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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140200Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002231

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 - NORTH KOREA

1. LEAD STORIES: Front-page items on Thursday morning
included a White House statement urging Russia to cease
its military operations in Georgia.

2. "Gesture Alone Will Not Be Accepted" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (8/14): "The governments of Japan
and the DPRK reached an agreement to reinvestigate the
kidnapping of Japanese nationals.... The Japanese
government welcomed the agreement as 'marking a certain
amount of progress.' This is true in the sense that the
door to a reinvestigation has been opened. However, we
cannot be overly optimistic.... North Korea should
fulfill its commitment. Its action should be
substantive. The reinvestigation should not end up as a
token gesture."

3. "Coordination Necessary before Delisting" The
liberal Mainichi stated in an editorial (8/14):
"...North Korea appears to have agreed to reinvestigate
the abduction cases in an attempt to promptly realize
the U.S. delisting of Pyongyang as a state sponsor of
terrorism by demonstrating improvement in its relations
with Japan.... When to delist North Korea is an issue
for the U.S. to decide. However, it will be difficult
to get the DPRK to take action without coordination and
cooperation. In this regard, the U.S. and Japan need to
strengthen their coordination on delisting and other
issues."

4. "Japan Should Demand Thorough Reinvestigation" The
moderate Yomiuri argued in an editorial (8/14):
"...Japan should not allow North Korea to buy time by
conducting an ambiguous investigation. It is important
to have an investigation committee, one that is
authorized by North Korea's leaders, take
responsibility and produce results by fall.... North
Korea appears to have agreed to hold talks with Japan
in view of the delay in its delisting. North Korea must
not be allowed to use the reinvestigation to its own
ends. The GOJ should reinforce multinational
coordination and continue pressure on Pyongyang."

5. "Good Faith Reinvestigation Necessary" The business-
oriented Nikkei editorialized (8/14): "...The ultimate
purpose of the reinvestigation is to have all of the
kidnap victims return home and to get a full
explanation for the abductions.... Pyongyang agreed to
hold talks with Tokyo in view of the U.S. reaction....
It is obvious that North Korea made the move to give
Washington a good impression."

6. "Close Communication with U.S. Needed" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun contended in an editorial (8/14):
"...North Korea will likely conduct the reinvestigation
into the abduction cases in the goal of improving its
ties with the U.S. and achieving delisting.
Fortunately, President Bush has said that he will not
make an easy concession regarding verification of North
Korea's nuclear declaration.... The GOJ needs to have
close communication with the USG in order to discuss
the importance of U.S.-Japan relations and strict
verification of North Korea's nuclear programs."

SCHIEFFER

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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