Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/31/07

DE RUEHKO #5045/01 3040049
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E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

4) Vice Foreign Minister Yachi briefs Ambassador Schieffer on his
Washington visit (Mainichi)

MSDF fueling mission:
5) MSDF also provided refueling service in the Persian Gulf but
Defense Ministry denies that vessel was involved in the Iraq war
6) MSDF lost ship logs from two more destroyers (Asahi)
7) No landing point seen on continuing MSDF refueling mission
following the Fukuda-Ozawa meeting (Nikkei)
8) Full-scale debate to start in Diet now on new refueling bill
(Tokyo Shimbun)
9) Change in atmosphere of Diet's special antiterrorism committee
following the Fukuda-Ozawa meeting (Mainichi) 7
10) Prime Minister Fukuda calls for a permanent SDF dispatch law as
"the next important challenge" (Asahi) 8

Repercussions from Moriya scandal:
11) Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya suspected now of having
perjured himself during his sworn Diet testimony (Sankei) 8
12) Tokyo District prosecutors have receipts to show cost of
Moriya's wining and dining tab average 1 million yen a month, may
prosecute him for bribery (Mainichi) 9

13) Prime Minister Fukuda wants discretionary contract system
overhauled following Defense Ministry scandal to include 3rd party
oversight (Tokyo Shimbun) 10

Political agenda:
14) Fukuda wants Ozawa's agreement that Diet management system needs
new rules, given the two power centers in the Diet (Yomiuri) 10
15) Justice Minister Hatoyama blasted for Al Qaeda remark; Fukuda
calls it "inappropriate" (Yomiuri) 11

Japan-ROK relations:
16) South Korean government "apologizes" to Japanese government for
1973 KCIA kidnapping of Kim Dae Jung from Japan (Asahi)
17) Kim Dae Jung extremely unhappy with GOJ's acceptance of ROKG
apology for his abduction since the purpose was to kill him and the
order came from the top (Asahi) 12



Leading construction material maker Nichias fabricates performance
of fire-resistant materials for 100,000 houses starting in 2001

Defense equipment firm spent one million yen a month to entertain

Yomiuri & Tokyo Shimbun:
Education panel recommends increasing class hours

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Fair Trade Commission to strengthen M&A oversight

Fukuda, Ozawa to meet on Nov. 2 again; "Large coalition" concept
gradually taking on realistic touch

JCP member Kasai in Lower House meeting calls for supporting
political moves for peace in Afghanistan, instead of backing war


(1) Prime minister and DPJ head should exchange views on key issues
before people
(2) Justice Minister Hatoyama's al-Qaeda link remark quite

(1) We would like to listen to open debate between LDP, DPJ heads
(2) Will problems be resolved only with increase in class hours?

(1) Set off by party head talks, LDP, DPJ should try to establish a
stable political system
(2) Turkey's choice may lead to further destabilizing Middle East

(1) We expect another party head meeting to contribute to breaking
the current impasse
(2) Rise of oil price to 90 dollars per barrel causing financial

(1) Two major parties must think of their responsibility
(2) Education panel should think more about failure of education

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Fukuda, Ozawa should openly debate in Diet
(2) Efforts needed to prevent expansion of differences in academic

(1) We must have Japan Peace Convention end successfully

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, October 30

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2007

Attended a cabinet meeting in Diet. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Machimura remained. Afterwards, met with LDP Secretary General

Met with DPJ President Ozawa, joined by Ibuki and DPJ Secretary
General Hatoyama and others.

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Met with Machimura at Kantei. Later, met with Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Ono.


Attended a session of the Council for Gender Equality at Kantei.
Afterwards, met with MOFA Foreign Policy Bureau Director-General
Kawai and Defense Ministry Operational Bureau Director General

Arrived at his private residence in Nozawa.

4) Vice foreign minister meets with US ambassador to report on
recent visit to US

MAINICHI (page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2007

United States Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer and Vice Foreign
Minister Shotaro Yachi met at the Foreign Ministry for about 40
minutes yesterday. Yachi explained his recent meeting with Deputy
Secretary of State Negroponte and other US government officials in

the US. The two reportedly also exchanged views on such issues as
delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and prospects
for the ongoing Diet deliberations on the government's antiterrorism
special measures bill.

5) MSDF fuel supplied in Persian Gulf as well

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
October 31, 2007

In connection with the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
activities in the Indian Ocean, the MSDF has supplied fuel twice in
the Persian Gulf, sources revealed yesterday. It is the first time
the MSDF has been found to have supplied fuel in the Persian Gulf.
According to the Defense Ministry, the MSDF's fuel supplied in the
Persian Gulf was not used for any purposes other than those under
the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. "The fuel we supplied was
used for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) against terrorism," an
official of the Defense Ministry said.

The Defense Ministry briefed the leading opposition Democratic Party
of Japan (Minshuto) in a meeting of its foreign affairs and defense
divisions yesterday on where and how often the MSDF provided fuel.

According to the data shown by the Defense Ministry, the MSDF
conducted a total of 777 fuel supplies up until the end of August,
including twice in the eastern waters of the Persian Gulf. The
Defense Ministry explains that the two fuel supplies were conducted
in or after 2004, well after May 2003 when major conflict ended in
Iraq, and that the supplied fuel was not used for military
operations in Iraq. The Defense Ministry has not revealed the
nationalities of vessels refueled by the MSDF.

The government, in its masterplan created under the antiterror law,
describes the scope of MSDF activities "in the Indian Ocean
(including the Persian Gulf)." As seen from this description, the
government had anticipated MSDF activities in the Persian Gulf from
the start.

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In addition to those fuel supplies in the Persian Gulf, the MSDF
conducted 613 fuel supplies in the Gulf of Oman, 129 in waters north
of Somalia and in the North Arabian Sea, 28 in Aden Bay, 3 in the
middle of the Indian Ocean, and 2 in waters off Mumbai.

6) 2 MSDF destroyers' logbooks also discarded

ASAHI (Page 30) (Full)
October 31, 2007

The Maritime Self-Defense Force discarded a logbook of the Towada, a
supply ship engaged in refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. In
this connection, the MSDF's staff office revealed yesterday that two
other destroyers' logbooks had been also discarded during their
retention period provided in the MSDF's internal rules. The MSDF is
mulling whether to punish those involved. At the same time, the MSDF
will study how long and where to retain logbooks, including
permanent filing.

The Maritime Staff Office discovered that the Towada's logbook for
the period from July 2003 through December 2003 was mistakenly
discarded in July this year. The MSDF therefore investigated a total
of 261 MSDF vessels, including destroyers and submarines. The
discarded logbooks recorded when and where the MSDF supply ships
provided fuel and the names of vessels fueled by them.

According to the Maritime Staff Office, the logbooks discarded
during their retention period belonged to two destroyers, including
a logbook of the Mineyuki for the period of 11 months from October
2003. Those discarded logbooks have nothing to do with the MSDF's
underway replenishment in the Indian Ocean, MSO sources said. The
MSDF is looking into why those logbooks were discarded.

"We will check to see if there's no problem with the current way of
filing documents," MSDF Chief of Staff Eiji Yoshikawa said.

7) Fukuda, Ozawa wide apart over "refueling"; With no settlement
line in sight, second meeting set for Nov. 2

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
October 31, 2007

The first meeting yesterday between Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
ended without finding any common ground on the new legislation for
continuing the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation in
the Indian Ocean. The two leaders will meet again on Nov. 2. Neither
the ruling nor the ruling camp has a winning hand to play in the
divided Diet. Psychological warfare is likely to continue to find a
political settlement line, including Lower House dissolution for a
snap general election and a grand coalition by the Liberal
Democratic Party and DPJ.

The face-to-face meeting between Fukuda and Ozawa, which was held in
the standing committee chairmen's room on the third floor of the
Diet building, lasted for about one hour. The first and last 10
minutes were joined by the secretaries general and Diet affairs
chiefs of the LDP and DPJ. Although both Fukuda and Ozawa said that
they had not touched on Lower House dissolution for a genera
election or a Diet extension, they concealed what they actually

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The meeting was held at the request of Fukuda. With the current Diet
session scheduled to end in less two weeks, there is no prospect for
the enactment of the new refueling legislation. During his planned
visit to the United States in mid-November, Fukuda is expected to be
pressed for an explanation.

Speculation for a grand coalition

The refueling legislation is not the only concern. If this situation
persists, turbulence is certain to continue in the next regular Diet
session, in which the government is expected to present over 100

Speculation is afoot that in order to find a breakthrough in the
deadlocked situation, Fukuda in the meeting touched on the idea of
forming a grand coalition with the DPJ. Former LDP Secretary General
Hidenao Nakagawa yesterday implied to a grand coalition, saying:
"The political situation is alarming. The question is how to resolve
the lopsided situation in which people sharing the same idea belong
to different parties. It is important to combine efforts for the
sake of Japan's future."

Asked by the press about the idea of forming a grand coalition,
Fukuda said: "We must come up with ways to move (the Diet). We
haven't found them yet at this point."

Meanwhile, Ozawa attended a DPJ executive meeting last evening in
which he simply described his meeting with Fukuda as a session with
little substance.

Asked by a DPJ executive if something like homework cropped up,
Ozawa elusively replied, "(The prime minister) seemed to be in a
fix, not knowing what to do."

DPJ also at stalemate

Some observers attribute Ozawa's compliance with Fukuda's call for
the closed-door meeting yesterday, despite a party-head debate being
set for Oct. 31, to his deadlocked approach to the political

Although the DPJ remains adamantly opposed to the continuation of
the MSDF's refueling operation, the party is having difficulty in
coming up with its own counterproposal. How far the party can keep
high public support with oppose-everything policy course is

In the wake of a series of suspicions involving the Defense
Ministry, some DPJ lawmakers are skeptical about Ozawa's decision to
have the party-head meeting. Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama said
to reporters, "I don't think it will do the DPJ any good."

A variety of speculations and cautious views are simmering in the
ruling bloc about Fukuda-Ozawa talks. The dominant view is that what
the prime minister can offer in exchange for the DPJ's cooperation
for the new refueling legislation would be talks on a timeframe for
Lower House dissolution for a general election as well as for
forming a grand coalition.

Shortly before the Fukuda-Ozawa meeting yesterday, LDP Secretary
General Bunmei Ibuki told those around him with a stern look: "If I
let the prime minister slip into a pitfall, I will lose my job."

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Ozawa is known for his cunningness in one-on-one sessions. Many
ruling party lawmakers think that Ozawa would outmaneuver his
opponent in a closed-room session.

New Komeito alarmed

The New Komeito, which distanced itself from Ozawa when his party
Shinshinto (New Frontier Party) fell apart, is especially alarmed at
the talks between Fukuda and Ozawa. Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa
asked Fukuda to talk only about the new legislation for fear that he
would refer to a timetable for Lower House dissolution and the grand
coalition vision in return for the DPJ's cooperation on the new
legislation. The New Komeito thinks the talks would put the ruling
coalition at a disadvantage.

After his meeting with Ozawa, Fukuda called New Komeito
Representative Akihiro Ota from his office to tell him not to

Speculations and a sense of alarm also rocked the LDP. Upper House
Secretary General Masaaki Yamasaki in a press conference yesterday

criticized the meeting, saying: "It had a closed-door feature. I
remain dissatisfied with it." Learning of Yamasaki's comment, Fukuda
told reporters, "Calling it a closed-door meeting went too far."
Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima also said
disapprovingly: "The meeting was requested by this side. (Yamasaki's
comment) needs a correction."

8) Full-scale debate on new refueling bill starts, effect of
Fukuda-Ozawa talks?

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2007

Changing its stance of just pursuing scandals involving the Defense
Ministry in sessions of the House of Representatives Social
Committee on Antiterrorism, the main opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) yesterday carried out a full-scale debate
with the government on the new antiterrorism special measures bill.
This appears to be the effect of the first meeting between Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda and DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa.

Only two of the seven DPJ lawmakers who questioned the government at
yesterday's committee session brought up the scandal involving
former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya. The
remaining five lawmakers raised questions about the new
antiterrorism bill, with Akihisa Nagashima asking, "A new law would
allow only supplying oil. Is this all right?" A senior ruling
coalition Diet Affairs Committee member praised the largest
opposition party's approach, saying, "It was a forward-looking

The DPJ had taken a position of not responding to deliberations
after Oct. 31 unless the government promises to summon a responsible
official for the cover-up of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
underreport of fuel amount to testify as an unsworn witness. The
leading opposition party changed its position in a committee
directors meeting yesterday, however. The DPJ agreed to hold
question-and-answer sessions on Oct. 31 and Nov. 2, even though its
demand for the unsworn Diet testimony has not yet been accepted.

Depending on the result of the second round of Fukuda-Ozawa talks

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slated for Nov. 2, however, the DPJ might take a hard-line stance

9) DPJ suddenly softens attitude in antiterrorism committee meeting
after Fukuda-Ozawa talks

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 31, 2007

The House of Representatives' special committee on antiterrorism and
Iraq support held a question-and-answer session yesterday in the
presence of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda. The meeting came the day
after former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya's testimony on
alleged favors given to an interest party in return for having been
treated to free golf, so many had anticipated that questions would
be focused on Moriya's scandal. But the atmosphere was totally
different because of the effect of the talks that had been held
early yesterday between the leaders of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). A number of members
of the government and the DPJ made statements indicating a desire to
grope for compromises.

DPJ members Issei Koga: "I have a suggestion. Sugar cane is produced
in Afghanistan. How about making a plant (for biomass) there?"

Prime Minister Fukuda: "That is a very fine suggestion. Your idea is
quite reasonable."

When Fukuda made the above remark in a modest way, laughter broke

In the meeting yesterday, DPJ members who took the floor as
questioners criticized Moriya but asked questions mainly about the
results of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean. Though they did not express their
support for the mission, many of them tried to find common ground by
asking about the government's basic views about the DPJ-proposed aid
for people's livelihood and permanent legislation that provides for
conditions for dispatching SDF troops overseas.

The DPJ had demanded just after the testimony of Moriya that the
Diet should first of all carry out intensive deliberations on the
alleged cover-up of misreporting of MSDF-provided fuel and summon
the defense section chief of the Maritime Staff Office at that time
to the Diet as an unsworn witness. But in an executive meeting of
the said committee held yesterday noon, the DPJ laid aside the
demand. The main opposition party also agreed to hold the
committee's sessions on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1. An LDP member of the
committee commented: "The DPJ's attitude suddenly changed after both
parties decided to hold the party head talks. I cannot guess what is
behind its about-face."

10) Fukuda eyes creating permanent law for overseas missions

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged)
October 31, 2007

Prime Minister Fukuda yesterday attended a meeting of the House of
Representatives Special Committee on Antiterror Measures, during
which he showed his strong willingness to establish a general or
permanent law allowing Japan to send the Self-Defense Forces for
overseas missions without creating a time-limited special measures

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law. "It's an important challenge for the future," Fukuda stated
before the committee. "We will have to work out such an opportunity
(for discussion) at an early date," he added. In the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) as well, there are
strong voices desiring to establish a general law. Fukuda is
presumably aiming for the DPJ's cooperation in the security area. He
was replying to a question asked by Akihisa Nagashima from the DPJ.

11) Moriya suspected of giving false testimony: Employees of Nihon
Mirise found to have attended MSDF CX engine procurement meeting

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
October 31, 2007

Sankei Shimbun has learned from several informed sources yesterday
that questions arose in the Defense Ministry when an employee of
Nihon Mirise, a firm set up by Motonobu Miyazaki (69), former
executive director of Yamada Yoko Corp., a trading house
specializing in defense procurement, was present at a meeting on the
procurement of engines for the next-generation transport aircraft,
codenamed CX by the Air-Self Defense Force (ASDF), and that details
of the matter were reported to former Administrative Vice Defense
Minister Takemasa Moriya. Regarding this issue, Moriya in his sworn
testimony on the 29th noted, "I am not aware of the matter." Moriya
is now suspected of having given false testimony because of this
clear discrepancy.

According to a related source, the meeting in question was held to
discuss the procurement of the CX engine. It was held in January
this year, joined by Defense Ministry officials in charge of the
technical field and officials from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, which
is developing the CX aircraft, and from General Electric (GE), a US
CX engine manufacturer.

Nihon Mirise formally became GE's agent in July this year. However,
GE's agent at the time was still Yamada Yoko. Therefore, Nihon
Mirise was an outsider, because it did not have a contract
relationship with GE at the time. The attendance of an engineer of
Nihon Mirise was, therefore, became an issue in the ministry.

As a result of talks among Defense Ministry officials in charge and
other officials closely connected with the CX engine procurement
issue, the attendance of this engineer was approved as an
interpreter for GE. According to several related sources, these
details were reported to Moriya. He reportedly did not find the
employee's presence a problem.

New Komeito lawmaker Shigeyuki Tomita questioned Moriya on this
issue during his sworn testimony in the Lower House Special
Committee on Prevention of Terrorism on the 29th. Pointing out the
attendance of an official of Nihon Mirise, Tomita asked, "It would
be impossible for an outsider to attend the defense meeting unless
he obtained approval from a very influential person." Moriya
replied, "I am not aware of that fact."

Since testimony given by Moriya is clearly different from testimony
given by the informed sources, suspicion has arisen that he might
have given false testimony.

The Diet Testimony Law stipulates that if a person summoned as a
sworn witness makes false testimony, this person could be given a
prison sentence from three months up to 10 years.

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12) Entertainment expenses for Moriya exceeded 1 million yen a
month: Tokyo District Public Prosecutors Office obtains sales
account books with eye on possible bribery

MAINICHI (Top Play) (Full)
October 31, 2007

It was learned through related sources that former Administrative
Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya (63) was entertained by
Motonobu Miyazaki (69), former executive director of Yamada Corp., a
trading house specializing in defense procurement, at various posh
clubs in Akasaka, Tokyo. It is said that Yamada Corp. sometimes
spent more than 1 million yen a month on Moriya. The Tokyo District
Public Prosecutors Office appears to have had those clubs submit
sale account books on a voluntary basis. Public prosecutors
presumably intend to shed light on the full picture of suspected
payoffs given to Moriya, including free rounds of golf. They are now
pressing ahead with their investigation with an eye on possible

According to related sources, Miyazaki entertained Moriya at posh
clubs in Akasaka for many years. Two clubs operating in buildings
located side-by-side were reportedly used frequently. Miyazaki spent
up to 1 million yen a month at one club alone. The wife of Moriya
also joined Miyazaki and Moriya frequently and enjoyed karaoke.
Miyazaki reportedly entertained other senior Defense Ministry
officials at clubs as well.

Public prosecutors have reportedly confirmed these facts and had
those clubs submit sales account books going back several years on a
voluntary basis. They appear to be investigating details of the
entertainment of Moriya by Miyazaki, examining the data.

Moriya during sworn testimony on Oct. 29 categorically admitted that
he was invited to golf by Miyazaki more than 200 times. He also
testified that he was given a set of golf clubs and paid for his
golf tours to Hokkaido and Kyushu, which he went with Miyazaki.

It has been found that Moriya chaired the Council on Equipment
Screening to select a supplier of the CX engine in 2003, when he was
a vice administrative defense minister, and selected GE, for which
Yamada Corp. served as its Japan agent.

Under such circumstances, public prosecutors are carefully
investigating the case, suspecting that Moriya might have considered
Miyazaki's advantage in return for receiving illegal payoffs,
including a large sum of treatment of free rounds of golf and wining
and dining.

13) Prime Minister Fukuda putting in serious effort to revise the
discretionary-contract system, aware of DPJ concerns; Possibility of
a third-party oversight

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 31, 2007

Prime Minister Fukuda has begun to make a serious effort to revise
the system of discretionary procurement contracts (for which there
is no open bidding), considered to be a hotbed for collusion between
the bureaucracy and private sector. Within the week, a liaison
conference of concerned ministries and agencies will meet in order

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to tighten up a lax system.

The prime minister in an informal meeting yesterday of his cabinet
announced: "We need to thoroughly look into government waste and get
rid of it." He ordered that a third-party oversight panel be
established in each ministry and agency, and that the Internal
Affairs Ministry create a government-wide oversight system.

14) Prime Minister Fukuda enthusiastic about creating new rules for
managing Diet affairs, aims to reach agreement with DPJ President

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
October 31, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda last night expressed his desire to reach
an agreement to create new rules for managing Diet affairs and a
cooperation system with Ichiro Ozawa, president of the main
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), in their
planned second talks slated for Nov. 2. He told reporters at the
Prime Minister's Official Residence: "I will make efforts to break
in some way the present Diet situation (where the two separate
parties are the largest party in the two Diet chambers)."

Fukuda emphasized: "The (Diet) is now in a new situation. Under such
a situation, various approaches are necessary to conduct politics."
Asked about whether to set up consultative organs between the ruling
and opposition camps and between the government and the opposition
bloc, he responded: "I will have to discuss (with Ozawa) that

In yesterday's party-head talks, Fukuda told Ozawa:

"We should consider a new way of pushing forward with politics under
the present political distortion, in which the ruling camp has a
majority in the House of Representatives while the opposition
controls the House of Councillors."

The prime minister expects that there will be a positive response
from Ozawa in their second meeting.

The DPJ and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) are now
carrying out coordination to put off today's one-on-one debate
between Fukuda and Ozawa to Nov. 7.

15) Justice Minister Hatoyama comes under fire for al-Qaida comment;
Prime minister says, "Inappropriate"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 31, 2007

In a Diet interpellation session yesterday, Justice Minister Kunio
Hatoyama drew stinging criticism for his remark at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan on Oct. 29 that a "friend of a friend"
of his was a member of the al-Qaida terrorist network.

Akihisa Nagashima of the largest opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), in a session yesterday of the House of
Representatives Antiterrorism Special Committee, demanded the
dismissal of Hatoyama, saying: "He said it at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan of all places. It is as if to say he
wanted to dispatch (misunderstanding) to the world."

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Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, meantime, said: "The place where he
spoke, the contents of his remarks are extremely bad and
inappropriate." Regarding also to Hatoyama's comment that (al-Qaida
members) had entered Japan many times, Fukuda said in a strong tone:
"The justice minister is in a position to crack down on such
persons. Full investigations should be conducted. I urge him to do
so." Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura also said: "He made
an inappropriate comment at the time when news flies all over the

In a House of Councillors Judicial Affairs Committee meeting, Nobuo
Matsuno of the DPJ pointed out: "It can't be helped that other
countries think the Japanese justice minister is a friend of a
terrorist indirectly. It's inevitable that he is being criticized
for making a careless comment." Hatoyama, however, stressed: "I
reflected on my comment, but I just spoke what I saw and heard."

16) ROK apologizes to Japan regarding diplomatic settlement of
abduction of Kim Dae Jung

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 31, 2007

South Korean Ambassador to Japan Yu Myung Hwan yesterday met with
Foreign Minister Koumura at the Foreign Ministry and expressed
regret for South Korea's violation of Japan's sovereignty for its
involvement in the abduction of (former South Korean President) Kim
Dae Jung and offered a de facto apology to Japan. This move came in
response to a South Korean government panel's report released on
Oct. 24, in which South Korea acknowledged that the Korean Central
Intelligence Agency (KCIA) was involved in the abduction of Kim.
Late yesterday, Prime Minister Fukuda told reporters, "I think we
don't have to pursue the case beyond this," indicating that he would
put an end to the case diplomatically.

The abduction of Kim, which rocked both Japan and South Korea, ends
up 34 years later without giving a full picture of the case,
including whether the purpose of the abduction was to kill Kim or
whether then President Park Chung Hee gave an order for the

In the session with Yu, Foreign Minister Koumura said, "We take it
as an apology and a promise to prevent a recurrence of a similar
case." Koumura conveyed to Yu: "As for investigations, investigators
will make a decision whether to continue them or not." But the
investigations have in effect stopped, as investigators need
cooperation from South Korea.

Meanwhile, visiting Kim Dae Jung yesterday met reporters in Kyoto
and expressed dissatisfaction: "(The report) failed to shed light on
the truth." Kim sharply criticized the Japanese government, saying,
"It violated my human rights." Kim thus made his first comments on
the report since it was released.

In the 1970s, the Japanese and South Korean governments tried to
politically settle the abduction of Kim twice in a way not to bring
charges against the South Korean government. This time, however, the
South Korean government acknowledged that the KCIA had been involved
in the case. This means that "the previous basis for the political
settlement has now collapsed," said a senior Foreign Ministry

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Tokyo, however, previously decided to settle the case if South Korea
offered an apology to Japan for its violation of Japan's sovereignty
and without making a diplomatic issue.

17) Abduction of Kim Dae Jung: Kim expresses strong dissatisfaction
with Japanese government, noting "I was very disappointed with

ASAHI (Page 30) (Excerpts)
October 31, 2007

Yoshikazu Hirai and Akihiko Kaise

"I was very disappointed with Japan," former South Korean President
Kim Dae Jung, who had been abducted (by KCIA agents) in Japan 34
years ago, yesterday said in Kyoto he was visiting at present.
Speaking of a report concerning a reinvestigation into the abduction
case, which was released recently, Kim expressed his feelings. His
words reflected his strong dissatisfaction with the Japanese
government, for reaching a political settlement with South Korea.

Appearing in a conference room with the help of a cane, Kim sat down
with a smile. But when questions relating to the abduction were
posed, Kim altered his facial expression and turned stern throughout
the conference.

Kim insisted that the purpose of the abduction was to kill him and
that obviously then President Park Chung Hee gave the abduction
order. Kim reiterated that the Japanese and South Korean governments
were both "responsible for shedding light on the abduction case,"
adding, "Those who are responsible should take responsibility."

What was felt from his expression was his disappointment at the fact
that the abduction incident that put his life in peril was hushed up
owing to a political settlement between the two governments. Kim
became notably excited when he talked of the response by the
Japanese government. "The Japanese government abandoned its
responsibility to protect me," Kim said and noted that Japan did not
demand that South Korea allow Kim to leave that country.

A death sentence was passed on Kim in 1980. In this regard, Kim
criticized the Japanese government, by saying, "I expected the
Japanese government to save my life, but it did not do anything to
do so." Kim added that he would like to hear about the Japanese
government's comment on this matter and continued, "It's hard for me
to express how much I expected (the Japanese government's action)
and I was disappointed (at the Japanese government) at the time. I
was really sad."


© Scoop Media

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