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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/07/08

DE RUEHKO #3094/01 3120125
P 070125Z NOV 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


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U.S.-Japan relations:
1) Ambassador Schieffer to the press: Under Obama administration,
U.S.-Japan ties will remain important (Nikkei)
2) Lineup of Japan experts picked by the Obama administration will
differ from ones under Bush administration (Yomiuri)
3) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) planning new U.S. strategy toward
the Obama administration (Asahi)
4) Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura says DPJ is not
comparable to the U.S. Democratic Party (Yomiuri)

5) Former Prime Minister Abe says U.S. delisting of North Korea was
a "mistake" (Mainichi)

Tamogami incident:
6) Former ASDF chief Tamogami to be summoned to testify to the Diet
on Nov. 11 (Asahi)
7) Huge number of ASDF personnel urged apparently by Tamogami to
submit essays to APA contest, particularly from Komatsu Base
8) Stir created by Tamogami incident continues to grow (Nikkei)
9) Tamogami had a 10-year close relationship with APA president

External economic relations:
10) Japan to propose at upcoming emergency financial summit an
increase in IMF funding (Yomiuri)
11) Japan, China, South Korea to discuss expanding currency-swap
fund (Asahi)

12) Akahata reports that the Japanese Communist Party added over
12,000 members since September 2007, one third of whom are young
people (Akahata)


1) Ambassador Schieffer: "Next administration will also value
U.S.-Japan relations"

NIKKEI (Page 9) (Full)
November 7, 2008

U.S. Ambassador to Japan Thomas Schieffer held a press conference in
Tokyo yesterday following the U.S. presidential election. In it, he
noted: "I am confident that President Obama will value and nurture
the U.S.-Japan alliance and friendship just as President Bush did."
This showed the Ambassador's consideration to Japan's concern that
Japan-U.S. relations might weaken with the establishment of a
Democratic administration in the United States for the first time in
eight years. The Ambassador also indicated that he would retire from
his post when the term of the Bush administration expires in

2) U.S. President-elect Obama starts forming team for transition;
Lineup of Japan specialists will change

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
November 7, 2008

The lineup of Japan experts guiding the Bush administration's policy

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of strengthening the alliance with Japan will soon change to one
composed of Japan specialists having ties with the Democratic

Richard Danzig, a former secretary of the U.S. Navy who is rumored
for defense secretary or national security adviser in the Obama
cabinet, will likely become the key official in charge of security
affairs in the next U.S. government. Although Danzig is not a Japan
specialist, he is well-versed in the Asia-Pacific situation through
his military affairs background. As a senior national security
advisor to President-elect Barack Obama, he has recently spoken
proactively about the Japan-U.S. alliance.

The Japanese government expects that Danzig will serve in the new
government as an official similar to former Deputy Secretary of
State Richard Armitage, an influential Japan expert.

With China's recent rapid economic growth, there has been a surge in
China experts in the United States, outpacing the number of Japan
experts. In the Obama administration, as well, Jeffrey Bader, China
expert and former deputy assistant secretary of state, will be in
charge of Asia policy, including Japan. In the next government, as
well, officials who are not traditional Japan experts, will likely
lead Japan policy.

3) With Obama winning U.S. presidential election, DPJ hoping to
capture tailwind effect

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 7, 2008

With the victory of Democratic Senator Barack Obama in the U.S.
presidential election, the DPJ is pinning high hopes there will be a
tailwind effect that would help bring about a change of
administration in Japan, as well. The party has criticized the
LDP-New Komeito administration as blindly following the U.S. lead.
However, when it comes to the DPJ's own political strategy toward
the U.S., there are many unclear areas. Even if it snatched power in
the next general election, how to manage the bilateral relationship
with the U.S. will emerge as a heavy load for the DPJ.

DPJ Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama was wild with joy over Obama's
victory, saying in a speech given at a meeting of lawmakers on
November 6, "The DPJ congratulates Mr. Obama on his victory from
this side of the Pacific." With pumped up expectations for a change
of administration in Japan as well, he added, "It is wonderful for
Mr. Obama to have achieved a change of administration, based on
two-party politics."

Other opposition parties also hailed Obama's victory. Social
Democratic Party President Fukushima noted, "Now, it's Japan's
turn." People's New Party Secretary General Hisaoki Kamei commented,
"The change of power in the U.S. will no doubt have an impact on
Japanese voters." Chairperson Shii of the Japanese Communist Party,
which keeps a distance from the DPJ-led policy platform, said with
certainty, "People have handed down a 'no' verdict to the Bush

However, even if the DPJ takes over the reins of government, it
would face a difficult challenge of how to build Japan-U.S.
relations, as Deputy DPJ President Seiji Maehara noted: "There is a
strong possibility of global financial turmoil leading to

TOKYO 00003094 003 OF 008

destabilization on the security front."

The focus is on Obama's approach to the war on terror in
Afghanistan, which he regards as the main battlefield. The DPJ is
opposing a bill extending refueling operations in the Indian Ocean
by the Self-Defense Forces. It instead proposed dispatching SDF
personnel to areas where the half of conflicts is agreed upon in
Afghanistan for humanitarian assistance. The ruling parties lashed
out at the proposal as lacking reality.

The DPJ's position is that it is possible for Japan to engage in
overseas activities involving the use of force, as long as there is
a UN resolution. However, there are many vague points about this
position, including whether the party in taking this stance would
give consideration to members who previously belonged to the Japan
Socialist Party. In addition, there is the question of who would be
dispatched: SDF personnel or members of a separate specialized
organization. Though the DPJ is the top party in the Upper House, it
does not hold a simple majority. As such, another challenge for it
is how to maintain cooperative relations with the SDP, which does
not approve of overseas dispatch of SDF troops.

The DPJ's policy is not to write details in a manifesto for the
general election, because it is impossible to know the details of
diplomatic affairs until it takes the reins of government, as Policy
Research Council Chairman Masayuki Naoshima put it. In connection
with the realignment of US forces in Japan, the DPJ mapped out an
Okinawa Vision in July, in which it proposed the overseas transfer
of the U.S. Marine Corps' bases. However, this proposal will
unlikely be included in the manifesto.

Regarding what approach the DPJ will make to the Obama
administration, Deputy President Naoto Kan during a press conference
on the 6th said, "It is possible to rebuild a deep bilateral
alliance by clearly conveying the wishes of the party in power,
without depending on the Foreign Ministry for diplomacy."

4) LDP's Machimura: Japan's DPJ different from U.S. Democratic

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 7, 2008

Referring to Japan's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) expectation of
a tailwind for its plan to take over the reins of government now
that Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States,
many members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in faction
meetings expressed the view that the DPJ was getting carried away.

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura, who heads one
faction, said: "The (Japanese) Democratic Party is getting carried
away by the word 'change,' as I expected. The party has placed Mr.
Obama's poster on the wall of its office in the Diet building."
Former Foreign Minister Masahiko Koumura, who heads another faction,
made a cynical comment: "The (DPJ and the U.S. Democratic Party)
have only one thing in common, the campaign slogan 'change'."

The LDP is concerned that the change in U.S. administration could
affect Japanese public opinion. Machimura sought to constrain the
media, noting: "I remember that (the media) often used the words
'reformists' and 'old guard conservatives,' when the Hosokawa
administration was inaugurated." Since the House of Representatives

TOKYO 00003094 004 OF 008

will be dissolved for a general election within a year, it can be
expected that LDP officials will be bothered both by the moves of
the DPJ and U.S. Democratic Party.

5) Abe criticizes removal of North Korea from terrorist blacklist as
wrong step

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 7, 2008

Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of the Liberal Democratic Party,
appearing on an Asahi NewStar program yesterday, criticized the U.S.
delisting of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. He said:
"It was the wrong step. The abduction and nuclear issues can be
settled only with the pressure and dialogue approach with an
emphasis on pressure."

6) Tamogami to be summoned by Upper House panel on Nov. 11

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
November 7, 2008

The House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
unanimously decided yesterday to summon Toshio Tamogami, ex-Air
Self-Defense Force chief of staff, to the Diet as an unsworn witness
on Nov. 11. The Democratic Party of Japan will question him about
why Tamogami applied for the essay contest and his view on wartime
history. The main opposition party is also poised to pursue the
coalition government's responsibility for appointing Tamogami and to
ask about the actual state of civilian control.

7) Senior ASDF members, mostly at Komatsu Air Base, sent essays
under instruction of Tamogami

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2008

Toshio Tamogami was dismissed as Air Self-Defense Force chief of
staff over his essay justifying Japan's war role. Through an
investigation into this case by the Defense Ministry, it was found
yesterday that Air Wing 6 at Komatsu Air Base in Ishikawa Prefecture
had given instructions to its senior members on "true modern
history," the theme of the contest in which Tamogami's essay won a

Tamogami commanded Air Wing 6 at the Komatsu base from 1998 through
1999. During this period, he recommended officers to apply for the
contest. The ministry has revealed that 78 ASDF officers sent essays
to the contest. Of them, 62 belong to Air Wing 6.

The contest was organized by the APA Group, a condominium developer,
to celebrate the publication of the book Unreported Modern History
authored by group President Toshio Motoya.

According to the ministry, the Air Staff Office's Education Division
encouraged officers across the nation in May to write an essay for
the contest, saying, "Writing an essay would help your training."
Around this time, the air wing gives instructions to its members
about how to write an essay. This year, the instructor reportedly
cited the theme of the contest for teaching. According to the
Komatsu base, the wing had screened the papers just before they were

TOKYO 00003094 005 OF 008

Motoya reportedly comes from Komatsu and chairs the Komatsu Air Base
Kanazawa Tomo-no-kai. Tamogami reportedly was an acquaintance of
Motoya when he commanded Air Wing 6.

8) Tamogami scandal causes wide repercussions; Upper House committee
to summon ex-ASDF chief on Nov. 11

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 7, 2008

The stir created by the dismissal of Toshio Tamogami from the post
of Air Self-Defense Force chief of staff over his essay conflicting
with the government's view of history is continuing to widen. The
Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which is
discussing a bill extending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean, decided yesterday to summon
Tamogami to the committee on Nov. 11 as an unsworn witness. The
opposition camp is set to pursue the government's responsibility,
raising questions about the appropriateness of the Defense
Ministry's set of procedures leading up to Tamogami's retirement and
about a possible systematic involvement.

Opposition camp to pursue government's responsibility for appointing
Tamogami to post

Before the Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
yesterday, Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada criticized Tamogami for
the essay that ran counter to the government's position: "It is an
extremely serious problem for a person in a top post to state a view
irrespective of his position." In 1995, then Prime Minister Tomiichi
Murayama released a statement offering an apology by acknowledging
Japan's aggression and colonial rule. The essay by Tamogami who
headed the ASDF drew outcries from China and South Korea, countries
that are sensitive to the matter, forcing the government to explain
that Japan's standpoint remained the same.

The Democratic Party of Japan and other opposition parties are set
to pursue the government's responsibility for appointing Tamogami as
ASDF chief of staff. Tamogami wrote in an ASDF journal in the past,
"Our country's history and traditions have been accused falsely of
crimes under the postwar education system." He has also repeatedly
made similar statements in his speeches. His reference to the need
to relax the constitutionally prohibited use of the right to
collective self-defense and the weapons-use standards has also been
regarded as a problem in that it transcends the government's view.

Defense Ministry's treatment of Tamogami under fire

The DPJ plans to grill the Defense Ministry for allowing Tamogami to
retire under the age limit instead of giving him a disciplinary
dismissal. The ministry urged Tamogami to accept disciplinary action
without undergoing time-consuming deliberations. But Tamogami
indicated that he would fight, saying, "I want to discuss the matter
thoroughly." As a result, the ministry decided to retire him, the
quickest step. The government will pay him about 60 million yen as a
retirement allowance.

Prime Minister Taro Aso, speaking to the press corps at the Prime
Minister's Office yesterday, supported the Defense Ministry's
decision. In yesterday's foreign and defense committee meeting, DPJ
member Yukihisa Fujita asked: "Why didn't the ministry give him a

TOKYO 00003094 006 OF 008

disciplinary dismissal?" DPJ Upper House Caucus Chairman Azuma
Koshiishi also said in a press conference: "I want to ask if the
ministry wanted to put an early end to the scandal."

Systematic involvement suspected; 78 ASDF members sent essays to the

Some DPJ members are suspecting systematic involvement. It has
become clear that 78 ASDF personnel had submitted essays to the
contest in question. Of them, 62 were attached to the 6th Air Wing
at Komatsu Air Base headed by Tamogami. The contest was organized by
the hotel and condominium developer APA Group to solicit essays
under the theme of "true views of modern history." Tamogami was on
friendly terms with the group's representative. Tamogami admitted
that he had introduced the essay contest to his subordinates.

The Air Wing ordered its members to write essays for educating
senior officers. The Air Staff Office's Education Division informed
ASDF troops across the nation of the essay contest as helpful for

Tamogami's failure to report on his essay in writing has exposed the
lax screening system. To ensure civilian control, the DPJ plans to
submit to the Upper House a bill amending the SDF Law requiring Diet
approval for the appointments of SDF chiefs of staff. Chief Cabinet
Secretary Takeo Kawamura said: "It is necessary to reconsider how
civilian control should be carried out."

9) Ex-ASDF chief Tamogami on friendly terms with APA Group president
for 10 years

ASAHI (Page 39) (Full)
November 7, 2008

Toshio Tamogami, who was dismissed over his essay that justified
Japan's war role, has been on friendly terms with Toshio Motoya,
president of the condominium developer APA Group, for 10 years, as
seen from his attendance in a party to celebrate the publication of
his book. The group organized the essay content in which Tamogami
won a prize.

Motoya comes from Komatsu, Ishikawa Prefecture. He became friends
with Tamogami when Tamogami was the commander of an air wing at
Komatsu Air Base from 1998 through 1999. Motoya set up the Komatsu
Air Base Kanazawa Friendship Group, joined by local political and
business leaders in 1999. He chairs the association and plays a
mediatory role between base staff and local people.

Their friendship has continues even after Tamogami was transferred
to another base. In talks between Mr. and Mrs. Motoya and political
or business leaders carried serially in the magazine Apple Town also
placed at the lobbies in the hotels operated by the APA Group,
Tamogami appeared several times. Tamogami in uniform showed up in a
party this June to celebrate the publication of the book Unreported
Modern History authored by Motoya.

Motoya boarded an F-15 fighter as the first civilian at Komatsu Air
Base in August 2007. A picture taken at that time is carried in
Motoya's book. An information unit officer at the ASDF Staff Office
explained: "As part of our publicity activities, we asked him as
chairman of the Komatsu Air Base Kanazawa Friendship Group to board
the fighter."

TOKYO 00003094 007 OF 008

In reply to a question by the Asahi Shimbun, Motoya said he had
never asked Tamogami to write an essay for the contest. He remarked:
"He might have known about the essay contest in the Apple Town
magazine, which I send him every month. I had not expected the ASDF
chief of staff would apply in the contest." The essay of Tamogami
was sent in August. A total of 235 essays, including those sent from
other ASDF officers reportedly were screened while concealing the
names of writers. As a result of the screening, Tamogami's essay won
the competition's 3 million yen top prize.

10) Government to propose additional IMF capital replenishment at
upcoming financial summit

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 7, 2008

The government on November 6 decided to propose expanding the
International Monetary Fund's capital replenishment at the financial
summit to be held in Washington on the 15th. It is looking into a
plan for countries like Japan and China to lend portions of their
rich foreign currency reserves to the IMF.

The aim is to halt the cascade of the financial turmoil by
strengthening an assistance framework in readiness for a possible
need for a large sum of funds in the event of emerging countries,
small and medium-sized countries, for instance, finding it necessary
to inject public funds into financial institutions.

The IMF has 200 billion dollars (approximately 20 trillion yen) at
hand for emergency loans. However, since it has already received
loan requests from many European countries, it could run short of
funds. For this reason, Prime Minister Aso will appeal on the need
to secure ample funds for the IMF as a safety net to prevent
countries from going bankrupt.

11) Japan, China, South Korea to confer on expansion of fund
interchanging framework

ASAHI (Page 12) (Full)
November 7, 2008

Former Vice Finance Minister for International Financial Affair
Toyoo Gyoten and former Vice Finance Minister Yoshiji Nogami, who
visited South Korea on November 6 as special envoys of Prime
Minister Aso met with Strategy and Finance Minister Kang Man Soo in
Seoul and agreed to deepen cooperation among Japan, China and South
Korea in dealing with a financial crisis. The three countries will
aim to expand the "Chiang Mai Initiative," an agreement under which
they reciprocally supply funds in advance in readiness for a
currency crisis, over the next three months.

Under the Chiang Mai Initiative, signatory countries loan funds to
the other country from their own foreign reserves in the event of
the other country facing such crises as currency plunges. The
frameworks for such loans are 21 billion dollars (approximately 2.06
trillion yen between Japan and South Korea, 8 billion dollars
between China and South Korea and 6 billion dollars between Japan
and China. China and South Korea have already signed such an
agreement under another framework. Japan will promote talks with
South Korea and China to strengthen a financial relationship among
the three countries. They want to materialize the plan by the

TOKYO 00003094 008 OF 008

trilateral summit to be held in Fukuoka in December.

According to a briefing by the Japanese side, concerning cooperation
among the three countries, Kang said, "It is necessary for the three
countries to strengthen a system of reciprocally supplying necessary
funds in the event of a financial crisis." The Japanese participants
agreed to do so and handed to Kang Prime Minister Aso's letter
addressed to President Lee Myung Bak.

12) 12,000 join JPC since September last year, 30 PERCENT of new
members are young people

AKAHATA (Page 1) (Excerpts)
November 7, 2008

During the period between September 2007 and October 2008, 12,000
persons joined the Japanese Communist Party (JCP). The JCP held the
5th convention of its Central Committee in September last year.
About 30 PERCENT of the 12,000 are those who are in their teens,
twenties and thirties.

Many of the 12,000 said that they joined the JCP to change society,
which "treats young people as disposable." In Chiba Prefecture, many
farmers became JCP members, with one saying: "In order to revitalize
agriculture, politics must change." In defiance of the controversial
health insurance system for those aged 75 and older, people in their
sixties and seventies joined the JCP.

A 22-year-old male member, who had taken part in the Oct. 5 national
youth rally, said: "Japanese politics is at the beck and call of the
United States. That is a fundamental factor in a society in which
people have difficulty making a living. I want to make a society
into one in which it is easy for the socially weak to live. After
watching JCP Chairman Kazuo Shii's questioning in the Diet, a young
man, a factory contract employee, visited a JCP office in Kanagawa
Prefecture to join the party. He said: "I want to change the
abnormal working conditions."

In order to find bright prospects for social change, many people
joined the JCP. A 26-year-old man, a resident of Saitama Prefecture,
said: "I read Karl Marx's books while being hospitalized from
overwork. I was deeply moved by the JCP, which has made efforts for
the socially weak and opposed the war of aggression."


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