Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/16/08

DE RUEHKO #1971/01 1980804
P 160804Z JUL 08




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) South Korean newspapers radically reacting to Japan's reference
to Takeshima issue in teaching manual for middle schools (Sankei)

(2) Taku Yamasaki off to China to exchange views with Vice-Foreign
Minister Wu and others on North Korean issue and other matters

(3) LDP nomination of candidates creating sources of contention;
"Koizumi children" left off of selection disgruntled (Asahi)

(4) Editorial: DPJ leadership race -- Can DPJ defeat LDP in the
Lower House election? (Asahi)

(5) Consul General Maher raises question about Ginowan mayor's visit
to United States to request closure of Futenma (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(6) Ginowan Mayor Iha urges U.S. consul general to shut down Futenma
(Okinawa Times)

(7) USFJ commander stresses discipline enforcement (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(8) Naha District Court hands down prison terms to two U.S. Marines
for robbing taxi driver in 2006 (Ryukyu Shimpo)


(1) South Korean newspapers radically reacting to Japan's reference
to Takeshima issue in teaching manual for middle schools

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
July 16, 2008

The Education, Science and Technology Ministry released its teaching
manual for middle schools that referred for the first time to the
territorial dispute between Japan and South Korea over the Takeshima
(Dokdo in South Korean) islets. In reaction, South Korean Ambassador
to Japan Kwon Chul Hyun called on Administrative Vice Foreign
Minister Mitoji Yabunaka at the Foreign Ministry yesterday and
warned: "Japan has much to lose from this. I demand that Japan take
proper measures (such as retracting the reference)." In response,
Yabunaka explained Japan's position over the Takeshima issue and
said: "It is undesirable that relations between Japan and South
Korea relations become strained."

After meeting with Yabunaka, Kwon said in criticizing the Japanese
government: "When (the two countries) have decided to be
forward-looking and Prime Minister Fukuda has also said he will take
a pro-ROK stance, this is happening. It's beyond my understanding."

(Kyodo News, Seoul)

Ambassador Kwon left Japan for home temporarily last night. At Kimpo
Airport in Seoul, Kwon said that unless Japan changes its position,
repairing bilateral relations would be difficult.

The National Assembly of South Korea yesterday set up a special
committee to work out measures to protect the Dokdo Islands and
counter distorted history and decided to send a delegation of
lawmakers to Japan to lodge a protest. Protest meetings have been
held in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul everyday. Eggs were

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thrown at the embassy building last night, following the previous

(Keiko Mizunuma, Seoul)

All newspapers on July 15 sharply criticized the Education, Science
and Technology Ministry's decision to refer in a teaching manual for
middle schools to the territorial dispute over the Takeshima (Dokdo)

The Chosun Iibo dated July 15 made up a special edition about the
Takeshima issue. Attaching a chronological table, the major national
daily expressed the view that the dispute between Japan and South
Korea over the islets came to surface starting in the latter half of
the 1990s, when Japan began to lean to the right, attributing the
cause of the dispute to the Japanese rightists.

Its editorial concluded:

"Japanese ultra-rightists have presented this strategy: Occupy the
Dokdo islets in a preemptive armed attack and then bring the case to
the International Court of Justice."

The editorial then stressed the need to carefully watch moves by the
Japanese government and rightists, claiming: "Whatever Japan says,
the Dokdo islets are South Korea's territory forever. There is no
need for us to be affected by the provocations of Japan."

The Dong-A Iibo carried articles related to the Takeshima islets on
the first and third pages. Its editorial, with the caption "the
Dokdo Islets are South Korea's territory despite Japan's provocative
action" stressed:

"Japan might tell us, in a way calculated to make us feel indebted,
that it refrained from using a direct expression (specifying Japan's
claim over the islets) out of consideration to Seoul. Japan might
think such a frivolous, cunning measure will successfully work out.
But such is nothing but an illusion ... If South Korea-Japan
relations deteriorate, both sides' peace cooperation in Northeast
Asia, as well as efforts to solve North Korea's nuclear development
problem will be negatively affected. Japan will have to assume the
responsibility as a whole."

The JoongAng Iibo referred to the fact that the Takeshima issue was
dealt in the teaching manual on the same basis as the Northern
Territories issue. It then noted that Japan began to demand the
islets be returned to it, going beyond its conventional claims to
the islets.

Its editorial claimed:

"If Japan reflected on its past imperialist aggression and gave
consideration to a future-oriented South Korea-Japan relationship,
Japan naturally should have refrained from mentioning the Dokdo
issue. ... That's why Japan is defined as a nation that betrays
others behind its smile and is not qualified to become a leader. ...
Japan's provocation is tantamount to a virtual declaration of war
over the right of possession. ... Teaching children that the Dokdo
islets are Japan's territory is a different matter from Japan's
claim to the islets."

(2) Taku Yamasaki off to China to exchange views with Vice-Foreign

TOKYO 00001971 003 OF 008

Minister Wu and others on North Korean issue and other matters

1:37 p.m., July 16, 2008

Former LDP Vice-President Taku Yamasaki departed this morning from
Haneda Airport for Beijing. During his stay there until July 18,
Yamasaki is expected to meet with Chinese government officials,
including Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, to exchange views on North
Korea's denuclearization, normalizing diplomatic ties between Japan
and North Korea and other matters. Yamasaki is accompanied by former
Defense Agency Director-General Gen Nakatani, Lower House Foreign
Affairs Committee Chairman Katsuei Hirasawa and Senior Vice-Finance
Minister Hiroshi Moriyama of the Parliamentary League to Promote
Diplomatic Normalization between Japan and North Korea chaired by

(3) LDP nomination of candidates creating sources of contention;
"Koizumi children" left off of selection disgruntled

ASAHI (Page 4) (Almost full)
July 12, 2008

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is now endorsing candidates for
single-seat constituencies for the next Lower House election. Since
it cannot expect in the next general election to do as well as it
did in the previous one due to the sagging approval ratings for the
Fukuda cabinet, it is drastically axing would-be candidates for
competitive constituencies, based on the criterion whether they have
a solid support base or not. "Koizumi children" who have been left
off of the selection are increasingly dissatisfied with the move.

The LDP Election Committee on July 4 informally chose new candidates
for three constituencies, including the Lower House Hokkaido No. 1
Constituency. It is set to informally endorse a new candidate for
the Nagano No. 2 Constituency on the 16th. Apart from constituencies
where the selection of candidates is underway, only seven
constituencies -- three in Hokkaido, two in Iwate, one in Fukushima
and one in Hiroshima -- remain unfilled. It is now possible for the
LDP to endorse candidates in most of the 300 single-seat

There is only about a year to go until the term of office of Lower
Hose members expires in September 2009. Since the LDP won a
landslide victory in the 2005 Lower House election, it has no choice
but to make adjustments with regard to candidates, including the
possibility of not endorsing incumbent Lower House members. At this
time of year when the regular Diet session has been adjourned and
Lower House members are soon to visit their home constituencies, the
Election Committee has hurriedly undertaken final coordination for
the selection of candidates for constituencies where this has yet to
be done. Chairman Makoto Koga on the 10th underscored at a study
meeting of his faction, "There is not much time left until the term
of office of Lower House members expires."

However, even if the party's Election Committee officially endorses
candidates, there remain sources of contention in many
constituencies. In particular, "Koizumi children," first-term Lower
House members elected in bulk in the previous election, are having
trouble being officially endorsed by the party.

Gaku Hasegawa, a corporate executive, was informally endorsed as a

TOKYO 00001971 004 OF 008

candidate to run in the Hokkaido No. 1 Constituency. However, Taizo
Sugiura, one of the "Koizumi children," for the Minami Kanto
proportional representative bloc at the end of last year revealed
his intention to run in the next Lower House election from that
constituency. He is determined to run in the election even as an
independent, saying, "There is no need to be officially endorsed by
the party when looking to the opinion of voters."

There are similar sources of contention in constituencies where
those who opposed postal privatization and officially endorsed new
candidates competed in the previous election. The Election Committee
informally endorsed candidates for five out of six constituencies
where two incumbent lawmakers have been competing for official
endorsements. Former General Council Chairman Mitsuo Horiuchi won
party endorsement for the Yamanashi No. 2 Constituency.

Former Education Minister Kosuke Hori has been informally chosen as
a candidate for the Saga No. 3 Constituency. Motoko Hirotsu, a
first-term Lower House member, on June 26 went to the Election
Committee Headquarters. Koga told her, "We have determined that you
would not be able to win." However, Hirotsu was not convinced,
saying, "I volunteered to run in the previous election because I
thought the party needed a candidate who was in favor of postal
privatization for last year's election, in which postal
privatization was a campaign issue. The informal selection of a
candidate this time is inconsistent with that."

Since the next Lower House election is expected to be fierce with
the reins of government at stake, the LDP has few options. One
senior official of the Election Committee said, "There cannot be a
boost like the one we received in the previous election. It cannot
be helped that those who have been reinstated in the party because
of a solid support base and those who hail from home constituencies
are deemed as candidates who can win."

(4) Editorial: DPJ leadership race -- Can DPJ defeat LDP in the
Lower House election?

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
July 16, 2008

The popularity of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ichiro
Ozawa appears to have suddenly been given a boost. With the DPJ
presidential election coming on Sept. 21, a chorus of voices in the
party supporting the reelection of Ozawa for a third term has become
increasingly stronger.

Moreover, views calling for the uncontested reelection of Ozawa are
coming out one after the other in the DPJ. With the possibility of
dissolution of the House of Representatives for a snap election
drawing closer, the DPJ is trying to solidify itself like a rock.

Although many DPJ lawmakers are unhappy with Ozawa's policies and
political methods, there are no moves to field rival candidates
against him. DPJ members are concerned that if the presidential race
is contested by two or more candidates, cracks would appear in the
party and it would consequently lose its sense of unity.

Can the DPJ assume the reins of government as the largest opposition

The DPJ won a landslide victory in last summer's House of

TOKYO 00001971 005 OF 008

Councillors election. Its basic strategy is to aim at taking over
political power by winning the next Lower House election. To that
end, the party should make the presidential race, which takes place
once in two years, an opportunity to gain public confidence and

The meaning of the party leadership race is crystal clear. The DPJ
has to show the public specifically how Japanese politics and
society will change if it holds the reins of government. It should
come up with a clear strategy to that end. For short, the DPJ must
make voters understand its seriousness about assuming power.

Policies are important above anything else. For example, how will
the party respond to the questions posed by former President Seiji
Maehara? During the campaign for the Upper House election, the DPJ
set forth such policy measures as compensating the incomes of
individual farmers. It argued that the 15.3 trillion yen needed for
such compensation would be covered by eliminating the wasteful use
of tax revenues by government agencies. Maehara has reiterated that
such a plan would not be effective.

It is unusual that the incumbent president and former party heads
are at odds over such a basic policy. Voters will probably shrink
away from the DPJ in the election. Although Ozawa is predominant in
the DPJ, his popularity among the public is low.

According to a poll conducted by the Asahi Shimbun, 61 PERCENT said
that they did not particularly appreciate or appreciate at all
Ozawa's words and deeds. Toward the question about which person --
Ozawa or Fukuda -- was suitable for the prime minister's post, 37
PERCENT said Fukuda, while 28 PERCENT said Ozawa.

Criticism is still fresh of Ozawa's negative stance toward Fukuda by
repeatedly rejecting the prime minister's nominee for governor of
the Bank of Japan (BOJ). We wonder whether such a strategy is
effective for bringing about political change.

In order to win over the voters, it is vital to hold open debate on
policies and strategy for political change by more than one
candidate. In that respect, the DPJ should be aware that that is the
way the ruling Liberal Democratic Party operates.

It is regrettable that the DPJ plans to avoid a presidential
election using the inward-looking argument that bad blood would
linger in the party if one were carried out. Any DPJ lawmaker who
thinks he or she is qualified for the presidential post should run
in the upcoming race.

(5) Consul General Maher raises question about Ginowan mayor's visit
to United States to request closure of Futenma

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
July 16, 2008


Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha called on U.S. Consul General Kevin Maher
at the Consulate General in Urasoe on July 15 ahead of his visit to
the United States to seek the elimination of the danger of Futenma
Air Station. Explaining that Futenma Air Station is violating the
(U.S.) safety standards, the mayor asked that the airfield be shut
down. In response, Consul General Maher repeated the past view,

TOKYO 00001971 006 OF 008

saying: "In order to maintain the security arrangements, Futenma Air
Station cannot be shut down. (To remove dangerous aspects), there is
no other option but to relocate it to the Henoko district."

Consul General Maher raised a question about the effectiveness of
Mayor Iha's planned visit to the United States, noting: "I hear that
one cannot make an appointment with U.S. Pacific Command
headquarters or with Marine Corps Forces, Pacific, headquarters. The
point of contact regarding the security setup should be between

About the question of the safety standards of the airfield, the
consul general indicated that the Henoko relocation plan is the
best, saying: "The mayor has cited the Air Installation Compatible
Use Zone (AICUZ) Program (guidelines on the use of areas around
airport facilities) in describing a violation of the U.S. military
safety standards. The AICUZ is designed to control building (houses)
outside bases, and it cannot control that here (in Japan). The
population density around Futenma Air Station is increasing. That is
why the governments of the United States and Japan have agreed on
the relocation."

Mayor Iha is scheduled to visit U.S. Pacific Command headquarters in
Hawaii and other places on his six-day four-night trip to the United
States to seek the closure of Futenma Air Station by pointing out
the airfield's violation of the safety standards and other matters.
The mayor yesterday made similar requests to the LDP prefectural
chapter and the New Komeito prefectural headquarters. On July 16, he
is expected to make requests to the Okinawa Defense Bureau, U.S.
Marines Corps, Okinawa, foreign policy department, Foreign Ministry
Okinawa office, and other places.

(6) Ginowan Mayor Iha urges U.S. consul general to shut down

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
July 16, 2008


Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha, who is endeavoring for an early closure
and return of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, visited on
July 15 the U.S. Consulate General and LDP and New Komeito
prefectural headquarters and delivered letters seeking cooperation
for an early settlement of the matter. Consul General Kevin Maher
simply repeated the U.S.' previous position, saying: "The United
States is also aware of Ginowan's concerns and the plan to relocate
(Futenma functions) to the Henoko district will be quickly

Mayor Iha pointed out that the city's actual condition does not meet
the Futenma master plan, which specifies the establishment of a
clear zone (where the use of land is prohibited). Indicating that
(Futenma Air Station) is not in line with the Air Installation
Compatible Use Zone (AICUZ) Program restricting the use of areas
around airports in the United States, the mayor emphatically said,
"A situation that does not meet the safety standards is intolerable;
the airfield must be shut down."

In response, Consul General Maher said: "The AICUZ is designed to
control building (houses) in areas around bases in the United
States; it does not apply to areas in Japan. For the sake of the

TOKYO 00001971 007 OF 008

U.S.-Japan security arrangements, we cannot shut down (Futenma Air
Station). The question of danger will be resolved by relocating it
to another site in the prefecture."

Mayor Iha will visit the Okinawa Defense Bureau and the Foreign
Ministry Okinawa office on July 16 and the Defense Ministry, Foreign
Ministry, and Environment Ministry on the 17th to make similar

(7) USFJ commander stresses discipline enforcement

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
July 16, 2008

U.S. Forces Japan Commander Lt. Gen. Rice, meeting the press
yesterday in Tokyo, indicated that the U.S. military would make
further efforts to strengthen discipline in connection with the
heinous crimes committed by its personnel. "We want to reduce the
off-base crime rate of U.S. military personnel to below 50 PERCENT
of the Japanese crime rate," Rice said.

In May, the USS George Washington, a nuclear-powered aircraft
carrier of the U.S. Navy, caught fire when she was at sea. "Repair
work is well underway," Rice said. With this, he indicated that the
George Washington's deployment to Yokosuka in Kanagawa Prefecture
would not be delayed too much (from August, the initial schedule for
arrival). "We are now investigating the cause of the fire, and we
will announce it as soon as we find it," he said.

In addition, Rice also said North Korea is a "potential threat" to
security in the surrounding area. He also said, "It's important for
U.S. forces to further promote military and personnel exchanges with
China and Russia."

Rice repeatedly stressed that the realignment of U.S. forces in
Japan would be carried out in accordance with the agreement reached
between the Japanese and U.S. governments.

(8) Naha District Court hands down prison terms to two U.S. Marines
for robbing taxi driver in 2006

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 23) (Abridged slightly)
July 16, 2008

A trial was held on July 15 at the Naha District Court for a
private, 21, and Pvt. Edward L. Miller Jr., 22, both attached to
U.S. Marine Corps Camp Schwab, both of whom have been indicted on
suspicion of injuring and robbing a 64-year-old taxi driver on a
street in Okinawa City in July 2006. The former was 19, minor in
Japan, at the time of the incident. Judge Shinichi Rai sentenced
Miller and the other to two years and 10 months in prison
(prosecution sought five years in prison each).

Judge Rai said that the two had committed the crime without careful
consideration even though they were not pressed for money and that
there was no room for leniency. The judge also said that although
there were some discrepancies in the statements by the two, they
played equally major roles in carrying out the robbery.

The judge also indicated that the two were still young and that
there were some favorable factors indicative of their
rehabilitation, such as that they had sent letters of apology to the

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