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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/26/07

VZCZCXRO9295
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5657/01 3600823
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260823Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0564
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7547
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 5151
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8816
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3851
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 5781
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0800
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6861
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7553

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 005657

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12/26/07


Index:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF Indian Ocean
refueling mission (Mainichi)

(2) Iwakuni mayor expresses intention to quit (Yomiuri)

(3) Watanabe: "Ozawa proposed grand coalition" (Asahi)

(4) Japan to release 10.3 billion yen in supplementary budget for
helping Afghanistan (Tokyo Shimbun)

(5) Editorial: Further strategy needed in extending ODA (Nikkei)

(6) Prime Minister's schedule, December 21 (Nikkei)

(7) TOP HEADLINES

(8) EDITORIALS

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll on Fukuda cabinet, political parties, MSDF Indian Ocean
refueling mission

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
December 18, 2007

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Do you support the Fukuda cabinet?

T P M F
Yes 33 (46) 31 35
No 44 (30) 49 40
Not interested 21 (21) 18 24

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 22
(12) 19 24
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
11 (15) 8 13
Because there's something stable about the prime minister 37 (58) 43
33
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policy
measures 13 (12) 15 12

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the above question) Why?

T P M F
Because the prime minister is from the Liberal Democratic Party 12
(24) 14 10
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
28 (16) 29 26
Because there's no fresh image about the prime minister 8 (13) 7 9
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's policies 40
(46) 37 42

Q: Which political party do you support?

TOKYO 00005657 002 OF 009

T P M F
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 26 (27) 26 26
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 27 (27) 33 22
New Komeito (NK) 4 (5) 1 7
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (3) 3 3
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (2) 1 1
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0) 0 0
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (1) 0 0
Other political parties 1 (1) 0 1
None 35 (32) 33 36

Q: What do you think is the desirable form of coalition government?

T P M F
Current LDP-NK coalition government 17 16 18
LDP-DPJ grand coalition 23 18 28
LDP single-party government 10 12 9
DPJ-led coalition government 21 27 15
DPJ single-party government 11 15 8
Coalition government without LDP and DPJ 6 5 6


Q: The Maritime Self-Defense Force halted its refueling mission in
the Indian Ocean on Nov. 1 due to the Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law's expiry. Do you think the MSDF refueling mission should be
resumed?

T P M F
Yes 41 45 37
No 50 50 51

Q: The government and ruling parties are going to enact a new law in
order to resume the MSDF refueling mission. If the legislation is
voted down in the House of Councillors, the ruling coalition will
revote on it to override the House of Councillors' decision with a
majority of two-thirds. Do you support this legislative process?

T P M F
Yes 32 35 30
No 57 58 56

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5 PERCENT . "No answer" omitted. Figures in
parentheses denote the results of the last survey conducted Oct.
20-21.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Dec. 15-16 over the
telephone across the nation on a computer-aided random digit
sampling (RDS) basis. Answers were obtained from 1,528 persons.

(2) Iwakuni mayor expresses intention to quit

YOMIURI (Online) (Full)
December 26, 2007

Yamaguchi Prefecture's Iwakuni Mayor Katsusuke Ihara, who is opposed
to the relocation of carrier-borne aircraft to the U.S. Marine
Corps' Iwakuni Air Station along with the realignment of U.S. forces
in Japan, submitted his resignation to the speaker of the city's
municipal assembly.


TOKYO 00005657 003 OF 009


Ihara presented a supplementary budget plan to the city's assembly
in its regular meeting this morning to make up for the cost of
constructing the municipal government's new office building.
Meanwhile, the government has called off its subsidization of the
construction project due to the mayor's rejection of U.S.
realignment plans.

The budget plan has been voted down four times in the past. This is
the fifth time for the mayor to present the budget plan. The city's
assembly is expected to vote on the proposed budget plan this
afternoon. However, it seems difficult for the budget to get the
municipal assembly's approval.

(3) Watanabe: "Ozawa proposed grand coalition"

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
Eve., December 22, 2007

Appearing on an NTV program aired on Dec. 22, Tsuneo Watanabe,
chairman and editor in chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings,
asserted that Ozawa proposed the idea of establishing a grand
coalition, saying, "It was Mr. Ozawa who broached the idea."
Watanabe also explained that Ozawa had already decided on how to
share cabinet posts between the coalition partners, noting that the
failure in establishing a grand coalition was due to Mr. Ozawa.

Watanabe continued: "He (Ozawa) said Mr. Fukuda broached the idea
and that Watanabe acted as a go-between, but that was not true."

After admitting his meeting with Ozawa, Watanabe said: "Mr. Ozawa
was more alarmed by the current situation in the Diet and he had the
view that the next Lower House election would be tough for his
party, and that if the divided Diet (where the ruling bloc holds a
majority in the lower chamber of the Diet but the opposition bloc
dominates the upper chamber) goes as is, Japan would go in a wrong
direction. Based on this idea, he attempted to take action."

Furthermore, Watanabe noted: "Mr. Ozawa apparently was like someone
wearing the emperor's new clothes. He thought that leaders of his
party would automatically support him if he made the proposal. This
was the biggest reason why the grand coalition failed this time."

Speaking of the conditions for a grand coalition to be created,
Watanabe said: "The grand coalition should organize a policy
consultative body and settle the issue of the antiterrorism special
measures bill, whether to hike the consumption tax, and social
welfare and pension problems." Watanabe added, "There was agreement
that Mr. Ozawa would serve as a minister without portfolio and as
vice prime minister, that 10 cabinet posts would go to the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), six to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ),
and one to the New Komeito. The six ministerial posts expected to be
given to the DPJ includes the minister of land, infrastructure and
transport, the minister of health, labor and welfare, and the
minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries."

Meanwhile, when reporters told Ozawa on Dec. 21 that Mr. Watanabe
said Ozawa had broached the idea of establishing a grand coalition,"
Ozawa rebutted: "It's difficult to answer if you ask me about
stories told by someone who did not join the party-head talks. At
any rate, I want to say at least that that was not true."

(4) Japan to release 10.3 billion yen in supplementary budget for

TOKYO 00005657 004 OF 009


helping Afghanistan

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
December 23, 2007

The government as of Dec. 22 decided to provide 10.3 billion yen as
humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan. This
amount has been included in a supplementary budget bill for fiscal
2007. Japan's aid will consist of measures to help Afghan refugees
return home smoothly and measures to bring peace to that country.
Through those measures, Japan intends to highlight its positive
stance toward the war on terror as well as reconstruction of
Afghanistan as it has now suspended the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's (MSDF) refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

Reportedly, more than six million people have fled from Afghanistan
in order to avoid tyranny of the former Taliban regime and
airstrikes by the U.S. forces after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in
the United States. Some four million Afghan evacuees returned to
Afghanistan by this past July, but still many are said to remain in
regions near the Pakistani and Iranian borders.

The Japanese government plans to help the Afghan government and the
Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees reconstruct housing,
waterworks, and medical facilities in preparation for returned
refugees to re-settle down. Japan will also provide financial aid in
the area of managing and disposing of weapons collected from former
solders in the disarming process and in the area of organizing
police.

Japan has so far announced a total of 1.45 billion dollars or 165
billion yen in aid and it has already provided1.24 billion dollars
or 141 billion yen. Japan plans to host an international conference
in Tokyo next February to discuss measures for the reconstruction of
Afghanistan.

(5) Editorial: Further strategy needed in extending ODA

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 23, 2007

Official development assistance (ODA) aimed at assisting developing
countries is one of Japan's important diplomatic tools. However,
Japan's ODA is continuing to decline from year to year due to fiscal
restrictions. The 2007 ODA White Paper noted that the track record
of Japan's ODA last year, determined by subtracting repaid yen
loans, dropped 15 PERCENT , compared with the preceding year's
level, showing that Japan's rank as an ODA donor slipped to third
place, following the U.S. and the UK.

It is regrettable that Japan's position as a donor has slipped.
However, there are some unavoidable aspects. As the White Paper
pointed out, Japan must challenge a difficult task of securing the
amount of aid, while achieving cost reductions and carefully
screening projects eligible for assistance.

According to a projection by the Development Assistance Committee
(DAC) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD), there is a possibility of Japan continuing to slip down the
ladder to sixth place, overtaken by Germany, France and Italy in
2010.


TOKYO 00005657 005 OF 009


The Japanese government in July last year adopted basic policy
guidelines on economic and fiscal management and structural reforms,
which included a cut in the ODA budget by 2 PERCENT -4 PERCENT over
the period of five fiscal years from 2007 through 2011. The ODA
budget for fiscal 2008 was compiled, based on this policy.
Accordingly, a 4 PERCENT cut in comparison with the current fiscal
year's level was incorporated in the budget drafted by the Finance
Ministry.

Japan's possible fall to sixth place is not unrealistic at all. Amid
other industrialized countries making efforts to boost foreign aid,
Japan finds itself in a difficult situation.

Even so, Japan cannot abandon its fiscal reconstruction policy. The
government must keep its goal of moving the primary balance into the
black in fiscal 2011 firm. It is not until fiscal reconstruction
makes progress that the government can facilitate a foreign aid
policy in a stable manner.

We hope Japan's ODA budget will increase again some day. However,
the restriction on the amount will be in place for the time being.
As such, Japan must proceed with its aid policy in a strategic
manner. The White Paper refers to key foreign aid areas, such as
promoting efforts to strengthen government-private sector ties,
securing resources and energy, and implementing measures to deal
with global warming.

Japan will host the Tokyo International Conference on Africa's
Development (TICAD) and the G-8 next year. Aid to Africa will become
a key aid item in the future, because fresh provision of yen loans
to China will end this fiscal year. Both conferences are major aid
conferences that will bring Japan's capability concerning the aid
issue into question. We hope to see the two conferences result in
success.

(6) Prime Minister's schedule, December 21

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 22, 2007

08:32
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi and Assistant Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Saka in the Diet building. Joined by Chief
Cabinet Secretary Machimura.

09:00
Attended a cabinet meeting. Transport Minister Fuyushiba and
Machimura stayed behind. Later attended a cabinet ministerial
meeting on crime countermeasures. Then, met Administrative Reform
Minister Watanabe and Machimura. Watanabe stayed behind.

09:54
Met Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry's Employment Security Bureau
Director General Ota at the Kantei.

10:15
Talked on the phone with South Korean president-elect Lee Myung Bak.
Met former Prime Minister Nam Duck Woo, chairman of the South
Korea-Japan Cooperation Committee, and others, with former Prime
Minister Nakasone, chairman of the Japan-South Korea Committee, and
others present.


TOKYO 00005657 006 OF 009


11:00
Met Lower House member Jinen Nagase, chairman of the LDP Employment
and Livelihood Research Committee, and others.

11:41
Attended a luncheon party at the Imperial Palace.

14:11
Met at the Kantei with former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yosano.
Followed by Chinese Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai.

15:08
Attended an award ceremony for long-service employees at the cabinet
and the Cabinet Office. Later met Machimura.

16:11
Met Lower House member Takeo Kawamura, chairman of the ruling camp's
project team on measures for A-bomb survivors, and others. Later met
Lower House member Masatoshi Ishida, chairman of a group of junior
lawmakers tackling a reform of the public servant system, and
others.

17:02
Attended a meeting of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy.

19:18
Dined with Nippon Keidanren Chairman Mitarai, Nippon Steel
Corporation Honorary Chairman Takashi Imai, and others at a French
restaurant in the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

21:30
Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

Prime Minister's schedule, December 22

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 23, 2007

.Spent all day at his private residence in Nozawa.

Prime Minister's schedule, December 23

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 24, 2007

11:36
Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kotei).

11:40
Responded to questions by reporters at the Kantei on the lawsuits
over infection with the hepatitis C virus.

11:51
Arrived at the Kotei.

12:33
Attended a ceremony for the birthday of the Emperor at the Imperial
Palace.

13:53
Met his secretaries at the Kotei.

TOKYO 00005657 007 OF 009

18:10
Dined with National Defense Academy President Makoto Iokibe, Keio
University Professor Ryosei Kokubun, and others at a Chinese
restaurant in Kudan-kita.

20:58
Returned to the Kotei.

Prime Minister's schedule, December 24

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 25, 2007

09:21
Attended a meeting of the Security Council at the Kantei. Later
attended a meeting of the Administrative Reform Promotion
Headquarters.

10:02
Attended a cabinet meeting. Met Health, Labor and Welfare Minister
Masuzoe. Followed by Education Minister Tokai. Later met Vice
Finance Minister Tsuda, and then met Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Saka.

SIPDIS

11:04
Met Kohan Kawauchi, songwriter, at the Grand Prince Hotel Akasaka.

12:19
Met METI Vice Minister Kitabata, Natural Resources and Energy Agency
Director General Mochizuki, and others at the Kantei.

13:32
Met Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry Director General for Policy
Planning Usui and Saka.

14:35
Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

Prime Minister's schedule, December 25

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 26, 2007

08:31
Attended a meeting of cabinet ministers responsible for emergency
measures for subcontract companies suffering from oil price hikes at
the Kantei. Later attended a meeting of the taskforce to map out
measures for handicapped persons.

09:20
Met Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Ota. Met Deputy Foreign
Minister Yabunaka, Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director
General Sasae, Natural Resources and Energy Agency Director General
Mochizuki, and others.

10:19
Met Yabunaka, Sasae, Environment Ministry Global Environment Bureau
Director General Minamikawa, and others. Followed by Science and
Technology Minister Kishida, lawmaker Masuo Aizawa, a member of the
Council for Science and Technology Policy, and others.


TOKYO 00005657 008 OF 009


11:24
Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Futahashi. Held an informal
meeting with reporters covering the prime minister.

14:39
Met deputy chief cabinet secretaries Ono, Iwaki, and Futahashi.
Followed by Yabunaka, Sasae, and Mochizuki.

16:00
Met Japan-U.S. Economic Council Chairman Junichi Ujiie and others.
Followed by Japan-China Association Chairman Takeshi Noda and
others.

16:41
Attended a meeting of the Education Rebuilding Council. Attended a
meeting of the Council for Science and Technology Policy.

17:28
Met plaintiffs who filed lawsuits over hepatitis C infection, with
Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Ono.

18:12
Responded to an interview by three Chinese press companies.

19:30
Dined with Cabinet Press Club reporters at a Chinese restaurant in
Kudan-kita.

21:50
Returned to his private residence in Nozawa.

(7) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Fukuchi to take office as NHK chairman; Appointment of person from
outside for first time in 19 years

Mainichi:
Premier offers apology to plaintiffs: Those eligible for relief to
be designated under law; Drug-induced hepatitis bill

Yomiuri:
Health Ministry research panel to keep ban on administering tamiflu
to teenagers in place, while withholding judgment on causal
association with abnormal behaviors

Nikkei:
Kansai Electric Power, Sumitomo Corp. to process nuclear power
generation: Technology transfer for stable procurement of uranium

Sankei:
Abnormal behaviors of Tamiflu recipients fewer than non-recipients
flu patients

Tokyo Shimbun:
Premier offers apology to victims of drug-induced hepatitis "from
the bottom of his heart"

Akahata:
Drug-induced hepatitis: Policy Committee Chairman Koike calls for
including state responsibility and apology in lawmaker-sponsored
bill

TOKYO 00005657 009 OF 009

(8) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) New NHK Chairman: We mistrust judgment of Management Committee
(2) Annual tax code revision: Looking forward to Diet debate

Mainichi:
(1) New NHK Chairman: Public broadcasting is tasked with heavy
mission
(2) Education Revitalization Council: Image of reform not in sight

Yomiuri:
(1) Education Revitalization Council: Make most of proposals for
improved education
(2) New NHK chairman urged to achieve balance between improvement of
efficiency and quality of programs

Nikkei:
(1) Ruling, opposition parties should come up with conclusions on
tax system by the end of March next year
(2) NHK should improve efficiency and contents of programs

Sankei:
(1) Prime Minister Fukuda's China visit: Japan's stance toward
Taiwan must not change
(2) Education reform: Including moral education in school curriculum
absolutely necessary

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Prime Minister Fukuda's China visit: Deepen friendship with
fruitful discussion
(2) Third report on education: Not all children are brilliant

Akahata:
(1) Defense Ministry should withdraw environmental impact assessment
plan that is defective

DONOVAN

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