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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/24/07

DE RUEHKO #3919/01 2360706
P 240706Z AUG 07





E.O. 12958: N/A


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

4) President Bush to travel to Sydney next month for the first
trilateral summit talks with Australia, Japan

Abe in India:
5) Japan, India cooperation on environmental issue, despite Prime
Minister Abe's summit diplomacy, is likely to quickly bog down
6) Abe meets the eldest son of Justice Pal, who sat on the War
Crimes Trial and found no one guilty

Furor over anti-terror bill:
7) DPJ (Democratic Party of Japan) is readying a counterproposal to
the Anti-Terrorist Special Measures Law that would involve
humanitarian aid
8) Concentrated deliberation on the anti-terror bill to start in the
Diet Sept. 26
9) Activists across the nation starting a petition drive against
extending the Anti-Terrorist Special Measures Law

Defense and security issues:
10) Feud between Koike, Moriya still smolders: Defense minister: I
didn't lose my mind"; vice minister: "I wanted to be told about my
11) SDF unveils destroyer with flat top for helicopters that looks a
lot like an aircraft carrier
12) China takes first step toward possessing its own aircraft

13) Foreign Ministry plans to boost ODA funds in next fiscal year's
budget request in order to expand environmental aid program

Political agenda:
14) Coordination to convene extraordinary session of the Diet on
Sept. 10 for 60-day period
15) Sinking-ship mood about the Abe cabinet spreads across LDP,
making lawmakers skittish about being picked for new cabinet
16) New Komeito starts distancing itself from LDP, even considering
"off-cabinet" cooperation with Abe administration instead of taking
ministerial post
17) LDP's post mortem of the Upper House election loss concludes
that there was a disconnect between the Abe policy line and the will
of the public



Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei, and Tokyo Shimbun:
Punctured tank caused China Airlines jet fuel leak

Isuzu, Hino to tie up in diesel engine development to meet
environmental regulations

Nine lawmakers revise their funding reports ahead of cabinet

TOKYO 00003919 002 OF 012


(1) Abe in India: Value-oriented diplomacy not almighty
(2) BOJ's decision to leave rates unchanged

(1) Japan-India relations: Abe's visit expected to result in first
step toward strategic cooperation
(2) BOJ's decision reasonable

(1) India-Japan accord moves ties into new dimension
(2) Market needs to restore calm before raising interest rates

(1) BOJ decides not to raise rates in view of market risks

(1) Japan-India summit: Strategic cooperation vital
(2) Interest rates must be raised to normal levels

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Murder by police officer
(2) New Komeito must not join new cabinet

(1) Mysterious double-booking of office expenses

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 23

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

Left Palam Air Force Station in Delhi, India, by a government plane.
Arrived at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose CCU in Kolkata. Attended an
opening ceremony of the India-Japan Culture Center.

Met Prasanta Pal, the eldest son of the late Indian judge Radhabinod
Pal at the Tokyo Tribunal of War Criminals, at a hotel. Attended a
luncheon party held by the West Bengal state government.
Afternoon Visited the Tagore House and then the Chandra Bose

Left Chandra Bose CCU by a government plane.

Arrived at Kuala Lumpur Airport in Malaysia. Stayed at the Hotel
Nikko Kuala Lumpur.

4) Japan, US, Australia to hold first summit on Sept. 8

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2008

Japan, the United States, and Australia will hold their first

TOKYO 00003919 003 OF 012

trilateral summit in Sydney, Australia, on Sept. 8, according
government sources yesterday. In the trilateral talks, Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe, US President George W. Bush, and Australian
Prime Minister John Howard will confirm the importance of trilateral
security cooperation, focusing on North Korea's nuclear development
problem and China's military buildup. Japan is now carrying out
final coordination on a possibility of proposing in the meeting
regularizing trilateral talks.

The trilateral meeting will be held on the sidelines of the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit to start on Sept. 8
in Sydney.

In addition to the Japan-US alliance and the US-Australia alliance,
Japan and Australia signed this March a Japan-Australia joint
security declaration proposing the strengthening of bilateral
cooperation on the security front. Following this, the three
countries agreed on the view that it is beneficial for them to
strengthen summit-level cooperation in dealing with North Korea's
problem and marine salvage, as well as in countering terrorism.

The three leaders are expected to agree to call on China to make its
military buildup program more transparent. Prime Minister Abe plans
to stress the need for North Korea to implement the agreement
reached in the six-party talks on its nuclear development problem.

Japan, the US, and Australia established in March of last year a
framework for strategic dialogue by their foreign ministers and
state secretary. This June, their first defense ministerial meeting
was held in Singapore.

5) Cooperation from India to combat climate change seems difficult

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 24, 2007

Kimitaka Nishiyama, New Delhi

The major objective of Prime Minister Abe's visit to India this time
was to bring it into a common framework against global warming.
Prime Minister Singh of India praised Abe's "Cool Earth 50," a
concept intended to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and said
he would work together for that purpose. But this is taken to mean
that the way for bilateral dialogue in this regard has now been just
opened. Given Singh's remarks that "the important thing is to strike
a balance between environmental preservation and economic growth,"
it has become even clearer that it is very difficult to involve
India in an emission reduction scheme.

"Cool Earth 50" sets a long-term target of halving the emissions of
greenhouse gases by 2050 and suggests three principles on the
creation of a post-Kyoto Protocol, which will be applied to years
beyond 2013: (1) having all major emitters participate in the new
framework; (2) creating a flexible framework that will give
consideration to each country's circumstances; and (3) striking a
balance between environmental preservation and economic growth via
energy-saving technology.

Abe, who is aiming to obtain cooperation from major emitters like
the United States, China, and India, has elicited a positive stance
from the US and China when he had separate summit talks in April
with the leaders of the two countries. In the Group of Eight (G-8)

TOKYO 00003919 004 OF 012

major industrialized countries summit in Germany in June, as well,
the G-8 members shared the same perception.

In order for Abe to take the lead on measures against global warming
in preparation for the 2008 G-8 summit in Lake Toya, Hokkaido, it is
essential to obtain cooperation from the fifth largest emitter in
the world, India. At a joint press briefing, Abe blew his horn,
saying: "(Prime Minister Singh) has expressed his resolve toward an
effective framework to be applied in 2013 and beyond. I deem this as
a step forward."

According to a Japanese government official, however, the view
prevalent in the Japanese government is that India is less eager
than China. Singh praised (Abe's) "Cool Earth 50," but this, too, is
seen as simply expressing agreement in general terms because that
concept is milder than a package of measures to reduce emissions the
European Union is advancing.

6) Abe meets son of Judge Pal, who built foundation of Japan-India

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
August 24, 2007

Yasushi Sugimoto, Kolkata

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, now visiting India, met with Proshanto
Pal, the eldest son of the late Radhabinod Pal, who served as a
judge at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, at a
hotel in Kolkata on the morning of August 23 (afternoon of Aug. 23,
Japan time). Pal was the sole dissenting judge at the Allied
tribunal that condemned to death wartime Japanese leaders. Abe
praised the Indian judge's conduct that eventually enhanced the
friendship between Japan and India.

In a dissenting opinion, Pal questioned the legitimacy of the
tribunal and criticized the atomic bombing of Japan. Abe said to
Proshanto Pal: "Even to this day, many Japanese revere your father.
He was one of the persons who contributed to building the foundation
of Japan-India relations. I think advancing bilateral relations was
Judge Pal's wish. Relations between Japan and India are very strong

Proshanto Pal visited Japan in 1966 with his father and met former
Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, Abe's grandfather. Recalling that
trip, Pal said, "It has been a long time since I met Mr. Kishi." Pal
also gave Abe a framed black-and-white group photo including Kishi,
his father, and himself, saying: "I am certain that you will exert
yourself to improve relations between India and Japan, as Mr. Kishi
did." In response Abe said: "I will make utmost efforts for
enhancing bilateral relations."

Asked in the Diet about the Class-A war criminals who were convicted
at the tribunal, Abe said: "Under domestic law, there were not war
criminals." Through his meeting with Proshanto Pal, Abe also
intended to expose the existence of diverse historical perceptions
in Asia by playing up India's response as clearly distinct from
China, which has repeatedly criticized the Japanese prime minister's
visits to Yasukuni Shrine on the grounds of the enshrinement of
Class-A war criminals there.

Abe also visited the memorial to Chandra Bose, who fought with Japan

TOKYO 00003919 005 OF 012

in the last major war and is now known as the father of independence
of India.

7) DPJ mulls Afghan humanitarian aid

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 24, 2007

The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto),
standing against the idea of extending the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, will consider incorporating humanitarian and
reconstruction assistance measures for Afghanistan in its
counterproposal, party officials said yesterday. There were voices
from among the DPJ's conservative lawmakers concerning the party's
course of action. "If we just cry out against extending the law, and
if we do not show our own idea of what Japan will do, our party's
governing competence will be called into question," one junior
lawmaker of the party said.

DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa told DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama
on Aug. 20: "The idea of using armed force to eliminate terrorism
failed in Iraq, and it doesn't go well in Afghanistan, either. If we
can work out some measures to help root out poverty (as a breeding
ground for terrorism), that's good."

The DPJ will launch a new lineup of executive officers on Aug. 31.
After that, the DPJ will hold a meeting of its foreign affairs and
defense panel to discuss specific measures in earnest. In September,
the DPJ will send a fact-finding team to the United States, Britain,
France, and Germany to explore effective assistance measures mainly
for infrastructure construction, public health and medical support,
food aid, and job creation. The DPJ is also considering civilian
participation in a provisional reconstruction team (PRT) as well as
funding cooperation for nongovernmental organizations.

8) Extraordinary Diet session to focus concentration on
antiterrorism law, deliberations on which are expected to begin on
Sept. 26

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Almost full)
August 24, 2007

The government and the ruling coalition yesterday undertook final
coordination to convene on Sept. 10 an extraordinary session of the
Diet, which will discuss the question of extending the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law and which will last some 60 days. The ruling
parties intend to begin deliberations on a bill revising the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law in late September and get the
bill adopted by the Lower House by the end of that month, but the
opposition parties are certain to raise objections to the bill.

Referring to this sudden move by the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party's (LDP) leadership to undertake coordination concerning the
convocation of the extraordinary Diet session, one LDP member
explained: "They appeared highly upset at the major opposition
Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ozawa's
remark that '(the LDP) is in the state of being brain dead.'"

Secretary General Nakagawa and other executives initially intended

to have a new lineup of the leadership determine when to convene the
extraordinary Diet session and how long the session would last. But
Ozawa made provocative remarks in a speech on Aug. 21 like this:

TOKYO 00003919 006 OF 012

"When will the Diet be opened? The government and the ruling
coalition appear to be in the state of being brain dead."
Apparently, the LDP leadership were reacting sharply to this

Bearing in mind the expiration of the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law on Nov. 1, the ruling coalition intends to have the
extraordinary Diet session last until early November. As the purpose
of the convocation of that session, an LDP senior member in charge
of Diet affairs said: "The session will generally focus on the
handling of the bill revising the Antiterrorism Special Measures

Behind this is the ruling bloc's concern that if the session lasts
too long, it would give the DPJ an opportunity to pursue the LDP on
the pension issue and the "politics-and-money" issue that may
involve new cabinet members. If that happens, "the shuffled Abe
cabinet would suffer damage," a government official concerned

Assuming that the extraordinary Diet session will be convened on
Sept. 10, the ruling coalition has charted this short timetable for
the Diet session: (1) question-and-answer sessions will take place
in both the chambers of the Diet on Sept. 12-14; (2)
questions-and-answer sessions in both the Lower and Upper House
Budget Committees on Sept. 18-21; and (3) an explanation of the bill
revising the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law will be given at the
full session of the plenary session of the Lower House on Sept. 25
and the bill will clear the Lower House on Sept. 28.

Substantive discussion on the revision bill at the Lower House
Committee on Prevention of Terrorism is expected to begin on Sept.
26 if things go smoothly. This committee has been convened three
times until now when the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law was
extended in 2005 and 2006 respectively. Following this precedent,
the ruling coalition plans to open this committee for three
consecutive days on Sept. 26-28.

DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama, however, yesterday said, "Our party
needs to come up with a more substantive policy (than the current
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law)," and he again made it clear
that his party would oppose the bill and call for full-scale
deliberations. A preliminary skirmish has thus already started.

A timetable planned by the ruling coalition for the extraordinary
Diet session in September

Major events
Sept. 10
The extraordinary Diet session will be convened. The prime minister
will deliver a policy speech.
Sept. 12-14 Questions-and-answers session in both the chambers of
the Diet.

Sept. 18-21
The budget committee will be convened in both the chambers of the

Sept. 25
An explanation of the bill revising the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law will be given in the Lower House plenary session.

TOKYO 00003919 007 OF 012

Sept. 26
Deliberations on the revision bill will begin at the Lower House
special committee.

Late September
The revision bill will be put to the vote at the Lower House special
committee and clear the Lower House (if things go smoothly).

9) Groups campaigning across the nation in opposition to extending
the Anti-terrorist Special Measures Law

AKAHATA (Page 1) (Full)
August 24, 2007

The Central Action Committee for Revoking the (Japan-US) Security
Treaty and action committees across the country yesterday carried
out campaigns and petition-signing activities in each part of the
country opposing the extension of the Anti-terrorist Special
Measures Law. The appeal went out to oppose the extension of the
"terrorist special measures law" that supports a retaliatory war
against Afghanistan by America and other countries. The law that
allows the Maritime Self-Defense Force to provide refueling service
for British and US warships in the Indian Ocean will expire on Nov.

In Tokyo, members of the Tokyo Action Committee stood outside the
West Entrance of Shinjuku Station and campaigned. Many people
stopped to talk with them. A woman (36) from Saitama Prefecture
stated: "I am absolutely against Japan cooperating with the war. It
only makes terrorism worse. They only retaliate all the more." A
young man (18) who is the child of a Japanese and Iraqi said, "Wars
only make weapons' manufacturers rich." His face clouded over when
he added, "I cannot even visit Iraq now."

The Self-Defense Forces have supplied fuel and water for the past
five and a half years, with the cost of the supplies totaling 22
billion yen. A man (55) from Kanagawa Prefecture stated: "Everybody
would be happy if they pulled out. It would have been better to have
spent the 22 billion yen somewhere else."

The action committee members made this appeal to the passersby:
"Terrorism will not disappear by carrying out war. Japan, which has
Article 9 in the Constitution, should stop cooperating with that

10) Will Koike, Moriya continue their feud?

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 24, 2007

Speaking before reporters in New Delhi last night, local time,
Defense Minister Koike refuted criticism against her emerging even
from ruling party members for feuding with Vice Defense Minister
Takemasa Moriya over who should succeed Moriya. Koike said: "Keeping
in mind the organizational restructuring (including disbanding the
Defense Facilities Administrative Agency) planned for Sept. 1, I
decided to change personnel. It is not correct to think that I have
lost my mind and inserted myself into personnel matters."

Koike indicated that she had decided to dismiss Moriya in part
because there were problems with the Defense Ministry's
information-management system, citing the case of leakage of

TOKYO 00003919 008 OF 012

classified information on the Aegis system. She said: "I wanted to
say who was responsible. We can't say its another person's problem."
Koike also criticized Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki, who decided
to put off the appointment of a new vice defense minister until
after the planned cabinet reshuffle, remarking: "I have some doubts
about his seriousness toward the reorganization of the Defense

Meanwhile, Moriya expressed his displeasure at Koike in a press
conference in the Defense Ministry yesterday: "I follow the
minister's decision on my retirement from office, but I told her
that she should have consulted with me about my replacement."

Regarding the fact that he had involved Prime Minister Abe and the
chief cabinet secretary in the feud, Moriya expressed regret with a
wry smile: "I feel sorry to have caused a sensation just before
leaving the government." Some speculate that he might become an
advisor to the Defense Ministry after retirement. Asked about this
possibility, he just replied: "I would like to take a rest for a
while, though this is a suggestion from the minister."

11) New destroyer takes water

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

A new destroyer for the Maritime Self-Defense Force took water
yesterday. The 13,500-ton destroyer, codenamed DDH Hyuga, carries
helicopters on board. The Defense Ministry held a launching ceremony
yesterday at IHI Marine United's Yokohama dockyard.

The DDH Hyuga is Japan's first 10,000-ton-plus destroyer with a
continuous deck from the bow to the stem. The destroyer is not
designed to base fighter jets for their landings and takeoffs.
However, it looks like an aircraft carrier. One may say Japan will
have an aircraft carrier in the future. It has an overall length of
197 meters and a maximum beam of 33 meters. Its building cost was
approximately 100 billion yen.

12) China in run-up to flattop possession

SANKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 24, 2007

BEIJING-China is aiming to possess aircraft carriers for its navy,
and its military has placed orders with foreign countries for
carrier-borne fighter jets, a military source watching trends in
China's armed forces revealed yesterday. China has not unveiled
anything about its plan to build aircraft carriers. However, China
is believed to have been in the run-up to possessing flattops.
Japanese and US defense officials are paying close attention to the
trends of China.

Those carrier-borne aircrafts have been ordered "for testing
purposes," according to the source. One of those ordered test
version models is the Sukhoi-27 or Su-27 for short, a fighter jet
developed by Russia. They include the Su-33, an improved version of
the Su-27 as a carrier-borne fighter. China is believed to have
placed orders with Russia or Ukraine for 10 planes or so. The source
presumes that China has ordered the test aircrafts in order to use
them the purpose of evaluating their performance as trainers and
carrier-borne fighters.

TOKYO 00003919 009 OF 012

China seems to have imported some braking equipment systems for
carrier-borne aircraft's deck landing. They include wiring used to
hook and arrest carrier-based aircraft upon their touchdown. In
addition, China is believed to have been researching various control
and electronic systems that are believed to be used for aircraft

13) Foreign Ministry to request 13 PERCENT increase in ODA in next

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

The Foreign Ministry decided yesterday to request approximately 517
billion yen, up 13.9 PERCENT over the initial budget for this
fiscal year, for budgetary allocations on official development
assistance (ODA) for next fiscal year. The ministry will ask for
about 32 billion yen as expenses to finance preparations for the
Lake Toya Summit in Japan next year.

The total amount of budgetary allocations requested by the Foreign
Ministry is 779 billion yen, up 16.1 PERCENT over the previous
year. To bolster the foundation of its diplomatic capabilities, the
ministry will request establishing new overseas diplomatic
properties in eight locations, such as Qingdao, China, and employing
240 more staff members. Of the ODA budget, about 181 billion yen
will be used to finance measures to deal with global warming and
other global issues. The ministry also hopes to keep ODA funds for
Africa at the same level as the previous fiscal year.

14) Ruling coalition in coordination on plan to convene extra Diet
session on Sept. 10, term of session about 60 days

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner,
New Komeito, held yesterday a meeting of their secretaries general
and Diet Affairs Committee chairmen in the Diet building. The LDP
and New Komeito agreed to convene an extraordinary Diet session on
Sept. 10, which will last about 60 days through early November. The
two parties intend to coordinate the plan with the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei), as well as with the opposition camp.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to participate in the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum to be held in Sydney on
Sept. 8-9. The ruling coalition wishes to hold an opening ceremony
of the extra session and the prime minister's policy speech on Sept.
10 soon after Abe returns from his overseas tour, and interpellation
speeches by representatives of political parties on Sept. 12-14.

LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Toshihiro Nikai told reporters:

"It is only natural for us to consider deliberations on the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which will expire on Nov. 1. We
want to discuss with the Kantei the fall session plan, as well as
the handling of bills carried over from the latest regular

15) Growing mood of backing away from assuming cabinet posts

TOKYO 00003919 010 OF 012

TOKYO SHIMUBN (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

With a reshuffle of the cabinet coming up on Aug. 27, there are
unexpectedly few Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmakers seeking to
be appointed to cabinet posts, and there remains even a mood of
shying away from joining the reshuffled cabinet. The public will
take a severe view of new cabinet ministers in connection with
issues involving money and politics. It's no wonder that calls for
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to quit will become stronger any time.
Therefore, it seems that many LDP lawmakers do not want to risk
their political life.

Up until Junichiro Koizumi became prime minister, the names of LDP
Lower House members serving in their fifth and sixth term in the
Diet were put on a list of recommendations automatically. Former
Prime Minister Koizumi, however, adopted an appointment style of
sounding out lawmakers on their interest in serving in cabinet

It won't be surprising if LDP lawmakers seek to be appointed to
cabinet posts since Abe followed Koizumi's appointment style. But
the dominant mood in the LDP is that many party members are trying
to watch calmly how Abe will rebuild his administration.

The biggest reason for this situation is that Abe's grip on the
party has weakened.

Abe has remained in the prime minister's post, although his LDP
suffered a historical defeat in the July House of Councillors
election. Jiji Press found in its poll on Aug. 3-6 that the Abe
cabinet's support rate dropped to 22.6 PERCENT -- the lowest ever
since the cabinet was inaugurated.

If the prime minister fails to put an end to the declining approval
rating for his cabinet, a view calling on Abe to step down will
become strong with an eye on the next Lower House election. As a
result, a drive to remove Abe from the premiership may become
obvious. If the cabinet resigns as a body, the terms of new cabinet
ministers will be short. Therefore, it is understandable that LDP
lawmakers choose to wait for the next chance rather than to serve in
the reshuffled Abe cabinet.

One former cabinet minister said: "It's better not to get on a
sinking boat."

Lawmakers have strong interest in the issue of money and politics,
following political fund scandals involving Agriculture Minister
Akagi and other ministers. Should inappropriate use of political
funds be found in new cabinet ministers' political fund reports,
their accountability will be severely required.

Even mid-level lawmakers, who have reached positions to be appointed
as cabinet ministers, are reluctant to assume cabinet posts.

LDP lawmakers corrected their political funds reports in succession
this month because the party's reform implementation headquarters
advised re-checking of political funds reports. Most of the
lawmakers were those who looking forward to becoming cabinet

Diet members appear to have a desire to assume a minister post at

TOKYO 00003919 011 OF 012

least once.

16) New Komeito prefectural chapter representative suggests
"Cooperation with the government from outside the cabinet"

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 24, 2007

The New Komeito held a national convention at party headquarters on
Aug. 22 to examine the results of the July Upper House election. In
the session, a representative from one prefectural chapter suggested
that the party rethink the current coalition government between the
Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito and consider instead
the possibility of cooperation with the government from outside the
cabinet, sources revealed.

According to an official concerned, this representative noted: "Our
party should examine the past eight years of the LDP-New Komeito
coalition government. One idea is for the New Komeito to distance
itself from the LDP and cooperate with the LDP from outside the

Secretary General Kitagawa responded, "There's no doubt that the

LDP-New Komeito coalition government has propelled reforms. The
LDP-New Komeito line is unshakable." But the meeting revealed that
local chapters of the New Komeito, which had suffered a staggering
defeat in the Upper House, were wavering on continuing the

17) LDP report on Upper House race result cites gap between Abe
policy and popular will, criticizes public relations strategy

Mainichi Shimbun (Page 2) (Full)
August 24, 2007

By Hirohiko Sakaguchi and So Watanabe

The overall contents of the final report on the causes of the
Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) defeat in the recent Upper House
election was disclosed on 23 August. The report was compiled by an
LDP panel charged with analyzing the party's setback (chaired by
Yoshio Yatsu, director of the LDP Election Strategy Headquarters
General Affairs). The report candidly criticized the apparent gap
between policies advocated by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the will
of the public, and it urged the carrying out of "administrative
management in line with the public's views." The report also noted
that the public relations strategy stressed by the Prime Minister's
Official Residence and the LDP was unable to win the hearts of the
people. The report will be submitted to the party's General
Assembly on 24 August.

The final report concluded that the party failed to highlight the
following policies as campaign issues: the "beautiful country"
policy; the policy to "break away from the post-war regime"; and the
reform line. The report also said that the opposition parties
managed to take the initiative away from the opposition camp in the
election race because of their "livelihood first" strategy.

With regard to the focal issues of the appointments of cabinet
ministers as a reward for supporting the prime minister, the return
to the LDP of lawmakers who opposed privatizing the state-run postal
services, and the "money and politics" scandals, the report stressed

TOKYO 00003919 012 OF 012

the issues "gave the public the image that Prime Minister is on the
side of politicians in Nagata-cho and not on the side of the general
public." It then opined, "The public might have called into
question his leadership and ability to govern."

The report pointed out five factors that caused the LDP's defeat.
These factors include the three "adverse winds": the issue of
missing pension records; the "politics and money" issue; gaffes by
ministers and scandals involving them. The report also cited a
"rebellion in provinces" and the decrease in the number of local
assembly members and local government heads.


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By October 10, reports indicated that fixed-line internet, mobile data, SMS, telephone, and TV networks are all seriously compromised. With significant and increasing damage to the electrical grid, orders by the Israeli Ministry of Energy to stop supplying electricity and the last remaining power station now out of fuel, many are no longer able to charge devices that are essential to communicate and access information. More


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