Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/21/07

VZCZCXRO5169
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3837/01 2330129
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210129Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6668
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
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 5096
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2666
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6287
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1689
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3425
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8492
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4557
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5508

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 003837

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 08/21/07

Index:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule

Abe diplomacy:
4) Prime Minister Abe in speech toward ASEAN during stop in
Indonesia stresses "spirit of care and share" as policy element
5) Gist of Abe's speech in Indonesia
6) Abe asks Indonesia's premier to cooperate on North Korea issues

7) Japan signs EPA with Indonesia centered on energy trade
8) Government's draft EPA with ASEAN would eliminate 90 PERCENT of
import tariffs

9) Government plans pact with China on environmental cooperation

Defense issues:
10) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) throwing another monkey wrench,
wants Japan to debate enactment of permanent PKO law instead of
special laws
11) MSDF in Indian Ocean being inspected on its oil refueling
services

Political agenda:
12) Komeito's Fuyushiba to remain in Abe's cabinet
13) Appointment of Otsuji to replace Aoki as LDP's Upper House
caucus chair is not welcomed by all in party
14) Discovery of embezzlement of political funds by staffer in
Shiozaki office to have impact on cabinet shuffle
15) Shiozaki flap throws cold water of Abe's attempt to bring to a
close politics and money scandals
16) Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki's laxity in fund management
exposed by the embezzlement case
17) In recent years, nine LDP lawmakers involved in political fund
corrections

Articles:

1)TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun, and Akahata
China Airlines plane bursts into flames after fuel leaking from
right engine caught fire at Naha airport; All evacuate safely

Nikkei:
Japan in EPA negotiations with ASEAN to propose immediate end to
tariffs on 90 PERCENT of imports, with rice as exception

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Taiwanese jet catches fire: Airlines must take measures to
ensure safe flights
(2) ROK presidential election: Debate needed to enhance democracy

Mainichi:
(1) Taiwanese jet catches fire: All possible root causes must be
removed
(2) Drastically reform fisheries industry


TOKYO 00003837 002 OF 011


Yomiuri:
(1) Japan should introduce international standards for weapons use
by SDF personnel engaged in PKOs
(2) Start thorough probe into cause of Taiwanese jet fire

Nikkei:
(1) Identify cause of Taiwanese jet fire quickly and thoroughly
(2) Troubles caused by batteries found across the world

Sankei:
(1) Prime minister's Asia tour: Abe must continue steady efforts for
strategic diplomacy
(2) Hurriedly clear up why Taiwanese jet caught fire

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Make utmost efforts to prevent recurrence of jet accident
(2) ROK presidential race: Candidates expected to discuss how to
stabilize Northeast Asia

Akahata:
(1) Taiwanese jet fire: Politicians have responsibility to review
and strengthen safety measures

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 20

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2007

Morning
Attended a welcome ceremony held at Presidential Palace in Jakarta,
Indonesia. Had a summit with President Yudhoyono. Met with
representatives of an economic mission. Attended a signing ceremony
for an economic partnership agreement and a joint statement. Held a
joint press conference.

Noon
Paid a courtesy call on Vice President Kalla at the Vice
Presidential Palace. Had a luncheon with representatives of business
world at Grand Hyatt Hotel.
Afternoon Attended a Japan-Indonesia business forum. Delivered a
speech at Intercontinental Hotel.

Night
Attended a dinner party hosted by the president at the Presidential
Palace. Stayed at Hotel Nikko Jakarta.

4) Prime Minister Abe expresses "spirit of care and share" in speech
in Jakarta

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2007

Yudai Nakazawa, Jakarta

Visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday evening (night of that
day, Japan time) delivered a speech at a hotel in Jakarta. In the
speech, he referred to relations with the Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN), which has marked the 40th anniversary of its
foundation, and declared, "We'd like to walk together in the spirit
of care and share." He indicated that the Japanese government would

TOKYO 00003837 003 OF 011


actively work to redress intra-ASEAN disparities, for instance, by
making good use of economic partnership agreements.

Abe praised ASEAN by saying, "It is about to make a fresh start
under the slogan of fundamental values, such as the rule of law and
respect for human rights." He called ASEAN a partner in terms of his
"value-oriented diplomacy."

On the other hand, Abe mentioned the existence of disparities
between least developed countries in the Mekong River Basin and
major countries in ASEAN, by noting, "Disparities have yet to be
removed fully." He indicated his intention to tackle (1)
strengthening economic ties with the region through EPAs, (2)
economic cooperation with Mekong River Basin countries, and (3)
support for peace-building.

Speaking of measures against global warming, Abe pronounced: "We are
going to establish a framework that will consider each country's
circumstances. Protecting the environment is not contradictory to
advancing economic growth." He appealed to ASEAN countries to take
part in his proposal "Cool Earth 50," which suggests "halving the
current levels of emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050."

When it comes to relations between ASEAN and Japan, in 1977 then
Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda during his visit to Manila in the
Philippines announced "Fukuda doctrine," which consisted of three
principles: (1) not becoming a military big power, (2) building a
mutual trust relationship, and (3) remaining in the position of a
cooperator on an equal footing. While inheriting the Fukuda
doctrine, Abe in the speech emphasized that relations with ASEAN
have entered a new phase.

5) Gist of Abe's ASEAN policy speech

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 21, 2007

The following is a gist of Prime Minister Abe's speech delivered
yesterday in Jakarta over Japan's relations with the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

ASEAN-since its establishment 40 years ago-has consistently been
under the spirit of "care and share." Under this spirit, Japan will
also walk together. Indonesia and Japan have similar traditions to
help one another.

The foundation of our two countries' bilateral relationship dates
back to 50 years ago when my grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, who was
Japan's prime minister at that time, visited Jakarta.

ASEAN has been making efforts to strengthen democratic values,
maintain the rule of law, and respect human rights. ASEAN is working
to draft its charter, and I welcome its sincere efforts. ASEAN is
going to create a strong community based on a reliable foundation.
ASEAN is now about to embark on a new chapter while upholding
fundamental values that the Japanese people consider to be
important. This makes me feel a quiet excitement.

In an effort to dissolve ASEAN's intraregional disparities, Japan
will cooperate on three points: utilizing the network of economic
partnership agreements (EPA), assisting with the stable growth of
countries around the Mekong Basin, and building peace.

TOKYO 00003837 004 OF 011

I hope that ASEAN will participate in the plan to stop global
warming by 2050.

Japan's population is decreasing. As it stands, Japan will urgently
need to open its society and market and improve its productivity for
affluent stability. It is indispensable for Japan to expand its
relationships with ASEAN and the rest of Asia.

Japan and ASEAN have now entered a stage to share issues and explore
solutions together.

6) Prime Minister Abe asks for cooperation from Indonesia regarding
North Korea

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 21, 2007

Kimitaka Nishiyama, Jakarta

Prime Minister Abe yesterday met with President Yudhoyono of
Indonesia. In the session, he mentioned North Korea's nuclear
ambitions and asked for cooperation from Indonesia, which has
diplomatic ties with North Korea, telling the president: "The
six-party talks have already begun discussing the next phase (of
disabling the existing nuclear facilities). In order to accelerate
the move for the denuclearization of the North Korea, I would like
your cooperation."

In response, Yudhoyono indicated he would be positive about working
together, telling Abe: "We hope the abduction issue will be settled
at an early date. We'd like to contribute to resolving various
issues." Abe also stated: "I'll normalize diplomatic ties by
actively tackling (the resolving of the issues of) abductions, and
nuclear weapons and missile development, as well as by settling the
unfortunate past events."

7) Japan, Indonesia ink EPA; Securing LNG remains an issue for
Japan, while Indonesia seeks expansion of direct investment

Asahi (Page 5) (Full)
By Yasuo Awai and Tatsuya Daikei

Jakarta - The Japanese and Indonesian governments, on 20 August,
signed an economic partnership agreement (EPA), whose centerpiece is
the elimination of tariffs on approximately 92 percent of bilateral
trade by value. Japan hopes to secure stable supply of energy
resources, while Indonesia aims at expanding direct investments.
However, the agreement's effectiveness remains an issue.

For Japan, Indonesia is the greatest supplier of liquefied natural
gas (LNG). Under annual contracts, Indonesia is supplying about 15
million tons of LNG to Japan. Japan is relying on Indonesia for a
quarter of the total demand. Because of declining production at
Indonesia's main LNG facilities, however, Jakarta has decided to
prioritize domestic supply. Although bilateral contracts to provide
a total of 12 million tons will expire in and after 2010, it is
expected that Japan will be able to renew contracts for LNG supply
up to only 3 million tons.

The EPA has a clause about stable supply of energy and mineral
resources, but it stipulates a lenient framework that only includes

TOKYO 00003837 005 OF 011


such things as swift notification of export control. Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe stressed at the summit talks on 20 August that "stable
LNG supply is the foundation of energy cooperation." On the other
hand, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono avoided referring to
specific amount of LNG to be supplied to Japan, although he said,
"We would like to make it possible to continue LNG exports, while
giving consideration to domestic demand."

Indonesia is expecting is greater direct investments from Japan.
Such investments from Japan in 2005 reached only about $1.2 billion,
which was less than a third of that of the peak years. At an
economic seminar in Jakarta, Fujio Mitarai, chairman of Keidanren
(the Japan Business Federation), presented an outlook that Japan
"plans to invest about $7 billion in the energy and automobile
fields in the next five years."

However, free trade does not necessarily lead to expanded direct
investments. Toyota Motor Co. Chairman Fujio Cho has indicated:
"Expanding investments for Indonesian factories is premised on an
increase in exports to the other countries. To make that happen, it
will be necessary to develop infrastructure that includes ports and
roads."

8) Japan in negotiations on EPA with ASEAN to propose immediate end
to tariffs on 90 PERCENT of imports, with rice as exception

NIHON KEIZAI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2007

During negotiations on concluding an economic partnership agreement,
Japan will propose the Association of Southeast Asian Nations
(ASEAN) immediately scrapping tariffs on at least 90 PERCENT of the
industrial, agricultural and other products imported from the region
in value terms, according informed sources yesterday. Under an EPA,
it is common to gradually lower tariffs or increase tariff-free
items over a period of about 10 years. But Japan aims to abolish the
tariffs immediately, in a bid to catch up with China and South
Korea, which have already concluded EPAs with ASEAN.

In the upcoming economic ministerial talks between Japan and ASEAN
in the Philippines on Aug. 25, Japan aims to ink an agreement. If
both establish an agreement, the details will be finalized at a
meeting between Japanese and ASEAN leaders in November and then the
pact will come into effect after approval is obtained at the Diet
early next year. Japan expects to scrap tariffs on most items
immediately after the agreement become effective. Japan has already
concluded or is under negotiations with individual countries, such
as Thailand and the Philippines, but an agreement with ASEAN would
be applied to all 10 member countries.

Japan imports about 8 trillion yen worth of products from ASEAN
annually, including such general machinery as electrical equipment
and computer peripherals, as well as fruit. Coordination is underway
on specific products to be made duty-free. Almost all industrial
products, including textile products and tropical fruit - more than
90 PERCENT of all imports from the region in value terms - are
expected to make the list.

Japan has imposed heavy duties - as high as several hundred percent
- on rice, sugar and some other agricultural products, as high as
several hundred percent. Japan intends to exclude these items from
its list of duty-free products. ASEAN is also expected to place

TOKYO 00003837 006 OF 011


automobiles and some steel products outside the reach of the EPA.
Japan and ASEAN agreed in their economic ministerial meeting this
May to ink an EPA. In the meeting, Japan pledged to scrap tariffs on
at least 90 PERCENT of imports in value terms, while major ASEAN
countries agreed to abolish tariffs on 90 PERCENT within 10 years.

A comprehensive EPA with ASEAN is one of the main pillars in the
concept of an East Asia Community being promoted under Japan's
initiative. Japan's eagerness to abolish tariffs on imports from
ASEAN stems from the judgment that an expansion of trade ties with
the region would bring about positive economic effects.

9) Japan intends to cooperate with China on environmental technology
for emission trading with business scale of billions of yen

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2007

The Japanese government will present a new set of proposals on
environmental cooperation to the Chinese government, which has been
suffering serious levels of air pollution. Japan will offer
technology and financial aid to private-sector factories in China
starting from next fiscal year so as to help China to reduce air
pollutants and emissions of greenhouse gases. Japan in return will
obtain emission credits for carbon dioxide (CO2) from China. By
getting emissions credits from China, Japan, which has found it
difficult at present to achieve the emission reduction targets set
by the Kyoto Protocol, wants to bring its emissions close to the
targets.

Environment Minister Masatoshi Wakabayashi will offer this new
proposal to Chinese Minister and Secretary Zhou Shengxian of the
Party Group of the State Environmental Protection Administration
during a meeting with him slated for the afternoon of Aug. 21. China
is expected to accept the proposal as it is imperative for it to
take environmental measures against air pollution before the Beijing
Olympics set for next August.

Japan will obtain emissions credits in accordance with the Clean
Development Mechanism (CDM) approved by the Kyoto Protocol. This
will be the first case of obtaining emissions credits with the
government's initiative under the CDM.

10) DPJ to discuss permanent law for int'l contributions

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Abridged)
August 21, 2007

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) decided yesterday to
launch a panel called the "Comprehensive Security Affairs Research
Commission" to discuss the advisability of creating a permanent law
for Japan's international contributions. The DPJ will hold a
preparatory meeting today. DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa is against the
idea of extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, and the
DPJ will instead propose permanent legislation. The DPJ has been
criticized for its "negative" stance toward international
contributions. The party's legislative move is therefore aimed at
dodging such criticism.

11) Diet execs to visit MSDF refueling unit

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)

TOKYO 00003837 007 OF 011


August 21, 2007

Five lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties will visit the
United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait on a four-day schedule from
today. They are on the House of Representatives Antiterrorism and
Iraq Assistance Special Committee and include Yasukazu Hamada, who
chairs the committee. The Diet, in its extraordinary session this
fall, is expected to focus on the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law, which is to expire Nov. 1. The Diet delegation will therefore
visit a Maritime Self-Defense Force squadron that has been engaging
in the task of refueling US and other foreign naval vessels in the
Indian Ocean under the law. In Kuwait, they will also visit an Air
Self-Defense Force detachment that has been tasked with airlifts
under the Iraq Reconstruction and Assistance Law.

12) Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Fuyushiba to be
retained

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
August 21, 2007

It was decided yesterday that Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Minister Tetsuzo Fuyushiba will be retained in his current post in a
reshuffle of the cabinet on Aug. 27. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
accepted the request by New Komeito Chief Representative Akihiro Ota
that Fuyushiba should be reappointed since he has served in his post
less than one year. With his party's historic defeat in the July
Upper House election, Abe appears to have determined that it would
be necessary to accept the request in order to maintain a
relationship of trust with the New Komeito.

13) Otsuji named LDP caucus head in Upper House; Displeasure
expressed over selection of senior posts

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 21, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) caucus in the House of
Councillors elected in its general meeting yesterday Hidehisa
Otsuji, a former health, labor and welfare minister, as its
chairman. Otsuji belongs to the Tsushima faction in the LDP. He
launched the new executive, naming former Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Masaaki Yamazaki, a member of the Machimura faction, as

SIPDIS
secretary general. The first his job would be the securing of two

SIPDIS
cabinet posts, which will be reserved for the LDP caucus in the
Upper House when Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reshuffled the cabinet on
Aug. 27. As some lawmakers have already expressed their unhappiness
with the selection of more Machimura faction members than other
factions, a rocky path lies ahead for the Otsuji-led caucus.

"Since two cabinet posts were given to the Upper House caucus, I
think we will get the two seats in the next cabinet," Otsuji
stressed in a press conference yesterday. Compared with former
Chairman Mikio Aoki, who stepped down from his post to take
responsibility for the LDP's crushing defeat in the July 29 Upper
House election, Otsuji undeniably is a lightweight, as he himself
said, "I know my political skills are inferior to the successive
chairmen.

Therefore, there is a rumor that the Upper House caucus may lose one
cabinet seat.


TOKYO 00003837 008 OF 011


Aoki said: "We have thought that two members will join the cabinet,
but the number of LDP members in the Upper House has decreased in
the election." He indicated in his remark that there would be the
possibility of only one Upper House member joining the new cabinet.
He made the comment, aiming to indirectly support Otsuji.

The reason for some members expressing their displeasure with the
appointment is that the influence of Aoki has now disappeared.
Besides Yamasaki, Otsuji has informally named Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Seiji Suzuki, a Machimura faction member, as chairman of

SIPDIS
the Diet Affairs Committee. One member said: "It is outrageous that
two of the three key seats will go to the Machimura faction."

When asked to recommend Otsuji to become chairman, former Education
Minister Hirofumi Nakasone, a member of the Ibuki faction, whose
name had also floated as a candidate for the chairmanship, firmly
declined, saying, "I wonder why I should recommend him." This
demonstrated Otsuji's lack of political clout in the party.

14) Shiozaki under fire for his office's double booking of spending

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 21, 2007

A Liberal Democratic Party chapter, represented by Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shiozaki, has covered up its office staff's misuse of

SIPDIS
political funds with duplicated receipts, sources revealed
yesterday. There has been no end to money scandals involving the Abe
cabinet.

Prime Minister Abe is expected to shuffle his cabinet and the LDP's
executive lineup on Aug. 27. However, one LDP lawmaker with the
experience of a cabinet post says Abe would not be able to obtain
public understanding if the prime minister retains Shiozaki in his
shuffled cabinet with another post for him. The money scandal
revealed this time will likely affect Abe in his cabinet and party
lineup shuffle.

On Aug. 1, Abe sacked Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister
Norihiko Akagi over his murky political funds. Akagi's local office
had reported its political funds with photocopied receipts to doubly
book its spending. A similar case has now been brought to light for
Shiozaki's office. An executive of New Komeito, currently in office
as the LDP's coalition partner, noted Shiozaki's managerial
responsibility as a politician. LDP lawmakers are also critical of
Shiozaki for his local office's money scandal. A leader of the
Niwa-Koga faction noted Shiozaki's oversight responsibility as
"inevitable." In the wake of the LDP's rout in this July's election
for the House of Councillors, there is a growing sense of
dissatisfaction from within the LDP against Shiozaki, who is the
symbol of Abe's otomodachi naikaku or a get-together of friends in
the Abe cabinet. There are now difficulties in store for Shiozaki.

15) Embezzlement by Shiozaki office staffer dampens Abe's effort to
revamp his administration; Shiozaki may not win new cabinet post

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2007

The Abe administration was hit by yet another scandal. The
embezzlement by a staff member of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa
Shozaki's parliamentary office that came light yesterday has exposed

TOKYO 00003837 009 OF 011


the administration's failure to address properly the question of
politics and money. The scandal poured cold water on Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe, who aims to turn the tables. This would force Abe to
raise the political and moral standards in reshuffling his cabinet
and the executive members of his Liberal Democratic on August 27.
Attention is focused on whether Abe will leave Shiozaki, who has
been a symbol of his cabinet packed with his supporters, out of the
new cabinet.

Shiozaki made a telephone call yesterday to an LDP executive and
apologized: "Sorry for causing you trouble. LDP members are
reexamining their (political fund reports). I too have reexamined
mine, and have discovered the impropriety."

But being on his annual summer break, Shiozaki did not show up at
the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence) although he was
reportedly in Tokyo. Around noon, he released a statement saying: "I
myself am very shocked and find it regrettable that something like
this has happened. I will deeply reflect on my responsibilities to
manage and supervise and do my best to investigate the situation and
prevent a recurrence."

16) Double-booking of office expenses: Another "politics and money"
scandal hits Abe cabinet directly; Shiozaki's lax management
criticized

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2007

With the revelation yesterday of the double-booking of office
expenses in Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki's political
funding report, another issue involving politics and money hit the
cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Although political funds were
embezzled by a staff member of Shiozaki's office, the double-booking
of office expenses is the same case as that of former Agriculture
Minister Norihiko Akagi, who was sacked by Prime Minister Abe after
the July 29 Upper House election. Shiozaki, who failed to manage his
own office even after the dismissal of Akagi, will come under fire.

With an eye on the upcoming reshuffling of the cabinet and Liberal
Democratic Party executive lineup, Shiozaki stated: "We were
condemned by the public regarding the issue of money and politics.
It is desirable for the next cabinet to do things appropriately."
Therefore, the double-booking scandal will unavoidably affect his
political career.

Last December, Genichiro Sata resigned as state minister in charge
of administrative reforms over charges of misusing political funds.
Former Agriculture Minister Toshikatsu Matsuoka committed suicide in
May due to charges of huge utility fees for his office. Moreover,
Akagi, who succeed Matsuoka, was also dismissed over charges of
misusing political funds.

To conceal the embezzlement, the staff member of Shiozaki's office
in Ehime Prefecture double-booked 6.26 million in expenses
registered in the office's campaign spending report of the LDP
chapter of the Ehime No. 1 constituency. It was discovered
immediately before his dismissal that Akagi's political management
organization and the electoral district chapter attached the same
receipt for mail fees in his political funding report.

In a press conference on Aug. 1 following Akagi's dismissal,

TOKYO 00003837 010 OF 011


Shiozaki stated: "Cabinet ministers should be role models for the
public. In that respect, we must be especially careful about it."

17) 12 fund-management and political organizations connected with
nine LDP lawmakers correct their funds reports ahead of upcoming
cabinet reshuffle

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
August 21, 2007

Many fund-management organizations and political groups connected
with Liberal Democratic Party lawmakers have begun correcting their
political funds reports ahead of the reshuffles of the cabinet and
LDP executive lineup, planned for August 27. According to the
Yomiuri Shimbun's investigation, a total of 12 political
organizations connected with nine LDP lawmakers under the
jurisdiction of the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry
have corrected their funds reports this month.

The rush of corrections resulted from the party's order to its
lawmakers to reexamine their funds reports for 2003-2006 based on
the conclusion that the party's serious setback in the July House of
Councillors election was partly brought about by a series of
politics-and-money scandals involving some Abe cabinet ministers. Of
the nine LDP lawmakers who corrected their reports, five were former
cabinet ministers, and the remaining four have never taken up
cabinet portfolios. Of the four, two are now serving in their sixth
term in the Lower House -- the prime period for obtaining cabinet
posts.

The fund-management organization of former Environment Minister
Shunichi Suzuki filed a report yesterday to correct utilities fees
for the year 2004 from the original 160,000 yen to 650,000 yen.

Former Senior Vice Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Kazuaki
Miyaji's fund-managing body and two connected organizations
corrected their funds reports on August 10. The fund-management body
newly declared 50,000 yen in utility fees, 120,000 in supplies
expenses, increased office expenses by 590,000 yen, and decreased
organizational activity expenses by 990,000 yen for the year 2005.
The body also corrected its reports for 2004 and 2003.

The fund-management organization of former Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki declared 20,000 yen as utility fees from its office
expenses for the year 2003. The fund-management body of Lower House
member Yaichi Tanigawa corrected its 160,000 yen of utility fees to
zero to increase its offices expenses for the year 2004.

Corrections were also made by the fund-management bodies or
connected organizations of former Defense Agency Director-General
Seishiro Eto; former Administrative Reform Minister Kazuyoshi
Kaneko; former Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Jiro Kawasaki,
Lower House member Tsuneo Suzuki, and LDP Upper House Secretary
General Masaaki Yamazaki.

In addition, the LDP branch in the Ehime Prefecture No. 1
Constituency, which Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki heads,
corrected its funds report for the year 2005. As seen from this,
political organizations under the control of the election
administration committee of each prefecture have filed corrections.
Further, former Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Minister
Yoshinobu Shimamura corrected on August 16 his yearly income reports

TOKYO 00003837 011 OF 011


for the year 2004-2006. There is a possibility that lawmakers will
continue correcting their financial reports until shortly before the
upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

Examples of corrections to political fund reports (for 2003-2005)

Seishiro Eto, former defense chief Both the fund-managemement body
and a connected political organization declared 990,000 yen in
political activity expenses.

Kazuyoshi Kaneko, former administrative reform minister Failed to
declare 1.2 million yen as rent for the fund-management
organization's office, which was provided by a relative for free of
charge.

Jiro Kawasaki, former MHLW minister Failed to declare the unused
election campaign fee amounting to 1.25million yen.

Sadakazu Tanigaki, former finance minister Failed to declare 20,000
yen in utility fees of the fund-management organization.
Kazuaki Miyaji, former senior vice MHLW minister Three connected
organizations, including the fund-management body, failed to declare
50,000 in utility fees and 190,000 in labor costs.

Masaaki Yamasaki, Upper House secretary general Failed to declare
80,000 yen in rent for a supporters association and the
fund-management organization that share the same room.

MESERVE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>