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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Six-Party Foreign

VZCZCXRO5827
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2050 2070445
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250445Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6083
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA 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 9028
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1402
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7232
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9611
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2758
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4548
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2437
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 0538
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 0928
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002050

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 - SIX-PARTY FOREIGN
MINISTERIAL ON NORTH KOREA AND ASEAN

1. LEAD STORIES: Front-page stories on Friday morning
included the arrest of a defense "insider" on suspicion
of tax evasion.

2. "U.S. Should Consider Canceling Delisting" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (7/25): "What is
common both on the nuclear and abduction fronts is that
North Korea is buying time to strike a better deal.
Concerns are mounting within the U.S. Congress. Close
cooperation between the U.S. and Japan is indispensable
to ensure progress on both matters. The U.S., in
particular, is strongly called upon to take a firm
stand, including suspending or canceling delisting
North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism."

3. "No Progress on Nuclear Verification, Abductions"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri argued in an
editorial (7/25): "The six-party talks are paying a
high price for the hurried compromise by the Bush
administration to put off the establishment of a
nuclear verification mechanism.... Such a U.S.
concession will prove to be meaningless if a stringent
verification protocol is not agreed upon. The U.S.,
Japan, China, Russia, and South Korea should coordinate
in order to press North Korea to swiftly accept
verification work. An easy compromise must not be
allowed."

4. "How to Block North Korea's Domination of Six-Party
Talks" The liberal Mainichi asserted in an editorial
(7/25): "It cannot be denied that North Korea set the
pace in the informal six-party foreign ministerial. One
could even say that it was a session for the foreign
ministers to acknowledge the delisting of North Korea
as a fait accompli. The U.S. has hinted that it could
forgo delisting depending on North Korea's actions.
However, Washington's bottom line is that the ongoing
moves toward denuclearization, which is currently in
the second phase, should not be reversed.... Japan
needs to prepare for what happens after delisting takes
place."

5. "ARF Transforming into Entity That Can Take Action"
The business-oriented Nikkei's correspondent reported
from Singapore on the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF)
(7/25): "...An ARF ministerial ended with the adoption
of a declaration calling for the enhancement of the
group's functions. Up to now, the ARF had just been a
venue for dialogue meant for confidence building.
However, it is trying to reorganizing itself into an
institution capable of taking action."

6. "U.S. Attaching Importance to Southeast Asia" The
moderate Yomiuri reported from Singapore (7/25):
"Washington's pro-engagement posture toward ASEAN was
more pronounced than ever during this year's ARF
ministerial. China's presence in Southeast Asia has
been growing in the face of America's preoccupation
with Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. hoped to use the
multinational forum to maintain its influence in the
region."

ZUMWALT

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