Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/02/07

DE RUEHKO #5099/01 3060804
P 020804Z NOV 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Dispatch of SDF overseas under a permanent law would be
"conditioned on a UN resolution," says Foreign Minister Koumura
(Yomiuri Online)

(2) Japan's calling-off of MSDF refueling activities: US irritated
at do-nothing policy; Japan urged to take next step (Mainichi)

(3) MSDF pullout from Indian Ocean (Part 1): SDF adrift over
international contributions; With series of scandals involving
Defense ministry, organizational reform being called for (Nikkei)

(4) Steep road ahead for resumption of refueling operation (Nikkei)

(5) MSDF pullout: Japan's role hardly replaceable with another
country (Yomiuri)

(6) Path to resuming refueling operation not in sight (Asahi)

(7) End of MSDF refueling mission: Enormous national interests to be
lost, including military intelligence, relationship of alliance;
crude oil, etc (Yomiuri) .

(8) Editorial: Prime Minister Fukuda should show resolve to pass new
refueling bill (Sankei)

(9) Futenma alternative: Gov. Nakaima proposed offshore relocation
up to 215 meters (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(10) Fukuda, Ozawa desperate to put cap on rumor on LDP-DPJ "grand
alliance" (Sankei)


(1) Dispatch of SDF overseas under a permanent law would be
"conditioned on a UN resolution," says Foreign Minister Koumura
(Yomiuri Online)

November 2, 2007

Meeting with the press after a cabinet meeting this morning, Foreign
Minister Koumura expressed his view that in case a permanent law
(regular law) for overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF)
is enacted, the dispatch of the SDF should be conditioned on a
United Nations resolution.

The foreign minister said:

"Although there is a problem of setting the conditions so strict
that the law would actually never be used, it would be difficult to
create (a permanent law) without adding the condition of a UN
resolution. In case we wanted to send out the SDF without a UN
resolution, that would be done by a political decision at the time
(such as to enact a special measures law)."

On the other hand, Defense Minister Ishiba at his press conference
said: "For various reasons, there is not always a UN resolution
issued. The way Japan determines it fate is to entrust it to the
Diet, which represents the Japanese people. That seems to be way we

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do things." In his view, therefore, (SDF dispatches) should be
premised on the involvement of the Diet and not necessarily on a UN

On this issue, Democratic Party of Japan President Ozawa has
indicated his view that in case a general law is enacted, the
condition should be a UN resolution.

(2) Japan's calling-off of MSDF refueling activities: US irritated
at do-nothing policy; Japan urged to take next step

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 1, 2007

Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force has been tasked with refueling
operations in the Indian Ocean for about six years under the
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. Today, the MSDF's refueling
mission there will end as the antiterror law runs out. The MSDF's
refueling in the Indian Ocean came up as a point of contention
between the ruling and opposition blocs in the Diet, with the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) winning a
landslide victory in this summer's election for the House of
Councillors. Shortly thereafter, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stepped
down. Japan will now lose the pillar of its activities in the war on
terror. Other countries are having a hard time of it. They are also
getting troubled. Even so, they are hanging in there on the
battlefield. Where will Japan go in its international cooperation?
The government has now introduced a new antiterror legislative
measure to the Diet in order for Japan to resume refueling
activities. The legislation, however, is not expected to get through
the Diet. In the Diet, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and the
DPJ are trying to find a way out of the impasse.

"We hope all Japanese lawmakers will understand that this operation
is an international mission. This is an issue beyond political

On the morning of Oct. 13, the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo hosted an
international joint briefing. There were ambassadors from 11
countries, including the United States, Britain, Germany, and
France. Those 11 countries are participating in Operation Enduring
Freedom and Maritime Interdiction Operations (OEF-MIO) in the Indian
Ocean. The Afghan ambassador was also there. In the briefing were
about 70 Japanese lawmakers from the ruling and opposition parties.
In their presence, the diplomatic corps from those OEF-MIO
constituent members emphasized the need for Japan to keep up the
MSDF's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. After the briefing,
US Ambassador to Japan Schieffer made the foregoing remarks as he
met reporters.

Even so, the war on terror is led by the United States. US oilers
are expected to reschedule their missions in order to make up for
the gap after Japan's pullout. Japan's breakaway will compel the
United States to bear the burden. This is the way the alliance
actually is. Meanwhile, US warships are suspected of having used
MSDF-supplied fuel for the Iraq war. This suspicion also irritates
the US government.

Any chance for Japan to resume its refueling activities at an early
date, or otherwise switch to something new? Japan will now call off
the MSDF's refueling mission. What is the next step for Japan to
rejoin the war on terror? The ruling and opposition parties are both

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tasked with such a challenge. On Oct. 30, Prime Minister Yasuo
Fukuda and DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa met in a hurry. That is also
because they were urged to do so for Japan's international

"About the idea of creating a general (permanent) law, there were
proposals from DPJ people and many others in the process of
deliberating on the Iraq Special Measures Law. This is an important
challenge in store for the future. We will have to create an
opportunity as soon as possible (to discuss the idea)." With this,
Fukuda, in his parliamentary reply to a question asked by Akihisa
Nagashima from the DPJ, emphasized his view before the House of
Representatives Special Committee on Antiterror Measures during its
meeting right after his meeting with Ozawa. Nagashima, in his
interpellation, called the government's new antiterror legislation
"too shortsighted."

Fukuda was once in the post of chief cabinet secretary. In those
days, Fukuda asserted that Japan-instead of creating a time-limited
law each time-should have a permanent law that stipulates general
requirements for Japan to send the Self-Defense Forces for overseas
missions. His philosophy remains unchanged. This time around, Fukuda
came out of himself. "This is where we should discuss something like
that." So saying, Nagashima tuned in to Fukuda. Then, a big hand
arose from the LDP bench. Originally, the LDP and the DPJ are close
to each other in their respective mindsets for international
contributions. Now that Japan will actually discontinue its
refueling activities, the LDP and the DPJ are now finally in a mood
to talk.

In Diet discussions, Fukuda often said,
"I'm always thinking about what Japan can do on the land in
Afghanistan, as well." In this way, Fukuda strongly implied his
willingness to embark on civilian assistance and other activities in
addition to continuing the MSDF's refueling mission. Under the
current situation of public security in Afghanistan, however, Japan
will need to send SDF troops. In this case as well, the problem is
the government's conventional way of interpreting the Constitution.
Fukuda and Ozawa will meet tomorrow again. The United States and
other countries are also paying close attention to their meeting.

(3) MSDF pullout from Indian Ocean (Part 1): SDF adrift over
international contributions; With series of scandals involving
Defense ministry, organizational reform being called for

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

The Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) vessels wound up their
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean, which started in December
2001 as part of the antiterrorism campaign in Afghanistan, and began
heading home. The government is stepping up efforts to enact its new
legislation to quickly resume the MSDF mission, but the opposition
camp, which won a landslide victory in the recent House of
Councillors election, remains opposed to the bill. Under this
situation, the fate of the legislation remains uncertain. Also
affected by a series of scandals, such as the alleged cover-up of
MSDF-supplied fuel and cozy ties between a former vice defense
minister and a defense contractor, the Defense Agency and the
Self-Defense Force, which are responsible for national security
policy, are drifting around

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Yesterday afternoon, the crewmembers of the supply ship Tokiwa and
the destroyer Kirisame in the Indian Ocean got a video message by
Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba saying: "I want you to have
confidence and pride in having accomplished your mission." When the
refueling mission was halted at zero hours of Oct. 2, Tokiwa's 6th
escort division commander Toshitaka Ojima said in a speech: "I
believe that this was an important mission in which we participated
in the war against terrorism in a responsible way."

Japan loses symbol of alliance with US

MSDF Chief of Staff Eiji Yoshikawa boasted the results the SDF had
achieved over the past about six years, saying: "The mission helped
the MSDF build up its foundations." But the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, which can be called "the symbol of the alliance" with
the US and endorsed Japan's participation in the US-led war against
terrorism, became invalid on Nov. 1. Japan has lost the basis for
the international contribution that is as important as
reconstruction assistance operations in Iraq. The defense minister
said: "International contributions being made by the SDF at present
are only United Nations peacekeeping operations (PKO) on the Golan
Heights, transport service by Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) between
Kuwait and Iraq, and PKO in Nepal (monitoring by Ground Self-Defense
Force (GSDF) officials of the moves of weapons)."

Suspicions deepen

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura emphasized: "To shorten
the period of suspension of the MSDF refueling service as much as
possible, the government will make utmost efforts to have its new
antiterrorism bill passed in the Diet." Even so, such allegations as
cover-up of misreporting of the amount of MSDF-supplied fuel and
diversion of fuel for use in the Iraq war have come up. The
opposition camp, including the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), now
sees that suspicions have deepened. Under the present situation,
prospects are dim for a resumption of the refueling operation.

Collusive relations between former Vice Defense Minister Takemasa
Moriya and an interested party have also been exposed. A Liberal
Democratic Party member quipped, "The Defense Ministry should be
demoted to agency status." The nature of the ministry itself is
being questioned.

The issue of a data error left uncorrected and unreported took place
when Ishiba was defense minister. Defense Minister Ishiba had to say
in a meeting of the committee tasked with working out bold measures
to maintain the principle of civilian control last night:

"We will shed light on the truth without concealing anything. Taking
the series of scandals as stemming from structural problems, we will
also reform the ministry itself."

(4) Steep road ahead for resumption of refueling operation

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
November 2, 2007

Japan is now under pressure to come up with a new plan for
contributing to the "war on terror," since it has just ended the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's (MSDF) refueling operations in the
Indian Ocean. The government and ruling parties aim to enact a new
bill to allow resumption of the refueling service, but it is

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difficult to resume the mission without the cooperation of the
opposition parties, which control the upper chamber of the Diet at
present. Will the second round of a one-on-one meeting between Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda (president of the ruling Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP)) and the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan's
(DPJ) President Ichiro Ozawa lead to a breakthrough in the
situation? Horse-trading between the two could be premised on the
dissolution of the Lower House for a snap general election and the
formation of a "grand alliance" of major parties.

Scenario 1: If party-head talks break down, it will be difficult to
enact new legislation during current Diet session

There is only a slim possibility that Ozawa, who has insisted that
the MSDF's operations in the Indian Ocean are in violation of the
Constitution, will turn around in the planned one-on-one meeting to
favor the new refueling bill. If Ozawa does not budge from opposing
the new bill, it will be difficult to enact it during the current
session of the Diet. But if the new bill is put aside for a lengthy
period, Japan will be give the impression to other countries that it
lacks the will to continue to fight in the war on terror.

The current Diet session will end on Nov. 10. Given the need to
discuss the new refueling bill, not to mention other legislation, it
is highly likely that the government will decide to extend the Diet
session for a month or so. The LDP's General Council Chairman
Toshihiro Nikai insists that "the ruling bloc should be more active
about the new refueling bill." He envisions applying the provision
that if a bill passed by the Lower House is rejected by the Upper
House it still can become law if passed a second time by the Lower
House by a majority of two-thirds or more of the members present."
On the other hand, many in the LDP are cautious about applying that
provision, because if the opposition bloc, which is opposed to the
new refueling bill, introduces a censure resolution against the
prime minister, the move could trigger a dissolution of the Lower

If the new refueling bill fails to be enacted during the current
Diet session, the bill will be reintroduced in next year's ordinary
Diet session. But in such a case, debate on the bill is not likely
to begin before April, because the highest priority in the ordinary
Diet session will be passage of the fiscal 2008 budget bill. If Diet
deliberations on the refueling bill go smoothly in or after April,
Japan will be able to resume the refueling mission around June.

However, if the DPJ is adamant in opposing the new refueling bill,
there would be no other choice but to apply the abovementioned
provision on a second decision by the Lower House. The opposition
bloc may delay deliberations on the bill, but failure by the Upper
House to take action on the bill within 60 days after its receipt
may be determined by the Lower House to constitute a rejection of
the bill there, and the Lower House can then take a second vote on
the bill. In such a case, the refueling mission is likely to be
resumed in or after August.

Scenario 2: LDP, DPJ compromise, look for common ground by enacting
permanent legislation

If Fukuda and Ozawa were to be able to reach a compromise, it would
involve the ruling and opposition blocs shelving the refueling bill
during the current Diet session and holding some kind of
consultations in next year's ordinary Diet session.

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Such consultations could be on making revisions to the refueling
bill or the DPJ's counterproposal. In such a case, the focus of
debate will be on whether Japan would take part in the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, about which Ozawa
is positive.

The question of whether to establish a permanent law allowing Japan
to dispatch the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) abroad as needed is now
drawing public attention. At a press briefing yesterday, Ozawa made
mention of a permanent law and suggested that he was ready to
discuss it if the prime minister brings it up during today's
one-on-one meeting.

Regarding a permanent law, Fukuda previously tried to bring the DPJ
into debate on it, saying in the Diet: "It is an important subject
when we look to our future. I think it is necessary to have an
opportunity to discuss the propriety of such a law." Chief Cabinet
Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, as well, indicated at a press briefing

yesterday that (a permanent law) would be a future task to handle
after the passage of the new refueling bill, but that the government
wanted to have an arena for the ruling and opposition parties to
discuss it. The realization of a permanent law could become one
example of successful consultation between the ruling and opposition
parties at a time when the ruling bloc holds a majority of seats in
the Lower House but it lacks a majority in the Upper House. In such
a case, some may call for creating a gigantic coalition government
as often speculated.

Damage to Japanese diplomacy

The suspension of the MSDF's refueling mission could do a great deal
of damage to Japans foreign policy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MOFA) is worried about a possible decline of Japan's influence in
the international community and the possible ill effect on the
Japan-US alliance.

The prime minister's statement released yesterday and the
government's decision to boost economic assistance to Afghanistan
are both aimed at highlighting Japan's will to continue to fight
against terrorism. But a sense of crisis about a decline in Japan's
human contribution is growing in the government. Foreign Minister
Masahiko Koumura stressed in his Diet reply yesterday; "We should
remember that Japan received no appreciation in the Gulf war,
despite (its huge monetary contribution)."

Relations with the US, which stands at the front of the war on
terror, cannot be ignored. In fact, a high-level US government
official recently told a senior MOFA official: "One of the bonds
between the two countries is about to be lost." Fukuda intends to
ask President Bush to understand the domestic situation in Japan
during their upcoming summit meeting on Nov. 16.

(5) MSDF pullout: Japan's role hardly replaceable with another

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
November 2, 2007

Keiichi Honma, reporting from the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
supply ship Tokiwa in the Indian Ocean's northern waters

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MSDF supply ships, which have been sent to the Indian Ocean for
nearly six years, are extremely important vessels that are
indispensable for the MSDF's seaborne task of backing up maritime
interdiction operations (MIO) for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF)
in Afghanistan. The multinational coalition forces are now
considering replacements. Among the major countries participating in
the coalition forces, however, there are few countries with supply
ships that can take over the MSDF's refueling mission. There is no
underestimating the strategic loss resulting from the MSDF's

A supply ship replenishes friendly vessels at sea with materials
that are needed for them to carry out their missions. The naval
forces of major countries cannot operate without supplies, so a
supply ship is an integral part of their naval operations. For
example, a US carrier battle group boasts of its overwhelming
military power. What buttresses it up is the presence of a gigantic
supply vessel. This supply vessel makes it possible for the USS
Kitty Hawk, a US Navy aircraft carrier that was once sent on a
mission for the Iraq war, to operate at sea for about 20 days. The
MSDF has been participating in maritime interdiction operations
(MIO). OEF-MIO coalition vessels made about 140,000 radio inquiries
about suspicious ships and more than 10,000 ship inspections as of
the end of August this year. Behind the scenes, the Tokiwa and other
supply ships were on stage around the clock.

There are now four supply ships operating to back up MIO. They are
from Japan, the United States, and Britain. As it stands, an MSDF
ranking officer onboard the Tokiwa was concerned about repercussions
on MIO, presuming that other countries will be burdened with the
MSDF's refueling role after its withdrawal. In fact, one officer
from Pakistan's navy, which received the last refueling from the
Tokiwa on Oct. 29., asked Japan to continue its activities. At the
same time, though, this officer reportedly asked MIO headquarters in
Bahrain to have another country supply fuel.

However, none of the major countries engaging in MIO has enough
supply vessels. According to an MSDF source, only seven major
countries-including Japan, the United States, and Britain-have a
minimum necessary lineup of four or more supply ships for their
national defense. The source says none of these countries can afford
to actually send supply ships as a matter of fact. Defense Minister
Ishiba, in his video message yesterday, stressed: "Underway
replenishment requires high skills and capabilities. In the world,
only several countries can steadily carry it out over a long period
of time."

In the Indian Ocean, MIO covers a vast expanse of waters, at least 4
million square kilometers, centering on northern waters. The
Tokiwa's breakaway means so much. "The Tokiwa's operational
capability is very high," says Alex Neill, a chief researcher at the
Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies (RUSI). "So,"
Neill went on, "the United States will now be compelled to increase
its supply costs." MIO headquarters seems to have plans to employ a
replacement after the Tokiwa's withdrawal. However, it does not seem
to be easy.

(6) Path to resuming refueling operation not in sight

ASAHI (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
November 2, 2007

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The Maritime Self-Defense Force unit dispatched (to the Indian
Ocean) began pulling out yesterday, winding up its refueling
operation to support the US-led war on terrorism, due to the
expiration of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law. The government
has come up with economic assistance in place of the refueling
operation that has been suspended. Although the coalition of the
willing taking part in the war on terrorism in and around
Afghanistan, for fear of a withdrawal domino effect, is hopeful that
the MSDF will resume its operation, there are no prospects for

Government eager to come up with alternative plans

Akihiro Yamada, Keiichi Kaneko

Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura expressed concern yesterday that
the discontinuation of the MSDF operation might have adverse effects
on the diplomatic front, saying: "The international community would
take it as Japan becoming less committed to the war on terrorism. It
would affect other countries' stances toward Japan."

The government yesterday came up with a number of alternative plans
to the refueling operation. The Council for Overseas Economic
Cooperation announced enhanced economic assistance to Afghanistan.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura in a press conference
yesterday revealed a plan to incorporate in a supplementary budget
bull funds for vocationally training Afghan refugees. The government
also produced a plan to considering a large increase in financial
aid to Pakistan, which has relied on MSDF oil.

Regarding those diplomatic efforts intended to make up for the MSDF
withdrawal, a senior Foreign Ministry official said: "Economic
assistance will not be able to substitute the MSDF. Japan would be
criticized as trying to settle the matter with money." He also took
this view about the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ or Minshuto)
proposal for civilian assistance: "An improved security situation is
a prerequisite. At this point when the ministry's evaluation
recommendation is still alive, Afghanistan is not in a condition to
accept civilians (from Japan)."

Meanwhile, DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa, who has been opposed to the
new legislation, took this view: "It is unconstitutional to dispatch
SDF troops overseas to support some country's military operation.
It's not good. I have nothing to say about the withdrawal."

The government and ruling parties intend to resume the MSDF
operation as early as possible by swiftly enacting the new
legislation designed to allow providing fuel oil and water alone.
But there are no prospects that the legislation will clear the

Severe views by Japan experts in US

Yoichi Kato, Washington, and Kitagawa Manabu, Islamabad

Regarding the discontinuation of the MSDF operation, US State
Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said yesterday: "It is
regrettable. We hope to see Japan enact the new legislation swiftly
and resume the (SDF) operation as early as possible." His comment
clearly reflected Washington's effort to avoid criticism in
consideration of future Diet deliberations in Japan, though it is
feeling dissatisfied.

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Some Japan exerts in the United States regard the expiration of the
Antiterrorism Law as somewhat inevitable, with Center for Naval
Analyses Strategic Studies Director Michael McDevitt saying: "This
sort of policy change could occur in a democracy." At the same time,
Japan exerts take severe views about future developments.

Former Pentagon Japan desk director James Auer said: "If the new
legislation is enacted right away, there won't be any problem. But
if the government gives it up, Japan's credibility would be called
into question severely as an ally." Former White House National
Security Council Senior Asian Director Michael Green indicated that
in the event the new legislation was voted down in the House of
Councillors and the ruling camp consequently did not take a second
vote in the House of Representatives, many people in the world would
conclude that Japan has no intention of playing a leading role in
international security.

Royal United Services Institute for Defense Studies Director Michael
Clarke, now visiting Japan, indicated in an interview with the Asahi
Shimbun yesterday that the impact would be greater politically than
militarily, saying, "If Japan withdraws, that would be taken as
raising a question about the legitimacy of the Afghan operation;
such will not be welcomed."

A Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesman told the Asahi Shimbun
yesterday: "Japan is an important antiterrorism partner. The
discontinuation of the refueling operation will have a serious
impact on us. We ask Japan to resume the operation."

Explanation of need for the operation insufficient


The MSDF's withdrawal from the Indian Ocean is attributable to
opposition to its operation by the DPJ, which has become the largest
party in the Upper House. But more fundamentally, it is because the
government has failed to offer a sufficient explanation of the need
for the refueling operation amid the deadlocked war on terrorism led
by the US military.

Once Japan's provision of oil dropped to one-tenth of that of the
peak time, the government, concluding that citing the war on terror
alone was not enough to try to convince the public, even brought up
the defense of sea lanes, with Foreign Minister Koumura saying, "The
operation is important for the transport routes of Japan, who
imports 90 percent of oil from the Middle East." The government's
failure to completely wipe out suspicions that Japanese fuel was
used in the Iraq operation by deviating from the objectives of the
Special Measures Law also caused the public to harbor doubts about
the "aim" of the refueling operation.

Preoccupied with the ruling camp's call for an extension of the
refueling operation, the Ozawa-led JDP's adamant opposition for a
lack of clear UN resolution, the United States, and the United
Nations, the government has not conducted full-fledged debates on
how Japan should strategically deal with that region. With no
prospect in sight for the enactment of the new "stopgap"
legislation, the government is set to increase economic assistance
to relevant countries to make up for the SDF withdrawal.

Although "independent commitment" to the eradication of terrorism is

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underlined in the new legislation, the government is not armed with
any clear rule on the overseas dispatch of the SDF or an exit
strategy. On the occasion of the law's expiration, the ruling and
opposition parties must discuss matters, including how special
measures laws should be, all over again.

(7) End of MSDF refueling mission: Enormous national interests to be
lost, including military intelligence, relationship of alliance;
crude oil, etc.

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Full)
November 2, 2007

By Hidemichi Katsumata, Yomiuri Shimbun Senior Writer

The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) has been continuing refueling
operations in the Indian Ocean as part of Japan's efforts to support
the war on terror. However, an order to end the mission was handed
down to the MSDF. The damage to Japan's national interests will be
huge with the ending of the MSDF operations.

A senior Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF) officer, who is engaged in
Kuwait-based airlift operations in Iraq, said, "I can only hope that
halting that mission will not affect our operations."

He made this comment because recently, just prior to an ASDF
airlifting of senior United Nations officials, the American military
stopped transmitting operational intelligence on Baghdad and nearby
areas. The intelligence was transmitted only to British and
Australian forces. An ASDF officer said, "We cannot engage in
airlift operations unless we know where the battles are going on."

The ASDF lodged a protest with the US Department of Defense. The
intelligence was disclosed three days later, and ASDF aircraft
resumed operations. However, as far as this ASDF officer is
concerned, "The SDF will now no longer be able to participate in
meetings of the troops of the various countries engaged in the war
on terror. The amount of Middle East-related intelligence we receive
will be considerably decreased."

The SDF under the Anti-Terrorism Special Measures Law and the Iraq
Assistance Special Measures Law has dispatched about 20 liaison
officers to four locations, such as the US Central Command in Tampa,
Florida, and the Multinational Naval Forces Central Command in
Bahrain. The purpose of the dispatches is to share various kinds of
intelligence with the US and members of the Coalition of the
Willing. However, Brigadier General Swift at the US Naval Forces
Central Command categorically said, "If the MSDF pulls out, the real
problem would be that Japan will lose the opportunity for dialogue
in the Middle East, which it is now enjoying."

It is a common military practice not to transmit intelligence to
countries that are not expending sweat together. But the damage to
national interests does not end with just being excluded from the
"intelligence community."

Japan's greatest threat now is North Korea's nuclear weapons and
ballistic missiles. A Nodong missile landed in the Sea of Japan in
1993. In 1998, a Taepodong missile passed over Japan. That country
carried out a nuclear test last year. If it succeeds in making a
miniaturized nuclear weapon that can be fitted on a missile warhead,
that nation's nuclear threat would become a reality. It can only be

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prevented from doing so by the military power of the US and a solid
Japan-US alliance.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Chairman Ichiro Ozawa
claims that it is not possible for Japan to cooperate in the war in
Afghanistan because it was started by the US independently. The UN
has acknowledged that the US fight against terror is a self-defense
war, and yet if Japan cannot help its ally fight a self-defense war,
what is the meaning of the alliance? The MSDF has been carrying out
refueling operations to support the US and cooperate for the
international community within the limits of the Constitution,
though such activities are not obligatory.

Since Japan has continued to provide such support to the US, it can
seek solid cooperation from the US in making North Korea totally
abandon its nuclear programs through the six-party talks, which
started in the summer of 2003. Japan can file a harsh complaint or
make requests to the US, if it takes an ambiguous stance in the
process of forcing North Korea to abandon its nuclear program.

Even though the ASDF is continuing transport operations in Iraq,
with the disappearance of the Hinomaru flag or Japan's presence in
the Indian Ocean, doubts will arise the value of the alliance and
Japan's national security will suffer a setback.

There is another blow coming to Japan's national interest. For
Japan, which relies on the Middle East for 90 PERCENT of the crude
oil it imports, it is vitally important to prevent the Indian Ocean
from becoming a sea of terrorists. This has not been discussed much,
because it has been considered that doing so is irrelevant in view
of the spirit of the special measures law. But it is whole different
story when the fact is taken into account that Japan's super-tanker
Takasuzu (280,000 tons) was attacked by terrorists in the Persian
Gulf and suffered damage.

Three persons, including US Marines, were killed in that suicide
bombing. Multinational naval forces have been on strict alert near
oil embarkation ports in the Persian Gulf since this incident.
Though the MSDF is unable to engage in such operations due to
constitutional restrictions, many countries have acknowledged its
refueling operations as activities to support part of such
international cooperation and appreciate them.

About 25 PERCENT of crude oil exported by Gulf countries is bound
for Japan. The Financial Times of Britain criticized Japan for
pulling out, calling it a "coward." This perhaps epitomizes how the
international community sees Japan.

How to continue the war against terror is a major theme for many
countries. Only countries taking part in antiterrorist operations
have the right to have their say. Japan's national interests gain
nothing by ending the MSDF operations.

(8) Editorial: Prime Minister Fukuda should show resolve to pass new
refueling bill

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

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda posted an article titled "Finally
November 1" on the latest issue of the Cabinet's E-mail Magazine.

TOKYO 00005099 012 OF 015

With the expiration of the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law that
allowed the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operations in
the Indian Ocean, two MSDF ships currently deployed -- the supply
vessel Tokiwa and destroyer Kirisame -- began heading back to Japan
after receiving their orders (from the defense minister).

Some members of the ruling coalition are even calling for putting
off the enactment of the new antiterrorism bill. It is highly
doubtful that the government and ruling parties put in their utmost
efforts prior to Nov. 1 to avoid a vacuum being created in the war
on terror. The law expired immediately before the second meeting of
the prime minister and Ichiro Ozawa, president of the largest
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto). How will the
two party leaders take Japan's failure to respond to the
expectations of the international community by allowing the MSDF to
withdraw from the maritime interdiction operation (MIO), which has
dealt a blow to Japan's national interests? Fukuda and Ozawa should
frankly talk about not only the new antiterrorism bill but other
issues, as well.

It is extremely regrettable that Japan suspended its refueling
mission that was carried out for nearly six years. We highly praise
the MSDF operations that were appreciated by other countries
involved. We also should recall the SDF's other overseas activities
in Iraq and other areas.

The Bush administration has said that it is possible to cover the
MSDF refueling operation through alternative measures. But the time
for surveillance activities will be inevitably decrease because
vessels have to return to port to be refueled.

The US government released a comment that said the Japan-US alliance
would not be effected, but the Japanese government should consider
that the present situation requiring Washington to release the
comment might hamper the upholding and strengthening of the
bilateral relationship.

The DPJ has opposed to the refueling operation claiming that it is
aimed at supporting the US' war. Guessing at the meaning from the
context, the party does not seem to care about whether the United
States and the international community are disappointed at the MSDF

Prime Minister Fukuda said in a statement that the war on terror is
still underway, and that he would do his best to enact a new
antiterrorism law as quickly as possible so that refueling can be

In order to carry out its intention, the Fukuda cabinet has no other
choice but to pass the new legislation by extending the current Diet
session. Unless the DPJ changes its response to the legislation, the
bill should be put to a second vote after it is voted down in the
Upper House. The day has come for the prime minister to make a
decision on the new bill, without worrying about political arguments
in the ruling and opposition camps.

(9) Futenma alternative: Gov. Nakaima proposed offshore relocation
up to 215 meters

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1 & 2) (Abridged)
November 2, 2007

TOKYO 00005099 013 OF 015

On the issue of relocating the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station
(in the city of Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to a coastal area of
Camp Schwab, a US military base in the prefecture's northern coastal
city of Nago), Okinawa Prefecture's Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has
been calling for the government to move the site of a newly planned
facility to an offshore area as an alternative for Futenma airfield.
The government is now going through procedures with Okinawa
Prefecture to assess the possible impact of Futenma relocation on
its site and environs. In this process, Nakaima met with Chief
Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura on Oct. 31. On that occasion,
Nakaima asked the government to retouch its Futenma relocation plan.
Specifically, Nakaima proposed moving the relocation site to an
offshore area within the scope of a "slight change," sources
revealed. If the change is slight (up to 215 meters), the government
may revise the plan with no need for another environmental
assessment, according to the sources. On the other hand, Nakaima has
also told Machimura that a change to the extent of 50 meters or so
does not satisfy Okinawa's demand. This is the first time that
Okinawa Prefecture has disclosed a specific figure in its demand for
Futenma relocation to an offshore site.

Machimura came up with the Defense Ministry's view, saying the
government plan cannot be revised, according to the sources. Okinawa
Prefecture and the Defense Ministry have broken off in their talks
over the issue of Futenma relocation. However, the government is
expected to resume its consultative meeting with Okinawa on Nov. 7
after a hiatus of 10 months. Tokyo and Okinawa are now beginning to
move behind the scenes for new developments.

Nakaima, according to his aide, has also told the government that he
wants the alternative facility located within an offshore area that
is somewhat away from Hirashima, an island floating off Henoko

In the case of the Futenma alternative facility, its airstrips
portion is subject to Okinawa Prefecture's environmental assessment
ordinance. Regarding the scope of a "slight change" that is
allowable with no need to carry out another environmental
assessment, Okinawa Prefecture's environmental assessment ordinance
provides that the area of an airfield is less than 10 hectares.

The planned alternative facility has an overall length of 1,800
meters. Judging from this length, Okinawa Prefecture calculates that
the range of the alternative facility's move is less than 56 meters.
In the process of going through the procedures, Nakaima is expected
to come up with three statements about the government's relocation
plan. Okinawa Prefecture deems it possible to move up to 55 meters
each time.

A senior official of Okinawa Prefecture explained Nakaima's demand
and its background, saying: "Three 55 meters are 165 meters. In
addition to that, it's possible to move about 50 meters at the
governor's discretion through some adjustments, so the figures add
up to 215 meters. If the government is willing, it's possible to
move 200 meters or so without starting all over again. There are
scientific and rational reasons, so the governor will state his
views. If the government bases its plan on the governor's views,
it's possible to reach a settlement."

Commentary: Nakaima backs down

Tokyo and Okinawa have been at a deadlock in their talks over the

TOKYO 00005099 014 OF 015

pending issue of relocating Futenma airfield. Okinawa Prefecture's
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima has been calling for the government to
move the site of a planned alternative facility to an offshore area
for Futenma airfield. In this connection, Nakaima showed an upper
limit of the relocation site's move within a range of up to 215
meters. It can be taken as a revision in the process of going
through the procedures for an environmental assessment. This,
however, is the governor's de facto retraction of his call for the
site's pre-assessment move. In the eyes of local residents, the
governor undeniably backed down. Nakaima has been calling for the
government to move the Futenma alternative facility to an offshore
site. In the past, Nakaima was asked about the range of the
alternative facility's move. However, he has not specified anything
about it. If he comes out with a figure, he will be asked to account
for that figure. This was a matter of concern to him.

(10) Fukuda, Ozawa desperate to put cap on rumor on LDP-DPJ "grand

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
November 1, 2007

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the main opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) agreed on Nov. 31 to
hold a second meeting between their leaders -- Yasuo Fukuda and
Ichiro Ozawa. The second meeting between the prime minister and the
DPJ president will start at 3:00 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the Diet
building. A grand coalition concept of the LDP and the DPJ, which
has become a real possibility after the first Fukuda-Ozawa talks on
Oct. 30, will likely create quite a stir in the ruling and
opposition camps. All the more because their meeting was held behind
closed doors, the grand alliance concept, a speculation creates
another speculation. Turbulence seems to be continued in the ruling
and opposition blocs.

"What is a grand alliance? We can do anything in our minds. But I
wonder if it is realistically possible," Fukuda told the press at
noon yesterday, as if he didn't know. When asked by the press about
his meeting with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, he cynically
responded: "The meeting was held for the first time. Is this a grand

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura south to check the grand
alliance concept that has wings, saying, "There are persons talking
about a grand alliance, but it is not that easy (to form such) under
the single-seat election system."

The reason for Fukuda and others being nervous about the grand
alliance concept is that response from the ruling and opposition was
bigger than expected. Lawmakers of the ruling and opposition parties
are now often talking about the grand alliance concept and early
Lower House dissolution as issues.

The New Komeito, the LDP's coalition partner, is especially alarmed.
Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa expressed displeasure in a press

conference, noting, "I wonder if parties that fight in elections can
form an alliance and think that the public can understand it." He
then played up his party's political presence, saying, "I think
there should be an opportunity for the New Komeito to make efforts
for consensus-building between the LDP and the DPJ."

DPJ lawmakers have become nervous. In a meeting yesterday afternoon

TOKYO 00005099 015 OF 015

of the "Next Cabinet" held in the Diet building, one member
questioned: "Did you talk about a grand alliance concept with the
prime minister?" Ozawa replied: "We did not at all talk about it.
Mr. Fukuda repeatedly said, 'I rely on you.' He seems to be in a

In a meeting of the DPJ secretary general and deputy secretaries
general, one deputy secretary general said, "I want to know what the
two party leaders talked about in their meeting yesterday."
Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama then responded with annoyance: "I

don't know either."

At the Japan National Press Club yesterday, Japanese Communist Party
chairman Kazuo Shii criticized the Fukuda-Ozawa talks, saying, "The
LDP and DPJ violated the Diet rules and held the closed-door
meeting." In a meeting of the opposition parties' Diet Affairs
Committee chairmen, Yasumasa Shigeno of the Social Democratic Party
said, "I have to question why the largest opposition party suddenly
held the meeting."

Shizuka Kamei, deputy head of the People's New Party, which has
formed a parliamentary group with the DPJ in the Upper House,
expressed displeasure, noting, "It is outrageous that they held the
closed-door meeting, skipping the planned one-on-one meeting at the
Diet. The DPJ did not notify my party even though we have formed a
parliamentary group. I think such a political method is not good."


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