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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Closing of Beijing

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DE RUEHKO #2326/01 2380144
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 250144Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6782
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 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 9523
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RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7668
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0103
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3263
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5026
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2498
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1016
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1349
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002326

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 - CLOSING OF BEIJING
OLYMPICS AND GEORGIA-RUSSIA CRISIS

1. LEAD STORIES: Sunday's closing of the Beijing
Olympics dominated front-pages of most Japanese dailies
on Monday.

2. "After Olympics Come Challenges" The
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri editorialized (8/25):
"China's gold-medal-first principle of the state taking
the lead in athlete training and infrastructure
investment may have borne fruit. However, the tricks
staged at the opening ceremony exposed the problems
with holding an Olympics in a totalitarian state....
Beijing's failure to ensure continued economic
development, which is the basis for the legitimacy of
Communist Party rule, would alienate China's people and
exacerbate social anxieties. Controlling the rising
nationalism unleashed by the Olympics and managing the
economy will be daunting tasks for the Chinese
leadership."

3. "China Should Embody Harmony" The liberal Mainichi
argued in an editorial (8/25): "The word 'harmony'
featured prominently in the closing ceremony, presented
as the ideal of the 'harmonious society' that has been
pursued by the Hu administration. China must rectify
its internal disparities in wealth, nurture its middle
class, and enhance domestic demand in order to maintain
economic growth. Taking such steps would make harmony
possible.... If China takes a step toward a harmonious
society commensurate with its great power status, then
the phrase 'China threat' will disappear from the
lexicon of the international community."

4. "China Must Be More Open" The liberal Tokyo Shimbun
asserted (8/25): "What concerns us is that ethnic
minorities in Tibet and the Uygur Autonomous Region
were effectively excluded from the Olympics due to the
unrest in the former in March and a series of terrorist
attacks in the latter just prior to the games.... If
China toughens its repressive approach toward these
minority groups, its heightened international
reputation will be damaged."

5. "Beijing Olympics Show China at Turning Point" The
business-oriented Nikkei claimed (8/25): "While
authorities were reportedly ready to approve public
demonstrations at three parks in Beijing during the
Olympics, none was approved in the end, with those
people who did file for protest permits being sent for
'reeducation.'... China's failure to respect human
rights runs counter to the Olympic spirit and will
prevent it from gaining the trust of the international
community. China must take a bold step toward
international cooperation by respecting human rights,
freedom of association, speech, and press, and
democratization."

6. "First Step toward Political Reform" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (8/25): "The world supported and
cooperated with China toward a successful Beijing
Olympics in the hope that such issues as the crackdown
on ethnic minorities and suppression of freedom of
speech and press would be improved. Seven years have
elapsed since the decision was made to give the games
to China, and we must express our disappointment at the

TOKYO 00002326 002 OF 002


current situation there. It is high time for the
Communist Party and the Chinese government to take
steps toward political reform."

7. "Russia Must Completely Withdraw" The liberal Asahi
wrote (8/25): "Russian President Medvedev must not
forget that distrust of and opposition to his country
has spread globally due to its military action against
Georgia.... In order to avoid further chaos, the
Russian military must completely withdraw its troops
from Georgian territory. The territorial integrity of
Georgia must also be guaranteed. Russia must make
concessions and forge an agreement on these matters at
the UN Security Council."

ZUMWALT

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