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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea

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DE RUEHKO #2514 2560602
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P 120602Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7204
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 9835
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 3576
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RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002514

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: Top stories on Friday morning included
the finding on Thursday that some of the pesticide-
tainted rice from China that was intended for
industrial use has been served at 119 hospitals and
nursing homes in Japan.

2. "Preparations Needed for All Possible Contingencies"
The conservative Sankei editorialized (9/12): "There
have been reports that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il
is seriously ill. We must be vigilant against a
possible power vacuum in the country.... The situation
is unpredictable, given the possibility of a power
struggle over leadership.... North Korea possesses
nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons in addition
to its Rodong and Taepodong missiles, which can reach
the U.S. and Japan. North Korea is a very dangerous
nation in terms of peace and security in East Asia,
especially for Japan.... It is urgent for the GOJ to
prepare for all possible contingencies....
Specifically, Japan needs to strengthen coordination
with its ally, the U.S., and the SDF and U.S. military
need to share information on North Korea."

ZUMWALT

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