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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/20/07

DE RUEHKO #3820/01 2320151
P 200151Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


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1) Joint survey shows attitudes of Chinese toward Japan have
improved recently

Abe diplomacy:
2) Prime Minister Abe departs for Asia tour of Indonesia, India, and
Malaysia, but his party is on tenterhooks over cabinet shuffle when
he returns
3) Post-Kyoto Protocol will be a main feature of Abe's India visit,
with cooperation focused on energy conservation

4) Former defense chief Ishiba on TV talk show criticizes North
Korea for stalling for time in 6-party talks, doling out concessions
in small doses

5) Japan's ambassador to the US, Ryozo Kato, has been in his post a
record 2,124 days as of Aug. 19

Defense and security affairs:
6) JCS Chairman Gen. Pace in Tokyo stresses importance of MSDF
Indian Ocean contribution, hopes to see anti-terror special measures
law extended
7) GSDF command and control to be speeded up with information
8) DPJ's Hosono sees need to enact a permanent SDF dispatch law
9) Koike-Moriya tiff finally settled with selection of another
candidate, career defense official, Kohei Masuda, as next vice
defense minister
10) Views are mixed in the LDP regarding Koike being reappointed
defense minister, but LDP bigwig Hidenao Nakagawa weighs in on her

Political scene:
11) Prime Minister Abe announces officially he will shuffle his
cabinet on Aug. 27
12) Abe trying to apply "cosmetics" to his "beautiful country" theme
but livelihood issues are dominating his agenda
13) LDP Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa wants more accountability
in Abe's next cabinet: clear cut resolution of "politics and money"
scandal is such appears


1) Japan-China joint poll: More than half see China's sentiment
toward Japan as "improved"

TOKYO (Page 3) (Abridged)
August 18, 2007

BEIJING-Genron NPO, a nonprofit organization made up of political,
business, and opinion leaders, conducted a joint public opinion
survey with Beijing University in Japan and China and released its
results yesterday. In Japan, 66% answered that their impressions of
China were "not good." In China, however, the negative figure about
Japan was 36%, showing an improvement of 20 percentage points. Asked
about changes over the past year as well, more than half of those
polled in China answered that their impressions of Japan have
improved. Japan and China have now resumed communications between
their top leaders. In response, China's public sentiment toward
Japan has changed for the better.

TOKYO 00003820 002 OF 009

The survey was conducted in May. This year's survey was the third
one. Answers were obtained from 1,000 persons in Japan and 1,609
persons in China.

2) Prime Minister Abe leaves for three-nation Asian tour; Attempts
to firm up government through diplomacy, but LDP members interested
in posts in reshuffled cabinet

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2008

Jakarta, Yuji Kihara

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe arrived yesterday afternoon in Jakarta,
the first city of his Asian tour of three countries -- Indonesia,
India, and Malaysia. He intends to rebuild his administration
through his first overseas tour of the three Asian countries since
his Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suffered a devastating defeat in
the July House of Councillors election. However, many LDP lawmakers
are interested in the reshuffling of the cabinet and party executive
posts, which Abe is expected to carry out after he returns. It will
be difficult for the prime minister to regain his hold over the
party just through diplomatic achievements. He is therefore probably
considering the selections of new cabinet and LDP executive

Prior to his departure on the morning of Aug. 19, Abe expressed his
determination ahead of a visit to India to reporters in front of his
official residence, saying: "Relations between Japan and India are
bilateral relations that have the most hidden potential."

Abe's surprise visits to China and South Korea last October improved
relations with the two countries that had been strained under the
administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. In the Group of
Eight Summit in Heiligendamm, Germany, in June, Abe took the lead in
discussions on global warming. Since he has confidence in his
diplomatic achievements so far, he plans to address during his
oversees trip this time his stance of placing importance on
relations with Asian countries, as well as on environmental

In India, where will arrive on Aug. 21, Abe is expected to release a
joint statement on measures to prevent global warning along with his
Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh. With an eye on the 2009 G-8
Summit in Japan, in which global warming will be a major topic of
discussion, he apparently will play up his enthusiasm to stay in

After returning home, Abe will have a tightly packed schedule,
including a visit to Japan by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and
participation in the summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
Forum (APEC) to be held in Sydney, as well as in the UN General

His trips to the three Asian countries had been decided ahead of the
July Upper House election. It is difficult for Abe to produce
achievements on the domestic political front for the time being,
since his ruling coalition has handed its control in the upper
chamber to the largest opposition party, Minshuto (Democratic Party
of Japan). A senior ruling camp member made a cool comment:
"Diplomacy is the only arena in which Abe can display his presence."

TOKYO 00003820 003 OF 009

Contrary to Abe's enthusiasm, many in the LDP are interested only in
the upcoming reshuffling of the cabinet and the LDP executive posts.
Since mid-August, junior and mid-level lawmakers have called on Abe.
The dominant view is that position-hunting moves have already
started. Senior members of the LDP factions will hold meetings to
exchange views on the reshuffle.

3) Japan-India joint statement to specify India's cooperation in
creating post-Kyoto framework, energy conservation Singh

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
August 19, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh
are scheduled to issue a joint statement on environmental protection
and energy on August 22. The statement will specify Japan's proposal
for halving greenhouse gases by 2050 and an international effort for
creating a new framework to prevent global warming in cooperation
with the United States, China, and India. The statement will also
mention greater cooperation in energy conservation and the
stockpiling of oil.

India is a major greenhouse gas emitter along with the United States
and China. Japan eyes India's assurance to actively combat global
warming with the aim of facilitating discussion at next year's G8
Summit at Lake Toya, which is expected to focus on an effort for a
post-Kyoto framework.

Abe and Singh are scheduled to release the joint statement following
their summit talks on August 22. The statement will focus on greater
cooperation in two areas: the prevention of global warming and
energy. In preventing global warming, the statement will specify
India's commitment to an effort for creating a new framework that
will replace the Kyoto Protocol, scheduled to expire 2012.

India and China fear that their participation in an international
effort to create a new framework would block their economic growth.
In issuing the planned joint statement, Japan and India reached an
agreement on a new framework allowing both industrial nations and
developing countries to bear responsibilities according to their
respective abilities.

The two counties are also expected to reach an accord on Japan's
proposal to accelerate the effort to create a fundraising mechanism
to assist the developing countries addressing global warming.

4) Ishiba: North Korea stalling for time, doling out concessions on
nuclear issue in small doses

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 20, 2007

Appearing on Fuji TV's Hodo 2001 program Aug. 19, former Defense
Agency Director General Shigeru Ishiba, National Institute for
Defense Studies (NIDS) Chief Research Hideshi Takemi, and Sankei
Shimbun's Seoul Bureau Chief Katsuhiro Kuroda discussed North
Korea's nuclear and missile development issue.

-- What are your views of the North's miniaturization of atomic

TOKYO 00003820 004 OF 009

Ishiba: The North is moving ahead with it at a fairly rapid pace. If
we examine from every angle last October's nuclear weapon's test by
North Korea, we can't overlook the possibility that they have been
successful in reaching a certain level of miniaturization. Since
missile defense (MD) is not perfect, we need to drills to protect
the nation and evacuate civilians. It is very dangerous to pay
attention only to the optimistic arguments, such as the nuclear test
being a simple failure.

Kuroda: South Korea in recent years is wrapped up in a mood of
South-North reconciliation, and not only does it not harbor a sense
of crisis about the (nuclear) technology (the North is developing),
it has no interest in it. Basically, South Korea is optimistic
because it sees (the nuclear weapons) as unconnected to it, being
aimed at Japan and the United States.

Takemi: We must block North Korea from developing weapons of mass
destruction through diplomatic efforts at the six-party talks. With
the abduction issue also mixed into the issue, we need a national
strategy that will contain North Korea's various activities, such as
missile development and nuclear-warhead development.

-- Do you think that North Korea is developing highly-enriched
uranium (HEU)?

Ishiba: We must consider our defense policy based on such a premise.
It is vital that we put together a three pronged approach: a
punitive deterrence, under which something terrible will happen if
such is used; a negative deterrence, involving the deployment of MD,
to make them think if they use it, it would be meaningless; and a
diplomatic deterrence through diplomatic negotiations. Although the
US' aim is to stop nuclear proliferation, North Korea has adopted a
strategy of stalling for time by dealing out (concessions) in small

5) Ryozo Kato will have served 2,124 days on Aug. 19 in current post
as ambassador to US, becoming longest-serving ambassador to US in
postwar period

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 18, 2007

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

Ryozo Kato will become Japan's longest-serving postwar ambassador to
the United States on Aug. 19, marking 2,123 days on the 18th, tying
the record set by Koichiro Asaka.

Kato was promoted to the ambassadorial post from deputy foreign
minister without assuming the position of vice minister post due to
the confusion in the days of Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka. He
supported the US-Japan "honeymoon" under then Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi and President Gorge W. Bush.

The longevity record, including the days of before the status of not
being upgraded to ambassador, is held by Kogoro Takahira, serving
for 2,512 days as envy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary
and ambassador to the US. He also took part in the peace conference
of the Russo-Japanese War.

According to the US Department of State, Kato was the 26th-longest
serving ambassador among the ambassadors to the US as of the end of

TOKYO 00003820 005 OF 009

July, and the second-longest serving one among the ambassadors of
the Group of Eight member countries.

6) MSDF role important: US top brass

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 18, 2007

Visiting US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Pace, who is at the top
of all US military personnel, met Japanese reporters yesterday at
the American Embassy in Akasaka, Tokyo. In a press interview, Pace,
referring to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities
in the Indian Ocean under the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law,
underscored the importance and effectiveness of Japan's
contributions, expressing hope that Japan will extend the law that
is to expire Nov. 1.

The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan is opposed to
extending the law. The legislation is a big focus of this fall's
extraordinary Diet session.

In the interview, Pace indicated that it would not be impossible for
another country to take over the MSDF's refueling activities.
However, Pace added that it would be "very difficult," explaining
that the MSDF is handling special fuel.

In the meantime, US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer has indicated that
the US government would be ready to disclose even classified
information to Japanese lawmakers in order to obtain their
understanding for extending the law. Touching on this fact, Pace
took the position that one does not need classified information to
know the importance of Japan's contributions. With this, he stressed
the significance of the MSDF's refueling activities.

"To protect another country's freedom is to protect ours," Pace
added. With this, he reemphasized the justification of antiterrorism
operations being conducted in Afghanistan. Pace is to retire in
September, and Chief of Naval Operations Mullen has been named to
chair the JCS as Pace's successor.

7) GSDF to quicken command, control with IT

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2007

The Ground Self-Defense Force will introduce a new system in October
to command and control front troops in an effective way. The new
command and control system uses information technology equipment
like personal digital assistance (PDA) or personal computers. The
GSDF will test the system in October and lay down a network of
information for its field troops, aiming to help the GSDF quicken
its transmission of enemy information and command orders. The system
is modeled after the US Army's stryker brigade combat teams.

The newly planned IT system is called "radio-electronic combat
support" or "ReCS" for short. The GSDF will use reconnaissance
helicopters, unmanned drones, and infrared sensors to locate enemy
troops. In addition, the GSDF will also use a global positioning
system (GPS) to track friendly forces. This information will be
integrated into a central processing unit set up at regimental
headquarters to grasp the whole situation.

TOKYO 00003820 006 OF 009

A frontline platoon commander carries a PDA system and a company
commander is equipped with a personal computer. Light-armed vehicles
are loaded with a digital communication system to share information
with their regimental headquarters. The headquarters issue orders
all troops on the front. In response, the frontline troops will
quickly move into action. The headquarters and frontline troops will
change voice radio communications to imagery and data
communications. The GSDF will use its own encryption technologies to
prevent monitoring or information leakage.

8) DPJ's Hosono highlights need to discuss permanent legislation on
SDF overseas missions

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2007

House of Representatives member Goshi Hosono of the major opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) appearing on a TV-Asahi
program yesterday expressed his opposition to extending the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, scheduled to expire in November.
He said: "I wonder if it is appropriate to make a decision on the
overseas deployment of the Self-Defense Forces -- a crucial national
decision -- based on a time-limited special measures law. We need a
set of rules on when to deploy (SDF troops) overseas and what they
should do."

Hosono apparently underlined the need for discussing a permanent law
on the SDF's overseas missions.

9) Feud between Koike and Moriya settled with appointment of Masuda
as vice defense minister

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 20, 2007

The government held a personnel affairs meeting on August 17 to
settle a feud over who should be named the next administrative vice
defense minister. As a result, the government informally decided to
have Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, 62, retire and replace
him with Kohei Masuda, 56, who currently heads the Personnel and
Education Bureau. The appointment of Masuda is expected to be
approved at a cabinet meeting on August 28. He will become the
youngest person in the nation to hold the post of administrative
vice defense minister. The fierce feud between Defense Minister
Yuriko Koike and Vice Minister Moriya escalated into a situation
involving the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence), raising
questions about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's management ability as
well. Given the situation, the government recognized the need to
settle the situation speedily under the initiative of the Kantei.

Some in the government and ruling coalition have raised questions
about Koike's responsibility for causing the turmoil. How Prime
Minister Abe will treat Koike in reshuffling his cabinet on August
27 remains to be seen.

Koike had attempted to replace Moriya with Tetsuya Nishikawa,
currently the head of the Defense Ministry's secretariat and a
former National Police Agency official. Moriya, on the other hand,
recommended Operations Planning Division Director Shinshiro
Yamazaki, who has been at the ministry for his entire career. But
Koike and Moriya's plans fell through in the end. Both Nishikawa and
Yamazaki will retire.

TOKYO 00003820 007 OF 009

Koike, who had independently tried to replace Moriya with Nishikawa,
drew fire from Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki, who
chaired the personnel affairs meeting. Abe at one point intended to
repeal Koike's plan and allow the new defense minister to determine
Moriya's replacement after the cabinet reshuffle on August 27.

But Koike continued to lash out at Moriya, saying: "I made a call to
(Mr. Moriya's) cell phone at night but he did not return my call
until the following morning. This has raised questions about his
crisis management capability."

Concluding that allowing the turmoil to drag on would harm the
administration's momentum, Prime Minister Abe and Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shiozaki discussed the matter on the phone on the morning

of August 17 and decided to hold a personnel affairs meeting on the
same day to settle the matter speedily. Based on their decision,
Koike that morning sounded out Moriya on replacing him with Masuda,
and Moriya agreed to it.

10) Attention being focused on prime minister's decision on whether
to keep Koike in defense chief post

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2007

Attention is being focused on whether Defense minister Yuriko Koike
will resign or stay on in the cabinet reshuffle on Aug. 27, in
connection with the ongoing feud with Vice Defense Minister Moriya
over the selection of his successor. In the government and the
ruling camp, many in criticism of Moriya for putting up resistance
to Koike's idea are calling for Koike remaining in office. But some
in the Defense Ministry have expressed concern about a lack of her
ability to do the groundwork. The key issue of an extension of the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law is high on the agenda for the
extraordinary Diet session in the fall. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
will be pressed to make a hard decision.

On an Asahi TV program yesterday, Liberal Democratic Party Secretary
General Hidenao Nakagawa stressed his view that Koike should be kept
in her post, saying: "If Ms. Koike is replaced, many might think
that the prime minister, in face of resistance from the vice
minister, made the decision. In such a case, the situation will be

Nakagawa criticized Moriya, remarking: "The outgoing vice minister
raised resistance. This is the most serious problem." Appearing on
the Fuji TV program "Hoodoo 2001" yesterday, former Defense Agency
Director General Shigeru Ishiba also defended Koike, saying: "The
minister has the right of personnel management. The administrative
vice minister is a Self-Defense Force (SDF) member, so even if he is
dissatisfied with the minister's decision, he must submit to
civilian control." Koike had initially desired to appoint Tetsuya
Nishikawa to be vice minister. Ishiba evaluated this idea to some
extent, saying: "This might be a personnel appointment based on
thorough consideration."

Should Koike be replaced only less than two months after coming into
office, her replacement will unavoidably give the impression that
the cabinet minister vested with the right of personnel management
was pressed to take responsibility for the row caused by a
bureaucrat's resistance. Even so, there is criticism of the means

TOKYO 00003820 008 OF 009

Koike employed. Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori, a member of the
Machimura faction, to which Koike and Nakagawa also belong, said in
a TV program on Aug. 17: "Her deed is similar to striking with a
sword from behind at a person who was about to commit hara-kiri.
That was undesirable." LDP Upper House Policy Council Chairman
Yoichi Masuzoe also posed a question on Aug. 18 about the
appointment of Koike as defense minister. He said: "Since she was
not familiar with personnel relations (within the Defense Ministry),
the feud took place."

A senior member of the Defense Ministry commented: "Now I feel that
we are beneath a deep blue sky after a heavy rain cloud
disappeared." But this member also expressed his anxiety about
Koike's abilities as defense minister, saying: "Ms. Koike has
criticized Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa, who has
opposed to an extension of the Antiterrorism Law, but even if she
speaks before reporters earnestly, it will not be easy to have the
bill pass the Diet."

Kohei Masuda, personnel education bureau director general of the
ministry, has been tapped to replace Moriya. He will attend the
extraordinary Diet session without making preparations. If Koike
stays on, the party will have to urgently strengthen its unity under
the aim of having the Antiterrorism Law extended beyond its

11) Prime Minister Abe formally announces cabinet reshuffle will
occur on Aug. 27

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
August 20, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe formally announced yesterday that he would
reshuffle the cabinet and Liberal Democratic Party executive posts
on Aug. 27. When asked by reporters whether he decided to reshuffle
on the 27th, Abe responded: "I would like to basically think of it
in that direction. I'm now thinking thoroughly about it. I want to
consider various aspects." He was replying to questions by the
reporters in front of his official residence prior to his departure
for three Asian countries.

12) Prime minister to modify "beautiful country concept" to reflect
livelihood issues after LDP defeat in Upper House election

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has started looking into modifying his
slogan of making Japan into a "beautiful country." During the July
House of Councillors' election campaign, the concept met criticism,
with many claiming that its meaning was unclear. As a result, his
party suffered a crushing defeat in the election. He put his
political ideals into this concept, but the prime minister now
intends to include livelihood-friendly measures in the concept.

Even candidates backed by the Liberal Democratic Party for the Upper
House election severely criticized the beautiful country concept,
one grumbling: "I feel like I'm being ridiculed." In contrast to
livelihood-oriented policies stressed by candidates supported by the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), LDP-backed candidates felt that the
beautiful country concept was out of tune with the people's
awareness. The prime minister has also hardly referred to the

TOKYO 00003820 009 OF 009

concept since the Upper House election.

The "beautiful country" defined by the prime minister (in his policy
speech last September) is a country (1) valuing culture and
tradition; (2) being a free society in principle; and (3) having
energy for potential growth; and (4) being trusted by the
international community. Based on this concept, the government
translated education reconstruction policies into practice over the
opposition of the opposition bloc.

Despite the LDP's devastating defeat in the Upper House election,
the prime minister said: "I do not think that the voters rejected my
reform direction." The prime minister, though, seems to have judged
it necessary to reflect livelihood-related policies in the concept.
Special Advisor Hiroshige Seko, in charge of promoting the
government's project on creating a beautiful country, also stressed
the need to rewrite the concept, reflecting ordinary citizens' point
of view.

The Prime Minister's Office is reviewing the concept, based on about
3,500 letters of proposal sent to the project team. The prime
minister will announce the revised version when his cabinet is

13) Nakagawa urges problematic lawmakers not to join new cabinet

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 20, 2007

Liberal Democratic Party Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa
appearing on a TV-Asahi program yesterday made this comment about
the planned cabinet reshuffle: "It is essential to appoint persons
who have been following clear rules on politics and money and can
explain matters appropriately. They must examine themselves and
those whose accounts are not clear have no other option but to step
back voluntarily." Nakagawa thus urged lawmakers to reexamine their
political funds reports and to remove from consideration those who
have found problems with their reports.


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