Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/31/07

DE RUEHKO #4047/01 2430124
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E.O. 12958: N/A



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

Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law:
4) In interview, Pres. Bush says he hopes to see extension of the
Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law allowing MSDF refueling service
in the Indian Ocean
5) Statement by Pres. Bush on Japan continuing Indian Ocean service
reveals USG concern about an unraveling of the anti-terror coalition

6) MSDF activities would be halted if anti-terro law not extended in
late Oct.
7) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) planning bill to scrap the
anti-terror law in the fall extraordinary session of the Diet,
submit own bill with alternate contribution
8) LDP lawmaker Fukaya named chairman of the Lower House special
committee on terrorism

Other defense issues:
9) Abe's collective self-defense panel to urge expanded logistical
support role for Japan
10) Conciliatory mood dominates visit of China's Defense Minister
Cao to Japan
11) Missile defense: Defense Ministry considering deploying PAC-3 to
parks in Tokyo

Political scene:
12) Ozawa declares virtual war on the LDP by setting policy goal
this year of forcing dissolution of the Diet
13) LDP to attack Ozawa in fall Diet session for his secretary's
involvement in DPJ lawmaker Aoki's election violation
14) Farm minister Endo received improper political contribution from
a support group

15) Yomiuri poll: 80 PERCENT of respondents fault Japanese public
for "bad public manners"; 92 PERCENT want moral values taught in

Civil aviation issue:
16) Inspections find ANK's Boeing-built 737 lacked key washer like
same model China Airlines passenger plane that blew up in Naha
17) Confidence in Boeing drops over missing part in new airliners



Asahi, Mainichi, Sankei:
Education Ministry proposes increasing class hours at elementary
schools for first time in 30 years

Yomiuri, Tokyo Shimbun:
Washer on Air Nippon jetliner missing, similar to case of the China
Airlines plane that exploded at Naha Airport

Nippon Paper, Rengo to integrate cardboard production


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LDP subcommittee proposes abolishing present standards to authorize
A-bomb victims


(1) Long-awaited restart of Japan-China defense exchanges
(2) Nara pregnant woman miscarries in ambulance: Too many loopholes
in emergency medical service network

(1) Ex-welfare ministry official's lack of morality regarding
accepting cash and goods
(2) Abduction of South Korea nationals: Blueprint necessary to
stabilize Afghanistan

(1) Japan-China defense summit: China should improve military
(2) Runaround of pregnant woman: Improvement in emergency obstetric
care system urgently needed

(1) Make drastic cut in expanded budget requests
(2) Interlock FTAs and agriculture reform

(1) Japan-China defense summit: Continue frank dialogue
(2) Runaround of pregnant woman: Doctors forget obligation

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Runaround of pregnant woman: Women only wanted to give birth
(2) Visit to Japan by German Chancellor Merkel: Presence of "new

(1) Consumption tax hike a challenge to the public, ignoring public

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 30

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 31, 2007

Cabinet meeting at the Kantei. Met with Internal Affairs Minister
Masuda, followed by Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation)
Chairman Mitarai.

Informal discussion meeting on the reconstruction of legal grounds
for security.

Met with Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani.

Met with Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan and others.


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Met with Vice Foreign Minister Kono. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Ando was present.

Handed over a letter of appointment to the new parliamentary
secretaries. Photo session with them, followed by parliamentary

secretaries' meeting.


Met with Yasuo Kanzaki, special advisor to the Nikko-Citi Group and
a Japanese member of APEC Business Advisory Council. Foreign
Ministry Economic Affairs Bureau Director General Otabe was

Met with Chief and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretaries Yosano and
Iwaki. Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ono joined.

Arrived at the official residence.

4) Bush expresses hope for extension of antiterrorism law in press

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 31, 2007

Ryuichi Otsuka, Washington

President George W. Bush gave a press interview at the White House
at noon August 30 (before dawn of August 31, Japan time). In the
interview, the president expressed his strong hope for an extension
of Japan's Antiterrorism Special Measures Law slated to expire on
November 1, saying, "I hope (Japan's) active influence will be
maintained." Although Washington has strongly lobbied Tokyo for the
law's extension, this is the first time President Bush has openly
referred to it.

President Bush is expected to directly ask Prime Minister Abe for an
extension in their summit talks scheduled to take place on the
sidelines of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting to
be held in Sydney from September 8.

President Bush also thanked the Japanese government and people for
Japan's contributions in Afghanistan. This made it clear once again
that the US government, which gives top priority to the war on
terrorism, attaches great importance to Japan's contributions.

At the same time, the president indicated that he remembers the
abduction of Japanese nationals by North Korea to show consideration
to Japan.

The interview was given to news companies from five major APEC
member countries. From Japan, the Yomiuri Shinbun took part in it.

5) Bush concerned about possible negative impact on solidarity among
countries participating in antiterrorism war

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
August 31, 2007

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Fumi Igarashi, Washington

President George W. Bush in a press interview on August 30 expressed
his hope for an extension of Japan's Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law beyond November 1. This stems from a sense of alarm that a
withdrawal from the Afghan theater by Japan, a staunch US ally,
might cast a pall not only on Japan-US relations but also on
international solidarity.

To the US government, the military operation in Afghanistan, along
with Iraq, is on the front line of the war on terrorism. To assist
it, Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has provided 480,000
kiloliters of fuel worth about 21.9 billion yen to the naval vessels
of 11 countries, including the United States and Pakistan.

In the event Japan withdrew from the Indian Ocean, a US naval vessel
would be the only one that is technically capable of filling in that
"hole." That is certain to increase the burden on the US military,
which is already exhausted from the long antiterrorism war.

South Korea, another US ally, has already decided to leave
Afghanistan before the end of the year. Departures from Afghanistan
by US allies in succession might dampen the morale of other
participating countries.

Michael O'Hanlon of the Brookings Institution indicated that the war
in Afghanistan is being widely supported in the United States,
including the Democrats. He also warned that if Japan leaves the
Indian Ocean, that could adversely affect US-Japan relations after
the end of the Bush administration in January 2009.

6) MSDF activities will be halted if antiterror law is not extended
in late Oct.

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 31, 2007

The Antiterror Special Measures Law is to expire Nov. 1. The
government needs to get Diet approval by then for its legislative
measure revising the antiterror law to extend the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean.
Otherwise, the antiterror law will lose its effect at that point.
This is a common understanding within the government, and it will be
meaningless to continue Diet deliberations on the legislation. It is
too late even if the legislation is enacted after seeing the law

The MSDF will have to halt its activities in the Indian Ocean
because its activities there will lose legal grounds.

The Cabinet Secretariat, a government office in charge of the
antiterror law, is now consulting with the Cabinet Legislation
Bureau on whether the Diet has ever continued to deliberate on a
similar bill to revise a time-limited law even after its expiry and
also on legal interpretation over a law that has lost its effect.
However, the government has not found any good idea.

7) DPJ mulls repealing antiterror law, poised to rock Abe

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 31, 2007

TOKYO 00004047 005 OF 012

The Diet will focus on the advisability of extending the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law in its extraordinary session to
be convened Sept. 10. On this issue, the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) has now fleshed out its
counterproposal. DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa has clarified that his
party would oppose a government-sponsored bill seeking to extend the
antiterror law. Meanwhile, the ruling and opposition parties have
now changed places in the House of Councillors as a result of this
summer's election. Taking this chance, the DPJ is poised to
undermine the efforts of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his
government by introducing a bill repealing the antiterror law and to
set forth an alternative plan for Japan's international

Ozawa yesterday met with German Chancellor Merkel. In the meeting,
Ozawa implied his intention to oppose the idea of extending the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. "We've yet to deepen our
discussions," Ozawa said. Merkel replied, "If Japan is going to
continue its role in the international community, Japan will have to
hold itself even more responsible." However, Ozawa remained
committed to opposing the antiterror law's extension.

After that, Ozawa met his party's female lawmakers. He told them
that the upcoming extraordinary session of the Diet could become a
"major turning point." He added: "We will ask for a public judgment
in there. Depending on how the Diet session will come out, there may
be an election for the House of Representatives. So we may have to
trouble you again. But that's the road to grabbing the reins of

The DPJ has three options in mind. The first conceivable option is
to vote down the revision bill in the House of Councillors as soon
as the legislation is sent from the House of Representatives. In
this case, the legislation will be brought back to the House of
Representatives, and the DPJ would then overlook the legislation's
passage and enactment. The second conceivable option is to prolong
Diet deliberations on the revision bill in the House of Councillors
and wait for the antiterror law to run out. The third one is to
repeal the antiterror law first and then to let the law expire
without deliberating on the revision bill.

In the DPJ, however, there are also deep-seated concerns. One of its
lawmakers said, "If we only oppose the law, the people may think we
are incompetent to take office." The DPJ will therefore call on the
government to disclose information about the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling activities and costs in a Diet budget committee
meeting before entering into deliberations on the antiterror law.

If the government's response is insufficient or unacceptable, the
DPJ will immediately bring before the House of Councillors a bill
repealing the antiterror law. This makes clear the DPJ's course of
action unlike the second option in which it chooses to do nothing.
In this case, the DPJ deems it possible to dodge criticism from the
ruling parties and the public for prolonging Diet deliberations.

The government may come up with substantial information. In this
case, the DPJ may think it would be disadvantageous for the party to
remain opposed to the legislation. The DPJ would then vote down the
legislation in the House of Councillors and may connive against its
being passed again in the House of Representatives that would make
it a law.

TOKYO 00004047 006 OF 012

Even in that case, however, the DPJ will come up with its own
alternative plan to legislate measures for Japan's international
contributions. The DPJ will call for the ruling coalition to
incorporate its counterproposal in the revision bill. Specifically,
the DPJ is considering medical and food support under the private
sector's initiative with the government's official development
assistance (ODA) programs in mind. The DPJ will set up a special
working group under its foreign affairs and defense panel to work
out a specific plan.

8) Fukaya informally named chairman of Antiterrorism Special

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 31, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) informally decided yesterday to
recommend Takashi Fukaya, a Yamasaki faction member and former
minister of international trade and industry, to be chairman of the
Lower House Antiterrorism Special Committee, which is expected to
deliberate a bill revising the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law,
the main issue at the upcoming extraordinary Diet session. Fukaya,
now serving in his 9th term in the House of Representatives, served
as home affairs minister. The LDP has now decided to entrust the
veteran lawmaker to handle a battle between the ruling and
opposition camps.

The LDP will recommend Lower House Steering Committee Chairman
Ichiro Aisawa, a Tanigaki faction member, to serve as chairman of
the Lower House Budget Committee, and Takashi Sasagawa, a Tsushima
faction member, to be Aisawa's successor. The LDP intends to
recommend the members of the Tanigaki and Tsushima factions, which
are critical of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's management of the

Takashi Fukaya, chairman of the Antiterrorism Special Committee:
Representing the Lower House Tokyo No. 2 electoral district;
graduated from Waseda University; served in such posts as MITI
minister, and chairman of the Lower House Committee on State Basic
Policy; elected nine times; age 71; belongs to the Yamasaki

Ichiro Aisawa, chairman of the Budget Committee: Representing the
Lower House Okayama No. 1 constituency; graduated from Keio
University; served in such posts as foreign minister and chairman of
the Lower House Steering Committee; elected seven times; age 53;
belongs to the Tanigaki faction.

Takashi Sasagawa, chairman of the Lower House Steering Committee:
Representing the Lower House Gunma No. 2 constituency; left Meiji
University in mid-course; served in such posts as state minister in
charge of science and technology affairs and chairman of the Party
Ethics Committee; elected seven times; age 71; belongs to the
Tsushima faction.


9) Panel: Expand logistical support

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 31, 2007

The Council for Rebuilding the Legal Foundation of National

TOKYO 00004047 007 OF 012

Security, a private advisory panel for the prime minister to discuss
the advisability of exercising the right of collective self-defense,
met at the prime minister's office yesterday, with former Ambassador
to the United States Shunji Yanai presiding. The government
currently limits the Self-Defense Forces' overseas rear support for
foreign armed forces to "noncombat areas" only. "This kind of
governmental interpretation is internationally unacceptable and
unrealistic," one of the panel's members said. Other panel members
also suggested the need for the government to expand the scope of
assistance Japan can provide.

The government, in its constitutional interpretation, prohibits the
SDF from using armed force overseas. In addition, the SDF is also
prohibited from acting in concert with foreign forces using armed
force. The SDF-currently operating in Iraq and the Indian Ocean
under special measures laws-is therefore engaged in logistical
support in "noncombat areas" only.

10) Japan-China defense exchange to be accelerated with
demonstration of reconciliation but some concerns left to be

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 31, 2007

Defense Minister Masahiko Komura and his Chinese counterpart Cao
Gangchua yesterday met in the Defense Ministry and the two leaders
agreed to accelerate defense exchange and security dialogue between
the two countries. The Japan-China defense summit took place after a
lapse of four years, setting the stage for defense exchange, which
had been interrupted owing to former Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine and other issues, to be resumed
in full swing. On the other hand, however, when it comes to military
matters, deep-seated distrust in the other side exists in both Japan
and China, revealing that there are a number of uncertainties about
future developments.

In the session, Komura and Cao agreed to set in motion reciprocal
port calls by vessels from the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF)
and the Chinese Navy within the year. They also confirmed a plan to
lay a hotline between defense officials of the two countries in
order to stem an occurrence of an unexpected contingency in the East
China Sea.

Afterwards, Cao paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
and Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura respectively. Abe welcomed
Cao, telling him, "I deem it is important to enhance mutual trust
through defense exchange and security dialogue as part of building a
strategic, reciprocal relationship." Machimura told Cao: "The
reshuffled cabinet can be portrayed as a cabinet for enhancing
friendship between Japan and China."

Both Japan and China have thus projected a conciliatory mood before
marking the 35th anniversary of the diplomatic normalization between
the two countries in September, but this series of meetings had also
some scenes where both sides expressed their concerns about the

Machimura made mention of China's national defense spending, which
has continued to increase at the pace of a two-digit percent from
the previous year for the 19 years in a row and called on China to
make its defense spending transparent, noting, "The total amount has

TOKYO 00004047 008 OF 012

been released, but no details have been made clear." Machimura also
asked Cao to explain about the incident of a Chinese nuclear
submarine's intrusion into Japanese territorial waters in 2004 and
China's satellite-destruction test in January of this year, but no
clear-cut explanation was given by Cao.

On the contrary, Cao referred to the Taiwan Straits issue and
checked Japan, noting, "We are paying attention to the relationship
between the Japan-US security arrangements and Taiwan." China has
been increasingly alarmed by Japan for its planned missile defense
system and its moves to strengthen the Japan-US alliance as well as
cooperation among Japan, the United States, Australia, and India,
which China calls a "noose around China."

Major points of agreement in Japan-China defense summit

? Chinese vessels will make a port call at a Japanese port in
November or December, while the MSDF's vessels will visit China next
year or later.
? Defense Minister Komura will travel to China next year.
? Sub-cabinet-level talks will be held in Beijing at an early date.
? A hotline between defense officials of the two countries will be
? The Self-Defense Forces (SDF) as an observer will take part in the
Chinese forces' military exercises planned for late September in

11) Missile defense: Defense Ministry considering deploying PAC-3 to
parks in Tokyo

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
August 31, 2007

The Defense Ministry is considering deploying the Patriot Advanced
Capability-3 (PAC-3) ground-to-air guided missile, now deployed at
the Air Self-Defense Force's Iruma base in Saitama Prefecture as the
nation's first case as part of ballistic missile defense (BMD), to
parks in Tokyo, such as Yoyogi Park in Shibuya Ward, in addition to
SDF garrisons. The ministry intends to conduct drills to move and
deploy missiles to those places as early as September.

The PAC-3 is a mobile ground-to-air missile capable of intercepting
a Japan-bound ballistic missile a dozen or so kilometers off the
ground. The missile was deployed at the ASDF's Iruma base this past
March to defend the metropolitan area. The PAC-3 has a range of 20
kilometers. In order to defend nerve centers in Tokyo, such as the
Kantei (Prime Minister's Official Residence) and central government
ministries and agencies, the PAC-3 unit must be relocated to
appropriate places in Tokyo.

The existence of a high-rise buildings and other shade-creating
structures could reduce the radar's capability to track ballistic
missiles. For this reason, spacious public land is most suitable for
deployment of the PAC-3. The ministry is earnestly studying
candidate sites, such as Yoyogi Park and Harumi Wharf in Chuo Ward,
in addition to the Ground Self-Defense Force's Ichigaya garrison in
Shinjuku Ward and the Nerima garrison in Nerima Ward.

The ministry is considering conducting drills in September for
relocating and deploying missiles to those places from the Nerima
base. Conducting drills at parks requires authorization from the
Tokyo metropolitan government that manages them. The ministry plans

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to seek its cooperation in future talks.

12) DPJ hardening confrontational stance: Ozawa expresses
determination to force dissolution of Lower House, maintains
opposition to Antiterrorism Law

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) head Ozawa yesterday
expressed his determination to force the government and the ruling
parties to dissolve the Lower House during the extraordinary Diet
session to be convened in the fall. His judgment is that having a
Lower House election while his party still has momentum from its
victory in the Upper House election would be advantageous. The
ruling bloc is alert to Ozawa taking a forceful stance in steering
Diet management.

According to an opinion poll carried out by the Yomiuri Shimbun on
Aug. 27-28, the approval rating for the DPJ was 31 PERCENT , about
equal to that of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

However, there is concern in the DPJ that if it lets its guard down
at this juncture, it could allow the government and the ruling camp
to strengthen their hand, as one senior party member put it.

Presumably with the aim of boosting the morale of party members,
Ozawa has set a policy course aiming at an early Lower House
dissolution and a general election, taking advantage of the
extraordinary Diet session just ahead.

A meeting of local assembly members who belong to the LDP was held
at a Tokyo hotel yesterday evening. Ozawa during the meeting noted,
"I want to realize decentralization by taking the reins of
government. Japanese politics, administration and society have
created a running sore over a long period of time, as can be seen in
a flurry of administrative scandals and rampant amakudari practices.
We must fundamentally correct those problems."

Regarding an extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law,
the focus of highest attention in the extraordinary Diet session,
the dominant view in the DIP is that it would be able to secure
support from the public even if it sticks to its opposition to an
extension with one member saying, "The public is also skeptical
whether an extension is really necessary."

As such, the DPJ plans to exercise an administrative investigation
in the Upper House, where it has a majority, and demand that the
government reveal details of the actual operations of Maritime
Self-Defense Force (MSDF) ships dispatched to the Indian Ocean under
the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.

During a meeting with German Chancellor Merkel yesterday, Ozawa
criticized the Japanese government for dispatching SDF personnel
abroad. He noted, "The major problem about Japan is that the
dispatch of SDF troops abroad is not based on any principle." He is
determined to continue to strengthen his confrontational stance
against the government and the ruling parties.

In contrast, the prevailing view in the government and the ruling
camp is negative toward early Lower House dissolution and a general
election because it has only been a short time since the LDP

TOKYO 00004047 010 OF 012

suffered a crushing defeat in the Upper House election.

13) Difficult problem for DPJ with Ozawa's private secretary
involved with charges of election violation by group supporting
lawmaker Aoki; LDP to pursue issue in extra session of the Diet

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2007

In connection with an incident of election violation in the July
Upper House proportional representation race by the camp of
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) member Ai Aoki, charges
of involvement have been raised against the policy secretary of DPJ
President Ozawa. This is an unwelcome difficult problem for the DPJ,
which plans to attack the government and ruling party in the
upcoming extraordinary Diet session. Concern is spreading in the
party, with one lawmaker saying, "The Liberal Democratic Party will
be all over us like a dog on a bone."

Ozawa's office yesterday issued this comment: "We have received a
report from the secretary that his activities did not violate
election rules." Aoki's office, too, issued a comment on the
incident: "There were no election violations as described." It is
working to calm the situation.

14) Illegal donation provided to Agricultural Minister Endo's LDP
election headquarters from association enjoying government

ASAHI (Page 35) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2007

It was learned yesterday that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
Yamagata No. 2 election office headed by Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries Minister Takehiko Endo received a 50,000 yen donation in
September 2005 when Endo was serving in the House of Representatives
from the Yamagata Prefecture Livestock Trade Association, an
independent administrative institution offered subsidies from the
farm ministry. The Political Funds Control Law prohibits such
institutions enjoying subsidies from donating money within one year
after their founding. Endo, admitting that the donation was illegal,
returned the money to the association and submitted the corrected
report on political founds to the Yamagata Electoral Management

According to the political funds report and Endo's office, the
Yamagata No. 2 electoral bureau received the 50,000 yen donation
from an association official on Sept. 6, 2005, five days before the
election day for the latest Lower House poll.

According to the agriculture ministry, the association received
during the period of between September and December 2004 a notice of
determination on subsidies -- about 8.36 million yen to commercial
growers collecting paddy straws and about 9.18 million yen as
incentive for domestic livestock breeding -- from the Agriculture &
Livestock Industries Corporation.

15) Poll: 88 PERCENT feel public manners becoming bad; 92 PERCENT
in favor of intensive school education on morals

YOMIURI (Page 38) (Full)
August 31, 2007

TOKYO 00004047 011 OF 012

The Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a interview-based nationwide survey on
public manners on Aug. 4-5. Asked about the government's policy of
teaching moral values in schools, the ratio of respondents who
supported that policy, including those who were more or less
favorable, reached 92 PERCENT . Only 6 PERCENT were against it. By
generation, the largest ratio of 95 PERCENT among respondents in
their 70s and over supported the idea of moral values being taught
in schools. The ratio of those who supported the government policy
topped 90 PERCENT in all generations with the exception of
respondents in their 20s and 50s.

Pollees who feel that the Japanese public has become ill-mannered
recently reached 88 PERCENT , if those who replied, "frequently" and
"sometimes" are included. The figure is down 2 points compared with
the poll conducted in May 2002, in which the same question was
asked, but it is the same as that marked in the survey carried out
in January 1998. Respondents who replied, "frequently," increased 9
points compared with the 1998 poll.

The number of pollees who feel that Japanese public has become
ill-mannered still remains high. The poll found that their sense of
crisis has generated extremely high expectations of moral education
for children to learn the norms of the society. The government's
Education Revitalization Council has come up with a policy of
upgrading a class to teach morals to a school subject for moral

As reasons for bad public manners (multiple replies were allowed),
the largest number or 77 PERCENT faulted a lack of home discipline,
followed by 60 PERCENT , who said, "Adults do not observe public
manners," and 54 PERCENT , who replied, "Adults do not scold
ill-mannered children."

As measures to improve public manners (multiple replies were
allowed), 67 PERCENT replied, "Discipline in the home, including
education on public manners, should be improved."

16) Air Nippon Boeing jet lacks washer for bolt

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2007

Following the case of a China Airlines Boeing 737-800 plane that
exploded at Naha Airport recently, the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) has instructed airline companies
to make an emergency inspection of the same models. MLIT yesterday
revealed that a washer for a bolt was discovered missing from one
Air Nippon Boeing 737-700 jet's main wing. The explosion was
reportedly caused mainly by fuel leak from a fuel tank because a
bolt fell off and pierced the tank. The missing washer in this Air
Nippon plane might have caused a similar case.

17) Airline companies now distrustful of Boeing over the lack of
washer, seek explanation

ASAHI (Page 35) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2007

Following the recent case of a Boeing jet that exploded at Naha
Airport, another Boeing jet was also discovered to have lacked a
washer for a bolt. It was also found that bolts fell off more easily

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from the new-generation model, which caused the explosion, than the
old-generation one in terms of design. Having doubts about Boeing
jets, airline companies might call on Boeing to give an

"It was good for us to discover a defect (that may cause an
accident) during an inspection," Air Nippon's Maintenance Director
Seiji Saeki said at a press conference at the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) at 5:30 p.m. yesterday. But
referring to the existence of the defect, he noted, "It's bad,"
adding: "If it becomes clear that a washer was not attached in the
production process, we will then make a claim against Boeing and
call on it to take measures."


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