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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russia

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5592 3520218
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180218Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0395
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
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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 5034
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7430
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3755
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5671
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8698
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0702
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2017
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6751
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7473
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005592

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: Front-page items on Tuesday morning
include a plunge in pubic support for Prime Minister
Fukuda and a lawsuit asking the central government to
pay local residents compensation for mental and
physical damage caused by loud noise at a U.S. military
installation.

1. "Putin Rein to Continue" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri's Moscow correspondent Seguchi wrote
(12/18): "With President Putin's official announcement
on Monday that he will assume the premiership under
President Medvedev, a new political system is in the
making, under which Putin will continue to stay at the
helm even after he leaves office next May. As Putin is
likely to be responsible for decision-making and
personnel appointments, chances are high that Russia's
'power center' will shift from the presidency to the
premiership."

2. "Focus of Attention on Roles of President, Premier"
A Moscow-based reporter for the business-oriented
Nikkei argued (12/18): "The focus of attention now
regarding the Russian political system will be the
division of roles between president and prime minister,
given that 'Prime Minister Putin' is likely to hold the
same authority as the president, even though the
president has a strong mandate under the Constitution.
Depending on the power balance between a 'weak
president' and 'powerful premier,' management of
Russia's political situation could become more
difficult.... If the legal mechanisms concerning
command and control of the government remain ambiguous,
there could be a power struggle.... In order to ensure
a stable government led by President Medvedev and Prime
Minister Putin, a strict division of labor between the
two will be needed."

3. "Accelerated Moves Toward anti-Western Stance" A
Moscow correspondent for the conservative Sankei wrote
(12/18): "The first shipment by Russia of nuclear fuel
to Iran, which is suspected of continuing a nuclear-
weapons program, means that the two countries are
committed to enhancing bilateral ties with the goal of
establishing an anti-American alliance. With the
world's two largest energy powers accelerating the
process toward forging a relationship beyond
'partnership,' it is becoming likely that an anti-
American, anti-European drive will emerge."

SCHIEFFER

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