Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/16/07

DE RUEHKO #5258/01 3200130
P 160130Z NOV 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

Prime Minister Fukuda off to Washington:
2) Prime Minister Fukuda leaves for US to meet with President Bush

Japan in action:
3) Prime Minister Fukuda eyes taking environmental initiative at
East Asia summit (Nikkei)
4) Abductees' kin in Washington asks US not to cross out North
Korea's name on terror list (Sankei)
5) Japan to send election observers to Pakistan (Yomiuri)
6) Japan, South Africa agree to develop rare metal (Tokyo Shimbun)

7) Japan puts off inking economic partnership agreement (EPA) with
ASEAN (Yomiuri)
8) JP Bank (Yucho Ginko) stops remittances to Iran, with US bank
halting transactions (Mainichi)

Fallout from MOD scandals:
9) Ex-MOD Vice Minister Moriya in Diet summons testifies former
defense chiefs, Nukaga and Kyuma, wined and dined by defense
contractor (Asahi)
10) MSDF refueling bill up in the air (Nikkei)
11) Ex-MOD Vice Minister Moriya to return retirement money (Yomiuri)

Political topics:
12) DPJ's Ozawa: "President Bush is not supported. What makes them
feel hesitant?" (Asahi)
13) Fukuda cabinet's support rate slips 2.8 points to 41.3 PERCENT
in Jiji poll (Tokyo Shimbun)

Defense and security issues:
14) Hiroshima police drop gang rape case against US Marines (Asahi)

15) USAF apologies to Japanese airline crew reps at US Embassy Tokyo
for near-miss over Guam (Asahi)
16) ASDF buys night vision goggles made in U.S.A., but all bogus,
not genuine (Yomiuri)


1) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, November 15

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Spent the morning at private residence in Nozawa.
Arrived at the official residence.

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi at the Kantei.

Gave interview to four foreign news organizations, including Xinhua
News Agency. Then videotaped a message for an event to be held

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before Vietnamese President Nguyen Minh Triet's Japan visit.

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Iwaki, Assistant Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Ando and Foreign Ministry Economic Affairs
Bureau Director General Otabe.

Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

Arrived at the official residence.

Left Haneda Airport by government plane to visit the US.


2) Prime Minister Fukuda departs for US

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda left for the United States last night
from Haneda Airport on a government plane. This US visit is his
first official oversea trip as prime minister. He will meet with
President George W. Bush on the morning of Nov. 16 (early on Nov.
17, Japan time). He is expected to return home on the 17th. Prior to
his departure, Fukuda told the press corps at the Prime Minister's

"I want to engage in frank exchanges of views with the president. It
is important to make efforts to strengthen and deepen Japan-US
relations. It is also necessary to promote wide-ranging exchanges."

3) East Asia summit: Prime minister to announce outlay of 200
billion yen as assistance for environmental policy, featuring
measures to deal with pollution

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 7) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda yesterday decided to propose at the
upcoming East Asia summit to be held in Bogor, Indonesia, a
comprehensive set of measures aimed at dealing with environmental
issues in Asia. According to the plan, Japan will disburse
approximately 200 billion yen over five years to be used for
measures to deal with pollution, including air pollution. Fukuda
will also reveal humanitarian and intellectual assistance, including
accepting trainees and inter-region cooperation among graduate

4) Abductees' families meet Assistant to the US President Jeffrey

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
November 16, 2007

A delegation to the United States of representatives of the
Association of the Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea and
the Parliamentarians' League to Address North Korea's Abductions of
Japanese Nationals met on Nov. 14 with Assistant to the President
and Deputy National Security Adviser James Jeffrey to ask the US

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government not to delist North Korea as state sponsor of terrorism.
According to reporters, lawmaker Takeo Hiranuma, chairman of the
parliamentarian's league, said after the meeting that (James
Jeffrey) said, "President Bush also has been seriously considering
the abduction issue. We will handle the matter carefully."

Jeffrey also added: "Unless conditions are met, we will not delist
North Korea. The abductions are also our matter, as well." He did
not mention any specific conditions for the delisting of North

5) Government to send election-monitoring team to Pakistan after
state of emergency lifted

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

The government launched yesterday coordination to send an
election-monitoring team made of Foreign Ministry officials to
Pakistan, which plans to hold parliamentary elections in early
January. The aim is to support Pakistan's effort to promote
democracy, as the country has played an important role in the war on
terror. However, since Pakistan has imposed a state of emergency
nationwide, the government intends to dispatch the
election-monitoring team after the state of emergency is removed. A
senior Foreign Ministry official said: "Under the present situation,
it is difficult for the country to conduct free and fair

The monitoring team will likely be made up of a dozen or so Foreign
Ministry officials and Japanese Embassy staff members in Pakistan.
The team will engage in supervising those working on elections and
monitoring polling stations. The government has provided Pakistan
with about 400 million yen in emergency grant aid through the United
Nations Development Program (UNDP).

The government conveyed to Pakistan, which declared on Nov. 3 the
state of emergency, its serious concern that the process of
promoting democracy would backslide. It has called on the country to
normalize the situation as early as possible. Foreign Minister
Masahiko Koumura has announced that Japan will reconsider its
decision to increase the amount of official development assistance
(ODA) to Pakistan.

6) Japan reaches agreement with South Africa on development of rare
metals to pave way for stable procurement

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Japan and South Africa yesterday reached an agreement to pave the
way for jointly developing rare metals used for autos and mobile
phones and improving an investment environment in South Africa.
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Akira Amari and South
African President Mbeki met in Cape Town and agreed to promote
bilateral cooperation. Meeting the press after the talks, Amari
stressed, "Japan's assistance to help South Africa become
self-sufficient will lead to a mid- to long-term stable supply of

7) Signing EPA with ASEAN to be postponed to next year

TOKYO 00005258 004 OF 009

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Full)
November 16, 2007

The government announced yesterday that it would put off the signing
of an economic partnership agreement (EPA), centering on a free
trade agreement (FTA), with the Association of Southeast Asian
Nations (ASEAN), until 2008. The decision came due to a delay in
coordinating views about the details of the accord. The government
said that both sides expect to formally sign the agreement in
February or March next year.

7) Japan Post Bank to suspend remittances to Iran, following US
bank's halt of dealings

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Japan Post Bank Co. announced yesterday that it will suspend
remittances to Iran starting on Nov. 22. This decision is on the
heels of the decision of the bank in the United States to which
Japan Post Bank has entrusted account settlements to stop dealings
with Iran in response to Washington's policy of strengthening its
sanctions against that nation. Japan Post Bank deals with about 200
cases of remittance to Iran annually and has so far sent
approximately 50 million yen in total. The decision will hinder
remittances to Japanese nationals living in Iran.

8) Moriya testifies that Nukaga and Kyuma were present at wining and
dining, but both say they do not have such a recollection

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
November 16, 2007

Former Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, 63,
testified before the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee yesterday that Finance Minister Fukushiro Nukaga
and former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma had been present when he was
being wined and dined by Motonobu Miyazaki, a former managing
director of defense equipment trading house Yamada Corp. who is
under attest on suspicion of corporate embezzlement and other
charges. Nukaga and Kyuma, both former defense chiefs, said after
Moriya's testimony that they have no recollection of the matter. The
major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) is
demanding explanations at the Diet, seeking testimony by the two at
the House of Representatives. With the DPJ looking to submit censure
motions against Nukaga and Kyuma, the matter might escalate into a
question of whether they should resign or not. It has now become
difficult for a refueling assistance bill designed to resume the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling operation to clear the Diet
in the current session that was extended to Dec. 15.

According to Moriya's testimony, Nukaga was present at a meeting
held at a Japanese restaurant in Tokyo's Kanda district probably in
the year before last when US Defense Department Japan desk director
James Auer was visiting Tokyo. Miyazaki was there when Moriya
arrived and then Nukaga came and left first. Other lawmakers were
also present, according to Moriya.

Kyuma attended a party held two to three years ago at a Japanese
restaurant in Tokyo's Roppongi district near the then Defense
Agency. Moriya was invited by Naoki Akiyama, an executive of the
Japan-US Center for Peace and Cultural Exchanges, which hosts a

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biannual symposium for national defense legislators of the two
countries, saying, "I am going to drink with the minister. Why don't
you come over?" Kyuma left the restaurant soon after Moriya arrived
and he continued to drink with Akiyama and Miyazaki. Moriya said
that he does not remember what they discussed.

9) Deliberations on new refueling bill to start on Nov. 26 or later

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

The future course of new legislation aimed at enabling the Maritime
Self-Defense Force to resume refueling operations in the Indian
Ocean, the major point at issue in the current Diet session, has
become even more unclear in the wake of the summoning of Former
Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya to the Upper
House yesterday. The government and the ruling camp are seeking to
discuss scandals involving the Defense Ministry and the new
legislation separately. However, with the opposition camp getting a
boost from the testimony given by Moriya, deliberations on the new
bill will unlikely start before Nov. 26.

Commenting on the emergence of the names of Kyuma and Nukaga in
connection with dinner parties hosted by a former executive director
of a trading house specializing in military procurement, Defense
Minister Shigeru Ishiba yesterday said, "It cannot be definitely
concluded that politicians' attendance at such dinner parties can be
immediately linked to the existence of a criminal nature." He then
stressed that deliberations on the new legislation should be
considered in a separate framework.

Talks between the ruling and opposition camps over a deliberation
schedule to handle the new refueling bill have made little progress.
Seiji Suzuki, chairman of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Upper
House Diet Affairs Committee, and Susumu Yanase, chair of the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) Upper House Diet Affairs
Committee discussed the deliberation schedule yesterday as well.
However, a gap remains between the LDP, which is calling for an
early start of deliberations, and the DPJ, which is giving priority
to shedding light on the scandals.

With Yanase indicating his perception that it would be difficult to
enter into deliberations in the Upper House plenary session on Nov.
19, as sought by the ruling party, the likelihood is that
deliberations will not take place before Nov. 26. If that is the
case, it would be more difficult for the new bill to secure Diet
approval during the current session, which is to last until December
15. Chances are that the government and the ruling parties might be
urged to discuss the propriety of extending the session.

DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chair Kenji Yamaoka noted, "A step for
deliberations on the new legislation must come after scandals
involving the Defense Ministry are unraveled." He has repeatedly
stressed the DPJ's policy of giving priority to the Iraq
Reconstruction Assistance Special Measures Law scrapping bill in
Upper House deliberations.

The DPJ at a meeting of the directors of the Upper House Diplomatic
and Defense Affairs Committee on the 15th proposed starting
deliberations on its own bill. It is expected to offer an
explanation of the bill as early as the 20th.

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10) Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya to return entire retirement
allowance to state coffers

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 16, 2007

Former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya,
testifying yesterday under oath to the House of Councillors
Committee on Foreign Affairs and Defense, said that he would return
his retirement allowance to the state coffers to take responsibility
for having been excessively wined and dined (by the arrested former
defense trading house executive) and other reasons.

Moriya stated:

"I am sorry that (Defense Ministry and Self-Defense Forces)
personnel have lost the public trust because of what I did. A person
like me is not qualified to receive a retirement allowance.
Therefore, I will return it."

According to the Defense Ministry, Moriya, who retired from the
ministry in late August, received approximately 75 million yen as a
retirement allowance in September.

In the ministry, there is a view that he took responsibility in his
own way.

However, the law on retirement allowances for national public
servants stipulates that if government officials are charged with a
case for what they did during their tenure and they are sentenced to
a jail term, they must return their retirement allowance to the
state coffers. Since the special investigation squad of the Tokyo
District Public Prosecutors Office has decided to build a bribery
case against Moriya, there is also a view in the ministry that there
is little meaning in what he said, because if he is charged with
bribery, he will have to return his retirement allowance anyway.

11) Interview with DPJ President Ozawa: "Americans do not support
President Bush. Why do we have to care (about his reaction)?"

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 16, 2007

-- You have put forward the view that it should be possible for
Japan to take part in the International Security Assistance Force
(ISAF). Your party members now fully understand this idea?

I have not suggested that Japan should join any operations. The
government of the day should determine in which area and to what
extent Japan should participate after thorough thought. Our party
promised in its manifestos Japan's participation in United Nations
operations, so this is not a matter that will be discussed from
scratch. I wonder why such a simple matter is not understood.

-- The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is against the idea. Will such
a stance affect electoral cooperation between the two parties?

I don't care whether the SDP is opposed to it. But if the party is
eager to topple the government led by the Liberal Democratic Party,
that will do. Japanese are not good at taking a realistic attitude.
Even in the case of the coalition government of Germany, the parties
do not necessarily share the same views. Even if there are minor

TOKYO 00005258 007 OF 009

differences in our policies, it should be possible for the two
parties to cooperate with each other. Although it is a different
matter whether the two parties will form a coalition when (our
party) wins power, there will be no problem with electoral
cooperation. With the Japanese Communist Party, cooperation will
also go smoothly. Nonetheless, when it comes to the question of
whether our party will form a coalition with it, that is a different

-- Some voice concern about the future of Japan-US relations.

There is no need to worry. President Bush has not been supported by
the American people, so why do we have to care (about his
reactions)? President Bush's policy has come under heavy fire in the

-- Did you and Prime Minister Fukuda agree to establish a permanent
law in your earlier meeting?

No, we didn't. Since principles have not been made clear, it is
impossible to establish a law. I said: "As long as the
interpretation of the Constitution remains unclear regarding the
Self-Defense Forces' overseas missions and security, I won't talk
about a coalition. I do not accept your proposal for holding talks
on the government's new antiterrorism bill. It will be impossible
even if you ask me, kneeling on the ground." (In the second
meeting,) I said: "The dispatch of SDF troops with no principle is
unacceptable." The prime minister replied: "I agree. I cannot make a
decision by myself." In response to my reply: "It is meaningless to
make questions for the Cabinet Legislation Bureau," the prime
minister told me: "It was not the Cabinet Legislation Bureau." Since
its basic principles have been left ambiguous, it will be impossible
to lay out a basic law.

-- How about the possibility that the DPJ will hold policy talks
with the LDP on establishing a permanent law prior to the next
general election?

There is no possibility at all.

-- Once your party assumes political power, will you consider
establishing a law?

It is necessary to prepare a basic law to complement the
Constitution by stipulating proper principles on the dispatch of the
SDF. Unless such a basic law is established, the current
constitutional problems will persist until the Constitution is
revised. If our party wins a majority in the next election, we will
have to start the process of drawing up a basic law.

12) Poll: Cabinet support down 2.8 points to 41.3 PERCENT ,
nonsupport up 7 points

TOKYO (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 16, 2007

The approval rating for Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and his cabinet
was 41.3 PERCENT , according to a public opinion survey conducted
for the month by Jiji Press on Nov. 8-11. The Fukuda cabinet's
support rate dropped 2.8 percentage points from its inaugural rating
for last month. The disapproval rating was 31.3 PERCENT , up 7.0
points from last month. The results can be taken as reflecting a

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recent sequence of scandals, such as former Administrative Vice
Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya's inappropriate ties with a defense
contractor, the Maritime Self-Defense Force's coverup of the amount
of fuel supplied to a US warship, and the Health, Labor and Welfare
Ministry's failure to inform hepatitis C virus carriers of their

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party stood at 23.4 PERCENT , the same as last
month. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto)
was at 16.3 PERCENT , up 0.1 point from last month. The proportion
of those with no particular party affiliation was 52.2 PERCENT , up
0.8 point.

The survey was conducted across the nation with a total of 2,000
persons chosen from among men and women aged 20 and over. The
retrieval rate was 65.7 PERCENT .

13) Hiroshima District Public Prosecutors Office drops gang-rape
case against US Marines

ASAHI (Page 36) (Full)
November 16, 2007

The Hiroshima District Public Prosecutors Office yesterday dropped
its case against four US Marines (aged 19, 24, 34, and 38) stationed
at US Marine Corps' Iwakuni Air Station who had been suspected of
gang-raping a 19-year-old woman. Prosecutors decided that there was
insufficient evidence to indict the four because the women's
statements were indefinite and her memories were partially

The Hiroshima Prefectural Police started investigations based on the
women's complaint. Police sent papers on the case to prosecutors on
Nov. 6 saying that the four gang-raped in a car before dawn on Oct.
14 a woman they became acquainted in the city of Hiroshima.
Following this, the US side will consider whether it is possible to
file charges against the four in a court-martial under US law.

14) US Air Force apologizes for near-miss over Guam

ASAHI (Page 37) (Full)
November 16, 2007

A US military aircraft in training came close in August to a JALWAYS
Sydney-Narita passenger jet (carrying 414 passengers and
crewmembers) -- flight number 772 -- in the skies over Guam
(altitude of about 11,500 meters). In this connection, US 5th Air
Force headquarters aircraft director Michael Bishop and others met
representatives of the Air Line Pilots' Association of Japan (ALPA)
at the US Embassy in Tokyo yesterday and offered an apology. They
also produced a written statement vowing to make efforts to prevent
a recurrence. It is unusual for the US side to admit fault in a
near-miss between a US military aircraft and a commercial airplane.

According to ALPA, the US side admitted that the US military
aircraft had identified the JALWAY jetliner as an unidentified plane
due to insufficient communication with air traffic control and
approached it to about 600 meters from behind to correctly identify
it and that the military aircraft did not follow a set of procedures
for approaching a plane stipulated by international treaty.

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15) ASDF purchased 136 sets of counterfeit night-vision goggles

YOMIURI (Page 38) (Full)
November 16, 2007

The Defense Ministry announced yesterday that the 136 sets of
US-made night-vision goggles the ministry purchased for security at
Air Self-Defense Force bases were counterfeit. There is a strong
possibility that they were products widely available to hobbyists in
the United States. The ministry will return the products to the
trading house in Tokyo that had delivered them and seek repayment.

According to MOD, the ministry concluded a contract in March 2006
with the trading firm to purchase 136 sets of night-vision goggles
produced by Northrop Grumman at 300,000 yen apiece, for a total of
41 million yen. The products were delivered in February 2007. An
outside source this summer reportedly told the ministry that the
goggles might be fakes. MOD in turn made an inquiry with Northrop
Grumman and sent photos of the goggles. Northrop Grumman responded
that the goggles were not produced by the company.

MOD intends to cancel the contract with the trading house and is
investigating whether the firm delivered the products in the
knowledge that they were fake.


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