Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 07/13/07

VZCZCXRO1389
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3205/01 1940411
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130411Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5476
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4467
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2048
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5636
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1128
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 2844
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 7885
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 3943
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5016

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 003205

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 07/13/07


Index:
1) Top headlines

2) Editorials

3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

4) Secretary Rice calls Koike to congratulate her on her appointment
as defense minister

5) Assistant Secretary Hill to meet MOFA's Sasae today on upcoming
six-party talks

6) Six-party talks to discuss next stage of North Korea's
denuclearization when they restart on July 18

7) How will North Korea respond when six-party talks resume?

8) Japan to hold firm to its policy of placing abduction issue at
top of own agenda at six-party talks

9) Group supporting House resolution on comfort-women places own
advertisement in Washington Post to counter one placed earlier by
Japanese opponents

10) Japan, US, Australia, India to engage in joint drill in Bay of
Bengal in September

11) Former GSDF officer with amakudari post-retirement position
involved in corruption scheme with contractor

12) Poll shows neither Prime Minister Abe nor Minshuto head Ozawa
are popular figures with the public

13) Poll shows voters favoring Minshuto (DPJ) outpacing those
picking the LDP as party of choice in upcoming election

14) Number of voters registered for Upper House election exceeds 100
million

15) Voter turnout rate could be affected by fact that July 29,
election day, is in the summer-vacation season

16) Number of female candidates in the Upper House election less
than 100, for second time in row

17) Candidates include 30 who used to be in the Lower House and 7
former postal rebels

18) Eleven additional celebrity candidates running this time for
Upper House seats

19) Rural-urban voter disparity at 4.86 ratio, not much change since
last election

20) Government to co-develop with private sector an
environmentally-friendly nuclear power reactor

Articles:
1) TOP HEADLINES
Asahi:
Kyodo poll: Favorability ratings for Abe, Ozawa somewhat low

TOKYO 00003205 002 OF 012

Mainichi:
Upper House election: Battle of party heads in urban and rural
areas

Yomiuri, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
Total war between ruling and opposition camps in bid to win majority
in Upper House; 377 individuals enter race

Nikkei:
Government to team up with Toshiba, other private concerns to
develop environment-friendly nuclear reactor

Akahata:
If JCP gains Diet seats, Japan's politics will definitely change

2) EDITORIALS
Asahi:
(1) Welfare revenue sources: Voters deserve respect
(2) Postal privatization: Can Nishikawa implement it?

Mainichi:
(1) Questions about MIC's high-handed stance of summoning senior TV
officials
(2) Government bonds to be upgraded: Low interest rates should be
returned to normal level

Yomiuri:
Upper House election calls for bold debate

Nikkei:
Decentralization, deregulation will revitalize regional economies

Sankei:
(1) Debate pensions without partisan interests
(2) Huge burden on companies and users will weaken effectiveness

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Upper House race: Political parties must talk about unpleasant
issues
(2) Pakistan: Impatience widened gulf

Akahata:
Don't walk away from campaign issues

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, July 12

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

10:23:
Arrived at LDP headquarters.
10:53:
Gave a public speech in front of JR Akihabara Station.
12:28:
Gave a public speech in front of Chiba Urban Monorail Chiba
Prefectural Government Office Station in Chiba City.
12:58:
Had lunch with his secretaries at a Chinese restaurant at Keisei
Hotel Miramare.

TOKYO 00003205 003 OF 012


15:28:
Gave a public speech at the East Exit of JR Kawaguchi Station in
Kawaguchi City, Saitama Prefecture.
17:03:
Gave a public speech in front of the JR Shibuya Station.
17:53:
Arrived at Kantei residence.
18:30:
Met with LDP Election Strategy Headquarters Director Yatsu at LDP
headquarters.
19:30:
Appeared on an NHK program.
20:51:
The shooting for a TV program at TBS Broadcasting Center at
Akasaka.
22:09:
Arrived at Kantei residence.

4) Secretary Rice gives congratulatory call to Defense Minister
Koike

MAINICHI Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

Ryuko Tadokoro

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike late yesterday received a
congratulatory call on her assumption of office as defense minister
from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It was unusual for Rice
to directly contact another country's defense minister. Reportedly,
Rice, as a female cabinet member, telephoned Koike, who became the
first female defense minister, because Rice "wanted so much to
congratulate Koike." Their conversation lasted about 10 minutes.
Koike told Rice, "I need a lot of energy to carry out my duties." In
response, Rice encouraged Koike, telling her: "You can do it."

5) Japanese, US chief envoys to six-party talks to hold talks today

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
July 13, 2007

US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill will visit Japan
today and hold talks with his Japanese counterpart Kenichiro Sasae,
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally announced yesterday. With
an eye on the next round of six-party talks starting on July 18,
Hill and Sasae, director general of the Foreign Ministry Asian and
Oceanian Affairs Bureau, will exchange views on the state of the
initial steps, including the shutdown of North Korean nuclear
facilities, agreed on in February. The two chief negotiators will
also coordinate Japanese and US responses to be taken in the July 18
meeting. Hill is expected to stay in Tokyo until the 15th and then
leave for South Korea.

6) Six-party talks set for July 18-19

ASAHI (Page 7) (Slightly abridged)
July 13, 2007

Kenji Minemura, Beijing

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Qin Gang announced in a
regular press conference on July 12 that the six-party talks on

TOKYO 00003205 004 OF 012


North Korea's nuclear programs would resume on July 18-19 in
Beijing. The participants in the meeting are expected to discuss the
steps to be taken after the North suspends operations at it nuclear
facilities. The session, the first since March, is also likely to
focus on the issue of North Korea's suspected highly enriched
uranium (HEU) program.

A South Korean ship carrying an initial shipment of the 50,000 tons
of heavy oil pledged to North Korea will arrive there on July 14.
This shipment is premised on the North shutting down and sealing its
nuclear facilities as the "initial steps" under a deal in the
February six-party talks. On July 14, a team from the International
Atomic Energy Agency is also scheduled to arrive in North Korea to
monitor the shutdown of the reactor in Yongbyon. Pyongyang may shut
down the reactor within the day if all goes smoothly.

The participants in the upcoming talks expect to confirm the state
of progress in the North's nuclear disarmament process, as well as
to discuss the steps beyond the initial phase.

As the next steps, North Korea is required to report all its nuclear
programs and to nullify existing nuclear facilities. If Pyongyang
undertakes these steps, it will receive 950,000 tons of heavy fuel
oil in exchange. But no decision has been made on how the burden
should be shouldered among the five members of the six-party talks,
excluding the North.

China perplexed at hasty approach by US, South Korea

Among the other five members of the six-party talks, a slight
difference is observed in their stances toward the next session. The
United States and South Korea are eager to rapidly move North
Korea's nuclear issue forward following the settlement of the
financial sanction issue involving a Macao bank, but the Japanese
government has taken a cautious stance. China, the chair of the
six-party talks, is somewhat perplexed at the recent closeness
between the US and North Korea.

Before the date for the next six-party session was set, the US
government already announced a plan for Assistant Secretary of State
Christopher Hill to visit Japan, South Korea, and China starting on
July 13, showing its desire to resume the six-party talks quickly.
North Korea has also indicated a positive stance, since the
financial problem was resolved, about resuming the talks, such as
its announcement on a plan to suspend operations of its nuclear
reactors. Given this, the US is apparently hopeful of ensuring the
North's denuclearization.

The South Korean government led by President Roh Moo Hyun, who is
becoming a lame duck but is still hoping to hold an inter-Korean
summit, has positively supported Washington's stance.

According to Hill in an interview with the Japanese media on July
11, the participants in the session will set a rough timetable. They
also aim to hold a plenary session before a six-party foreign
ministerial to be held possibly in September to push ahead with
preparatory work, such as drafting a ministerial declaration, in a
drive to move ahead the denuclearization process.

Meanwhile, the Japanese government has called for "the next six
party talks to be held after the North takes all the initial steps,"
as a senior Foreign Ministry official said. As for results to be

TOKYO 00003205 005 OF 012


produced in the talks, as well, Japan is skeptical, with Foreign
Minister Aso saying: "We need to watch whether (North Korea) will
properly take action." Behind this stance of Japan is its irritation
at slow progress on the abduction issue and in talks at the working
group on normalization of bilateral diplomatic ties.

As if to take advantage of the difference in interest between Japan
and the US and South Korea, North Korea has repeatedly questioned
Japan's fitness to remain as a member of the six-party talks.

China, which has so far played a mediating role between the US and
North Korea, seems to have mixed feelings. A diplomatic source in
Beijing said: "China was not eager to resume the talks in a hurry."
China was calling for the next session to be held after ascertaining
North Korea's moves for denuclearization and then the way is paved
for specific results to be produced.

There is also the view that China has not been given enough
information because the US-North Korea meeting was not held in
Beijing and also because Hill returned to the US without dropping in
Beijing after visiting Pyongyang.

7) How will DPRK respond to second-phase steps, "declaration and
disablement of nuclear facilities"

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

Seiji Nishioka, Beijing

The focus of the upcoming session of the chief delegates to the
six-party talks on the North Korean nuclear issue set to occur on
July 18 is on how North Korea will respond to the much tougher
second-phase steps, namely, the "full declaration of every nuclear
program" and the "disablement of nuclear facilities," than the
"first-phase ones" of shutting down and sealing nuclear facilities
at such locations as Yongbyon.

A centerpiece of the "full declaration" is whether North Korea has
developed a highly- enriched uranium (HEU)-type nuclear reactor,
although it has denied that to date. According to one official
connected with the six-party talks, the "disablement" is viewed as
an "irreversible action to make North Korea unable to produce
plutonium," but the term "disablement" has not yet been defined in a
clear-cut manner. The definition is expected to be discussed among
experts at a working group session.

North Korea wants to start talks also on the provision of
light-water reactors, still a major goal for that country. The
United States, however, has made it clear that it will provide
light-water reactors to the North only after the North abandons all
its nuclear programs and diplomatic relations between the two
countries are normalized. Given this, should the North bring up the
question of light-water reactors, talks would inevitably stall.

The February six-party agreement says 950,000 tons of heavy fuel oil
will be provided to the North Koreans if they implement the
second-phase steps, but Japan has firmly maintained that it will not
take part in the aid plans unless the abduction issue is resolved.
North Korea's official media have repeatedly criticized such a Japan
recently. For example, Korean Central News Agency reported on July
4: "Japan's participation in the six-party talks is an unstable

TOKYO 00003205 006 OF 012


factor from every angle, given its refusal to implement its
obligations." By strongly calling for "exclusion of Japan" from the
six-party talks, the North is pressuring Japan to shift its
attitude.

8) Six-party talks: Government to maintain policy of giving top
priority to abduction issue and remaining cautious about extending
aid

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 13, 2007/07/13

Top envoys to the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear ambitions
will meet July 18-19. Japan will maintain its basic policy of not
extending energy aid without progress on the abduction issue. The
talks this time will likely focus on the next stage aimed at
disabling North Korea's nuclear facilities. If assistance as
compensation for North Korea abandoning its nuclear ambitions
becomes an agenda item, Japan will find itself in a difficult
position.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mitsuo Sakaba during a press briefing
yesterday stressed the meaning of the meeting of top envoys, noting,
"It will be an important opportunity for the six-party talks to
enter the next-stage, while confirming the implementation of initial
steps by North Korea."

However, Japan has been reluctant from the beginning to hold such a
meeting at a time when the Upper House campaign is going on. If it
is left behind while being unable to switch its tough stance on the
abduction issue because of the election, public expectations of the
Abe administration, which places top priority to the abduction
issue, could weaken. Should that occur, the possibility of the LDP
suffering a setback in the election cannot be ruled out. Sakaba
stated: "Settling the abduction issue is absolutely necessary. It is
necessary to strike a balance between the denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula and improvement of Japan-North Korea relations."
However, a path in that direction is not yet in sight.

The government is looking into the possibility of extending
financial assistance to inspections by the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) with the aim of giving the impression that it
is cooperative on the nuclear issue. However, since its stance
toward cooperation remains within a secondary area, pressure on
Japan could mount.

9) Opinion ad supporting the House "comfort women" resolution
appears in US daily

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

Jiji, Washington

The Washington Post in its July 12 edition carried an opinion
advertisement criticizing the Japanese leadership's response to the
wartime "comfort women" issue during World War II and backing the
resolution recently adopted by the US House Committee on Foreign
Affairs. This one-quarter-page ad was placed by an Asian-American
organization. The ad said, "We really feel resentment at the recent
moves by Japanese rightists and revisionists," asserting, "It's high
time for the Japanese leader to put an end to shameless denial of

TOKYO 00003205 007 OF 012


the truth."

10) Japan, US, Australia, India to conduct 1st joint naval training
in Sept.

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Abridged)
July 13, 2007

SYDNEY-Japan, the United States, Australia, and India will conduct
their first joint naval training in September. The joint training
will be carried out in the Bay of Bengal, India. Australia will
dispatch a naval vessel for the joint training exercises, Australian
Defense Minister Nelson, now visiting India, clarified in a press
conference that was held after the Australian and Indian governments
signed an agreement to share security intelligence.

"We will send a frigate for the maneuvers. We will continue to join
training exercises in various areas," Nelson said. However, he also
said, "We do not want any formal four-way strategic dialogue on
defense or security." With this, the Australian defense chief showed
a negative view about including India in the tripartite strategic
dialogue of Japan, the United States, and Australia.

11) GSDF asked briber for amakudari jobs

MAINIHCHI (Page 31) (Abridged)
July 13, 2007

The Ground Self-Defense Force has asked a contractor involved in
bribery to employ retirees for amakudari (golden parachute)
post-retirement positions, sources have revealed in connection with
a recently exposed bribery case involving the GSDF over its
procurement. The contractor in question, Shinsei Corp., is a
manufacturer of outdoor cooking ware in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. The
company still has a 64-year-old retiree from the GSDF as a full-time
advisor. This retiree used to procure and manage equipment for GSDF
use. The company has delivered more than 90 PERCENT of its products
to the GSDF. There is a voice pointing out that their collusive
chemistry through amakudari might have been a hotbed for bribery.

In the corruption case, GSDF Col. Shingo Nishi, 44, is alleged to
have taken bribes, and Tomonori Matsui, also 44, an executive of
Shinsei Corp., is charged with doing the bribing. Tokyo's
Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) arrested the two for bribery.
The Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office is expected to
prosecute the two today, the time limit for their detention.

The GSDF retiree, currently in the employ of Shinsei Corp. as a
full-time advisor, graduated from the National Defense Academy in
the 1960s. Later on, he became education chief at the GSDF
Quartermaster School, which researches equipment for GSDF use. As
seen from this career, he was consistently tasked with equipment
research and management. He retired from the GSDF nine years ago and
has since been employed by Shinsei Corp. as a full-time advisor.

The GSDF retiree told the Mainichi Shimbun: "The GSDF Ground Staff
Office headquarters made the arrangement, and they told me to go to
Shinsei Shoji (Shinsei Corp.). At that time, there were five (GSDF)
retirees working on a part-time basis."

12) Asahi-University of Tokyo joint poll: Abe, Ozawa struggling to
improve their images

TOKYO 00003205 008 OF 012

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
July 13, 2007

A battle between Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who doubles as president
of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and major opposition
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa opened
yesterday as campaigning for the July 29 House of Councillors
election got underway, with a majority of seats at stake. Although
winning the race seems to depend on gaining support of unaffiliated
voters, a joint Asahi Shimbun-University of Tokyo opinion survey has
exposed the two leaders struggling to generate favorable public
images. The ongoing campaigning is likely to test the two parties'
abilities to make heir policies appealing to the public without
relying on their images as leaders.

The joint opinion survey was conducted by the Asahi Shimbun and the
offices of Ikuo Kabashima and Masaki Taniguchi, professors at the
University of Tokyo. Voters were asked to rate Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe, Minshuto President Ichiro Ozawa, and former Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi on their likeability on the scale of 0 to 100,
with 0 denoting maximum dislike and 100 maximum like.

As a result, both Abe and Ozawa scored minus 8, lower than 0
assigned for the midpoint of 50. Abe's figure was even lower than
the LDP's score of minus 5, and Ozawa's also fell below the
Minshuto's 0. This means both Abe and Ozawa are more unpopular than
their parties.

Unaffiliated voters, who once supported Koizumi, gave the especially
low score of minus 14 to Abe. It was lower than Ozawa's minus 9,
Koizumi's rating this time, minus 6, and even the LDP's minus 12.
Although the LDP has selected Abe as its "poster boy" for the
election, the survey results showed that he needs to improve his
strategy toward swing voters.

Although a simple comparison cannot be made because the subject
group has changed in this survey, the results sharply contrast with
the previous four surveys between 2003 and 2005, in which
unaffiliated voters gave Koizumi 2 to 12, higher than the ratings
given to the LDP. The liability of the LDP and its president has
reversed since Koizumi, who was extremely popular among the public.
In the ongoing campaigning, party heads' true abilities will be
tested rather than their personalities.

13) Poll: More to vote for DPJ; Cabinet support spirals down to 30.2
percent

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Abridged)
July 13, 2007

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a telephone-based public opinion
survey on July 10-12 as the fourth in serial polling to probe public
attitudes toward the forthcoming election for the House of
Councillors. In the public choice of political parties for
proportional representation, the leading opposition Democratic Party
of Japan (Minshuto) was ahead of the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party, with the DPJ scoring 28 percent, up 3 percentage points from
the last survey taken July 3-5, and the LDP at 21 percent, down 2
points. For electoral districts as well, the DPJ outpaced the LDP,
respectively marking 27 percent, up 5 points from the last survey,
and 22 percent, down 2 points.

TOKYO 00003205 009 OF 012

However, in the survey this time as well, the proportion of
"undecided" voters was 33 percent for electoral districts and 34
percent for proportional representation. For proportional
representation, New Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner, stood at 5
percent, with the Japanese Communist Party at 4 percent and the
Social Democratic Party (Shaminto) at 2 percent.

The rate of public support for Prime Minister Abe and his cabinet
was 30.2 percent, down 1.8 points. The Abe cabinet's support rate
further dropped in the survey this time, following its previous
decline in the last survey. The nonsupport rate for the Abe cabinet
rose 3.8 points to 57.7 percent.

14) Number of eligible voters at 104.55 million

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

The number of eligible voters in Japan for the July 29 House of
Councillors election was 104.44 million as of July 11, up 1.49
million from the previous Upper House election, according to the
Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry yesterday. The number
of eligible voters overseas was 103,000, up 22,000. In total, the
number came to 104.55 million. The biggest disparity in the relative
weight of one vote has decreased to 4.85 from 5.16 in the previous
election.

15) Upper House election: Mixed motives over voter turnout in ruling
and opposition parties

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
July 13, 2007

The ruling and opposition camps are paying close attention to the
likely voter turnout in the upcoming election. They share the view
that if there is a high turnout, largely because of the pension
record mess, it would give the advantage to the opposition camp. But
they also view that the more the election date is delayed, the lower
would be the voter turnout because people's interest in the pension
issue would wane somewhat. The opposition is concerned that with the
election set for July 29, the first Sunday after schools enter the
summer holiday period, voter turnout could be low.

Looking at past national elections, House of Councilors elections in
1989, 1992, 1995, and 2001 were conducted on July 23, July 26, July
23, and July 29, respectively - all overlapping with the school
summer holiday season. The voter turnouts in prefectural electoral
districts in the 1992 and 1995 elections were 50.72 percent and
44.52 percent. The turnout in the 2001 race was 56.44 percent, the
increase due to the popularity of then Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi. The Liberal Democratic Party suffered a crashing defeat in
the 1989 election, the turnout in which was 65.02 percent.

As it stands, the ruling and opposition blocs are focusing on early
voting. In the 2004 Upper House election, about 7.17 million people
or 12.37 percent cast their (absentee) votes earlier than the voting
day. About 8.96 persons or 12.89 percent voted before the due date.

16) Number of female candidates falls below 100 for two elections in
row


TOKYO 00003205 010 OF 012


SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
July 13, 2007

The number of female candidates marked 91 for the July 29 House of
Councillors election. Although it signifies an increase of 25 since
the previous election three years ago, the number of female
candidates still fell below 100 for two consecutive elections. The
female candidates account for 24.1 percent of the total, up 3.5
points. By party, the Japanese Communist Party has 22 female
candidates (1 less from the previous race), the Democratic Party of
Japan has 19 (6 more), the Liberal Democratic Party 13 (8 more), the
People's New Party 7, the Social Democratic Party 6 (2 more), and
the New Komeito 4 (1 more).

The number of female candidates peaked in 1989. Although the rate of
successful candidates topped 50 percent in 1980, the rate has been
between 10 percent and 20 percent in the last five elections.

17) 30 former Lower House members running for Upper House election,
including seven postal rebels

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
July 13, 2007

Thirty former House of Representatives members are running as
candidates in the upcoming House of Councilors election. They
consist of 23 who had lost their seats in the 2005 Lower House
election and another seven who failed to get official recognition
from the Liberal Democratic Party due to their votes against postal
privatization bills.

Of such candidates, 19 are running under the proportional
representation segment, and 11 in constituencies. Classified by
political party, 16, the largest number, are from the Democratic
Party of Japan (Minshuto), seven from the People's New Party, two
from the LDP and the Japanese Communist Party each, and one from the
Social Democratic Party. There are also two independents. Only
Hiroyuki Nagahama of Minshuto is an incumbent.

Some are critical of candidates who used to be Lower House members,
claiming: "They are making light of the identity of the Upper
House."

18) 11 celebrity candidates are running in Upper House election

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
July 13, 2007

In the upcoming House of Councillors election, the number of
celebrity candidates, including athletes and entertainers, increased
by four to 11. The government has adopted a system under which
voters choose their proportional representation candidates by name
from party lists or will vote for the parties themselves. Given
this, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) have fielded a certain number of such candidates in a bid
to grab unaffiliated voters. The LDP has fielded the largest number
of celebrity candidates at five, and Minshuto has backed three.

19) Largest disparity in weight of vote comes to 4.86: Slight drop
from 2004

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)

TOKYO 00003205 011 OF 012


July 13, 2007/07/13

The Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry yesterday released
the number of voters registered as of July 11, the day before the
official announcement of the Upper House election. According to the
number of voters per lawmaker worked out, based on that list,
Kanagawa Prefecture has the largest reading of 1,205,250, and
Tottori Prefecture has the smallest reading of 248,091, making the
greatest disparity in the weight of votes between the two
prefectures at 4.86. Though a correction has been made to the fixed
number of lawmakers in some constituencies by adding two and
reducing two for the election this time, the reduction in the
disparity from 5.13 votes in the previous Upper House election in
2004 is very small.

Since it has become possible for Japanese nationals living abroad to
vote starting this election, the total number of voters combining
Japanese who live in Japan and those who live abroad comes to
104,550,380 (50,639,474 men and 53,910,906 women), up 1,517,873 from
2004.

20) Government plans to develop environment-friendly nuclear reactor
with private companies, including Toshiba; Nuclear waste to be
reduced by 40 percent

Nikkei (Top play) (Excerpts)
July 13, 2007

The government will develop in cooperation with private companies,
such as Toshiba Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), a highly
environment-friendly next-generation nuclear reactor that has a high
output capacity and can reduce spent nuclear fuel by up to 40
percent from conventional types. The project will be launched in
fiscal 2008 with the government and the private sector splitting 60
billion yen in the project cost. The goal is commercialization by
2025. In view of a sharp increase in demand for nuclear generation
as a result of heightened interest in environmental protection, the
government will aim at taking the lead in global nuclear power
generation competition through joint development with private
companies.

Sixty billion yen to be invested: Commercialization by 2025 aimed
at

The project will be joined by utility companies, such as TEPCO, and
companies, including Toshiba, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and
Hitachi. Of the total development cost of 60 billion yen, 30 billion
yen will be disbursed from the government's special account for
energy countermeasures over an eight-year period.

The project will develop a light-water reactor using regular water
as the cooling agent and the moderator. The major feature of the
envisaged nuclear reactor is that it will extensively reduce spent
nuclear fuel, so-called nuclear waste, and have high generation
capacity. To realize the plan, participants in the project will
develop new materials, such as highly durable special stainless
steel able to withstand the use of highly enriched uranium.

Recycling and storing spent nuclear fuel is a problem, because it
costs a huge amount of money. However, the envisaged nuclear reactor
is expected to produce 30 percent -40 percent less pent nuclear fuel
than conventional reactors. Its output capacity will be 1.8 million

TOKYO 00003205 012 OF 012


kilowatts, 30 PERCENT -60 percent more than conventional types.

The planned project will be the first joint nuclear generator
project between the government and the private sector in about 20
years. Demand for nuclear generators is often determined by the
government's nuclear policy. Initial investment costs are also high.
For this reason, in foreign countries, such as France and the US,
governments often take a hand in such projects through the
appropriation of subsidies with the aim of holding down investment
risks involving private companies. In France, a state-run company
has reportedly launched a project to develop a follow-on light-water
reactor.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results

Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>