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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 09/05/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 TOKYO 004108

SIPDIS

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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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 09/05/07


Index:

Machimura diplomacy:
1) Foreign Minister Machimura, Australian counterpart agree in
meeting in Sydney to speed up efforts to sign an EPA
2) Japan, Australia will draft bilateral security guidelines
3) Australia's Foreign Minister Downer, others in Sydney meetings
with Foreign Minister Machimura urge Japan to extend anti-terror law


Defense and security affairs:
4) Defense Minister Komura confirms that government planning to
deploy missile-intercepting PAC-3s in parks in Tokyo region
5) Government, ruling camp considering submitting new anti-terrorism
bill to the Diet
6) Aim of the government in considering a new anti-terror is to
somehow keep the SDF dispatch alive
7) DPJ readies its lawmakers to fight the Anti-Terrorism Special
Measures Law in the Diet

Political agenda:
8) Extra Diet session that opens Sept 10 will see major clashes
between ruling and opposition camps on LDP's "politics and money"
scandals
9) Resignation of LDP lawmaker Kobayashi another blow for the Abe
administration: triple punch of three resignations in three days
10) Environment Minister Kamoshita's political fund organization
cannot account for 8 million yen in incoming funds
11) Postal rebel Hiranuma to be restored to the LDP
12) Strategy of the DPJ will be to put veteran lawmakers on the
front line to clash with ruling camp in the Diet, while junior
lawmakers will focus on general election
13) New Party Japan's Tanaka to form joint Diet group with DPJ

Articles:

1) Machimura, Downer agree to accelerate EPA talks; APEC cabinet
ministerial to open today

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
September 5, 2007

Kotaro Hidaka, Sydney

Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura held talks with his Australian
counterpart Alexander Downer on September 4 ahead of the Asia
Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum slated to open on the 5th.
The two leaders agreed to accelerate the bilateral talks on an
economic partnership agreement (EPA) that started in late April.
They also confirmed the need for major powers, including developing
countries, such as China, to make serious efforts to reduce
greenhouse gases as part of an international effort to combat global
warming, which is certain to take center stage in the APEC forum.

Downer played up high public support for a Japan-Australia EPA.
Machimura underlined the importance of further discussion toward
next year, while citing difficulties, such as opening the Japanese
farm market.

About global warming, Downer emphasized the need for both
industrialized and developing nations to take appropriate measures.
In response, Machimura said: "It would be meaningless if China and

TOKYO 00004108 002 OF 010


India are not included in the effort." A joint statement to be
released at the end of the September 5-6 cabinet ministerial is
expected to mention each country's effort to set energy-saving
targets and cooperation in securing food and product safety.

2) Japan, Australia to concur on security cooperation guidelines

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

SYDNEY-Foreign Minister Machimura, now visiting Australia, met with
Australian Foreign Minister Downer yesterday and the two basically
agreed on an action plan that will serve as guidelines for bilateral
security cooperation. The two countries are expected to reach a
final agreement when their leaders meet this week. On global warming
countermeasures, Machimura and Downer agreed that Japan and
Australia will cooperate to create a framework involving advanced
and developing countries.

According to a briefing by Japanese officials, the action plan will
be worked out on the basis of a bilateral joint security declaration
released in March this year. The action will be a roadmap for Japan
and Australia to cooperate in the area of security in a broad sense,
including peacekeeping operations, disaster relief activities, and
border security.

"Both Japan and Australia are advanced countries, creditor powers,
and US allies," Downer said. He added that Australia would like to
cooperate closely with Japan in the security area. Machimura also
said he was pleased to see the plan being shaped.

Japan has been backing up the antiterror drive in Afghanistan under
the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. On the issue of extending
this antiterror law beyond its Nov. 1 expiry, Machimura said he
would like to make efforts to get Diet approval for a legislative
measure to extend the antiterror law. With this, Machimura asked
Downer to stand behind him for the legislation. After his meeting
with Downer, Machimura told reporters that he actually felt public
opinion in the international community appreciates Japan for its
Maritime Self-Defense Force's seaborne assistance activities in the
Indian Ocean. "I want the opposition parties to listen more
sincerely to international public opinion," Machimura told
reporters. He criticized Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)
President Ichiro Ozawa and other opposition leaders for opposing the
government's plan to extend the antiterror law.

3) Antiterrorism Law: Foreign Minister Machimura seeks support for
extension in talks with Australian foreign minister

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura, now visiting Sydney to take
part in an APEC ministerial meeting, yesterday met with Australian
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Singapore Foreign Minister
George Young-Boon Yeo. Referring to the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which expires on Nov. 1, Machimura during those talks
sought support for the Japanese government's effort to extend it. He
did so partly with the aim of checking the opposition camp,
including the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), which is
opposing an extension.


TOKYO 00004108 003 OF 010


During his talks with Downer, Machimura said, "Whether it is
possible to extend the law is beyond prediction, since it will be
hard for the ruling camp to steer the Diet." He then said, "I would
like Australia to support the Japanese government's effort." Downer
replied, "I would like to offer assistance." Yeo also expressed his
support.

4) PAC-3 anti-missile system: Defense Ministry considering public
parks as deployment sites

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

Defense Minister Komura on September 4 acknowledged that the his
ministry is looking into the possibility of using parks, as well as
the Self-Defense Forces' garrisons, as future deployment sites for
the Patriot PAC-3 surface-to-air missile system now deployed at the
Air Self-Defense Force's Iruma Base in Saitama Prefecture. He noted,
"In order to defend key facilities and equipment in the center of
the capital, the system must be deployed to a greater extent. There
should be cases in which public land is used." He made this comment
in response to an interview to the Asahi Shimbun and other dailies.

The Defense Ministry is considering several sites, including the
Ground Self-Defense Force's (GSDF) Ichigaya Garrison in Shinjuku,
Tokyo, and Nerima Garrison in Nerima, Yoyogi Park and Harumi Futo
Park, as candidate sites for deploying the PAC-3 system.

Regarding talks with local communities that control candidate sites,
Komura stopped short of making any categorical comment, only noting,
"I cannot go any further regarding the present stage of the matter,
because if I do so, I might cause trouble for the concerned
municipalities, as talks with them have yet to take place."

5) New antiterror legislation eyed

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
September 5, 2007

The Diet will shortly convene an extraordinary session this fall,
during which the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law will become the
top point at issue. The current law being time limited, the
government and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party
and New Komeito yesterday began to give consideration to introducing
a legislative measure that would create a new law stipulating
Japan's role, including the Maritime Self-Defense Force's activities
in the Indian Ocean. In order to extend the MSDF's assistance
activities in the Indian Ocean, the government has so far planned to
present a bill simply amending the existing law. However, the
government and the ruling parties are now mulling whether to give up
the idea of presenting that bill. In addition, the government and
the ruling coalition would indicate their willingness to introduce
the standpoints of the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) in the process of drafting the new legislative measure.
They hope in this way to obtain the DPJ's support as much as
possible.

The antiterror law is due to expire Nov. 1. After its expiry, the
MSDF will not be allowed to continue its assistance activities.
Moreover, the law will no longer be in effect. If that is the case,
the Diet can no longer continue deliberations on that law.


TOKYO 00004108 004 OF 010


The government and the ruling parties deem it extremely difficult to
amend the anti-terror law before its expiry as long as the DPJ,
which controls the House of Councillors, is opposed to extending it.
As it stands, the government and the ruling coalition deem it
important to at least continue Diet deliberations on anti-terror
legislation even after recalling MSDF vessels on Nov. 1.

According to government sources, the newly planned legislation will
stipulate the MSDF's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean.
Meanwhile, the DPJ has been calling on the government to disclose
information about the MSDF's refueling activities and to require the
Diet's prior approval for the MSDF's overseas activities. The
government and the ruling coalition are thinking of incorporating
these points in the new legislation. The DPJ is now working out its
own plan to implement humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to
Afghanistan. In consideration of this, the government and the ruling
coalition will consider incorporating such additional activities in
the new legislation.

6) Commentary: New antiterror legislation aimed at continuing SDF's
overseas activities

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

The government and the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic
Party and New Komeito began yesterday to mull a new legislative
measure to create a new law instead of extending the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law. This new legislation is aimed primarily at
continuing the Self-Defense Forces' overseas activities, with
cooperation obtained from the leading opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto), even after Nov. 1 when the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law is to expire. To that end, the government and the
ruling coalition will have the DPJ's standpoint reflected in the new
legislation as much as possible.

The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law stipulates that the Diet is
to give its "ex post facto approval" to the government for its
overseas dispatch of SDF personnel. In the Diet's past deliberations
on this special antiterror legislation, however, the DPJ insisted
that the government should ask the Diet for its "prior approval." In
addition, the DPJ has also sought to unveil facts about the MSDF's
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. The government and the
ruling coalition are therefore thinking to have the newly planned
legislation stipulate prior approval and information disclosure on
the MSDF's refueling activities.

The LDP-led government is now likely to give up from the start on
presenting a bill revising the antiterror law. "If we introduce the
new legislation in the first place," a Cabinet Secretariat official
says, "it will be possible to secure much more time to discuss the
new legislation." Also, the current antiterror law allows the SDF to
engage in transportation as well as repair and maintenance services,
in addition to refueling activities and other underway replenishment
services. However, there is also an idea that limits the SDF's
overseas assistance activities to underway replenishment only. This
is intended to emphasize the importance of refueling activities and
is also aimed at obtaining the DPJ's understanding for the SDF's
continued activities.

However, the DPJ has recently been asserting that the SDF's overseas
activities that are not based on any United Nations resolution are

TOKYO 00004108 005 OF 010


unacceptable. Given this assertion, the new legislation may also
fail to get the DPJ's agreement.

In Diet deliberations, the opposition-controlled House of
Councillors may vote down the legislation or may not act on it
within 60 days. The Constitution, however, stipulates that a bill
which is passed by the House of Representatives, and upon which the
House of Councillors makes a decision different from that of the
House of Representatives, becomes a law when passed a second time by
the House of Representatives by a majority of two-thirds or more of
the members present. Based on this constitutional stipulation, a
senior official of the Defense Ministry says, "Even after the SDF
pulls out, there is another way, and that is to enact a new law in
an ordinary session of the Diet next year and send the SDF again."

7) Scope column: DPJ taking steady steps to oppose extending the
antiterrorism law

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

Yoichi Takeuchi

The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) is
steadily taking strategic steps to oppose extending the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, an issue that is certain to take
center stage at an upcoming extraordinary session of the Diet, which
is to be convened on Sept. 10. The DPJ takes no notice of the
desperate moves by the government and the ruling bloc to somehow
bring it into discussion so as to elicit concessions from it over an
extension of that law. We probed the strategy of the DPJ, which
appears to be on the road to scrapping the law.

Meeting the press on Sept. 3 in Karuizawa Town, Nagano Prefecture,
DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa swept aside an idea of creating new
legislation intended for continuing the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's (MSDF) refueling operations, which has been floated in the
government and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Ozawa told
reporters: "We can't allow Japan to take part in any peacekeeping
operations that are not clearly authorized by the United Nations."

When Ozawa met with US Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer in
August, he indicated his intention to oppose an extension of the law
directly to the ambassador, who had expressed hope for the
extension. Ozawa's tough stance toward this extension issue is
particularly noticeable.

Even at a meeting yesterday of Diet policy chiefs from opposition
parties, the DPJ, the Japanese Communist Party, the Social
Democratic Party (SDP), and the People's New Party (PNP) confirmed
the policy of not allowing any extension of the antiterrorism law.

Why has the DPJ assumed such a hard-line stance? The reason is
perhaps because if it easily compromises with the ruling bloc at the
upcoming extraordinary Diet session, which is likely to draw the
public's attention all the more for the reversal of the positions in
the Upper House between the ruling and opposition parties, the DPJ
will lose the public's support. Despite repeated proposals made by
the government and the ruling bloc for talks between the ruling and
opposition parties, the DPJ has shown no sign of responding to
them.


TOKYO 00004108 006 OF 010


Some specific ideas for scrapping the antiterrorism law have been
floated.

One is to kill the bill by taking time for thorough discussion.
Discussion of a bill extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law is likely to begin in early October if things go smoothly. By
using the right to investigate state affairs, which is now available
to the DPJ in the Upper House, the DPJ can pursue the government and
the ruling parties over, for instance, details of the MSDF's
refueling activities, their effects, and details of operations of US
troops who received refueling and thereby can delay a vote until
Nov. 1, when the law expires.

In the meantime, DPJ Policy Research Council Chairman Masayuki
Naoshima has mentioned the possibility of submitting a bill aimed at
repealing the antiterrorism law in order to withdraw the MSDF from
the Indian Ocean. If a bill repealing the law is approved first in
the Upper House before the Lower House, even if a bill extending the
antiterrorism law is sent to the Upper House from the Lower House,
the DPJ can kill the extension bill in line with the principle of
the "prohibition against double jeopardy," which means that bills of
the same kind are not put to a vote again.

Additionally, an idea of compiling a set of measures for civilian
assistance in the nonmilitary area, for instance, medical treatment
and food aid, has been floated. If the DPJ raises opposition for the
sake of opposition, its ability to hold the reins of government will
be questioned.

Also, a council intended to examine problems concerning an extension
of the antiterrorism law has been established in the DPJ. The
council consists mainly of mid-level and junior lawmakers. The
reason the council was established is that if the DPJ further
prepares itself against a theoretical dispute, it can influence
public opinion, and thereby may affect even conservative lawmakers
in the party. Those lawmakers may easily turn around to oppose the
bill extending the antiterrorism law.

Yet, some in the LDP echoed a mid-level lawmaker's view that "Given
relations with the United States, the DPJ can more demonstrate its
ability to hold the reins of government by holding discussion of
revisions to the bill extending the antiterrorism law and putting
into the bill a way for the MSDF to withdraw and then supporting the
bill."

8) Fierce battle to occur over politics and money in coming Diet
session

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

Ahead of the extraordinary Diet session to be convened on Sept. 10,
the ruling and opposition camps yesterday started preparations for a
fierce tug-of-war in the extra session by holding meetings of their
Diet Affairs Committee chairmen. The ruling coalition will give top
priority to the issue of extending the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, while the opposition bloc intends to concentrate on
the issue of "politics and money."

LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima conveyed
yesterday to New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio
Urushibara the LDP's plan that the extra session will last for 62

TOKYO 00004108 007 OF 010


days from Sept. 10 until Nov. 10. He also said: "I have heard that
the government will submit about 10 new bills. The extension of the
Antiterrorism Law is the most important issue."

Meanwhile, four opposition parties -- the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ), Japanese Communist Party (JCP), Social Democratic Party (SDP)
and People's New Party (PNP) -- agreed in a meeting of their Diet
Affairs Committee chairmen to pursue the issue of wasting tax money
by using the right of a Diet member to investigate state affairs,
following the resignation of Agriculture Minister Takehiko Endo in
connection with an agricultural mutual aid association that he
headed which had improperly received government subsidies. The
opposition will ask for intensive deliberations on the
politics-money issue at the budget committees of the two houses.

The opposition camp also has decided to make a list of lawmakers who
serve as executives of entities that receive government subsidies.

In the Upper House, the LDP and DPJ held last evening a meeting of
their Diet Affairs Committee chairmen to discuss the allotment of
Standing Committee chairmen. Coordination ended in failure, as both
parties sought the Budget Committee chairman's post. So they will
again discuss the matter today.

LDP Upper House Budget Committee Chairman Seiji Suzuki stressed:
"Since the DPJ has the post of Steering Committee chairman, the post
of the Budget Committee chairman goes to the LDP. This is a
gentlemen's agreement." DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Susumu
Yanase, however, did not accept Suzuki's assertion.

There are 17 standing committee chairman posts in the Upper House.
In the August extra Diet session, the agreement was reached that the
DPJ would hold the Diet Steering Committee chairman's post, but the
distribution of the remaining 16 posts is undecided.

9) LDP lawmaker Kobayashi quits, dealing another blow to Abe
administration: Third blow in two days

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

The resignation of Upper House member Yutaka Kobayashi of the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) due to violation of the election law
has dealt another blow to the Abe administration, which is faltering
from the resignation of Agriculture Minister Takehiko Endo.

Concerning the resignation of Kobayashi, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
on Sept. 4 told reporters at the Prime Minister's Office (Kantei),
"I would like to fulfill my responsibility by doing my best to
prevent a recurrence of such an incident." The Abe administration
suffered three setbacks Sept. 3-4, including the resignation of Endo
and former Agriculture Minister Tokuichiro Tamazawa's departure from
the party.

There is a strong possibility of Kobayashi's election being
nullified, if a trial of defendants involved in the violation of the
election law proceeds.

Kobayashi found himself in a difficult situation, in which he was
urged to make a decision before that happened, as a senior Upper
House member put it.


TOKYO 00004108 008 OF 010


If Kobayashi remained a lawmaker, the opposition camp would have
taken advantage of it in attacking the ruling camp. Even if
Kobayashi quits, the number of the ruling camp's seats will remain
unchanged, because the seat will be given to Akira Matsu of the New
Komeito, who ended up as runner up. As such, the prevalent view in
the ruling camp has been that it would be desirable for Kobayashi to
quit before the extraordinary Diet session is convened."

10) Environment Minister Kamoshita's funds management body fails to
explain 8 million yen in borrowing; Sloppy funds reports

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
September 5, 2007

The funds management body of Environment Minister Ichiro Kamoshita,
58, elected from the Lower House Tokyo No. 13 constituency, recorded
only 2 million yen as borrowings in its income and expenditure
report for the year the borrowing occurred, although the body has
declared 10 million yen as borrowing for eight years in its
political funds report, the Yomiuri Shimbun has found. A Kamoshita
office source simply said about the 8 million yen difference: "There
are no documents today that can prove the exact amount of borrowing,
so we don't know it." Kamoshita noted: "Some might call it sloppy,
and I must bear such criticism."

Under the Political Funds Control Law, politicians' funds management
organizations are required to declare not only their incomes and
expenditures but also their real estate holdings and liabilities in
order to secure the transparency of political funds and to keep
political activities' verifiable. Borrowings must be entered into
the income column in the income and expenditure report for the year
the borrowing occurred, and the balance in excess of 1 million yen
and the date of borrowing must be entered in the assets column.
Repaid money must be entered into the expenditures column.

The assets in the 1998-2005 funds reports prepared by Kamoshita's
funds management organization included 10 million yen each year
allegedly borrowed from Kamoshita in August 1996. But the income in
the 1996 funds report declared only 2 million yen as a borrowing.

The Kamoshita office initially indicated to the Yomiuri Shimbun that
there was a high likelihood that the organization had borrowed 10
million yen in 1996. But there is no mention in the 1996 funds
report of the 8 million yen difference, as well as the dates when
the money were spent or how it was spent.

11) LDP begins coordination to reinstate Hiranuma into party

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 5, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership launched yesterday
coordination to allow former trade minister Takeo Hiranuma, who had
left the LDP due to his opposition to the government's postal
privatization drive, to rejoin it. Hiranuma represents the Lower
House Okayama No. 3 electoral district. The party leadership does
not intend to ask him to submit a written pledge to support the
postal-privatization program, which the LDP had sought him as a
condition for his return. Coordination of candidates for the Okayama
No. 3 constituency will be a future challenge.

Secretary General Taro Aso stated at a press conference yesterday:

SIPDIS

TOKYO 00004108 009 OF 010


"I think there are various views in the LDP Okayama prefectural
chapter, but we (the leadership) have no objection to Mr. Hiranuma's
rejoining the party. We have no intention to ask him for a written
pledge." Aso later telephoned Hiranuma to convey the party
leadership's view. Hiranuma then told Aso that he would make a
decision after consulting with his support group.

Hiranuma submitted last November to the LDP a letter requesting the
party to allow him to return to it. However, since then Secretary
General Hidenao Nakagawa conditioned to present a written pledge
stipulating his support for postal-privatization, Hiranuma refused
to do so. Other 11 postal rebels who had submitted their written
pledges were reinstated. Hiranuma won as an independent in the 2005
Lower House election, defeating Toshiko Abe, a candidate backed the
LDP. Abe, however, won a Lower House seat in the proportional
representation segment.

12) DPJ to staff its frontline with veterans to face off with ruling
parties; Junior members encouraged to make preparations for next
general election

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
September 5, 2007

Ichiro Ozawa, president of the major opposition Democratic Party of
Japan, decided yesterday to appoint vice presidents and former party
executives as directors of such organizations as the Lower House
Rules and Administration Committee and the Budget Committee where
the ruling and opposition blocs are expected to lock horns in the
upcoming extraordinary Diet session. Ozawa also plans to launch the
Lower House's next cabinet made up in principle of lawmakers who are
now serving in their fourth term or more in order to face off with
the embattled Abe administration. This means to encourage junior
members to make preparations for the next election. Ozawa apparently
aims to apply pressure on the government and ruling coalition by
using veteran members to pave the way for Lower House dissolution
and a snap general election that will follow.

Yoshio Hachiro, a former election campaign chief who is now serving
in his sixth term, has already been informally named as the foreign
minister responsible for the question of extending the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law in the next cabinet to be announced today. The
lineup of executive posts, which used to be dominated by policy
specialists serving in their two to three terms, is also likely to
change significantly. The party in principle will not give committee
directors posts to junior members so that they can visit their home
turfs frequently.

13) Yasuo Tanaka of New Party Nippon to form joint parliamentary
group with DPJ

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
September 5, 2007

Yasuo Tanaka, representative of the New Party Nippon (NPN), elected
for the first time to the Diet in the July House of Councillors
election, and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa
agreed yesterday to form a joint parliamentary group at the upcoming
extraordinary Diet session. Ozawa and Tanaka will announce the plan
in a joint press conference as early as today. Although Tanaka is
the only member of the NPN, the DPJ has hopes for Tanaka's
popularity and assertiveness, as his party won 1.77 million votes in

TOKYO 00004108 010 OF 010


the July election. The DPJ intends to take advantage of Tanaka in
Diet battles at the extra session.

After the Upper House race, Tanaka has worked on coordination to
form a parliamentary group, secretly contacting Ozawa and Secretary
General Yukio Hatoyama. Tanaka reportedly will hold a regular
meeting once a month with Ozawa and Hatoyama to exchange views.

Tanaka now serves on the Upper House Committee on Land,
Infrastructure and Transport. After forming the parliamentary group
with the DPJ, he will be able to attend other committee sessions and
gain question time. He will be also allowed to debate Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe at the Budget Committee and plenary sessions, which will
be broadcast on television. The DPJ side also will be able to
increase its assertiveness.

Tanaka since he was governor of Nagano Prefecture has deepened a
friendship with Ozawa. In the 2003 House of Representatives
election, Tanaka's name was on a list of the DPJ's "cabinet
members." Some in the DPJ are cautious about the idea from the
position of questioning Tanaka's political methods during his tenure
as Nagano governor. Tanaka, however, said: "We have many common
interests. I would like to work with the DPJ to carry out President
Ozawa's reform drive."

Ozawa, meanwhile, has looked at the possibility of forming a
parliamentary group with the People's New Party (PNP). The DPJ and
PNP submitted a bill to freeze the postal-privatization program to
the previous extraordinary Diet session. Ozawa was in contact with
PNP President Tamisuke Watanuki several times, but he failed to
coordinate views since some in the PNP were cautious.

DONOVAN

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In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>