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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Pm Resignation and Its

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UNCLAS TOKYO 004269

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STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - PM RESIGNATION AND ITS
IMPACT ON SIX-PARTY TALKS


LEAD STORIES: Lead stories in Thursday morning papers
included fallout from Prime Minister Abe's sudden
announcement that he will step down, including LDP
Secretary General Aso's plan to run in the LDP

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presidential election to choose a successor.

1. "Hope for Progress on Nuclear Dismantlement" Seoul
correspondent Makino of the liberal Asahi wrote (9/12):
"There is a possibility that the resignation of Prime
Minister Abe could have an impact on progress in the
six-party talks concerning North Korea's nuclear
dismantlement, as Japan has been the odd one out in the
forum due to its hard-line position on the abduction
issue. A DPRK source last year noted that an LDP
setback in the July Upper House election and a
resignation of PM Abe would change the situation.... If
steps toward denuclearization are implemented, it will
be more realistic for the US to delist the DPRK as a
state sponsor of terrorism. Japan, however, has been
strongly opposed to delisting because of its position
on the abductions.... Doubts had been raised by some
six-party delegates as to whether the Abe
administration really hoped for progress in the
six-party talks. These officials are now hopeful that a
new administration will change Japan's stance."

SCHIEFFER

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