Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 07/12/07

DE RUEHKO #3171/01 1930124
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E.O. 12958: N/A



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

Defense affairs:
4) Defense Minister Koike meets with Ambassador Schieffer, seeks
early meeting with Secretary Gates
5) Koike announces extension of MSDF duty in the Indian Ocean under
the anti-terror law
6) Koike to seek local understanding for the agreement on Futenma

North Korea problem:
7) Assistant Secretary Hill in interview to Japanese press corps
sees four-party talks with North Korea later this year
8) Hill sees new security affairs mechanism emerging in Northeast
Asia from the six-party talks
9) Japan accepts reality of six-party talks moving ahead first on
nuclear issue with North Korea, but still concerned about progress
on abduction issue

Historical issue:
10) Senator Inouye weighs in against the House resolution on the
comfort-women issue
11) Mike Green, speaking at Jiji symposium, expresses concern that
historical issues could damage US-Japan relations
12) Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki: Government will not respond to
Okinawa's protests by restoring textbook cuts in description of
wartime mass suicides

Election campaign season:
13) Survey by civic group of Upper House candidates finds 88 %
against changing Article 9 of the Constitution
14) Prime Minister Abe tones down campaign rhetoric on
constitutional revision
15) Heads of seven parties debate the issues at start of Upper House
election campaign
16) Minshuto head Ozawa sends secret emissary to Rengo labor
federation to talk election strategy



Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, & Tokyo Shimbun:
Leaders of seven main parties debate pension issue ahead of Upper
House race

Chinese government bans 11 companies from exporting food to Japan

Stop poverty and protect Article 9 of the Constitution


(1) Voters will give verdict on "Abe politics" through Upper House
(2) Pakistan: Taking mosque by force dangerous

TOKYO 00003171 002 OF 012

(1) Voters have right to decide Japan's course for the future
(2) Concern about instability in nuclear Pakistan

(1) Party-head debate: Serious talk on pension reform long overdue
(2) Revised Domestic Violence Law: Detailed measures needed

Voters to judge Abe administration in Upper House race

Voters must pay attention to revitalization of nation, not just
focus on pension

Tokyo Shimbun:
Official announcement of Upper House election today

JCP urges voters to help it prevent LDP and New Komeito from running

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, July 11

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Met with incoming and outgoing Japan Coast Guard directors-general
Iwasaki and Ishikawa.

Inspected the pension information desk set up at the Tokyo Chamber
of Commerce and Industry (TCCI) in Marunouchi, joined by TCCI Chair
Nobuo Yamaguchi and others.

Met with incoming and outgoing vice finance ministers for
international affairs Tsuda and Fujii.

Arrived at LDP headquarters.

Attended a debate among the chiefs of seven political parties hosted
by the Japan National Press Club.

Met with LDP Deputy Secretary-General Motegi at LDP headquarters.

Met with LDP Secretary General Nakagawa.

Again met with Nakagawa.

20:03 Arrived at Kantei residence.

4) Koike tells US envoy of her wishes to meet with Gates early

TOKYO 00003171 003 OF 012

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike held talks with US Ambassador to Japan
Thomas Schieffer at the ministry yesterday. In the session, Koike
conveyed to the US envoy her wishes to meet with US Defense
Secretary Robert Gates at an early date after the House of

Councillors election. In response, Schieffer indicated that he would
make arrangements with pleasure.

Koike, touching on the selection of the Air Self-Defense Force's
next-generation mainstay combat aircraft, also asked for the United
States' cooperation in the form of provision of information,
apparently with the state-of-the-art F-22A Raptor stealth fighter in
mind. In response, Schieffer simply said: "You should think about it
from a viewpoint of what is essential for the security and peace of
Japan rather than of what aircraft is necessary at the micro

5) Koike announces another extension of anti-terror law

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike yesterday told the press, including
the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, that she would reextend the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law, which is to expire Nov. 1 this year. "Japan
needs to continue its appropriate activities, and that's what the
international community wants," Koike said. The Maritime
Self-Defense Force is currently tasked with refueling multinational
forces' vessels in the Indian Ocean, and the government intends to
continue the MSDF's fuel supply there. The law is expected to be
reextended for one year.

Meanwhile, the United States has informally asked Japan to dispatch
Ground Self-Defense Force helicopters to Afghanistan. In this
regard, Koike ruled out the possibility of dispatching GSDF
helicopters to that country, saying the government has no plans to
do so. In Afghanistan, a provisional reconstruction team (PRT) of
the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is now operating.
Asked about this, she took a cautious stance, saying, "There are
many legal problems, so it's difficult at this point of time."

Concerning the recently exposed leakage of data about MSDF Aegis
vessels, Koike stressed: "Information security is a tool to defend
the nation-that is more important than procuring equipment." With
this, she stressed her resolve to grapple with information security
and prevent data leakage as a top-priority issue.

6) Koike to seek local understanding of Japan-US agreement on

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike gave an interview yesterday to the
Mainichi Shimbun and other news companies. The following is a gist
of the interview:

-- Okinawa is calling for making changes to the Japan-US agreement
on the relocation of Futenma Air Station. Is it possible to comply

TOKYO 00003171 004 OF 012

with their request?

Koike: I would earnestly like to lend an ear to the local voices. I
believe the (government's) plan is ideal because it has analyzed
factors from various viewpoints. I will work hard to deepen their
understanding of (the bilateral agreement).

-- What kind of security measures are you going to take against the
North Korean threat?

Koike: I will push ahead with ballistic missile defense (BMD) based
on the Japan-US alliance.

-- What is your view on establishing a permanent law allowing the
government to dispatch Self-Defense Forces troops overseas as

Koike: Legal challenges are being analyzed and studied by the
Cabinet Secretariat. It's too early to comment on it.

-- The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law will expire in November.

Koike: Discontinuing (the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
activities) at this point is not an option.

-- Do you plan to seek the Liberal Democratic Party presidency in
the future?

Koike: No, I will not. I must fulfill my duties and
responsibilities, and that's what I am going to do for now.

7) A/S Hill mentions possibility of holding four-way talks among US,
China, DPRK, ROK within the year

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Hiroshi Maruya, Washington

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill met with the
Japanese press corps yesterday and referred to the possibility of
holding by the end of the year four-party talks among the United
States, China, North Korea, and South Korea to discuss how to build
a peace mechanism for the Korean Peninsula, separate from a new
security framework for Northeast Asia. This move reflects
Washington's judgment that something that can keep North Korea
committed to the six-party talks to discuss the North Korean nuclear
issue is essential in order to have the North abandon its nuclear
programs by the end of 2008, given the Bush administration's
remaining one-and-a-half-year term of office.

A security framework for Northeast Asia and a peace mechanism for
the Korean Peninsula were the focus of discussions between Hill and
North Korean officials during his visit to Pyongyang last month. The
creation of a peace mechanism for the Korean Peninsula, where there
is currently only a cease-fire, is the top priority issue for the
North Koreans seeking to normalize relations with the US.

Given this, Hill has linked talks on a peace mechanism to the "next
steps," which are likely to urge the North to disable its nuclear
facilities following the "first steps" of shutting down and sealing
them. "Practically, it would be possible for us to start such talks

TOKYO 00003171 005 OF 012

by the end of this year in parallel with the work of disabling the
nuclear facilities," Hill said and indicated that unless the North
moves on to the stage of disabling its nuclear facilities, no talks
on a peace mechanism would be held.

Also, speaking of who will participate in the talks on a peace
mechanism, Hill pronounced that they would be the US, China, North
Korea, and South Korea, telling reporters: "The February six-party
agreement says 'direct parties concerned,' which, however, is not a
clear definition. The talks would be meaningless without South
Korea's participation." Hill thus made clear that he would use his
plan to hold by the end of the year four-party talks that will
exclude Japan to facilitate progress on the nuclear issue.

He intends to set a timetable for the next steps at a session of the
chief delegates to the six-party talks, which will be held on July
18 if final coordination for that session goes smoothly, and to
discuss details of the next steps at a working group session. The
question of security in Northeast Asia would be discussed at the
six-party foreign ministerial expected to take place ahead of the
Asia-Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, and with the North's nuclear
facilities being disabled, four-way talks would be held by the end
of the year. By the end of 2008, the North would abandon its nuclear

This is the blueprint charted by the US, but there is no guarantee
that things will go as the US expects. Washington attaches
importance to multilateral talks, such as talks on security for
Northeast Asia and four-party talks, but there is a strong
possibility that North Korea will emphasize bilateral talks with the

The US also needs to consider its relations with Japan, given that
the US expects Japan to play a leading part in energy assistance to
North Korea, which would be included in the next steps. Hill
therefore stressed he would work to get the working group on
Japan-DPRK relations to make progress in order to resolve the
abduction issue.

In the Japanese government, however, some are beginning to question
America's North Korea policy, as Washington has come out with one
reconciliatory measure after another and is moving toward holding
dialogue with North Korea. What will happen to the nuclear issue
next year remains to be seen.

8) A/S Hill stresses need for a new framework to discuss security
for Northeast Asia

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Hiroshi Maruya, Washington

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, America's chief
delegate to the six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue,
yesterday met with the Japanese press. When asked about a dialogue
on security for East Asia as included in the February six-party
agreement, Hill noted, "I think a multilateral and open forum will
be desirable," and stated it would be necessary to create a new
framework without being shackled by the six-party framework. Hill
also predicted that a six-party foreign ministerial would be held
prior to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum slated

TOKYO 00003171 006 OF 012

for early September, and that the foreign ministerial would discuss
a new framework to discuss security.

Final coordination is underway to hold a session of the chief
delegates to the six-party talks on July 18. Referring to this
planned session, Hill said, "It will last for a couple of days, with
the focus of talks being on a future timetable," and stressed that
he would prioritize setting a timetable covering the rest of the
year to realize nuclear abandonment. He also mentioned that the
session would deal with how a dialogue on security for Northeast
Asia should be held and gave this account: "There is a view that a
security dialogue should include only the members of the six-party
talks, and some are suggesting the need to let other countries join

Hill said that a new framework "should be on the agenda for the
forthcoming six-party foreign ministerial" and indicated that he
would in advance coordinate views via a session of the chief
delegates or on other occasions.

As to when to hold a (six-party) foreign ministerial, which was
expected in early August, Hill said, "We want to hold it before the
APEC forum" and indicated an intention to aim to get it to occur
before the (APEC) ministerial session slated for September in

9) Six-party talks: View allowing discussion of nuclear issue first
gaining ground: Government officials worried about progress on
abduction issue

ASAHI (Page 4) (Slightly abridged)
July 12, 2007

In connection with Japan's North Korea policy, the argument gaining
favor in the government is to give priority to discussing the
nuclear development program issue instead of the abduction issue at
the six-party talks. The idea is to bring about progress to
Japan-North Korea dialogue by falling in step with related countries
regarding the initial steps to be taken by North Korea toward the
scrapping of its nuclear arms. With the official announcement of the
Upper House election just ahead, Prime Minister has emphasized in
election campaigning that he would tackle the abduction issue with
ab iron will. Foreign ministry officials, however, are distressed to
find themselves in between such rhetoric and the reality.

Following the US' sudden approach to North Korea, a change was
observed in the statement of a foreign ministry official, who said,
"We will proceed with the North Korea issue with a three-stage
approach of South-North talks, US-North Korea talks and Japan-North
Korea talks." The idea is that now that Japan-North Korea dialogue
has failed, the option of cashing in on the South-North and US-North
Korea talks might bring momentum to Japan's own talks with the

Six abductees returned home during the previous Koizumi
administration, but the abduction issue has made little progress
under the Abe administration. According to a government source,
Abe's way of doing things is to stick to his previous logic, no
matter what the situation is. However, foreign ministry officials
take the view that the prime minister must think in terms of
national interests amid the current reality, instead of just arguing
the pros and cons of the issues, as one senior official put it.

TOKYO 00003171 007 OF 012

Facing such a policy stalemate, government officials since the
beginning of the year have begun to use the word "progress" to
denote a halfway stage in the process of settling the abduction
issue,. The government earlier decided to open the way to
participate in the energy aid program, even if the abduction issue
was not yet completely settled. It has now come up with the argument
that progress toward denuclearization would lead progress in the
abduction issue.

Assistant Secretary of State Hill, when he visited Japan in June,
chimed in: "Progress toward denuclearization will become a base for
talks to bring progress to the abduction issue." According to an
informed source, when Hill visited North Korea, he told Vice Foreign
Minister Kim Gye Gwan, "Improving relations with Japan would be
beneficial to North Korea, as well."

However, the government is steering clear of making any clear
comment on the specific meaning of progress, with Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shiozaki simply saying, "It means that North Korea admits

that the abduction issue has not yet been settled and backs up this
stance with action." Kim reportedly indicated a similar view to
Hill, noting, "It is not yet time for Japan to hold talks with North
Korea," according to a certain senior foreign ministry official.

One government source said, "We must make a decision regarding
whether we should take part in the aid program or not in the fall."
He made this comment because of the prospect that the six-party
talks will cover 950,000 tons of crude oil in aid, as progress in
talks on post-initial-steps is likely.

10) Senator Inoue submits statement against comfort-women
resolution" adopted by House

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

Senator Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), a Democratic Party member, submitted
to the Senate on July 10 a statement opposing the resolution adopted
by the House of Representatives criticizing Japan on the wartime
comfort-women issue. The resolution is expected to be approved by
the full House soon. Observers see the statement is intended to
prompt House members to reconsider the resolution and prevent its
effect from leaping to the Senate.

The statement, dated July 9, noted: "I wonder it would be
appropriate for Americans, who are friends and allies of Japanese,
to take such an action." Although Inouye did not read the statement
himself in a plenary session of the Senate, it was entered on the

Although Inouye denounced the acts committed by the Japanese
Imperial Armed Force toward comfort women as, "They can never be
justified," he stressed the fact that six Japanese prime ministers
had issued statements of apology. Inouye also cited the following
remark Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made when he visited the US in
April: "I as prime minister feel deeply sorry that they were forced
to be placed in such extremely painful situations." The resolution
calls for an official apology by the Japanese prime minister, but
Senator Inouye said: "These statements should be enough as official

TOKYO 00003171 008 OF 012

statements in the diplomatic world."

Inouye had also sent a letter in March to Foreign Affairs Committee
Chairman Tom Lantos (Democrat) asking the committee not to adopt the
resolution, stressing: "It (the resolution) is not only unnecessary
but might adversely affect relations between the US and Japan."

The committee overwhelmingly passed the resolution on June 26 by
39-2 after wording in the original was changed. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi has indicated her support of the resolution. It is likely to
be adopted by later July. But the resolution has not been presented
to the Senate.

11) Former NSC senior Asia director Green indicates possible fissure
between Japan, US over history issues

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

Jiji, New York

In a speech at a Jiji seminar yesterday, Mike Green, former senior
director for Asian affairs at the National Security Council (NSC),
said that some leftist Democrats in the United States, keeping in
mind Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's denial of the wartime military's
coercive recruitment of comfort women by military personnel, have
expressed concern that since the Abe administration is nationalist,
a further strengthening of the Japan-US security arrangements would
drive the US into isolation in Asia. He went on to say that if a
Democrat is elected president next year, there might be some changes
in Washington's foreign policy.

Green also said that the full House is likely to approve before the
summer holiday the comfort-women resolution adopted by the US House
Committee on Foreign Affairs calling for Japan's official apology.
He then emphasized: "Japan's wartime history could undermine the
relationship between Japan and the US. We should not take the
Japan-US security arrangements for granted. The governments of the
two countries must display leadership and strengthen the bilateral
security arrangements."

12) Shiozaki rejects Okinawa's request for reinserting mass suicides
in textbooks

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
July 12, 2007

The Okinawa prefectural assembly yesterday adopted a second
statement urging the central government to retract its instruction
to history textbook publishers to eliminate descriptions of the
military's role in mass suicides in the island prefecture in the
closing days of the Battle of Okinawa. In this connection, Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki in a press conference yesterday
afternoon indicated that the government has no intention of
complying with Okinawa's request. Shiozaki emphasized the
government's intention to uphold its view on history textbooks,
saying: "It has nothing to do with government-designated textbooks.
The matter occurred in the process of screening textbooks."

13) 88 % of candidates who respond to survey oppose amending Article

TOKYO 00003171 009 OF 012

TOKYO (Page 30) (Full)
July 12, 2007

In campaigning for the forthcoming House of Councillors election to
be announced today, the issue of constitutional revision will be a
major point of contention. A group of citizens to protect the
Constitution conducted a questionnaire survey of prospective
candidates across the nation on whether they are for or against
amending Constitution Article 9 and exercising the right of
collective self-defense. The group released its results yesterday.

The group, named the "Executive Committee to Survey on Article 9 of
the Constitution of Japan for the 2007 House of Councillors
Election," sent a questionnaire form to 354 persons who have
announced their candidacies by the end of June for electoral
districts or proportional representation blocs. There were answers
from 154 persons (43.5 % ). The question was: "Do you support
amending Article 9 of the Constitution of Japan to acknowledge the
Self-Defense Forces as Japan's armed forces and allow Japan to
exercise the right of collective self-defense?" To this question,
respondents were asked to answer "yes," "no," or "can't say which."

There were answers from 6 persons from the Liberal Democratic Party,
2 from New Komeito, 32 from the Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto), 49 from the Japanese Communist Party, 20 from the Social
Democratic Party (Shaminto), 7 from the People's New Party (Kokumin
Shinto), 2 from the New Party Nippon (Shinto Nippon), and 36 from
minor parties or independents. As a result, "no" came from 136
persons (88.3 % ), with "yes" from 9 persons (5.8 % ) and "can't say
which" from 7 persons (4.5 % ). There were other answers from two

In the case of those expected to run from the JCP and the SDP, which
are both opposed to constitutional revision, all of their
respondents answered "no."

There were answers from only six persons among those with the LDP,
which is focusing on its advocacy of revising the Constitution as
one of its campaign issues. "Yes" came from four of these six
persons. "They probably think they will lose votes if they make
clear their attitude on the issue of revising the Constitution," one
of the executive committee's members says. There were answers from
32 persons with the DPJ, and 28 of them answered "no."

The Executive Committee consists of groups and individuals,
including a Tokyo-based group opposing Japan's dispatch of the
Self-Defense Forces to Iraq and a group seeking to establish the
right to live in peace. Yozo Ouchi, one of the committee's members,
said: "The survey results show that many politicians are aware of
public opinion that seeks to protect Article 9. There were no
answers from the LDP, but I think that's the kind of answer in

14) Prime minister tones down "constitutional revision," probably
out of consideration to New Komeito

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
July 12, 2007

In an open debate sponsored by the Japan Press Club yesterday, Prime
Minister Abe spoke of constitutional revision: "I do not think all
proposals of the Liberal Democratic Party will be adopted. It is

TOKYO 00003171 010 OF 012

necessary to conduct full discussion with the public first." He
apparently toned down his assertion that constitutional revision
should be at the center of the House of Councillors election

The prime minister had emphasized: "The LDP's policy platform also
proposes amending the Constitutional. It is natural for us to focus
on the issue in the election campaign;" and "It is a sincere posture
to spell out to the people our draft (of amendments to the
Constitution) and suggest that the issue be on the table."

In the party-heads debate yesterday, however, the prime minister
made cautious remarks about the constitutional issue, for instance,
"Under the National Referendum Law, the full text will not be
changed at one time. In determining which parts (in the
Constitution) should be prioritized, we must keep in mind the
importance of forming a political consensus."

The New Komeito has indicated a negative view about taking up
constitutional revision as a major campaign issue. The prime
minister's toned down remarks about the issue might have come in
giving consideration to its coalition partner, at a time when the
LDP is suffering setbacks due to the pension and other issues.

15) Leaders of seven parties discuss pension issue ahead of Upper
House election

ASAHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
July 12, 2007

The Japan National Press Club hosted yesterday a panel discussion
attended by the leaders of seven major political parties ahead of
the official announcement of the July 29 House of Councillors
election. The major topic of discussion was the pension issue. The
seven leaders debated not only measures to cope with the
pension-record mess, but pension systems themselves. Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) Ichiro Ozawa criticized the present
pension system, revealing his party's plan to lower the minimum
benefit amount to the annual salary of about six million yen. Debate
on the pension system will likely intensify during the campaign.

In reference to the pension-record fiasco, Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe, president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), proudly

"We have taken every possible policy measures in dealing with the
issue. The ruling and opposition camps should cooperate rather than
face off against each other and make an all-out effort (to resolve
the issue). So we have accepted good plans proposed by Minshuto and
the Japanese Communist Party."

Akihiro Ota, leader of the New Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner,
stressed: "We will do our best so that all policyholders will get
the full amount of benefits."

The government and ruling parties plan to complete the verification
of "unidentified pension records" by next March and inform all the
insured of their pension records until October. The main opposition
party Minshuto, however, has criticized them, saying, "It would take
a lot of time before the government will pay due amounts to all
policyholders." During the panel discussion, Ozawa urged Abe: "Since
the public is now concerned about it, the government should

TOKYO 00003171 011 OF 012

immediately notify them."

The ruling camp has advocated the maintaining of the present pension
programs. In the debate, Ozawa, however, criticized this, saying, "I
think the government's calculation is far from reality." In
response, Abe rebutted: "During the nine months since I assumed
office, we are operating 4 trillion yen in the plus. That will lead
to benefits. According to the current calculation, we can promise
that the income replacement ratio will become 51 % ."

Minshuto has, meantime, proposed unifying pension systems,
allocating five % of the consumption tax revenues to the guaranteed
minimum benefits of the basic part. According to Munshuto's plan,
there would be nobody deprived of benefits, and people in the low
income bracket would be guaranteed to get the certain amount of
benefit. Asked by Ota about the ceiling of income amount, Ozawa
responded: "An annual income of more than 12 million." He then
explained that the full benefits would be paid to those whose annual
income is around six million yen and some benefits would be paid to
those who get an annual salary of up to 12 million.

16) DPJ head Ozawa dispatches secretaries to Rengo branch offices:
Friendly appearance, bit is keeping watch the real aim?

SANKEI (Page 4) (Full)
July 12, 2007

The friendly relations between Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) head Ozawa and the Japanese Trade Union Confederation
(Rengo, chaired by Tsuyoshi Takagi), the DPJ's power base, is about
to reach a peak with the Upper House election just ahead. Ozawa is
receiving reports on election information from the DPJ's prefectural
chapters. He has also dispatched his own secretaries to Rengo branch
offices, mainly to single-seat constituencies, which will likely
determine the Upper House election. He has also built his own
election information network. He is thus increasingly strengthening
relations with Rengo.

Ozawa during a policy agreement signing ceremony held at DPJ
headquarters on July 9 told Takagi: "Thank you for signing the
agreement. I appreciate your cooperation greatly." Takagi responded,
"We will do everything we can." The agreement mentioned that the DPJ
and Rengo will make all-out efforts to gain control in the Upper
House for the opposition in the upcoming Upper House election in
order to reform the pension system and correct income disparities.

The DPJ has signed a policy agreement with Rengo each time national
elections took place. Last October, they signed their first joint
statement, which included a policy concept titled, "Sharing the same
ideals." Commenting on the signing of the agreement this time, one
senior Rengo official noted: "We have exchanged opinions with the
DPJ in a detailed manner. We feel we are one to such a degree that
it is not necessary for us to purposely sign a policy agreement for
the Upper House election." The relations between the DPJ and Rengo
have significantly improved, compared with the time when Seiji
Maehara, who kept Rengo at arm's length, was party head.

According to an informed source, Ozawa has visited almost all
single-seat constituencies along with senior Rengo officials,
including Takagi, since this spring and met senior officials of
Rengo branches. He dined with them and even enjoyed karaoke.

TOKYO 00003171 012 OF 012

Since then, Ozawa has dispatched his own aides, such as secretaries,
to constituencies, mainly single-seat constituencies, and had them
analyze the election situation, collect information, and ask for
support through the networks he has created.

One senior trade union official said: "This is the first time for
any DPJ head to dispatch his secretaries so frequently. We feel
Ozawa's firm determination." However, given the fact that candidates
fielded by Rengo in the 2004 Upper House election garnered only 1.73
million votes for proportional representation, which is less than 30
% of the number of labor union members at the time, Ozawa's moves
appear to be aimed at keeping watch on Rengo's moves as well.


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