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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russian Parliamentary

VZCZCXRO2725
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #5435 3380430
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040430Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9980
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 4720
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8386
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0417
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1984
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6469
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7224
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005435

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 - RUSSIAN PARLIAMENTARY
ELECTIONS


LEAD STORIES: Top stories on Tuesday morning include a
U.S.-Japan agreement reached ahead of the COP 13
climate change meeting in Bali, Indonesia, for each
nation to set "voluntary targets" for emission cuts.

1. "Premonitions of a 'Putin Dynasty'" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (11/4): "Each nation has its own
form of democracy. Although the recent Russian
parliamentary elections may have been conducted in a
'Russian way,' we have to wonder whether this was true
democracy at all.... During President Putin's term in
office, a balance of power has apparently been
maintained among various business and political
interests. The groups that support the Putin
administration may have decided that it is in their
common interest to maintain the current regime and the
influence of Putin at the cost of democracy. If they
ignore the presidential term limit and parliamentary
elections in their quest to seek a continuation of the
Putin regime, Russia will move one step closer to a
dynasty. No matter how 'Russian' this is, it is a long
way from democracy."

2. "Putin Establishes Post-Presidency Power Base" The
moderate Yomiuri editorialized (11/4): "The results of
Sunday's Russian parliamentary elections helped
President Putin establish a political base for his
continued power after the expiration of his term in May
2008.... Backed by the election results, Putin will
likely seek to revive Russia as a major power by
maintaining or intensifying his hard-line approach to
the U.S. and Europe.... Putin signed a law regarding
the suspension of the Treaty on Conventional Armed
Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) ahead of the elections.
His administration deemed this a measure in response to
Washington's plans to deploy a missile defense shield
in Eastern Europe. The CFE Treaty, which is aimed at
reducing conventional arms in Europe, embodied the end
of the Cold War. Putin's expression of his readiness to
scrap the accord was aimed at winning the elections by
impressing voters with his strong leadership....
Although he has declared that he has no intention to
revise the Constitution in order to seek reelection
next spring, Putin will likely put all his energies
into creating a political base for himself that will
remain after he steps down."

SCHIEFFER

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