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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Syria

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5652 3600233
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260233Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0550
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 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 5138
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7534
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3842
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5768
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8803
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0787
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2029
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6848
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7544
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 005652

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 - SYRIA


LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers gave top
play to Prime Minister Fukuda's meeting on Tuesday with
representatives of people who contracted hepatitis C
through tainted blood products and are now suing the
government and drug makers.

"Syria Showing Signs of Ending Isolation" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun's correspondent report from Damascus
stated (12/26): "Syria, which has been isolated from
the international community, is showing signs of
change. There are signs that Syria's relations with
Arab nations are improving. U.S. criticism of the
nation has decreased following Syria's participation in
the Middle East peace conference in Annapolis last
month.... Syria, which has been designated by
Washington as a state sponsor of terrorism, has been
sounding out the U.S. about improving the two
countries' bilateral relations, and its participation
in the Annapolis conference appears to be part of its
efforts to demonstrate a cooperative stance. The U.S.
seems to be offering carrots to Damascus in return....
Nearing the end of its term, the Bush administration
abruptly put forward its commitment to the Middle East
peace process. Syria's involvement is critical. The
U.S. likely has Iran, which it deems the more serious
threat, in mind in dealing with Syria."

DONOVAN

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