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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/06/08

DE RUEHKO #2775/01 2800115
P 060115Z OCT 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


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Opinion surveys:
1) Aso Cabinet support rate drops 7 points to 41 PERCENT , while
non-support rate rises 6 points to 42 PERCENT (Asahi)
2) In Nikkei survey of 100 top C.E.O.s and 500 regional companies,
94 PERCENT judge that the economy is worsening (Nikkei)

Defense and security affairs:
3) Interviewed by Sankei, Naha Consul General Maher reiterates that
Futenma relocation will go according to agreed plan (Sankei)
4) Prime Minister Aso desires to see enacted a permanent law for
dispatching the SDF for peacekeeping operations (Yomiuri)
5) Cabinet approves dispatch of two SDF officers to Sudan's PKO
headquarters, but view is growing in the Aso government for sending
an entire unit (Asahi)
6) SDF unit being sent to Iraq to wrap up the ASDF support operation
that is being withdrawn (Sankei)
7) LDP diet affairs chairman sees deliberation starting on
anti-terror bill for Indian Ocean operations once the supplementary
budget bill passes the Diet (Yomiuri)
8) Japan vying for rotating membership on the UN Security Council
that will be decided on the 17th (Nikkei)
9) Japan has invited cabinet-level representatives from 40 countries
to attend a conference on Middle East democracy (Nikkei)

Political agenda:
10) Clashes expected in the Lower House Budget Committee today as
deliberations start on supplementary budget (Nikkei)
11) Diet Affairs Chairman Oshima predicts Diet dissolution after the
budget is passed (Asahi)
12) DPJ's Hatoyama conditions cooperation on deliberating
supplementary budget once promise of Diet dissolution made (Asahi)

13) DPJ Vice President Ishii calls the New Komeito a "contagion,"
and rules out any coalition with that party (Asahi)
14) Small splinter parties hope to for a third political force
15) Social Democratic Party's legendary leader Takako Doi has
decided not to run in the next general election (Mainichi)
16) Rumors of an 8 trillion yen among Japan, South Korea, and China
to cope with international financial crisis is denied by Tokyo


1) Poll: Cabinet support, nonsupport rates are close

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Ahead of a snap election for the House of Representatives, the Asahi
Shimbun conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey on Oct.
4-5. The rate of public support for the Aso cabinet was 41 PERCENT ,
down from the 48 PERCENT rating in the last survey taken Sept.
24-25 shortly after its inauguration. The nonsupport rate rose from
36 PERCENT to 42 PERCENT , close to the support rate.

Respondents were also asked which political party they would vote
for in their proportional representation blocs if they were to vote
now. In this voter preference of political parties, the ruling
Liberal Democratic Party marked 33 PERCENT (36 PERCENT in the last

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survey), with the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) at 34 PERCENT (32 PERCENT in the last survey). In the
last survey, the LDP markedly regained ground in the tailwind of the
new cabinet's inauguration and came from behind the DPJ. Those
interested in the general election accounted for 35 PERCENT . Among
them, 48 PERCENT opted for the DPJ, with 30 PERCENT choosing the

Among LDP supporters, the cabinet's support rate was comparatively
high, reaching 79 PERCENT . Among DPJ supporters, however, 77
PERCENT said they did not support the cabinet. The figures show a
clear-cut showdown between the LDP and DPJ supporters as well. Among
floating voters with no particular party affiliation, the cabinet's
support rate was down from 31 PERCENT to 24 PERCENT , and the
nonsupport rate was up from 41 PERCENT to 48 PERCENT .

Among men, the support rate was only slightly down from 46 PERCENT
to 43 PERCENT . Among women, however, it was substantially down from
50 PERCENT to 39 PERCENT , a factor that caused the decline in the
support rate.

Land, Infrastructure and Transport Minister Nariaki Nakayama has now
resigned (to take responsibility for a series of gaffes he had
made). In the survey, respondents were asked about the
responsibility of Prime Minister Aso, who appointed him. To this
question, 48 PERCENT answered that his responsibility is not very
big, with 44 PERCENT saying it is big.

Asked about the desirable form of government, the proportion of
those who chose an LDP-led coalition government was down from 39
PERCENT to 34 PERCENT . Meanwhile, the proportion of those opting
for a DPJ-led coalition government remained the same at 40 PERCENT .
In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 32 PERCENT (34 PERCENT in the last survey), with the DPJ
at 23 PERCENT (leveling off from 23 PERCENT in the last survey).

The survey was conducted Oct. 4-5 over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. Respondents were
chosen from among the nation's voting population on a three-stage
random-sampling basis. Valid answers were obtained from 1,036
persons (57 PERCENT ).

2) In survey, 94 PERCENT view economy as deteriorating in aftermath
of U.S. financial crisis; 50 PERCENT expect turnaround in a year

NIKKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2008

The results of a Nikkei questionnaire of corporate presidents and
executives released yesterday showed that more than 90 PERCENT of
respondents viewed the domestic economy is deteriorating, a
threefold increase from the previous survey (in June). In a snap
survey on Oct. 3 conducted following a steep plunge in stock prices,
nearly 60 PERCENT said that the U.S. financial crisis has had an
adverse effect on their business operations. In a survey of top
officials at 500 regional firms and organizations conducted at the
same time as the snap survey, as well, 80 PERCENT said that the
economy is worsening.

Presidents and other senior executives of 139 major firms responded
to the questionnaire conducted as of late September, while 114 firms
replied to the snap poll. In the survey of regional firms, 408

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senior executives responded.

On the current Japanese economic conditions, 93.5 PERCENT of
respondents in the September survey picked any of these replies:
Conditions are deteriorating, moderately deteriorating; or rapid
deteriorating. For the first time since the survey was started in
2004, no respondents viewed the economy as expanding. In the
previous survey, 10.6 PERCENT gave positive replies.

The figure worked out by subtracting negative replies from positive
ones to a question about the present economic state compared with
the state six months ago was minus 95.7. In the prior survey, the
figure was 84.1.

In the snap survey, nearly 60 PERCENT said that the U.S. financial
crisis has already had a negative impact on their business
operations, with 38.6 PERCENT replying that the crisis has affected
the real economy, leading to negative repercussions and 19.3 PERCENT
responding that indirect repercussions have emerged in such areas
as stock prices, the exchange rate, and fund-raising.

Of the respondents, 41.2 PERCENT expect the financial crisis will
remain in a critical state for nearly one year, while only 9.6
PERCENT see conditions will calm down with the passage of revised
U.S. legislation to stabilize the financial sector.

Nearly half expect Japan's economy will recover within a year, with
16.5 PERCENT pointing to the April-June quarter in 2009 and 33.1
PERCENT citing the July-September quarter the same year.

3) Futenma will go ahead as planned: Maher

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Kevin Maher, U.S. consul general in Okinawa, told the Sankei Shimbun
in a recent interview that the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan
was smoothly underway and that he was optimistic. Meanwhile, Okinawa
Prefecture has been calling for the Japanese and U.S. governments to
revise their plan to relocate the site for the replacement for
Futenma airfield. In this regard, Maher remarked that there was no
rational reason for such and that the Futenma relocation should be
implemented as planned.

In October 2005, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed on an
interim report, U.S.-Japan Alliance: Transformation and Realignment
for the Future. Based on this, Maher stressed the significance of
transforming the Japan-U.S. alliance to meet various and newly
emerging threats. On the issue of relocating Futenma airfield, the
political focus was what to do about its replacement facility. "In
the interim report," Maher said, "there was a plan to build an
L-shaped runway." He added: "After that, the Japanese government
consulted with local officials on an X-shaped runway. In the end,
the plan was revised to the current plan to build a V-shaped pair of
airstrips." With this, Maher indicated that the plan is well based
on local views, repudiating the local criticism of bilateral talks
without Okinawa. Maher said: "We're now at the stage to implement
the agreement. If we try to revise it, the consensus between Japan
and the United States will collapse. That is not desirable."

The Japanese and U.S. governments have agreed to relocate Futenma
airfield to a coastal area of Camp Schwab in the city of Nago,

TOKYO 00002775 004 OF 010

Okinawa Prefecture. But Nago City has proposed laying down an
offshore airfield about 400 meters southwest. Maher said it would be
another story if there is a rational and scientific reason for
revision after an environmental impact assessment. Even so, Maher
said: "I cannot understand why they think moving the runway out
(into the sea) will reduce its environmental impact.

4) Prime Minister Aso answering question in Upper House states
desire to pass permanent overseas dispatch law

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 4, 2008

Prime Minister Aso on Oct. 3 in a reply to a question in the plenary
session of the Upper House indicated his desire to enact a permanent
law for allowing the overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces
(SDF). He said: "It would be desirable to Japan to be able to carry
out international peacekeeping cooperation swiftly and effectively.
We will consider such legislation fully based on thorough national
debate, as well as debate within the ruling parties."

Commenting on not being able to launch discussions in the
constitutional councils that were created in both chambers of the
Diet last year in August, Aso said, "I have strong hopes that with
the participation of all political parties, we can carry out earnest
discussions." He urged that constitutional discussions be started
soon in the Diet.

On the other hand, he also expressed his view that it was necessary
to change the government's interpretation of the right of collective
self-defense that is now forbidden: "It is an important topic, and
the interpretation should be now thoroughly discussed." His view was
that discussion to change the interpretation should be tackled. He
was replying to a question from Social Democratic Party head

5) Cabinet decision made to send SDF personnel to Sudan; Call for
sending unit may reignite

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
October 4, 2008

The government decided on Oct. 3 to send two Self-Defense Force
personnel to the UN peacekeeping operations command in southern
Sudan. With the aim of impressing the world as Japan being a peace
fostering nation, as was vowed by the former Fukuda administration,
the government temporarily considered dispatching an SDF unit to the
country, but it has decided to forgo the plan out of concern over
the security situation there. But legislation to allow the Maritime
Self-Defense Force to continue its refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean reaches a deadlock, calls for greater support for Sudan might
flare up again in the government.

Foreign Minister Nakasone, speaking to reporters after the cabinet
meeting that approved the dispatch of two SDF personnel to Sudan,
said: "The step will greatly contribute to the peace and stability
of the region, not to mention improving bilateral relations."

The two SDF personnel will be dispatched to Sudan's capital of
Khartoum where the command of the UN Mission in Sudan is located. As
part of the 10,000 PKO troops from over 60 countries, they will
belong to both the logistic office to coordinate supplies for the

TOKYO 00002775 005 OF 010

military department deployed in the south of the country and the
information office managing the database.

6) Japan to send prep unit for ASDF pullout from Iraq

SANKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 6, 2008

The Defense Ministry is considering sending an Air Self-Defense
Force unit for the withdrawal of ASDF troops from Iraq within the
year, officials said yesterday. The unit will assist with customs
clearance procedures and quarantine preparations for the ASDF troops
and equipment and will also engage in negotiations with local
authorities for hangar evacuation. The ministry plans to send the
unit in December. The ASDF troops currently on an airlift mission
will be recalled to Japan that month, but even after that the other
unit will remain there. The government announced its plan on Sept.
11 to withdraw the ASDF detachment from Iraq within the year after
its five-year airlift activities there, given that a United Nations
Security Council resolution, which endorses the stationing of
multinational forces in Iraq, will expire at the end of December.
This is the first time for the government to reveal a withdrawal
operation plan.

The ASDF detachment to Iraq, based in Kuwait, has been tasked with
airlifting personnel and supplies for the United Nations and the
multinational forces to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and the
northern Iraqi city of Arbil. About 210 ASDF members are on the
airlift mission with three C-130 transport planes.

In Kuwait, the ASDF detachment has been based at Ali Al Salem Air
Base, where the ASDF has built hangars and billets. The Defense
Ministry would like to transfer these facilities to Kuwait without
dismantling them. The withdrawal unit will negotiate with local
officials and go through procedures for transfer.

7) LDP Diet Affairs Committee chairman expresses intent to
deliberate on bill amending antiterrorism legislation after passage
of extra budget bill

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Appearing on Asahi and NHK TV programs with his counterparts from
the ruling partner and opposition parties yesterday, Liberal
Democratic Party Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima
expressed his intention to start deliberations in the current Diet
session on a bill amending the New Antiterrorism Special Measures
Law to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in
the Indian Ocean. The deliberations would start after the fiscal
2008 budget bill clears the Diet.

New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio Urushibara added:
"It is fully conceivable that if the opposition camp rejects the
bill during the period (in the House of Councillors), we will use
overriding revote in the lower chamber." He indicated that he would
approve of reinstating the bill by using a two-thirds lower chamber
overriding vote.

Asked about the timing for Lower House dissolution and a general
election, Oshima said:

TOKYO 00002775 006 OF 010

"We will enact the supplementary budget bill without fail. We will
then ask for views from each political party and would like to bring
about party head talks. Under such a situation, if it becomes
necessary to seek the people's judgment, Prime Minister will
naturally make a judgment, I think."

Oshima revealed plans to come up with additional economic measures
after the extra budget bill pass the Diet, saying: "Studies have
already begun, and we would like to present a package to the people
as soon as possible."

Democratic Party of Japan Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji
Yamaoka cited five days as the minimum necessary number of days for
deliberations on the extra budget bill at the Upper House Budget

8) Japan intensively lobbying for its bid for nonpermanent UNSC seat
ahead of Oct. 17 election

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
October 6, 2008

The government has been intensively lobbying other countries in the
run-up to the Oct. 17 election of the nonpermanent members of the UN
Security Council.

In his speech to the UN General Assembly in New York in late
September, Prime Minister Taro Aso called for support for Japan's
bid for a nonpermanent UNSC seat. Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone
also conveyed to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Japan's
intention to seek a permanent UNSC seat on the assumption that the
country first wins a nonpermanent seat. Former Prime Minister
Yoshiro Mori, too, lobbied Tanzanian President Kikwete and others
for their support for Japan's bid.

The UNSC is responsible for leading discussions on international
issues. Ten nonpermanent members, which serve two-year terms, are
selected from each region. Japan has served nine times, the most
along with Brazil. Winning a nonpermanent seat requires the support
of two-thirds of the 192 UN members in an election. This time
around, Japan is vying with Iran for the Asian seat.

Japan acutely sensed the advantage of being a nonpermanent UNSC
member through the adoption of a resolution condemning North Korea's
missile launches in July 2006. The UNSC adopted the resolution after
about 10 days of discussion that was led by Japan. "If Japan had not
been a UNSC member, it would have taken over one month," a senior
Foreign Ministry official commented.

With the intergovernmental talks on UNSC reform scheduled to begin
by the end of February 2009, Japan wants to win a nonpermanent seat
with a huge margin to gain momentum for its bid for a permanent
seat. But Japan is troubled over the frequent changeover of the
prime minister and the divided Diet. Although Prime Minister Aso
visited New York shortly after assuming office, he was able to meet
only with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

9) Government to host cabinet-level meeting on Middle East
modernization with 40 countries invited

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

TOKYO 00002775 007 OF 010

The government has decided to host a cabinet-level meeting in
mid-October in Dubai, a member of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), to
support the democratization and economic reform of the Middle East.
Calling on the Group of Eight countries and some 40 Middle Eastern
and North African countries, Japan, as the country that chaired this
year's G-8 summit, will co-chair the meeting with the UEA. The
government will launch an effort to send Foreign Minister Hirofumi
Nakasone to the event if the Diet timetable permits.

The meeting will be formally announced later this week. The meeting
titled the Forum for the Future is scheduled to take place on Oct.
18-19. With the aim of giving a boost to the democratization of the
Middle East, the meeting will discuss such topics as the improvement
of the judicial system, participation in politics by women, support
for the poor, cooperation with nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)
to look for cooperative measures. The meeting is scheduled to end
with the release of a chairman's statement on the last day.

The forum's purpose is for the G-8 to support the political and
economic reform of the Greater Middle East. Its establishment was
decided on in the Sea Island Summit in 2004. Since then, a meeting
has been held every year with the exception of last year.

10) Fierce battle between ruling and opposition camps over
supplementary budget to start today at Lower House Budget Committee

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
October 6, 2008

The ruling and opposition camps will start today full-fledged
discussions on the fiscal 2008 supplementary budget bill at the
House of Representatives Budget Committee. Prime Minister Taro Aso
has expressed his eagerness for an early enactment of the
supplementary budget, while waiting for good timing to dissolve the
Lower House. Fixated on the next Lower House election, the ruling
and opposition camps have intensified their confrontational stances
toward each other, and stormy developments can be expected.

The ruling and opposition blocs have agreed to hold basic
question-and-answer sessions on Oct. 6-7 at the Lower House Budget
Committee with the prime minister and his cabinet present. The
ruling coalition has proposed taking a vote on the budget bill on
Oct. 8, but the opposition has held off on making a reply. Since
Finance Minister Shoichi Nakagawa is expected to attend a meeting on
Oct. 10 of central bank governors and finance ministers from the
Group of Seven industrialized countries (G-7), the ruling coalition
has a plan to initiate deliberations on the budget on the 14th in
order to get the bill through the Diet before the end of next week.

Ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Tadamori Oshima stressed on a NHK talks show yesterday that
the ruling camp would prioritize the enactment of the supplementary
budget and bills related to the budget, noting:

"With the dissolution of the Lower House and a general election, a
political vacuum of one and a half to two months would be created.
Priority should be placed on the supplementary budget rather than
the political situation and the possibility of Lower House

Oshima predicted that should early passage of the supplementary

TOKYO 00002775 008 OF 010

budget become difficult, there would be a backlash of public
criticism of the opposition parties. He sought to constrain the
opposition camp by hinting at the possibility of Lower House
dissolution before the supplementary budget cleared the Diet. "The
prime minister may have to make the call," he warned.

Oshima called on his Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) counterpart
Kenji Yamaoka, who also appeared on the same NHK talk show, to
schedule a debate in the Diet between Prime Minister Aso and DPJ
President Ichiro Ozawa, as well as to begin deliberations on a bill
extending Japan's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The LDP
intends to make as campaign issues in the next general election the
appropriateness of extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission and the need for additional economic measures.

Oshima revealed that the next Lower House election would likely be
held after Nov. 9, and that the possibility of the election
occurring on Nov. 2 has disappeared. Based of Prime Minister Aso's
intention to pass the supplementary budget, the original rumored
scenario an early Lower House dissolution has now been withdrawn.

However, the New Komeito, the LDP's junior coalition partner, still
retains a stance of urging the prime minister to quickly dissolve
the Lower House. New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio
Urushibara, appearing also on the NHK talk show, underscored: "We
are now preparing for a general election, thinking that it will be
held in early November." There is a possibility that discord will
resurface in the ruling coalition.

11) Lower House dissolution after enactment of supplementary budget:
LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Oshima

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Appearing on NHK and TV Asahi talk shows yesterday morning, the
ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Tadamori Oshima revealed the outlook that the House of
Representatives would be dissolved after the passage of the fiscal
2008 supplementary budget. He said:

"What we now should do is to stabilize the economy and take measures
to cope with the economic crisis. (What we should do now is) to
enact the supplementary budget, rather than to dissolve the Lower

Referring also to a bill amending the new Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law to allow the Maritime Self-Defense Force to continue
its refueling operation in the Indian Ocean, Oshima said: "We want
to start deliberations at any cost." He was enthusiastic about Diet
deliberations after the passage of the supplementary budget by the
Lower House.

Regarding to the possibility of Lower House dissolution after the
passage of the supplementary budget, Oshima said: "I think (Prime
Minister Aso) will of course look into it."

12) Deliberations on supplementary budget conditioned on Lower House
being dissolved afterward: DPJ Secretary General Hatoyama

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

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Yukio Hatoyama, secretary general of the main opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ), stressed yesterday his party's position of not
cooperating on an early enactment of the fiscal 2008 supplementary
budget bill unless there was a commitment to dissolve the House of
Representatives soon after passage of the budget. He was speaking to
reporters in Kashima City, Ibaraki Prefecture:

"(The Aso cabinet is) a caretaker government to deal with a general
election. However, if there is not talk of quickly dissolving Lower
House afterward, it will be necessary to thoroughly deliberate the
supplementary budget."

On whether the DPJ will approve the budget bill or not, he said:

"Given the situation (in the government and ruling camp) of some
members calling for a second supplementary budget and others saying
the current supplementary budget bill (now in the Diet) is useless,
it is difficult for us to approve it."

13) DPJ Vice President Ishii denies possibility of DPJ-New Komeito
coalition, calling the party a "contagion"

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Vice President Hajime Ishii,
appearing on a TV Asahi talk show yesterday, denied the possibility
of his party forming a coalition with the New Komeito after the next
House of Representatives election. He said:

"There is no possibility. It is like a contagion. President Ozawa
and I strongly think so. If we are given four votes from the New
Komeito, we will lose six. The public is not such fool."

In reaction to this, New Komeito leader Akihiro Ota said in an
outdoor speech in Matsudo City, Chiba Prefecture: "It is outrageous
for a political party vice president to use such an extremely
thoughtless word. I will ask him to immediately withdraw his remark
and offer apology."

14) Third force, including PNP and Hiranuma, desperately trying to
avoid sinking into insignificance

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 6, 2008

The ruling parties and the major opposition Democratic Party of
Japan are gearing up for the next Lower House election. In the
meantime, minor parties and lawmakers with no party affiliations are
making desperate efforts to demonstrate their presence to become a
third force to counter the two major parties. The People's New Party
(PNP), for instance, is still trying to enhance cooperation with the
DPJ although it has failed to merge with it. New Party Daichi
Representative Muneo Suzuki and Daijiro Hashimoto, who is eying the
formation of a new party, are intensifying their anti-LDP movements.
Takeo Hiranuma, an independent, intends to get through the next
Lower House election with his modest group and find a way out in the
political realignment that is expected to occur after the election.

PNP Representative Tamisuke Watanuki has repeatedly described the
party's relationship with the DPJ as sharing a common destiny. The

TOKYO 00002775 010 OF 010

PNP has decided to endorse a total of 170 DPJ candidates for the
next election, including 154 it decided to back on Oct. 2.

An agreement has been reached for PNP Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Masaaki Itokawa to leave the party after Lower House
dissolution to run in the next race on the DPJ ticket. Tamisuke
Watanuki will seek a proportional representation seat with the aim
of adding to proportional votes. Once the Lower House election is
over, the PNP plans to explore ways to merge with the DPJ.

15) SDP Doi not to run in next Lower House election

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 6, 2008

Former Social Democratic Party (SDP) President Takako Doi, 79, said
in an interview with the Mainichi Shimbun yesterday that she would
not run in the next House of Representatives election. She said: "I
would like to go around the nation to give campaign speeches for SDP
candidates." Doi was first elected to the Lower House in 1969 and
assumed the Japan Socialist Party chairmanship in 1986. In 1993, she
became the first female Lower House speaker in constitutional
politics. Doi headed the SDP from 1996, when the party was launched,
through 2003. She ran for the 2005 Lower House election under the
proportional representation segment but was defeated.

16) South Korean daily states that Japan, China, and ROK readying 8
trillion yen fund to cope with international financial crisis, but
Japan denies the reports

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
October 6, 2008

Yoshiharu Asano in Seoul

The South Korean daily Chosun Ilbo (internet edition) reported on
Oct. 5 that according to sources in the South Korean government,
Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea are promoting the creation
of a joint Asia fund on a scale of $80 billion (8.425 trillion yen)
for coping with the financial crisis that started in the United
States. A vice-minister level official gave his outlook that the
joint fund would be discussed in a meeting in Washington in mid
October. Regarding this report, a senior official of Japan's Finance
Ministry stated: "At this point in time, there is no plan for a
vice-minister level meeting. We do not feel there is need to create
such a fund."


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