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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Russia-Georgia

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2422 2480421
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040421Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7015
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
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RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 7823
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 0279
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RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 5187
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2515
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 1183
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 1499
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002422

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 - RUSSIA-GEORGIA
CONFLICT, POLITICAL TURMOIL IN THAILAND, AND U.S.-LIBYA
RELATIONS

1. LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers
front-paged moves on Wednesday within the ruling LDP to
find and field candidates to challenge Secretary
General Aso, who is seen as the frontrunner in the
party presidential race scheduled for September 22.

2. "Russia Should Respond to Mediation by EU" On the
recent EU emergency summit on the Russia-Georgia
crisis, the business-oriented Nikkei editorialized
(9/4): "While Britain, Poland, Baltic states, and other
countries called for sanctions on Russia during the
meeting, Germany and France opposed such measures out
of fear of greater Russian isolation.... While their
stance can be seen as weak-kneed, inflaming tensions
with Russia, which the U.S. is doing, would not lead to
a resolution. Priority must be given to finding a
solution to the conflict together with Russia....
French President Sarkozy plans to visit Moscow on
September 8 for another round of mediation. Russia must
positively respond to peace-brokering efforts by
Europe."

3. "Both Sides Must Show Restraint" On the deepening
row between supporters of the Thai government and the
opposition People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD), the
liberal Tokyo Shimbun argued in an editorial (9/4):
"Both sides may be hoping for arbitration by King
Bhumibol, as was the case during the political upheaval
of 1992. Prolonged political turmoil has been having
negative effects on the domestic economy, including a
decline in the number of tourists. If the bloodshed is
repeated, it might be impossible to stop the cycle of
violence. Both sides must make concessions if they
yearn for national development."

4. "U.S. Holds out Libya as Example" On the planned
visit to Tripoli by Secretary of State Rice on
September 5, a Washington correspondent for the top-
circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (9/4): "The U.S is
set to fully normalize diplomatic relations with Libya,
which it once termed a 'rogue state.' Libya's improved
ties with the U.S. are mainly attributable to its
decision to abandon its WMD programs. While hailing
normalization of ties with Libya as an important
development demonstrating the success of its
nonproliferation policy, Washington is calling for Iran
and North Korea to make a similar decision."

ZUMWALT

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