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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 06/29/07

DE RUEHKO #2967/01 1800805
P 290805Z JUN 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Former US President Bush on Miyazawa's death: Mr. Miyazawa made
utmost efforts to develop Japan-US relations

(2) Blue-ribbon panel agrees on need to intercept US-bound ballistic

(3) Interview with Energy Department Assistant Secretary Spurgeon on
Japan-US nuclear power cooperation: Fusion of advanced technology

(4) Yonaguni port call: US military creates fait accompli; Locals
let down, give up

(5) Interview with Takushoku University Prof. Satoshi Morimoto on
the right to collective self-defense

(6) Interview with Takakazu Kuriyama, former ambassador to US, on
collective self-defense; Government's interpretation unrealistic

(7) Editorial: Get facts straight on comfort women

(8) Proposal by singer Agnes Chan, UNICEF goodwill ambassador:
Possession of child pornography must be banned


(1) Former US President Bush on Miyazawa's death: Mr. Miyazawa made
utmost efforts to develop Japan-US relations

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

Former United States President Bush on June 28 issued a comment on
the demise of former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, saying: "I feel
very sad to receive the news that my friend, Mr. Miyazawa, passed
away. He made utmost efforts, as prime minister and finance
minister, to significantly develop relations between Japan and the

Senior Bush collapsed from overwork during a state banquet hosted by
then Prime Minister Miyazawa at his official residence in Tokyo in
January 1992. Since video footage of Miyazawa and Barbara, Bush's
wife, cradling Bush was aired, Miyazawa was made widely known to
most Americans. Bush concluded his statement with these words: "Mr.
Miyazawa was a dear friend of Barbara and me."

(2) Blue-ribbon panel agrees on need to intercept US-bound ballistic

Asahi Online
13:17 June 29, 2007

The blue-ribbon panel to study the right to collective self-defense
met today at the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei). The
members agreed on the need to intercept ballistic missiles that
might be headed for the United States. The dominant view was that
the country should be allowed to use the right to collective
self-defense, which is prohibited under the government's
interpretation of the Constitution. At the outset of the meeting,
the prime minister highlighted the need to improve the law to pave

TOKYO 00002967 002 OF 008

the way for missile interception, saying: "There is no doubt that if
Japan's ally suffered major damage, it would have a serious impact
on the defense of Japan."

The prime minister, with use of the missile defense (MD) system in
mind, also ordered the panel to study a response to a fired
ballistic missile being identified by radar. The prime minister also
said: "Not only military personnel but also US citizens would suffer
serious damage. This is an extremely crucial theme for the

According to the panel's chair Shunji Yanai, a former ambassador to
the United States, members said: "Not being able to shoot down a
missile headed for the United States, on which Japan's security
heavily relies on, cannot be an option," and, "Japan's inability to
deal with such a situation will rock the foundation of the alliance
with the United States."

The government's standard interpretation is that intercepting a
ballistic missile headed for a foreign country constitutes the use
of the right to collective self-defense, which is prohibited under
the Constitution.

(3) Interview with Energy Department Assistant Secretary Spurgeon on
Japan-US nuclear power cooperation: Fusion of advanced technology

NIKKEI (Page 15) (Full)
June 29, 2007

Japan and the United States are boosting cooperation in developing a
next-generation nuclear reactor and constructing new nuclear power
plants in the US under a global nuclear energy partnership (GNEP)
initiative advocated by the US government in 2006. The Nikkei
interviewed Department of Energy Assistant Secretary Dennis Spurgeon
on future prospects for nuclear power propulsion under cooperation
between Japan and the US and on a global scale.

-- What is the US expecting from Japan?

Japan has an advanced fast-reactor technology to effectively burn
plutonium. In addition, Japan has promoted the development of an
advanced technology to reprocess used nuclear fuel in cooperation
with France. The US has an excellent simulation technique. If Japan
and the US bring together their respected technologies, the two
countries will be able to come up with an advanced reactor and
reprocessing technology.

-- What contributions do you think Japanese companies will be able
to make in the project of constructing new nuclear power plants in
the US?

The US plans to construct about 30 nuclear reactors. I expect
Japanese manufacturers will be engaged in more than half of them.
Cooperation between Japanese and American companies is essential,
like one between Westinghouse Electric Co. and Toshiba Co. and
another between GE and Hitachi Ltd.

-- Although no construction project was carried out over the past
nearly 30 years, do you think the planned project will be
implemented smoothly?

TOKYO 00002967 003 OF 008

With the necessary infrastructure declining, there are no companies
and persons with sufficient experience of designing or construction.
The government will help the industry take a step forward. The
Energy Policy Act enacted in 2005 provides for debt guarantee. The
government intends to determine detailed rules on a mechanism for
debt guarantee by this fall and obtain approval from the Congress
next year.

-- The management and disposal of nuclear waste may obstruct the
promotion of nuclear-power policy.

It is safer for nuclear waste to be managed and disposed of by the
international community, rather than by waste-producing countries
alone. In order to collect waste in several locations across the
world and then dispose it, it is necessary to obtain agreement from
the international community. So it is not an easy task.

(4) Yonaguni port call: US military creates fait accompli; Locals
let down, give up

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
June 27, 2007

On the morning of June 26, two US Navy minesweepers, the USS
Guardian and USS Patriot, left the port of Sono in the Okinawa
prefectural town of Yonaguni on the island of Yonagunijima. The US
military made a port call at a civilian seaport in Okinawa
Prefecture for the first time since the reversion of Okinawa to
Japan. The US military has now actually left its footprint on the
island with the port call of its warships. However, the townsfolk
was divided into "yes" to the port call in expectation of local
development incentives and "no" in anticipation of trouble and war
involvement. The town is apparently in a mood to give up, with one
saying: "Whatever we may say, the US military will come." The small
frontier island, which is suffering from depopulation, is now

On June 25, two days after the US warships' arrival at the port of
Sono, their crewmen were on shore. They were seen everywhere in the
town of Yonaguni, with some of them shopping at a grocery and others
entering a restaurant. "Where can we play billiard?" asked one of
them. "I'd like to buy something like glasswork for my souvenir,"
another said. A group of soldiers sat down on the steps to a
supermarket. "I've never seen so many soldiers." With this, a
supermarket clerk looked embarrassed.

After the two US warships left the island, US Consul General Okinawa
Maher underscored the significance of their visit to the island,
saying: "US warships visit everywhere in Japan. They contribute to
security in the region." Maher expressed his gratitude to local
residents who responded to exchanges.

Sonkichi Sakihara, a Yonaguni Town assemblyman, is a local
transporter and helped to lower landing steps from the minesweepers.
"The grocery store's beverage sales were more than twice," Sakihara
said. "It's just for once, though," he added.

Meanwhile, there are also local residents who welcomed the two US
warships in expectation of government incentives to local
development that will lead to the town's revitalization over the
long term. For that purpose, they want the port of Sono to be
improved and opened. However, they see nothing in store. Their

TOKYO 00002967 004 OF 008

expectations were in vain.

In the past, military maneuvers overshadowed the daily lives of
Yonaguni's townsfolk. For instance, China once launched missiles,
which landed in waters near the island of Yonagunijima. In addition,
Taiwan also conducted military training exercises. The island's
fishermen therefore could not go out fishing.

As an example, one Yonagunijima islander cited the case of
Takeshima, which is a group of disputed islets in the Sea of Japan
and is currently under the control of South Korea. Japan has been
claiming territorial rights to Takeshima. "If there is no one on
this island," the local resident said, "this island would be
occupied by a foreign country." He added, "We guard the border."

Meanwhile, Yonaguni Town has no high school. The island's children
need to live outside the island when going to high school. Their
parents have to send them a monthly allowance of about 100,000 yen.
On the island, they all go out to work, as a matter of course. Most
of them are raising livestock as a sideline to make a living

"We must revitalize the island, or we can't live on. We wanted to
exchange with Taiwan. But the government turned down our request.
The government says the port of Sono is not an open port. We wanted
to pave the way to an open port. We thought the island's port could
be an open port if US warships come. That's why we accepted their
port call." With this, Yono Sakihara, 59, who heads a local
community center, came out of himself.

Yonaguni Town fears further depopulation. The town has now given up
on its consolidation with other municipalities. Instead, the town is
exploring ways to its self-sustainability with expanded exchanges
with Taiwan. The island's people were divided and rocked with
expectations and anxieties over the suddenly proposed visit of US
warships. Sakihara voiced his dissatisfaction: "I wonder what the
government thinks about frontier people."

(5) Interview with Takushoku University Prof. Satoshi Morimoto on
the right to collective self-defense

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
June 26, 2007

-- Why did the prime minister have to set up the blue-ribbon panel
to discuss the right to collective self-defense at this time?

Morimoto: Breaking away from the postwar regime is the Abe
administration's basic vision. The administration's ultimate goal is
to amend the Constitution. But because it cannot propose
constitutional revision until 2010 or later, it wants to produce an
outline of constitutional amendments first. But before that, the
administration has to rebuild its national strategy. That's why the
National Security Council will be established next spring. The
question of the right to collective self-defense has to be settled
at the same time.

One Aegis-equipped vessel (capable of intercepting ballistic
missiles) will become operational around December as part of missile
defense (MD). The question of collective defense is expected to
arise when Japan and the United States decide on joint operational
procedures. I think the administration wants to sort out contentious

TOKYO 00002967 005 OF 008

points by then.

-- Is sorting out contentious points the panel's main goal?

Morimoto: Effectiveness does not come from simply sorting out
problems associated with the right to collective self-defense.
Constitutional interpretation will not hold unless the right is
legally ensured in some fashion. The matter must be settled by means
of the law rather than changing the interpretation. If the matter
cannot be resolved with the law, the government should seek the
people's judgment on constitutional revision.

-- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has presented four scenarios, such as
intercepting a missile headed for the United States.

Morimoto: They are all intended for resolving questions. What Japan
can and cannot do in dealing with pressing issues, such as MD and
assisting in Iraq's reconstruction efforts? Should the government
change its constitutional interpretation, establish a law, or go all
the way to constitutional revision? I think the prime minister wants
a set of proposals encompassing general rules that are drawn from
the panel's study of the four scenarios.

-- The government's explanation to the public seems insufficient.

Morimoto: The government must explain correctly to the people about
what Japan would lose and gain. Will Japan's diplomacy become
broader and its international contributions and cooperation expand?
The sacrifice of Self-Defense Force personnel and shedding the blood
of foreign people would entail some diplomatic risk, at well.
Writing reports on what Japan can do without mentioning risks is

(6) Interview with Takakazu Kuriyama, former ambassador to US, on
collective self-defense; Government's interpretation unrealistic

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

-- What do you think is important viewpoints in thinking about the
right to collective self-defense?

Kuriyama: I think it is important to understand the concept of
collective self-defense based on international law. According to the
present government's interpretation, the right of individual defense
is applied to our country's defense and the right of collective
self-defense is applied to defending other countries. The concept of
international law is that the right to collective defense is a means
to protect "us" and not other countries. Defending other countries
means no more than joint response to defend one's own country.

-- What do you think about the government's interpretation of the

Kuriyama: The government's interpretation disavowing the use of the
right of collective self-defense based on the Constitutional has
imposed unrealistic constraints on Japan's security policy. As a
member of the international community, the interpretation that
prevents Japan from fulfilling its due responsibility should be
rejected. However, Article 9 of the Constitution is Japan's vow to
the international community that its people will live by
international cooperation, unlike the prewar situation. The article

TOKYO 00002967 006 OF 008

is worth keeping for it shows that the principle of pacifism is
being realized.

-- Japan should be allowed to exercise the right of collective
defense by reinterpreting the Constitution, not by amending it. Is
that your opinion?

Kuriyama: I am not an advocate of constitutional revision. I believe
that Article 9 does not obstruct Japan from fulfilling the roles the
international community expects of it. The first task that Japan
should accomplish is to discuss what it can or cannot do without
amending the Constitution. After such debate, the Constitution
should be amended if necessary.

Since Japan's security policy is now at a turning point, the
government should fulfill its accountability in the form of a prime
ministerial statement. Unless the government clarifies when and how
Japan will exercise the right of collective defense, countries
concerned and neighboring countries would be concerned and we would
invite repercussions.

-- Some in Japan are concerned that if the exercise of the
collective defense right is allowed, there would be no end to the
use of force.

Kuriyama: The exercise of the collective defense does not always
involve the use of force. International law includes provision of
bases to the armies of allies in the exercise of the right of
collective defense. This is action to protect "us" in the concept of
common interest. The government of the time would make a decision on
what are common interests and how far the collective defense right
should be exercised. These matters are not stipulated in the

(7) Editorial: Get facts straight on comfort women

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2007

To our regret, the US House Foreign Affairs Committee has adopted a
resolution condemning Japan and demanding the Japanese prime
minister's official apology over the so-called wartime comfort women

The adopted resolution that includes some changes in wording to note
the importance of the US-Japan alliance in the Asia-Pacific region
is somewhat softer than the initial resolution presented by Mike
Honda (D-CA). But as seen in its assertion that the comfort women
system was established by the Japanese government for sexual
services for military personnel, the resolution still includes many
factual mistakes.

Rumor circulated sometime ago that Japanese constituted authorities
had coercively recruited young women, like slaves, to make them
serve as comfort women. But there was no evidence in the some 2,300
materials collected by the Japanese government over two years.
Comfort women were recruited mostly by private-sector operators, and
the military had a hand in it only for venereal disease prevention.

The resolution is likely to be put to a vote on the full floor of
the House in July. Although the resolution is nonbinding, not
rebutting factual mistakes might mean accepting them in the

TOKYO 00002967 007 OF 008

international community. The Foreign Ministry must make every to get
the facts straight by making effective use of the collected official

In the House committee, some reportedly even condemned Japan by
equating the comfort women issue with Nazi Germany's Holocaust. This
is a fallacious argument repeatedly appearing n state legislatures
regarding the Nanjing Incident and other events.

The influence of Iris Chang's bestseller, The Rape of Nanking: The
Forgotten Holocaust of World War II, is still being felt.

In his summit meeting with President George W. Bush in late April,
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said: "As prime minister and as a human
being, I have to express sympathy from the bottom of my heart to the
former comfort women who suffered hardships." President Bush lauded
the remark. The Foreign Ministry recently conducted an opinion
survey about Japan in which a record 74 % of Americans answered
that Japan was trustworthy.

In order to make the Japan-US alliance firmer, Japan needs to show
the correct historical facts and make persistent diplomatic efforts
to correct the errors.

(8) Proposal by singer Agnes Chan, UNICEF goodwill ambassador:
Possession of child pornography must be banned

MAINICHI (Page 28) (Full)
June 28, 2007/06/29

"I need an eraser. I want to make a fresh start in my life with a
clean slate." These words of a 16-year-old girl I met in June 2001
in the Philippines are still fresh in my memory. The girl ran away
from home at 13 and sold her body to live, and had an abortion twice
until then. Rapping her hand on the belly at the time, she said,
"I'll undergo an abortion." I told her, "No need for an eraser.
That's not the result of what you did on your own decision. Your
life is not stained with anything." I cried together with her. I do
not want to see this sort of language come from a child.

In June 1998, when I assumed the post of UNICEF ambassador for the
Japan National Committee, I visited Thailand to see firsthand the
state of child prostitution and child pornography. I met with three
girls picked up by a Japanese man at a hotel lobby. Two of the three
were from Myanmar (Burma) and one from Thailand. They looked merely
nine years old, but they all told me, "14 years old." They were
forced to say that age so as to not violate the law.

One of them told me, "The man who always comes to me is a young
Japanese." Another said, "My first customer was an old Japanese
man." I was shocked and blamed by members of local non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), with one of them arguing, "The Japanese have
money, so they can buy anything."

Filipino and Thai girls were photographed by Japanese customers.
Those girls said they hate being photographed and that they were
ashamed of those photos. Their photos are freely posted on the
Internet, and that makes them feel like being raped twice and three
times over. They will suffer psychological damage indefinitely.

Because of this experience, at the time of the establishment of the
Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child

TOKYO 00002967 008 OF 008

Pornography, I wanted simple possession (personal collection of
pictures) as well to be banned. Allowing possession means it is all
right to use it for entertainment. Sacrificing children for adult
desires does not make any sense.

Although international child pornography is available on the
Internet, if Japan banned simple possession of images, it would be
prohibited to access those particular websites. If that happened,
Japan could dispel the image of a being a child pornography consumer
and the market for that kind of pornography in Japan would vanish.
Animated pornography, too, exists and stirs up adult sexual interest
in children. But even now that is justified as "a personal hobby."

This year is set for a review of the Law for Punishing Acts Related
to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography.

It is the responsibility of adults to protect children. Diet members
represent the adults. Most Japanese people cherish children. Only a
handful of the Japanese create a bad image of Japan by buying sex
from children abroad and circulating child pornography on the
Internet. I think it is high time to say these acts are


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