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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/15/07

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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 005244

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DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 11/15/07


Index:

(1) Nuclear threat: Will nuclear proliferation be prevented? Prime
Minister Fukuda to face test over US diplomacy (Yomiuri)

(2) Editorial: Prime Minister Fukuda must face precariousness of
Japan-US alliance (Sankei)

(3) Time to consider durability of Japan-US alliance (Nikkei)

(4) Asia and Japan-US alliance (part 1-a): Fukuda diplomacy gets
underway; simultaneous settlement of nuclear, abduction issues to be
explored (Mainichi)

(5) Editorial: Fukuda's US visit and North Korea issue (Asahi)

(6) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF refueling
mission (Sankei)

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, November 14 (Nikkei)

(8) TOP HEADLINES

(9) EDITORIALS 11

ARTICLES:

(1) Nuclear threat: Will nuclear proliferation be prevented? Prime
Minister Fukuda to face test over US diplomacy

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
November 14, 2007

In a dinner party held at the US Deputy Chief of Mission's Official
Residence in Roppongi, Tokyo, on the night of Oct. 31, the friendly
atmosphere suddenly changed into a strained mood when United States
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Alexander Arvizu said: "The US
will remove (North Korea) from its terrorist-sponsor list if that
nation has refrained from committing terrorist acts, like the KAL
downing incident, over the past six months. The abduction issue will
not be taken into account." Eight members of a parliamentary group
dealing with the abduction issue were also participating in the
party, including former Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
Takeo Hiranuma and former LDP Policy Research Council Chairman
Shoichi Nakagawa.

The US government arranged the dinner party, with the aim of
listening to views about the denuclearization of the Korean
Peninsula. The suprapartisan group - chaired by Hiranuma - takes a
hard-line stance on North Korea. Former Prime Minister Abe was a
leading member of the group.

Group members interpreted that the US, by holding the party, aimed
to have participants understand its delisting plan. If the US
decides to delist the North, Japan might take it as representing the
collapse of the framework of Japan-US cooperation.

Under former Prime Minister Abe, Japan and the US failed to take
joint steps in dealing with North Korea. Abe left a severe
environment to Prime Minister Fukuda.

Following North Korea's promise to disable its nuclear facilities

TOKYO 00005244 002 OF 013


this year, the Bush administration, in its last days, is about to
give favors to the North even without any progress on the abduction
issue. Although there is no time to waste, the prime minister has
yet to come up with definite guidelines to deal with the change in
Washington's attitude.

To be sure, the prime minister is emphasizing a policy of dialogue
with North Korea in an attempt to break the impasse in bilateral
relations. In his policy speech, Fukuda did not use the word
"pressure." Early this month, he instructed his aides to take some
measures to move talks with North Korea forward.

There is a delicate change in the environment surrounding the
General Federation of Korean Residents (Chosen Soren) in Japan. A
source familiar with this group said: "Under the former Abe
administration, groups affiliated with Chosen Soren across the
nation were prosecuted almost every month under the guise of strict
law enforcement, but such pressure has been removed recently."

Chosen Soren used to be one of the main secret routes of contact
between Japan and North Korea. An aide to the prime minister said,
"An increasing number of routes of contact between the two countries
have been established than there were under the Abe
administration."

North Korea is greatly interested in the planned Japan-US summit in
Washington on Nov. 16. According to a source familiar with
Japan-North Korea relations, Pyongyang will keep close watch on what
approach Fukuda, who has kept a low profile in various quarters in
the nation and overseas, will take to the US, which is increasingly
eager to reconcile with Pyongyang.

A senior Foreign Ministry official commented: "All the more because
North Korea will keep close watch on the summit, the prime minister
must reiterate to President Bush his opposition to the US delisting
North Korea."

Japan had a bitter experience, and a member of the abduction
parliamentary group said, "We don't want to have the same experience
again."

In the closing days of the former Clinton administration, the US
moved in a hasty way to reconcile with North Korea. In response,
Japan poured a total of 500 million dollars (about 60 billion yen)
into a project to construct light water reactors in North Korea and
also offered more than 1.3 million tons of rice in aid to that
country. But North Korea did not scrap its missile development
program. In October last year, Pyongyang conducted a nuclear test,
worsening the security environment for Japan.

Japan's position conflicts with the policy of reconciliation between
the US and North Korea on some points. Prime Minister Fukuda, while
pushing ahead with the policy of dialogue, should make resolute
assertions.

(2) Editorial: Prime Minister Fukuda must face precariousness of
Japan-US alliance

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 14, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda will visit the United States for the

TOKYO 00005244 003 OF 013


first time since he took office and hold his first summit on Nov. 16
with US President George W. Bush. Under the Koizumi and Abe
governments, it was said that the Japan-US alliance was the best
ever. During the past several months, however, the political climate
surrounding the bilateral alliance has drastically changed.

The Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation in the Indian
Ocean has been suspended. No progress has been made on the
government's plan to relocate the US Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station, which is the centerpiece of the realignment of US based in
Japan. There still remain issues such as Japan's plan to reduce its
financial burden for the costs for the US forces stationed in Japan,
as well as US beef imports. The growing expectation is that the US
government will delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism,
probably before the end of the year.

With the Diet divided, the United States has found it difficult to
understand Japanese politics. The Bush administration might have
seen the "grand coalition" turmoil that was caused by Fukuda and
Ichiro Ozawa, president of the main opposition Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), as a murky move that made the US question
whether Japan attached importance to the bilateral alliance or
placed the United Nations above all else.

Fukuda's choosing the US for his first official overseas trip is a
good option. Even if there were no pending issue between two
countries, constant efforts and mutual understanding are
indispensable to maintain the alliance, but there remain many
pending issues between the two countries. Chief Cabinet Secretary
Nobutaka Machimura said: "The prime minister will confirm the ties
of the Japan-US alliance" at the upcoming summit. What Machimura
said is only natural, but the planned summit require more than the
reconfirmation of solid ties. We view the summit as extremely
important.

In particular, whether the US government will remove the North from
its list of terrorism-sponsoring states is a significant issue that
connects directly with the sentiments of Japanese people wishing for
a resolution of the abduction issue. Fukuda needs to obtain a
promise from the US government that Washington will not sacrifice
the Japan-US alliance in an attempt to resolve the nuclear issue and
improve relations with North Korea.

It is certain that Bush wants Japan to rejoin the war on terror by
resuming the MSDF refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and to give
momentum to USFJ realignment. In order to break the deadlock on the
two difficult issues and to promote them, it is absolutely necessary
for the two top leaders to discuss the issues in good faith.

Ahead of Fukuda's US trip, the French president and German
chancellor visited Washington one after another to reconfirm the
close ties of their alliances with the US. In order also to aim at
multilayered development of relations between Japan and the US,
between the US and Europe, and Japan and Europe, Japan should state
clearly the significance and value of the Japan-US alliance. We want
the prime minister to carry out a fruitful meeting, keeping in mind
that the Japan-US alliance is in danger.

(3) Time to consider durability of Japan-US alliance

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 11, 2007

TOKYO 00005244 004 OF 013

By Hiroyuki Akita, member of editorial board

How long will the alliances the US has so far established last? The
US government reportedly is restudying and calculating the
durability of the alliance relationships it has established since
the end of the Cold War.

The US distinguishes allies with which it expects to work together
over the long run from other allies. The US intends to use more
resources for cooperation with such allies and to gradually distance
itself from the others. The US has used up its energy in the Iraq
war and the war against terrorism. Under such a situation, the US
seems willing to accelerate the restructuring of its allies.

According to the head of a US think-tank well-versed in the matter,
the US regards Britain and Australia, which joined the Iraq and
Afghanistan war, as lasting allies. In contrast, there is a view
that the alliance relationship between the US and South Korea, which
has been strained over strategy toward North Korea, could be
short-lived. This prediction might be behind the US decision to trim
its military forces in South Korea.

The think-dank president said: "Japan is one of the most trustworthy
allies." But the situation does not warrant optimism.

A Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker representing national defense
interests said that his impression was reinforced through contacts
with senior US Defense Department officers that "the US military
might assume that (Japan) may try to restrict US military aircraft
from taking off from bases in Japan."

The US military plans to move about 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to
Guam. As the major reason for this plan, the US has cited its
consideration for Okinawa. But the LDP lawmaker said: "Behind the US
plan to transfer Marines to Guam, there seems to be the judgment
that it may be difficult for the US military to take smooth action
in Japan."

The US government has hailed the strength of the Japan-US alliance,
but some members express concern, wondering how long Japan will
continue to welcome the presence of US forces.

Some point out that the more precise Chinese missiles become, the
more vulnerable US forces in Japan become.

In working out policy toward Asia, the US fears most a scenario in
which a conflict breaks out between China and Taiwan, driving the US
and Chinese militaries into a confrontation across the Taiwan
Strait. It is fully conceivable that relations between China and
Taiwan will become strained after Taiwan's presidential election
next March, because Taiwanese President Chen Shui-bian has strong
aspirations for independence from China.

If the US and China engage in hostilities, Japan will become the
strategic forefront base of the US military. A senior US military
official said: "US forces in Japan might come under attack by the
Chinese military."

According to Japanese officials, the US government and the US
military have begun to harbor this kind of concern: At such a time,
will the Japanese public support US forces flying missions out of

TOKYO 00005244 005 OF 013


Japan? Growing anti-American sentiment in Japan in that event could
lead to restrictions on moves by US forces in Japan.

There are an increasing number of cases across the world in which an
ally of the US invokes vetoes action by the US military as their
friendship established during the Cold War has weakened. In the Iraq
war, Turkey and Saudi Arabia refused the US military's use of their
military bases.

The government has been pressed to suspend the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The US might take the
suspension as not a result of a change in the dynamics of Nagata-cho
(Japan's political center) but signs of a shortening of the
durability period of the Japan-US alliance.

The Japan-US security arrangement has been somewhat taken for
granted, like air. If Japan intends to maintain the arrangement, it
should be fully aware that the alliance will not be effective
forever and must make efforts to extend its life span.

(4) Asia and Japan-US alliance (part 1-a): Fukuda diplomacy gets
underway; simultaneous settlement of nuclear, abduction issues to be
explored

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
November 14, 2007

Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi, who visited the
US in order to pave the way for Prime Minister Fukuda's upcoming US
visit, met with Deputy Secretary of State Negroponte in an office in
the US State Department in Washington on October 25. Kenichiro
Sasae, director general of the Asian and Oceanean Affairs Bureau,
was also present.

Their discussions focused not on the issue of continuing the
refueling operations by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) in
the Indian Ocean but on the issue of removing North Korea from the
US list of state sponsors of terrorism.

Yachi asked the US side to give consideration to the abduction
issue, saying, "Full conditions for removing North Korea from the
list have yet to be met. We want the US to consider bringing
progress on the abduction issue. Otherwise, hardliners in Japan
(toward North Korea) will not be calmed down."

The US government had at first announced its intention to remove the
DPRK from its list of state sponsors of terrorism in late December.
Assistant Secretary of State Hill said that the USG would notify the
Congress of the matter 45 days before, which would in effect mean
that the nation was removed from the list. There was even a
possibility of a countdown for delisting starting on Nov. 11. One
senior MOFA official said that if such a notification were sent
during the prime minister's visit to the US, it would be tantamount
to political suicide for him.

However, Negroponte's response was cold. He said, "I understand your
concern, but we cannot include the abduction issue among conditions
for removing the DPRK from the list."

Yachi visited Assistant to the President and Deputy National
Security Advisor James F. Jeffrey, Senior Director for Asia Denis
Wilder and Vice President Cheney's national security advisor Hannah

TOKYO 00005244 006 OF 013


and tried to persuade them to put off the planned delisting of the
DPRK. The same Foreign Ministry official said, "We were able to
obtain the US commitment to withholding the sending of a
notification to the Congress during the prime minister's visit. The
prime minister will be able to keep face."

However, that also meant that removing the DPRK from the list is an
established policy and implementation of that policy is imminent.
Presumably in order to notify related countries, Hill visited
Beijing, Seoul and Tokyo starting on October 10 and underscored that
sending a notification will be a de facto removal of that nation
from the list.

On October 26, the day following the Yachi-Negroponte talks, Fukuda
met with Shigeru Yokota, representative of the Association of the
Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea, and others at the
Prime Minister's Official Residence and said, "Abductees simply
returning home is a major humanitarian issue. However, I want to
repair relations with the DPRK, if possible. Now is the best
opportunity for talks with that nation." The trend for North Korea
disabling its nuclear facilities has been set with the initiative of
the US, as can be seen in an agreement between the US and North
Korea in Berlin in January and an agreement on the initial
denuclearization steps at the six party talks held in Beijing in
February. The observation was widespread that the former Abe
administration, which gave top priority to the abduction issue, was
in a fix with the US decision to eliminate the DPRK from the list.
However, Fukuda is trying to use the US approach to North Korea as
an opportunity.

Explaining Prime Minister Fukuda's determination, the same Foreign
Ministry official said, "The elimination of the DPRK from the list
is no major problem. If the disablement of North Korea's nuclear
facilities really makes progress, we will simultaneously settle the
abduction issue. It would mean Japan making the kind of major
decision that only comes along once every 20 years."

Fukuda diplomacy will get underway with his summit with President
Bush on Nov. 16. He will aim for harmony between Asia diplomacy and
the Japan-US alliance. Mainichi Shimbun will explore challenges to
and visions of Fukuda diplomacy through the North Korea issue and
the overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Forces.

(5) Editorial: Fukuda's US visit and North Korea issue

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 15, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda kicks off his first official foreign
visit today. He is scheduled to meet with President George W. Bush
in Washington and to attend the ASEAN Plus Three -- Japan, China,
and South Korea -- summit in Singapore next week.

Fukuda diplomacy has an advantage over his predecessor. He is free
from tough issues closely associated with historical views, such as
the question of visiting Yasukuni Shrine and the wartime comfort
women issue. Historical issues caused Asian nations to evince
distrust in Japan and prompted the US House to adopt a resolution
condemning Japan.

Such issues will no longer haunt Fukuda's trip. It has been a long
time since Japanese diplomacy had an unfettered response

TOKYO 00005244 007 OF 013


capability.

Fukuda chose the United States as the destination of his first
foreign trip, which is understandable. He apparently plans to give
Washington the impression that he is going to cooperate with the
United States as the new prime minister who identifies the Japan-US
alliance as the bedrock of Japan's diplomacy by making a clear
distinction with his predecessor Abe's hawkish policy course. His
intention carries significance.

We would like to see him discuss the question of North Korea first
of all.

In recent months, the United States has actively held talks with
North Korea for resolving the nuclear issue. If the nuclear threat
were to be removed, Japan would benefit from it significantly. The
prime minister must explicitly indicate that Japan will support the
United States' efforts. There are concerns in Japan that the
abduction issue might be left behind.

Reportedly the United States will delist North Korea as a state
sponsor of terrorism possibly by the end of the year. Some observers
think that the prime minister must raise a red flag to the US
president.

We must not forget, however, that if US-DRPK relations are improved
and nuclear abandonment becomes a real possibility, that would
favorably affect Japan-DPRK relations as well.

In return for nuclear abandonment, the North is expecting normalized
diplomatic ties with and economic assistance from Japan. The
abduction issue must be resolved first, however.

It is vital for the United States to share this view with Japan.
(The United States) must not pursue a swift agreement with the North
at the cost of the scope of nuclear facilities subject to
disablement and abandonment.

The two leaders should frankly discuss how the negotiations should
proceed.

The prime minister has some other tough issues, such as the
suspended refueling operation of the Maritime Self-Defense Force in
the Indian Ocean and Japan's proposal to reduce its host-nation
support for US Forces Japan. Nevertheless, they should not rock the
foundation of the Japan-US alliance.

It is more important for Japan and the United States to crosscheck
their diplomatic strategies in order to find ways to bring stability
to the situation in East Asia. What are the priority policy issues
and what role should each leader play? Keeping good communication at
the top level is essential in order to come up with answers to those
questions. Perceptions toward China are also a vital theme.

We would like to see the prime minister move on to act two, Japan's
policy toward Asia, armed with those results. Fukuda is scheduled to
hold his first meetings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South
Korea President Roh Moo Hyun, as well as a trilateral summit with
them.

Stable Japan-US relations would help enhance Japan's diplomacy
toward Asia, which would in turn give Japan strength in facing the

TOKYO 00005244 008 OF 013


United States. We would like to see the prime minister draw such a
diplomatic strategy through this trip.

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

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
November 13, 2007

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage, rounded off.)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

Yes 41.1 (55.3)
No 40.3 (28.7)
Don't know (D/K) + Can't say which (CSW) 18.6 (16.0)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 32.2 (33.9)
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 26.5 (28.1)
New Komeito (NK) 3.6 (4.4)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.1 (3.4)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2.6 (2.0)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.7 (0.2)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.1 (0.2)
Other answers (O/A) 1.3 (0.4)
None 28.2 (26.1)
D/K + Can't say (C/S) 1.7 (1.3)

Q: Do you appreciate Prime Minister Fukuda and his government on the
following points?

His personal character
Yes 62.3
No 22.6
D/K+CSW 15.1

His leadership
Yes 28.5
No 43.1
D/K+CSW 28.4

North Korea policy
Yes 15.5
No 60.3
D/K+CSW 24.2

Response to Defense Ministry scandals
Yes 13.3
No 66.9
D/K+CSW 19.8

Response to pension issues
Yes 31.2
No 53.9
D/K+CSW 14.9

Response to hepatitis C infections
Yes 43.5
No 37.5

TOKYO 00005244 009 OF 013


D/K+CSW 19.0

Political steering
Yes 27.1
No 40.2
D/K+CSW 32.7

Q: The ruling coalition holds a majority in the House of
Representatives, but the opposition bench controls the House of
Councillors. What do you think about this distortion in the Diet?
Pick only one from among those listed below.

That's good because there's political tension 13.9
The ruling and opposition parties should compromise through talks
41.3
The House of Representatives should be dissolved at an early date
for a general election 41.3
DK+C/S 3.5


Q: The LDP and DPJ leaders met to resolve such a distortion in the
Diet. DPJ President Ozawa once clarified his intent to resign and
later retracted it. Then, what do you think about the following
points?

Do you think it was good that the Fukuda-Ozawa meetings were held?
Yes 68.4
No 25.2
D/K+CSW 6.4

Do you support the initiative to form a grand coalition of the LDP
and the DPJ?
Yes 26.8 (40.3)
No 60.5 (48.0)
D/K+CSW 12.7 (11.7)

Do you think the LDP and the DPJ should confer on policies?
Yes 90.9
No 5.5
D/K+CSW 3.6

Do you understand what DPJ President Ozawa said and did before
retracting his once-announced intent to step down?
Yes 23.8
No 67.1
D/K+CSW 9.1

Do you think it was good that DPJ President made up his mind to stay
on?
Yes 45.9
No 40.8
D/K+CSW 13.3

Do you think the DPJ should have elected a new president after DPJ
President Ozawa's announcement of his intent to resign?
Yes 54.4
No 31.9
D/K+CSW 13.7

Do you think the LDP will win a majority in the next election for
the House of Representatives?
Yes 48.5 (37.0)

TOKYO 00005244 010 OF 013


No 34.6 (51.5)
D/K+CSW 16.9 (11.5)

Q: What would you like the Fukuda government to pursue first?

Economic disparities 26.9
Pensions 20.4
Political scandals over money 14.0
Tax reform, such as consumption tax 11.5
Education reform 11.3
Global warming 6.2
North Korea 3.6
National security 3.2
Constitutional reform 2.9
D/K+C/S 0

Q: When would you like the House of Representatives to hold its next
election?

Within the year 9.6 (16.6)
During the first half of next year 35.8 (38.5)
After the G-8 summit in Japan next year and during the latter half
of next year 29.9 (22.3)
Upon the current term's expiry or the year after next 19.9 (20.5)
D/K+C/S 4.8 (2.1)

Q: What form of government would you like to see after the next
election for the House of Representatives?

LDP-led coalition government 29.7
DPJ-led coalition government 32.1
LDP-DPJ grand coalition 29.3
D/K+C/S 8.9

Q: How long do you think the Fukuda government will continue?

Step down within the year 4.7 (8.0)
Until around the next election for the House of Representatives 56.2
(52.9)
Until the fall of the year after next 21.9 (24.7)
Continue until after the fall of the year after next 10.3 (10.6)
D/K+C/S 6.9 (3.8)

Q: Do you support extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling activities for vessels belonging to the multinational
forces in the Indian Ocean?

Yes 51.8 (51.0)
No 38.2 (39.7)
D/K+CSW 10.0 (9.3)

Q: A bill voted down in the House of Councillors may be repassed in
the House of Representatives and enacted into law in order to extend
the MSDF's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. Do you support
this legislation?

Yes 51.2
No 37.2
D/K+CSW 11.6

Q: Do you think you are a floating voter with no party in particular
to support?

TOKYO 00005244 011 OF 013

Yes 58.3
No 38.1
D/K+CSW 3.6

(Note) Figures in parentheses denote the results of the last survey
conducted Sept. 26-27.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Nov. 10-11 by the
Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among males and females,
aged 20 and over, across the nation.

(7) Prime Minister's schedule, November 14

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 15, 2007

09:55
Met at the Kantei with Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Ota.
Joined by directors general for policy planning Fujioka and
Matsumoto.

10:35
Met Kansai Economic Federation Chairman Hiroshi Shigetsuma and
others. Followed by Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

11:00
Met former South Korean Prime Minister Kim Jong Pil. Later met with
Election Committee Vice Chairman Suga. Followed by Upper House Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Suzuki and Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary
Iwaki.

13:01
Attended a meeting of the National Governors' Association.

16:01
Met in the Diet building with members of the National Economists'
Federation of South Korea.

16:14
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi at the Kantei. Later,
met Finance Minister Nukaga and Internal Affairs and Communications
Masuda. Followed by former Upper House member Keizo Takemi and Japan
Center for International Exchange President Tadashi Yamamoto.

17:10
Met Policy Research Council Chairman Tanigaki and New Komeito Policy
Research Council Chairman Saito. Later attended a meeting of the
Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

18:36
Returned to his official residence.

18:59
Met Kyrgyzstan President Bakiyev at the Kantei. Later, attended a
signing ceremony for a joint statement and a joint press conference.
Later hosted a welcome party for the president.

21:31
Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

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(8) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Consumption tax hike next fiscal year to be put off; Government, LDP
have public opinion in mind

Mainichi:
Unidentified pension premium payment records: Only 2.3 PERCENT
checked; Third part committee start correction work in June, but
says calculations will take 10 years

Yomiuri:
Number of maternity hospitals down 10 PERCENT , according to
nationwide Yomiuri survey: 127 hospitals, even key ones in regional
areas, closed since last April

Nikkei:
Regulatory Reform Council urges total lifting of ban on mixed
medical services system as key proposal in its second report; Easing
of requirements for child minders also included

Sankei:
Diet likely to be open through the end of the year to keep new
antiterrorism special measures bill from being scrapped

Tokyo Shimbun:
Subprime loans: Mizuho Financial Group expected to incur losses of
170 billion yen this financial year: Merger of Mizuho Securities to
be put off

Akahata:
Welfare benefits administration: SOS at 4:00 a.m.

(9) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Prime minister to leave for US: How is he going to press ahead
with North Korea issues?
(2) Road consolidation plan: There is no room for investing huge
amount of money

Mainichi:
(1) Road consolidation mid-term plan will preserve construction
state
(2) Revitalization of graying communities: Scrap bureaucratic
sectionalism and adopt residents-oriented policy-

Yomiuri:
(1) Road consolidation plan: MLIT plan is based on the idea of
maintaining special road construction revenues
(2) Crime White Paper: Preventing subsequent offenses hold key to
reducing crimes

Nikkei:
(1) MLIT's road consolidation plan intended to preserve special road
construction revenues, ignoring spending reform
(2) Personnel appointments for government-affiliated organizations
that require Diet approval question political parties' insight

Sankei:
(1) Thirty years since abduction of Megumi Yokota: Effects of North

TOKYO 00005244 013 OF 013


Korean terrorism remain
(2) Special road-construction revenues: What happened to proposal to
use funds elsewhere?

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Special road-construction revenues: We hope to hear logical
discussion
(2) Disapproval of proposed personnel appointments for
government-affiliated organizations requiring Diet approval: We want
to closely check of system

Akahata:
(1) Maternity hospitals refuse to accept patients brought by
ambulances: Why are no measures taken?

DONOVAN

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