Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 12/04/07

DE RUEHKO #5429/01 3380136
P 040136Z DEC 07





E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Asahi poll asks voters their choice if general election held
today: 32 PERCENT each pick LDP, DPJ, indicating race would be a
dead heat at this time (Asahi)

Fate of the new antiterrorism bill:
2) Ruling camp reaffirms determination to pass the new antiterrorism
bill without fail this Diet session to allow MSDF to return to
Indian Ocean for refueling service (Tokyo Shimbun)
3) Democratic Party of Japan study group plots ways to constrain LDP
from Lower House re-voting on antiterrorism bill once it is rejected
by Upper House (Nikkei)
4) Opposition camp's top priority is to pursue defense scandals in
the Upper House and not deliberate the antiterrorism bill (Yomiuri)

5) DPJ's Kan: If the Diet is extended for passing the antiterrorism
bill, strong possibility this will lead to Diet dissolution and snap
election (Mainichi)

Defense scandals:
6) Former defense chief Kyuma, now out of the hospital, denies any
money-for-favor deals with defense procurement trader, Yamada Corp.
7) Former Defense Vice Minister Moriya admits to prosecutors taking
3.6 million yen in bribes from Yamada Corp. that went into wife's,
relative's bank account (Nikkei)

8) Led by the Prime Minister's office, reform of the Defense
Ministry's procurement system starts, but debate time is short and
road to reform steep (Nikkei)

9) Japan plans additional 24 billion yen in foreign aid for
Afghanistan, mostly for refugee relief and agricultural production
support (Sankei)

China ties:
10) China's President Hu in meeting with Foreign Minister Koumura is
upbeat about resolving gas-development dispute (Tokyo Shimbun)
11) DPJ leading huge delegation to China that will put the Diet on
hold for a week; Trip seen as "lacking common sense" by the ruling
camp (Sankei)

12) U.S., Japan prior consultation on COP13 leads to agreement on
setting voluntary reduction targets, which EU is unhappy about
(Tokyo Shimbun)
13) U.S. clash in COP13 over handling China, which objects to
reduction framework (Tokyo Shimbun)


1) Poll: LDP, DPJ even at 32 PERCENT in popularity rating for
proportional representation

ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
December 4, 2007

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) paralleled each other at
32 PERCENT in popularity rating for proportional representation,
the Asahi Shimbun found from its telephone-based nationwide public

TOKYO 00005429 002 OF 009

opinion survey conducted Dec. 1-2. In the survey, respondents were
asked which political party they would like to vote for if a general
election were to be held now for the House of Representatives.
Respondents were also asked about the desirable form of government.
In response to this question, a total of 37 PERCENT chose an
LDP-led coalition government, with 36 PERCENT opting for a DPJ-led
coalition government. As seen from these figures, the LDP and the
DPJ were dead even.

The Diet, in its current extraordinary session, is focusing its
deliberations on a government-introduced bill for special measures
to resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in
the Indian Ocean. On this issue, respondents were asked if they
thought the MSDF's refueling mission should be resumed. In response
to this question, "yes" and "no" paralleled at 44 PERCENT . In the
last survey for November, 43 PERCENT answered "yes," with 41
PERCENT saying "no." In the survey this time as well, public
opinion was split over the advisability of resuming the MSDF's
refueling mission. Respondents were further asked if they supported
the MSDF refueling bill. To this question, 36 PERCENT answered
"yes" (35 PERCENT in the last survey), with 43 PERCENT saying "no"
(43 PERCENT in the last survey).

Meanwhile, the question is what to do if the bill is voted down in
the opposition-controlled House of Councillors. In this case, the
government and the LDP are looking into the possibility of taking a
vote again on the legislation in the House of Representatives for
its passage with a concurring vote of two-thirds or more. In the
survey, respondents were asked if they thought it would be
appropriate to take a vote again on the legislation in the Diet's
lower chamber. To this question, 46 PERCENT answered "yes," with 37
PERCENT saying "no." In response to a question asking whether to
support the bill, negative answers outnumbered affirmative answers.
However, when it comes to the question of whether it is appropriate
to take a vote again, affirmative answers outnumbered negative
answers. Even among those opposed to the legislation, 27 PERCENT
answered that it would be appropriate to do so. The figures show
their approval of taking a vote again as a procedure stipulated in
the Constitution.

The rate of public support for the Fukuda cabinet was 44 PERCENT
(45 PERCENT in the last survey). The nonsupport rate was 36 PERCENT
(34 PERCENT in the last survey). In the breakdown of public
support for political parties, the LDP stood at 31 PERCENT (31
PERCENT in the last survey), with the DPJ at 23 PERCENT (24
PERCENT in the last survey).

2) Government intends to settle new refueling legislation during
current Diet session; DPJ geared up to arm itself with all
information it can gather with introduction of censure motion in

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2007

The extended Diet session is to end shortly on Dec. 15. Bargaining
between the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) is heating up with major focus on the
handling of the new antiterror special measures bill (new refueling
legislation) aimed at enabling the Maritime Self-Defense Force
(MSDF) to resume refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.

TOKYO 00005429 003 OF 009

The DPJ, which holds the post of chairman of the Upper House Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee, is insisting that the Upper House
should be allocated with the same length of deliberation time as
given to the Lower House (about 41 hours). The committee is to meet
every Tuesday and Thursday. There will be four regular deliberation
days before the end of the Diet session. Even if there are
seven-hour deliberations a day, total deliberation time will fall
short of 30 hours. An increasing number of LDP members are calling
for re-extending the Diet session to mid-January with passing the
bill again in the Lower House in consideration.

However, another extension of the Diet session will have a negative
impact on the compilation of the fiscal 2008 budget. There is also
concern that a mood for dissolving the Lower House for a snap
election will rise in one sweep. As such, the LDP has decided to
strongly urge the DPJ to promote deliberations on the bill for a
settlement within the current Diet session.

In that case, the new legislation is bound to be voted down.
However, some noted that the government and the ruling camp would
secure Diet approval even by adopting it again in the Lower House,
because even if the opposition camp adopts in the Upper House a
censure motion against Prime Minister Fukuda, they would be able to
disregard it and obtain understanding from the public, if they
indicate a stance of attaching importance to public life when
compiling the budget.

The DPJ stands firm regarding President Ozawa's view that there
would not be enough time left to adopt the legislation during the
current session. It is thus geared up to put in a lot of work in
pursuing a series of scandals involving the Defense Ministry instead
of deliberating on the new legislation. It is considering the
possibility of summoning involved persons, such as Naoki Akiyama,
senior managing director of the Japan-US Center for Peace and
Cultural Exchange, as witnesses.

However, since it was impossible to summon Finance Minister
Fukushiro Nukaga as a witness due to opposition by other opposition
parties, some DPJ members are pessimistic about a witness-summoning
strategy. Some members are beginning to feel that their efforts
would bog down with one senior Upper House member saying, "It would
be difficult not to let the bill adopted indefinitely, if the Diet
session is extended.

3) DPJ to launch a study group to forestall move for re-voting on
new refueling legislation

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 4, 2007

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will shortly
establish a study group of experts to discuss rules, such as
re-adopting a bill by a two-thirds majority of votes in the Lower
House. The purpose is to forestall the move by the government and
the ruling coalition to re-adopt a new refueling bill to allow the
Maritime Self-Defense Force to resume the refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean. The DPJ wants to arouse public opinion by emphasizing
this logic that if the public will shown in the recent Upper House
election is ignored, that will lead to the notion that the Upper
House is useless."

4) Upper House committee's question-and-answer session begins today

TOKYO 00005429 004 OF 009

on antiterrorism bill; Opposition camp set to pursue Defense
Ministry allegations

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
December 4, 2007

The House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
begins a question-and-answer session today on a new antiterrorism
bill for resuming the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean. The government and ruling camp are
eyeing the bill's enactment in the current Diet session. On the
other hand, the major opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto), which holds the chairmanship of the committee, is showing
no signs of expediting the deliberations. There is no bright outlook
for the bill's enactment.

The committee regularly meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. LDP
Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki and Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka

Machimura confirmed a policy course yesterday to lobby the
opposition camp to hold sessions also on days other than Tuesdays
and Thursdays in order to secure enough deliberation time.

The DPJ is demanding 41 hours of deliberation time -- about the same
hours spent at the House of Representatives Committee on Prevention
of Terrorism -- before taking a vote on the bill. At the same time,
the party has no intention of meeting on days other than Tuesdays
and Thursdays, citing a custom. Today's question-and-answer session
is scheduled to last six hours. In the event the same deliberation
time is spent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the total deliberation time
before the current Diet session closes on Dec. 15 would be only 24

The opposition camp plans to give top priority to pursing
allegations over the Defense Ministry, with DPJ Diet Affairs
Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka saying, "We must squeeze the pus
out rather than providing oil." The opposition bloc is set to demand
Diet testimony before the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense
Committee by former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma and director Naoki
Akiyama of the Japan-U.S. Center for Peace and Cultural Exchange,
for which LDP defense policy specialists are also serving as

5) "If the Diet session is extended, the possibility of a Lower
House dissolution would increase," says Kan on BS11 TV show

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
December 4, 2007

Referring to a possible dissolution of the Lower House and a snap
election, Naoto Kan, deputy president of the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ or Minshuto), said on BS11 Digital news show "Inside Out"
yesterday evening , "Whether the government and the ruling camp
extend the Diet session will be one turning point. Chances are that
if it is extend to mid-January, potential candidates may start
running in anticipation of dissolution of the Diet at the end of the
session. Both the ruling and opposition camps might roll into that
direction." He this indicated his view that re-extension of the Diet
session would increase the possibility of a dissolution of the Lower

Concerning the new antiterror special measures bill, on which
deliberations by the Upper House committee to be started on Nov. 4,

TOKYO 00005429 005 OF 009

Kan noted, "It would be impossible for the bill to be adopted by the
end of the Diet session on Dec. 15, no matter how much the
government and the ruling parties try."

6) Kyuma denies provision of special treatment

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 4, 2007

Former Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma appeared on a TBS TV program
late yesterday and rejected the possibility that he might have
provided special treatment to firms having business relations with
the Ministry of Defense. He said, "I've never (provided any special
treatment) as a Diet member, not to mention when I served as defense
minister and as Defense Agency director-general."

7) Moriya admits 3.6 million yen was bribery; Money sent to bank
accounts held by family members, including wife

NIKKEI (Page 43) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2007

Former Administrative Vice-Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya, 63, has
begun telling investigators that a total of 3.6 million yen sent to
bank accounts held by his family members, including his wife, by
Motonobu Miyazaki, 69, a former managing director of defense
contractor Yamada Corp., was bribery, sources familiar with the case
said yesterday. The special investigation squad of the Tokyo
District Public Prosecutors Office is investigating the case,
believing the provision of cash was also bribery.

Miyazaki admitted to investigators that the Moriyas had requested
funds, the sources also said yesterday.

According to the sources, Miyazaki, in compliance with Moriya's
request, sent over 2 million yen on several occasions to a bank
account of his wife Sachiko, 56, in 2004. He also transferred over a
million yen to the bank accounts held by a number of Moriya family
members, including Moriya's second daughter, between 2004 and 2006.

In all cases, Miyazaki allegedly ordered Osamu Akiyama, 70, former
president of a Yamada subsidiary in the United States who is under
arrest on suspicion of corporate embezzlement, to send the money
from the slush funds under his control.

Of the 3.6 million yen, the portion transferred in 2006 to the bank
account held by Moriya's second daughter was allegedly to cover
expenses for her study in the United States. Miyazaki also allegedly
sent money to a company run by Moriya's relative.

8) MOD reform panel set in motion under Kantei's leadership; Interim
report due in three months

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
December 4, 2007

An experts' panel on reforming the Ministry of Defense (MOD) was
launched yesterday with the aim of ensuing civilian control,
information security, and increasing transparency in procurement of
defense equipment at the scandal-prone MOD under the leadership of
the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei). The panel is
scheduled to produce an interim report incorporating a basic reform

TOKYO 00005429 006 OF 009

direction in February, which is only three months away. Some think
the period is too short to come up with measures. A rocky road lies
ahead of the panel.

The former Defense Agency was hit in 1998 by a breach of trust case
involving the now-defunct Central Procurement Office, and in 2006,
by a bureaucrat-initiated bid-rigging scandal involving the former
Defense Facilities Administration Agency. Although those
organizations have now been dissolved, there seems to be no end to
improprieties involving MOD personnel. Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda
said to reporters yesterday, "I want the panel to review the
ministry in its entirety."

The panel is scheduled to meet twice a month to produce an interim
report in February. The government will submit a final report to the
prime minister based on concrete measures to be worked out by late
March by three working groups each responsible for civilian control,
information security, and defense procurement. There is skepticism
in MOD, wondering if a fundamental plan can be produced with only
six sessions.

9) Government decides to extend financial assistance worth 24
billion yen to Afghanistan mainly for measures for refugees,

SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2004

The government is expected to adopt immediate economic assistance to
Afghanistan at the end of the year. It yesterday decided to set the
amount at approximately 24 billion yen. Projects that will lead to
securing jobs for those who made their way as refugees to Iran or
Pakistan to take when they return home and improving public security
will be included in the fiscal 2007 second budget and the fiscal
2008 budget. With deliberations on the antiterror special measures
legislation for a resumption of refueling operations in the Indian
Ocean by the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) having rough going,
the government and the ruling parties want to obtain understanding
in the deliberations on the bill, by improving assistance for basic
human needs as called for by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or

The government had at first undergone coordination with the
possibility of incorporating into the fiscal 2008 budget to be
compiled later in the month assistance measures for Afghanistan
featuring bilateral grant aid cooperation worth about 5 billion yen.
The Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, which served as the basis
for refueling operations in the Indian Ocean, expired on Nov. 2,
making it impossible for Japan to make personnel contributions. As
such, the government has decided to extensively increase economic
assistance instead.

The government decided at a meeting of economic cooperation for
foreign countries on Nov. 1 to implement new economic assistance to
Afghanistan and Pakistan, which are engaging in the war on terror.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura during a press conference
the same day indicated the government's intention to swiftly work
out specific measures and the amount of assistance and include the
results in the fiscal 2007 supplementary budget.

With an eye on an increasing number of refugees now returning to
Afghanistan, the new package of economic assistance measures to be

TOKYO 00005429 007 OF 009

included in the supplementary budget will focus on vocational
assistance to them and development of agriculture and agricultural
villages to create jobs for them. Another plan is to incorporate
assistance to the Afghan government-led Disbanding of Illegal Armed
Groups (DIAG) in order to improve public security in that nation.

10) President Hu positive about resolving the issue of joint
development gas fields, expresses his plan to visit Japan at an
early date in meeting with Foreign Minister Koumura

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
December 4, 2007

Yuji Hiraiwa, Beijing

President Hu Jintao of China yesterday met with visiting Foreign
Minister Masahiko Koumura and declared, "I'd like to officially
visit Japan at a relatively early date next year." Hu indicated for
the first time when he plans to visit Japan.

Speaking of a visit to China by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, which
is expected to occur by the end of the year, Hu noted, "I want to
exchange candid views with him," and indicated his intention to
boost a strategic, reciprocal relationship through mutual visits.

On the stalled talks on gas fields in the East China Sea, Koumura
urged Hu to make a political decision on the issue, saying, "We hope
to see the issue resolved by the time of Prime Minister Fukuda's
visit to China. We pin our hopes on President Hu's leadership." In
response, Hu indicated he would make efforts to break the impasse,
telling Koumura: "I think it is important for both sides to put
aside the disputed items and share the perception that both sides
will jointly develop gas fields. I will accelerate the speed of the
talks and finalize them promptly and appropriately."

Although Hu did not mention historical perceptions, he referred to
the Taiwan issue as a "delicate issue" lying between Japan and
China. Touching on the move by the Chen Shui-bian administration of
Taiwan to conduct a national referendum on Taiwan's membership of
the United Nations, Hu made a much clearer request than before to
Japan, saying, "I hope Japan will definitely oppose (Taiwan's
joining the UN.)"

In response, Koumura went no further than to say: "Japan has
consistently followed the same policy toward the Taiwan issue since
the release of the 1972 Japan-China Joint Statement. Please set your
mind at ease."

Hu also pointed out the need to continue the high-level economic
dialogue between Japan and China, improve Japan-North Korea
relations, and boost defense exchanges.

11) DPJ to send a grand delegation to China before end of Diet
session, causing plenary sessions on Dec. 6-7 of both chambers of
Diet to be cancelled and enraging ruling parties

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2007

The major opposition Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) President
Ichiro Ozawa is to make a three-day trip to China starting on Dec. 6
and meet with President Hu Jintao and Chinese Communist Party

TOKYO 00005429 008 OF 009

leaders. Ozawa is to visit China in line with his lifework
Japan-China exchange project "Great Wall Plan." The second purpose
of his China visit is to attend the first meeting of the DPJ and the
Chinese Communist Party under the "Exchange Organization." The
delegation to China will be joined by a total of 46 Diet members,
namely, 21 DPJ House of Representatives members, including Ozawa,
former Prime Minister Tsutomu Hata, Deputy President Naoto Kan, and
Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaokaka, and 25 House of
Councillors members (22 from the DPJ, one from the People's New
Party, and two independents).

During a meeting between Ozawa and Hu, they are likely to exchange
views on security issues, including the North Korean situation, and
economic and environmental issues. Some 400 persons, including
members of the supporters' groups, will take part in an exchange
event under the 15th Great Wall Plan.

On his visit to China, Ozawa has said: "I simply want to see as many
(Japanese) people as possible build a friendship with Chinese
people." But a senior DPJ member noted: "China is attaching
importance to the DPJ. The proof of this is a planned meeting with
the Chinese president." Apparently, the DPJ intends to play up its
ability to hold the reins of government.

In the wake of a planned visit to China by 46 lawmakers, including
Ozawa, both houses of the Diet have been forced to cancel their
respective plenary sessions slated for Dec. 6 and 7. As a
consequence, the timetable for the current session of the Diet,
which is to close on Dec. 15, has become even more jam-packed. In
fact, a vote on a bill amending the Broadcast Law at the Lower House
plenary session has been put off to early next week. A number of
complaints are heard in the ruling parties.

12) Japan, U.S. in meeting prior to COP13 agree on voluntary setting
of targets to reduce CO2 emissions

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top Play) (Full)
December 4, 2007

(Toshiya Kama, Nusa Dua (Bali, Indonesia))

The governments of Japan and the United States held talks in
preparation for the 13th session of the Conference of the Parties
(COP13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change. In the talks, both sides agreed on a plan under which
countries would set their own targets to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions through voluntary efforts. The U.S. has indicated a
willingness to cooperate in drawing up a Bali roadmap for future
negotiations on a new international framework to fight global
warming beyond the 2012 timeframe set under the Kyoto Protocol, but
the stance of Japan and the U.S. might encounter reactions from the
European Union (EU), which has set a unified numerical target, and
from developing countries.

The Kyoto Protocol requires industrialized countries to cut carbon
dioxide (CO2) emissions by about 5 PERCENT from 1990 levels between
2008 and 2012. In the preparatory talks, Japan and the U.S. agreed
that all countries, including developing countries, should address
the issue of global warming under a framework of the UN. They also
shared the view that greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced most
effectively if countries voluntarily set their own binding targets,
instead of being pressed with a mandatory numerical target. On the

TOKYO 00005429 009 OF 009

timeframe and other details, Japan and the U.S. reportedly have yet
to start negotiations. The Bush administration has promised a 20
PERCENT cut in consumption of gasoline over the next decade as a
result of eagerly introducing renewable energy, such as photovoltaic
power generation. To reduce CO2 emissions, the two governments will
stress the need to disseminate technologies, as well as to review
the current market mechanism and trade rules. Both will also
cooperate in working out methods to effectively use nuclear power.

A Japanese government source stated: "Observers see the United
States as distancing itself from international conferences because
it has left the Kyoto Protocol. But the United States, changing its
attitude, has begun to show its willingness about efforts under a UN
framework in discussion on a post-Kyoto framework." A U.S.
government source commented: "It is reasonable for Japan and the
United States to take the initiative in negotiations on the design
of a new international framework to fight global warming."

13) In COP13, China reacts to UN framework for CO2 reduction

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
December 4, 2007

(Toshiya Kama, Nusa Dua)

In a plenary meeting on Dec. 3 of the 13th session of the Conference
of the Parties (COP13) to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change, government leaders expressed views on how to replace
the Kyoto Protocol. China fiercely reacted to reducing carbon
dioxide (CO2) emissions under the framework of the UN. China is
expected to become the world's largest emitter of global warming
gases. At the outset of the climate summit, China was in fierce
conflict with Japan and the U.S., both eager to involve major
emitters in an international mechanism.

In the plenary session, a Chinese representative insisted:
"Industrialized countries are required to reduce CO2 under the UN
treaty. China will voluntarily make efforts, but such should be
considered, separately from the discussion this time." Meanwhile,
Japan and the United States assert that all major emitters of global
warming gases must commit themselves to reducing emissions under the
same framework of the UN."

A delegate of the Japanese government emphasized: "It is still
unknown whether the conflict on the first day will bring about a
stalemate. We will make efforts so that a Bali roadmap for future
negotiations on a new framework will be adopted." Participants in
the plenary session also agreed to set up a subcommittee of major
member countries to create a roadmap.


© 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>>