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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 10/02/07

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4633/01 2750806
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020806Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8184
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 5904
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3489
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7148
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2419
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4211
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9287
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5340
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6208

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 004633

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 10/02/07


Index:

(1) Diet approval likely to become point at issue in debate on new
antiterrorism bill; Opposition camp to criticize new legislation as
deviation from civilian control

(2) LDP still unable to recover from damage from "postal election";
Postal rebels-reinstated lawmakers vs. Koizumi children; Hiranuma
issue is source of trouble

(3) Blanket BSE inspection is waste of tax money: Stopping pithing
practice and extensive removal of lingual tonsils are more
important; It is irresponsible for government not to report on
details of actual situation

(4) TOP HEADLINES

(5) EDITORIALS

ARTICLES:

(1) Diet approval likely to become point at issue in debate on new
antiterrorism bill; Opposition camp to criticize new legislation as
deviation from civilian control

SANKEI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
October 2, 2007

Full-fledged Diet debate will get underway with the start tomorrow
of interpellations by party leaders following Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda's policy speech yesterday. Aiming to extend the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, the
government and ruling camp plan to determine an outline today of
alternative legislation to the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law in
order to present it to the opposition bloc before the end of the
week. The opposition camp is set to pursue allegations that US
warships used fuel from the MSDF in the Iraq war and criticize the
envisaged new bill for not requiring Diet approval as a deviation
from civilian control.

Services to be limited to refueling

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba, appearing on NTV and Fuji-TV
programs yesterday, indicated that ways to ensure civilian control
under the new legislation would be a key point. He also said:
"Although the Antiterrorism Law now in force is designed to allow a
variety of activities, only refueling would be allowed under the new
legislation. The enactment of the bill will be tantamount to Diet
approval." Ishiba thus indicated that the new legislation would not
necessarily include a provision requiring Diet approval.

The current Antiterrorism Law requires the government to obtain
"retroactive approval by the Diet" within 20 days of the start of
MSDF operations. The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto or DPJ) opposed the enactment of the Antiterrorism Law in
2001, citing a lack of "prior approval" by the Diet. But in November
2001, the party endorsed the government's retroactive approval of
the dispatch of MSDF troops to the Indian Ocean.

The now defunct Liberal Party headed by Ichiro Ozawa at the time
opposed both the Antiterrorism Law and Diet approval. The law has
since been extended three times, but the government did not bother

TOKYO 00004633 002 OF 006


to seek Diet approval, saying there was no significant change to the
MSDF operations.

Countermeasures for Upper House

The government and ruling coalition have decided not to include a
Diet approval clause in the new legislation, fearing that the
opposition-controlled House of Councillors would press the
government for immediate withdrawal after refusing to approve the
MSDF mission. The government and ruling bloc have also decided to
eliminate the duty of rescuing victims of terrorism on the grounds
that continuing the same operations would not require additional
Diet endorsement.

But given the standard requirement of Diet approval in mobilizing
SDF troops, the opposition parties are certain to take special
notice of the absence of it. DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama
contended that Diet approval was indispensable in view of civilian
control apparently in a bid to make a public appeal. The DPJ is set
to fiercely debate the question of Diet approval along with the
alleged diversion of Japanese fuel for the Iraq war.

Major points in new antiterrorism legislation

1. MSDF operations will be limited to oil and water supply. Search
and rescue operations and rescuing victims will not be stipulated.
2. The MSDF will conduct operations based on UN Security Council
Resolution 1776 that expressed appreciation for the Maritime
Interdiction Operation by the US-led coalition forces.
3. The area of operations will be limited to the Indian Ocean,
including the Persian Gulf, and the skies above it.
4. The requirement of Diet approval will be eliminated.
5. The new law will be good for one or two years. (Coordination
underway within the ruling camp)

(2) LDP still unable to recover from damage from "postal election";
Postal rebels-reinstated lawmakers vs. Koizumi children; Hiranuma
issue is source of trouble

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
October 2, 2007

With the launching yesterday of Japan Post Holdings Co., the
privatization of state-run postal services pushed ahead by former
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has now been realized. However, the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has yet to recover from the wound
caused by the House of Representatives election held in September
2005 -- the election that asked voters whether they favored postal
privatization or not. The LDP has many hurdles to overcome such as
the question of whether to reinstate former international trade
minister Takeo Hiranuma, one of the postal rebels, as well as
coordination on candidates to run in electoral districts in the next
Lower House election.

The most serious aftereffect of the so-called postal election is
coordination to pick candidates to run in electoral districts in the
Lower House election. The party has to choose candidates from the
so-called Koizumi children, who were elected in the 2005 Lower House
election for the first time, and from those lawmakers who opposed
the government's postal-privatization drive and are now reinstated
into the LDP.


TOKYO 00004633 003 OF 006


Of 27 postal rebels, who ran in the 2005 election as independents,
13 were elected. Of the 13 lawmakers, 11 were allowed to return to
the LDP after submitting their written pledges of agreeing to
postal-privatization.

Of the 11 lawmakers, Keiji Furuya (Gifu No. 5 district) and four
other members, who are regarded as candidates for the next Lower
House race, now head local chapters of the LDP from their electoral
districts. However, in the electoral districts in which six persons,
including Mitsuo Horiuchi (Yamanashi No.2 district), were elected,
lawmakers, who won their seats under the proportional representation
segment after being defeated by Horiuchi and five other competitors,
now head the six local chapters of the LDP from their electoral
districts.

One of the reinstated lawmakers is confident in obtaining the
party's endorsement as the official candidate for a single-seat
constituency. A person, once called an assassin candidate, who won a
Lower House seat in the proportional representation competition
after losing the single-seat constituency race, stressed that the
lawmaker has no intention of giving the party's official endorsement
to other person, saying, "I staked my life on the Lower House
election."

The existence of Hiranuma, who has been an independent since he
refused to submit a written pledge, will likely become a cause of
trouble.

Former Secretary General Taro Aso, who has close ties with Hiranuma,
had indicated that the party would reinstate him unconditionally.
There is no doubt that former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, whose
political principles are similar to Hiranuma's, backed Aso's view.

However, waves of criticism of Aso's idea erupted in the LDP. Lower
House member Yasuhiro Nakagawa commented: "If the party reinstates
Hiranuma, it means that the party rejects the Koizumi reform drive."
Koizumi praised such remarks as brave. Secretary General Bunmei
Ibuki, the successor to Aso, reconfirmed that the party would ask
Hiranuma to present a written pledge if it allows him to return.
This shows there is a deep-seated antagonism in the LDP.

Another cause of trouble for the LDP leadership is how to treat the
many members who ran in the proportional representation segment and
won Lower House seats. It is not easy for the party to secure
single-seat constituencies for them, and it is also difficult to
give favorable treatment in placing them on the list of candidates.

Lawmaker Taizo Sugimura, who was elected with the rank of number 35
on the LDP's proportional representation list, is desperate to play
up his political identity, saying, "Becoming a regional chapter head
is my political goal, but there is no use thinking such because the
party executive has the right to pick. I have no choice but to carry
out whatever activities I can do so that the executive would think I
am being of assistance."

(3) Blanket BSE inspection is waste of tax money: Stopping pithing
practice and extensive removal of lingual tonsils are more
important; It is irresponsible for government not to report on
details of actual situation

MAINICHI (Page 4) (Full)
October 2, 2007

TOKYO 00004633 004 OF 006

By Masami Kojima (Livelihood Reporting Center)

It has been six years since blanket cattle inspections started in
Oct. 2001 due to the BSE problem. Though the government has asked
local governments to stop inspection of cattle aged 20 months or
lower at the end of next July, many of them want to continue the
inspection. What has brought about this gap?

Japan is the only country in the world that is obsessed with the
article of faith in that BSE inspection ensures beef safety. I
contributed an article to this column five years ago, which went
that the meaning and limit of blanket cattle inspection was not
correctly understood by the public. However, the situation has not
changed from five years ago.

I would like to explain why blanket cattle inspection cannot ensure
beef safety. To begin with, see the table below (TN: omitted)
showing four cows infected with BSE, because they all have prion
accumulations, a type of protein that indicates an infection. Each
cow has prions accumulated at a different part of their bodies.

Under the method of inspecting cows adopted at slaughterhouses, part
of a cow's brain is removed to see if prion can be detected. Under
this inspection method, it is not possible to determine whether the
cow is infected or not, if prion is located in spinal cord,
intestines and lingual tonsils or if the amount of prion accumulated
in brain is small. For this reason, even if all those four cattle
undergo tests, three out of the four would be shipped to the
market.

In particular, since the possibility of prion being identified is
close to zero in inspections of young cows, the Ministry of Health,
Labor and Welfare (MHLW) decided to remove cows twenty months of age
or younger from the list of cattle subject to testing. However,
blanket cattle testing is still being carried out, funded with
subsidies, as local governments strongly called for the continuation
of the blanket testing.

Even European countries, where more than 1 million BSE-infected cows
were discovered, do not carry out blanket testing. That is because
inspection can detect only some of infected cattle.

In Japan, in contrast, the agriculture minister at the time
explained, "Blanket cattle inspection is the strictest test method
in the world. This method ensures safety." The public, therefore,
believes that blanket cattle testing ensures beef safety.

However, measures that ensure safety are the removal of specified
risk materials (SRM) and feed restrictions. The SRM is removed at
Japanese slaughterhouses as well. What is of concern is pithing and
lingual tonsils.

Pithing is a practice of destroying the brain system by sticking a
rod into the stun hole to reduce or eliminate reflex kicking when
slaughtering them. When a rod is stuck into an infected cow, prion
flows into blood, infecting the meat. As such, this method is
completely banned in Europe and the US. However, about half the
slaughterhouses in Japan adopt this method. In European countries
and the US, lingual tonsils at the back of the tongue are removed
extensively. However, in Japan, which has a habit of eating tongues,
there is no uniform removal method. How properly lingual tonsils are

TOKYO 00004633 005 OF 006


removed is unclear. Spinal cord and its nerve system are distributed
outside slaughterhouses. However, there are no reports on details
regarding where and how they are disposed of. Overconfidence in
blanket cattle testing is to be blamed for the negligence of
discussions of such key points.

At present, approximately 1.25 million cattle a year are subject to
inspections, of which cattle 20 months of age or younger are about
160,000. The MHLW disbursed approximately 200 million yen a year as
subsidies for cattle inspection. However, it has decided to stop
paying subsidies on the ground that it is no longer possible to use
valuable tax money on such an ineffective measure.

However, many local governments called on the MHLW to continue the
subsidy system. It is said that if some local governments
independently continue blanket cattle testing, beef from cattle that
underwent inspections and beef from cattle that did not will be put
on store shelves, causing confusion to consumers. However, having
passed inspections does not prove that the products are
infection-free. Whichever beef customers choose, it does not make
any difference. Or rather, to me it means that beef that underwent
inspection used tax money wastefully.

I want to know whether products are from cattle that underwent
pithing or not and how lingual tonsils were removed, instead of
whether they underwent inspections or not. However, these key points
have never been disclosed.

An official in charge at a local government office told me, "I know
that blanket cattle testing is meaningless. However, nothing can be
done, since people believe in blanket cattle testing. The situation
will remain unchanged unless the government explains the limit of
blanket cattle testing in an unequivocal manner." I quite agree with
his opinion.

Right after the first discovery of BSE-infected cow in 2001, an MHLW
official told reporters, including myself, that testing cattle aged
30 months or older would suffice." However, in the process of
political arguments this stance has changed. The MHLW's stance is
now that blanket cattle testing should be implemented to dispel the
anxiety of people. This decision was unavoidable at the time.
However, people still believe in blanket cattle testing, because
explanations given by the government are vague and insufficient.

Some take the view that if the public believes in blanket testing,
it cannot be helped to inject tax money, even if it is wasteful as
the cost of securing peace of mind. However, such a thinking is too
sad. If people want to know the number of discoveries of BSE cases
through inspections, it is sufficient to inspect cattle aged 30
months or older as West European countries do.

(4) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi: Mainichi: Tokyo Shimbun:

School textbook screening on mass-suicides: Description on military
involvement likely to be restored; Government to give consideration
for feelings of people in Okinawa; MEXT considering measures

Yomiuri:
Stable Master Tokitsukaze to be fired over death of sumo wrestler


TOKYO 00004633 006 OF 006


Nikkei:
KDDI to lower rates by 30 PERCENT ; Up 20,000 yen for handsets
under new system

Sankei:
Nikkei, Asahi and Yomiuri to launch joint website: Internet war
among dailies to enter key phase

Akahata:
Prime Minister Fukuda makes policy speech: Stresses consumption tax
and continuation of refueling operations in the Indian Ocean

(5) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Prime Minister's policy speech: Cooperative policy is important,
but he should not avoid pitched battles either
(2) Privatized postal services: Become an ordinary country as soon
as possible

Mainichi:
(1) Prime Minister's policy speech: Politics has regained
tranquility at last
(2) Six-party talks: Do not compromise on the disabling of nuclear
facilities by DPRK

Yomiuri:
(1) Prime Minister's policy speech: Find breakthrough in difficult
situation with policy cooperation
(2) Bank of Japan quarterly business survey report

Nikkei:
(1) Prime Minister's dialogue policy will not make progress without
concrete discussions
(2) Bank of Japan quarterly business survey report reflects dual
nature of economy

Sankei:
(1) Prime Minister's policy speech fails to show path toward hope
and peace of mind
(2) Inter-Korean summit: Assistance for self-complacency not
acceptable

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Fukuda's policy speech: Prime Minister should not resort to
approach of avoiding war of wards
(2) Mass-suicides: We should listen to the voices of people in
Okinawa

Akahata:
(1) Prime Minister Fukuda's policy speech: If he wants to respond to
people's confidence in his cabinet, ...

DONOVAN

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