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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Unrest in Burma

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DE RUEHKO #4481 2700251
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270251Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7956
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3374
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RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4101
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6114
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 004481

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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 - UNREST IN BURMA

LEAD STORIES: Most national dailies front-paged the
results of their respective opinion polls pointing to
high public support for the Fukuda administration.

1. "Burmese Junta in Stalemate" The business-oriented
Nikkei editorialized (9/27): "Massive rallies have been
taking place day after day in Burma to protest the
junta's oppressive rule. Given the military regime's
strict control, the demonstrations are a bold act. The
junta's rule has continued for more than 40 years, and
it is high time to end it, as it has become apparent
that the Burmese people have lost confidence in the
regime.... China can wield enormous influence over
Burma. China appears to have been asking the Burmese
government to exercise restraint in dealing with the
protests in view of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Now
is the time for China to exercise its clout more
clearly, as Beijing bears a heavy responsibility. Burma
is also a member of ASEAN, which is supposedly striving
to build a community. What kind of community is ASEAN
attempting to establish while it turns a blind eye to
the authoritarian regime in Burma? "

2. "Foreign Countries Should Step in to Prevent
Bloodshed" The liberal Asahi argued (9/27): "The use of
force against peaceful protestors must not be
tolerated. The military junta led by Gen. Than Shwe
should begin dialogue with monks and citizen
representatives immediately.... Beijing bears a heavy
responsibility for the situation in Burma, as it is
currently constructing a pipeline through Burma that
will connect China with the Indian Ocean.... As the
Burmese economy relies heavily on Chinese investment,
Beijing is in a position of great influence.... Leaders
and foreign ministers from many countries happen to be
in New York for a meeting of the UN General Assembly.
UN Secretary General Ban should assemble the foreign
ministers of China, India, and ASEAN members and have
them call on Burma to exercise restraint."

SCHIEFFER

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