Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/16/07

DE RUEHKO #5267/01 3200814
P 160814Z NOV 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
November 16, 2007


(1) Prime Minister Fukuda to visit China late next month for meeting
with President Hu; Two leaders to agree to set up hotline (Mainichi)

(2) Government concerned about early delisting of North Korea as
state sponsor of terrorism; Fukuda to ask Bush for support on
abduction issue (Nikkei)

(3) Prime Minister Fukuda must persuade Washington to keep North
Korea as state sponsor of terrorism (Sankei)

(4) Asia and Japan-US alliance (Part 1-b): Fukuda diplomacy gets
underway; Shift from attaching too much importance to public
opinion; Prime minister to use US approach to North Korea as tool

(5) Asia and Japan-US alliance: Fukuda diplomacy gets underway;
Mismatched international cooperation; "Arc of freedom and
prosperity" initiative falls apart (Mainichi)

(6) Foreign Ministry requests funds for establishing new embassies,
even in countries with fewer than 10 Japanese residents (Sankei)



(Corrected copy) US Air Force apologizes for approaching civilian
flight over Guam (Asahi)

(9) Political Cartoons


(1) Prime Minister Fukuda to visit China late next month for meeting
with President Hu; Two leaders to agree to set up hotline

MAINICHI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
Evening, November 16, 2007

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has decided to visit China in late
December to meet President Hu Jintao and other senior officials of
the Chinese government. The two countries will celebrate the 30th
anniversary of the Japan-China Peace and Friendship Treaty
(concluded in 1978). Prior to this, Fukuda and Hu are expected to
confirm the importance of developing a strategic reciprocal
relationship between the two countries and also to agree in
principle to set up a hotline between the two leaders. Foreign
Minister Masahiko Koumura will visit Beijing on Nov. 30 and will
meet his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi to carry out final

TOKYO 00005267 002 OF 010

coordination on the prime minister's China trip. Hu is also
scheduled to visit Japan next April. The two countries are expected
to expedite shuttle diplomacy between their leaders.

(2) Government concerned about early delisting of North Korea as
state sponsor of terrorism; Fukuda to ask Bush for support on
abduction issue

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
November 15, 2007

The administration of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda is concerned about
the growing consensus that the United States will soon delist North
Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. The reason is that if the US
swiftly removes the North from its list of terrorist nations when
there are no prospects for a solution to the issue of Japanese
nationals abducted to North Korea, public trust in the Japan-US
alliance would decline. Fukuda makes his first official visit to
United States today. The focus is on the extent to which he can
confirm the policy course of taking concerted action during his
meeting with President George W. Bush.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei) on Nov. 9 ordered Ambassador to the
United States Ryozo Kato to tell Washington that (Japan's policy
toward North Korea) has not softened since the establishment of the
Fukuda administration.

With an eye on the abduction issue, the Fukuda administration has
shifted weight from pressure to dialogue in dealing with the North.
Machimura's order comes from the judgment that the shift might have
misled the United States to believe that Japan has given a nod to
putting the abduction issue on the back burner.

As if to back up the government's concern, a US State Department
deputy spokesman said on Nov. 13 that the abduction issue and
delisting are not necessarily specifically linked.

The recent rapprochement between the US and North Korea has been led
by the State Department duo of Secretary Condoleezza Rice and
Assistant Secretary and chief delegate to the six-party talks
Christopher Hill. Japan's hope is President Bush, who despises North
Korean leader Kim Jong Il. In his meeting with then Prime Minister
Shintaro Abe in April, the president promised continued support for
the Japanese government.

The government has told the North that if it repatriates all
surviving Japanese abductees to Japan, Tokyo will respond to its
calls in steps for lifting the sanctions and extending assistance.
But the North has been slow to react. We would like to see Fukuda
make the president promise that Washington will not sacrifice
Japan-US relations for US-DPRK relations and give Pyongyang the
impression that progress on the abduction issue is essential for
dissolving hostile US-DPRK relations.

A Japan-DPRK government source said: "If the United States puts off
delisting, the North might delay implementing denuclearization steps
by bringing up the principle of 'commitment for commitment, action
for action.'"

Fukuda yesterday expressed his hope for the president's decision,
saying to the press: "In view of the importance of Japan-US

TOKYO 00005267 003 OF 010

relations, I think the United States must make a comprehensive
decision on the matter."

(3) Prime Minister Fukuda must persuade Washington to keep North
Korea as state sponsor of terrorism

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

Yoshio Komori, Washington

A joint Japanese delegation to the United States calling for US
cooperation for resolving the abduction issue is now in actively
working on in Washington. In order to have the US government keep
North Korea in its list of terrorism-sponsoring states, which is the
main purpose of the delegation's visit to Washington, the focus now
is on how far the Japanese side will be able to get the Bush
administration to acknowledge its prediction that delisting the
North as a state sponsor of terrorism would severely damage Japan-US

The first members of the joint delegation composed of the three
groups -- the Parliamentarians' League to Address North Korea's
Abductions of Japanese Nationals (PLANKAJN), the Association of the
Families of Victims Kidnapped by North Korea (AFVKNK), and the
National Association for the Rescue of Japanese Kidnapped by North
Korea (NARJKNK) -- arrived at Washington on Nov. 11. The first batch
includes five members, including AFVNK deputy chief Shigeo Iizuka
and PLANKAJN Secretary General Shingo Nishimura. They have begun
making their appeal to US government officials to get cooperation to
prevent the US administration from delisting the North as a state
sponsor of terrorism. On Nov. 14 former MITI Minister Takeo
Hiranuma, who heads the delegation, and five Diet members joined the
other five. Hiranuma also heads the PLANKAJN. The delegation will
meet high officials of the National Security Council, the State
Department and the Defense Department, as well as lawmakers.

Under the initiative of the Department of State, the US government
has been trying to delist North Korea as a state sponsor of
terrorism in return for the disablement of the North's nuclear
facilities. In the event the US removes it, (1) North Korea will be
able to get assistance from the World Bank and Asia Development Bank
without US opposition, (2) the North will be able to regain its
assets in the US worth about 30 million dollars that has been
suspended in accordance with the Trading with the Enemy Act, a US
federal law, and (3) the issue of North Korea's abductions of
foreign nationals, including Japanese, will be regarded as resolved.
For Japan, however, delisting means that the North will be exempted
from responsibility for the abduction issue, and Japan's economic
sanctions on Pyongyang will lose effectiveness.

In the United States, there remains strong opposition inside and
outside the Bush administration, as well as in the Congress, toward
the State Department-led policy of delisting the North. John Bolton,
who served as undersecretary of state in the first Bush
administration and as US ambassador to the United Nations, has
expressed his opposition to delisting the North, saying, "Delisting
North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism is tantamount to
accepting such outrageous acts as North Korea's abductions."
Congressperson Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the ranking Republican member of
the House of Representatives Foreign Relations Committee, submitting
to the Congress a new bill calling for setting a resolution of the

TOKYO 00005267 004 OF 010

abduction issue as a premise for removing the North from the US list
of terrorist-sponsoring states. As of Nov. 13, she has obtained
support from some 20 congressional members.

President Bush reportedly is inclined to support the State
Department's policy direction. However since there still remain
uncertain factors, such as the response of North Korea on the issue,
whether the US will delist the North remains unpredictable.

A former high State Department official, who was in charged of East
Asian affairs until recently, stated:

"Japan's response could be a major factor for the US to make a final
decision on whether to remove the North from its list of state
sponsors of terrorism. If Japan were to react strongly to the
possibility of delisting the North and if the US assumes that
delisting would seriously damage bilateral relations and the
Japan-US alliance, President Bush would not delist the North."

The former official suggested that Japan play up the negative impact
on Japan-US relations to the maximum extent possible.

A congressional source familiar with US-North Korea relations also

"Although President Bush is inclined to support the State
Department's policy led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
Assistant Secretary Christopher Hill, it is not impossible for Japan
to change that trend."

The source also suggested three cases that would prevent the US from
delisting: 1) Fukuda succeeds in persuading Bush, stressing Japan's
strong opposition to delisting North Korea while pointing to an
erosion of the Japan-US alliance; 2) there are untruths in North
Korea's nuclear declaration; and 3) the North's support for and
involvement in Syria's construction of nuclear facilities is

(4) Asia and Japan-US alliance (Part 1-b): Fukuda diplomacy gets
underway; Shift from attaching too much importance to public
opinion; Prime minister to use US approach to North Korea as tool

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

Then Prime Minister Abe was desperate at a Japan-US summit held in
Australia on Sept. 8 in Sydney and said, "I will do my best to
continue refueling operations by the Maritime Self-Defense Force in
the Indian Ocean. Therefore, please wait to take North Korea off the
US list of state sponsors of terrorism."

Abe, who took office as prime minister capitalizing on his hard-line
stance toward North Korea, presumably thought that removing North
Korea from the US blacklist, which would lead to normalization of
ties between the US and North Korea, would be a nightmare.

President Bush responded, "I understand that the abduction issue is
important for Japan. Please contact me if anything happens." However
the president himself is in a fix, because since the US is in
quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan, he would not be able to bring his
career into a successful conclusion unless he succeeds in bringing
about a rapprochement between the US and North Korea during the

TOKYO 00005267 005 OF 010

remaining tenure, as a source familiar with Japan-US relations put

Four days later, Abe announced his resignation. He cited a lack of
prospects for continuing the refueling operation. However, the
fundamental cause of the deadlock could be found in that Abe, who
adopted a North Korea policy that put emphasis on North Korea
diplomacy, became unable to keep up with the sudden moves of the US
and North Korea to bring about a closer relationship.

North Korea test-fired ballistic missiles in July 2006, when Abe was
the chief cabinet secretary of the Koizumi administration. He took
the initiative for the adoption of a sanctions resolution against
North Korea by the United Nations Security Council by frequently
contacting US Presidential Adviser for National Security Hadley by
mobile phone. He believed that the ties between Japan and the US
serve as pressure on North Korea. However, since the US and North
Korea reached an agreement in Berlin in January this year, Hadley
also fell in step with Assistant Secretary of State Hill's policy of
bringing about a rapprochement between the US and North Korea .

North Korea's nuclear issue is vital for the security of East Asia
and of Japan, in particular. If the US gets down to the work of
bringing progress on the issue, its efforts would become Japan's
burden. This tells of the Abe administration's North Korea diplomacy
being inconsistent with the Japan-US alliance. This is the case of a
political leader having fettered his diplomatic means, attaching
high importance to public opinion.

One senior Foreign Ministry official regretted Abe's resignation,
noting, "If he had not resigned, a close meeting at Crawford Ranch
in Texas, President Bush's home, would have been planned. However,
such a meeting never realized." However, an alliance that tilts
toward playing up the personal relations of top leaders cannot mend
gaps in their policies.

Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda has been consistently critical of
diplomacy that attaches high importance to public opinion since the
time he was chief cabinet secretary under the Koizumi
administration. Fukuda scrambled to settle the commotion caused by
then Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka, whom the Prime Minister Koizumi
picked as a measure to control public opinion.

Fukuda was deeply involved in Prime Minister Koizumi's first visit
to North Korea in September 2002 at a time when public approval
ratings for the cabinet had sharply dropped due to the replacement
of Tanaka. However, when Koizumi visited North Korea for the second
time, Fukuda fiercely opposed it and resigned as chief cabinet


Then senior government officials said, "When Mr. Koizumi visited
North Korea for the first time, Deputy Foreign Minister Hitoshi
Tanaka, an official diplomatic route, served as a channel. However,
when he visited that country for the second time, close aides to Mr.
Koizumi prepared his visit, using unofficial channels, such as the
(pro-Pyongyang) General Federation of Korean Residents in Japan
(Chongryon or Chosen Soren). Being furious about this, Fukuda urged
Mr. Koizumi to cancel the plan. He has belief that dual diplomacy
should never be pursued."

The Foreign Ministry's official view is that though the prime
minister has been replaced, there is no change in Japan's

TOKYO 00005267 006 OF 010

dialogue-and-pressure diplomacy. However, some revealed their real
feeling that if the government uses progress on the US-North Korea
nuclear issue as a tool to settle the Japan-North Korea abduction
issue, the administration's policy scope would gain momentum, as one
senior Foreign Ministry official revealed. The prime minister has
reiterated his eagerness to bring about progress on Japan-North
Korea talks. His real intention appears to be at odds with his own
policy, that is, seeking synergy of strengthening the Japan-US
alliance and promoting Asia diplomacy, which is neither blindly
following the US nor becoming independent, regarding North Korea.

However, some remain cool toward this policy. That is because the
phenomenon of the US and North Korea moving closer is one sign of
the Bush administration approaching its end. There is naturally
doubt about to what extent North Korea will disable its nuclear
facilities, because there are indications that Secretary of State
Rice thinks that if North Korea gets as far as the second phase of
denuclearization, it could be a limited triumph for the Bush
administration, as the same source explained.

If relations between the US and North Korea become closer the Fukuda
administration would press ahead for a settlement of the abduction
issue. However, if progress is unclear, then relations between Japan
and North Korea would remain on the same level. This is the reason
why the word "settlement," which has cropped up since the launching
of the Fukuda administration, is tinged with some vagueness. Japan
and the US would wait and see what the other party does first with
North Korea in mind. A new way of an equal relationship of alliance
will be put to the test with the prime minister's first visit to the
US as the occasion.

(5) Asia and Japan-US alliance: Fukuda diplomacy gets underway;
Mismatched international cooperation; "Arc of freedom and
prosperity" initiative falls apart

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
November 15, 2007

Visiting Secretary of Defense Robert Gates met with five lawmakers
from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the New Komeito and the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) on November 9 at the
official residence of the US ambassador to Tokyo. He called for a
resumption of the suspended refueling operations in the Indian Ocean
by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF), saying, "Anyway, I would
like to see the MSDF operations resumed without further delay." It
was a direct request, though he refrained from mentioning this issue
when he met with key government officials, including Prime Minister
Fukuda, the previous day.

LDP Executive Council Chairman Toshihiro Nikai replied, "We will
send the new antiterror special measures bill to the Upper House
next week. We have extended the Diet session until December 15. We
will make efforts to pass the bill before the Diet session closes."
However, former DPJ President Seiji Maehara remained silent. LDP
Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima was also invited to
the meeting, but he was absent.

A week before this meeting, Prime Minister Fukuda and DPJ President
Ozawa were close to reaching an agreement at policy talks on
establishing a permanent law for the overseas dispatch of SDF
troops. Though they are at odds over resuming the refueling
operations, they are both positive toward the idea of dispatching

TOKYO 00005267 007 OF 010

SDF troops abroad for international cooperation.

However, US irritation stems from the fact that Japan is still
discussing creating a mechanism for dispatching SDF troops. One
senior Defense Ministry official said: "Japan's discussion on the
issue has made little progress since the 1991 Gulf War, while other
countries are facing a deeper challenge of how to prevent terrorism,
which cannot be rooted out even with the use of military troops."

Regarding international cooperation, Ozawa tackled the Gulf War as
secretary general of the LDP. However, he has been outside the

administration since then, while Fukuda, who was first elected to
the Lower House in the year preceding the Gulf War, faced the 9/11
terrorist attacks and the Iraq war as chief cabinet secretary.

An aide to the prime minister said, "They have come closer through
two rounds of the talks, because they shared the experience of going
through hard times in dealing with international cooperation."

However, the DPJ insists on giving priority to deliberations on a
bill scrapping the Iraq Reconstruction Special Measures Law
concurrently with passage of the new antiterror legislation in the
Lower House and the sending of it to the Upper House. In contrast,
Fukuda stressed, "I made a reply as a minister in charge during
deliberations on the Iraq Special Measures Law and received
encouragement from many opposition parties." Fukuda thus indicated
his intention to promote his international cooperation policy, based
on the track record of the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq. One
senior DPJ official noted, "If Hillary Clinton of the Democratic
Party is elected in the next US presidential election, the US will
pull out of Iraq. Our stance is going ahead of that scenario." The
bilateral alliance appears to be beginning to get off the track over
international cooperation, intertwined with the future courses of
the administrations of both countries.

Japan's foreign policy has also changed due to the replacement of
the Abe administration by the Fukuda administration. Former Foreign
Minister Taro Aso last November came up with an arc of freedom and
prosperity policy with the consent of former Prime Minister Shinzo

The idea is based on the notion of an "arc of instability" referred
to in the 2001 Quadrennial Defense Review Report (QDR) of the US.
The Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Korean Peninsula are viewed
as a breeding ground for terrorists. There are few US bases in those
regions. The Indian Ocean, where the MSDF started refueling
operations in support of various countries taking part in
antiterrorism operations, is in the center of the arc.

However, India, which is located in the center of the arc, rejected
the idea of an arc of instability, saying that there is an "arc of
prosperity" covering the developing Asian community. The US now no
longer calls the region an arc of instability. A policy advisor to
Taro Aso, who jockeyed for LDP presidency to succeed Abe reportedly
borrowed the word "prosperity" as the keyword of his policy and
characterized it as a pillar of Japanese diplomacy.

The idea was supposed to become a grand Asia policy also supported
by the US, but the plan fell through, because China opposed it,
suspecting that the idea was to encircle China. Former Ambassador to
China Koreshige Anami in a speech given at the Japan Press Club in
March said, "I do not think that is wise diplomacy."

TOKYO 00005267 008 OF 010

One senior Foreign Ministry official said, "Though Prime Minister
Fukuda does not say anything about it, he is certainly negative
about the arc of freedom and prosperity initiative. He is envisaging
a totally different Asia policy."

(6) Foreign Ministry requests funds for establishing new embassies,
even in countries with fewer than 10 Japanese residents

SANKEI (Page 11) (Excerpts)
November 15, 2007

The Foreign Ministry has requested that eight more diplomatic
establishments, including embassies, be established overseas. Views
about this request are divided. The Foreign Ministry aims to make
more countries supportive of Japan's bid for United Nations Security
Council permanent status and to promote resource diplomacy. The
ministry also hopes to expand itself by increasing the number of
embassy members. To build a new embassy, however, about 900 million
yen is needed in the initial year, including both facility and
personnel expenses. Given this, the Finance Ministry, which is
aiming to cut expenditures, is opposed to the Foreign Ministry's
request. The government will be pressed to make a hard decision
prior to the start of compiling next fiscal year's budget later this

In a meeting of the Fiscal System Council (advisory panel to the
finance minister) on Oct. 22, one participant said: "It is
questionable to establish a diplomatic establishment in a country in
which a small number of Japanese live."

The Foreign Ministry has proposed in its budget request for 2008
allocations for establishing six embassies in Barbados (Latin
America), Burkina Faso (Africa), Mauritania (Africa), and three
other countries.

Japan has established embassies in 123 countries, while
industrialized countries, such as the United States, have set up
embassies in 140 to 160 countries. The government and the ruling
parties will set the goal of establishing new embassies, bringing
the total number of Japan's embassies to 150 -- the same level as
other industrialized countries' -- over the next decade but many of
them in the coming three years.

The duties to be performed by an embassy include holding
negotiations with the government of the host nation, collecting and
analyzing information on political and economic affairs, issuing
passports and visas, such civil services as expatriate voting, and
protecting Japanese nationals in times of emergency.

However, the Finance Ministry remains cautious about the Foreign
Ministry's request for new embassies that include those in countries
in which the number of Japanese residents is fewer than 50. A senior
ministry official said: "Given the government's fiscal constraints,
it is questionable that new embassies will be established in a hasty
way. It is necessary to carry out coordination, focusing on costs,
countries, and timing."

Enormous expenses are needed to establish a new embassy. According
the Finance Ministry, if a new embassy with 15 Japanese officers and
22 local staffers is set up in Africa, a total of about 374 million
yen will be needed, with 56 million yen to purchase new vehicles, 38

TOKYO 00005267 009 OF 010

million yen as allowances for embassy officers taking up their new
positions, and 100 million yen to construct facilities designed to
ensure security. In operating the embassy, it will also cost
annually 497 million yen, which includes 200 million yen in
personnel costs and 38 million yen in pay for cooks at official


Asahi, Yomiuri, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun & Akahata:
Former Vice Defense Minister Moriya says politicians Nukaga, Kyuma
wined and dined by former defense trading house Yamada Corp.
executive now under arrest

120,000 bullying cases in elementary, secondary schools in school
year 2006

Toyota to reduce body weight of major models to improve fuel

(1) Moriya's Diet testimony: Nukaga, Kyuma must explain
(2) Poll on school bullying: How to teach children about the pain it

(1) Moriya's testimony: Nukaga, Kyuma must make clear accounts
(2) Bullying: Draw lessons from 125,000 bullying cases

(1) Moriya's testimony: Suspicions have deepened
(2) Rapid increase in school bullying: Blackmail by mobile and
internet e-mail

(1) Shed light on Moriya scandal
(2) Environmental improvement urgent for next-generation network

(1) Moriya's testimony: Politicians must give convincing
(2) Bullying poll: Dispel mistrust

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Kyuma, Nukaga should be summoned to testify before Diet

(1) Politicians should provide answers to allegations

(Corrected copy) US Air Force apologizes for approaching civilian
flight over Guam

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

US military aircraft during training in August approached 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

TOKYO 00005267 010 OF 010

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
tailing a commercial airplane with a military aircraft.

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


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