Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/21/07

VZCZCXRO5398
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3865/01 2330820
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 210820Z AUG 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6705
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 5110
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2679
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6300
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1702
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3438
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8506
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4569
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5520

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 003865

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 08/21/07


Index:

(1) DPJ head Ozawa criticizes Abe cabinet, noting his party is
opposed to extending antiterrorism law

(2) SDF in transformation: Uniformed officers guided lawmakers after
9/11 (part 3)

(3) Japan's diplomacy toward DPRK: Japan needs to shift to
engagement policy, Hajime Izumi says

(4) Daring prediction -- 2007 reversal of power in Upper House (1):
Fate of the Abe administration 5
(5) Fate of WTO Doha Round

(6) New Komeito head Ota in interview stresses placing more
importance on daily lives of ordinary people than on constitutional
amendments

(Corrected copy) Editorial: Prime Minister Abe must use caution in
discussing late Judge Pal

ARTICLES:

(1) DPJ head Ozawa criticizes Abe cabinet, noting his party is
opposed to extending antiterrorism law

TOKYO SHIMBUN ONLINE NEWS
August 21, 2007, 12:56 p.m.

Kyodo

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) President
Ichiro Ozawa this morning gave a speech at a gathering of the "Ozawa
School of Government" in Tokyo and again indicated his intention to
oppose an extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. He
stressed that his party was opposed to the extension, saying, "News
reports said that I had conveyed to US Ambassador to Japan Thomas
Schieffer my personal (opposition to the extension) when I recently
met with him, but I at the time simply explained our party's
principles to the ambassador."

Speaking of the Self-Defense Forces' (SDF) support operations going
on under the law, Ozawa pointed out: "They have supplied goods for
America's war, which has no connection with the United Nations. The
basic principles of (overseas dispatches of SDF troops) have been
undermined."

Ozawa rapped the Abe cabinet this way: "It's even unclear when the
fall extraordinary session of the Diet will be convened. The cabinet
is in the state of being brain dead." In the meantime, he said of
the DPJ that "the DPJ has now been charged with a very serious
mission" with the recent reversal of the positions in the Upper
House between the ruling and opposition parties.

(2) SDF in transformation: Uniformed officers guided lawmakers after
9/11 (part 3)

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 21, 2007

Right after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United

TOKYO 00003865 002 OF 012


States, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi ordered his aide not to
waste any time.

The extremely short order reflected Koizumi's eagerness to speedily
come up with measures to support the United States.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Teijiro Furukawa ordered the Cabinet
Legislation Bureau (CLB) to let its senior members attend a meeting
to discuss legal affairs for sending Self-Defense Force troops
overseas. Normally, a bill is drafted by a ministry or the Cabinet
Secretariat for a check by the CLB. Such a standard process was too

SIPDIS
time-consuming at the time.

On the afternoon of September 15, the deputy CLB chief, deputy chief
cabinet secretaries, senior officials from the Foreign Ministry and
Defense Agency secretly met at Furukawa's office in the Kantei
(Prime Minister's Official Residence).

"We can apply the legislation to deal with contingencies in areas
surrounding Japan," some said. But it was absurd to include
Afghanistan and Pakistan -- countries where Japanese troops might
head for in the near future -- in the category of "areas surrounding
Japan." The meeting consequently tilted toward establishing a new
law.

Looking back at those days, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo
Fukuda said: "A plan to establish a new law came out on September
17. We also consulted the New Komeito on the matter." This happened
only seven days after 9/11.

There were developments in the Foreign Ministry as well. Vice
Foreign Minister Yoshiji Nogami ordered on September 12 senior
ministry officials to draft a new law. Days later, Ambassador to the
United States Shunji Yanai held a meeting with US Deputy Secretary
of State Richard Armitage at the State Department in Washington and
sent a cable to Japan requesting the deployment of the SDF.

The Foreign Ministry's moves pressed the Kantei for enacting the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, according to a former Foreign
Ministry official.

Japanese lawmakers and bureaucrats took advantage of domestic and
international calls for supporting the US antiterrorism operations.
SDF officials also made a unique move.

Clad in plain clothes instead of their uniforms, Ground Staff Office
officers, who were essentially the brains of the Ground Self-Defense
Force, repeatedly called on lawmakers secretly. Their purpose was to
persuade the lawmakers to keep turning their deaf ear to calls in
the LDP for sending SDF troops to Afghanistan. It did not take time
for talk to spread in the capitol district of Nagatacho that SDF
troops would not be able to defend themselves under the strict
weapons use rules. The government eventually decided to dispatch the
Maritime Self-Defense Force, instead of the GSDF, to the Indian
Ocean to engage in refueling operations.

Uniformed officers making direct contacts with lawmakers behind the
backs of Defense Ministry officials not in uniform has been taboo
from the viewpoint of civilian control. "Such an act is absolutely
unacceptable," a senior Defense Ministry official said.

Yet, the uniformed officers' action pointed to a problem with the

TOKYO 00003865 003 OF 012


trend to accelerate the overseas deployment of the SDF before
meeting the required conditions.

Former government officials believe that the uniformed officers'
lobbying activities affected political decisions. "The collapse of
the WTC Towers was that shocking," Fukuda explained.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delivered a speech at the North Atlantic
Council in January this year in which he said, "Japanese will no
longer shy away from carrying out overseas activities involving the
SDF," underscoring Japan's commitment to Afghanistan.

But the Defense Ministry is void of any moves to consider sending
troops to Afghanistan. A GSDF officer predicted: "Situated inland,
engaging in refueling operations in Afghanistan would be difficult.
The security situation in that country is also deteriorating. The
government will probably not send troops there."

Lawmakers reportedly have listened to what uniformed officers said
from an awareness of a lack of military common sense that exists.

(3) Japan's diplomacy toward DPRK: Japan needs to shift to
engagement policy, Hajime Izumi says

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Full)
August 21, 2007

Interview with Hajime Izumi, professor at University of Shizuoka

Interviewer: Keiichiro U

-- The Korean Peninsula situation has begun to move. What is your
view about this?

Izumi: A kind of trust relationship is emerging between the United
States and North Korea. The Bush administration has begun to cut a
deal with North Korea. Apparently, the US wants to get concrete
progress and results regarding the nuclear issue by the 2008
presidential election in November. North Korea's concern is that it
may have to toe the mark again if nothing is settled while the
(Bush) administration is in office. There seems to be an agreement
in this sense between the US and North Korea.

-- What forced the US to switch its policy toward the North?

Izumi: I think it is because it was shocked by the North's nuclear
test last October. The US fears that nuclear weapons may fall into
the hands of terrorists like al-Qaeda. The US may think that if no
action is taken, that fear could come true. The US is therefore
doing all it can to put an end to the North's production of
plutonium and get it to disclose all the plutonium it possesses.

-- What is the objective of North Korea?

Izumi: Although it may be difficult to reach the point of
normalizing diplomatic ties under the Bush administration, the North
Koreans want to pave the way with preliminary steps in that
direction. They are first aiming at North Korea being removed from
the list of states that sponsor terrorism. Next, they would insist
that their country be dropped from the list of hostile states under
the Trade Act once the ending of the Korean War is confirmed. In
order for North Korea's current political system to survive, it is

TOKYO 00003865 004 OF 012


necessary for the North to be allowed access to the international
economic system, including the international financial system. The
North would also call for the establishment of liaison offices in
both the US and the North, as well as the construction of a light
water reactor to secure energy.

-- What is your view about the ongoing move for holding an
inter-Korean summit?

Izumi: This came up because Pyongyang is thinking about the
presidential election this December in South Korea. Pyongyang
apparently thinks (a summit) would have a favorable effect on the
presidential race. It deems it necessary for the South to continue
to have a ruling party-affiliated government with its so-called
sunshine policy over the next five years after President Roh Moo
Hyun steps down. If a conciliatory government toward North Korea is
established in South Korea, this would give the North diplomatic
leeway when it starts dealing with the US and Japan. The keyword for
the planned inter-Korean summit is "peace." The North in some way or
the other will likely declare mutual nonaggression between two
Koreas and peaceful coexistence, and may try to use the declaration
as a basis for creating a permanent peace mechanism to be discussed
by four countries -- two Koreas, the US, and China -- in the
future.

-- Given this, Japan has fallen behind in its approach toward North
Korea.

Izumi: Japan needs to shift to an engagement policy toward the
North. Japan should announce it is ready to negotiate with it. The
term "negotiate" in this regard implies Japan is willing to cut a
deal with the North. Japan also needs to be ready to reward the
North if it does something that will benefit Japan. In negotiations
with the North Koreans, Japan should comprehensively discuss the
issues of abductions, and nuclear and missile development and aim to
resolve those three issues. This approach is not a new one. Japan
has insisted since the days of Prime Minister Koizumi that
diplomatic normalization between Japan and North Korea will not come
unless those three issues are resolved. However, the question is the
yardstick for us to think those issues are resolved has not yet been
made clear.

-- What do you think is the yardstick?

Izumi: When it comes to the nuclear issue, if "complete abandonment"
comes, that would be seen as the issue being resolved. On the
missile issue, Japan should pressure the North to dismantle
ballistic missiles with the range of 500 or more kilometers so that
not only Rodong and Taepodong missiles that can reach Japan but also
Taepodong 2 missiles that can reach the US will be included. The US
would move to negotiate with the North if Japan strongly urges the
US to do so. Japan can take the lead in negotiations over this
missile area. On the abduction issue, Japan until now has insisted
that (1) all surviving abductees should be returned to Japan; (2)
the truth should be elucidated, and (3) suspects should be handed
over to Japan. But unless the truth is hunted for, how many
abductees are still alive will remain unclear, thereby the issue
remains unresolved. Japan could open the way for the North Koreans
to respond to negotiations with it if it calls for comprehensively
resolving those three issues.

(4) Daring prediction -- 2007 reversal of power in Upper House (1):

TOKYO 00003865 005 OF 012


Fate of the Abe administration

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2007

By Tatsuki Kanei

The outlook in the political circles is becoming increasingly
unclear after the reversal of power between the ruling and
opposition camps in the Upper House. How will the political
situation unfold after a change in the power balance between the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and
the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) under party head Ichiro Ozawa?
What developments will take place regarding pending policy issues
under a "distorted situation at the Diet"? Here is a daring
prediction by Tokyo Shimbun political department's front-line
reporter.

Question: It appears that Prime Minister Abe is under enormous
pressure because he is staying in power despite the defeat in the
Upper House race.

Answer: Procedure wise, there is no problem about his staying in
power. However, it is certainly difficult to understand why he does
not take responsibility for the crushing defeat. The LDP is filled
with pent-up feelings, and the people must be feeling the same way.

Cabinet reshuffle to bring about a change of public feeling

Q: The cabinet approval rating is floundering in the 20 percent
range. Will there be a chance for it to rise again?

A: There are hardly any administrations that resuscitated once the
public gave up on it. Unfavorable things continued to take place
even after the recent Upper House election, including the dismissal
of farm minister Norihiko Akagi and a slapstick comedy regarding the
appointment of a new vice defense minister. Presenting a fresh
cabinet by shuffling the cabinet on 27 August may be the final
chance for the Abe administration.

Q: What approach will Prime Minister Abe take in shuffling his
cabinet?

A: Because he has been indicating that he will shuffle the cabinet
to bring about a change in public feeling, it may safely be said
that almost all of the ministers will be replaced. But I wonder if
that is sufficient.

Q: What do you mean by that?

A: Some LDP lawmakers think that joining the Abe cabinet is like
boarding a sinking ship.

In addition, some lawmakers are worried that they, too. might have
to face a "politics and money" scandal, similar to the one that
involved Akagi. Many lawmakers think that it is better to "pass" on
the upcoming shuffle, rather than risk damaging their political
careers.

Q: What should the prime minister do to form a new cabinet that can
elicit positive public reactions?


TOKYO 00003865 006 OF 012


A: He should even appoint people who were critical of him. He
should avoid coming up with a lineup that will be evaluated as the
"cabinet of friends." Frankly speaking, the focus of the reshuffle
is whether the prime minister will appoint such lawmakers as former
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda and Upper House lawmaker Yoichi
Masuzoe, who repeatedly made critical comments about the prime
minister.

Q: Will there be surprising appointments similar to the ones which
former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made?

A: Prime Minister Abe does not favor appointing lawmakers no one
expected just for the sake of doing something different, although
everybody may say, "Wow," if the prime minister goes as far as
appointing former Prime Minister Koizumi. Mind you, Koizumi will
never accept a request to join the new cabinet.

A Brake

Q: If the prime minister fails to score points by reshuffling the
cabinet, the only step left for him to take is to regain public
trust through policies.

A: The prime minister is well aware of that. He is desperate to
improve the situation. However, he will have to carry out
"exclusively defense-oriented" administrative management for the
time being because he will be faced with an offensive by the DPJ.

Q: Prime Minister Abe is closely associated with constitutional
revision.

A: But it will be difficult to push that forward. Constitutional
revision requires an approval of the two-thirds of lawmakers in both
chambers of the Diet. However, because of the defeat in the Upper
House election, it is even more difficult now to attain the
"two-thirds." There is no longer any hope for the Diet to initiate
constitutional revision in 2010 as the LDP hopes.

Q: The prime minister was making a strong effort on educational
reform as well.

A: Yes. The Education Rebuilding Council is scheduled to release
its third report in December, but this reform plan is also expected
to slow down.

Q: Why is that?

A: The centerpiece of the report will be the introduction of the
education voucher system. Under the system, a student can choose a
school to attend and submit to the school a voucher provided by the
local government.

Q: But is it not good for students to have a broader variety of
schools to choose?

A: The system is good for students in the urban area. However,
students in provinces do not have as many choices. Given the fact
that anger at "the abandonment of the provinces" was expressed in
the Upper House election, it will be difficult for the government to
take policies that will further widen disparities between the urban
area and the provinces.


TOKYO 00003865 007 OF 012


Q: What are the Abe administration's other policies?

A: The Abe administration will continue to work strenuously on the
pension issue and the reform of the public servant system. In these
fields, however, the DPJ, which is backed by "numerical strength,"
will submit counterproposals one after another. Therefore, the
administration is expected to make compromises in some cases.

A Dilemma

Q: Then, the Abe administration will not be able to express its
unique character.

A: That is right. Since the defeat in the Upper House race, Prime
Minister Abe has been saying that he will "reconsider what I need to
reconsider." However, if he reconsiders and changes the "beautiful
country" line and policies to "break away from the post-war regime,"
there will be little reason for the Abe administration to continue
existing.

Q: So, that is a dilemma the Abe administration is faced with.

A: The prime minister needs to urgently break that situation and end
the doldrums. If LDP lawmakers judge that "it will not be possible
to fight the Lower House election under the Abe administration," an
attack to remove Abe will be launched at once.

Upcoming Political Events

August
21 Defense Minister Yuriko Koike's visits to India and Pakistan
(until August 25)
22 Japan-India summit
Bank of Japan Policy Board meeting
24 Japan-Malaysia summit
Prime Minister Abe's news conference
25 Prime Minister Abe returns home
27 The reshuffle of the Cabinet and LDP executives
28 Joint ceremony for late former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa

September
8 The summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum (APEC)
in Sydney
(until September 9)
18 A UN General Assembly session to start

Mid-September?
An extraordinary Diet session to be convened.

November
1 The anti-terrorism special measures law to expire
? An experts' panel is planned to release the final report on the
exercising of the right
To collective self-defense

December
The Education Rebuilding Council to release the third report

(5) Fate of WTO Doha Round

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 9) (Full)
August 21, 2007

TOKYO 00003865 008 OF 012

The Doha Round of global trade talks under the World Trade
Organization (WTO) will resume negotiations in September, with the
aim of reaching an agreement by the end of the year. Discussion will
be conducted with a focus on reducing tariffs on agricultural
products. But it seems difficult to reach a conclusion because of
the conflict of interests existing among member countries.

WTO tasked with settling trade disputes

The WTO is an organization tasked with making trade rules and
mediating disputes. When the Great Depression took place in 1929,
countries erected the wall of tariffs to protect their economies
from being affected by the depression. Such protective efforts,
though, worked negatively and resulted in destabilizing the world
economy, forming a remote cause of World War II. Out of reflection
on this, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), the
predecessor of the WTO, was established in 1948.

After joining the GATT in 1955, Japan achieved economic development
by exporting automobiles and electrical equipment under the
free-trade system.

In 1995, the GATT was reorganized into the WTO. At present, 151
countries and regions are members of the WTO. The organization
produced results in reducing tariffs, establishing rules, and
protecting intellectual property. Meanwhile, many cases have been
brought into the WTO for dispute settlement.

Countries studying chairmen's proposals, aiming at concluding
negotiations this year

In each round, members set a deadline and draw up trade rules. Nine
rounds of talks, including the current Doha Round, were held so far.
The focus of discussion in the first six rounds was on tariffs.
Starting in the 7th round, the member countries discussed such
non-tariff barriers as state subsidies and import procedures. In the
previous Uruguay Round (1986 - 1994), Japan was pressured to decide
to open up its rice market.

The ongoing round, which started in November 2001, marks the 7th
year this year. But the meeting among the United States, the
European Union (EU), Brazil, and India ended in rupture in June.
Since then, the stage of negotiations has been moved to plenary
meetings. For now, the member countries are studying the proposals
for agreement presented on July 17 by the chairmen of talks on the
agriculture and industrial areas. They will resume negotiations on
Sept. 3, with the aim of agreeing on details within this year.

Japan makes own assertions

In the agricultural area, the Japanese government cannot easily make
concessions, because if low-priced farm products flow into the
nation, domestic farmers will receive a serious blow.

Japan has insisted that high tariffs should be allowed for "up to 15
PERCENT (200 items)" of all products. But the chairman's proposal
set the maximum percent at "6 PERCENT (about 60 items)." In this
case, it will become impossible for Japan to protect its all
mainstay products - rice, wheat, dairy products, and sugar. An
official of the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said:
"We would like to proceed with negotiations, focusing on 8 PERCENT

TOKYO 00003865 009 OF 012


."

The chairman's proposal calls on industrialized countries and
developing countries to reduce their import tariffs to up to 8-9
percent and up to 19-23 percent, respectively. There is a difference
of more than 10 PERCENT between both sides. As said by an official
of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Japan will
continue to assert: "Developing countries should reduce
coefficient."

It is not easy to conclude the talks in plenary meetings now that
many countries' interests are complicatedly involved. Many observers
presume that if an agreement is not reached by the end of this year,
a settlement of the talks might become hopeless because the US will
lose bargaining power, with the presidential elections scheduled for
next year.

In such a case, countries may begin to pour their energy into making
bilateral or regional trade rules, such as free trade agreements
(FTA) - designed to remove trade barriers with specific countries or
regions - and economic partnership agreements (EPA) that would set
rules on investment protection, in addition to trade. Japan started
late, so whether Japan will be able to make a roll back hinges on
whether it will be able to strengthen economic partnerships in East
Asia.

(6) New Komeito head Ota in interview stresses placing more
importance on daily lives of ordinary people than on constitutional
amendments

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

-- Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has stayed on in office, although the
ruling coalition suffered a crushing defeat in the July House of
Councillors election. There are views expressing dissatisfaction
with it in the ruling coalition.

Ota: I think a majority of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
members probably support the prime minister's decision. I do say
what I should say. But I basically support his continuance in
premiership.

-- Prime Minister Abe has advocated his policy of breaking with the
postwar regime and has been enthusiastic about constitutional
reform.

Ota: The people are more interested in how to deal with a drastic
change in society than constitutional amendments.

-- Do you mean that priority was placed on the daily lives of
ordinary people rather than on amending Article 9 of the
Constitution?

Ota: Absolutely right. Pushing ahead with constitutional debate
without making any fuss is the role of politicians. I think,
however, public opinion in the recent Upper House was that politics
should give more consideration to the daily lives of people. We
should carry out constitutional debate in a calm manner based on the
timetable we have set. There is no need for us to feel pressured to
do something.


TOKYO 00003865 010 OF 012


-- It seems that the New Komeito's effort to play up its political
identity was a little weak.

Ota: We have two challenges -- one being to promote the party's
presence and the other strengthening the coalition government. Since
we are required to do both, we must say what we have to say.

-- The prime minister will shuffle the cabinet and the LDP executive
on Aug. 27. Do you have any requests?

Ota: The prime minister must restore public confidence. It's not
good that cabinet ministers make controversial remarks in
succession. Unless he puts competent persons in cabinet posts, he
won't be able to gain confidence.

-- The fall extraordinary session of the Die will deal with a bill
to extend the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa clearly expressed to US
Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer his party's opposition to an
extension of to an extension of the law.

Ota: Since it's extremely important issue, deep discussion is
necessary in the ruling camp. We need to discuss the issue at an
appropriate time with the DPJ. We will face various scenes.

-- The number of the LDP and New Komeito members is a short of
majority in the Upper House.

Ota: At the extraordinary Diet session in 1998, in which
deliberations were carried out on bills related to financial issues,
then DPJ President Naoto Kan's stance of avoiding Lower House
dissolution was great. Mr. Ozawa, however, might try to do so. I
think if he says that he will take responsibility to evade such, he
will then be able to have the reins of government.

-- The New Komeito was Ozawa's partner when he headed the defunct
New Frontier Party. How do you assess Ozawa now?

Ota: I think he was a person who is capable of addressing issues.
However, there are differences in his views when he headed the NFP
and that of now. I feel something is wrong.

-- There is a view that if a scandal involving a cabinet minister
after the extra session convenes, the Abe administration will
completely die.

Ota: Making mistakes in policy and in words and deeds is no longer
unforgivable. The cabinet ministers must fulfill their duties with a
sense of urgency.

-- When do you think the Lower House will be dissolved?

Ota: It is important to take a certain period of time between the
Upper House election and the Lower House one. The next Lower House
election should be conducted one year from now. I think the election
will be held after the G-8 summit in Hokkaido next summer.

(Corrected copy) Editorial: Prime Minister Abe must use caution in
discussing late Judge Pal

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
August 18, 2007

TOKYO 00003865 011 OF 012

During his overseas trip from August 19 that will take him to India,
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is scheduled to meet with the son of the
late Radhabinod Pal, who served as a judge at the Tokyo War Crimes
Tribunal (International Military Tribunal for the Far East).

Pal was the only judge at the tribunal that took the dissenting view
that all of Japan's 25 Class-A war criminals, including former Prime
Minister Hideki Tojo, were not guilty.

Pal's question about the legitimacy of the Allied trials stuck a
chord with the Japanese people, who were crushed by a sense of
defeat. He has been idolized by some as the only judge who found
Japan not guilty.

After the war, Pal was often invited to visit Japan. Tokyo decorated
him with the First Order of Merit with the Grand Cordon of the
Rising Sun during his last visit to Japan, which was made possible
by then Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, the grandfather of Prime
Minister Abe.

About his planned meeting with the son of the late Judge Pal, Abe
said: "Judge Pal was closely associated with Japan. I am looking
forward to seeing his son to learn about his father." The story is
not that simple.

The international community has been gazing coldly at Japan because
of the former Imperial Japanese Army's involvement with the
comfort-women issue, as well as prime ministerial visits to Yasukuni
Shrine. Abe's meeting might end up sending out a message of
rejecting the results of the international tribunal and Japan's
wartime responsibility.

The sense of distrust in Abe comes from his reluctance to accept the
results of the tribunal. Soon after assuming office, Prime Minister
Abe used diplomatic language at the Diet, saying: "In terms of
country-to-country relations, I am not in a position to object to
the result of the tribunal."

Views are still split over the results of the tribunal. Such
concepts as a "crime against peace" and a "crime against humanity"
were established after the war's end, and the United States, a
victor of the war, was not tried for dropping atomic bomb on Japan.
At the same time, massacres and conspiracies by the Imperial
Japanese Army came to light for the first time. The tribunal also
served as a milestone for establishing international law on war.

Although the tribunal had both good and bad aspects, there is no
doubt that Japan was allowed to rejoin the international community
because it accepted the verdict. That was Japan's way of bringing
the war to closure. Political leaders must always keep that in
mind.

It is also noteworthy that some Japanese have taken Pal's view to
serve their own interests. Specifically, some conservatives have
taken it to mean that Japan was free from war responsibility.

Pal's view was that under the international law at the time, Japan
could not be held responsible for the war of aggression. At the same
time, he harshly criticized the Imperial Japanese Army for the
Nanjing Massacre and other incidents. The judge held Japan morally
instead of legally responsible.

TOKYO 00003865 012 OF 012

Ashis Nandy, an Indian political psychologist and sociologist of
science who knew Pal personally, strongly warned against using Pal
to justify Japanese militarism.

Is Prime Minister Abe aware of Judge Pal's overall view? He must
abstain from partially discussing Pal's views with his son.

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>>