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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Iran and Russia

VZCZCXRO5909
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #5488 3410626
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 070626Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0106
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4808
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8474
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0498
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 1990
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6553
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7305
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005488

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 - IRAN AND RUSSIA


LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers front-paged
a decision by OPEC on Wednesday not to increase
petroleum production at present.

1. "Use NIE Report to Lead to Peaceful Resolution" The
liberal Tokyo Shimbun editorialized (12/6): "President
Bush's hard line against Iran may falter following the
issuance of the latest National Intelligence Estimate
(NIE) report. The Bush administration should take
advantage of the release and come up with a
comprehensive Iran policy aimed at avoiding
confrontation through direct dialogue. Contact between
the two countries is needed.... Iran bears the burden
of proving that its nuclear program is for 'peaceful
purposes.' An IAEA report published last month noted
Tehran's uncooperative attitude. It is important for
Iran to promptly sign an additional protocol to the NPT

Treaty and offer unconditional and full cooperation to
the nuclear watchdog."

2. "Major Impact on Hardliners" The liberal Asahi's
Washington correspondent wrote (12/06): "The release of

the NIE report has had a major impact, given that its
conclusion runs counter to the Bush administration's
insistence that Iran's nuclear program poses a threat
that cannot be overlooked. Criticism is also mounting
that this is the second scandal involving incorrect
information following allegations about Iraq's WMD
programs in the run-up to the Iraq war.... Particularly

problematic was Bush's warning in October of a possible

'third world war.' If the president knew at that time
that Tehran had already halted its nuclear-weapons
program, we may see the emergence of another scandal in

which the administration exaggerated intelligence."

3. "Russia Must Not Return to Autocracy and Dogmatism"
The liberal Mainichi stated (12/06): "The recent Duma
elections turned out to be a 'vote for President
Putin.'... It is not wrong for the Russian people,
having endured economic chaos and poverty in the
aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union, to put
stability first when they vote. However, as Russia's
neighbor in East Asia, Japan is concerned about the
possibility that Russia under President Putin might be
moving away from democracy and in the direction of
taking a confrontational attitude toward the U.S.,
Europe, and Japan. We hope that Putin, despite his
enhanced political base, will not become dogmatic, nor
take a hard line on such diplomatic issues as the
territorial dispute over the Northern Territories."

SCHIEFFER

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