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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09//07

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4833
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 004094

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 09//07


Index:

(1) Poll on LDP, DPJ (Mainichi)

(2) Agriculture Minister Endo's resignation to cast pall over ruling
parties' reform of agricultural administration; Fierce confrontation
with opposition camp likely to occur, causing delay in coordination


(3) LDP's Yutaka Kobayashi to resign over election violation to
avoid ill effect on Diet

(4) Interview with Minister of Internal Affairs and
Communications/State Minister in Charge of Reduction of Gaps between
Rural and Urban Areas Hiroya Masuda: Remove gaps between rural and
urban areas in observing fiscal discipline

(5) Political distortion: LDP Secretary General Aso supports Prime
Minister Abe, while seeing chance to succeed Abe

(6) Defense Minister Komura expresses annoyance with press reports
that Moriya will become advisor to the ministry; Another commotion
in Defense Ministry

(7) Guam booming with military procurements

(8) Commentary by former Ambassador to Thailand Hisahiko Okazaki: Do
not mishandle the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

(9) Extending antiterrorism law serves Japan's national interests

(10) Antiterrorism Special Measures Law: Defense minister says, "I'm
willing to listen to any request from opposition parties"; Will the
government's bill revising law be modified or will new legislation
be created?

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on LDP, DPJ (Mainichi)

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
September 1, 2007

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Which political party between the Liberal Democratic Party and
the Democratic Party of Japan would you like to see win in the next
election for the House of Representatives?

T P M F
LDP 37 36 38
DPJ 44 50 41
Other parties 13 9 16

Q: The DPJ has now become the largest party in the House of
Councillors. What would you like the DPJ to do?

T P M F
Go for all-out confrontation with the ruling parties even though
national administration may be confused 31 31 30
Cooperate with the ruling parties to a certain extent so as to avoid

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confusing national administration 64 64 65

Q: Do you think the DPJ is competent enough to take the reins of
government?

T P M F
Yes 44 49 40
No 51 45 54

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Aug. 27-28 over the
telephone with the aim of calling a total of 1,000 voters across the
nation on a computer-aided random digit sampling (RDS) basis.
Answers were obtained from 924 persons.

(2) Agriculture Minister Endo's resignation to cast pall over ruling
parties' reform of agricultural administration; Fierce confrontation
with opposition camp likely to occur, causing delay in coordination

YOMIURI (Page 7) (Excerpts)
September 3, 2007

Agriculture Minister Endo had decided to step down, following the
revelation of wrongdoings by an agricultural cooperative, where he
served as a head. The incident will likely cast a pall over reform
of agricultural administration to be carried out by the government
and the ruling camp. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and
Fisheries (MAFF) will hurry to compile a farmland reform plan
allowing companies entry into agriculture this fall with the aim of
expanding the scale of Japan's farm management. However, the
resignation of the agricultural minister, the central command of the
reform drive, could delay coordination within the government and the
ruling parties. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) is
set for submitting to the extraordinary Diet session a bill to
introduce an income compensation system for individual farmers.
Confrontation between the ruling and opposition camps will likely
heat up.

Major shift in agricultural administration

The outline of the farmland reform plan, which MAFF presented to the
ministry's expert council on Aug. 24, focuses on a switch to
large-scale and efficient agriculture instead of inefficient
agriculture based on cultivation of crops on small patches of land.
Under the reform plan, key farmers and companies will rent farmlands
from small-scale farmers and operate them.

The plan takes into view an amendment to the Agricultural Land Law,
which stipulates that farming land belongs to its cultivators,
through the correction of the land-owing farmer system, which has
been in place since the emancipation of farming land in 1947. MAFF
also intends to scrap in principle the regulation that limits
farming land that can be rented to companies to abandoned farming
land.

MAFF is aiming at finalizing the farming land reform plan by
November and submitting bills amending the Farming Land Law and the
Farm Management Base Strengthening Promotion Law to the regular Diet
session to be convened next year so that they can be implemented
within fiscal 2008. Agriculture Minister Endo during an inauguration
press conference on August 27 indicated a strong desire to introduce
large-scale farm management, saying, "Small farmers have in a way
neglected efforts to strengthen their farming methods.

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Flurry of scandals

However, some LDP members are resentful at the plan with a member of
the Agriculture and Forestry Division saying, "Is the government
going to abandon farming land to companies?" Coordination of views
on this issue within the ruling camp is lagging behind due in part
to a series of scandals involving former Agriculture Ministers
Matsuoka and Akagi. MAFF had prepared measures to ease shockwaves
from a drastic change. Such measures include (1) possession of land
by companies will not be allowed; and (2) authorities to designate
farmland that can be rented should be given to municipalities in
order to prevent competition between key farmers and companies.
However, the resignation of Endo could take the wind from MAFF's
sails.

Room for compromise?

The DPJ is criticizing the government's farmland reform plan as
leading to abandoning small-scale farmers. It intends to introduce
during the extraordinary Diet session a bill featuring the
introduction of an income compensation system for all farm
households, which was one of its election campaign pledges. Under
the envisaged system, when market prices of rice, wheat, soy beans
fall below production costs, the balance would be directly paid to
all farm households. It will call for the inclusion of related
expenses worth 1 trillion yen in the fiscal 2008 budget.

The government is critical of the DPJ proposal, saying that under
such a system farmers would be satisfied with the present situation,
which would hamper large-scale farm management from being promoted.
However, the DPJ is also indicating readiness to scrap tariffs on
agricultural goods and to accept large-scale farm management. As
such, some take the view that the stances of both parties do not
differ as they look, as a senior official of an agricultural
organization put it.

Concerning the DPJ proposal, Agriculture Minister Endo has left room
for a compromise in future talks between the ruling and opposition
camps, noting, "It is true that the DPJ gained support in the Upper
House election. We want to verify in detail differences between the
DPJ proposal and the government-proposed measures.

However, a fierce confrontation likely to occur between the ruing
and opposition parties following the resignation of the agriculture
minister will leave less room for a compromise.

Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (Zenchu) Standing
Director Fuji: Concentration of farming land should be carried out,
centered on key farmers

Responding to an interview by the Yomiuri Shimbun, JA-Zenchu
Standing Director Shigeo Fuji at a meeting of expert council on
farmland policy stressed the importance of promoting large-scale
farm management. He also indicated a cautious stance to the
promotion of corporate access to agriculture.

"Given the nation's rapidly aging population, concentrating farming
land and cultivating it in an efficient manner would lower
production costs, which will lead to strengthening agriculture. The
government should rush to nurture key farmers who cultivate
concentrated farmland. The government and the ruling parties should

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basically promote reform.

"However, how to include a system allowing small-scale farm
households and part-time farmers to take part is a pending issue. We
need to have a look at the specifics of the income compensation
system for individual farmers as envisaged by the DPJ.

"Discussions on free leasing of land to farmers as well as to
companies, while disallowing companies to possess farmland, are
going on. What is necessary is a mechanism that is compatible with
the concentration of farmland on key farmers, the initial purpose of
the farmland reform. The government must also consider a way of
prohibiting companies that have taken part in farm management from
diverting rented land for other use."

(3) LDP's Yutaka Kobayashi to resign over election violation to
avoid ill effect on Diet

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
Evening, September 4, 2007

Yutaka Kobayashi, 43, a House of Representatives lawmaker of the
Liberal Democratic Party reelected from the Kanagawa electoral
district, whose accounting manager and others have been indicted in
violation of the Public Offices Election Law, decided earlier today
to give up his Diet seat. Kobayashi conveyed his intention to resign
to LDP Election Strategy Headquarters General Affairs Director
Yoshihide Suga who heads the Kanagawa chapter. Kobayashi is serving
in his second term. Kobayashi and Suga are scheduled to hold a press
conference at the Kanagawa prefectural government office this
evening to announce Kobayashi's resignation. Kobayashi's decision
that came on the heels of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Minister Takehiko Endo's resignation is certain to undermine the
image of the government and LDP.

(4) Interview with Minister of Internal Affairs and
Communications/State Minister in Charge of Reduction of Gaps between
Rural and Urban Areas Hiroya Masuda: Remove gaps between rural and
urban areas in observing fiscal discipline

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

-- As the minister in charge of reducing the gaps between rural and
urban areas, how do you plan to do so?

Masuda: The central government is under pressure to come up with its
response to regional problems. Public works projects had an aspect
of boosting local economies. We will end pork-barreling, maintain
fiscal discipline and come up with ideas. I think many issues can be
resolved through industrial development. If subsidies are provided
to rural areas in line with the unified standards set by the central
government, subsidies are offered uniformly. Subsidies provided by
each ministry in most cases are intended for rural areas, but some
of them are no longer of use. I need to sort them out. I have no
intention at present to set up a liaison council among ministries
and agencies. Medical schools have now begun moving to increase the
fixed number of medical students to deal with the shortage of
medical doctors. I'll do quickly what I can do quickly.

-- The tax revenue ratio of the central government to local
governments is 6 to 4 at present. What do you think is a desirable

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ratio?

Masuda: I've suggested that the ratio should be changed to 1 to 1. I
think it is necessary to build a new local consumption tax-centered
system and redistribute the tax revenues (the central government
collects to local governments) in the form of tax allocation. I
thought a full debate on the consumption tax would begin after the
Upper House election, but because of the (ruling bloc's crushing
defeat in the election), there are no prospects for the debate to
start.

--The reform of the administrative systems for decentralization of
power has come to the second stage. What is the point?

Masuda: I'll do my utmost to reduce the central government's
excessive involvement in local governments and obligatory factors
toward them. I intend to enhance tax revenues for municipalities and
also I'll expand the legislative right (of local assemblies) and the
right for local governments to issue regulations. Otherwise,
assemblies can't function properly in local governments.

-- How do you address the question of consolidating the present
regional administrative structure of prefectures, cities, towns and
villages into larger administrative units?

Masuda: I'll have the government's Council on a Regional System come
up with an interim report next March. I plan to travel to rural
areas and work to obtain local people's understanding.

-- What is your view about mergers of cities, towns, and villages?

Masuda: Mergers need to be promoted in a way to enhance the physical
strength of municipalities. Given a steep population decrease, we
need to have an idea of using regional features while reducing
administrative costs, or we will find it difficult to become
independent.

-- A bill revising the Broadcast Law aimed at applying new
regulations to broadcast stations has been carried over to the next
Diet session.

Masuda: The upcoming extraordinary session of the Diet is likely to
be a difficult session. The ruling and opposition parties are likely
to be more strongly confronted with each other. The bill may be
revised or not revised so that it will be enacted into law. The
point in this regard is how the public will think of it. Even if the
bill is not modified, I deem it is important to apply it in a
restrained manner.

-- What do you think is a desirable level of reduction in the NHK
reception fee?

Masuda: My predecessor, Mr. Suga indicated a 20 PERCENT cut, but I
don't have any figure in mind yet. I think a compulsory payment of
the reception fee and a reception-fee cut should come together.
Given a number of scandals involving NHK, I deem it is necessary for
the executive committee to demonstrate its governing capabilities.

-- Do you have any plan to run for a Diet seat in the future?

Masuda: No, not at all.


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(5) Political distortion: LDP Secretary General Aso supports Prime
Minister Abe, while seeing chance to succeed Abe

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 3, 2007

One week has passed since Prime Minister Shinzo Abe shuffled his
cabinet and the executive lineup of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP). With an eye on the convocation on Sept. 10 of an
extraordinary session of the Diet, the prime minister has tried to
pull together the new cabinet and the LDP leadership, but money
scandals involving cabinet ministers have yet to end. Under the
political distortion, in which the opposition camp controls the
House of Councillors and the ruling bloc has a majority in the House
of Representatives, NIKKEI examined closely key persons who will be
forced to make difficult political decisions.

Appearing on an NHK program on Sunday, LDP Secretary General Taro
Aso stressed the need for preparations for the next Lower House
election.

The Aso-led LDP executive board, which analyzed that one of the
reasons for the party's loss in the July Upper House election was
the quality of the candidates, is concerned about the 83 freshman
lawmakers, the so-called Koizumi's children, who were elected in the
2005 Lower House election.

Aso did not give high-level posts to such Koizumi's children as
Satsuki Katayama and Yukari Sato, who enjoy popularity. He directed
Election Strategy Headquarters General Affairs Director Yoshihide
Suga to get down to the selection of candidates who would win in the
election.

Aso appears to have formed the new executive lineup, taking
advantage the authority of secretary general. He picked Hiroyuki
Hosoda, a member of the Machimura faction, as his deputy. While
giving consideration to the largest faction in the LDP, he also
named Toshihiro Nikai, who heads his own faction, as chairman of the
General Council, Tadamori Oshima, a Komura faction member, as
chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee, and Mikio Hayashi, a
Yamasaki faction member, as chief deputy secretary general.

Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama, a member of the Tsushima faction,
whom Aso was said to recommend to Prime Minister Abe to have him
join the new cabinet, was one of the LDP lawmakers who backed Aso
last year's presidential race. Some LDP members expressed their
displeasure with Aso's selection.

In the policy front, Aso places emphasis on measures to promote
regional economies based on the party's historical defeat in the 29
single seats up for grabs, in which six candidates won seats but 23
lost. At a press conference on Aug. 27, Aso announced a change in
the structural reform policy, criticizing former Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi. He stated: "We elected the person who said that
he would destroy the LDP, and he did so. My mission is to rebuild
the party."

Aso intends to review the local allocation tax grant system in order
to win regional votes, who are gradually distancing themselves from
the LDP, providing soil saving and flood control measures, including
forest protection, that would generous to local governments.


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The Aso faction held a party congratulating him on his assumption of
the secretary general's post. The party was held several hours after
his inaugural press conference. There, a faction member said: "(Our
faction chairman) became secretary general. He would soon move
toward the presidential post. Let's aim to bring about an Aso
government within six months."

Yet, Aso has yet to depict his own strategy for grabbing the reins
of government. If the LDP fights the next Lower House election under
the leadership of Prime Minister Abe, the possibility of an Aso
government will decrease whether the LDP wins or loses the election.
It seems that the shortest way for Aso to assume the premiership is
through a presidential election once the Abe cabinet resigns as a
body. In that case, it is difficult for Aso, who heads a small
faction with only 16 members, to gather support from a great number
of LDP lawmakers. Aso told persons close to him: "I will support
Prime Minister Abe, who defeated me in the presidential election, as
long as he is in office." Aso has often expressed his enthusiasm to
become next prime minister, but the road to power may be rocky.

(6) Defense Minister Komura expresses annoyance with press reports
that Moriya will become advisor to the ministry; Another commotion
in Defense Ministry

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
September 1, 2007

Some press reports on Aug. 31 that Administrative Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya, who left the ministry the same day, would
become an advisor to the Defense Ministry are creating a commotion.
That is because Defense Minister Masahiko Komura expressed at a
press conference on that morning his annoyance with those reports,
saying: "I was surprised to read those newspaper articles. Nothing
has been decided." Some in the ministry are perplexed at the news,
worrying that Moriya might try to control the ministry from behind
the scenes.

Moriya has told persons close to him about his intention to go to
the ministry five days a week as an advisor. The advisory posts have
been filled by former top leaders of the Defense Ministry and the
Self-Defense Forces. The advisors work once a week on a part-time
basis. At present, three advisors share one office. If Moriya
assumed a full-time advisory post in a separate room, it would mean
unusual favorable treatment.

Later in the day, Moriya told Komura: "There is no plan for me to
become an advisor." Komura reportedly gave a sarcastic reply: "I am
in the same position as you were when you did not hear anything from
then Defense Minister Yuriko Koike."

(7) Guam booming with military procurements

ASAHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
August 31, 2007

In May last year, the Japanese and US governments reached a final
agreement to realign US forces in Japan. Since then, more than one
year has passed. In order to mitigate Okinawa's burden of hosting US
military bases, the US Marine Corps will relocate its command
functionality and about 8,000 troops from the island prefecture to
Guam. For the US military, Guam is a major strategic linchpin in the
West Pacific as well as Okinawa. Guam is now already in the run-up

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to base construction. The move should be in line with the issue of
relocating Futenma airfield in Okinawa. However, Futenma relocation
remains deadlocked. The Asahi Shimbun reports in two parts from Guam
on what is on the forefront of US military realignment.

The tourist island of Guam, about half Okinawa's main island, is now
about to turn into an island of military bases.

Guam currently hosts about 6,000 troops mainly from the US Navy and
Air Force. According to US Navy Capt. Robert Lee, acting director of
the Joint Guam Program Office for US military realignment, there
will be an increase of about 40,000 persons, including family
dependents, in 2014 when the realignment will be completed. The
island's population-currently about 160,000-will increase 25 PERCENT
at a stroke.

In the realignment of US forces, the Army, Navy, and Air Force will
also reinforce their troop strengths. Andersen Air Force Base,
located in the northern part of Guam, deploys unmanned
reconnaissance planes and air tankers on a standing basis. Apra
Harbor on the western side of Guam is home to three nuclear-powered
submarines, and the port will have a new wharf for aircraft
carriers. At present, the US military deploys almost no ground
troops on Guam. The USMC will deploy troops from Okinawa to the
island, and the Army will also deploy an air defense unit there
against ballistic missiles. The total cost of base construction on
Guam is estimated at approximately 15 billion dollars or about 1.74
trillion yen.

"The presence of US forces on Okinawa may be a burden for the local
people," says Tony Ramolina, a senior official of the Guam
government for the US military realignment. "But," he added, "We are
also Americans." He also said, "We welcome them very much."

Tourists visiting Guam and US forces based there have propped up the
island's local economy. However, the number of visitors to
Guam-which peaked at 1,380,000 in 1997-halved in 2003 in the
aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and a raging
typhoon that hit the island. The island's tourism is still in a
slump. And then, the USMC decided to move its troops from Okinawa to
Guam.

The USMC is a hero that liberated the Guam from the now-defunct
Japanese military. The local media frequently reported on the
"special military procurements," saying the reinforcement of US
forces will revive the economy of Guam. The island's local
population is generally affirmative about hosting troops from
Okinawa.

Japan is going to pay for the planned construction of about 3,500
housing units on Guam for troops and their families to be moved
there from Okinawa. The candidate site of housing construction is at
Finegayan, which is situated in the northwestern part of Guam.
Private businesses are now in a rush for housing construction near
Finegayan. There is also an influx of money from China and South
Korea. An international race for business chances is heating up over
a huge amount of construction investments.

(8) Commentary by former Ambassador to Thailand Hisahiko Okazaki: Do
not mishandle the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

SANKEI (Page 13) (Slightly abridged)

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August 30, 2007

Changed East Asia situation

What the shuffled Abe administration must do first of all, if it
does nothing else, is to renew the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures
Law. I feel strongly about this because of recent changes going on
in the international situation affecting East Asia.

The situation in East Asia can be evaluated as the absence of
America and the shrinking presence of Japan. In contrast, the
influence of China is growing greater, and the expectation of China
by the United States, or America's deference toward China, is
striking. The era of the first term of the Bush administration, in
which pro-Japan officials were firmly in charge of East Asia policy,
has come and gone. Already Washington has deemed the cooperation of
China, which sits on the UN Security Council, to be necessary for
the war on terror and the war in Iraq. In recent years, it has been
relying solely on China when it comes to North Korean issues.

America's deference to China is almost scandalous. When Taiwanese
President Chen Shui-bian was transiting the US mainland, he could
only come via Alaska. Moreover, the US government reportedly is
winking at China's weapons exports to Iran. At a time like this,
what do you think would happen if Japan were to pull its fuel-supply
ships from the Indian Ocean?

United Nations Security Council Resolution 1386 called on the
international community to make efforts to counter terrorism, and
the G-8 countries responded by dispatching warships of various
kinds. The only exception was Russia, which was scarred by its past
experience in Afghanistan, so it should not be placed in the same
category as Japan, which has nothing to feel inferior about when it
comes to the Afghan issue.

Reason for opposing the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law

If at this point, only Japan were to pull out its ships, the
impression that its influence in the international community was
shrinking would be unavoidable. Pro-Japanese groups in the United
States would be disappointed, and anti-Japanese groups would be
spurred on. Average Americans would think that what they had heard
about Japan being that kind of country was so. The relationship of
trust between Japan and the United States, built up so proudly over
many administrations, would be severely undermined.

Although Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa,
referring to the extension of the Anti-Terrorism Law's extension,
told US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer, "The US began the Afghan war
without first obtaining the consensus of the international
community," his perception of the facts was clearly mistaken,
speaking from the way that each nation responded at the time. Even
now when I read the reason why the DPJ is against the bill, I recall
no such things having ever been said. Although the government has
given all sorts of reasons (for the Indian Ocean dispatch), what it
all amounts to is that deliberations on the bill have yet to be
fully exhausted, and it would seem that the government has not
fulfilled its accountability.

After Diet deliberations are procedurally completed, the opposition
then can play its favorite game of opposing the bill. There are
times when minor parties use such clever arguments to assert their

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reason for existing, for as long as they are minor parties, national
interest will not be harmed by such. However, this time the DPJ is a
responsible party, having a majority of seats in the Upper House. It
should not express its reason for existence by only taking opposing
stances. The need for that no longer exists. It is international
conventional wisdom that the desirable pattern for foreign policy is
to have basic bipartisanship.

If the DPJ pursues the government on the issues, it should choose
mainly domestic ones. If it should be the pension issue, on which
the LDP lost the confidence of the people, as the results of the
last election show, I would like them to tangle in the next Diet
session on that issue.

The definition of a responsible party

Indeed, what the public expects of the DPJ is to tackle issues that
have the deepest impact on the national life. The Japanese people do
not at all wish to see the government attacked in a way that will
make the international community look down on Japan. The only ones
thinking that way are a few politicians who will do anything to
further the party's interests and strategy and a biased segment of
the mass media.

If Japan is to have a true two-party system, it is time for the DPJ
to show the nation that it is a responsible party. That is within
the realm of possibility. Ever since Prime Minister Koizumi said
that he was going to "destroy the LDP," the party's traditional
vote-getting machinery has changed qualitatively. In the future, the
question is whether or not a responsible party capable of
alternating with the LDP in power can exist. In defining what a
responsible party is, the most important element is whether or not
it can carry out foreign and security policies in a non-partisan
way. The Japan Socialist Party of the Cold War era lacked that
capability.

But now the situation is different. The public does not expect such
actions from a party as squaring its shoulders and mouthing anti-US
statements and the like. If a two-party system is to be created, it
is time for parties to truly vie for support from the nation by
squaring off mainly on issues of concern to the national life.

(9) Extending antiterrorism law serves Japan's national interests

SANKEI (Page 7) (Abridged slightly)
September 2, 2007

By Satoshi Morimoto, director of Institute of World Studies,
Takushoku University

The ruling and opposition blocs are expected to fiercely lock horns
over an extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law in the
next extraordinary Diet session. Democratic Party of Japan President
Ichiro Ozawa is trying to scrap the bill to extend the law with the
aim of forcing the prime minister to dissolve the House of
Representatives for a snap election. Ozawa's attempt raises
questions as to whether pulling the Maritime Self-Defense Force out
of the Indian Ocean serves Japan's national interests and who should
be held responsible -- the Abe administration or the DPJ. The fate
of Ozawa's plan would be determined by decisions by the
international community and the Japanese public.


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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

Acts of terrorism have occurred in various parts of the world since
9/11. Although the South Korean hostages have finally been released,
the situation in Afghanistan is still unstable due to violence by
al-Qaeda and Taliban remnants. The United States and NATO members
launched operations in Afghanistan in October 2001 in the wake of
9/11. About 50,000 troops from the United States and 37 countries
are now engaged in the antiterrorism operation in Afghanistan.

Islamic terrorists who were trained in the area stretching from
southeastern Afghanistan to northeastern Pakistan have been
conducting such activities as smuggling drugs out of Afghanistan via
Pakistan to purchase weaponry and ammunition and smuggle them back
into Afghanistan in addition to reaching the Gulf region via Iran
and conducting terrorist activities in Europe and Asia. Maritime
interdiction operations (MIO) have been conducted in the Indian
Ocean to stop and search cargo ships aimed at identifying and
intercepting terrorists.

Japan enacted the Antiterrorism Law in November 2001 and sent MSDF
support ships and destroyers to the Indian Ocean. Their services to
provide fuel and water to naval vessels and helicopters of 11
countries have won Japan a high international reputation. The
general public must appreciate the MSDF's four-and-a-half-year
mission in the Indian Ocean under the scorching sun.

Pakistan in particular has been totally dependent on the MSDF's
refueling services. In her talks with Prime Minister Abe last week,
visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel also asked for an extension
of the MSDF mission in the Indian Ocean, expressing her appreciation
for Japan's commitment.

A country eager to withdraw from the antiterrorism operation in
Afghanistan, in which over 40 countries are involved, will not be
able to win an important position and role in the United Nations.
The United States has high expectations for Japan's continued
activities in the Indian Ocean. To Japan, America's cooperation is
also essential in dealing with possible threats, such as North Korea
and China. Japan did not send MSDF troops to the Indian Ocean by
blindly following in America's footsteps. The MSDF has been
assisting such countries as France, Germany and Pakistan besides the
United States. Naval vessels of those countries participating in the
MIO have accomplished remarkable results in confiscating drugs and
weapons and intercepting terrorists. Disclosing such information
would reduce deterrence.

In opposing an extension of the Antiterrorism Law, DPJ President
Ozawa cited a lack of authorization by a UN Security Council
resolution. True, the operations in Afghanistan were initiated by
the United States and Britain by exercising their rights to
self-defense. Japan, on the other hand, enacted the Antiterrorism
Law to join the operations in Afghanistan based on a UN resolution.
Equating a UN resolution with justice is incorrect. A political
party eager to abolish the revision bill to terminate antiterrorism
activities would not appear capable of taking power in the eyes of
other countries, including the United States.

Nevertheless, chances remain slim for the revision bill to clear the
Diet as long as the DPJ opposes it. The government and ruling
coalition have shown some flexibility in order to win the DPJ's
understanding and cooperation. Altering the content of the current
law, specifically what the SDF should do and the term of activities,
would be one option. Establishing a general law or a new law as the

TOKYO 00004094 012 OF 013

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

legal basis for the MSDF mission would be another approach. Another
compromise would be extending the Indian Ocean mission for a limited
period of time in return for expanding the airlift operation to
include the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Afghanistan by
combining the Antiterrorism Law with the Iraq Special Measures Law.

Securing fuel and water supplies for other countries ahead of
Japan's departure would be another option. In any case, it is
essential for the Japanese public to understand that Japan's
continued commitment to international antiterrorism efforts services
the country's national interests.

I would like to see heated Diet debate on an extension of the
Antiterrorism Law, which is to expire on November 1, until the last
moment. The upcoming Diet session will make clear if Japan has the
courage and is determined to make substantial contributions to
bringing peace and stability to the world even by paying a price for
it.

(10) Antiterrorism Special Measures Law: Defense minister says, "I'm
willing to listen to any request from opposition parties"; Will the
government's bill revising law be modified or will new legislation
be created?

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
September 4, 2007

Defense Minister Masahiko Komura in a speech at a Tokyo hotel
yesterday referred to the question of extending the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling operations now going on in the
Indian Ocean under the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. "I'm
ready to listen to whatever opposition parties may request if they
are moving toward extending the term of the current refueling
services," he said. The defense minister's remarks are taken to mean
that he is willing to accept as many requests as possible from
opposition parties in order to continue the MSDF's refueling
activities after Nov. 2. Komura continued: "Since the opposition
bloc now holds a majority in the Upper House (and can vote down the
bill), it will not be that easy to have the Lower House again pass
the bill extending the law by a two-thirds majority." Opposition
parties, including the largest, the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ
or Minshuto), have not indicated any willingness to respond to
discussions with the ruling bloc over extending the MSDF's refueling
activities (in the Indian Ocean). What will happen to the bill
amending the law is unclear.

The special measures law that has allowed MSDF ships to refuel
vessels from the multinational force in the Indian Ocean since
December 2001 expires on Nov. 1. The government initially planned to
submit a bill extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law for
another one year to an extraordinary session of the Diet to be
convened on Sept. 10, but it has now found itself in a difficult
situation, meeting strong opposition from Ichiro Ozawa, president of
the DPJ, which has gained political momentum after winning a
landslide victory in the July Upper House election. The government
is even being forced to consider other options, such as adopting a
new law or revising the current bill extending the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law.

Although the ultimate goal for the government and ruling coalition
is to extend the term of the MSDF's refueling operations, they have
yet to come up with a unified strategy to reach that end.

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07


The government's basic policy line is to present a bill amending the
law to extend it by a year. Extending the law until Nov.1 of next
year would automatically extend refueling operations. But, if the
bill is not adopted by Nov. 1, the legislation which the MSDF relies
on to authorize its refueling activities would be lost. If the
opposition bloc, citing the need for thorough deliberations, stalls
for time or adopts its own legislation scrapping the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law, while refusing to discuss the main bill on the
grounds of "double jeopardy," the government will find it difficult
to get the revision bill adopted.

Aware of these possibilities, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's
(LDP) Policy Research Council Chairman Nobuteru Ishihara, as well as
Komura, has shown flexibility about consultations with the DPJ.
Ishihara, keeping in mind the DPJ's plan to strengthen cooperation
in the civilian sector to fight terrorism, indicated that he would
positively respond to talks for modifying the revision bill, saying:
"It's fine to work together in the civilian sector. I'd like to
discuss the matter with the DPJ."

The proponent of producing new legislation was Toshihiro Nikai,
chairman of the LDP's General Council. Two cases are being studied.
One is to submit a new bill mentioning only the MSDF's operations
instead of producing a bill revising the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law. The other is to submit new legislation after the
expiration of that law. In other words, one approach is for the LDP
to put the DPJ's ideas into a revised bill and then get the bill
adopted. The other approach is for the LDP to enact new legislation
in the last days of the extraordinary Diet session so as to minimize
the interruption of the MSDF's refueling services.

Speaking of these moves in the government and the ruling coalition
for establishing new legislation, Ozawa yesterday told reporters at
Karuizawa Town, Nagano Prefecture: "It's troublesome to hear someone
who does not understand the DPJ's assertions propose such a thing.
Our position is that Japan can't take part in any peacekeeping
operations that are not led or authorized by the United Nations."
Ozawa thus indicated he would refuse to hold consultations with the
ruling bloc.

In this connection, Chief Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano referred to
the fact at a press conference yesterday afternoon that Kenji Eda, a
member of the House of Representatives, pointed out in his website
that more than 80 PERCENT of oil provided by the MSDF to other
countries' vessels had been used for the Iraq operations, and made
this rebuttal: "All fuel provided by Japan was used to fight
terrorism in Afghanistan."

DONOVAN

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