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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Pakistan

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P 190059Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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UNCLAS TOKYO 002278

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 - PAKISTAN

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Tuesday morning papers gave top
play to Pakistani President Musharraf's announcement of
his resignation on Monday.

2. "Democratization Should Lead to Stabilization" The
liberal Asahi editorialized (8/19): "...Musharraf's
decision to head off political turmoil by resigning was
a wise one. Pakistan's political parties need to seize
the opportunity to swiftly establish a democratic and
stable government.... If the political situation in a
nuclear power like Pakistan were to deteriorate, we
could end up facing the worst-case scenario of
terrorists obtaining nuclear arms. The rise of Islamist
extremism or militancy must not be allowed. Both the
war on terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation should be
led by a government supported by public."

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3. "Campaign Against Terrorism Must Not Falter" The
business-oriented Nikkei stated in an editorial (8/19):
"...The question for Pakistan is whether Musharraf's
resignation will lead to political unrest. Pakistan is
a nuclear power and stands on the frontline of the war
on terrorism. Turmoil in that nation would cause the
international community great anxiety. The ruling
coalition has a responsibility to stabilize the
political situation, keep control of the nation's
nuclear weapons, and continue the fight against
terrorism."

4. "Vacuum Must Not Be Created" The moderate Yomiuri
argued in an editorial (8/19): "...Since 9/11, the U.S.
has been supporting Pakistan, the only Muslim nuclear
power, as the country standing on the frontline in the
war on terrorism. The antiterrorism campaign must not
be allowed to falter due to the resignation of
President Musharraf."

SCHIEFFER

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