Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/06/07-2

DE RUEHKO #3100/01 1870805
P 060805Z JUL 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



(3) Simulation of Upper House election: If slightly over 40 LDP
seats, Abe will pressed to resign

(4) Editorial: Election issues, "Abe's politics" will be questioned

(5) Defense white paper expresses "concern" about the modernization
of China's military, stresses building missile defense to meet North
Korean threat

(6) Japan now on very thin ice, starts sinking (Part 4): "I want to
erase wrong image of Japan"

(Corrected copy) Koike assumes one key post after another owing to
"keen sense of (political) smell," arousing jealousy of lawmakers
eager to join cabinet


(3) Simulation of Upper House election: If slightly over 40 LDP
seats, Abe will pressed to resign

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
July 6, 2007

The official campaign for the House of Councillors election -- this
year's largest political battle -- will kick off on July 12 for
voting on July 29. The major focus of attention is whether or not
the ruling coalition led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, which has
been under fire due to the pension fiasco and former Defense
Minister Fumio Kyuma's A-bomb remarks, can win a majority. The
dominant view is that if the ruling coalition suffered a serious
setback -- meaning less than 57 seats for the entire ruling camp,
including the Liberal Democratic Party obtaining slightly over 40
seats -- that would spell an end to the Abe administration.
Meanwhile, major opposition Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan)
President Ichiro Ozawa declared that he would resign from his
position if the opposition parties failed to win a combined
majority. This newspaper has simulated the outcome of the upcoming

Ruling camp wins a majority

Of the 242 Upper House seats, 121 seats -- 73 electoral district
seats and 48 proportional representation seats -- will be up for
election. Fifty-eight seats held by the ruling coalition will be up
for grabs. In order for the ruling coalition to obtain a majority
(122 seats), it needs to win 64 seats.

In the event the New Komeito wins its 13 seats up for election, the
LDP would need 51 seats. Many observers are pessimistic about the
ruling bloc keeping a majority due to the pension fiasco, Kyuma's
resignation, and other unfortunate events. If the ruling coalition
succeeded in maintaining the majority, that would certain to give
stability to the Abe administration.

At the same time, it would force Ozawa to resign as Minshuto
president. Ozawa in fact took this view in yesterday's interview:
"(The opposition parties) must jointly obtain a majority in order to
change political trends. The upcoming election will be the last
chance. If that can't be achieved, it's meaningless for me to remain

TOKYO 00003100 002 OF 009

as Minshuto head."

Ozawa referred to his post-election responsibility for the first
time. "Mr. Ozawa clarified his responsibility in a bid to pave the
way for the prime minister's resignation following a defeat of the
ruling camp," a senior Minshuto lawmaker explained.

Ruling camp fails to win a majority

The ruling coalition might fail to win a majority, winning only
58-63 seats as a whole with the LDP getting 45-50 seats. Even in
such a case, the prime minister would not be pressed to leave office
to take responsibility, although the opposition bloc is certain to
gain an upper hand.

In the previous 2004 Upper House race, the LDP garnered 49 seats
under the leadership of Prime Minister Koizumi and Secretary General
Abe. The LDP's poor performance only resulted in Abe's demotion to
the post of acting secretary general with no changes to the fate of
the Koizumi administration. Even a former cabinet minister keeping
his distance from the prime minister took this view: "Mr. Abe
doesn't have to worry about leaving office for the time being."

But in this scenario, an unstable Abe administration is certain to
prompt the ruling bloc to lure opposition parties into joining
forces with the ruling parties.

The People's New Party head Tamisuke Watanuki on July 4 left the
door open for non-cabinet partnership, although he ruled out the
option of forming a coalition with the LDP. Many ruling party
members are eager to win PNP and Minshuto lawmakers over to their
side with a view to winning a majority. Minshuto's unity is not rock
solid, as seen in former postal minister Hideo Watanabe's vote for
the ruling camp-presented national referendum legislation.

In this scenario, Ozawa would not be able to achieve his goal of
toppling the Koizumi administration and might lose his momentum as a

Ruling camp gets less than 57 seats

In the event the LDP wins 44 seats or less, pushing down the ruling
bloc's total to less than 57 seats, chances are that Prime Minister
Abe will have to resign. Although former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori
and LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa have fended off Abe's
possible resignation over the outcome of the Upper House election,
some have begun pointing to the 1998 Upper House election in which
the LDP won 44 seats and then Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto
resigned to take responsibility. "The Abe cabinet was launched
mainly to win the Upper House election. What will happen to it if
the ruling bloc suffered a set back is quite clear," said a senior
member of the Machimura faction, to which Abe used to belong.

Such persons as Foreign Minister Taro Aso, former Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, former Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki,

and even former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi are being mentioned
as possible successors to Abe, but they all lack decisive factors.
Abe might refuse to resign, saying that the election was not a race
to determine who should take the reins of government. With less than
57 seats, the LDP-New Komeito coalition would find it difficult to
run Diet business and the prime minister would be pressed for an
early dissolution of the Lower House. Some are already whispering

TOKYO 00003100 003 OF 009

another round of political realignment after the Upper House race.
Minshuto head Ozawa predicted on June 24 that political realignment
would follow the opposition camp's overwhelming victory in the
upcoming race.

An unclear majority line

Uncertainties have emerged for the majority line of the ruling bloc.
New Party Nippon Upper House member Hiroyuki Arai announced
yesterday that he would leave the party. Minshuto Upper House member
Shinpei Matsushita also filed a letter of withdrawal with the

If Arai and Matsushita were to join the ruling camp, the number of
seats necessary for the ruling parties to keep the majority would be
lowered from 64 to 62.

(4) Editorial: Election issues, "Abe's politics" will be questioned

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 6, 2007

The latest session of the Diet came to a close yesterday, and each
party is now gearing up for the campaign battle leading to the Upper
House election (the official announcement of the campaign season is
on the 12th, and the election is on the 29th). The Abe cabinet's
plunging support rate, which began its precipitous drop after the
pension fiasco, has shown no sign of improvement. On the 3rd,
former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma resigned in order to take
responsibility for his comments regarding the dropping of the atomic
bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Amidst this chaos, the election is
taking place.

How should we view the upcoming election? In short, this election
asks voters to decide whether or not they want the Abe
administration to remain in office - in other words, we think that
Abe's politics itself will be put to the question in this election.

Perhaps sensing that a tough battle is inescapable, senior
executives of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) have repeatedly
stated that "the Upper House election is not an election to choose
an administration" and thus "it will not be linked to Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe's remaining in or leaving office." However, this is the
first time that Prime Minister Abe is facing the judgment of the
nation's voters in a national election. If one is going to say that
"choosing an administration is done during the Lower House
election," the Lower House should have been dissolved last fall,
right after Abe's inauguration, and a general election should have
been held to seek the voters' affirmation. Prime Minister Abe said
at a press conference yesterday, "I cannot discuss (the election)
with the assumption that we will lose," but if his party loses this
first evaluative election, the Abe cabinet should assume that they
could not obtain the public's trust.

At the press conference, the prime minister also announced that he
would move up the deadline for verifying social insurance payment
records, and it seems that pensions will be the main issue of the
election. Yet the most important thing that the prime minister must
address is his delayed response after members of the Democratic
Party of Japan (Minshuto) notified him of the pension problem.

The prime minister has moved forward with his project to "emerge

TOKYO 00003100 004 OF 009

from the postwar regime." Following last year's revision to the
Fundamental Law of Education, at the beginning of this year the
prime minister announced that constitutional revision would be the
main platform of the Upper House election and established a bill to
set procedures for a national referendum on the constitution. The
LDP has never touched any of these issues in the past. There are
probably people who highly value these accomplishments. On the
other hand, there are probably those who feel that there is a huge
gap between what the people currently want and how the prime
minister thinks. This is what it means to question Abe's politics.

Of course, pensions are not the only important election issue. This
is an election where candidates who may propose constitutional
revisions in a few years could be chosen. Even if Prime Minister
Abe resigns, constitutional revision will be a big theme in future
politics. We must begin a proper discussion now.

There is more. How should we resolve the problem of growing social
disparities, a problem said to be the shadow of Koizumi's politics?
How do we move forward with structural reforms? And what about
US-Japan relations, Asian diplomacy, national security,
decentralization of power from central to local governments...? An
election where each party debates different policy issues and where
voters vote after closely observing this debate - that is the type
of election we want to have.

Minshuto President Ichiro Ozawa says that he wants this election to
be a stepping stone to a change in administration. If he and his
party are truly aiming for an "Ozawa/Minshuto administration" after
the next Lower House election, then rather than simply criticizing
the LDP's handling of the pension fiasco, they must offer specific
plans to build the country. The LDP criticizes Minshuto's campaign
pledges as being financially irresponsible and lacking viability.
Minshuto must respond to these critiques.

(5) Defense white paper expresses "concern" about the modernization
of China's military, stresses building missile defense to meet North
Korean threat

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Eve., July 6, 2007

The government this morning at a Cabinet meeting approved the 2007
edition of the Defense of Japan (Defense white paper). The white
paper expressed concern about China's military modernization and
stated for the first time in connection with the military balance
with Taiwan, "Changes are occurring that are giving the advantage to
the Chinese side." In addition, the paper criticized North Korea's
launching of ballistic missiles and nuclear testing last years,
calling them "a serious threat to peace and stability of the
international community." It stressed the need to quickly build a
missile-defense system, including setting up an intelligence-sharing
system between Japan and the United States.

Regarding China's military modernization, the white paper pointed
out: "Since the immediate target is the Taiwan issue, there is
heightened concern that has brought forth the argument, for example,
that perhaps they have surpassed what is needed to respond to the
Taiwan issue." The wording has gone farther than what was in the
white paper in 2006 that went: "The prudent judgment might be made
that China is exceeding the scope needed for its own defense, so we
need to carefully watch such from now."

TOKYO 00003100 005 OF 009

Specifically, the paper, referring to China's naval power, stated,
"It is aiming to build the capability of carrying out tactical
operations in waters even farther away than before." On its air
power, too, the paper stated: "It is aiming to build a capability to
command the air, as well as an air to ground and air to ship attack
capability that is even more forward positioned."

On North Korea, in the 2006 white paper, because of the time factor,
the missile issue was not mentioned, but in the 2007 edition, there
is analysis of the ballistic-missile launches. It noted that out of
the seven missile launches, one was Taepodong-2 (range of 6,000
kilometers) that failed. The paper took the view that "it is
conceivable that they are working on an even longer-range ballistic
missile, including the possibility of it being a derivative type."

There was little analysis of North Korea's nuclear weapon text last
October, with the text only going so far as to state: "There is a
full possibility of further development of a nuclear weapons
program, so there is need to carefully watch their moves, including
miniaturization and war-head development."

In addition, with this being the first white paper to be published
since the raising of the defense agency to a ministry, there is a
new chapter on the Self-Defense Forces, since the change, being
given international peacekeeping operations as a main duty.

(6) Japan now on very thin ice, starts sinking (Part 4): "I want to
erase wrong image of Japan"

SANKEI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
July 6, 2007

Researcher Yuki Tatsumi at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a think tank
in Washington, received a telephone call in early September of last
year from Dennis Halpin, an assistant to Foreign Affairs Committee
Chairman Henry Hyde (Republican). Halpin said: "What's going on in

On August 15, just before the phone call, (then) Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, coming under heavy fire
from major American press companies. Some of them reported that
nationalism was surging in Japan.

Halpin told Tatsumi that the committee would hold a public hearing
titled, "Relations between Japan and its neighbors," and asked her
to speak as a Japanese on such issues as the rise of nationalism.
Sakie Yokota, mother of abduction victim Megumi Yokota, had
testified at the same committee five months before, but it is quite
rate for a Japanese to speak of Japan's policy on such an occasion.
Tatsumi hoped to do her best to wipe out the wrong image about

Tatsumi felt uncomfortable when she read these two articles:
"Thought police are gaining power in Japan" that ran in the Aug. 27
issue of the Washington Post and "A series of worrisome events" in
the news letter issued by the Pacific Forum CSIS on August 24. The
first article stressed that right-wingers seeking a return to the
militarism that dominated the nation in the 1930s were becoming
mainstream in Japan, while the second one analyzed that a political
atmosphere of constraining free speech was being created.

TOKYO 00003100 006 OF 009

Tatsumi said: "These articles give us the impression that Japan is
tinged with extremist nationalism. I must accurately convey Japan's
current circumstances." Tatsumi was born in Tokyo. She studied
security affairs at the John Hopkins University Graduate School
after graduating from International Christian University. She once
worked at the Japanese Embassy as a special analyst. She was trained
to be able to express what she wants to say in a five-minute

In the public hearing on Sept. 14, Chairman Hyde said, "Yasukuni
Shrine worships the souls of war criminals." Tom Lantos (Democrat)
also critically said: "(The prime minister's visit to Yasukuni
Shrine) is tantamount to placing a wreath on the grave of the Nazi

Michael Green, former senior director for Asian Affairs at the
National Security Council, Kurt Campbell, former deputy assistant
secretary of defense, and Mindy Kotler, a female activist, testified

in the public hearing. Following them, Tatsumi talked about the
significance of the prime minister's annual visit to Yasukuni Shrine
as follows:

"The prime minister's visit is intended to pay respects to soldiers
who died in World War II and to renew his pledge for peace. A visit
to Yasukuni Shrine means there is healthy development in Japan, that
is, Japan is facing its own past and self-reflecting on it ... Most
Japanese do not support those views that admiring their country's
past military aggression. Nationalism in Japan means to many people
a feeling of being proud of one's country. It is close to the
concept of patriotism in the United States."

Of 52 Congress members who participated in the public hearing, eight
took the floor as questioners. Barbara Lee (Democrat) said: "I heard
that Japan is preparing to enable Japan to engage in warfare by
changing its pacifist constitution." In response, Tatsumi stated:

"There exists in Japan among the people an understanding that we
must never again engage in aggressive war. Under the government's
current interpretation of the Constitution, when Self-Defense Force
(SDF) troops participate in United Nations peacekeeping operations
with American or Chinese troops, SDF personnel are not allowed to
come to their aid even if they are attacked. The ongoing debate in
Japan is aimed to enable the SDF to assist troops from other

Lantos summarized the meeting with this comment: "All of us learned
a lot." Halpin also shook hands with Tatsumi, saying, "It was very
good." Tatsumi believed she did her best to portrait the real
picture of Japan with her own words, but she was not sure about to
what extent she was able to have the US, Japan's sole ally,
understand its basic position.

English newspapers give the image of Japan as "a terrible country"

"Even 10 PERCENT of what Japanese think has not been properly
relayed to foreign countries. The United States determines its
policy, based only on what was dispatched in English."

In a symposium in Tokyo this March, Tsuneo Watanabe, a visiting
researcher at CSIS (Center for Strategic and International Studies),
stressed how poor Japan's capability to transmit and disseminate its
messages to foreign countries. He then quoted a statement by a

TOKYO 00003100 007 OF 009

minister in Southeast Asia as saying: "Reading English newspapers,
we think what an awful country Japan is, but it is not true in
actuality. I wonder why there is such a wide gap between the reality
of Japan and what is related in English."

The English-language media tend to take Japan as a somewhat weird
country. Even within the nation, there are also some who dispatch
such an image of Japan, resulting in stressing the image of a
distorted Japan. For instance, some report that Japan is about to
rush toward militarism.

In actuality, though, Japan is about to become a normal state in
accordance with what the international community see as common
sense, as Tatsumi said.

The problem is how far the Japanese government has talked about it
and how it has dispatched this fact to foreign countries.

Since he assumed office last September, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
has an intention to revise the Constitution and to study scenarios
about the use of the right to collective self-defense. He is the
first postwar prime minister to speak of amending the Constitution.

The Washington Post noted on Sept. 25 of last year: "Japan's
pacifism is about to be weakened." But it can be taken as just the
opposite to mean that Japan's face is becoming more visible.

Abe's predecessors never talked much about the government's policy,
because they blindly followed the established policy of giving
priority to economic growth while relying on the US on the security

Should Japan continue to be a "silent power," it will just be tossed
about by the wild waves of international politics.

(Corrected copy) Koike assumes one key post after another owing to
"keen sense of (political) smell," arousing jealousy of lawmakers
eager to join cabinet

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 24) (Full)
July 5, 2007

The first female defense minister in history was inaugurated
yesterday. This is the second cabinet post given to Yuriko Koike,
who has served five terms in the House of Representatives. Some
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members who are yearning for a
cabinet post are overheard saying, "I wonder why only Koike has been
treated favorably." But such lawmakers first should learn from her
how to get along in the political world.

In a press conference she gave after assuming the top defense post,
Defense Minister Koike countered an attack against Democratic Party
of Japan (Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa, who has stepped up his
criticism of the Abe administration.

Koike said: "I know best about Mr. Ozawa's defense policy. In
Minshuto, (views over defense policy) are split. Ozawa should
announce not his own ideals but the party's policy. Unfortunately, I
have to return (his criticism) to him." The reason why she had to
"unfortunately" denounce the leader of the main opposition party is
because she moved from party to party.

TOKYO 00003100 008 OF 009

After graduating from Cairo University, Koike served as an
anchorwoman for the TV Tokyo program, "World Business Satellite." In
1992, she ran as a candidate backed by the Japan New Party in the
House of Councillors election, ranked 2nd, following party head
Morihiro Hosokawa, among candidates for the party's proportional
representation segment and was elected for the first time.

In 1993, Koike ran in the Hyogo No. 2 constituency of the Lower
House election and won a Lower House seat for the first time. She
joined the defunct New Frontier Party supporting current Minshuto
leader Ichiro Ozawa in 1994. After the party was disbanded in 1997,
she became a member of Jiyuto (the Liberal Party). When Jiyuto left
the coalition government in April 2000, she took part in
establishing Hoshuto (the Conservative Party), separating from

Koike became a member of the LDP in December 2002. In July 2003, she
joined the Mori faction (now, the Machimura faction), from which
Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister in July 2003. She served as
environment minister from September 2003 through September 2006,
during which she pushed for the introduction of the Cool Biz
campaign, a casual business dress code.

In the 2005 general election, Koike volunteered for Koizumi's first
"assassin" position against an LDP lawmaker who voted against postal
privatization bills, changing her constituency from Hyogo to the
Tokyo No. 10 constituency. At that time, Koizumi flattered her by
saying: "You are really courageous, though you are also charming."
When the Abe administration was launched last September, she was
appointed as Abe's special advisor.

Some call her a "migratory bird," focusing on her hopping from one
political party to another. But all of the five political parties to
which Koike once belonged are now defunct. It can also be taken that
Koike is a successful woman who rode out the storm of the
reorganization of the political scene that started in the 1990s.
What is to be particularly noted is that she got in close to the
most influential figures in the political parties to which she
belonged or belongs, such as former Prime Minister Hosokawa, Ozawa,
former Prime Minister Koizumi, and Prime Minister Abe.

The following was a typical success story in the LDP in the past: A
high position is finally awarded to a person who pledged loyalty to
his or her factional boss and steadily dealt with unspectacular work
for decades. Koike's political stance, however, is far from this
style. Her case might be regarded as a new success model.

Kichiya Kobayashi, a political commentator, said: "Ms. Koike has a
keen sense of smell to sniff out who holds the supreme power of the
time. This must be something she was born with." He added: "While
assuming political power for five years and five months, Prime
Minister Koizumi picked himself those with whom he wanted to work,
abolishing the conventional stance of giving priority to a balance
between factions and to seniority. This new approach has now taken
root. In the current political world, lawmakers who have a poor
sense of smell will never be blessed with an important post, even if
they are competent."

Will anyone be promoted to an important post if they improve their
sense of smell? To this question, Kobayashi replied: "If you make
such efforts unskillfully, those around you might take the efforts
as part of trickery and boo you. In such a case, the prime minister

TOKYO 00003100 009 OF 009

will find it difficult to field you to a key post. If such a sense
of smell is natural one, though, criticism will not grow louder." It
seems difficult for conventional-type lawmakers to follow Koike's
political stance.

Koike published the book titled, "Ways for women to establish
personal contacts - Success women's passport." Koike might become
the first (prime minister) in (the nation's) history.


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