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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/15/07

DE RUEHKO #3769/01 2270829
P 150829Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) State Minister in Charge of Okinawa Takaichi, Former Prime
Minister Koizumi make visits to Yasukuni Shrine

(2) Anniversary of the end of the war: Lower House Chairman Kono
seems to make critical statements about Abe in commemorative
ceremony speech

(3) Studies of DPJ: Ozawa's influence seen in policy decision-making
process; DPJ focuses on linking up with other opposition parties

(4) Interview with DPJ Deputy President Naoto Kan: We will win in
policy-making and in politics

(5) Defense Ministry, NPA at odds over appointment of new vice
defense minister

(6) Peace for Japanese-Americans: Comfort women resolution shakes
their self-identity

(7) Japan's effort to provide aid to Africa bogs down (part 1):
European countries, the US increase aid; China increasing presence
through resource diplomacy


(1) State Minister in Charge of Okinawa Takaichi, Former Prime
Minister Koizumi make visits to Yasukuni Shrine

August 15, 2007 13:48 pm

Since this morning, Diet members have flocked to Yasukuni Shrine,
making visits alone and in groups. Prime Minister Abe has maintained
his ambiguous stance about visiting Yasukuni Shrine, refusing to say
explicitly what he has decided. However, State Minister in Charge of
Okinawa Takaichi paid a visit to the shrine at around 1:30 pm this
afternoon. However, it seems that the other cabinet members will
forgo visits to the shrine, meaning that the number of cabinet
members who visited the shrine will be the fewest since 1985, when
the official visits of then Prime Minister Nakasone's cabinet
created a controversy. Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Koizumi paid
a visit to Yasukuni Shrine at around 8:20 this morning.

Each year since 1985, anywhere from a handful to over a dozen
cabinet members have visited Yasukuni Shrine on August 15, the
anniversary of the end of the war, but this year, all cabinet
members had stated that they had no particular plans to visit the
shrine, indirectly hinting that they would forgo a visit. At a press
conference on August 10, Takaichi stated: "I have no fixation (on
making a visit) on the 15th. Going on that day may be a little
difficult." Even at a press conference this morning, she said: "It
is not a situation where I can quietly pray at the shrine." Yet
according to those around her, right after making this statement,
Takaichi "saw no security problems" and added a visit to Yasukuni
into her afternoon schedule.

Koizumi arrived at Yasukuni by car and paid a visit to the shrine in
a morning coat. According to a shrine official, he wrote down his
personal name "Junichiro Koizumi" without using his title and paid
for a floral tribute with his personal funds. Regarding the amount

TOKYO 00003769 002 OF 008

he paid for the floral tribute and the way in which he prayed at the
shrine, the shrine official refused to comment saying: "We do not
discuss the shrine visits of individuals."

This is the second year in a row that Koizumi has chosen to visit
the shrine on the anniversary of the end of the war. After visiting
the shrine, Koizumi didn't take any questions from the press and
left the shrine without saying a word.

Makoto Koga, former Liberal Democratic Party Secretary-General and
head of Nihon Izokukai (an association for bereaved families of that
nation's war dead), also made a visit to Yasukuni Shrine this
morning, but he did not go all the way inside. In a statement to the
press, Koga said: "I visit the shrine every year on August 15. I
paid memorial tribute to the spirits of all the war dead, not just
my father (who died fighting in the war)."

(2) Anniversary of the end of the war: Lower House Chairman Kono
seems to make critical statements about Abe in commemorative
ceremony speech

August 15, 2007 12:51 pm

In a speech today at a ceremony to commemorate the nation's war
dead, Lower House Chairman Yohei Kono offered his opinion that "thus
far, (the people of Japan) have chosen the new regime, as symbolized
by our Constitution, which contains a self-imposed restriction on
the use of force abroad." In this statement, Kono appears to have
Prime Minister Abe's mantra of "breaking with the postwar regime" in
mind, and his words could be taken as a criticism of the prime
minister - an unusual occurrence at a commemorative event.

Chairman Kono went on to say: "Keeping in our hearts the principles
of the Constitution, which announces that we have given up war as a
means of solving international conflict, we look towards realizing a
world without war, a world without nuclear weapons, a world that
operates not through revenge and intimidation, but rather through
international cooperation." This statement emphasizes his support
for the current Constitution.

Kono also touched on the comfort women issue, saying: "I offer my
deepest apologies to those who suffered human-rights abuses, to
those who suffered deep emotional wounds and continue to suffer to
this day because of the inhumane actions of a part of the Japanese
military." In 1993, Kono, who was then chief cabinet secretary,
released a statement acknowledging the involvement of the Imperial
Japanese Army and offered an apology. However, there are some
lawmakers now calling for a review of the Kono Statement, citing a
lack of evidence that the military coerced women into becoming
sexual slaves. Kono's words today may be a way of trying to contain
such moves.

(3) Studies of DPJ: Ozawa's influence seen in policy decision-making
process; DPJ focuses on linking up with other opposition parties

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

With his party's victory in the July House of Councillors election,
Minshuto (DPJ or Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa's
political presence has strengthened even more in the party. Ozawa

TOKYO 00003769 003 OF 008

said ahead of the election that he would retire from politics if the
opposition failed to trade places with the ruling camp in the upper
chamber. He now aims at totally grabbing the reins of government. He
will be certain to place emphasis on "political maneuvering" and
"joint efforts by opposition parties." Junior and mid-level
lawmakers in the party, however, are concerned that the party will
lose its style of policy-making through wide-ranging discussions.
How far will Ozawa be able to extend his influence over the DPJ?

In the extraordinary Diet session, which ended on Aug. 10, the Upper
House was supposed to wrap up its session with such minimum
parliamentary proceedings as deciding on the seating arrangements
and electing its president. However there was an unexpected event
when the DPJ, Social Democratic Party (SDP), and People's New Party
jointly submitted to the chamber a bill freezing by one year the
postal-privatization program. Behind this lay Ozawa's strategy
toward the Upper House.

The DPJ aims to form a joint parliamentary group. The party is 10
seats short of a majority in the Upper House. It will first need to
win cooperation from the People's New Party, which has similar
policies to it, in order to ensure the passage of bills the party
will submit in the future.

On Aug. 7, Ozawa directed Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama and other
officials to submit the bill. Kensei Hasegawa of the People's New
Party briefed the bill to a DPJ meeting that started at 9:00 a.m. on
Aug. 8. The party decided in a meeting of the "Next Cabinet" at 3:00
p.m. to entrust Policy Research Council Chairman Takeaki Matsumoto
with the matter. The internal procedure on the bill, which was
unexpected, was completed in just half a day.

In the DPJ, most policies used to be approved by the "Next Cabinet,"
in which Ozawa serves as "prime minister," after going through
discussions at 13 "division panels," corresponding to such standing
Diet committees as finance and internal affairs committees.

At last year's extra Diet session, the conservative group won
"approval" in a meeting of the foreign and defense section of a bill
upgrading the Defense Agency to the status of a ministry, views on
which were divided in the party. As a result, the group was able to
win the approval of Ozawa, who had opposed the bill.

Ozawa has let Upper House Chairman Azuma Koshiishi join meetings of
his triumvirate that includes Hatoyama and Deputy President Naoto
Kan, as well. This is because close cooperation will be
indispensable more than ever. The DPJ intends to submit about 10
bills in the fall to the extra Diet session.

"Are you speaking it on behalf of the president?" Koshiishi warned
in a meeting on Aug. 2 against Kan, who was going around
broadcasting the strategy of submitting bills first to the Upper

There are many lawmakers, who came from labor unions, in the Upper
House. Conservative lawmakers are alert to the possibility that the
party won't be able to ignore views of Rengo (Japan Trade Unions
Confederation), which made a significant contribution to the party
in the Upper House race.

It remains to be seen how the three elements --"Ozawa's directions,"
the "Upper House's individuality," and "labor unions" -- will be

TOKYO 00003769 004 OF 008


(4) Interview with DPJ Deputy President Naoto Kan: We will win in
policy-making and in politics

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

-- During the "financial Diet session" held in 1998 (TN: the
"financial Diet session" commonly refers to the 79-day extra Diet
session held to deal with the a banking crisis and to split the
Finance Ministry, separating its fiscal and financial into separate
government agencies), when you were president (of the Democratic
Party of Japan), the opposition parties successfully convinced the
ruling party, which at the time had lost its majority in the Upper
House, to accept all their demands.

"The government proposed a "bridge bank" bill, under which a public
banking entity would take over operations, such as money lending,
from a private banking institution that went bankrupt. However, even
those in charge of practical affairs in the Liberal Democratic Party
recognized that the proposal of the opposition parties to
temporarily nationalize banks that had collapsed was better
developed (than the LDP's proposal).

It was difficult to get then Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi to
cooperate, as he said: 'When a government proposal is scrapped,
people question the leadership of the administration.' He finally
agreed when we clearly stated: 'Even if you support our (the
opposition's) proposal, we will not make a political issue out of

-- However, "not making a political issue" (out of the financial
proposals) caused a crack to open in the coalition of the opposition

"While the LDP was negotiating with the opposition parties (over
these proposals), it was also starting to make moves beneath the
surface to form a coalition with the New Komeito. We were defeated
by the LDP's vicious method of convincing a chunk of the opposition
to join its side and were thus unable to topple the administration.
This time, we must win in the arenas of politics and policy."

-- Is the alliance of the opposition parties solid?

"In the Upper House, the DPJ has obtained the post of president,
chairing positions in committees and also has a stable majority. The
coalition with the Social Democratic Party, the People's New Party
and New Party Nippon is also strong, and we hope to communicate
separately with the Japanese Communist Party. There may be moves by
the LDP to absorb members of the opposition parties, but the
difference in numbers between the ruling and the opposition parties
(in the Upper House) is very large, meaning that the outcome will
not be the same as it was in 1998."

-- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is seeking the cooperation of the
opposition parties in order to extend the Anti-Terrorism Special
Measures Law, which is set to expire on November 1.

"We will not respond to his requests for us to join his side of the
wrestling ring. Our basic objective is to form a government that is
not the current one. We must carefully maintain our oppositional

TOKYO 00003769 005 OF 008

axis. We will not fall for the LDP's political trick of trying to
attract members of the opposition parties and obfuscate the issues.
We won't be tricked by the LDP's political plots."

(5) Defense Ministry, NPA at odds over appointment of new vice
defense minister

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

Defense Minister Yuriko Koike met Administrative Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya at the Defense Ministry yesterday to
discuss her idea of replacing him. But the meeting ended
inconclusively. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who met with Koike on the
13th to discuss the replacement issue, intends to replace Moriya
with the Defense Ministry's Secretariat Director General Tetsuya
Nishikawa, who previously worked for the National Police Agency
(NPA), timed after he reshuffles his cabinet on Aug. 27. Moriya,
though, has been strongly opposed to the appointment of Nishikawa as
his successor, worried about a strengthening of NPA's authority.

In the meeting with Moriya, Koike insisted on appointing Nishikawa
vice minister. Quoting Abe as saying to reporters: "Nothing has been
decided on the appointment of a new vice minister," Moriya urged
Koike to coordinate views with Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa
Shiozaki. But Koike reportedly showed her displeasure, remarking: "I
do not want to meet him on this matter again." Afterward, Koike told
reporters: "We are making efforts to defend Japan, and not to defend

The Defense Ministry and the Self-Defense Force have been criticized
for their loose handling of defense secrets, as represented by the
leaking of classified information on the Aegis system. By bringing
in Nishikawa - a specialist in the information-security area, Koike
reportedly is aiming to reform the ministry's lax nature.

In reaction, Moriya considers that the appointment of Nishikawa as
vice minister could lead to strengthening the NPA's authority in the
ministry. One Defense Ministry source also commented: "The NPA is
eyeing the post of assistant deputy chief for security affairs in
the Defense Ministry's secretariat. Should the NPA get the vice
minister's post, it will have full command of security policy."

The post of administrative vice defense minister had been a reserve
seat for NPA and Finance Ministry officials during the period
between its establishment in 1954 and Seiki Nishihiro's assumption
of the post in 1988. If the ministry has a "vice minister"
Nishikawa, it will be the first time in 16 years for an NPA official
to assume that post, the last person having been Tomoharu Yoda.
Moriya's predecessor, Yasunari Ito, was also a career defense-agency

Moriya wants to see a career defense official to succeed him,
because this will the first personnel appointment since the Defense
Agency was upgraded to ministry status. However, some people doubt
their abilities, with a government source saying: "The series of
information-leak cases exposed defense officials' lack of

Prime Minister Abe told reporters at his official residence last
evening: "We must pick a person who is proper for the office tasked
with taking charge of security policy and protecting the people's

TOKYO 00003769 006 OF 008

lives and property."

Administrative vice ministers over the past two decades and the
government offices they came from

1988 Seiki Nishihiro Defense Agency (Defense Ministry now)
1990 Tomoharu Yoda National Police Agency (NPA)
1991 Akira Hiyoshi Finance Ministry
1993 Shigeru Hatakeyama Finance Ministry
1995 Naoaki Murata Defense Ministry
1997 Masahiro Akiyama Finance Ministry
1998 Seiji Ema Defense Agency
2000 Ken Sato Finance Ministry
2002 Yasunari Ito Defense Agency
2003 Takemasa Moriya Defense Agency

(6) Peace for Japanese-Americans: Comfort women resolution shakes
their self-identity

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)

In 1942 after Japan and the US plunged into war, the family of Mike
Honda (66), a third-generation Japanese-American, was sent to Camp
Amache in Colorado. The camp was surrounded by a vast stretch of
desert. He clearly recalls that landscape, though he was one or two
years old at that time.

Japanese-Americans were confined, though they had done nothing
wrong. Many second-generation Japanese Americans died fighting at
the war front in Europe.

Sixty-five years later, the infant confined to the camp is working
as a Congressman at Capitol Hill in Washington, America's power

The full House on July 30 adopted a resolution seeking a formal
apology from the Japanese government regarding the wartime comfort
women issue. Immediately after the adoption of the resolution, Honda
breathed deeply and shook hands with other Congressmen.

The Rafu Shimpo, a newspaper for Japanese-Americans in Los Angeles,
carried a letter from a reader in July. The letter read: "It is
absurd for a person with a Japanese face and name to adamantly seek
an apology to comfort women from the Japanese government. The US has
not offered an apology for the atomic-bombings. Will Mr. Honda be
satisfied if all the Japanese commit harakiri?"

People in the Japanese society in Los Angeles are dismayed,
wondering why a Japanese-American congressman is seeking an apology
from Japan.

George Nakano, a third-generation Japanese-American, who served as a
Californian State legislator in the same term as Honda did, noted,
"I wonder whether this resolution is based on a humanitarian cause
or for the sake of raising political funds."

Tamon Norimoto (32), who is taking part in the plan to develop a
Japan town in San Jose, which is part of Honda's constituency, is
unable to find an answer. He said, "I think the resolution is
correct. I as an Asian support the resolution, but as a
Japanese-American I am half-distressed."

TOKYO 00003769 007 OF 008

Honda can say Japanese words smoothly -- benjo (lavatory), jichan
(grandfather), chanbara (sword battle), etc.

In the early 20th century, his grandfather and grandmother
immigrated to the US from Kumamoto Prefecture. Since his mother was
educated in Japan, she was unable to speak English. When he was a
child, his mother tongue was Japanese.

His parents were tenant strawberry growers. In order to survive the
postwar US society they sealed themselves off from the world. As a
result, Honda only recalls words he used as a child.

I visited Honda at Capitol Hill several days after the adoption of
the comfort women resolution. He said, "Japan is the home country of
my grandfather and grandmother. I am proud of their culture. This
face is a proof of my honor." I asked him, "Then why did you, who
are a Japanese-American, call for an apology from the Japanese
government over the comfort women issue?"

He replied, "If you ask me such a question, you can put a bag on my
head. Even if I had black skin or brown skin, I would have done the
same thing."

When he was young, Honda put much effort into a campaign demanding
an apology from the US government over the relocation of
Japanese-Americans. President Reagan signed the bill in 1988, 43
years after the end of the war.

He said, "The apology did not bring back the time lost and children
who died. However, I felt we were right. We regained our dignity, if
you like. "

Honda intends to continue calling for an apology while comfort women
are still alive. He said, "We have won an apology from the US. That
is why we must win an apology to comfort women as well." Is he
staging this campaign, even though he is a Japanese-American or he
does so because he is a Japanese-American? Honda repeated, pointing
to his face and chest, "Please do not judge me by what I look

Reporter: Hiroki Manabe

(7) Japan's effort to provide aid to Africa bogs down (part 1):
European countries, the US increase aid; China increasing presence
through resource diplomacy

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 15, 2007

The next G-8 Summit, which will focus on the Tokyo International
Conference on African Development (TICAD) and Africa assistance, is
to take place in Japan next year. European countries and the US,
which take a great interest in eliminating poverty in Africa, have
boosted aid. China is also expanding assistance in an effort to
obtain resources. However, Japan is facing a policy dilemma as its
policy is to reduce aid to developing countries due to the
fiscal-austerity policy. Japan is under pressure to find a
breakthrough in this situation and extend as a global citizen a
helping hand to people suffering from poverty.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, chairman of the Japanese
Association of Dietmembers League for Japan-Africa Friendship,

TOKYO 00003769 008 OF 008

stated at the Symposium Commemorating the Africa Day held in late
May at the United Nations University in Tokyo: "The TICAD is
considering assistance toward a bright direction. Prime Minister
Abe's idea is to create an energetic Africa." He also stressed the
meaning of the TICAD, which held its first meeting in 1993 and drew
the world's attention back to aid to Africa.

However, diplomats from Africa made harsh requests with one saying:
"We need a new TICAD. A mechanism for materializing talks is
sought," and another noting, "The TICAD is not a talk show to speak
about Africa alone."

The African Diplomatic Corps consisting of ambassadors from African
nations pointed out in a letter of request addressed to the Foreign
Ministry (MOFA), "It is questionable what impact the TICAD will have
on the development of Africa and what it will bring to African

Members of the African Diplomatic Corps are irritated, because
contrary to the prime minister's call for creating an energetic
Africa, Japan's aid to Africa is sluggish.

A mid-ranking Foreign Minister official responsible for relations
with Africa lamented, "The end of money is the end of love. Japan's
diplomacy toward Africa is up against a wall."

Japan's aid to Africa has declined for the fourth straight year
since 2004, reflecting a reduction in the official development
assistance (ODA) as a whole. Then it jumped from approximately 650
million dollars in 2004 to 1.14 billion dollars in 2005, following
then Prime Minister Koizumi's announcement in April 2005 on his plan
to double ODA to Africa over three years. However, major portions of
the increase were debt forgiveness and yen loans. Grant aid almost
leveled off.

China's positive advance into Africa is pressing Japan to
reconstruct its policy toward Africa. In recent years, China has
intensively increased ODA to Africa, based on resource diplomacy
aimed at securing oil and rare metals. Forty-four percent of its
foreign aid is for Africa. It is estimated to come to about 50
billion yen in monetary terms.

Africa welcomes China's policy, because it produces results quickly
and is easy to understand. China is steadily increasing its impact,
by making efforts to strengthen relations with African nations
through visits by the president, the premier and the foreign
minister and the invitation of a plenary meeting of the African
Development Bank.

There is a deep-seated concern in MOFA that if China's influence
increases in Africa, Japan would suffer a setback in collecting
votes at international organizations, such as its bid to seek a
permanent seat in the United Nations' Security Council. Director
General for Sub-Saharan African Affairs Shuichiro Megata said, "We
want to work on China to join the international community's effort
to help Africa so that efforts by Japan and China will in the end
lead to the development of Africa."


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