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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Prospects for Middle

VZCZCXRO9706
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5391 3340219
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300219Z NOV 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9896
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4666
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7069
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3442
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5328
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8332
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0366
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1978
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6417
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7178
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005391

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 - PROSPECTS FOR MIDDLE
EAST PEACE


LEAD STORIES: Most Friday morning papers front-paged
follow-ups on the scandal surrounding arrested former
Vice Defense Moriya and his influence peddling for the
defense hardware trading firm Yamada Corp., including
allegations that Moriya instructed his aides to
consider purchasing MSDF ship engines and GSDF armored
vehicle equipment through Yamada.

1. "U.S. Role Most Important" The top circulation,
moderate Yomiuri editorialized (11/30): "The fact that
both Palestinian leader Abbas and Israeli Prime
Minister Olmert have weak political bases is a source
of concern.... Given the circumstances, it is even more
imperative that Washington act as a peace broker. The
Bush administration, with Iran in mind, invited to the
Annapolis meeting Arab countries that do not have
diplomatic ties with Israel. Tehran's presence in the
region is continuing to grow due to its nuclear program
and its influence in Shiite-dominated Iraq. Behind the
increased presence of Iran and Islamic fundamentalists
lies the stalemated peace process. If Washington has
decided to alter its previous cautious position on
brokering peace, hope for progress may be warranted."

2. "U.S. Leadership to Be Tested" The business-oriented
Nikkei wrote (11/30): "Achieving a peace agreement in a
year is an almost impossible goal. As a mediator, the
U.S. bears heavy responsibility for ensuring progress
and for not allowing things to end with just an empty
'expression of determination.' President Bush stressed
that the time has come to resume peace talks and
expressed his resolve by saying he will do whatever he
can. The President, who had hardly been engaged in
Middle East peace talks since taking office, appears to
have finally changed his position. Nevertheless, the
U.S. has paid a high price for having done nothing over
the past seven years. Anti-American sentiment has
surged in the Middle East since the start of the Iraq
war, with U.S. influence in the region having plunged.
Washington, in the hope of reversing the situation,
convened the Annapolis meeting in order to demonstrate
a proactive line on peace in the Middle East."

SCHIEFFER

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