Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/30/07

DE RUEHKO #4015/01 2420131
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E.O. 12958: N/A



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

4) Fuji-Sankei poll: Support rate for Abe cabinet leaps from 22
PERCENT to 38 PERCENT , while non-support rate plummets from 64.8

Anti-terror law's extension:
5) Fuji-Sankei poll finds 54.6 PERCENT of Japanese public against
extending the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law further deepening
DPJ confidence
6) Germany's Chancellor Merkel tells Prime Minister Abe she hopes to
see extension of anti-terror law that allows MSDF service in Indian
7) Germany using "gaiatsu" or foreign pressure tactic to get Japan
to extend anti-terror law
8) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to refuse any revision of the
anti-terror bill, as party members silently swallow President
Ozawa's policy line
9) DPJ readying counterproposal to anti-terror law that would
withdraw MSDF from Indian Ocean and send civilians into Afghanistan
to provide assistance
10) DPJ's Fujii reiterates party's opposition to extending
anti-terror law to US Embassy's Deputy Political Chief Knapper
11) Hatoyama: DPJ will file censure motion against Abe if LDP tries
to force anti-terror bill through the Diet; Party to send mission to
US to explain stance

Defense and security issues:
12) Tokyo government planning full-fledged missile-defense response
exercise for mid-September
13) Defense Ministry sets standards for providing subsidies to Nago
City and other USFJ realignment-affected locations

Political scene:
14) Presence of Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano in the Prime
Minister's Official Residence being felt, as mood of conciliation
with bureaucracy, opposition grows



DPJ to work out alternative for Antiterrorism Law

LDP subcommittee proposes state withdraw all appeals against suits
by A-bomb victims seeking enhanced care

Former Kyushu regional welfare bureau chief got luxury car as gift

Dam construction costs expand to 9 trillion yen

Poll: Support rate for Abe cabinet rises to 38 PERCENT

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Tokyo Shimbun:
1967 Japan-US summit: US conditioned Japan's sharing of military
responsibility for discussion on reversion of Okinawa; Japan vowed
to educate Japanese people and approved US bases remaining in

Six years of Afghan war: Private citizens suffering from stalemated


(1) Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano, implement solid economic policy
(2) Release of ROK hostages: Japan should learn from the kidnapping

(1) Return to Asashoryu: Nihon Somo Kyokai has heavy responsibility
for remaining on the sidelines
(2) Industrial waste disposal facilities: Strict screening necessary
to prevent illegal dumping

(1) Japan-Germany summit: Japan, Germany should cooperate to fight
global warming
(2) Release of South Korean hostages: Our joy is not without

(1) Japan should learn from the great alliance of German politics
(2) Nursing care services must follow law to restore public

(1) Cabinet support rate: New cabinet should gain public
understanding for key policies
(2) Shortage of electricity: Both households and workplaces need
energy saving

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Asashoryu returns to Mongolia: Nihon Sumo Kyokai should have a
clear policy
(2) Abductions of South Korean nationals: Security is a must

(1) Digitalization: Need for all possible measures for those who
won't be able to watch TV

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 29

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
Augusts 30, 2007

Special cabinet meeting at the prime minister's official residence
(Kantei). The met with Foreign Minister Machimura.

Reported to the Emperor in private. Then attended an attestation

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ceremony for senior vice ministers.

Photo session with senior vice ministers at the Kantei. Then gave
assignments to the senior vice minister for the Cabinet Office.
Attended a meeting of senior vice ministers.

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matoba.

Met with Lower House member Yoichi Miyazawa and Keiko Miyazawa, the
eldest daughter of the late former Prime Minister Miyazawa.

Met with German Chancellor Merkel. Then joint press conference.

Hosted a dinner party to welcome the German chancellor.

4) Poll: Abe cabinet's support rate rises to 38 PERCENT after

SANKEI (Top play) (Abridged)
August 30, 2007

The Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) conducted a joint
public opinion survey on Aug. 27-28 right after Prime Minister Abe's
launch of his new cabinet to probe public attitudes. In the survey,
the rate of public support for the Abe cabinet leaped to 38.0
PERCENT , up 16 percentage points from the 22.0 PERCENT rating in
an FNN survey taken July 31 and Aug. 1. The nonsupport rate was 42.9
PERCENT , down 21.9 points. Yet, disapproval still outpaces
approval. The Abe cabinet has now rebounded in public support. This
can be taken as reflecting public endorsement to the Abe cabinet's
new lineup that is dignified unlike its previous lineup that was
cynically called "otomodachi naikaku" or a cabinet of friends. In
the survey, respondents were asked if they thought the Abe cabinet's
new lineup is fresh. To this question, however, negative opinions
substantially outnumbered affirmative ones, with "no" accounting for
66.9 PERCENT and "yes" at 17.9 PERCENT . In the breakdown of public
support for political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party
stood at 28.2 PERCENT , up 5.2 points from the last survey. In the
survey this time as well, the LDP remained lower than the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), which scored 30.9
PERCENT , down 1.9 points.

5) Poll: 54.6 PERCENT opposed to antiterror law extension; DPJ more

SANKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 30, 2007

Those opposed to extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law
accounted for 54.6 PERCENT in a joint public opinion survey
conducted by the Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN). The
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), which is
clearly against extending the antiterror law, is becoming more
confident. "The people have the same feeling as ours. We're
encouraged." This comment came from Takeaki Matsumoto, who chairs
the DPJ's policy board. The government and the ruling coalition of
the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito have a growing sense of

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The Maritime Self-Defense Force has been working on refueling
activities in the Indian Ocean to back up an antiterror drive in
Afghanistan under the antiterror law. "The public feels that it's
not helpful for peace in Afghanistan," DPJ Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama told reporters yesterday. "The government should give
consideration to public sensitivities," he added. With this,
Hatoyama reiterated his party's stand against the idea of extending
the antiterror law.

The DPJ and other parties on the opposition bench may cite the need
for the Diet to hold thoroughgoing deliberations on a
government-sponsored bill revising the antiterror law as a reason to
protract Diet deliberations in the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors on the legislation. In that event, the antiterror law
will expire after Nov. 1. The government and ruling parties are now
in a fix, with a senior official of the Foreign Ministry noting that
whether to recall the MSDF is in the hands of the DPJ.

In the survey, however, 34.2 PERCENT of all respondents supported
extending the antiterror law. Among DPJ supporters as well, opinions
in favor of extending the law accounted for 24.3 PERCENT . The
government and the ruling coalition are poised to seek public
understanding while explaining the efficacy of MSDF activities and
Japan's contribution to its strengthened alliance with the United
States. One veteran lawmaker of the DPJ voiced concern, saying: "The
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law is intended to help Afghanistan.
The people are probably mixing up this law with the Iraq problem,
and I think that is why the people are against the legislation.
Public opinion is facing the wrong direction."

6) Japan, Germany to work together to combat global warming; German
chancellor expresses hope for "extension of the antiterrorism law"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 30, 2007

Prime Minister Abe yesterday evening met with German Chancellor
Merkel at the Prime Minister's Official Residence, and the two
leaders confirmed they would work in closer cooperation to fight
climate change, a subject that is likely to take center stage in the
Group of Eight (G-8) summit slated for next July in Lake Toya,
Hokkaido. Abe conveyed to Merkel his intention to extend the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which expires on Nov. 1, by
getting understanding from the major opposition Democratic Party of
Japan and other opposition parties.

In the session, Abe mentioned a post-Kyoto Protocol framework, which
would set the targets of greenhouse emission reductions for the
years beyond 2013, and stressed: "I think it is essential to have an
effective framework that will involve major emitters, including the
United States, China, and India (that are not obligated at present
to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions)."

Merkel responded: "Basically, we are moving in the same direction as
Japan. The important thing is to set binding reduction targets. It's
essential for the industrialized countries to set reduction targets
as quickly as possible and involve developing countries."

On the question of extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law,
Abe expressed his resolve, saying: "The Maritime Self-Defense

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Force's (MSDF) refueling operations in the Indian Ocean have served
as an important base for Germany and other countries to prevent
terrorists on the sea. I will make utmost efforts to obtain the
opposition parties' understanding."

Merkel expressed hope for an extension of the antiterrorism law,
telling Abe: "Japan's refueling activities are providing significant
assistance to German vessels. We have appreciated it. Every leader
of every country must be adamant."

On the reform of the United Nations Security Council, both the
leaders confirmed that their countries would continue to work

7) Prime Minister Abe uses gaiatsu (foreign pressure) for extension
of antiterrorism law, emphasizes significance expressed by German

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 30, 2007

Nakahiro Iwata

A major task for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in his meeting yesterday
with German Chancellor Angela Merkel was to get her to call on Japan
to continue its Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling
activities in the Indian Ocean, which are going on as part of the
antiterrorism operations.

Whereas the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto), which has now become the leading party in the Upper
House, has raised objection to the government's policy of extending
the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, a legal basis for the MSDF's
refueling operations, Abe has repeatedly emphasized the Self-Defense
Forces' (SDF) "international contributions."

Germany is one of the 11 countries receiving refueling services from
the MSDF. Its vessels have been refueled 29 times from the MSDF (as
of Aug. 20). This figure can't be compared to 350 times for US
vessels and 139 times for Pakistani vessels, but a request by a
country receiving refueling services for the continuation of such
services can be used as a good cause to appeal widely to the
Japanese public about their importance.

In the meeting with Merkel, Abe started by saying, "I want to extend
the antiterrorism law by getting the opposition parties'
understanding." In response, Merkel expressed strong hope for the
continuation of refueling operations, saying, "Japan's refueling
activities are providing significant assistance to German vessels.
We must not give in to terrorism." The meeting went as Abe

But it is not to say that he has now a good prospect for the
extension of the law.

In fact, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano noted, "We can't
indefinitely remain rigid in our ideas." Many in the government are
suggesting compromising with the DPJ, including holding discussion
on revisions to the (government-sponsored) bill extending the
antiterrorism law. But there is no sign that the DPJ will soften its
attitude at present. The DPJ is pressing the government to disclose
information about the SDF's operations. Reportedly, the DPJ intends

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to stick to its opposition.

It would be difficult for the government to overcome this difficult
situation unless it makes open to the public the information
indicating how important it is to keep SDF troops deployed abroad
instead of simply using gaiatsu.

8) DPJ has no counterproposals to antiterrorism law; Ozawa's
strategy forces party members to keep silent

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 30, 2007

The Democratic Party of Japan basically does not intend to hold
revision talks with the government and ruling coalition regarding an
extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which is likely
to be the biggest bone of contention in the upcoming extraordinary
Diet session. The party fears that once talks are held, it would
play into the hands of the government and ruling parties. DPJ
President Ichiro Ozawa intends to keep opposing the law's extension
by reiterating his argument that activities in the Indian Ocean
require a UN resolution. Although some in the DPJ think Ozawa's
argument is outdated and too rigid, there are no calls in the party
to come up with its own counterproposals because everyone is being
forced to keep silent owing to Ozawa's strategy of giving top
priority to Lower House dissolution.

Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama underlined the need for a change in

cabinet first in the wake of flexible comments from new cabinet
ministers, including Defense Minister Masahiko Komura, about
altering the bill.

The position of the DPJ, which regards the government's foreign
policy as "blindly following the United States," is that not only
the antiterrorism law but also the administration's foreign policy
are both unacceptable.

Nevertheless, there is no move in the party to translate Ozawa's
UN-centered diplomacy into specific policy. Ozawa, in his talks on
August 8 with US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer, exhibited a
flexible stance about sending SDF troops to the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan by citing a UN
Security Council resolution. But a DPJ executive described sending
troops to Afghanistan where security is deteriorating as totally
unrealistic. In fact, Ozawa has never mentioned the option since.

9) DPJ to produce counterproposals to antiterrorism law to withdraw
MSDF and assist Afghan people

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
August 30, 2007

The Democratic Party of Japan decided yesterday to come up with
counterproposals to an extension of the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which is expected to take center stage in the
extraordinary Diet session slated to open in September. The
counterproposals are expected to center on livelihood-oriented
assistance, such as medical and food aid to Afghanistan. The party
is considering presenting a bill as well. The DPJ, which has been
opposing the law's extension beyond November 1, intends to drive the
government into ending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean. The envisaged counterproposals are

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intended to present specific alternatives to the MSDF's refueling
operation as Japan's international contributions.

DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa has clearly expressed his opposition to
the law's extension. In reaction, Defense Minister Masahiko Komura
and others on August 28 touched on the possibility of altering the
bill in a bid to obtain the DPJ's support. Meanwhile, the largest
opposition party, rejecting prior talks with the government and
ruling coalition, still intends to challenge them through Diet

In its counterproposals, the DPJ is expected to present its own
assistance measures other than refueling services. The party, which
has already learned ways to assist Afghan people from experts, is
studying a system to make contributions without involving the SDF.
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama said yesterday: "Is the refueling

operation contributing to peace in Afghanistan? For instance, we are
considering providing assistance in the area of poverty. We are
planning to come up with counterproposals in that direction."

The party specifically envisages providing medical and food aid and
assisting the Afghan government in reforming the police organization
instead of supporting the US-led operation to eliminate remnants of
the former Taliban government.

The DPJ is considering presenting its counterproposals to the Upper
House timed with the start of Lower House deliberations on the law's

The party, however, might delay or give up the plan depending on the
response of the government and ruling coalition.

10) DPJ's Fujii reiterates to US side his party's opposition to
Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 30, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) lawmaker Hirohisa Fujii,
a former deputy president of the party, met in the Diet on Aug. 29
with Marc Knapper, deputy political section chief of the US Embassy.
Fujii restated his party's view on the oil-refueling activities of
the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the Indian Ocean, based on the
Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law: "One cannot say that (the
activities) are unrelated to combat operations. The Japanese
government, as well, takes the position that the right of collective
self-defense should not be exercised, so those activities absolutely
must not continue."

11) If LDP in deliberations on the anti-terror bill tries for force
passage, DPJ will file a censure motion against the prime minister
and other cabinet members; Hatoyama considering sending lawmakers
delegation to US on Afghan aid

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
August 30, 2007

Appearing on a TBS television program yesterday, Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama stated this
about the next Diet session: "If the Diet stalls and the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) tries to ram through the Anti-Terrorism
Special Measures Law, we might file a censure motion (against Prime

TOKYO 00004015 008 OF 010

Minister Abe and his cabinet). Should that pass, it would have
extremely great significance. Dissolution of the Lower House and a
snap election would then be possible."

Hatoyama also yesterday attended a scheduled meeting of the labor
union Jichiro, held in Takizawa Village in Iwate Prefecture. He
there expressed his view that he would like to send a delegation of
DPJ lawmakers to the United States and Europe in order to help the
party compile its own set of measures to assist Afghanistan.

12) Missile defense drills planned for Tokyo

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 30, 2007

The Defense Ministry plans to carry out missile defense training in
mid-September with ground-to-air guided missiles deploying to Tokyo
for the first time, officials said yesterday. The Air Self-Defense
Force will move Patriot Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3) missiles to
Tokyo from its Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture.

The Defense Ministry's scenario is to intercept ballistic missiles
targeting the heart of Tokyo. The ASDF will redeploy PAC-3 batteries
to several locations, including the Ground Self-Defense Force's
Ichigaya garrison in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward, where the Defense
Ministry is headquartered. The ASDF will check to see if there are
architectures standing in the way of missiles to be launched. In
addition, the ASDF will also check the environment of communications
with radar sites.

The PAC-3 is designed to shoot down ballistic missiles in their
terminal phase. However, the PAC-3's defensive area is small as it
can only cover a radius of 15-20 kilometers. If Tokyo is highly
likely to be attacked at its centers with ballistic missiles, the
ASDF will deploy an air defense missile unit that is made up of
missile launchers, radar systems, and fire control systems. This air
defense missile unit needs a spacious site for its deployment of
long standing with no high-rise buildings around.

In addition to the Ichigaya garrison, the Defense Ministry is
considering the GSDF's Nerima garrison in Tokyo's Nerima Ward and
parks in Tokyo for the simulation of PAC-3 deployment this time.

13) Realignment of US forces; Defense Ministry sets grant payment
guidelines: Nago City nominated as eligible for grants; Point system
to be introduced to gauge burden of host municipalities

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 30, 2007

The Defense Ministry yesterday decided on guidelines for paying
realignment grants to municipalities whose burden will increase as a
result of the realignment of US forces in Japan and put related
ministry ordinances into effect. Under the guidelines, a point
system has been introduced, under which, for instance, 1 point will
be given to a municipality where base area has increased by more
than 100 hectares, minus 1 point to a municipality where base area
has decreased and 3 points to a municipality that will host a large
airport. The mechanism is that municipalities given higher points
will receive higher sums of subsidies.

Forty municipalities, including Nago City and Ginoza Village in

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Okinawa Prefecture, are candidates eligible for grants. Of the 40,
the ministry will designate municipalities that have agreed to
accept the realignment plan as eligible for grants. The grants will
be, in principle, paid over a 10-year period. The value of grants
will be revealed when eligible municipalities are designated.

The value of grants will increase in stages each year: (1) 10
PERCENT of the upper limit to municipalities that have accepted the
realignment plan; (2) 25 PERCENT at the time of the launching of
environmental impact assessments; (3) 66.7 PERCENT at the time of
the start of construction work; and (4) 100 PERCENT when
realignment is completed. The ministry has earmarked grants worth
5.1 billion yen in this fiscal year's budget.

If construction work is suspended for such reasons as that a host
municipality has changed its mind and decided to oppose the
acceptance of base facilities, the payment of grants will stop. Even
if procedures for environmental impact assessments and construction
work get underway, no grants would be paid if concerned manipulates
do not announce their decision to host base facilities. A site for
the construction of landing practice facilities for carrier-based
aircraft has yet to be chosen. If the location of the site is fixed,
the number of municipalities eligible for grants would increase.

14) Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano promoting political presence as
bridge between Kantei, Kasumigaseki, and opposition camp

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
August 30, 2007

Chief Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano, who Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
appointed as a key person in his new cabinet, has already been
displaying his political presence. He referred at a press briefing
to the need to revise the structural reform drive, which has been
carried out by the Koizumi and Abe governments. He is now trying to
create a reconciliatory mood, changing the adversarial stance
against the bureaucracy and the opposition, which had been taken by
his predecessor, Yasuhisa Shiozaki. Picking two bureaucrats familiar
to him, Yosano is gradually setting up a "Yosano team." The growing
view in the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) is that
Prime Minister Abe will find it difficult to show his political

When asked at a press conference yesterday about his view on the
fact that postal rebels were included in the 22 senior vice
ministers, Yosano responded: "Since postal privatization is a past
event for me, I cannot give you any feedback."

Yosano was chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Policy
Research Council at a time when the LDP was at odds over the
postal-privatization issue. He was in a position against the postal
rebels, but his comment indicated that he let bygones be bygones.

Also at a press meeting on Aug. 27, he indicated the possibility of
breaking away from the structural reform policy, saying, "We need to
carry out reforms that would be good for the public." He also stated
on the relations between politics and the bureaucracy: "Since both
the Kantei and Kasumigaseki (bureaucrats) are part of the
government, there is no standoff between them." He stressed that he
would repair relations with Kasumigaseki, which have remained cool
due to reform of the civil servant system, among other matters.

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There will likely be a change in managing Diet affairs. In the
latest ordinary Diet session, the ruling coalition took forced votes
backed by its possession of two-thirds of the House of
Representatives seats, urged by the Kantei. Some ruling coalition
members were unhappy with such actions. Yosano, however, said:

"I was once called a policy specialist, but I have served mostly in
such posts related to managing Diet affairs as deputy chairman of
the Diet Affairs Committee and chairman of the General Assembly of
the LDP Lower House Members."

He also revealed that he was a teacher of Ichiro Ozawa, president of
the Democratic Party of Japan, regarding the game of Go. He has
tried to display a flexible stance as a veteran lawmaker.


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