Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/11/07

DE RUEHKO #4241/01 2540820
P 110820Z SEP 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Ambassador Schieffer lays flowers at monument for 9-11 victims

(2) Abe's "stake my job" remark aimed to rivet US trust

(3) Ozawa to lock horns with Abe in extra Diet session, aiming to
force the prime minister to dissolve the Lower House for a snap
election; Focus to be on DPJ's censure motion against prime

(4) Prime Minister Abe stakes his job on new antiterrorism
legislation; Cabinet resignation en masse a real possibility

(5) Japan, US conduct joint drills for 353 days in FY2006


(1) Ambassador Schieffer lays flowers at monument for 9-11 victims

ASAHI (On line) (Full)
September 11, 2007

Photo shows US Ambassador Schieffer laying a bouquet of flowers at
the "9-11 monument" in front of the Mizuho Financial Group

This morning, on the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks on
the United States, US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer visited the
headquarters of the Mizuho Financial Group in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward
to attend a memorial ceremony for the victims. A branch of the
former Fuji Bank, the predecessor to the Mizuyo Group, was located
in the World Trade Center in New York. Among the victims in the
terrorist attack on that building on Sept. 11, 2001, were 23
Japanese and US employees of that bank.

Ambassador Schieffer, after meeting with Mizuho President Terunobu
Maeda, laid a bouquet of flowers at the memorial monument in front
of the company headquarters on which the names of the victims are

(2) Abe's "stake my job" remark aimed to rivet US trust

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 11, 2007

"I will do my utmost, staking my job on extending Japan's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean..." This remark, which came from Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe on the day before the Diet opened its
extraordinary session, caused wide repercussions in Japan's
political center of Nagatacho. Why at this timing? What's in the
prime minister's heart of hearts?

On the afternoon of Sept. 10, Abe was in a reception room for the
president of the House of Councillors in the Diet. He was soon to
take the upper chamber's platform in its plenary sitting for his
keynote address. Seated on a chair, and with his elbows on the
table, the prime minister was lost in thought for a while.

Two days earlier, Abe was in Sydney, Australia (with other APEC
leaders). Standing beside Abe, US President Bush talked to Abe about
the recently aired TV footage of Osama bin Laden, leader of the

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worldwide terrorist group Al Qaeda. "This represents how dangerous
the world is," Bush rattled. Bush-burdened by his low popularity
ratings-cannot back down from his "war on terror." In his meeting
with Abe as well, Bush was concerned about it. He urged Abe to
continue Japan's refueling mission somehow.

Meanwhile, Abe was feeling a subtle change in the United States'
attitude over the issue of removing North Korea from its terrorist
list. Japanese and US diplomatic officials had held a meeting to
consult on this issue before the summit meeting. They agreed there
that the United States would not sacrifice its bilateral
relationship with Japan to normalize its diplomatic relations with
North Korea. Bush and Abe were to have confirmed this. In their
meeting, however, this issue was not taken up.

North Korea's abduction of Japanese nationals tops the policy agenda
for Abe and his cabinet to tackle. His predecessor, Junichiro
Koizumi, established a relationship of mutual trust with Bush, and
Abe has no choice but to count on Bush. Abe was asked directly by
Bush to extend Japan's refueling mission. In a sense, it was just
what Abe might have needed. He had no other choice but to make up
his mind.

"I've been saying abduction is an act of terrorism, so I can't
refuse to cooperate in the war on terror. If Japan has to stop the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission, that means allowing
terrorism. If Japan fails to extend the mission, then I will have to
make a serious decision." With this, Abe had confessed his serious
mind to his aide before he met the press on Sept. 9.

One views Abe's remark this time as a message aimed at calling
public attention to the importance of refueling activities in the
Indian Ocean. In a public opinion survey conducted by the Nihon
Keizai Shimbun in late August as well, more than half of respondents
were opposed to the MSDF's refueling activities.

Abe's remark this time hinted at his readiness to step down should
he fail to get Diet approval to extend Japan's refueling mission in
the Indian Ocean. Then, what did Abe really mean? There are also
some people surmising that Abe might have had his grandfather,
namely, former Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, in his heart of
hearts. In June 1960, Kishi clarified his intention to step down in
exchange for a new Japan-US security pact coming into effect. They
say Abe also thought to step down after drawing cooperation (from
the opposition bench in the Diet) on Japan's antiterror assistance
as a symbol of the bilateral alliance between Japan and the United
States. "I've heard that," noted one of Abe's pre-shuffle cabinet

(3) Ozawa to lock horns with Abe in extra Diet session, aiming to
force the prime minister to dissolve the Lower House for a snap
election; Focus to be on DPJ's censure motion against prime

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 11, 2007

The extraordinary Diet session convened yesterday in a tense
atmosphere right from the beginning because of Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe's statement that he and his cabinet might resign en masse if the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation in the Indian
Ocean could not be continued. Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or

TOKYO 00004241 003 OF 007

Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa, who sees the ongoing session as
crucial for his party's strategy to grab the nation's political
helm, has remained adamantly opposed to any continuation of the
MSDF's mission (in the Indian Ocean). He is waiting for the right
timing to force Abe to quit the prime minister's post and dissolve
the Lower House to call for a snap election.

Ozawa yesterday morning assembled a dozen or so senior party
members, including Deputy President Naoto Kan and Upper House Caucus
Chairman Azuma Koshiishi, in the party's executive office on the
third floor of the Diet building. He told them:

"We will only approve legislation that matches our principles and
philosophy. But if it differs from that, any talk of revising the
bill is out of the question. It would be dangerous for us to be
folded into the ruling coalition's consultative framework. I would
like the Policy Research Committee and the Diet Affairs Committee to
keep that in mind."

The government and ruling coalition is considering new legislation
to extend the MSDF's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean. The
new legislation will not include Ozawa's principle that overseas
deployment of Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel must be limited to
activities based on UN resolutions. Therefore, Ozawa finds no room
for compromise.

In a party study-group session on Sept. 3 in Karuizawa, Nagano
Prefecture, Ozawa gave a lecture on the concentric structure of the
basic unified principle of Japan-US security relations. In it, he
developed his pet argument that the Charter of the United Nations,
the Constitution of Japan, and the US-Japan Security Treaty should
not be treated separately. The bilateral security arrangements and
the Constitution are both based on the UN Charter.

The government and ruling camp will present new legislation, aiming
at enacting it at the Lower House, where the ruling coalition has
two-thirds of the seats. Chances seem slim that the prime minister
will step down, giving up the MSDF's mission, even if the MSDF
operation is temporarily withdrawn from the Indian Ocean. Contrary
to Ozawa's enthusiasm, some observers predict that it would be
difficult to put Abe in that tight a spot regarding the extension of
the MSDF's refueling operations.

Therefore, the focus is now on when Ozawa submits to the Upper House
a censure motion against the prime minister. The motion is not
legally binding, but if it is adopted, the opposition will get an
excuse for boycotting the plenary session, at which the prime
minister will be present, as well as deliberations at the
committees. A veteran lawmaker pointed out: "The opposition will
probably submit another motion soon after the Lower House
re-approved the new legislation (by a two-thirds majority vote)."

The DPJ, now the largest party in the Upper House, intends to urge
the government to disclose information on a series of politics-money
scandals, as well as on the pension record-keeping fiasco, invoking
the right of investigation of state affairs. Depending on the
government's response, the opposition will likely stall the
government, preventing deliberations.

Ozawa recently ordered his aides to attend all committee meetings in
which he won't be able to take part and report to him in detail. He
also instructed each of the prefectures to get prospects until the

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end of September for about 100 single-seat constituencies, in which
they have yet to file candidates.

(4) Prime Minister Abe stakes his job on new antiterrorism
legislation; Cabinet resignation en masse a real possibility

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
September 11, 2007

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement of his readiness to resign
if he failed to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean has effectively linked the question of
extending the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law -- the hot-button
issue in the just-opened extraordinary Diet session -- to the fate
of the Abe administration. In the wake of Abe's announcement, the
government and ruling bloc intend to try to get out of the hole with
new legislation regardless of the Antiterrorism Law's November 1
deadline. Nevertheless, the Abe administration is certain to face a
possibly fatal situation irrespective of the fate of the new
legislation. Abe's announcement to stake his job on an extension of
the refueling mission has created a tough challenge for the major
opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which has now become the
largest party in the House of Councillors.

Abe's comment on his resignation has pushed the government and
ruling camp toward the option of presenting new legislation instead
of extending the current Antiterrorism Law, which requires Diet
approval before November 1. Extending the current law runs the risk
of the fate of the Abe administration effectively being determined
by DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, who is adamantly opposed to extending
the refueling mission.

Although the presentation of new legislation would require Diet
deliberations possibly beyond November 1, it would also allow the
government to explain that the refueling mission is temporarily
halted and that Diet deliberations are still underway. Such
developments would not result in Abe's resignation and the deadline
would also be effectively extended until the Diet adjourns. This
would also enable the ruling camp, which holds a majority in the
Lower House which takes precedence over the Upper House, to extend
the Diet session until the end of the year.

The envisaged new legislation is likely to do away with a clause
requiring the Diet's retroactive approval of SDF dispatch. Given the
DPJ's strong opposition to an extension of the refueling mission,
the government and ruling camp think that they would have to aim at
overturning the Upper House's rejection of the new legislation with
a two-thirds majority in the Lower House in accordance with Article
59 of the Constitution.

Re-approval by the Lower House is based on a rejection by the Upper
House. But there is no guarantee that the DPJ, which holds the Upper
House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairmanship, to reject
the new legislation early.

Failure by the Upper House to take final action within 60 days after
receipt of the legislation passed by the Lower House may be
determined by the Lower House to constitute a rejection of the bill
by the Upper House, thereby allowing the Lower House to re-approve
the legislation. This scenario would force the Diet to remain in
session until November 10. In view of Prime Minister Abe's weakening
grip on the LDP, there is skepticism in the ruling bloc about his

TOKYO 00004241 005 OF 007

ability to resort to such a step.

The government and ruling bloc's scenario of overturning the Upper
House's decision is already drawing fire from the DPJ, which regards
its landslide victory in the July election as a manifestation of
popular will. If the ruling bloc opts for re-approval by the Lower
House, chances are that the DPJ will submit to the Upper House a
censure motion against the prime minister which will eventually pass
the chamber with a majority approval by the opposition parties.

Such a consequence might prompt the government and ruling camp to
openly try to seek Diet approval for the legislation in exchange for
resignation of the Abe cabinet in order to avoid Lower House
dissolution under the embattled prime minister. Asked on September 8
for his action in the event a censure motion was adopted by the
Upper House, Abe denied Lower House dissolution for a snap general

Abe's comment to stake his job on the refueling mission has provoked
the DPJ to harden its stance. The DPJ, which cannot afford to make
compromises following its overwhelming victory in the July Upper
House election, plans to block the legislation by exhaustive
deliberations on it in the Upper House. The DPJ specifically intends
to demand detailed explanations on the refueling mission by
exercising its newly-found investigative powers in national
politics. A senior DPJ lawmaker responsible for foreign and defense
affairs commented: "There is a possibility that the MSDF has fueled
US naval vessels headed for Iraq. If that is true, the new
legislation would be blown up."

DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chair Kenji Yamaoka urged party members
to remain on alert, saying: "If the SDF is to be pulled out while
the new legislation is still being discussed, the government would
wrongly blame the DPJ for its inability to hold the reins of
government." President Ozawa, too, ordered party executives to brace
for a showdown with the government and ruling bloc by telling them
not to buy the story to slightly amend a bill designed to pursue
different ideals.

Although the DPJ may not be able to block every possible means the
government and ruling bloc would employ, Abe's resignation seems
inevitable if the bill was scrapped or carried over to the next Diet
session. The focus would then shift to select Abe's successor as LDP

(5) Japan, US conduct joint drills for 353 days in FY2006

AKAHATA (Page 4) (Full)
September 8, 2007

The Self-Defense Forces carried out 54 joint training exercises with
US forces for a total of 353 days in fiscal 2006, sources revealed
yesterday. In fiscal 2005, the SDF and US forces conducted 106 joint
training exercises for a total of 416 days, showing a sharp increase
over the preceding fiscal year. As compared to that fiscal year,
there was a decrease in the number of bilateral joint training
exercises between the SDF and US forces in fiscal 2006. However,
those joint drills were intended to step up the SDF's capability of
fighting in warfare like the Iraq war.

In October last year, the Ground Self-Defense Force's 1st Airborne
Brigade, based in Chiba Prefecture, conducted joint training

TOKYO 00004241 006 OF 007

exercises in the GSDF's Sekiyama range in Niigata Prefecture with US
troops from the 2nd Battalion of the 162nd Infantry Regiment of the
41st Infantry Brigade of the Oregon Army National Guard. Those US
troops experienced the Iraq war.

The US battalion also participated in a mop-up operation in the
central Iraqi city of Fallujah that was internationally decried for
its indiscriminate massacre involving civilians.

According to the winter 2006 issue of the Oregon Sentinel, a
newspaper published for the Oregon Army, the battalion conducted
joint training with the GSDF for traffic control, close-range
fighting, scouting, and sniping. The paper says the joint training
got a grip on reality with some of the troops playing the roles of
citizens on the battlefield and others as "antigovernment

The paper explains the meaning of such joint training as follows:
"Enemies are not always in military uniforms, as the Oregon troops
encountered them when they were deployed in Iraq. One day, you may
shake hands with someone there. The next day, that same person may
set improvised explosive devices (IED) along the main supply

Iraq has been placed under unreasonable military control, so its
population has now turned into an enemy. As it stands, US military
operations in Iraq have bogged down. We can surmise that GSDF troops
learned actual tactics in the training on how to carry out a
military breakthrough facing such an impasse.

In January and February this year, the GSDF's 1st Combined Brigade,
based in Okinawa Prefecture, and US troops from the US Marine Corps'
3rd Marine Division in Okinawa conducted urban combat training at
the GSDF's Oyanohara range in Kumamoto Prefecture. The US military
is attaching importance to urban combat training in carrying out the
Iraq war.

The USMC, in its Feb. 9 website news reporting on the urban combat
drill, quoted a GSDF officer as saying: "Our tactics are based on
books. The Marine Corps has very advanced combat experiences in the
real world that we want to learn."

The Air Self-Defense Force has been also conducting joint training
with its US counterpart to step up its overseas combat capability.

The ASDF has been carrying out live-fire and bombing exercises near
Guam for its fighter jets since 2005.

The ASDF's training there in 2005 was for its fighter jets only. In
2006, however, ASDF fighters conducted dogfight training, with US
Air Force F-15 fighters playing the roles of enemies. The training
was for the ASDF's F-4EJ Kai fighters to carry out airstrikes while
other ASDF fighters were in dogfights with the USAF's F-15 fighters,
according to the June 15, 2006 issue of the Asagumo, an associate
newspaper for the SDF.

In June 2007, the ASDF's F-2 fighters participated in airstrike
training for the first time. The F-2 is a state-of-the-art fighter
jet model with its antiship and antiground capabilities enhanced.

The ASDF has plans to introduce air tankers, which are capable of
refueling F-15 and F-2 fighters in flight and which can extend their

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cruising range dramatically. The ASDF has already carried out joint
training with the USAF. In fiscal 2006 as well, ASDF F-15 fighters
were refueled in flight by USAF tanker aircraft on their flight
training missions to Alaska. The ASDF and the USAF started such
joint training in 2003. This further beefs up the ASDF's overseas
airstrike capability.

In addition, the ASDF, based on an intergovernmental agreement
between Japan and the United States to realign US forces in Japan,
conducted joint training in March at its Tsuiki base in Fukuoka
Prefecture with US F-15 fighters deployed to the USAF's Kadena base
in Okinawa Prefecture. Such joint training is intended to integrate
Japan and the United States in the military area on the pretext of
mitigating Okinawa's burden of hosting US military bases.


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