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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russia

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5543 3470414
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 130414Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0266
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 4936
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7332
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3665
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5584
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8602
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0620
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2012
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6662
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7400
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005543

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 - RUSSIA


LEAD STORIES: Lead stories in Thursday morning papers
included the expected arrest today of an MSDF officer
on suspicion of leaking classified Aegis data, as well
as the announcement by U.S. and European central banks
that they will provide as much as 40 billion dollars to
boost liquidity in the international banking system in
order to tamp down financial turmoil associated with
the subprime loan situation.

1. "Very Odd Change of Leadership" The conservative
Sankei editorialized (12/13): "The word 'retirement'
appears to be a forbidden one for Russian President
Putin, who is scheduled to leave office next spring.
First Deputy Prime Minister Medvedev, whom Putin has
chosen as his heir apparent, decided to name his
current boss prime minister even before his own
election as president. A boss names his aide as the
next leader, and then that aide expresses appreciation
by asking his boss to lead the government. This is an
extremely bizarre change of leadership.... President
Putin dismissed U.S. and European criticism by saying
that Russia is not aiming for state capitalism and that
state-run companies are intended to be temporary.
However, he did not clarify how long this 'temporary'
situation will continue.... There is no choice for the
rest of the world but to voice serious concern about
the emergence of state capitalism in Russia under a
leader who has continued the KGB tradition of
prioritizing ends over means and trampling on
democracy."

2. "Russia Attempts to Restore Military Balance" A
Moscow-based reporter for the top-circulation, moderate
Yomiuri wrote (12/13): "Due to President Putin's
unilateral declaration that Russia will no longer
observe the Treaty on Conventional Forces in Europe
(CFE), it has now been effectively nullified. By
suspending its participation in the convention rather
than withdrawing, Moscow appears to be keeping open the
option of returning. However, the decision demonstrates
Putin's uncompromising position against the eastward
expansion of NATO."

SCHIEFFER

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