Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12//07

VZCZCXRO1782
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5425/01 3370812
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 030812Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9957
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7103
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4700
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8366
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3471
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5362
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0397
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6449
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7203

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 TOKYO 005425

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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 12//07


Index:

(1) Moriya scandal: Defense equipment procurement system to be
revised to stick the knife into harmful effect of presence of
trading house (Sankei)

(2) Moriya falls into the darkness of interests-Possibly in the
aftermath of scramble for U.S. military realignment projects (Tokyo
Shimbun)

(3) Spot interview with Masahi Nishihara: Arrest of Moriya may
affect the Futenma relocation issue (Yomiuri)

(4) Corruption in a sanctuary: Pursuit of military interests; 900
firms flock to enormous Guam relocation project (Akahata)

(5) In COP13 to open today, Japan to set out government proposals,
including monitoring deforestation by satellite (Tokyo Shimbun)

(6) Reform of independent administrative agencies in homestretch:
Capability of prime minister, state minister in charge of
administrative reform being questioned regarding whether they can
fend off resistance from government agencies (Tokyo Shimbun)

(7) TOP HEADLINES

(8) EDITORIALS

(Corrected copy) Japan-China economic dialogue: Cooperation for
promoting protection of intellectual property rights; Joint paper
includes cooperation on environment issues (Nikkei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Moriya scandal: Defense equipment procurement system to be
revised to stick the knife into harmful effect of presence of
trading house

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
November 30, 2007

Hiroyuki Kano

Following the arrest on suspicion of taking bribes of former
Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya (63), who was
lavishly entertained by a trading company specializing in military
procurement, the government and the ruling parties have started
looking into the possibility of taking a second look at a system of
trading companies serving as an agent in procurement of defense
equipment, such as aircraft and weapons -- a practice peculiar to
Japan. The Defense Ministry is now looking into a new system that
removes the presence of agents at the order of Defense Minister
Shigeru Ishiba. The envisaged new system will be on the agenda of
the first meeting of the Expert Council on Reform of the Defense
Ministry to be held for the first time at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence on Dec. 3. The Defense Ministry procured defense
equipment worth about 2.1 trillion yen in fiscal 2006, of which
equipment worth about 116 billion yen was imported. The usual
practice is that when the Defense Ministry imports defense
equipment, Japanese trading companies that have contracts with
foreign manufacturers deliver ordered products to the ministry.
According to the Defense Ministry, Britain, Germany and Australia in

TOKYO 00005425 002 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

most cases directly import equipment from manufacturers. South Korea
has a system similar to Japan's. However, domestic agents only serve
as something like liaison offices in that country.

By Naohisa Hanzawa

Since the former Defense Agency, now the Defense Ministry, has never
had experts with knowledge of business practices and command of the
foreign languages needed for directly negotiating with foreign
manufacturers, the system of using trading houses as agents has
developed in Japan. As a result, it has been the job of trading
companies to collect information on the performance of equipment to
be procured and the prices of such equipment. Such a system has
created a breeding ground for various problems, including high costs
and lavish entertainment of senior defense officials.

Following the Moriya bribery incident, the Defense Ministry has
started studying cases of other countries regarding the presence of
trading companies in equipment procurement and considering nurturing
personnel capable of negotiating with foreign manufacturers. One
plan is to set up a procurement agency specializing equipment
procurement as an extra-ministerial bureau.

It is estimated that in order for the Defense Agency to procure
equipment without the involvement trading companies, it would be
necessary for it to increase the number of officials by several
thousand. There is concern that such a proposal could incur
criticism as going against the administrative reform drive.

Concurrently with the government effort to reform the present
defense equipment procurement system, the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) yesterday
held full-fledged internal discussions on procurement of imported
defense equipment. Voices calling on the Defense Ministry to secure
transparency in procuring imported equipment dominated a meeting of
the LDP National Defense Division held on the morning of the same
day. However, some opposed such a view, noting that it would be a
problem to totally deny the role of trading companies.

Moriya dominated the Defense Ministry as vice minister for a
four-year period, which is unprecedentedly long. It is true that
the consolidation of the national emergency legislation and the
upgrading of the defense agency to status of a ministry would not
have realized without the political clout and faculties of Moriya,
who directly appealed to members of the national defense policy
clique in the Diet and secretaries to the prime ministers. However,
his dogmatic approaches characterized by, for example, promoting an
official who made a pledge of allegiance, while firing a senior
official who had been regarded as a potential successor, were
visible during his long-term administration.

Moriya's arbitrary administration was particularly pronounced in the
talks on the realignment of U.S. forces stationed in Japan (USFJ),
in which he fulfilled a role to weave through a course as the
government pursued the talks. He appointed his right hands, who were
not in charge of the issue, as chief members of the talks and
controlled the course of the talks at will. One of such men was
Nobuki Kawamura, former director of the Defense Policy Division, who
was fired for managing Moriya's investment funds. The so-called Team
Moriya turned a deaf ear to its partner Foreign Minister and caused
friction with affected local governments.


TOKYO 00005425 003 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

I could not believe my ears when I heard Moriya blast then Deputy
Under Secretary of Defense Richard Lawless, who was the chief
negotiator of the U.S. government at a semi-public meeting, "Mr.
Lawless, you should not say something like that in your position."
Moriya and Lawless were in a fierce confrontation over a location
for constructing an alternative facility for the relocation of
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. Moriya autocratically piled abuse on
Lawless, as he did not like the statement that official had made.

The realignment talks became protracted due to circumstances in
Japan. The fixed view among Japanese government officials was that
the talks would have broken down without Mr. Lawless, since other
officials knowledgeable about Japan were all gone. However, Moriya's
attitude of slighting Lawless as if his status was lower than him as
a negotiation partner made me feel that ideals of the realignment of
the USFJ to promote the Japan-U.S. alliance had become empty.

The U.S. government increasingly became distrustful of Moriya after
many rounds of talks. That is because he leaked things that were
under negotiations as something already agreed on, with the aim of
making plans convenient to Japan into accomplished facts.

Upset by Moriya's absolute control, one U.S. negotiator revealed his
dissatisfaction to me: "Mr. Moriya does not keep to the rules, even
to the minimum. I cannot believe these are talks with a U.S. ally."

Insisting on the return of U.S. facilities located in the
south-central part of Okinawa Prefecture, Moriya repeatedly leaked
information about that. The U.S. government was nervous about rumors
involving vested interests. A point has been made that Nihon Mirise,
established by Motonobu Miyazaki, who gave bribes to Moriya, was
trying to take part in a project to transfer of the U.S. Marine
Corps in Okinawa to Guam.

In view of the threats from North Korea, China and international
terrorism, strengthening the two countries' capability to jointly
deal with such through the realignment of the USFJ is a pressing
issue. I can only hope that the realignment plan can free itself
from the pattern of government administration swayed by vested
interests.

(2) Moriya falls into the darkness of interests-Possibly in the
aftermath of scramble for U.S. military realignment projects

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 24) (Full)
November 29, 2007

Former Administrative Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya has now
been arrested. His charge is bribe-taking over the Air Self-Defense
Force's procurement of its follow-on cargo aircraft (CX). Moriya was
even called the Defense Ministry's "emperor." There is a rumor going
around that behind-the-scenes struggles over huge defense interests
and internal power struggles sent him down to the bottomless pit.
What lies in the darkness behind his downfall?

Tateo Tamura, a journalist who often interviewed Moriya, presumes
that he was made the scapegoat in the scramble for defense
interests.

"Since the Hashimoto cabinet, the government has poured a huge
amount of money into Okinawa, based on rough estimates. There are
some people who don't want their Okinawa stakes unveiled. Moriya has

TOKYO 00005425 004 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

no decisive evidence (that would expose the core), so I guess they
probably thought the (defense scandal) case would end up with
charges of a contractor's treating Moriya to free golf. The
government is now going to spend as much as 3 trillion yen on U.S.
military realignment projects, and vested interests are engaged in a
monumental tug of war over that initiative. It's conceivable that
Moriya was involved in these struggles."

According to Tamura, suspicions have long been rumored about Moriya.
However, Moriya himself did not seem worried about the suspicions
about his collusive ties with a Defense Ministry contractor, Tamura
says. In October last year, however, Yamada Corporation, a
defense-related trading company, instituted a lawsuit against Nihon
Mirise Corporation (NMC), a trading firm established by a former
managing director of Yamada Corp. After that, Moriya's face was
clouded over. Around May this year, rumors again surfaced about
Moriya. "He told me, 'I wonder if Mr. Kyuma (i.e., former Defense
Minister Fumio Kyuma) might have spilt the beans," Tamura said. "I
thought there was something unusual going on," he added.

Moriya was later summoned to the Diet as a sworn witness. Before his
Diet summons, he told Tamura in an interview, "There is someone else
who is really bad in connection with defense interests." Tamura
asked Moriya, "What do mean 'really bad'?" Moriya fell silent then,
according to Tamura.

"Now I can do nothing but to expect the Tokyo District Public
Prosecutors Office to disclose the truth from what Moriya says."
With this, Tamura is paying attention to what Moriya will say.

"He (Moriya) couldn't read the Liberal Democratic Party's factional
power politics." This analysis came from Motoaki Kamiura, a
commentator on military affairs.

Moriya worked out a plan to relocate Futenma airfield in Okinawa
Prefecture to a site in waters off the cost of Camp Schwab. After
the Iraq war, Moriya laid the groundwork for sending Ground
Self-Defense Force troops to the southern Iraqi city of Samawah in
order to assist with Iraq with its nation-rebuilding efforts. In a
way, Moriya made contributions to the LDP-led government. On the
other hand, he successfully got the LDP's approval for a plan to
upgrade the Defense Ministry to full ministry status. He accumulated
such results to consolidate his power.

In August, there was an uproar over a political move to replace
Moriya with another official. Moriya stuck to his post as
administrative vice minister, and he insisted on installing his
favorite official in the post of administrative vice minister. Many
observers deem that Moriya intended to rule the Defense Ministry
through his confidant even after retirement. He probably wanted to
display his influence over a number of huge projects. The projects
included the U.S. military's realignment in Japan which reportedly
totals more than 3 trillion yen. Among other projects, the Defense
Ministry is planning to lay down a network of missile defense (MD)
shields to cover Japan against ballistic missiles. The Defense
Ministry will also select a fighter support plane (FX) model for the
ASDF.

Kamiura said: "Within the LDP, the former Hashimoto faction (which
is now the Tsushima faction) used to control defense interests and
had deep ties to Moriya. But now, the Machimura faction is becoming
more influential. Futenma relocation stagnated because Moriya

TOKYO 00005425 005 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

himself had a big quarrel with the Okinawa governor. The LDP thought
things would not go well under Moriya. And then, the LDP suffered a
crushing defeat in the election for the House of Councillors. Things
went against Moriya's expectations, and there was no one to protect
him."

This is the first half of a two-page report.

(3) Spot interview with Masahi Nishihara: Arrest of Moriya may
affect the Futenma relocation issue

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Slightly abridged)
November 29, 2007

I am worried that the arrest of former Vice Defense Minister
Takemasa Moriya may significantly affect the Japan-U.S. relationship
on the security front.

Moriya had played a leading part in going forward with the
realignment of the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ), including the
relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station and the
transfer of U.S. marines from Okinawa to Guam. My concern is that
Moriya's arrest could delay the realignment process. No progress on
the base issue involving Okinawa could lead to no progress on the
transfer of the U.S. Marines.

Hearing rumors that the construction of a base in Guam involves
various vested interests, I fear that calls for changes to the
transfer of Marines may grow stronger and that a delay may occur.

The U.S. plans to complete its military transformation in 2014.
Given this timeframe, Japan has no time to lose. The delay in the
realignments of the USFJ the more the U.S. government's distrust of
Japan would increase. Japan must firmly uphold the alliance with the
US, but the arrest of Moriya could shatter the morale of the
Ministry of Defense (MOD) and make it difficult to advance
negotiations with the U.S. The MOD has increased its presence more
than ever at present, but it would find itself at a disadvantage in
terms of a struggle for leadership with the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MOFA) in negotiations with the U.S.

Moriya's arrest must have come as a shock even to the U.S.
government, as well. Over the past few years, Japan has seen its
alliance with the U.S. moving forward at a steady pace, presumably
encouraged by the dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to the
Indian Ocean and Iraq, but the fear at present is that the U.S. may
lose its respect for the MOD.

In the Diet, the pursuit of the bribery case involving Yamada Corp.
is expected to gain steam. If lawmakers are wrapped up in pursuing
the bribery case, I am worried that deliberations on a new
antiterrorism special measures bill intended to resume the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean would be
further delayed and that the bill may have to be aborted.

How to reform the current defense procurement system is another big
challenge for Japan. For this kind of reform, a delay is likely to
arise in equipment procurement from now on, for instance, a decision
on an engine to be used for the Air Self-Defense Force's (ASDF)
cargo aircraft-x (CX) and the selection of the next generation
fighter.


TOKYO 00005425 006 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

In order to meet this challenge, it is necessary to implement
organizational reform as well as change the mentality of defense
officials.

In the past, too, there were cases of the breach of trust as well as
corruption cases involving the MOD's predecessor Defense Agency's
Central Procurement Office. There was also a bid-rigging case
involving the Defense Facilities Administration Agency. As the
defense industry is not a large market in Japan, the number of firms
and trading houses doing businesses in the defense market is
limited. In most cases, contracts are signed through negotiations.
So, the Defense Agency tended to think overcharging would be
unavoidable. Because a huge amount of money was involved in the
contracts, interests and rights would have been easily created.

In order to deal with that, I think one idea would be to strengthen
the function of checking the procurement system from the outside.
The MOD needs to have the capability to detect cases of overcharges.
The MOD also needs to rethink and revamp the current procurement
system under which trading houses are used. Raising a penalty may be
one idea.

In the U.S., too, there have been cases of corruption involving the
defense industry. Resorting to each official's sense of morality
would become necessary. And I think vocational training will be
regarded as something more important.

The government established a panel of experts headed by Chief
Cabinet Secretary Machimura to promote reform of the MOD and is
reviewing the current defense procurement system and the way of
managing information. What kind of reform proposal will come out
remains to be seen, but what is essential now is a sense of high
morality and the strong will to defend the nation.


Masashi Nishihara: Serves as president of the Research Institute for
Peace and Security and formerly served as president of National
Defense Academy; He is 70 years old.

(4) Corruption in a sanctuary: Pursuit of military interests; 900
firms flock to enormous Guam relocation project

AKAHATA (Page 1) (Full)
December 2, 2007

A president of a consultant firm who was on friendly terms with
former Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya noted:
"Even after leaving Yamada Corp., Mr. (Motonobu) Miyazaki was
confident about doing business by teaming up with Mr. Moriya. I
believe the relocation of (U.S. Marines) to Guam was his first
project."

1.2 trillion yen

The United States is reorganizing its forces around the world based
on a preemptive strike strategy. The realignment of US forces in
Japan is a part of that transformation. Among the plans, the
relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam is a grand project
costing 1.2 trillion yen in total. Japan is to contribute 710
billion yen to build housing and cover other costs.

The Ministry of Defense (MOD) on August 2 held a corporate briefing

TOKYO 00005425 007 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

in Tokyo for the planned relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to
Guam. Briefings were also held in Osaka on August 27, as well as in
Guam. The briefings by MOD, which usually does not hold such
sessions, is ascribable to the large number of corporate inquiries.

Here are the lists of companies that attended the briefings. They
were presented by MOD in compliance with the request of Japanese
Communist Party House of Representatives member Akira Kasai.

A total of 910 Japanese and foreign firms took part in the three
sessions, like flies flocking to honey: 269 in Tokyo, 78 in Osaka,
and 563 in Guam.

On the lists are such major defense firms as Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries Ltd., Mitsubishi Electric Corp., and IHI, and trading
houses such as Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsui & Co. Ltd. The lists also
include major contractors, like Taisei Corp. and Shimizu Corp., plus
U.S. consulting firms, designing and steel companies, and financial
institutions.

A former Defense Facilities Administration Agency (DFAA) official,
who has been working after retirement at a mid-level general
contractor that took part in a briefing, noted: "The Guam relocation
is a juicy project. Because there aren't enough projects in Japan,
they are desperately trying to join the Guam project. The
government-backed relocation project is appealing."

Coordinator

Such firms as Yamada Corp., for which Miyazaki served as a managing
director, and Nihon Mirise Corp., which was established by Miyazaki
after leaving Yamada, also attended the briefings.

Nihon Mirise produced a set of plans that assumed its participation
in the project. Included was an overall view of the USFJ realignment
with a chart illustrating steps leading up to receiving orders.

The Japanese agent falls under the umbrella of a U.S. firm that wins
an order from the U.S. Department of Defense. Nihon Mirise,
described as a "project planning company for research and
selection," is listed under the Japanese agent. In other words,
Nihon Mirise serves as the coordinator in Japan.

The specific plans were crafted from December 2006 through January
2007, more than six months before the MOD briefings.

Nihon Mirise obtained information ahead of others and produced the
upbeat business plans. Behind them, perhaps there was the influence
of Moriya, who wielded enormous influence as administrative vice
minister?

The former DFAA official disgustingly said: "(Moriya) blasted the
DFAA when the bid-rigging scandal involving the agency came to
light. But what was he doing? In the world of procuring defense
equipment, overturning a company already selected was referred to as
the 'Othello game.' Procurement is so orderly that changing one
contractor affects the entire picture. (Miyazaki) overthrew firms
already selected. Such is not possible without close ties to
higher-ups."

(5) In COP13 to open today, Japan to set out government proposals,
including monitoring deforestation by satellite

TOKYO 00005425 008 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07


TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
December 3, 2007

(Michio Yoshieda, Nusa Dua, Bali)

The 13th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP13) to the
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will begin on
Dec. 3 in Bali, Indonesia. The session will bring together
representatives from more than 180 countries. They will attempt to
jump-start negotiations on the design of a new international
framework to fight global warming beyond the 2012 timeframe set
under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

In a meeting on Dec. 2 of the Umbrella Group - composed of the
United States, Russia, and other industrialized countries - Japanese
delegates explained the government's package of proposals designed
to contain global warming.

The package includes measures to set up a special working group to
be joined by all major greenhouse gas emitters such as the US,
China, and India; to help Bangladesh and small island states reduce
gas emissions; and to create a system to monitor by satellite the
state of tropical deforestation.

In his press conference on the 2nd, Yvo de Boer, the general
secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change,

SIPDIS
expressed his expectation for probing negotiations to be held on
measures to contain global warming, saying: "The political answer
has to come now to what the scientific community has proved." On the
negotiations, expected to become stormy because of the conflicted
interests of member countries, de Boer said: "The focus in the
negotiations is whether the conference will be able to work out a
mechanism that will involve all countries."

The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions but does not impose the requirement on such
emerging countries as China and India. In addition, the US has yet
to ratify it.

The focus of attention in the COP13 is on whether these economic
giants will be included in negotiations on forming a more effective
framework. Participants in the COP13 plan to draw up a Bali roadmap
for future negotiations and adopt a new protocol at the COP15 in
2009.

(6) Reform of independent administrative agencies in homestretch:
Capability of prime minister, state minister in charge of
administrative reform being questioned regarding whether they can
fend off resistance from government agencies

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
December 2, 2007

Efforts to reform independent administrative agencies have gone into
the homestretch. State Minister for Administrative Reform Yoshimi
Watanabe plans to separately hold talks with related cabinet
ministers starting today with the aim of finalizing the specifics of
a consolidation and rationalization plan, which the government will
compile at year's end. With various government agencies opposing
scrapping or privatizing independent administrative agencies under
their jurisdiction, which offer post-retirement positions to

TOKYO 00005425 009 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

bureaucrats, the leadership of Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and
Yoshimi Watanabe is now being questioned.

Reform of independent administrative agencies is the best
opportunity for the Fukuda administration, which has not yet
attained any noticeable achievements since the inauguration in
September, to produce results. The prime minister is actively
playing up his desire to promote reform.

During an informal cabinet meeting on Nov. 30, Fukuda ordered
participants, "I want all cabinet ministers to display leadership
and positively hold talks with the administrative reform minister."
His statement was meant to check some cabinet ministers who are
against reform of independent administrative agencies at the request
of bureaucrats.

Watanabe, who had often been isolated in political circles following
the resignation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, the initiator of
reform of independent administrative agencies, is getting a boost
from the prime minister. He during a press conference on Nov. 30
indicated confidence in negotiations with cabinet ministers, saying,
"I want to have one-one-one talks with cabinet ministers without the
presence of working-level officials."

According to the government's Expert Council to Outsource or
Heighten Efficiency of Administrative Work, a panel that is mapping
out a consolidation and rationalization plan, of 102 independent
administrative agencies, 11 entities, including the Urban
Renaissance Agency under the jurisdiction of the Land,
Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, were discussed as targets for
abolition or privatization, and 17 entities, including the National
Consumer Affairs Center of Japan, as targets for integration or
transfers to other agencies or local regions. Talks between the
administrative reform minister and relevant cabinet ministers will
likely focus on how to handle those targeted entities.

Even so, concerned government agencies' resistance is deep-rooted.
At present, only two independent administrative agencies -- Japan
Green Resources Agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Nippon Automated Cargo
Clearance System Operations Organization under the Finance
Ministry's jurisdiction -- have been proposed as candidates for
abolition or privatization. Behind the deep-rooted opposition by
government agencies are their real feelings that they do not want to
lose independent administrative agencies, important entities that
offer post-retirement positions to national government employees.

In addition, many Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members are
secretly active to torpedo the reform drive, urged by government

SIPDIS
agencies. One official involved in the LDP Administrative Reform
Promotion Headquarters revealed, "A person who served as prime
minister worked on us to oppose the integration of a certain
independent administrative agency."

Watanabe underscored, "My basic approach is to settle issues through
talks with cabinet ministers." However, there may be cases in which
the prime minister makes decisions, depending on how strongly
government agencies are opposed.

(7) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:

TOKYO 00005425 010 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

Special prosecutors' squad questioning as witnesses senior Defense
Ministry officials on realignment of U.S. forces in Okinawa

Mainichi:
520 locations across the country added as places for asbestos
contamination by the asbestos patients support group

Yomiuri:
Ebara Corp. found to have illegally provided 300 million yen to its
agent, which was in charge of maneuvering for winning public works
orders from local governments, to help the agent to pay a penalty
tax

Nikkei:
Nippon Steel Corp., Sumitomo Metals, Kobe Steel Group to increase
their respective production capacity by7 PERCENT by 2012

Sankei:
Discounting battle for airfares likely to escalate with FTC's move
to make an international airfare price cartel subject to the
Antimonopoly Law

Tokyo Shimbun:
Former Yamada Corp. executive found to have sent 6 million yen
separately to former vice defense minister's wife, but the money was
returned immediately

Akahata:
13,000 persons participating in a Tokyo metropolitan rally in Zama
City said no to a war command center and no to U.S. military
realignment

(8) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Proposals for society filled with hope: Two key elements --
maintaining the current level of welfare services and making
desperate efforts to reduce annual expenditures

Mainichi:
(1) Revision to medical treatment fees: Drastic action necessary to
resolve shortage of medical doctors
(2) Enactment of two labor-related laws must be used to improve
treatment to workers

Yomiuri:
(1) Responsibility of consumer credit firms should be made clear in
revising the installment sales law
(2) Need for expansion of cooperation with other countries for
protection of cultural assets

Nikkei:
(1) Japan-China dialogue dealt with the appreciation of the yuan and
the joint development of gas fields
(2) Digital television broadcasting can make TV programs even more
variegated

Sankei:
(1) Politics and money: Agreed bill must be passed into law
(2) Variety of living creatures will be lost if no action is taken
against climate change


TOKYO 00005425 011 OF 011

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12//07

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Report on survey of hepatitis C patients lacks patients'
viewpoint
(2) Cabinet members slow to act to push decentralization

Akahata:
(1) Japan-sponsored resolution against nuclear arms lacks measures
to realize an elimination of those arms

(Corrected copy) Japan-China economic dialogue: Cooperation for
promoting protection of intellectual property rights; Joint paper
includes cooperation on environment issues

NIHON KEIZAI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
December 2, 2007

The governments of Japan and China on Dec. 1 held their first
session of the Japan-China high-level economic dialogue for economic
ministers of both countries to meet and discuss such issues as trade
and investment in a comprehensive manner. Both countries confirmed
the policy of establishing strategic mutual-beneficial relations on
the economic front. Participants agreed on cooperation on
environmental issues and energy-conserving technologies as well as
food safety. They also decided to set up a new framework to share
information on protection of intellectual property rights and
finalized a joint document. Regarding the agricultural sector, an
agreement was also reached that Japan export another 150 tons of
rice to China.

Major agreements: Japan to exports more rice to China

? Promote Japan-China strategic mutual-beneficial relations. The
economic dialogue is to be continued.
? The Chinese side is aware that it is worth learning lessons from
Japan's bubble economy caused by excessive fluidity. Japan expects
China to make efforts to raise the value of the yuan more quickly.
? Strengthen technical cooperation in the environmental and
energy-conservation areas.
? Continue cooperation in the food safety area.
? Exports of another 150 tons of Japanese-grown to China
? Expedite talks on development of gas fields in the East China Sea
in the run-up to Prime Minister Fukuda's China visit.

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>