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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/15/07

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 150223Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6471
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
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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 4988
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2565
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6177
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1592
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3327
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8384
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4448
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5417

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 003749

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 08/15/07


Index:
1) Top headlines

2) Editorials

3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

4) Foreign Minister Aso, Israeli counterpart agree to support
Palestinian leader Abbas

5) Prime Minister Abe looking forward to meeting the late Justice
Pal's family in India

6) Japan developing rare metals in South Africa as part of its
strengthened resource diplomacy

7) Prime Minister Abe remains ambiguous about Yasukuni Shrine visit
issue

8) Former Prime Minister Koizumi to visit Yasukuni Shrine today

9) Defense Minister Koike, Vice Defense Minister Moriya meet but
issue of his replacement not resolved

10) Truce called for time being in Koike-Moriya feud

11) Preparations start to move the Army's I-Corps command to Camp
Zama

12) Abe thinking of appointing Komura and Hori into his new cabinet

13) Abe has changed style with TV cameras: no longer faces audience
but turns toward reporter

14) Justice Minister Hagese's political funding sources a tangle
with 41 separate support groups working for him

15) (Corrected copy) Commotion over position of vice defense
minister; Chief cabinet secretary says next minister to decide;
Defense Minister Koike threatens to resign

Articles:
1) TOP HEADLINES
Asahi:
46 million Matsushita-made cellphone batteries recalled; Nokia:
cellphones could overheat

Mainichi:
Sapporo firm shipped confectionery containing staphylococcus;
"Shiroi Koibito" confectionery expiration date altered

Yomiuri:
Matsushita batteries: 46 million cellphones recalled; Batteries made
for Nokia may overheat, expand when charging

Nikkei:
Pension Fund Association to invest in real estate development; Hopes
for high rental income though partnership with big companies

Sankei:
One month after Niigata Chuetsu Offshore Earthquake: Lacking homes
to return to, anxiety grows

TOKYO 00003749 002 OF 009

Tokyo Shimbun:
46 million Matsushita-made cellphone batteries recalled; Fear of
overheating

2) EDITORIALS
Asahi:
History of the war: Have you ever seen as many as 1,000 flies?

Mainichi:
Anniversary of end of World War II: Living security necessary

Yomiuri:
Mark August 15 in calm circumstances

Nikkei:
(1) Japan should be a friend of Asia without forgetting history of
the war
(2) Internal trouble in the Defense Ministry

Sankei:
August 15: Think about the weigh of requiem history

Tokyo Shimbun:
Anniversary of end of the war: Message from the extreme situation

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 14

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 15, 2007

Spent the morning at his official residence.
12:37:
Arrived at the Kantei.
14:00:
Met Cabinet Special Advisor Kurokawa. Followed by Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary Matoba. Later met UN Ambassador Takasu.
15:27:
Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Suga.
16:07:
Met State Minister in Charge of Economic and Fiscal Policy Ota.
Followed by Matoba.
17:28:
Returned to his official residence.

4) Japanese, Israeli foreign ministers agree on support of Chairman
Abbas of Palestinian Authority

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 15, 2007

Makiko Tagami, Jerusalem

Foreign Minister Taro Aso, currently visiting Israel, met his
Israeli counterpart Tzipi Livni on the afternoon of Aug. 14, local
time. The two foreign ministers agreed to continue to support
Chairman Abbas of the Palestinian Authority government, who has
adopted a peace-oriented policy. Aso asked that Israel make more
efforts to build up confidence with the Palestinian Authority by
taking such measures as further reducing the number of checkpoints

TOKYO 00003749 003 OF 009


in the west bank of the Jordan and removing its unauthorized colony
base.

Aso spelled out Japan's plan of providing the Palestinian Authority
government with 20 million dollars or approximately 2.4 billion yen
in economic aid, saying: "Japan would like to positively help Israel
and the Palestinian Authority to work together for mutual harmony
and benefit."

Livni expressed strong apprehension about Iran's nuclear development
program, remarking: "The international community has no time left."

Aso replied: "It is necessary for the international community to
take a resolute attitude and to continue to call on Iran to
cooperate with the international community. Japan has also continued
to talk with Iran."

Later, Aso met Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense
Minister Ehud Barak separately.

5) Prime Minister Abe: "I look forward to meeting" with family
member of war tribunal judge Pal

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 15, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reveled yesterday that when he visits
India, he will meet a descendant of the late Radhabinod Pal, who
served as a judge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far
East. He told the press corps at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence: "Judge Pal is associated with Japan. I look forward to
hearing the story about the father (Pal)."

Pal was the only person who argued that all Japanese, who were
charged with Class-A war criminals, including wartime prime minister
Hideki Tojo, should be found not guilty. When asked by reporters
that the planned meeting might provoke Asian countries, Abe
responded: "I don't think such will happen."

6) Resource diplomacy to be strengthened: Government to shortly
reach agreement with South Africa on development of rare metals

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
August 15, 2007

The government yesterday decided to strengthen its resource
diplomacy starting with developing rare metals, materials that are
in dispensable for home electronics. It will likely reach an
agreement with South Africa shortly on the joint development of rare
metals and technical cooperation. The government will also sound out
Latin American countries for cooperation in a bid to secure crude
oil.

Demands for rare metals and crude oil are increasing throughout the
world due to the economic expansion in Japan, the US and European
countries and economic growth in newly emerging countries. Their
prices are also surging. As such, the government has judged that it
would be necessary to strengthen relations with resource-rich
countries in Africa, South America and Central Asia.

China is trying to secure resources, such as crude oil, through
top-level diplomacy with African nations. Japan intends to counter

TOKYO 00003749 004 OF 009


China by offering technology and building industrial infrastructure
in resource-rich countries.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and leading
trading houses will dispatch a delegation to South Africa as early
as September. The two countries are expected to reach an agreement
to conduct a joint exploration of rare metals and launch efforts to
put the development of such metals into shape. South Africa produces
80 percent of platinum produced in the world. Platinum is used for
auto parts. The production of chrome and vanadium by that nation
accounts for 40 percent of the amount produced globally. The
delegation will consider visiting Madagascar as well, which has
nickel and cobalt reserves.

China, which is ahead of Japan regarding resource diplomacy, is also
a precious metal producing country. It has exported precious metals
to Japan as well. However, its domestic use of the materials has
increased due to expanded industrial production. It is recently
constraining exports of rare metals. Japan's industrial circles are
increasingly feeling alarmed about the situation.

7) Today is 62nd anniversary of end of war

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
August 15, 2007

August 15 is the 62nd anniversary of the end of the war. In addition
to a ceremony held by the Japanese government at the Budokan in
Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, in order to commemorate the country's war dead,
local governments, relatives of the deceased, and civilian groups in
every area are planning to have commemorative services or
gatherings. Meanwhile all sixteen members of Prime Minister Abe's
cabinet seem ready to forgo visits to Yasukuni Shrine -the first
such time since 1955, when many cabinet members began to visit the
shrine, that no cabinet members will pay a visit to the shrine on
the anniversary of the end of the war.

Yesterday, when asked whether or not he would visit Yasukuni on
August 15, Prime Minister Abe maintained his secrecy, repeating that
he would not reveal his plans. The prime minister responded to a
question at his official residence (Kantei).

The Emperor and the Empress, Prime Minister Abe, and about 7200
relatives of the deceased are scheduled to attend the ceremony
commemorating the country's war dead. They will be praying for the
souls of the approximately 3,100,000 people (about 2,300,000
soldiers and civilian personnel and about 800,000 civilians) who
died during the war. After a speech by Prime Minister Abe, everyone
will observe a minute of silence at noon. After the Emperor says a
few words, the presidents of both the Upper and Lower House and
representatives from the families of the war dead will give
commemorative speeches, following which representatives from the
attendees will offer flowers at the ceremonial platform.

8) Former Prime Minister Koizumi to visit Yasukuni Shrine today

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
August 15, 2007

It was learned yesterday that former Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi will visit Yasukuni Shrine on Aug. 15, the day marking the
end of World War II. He will be visiting the shrine this day for the

TOKYO 00003749 005 OF 009


second consecutive year. He is presumably aiming at making an appeal
that his stance remains solid even after stepping down as prime
minister. Since nearly a year has passed since he resigned as prime
minister, his visit to the shrine is expected to have only a minimal
impact on neighboring countries, such as China.

9) Defense ministry personnel appointment issue: Defense Minister
Koike says, "My thinking is unchanged," following meeting with Vice
Minister Moriya, which ended without agreement

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2007

The uproar in the Defense Ministry over the appointment of an
administrative vice minister continued unabated on Aug. 14, and it
seems likely that it will be a long drawn-out affair. Minister
Yuriko Koike yesterday met for approximately 20 minutes with Vice
Minister Takemasa Moriya in the ministry to propose once again that
Chief of the Secretariat Tetsuya Nishikawa, who hails from the
National Police Agency, be promoted to vice minister. She pressed
for Moriya to resign, saying, "My thinking is unchanged." Moriya
argued that she did not follow proper procedures and refused to
agree. The meeting ended without agreement.

Koike had set up the meeting after Prime Minister Abe on Aug. 13
froze the appointment of a vice minister until after he shuffles his
cabinet. The meeting was another clash reflecting the stubbornness
and face-consciousness of the two, with Koike using her appointment
authority to try to grasp real authority in the ministry, and
Moriya, displaying his political power that transcends the cabinet.

10) Defense Minister Koike, Vice Defense Minister Moriya lay down
arms for awhile over personnel rotations

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 15, 2007

Prime Minister Yuriko Koike met yesterday at her ministry with
Administrative Vice Minister Takemasa Moriya, relations with whom
have been strained since she told him to step down from his post.
Regarding Moriya's retirement and the appointment of his
replacement, which have been frozen at Chief Cabinet Secretary
Yasuhisa Shiozaki's decision, Koike told Moriya: "The new defense
minister will appoint the next vice minister after the cabinet is
reshuffled." They agreed to postpone settlement until after the
cabinet reshuffle slated for Aug. 27.

In the about 20-minute meeting, Koike first told Moriya; "Let us not
to cause trouble to Mr. Abe." Moriya responded: "I agree with you."
Koike got briefed on the dismantlement of the Defense Facilities
Administration Agency, the organizational plan of a Defense
Examination Headquarters, which will be created when the ministry is
reorganized in September.

Completely changed from the day before yesterday when sparks flew
between them when they separately visited the Prime Minister's
Official Residence. This time, they reportedly carried out the
meeting in a calm manner.

Koike told reporters after the meeting: "We work for the defense of
Japan, but we are not defending ourselves."


TOKYO 00003749 006 OF 009


11) DFAB to set up team to prepare for moving US Army 1st Corps
command to Camp Zama

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
August 15, 2007

The United States and Japan have agreed to transfer the US Army 1st
Corps command to US Army base Camp Zama in Sagamihara, Kanagawa
Prefecture, as part of the planned realignment of the US forces in
Japan. Officials of the Yokohama Defense Facilities Administration
Bureau (DFAB) visited the Zama municipal government yesterday and
revealed a plan to establish a team in Camp Zama around August 20 to
advance preparations for the transfer plan.

According to the bureau, the US military will dispatch 15 members
each from the Headquarters of the US Forces in Japan and the US Army
Command in the US to engage in investigative activities in
preparation for drawing up staff-assignment and other plans for the
new headquarters. A decision has been made to complete the transfer
plan by September 2008, but nothing had been unveiled about
practical moves to promote the transfer.

12) Prime minister considering appointing Komura, Hori to his
cabinet

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 15, 2007

Prime Minister Abe is considering the possibility of appointing
former Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura, 65, chairman of the Komura
faction of the Liberal Democratic Party, and former Education
Minister Kosuke Hori, 72, to serve in his cabinet when he shuffles
it on Aug. 27. Abe has expressed his determination to make a fresh
start by reorganizing his cabinet. He apparently plans to appoint
influential LDP members with cabinet experience and policy expertise
to solidify unity in the government and the ruling camp in an effort
to rebuild his administration.

Komura, who has been elected to the House of Representatives nine
times, has so far held such cabinet posts as foreign minister and
justice minister. Some observers speculate that the prime minister
might be thinking of giving the environment portfolio to him,
thinking of Japan hosting the 2008 Lake Toya Summit, in which a
post-Kyoto framework to contain global warming will take center
stage.

Komura chairs the Japanese Association of Dietmembers League for
Japan-China Friendship. Focusing on the next Olympic Games in
Beijing in August of next year, there are calls for him to become
foreign minister in order to strengthen ties with China.

Hori, who has been elected 10 times to the Lower House, engaged in
drawing up a bill amending the Fundamental Law of Education as
chairman of a study group in the ruling camp. Keeping this
experience in mind, some recommend that Hori should be awarded with
the post of education, culture, sports, science and technology
minister to steer education reform.

Hori was one of the so-called postal rebels who left the LDP because
of his opposition to the postal-privatization bill, but he returned
to the party last December. Some surmise that the prime minister
might be aiming to play up a policy of intraparty reconciliation by

TOKYO 00003749 007 OF 009


appointing a postal rebel to his new cabinet.

13) Prime Minister Abe changes attitude in responding to questions
by reporters

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 15, 2007

There has been a change in Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's usual stance
of turning his eyes on the TV camera at press briefings everyday. He
has now changed from just gazing at the camera to turning his eyes
to look at the reporters. He used to try to talk directly to the
public by staring into the camera while answering questions by the
reporters. However, the press were unhappy with this stance. He
appears to have reflected on the situation since his party suffered
a humiliating defeat in the July House of Councillors election.

Abe meets the press once every day before the TV cameras. He has
been gazing the camera while answering questions, not turning his
eyes on reporters since mid-April, noting that he was responding to
the public rather than to questions from reporters.

However, Mickey Yasukawa, a media personality, told Abe on a radio
program, on which Abe was a guest before the Upper House election:
"It is not good that you speak while gazing at one point like a
dragonfly." Producer Terry Ito also advised him to change his
attitude, saying, "Speaking always in the same tone is not
appealing."

Therefore, Abe now looks at reporters when he answers questions. He
has refrained from provoking reporters when they question him, as
well. Abe's aide said: "He is explaining in a polite way." Asked by
reporters about the change in his attitude, Abe responded with a
forced smile: "I don't see any particular change."

14) Justice Minister Nagase has as many as 41 political
organizations that mutually make donations in a complicated manner

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 15, 2007

It was learned that the fund management organizations of four
cabinet ministers are in a dormant state. Of the four, Justice
Minister Jinen Nagase (Lower House Toyama Constituency No. 1) has at
least 41 political organizations, including Chosei-kai, a fund
management organization. Following the major setback in the Upper
House election, discussions to amend (the Political Funds Control
Law) to mandate all political organizations to attach receipts for
expenditures over 1 yen are going on in the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP). However, many members are opposing the idea citing an
increase in administrative work as the reason. There appears to be a
situation in which politicians who have more than one political
organization are making administrative work complicated.

As far as the election committee has confirmed, Nagase has 41
political organizations (as reported to the Toyama Prefectural
Election Committee of the Internal Affairs Ministry), the largest
amount among the four in question.

According to Nagase's political fund payment report for 2005, 11
political organizations related to him have offices in the same
building in Toyama City. Another six organizations also have offices

TOKYO 00003749 008 OF 009


in the same office building in Uozu City, Toyama Prefecture.
Nagase's local secretaries are serving as accountants and
administrative clerks at most of these political organizations.
However, some of these organizations such as "Koron Circler" or
"Monday Club" bear names which make it impossible to tell whether or
not they are Nagase's political organizations. Chosei-kai, Nagase's
fund management organization, has an office in a building in Chiyoda
Ward, Tokyo, along with two other political organizations related to
him.

Those organizations make donations to each other in a complicated
manner. There have been cases of two organizations with the same
address having made donations to each other. Of 8 million yen
reported by Chosei-kai as expenses for political activities, 7
million yen was found to have been used as a donation to the "New
Age Policy Research Center", which has an office in the same
location as Chosei-kai.

Regarding the fact that Nagase has many political organizations and
that there is a complicated flow of funds, an official of his office
noted, "All organizations are independent. We understand that
political organizations that pursue political activities make
donations in compliance with law."

15) (Corrected copy) Commotion over position of vice defense
minister; Chief cabinet secretary says next minister to decide;
Defense Minister Koike threatens to resign

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2007

Yesterday, the Japanese government decided to wait on a decision
about the post of vice defense minister until after the
reorganization of the cabinet on August 27. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Shiozaki met with Defense Minister Koike and informed her of the
government's decision saying: "The person who is selected as the
defense minister in the new cabinet lineup will decide on the next
vice defense minister." Koike is strongly protesting this
pronouncement. She told Shiozaki that she will take it as her
responsibility to get Tetsuya Nishikawa (60), director-general of
the defense minister's secretariat, appointed. She also suggested
that she will consider resigning as defense minister.

Koike had decided to retire Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya
(62) in September and replace him with Nishikawa, who formerly
worked at the National Police Agency. Moriya, who holds the real
power in the defense ministry, has been in his post for an unusually
long period of over four years. Koike has said: "I must think of the
rejuvenation of the organization."

However, Koike did not consult Moriya about her plans regarding the
post of vice defense minister, nor were preparations made for a
cabinet meeting to discuss new personnel. These cabinet meetings are
usually held when deciding on new top officials for each ministry,
and they are a place where chief and deputy secretaries can take a
look at candidates before the final decision is made.

According to a government source, four chief and deputy cabinet
secretaries, including Shiozaki, met unofficially regarding this

SIPDIS
issue on August 7, while Koike was visiting the US. They agreed
first that they would not accept personnel decisions that had not
gone under review in an official cabinet meeting, and second that

TOKYO 00003749 009 OF 009


the person who will be defense minister after the cabinet
reorganization will decide on the post. Last night, Prime Minister
Abe told reporters that "the personnel issue has not yet been
decided. The Chief Cabinet Secretary will hold a cabinet meeting to
discuss personnel matters." It appears that for the time being, he
is taking a wait-and-see attitude towards the situation.

Meanwhile, Moriya, who heard about his retirement in a shocking
manner, is making moves behind the scenes, reaching out to those in
the office of the prime minister in attempts to affect the choice of
his successor. Moriya has in mind Shinshiro Yamazaki (60), head of
the defense facilities administration bureau who previously belonged
to the former Defense Agency.

Defense strategies in recent years have grown complicated as the
Japan-US alliance has grown stronger. Moriya wants to leave matters
in the hands of someone who has experience with defense policy
rather than someone from a different agency or ministry. As for
Moriya's post-retirement plans, he rejected Koike's offer that he
become "Defense Ministry special advisor" in charge of Okinawan
affairs.

This is not the first time that there has been a battle over the
post of vice minister. In January 2002, then Foreign Minister Makiko
Tanaka asserted that she wanted to replace then Vice Foreign
Minister Yoshiji Nogami. Then Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ended
up sacking both Tanaka and Nogami.

MESERVE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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