Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/09/07-2

DE RUEHKO #3129/01 1902322
P 092322Z JUL 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


(3) Farm Minister Akagi's office expenses scandal, Support
association president revises statement

(4) Local expectations subside with Defense Minister Koike's
rejection of Futenma revision talks

(5) Great Tokyo Air Raids targeted civilians right from beginning:
Book analyzing incident reprinted for first time in 17 years; New
facts as told by prominent researcher of US military data

(6) Seiron (Opinion) column: Reason and emotion over debate on mass
suicide in Battle of Okinawa


(3) Farm Minister Akagi's office expenses scandal, Support
association president revises statement

July 9, 2007 2:34 pm

Regarding the office expenses scandal involving Farm Minister
Norihiko Akagi's political organization "The Norihiko Akagi Support
Group," the president of the group, a former Ibaraki prefectural
assembly member, stated in an interview with Yomiuri Shimbun
yesterday evening, "I have been the (support group) president since
(Akagi's grandfather and former Farm Minister) Munenori Akagi's
time, and I continue to remain in the position under Farm Minister
(Norihiko) Akagi. It just happened naturally."

Initially, the former assembly member said, "I learned that I was
listed as the (support group) president after receiving inquiries
from the media. I want an explanation (from Akagi)."

The scandal revolves around the registration of Akagi's parents'
home in Chikusei City, Ibaraki Prefecture as the "main office" of
the support group. At first, Akagi's parents stated, "We didn't
receive any money for rent or utility costs. Private secretaries
and office staff come before elections, but they are not here on a
continuous basis." Yesterday, however, they released a statement
explaining, "(The house) still functions as the base for local

(4) Local expectations subside with Defense Minister Koike's
rejection of Futenma revision talks

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Pages 26, 27) (Abridged slightly)
July 7, 2007

Yuriko Koike has come back to the political spotlight, replacing
gaffe-prone Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma. In a press conference
immediately after taking office, new Defense Minister Koike declared
that the realignment of US forces in Japan was her top priority,
rejecting Okinawa's call for making changes to the Futenma Air
Station relocation plan. It was a disappointment to Okinawa.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appointed Koike, who had served as state
minister in charge of Okinawa affairs, as new defense minister on
July 3. Hearing the news, Mayor Yoshikazu Numabukuro of Nago, the
relocation site for Futenma Air Station, commented high-spiritedly
on the same day: "She seems to be keenly aware of Okinawa's
situation." A similar mood enveloped the city assembly, as well.

TOKYO 00003129 002 OF 007

The mood entirely changed with Koike's inaugural press conference
the following day.

Koike, while referring to the subject of US force realignment as her
top priority, simply turned down Okinawa and Nago's proposal to
construct V-shaped pair of runways further offshore than the
currently planned, citing time constraints.

Okinawa's revision plan is designed to shift the government's plan
to build a V-shaped pair of airstrips on the coastline of Camp
Schwab several hundred meters further out to sea. Okinawa Gov.
Hirokazu Nakaima also expressed his support for the revision plan
presented by Nago this January.

Koike's news conference drew a negative reaction from Nago City
Assemblyman Takashi Nagayama, who is supportive of the Futenma
relocation plan:

"I had high hopes for Ms. Koike, who seemed considerate of Okinawa
and is close to Prime Minister Abe. But she brushed off the revision
plan without talking to prefectural and city representatives."

Koike's predecessor, Kyuma, used both hard and soft approaches in
dealing with Okinawa. For instance, he angered Washington by saying:
"The US must not make high-handed remarks. I've been in talks with
the governor, so the US must wait for a while. The US must leave
Japanese affairs to Japan." At the same time, he sent a Maritime
Self-Defense Force minesweeper tender to waters near Henoko to
assist in the government's preliminary environmental survey. Koike
appeared to be a person with stronger will than Kyuma in the eyes of
some observers.

One of them is Yoshitami Oshiro, an anti-base city assemblyman, who
took this view:

"Ms. Koike is the most faithful practitioner of the Abe
administration's hawkish policy. She is expected to press ahead with
the Japan-US agreement more forcibly than Mr. Kyuma did, ignoring
local voices. The marine habitat for dugongs, other rare species,
and the local living environment would be destroyed. She might
implement the plan without prior consultations with local
authorities, citing a lack of time."

Sakae Toyama, secretary general of the peaceful citizens' liaison
committee, also reacted unexcitedly to Koike's appointment:

"During her tenure as environment minister, she even didn't try to
halt the drilling survey. She has no awareness that the government
is forcing US bases on Okinawa. She would just act out what is told
by the prime minister. Nothing would change. Her image that she is
amiable and flexible is running ahead of her. In reality, she lacks
independent perceptive and is elusive. She is the kind of person who
is difficult to deal with and find a settlement line."

Former Nago Mayor Yutoku Toguchi commented:

"I hoped she would show some flexibility about making changes to the
relocation plan. To my disappointment, she flatly ruled out revision
talks. I knew right then that nothing would change. I think she will
just work hard to implement the government's plan."

TOKYO 00003129 003 OF 007

Tensions have been running high between the Okinawa anti-base group
and the survey firm over the preliminary survey that started on May
18 to study the living conditions of coral and dugons in waters off
Camp Schwab.

Even after the MSDF minesweeper tender left Okinawa, anti-base
protesters have been trying to block activities by some 20 research
boats by mobilizing canoes everyday except for weekends.

A new problem has arisen in Okinawa -- a relocation of the helipad
due to the planned partial return of the Northern Training Area to

Helipad construction began on the morning of July 3 in the area near
the Takae district in Higashi Village. The Naha Defense Facilities
Administration Bureau (DFAB) did not notify Higashi Village and
other affected municipalities about the helipad relocation until
after construction work began at 9:00 a.m. The government's step
that had kept the village and the district in the dark has drawn
local voices of resistance.

According to the DFAB, construction for the 45-meter-diameter
helipad is scheduled to be completed at the end of February 2009.
The construction site encircles residential areas that are dotted
with dams. Once the helipad is built, US forces may conduct survival
training at places closer to residential areas instead of
mountainous areas.

Although the village announced its acceptance of the helipad in
1999, how should such possible problems as environmental destruction
and noise be settled? Mounting challenges are associated with the
helipad project, as well.

Under such circumstances, will speed be still Koike's top priority?

Military commentator Motoaki Kamiura predicted Koike's steps this

"Although she is not a military or security professional, Ms. Koike
has a lot of nerve and aggressiveness. To the United States, she
might be an easy negotiation partner. She ruled out revision talks,
but that must be a show. I believe she eyes settling the issue in
the end by shifting the envisaged runways slightly further out to
sea. She will let Okinawa local chiefs to score some points with
minor revisions and eventually settle the issue with money."

Military journalist Tetsuo Maeda took this view:

"As state minister for Okinawa affairs, her job was to lend an ear
to voices in Okinawa. But now, as defense minister, he job is to
implement the US force realignment plans based on the Japan-US
agreement. She has just assumed office amid strong criticism of
Kyuma's forcible measures and growing distrust in the government due
to the reduced description on mass suicides in school textbooks.
Although she is well-versed in Okinawa affairs, Koike has no
experience in defense policy or defense administration. How is she
going to deal with this volatile situation? In order for her to take
a more Okinawa-oriented stance, she must review and make changes to
the traditional policy while in Tokyo before visiting Okinawa. But
she doesn't seem to have that much power or resolve. The outcome of
the upcoming Upper House election might force Prime Minister Abe to
reshuffle his cabinet, a step short of change in administration, and

TOKYO 00003129 004 OF 007

Koike as a result might become the shortest-serving defense

(5) Great Tokyo Air Raids targeted civilians right from beginning:
Book analyzing incident reprinted for first time in 17 years; New
facts as told by prominent researcher of US military data

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 20) (Full)
July 9, 2007

The new edition of an analysis of the Great Tokyo Air Raids based on
data compiled by the US military titled "Bomb Tokyo! -- US Military
Operation Report" was published by Sanseido in late June after a
17-year hiatus. Shigeyoshi Okuzumi (83), the writer of the book, who
lives in Hachioji City, Tokyo, added some details to the first
edition of his book with the filing of a collective lawsuit by 112
victims of the air raids in March as the occasion.

The first edition was published in 1990, in which the author
illustrated in detail six air strikes carried out from February
through May 1945, obtaining the US military's tactical mission
report (TMR) from the National Archives and Records Administration
(NARA). The book carried the full translation of the TMR on the
Great Tokyo Air Raids on March 10, which reportedly left
approximately several hundred thousand persons dead. Though it had
been out of print, he decided this April to publish a new edition
following the suggestion made by Katsumoto Saotome (75), the

Eighteen pages have been added, including litho-mosaic, aerial
photographic maps used by mission crew in pinpointing targets. It
was known that the US military data included figures, such as
055102, which remained undecipherable. However, Okuzumi found that
if the figure divided into 055 and 102, they correspond to the scale
on the maps. Okuzumi found out that crossover points of ordinate
axes and axes of abscissas from the vertical and lateral scales
indicated the targets of bombings.

According to litho-mosaic, four aiming points of bombings carried
out on March 10 were all located in densely populated residential
areas (approximately 290,000 square kilometers) along the Sumida
River. Five sketches drawn by crew of B-20 bombers are evidence to
the fact that the US military targeted this area from the

What is of interesting is data concerning fire bomb attacks on Japan
compiled in Oct. 1943, eight months before first air strikes on the
mainland Japan. The data noted that 20 cities vulnerable to fire
bomb attacks were made the targets of bombings, where houses of
about 12 million people were burnt down and stockpiles and clothes
were destroyed. According to Okuzumi, the report also carries the
logic of the US, which reminds one of a stance it repeats regarding
the dropping of atomic bombs, that is, fire bomb attacks would
quickened Japan's surrender and saved the lives of many US

These data will likely hold the key to finding out reasons why the
US military switched from daytime factory strikes from high altitude
to nighttime indiscriminately bombings from low altitude. It had
been common belief that the judgment was made by Commander Curtis
LeMay. However, Okuda takes the view that the target of the attacks
was civilians even before the air strikes started.

TOKYO 00003129 005 OF 007

Okuzumi worked at a secret aircraft factory before the war. The
factory developed a bomber that could fly to and from the B-29 base
in Saipan and a large fighter plane to attack B-29 bombers. He said:
"We were confident that we could fight back with those aircraft.
However, the war ended after only one reconnaissance fight with the
bomber and a test flight with the fighter plane. Even if those
aircraft had been manufactured, Japan would have been defeated,
because the US had more than 1,000 B-29 bombers."

In 1975, when he was teaching physics and mathematics at a high
school, he had the opportunity to read the US military data for the
first time at a meeting of the group to record air strikes on
Hachioji. He then expanded the area of his research to US air
strikes on major cities and small and medium cities from a
civilian's perspective with the determination that somebody must do
it, because scholars and historians were not doing that and the
government was not encouraging.

Commenting on the reprinting of the book, Saotome said, "It is not
until (data given by) those who attacked and (the data provided by)
those who were attacked are collated that the atrocity of war is
revealed. Even those who can read English cannot read encoded
papers. Mr. Okuzumi, who was aircraft engineer, is the number one
person for that job. The work of Mr. Okuzumi, who has been
accustomed to remaining in the background, should be given high

Mr. Okuzumi was hospitalized last summer due to poor health and
became critically ill. He is continuing efforts to find new data
with the thought that he would not have much time left for this

"Unlike Japanese data, the data compiled by the US military record
everything, including mistakes it made. I think Japan fought a
reckless war against too strong a country."

(6) Seiron (Opinion) column: Reason and emotion over debate on mass
suicide in Battle of Okinawa

SANKEI (Page 13) (Excerpts)
July 6, 2007

Ikuhiko Hata, historian of contemporary history
( Hata)

Array of emotional articles

June 23, 62 years ago, was the day, when an end was put to the
Imperial Japanese Army's (IJA) organized resistance in the Battle of
Okinawa with Commander Ushijima's suicide in a cave on a southern
tip of the main Okinawa island called Mabuni.

Designating June 23 as "Memorial Day," Okinawa has since then held
the memorial ceremony to console the souls of the 200,000 war dead,
including 90,000 Japanese soldiers or army civilians, as well as
90,000 civilians, and some American soldiers. This year's ceremony
took place when Okinawa was in confusion over the prefectural
assembly's adoption of a resolution calling for the recovery of
descriptions that "the military forced civilians into mass suicide"
(in the Battle of Okinawa)," which had been removed as a result of
the screening of history textbooks for senior high school students.

TOKYO 00003129 006 OF 007

Except for the Yomiuri Shimbun, which hardly paid any attention to
the problem, every major daily in its editorials or city news pages
devoted much space to it. War survivors have been treated with great
care to date by the media and pundits, perhaps for their
consideration for the hearts of Okinawa, and this year saw there was
no change in this tendency, with excessively emotional and
exclamatory articles centering on those survivors' experiences
carried by many dailies. But most survivors were at age 10 or so
when they experienced the war, so their testimony was not
necessarily accurate.

For example, one prefectural assembly member who compiled the
resolution was eight years old at the time. He was quoted by the
Asahi Shimbun in its edition on June 23 as saying: "Together with
some 200 other Okinawans, my family including myself hid in a
trench. Three Japanese soldiers came to the trench and forced my
family to have my three-year-old sister and my cousin, both crying,
eat poisoned rice balls. Presumably, out of fear of the enemy
noticing our existence, they urged my family to do so." This
article, however, was somewhat unnatural. I wondered why the
reporter of that article did not think so.

For instance, was it possible to have time to make poisoned rice
balls amid the fierce battle? Was it possible for parents to give
them to their children telling them they were poisonous? Without
verifying at least those things, the reporter introduced that story.
The reporter appears to be lacking the qualifications needed to be

Grenades for attack

In the prefectural assembly, the ruling and opposition blocs locked
horns over the question of the existence of a military order on mass
suicide. The opposition parties contended, "There must have been a
military order for mass suicide," while the ruling parties insisted,
"No such order seemed to be issued." By compromise, both sides
agreed to issue a statement in the name of the prefectural assembly
that "(Mass suicide) would not have occurred without the IJA's
involvement," skillfully evading the point of contention.

The word "involvement" is taken by some to mean that the IJA's
grenades were used for suicide, but grenades were supposed to be a
valuable weapon for the IJA as evidenced by the fact that because of
the shortage of weaponry, soldiers carried even bamboo spears to
attack the enemy. Grenades were provided to defense corps members
recruited in Okinawa (who were at the time regarded as soldiers) and
used for family suicides. The former junior college president, who
had been 16 years old in those days, related his experience to the
Asahi Shimbun by saying, "Grenades embodied the order for (mass)
suicide." Believing his story was a "woeful testimony," the Asahi
Shimbun quoted it in its editorial on June 23. I cannot help
doubting that daily's attitude.

Reason why no military order was found

The tone of most editorials, except for the one by the Asahi
Shimbun, was calm. The Asahi Shimbun's editorial, however, stood out
in its emotional descriptions. For instance, it wrote that the IJA
did not allow civilians to be taken prisoners and warned them,
"Anyone who attempt to surrender to the enemy should be shot to
death," and did so, and that "The IJA led civilians to believe that

TOKYO 00003129 007 OF 007

women would suffer an insult and men would be killed in a cruel
manner," if they were captured by the enemy. But all these
descriptions were almost groundless.

Troops led by Commander Ushijima, after consultations with
prefectural government officials, ordered civilians to evacuate to
the mainland Japan or the northern part of the main island of
Okinawa to keep them away from any area that was likely to turn into
a battlefield. In the last phase of the battle, they instructed
civilians to evacuate to the Chinen Peninsula, where no battles
occurred, envisioning the possibility that they would be protected
by the US army.

According to the US military's archives, some 280,000 civilians
eventually surrendered to the US. Of them, some volunteered to go to
a Japanese military's camp in order to advise Japanese soldiers to
surrender, but they drew suspicions as a spy and were executed. Such
a case was exceptional, however.

Around that time, I was a 12-year-old militarist boy and harbored
hatred and fear against "brutal America and Britain." But I don't
remember who indoctrinated me into believing that they were brutal.
Neither my parents nor teachers did so. It might have been the Asahi
Shimbun or the female magazine Shufu no Tomo, which my family had
subscribed to.

Even researchers have not been able to discover any military orders
to prove mass suicide or forced recruitment of comfort women.
However, there are still many who insist that such orders were all
incinerated with the ending of the war or that (mass suicide or
forced recruitment of comfort women) was attributable to the pre-war
Emperor system or pre-war militarist education in spite of the lack
of particular orders concerning mass suicide or forced recruitment
of comfort women.

The Asahi Shimbun is similar for its editorial concluded that to
insist that the to say that the IJA had nothing to do with it,
despite the reality that there was mass suicide, would mean to again
betray Okinawa.


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