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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/05/07

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050820Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 5417
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 2992
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6622
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 1976
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3729
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8803
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4865
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5776

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 004120

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 09/05/07


Index:

(1) Interview with Defense Minister Masahiko Komura on Antiterrorism
Law

(2) Interview with Defense Minister Masahiko Komura on Antiterrorism
Law -- "Japan will continue refueling operation no matter what"

(3) Upper House member Koike picked parliamentary secretary for
foreign affairs

(4) Borrowing issue: "Mistake in records," says Kamoshita;
Opposition parties eye possibility of issuing censure motion

(5) Four opposition parties to put up joint front in upcoming
extraordinary Diet session with eye on dissolution before year's
end: How will the censure motion be used?

(6) Editorial -- US-DPRK agreement: Bringing about denuclearization
in strict terms and without any loopholes is critical

(7) Cabinet Office, 10 ministries want to abolish no IAIs;
Administrative minister to ask them to reconsider "zero response"

(8) TOP HEADLINES

(9) EDITORIALS

(10) Prime Minister's schedule, September 4

ARTICLES:

(1) Interview with Defense Minister Masahiko Komura on Antiterrorism
Law

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

Q. The opposition parties are opposed to an extension of the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. How are you going to deal with
them?

Komura: I am going to offer thorough explanations about the law's
significance to both the opposition parties and the general public.
The maritime interdiction operations to block terrorists have been
authorized by UN resolutions. Countries that did not send troops to
Iraq, such as France and Germany, are also taking part in the
operations. The Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling services are
the foundation for those operations. I'm afraid that the general
public is not fully aware of how much Japan's refueling operation is
being appreciated by the international community and how much it is
helping Japan itself.

Q: A new law is also under study. Is the government still going to
present a bill to revise the existing law to extend the MSDF
mission?

Komura: The bottom line is to continue the MSDF operation beyond
November 2. We will pursue every possibility to that end.

Q: One option would be establishing a new law for resuming
activities after the existing law expires.

TOKYO 00004120 002 OF 009

Komura: That's possible. We might go for new legislation before the
current law expires.

Q: Is there any room for talks with the Democratic Party of Japan?

Komura: I was a member of the "Ozawa research council" (that studied
the country's international contributions, such as joining the
multinational forces, in the days when Ichiro Ozawa and others were
still members of the Liberal Democratic Party). So I think I know
well about Mr. Ozawa's thinking. I believe he did not stick to the
United Nations' authorization back then, but he said that Japan was
allowed to join (international) police activities. I want to hear
his thoughts on the matter.

Q: There is stiff local resistance to the planned relocation of
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa.

Komura: Following local requests, the government has produced its
plan that has also won the consensus of Tokyo and Washington. I will
do my utmost to convince the local residents to support the
government plan.

Q: What are your responses to the SDF mission in Iraq, including an
exit strategy?

Komura: Humanitarian and reconstruction assistance has won
international support. The Diet has approved its extension, so the
mission will go on. Although the government will not think of an
exit strategy for the time being, anything could happen, such as
withdrawing from the country successfully or losing cost
effectiveness.

Q: What new system are you going to build in cooperation with new
Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Kohei Masuda?

Komura: We must commit ourselves to national defense for the people.
I could go, "Both of us have passed the bar examination and are
gentle." But (recent reports on a clash with former Vice Minister
Takemasa Moriya) have revealed that I am not really gentle.

(2) Interview with Defense Minister Masahiko Komura on Antiterrorism
Law -- "Japan will continue refueling operation no matter what"

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
September 5, 2007

I am going to spell out the need to extend the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law to the opposition parties. If Japan terminated its
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean at this point, other
countries would think Japan is an abnormal country. Japan must
continue its refueling operation no matter what, and I will pursue
every possibility to that end. Theoretically speaking, it is
possible to present a new bill, while continuing activities under
the Antiterrorism Law. The government led by the Cabinet Secretariat
is nailing down the details. Ichiro Ozawa, the president of the
Democratic Party of Japan, thinks the Antiterrorism Law lacks UN
authorization. The fact is the United Nations has given a seal of
approval to the law. Refueling foreign vessels is an act that is
consistent with Ozawa's thinking that Japan should actively take
part in collective defense.


TOKYO 00004120 003 OF 009


The government's plan to build a V-shaped pair of runways at the
relocation site for Futenma Air Station in Okinawa is totally
rational. I will heed local views, but unless there is something
extraordinary, making changes to the plan would be difficult.

Based on bitter lessons learned from the leakage of information on
the Aegis system by Maritime Self-Defense Force officers, we will
make the SDF personnel become fully aware of the importance of
information security. Although we have not considered a punitive
clause or other steps to toughen the law, the government might
consider such options in the future.

(3) Upper House member Koike picked parliamentary secretary for
foreign affairs

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

The government decided yesterday in a round-robin cabinet meeting to
appoint House of Councillors member Masakatsu Koike as parliamentary
secretary for foreign affairs to serve as the replacement of Yukio

SIPDIS
Sakamoto, who quit the post in connection with the Liberal
Democratic Party branch office she heads that had used receipts for
fictitious political meetings multiple times in her political
reports.

Masakatsu Koike represents the Upper House Tokushima constituency.
He served as an Audit Committee director. He graduated from the
University of Tokyo. He is serving in his first term in the Upper
House. He is 55 years old. He belongs to the Tsushima faction in the
LDP.

(4) Borrowing issue: "Mistake in records," says Kamoshita;
Opposition parties eye possibility of issuing censure motion

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

Concerning unclear borrowings reported by his fund management
organization, Environment Minister Kamoshita this morning told
reporters in Tokyo, "I would like to conduct a factual investigation
and report the result to all of you." He indicated his intention to
hold a press conference and provide an explanation of the matter.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano plans to listen to Kamoshita's
explanation. Eyeing a submission of a censure motion against Prime
Minister Abe to the Upper House, where the opposition camp has a
majority, the opposition intends to demand that Abe dismiss
Kamoshita, provided that he cannot fulfill his accountability by
coming up with a clear explanation.

The political fund payment report submitted in 1996 by Kamoshita's
fund management organization recorded 2 million yen as borrowings
from him. The body recorded 10 million yen as borrowed from
Kamoshita during a period from 1998 through 2005. Kamoshita failed
to explain the 8 million yen discrepancy.

Kamoshita stated, "My perception of the discrepancy is that there
were borrowings worth 2 million yen, and that the 10 million yen in
borrowings was later reported by mistake. I deeply reflect on the
fact that the mistaken record has been reported for years." He
added, "I believe records were kept somehow in a sloppy manner. I
will correct the reports wherever necessary."

TOKYO 00004120 004 OF 009

He stressed that he has no intention of stepping down as cabinet
minister, saying, "I will provide a proper explanation. I will do my
best in order to provide a convincing explanation."

Prime Minister Abe at noon today told reporters at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence (Kantei): "I heard that there was some
mistake in the records. If this is a case of a mistake, he must
correct what should be corrected. Then I would like him to give an
account."

The prime minister's policy is that he will dismiss cabinet
ministers if they cannot provide explanations when there are charges
of a politics and money scandal. Asked about whether the case this
time falls under this policy, Abe replied, "If it was a case caused
by an error, it does not fall under that policy." He indicated that
if it was a simple mistake, Kamoshita need not step down. However,
some ruling party members are concerned about the possible impact of
the incident on the extraordinary Diet session to be convened
shortly. Chances are that the matter could develop into a question
of whether or not he should resign, depending on what explanations
Kamoshita will come up with.

Kenji Yamaoka, chair of the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ or
Minshuto) Diet Affairs Committee, said, "We will demand explanations
from him in the Diet session. If he cannot give explanations, he
would deserve a censure motion."

(5) Four opposition parties to put up joint front in upcoming
extraordinary Diet session with eye on dissolution before year's
end: How will the censure motion be used?

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

The government and the ruling parties yesterday decided to convene
the fall extraordinary Diet session on Sept. 10 for 62 days until
Nov. 10. The major point at issue is an extension of the
Antiterrorism Law. However, there has been no end to the series of
scandals involving government officials and LDP lawmakers even after
the cabinet reshuffle, as can be seen in the resignations of
Agriculture Minister Takehiko Endo and Upper House member Yutaka
Kobayashi. In a bid to force a Diet dissolution before year's end,
the opposition bloc is hardening its confrontational stance,
brandishing the threat of presenting censure motions against Prime
Minister Abe and the members of his cabinet.

Referring to the resignation of Endo, Abe during an LDP executive
meeting held yesterday morning offered an apology, "I am sorry the
incident caused so much trouble." With a stern expression, he then
gave an order: "The upcoming Diet session will be stormy in all
ways. I ask the government and the ruling parties to unite and ride
it out."

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), the Social
Democratic Party (SDP), the People's New Party (PNP) and the
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) also held a joint meeting of Diet
affairs committee chairmen. Participants agreed to pursue the
"politics and money" scandals in a thorough manner. The JCP
distanced itself from the other opposition parties early this year,
but the party now plans to attend that regular meeting.


TOKYO 00004120 005 OF 009


Opposition parties have decided to demand that budget committee
hearings of both chambers be held for 5-6 days in total. They also
agreed to summon Fujio Mitarai, chairman of the Japan Business
Federation (Nippon Keidanren), to the Lower House Budget Committee
over Canon's fabrication of job contracts. Their aim is to let him
step down as a member of the government's Council on Economic and
Fiscal Policy (CEFP), thereby delaying the start of deliberations on
a bill amending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.

Though this meeting did not focus on the issuance of censure motions
against cabinet ministers in the Upper House, opposition parties
consider this strategy as a major card to play in order to shake the
government and the ruling parties.

If censure motions against cabinet ministers over their politics and
money scandals are adopted in the Upper House, where the ruling
parties hold a majority, the administration would face a
predicament. However, if opposition parties issue that card
excessively, cabinet ministers would stick to their posts,
highlighting what censure motions can do is limited.

It is even more so, when it comes to a censure motion against the
prime minister. If such is submitted to the Upper House, the ruling
parties are bound to introduce a confidence motion for the cabinet.
If the confidence in the cabinet is legally adopted, opposition
parties would be left with no more cards to play.

How effectively a censure motion should be used is a major challenge
for the opposition camp, as a source in the camp put.

DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama tried to constrain the ruling
bloc by noting, "There will appear a case in which a censure motion
against the prime minister has to be submitted." A preliminary
skirmish has already begun.

(6) Editorial -- US-DPRK agreement: Bringing about denuclearization
in strict terms and without any loopholes is critical

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

We cannot rejoice at this agreement. This agreement means that the
United States and North Korea agreed at their working group meeting
in the six-party talks in Geneva to "disable" the nuclear facilities
and "make a report on all of nuclear programs" within the year. We
hope the North will abide by the agreement by completely dismantling
its nuclear facilities and denuclearizing itself in an irreversible
way.

However, a number of doubts are cast on this agreement. In reporting
on the agreement, the Korean Central News Agency said that it has
been decided that the US "will remove North Korea from the list of
countries supporting terrorism and lift all the sanctions imposed on
North Korea." The US denied an early removal of North Korea from the
list, noting, "It depends on progress on denuclearization," but
evidently, the US is implying a future removal.

We again remind the US of this point. Delisting North Korea as a
state sponsor of terrorism is an important trump card to resolve a
number of issues concerning the North. The US must be prudent about
using that trump card in order to have the North strictly implement
the points of agreement and realize denuclearization without any

TOKYO 00004120 006 OF 009


loopholes.

When it comes to "disablement," what measures will be taken to
disable the existing nuclear facilities? We know of no specific
ideas for that having been made clear. It is also necessary to
reveal the amount of plutonium the North has extracted until now and
the number of nuclear bombs the North possesses at present. It might
take time to ravel various doubts, including the existence of
production programs for plutonium-type or uranium-type nuclear
weapons.

Additionally, the abduction issue has been indeed stalled from the
Japanese point of view. If the US made a quick move to remove the
North from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, it would be
regrettable in terms of Japan dealing with North Korea, as well as
in terms of relations between Japan and the US.

To be sure, whether to remove the North from the list of state
sponsors of terrorism is primarily a domestic issue for the US. In
fact, Secretary of State Rice also has made her position clear by
noting: "A resolution of the abduction issue is not a condition for
the US to remove the North from the list of state sponsors of
terrorism." The annual report on terrorism released in May by the
Department of State concluded that there has been no case of North
Korea supporting terrorists since the 1987 explosion of a Korean
Airlines jetliner caused by North Korean agents. The report's
coverage of the abduction issue has been shortened compared to the
previous one.

President Bush and key US officials have expressed consideration for
the abduction issue, but they cannot prevent giving the impression
that they have done so only to give lip service to Japan. Chief
Cabinet Secretary Kaoru Yosano made this comment: "The US does not
have the slightest intention of leaving Japan behind. I think it is
important to believe the US." However, it is not just a question of
believing in the US. We also deem it important for Japan to make its
direct request of the US.

Aside from the abduction issue, it is Japan that has been most
exposed to the threats of North Korea's nuclear development and
missiles. The US is now calling on Japan to extend the Antiterrorism
Special Measures Law. Listing the North as a state sponsor of
terrorism is one thing and Japan's Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law is another. But if an impression of "Japan being left behind"
regarding the North Korean issue is growing stronger, the Japanese
public's sentiment toward the US will cool down.

Whether the US will disclose information has been made an issue in
regard to an extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.
Regarding the North Korean issue, too, the US should provide Japan
with more information and improve communications with Japan. Given
the past relations between Japan and the US and geographical aspects
of the two countries, it is strange if Japan is being "left
behind."

(7) Cabinet Office, 10 ministries want to abolish no IAIs;
Administrative minister to ask them to reconsider "zero response"

YOMIURI (Top Play) (Slightly abridged)
September 4, 2007

It was learned on Sept. 3 that the Cabinet Office and 10 ministries

TOKYO 00004120 007 OF 009


had submitted to the Cabinet's Headquarters for the Promotion of
Administrative Reform their plans to abolish any of the independent
administrative institutions (IAIs) under their jurisdiction, a sign
of strong resistance among bureaucrats against the shrinking of
IAIs, which provide retired bureaucrats lucrative jobs. Yoshimi
Watanabe, state minister in charge of administrative reform, intends
to ask them to reconsider a "zero response."

There are 101 IAIs. However, the plans the Cabinet Office and 10
ministries presented mad no proposal of abolishing and privatizing
the IAIs, except for the Japan Green Resources Agency, the
abolishment of which has been decided.

The plans also did not stipulate the abolishment of the Nippon
Automated Cargo Clearance System Operations Organization (NACCS)
under the Finance ministry's jurisdiction, only referring to the
possibility of its privatization.

Regarding the National Statistics Center (NSC) under the
jurisdiction of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications,
and the National Hospital Organization under the jurisdiction of the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, the plans stipulated that the
status of public employees of the NEX executives would be deprived.

IAIs that would go private include 1) the National Printing Bureau,
under the Finance Ministry's jurisdiction, 2) the National Institute
for Materials Science under the Education Ministry's jurisdiction,
3) the Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation under the
Agriculture Ministry's jurisdiction, and 4) the Japan External Trade
Organization under the METI's jurisdiction.

The government decided in a cabinet meeting on Aug. 10 on a basic
policy of streamlining the IAIs, which stipulates a review of them
in view of securing their self-reliance independence.

The government plans to finalize the streamline plans of IAIs later
this year. However, bargaining between the administrative reform
minister and bureaucrats will likely continue until the last
minute.

(8) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Comsn's at-home nursing-care operations to be sold to 16 entities

Mainichi:
Three major nursing-care companies to buy most Comsn's at-home
operations in 30 prefectures

Yomiuri:
Environment Minister Kamoshita's fund management group provides
inadequate explanation for 8 million yen loan declared in political
funds reports

Nikkei:
Government mulling tax credit for contributions to hometown
revenues

Sankei:
Minister of health, labor and welfare directs Social Insurance
Agency to reinvestigate pension embezzlement


TOKYO 00004120 008 OF 009


Tokyo Shimbun:
LDP lawmaker Kobayashi quits Diet

(9) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Embezzlement of pension funds by pension administrators
disgraceful
(2) Resignation of Diet members: Changing times calls for new rules


Mainichi:
(1) Pension theft: Social Insurance Agency must bring charges
against pension administrators who pocketed pension funds
(2) US-DPRK agreement: North Korea's strict denuclearization urged

Yomiuri:
(1) Full story of pension fraud must come out
(2) Japan's unique culture "MANGA"

Nikkei:
(1) APEC should show the meaning of its existence in connection with
global environment
(2) Is pension fraud tip of the iceberg?

Sankei:
(1) Japan-DPRK working group: Don't change stance of resolving
abduction issue
(2) Pension fraud is disgusting

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Thorough investigations on pension fraud and punishment
necessary
(2) How will Iraq escape from the quagmire it is in?

(10) Prime Minister's schedule, September 4

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

09:02
Executive meeting at the party headquarters

09:22
Cabinet meeting at the Kantei.

09:58
Reporting to the Emperor in private at the Imperial Palace. Then
attestation form new Agriculture Minister Wakabayashi.

10:44
Issued a letter of appointment to Wakabayashi, followed by a photo
shoot.

11:08
Met with Election Strategy Headquarters Director Suga. Photo session
with recipients of the award for persons of merit for disaster
prevention. Then met with Ambassador Mine in charge of the
Japan-North Korea Normalization talks.

11:40
Met witch Vice Cabinet Office Minister Uchida and Decoration Bureau

TOKYO 00004120 009 OF 009


Director General Fukushita.

13:49
Met with Vice Foreign Minister Yachi.

14:43
Met with former Secretary General Takebe.

15:09
Issued a letter of appointment to Parliamentary Secretary for
Foreign Affairs Koike. Then met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kono
and Deputy Vice METI Minister Toyoda.

17:09
Certification conferment ceremony for the structural reform special
zone plan, the regional revitalization plan and the downtown
revitalization basic plan.

19:05
Met with Secretary General Aso, General Council Chairman Nikai,
Policy Research Council Chairman Ishihara and LDP caucus in the
Upper House Chairman Otsuji.

DONOVAN

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