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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - A.R.F. Ministerial

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DE RUEHKO #3523 2140443
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020443Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2353
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5245
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003523

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 - A.R.F. MINISTERIAL


LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers front-paged
Agriculture Minister Akagi's press conference Wednesday
afternoon after tendering his resignation. Akagi
admitted that the LDP's crushing defeat in Sunday's
Upper House election was partially caused by his
inappropriate handling of his political organizations'
office and other expenses.

1. "Rice's Absence from ARF Ministerial Criticized" The
moderate Tokyo Shimbun's Manila correspondent Tomoyoshi
Aoyagi reported (8/2): "Representatives from some
countries attending the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
ministerial are critizing Secretary of State Rice's
absence from the meeting, saying that her trip to the
Middle East shows that the US is neglecting Asia. Now
that the US-ASEAN summit scheduled for September has
been postponed at Washington's behest, the US presence
at the ARF is rapidly diminishing. This is Secretary
Rice's second absence from the ministerial, as she did
not attend in 2005, either.... Although the State
Department flatly rejected the criticism, saying that
the US is deeply involved with Southeast Asia, some
observers believe that the US has become less
interested in the ARF as countries in the region tilt
toward China in the economic sphere."

SCHIEFFER

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