said: "We will watch the Chilean court
examination." Fujimori's candidacy might escalate into a diplomatic
issue. Because Fujimori has Japanese suffrage, the government is
required to protect it. "I hope Fujimori's candidacy will not make
things complicated," a government source noted.

8) Aso, LDP factions reject pessimistic views about fate of Upper
House election

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 29, 2007

In meetings of factions in the Liberal Democratic Party yesterday,
participants presented one view after another denying pessimistic
views coming from inside and outside the party about the fate of the
upcoming House of Councillors election.

Foreign Minister Aso stressed in a meeting of the Aso faction:
"Predicting the outcome of the election is what is done by prophets.
We will support our candidates based on the circumstance of each
constituency. This is the proper way."

Election Bureau Director General Yoshio Tanizu said in a meeting of
the Ibuki faction: "The harsh situation for the LDP has begun to
improve. In the poll the LDP has conducted every weekend, as well,
(support rates for LDP-endorsed candidates in the Upper House
election) have been on the rise after hitting a record low in the
survey on June 9-10."

It is unprecedented for an official responsible for the party's
election campaign to disclose even part of the results of its own
poll. Observers see Tanizu's reference stemmed from a desire to
dispel the depressed mood sweeping across the party now waging an

TOKYO 00002958 008 OF 012

uphill campaign.

Nobutaka Machimura, chairman of the Machimura faction, also said:
"It is utter nonsense to already predict the outcome of the

9) LDP attains 34 percent of campaign pledges for Lower House
election in 2005

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
June 29, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party released a report evaluating progress
in attainment of its campaign pledges (manifesto) for the House of
Representatives election in 2005. The manifesto included 120 policy
measures. According to the report, the party has already carried out
41 (34.2 percent) of all items, including the privatization of
postal services. In the run-up to the Upper House election, the LDP
aims to underscore its achievements by releasing the report.

The report classified the 120 policy items into 41 already
implemented, 78 under way, and one kept intact.

Among the items already implemented, the party included "the
full-fledged start of preparation for a new constitution," with the
enactment in the current Diet session of the Referendum Law
providing for procedures for revising the Constitution. "Decisive
action for reforming the Social Insurance Agency" was included among
the items under way.

The one item categorized as kept intact is "promotion of sound
growth of children." The LDP intends to expedite discussion, with
the aim of swiftly enacting legislation for sound growth of

10) Ogata arrested on suspicion of fraud in connection with
Chongryon sale deal; To be questioned over accepting 130 million yen
as well

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Excerpts)
June 29, 2007

The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office's special investigation
squad arrested yesterday three individuals, including former Public
Security Intelligence Agency Director-General Shigetake Ogata, 73,
and former real estate company president Tadao Mitsui 73, on
suspicion of fraud in connection with an aborted purchase of the
head office of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean
Residents in Japan (Chongryon). It has also become clear that Ogata
had received 130 million yen from Mitsui. Prosecutors are also
expected to grill Ogata and Mitsui on suspicion of swindling
Chongryon of a large sum of money.

In addition to the post of PSIA director-general, Ogata served as
head of the high public prosecutors offices in Sendai and Hiroshima.
The Chongryon case has escalated into the arrest of a former PSIA

Also arrested is Koji Kawase, 42, a former trust bank employee and
Mitsui's acquaintance.

According to the investigation, Mitsui, who was asked by Chongryon

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to look for a prospective buyer of its head office, asked in early
April for the cooperation of Ogata, who was on friendly terms with

Mitsui later introduced Ogata to Chongryon Vice Chairman Ho Jong
Man, 76, and Koken Tsuchiya, 84, a lawyer for Chongryon and a former
president of the Japan Federation of Bar Associations. Ogata and
others consequently established the investment fund Harvest in
Meguro Ward and explained Chongryon that the company would purchase
the property for 3.5 billion yen by soliciting funds from an
aviation venture company president and others.

11) More than half of NEETs were bullied at school, according to

YOMIURI (Page 37) (Full)
June 29, 2007

One out of three young people who are not currently engaged in
employment, education or training, the so-called NEETs, was a truant
or a dropout, and more than half of them had faced bullying at
school, according to survey results released yesterday by the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. This was the first survey on
NEETs by the ministry. It was also revealed that they tend to quit
jobs in a short period time due to an awareness of having difficulty
in associating with others.

The survey was conducted from January last year through this March,
targeting about 830 young people who visited job-assistance agencies
intended for NEETs.

According to the survey, those who left senior high school,
university, or technical school before graduating accounted for 31.7
percent, and those who experienced truancy came to 37.1 percent. In
addition, 55 percent of respondents said they had been bullied at
school. The survey result shows that they had suffered a reversal in
school life. To questions to find out why they began to be reluctant
to be employed, 64.6 percent picked "difficulty in making a friend;"
and 64.4 percent selected "difficulty in speaking with others."
Those who once worked for more than one month accounted for 79
percent, but more than 60 percent of them engaged in part-time

12) SDF payroll review eyed

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
June 29, 2007

The Defense Ministry yesterday held a meeting of its in-house panel
to reform Japan's defense capabilities on the side of manpower, with
Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma presiding. In the meeting, the panel
worked out a report for a review of the Self-Defense Forces'
personnel and payroll systems. The report, factoring in the nation's
declining birth rate and the SDF's diversified and international
activities, is aimed at securing and nurturing human resources. It
features creating new ranks, such as sergeant major, and rescaling
pay for SDF personnel. The Defense Ministry plans to translate these
plans into action, starting in fiscal 2010. The SDF currently has
only one pay scale for its personnel. They rise in rank, but their
pay increase is said to be low. The SDF's pay will be rescaled for
three categories-top brass (in the ranks of general and admiral),
cadre, and the rank and file. Each pay scale will have widened wage

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differentials between ranks. This is intended to encourage SDF
personnel to rise in rank and heighten their morale.

13) Japan urges Iran to stop uranium-enrichment program

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 29, 2009

Japan and Iran held yesterday in Tokyo a meeting of their deputy
foreign ministers. In the session, Japan's Deputy Foreign Minister
Mitoji Yabunaka called on his Iranian counterpart Mehdi Safari to
suspend his country's uranium-enrichment program, saying, "Depending
on your country's response to the nuclear issue, there is a
possibility that it would be difficult for Japan to offer economic
cooperation to your country."

According to Japanese Foreign Ministry source, Iranian Deputy
Foreign Minister Safari told Yabunaka:

"We have no choice but think about the use of nuclear power
development to deal with a rapid increase in our population. Japan's
applying pressure is a double standard. The international community
does not treat Iran fairly."

Safari also said: "Iran has not supported North Korea's missile

14) China criticizes Japan in connection with US "comfort women"

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 29, 2007

Kenji Minemura, Beijing

Referring to the passage of a resolution on the wartime "comfort
women" resolution by the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs at a
press briefing yesterday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry's Deputy
Spokesperson Qin Gang noted: "The Japanese government should assume
a responsible attitude for history."

Qin stressed that the issue of comfort women is a serious crime
committed by Japan during World War II, and stated: "The Japanese
government should listen to the fair views of the international
community." The state-run news agency, Xinhua News Agency in its
commentary dated June 27 said: "International criticism of Japan's
response is building. As a result, (Japan) has met with protests
even from legislators of the United States, an ally of Japan."

15) Lawmaker Ogata in Diet special committee asks government to
clearly apologize for the "comfort women" issue

AKAHATA (Page 4) (Excerpt)
June 29, 2007

Lawmake Yasuo Ogata of the Japanese Communist Party in the Upper
House special committee on the abduction issue yesterday brought up
the US House of Representatives resolution on the comfort-women
issue which has just passed committee. He called on the Japanese
government to apologize clearly. The resolution seeks a formal
apology from the Japanese government, but the Japanese government
takes the position that "we have received the understanding of the

TOKYO 00002958 011 OF 012

US government," by the fact that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during
his April visit to the US stated, "I am sorry." However, after the
prime minister returned from the US, he stated, "I never apologized
while in the US."

Ogata pursued the prime minister about whether he had or had not
"apologized." Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki clearly stated that
no apology had been made, saying, "How the words are taken will vary
from person to person. The prime minister's words were neither one
nor the other."

16) Japan, Russia share the perception about importance of early
implementation of initial-phase action by DPRK

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 29, 2007

Russian Vice Foreign Minister Losykov, the chief representative to
the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue, arrived in Japan
yesterday, and met with Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of the
Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Foreign Ministry. The two
officials shared the same view that North Korea must implement the
initial-phase steps as quickly as possible.

After the session, Losykov, referring to US Assistant Secretary of
State Christopher Hill's recent indication that he wanted to pursue
four-way talks of the six-party member countries, excluding Japan
and Russia, to create a permanent peace mechanism on the Korean
Peninsula, noted: "We should not be jealous about that. If the talks
were started among the four, the results would be shared by the six.
It's no big deal."

17) US beef: Japan asks US to provide additional data

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
June 29, 2007

The governments of Japan and the US held on June 27 and 28 the first
round of working-level talks to discuss a possible easing of import
conditions set on US beef. The US side explained its feed
regulations and the state of BSE infection inspections. The Japanese
side asked the US to provide additional data, including the number
of cattle that underwent sample inspections.

18) Procedures for exports to FTA partners to be simplified, METI to
enable companies to issue certificates of origin for reduced
administrative burden with aim of promoting use of FTAs

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
June 29, 2007

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has decided to
make procedures for the application of preferential tariffs on goods
Japan exports to its free trade agreement (FTA) partners easier,
possibly starting in 2008. As part of such a policy, it will empower
exporting companies as well as the chamber of commerce and industry
located in each prefecture to issue documents that certify that
goods to be exported were domestically produced or manufactured. The
aim is to encourage companies to use FTAs through reduced
administrative burden on exporting companies.

METI intends to set up a government-private sector consultative

TOKYO 00002958 012 OF 012

council to work out the details of a revision of the system. It
hopes to introduce, based on discussions by the panel, a bill
amending the certificate of origin law to a regular Diet session
next year at the earliest.

This certificate is called a special certificate of origin to
certify that goods in question were produced or manufactured in
Japan. It is used when companies apply for preferential tariff rates
as stipulated under FTAs.

Under an envisaged system, a self-certification system, under which
companies certify the country of origin, in addition to the
third-party certification system, under which chambers of commerce
and industry issues certificates, will be established.

The self-certification system will not require procedures of going
through chambers of commerce and industry. Basic fees of 2,000 yen
paid for each application will also become unnecessary.

Companies that use the self-certification system will be obligated
to keep papers related to the certificates for a certain set period
and promptly answer inquiries made by overseas importers.


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