Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/22/07

VZCZCXRO5335
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #4913/01 2950132
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 220132Z OCT 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8783
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 6289
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 3879
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7544
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 2763
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4576
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9641
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5695
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6525

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 004913

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10/22/07


Index:

Defense Ministry allegations:
1) Defense contractor scandal involves retired bureaucrats and even
former Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) lawmaker (Mainichi)
2) Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya allegedly favored giving CX
engine contract without open bidding to defense contractor who
provided favors (Asahi)
3) Moriya reportedly played golf over 100 times at posh club with
defense contractor always paying the tab (Tokyo Shimbun)
4) Defense contractor close to Moriya reportedly held lavish party
for his daughter studying in US (Yomiuri)
5) Moriya denies he did anything improper by having close ties to
leading defense contractor (Yomiuri)
6) Impact of Moriya scandal inevitable on the government's new
antiterrorism special measures bill (Mainichi)
7) Defense Minister says Moriya should respond to Diet summons to
testify as witness (Asahi)

Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) refueling mission under attack:
8) Diet deliberations on new antiterrorism bill start tomorrow; DPJ
may delay submitting its counter-proposal (Yomiuri)
9) MSDF covered up since 2003 a mistake in records of refueling -
reported 200,000 gallons and not 800,000 gallons delivered to Pecos
(Asahi)

10) Prime Minister Fukuda tells Ambassador Schieffer of possibility
that MSDF refueling in Indian Ocean may be halted for a while due to
legislative tussle (Tokyo Shimbun)
11) 48 PERCENT of public approve, 43 PERCENT disapprove continuing
MSDF refueling operations in the Indian Ocean (Mainichi)

12) Government to propose in talks with US on host nation support a
cut of 10 billon yen in the special budget (Tokyo Shimbun)

13) Fukuda Cabinet support rate plummets 11 points to 46 PERCENT
(Mainichi)

14) US-Japan talks this week in Washington on issue of removing
North Korea from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism, which
Japan opposes (Asahi)

Articles:

1) Yamada Corp. employs retired Defense Ministry official and even
former DPJ lawmaker

MAINICHI (Top Play) (Slightly abridged)
October 21, 2007

A former senior managing director of Yamada Corp. a trading company
specializing in defense and aircraft equipment in Minato Ward,
Tokyo, which has been found to have treated former Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya to free rounds of golf, has provided senior
Defense Ministry officials with lucrative postretirement posts.
According to a former company executive, the number of such
ex-officials reached eight at one time. The company was also eager
to employ family members of senior ministry officials. Former
lawmaker Shozo Azuma of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is now
an advisor to the company. It has been found that the company's
collusive ties with politicians and bureaucrats were behind its
successive winning of large contracts from the Defense Ministry.

TOKYO 00004913 002 OF 009

According the former company executive, the former senior managing
director was managing all practical business affairs, including
personnel appointments, by himself. Of about 150 employees (in
2005), there once were about as many as eight advisors who came from
the Defense Ministry.

According to several retired bureaucrats who moved to the company,
they receive the same pay that they had received just before they
retired or more. Most of them go to work two or three times a week,
are given few duties, but are asked to obtain information on
equipment the ministry plans to purchase or to give advice on how to
win contracts.

Former lawmaker Azuma assumed the post of an advisor to the company
about 10 years ago through the introduction of a politician. In an
interview on Sept. 12, he said: "I think that the company expects me
to offer special favors to the company when I become influential in
the future."

2) Former Vice-Defense Minister Moriya urged ministry to conclude
discretionary contract with Nihon Mirise on CX engine

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 21, 2007

Former Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, 63,
while in office in July this year, stated as a dictum that the
ministry should conclude a discretionary contract with Nihon Mirise
Corp. (NMC), a Minato Ward, Tokyo-based up-and-coming trading firm
specializing in defense equipment, for procuring the engine in the
Air Self-Defense Force's next-generation transport aircraft
codenamed CX, the Asahi Shimbun has learned. The total cost of the
engines comes to nearly 100 billion yen. Although Moriya's
subordinate explained the ministry's plan to conduct an open bidding
for the sake of transparency, Moriya continued to press the ministry
to give favorable treatment to NMC. Moriya often played golf with
the NMC president, a former executive of Yamada Yoko Corp., at the
expense of the president when he was still with that company. Some
take the view that Moriya's statement favoring NMC came from his
close personal relationship with the company's president.

Moriya made the statement on July 2, the day the Asahi Shimbun
reported on a controversy over the shipment of the aircraft's
engine. This newspaper reported that although Nihon Mirise and
Yamada Yoko had been rivals to become the agent of General Electric,
the engine's US maker, the result would be in Mirise's favor because
GE had announced that it would switch from Yamada to Mirise as its
agent at the end of July. The president of Mirise left Yamada Yoko
after locking horns with the owner of the company. Their conflict
has eventually escalated into a lawsuit centered on which would sell
the aircraft engine.

The day the newspaper carried the article, a Defense Ministry
official briefed Moriya on the competitive bidding process. But
Moriya allegedly was adamant: "It's not easy to become an agent. I
think we should conclude a discretionary contract with Nihon
Mirise." This was taken by some in the ministry as indicating that
Moriya was trying to defend the Mirise president who was having hard
times and that the two were extremely close.

3) Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya treated to free golf possibly

TOKYO 00004913 003 OF 009


more than 100 times, using false name in many cases

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Excerpts)
October 20, 2007

It has been revealed that former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa
Moriya, 63, had frequently played golf with a former senior managing
director, 69, of Yamada Yoko Corp., a trading company specializing
in defense and aircraft equipment based in Minato Ward, Tokyo.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Moriya played golf
with the former executive possibly more than 100 times, registering
a false name in many cases. It is prohibited under the Self-Defense
Force code of ethics enacted in 2000 for defense officials to play
golf with parties concerned, including contractors. It is suspected
that Moriya, keeping this regulation in mind, used a false name.

According to the sources, the former company executive frequently
played at golf courses run by a company affiliated with Yamada Yoko
Corp. in Saitama and Chiba. There were many cases in which their
wives joined the two. The company paid the bills for costs for
playing golf and food and drink out of an expense account.

4) Former Yamada Yoko Corp. executive threw party for Moriya's
daughter in US several years ago

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 20, 2007

A 69-yaer-old former Yamada Yoko Corp. executive, who frequently
played golf with former Administrative Vice-Defense Minister
Takemasa Moriya, 63, also treated Takemasa's second daughter to
wining and dining in the United States several years ago, the
Mainichi Shimbun has learned. The former executive admitted it in an
interview with the newspaper. According to the former executive, a
party was held to celebrate the daughter's admission to a language
school in the United States. Playing golf with a defense contractor
is prohibited under the Self-Defense Force ethics regulations. It
has already been found that Moriya and his wife played golf with the
former executive in violation of the regulations. It has now become
clear that the former executive had questionable relationships with
all the family members of the top Defense Ministry official.

According to the former executive, Moriya's daughter, desiring to
pursue studies at a US graduate school, was enrolled in a language
school to improve her English skills. Around that time, the former
executive threw a party to encourage her at a steak house in New
York and footed the bill. Prior to her departure for the United
States, persons connected with a Yamada Yoko's US arm helped
Moriya's daughter in finding a place to stay and in purchasing daily
necessities. Other expenses were paid by the daughter, according to
the former executive.

5) Moriya to underling: "Why is it wrong" to award a discretionary
contract on the CX engine to a company with which he had close ties
when he was vice defense minister?

YOMIURI (Page 35) (Excerpt)
October 22, 2007

Former vice defense minister Moriya frequently received favors a
former executive at Yamada Yoko Corporation, a trading firm
specializing in the aircraft and defense areas. It was learned that

TOKYO 00004913 004 OF 009


at a meeting with subordinates this year in July, while he was still
vice minister, Moriya asked "what is wrong" with awarding a
discretionary contract to the former executive, who had formed his
own separate trading firm. The view that formed in the ministry at
the time was that Moriya had intimate ties with that executive. The
ministry as a result began to question Moriya about the facts.

6) Question of Diet testimony certain to affect deliberations on new
antiterrorism legislation

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 20, 2007

The issue of wining and dining involving former Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya is certain to affect the Diet timetable for
deliberating an antiterrorism bill, the highlight in the current
Diet session, as seen in the Democratic Party of Japan's (Minshuto
or DPJ) call for summoning Moriya to the Diet as a witness. Although
the ruling parties are in agreement to begin deliberating the bill
on Oct. 23, the opposition camp is set to refuse Diet deliberations
unless the summoning of Moriya is realized.

Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba in a press conference on Oct. 19
expressed his intention to interview Moriya, saying, "I would like
to confirm matters as necessary." In a House of Councillors Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee meeting that day, the DPJ demanded
Moriya be summoned to the Diet as a witness. The party plans to
grill the government over the Moriya scandal, in addition to the
suspected diversion of oil provided by the Maritime Self-Defense
Force in the Indian Ocean for use in the Iraq war.

The ruling and opposition camps are in agreement for the government
to explain the new antiterrorism bill and take questions on Oct. 23.
The ruling parties intend to begin deliberations on Oct. 24 after
explaining the reason for submitting the bill at a House of
Representatives antiterrorism and Iraq assistance special committee
meeting on Oct. 23. DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama, however,
indicated that Diet testimony was a major condition for Diet
deliberations. The showdown between the ruling and opposition camps
is likely to intensify.

7) Defense minister: Moriya should accept a summons to appear before
Diet as sworn witness if Diet makes decision

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 21, 2007

Speaking at the Japan National Press Club yesterday, Defense
Minister Shigeru Ishiba said that former Vice Defense Minister
Takemasa Moriya, who had been receiving favors from an interested
party (defense contractor), should accept a summons to appear before
the Diet as a sworn witness if the Diet decides to summon him. Asked
about the opposition camp's demand that Moriya be summoned to the
Diet, Ishiba said: "The Diet decides whether to summon him or not.
Once the Diet decides to do so, he should accept."

Ishiba indicated his intention to launch an investigation of
Moriya's activities at an early date, saying: "If it is impossible
to directly contact him, we will have to carry it out even through
an appropriate intermediary. It should be done as soon as
possible."


TOKYO 00004913 005 OF 009


Asked about the Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling
service to the multinational force's supply ships endorsed under the
government's new bill to extend the MSDF mission in the Indian
Ocean, Ishiba replied: "If measures are worked out to prevent fuel
from being used for other purposes than stipulated in the law,
banning the MSDF from refueling supply ships will be meaningless."

Ishiba also indicated his view that there was no problem with the
guarantee that fuel provided by the MSDF to US warships would not to
be used for other purposes than Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF),
which is aimed at rooting out terrorism (in Aghanistan).

8) DPJ eyes delaying Diet deliberations on new antiterrorism law

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2007

The government will explain a new antiterrorism bill and take
questions from each party at a Lower House plenary session tomorrow
in order to continue the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean. The ruling bloc intends to explain
the reason for submitting the new legislation at an antiterrorism
special committee meeting tomorrow. However, given a new scandal
involving former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya and the
government's failure to swiftly correct the amount of fuel provided
by the MSDF to a US oiler, how things will unfold remains to be
seen.

The ruling parties plan to: (1) report to the Diet on Oct. 22 about
the Defense Ministry's investigative results regarding the question
of the incorrectly registered amount of oil provided to the US
refueler by the MSDF and the question of a discarded MSDF logbook,
(2) explain the grounds for submitting the new antiterrorism
legislation at the antiterrorism special committee meeting on Oct.
23 after the government explains the new law and takes questions in
the Lower House plenary session earlier in the day, and (3) start
committee deliberations on Oct. 24.

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto or DPJ) is
in accord with the ruling bloc to hold a plenary session on Oct. 23.
The largest opposition party, however, is also considering
postponing committee deliberations. Early on, there was reluctance
in the DPJ about delaying full-fledged deliberations, thinking that
it might be taken by the general public as a boycott of discussions.
But the revelation of the scandal involving Moriya has prompted the
DPJ to play hardball.

9) MSDF covered up error in fuel supply amount

ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
October 22, 2007

The Defense Ministry has now corrected the amount of fuel provided
by the Maritime Self-Defense Force to a US supply ship in the Indian
Ocean in February 2003. The Defense Ministry first announced that
the MSDF supplied 200,000 gallons to the US oiler, but it later said
the amount of fuel supply was 800,000 gallons. On this issue, the
Maritime Staff Office was aware of the error in 2003. Nevertheless,
the MSO did not report it to Shigeru Ishiba, the then director
general of the Defense Agency, now the Defense Ministry, and covered
it up, sources revealed yesterday. The Defense Ministry will punish
those officials and will announce its findings today. Concerning

TOKYO 00004913 006 OF 009


this issue, the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) will call for summoning to the Diet the then Joint Staff
Council chairman and other MSDF top brass officers, including the
MSDF chief of staff, as sworn witnesses. If they are not summoned,
the DPJ will then refuse to deliberate on a new legislative measure
for refueling assistance.

The fuel supply in question was made on Feb. 25, 2003, by the
Tokiwa, an MSDF supply ship, to the USS Pecos, a US Navy supply
ship. On the same day, the Pecos refueled the USS Kitty Hawk, a US
Navy aircraft carrier. The Kitty Hawk thereafter arrived in the
Persian Gulf and engaged in military operations against Iraq. She
was therefore suspected of having used MSDF-supplied fuel for the
Iraq operations.

In those days, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda was the chief cabinet
secretary, and Defense Minister Ishiba was also the Defense Agency

SIPDIS
director general. In their briefings at that time, both Fukuda and
Ishiba said the MSDF supplied 200,000 gallons. Both Fukuda and
Ishiba denied the Kitty Hawk's suspected diversion of MSDF-supplied
fuel, maintaining that the 200,000 gallons refueled to the Kitty
Hawk is an amount she consumes within a one-day timeframe. In
September this year, however, the Defense Ministry corrected its
initial announcement, recounting that the previously announced
amount of fuel supplied to the Pecos was 800,000 gallons.

The Defense Ministry held hearings with officials who were in charge
of the matter in those days, according to a top-level official of
the Defense Ministry. Shortly after Fukuda and Ishiba made their
respective press briefings in 2003 on the MSDF's fuel supply, an MSO
section in charge of the matter learned that the amount of fuel
actually supplied by the Tokiwa to the USS Pecos was not 200,000
gallons but was 800,000 gallons. Nevertheless, the MSO section did
not report it to Ishiba or the MSDF chief of staff, who heads all
MSDF personnel. This fact later became known, according to a Defense
Ministry top-level official. The fact was kept at the level of field
officers and was not reported to the top brass.

The question is why they did not report it. The top-level official
of the Defense Ministry said, "It looks like those in charge at that
time thought to themselves that there was no diversion of the fuel
to (military operations in) Iraq even if the 200,000 gallons
increased to 800,000 gallons, so they seemed to have judged that it
didn't matter much."

"I feel a serious sense of crisis about civilian control," Kenji
Yamaoka, chairman of the DPJ's Diet affairs committee, told
reporters yesterday in Tokyo. Yamaoka indicated that the DPJ would
ask the Diet to summon Prime Minister Fukuda and Deputy Chief
Cabinet Secretary Masahiro Futahashi as sworn witnesses, in addition
to the summons of the Self-Defense Forces' top brass officials and
former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, who was
the director general of the Defense Policy Bureau at the Defense
Agency in those days.

Gov't explanations in the past

On May 9, 2003, then Chief Cabinet Secretary Fukuda told a news
conference, "The Kitty Hawk consumes 200,000 gallons of fuel within
a one-day timeframe and almost instantaneously consumes
(MSDF-provided fuel)." Fukuda also said, "It's unlikely to be used
for (US military operations in) Iraq." With this, Fukuda denied the

TOKYO 00004913 007 OF 009


suspected diversion of MSDF-supplied fuel. On May 15 that year,
Defense Agency Director General Ishiba at the time also stated
before the House of Councillors Budget Committee that he checked
this matter with the United States. "Then," Ishiba stated before the
committee, "we found that the MSDF provided 200,000 gallons to the
US supply ship."

In September this year, however, the Defense Ministry corrected the
amount of fuel to 800,000 gallons. This correction came after Peace
Depot, a civic group that checked into US naval logbooks through the
United States' information disclosure system, pointed to the error
in the amount of fuel supplied by the Tokiwa to the USS Pecos.

Prime Minister Fukuda, sitting in on the House of Representatives
Budget Committee during its Oct. 10 meeting, was asked about his
explanation he made when he was chief cabinet secretary. "It was
based on information from the Defense Agency (at that time), but I
must apologize for the mistake," Fukuda stated before the committee.
Defense Minister Ishiba explained before the committee during its
Oct. 9 meeting, "The Maritime Staff Office mistook it for 200,000
gallons provided to another ship."

10) Prime minister tells US for first time that MSDF refueling in
Indian Ocean "could be halted"

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 20, 2007

Prime Minister Fukuda on the afternoon of Oct. 19 met in his office
at the Kantei with US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer. Referring to
the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) refueling operation in the
Indian Ocean, the prime minister stated, "It is possible that it
will be halted for awhile." This was the first time for the prime
minister to give an outlook that it would be difficult to pass a new
antiterrorism special measures bill by Nov. 1, when the current
legislation expires.

The Ambassador replied, "We hope to see the operation continue and
will do our maximum to cooperate." He said he hoped to see an early
passage of the new antiterrorism bill.

The prime minister then brought up the issue of the removal of North
Korea's name from the US list of states sponsoring terrorism. He
said, "It would not be desirable to remove North Korea's name from
the list of states sponsoring terrorism." He urged the US not to
remove it until progress is made on the Japanese abduction issue.

11) Poll: 48 PERCENT for, 43 PERCENT against continuing MSDF fuel
supply; 61 PERCENT doubt antiterror deterrence

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 22, 2007

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based nationwide public
opinion survey on Oct. 20-21. In the survey, respondents were asked
if they supported continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. In response to this
question, 48 PERCENT answered "yes," with 43 PERCENT saying "no."
The figures were almost the same as "yes" at 49 PERCENT and "no" at
42 PERCENT in a spot survey taken Sept. 12-13 after former Prime
Minister Shinzo Abe's announcement of his resignation.


TOKYO 00004913 008 OF 009


Respondents were also asked if they thought the MSDF's refueling
activities, which are said to be part of the war on terror, help
deter terrorism. To this question, 61 PERCENT answered "no," with
32 PERCENT saying "yes." The results show public opinion that is
not necessarily linked to the pros and cons of continuing the MSDF's
refueling mission.

Those who answered "yes" were further asked to choose one reason
from among three reasons given. In response, 65 PERCENT chose
"Japan should do so for its international contributions." This
reason overwhelmed the other two, with 18 PERCENT choosing "Japan
should do so to prevent its relations with the United States from
worsening," and 16 PERCENT saying "Japan should participate in the
war on terror."

Those who answered "no" to continuing the MSDF's refueling mission
in the Indian Ocean were also asked to choose one reason from among
three. To this question, 48 PERCENT answered that Japan should
contribute to the international community in a different way,"
topping all other answers, with 37 PERCENT saying "it's strange to
take part in a US war" and 13 PERCENT saying "it's
unconstitutional."

Meanwhile, Ichiro Ozawa, president of the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), has advocated sending the
Self-Defense Forces to participate in the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. Asked about this SDF
participation in ISAF, 62 PERCENT answered "no," with only 26
PERCENT saying "yes." The figures show Ozawa's advocacy of ISAF
participation has yet to obtain public understanding.

12) Government proposes 10 billion yen cut in sympathy budget
(host-nation support) but US expresses unwillingness to accept it

TOKYO (Page 3) (Excerpts)
October 22, 2007

It was learned yesterday that during consultations between the
Japanese and US government on the special measures agreement on
host-nation support for US forces in Japan (the so-called sympathy
budget), now being negotiated, the Japanese side proposed cuts of
approximately 10 billion yen in the various allowances paid to
Japanese workers employed at US bases. Different from such matters
as utilities, consideration was given "not to inflict a wound on the
Japan-US alliance" (high-level Japanese government official) by
cutting various allowances that the US side would not deem necessary
to compensate for. The US, however, has indicate its unwilling to
accept the cuts. This was revealed by several sources.

Defense Minister Ishiba is likely to stress to Defense Secretary
Gates during their meeting scheduled for early Nov. that Japan is
under a tight fiscal situation and seek his understanding for the
cuts. However, following the halting of the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's fuel operations in the Indian Ocean, there is a high
probability of the US supply ships filling the gap made by the
departing MSDF ships. Reaching a settlement this year on the support
budget will indeed be difficult.

13) Cabinet support rate at 46 PERCENT , down 11 points

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
October 22, 2007

TOKYO 00004913 009 OF 009

The approval rating for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and his cabinet
was 46 PERCENT , down 11 percentage points from the last survey
conducted Sept. 25-26 right after the Fukuda cabinet's inauguration.
The disapproval rating was 30 PERCENT , up 5 points from the last
survey. By gender, the Fukuda cabinet's approval and disapproval
ratings were 39 PERCENT and 37 PERCENT among men, with 51 PERCENT
and 24 PERCENT among women.

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party stood at 27 PERCENT , down 5 points from
the last survey. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) was also at 27 PERCENT , up 1 point, ranking with the
LDP.

14) Japan, US to hold talks at beginning of the week on issue of
removal of North Korea from list of states sponsoring terrorism;
Vice foreign minister to travel to US

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
Eve., October 20, 2007

It was learned today that the Japanese and US governments will hold
full-scale talks in Washington at the beginning of the week on the
issue of the US removing North Korea's name from the list of states
sponsoring terrorism. With the possibility growing stronger that the
US will de-list North Korea at the end of the year, Japan and the US
apparently will focus on settling the condition of whether there
should be real progress on the abduction issue, as the Japanese
government has been requesting.

The issue of de-listing North Korea will be an important item on the
agenda of Prime Minister Fukuda during his US visit, which is now
being coordinated for mid-November. The plan is for Vice Foreign
Minister Seitaro Yachi to meet Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte
on Oct. 25, and coordinate at the administrative level before the
Japan-US summit meeting.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Washington Riot And The Georgia Results
Hong Kong and Washington DC. On the same morning, the tyrants in power in Beijing and their counterpart in the White House have shown how they refuse to accept the legitimacy of any different points of view, and the prospect of losing power… More>>

WHO: Vaccination No Guarantee Of Virus Eradication

In the final World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 press conference of the year, on Monday, senior officials warned that the virus is 'not necessarily the big one', and that there is a real chance of another, more serious pandemic spreading ... More>>

Covid: Two Billion COVID Vaccine Doses Secured, WHO Says End Of Pandemic Is In Sight

The end of the pandemic is in sight but we must not let our guard down, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Friday, as he welcomed the news that the global vaccine partnership COVAX has lined up almost two billion doses of existing ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>


UN Rights Office: Iran Execution Of Child Offender Breaks International Law

The execution of an Iranian man for a crime allegedly committed when he was 16 years old has been condemned by the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) and raised concerns over violations of his right to a fair trial. In a statement released on Thursday, ... More>>

UN News: Fighting Displaces Over 500,000 In Northern Mozambique, Reports UN Refuge Agency

Attacks by armed groups in Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado, Nampula, Zambezia and Niassa provinces have displaced more than 530,000 people, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Friday. According to ... More>>