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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Afghanistan Hostage

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3439 2080402
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270402Z JUL 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5898
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2268
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 4693
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1325
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3050
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5183
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003439

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - AFGHANISTAN HOSTAGE
SITUATION


LEAD STORIES: Friday morning's Asahi and Mainichi ran
the results of their latest nationwide opinion surveys,
each showing that the main opposition DPJ is cruising
toward a major victory in Sunday's Upper House
election.

1. "Taliban's Indiscriminate Brutality" The business-
oriented Nihon Keizai editorialized (7/27): "The
Taliban have executed one of the 23 South Korean
hostages that the group has been holding. The Koreans
had entered the country on a relief mission. This is
yet another example of the Taliban's indiscriminate
terrorist acts.... Recently, a senior Taliban official
clearly told a British TV network that the group
intends to kidnap any foreigners in the country and
exchange them for Taliban fighters held by US and other
NATO forces. Assistance from international
organizations and foreign countries is indispensable
for Afghanistan, which is still trying to recover, with
NGO groups from many countries rushing to the country
on relief missions. Important though these missions may
be, members of NGOs should be aware that Afghanistan is
still a very dangerous place."

2. "Don't Harm Innocent People" An editorial in the
liberal Mainichi commented (7/27): "Is it considered
just under Islam to kidnap defenseless foreigners and
execute them if demands made of their governments are
not met? This idea will not fly anywhere. The Taliban
have executed a South Korean pastor who was among a 23-
member South Korean relief mission. The number of
captives is now 22. Though the South Korean government
plans to send a special envoy to Afghanistan to resolve
the matter, the situation remains volatile.... Should
the hostage situation drag out or the Taliban further
harm their captives, this will only tarnish the
reputation of Muslim people as a whole. The Taliban
should immediately and unconditionally release all the
hostages...."

SCHIEFFER

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