Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/06/08

DE RUEHKO #3090/01 3110815
P 060815Z NOV 08




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Japan-U.S. relationship to encounter rough passage; Japan
concerned about rift in antiterrorism policy (Asahi)

(2) Obama's trade policy expected to incline toward protecting
domestic industries (Mainichi)

(3) Interview with Tokyo University Professor Fumiaki Kubo on Obama
as U.S. president (Tokyo Shimbun)

(4) Zenchuro withdraws from Heiwa Center; Resistance to anti-base
movement; Gap evident between young members' demand and Center's
vision (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(5) Second supplementary budget to pump-prime economy: Government,
ruling parties unable to decide to which session it should be
submitted -- extraordinary session or regular session? (Yomiuri)

(6) Experts concerned about bill amending Child Pornography
Prevention Law, fearing restrictions on manga, anime, investigating
authorities' view reflected in judgment, freedom of expression
undermined (Tokyo Shimbun)



(9) Prime Minister's schedule, November 5 (Nikkei)


(1) Japan-U.S. relationship to encounter rough passage; Japan
concerned about rift in antiterrorism policy

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 6, 2008

In a policy speech, Prime Minister Taro Aso took a stance of placing
importance on the United States, by asking the main opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- which should take precedence over
the other -- the Japan-U.S. alliance and the United Nations?
However, it is not easy for Aso to build a relationship with the
government of President-elect Barack Obama. Although Aso intends to
make cooperation between Tokyo and Washington in dealing with the
global financial crisis the start of the building of the new
relationship, the Aso administration has yet to set forth its
assistance policy toward Afghanistan. Cooperation between the two
countries seems doubtful.

With an eye on the launching of the new president's administration,
Aso often has sent messages to the United States regarding measures
to deal with the global financial crisis. His aim is to cooperate
with the new U.S. government by helping the United States revitalize
its economy.

On Oct. 24 after his meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao, Aso
emphasized the need for maintaining the dollar-key currency system,
involving China. He said: "Nobody wants to see an abrupt dollar
crash and the collapse of the dollar-based currency system." When
Iceland's financial crisis surfaced, he pointed out: "Some wonder
what will happen to Iceland after its borrowing of money from

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Russia?" After that, he often stressed the importance of support for
Iceland by the International Monetary Found (IMF). This was aimed at
indirectly supporting the United States, which does not want to see
an expansion of Russia's influence.

However, whether a personal relationship can be built between Aso
and Obama is still unclear. Aso has relatively deep ties to
individuals connected with the U.S. Republican Party, but he has few
personal contacts with the Democratic Party. Aso's aides tried to
grope for the possibility of holding a meeting between Aso and Obama
before or after the emergency summit of the Group of Twenty on Nov.
15. However, Aso told reporters last night: "Since President George
W. Bush will be in office until Jan. 20, I think I should meet (with
Obama) after (Jan. 20)."

There is a possibility that a rift in foreign policy will widen
between Japan and the United States.

The Japanese government is focusing on Obama's declaration of a
policy of shifting the main battlefield for the war on terror from
Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan, while advocating the withdrawal of
U.S. forces from Iraq. The government has predicted that the U.S.
position of calling on its allies for visible contributions will
increasingly become stronger.

The Japanese government regards the continuation of the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean as the
minimum requirement, according to a senior Foreign Ministry
official. Government officials in charge of Japan-U.S. security
affairs are concerned that Washington's opinion of Tokyo will change
if Japan says it cannot send the SDF to either Iraq or Afghanistan,
since Japan's Air Self-Defense personnel, now engaging in its
mission in Iraq, will withdraw by the end of the year.

Even if the MSDF's refueling mission is extended, the United States
is certain to ask for shares commensurate with the economic power
from countries concerned. The contents of Aso's policy of attaching
priority to the Japan-U.S. alliance will be tested soon.

The realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of
the U.S. Marines' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, will reach a
crucial stage. In order to realize the relocation by 2014, on which
Japan and the United States have agreed, "It is necessary to put an
end to environment impact assessment," said a source familiar with
the Foreign Ministry. The Japanese side sees that there is very
little difference in views on the U.S. forces realignment between
the Republican and Democratic parties. It is certain that the Obama
administration will immediately call for "steady implementation" of
the realignment. Depending on how Japan responds, the alliance
relationship might be shaken.

Cooperative relations between the two countries on North Korean
issues will likely be completely changed from those under the Bush
administration. A senior Foreign Ministry official said that
President Bush, who has expressed sympathy for the issue of
abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korean agents, "is Japan's
one and only hope." Japan will soon lose that hope.

Obama welcomed Bush's decision to delist North Korea as a
terrorist-sponsoring state as "progress," while stressing that North
Korea needed to answer all questions on Japanese and South Korean
abductees. The Aso administration will have to begin with the work

TOKYO 00003090 003 OF 010

of having Obama understand the importance of the abduction issue for

The Japanese government sees that Obama will take over the Bush
administration's policy toward North Korea. However, many in the
government are concerned that if a deep dialogue between Washington
and Pyongyang develops, the abduction issue might be put on the back

(2) Obama's trade policy expected to incline toward protecting
domestic industries

MAINICHI (Page 9) (Full)
November 6, 2008

Following the victory of Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the U.S.
presidential election, many observers in Japan anticipate that U.S.
trade policy would become more protective of domestic industries.
With the Big-Three automakers in financial difficulties due to the
fallout from the global financial crisis, Japanese automakers are
concerned that Obama, who has been supported by labor unions, might
sharpen criticism of Japan.

In his campaign speeches, Obama promised to review the North America
Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to have American automakers, not
Japanese or South Korean manufacturers, produce hybrid cars. A
strong protectionist mood can be detected in his speeches. He has
also expressed opposition to free trade agreements (FTA) with South
Korea and Colombia, both of which are waiting for approval from the
U.S. Congress. Obama has repeatedly criticized the Chinese
government, saying: "China should halt its currency manipulation
through market intervention, which hampers fair trade."

Republican President Bush has been eager to push aggressively for
free trade pacts, while the Democratic Party has maintained a strong
bias toward protectionism. The new round of World Trade Organization
(WTO) global trade talks (Doha Round) collapsed in July as a result
of the U.S. and India being divided. Because the U.S. will play a
key role in future rounds of the trade talks, attention will be paid
to what trade policy Obama will come up with.

A senior member of the Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry said:
"Now that the global economy is in a critical state, establishing a
free-trade structure is common responsibility for the world. I think
the U.S. will never allow WTO trade negotiations to retreat."

Obama has promised to assist automakers in developing
next-generation plug-in hybrid cars as part of efforts to protect
the environment by reducing the level of reliance on petroleum. The
president-elect has indicated a willingness to support the Big-Three
automakers by saying: "I am determined to help them to produce one
million domestic cars that can run 65 kilometers with one liter of
gasoline by 2015." The three companies have reported poor business
results as they significantly lagged behind in competition with
Japanese automakers over compact cars. Since the new administration
is about to help the three countries bolster their competitiveness
with the development of next-generation cars, Japanese firms might
be placed under severe circumstances.

But Toyota Motor Co. and other Japanese automakers have already
contributed to creating jobs in their plants in the U.S., so many
observers in Japan expect that trade friction, like the one in the

TOKYO 00003090 004 OF 010

1990s, is unlikely to arise. Meanwhile, an executive of a Japanese
automakers expressed concern: "A new law advantageous to labor
unions might be introduced, and the legislation might lead to
raising production costs at our local plants." It is likely to
become necessary for Japanese firms to pay attention to future moves
by the U.S. government.

(3) Interview with Tokyo University Professor Fumiaki Kubo on Obama
as U.S. president

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 8) (Abridged)
November 6, 2008

-- What will be the extent of the impact on the American society of
the election of the first black president?

"There are likely some who will evaluate it as no more than a
symbolic accomplishment. That is to say, it does not directly
resolve the various problems that exist, such as poverty and
unemployment that especially affect black Americans. The victory,
too, was greatly due to the unusual talents of Obama himself. It
does not necessarily mean that he will be followed by a second or a
third Obama.

"On the other hand, for Americans, there will be a great learning
effect. Over the next four years, with Mr. Obama appearing
frequently on television, the reality of having a black president
will day by day settle in. Black children will be told that if they
hang in there, they can even become the president of the United
States, so more and more of them will make efforts. The election has
great meaning in that it gives a dream to minority groups in

"White Americans who zealously supported Obama were possessed by the
desire for their country not to be seen as a racially prejudiced
one, but as a good country. There is also the hope that this will
lead to the restoration of a good image of America that was damaged
during the eight years of the Bush administration."

-- What changes do you see coming in American politics?

"The central theme that Obama advocates is the destruction of the
wall of hostility between the Republican and Democratic parties. He
has been saying that America should not be divided among whites,
blacks, Asians, and so forth. America must become a united country.
The litmus test will be whether he can cooperate with the Republican
Party and pass legislation that will be appreciated by the nation.

-- How will relations between Japan and the United States change?

"Japan, before thinking about what is best for our country, has the
tendency to calculate whether more can be obtained from a Democratic
administration or a Republican administration. I think the concept
of thinking -- since the U.S. is a precious ally, what should Japan
do for it? -- is weak in Japan.

"For the Obama administration, the highest priority will be the
conflict in Afghanistan. Although Japan's continuing to supply fuel
in the Indian Ocean is important, perhaps it would be better to
consider cooperation someplace close to the mainland of Afghanistan
to establish a sense of presence. Neighboring Pakistan is in dire
fiscal straits and does not even have proper public schools.

TOKYO 00003090 005 OF 010

Children are going over to Islamic religious schools. Building
public schools in Pakistan would be assistance to fight poverty, and
at the same time, over the medium to long term, would be an
anti-terrorist countermeasure that would be positively evaluated by
the U.S. and Britain.

(4) Zenchuro withdraws from Heiwa Center; Resistance to anti-base
movement; Gap evident between young members' demand and Center's

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
November 5, 2008

By Takumi Takimoto

The All Japan Garrison Forces Labor Union Okinawa District
Headquarters (Zenchurochihon, chaired by Eizo Yonaha, membership
6,500) informed by Nov. 4 the Okinawa Heiwa Undou Center (chaired by
Shiko Sakiyama) of its decision to withdraw from the organization.
Zenchurochihon has taken part in peace activities as a member of the
Center. As reasons to leave the Center, Zenchurochihon explained
that there was resistance in the organization regarding the
anti-base movement, such as the removal of bases, due to the
rejuvenation of its members, and that it has become difficult to
obtain their understanding. With the departure of Zenchurochihon,
which has promoted the peace movement along with other member
organizations, such as the All Japan Prefectural and Municipal
Workers' Union (Jichiro) and the teachers' union, the Center's
movement promoting the realignment and reduction of U.S. bases would
find itself at a turning point.

Ever since its decision not to advocate the removal of bases in its
1997 action policy (fiscal 1998), Zenchurochihon has allowed its
members to join activities to close in on bases independently rather
than taking part in them as the organization. The accumulated strain
between the vision of the Heiwa Undou Center calling for the removal
of bases and base workers' pragmatic demand not to lose their jobs
has now come to light.

Deciding at its regular convention on Oct. 25 to withdraw from the
Center, Zenchurochihon sent on Oct. 27 a letter to the Center
informing its decision. Zenchurochihon will reportedly continue the
peace movement as an organization under the Japanese Trade Union
Confederation (Rengo).

Zenchurochihon Secretary-General Hiroshi Zamami said: "If the bases
disappear, we will lose our jobs. For about 10 years now, union
members have expressing concern about seeking the removal of bases
and the realignment of U.S. forces."

Meanwhile, Heiwa Undou Center Chairman Sakiyama simply said about
Zenchurochihon's withdrawal from the Center: "The decision will be
reported at an executive meeting on Nov. 6, and I cannot say
anything about it at this point in time."

The Okinawa Heiwa Undou Center was established in February 1993
following the movement of the pro-constitution anti-security treaty
prefectural council and other organizations with the aim of sending
antiwar and peace messages to the world from Okinawa through such
experiences as the Battle of Okinawa and U.S. military rule. The
Center has been leading the anti-base and peace movement, hosting
such events as the May 15 Peace March and the human chain.

TOKYO 00003090 006 OF 010

(5) Second supplementary budget to pump-prime economy: Government,
ruling parties unable to decide to which session it should be
submitted -- extraordinary session or regular session?

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 6, 2008

The government and the ruling parties are dithering over whether a
second supplementary budget bill, which is designed to finance the
government's additional economic stimulus package, should be
submitted to the extraordinary Diet session, which is to close on
November 30, or to the regular Diet session to be convened in
January next year. Whichever session they choose, the opposition
camp is bound to oppose the bill. The path to secure Diet approval
for the bill as well as related bills is expected to be thorny.

Many participants in the staff meeting of the LDP Tsushima faction
on November 5th took the view that it is better to close the current
session and then convene the regular session early so as to make the
Diet session almost year-round.

Behind this view is that the negative impact of the delay in passage
of the bill on the year-end annual tax code revision and the budget
compilation could be minimized if the regular Diet session is
convened early next year for deliberations on the second
supplementary budget bill and related bills. That is because in the
2007 extraordinary Diet session, the government re-extended the
(extraordinary) Diet session into early next year because of the
ruling camp's opposition to the new Antiterrorism Law to extend the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission, causing a delay in
the convening of the regular Diet session and the passage of the
state budget.

However, there is an observation that the early closing of the
current extraordinary Diet session for an early convening of the
regular session next year could make it impossible to secure Diet
approval for the economic stimulus package before year's end.

Some take the view that the government and the ruling parties should
show strong determination by significantly extending the
extraordinary Diet session in order to pass the additional economic
stimulus package as soon as possible. One of the four top party
executives stressed, "Lawmakers must show the public that they are
working in the end-of-the-year period, as well."

However, the second supplementary budget bill cannot be submitted to
the Diet until early November or later, according to one government
source. If the opposition camp delays a vote in the Upper House, the
bill would be automatically given the Diet's final approval 30 days
after it was sent from the Lower House to the Upper House. However,
it is impossible for the Lower House to take a revote on related
bills until late January -- 60 days after they were sent from the
Lower House to the Upper House. Some ruling party members take a
bullish stance on dissolving the Lower House on the strength of
implementing the additional economic pump-priming package, if the
ruling parties strongly oppose passage of the bills in the
extensively extended Diet.

How to handle bills left for later deliberations will likely affect
the future management of the Diet.

TOKYO 00003090 007 OF 010

The DPJ will agree to take a vote on a bill amending the new
Antiterrorism Law to extend the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission, now under deliberations in the Upper House, on
the condition of former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio
Tamogami takes the Diet witness stand. If he is summoned, the bill
would be enacted in the middle of this month. However, there is also
a possibility of the handling of the amendment bill necessitating an
extension of the extraordinary Diet. A bill amending the Financial
Functions Early Strengthening Law is also bound to encounter
complications. There are 31 more bills to be handled during the
current session. The ruling parties boiled down the priority bills
to 17, including a set of bills related to the establishment of a
consumer affairs agency, and conveyed that to the DPJ on the 5th.

(6) Experts concerned about bill amending Child Pornography
Prevention Law, fearing restrictions on manga, anime, investigating
authorities' view reflected in judgment, freedom of expression

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 20) (Excerpts)
November 4, 2008

The ruling coalition has submitted a bill amending the Child
Pornography Prevention Law to the current Diet session. The bill
prohibits the individual possession of child pornography and
indecent videos. Manga (comics) and anime (animated cartoons) may be
subject to restrictions in the future. Given this, cartoonists and
experts have voiced concern, fearing that an enactment of the
revision bill would lead to undermining the principle of freedom of

Taro Minamoto, a cartoonist, is also feeling anxious about the
recent move to revise the law, saying: "The boundary line between
art and pornography remains blurred." One of his works features an
11-year-old girl who was sold and works as a prostitute for five
years. This comic includes scenes of her being forced to prostitute
herself. Minamoto grumbled: "If such descriptions are prohibited, it
will become impossible to represent historical facts. It is unclear
what would be designated as obscene and who would designate such."

The ruling camp's bill has been submitted to the House of
Representatives. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has also
drafted its own bill. Manga and anime are not subject to the
restrictions in both bills. But the ruling camp's bill notes that
necessary measures will be taken in an additional clause according
to the circumstances. But many concerned individuals, including
Minamoto, fear that restrictions might be imposed on manga and anime
in the future.

There are comics with explicit love scenes or violent scenes.
Minamoto said: "There are some that give us an unpleasant feeling,
but restrictions should not be placed on manga. Although some people
might have indecent thoughts while reading manga, not all readers
will commit a crime. Once restrictions are placed, the scope of
subjects to restrictions might gradually expand."

Take a picture of a child in athletic wear as an example. Different
persons, for instance, the child's parent or a pedophile, see it in
a different way. Minamoto said: "The government, based on
imagination, will impose restrictions (on manga and anime) while
mixing up art with crime. If we begin to describe only what is
allowed to describe, such is against the principle of freedom of

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expression. Restrictions should be placed not in the creation
process but in the distribution process. It is terrible to restrict
everything, an act that could lead to a witch-hunt. It is also
feared that freedom of expression might be undermined as a result of
creators daunted by regulations."

The ruling camp's revision bill prohibits the possession of child
porn and punishes violators. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) has drafted a bill that criminalizes the purchase and
possession of child pornography.

Since the Child Pornography Prevention Law was enacted in 1999,
discussions have been conducted on whether the possession of child
porn should be regarded as illegal and on whether comics and anime
should be subject to restrictions. The United Nations Children's
Fund (UNICEF) in Japan has carried out a campaign to oppose child
pornography since this spring. The association has insisted on the
need to define comics and anime depicting child molestation as
illegal, in addition to the ban on the possession of child porn.

Kanemitsu Daniel Makoto, a translator and the co-president of AMI
Contact Network composed of manga or anime writers, said: "Pictures
of children suffering from sexual abuse should be eradicated," but
he added: "Products of imagination should be considered

Kanemitsu said: "Since the definition of children pornography is
ambiguous, a subjective point of view is inevitably reflected in
determining whether products are illegal or not. The investigating
authorities can make a judgment based on their own discretion, so
the ban on the simple possession of child porn could provide the
root for an arrest for a separate crime. I am against the revision
of the law before its concept is clearly defined."

He is concerned about the recent trend of harmful or unpleasant
products regarded as "illegal." Lawyer Takashi Yamaguchi said: "What
is harmful and what is unpleasant vary by the individual. Even if
the creatures are nasty and dirty, they are products of imagination
after all. Cracking down on such products might lead to thought

Yamaguchi pointed out that a plan to restrict the possession of
child porn was dropped four years ago because it was feared that the
investigating authorities might abuse their right.

People involved in selling the novel Lady Chatterley's Lover,
including writer Tadashi Ito, who translated the book into Japanese,
were found guilty of pornography in 1957. In reference to this case,
Yamaguchi commented: "People's values change with the times, but
once restrictions are introduced, it will become almost impossible
to regain the lost freedom of speech. Restrictions should not be
placed on expressions in accordance with people's sense of values in
a certain period, and freedom of creation should not be taken away
from future generations."

Kenta Yamada, assistant professor at Senshu University, said: "There
is a marked tendency to ban everything, mixing up acts involving a
sex crime that should be absolutely banned, something that should be
restricted in the distribution process so that the public is not
exposed to it, and something harmful for young people. What should
be banned legally must be strictly controlled."

TOKYO 00003090 009 OF 010

Yamada also worries about an expansion of the targets subject to
restrictions. He said: "Everything tends to be restricted by law and
civil rights under the context of safety, security, and soundness.
Accordingly, the scope of matters restricted has expanded to include
even unfair and harmful products, in addition to illegal

Yamada said that the ban on the individual possession of child
pornography might lead to thought control and could result in
changing the major principle of freedom of expression. In many
cases, an exception once made has come into common use. Regarding
the DPJ-proposed establishment of a crime for the possession of
child pornography, too, it contains the same risk, depending on how
to specify it.

Yamada said that many productions of imagination can be voluntarily
restricted in the process of distribution, and not in the process of
creation. He said: "The scope of matters controlled by law or public
authority should be limited. The scope of the rights and freedom
guaranteed under the Constitution has significantly been narrowed


Asahi, Yomiuri & Tokyo Shimbun:
Obama declares election victory, says "change has come"

Obama seeks drastic changes in domestic policy, diplomacy

Obama vows efforts to revitalize U.S. economy

Sankei & Akahata:
Obama first African-American to be elected U.S. president


(1) Obama elected U.S. president: Strong expectations of change in

(1) We anticipate change in U.S.

(1) Obama has made history, but hard work starts now

(1) President-elect Obama to challenge historic economic crisis

(1) Obama urged to restore confidence and leadership

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Obama elected next U.S. president -- America's historic choice

(1) Obama should respond to expectations for change

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, November 5

TOKYO 00003090 010 OF 010

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

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsumoto.

Met with Matsumoto.

Decoration ceremony of the Grand Cordon orders

Met with Health, Labor and Welfare Minister Masuzoe.

Decoration ceremony for the Order of the Rising Sun

Arrived at the Kantei.

Lower House Fiscal and Financial Committee meeting

Met with General Council Chairman Sasagawa.

Met with Special Advisor Yamaguchi, followed by Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Uruma.

Met with Deputy Foreign Minister Kono, Economic Affairs Bureau
Director General Otabe and Vive Finance Minister for International
Affairs Shinohara.

Met with Lower House member Kentaro Sonoura at a bar in Roppongi.

Arrived at the private residence in Kamiyama-cho.


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