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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09//07

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DE RUEHKO #4217/01 2530813
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100813Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7432
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 5509
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3089
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 6723
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2062
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 3815
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 8879
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4937
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 5849

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 004217

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:

(14) Outline of Prime Minister Abe's press conference in Sydney:
Anti-Terrorism Special Measure Law portion

(15) High hurdle for Prime Minister Abe to extend Antiterrorism Law
in extra Diet session; No common ground with DPJ

(16) Online polling: Abe cabinet unpopular from before Endo problem

(17) Interviews with Minoru Terada and Kazuhiro Haraguchi on
extension of Antiterrorism Law

(18) Ozawa strategy suffers setback: DPJ in Upper House makes
concession on selection of Budget Committee chairman, prioritizing
cooperation with LDP

ARTICLES:

(14) Outline of Prime Minister Abe's press conference in Sydney:
Anti-Terrorism Special Measure Law portion

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
Eve., September 10, 2007

The following is a gist of the portion of Prime Minister Abe's news
conference in Sydney, Australia, that dealt with the Anti-Terrorism
Special Measures Law:

The international situation is extremely severe, but Japan has made
an international commitment (to continue supply activities in the
Indian Ocean), for which I have a great responsibility. I am
resolved to carry out every means possible in order to continue the
war on terror and the Self-Defense Forces' supply operations. In
order to obtain the understanding of the opposition parties,
starting with the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), I
plan to tackle this issue at the risk of my position.

-- Will you present to the extraordinary Diet session a bill to
extend the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law or a new bill? Are
you prepared to meet with the head of the DPJ and other parties
prior presenting the bill?

Terrorism must not be allowed to continue. In that context, Japan's
carrying out its international contribution is one basic element of
my assertive diplomacy. I must somehow make sure that the operations
continue.

We must present to the Diet a bill that will allow the continuance
of the SDF supply operations that have been highly appreciated by
the international community. We must pass the bill after presenting
it.

At the time of presenting the bill, I must make ever effort to
obtain the understanding of the DPJ in particular. I will put in
every effort and at the risk of my own position, seek their
understanding. I would like to ask DPJ President Ozawa for a meeting
at as early a stage as possible.

-- By saying you would risk your own position, are you resolved to
have the cabinet resign en masse in case the supply operations
cannot be continued?

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07


In order to make it possible for them to continue, I must make every
effort possible. I must fulfill my responsibility, my duty using all
my capabilities. Naturally, I have no intention of clinging on to my
position (if I fail)."

(15) High hurdle for Prime Minister Abe to extend Antiterrorism Law
in extra Diet session; No common ground with DPJ

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 9, 2007

Makoto Nakayama, Sydney

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in an informal meeting with reporters
accompanying him to Sydney, emphasized a stance of fighting with his
back to the wall in an attempt to extend the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which allows Japan to take part in the war on terror.
He revealed the possibility of looking into new legislation. He
intends to take every possible measure in order to get understanding
from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the largest party in the
House of Councillors, without sticking to the idea of just extending
the Antiterrorism Law. However, Abe has yet to find any concrete
common ground with the DPJ. At the upcoming extraordinary Diet
session to be convened on Sept. 10, he will undergo hardships from
the beginning.

A US administration official quoted President George W. Bush as
urging in his meeting on Sept. 8 with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe: "I
want you to find at any cost a way to continue the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean."

In the informal meeting with the reporters, Abe underscored his
eagerness for extending the current law, saying: "Continuing the
refueling operation is an international commitment. So my
responsibility for that is heavy. I have to exert all my strength."

However, there are extremely high barriers against an extension of
the MSDF's refueling operation, since DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa has
clarified his position of opposing either an extension of the
present law or new legislation.

There is no benefit for the DPJ to respond to discussion, as the
main opposition party aims to topple the Abe government.

Ozawa has called on Japan to participate in the ISAF (International
Security Assistance Force). The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
and Defense Ministry remain negative about Ozawa's idea out of
concern that the ISAF mission carries considerable risks.

Defense Minister Masahiko Komura told reporters on Sept. 8 about
Japan's participation in logistic support:

"International needs of the current maritime refueling operation are
stronger than transporting goods and personnel by helicopters. For
the SDF, that mission is easy to carry out."

Komura then asserted:

"It is not true that the Defense Ministry and the SDF have looked
into the possibility of Japan's participation in the ISAF. I haven't
received any request from the government a study of consideration of

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

land transportation in Afghanistan. "

Asked by reporters whether he would consider joining the ISAF, Abe
changed the subject, responding, "I want to maintain the current
MSDF operation."

Even if the ruling and opposition camps reach accord to hold policy
consultations, chance are extremely slim that the government and
ruling coalition will accept the humanitarian assistance measures
that the DPJ is now working out.

If a bill to extend the Antiterrorism Law, which expires on Nov. 1,
is not passed through the Diet before that date, it will be
scrapped. However, the Diet will be able to deliberate new
legislation beyond Nov. 1. Even if the refueling mission is
discontinued, the mission will be resumed if new legislation gets
through the Diet during the extra session. However, there remain
barriers to pass the legislation.

(16) Online polling: Abe cabinet unpopular from before Endo problem

TOKYO (Page 2) (Abridged)
September 7, 2007

The Tokyo Shimbun yesterday tabulated findings from its online poll
conducted to probe public attitudes over political issues.
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Endo has now resigned
from his portfolio because a mutual aid association headed by him
had received subsidies from his ministry. Irrespective of such
impropriety, Prime Minister Abe was severely rated in the survey on
the basis of his recent cabinet shuffle and his appointment of a new
executive lineup for his ruling Liberal Democratic Party. In
addition, the survey also found critical attitudes toward Abe's
initiative to build a "beautiful country."

In the survey, respondents were asked about Abe's appointments to
his cabinet and party. In response to this question, favorable
ratings totaled 25.7 PERCENT , with critical ratings totaling 68.1
PERCENT .

On this question, the Tokyo Shimbun looked into interim results as
of Aug. 29 before Endo's problem was brought to light. At that
point, favorable ratings totaled 25.2 PERCENT , with critical
ratings adding up to 69.9 PERCENT . As seen from these figures,
there was almost no change from the finalized results.

Some respondents were affirmative about Abe's shuffling of his
cabinet and his party's executive lineup to a certain extent.
However, they said it has been offset by the Endo problem. As far as
answers from all respondents are concerned, however, Abe's new
appointees to his cabinet and party do not seem to have been
fundamentally appreciated.

Respondents were also asked what they thought about Abe's initiative
to create a "beautiful country," which he advocated in his inaugural
press conference. In response to this question, a total of about 80
PERCENT were negative, with 58.4 PERCENT urging him to give up on
that initiative as an idea aloof from public thinking and 21.0
PERCENT saying he should wait for a while to gauge public
reactions.

Even among LDP supporters, more than half were negative about Abe's

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

"beautiful country" advocacy.

Respondents were further asked to prioritize issues for the new Abe
cabinet. In response, 62.9 PERCENT picked "pension and other policy
measures close to public life," topping all other answers.
Meanwhile, Abe has advocated reviewing Japan's postwar regime, such
as constitutional revision and collective self-defense. However,
those who opted for this postwar regime review accounted for only
5.9 PERCENT .

When asked whether to support the Abe cabinet, "yes" and "yes to a
certain degree" totaled 25.5 PERCENT , up about 8 percentage points
from the last poll. However, the Abe cabinet's support rate still
stayed low. "No to a certain degree" and "no" totaled 74.5 PERCENT
.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted online with 500
anonymous monitors invited on the Internet for answers to questions
relating to politics. This survey differs from telephone-based and
face-to-face polling. The survey this time was taken from late
August through early this month, with 404 persons (80.8 PERCENT )
responding.

(17) Interviews with Minoru Terada and Kazuhiro Haraguchi on
extension of Antiterrorism Law

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
September 9, 2007

The question of extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law is
certain to take center stage in the extraordinary Diet session that
will convene tomorrow. Although the government and ruling coalition
have been playing up the importance of the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling services to naval vessels of other countries in
the Indian Ocean, the Democratic Party of Japan, which opposes the
law's extension, has now become the largest party in the House of
Councillors. Tensions are likely to mount in the Diet toward
November 1, the deadline for the Antiterrorism Law.

Interview with Parliamentary Vice Defense Minister Minoru Terada --
National interests should be prioritized over Lower House
dissolution

Q: Why must the Antiterrorism Law be extended?

Terada: With the Taliban and al-Qaeda gaining strength recently,
there has been a spate of hostage and bombing incidents. Many
countries have stepped up their efforts to deter terrorism, and
Japan cannot afford to discontinue its refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean -- Japan's international contribution. The law must be
extended.

Q: DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa is opposed to an extension, citing a
lack of a UN Security Council resolution as the basis for the
dispatch of the SDF.

Terada: He is misinterpreting facts. The United Nations has adopted
a resolution denouncing terrorism and has also endorsed the
international community to take appropriate measures to prevent
terrorism. Mr. Ozawa thinks that the SDF is allowed to do anything
as long as the United Nations is involved, and we do not agree. The
SDF is not allowed to join foreign forces taking military action

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

based on a UN resolution.

Q: Some observers think that Japan should use humanitarian aid more
actively.

Terada: The Antiterrorism Law covers such activities as humanitarian
and reconstruction assistance, refugee rescue, and supply transport.
Grassroots assistance does not require legislation. Official
development assistance is also possible based on an agreement with a
recipient country. There are many things Japan can do under the
existing system.

Q: Is there any chance for the government to come up with a new law
that reflects the DPJ's views?

Terada: Before discussing new legislation, it is important for the
ruling and opposition parties to discuss matters sincerely. The
government wants to obtain the understanding of the opposition bloc
by spelling out the importance of the SDF mission. The government is
willing to establish a new law that takes in the opposition bloc's
proposals.

Q: The DPJ is unlikely to change its stance, however.

Terada: There shouldn't be any predetermined conclusion. The DPJ
should seriously discuss national interests instead of aiming for a
Lower House dissolution. I don't think the DPJ opposes matters for
the sake of opposition. The DPJ must present counterproposals as a
responsible opposition party.

Interview with DPJ Lower House lawmaker Kazuhiro Haraguchi --
Government must disclose specifics of MSDF mission

Q: Why is your party opposing an extension of the Antiterrorism
Law?

Haraguchi: How many terrorists have been captured because of Japan's
assistance for the antiterrorism operations? The government has not
disclosed any information. It has not presented an exit strategy for
the MSDF mission, either. The lack of information-disclose and
explanation means civilian control is not working.

Q: The DPJ is criticizing the MSDF mission, citing a lack of a UN
resolution.

Haraguchi: The SDF is reportedly supporting antiterrorism operations
on the condition that it does not become fully integrated with
military actions and stay away from combat zones. But those
conditions are fictitious. The Antiterrorism Law is tinged with
dangerous overtones. The antiterrorism operations do not constitute
collective defense based on a UN resolution.

Q: Some in the government and ruling bloc are calling for a new law
reflecting DPJ views based on a UN resolution.

Haraguchi: The new law is not here yet, so I have nothing to say
about it. The DPJ will use its investigative powers in national
politics to make the government disclose information for the public.
Once specifics of Japan's assistance become clear, the public might
call for an extension of the law. At the same time, we have some
suspicions, such as whether US vessels refueled by the MSDF might be
carrying out activities in Iraq. If such suspicions are proved true,

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

the general public might press the government to discard the new
legislation plan and come up with a new approach altogether.

Q: What kind of physical support should Japan extend if the SDF was
withdrawn?

Haraguchi: Do you know why Japan is appreciated by people in
Cambodia? It is because Japan helped reconstruct the culture,
traditions, and religion they revered and supported the medical and
education systems. That is the only way to eliminate terrorism.

Q: Some say that in the event Japan was attacked, the United States
would be the only country that defends Japan.

Haraguchi: That is not true. Bogged down in the Iraq war, the United
States was not able to take military action following a nuclear test
by North Korea. The United States is trying to delist North Korea as
a state sponsor of terrorism despite the issue of Japanese abducted
by North Korea. Japan is being ignored despite its commitment to the
United States. No one spares time or energy for the weak follower.

(18) Ozawa strategy suffers setback: DPJ in Upper House makes
concession on selection of Budget Committee chairman, prioritizing
cooperation with LDP

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
September 8, 2007

Upper House Budget Committee chairmanship is the post that holds the
key to Diet steering in the upcoming extraordinary session. The
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has been considered most likely to
grab the post. However, the DPJ and the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) during talks on Sept. 7 agreed to allocate the post to the
LDP, as in the past. The DPJ had been set for introducing a
resolution dismissing the Budget Committee chairman if the LDP
refuses to vacate the post. However, with the LDP brandishing the
threat of submitting a resolution dismissing the Lower House
Speaker, the DPJ lost its nerve and agreed to cooperate with the
LDP. As a result, Chairman Ozawa's order to gain all key
chairmanships in the Upper House was not met. His strategy of
confronting the ruling bloc in the extraordinary Diet session has
suffered a setback right from the beginning.

The DPJ had envisaged a strategy of cornering the government and the
ruling parties using the administrative investigation rights in the
Upper House, where the opposition camp holds a majority. The Budget
Committee, which covers issues on national administration in general
is supposed to serve a main battlefield for the DPJ to implement its
strategy. Deputy President Kan had noted, "The number 1 party should
be responsible for the Budget Committee."

However, Upper House President Azuma Koshiishi is proud of his good
communication lines to Mikio Aoki, former chairman of the LDP caucus
in the Upper House. From the beginning, he has been consistently
attaching importance to cooperation with the LDP. He had told
persons around him that he would give the Budget Committee
chairmanship to the LDP.

For this reason, Ozawa ordered Koshiishi during their meeting to
grab the chairmanships of key committees. Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama also told a press conference on the afternoon of Sept. 7:
"If we secure the Budget Committee chairmanship, we would be able to

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SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 09//07

impress the public that politics has changed. We are determined to
secure the Budget Committee chairmanship by all means." Senior LDP
officials had been projecting weakness to the DPJ, which had been
stepping up its offensive up until the evening of Sept. 6. One LDP
member even noted, "We are ready to surrender."

However, the LDP at the same time continued to apply pressure on the
DPJ during Lower House plenary sessions, hinting at a dismissal of
DPJ chairmen of standing committees and a replacement of Vice
Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi, who came from the DPJ.

As a result, Koshiishi has opted to avoid such turmoil, determining
that it would be better to settle the selection of committee
chairmen amicably. Koshiishi phoned Ozawa on the afternoon of the
7th and obtained a free hand for the selection of chairmen. Ozawa
does not consider it possible to force the ruling camp to dissolve
the Lower House for a snap election outright under the present
circumstances. He has apparently tolerated his party making
concessions to the ruling camp, which holds more than two-thirds of
Lower House seats

However, many DPJ members feel strongly about the outcome, with one
mid-ranking official saying, "Party members will never be convinced.
We have no other choice but to call on Mr. Koshiishi to step down."
The outcome of the selection of Upper House committee chairmen has
raised a question on the DPJ's determination to confront the LDP.

SCHIEFFER

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