Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 10/11/07

DE RUEHKO #4775/01 2840827
P 110827Z OCT 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
October 11, 2007

(1) Prime minister at Lower House Budget Committee: Participation in
ISAF may infringe on Constitution (Tokyo Shimbun)

(2) Prime minister says SDF dispatch to Afghanistan under
Constitution is difficult (Asahi)

(3) Prime Minister Fukuda says at Lower House budget panel:
Refueling is "an effective tool for international cooperation"

(4) "Next Lower House election will be my final decisive battle,"
Ozawa stresses at Rengo convention (Tokyo Shimbun)

(5) Editorial: Now is not time to reach a conclusion on SDF
participation in ISAF (Sankei)

(6) Editorial: Questions still remain about possible oil diversion

(7) MSDF-refueled USS Iwo Jima participated in Iraq war (Akahata)

(8) Yokota base spills 5,600 liters of fuel (Asahi)

(9) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF refueling
mission (Yomiuri)

(10) Japan-ROK joint poll on North Korea (Yomiuri)

(11) Fiscal Reform Study Group resumes activities: Correction to
growth strategy aimed at; Tug-of-war likely between Yosano, who
attaches importance to fiscal reconstruction, and Hidenao Nakagawa

(12) Strong action, including economic sanctions, necessary toward
Burma (Asahi)

(13) How about food safety? BSE (Part 4): How to gain consumers'
understanding of BSE risk (Asahi)

(14) Editorial: DPJ has yet to reach consensus on antiterrorism

(Corrected copy) Diet debate: Defense minister learns from US that
amount of fuel provided by MSDF to USS Kitty Hawk was 675,000
gallons (Yomiuri)


(1) Prime minister at Lower House Budget Committee: Participation in
ISAF may infringe on Constitution

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October 11, 2007, 13:24

In a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee this
morning, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said that Japan's participation
in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan
as proposed by Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro
Ozawa "might lead to problems restricted in the Constitution. We are
worried about that point." He thus pointed out the possibility that
the participation might infringe on the Constitution, which prohibit
the Self-Defense Force from engaging in operations that entail the
use of force, thus indicating that Japan's participation would be

In this connection, Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura referred to
Japan's assistance in the area of public welfare in Afghanistan and
stressed the difficulty of such assistance at the present point of
time. He said: "An evacuation advisory has been issued across
Afghanistan. When (the government) has advised its private citizens
to return to Japan, it will be difficult to send more civilians
there." The prime minister echoed Komura, remarking: "It is not
proper to make such a request under the current situation."

Asked about the Defense Ministry's recent correction to quadruple
the amount of fuel by the Maritime Self-Defense Force to US supply
ships in February 2003, Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba made this
counterargument: "We have not performed our duties in a sloppy way.
The ministry has not manipulated information at all."

(2) Prime minister says SDF dispatch to Afghanistan under
Constitution is difficult

October 11, 2007 12:29 PM

Asked about the possibility of dispatching SDF troops to
Afghanistan, Prime Minister Fukuda indicated in a House of
Representatives Budget Committee meeting this morning that it would
be difficult under the current Constitution, which prohibits
Self-Defense Force (SDF) troops from using armed force overseas.
Fukuda said: "The dispatch may lead to problems listed in the
Constitution. We are worried about that point." This remark is
apparently intended to represent his opposition to Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa's idea of having SDF troops
participate in the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in
Afghanistan based on a United Nations resolution.

Fukuda made the above remark in replying to a question by DPJ member
Masaharu Nakagawa. Asked also about the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's (MSDF) refueling operation in the Indian Ocean, Fukuda
renewed his call for the DPJ's support for new legislation designed
to extend the operation, saying: "We are still considering every
possibility. Of such, we believe the refueling operation is a very
effective means of Japan's international cooperation. We want you to
support our plan to continue the MSDF mission."

(3) Prime Minister Fukuda says at Lower House budget panel:
Refueling is "an effective tool for international cooperation"

October 11, 2007, 12:26 p.m.

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Ryuko Tadokoro

The Lower House Budget Committee this morning went into its third
day of interpellations, during which Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was
grilled on the Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling
operations now going on in the Indian Ocean. He was positively in
his reply: "Japan looked for ways to help Afghanistan to become a
peaceful country and reached the conclusion that refueling
operations would lead to achieving that goal. So, Japan has been
engaged in that mission. I believe this has been an effective tool
for our international cooperation."

Asked whether Japan would participate in the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) as called for by Ichiro Ozawa, president of
the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), Fukuda
rejected the notion, saying: "It's not time for us to ask civilians
(to be sent). And if we send the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to ISAF,
it could give rise to constitutional problems (such as the use of
armed force). It would be prohibited under the Constitution."

(4) "Next Lower House election will be my final decisive battle,"
Ozawa stresses at Rengo convention

Tokyo Shimbun Online (Full)
12:46, October 11, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Chairman Ichiro Ozawa in
a speech given on the morning of Oct. 11 at the Japanese Trade Union
Confederation's (Rengo) annual convention sought support for his
party to win a victory in the next Lower House election. He
underscored, "If the recent Upper House election was my finest
battle, the upcoming Lower House election will be my final decisive

He highly praised the outcome of the Upper House election, which has
led to the trading of places there between the ruling and opposition
camps, as a major turning point in Japan's postwar politics. He told
DPJ members to brace themselves, noting, "There is fear that the
confidence we gained from winning the Upper House election could
lead to overconfidence and negligence."

Hisaoki Kamei of the People's New Party said, "Now that the
opposition dominates in the Upper House, we are in a responsible
position. We want to make a policy switch with combined strength
centered on the DPJ and link it to a Lower House election."

Social Democratic Party (SDP) chairman Mizuho Fukushima gave a
speech after Ozawa left. She pointed out, "The trading of places
between the ruling and opposition camps in the Upper House is
impossible without participation by the SDP." Then, regarding
Ozawa's call for Japan to take part in the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, she said, "The Self-Defense
Forces' involvement in the ISAF is clearly unconstitutional. We
cannot approve of it."

(5) Editorial: Now is not time to reach a conclusion on SDF
participation in ISAF

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2007

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa's proposal

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for Japan's participation in the International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan has caused complications in the debate
on new legislation to replace the Antiterrorism Special Measures

Ozawa's proposal might be intended to block an extension of the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling operation in the
Indian Ocean. In such a case, it might be natural that the
government is taking precautions against the DPJ's attempt to
present an extension of the MSDF operation. Without focusing their
interest in this proposal, lawmakers should thoroughly discuss the
new legislation.

When considering the possibility that the war on terror might be
prolonged, however, it may be significant to consider in what form
the SDF should join the ISAF in the future. The Ozawa proposal
contains many points that should be fully discussed, such as
conditions for the Self-Defense Force (SDF) to engage in collective
security under the United Nations.

Writing for the November issue of the monthly Sekai, Ozawa expressed
his opposition to the government's plan to continue the MSDF
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, based on the perception that
since the mission is designed to support "the war in Afghanistan, a
self-defensive war waged by the US," and falls under the use of
collective self-defense, the MSDF mission itself is impermissible.

Despite such an argument, Ozawa expressed his desire to translate
his idea of having the SDF join the ISAF into action. This proposal
is based on his stock argument that SDF troops are constitutionally
allowed to participate in peacekeeping operations (PKO) endorsed by
a UN resolution, even if the duty entails the use of armed force.

But the government's interpretation is that the SDF is not allowed
to join PKO that entails the use of force even if the operations are
carried out by a UN force or a multinational force under a UN

In accordance with this government's interpretation, Defense
Minister Shigeru Ishiba and Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura have
rejected Ozawa's idea as unconstitutional. There is also the fact
that the dispatch of SDF ground units involves greater danger than
refueling operations by the MSDF.

Views in the DPJ on the Ozawa idea are also split, but those in
favor of the proposal have discussed the possibility of having
troops engage in such duties as provisional reconstruction teams
(PRT) composed of personnel from the military and the private
sector, which are closely linked to the ISAF, guarding Japanese
nationals engaged in medical support or infrastructure construction,
and rear support for the ISAF.

The government and the ruling coalition should initially discuss
these themes. Discussing these matters will naturally cover the
issue of whether to enact a permanent law on SDF dispatch, instead
of the current way of dispatch under limited-time legislation.

It is not wrong that Ozawa has raised an issue, and the government
should not intentionally avoid constitutional issues. Even so, now
is the time to mull how to extend the fight against terrorism in the
Indian Ocean.

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(6) Editorial: Questions still remain about possible oil diversion

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 11, 2007

At the House of Representatives Budget Committee, fierce discussions
have begun on the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation
in the Indian Ocean. But many questions are still hanging over the

The focus is on the fact that a US supply ship that had received oil
from the MSDF in the Indian Ocean refueled a US aircraft carrier
engaged in the Iraq operation. As a result, the oil from Japan is
now suspected to have been used in the Iraq operation.

The suspicion first surfaced in May 2003 when the Diet was
discussing an extension of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law.
The government back then offered the following explanation:

The MSDF gave 200,000 gallons of oil -- the volume consumed in one
day by the aircraft carrier. The aircraft carrier must have used it
up before entering the Persian Gulf. It was impossible for the
Japanese oil to be used in the Iraq theater. This is what then Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda told the Diet.

But it became clear later on that the MSDF actually gave 800,000
gallons of oil, that the refueled aircraft carrier entered the
Persian Gulf in less than a day, and that it navigated toward Iraq.

Prime Mister Fukuda indicated yesterday that the data was incorrect
and apologized for it.

The amount is not the only issue here. The government extended the
Antiterrorism Law by denying the suspected diversion of Japanese oil
based on 200,000 gallons. The grounds for the government's denial
have collapsed with the correction of the volume to 800,000 gallons,
raising questions about the validity of the refueling mission at the
same time.

Didn't the government tell a lie in order to extend the law? This
question from Democratic Party of Japan lawmaker Naoto Kan is quite
natural. Then Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda is now the prime
minister and then Defense Agency Director-General Ishiba is the
defense minister. They are now being pressed for setting the record

Before long, the government plans to submit to the Diet a bill for
continuing the refueling operation. In order to enact the bill, the
government must bring the matter to closure properly. That cannot be
done by just blaming the government official who reported the wrong

In a bid to dispel suspicions, the defense minister offered the new
explanation that although the aircraft carrier had entered the
Persian Gulf, it was engaged only in the operation in Afghanistan
for three days, during which the carrier is believed to have used
the Japanese oil.

The movements of the carrier-based aircraft from the Persian Gulf to
Afghanistan require flights over Iran, with which the United States
has no diplomatic ties. In reality, such is hardly possible. This
leaves the option of making a large detour. Even if that is what

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they did, that still sounds unnatural.

To begin with, transiting toward Iraq in the Persian Gulf is an
action in the Iraq operation and appears to be a deviation of the
objectives of the Antiterrorism Law.

Furthermore, Japanese oil might have been used by some vessels other
than this aircraft carrier in the Iraq war. Supply ships account for
60 PERCENT of the fuel provided by the MSDF to US vessels. How was
the Japanese oil eventually used? A decision cannot be made unless
the entire refueling data are disclosed.

It is good that the government has begun disclosing data bit by bit,
through the explanation of that level is insufficient to convince
the Diet and general public.

(7) MSDF-refueled USS Iwo Jima participated in Iraq war

AHAKATA (Page 1) (Full)
October 11, 2007

In September last year, a US Navy amphibious assault ship, codenamed
"Iwo Jima," was refueled in September last year by the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's supply ship Mashu. The USS Iwo Jima then
participated in attack operations conducted in Afghanistan. Shortly
thereafter, the USS Iwo Jima, again refueled by the Mashu,
participated in the Iraq war, too. This fact became known from US
military documents. This shows that MSDF-supplied fuel was diverted
to back up the Iraq war against Japan's Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which only purports to support the Afghan war.

The US Navy says on its website that the Mashu refueled the USS Iwo
Jima in the Persian Gulf on Sept. 22 last year. According to the US
Marine Corps' Marine Corps News dated Dec. 4 last year, an
expeditionary strike group (ESG), centering on the USS Iwo Jima,
arrived later in the Persian Gulf by early October and Iwo
Jima-based Harrier attack fighters, which are vertical takeoff and
landing (VTOL) jets, went on a mission to back up British troops
near the southern Iraqi city of Basra.

In mid-October last year, ESG ground troops from the US Marines
participated in an operation conducted in the western Iraqi province
of Ambar. On Nov. 1 last year, one of those attack soldiers was
killed in a roadside bomb's blast.

The ESG was deployed to areas near the Mediterranean Sea and the
Indian Ocean during the period of six months from June 6 last year
through Dec. 6. During the period of four months from July 4 through
Nov. 8, the ESG arrived in US Central Command (CENTCOM) areas.
CENTCOM commands operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

From mid-July on, the ESG was involved in Israeli attacks on
Lebanon. After that, in September, the ESG carried out joint
training exercises with Pakistan's naval forces. The ESG does not
seem to have conducted maritime interdiction operations (MIO) backed
up by Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

The ESG is said to have been tasked mainly with its direct support
for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq during its voyage at that
time. The Marine Corps News also reported in its Nov. 10 edition and
confirmed that Iwo Jima-based Harrier attack fighters carried out
combat flights in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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On Sept. 4 last year, the Mashu refueled the USS Iwo Jima in the
Arabian Sea. After that, Harrier attack fighters from the Iwo Jima
made a total of 136 attack flights to raid Afghanistan. This fact
has already been revealed.

(8) Yokota base spills 5,600 liters of fuel

ASAHI (Page 34) (Full)
October 6, 2007

The US Air Force's Yokota base in Tokyo caused an accidental spill
of jet fuel, amounting to about 5,600 liters, at its oil depot in
September, sources revealed yesterday. The day the accident took
place, US Forces Japan reported its occurrence to local governments
through the Japanese government. However, the local governments did
not disclose it to their residents, saying there would be no
off-base impact.

The Yokota base is located across six municipalities, including the
cities of Tachikawa and Akishima. According to the two cities'
officials, there was a report from the North Kanto Defense Bureau on
Sept. 18, at around 10 a.m., notifying them that jet oil
accidentally spilled from the base's oil depot. USFJ first reported
that the spill was about 1,200 liters. The following day, however,
it was changed to about 5,600 liters. There was no detailed report
about injuries or an impact on the base's neighboring environment,
they said.

According to US military data, there were a total of 90 spills,
including fuel, at the Yokota base and related facilities between
1999 and 2006. Among those spill incidents, Japan was aware of only
one incident that took place at a communication facility in the city
of Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture. In that incident, light oil
spilled to the extent of about 79,000 liters. The Tokyo metropolitan
government and local governments hosting the Yokota base asked the
Japanese government this spring to provide information without

"We were told that there would be no impact on the base's outside
environment, so we judged there was no need to make it public," says
an official of Akishima City, which is a point of contact
representing the six base-hosting municipalities.

(9) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF refueling

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 10, 2007

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage. Parentheses denote the results of a
survey taken in September.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 59.1
No 26.7
Other answers (O/A) 3.1
No answer (N/A) 11.2

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the foregoing question)

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Pick up to two reasons for your approval of the Fukuda cabinet.

I can appreciate its political stance 25.3
It's stable 43.7
The prime minister is trustworthy 28.5
Something can be expected of its economic policy 8.0
Something can be expected of its foreign policy 8.6
Because it's a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New
Komeito 6.5
Because the prime minister is from the LDP 13.2
Because it's better than its predecessors 19.25.4

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the foregoing question) Pick
up to two reasons for your disapproval of the Fukuda cabinet.

I can't appreciate its political stance 28.8
It's unstable 25.7
The prime minister is untrustworthy 23.6
Nothing can be expected of its economic policy 26.9
Nothing can be expected of its foreign policy 12.0
Because it's a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New
Komeito 20.1
Because the prime minister is from the LDP 14.7
It's worse than its predecessors 4.8
O/A+N/A 5.8

Q: How long would you like the Fukuda cabinet to continue? Pick only
one from among those listed below.

As long as possible 32.3
2 or 3 years 25.3
1 year or so 18.7
Quit as early as possible 8.8
O/A 0.4
N/A 7.2

Q: Which political party do you support now? Pick only one.

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 37.8 (29.3)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 18.0 (20.9)
New Komeito (NK) 2.9 (3.3)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2.5 (1.8)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 0.9 (1.0)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) --- (0.2)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.1 (0.2)
Other political parties --- (---)
None 36.9 (42.4)
N/A 0.8 (1.0)

Q: What's your impression of Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ President
Ozawa? Which one between the two do you think is more impressive
than the other? Answer on the following four points: (a) leadership
ability; (b) political ideal and goal; (c) public accountability;
(d) friendliness.

(a) (b) (c) (d)
Prime Minister Fukuda 47.1 48.1 52.3 69.1
DPJ President Ozawa 39.0 34.1 30.2 17.7
N/A 13.9 17.9 17.5 13.2

Q: How do you think the opposition parties should deal with the

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Fukuda cabinet in Diet discussions on important matters and the
budget? Pick only one from among those listed below.

Confront and drive it to step down 10.4
Seek concessions from the ruling coalition and translate their
policy proposals 20.0
Explore common ground with the ruling coalition and compromise 51.0
Fully cooperate with the ruling coalition 10.2
N/A 8.4

Q: Based on the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, the government
has sent Maritime Self-Defense Force ships to the Indian Ocean. The
MSDF is currently tasked there with refueling and other activities
for foreign naval ships backing up multinational forces conducting
antiterror operations in Afghanistan. The MSDF's deployment there
under the antiterror law is to end on Nov. 1. Do you support
extending the MSDF's refueling mission there?

Yes 49.1
No 37.2
N/A 13.7

Q: Do you think the DPJ is competent enough to take office?

Yes 35.0
No 50.3
N/A 14.7

Polling methodology
Date of survey: Oct. 6-7.
Subjects of survey: 3,000 persons chosen from among all eligible
voters throughout the country (at 250 locations on a stratified
two-stage random sampling basis).
Method of implementation: Door-to-door visits for face-to-face
Number of valid respondents: 1,812 persons (60.4 PERCENT ).

(10) Japan-ROK joint poll on North Korea

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

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage.)

Q: What's your image of North Korea?

Japan ROK
Very good 0.5 1.8
Good to a certain extent 0.7 33.1
Bad to a certain extent 13.9 55.8
Very bad 83.9 7.6
No answer (N/A) 1.0 1.7

Q: What do you think Japan, China, and South Korea should work
together to tackle on a priority basis over North Korea? If any,
pick as many as you like from among those listed below.

Japan ROK
Stop nuclear development 77.2 67.5
Stop missile development and launch 61.9 44.4
Resolve the abductions of Japanese and South Koreans 76.2 17.1

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Diplomatic normalization with North Korea 23.7 35.3
Economic cooperation with North Korea 8.2 24.3
Political, economic regime change in North Korea 21.2 28.9
Urge North Korea to act as a member of the international community
28.4 18.6
Other answers (O/A) 0.2 ---
Nothing in particular 2.2 0.8
N/A 1.0 0.6

Q: Based on an agreement reached at the six-party talks of Japan,
China, South Korea, the United States, Russia, and North Korea over
North Korea's nuclear issue, North Korea stopped operating five
nuclear facilities in July. Do you think North Korea will abandon
its nuclear development?

Japan ROK
Yes 4.3 2.0
Yes to a certain degree 10.5 38.7
No to a certain degree 30.7 54.4
No 51.0 3.5
N/A 3.5 1.4

Polling methodology

Japan: The survey was conducted across the nation on Sept. 8-9 for
face-to-face interviews. For the survey, a total of 3,000 persons
were chosen from among the nation's voting population at 250
locations on a stratified two-stage random sampling basis. Answers
were obtained from 1,787 persons.

South Korea: The survey was conducted across the nation from Aug. 21
through Sept. 4 for face-to-face interviews. For the survey,
respondents were chosen from among males and females, aged 20 and
over, at 121 locations with quota methodology on a stratified
multistage sampling basis. Answers were obtained from 1,000

(11) Fiscal Reform Study Group resumes activities: Correction to
growth strategy aimed at; Tug-of-war likely between Yosano, who
attaches importance to fiscal reconstruction, and Hidenao Nakagawa

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday resumed the activities
of the Fiscal Reform Study Group. The aim is to adjust the growth
policy that puts off tax hikes on the premise of high economic
growth. This is because with the Upper House election, the
correction of income disparities and economic programs for local
areas, which require a massive amount of fiscal resources, have
surfaced as issues to be addressed. Former Chief Cabinet Secretary
Kaoru Yosano, chairman of the panel, attaches importance to fiscal
reconstruction, which requires solid funding resources, such as a
hike in the consumption tax. However, many LDP members are cautious
about the idea of increasing the tax. There is a sign of former
Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa, who played a leading role in the

implementation of the growth policy under the Koizumi and Abe
cabinets, restoring his presence. A tug-of-war between Yosano and
Nakagawa will likely take place.

Yosano during the meeting yesterday hinted at his intention to
launch discussion aimed at hiking the tax, noting, "When the

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government compiled the basic policy guidelines on economic and
fiscal management and structural reforms last year, it did not
pursue far-reaching discussions, such as to what extent the tax
system should be reformed and which taxes should be reformed." Amid
the government hastily considering putting on hold a policy of
increasing medical fees shouldered by the elderly, many participants
also voiced such views as that solid funding resources should be
used to cover social security expenses, which are bound to
increase, as former Environment Minister Shunichi Suzuki put it.

Yosano and Secretary General Sadakazu Tanigaki, an advisor to the
panel, are in agreement on the idea of raising the consumption tax
to about 10 PERCENT in the 2010s. In contrast to the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), which is opposing a consumption
tax hike, Yosano stressed, "It is necessary for the LDP as a
responsible party to come up with a just argument." His statement
was also aimed at paving the way for discussions on the annual tax
code revisions for fiscal 2008. Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura during a press conference on Oct. 10 backed Yosano's
statement, noting, "We must not be overly optimistic in
recapitalizing public finances." The panel in its interim report
proposed raising the consumption tax rate to between 12 PERCENT -15
PERCENT . However, when Nakagawa took on the position of chairman of
the panel in October 2005, he switched the panel's policy to
achieving nominal growth rate of 4 PERCENT -5 PERCENT and to a
spending cut policy. Nakagawa started to dispel the mood of raising
the consumption tax, backed by former Internal Minister Heizo

The venue of the discussion was shifted to the Council on Package
Reform of Fiscal and Economic Policies of the government and the
ruling camp, but Takenaka and Nakagawa maintained leadership. The
basic policy guidelines for fiscal 2005 did not include a tax hike.

Yosano is staging an uphill fight for a rollback. Nakagawa also took
office as chief organizer of the Machimura faction. He said, "The
reform and growth policy must be continued for another 20 years."
The battle between Yosano and Nakagawa could flare up again.

(12) Strong action, including economic sanctions, necessary toward

ASAHI (Page 17) (Abridged)
October 11, 2007

Kei Nemoto, professor of modern history of Burma at Sophia

Monks marched in a demonstration in Myanmar (Burma), chanting a
sutra with a number of citizens walking together. Burma is now under
the control of the military junta. This scene of demonstrating monks
drew international attention. The demonstrating monks were
protesting against 19 years of oppression by the military junta and
were calling for democracy.

As security police fired at demonstrators, average citizens were in
danger of being shot. As a result, the demonstrations have ceased,
but this does not mean the democracy movement has now come to an
end. It is unlikely that the Burmese people, most of whom are
Buddhists, can easily pardon violence done to monks. If the military
slackens its violent oppression, protest marches will come back.

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The people of Burma usually listen to domestic news not reported by
the military junta by tuning in the British Broadcasting Corporation
(BBC) Burmese language shortwave programs. In the recent
demonstrations, the Internet played a significant role in addition
to BBC. Although only a few percent of the population can access the
Internet even in Yangon (Rangoon), images and information sent by
some Burmese to the rest of the world via the Internet spread widely
in Burma afterwards with those images and information sent back to
the country. The Internet indeed demonstrated its power.

The military junta insists that foreign countries pulled wires
behind the scenes, denying that monks and ordinary citizens were
voluntarily staging demonstrations. The account by the military
junta lacks persuasiveness.

The monks have renounced the world. They rely on donations from
Buddhist believers for their daily needs and to maintain the pagodas
and other religious facilities. Monks devote themselves to religious
training and self-salvation. On the other hand, believers accumulate
virtuous deeds by helping monks.

This interdependence between monks and believers make their ties
even closer. Monks listen to believers' hardships and learn about
their terrible living conditions and their complaints against
politics. Monks essentially should not be involved in politics. Both
monks and believers are well aware of this point. Monks in Burma,
however, have a patriotic history of playing a part in the struggle
for independence from the United Kingdom, when Burma was a colony.

Late this September, Special Envoy Gambari to the United Nations
secretary general visited Burma and met with Than Shwe, chairman of

the State Peace and Development Council and conveyed international
concerns to him. Even though the international community responds
rigorously to the military junta, there is little possibility that
it immediately can change the military junta's current stance. Yet,
by doing so, the international community can send Burma a strong
message that could give moral support to the Burmese people who
suffer oppression from the military junta.

The people of Burma, who fear being shot by guns and suffer under a
reign of terror, would be grateful if other countries took strong
actions against Burma, such as economic sanctions against the
military junta and recalling their ambassadors from Burma. They
would see such as a message that "the international community is not
ignoring the Burmese people's hardships." The Japanese government
therefore needs to keep this point in mind when it considers how to
respond to the military junta.

(13) How about food safety? BSE (Part 4): How to gain consumers'
understanding of BSE risk

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
October 11, 2007

The Chiba prefectural government posted on its web Oct. 4 the
results of a survey on BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy)

While showing the Food Safety Commission's opinion that the risk of
BSE to humans is extremely low even if cattle under the age of 20
months are excluded from the scope of testing, the prefectural
government questioned its residents on the Internet whether BSE

TOKYO 00004775 013 OF 015

inspections of young cattle were necessary. A total of 130 residents
responded: 64 PERCENT said that the inspections were necessary and
18 PERCENT answered that they were not. As a result, the view
calling for continued inspections was strong. Akira Doi, head of the
Food Safety Measures Office of the prefectural government commented:
"The actual state of BSE measures is not understood by the public. I
think there is a lack of risk communication."

Risk communication means that people from various areas share their
knowledge about risks and deepen their understanding. The FSC, which
places importance on the risk communication, held more than 150
sessions to exchange opinions on the BSE to explain the low BSE
infection risk of cattle aged 20 months and younger. Some
participants in the BSE sessions raised views coming around to the
FSC, while there were views opposing the easing of the restrictions,
with one participant saying, "I have doubts about the scientific

The FSC was established in the Cabinet Office in response to the BSE
panic after discovery of an apparent case of mad cow disease. The
commission evaluates a potential risk of food at the request of the
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. Most of the 56 commission
staffers are employees on loan. It sometimes happens that a person
in charge of the secretariat returns to the health ministry and asks
the FSC for food evaluation.

Consumer groups have criticized the FSC for giving unilateral
explanations and "seal of approval" to the health ministry. In an
attempt to improve risk communication, the FSC as risk evaluation
organ is required to keep its independence and enhance public

Reasons for people concerned about BSE

Because of BSE cases that became problems in the past 31.8 PERCENT
Doubtful about whether firms obey regulations and sanitary
management 26.9 PERCENT
Doubts about scientific basis 11.8 PERCENT
Lack of information on food safety 8.7 PERCENT
Insufficient standards and requirement to label 8.1 PERCENT
Vague anxiety 5.2 PERCENT
No response, invalid answers 7.5 PERCENT

(14) Editorial: DPJ has yet to reach consensus on antiterrorism

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

Although the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) had former three party
heads appear at a House of Representatives Budget Committee session
yesterday to question Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, the three failed
to conduct a penetrating debate on the new antiterrorism bill.

The reason may be that DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa's assertion that
the Self-Defense Forces can participate in the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, while opposing the
Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean, has confused the party's stance and cast a pall over their
pursuit of the government.

Both former DPJ heads Naoto Kan and Katsuya Okada failed to question
the prime minister problematic points of a new legislation the

TOKYO 00004775 014 OF 015

government plans to submit to the Lower House. Former President
Seiji Maehara, an expert on security policy, did not even question
this point.

It is undeniable that the DPJ gave the impression that it avoided
getting deeply involved in the debate on possible SDF participation
in the ISAF out of fear of a slip of the tongue.

It is true that Japan has advocated foreign policy-centered on the
United Nations and on the axis of Japan-US relations, but it places
more priority on the relations with the United States. Therefore,
Ozawa's awareness of the issue that the principle of security should
be reviewed on this occasion is understandable.

However, his assertion that the SDF can take part in ISAF, in which
fatalities have occurred, is a great leap of logic. It is difficult
to understand his view that the SDF cannot supply oil but can join
the ISAF because Ozawa has stated that there is no contradiction
between the foreign policy of centering on the UN and that of
centering on the US.

Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura yesterday told Okada, who asked
about requirements for SDF dispatch: "So, it is not so easy for the
SDF to join ISAF." Okada did not offer a counterargument. This was a
symbolic scene that showed Okada's perplexity at Ozawa's assertion.

How long does the government intend to continue the refueling
operations though there is no prospect for an end of the Afghan war,
which has continued for six years. The DPJ should pursue this point
and present its own bill. Otherwise, the ruling and opposition camps
will not find common ground during Diet debate.

(Corrected copy) Diet debate: Defense minister learns from US that
amount of fuel provided by MSDF to USS Kitty Hawk was 675,000

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2007

Refueling mission in Indian Ocean

Kan (Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)): On the morning of Feb. 25,
2003, the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) supply ship Tokiwa
refueled the US supply ship Pecos, and on the afternoon of that day,
Pecos refueled the USS Kitty Hawk. In this regard, then Chief
Cabinet Secretary Fukuda stated positively at a press briefing on
May 9 that it would be impossible to use (the fuel provided by
Tokiwa) for operations in Iraq.

Prime Minister Fukuda: There was an error in collecting data. What I
said at the time was incorrect.

Kan: Which part of your remark at the time was wrong?

Fukuda: I made two mistakes. First, the amount of fuel provided by
Japan to the US supply ship (was 800,000 gallons in actuality) but
it was mistakenly entered into the computer system as 200,000
gallons. Afterwards, we on the part of the government explained that
the amount of fuel provided by (Pecos) to Kitty Hawk was 800,000
gallons, but we learned after inquiring of the US about this matter
that the amount of fuel in question was 675,000 gallons.

TOKYO 00004775 015 OF 015

Kan: I have a suspicion that then Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda
might have known that Kitty Hawk had headed for the Persian Gulf.

Defense Minister Ishiba: Tokiwa refueled Pecos during the period
from 6:30 a.m. through 10:00 a.m. of Feb. 25. The amount of fuel
provided was 800,000 gallons. In order to join Kitty Hawk by noon,
Pecos moved in the direction of the Strait of Hormuz. By around
20:00 p.m. of that day, Pecos completed refueling Kitty Hawk. The
amount of fuel provided by Pecos to Kitty Hawk was 675,000 gallons.
After being refueled, Kitty Hawk passed the Strait of Hormuz by
20:00 p.m. of Feb. 26 and was engaged in operations in the Persian

According to the US report shown to us in 2003, Kitty Hawk consumed
some 200,000 gallons of fuel per day on average. We have been told
by the US side that Kitty Hawk was engaged in Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF), and that after being refueled by Pecos, Kitty Hawk
"consumed all the fuel" provided by Pecos in three days starting
Feb. 25.

Ishiba: The most important point is that Kitty Hawk was cruising for
a considerably longer period of time at the high speed of 33 knots
when it was passing through the Strait of Hormuz. It seemed that
Kitty Hawk also was cruising at the high speed when it was engaged
in several flight operations. I presume in these cases Kitty Hawk
would have consumed more fuel than its average consumption. I
therefore think the US side's explanation that (Kitty Hawk) consumed
675,000 gallons in three days or by the end of February is highly
reasonable. It is thought that the fuel provided would have been
used for OEF. Operation Southern Watch (ODW) in Iraq started in
early March.


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