Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/09/07

DE RUEHKO #3658/01 2210822
P 090822Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) US vice president meets with Defense Minister Koike, hopes for
extension of Antiterrorism Special Measures Law

(2) Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki: "The DPJ is not made up of
Ozawa alone"

(3) Editorial: Ozawa vs. US envoy-DPJ's competence to take office
called into question

(4) Editorial: Extension of antiterrorism law needs hard

(5) Interview with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki on the
opposition-controlled Upper House

(6) Interview with Yoichi Masuzoe, Upper House LDP Policy Board
(7) Tendency among young people in Japan to take to nationalism


(1) US vice president meets with Defense Minister Koike, hopes for
extension of Antiterrorism Special Measures Law

August 9, 2007 12:51

Defense Minister Koike, who is currently visiting the US, met with
US Vice President Cheney at the White House during the afternoon of
August 8 (Japan time: early morning of August 9). Regarding an
extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which is set to
expire on November 1, Koike stated: "An extension is necessary for
Japan to meet the expectations of the international community, which
has placed trust in us. I want to keep up efforts to convince the
opposition parties (who oppose the law)."

The vice president expressed his hope for an extension of the law,
which will allow for continued support from the Self-Defense Forces,
saying: "We highly value the support that Japan has provided under
the Koizumi and Abe administrations."

In discussing China's military strength, the vice president showed
wariness, saying: "(The Chinese military) has rapidly modernized in
recent years, and their capabilities are improving. We are
interested in where China's long term strategic goals lie."

Before meeting with the vice president, Koike met with former US
Deputy Secretary of State Armitage, who indicated: "If (the
Self-Defense Forces' support) ceases, the Japan-US alliance will
suffer a setback."

In a meeting with US Secretary of Defense Gates on the morning of
August 8 (Japan time: the night of August 8), Koike brought up the
selection of the next-generation mainstay combat aircraft (FX),
saying: "Securing a deterrent is essential." Although Koike made
this statement with the thought of obtaining the state-of-the-art
F-22 fighter jet, the export of which is prohibited by US law,
Secretary Gates simply replied: "We want to continue discussing the

issue with Japan."

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(2) Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki: "The DPJ is not made up of
Ozawa alone"

August 9, 2007 12:49 pm

In response to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa's
assertion to US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer that he opposes an
extension of the Anti-terrorism Special Measures Law, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shiozaki, at a press conference this morning, commented:

"The DPJ is not made up of Ozawa alone. I think there are many
different opinions (within the party)." His statement brought
attention to the internal split within the DPJ, with some in the
party supporting an extension of the law.

Shiozaki also rebutted Ozawa's remarks that the war on terrorism in
Afghanistan was a war that President Bush started without gaining
the approval of the international community, saying: "During the
9/11 attacks, 24 Japanese died. The entire world, including Japan,
must unite in the fight against terrorism. (The war in Afghanistan)
is not a selfish war started by the US."

(3) Editorial: Ozawa vs. US envoy-DPJ's competence to take office
called into question

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
August 9, 2007

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) may be branded as
incompetent to take office. There is probably no way to deny such a

DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa and US Ambassador to Japan Thomas
Schieffer met at the DPJ's headquarters over the issue of extending
the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.

Schieffer requested the DPJ's cooperation in order for Japan to
continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's current seaborne
refueling activities for multinational forces in the Indian Ocean.

Ozawa, however, stressed his standpoint as follows: "President Bush
said, 'This is a war of the United States.' The president launched
the war without waiting for international consensus." Ozawa added,
"Japan cannot participate in the US-led operations, but we'd like to
participate in operations authorized by the United Nations."

Ozawa perhaps meant to say he is opposed to engaging the MSDF in its
current activities because such activities are not confirmed by the
UN Security Council in its resolution.

His standpoint seems strange to us.

The MSDF has been operating there as a part of the multinational
forces' mop-up operations against terrorists. Their antiterror
operations are based on UNSC Resolution 1368, which was adopted
after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. The
multinational forces' member troops from about 20
countries-including the United States, Britain, France, Canada, and
South Korea-have been operating in Afghanistan. In the Indian Ocean
are 17 naval vessels from eight countries, including Japan, the
United States, Britain, France, Germany, and Pakistan.

TOKYO 00003658 003 OF 009

The Afghan antiterror campaign is not what Ozawa calls "an American
war." It is a joint operation conducted by the international
community against terrorists.

Ozawa indicated that it would be possible for Japan to participate
in the Afghanistan-based International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF) that is based on UNSC Resolution 1386.

However, it would not be a down-to-earth option for Japan to do so.

Washington has sounded out Tokyo time and again on the possibility
of the Ground Self-Defense Force sending heavy-lift helicopters to
the ISAF. The Japanese government has refused to do so because that
is dangerous. The MSDF's current refueling activities are far less
dangerous. The MSDF is highly appreciated by the international
community for its refueling role. The MSDF's refueling activities
can be called personnel contributions that are in the national
interests of Japan.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban-which once ruled Afghanistan-is
regaining strength. The international community's antiterror
movement is now at the moment of truth.

In the meeting, Schieffer also underscored the significance of
Japan's contributions to the international community's antiterror
efforts for the security of Japan and the world. We wonder if Ozawa
might have forgotten that Japan is also a target of international

The DPJ, in its campaign pledge for this July's House of Councillors
election, emphasized its stance of building "rocksolid, equal
Japan-US relations based on mutual trust." The meeting of Ozawa and
Schieffer was opened in its entirety to the media. Ozawa probably
wanted to show his stance of saying to the United States what he
should say in an aim to play up the DPJ's presence.

However, Ozawa said nothing about what Japan should do in line with
its national interests. This is extremely regrettable.

(4) Editorial: Extension of antiterrorism law needs hard

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 9, 2007

A meeting was held yesterday between Democratic Party of Japan
President Ichiro Ozawa and US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer
to discuss the question of expending the Antiterrorism Special
Measure Law, slated to expire on November 1.

Schieffer sought Ozawa's understanding of the extension, saying that
the operation is essential for the security of Japan as well. In
response, Ozawa reiterated his opposition, saying that the operation
in the Indian Ocean, in which the Self-Defense Force is also taking
part, is not authorized by a UN Security Council resolution, adding
that Japan is not allowed to conduct a joint operation with the
United States in an area irrelevant to the peace and security of

The DPJ has consistently opposed the antiterrorism law. There seems
to be every reason for Ozawa to oppose the extension, given the
results of the July House of Councillors election.

TOKYO 00003658 004 OF 009

In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the
United States, the government enacted the antiterrorism law as
time-limited legislation good only for two years. The law has been
the legal basis for the Maritime Self-Defense Force's mission in the
Indian Ocean to supply fuel and water to naval vessels of 11
countries that are engaged in the operation of blocking the
transport of drugs, which provide funds to terrorist organizations,
and weaponry and ammunition, which are used in terrorist attacks.

The government eyes the law's extension for the fourth time. A
time-limited law is an emergency measure to the last. The law in
principle must be abolished when it expires.

An extension requires solid justification, though such has never
been presented in the past.

Diet deliberations have always been dull on this highly
controversial law. In fact, the two chambers effectively discussed
the law's extension for just two days last October.

The people want to know about the other countries' activities in the
Indian Ocean and the amount of drugs and weapons blocked by them.
They also want to know if Japan, whose mission is limited to
refueling foreign vessels, is really contributing to countering
terrorism. All those factors are essential in making a decision on
the law's extension.

The government has not disclosed activities by Japan and other
countries, saying that such must be kept secret from the terrorists.
The government has silenced the opposition parties without
presenting any concrete justification, saying that withdrawal from
the Indian Ocean would harm the Japan-US alliance and drive Japan
into international isolation.

Further, the government has yet to explain the condition for
terminating the MSDF mission.

During Lower House deliberations last year, then Defense Agency
Director-General Fumio Kyuma said: "We find it difficult to call off
(MSDF activities) before an international trend is created for
(withdrawal). Japan cannot withdraw ahead of other countries."

Japan clearly lacks an independent perspective. The war on terrorism
that shows no signs of ending has also fueled public concern that
the MSDF mission, too, might continue forever.

The DPJ must force the government into disclosing MSDF activities by
thoroughly exercising its investigative powers. We also want to see
the DPJ's counterproposal.

Japan cannot overlook the grave situation in Afghanistan.

If the government cannot offer an explanation, it should consider
the option of ending the special measures law for now and letting
the ruling and opposition camps reexamine the overall
counterterrorism measures to obtain public support.

(5) Interview with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki on the
opposition-controlled Upper House

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)

TOKYO 00003658 005 OF 009

August 8, 2007

The House of Councillors election delivered a harsh result, and that
was mainly because of the pension fiasco. Although we have
implemented measures in quick succession, a sense of distrust of the
government was deep seated among the public. On top of that, there
were improprieties by cabinet ministers and socioeconomic changes,
such as the declining birthrate combined with a rapidly aging
population. Also, (the structures) of local areas are changing.
There are two sides to reforms: bright and dark. And we failed to
obtain sufficient support for our measures on the dark side. Our
message was also insufficient. Furthermore, the election campaign
was void of in-depth policy debate.

The Abe cabinet's policies for the last 10 months have not been
widely recognized, and for that I am responsible as the officer in
charge of public affairs. All cabinet ministers -- not just the
prime minister -- now have the same homework. (Looking back at
government responses to improprieties by cabinet ministers), we
should have offered more convincing explanations to the public.

(About Prime Minister Abe staying in office), I gave thought to what
the people, the media, and other LDP members might think. But in the
end, I decided that it is a matter for the prime minister to decide
and that I should follow his decision as chief cabinet secretary.

The age of pork-barrel politics is over. I believe the goal of
structural reform was to help increase the independence of all
people, from large companies, small companies, mom and pop
operations, pensioners, to those on welfare. Social ills require
treatment to improve the foundation. A painkiller does not cure the

The approach led by the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence)
has achieved many things. The environment is a good example. I am
aware (that Prime Minister Abe has been criticized for giving
important posts to his close friends), but I am certain that he will
place the right people in the right places (in shuffling his cabinet
and the LDP executive posts.)

It is essential for the Democratic Party of Japan to debate policies
in a responsible manner. I believe the party will be able to come up
with the right answer to the question of the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law if it discusses it as a policy instead of a law. During
the "financial Diet session" (of 1988), the opposition parties
conducted serious discussions and came up with ideas that were not
so different from ours. If the DPJ conducts thorough discussion as a
responsible party, diversified views in the party can converge into
the one we hold. Engaging in a political battle for the sake of a
political battle would take a heavy toll on the people, and Japan
would be an international loser.

(6) Interview with Yoichi Masuzoe, Upper House LDP Policy Board

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 9, 2007/08/09

Yoichi Masuzoe: Whenever cabinet ministers have committed gaffes,
Masuzoe has not been afraid to criticize the prime minister, even
though he is a senior member of the LDP in the House of Councillors,
saying for example, "If you keep silent, the people will abandon

TOKYO 00003658 006 OF 009

you." After graduating from the University of Tokyo Law Faculty, he
served as an assistant professor at that university and then gained
renown as a political scientist. He ran as a candidate backed by the
LDP for a proportional representation seat in the 2001 Upper House
election for the first time and was elected, garnering the largest
number of votes at 1.58 million among all candidates, He was
reelected in the latest Upper House election, and he assumed the
current post in October of last year. He is 58 years old.

-- You were critical of Prime Minister Abe's decision to stay in
power, weren't you?

The LDP has lapsed into a state of shock (since it suffered a
crushing defeat in the Upper House election). The party has no
energy to pick a new president. Why doesn't a rival appear to
challenge Prime Minister Abe? My criticism reflects my
disappointment at and sorrow over our party's loss of such vigor and
energy. But since the prime minister decided to stay on, it is
meaningless to discuss the propriety of his staying in power. We
must now consider how to reconstruct the party and the cabinet.

-- What task do you think the Abe administration must address

Since the administration was defeated as a result of the public
fiercely reacting to the pension fiasco, it should steadily carry
out its policy decisions. The administration must make efforts to
overcome the public's dissatisfaction. There will be no other way
but for it to do its best in a visible manner.

-- Debate on a revision of the Constitution, a key challenge for the
prime minister, might be downplayed.

There are a pile of tasks that must be urgently tackled, such as
pension and regional discrepancies. It is essential to address
pocketbook issues first. Even so, it is not correct to think that
the seal was put on the challenge of constitutional revision.

-- Do you think the prime minister will be able to regain the
political ground he lost by reorganizing his cabinet?

If he fails to pick proper persons in forming a new cabinet, it will
become hopeless. The second main reason for the party's election
defeat was the presence of immature and unsophisticated cabinet
ministers. The prime minister lacked the ability to control his

-- What type of persons do you think are suitable for ministerial

The prime minister should select the right person for the right job.
There are proper persons for each portfolio without fail. For
instance, no one, including even those who dislike him personally,
should raise objections to an appointment of Mr. Ishiba (as defense

-- Some suggest private citizens should be included in the cabinet
in order to clean up its image.

That won't work. It is more important to strengthen solidarity in
the party, and such buzzwords such as duty and obligations, order,
appeal to the public, or image are unnecessary. Changing his ways,

TOKYO 00003658 007 OF 009

the prime minister must become a tougher leader. He was so gentle
that (he defended cabinet minister who caused trouble), resulting in
bringing about the current situation.

-- In the Upper House, stormy deliberations on submitted bills are

I am not much worried about it. In the latest ordinary Diet session,
the House of Representatives, in which the ruling coalition holds
two-thirds of all the seats, ran wild, so the Upper House had to
clean up the mess. Since the main opposition party (the Democratic
Party of Japan) has control of the Upper House, such reckless acts
will be prevented.

-- What will happen if the opposition camp takes a clearly
confrontational stance?

The Upper House is referred to as the Seat of Common Sense. The
Upper House DPJ is similar to an independent state, like the Upper
House LDP. Although the National Referendum Bill was rammed through
the Lower House, the Upper House passed it without hitch. It is the
best way in the Upper House for the ruling coalition and the DPJ in
cooperation to proceed with deliberations at a safe speed. The
two-chamber system becomes significant.

-- Do you think a two-party system will develop now?

I think that is a good possibility. Although the LDP cannot hand
over the reins of government, we can learn lessons from the current
experience, when considering the future of Japanese politics from a
wider standpoint. The DPJ should not be arrogant over their victory
in the election. Modestly listening to the people, the party should
take measures that meet the public's expectations. Shinshinto (the
New Frontier Party) was unsuccessful because it was unable to meet
public expectations.

-- DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa is trying to force the administration
to dissolve the House of Representatives.

Even if he tries to bring about a general election by creating
turmoil in the political situation, the people will not be
convinced. In such a case, the DPJ will lose the Lower House
election. Even if the DPJ submits and adopts a censure resolution
against cabinet ministers, their resignation will be unnecessary
unless the people approve it. If the opposition camp misreads the
right timing for submitting it, that's the end of the party. The
party should not resort to such a drastic measure. President Ozawa
must be aware of it.

(7) Tendency among young people in Japan to take to nationalism

NIKKEI (Page 18) (Full)
Eve., August 8, 2007

Recently, the number of young people who are taking to nationalism
has been on the rise. The Nikkei interviewed Masachi Osawa, a
sociologist and professor at Kyoto University about this phenomenon
that is growing among youth.

Interviewer: Masashi Miyagawa

A Japanese animation television series, "Code Geass -- Lelouch of

TOKYO 00003658 008 OF 009

the Rebellion" ( Geass ) has now
caught on in a big way with "otaku" (computer geeks) youngsters. A
huge number of responses are posted on the Internet after it was
broadcast in a late-night slot for television. This series is seen
as a big hit since another animation television series, "Neon
Genesis Evangelion" ( Geass).
Nationalism, I think, is the main theme of that animation.

The plot is like this:

The superpower, the Holy Empire of Britannia has conquered Japan
and renamed it "Area 11" as a colony. The superpower sneered at
Japanese people, calling them "elevens." To win independence, a
youngster called Lelouch, who led the "Black Knights, has risen in
revolt against the superpower. The fight between the "Empire of
Britannia" and the "Black Knights" sounds like the conflict between
the United States and Al-Qaeda.

Strong sentiments, such as getting wildly excited at Japan's
national soccer team, can be found among young people. Aggressive
verbal attacks by young people against leftists are flying around
the Internet blogs. Such action is different from that of
conventional nationalists.

Sometime in the past, psychologist Rika Kayama descibed the behavior
of young people who sang the Japanese national anthem "Kimigayo"
(His Majesty's Reign) in a carefree fashion in the FIFA World Cup
qualifiers as "petit nationalism." Now, Osawa characterizes
present-day nationalistic young people as being in "paradoxical
self-absorption." Why are young people taking to nationalism, in
spite of their lacking any traditional Japanese roots? The reasons
appear linked to what they call the unlucky situation they are
placed in.

According to one opinion survey, young people are not necessarily
proud of Japan or of being Japanese. And they do not necessarily
have confidence in Japan, either. This sense of "unluckiness" is
widely shared among young people. This sense is perhaps strongly
felt by "freeters" or job-hopping part-timers. A lack of income is
one reason, but there is a more serious reason: They cannot sense
they are needed by society or even recognized in society. Even
full-time workers working after hours are unable to think that their
jobs lead to universal values, for instance, such as the ones seen
in the NHK TV program "Project X," a program spotlighting superior

Those who have this kind of unluckiness sense something deceptive
about ethically plausible slogans like "Let observe school rules."
They therefore bash liberals or leftists who are protective of
postwar democracy.

Osawa takes note of an essay written by a 31-year-old freeter,
Tomohiro Akagi, titled 'I want to beat 'Masao Maruyama' (liberal
political scientist), carried by the 2007 January issue of the
monthly magazine Ronza. In the essay, Akagi claimed that all the
have-nots can do is to get out of their difficulties by causing the
society to grow more fluid.

Destructive impulses, as evidenced by the criminal acts of the Aum
cult, may sweep away the sense of unluckiness. The same goes for
joining a commune that openly rejects universal social values.
Reality is more acutely felt from acts directly associated with

TOKYO 00003658 009 OF 009

human relations than plausible terms like human rights and peace. If
so, ideas are necessary to make young people keenly realize through
direct relations with others that they are living as part of the
society, instead of having them chant such words as love for
humanity, in order to contain this sort of rising nationalism among
young people.

Masahi Osawa: Born in Nagano Prefecture in 1958; graduated from
University of Tokyo; is a sociologist and the author of such books
as Seiai to Shihonshugi (Eros and Capitalism), Denshi Media Ron (A
Study of Electronic Media); and the most recently published book
Nashonarizumu no Yurai (Origin of Nationalism) published by


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