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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Annapolis Meeting

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UNCLAS TOKYO 005341

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - ANNAPOLIS MEETING


LEAD STORIES: Most Tuesday morning papers gave top
coverage to Tokyo prosecutors' plans to question former
Vice Defense Minister Moriya later this week on
suspicion of accepting bribes in the form of wining and
dining from an arrested former defense hardware trading
firm executive.

1. "Good Opportunity for Progress on Middle East Peace"
The liberal Tokyo Shimbun editorialized (11/27): "The
Annapolis meeting will be the first US-arranged Middle
East peace conference since the days of the Clinton
administration. The meeting is significant in that it
will bring together ministers from the direct parties
to the conflict, as well as G-8 members, Saudi Arabia,
Egypt, Syria, and others.... One goal of the conference
appears to be winning support from moderate Arab
countries to ensure stability in Iraq and further
isolate Iran. The Palestinian issue lies at the heart
of the Middle East conflict. With just over a year left
in his term, President Bush, like his predecessors,
hopes to achieve a breakthrough on Middle East peace
ahead of the coming US presidential election. The fact
that Saudi Arabia and Syria will hold what are
essentially their first-ever direct talks with Israel
is a sign of progress. The parties to the conflict need
to understand that there is no way to achieve peace in
the region other than through dialogue and
negotiations. Political pressure from the international
community will also be necessary to make the conference
a fresh start for Middle East peace."

DONOVAN

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