Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/02/07

DE RUEHKO #4601/01 2750114
P 020114Z OCT 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Prime Minister's daily schedule

Reaction to Prime Minister Fukuda's Diet policy speech:
2) Prime Minister Fukuda's Diet policy speech lacked luster, flare
and read like a business report
3) Opposition camp pans Fukuda's speech as "penned by bureaucrats,"
"off the mark"

Anti-terrorism legislation:
4) Outline of new anti-terror bill revealed: Limited to MSDF
providing fuel and water; no Diet permission required
5) LDP, Komeito Diet steering committee plan to vet new anti-terror
bill with opposition camp before presenting it to the Diet
6) DPJ demands 17 items related for MSDF fueling services under the
anti-terror law
7) Defense Minister asks US for factual information about use of
MSDF fuel in Indian Ocean
8) Ruling camp to emphasize dialogue with opposition on new
anti-terror bill

Burma issue:
9) Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka strongly protests to Burmese
government the shooting of Japanese cameraman Nagai by soldier
10) Japan demands Burma return Nagai's missing camera with video
tape, seen in his hand when he died
11) Japan to cut aid to Burma and not carry out any new humanitarian

Diet agenda:
12) Extraordinary Diet session to be extended to mid-December but no
13) New Komeito objects to LDP's bill reforming
political-contribution system

14) After huge Okinawan protest, government may restore textbook
descriptions about "military involvement" in mass suicides during
Battle of Okinawa


1) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 1

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 2, 2007

Attended an inauguration ceremony for the new Japan Post group at
its headquarters in Kasumigaseki.

Arrived at the Kantei.

Attended an extraordinary cabinet meeting.

Met State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Ota, with Cabinet
Office's policy planning directors general Fujioka, Matsumoto and

TOKYO 00004601 002 OF 009


Attended a Lower House plenary session. Later attended an Upper
House plenary session. Met Lower House Takeo Kawamura.

Met State Minister for Administrative Reform Watanabe.

Met Finance Minister Nukaga, Vice Finance Minister Tsuda, and
others. Followed by Nippon Keidanren Chairman Mitarai.

Attended an executive meeting in the Diet building.

Met Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director
General Sasae at the Kantei.

Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

2) Prime Minister Fukuda makes policy speech including practical
proposals without fancy pledges

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 2, 2007

Prime Minister Fukuda yesterday made his first policy speech, which
was unique in terms of consideration being given to the opposition,
following the trading of places between the ruling and opposition
camps in the Upper House. His style of speech is also different from
his predecessors. If former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's
speech could be called a top-down style and that of former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe an ideal type, Fukuda's speech can be called a
practical type without fancy slogans or episodes. His solid stance
sounds rather fresh. However, some said they felt insecure about
whether he can tide over the Diet, where the opposition controls the
Upper House.

Koizumi in his policy speech delivered in May 2001 stressed his
readiness to take the initiative in challenging vested interests,
saying, "without fear, without flinching and without being
obsessed." His speech incorporated the "spirit of 100 sacks of rice"
based on a historical event, meaning that it is important to endure
present hardships for the better future, in order to explain the
importance of nurturing human resources.

Former Prime Minister Abe delivered two policy speeches while in
office. His speeches were full of ideological imprints, including
constitutional revision and education revitalization, with such
slogans as a "beautiful country" and "departure from the postwar

In contrast, Fukuda advocated "independence and coexistence," which
is also the basic ideal advocated by the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ or Minshuto). The partisanship of politics was so weak in his
speech that DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama even said, "I felt
embarrassed." The prime minister simply enumerated policy proposals
without making a display of his originality. He said, "Protecting
people's lives and defending the state's interests are the job of

TOKYO 00004601 003 OF 009


His speech evidenced the distress he feels that underscoring the
importance of policy rising above the partisanship of politics would
be the only way to obtain cooperation from the opposition.

3) Opposition camp pans Fukuda's policy speech as "prepared by
bureaucrats," while ruling parties say "it is to the point"

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 2 2007

Opposition parties lambasted the prime minister's policy speech
yesterday. Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama said: "It seems that he read a composition prepared by
bureaucrats. It lacked luster and any resolve. I could not
understand what he wanted to say. I had a strong impression that a
bureaucrat-controlled cabinet has been revived." Opposition parties
are ready to harshly attack the prime minister's stance and policies
on such occasions as the representative interpellations session to
start tomorrow and meetings at both houses' budget committees.

In reference to Fukuda's buzzwords "independence and coexistence,"
Hatoyama expressed displeasure, saying: "He apparently adopted our
party's slogan." Hatoyama also dismissed the prime minister's call
for consultations between the ruling and opposition blocs,
remarking: "We should thoroughly discuss issues at a party head
debate and committee meetings in the Diet."

Focusing on the advocacy of building a "country that gives hope and
security", Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii made this
critical comment: "He presented no prescription on how to create
such a country." Social Democratic Party President Mizuho Fukushima
commented: "It was like a composition penned by a faultless honor
student, lacking passion and specific measures."

People's New Party President Tamisuke Watanuki said: "Politicians
are not thinkers. Of importance is what they do." New Party Nippon
President Yasuo Tanaka released a statement reading: "The speech
just enumerated abstract words."

4) New legislation outlined; MSDF services to be limited to oil,
water supply, Diet approval unnecessary

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
October 2, 2007

New legislation the government is going to submit to the current
Diet session enabling the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue
its refueling operations in the Indian Ocean beyond the Nov. 1
expiry of the current Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, was
outlined yesterday. The new law will limit the MSDF's activities to
oil and water supply and eliminate the retroactive Diet approval
system, now stipulated in the Antiterrorism Law. The government and
ruling bloc plan to let relevant cabinet ministers and the ruling
party project team begin coordination on Oct. 2, determine an
outline of the new legislation later this week, and call on the
major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ) to hold
talks for adopting the new legislation.

As MSDF activities, the Special Measures Law now in force
stipulates: (1) cooperative assistance, including oil and water

TOKYO 00004601 004 OF 009

supply, (2) search and rescue operations, and (3) rescuing affected
people. The envisaged legislation will limit their activities to
providing fuel and water. Further, the government's stand is that
given the concretely specified activities, additional Diet approval
is unnecessary, saying that the enactment of the law corresponds to
Diet approval. In the past, a Diet report has always followed any
changes to the basic plan. The new legislation is designed to
obligate the government to report to the Diet regularly.

The government also plans to add UN Security Council Resolution 1776
expressing appreciation for the Maritime Interdiction Operations,
including the MSDF, to Article 1 stipulating the purposes of the new
law. Coordination is underway for limiting the MSDF operations to
two years. But the situation is still fluid, as the New Komeito is
calling for one year.

The government and ruling camp plan to introduce a bill to the Diet
in mid-October. The focus will be on an extension of the current
Diet session slated to adjourn on Nov. 10. In a speech in Tokyo on
Sept. 28, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda indicated that the extension
would be inevitable, saying, "If the current session is to end on
Nov. 10, that would leave us only three weeks (for deliberations)."

But given the DPJ's adamant opposition to the MSDF operations, the
view is prevalent in the government and ruling camp that even if the
session was extended, enacting the new legislation during the
extraordinary session would be difficult. Some are calling for
carrying the matter over to the next year's regular Diet session for

But the DPJ's stiff resistance might prevent any budget-related
bills from clearing the Diet in late March after the enactment of
the state budget bill, paving the way for Lower House dissolution
for a snap general election. Such a development might force the MSDF
to suspend its refueling operations for a long time.

Differences between new legislation and the Antiterrorism Law now in

New legislation Antiterrorism Law
Activities Limited to oil and water supply. Cooperative assistance,
including oil and water supply, search and rescue operations, and
rescuing affected people.
Diet approval Not required. Given limited activities, enactment of
the new legislation will be regarded as Diet approval. Diet approval
is necessary within 20 days of the start of activities.
UN resolutions stipulated in Article 1 (purposes) Add UN Resolution
1776. UN resolutions, including 1368.
Term One or two years. One year.

5) LDP, New Komeito decide to present outline of new antiterrorism
legislation to opposition bloc ahead of Budget Committee session

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

The Diet Affairs Committee chairmen of the Liberal Democratic Party
and New Komeito decided yesterday to present the opposition camp
with an outline of the envisaged new antiterrorism legislation on
the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operations before the
Lower House Budge Committee session begins possibly on Oct. 9. Their
aim is to facilitate talks between the ruling and opposition camps

TOKYO 00004601 005 OF 009

at the Budget Committee by presenting the outline before the session

The government plans to hold a meeting of relevant cabinet ministers
today to finalize the outline to present it to the ruling party
project team later today. Although the government and ruling bloc
want to obtain the opposition camp's support through talks, the
opposition parties not give the slightest indication of responding
to the call.

Given the situation, the ruling bloc plans to introduce a bill to
the Diet after Budget Committee deliberations, with ruling bloc
project team chair Taku Yamasaki saying: "We would like to conduct
de facto ruling-opposition talks at the Budget Committee and
determine the bill's content based on them."

6) DPJ presents Machimura with 17-item request for more information
on MSDF refueling operations

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

Democratic Party of Japan Policy Research Committee Chair Masayuki
Naoshima, meeting with Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura in
the Diet building yesterday, presented him with a written request
asking for information disclosure regarding the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling operations in the Indian Ocean. The
request is composed of 17 items, including the numbers of refueling
services by area, the names of foreign vessels that received fuel
from the MSDF, shipping schedules, and the international legal basis
for the Maritime Interdiction Operation, in which the MSDF is taking

In the meeting, DPJ shadow foreign minister Yoshio Hachiro referred
to the option of exercising investigative powers in national
politics by pointing out the alleged use of Japanese fuel in the
Iraq war. Machimura simply said: "Some matters are connected with
military secrets, so we cannot disclose everything."

7) Joint staff council chairman asks US military to investigate
allegation of diversion of MSDF fuel

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 2, 2007

The Defense Ministry's Joint Staff Council Chairman Takashi Saito
met yesterday with US Naval Forces Japan Commander James Kelly.
Saito requested Kelly for an investigation on allegation raised by
the opposition camp that fuel provided to US forces by a Maritime
Self-Defense Force (MSDF) ship in the Indian Ocean was diverted for
the Iraq war and let him know the result of the investigation before
Oct. 9 when the House of Representatives' Budget Committee starts

8) Ruling parties willing to pass new antiterrorism bill through
dialogue with opposition bloc

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
October 2, 2007

In his policy speech yesterday, Prime Minister stressed his
intention to work in cooperation with the Democratic Party of Japan

TOKYO 00004601 006 OF 009

(DPJ) in proceeding with national politics. In accordance with this
stance, the government and the ruling camp will try to figure out
ways to hold talks with opposition at every opportunity, for
instance, by presenting to the DPJ in advance its new draft bill to
extend the ongoing Maritime Self-Defense's refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean.

After the prime minister's policy speech, Liberal Democratic Party
Secretary General Ibuki told reporters: "Since the opposition bloc

has control in the House of Councillors, nothing will be done
without discussion between the ruling and opposition parties. It is
quite natural for the party in power to call for dialogue."

New Komeito President Ota also said: "When (the government) drafts
bills, it is essential for it to try to listen to views from
opposition parties. As long as they give priority to people's lives,
both the ruling and opposition camps should exercise self-restraint
so that both will not conflict with each other (over bills)."

The government and the ruling bloc intend to extend the current
extraordinary Diet session, which is due to end Nov. 10, in an
effort to enact the government's new legislation to continue the
MSDF refueling operation. In this connection, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura, Ibuki, and Diet Affairs Committee Chairman

Oshima met in Tokyo yesterday and agreed on a plan to finalize the
compilation of the FY2008 budget by the end of the year. Observers
see behind the agreement a desire to enact a new law by mid-December
before putting their energies into compiling the budget at year's
end. Machimura, Foreign Minister Komura, and Defense Minister Ishiba
also plan to meet today to put the finishing touches on the outline
for a bill.

Further, the ruling camp is willing to search for a clue for the
ruling and opposition parties to sit at the same table at other
arenas than Diet deliberations to discuss such bills as those
amending the law to help the disabled become independent and the
Political Funds Control Law.

The DPJ, however, has decided not to respond to their call for prior
consultations, based on the stance that it would discuss matters
with the ruling parties only during Diet deliberations.

9) Deputy Foreign Minister Yabunaka files strong protest with
leaders of Burmese junta regarding shooting of Japanese reporter

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 2, 2007

Kinya Fujimoto, Bangkok

Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, who is in Burma (Myanmar)
to deal with the death of Japanese photojournalist, Kenji Nagai, who
was shot to death while covering antigovernment demonstrations in
Burma, yesterday moved from Rangoon (Yangon) to the capital of
Naypyidaw, and there he met with senior officials of the Burmese
Foreign Ministry. Details of their talks are unknown, but Yabunaka
reportedly lodged a strong protest with the junta regarding the
death of the Japanese reporter and demanded an investigation into
the incident and punishment of the officials concerned.

Meanwhile, no meeting occurred yesterday between Special Advisor to
the United Nations Secretary General Ibrahim Gambari, who continues

TOKYO 00004601 007 OF 009

mediation, and the top leader of the Burmese military junta, Than
Shwe, chairman of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC).
Their meeting is expected to take place today.

According to a report from Rangoon, the military authorities
yesterday lifted the closure of two pagodas in the city. Civilian
life is returning to where it was before demonstrations as some
schools and stores, which had closed since Sept. 26, when security
forces began an armed crackdown, have been reopened and bus service
has been partially restored. Monks of some monasteries are allowed
to go about asking for alms. However, armed security forces are
deployed at key points, and the city is under watch by helicopters.
Antigovernment protesters were contained yesterday, as well. The
Internet remains unavailable.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported that more than 1,000 monks and
300-400 civilians, including students, have been detained over the
past week.

Meanwhile, Special Advisor Gambari, after meeting with Aung San Suu
Kyi, the leader of the democratic movement in Burma, in Rangoon on
Sept. 30, returned to Naypyidaw and has been continuing efforts to
somehow arrange a meeting with Than Shwe. According to Reuters, the
Chinese Embassy in Burma is undertaking mediation for setting that

A diplomatic source analyzed the reason Than Shwe is not positive
about holding such a meeting this way: "He may want to express the
military junta's discontent against the international community
condemning the crackdown. A health problem also cannot be ruled

10) Government demands return of videotape in meeting with
high-level officials of Burmese military junta over death of Nagai

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 2, 2007

Daisuke Yamamoto, Kazuto Tsukamoto, Bangkok

In order to deal with the shooting death of photojournalist Kenji
Nagai (50) while covering demonstrators against the military junta
of Burma (Myanmar), Deputy Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka
yesterday evening met with several high-level officials of the
junta, including the deputy foreign minister. The Japanese
government believes that Nagai might have videotaped the shooter. In
line with this assumption, Yabunaka reportedly strongly demanded
that the Burmese authorities return Nagai's videotape.

Yabunaka had talks with one of the two deputy foreign ministers.
Reportedly, he conveyed his regret to the deputy foreign minister
over the incident and sought to investigate it.

A Foreign Ministry official said that a major aim of Yabunaka's
visit to Burma is "to get a briefing directly from the Burmese side
about whether Nagai was shot at point-blank range." "If (Nagai) was
shot at point-blank range, then the Japanese government must
consider a severe response to Burma," this official added.

On Sept. 30, local police returned one Canon video camera and two
videotapes to Toru Yamaji, representative of APF News, with which
Nagai had contracted, but the videotapes did not contain any footage

TOKYO 00004601 008 OF 009

of demonstrations. The Japanese government has judged from Nagai's
belongings and an analysis of footages before and after the incident
that the video camera Nagai used at the time of the occurrence of
the incident was a Sony. The government thinks the Sony video camera
is sure to serve as good evidence to prove that Nagai was
deliberately shot at point-blank range.

Yabunaka is asking for a meeting with Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader
of the democratic movement. If this request is accepted, Yabunaka
will meet with Suu Kyi in Rangoon today.

11) Government to cut aid to Myanmar: There will be no new
humanitarian assistance

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 2, 2007

Following the crackdown on anti-government demonstrators by the
military junta in Burma, the government yesterday decided to cut
assistance to that nation, including grant aid and technical
cooperation. It will reconsider ongoing aid programs and decide what
should be ended or suspended temporarily. There will be no more
humanitarian aid extended. It has judged that it would be necessary
to take a harsh stance toward Burma in view of the rising criticism
of the military junta and the fatal shooting of video journalist
Kenji Nagai.

The government has already extensively cut aid to that nation in the
wake of the inauguration of the military junta in 1988 and the
detention of democratization movement leader Aung San Suu Kyi. It
extended approximately 1.3 billion yen in grant aid and
approximately 1.7 billion yen in technical cooperation in fiscal
2006. No yen loans have been provided since fiscal 1987.

The government is now looking into the possibility of ending or
temporarily suspending long-term aid programs, including the human
resources nurturing and tuition reimbursement program (approximately
400 million yen was extended in fiscal 2007 under this program). It
will keep humanitarian aid, which is directly linked to people's
lives, intact, but there will be no new assistance.

12) Government, ruling camp plan to extend current Diet session
until mid-December

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
October 2, 2007

The government and ruling parties decided yesterday to extend the
current extraordinary session of the Diet, which runs until Nov. 10,
up to the middle of December in a bid to prioritize the compilation
of a budget for next fiscal year. There was a rumor that the session
would be extended until next year because the government and ruling
coalition, in order to continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, aim to enact new legislation
replacing the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which expires on
Nov. 1. Therefore, the rumor appears to have been squelched.

13) New Komeito frowns on LDP's political funds reform; Discord in
ruling coalition may be accelerated

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
October 2, 2007

TOKYO 00004601 009 OF 009

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its coalition partner
New Komeito yesterday held the first meeting of their project team
to contribute to bringing transparency to the ruling coalition's
political funds. In the meeting held in the Diet building, the
project team discussed how political funds should be open to the
public. The LDP presented its own idea in which the party proposed
requiring politicians to attach to their fund reports for every item
costing one yen or more and being screened by a third organ, but the
party suggested disclosing to the public receipts for expenditures
of 50,000 yen or more same as at present. The New Komeito, which has
called for opening all receipts to the public, refrained from giving
its answer.

The two ruling parties plan to continue discussion on the matter
from now on as well. However since the New Komeito is growing
dissatisfied with the LDP's reluctant stance toward disclosing all
receipts, this issue may accelerate discord in the ruling

14) Education Ministry begins discussing the possibility of
restoring descriptions concerning "military's involvement in massive
suicide" in Battle of Okinawa

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 2, 2007

As a result of the Education Ministry's latest textbook screening,
phrases indicating that the former Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) had
forced Okinawan residents to "commit suicide together" were deleted,
but the ministry has now begun discussion of whether it is possible
to make modifications to the current descriptions. Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura yesterday instructed Education Minister Tokai to

deal with the matter in response to the recent Okinawa rally held on
Sept. 29 calling for rescinding the screening results with 110,000
people joining it. Tokai instructed his ministry's staff to discuss
what action would be possible to take within the framework of the
textbook screening.

With several textbook publishers already preparing to apply for
corrections about this case, there is a possibility that
descriptions specifying that the IJA was involved in civilian
massive suicide may be restored.

At a press briefing yesterday, Machimura said: "In order to respond
in some way or other to the Okinawan people's sentiments, the
officials concerned can think hard, make efforts, and use their
wisdom to deal with the question of whether it is possible to add
modifications." Tokai also told reporters: "Political interference
(in the textbook screening) is not acceptable. But we need to
consider the Okinawan people's sentiments. Both matters are very
important. I want to think what we can do, considering both


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