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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Afghanistan and Central

VZCZCXRO5293
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3196 3240425
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 190425Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8941
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 1074
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3433
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9090
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1643
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 4862
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6485
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2624
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2481
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2622
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003196

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 - AFGHANISTAN AND CENTRAL
AMERICA

1. LEAD STORIES: Thursday morning's Japanese dailies
continued to give prominent top coverage to updates on
a police investigation into Tuesday's apparent act of
terrorism against two former top health ministry
officials.

2. "Resurgence of Taliban Deepens Turmoil" On
increasing uncertainty over the creation of a stable
Afghanistan, the top circulation, moderate Yomiuri
editorialized (11/20): "The international community
must employ all tools available in order to shore up a
frontline state in the war on terrorism. The collapse
of Afghanistan would cost dearly, given that the
country under such a scenario would once again become a
hotbed for terrorists.... One view holds that rampant
corruption within the Karzai government has allowed
Taliban to regain a foothold. Some Afghans,
disappointed with prevailing graft among government
officials, are said to be responding positively to a
recruitment drive by Taliban. President Karzai must
deal with corruption more strenuously than before."

3. "U.S. Strategy toward Afghanistan Is Risky" A
Washington correspondent for the moderate Yomiuri wrote
(11/20): "The USG, in cooperation with the Karzai
administration, is reviewing its strategy toward
Afghanistan, as the security situation there has
deteriorated to the worst level since the end of the
Taliban government in 2001. However, as the reported
review includes the possible use of funding for arming
Afghan civilians, it may run the risk of pushing the
war-torn country back into civil war and continued
quagmire."

4. "Tug of war between Russia and China in Central
America" On Russian President Medvedev's plan to tour
Central Asia after attending the weekend APEC summit in
Peru, a Moscow-based reporter for the liberal Mainichi
stated (11/20): "Chinese President Hu is currently
criss-crossing the continent ahead of the APEC leaders'
meeting. It seems that Russia and China are engaging in
tug of war in Central America, as the U.S. under
President Obama is expected to improve its ties with
Latin American states."


SCHIEFFER

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