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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/20/08

DE RUEHKO #3202/01 3240809
P 190809Z NOV 08




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Editorial: APEC is a good opportunity for Japan to demonstrate
its presence (Nikkei)

(2) Editorial: M&As of foreign companies taking advantage of high
yen (Nikkei)

(3) Financial crisis: Neutral Japan served to produce agreement in
G-20 summit, giving consideration to emerging countries (Tokyo

(4) Chairman, vice chairmen of Japanese Society for History Textbook
Reform found to have given lectures at Joint Staff College (Akahata)

(5) Gov. Nakaima asks premier to consider local residents over
Futenma relocation (Okinawa Times)

(6) Okinawa needs to transmit vision to Obama administration:
security forum (Okinawa Times)

(7) ASDF displays cluster bomb before banned; ASDF hates to give up
'satanic weapons' (Tokyo Shimbun)

(8) Anger, alert to terrorism (Sankei)


(1) Editorial: APEC is a good opportunity for Japan to demonstrate
its presence

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 20, 2008

An Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting joined by
21 Pacific-Rim nations has started in Lima, Peru. The Pacific Rim is
the center of the global economic growth. It is significant for
leaders and cabinet ministers of the region to gather at a time when
the financial crisis is jolting the world.

The major focus of attention at the meeting is what approach to take
to the financial crisis. Participants in the G-20 emergency
financial summit, held last weekend, agreed to take various
concerted actions in order to overcome the crisis. APEC member
nations are also urged to come up with strong determination to
stabilize the financial market in a cooperative manner.

It is difficult to expect the U.S. to display strong leadership, as
a change in government will occur shortly there. APEC should serve
as the best opportunity for Japan to demonstrate its presence to the
international community. We want to see Prime Minister Taro Aso face
the summit with the determination to lead discussions and bring
together the various opinions.

When APEC was launched in 1989, Japan along with Australia played a
leading role. Japan must not forget that enthusiasm, with which it
set up a cooperative mechanism at a time when trade friction between
Japan and the U.S. was fierce.

While the G-20 is a forum for industrialized countries and emerging
countries, APEC is a framework for region-based economic

TOKYO 00003202 002 OF 009

cooperation. In order to stabilize the global economy as a whole, it
is necessary for each region in the world to boost stability.

The APEC region, whose economy accounts for about 60 PERCENT of the
global economy, is no doubt especially important. East Asia, the
center of the APEC region, is called the growth center of the global
economy, and yet its financial infrastructure, such as the bond
market, has yet to be fully consolidated. There should be many tasks
requiring deep discussion.

Stabilizing the financial system is not the only focus of attention.
Now is the time to formulate measures to fortify the real economy.
In order for that, it is essential to strengthen the free trade
system whereby various countries open their markets and mutually
provide new demand and business opportunities.

The multilateral free trade talks (Doha Round) under the World Trade
Organization (WTO) are at a standstill. We should view this
situation as very dangerous, as it will give rise to a rise of
protectionism. We expect APEC leaders to stand together and indicate
a strong will to bring progress in talks.

At the same time, it is necessary to purse in-depth discussion on
trade liberalization in the APEC region. The value of trade within
the region amounts to 11 trillion dollars a year, accounting for
about 50 PERCENT of global trade. In order to prevent the global
economy from falling into an even more serious situation, APEC must
speed up efforts for trade liberalization and economic cooperation.

(2) Editorial: M&As of foreign companies taking advantage of high

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 20, 2008

Mergers and acquisitions of foreign companies by Japanese companies
are on the increase. Mitsubishi Rayon and NTT DOCOMO decided to buy
or invest in foreign companies last week. Kirin Holdings revealed a
proposal for acquiring an Australian soft drink maker, following the
earlier agreement to buy an Australian dairy product manufacturer.
These cases are worth noting as moves by Japanese companies to
accelerate globalization.

Japanese companies lacked visibility in the global M&A boom over the
past several years. However, the situation has changed recently. The
global M&A market is in a slump due to the financial crisis.
However, the desire of Japanese companies to purchase foreign
companies has grown even stronger.

According to Thomson Reuter, a leading U.S. financial information
service provider, the total amount of acquisitions of and investment
in foreign companies by Japanese companies between the beginning of
this year and mid-November reached 62.6 billion dollars, 3.7 times
higher than the corresponding period the year before. While M&As
throughout the world have dropped 40 PERCENT from the previous
year's level, Japan's aggressive activities in this area have been

One reason for that is the strong yen. The strong yen is an
impediment for the Japanese economy, which relies on exports.
However, it works favorably for purchases of foreign companies. That
is because the strong yen boosts the yen's purchasing power,

TOKYO 00003202 003 OF 009

enabling purchases of foreign companies at lower costs.

Another reason is the financial crisis, which is gripping the world.
While European and U.S. companies and investment funds are running
short of funds due to serious credit crunches, Japanese companies
are flush with cash. Since they have enough cash in hand to buy
foreign companies, their presence has increased. Trading houses and
leading companies are reportedly receiving more M&A offers from
overseas M&A brokers.

A wide variety of companies are in the list of companies that
acquired or invested in foreign companies. Food manufacturers, such
as Kirin Holdings, have until recently targeted the domestic market.
However, they are now searching for new opportunities abroad amid
the declining birthrate and the aging society on the domestic front.
With the acquisition of a British company, Mitsubishi Rayon has
become the largest acrylic resin material manufacturer in the world.
It plans to strengthen its business base.

In some cases, M&As involve the risk of failure. NTT DOCOMO, which
will invest more than 260 billion yen in Tata Teleservices of India,
has had the bitter experience of having reported huge losses from
investments in Europe and the U.S. A challenge for companies is to
make sure that their M&As of foreign companies will lead to growth
of their own companies.

(3) Financial crisis: Neutral Japan served to produce agreement in
G-20 summit, giving consideration to emerging countries

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
November 20, 2008

"Only Japan made specific proposals. Thank you." The leaders of
emerging countries expressed their gratitude to Prime Minister Taro
Aso during break time on the noon of Nov. 15 at a financial
emergency summit of the Group of 20 (G-20) nations, including Japan,
the U.S., European countries, and emerging nations.

Japan announced that it would offer 10 trillion yen in loans to the
International Monetary Fund (IMF), which serves as a "breakwater" to
prevent states from collapsing in the fallouts of the financial
crisis. For emerging countries, which Indian Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh called "the most serious victims of the financial crisis,"
Japan's plan appeared to be a very effective assistance measure.

High on the agenda at the latest summit was the issue of
strengthening international regulations and supervision of financial
institutions. European countries insisted that the authority to
monitor and regulate the activities of financial institutions should
be given to the IMF, but the U.S. strongly opposed this idea.
Emerging countries fiercely reacted to moves led by Western
countries. In the summit that brought together the leaders of these
countries, it was not easy to reach a conclusion. But Japan,
stepping away from this leadership struggle, proposed utilizing the
Financial Stabilization Forum (FSF) composed of industrialized
countries' financial and fiscal authorities. Japan's proposals were
largely reflected in a declaration issued at the end of the summit.

Japan played a mediatory role between industrialized and emerging
countries in the financial summit, focusing on "the real power" of
emerging countries. The report issued by the IMF on gross domestic
product (GDP) for 2009 estimates the average GDP growth rate of

TOKYO 00003202 004 OF 009

emerging countries at over 5 PERCENT , though noting growth would
slow down, while it predicts that industrialized countries' GDP
growth would turn negative.

Emerging countries are becoming indispensable for the global
economy. Hopes have been pinned on them even to play the role of a
buffer for the economies of industrialized countries, which are
rapidly losing steams. Because Japan has not been directly affected
by the financial crisis, it was able to take action without being
involved in the emotional showdown.

It was only Japan that promised to offer loans to the IMF. Countries
had anticipated China would also announce a pledge, but it didn't.
When considering its austere fiscal conditions, it is very difficult
for Japan to disburse 10 trillion yen. An international monetary
source said, "Japan's views were accepted, but it was forced to
pledge to pay money," as usual.

Prime Minister Aso said: "I believe the summit will be regarded as
historic in the future." Other leaders also emphasized the positive
results produced at the summit under the G-20 framework.

Even so, it is still unknown whether the G-20 summit will become a
major framework for the future. A senior government official said
with this cautious expression after the summit: "There were
divisions of opinion. It has yet to be decided whether all the 20
countries would participate in the next round and what members would
attend." Another negotiator also commented: "We had decided not to
call the summit meeting 'G-20 summit', because it is not an
established mechanism."

The G-20 leaders agreed to hold their second meeting by the end of
April and confirmed to what extent their efforts make progress in
containing the crisis, but the cause of the conflict between the
industrialized and emerging countries has yet to be completely

(4) Chairman, vice chairmen of Japanese Society for History Textbook
Reform found to have given lectures at Joint Staff College

AKAHATA (Page 15) (Full)
November 19, 2008

It was learned on Nov. 18 that three university professors, who had
given lectures at the Joint Staff College for senior officers of the
Self-Defense Forces (SDF), were at that time chairman and vice
chairmen of the nationalistic Japanese Society for History Textbook
Reform, which glorifies Japan's aggressive war. The three lectured
on views of history and the state.

The course was created in 2004, when Toshio Tamogami, former Air
Self-Defense Force chief of staff, was president of the Joint Staff
College. Tamogami was recently dismissed from the ASDF chief of
staff post over his essay justifying Japan's aggressive war.

Akahata reported on Nov. 11 that one of the three professors is
Taisho University Prof. Atsushi Fukuchi, who was vice chairman of
the Japanese Society for History Textbook Reform.

The two other professors, whose names were unveiled this time, are
Hidetsugu Yagi, professor at Takasaki City University of Economics,
and Akinori Takamori, guest professor at Takushoku University.

TOKYO 00003202 005 OF 009

Takamori and Fukuchi have taught at the college since 2004, and Yagi
has been a lecturer since 2005.

In response to a request for an interview by this newspaper, Yagi
said: "I have given many lectures at study sessions of the SDF on a
voluntary basis. I don't remember whether I lectured at the Joint
Staff College."

Yagi was the third chairman of the Japanese Society for History
Textbook Reform.

On an SDF television broadcast program, Takato Sakagawa, former
Joint Staff College Education Division chief and former Maritime
Self-Defense Force Rear Admiral, said: "I and College President
Tamogami made the curriculum of the course. On the TV program,
Sakagawa explained about views of history and the state using a flip
chart he made based on explanations by Yagi.

At that time, Takamori was vice chairman of the Japanese Society for
History Textbook Reform. PHP's homepage, which is called PHP
Interface, writes that Takamori takes charge of the course on views
of history and the state at Joint Staff College. Regarding this, PHP
says that since its homepage reprinted Takamori's background from
his book called Book About Successive Emperors (published by PHP
Bunko Books), it believes that Takamori looked at its homepage.

(5) Gov. Nakaima asks premier to consider local residents over
Futenma relocation

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 20, 2008

TOKYO-The government held a meeting of governors yesterday at the
prime minister's office. In the meeting, Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu
Nakaima asked Prime Minister Taro Aso to consider Okinawa and listen
to local views about the planned relocation of the U.S. military's
Futenma airfield. "If so," Nakaima added, "there will be no problem
about the current direction." With this, Nakaima asked for the
government's consideration. Aso avoided making a clear statement.

"We have now entered into coordination in a better direction,"
Nakaima said, indicating that there would be progress in the
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan, including a plan to move U.S.
Marines from Okinawa to Guam, if the government considers Okinawa's

Referring to the future return of the sites of U.S. military
facilities located south of Kadena, Nakaima said: "There are many
dud shells. If we're going to use these sites actually, it will take
time and money." With this, he asked the government to respond
within the framework of postwar settlement. Concerning the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the governor called
for revisions to its environment-related provisions.

Aso only said: "The governor has been talking about this. However,
we do not have an answer right now about this point."

(6) Okinawa needs to transmit vision to Obama administration:
security forum

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
November 20, 2008

TOKYO 00003202 006 OF 009

The Okinawa Peace Assistance Center (OPAC) held a 29th meeting of
its security review forum yesterday in Naha City, focusing on the
Obama administration's policy toward Japan and Japan's diplomacy
toward the United States. Takashi Kawakami, a professor at Takushoku
University, and Toshiya Hoshino, a professor at the graduate school
of Osaka University, were guest speakers. Referring to U.S. military
base issues, they played up the importance of working out and
transmitting new ideas from Okinawa to the incoming U.S.

Kawakami said Obama would prioritize economic measures and pullout
from Iraq. When it comes to his administration's Asia policy, he
said the United States would go no further than to maintain order.
"If the Aso government cannot do what the United States wants, they
(U.S.) would approach China," he said.

Kawakami also explained Obama's personnel network, saying, "It's a
new administration with different values." He also took up the
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. In this regard, he said:
"Everybody is tired in the war of attrition. It's a brand-new
administration, so you should draw a new picture and present it
directly from Okinawa."

Hoshino was seconded on loan to the Foreign Ministry from 2006
through 2008. He explained that he was once assigned to the Japanese
Mission to the United Nations. Focusing on multilateral diplomacy,
he suggested the need for Japan to consider not only security but
also climate change, African development, and the current financial
crisis in its security arrangements with the United States.

Hoshino also referred to Okinawa, indicating that Okinawa is now
undergoing a sea change. He said: "The question is how to ride the
waves of such a big change, so this is a very important time. The
inconvenient reality Okinawa is now going through is unhealthy for
the Japan-U.S. alliance." He added: "You should make them recognize
the importance of Okinawa's role, and then you should try to fix
such an unhealthy situation. It would be possible to get common
understanding about that."

(7) ASDF displays cluster bomb before banned; ASDF hates to give up
'satanic weapons'

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 22) (Abridged)
November 19, 2008

Cluster bombs disperse their built-in submunitions to kill or wound
citizens indiscriminately. In May this year, the government agreed
to an international convention that totally bans such weapons. On
Oct. 19, however, the Air Self-Defense Force exhibited a cluster
bomb when the ASDF held a parade at its Hyakuri base in Ibaraki
Prefecture. The cluster bomb was on display there as a weapon that
can be mounted on fighter planes. The question is why such an action
that ignores civilian control occurred. "It shows that the
Self-Defense Forces still does not want to give up its satanic
weapons even though Japan is about to sign a ban treaty," one expert
said, criticizing the ASDF for its display of a cluster bomb.

"The government has now decided to scrap Japan's cluster bombs,"
said Motoaki Kamiura, a journalist on military affairs. "But they
displayed a cluster bomb there, and this shows that ASDF echelon
officers think they need cluster bombs," he concluded

TOKYO 00003202 007 OF 009

Cluster bombs are munitions that contain dozens or hundreds of
smaller submunitions or bomblets. They are dropped mainly from
fighter jets, and widely scattered bomblets explode to
indiscriminately kill or wound people and destroy such weapons as
tanks. The cluster munitions, however, leave numerous bomblets
unexploded on the ground, and these unexploded bomblets cause
tremendous harm to civilians after the battle. The cluster bombs are
therefore called "satanic weapons."

In Japan, the Air and Ground Self-Defense Forces have cluster
munitions. The cluster bomb displayed at the Hyakuri base was a type
that contains about 200 bomblets to kill or wound enemy troops in an
area that is three times larger than a soccer ground.

In May this year, there was an international conference in Dublin.
The conference adopted a cluster ban treaty with a concurring vote
of 107 countries. Japan was reluctant about this treaty out of
consideration for the United States, which had decided not to join
the treaty. However, the then prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, decided
to support the treaty because Britain and France agreed. In
December, a signing ceremony will be held in Oslo.

"The recent display of a cluster bomb is almost an infraction of
civilian control. It was before signing the treaty, so it may not be
a violation of the treaty. However, it is clearly questionable in
light of diplomacy." With this, Kamiura criticized the ASDF.

Japan maintains an exclusively defense-oriented policy. Accordingly,
the ASDF had plans to use cluster bombs in order to repel landing
enemy troops at the coastline. If cluster bombs are used in Japan,
local residents living in that area could encounter damage from
unexploded bomblets after the battle. For all that, the ASDF
displayed a cluster bomb, which was "almost an infraction of
civilian control." Why?

Kamiura explained: "Once they have weapons in their hands, they
don't want to give them up. That's the SDF's mentality. It was clear
at the time of Mr. Obuchi's decision."

"Mr. Obuchi's decision" dates back to 1997 when the then foreign
minister, Keizo Obuchi, went ahead with a freeze on antipersonnel
landmines for a landmine ban treaty in defiance of the GSDF's

In May this year, however, the then ASDF chief of staff, Toshio
Tamogami, played up the necessity of cluster bombs, saying: "Japan
is an island country with long coastlines. Cluster bombs are
effective for defensive purposes." So saying, Tamogami constrained
then Prime Minister Fukuda to reignite the 11-year-old argument. He
was responsible for the air review this time.

Kamiura noted: "If you fly a fighter jet and drop a bomb, that would
be effective in a battle. It's convenient and economical for the
ASDF. But if you think you should have such weapons because the
enemy has these weapons, that's the same as the United States that
remains unable to prohibit guns even though people there are
becoming increasingly critical of guns." He warned, "This kind of
mentality will arrive at the advocacy of going nuclear."

(8) Anger, alert to terrorism

TOKYO 00003202 008 OF 009

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
November 20, 2008

The fatal stabbing of a former vice health minister and his wife in
Saitama and the subsequent knifing of another retired vice health
minister's wife in Tokyo prompted police authorities to tighten
security for health and welfare ministry officials yesterday to
prevent a recurrence. The government suspects serial terrorist
attacks. The ruling and opposition parties voiced anger and called
for tightened security. However, there are also many challenges,
such as how to ensure the safety of former health and welfare
ministers and pension-related lawmakers. Political circles are also
shocked all the more because the incidents occurred in the midst of
public attention to health, welfare, and labor administration over
pension, healthcare, and nursing care systems.

"We don't know yet if the two incidents targeted government
officials or specific government offices, so I cannot say anything
careless. But if we clearly find the two incidents to be terrorism,
we will take resolute action as a matter of course." This comment
came from Prime Minister Taro Aso yesterday evening.

The prime minister was dining with New Komeito President Akihiro Ota
and other coalition party leaders on the evening of Nov. 18 when he
was informed about the attack of Yasuko Yoshihara, the wife of Kenji
Yoshihara, a former administrative vice health and welfare minister
and the former director general of the Social Insurance Agency. Aso
immediately told Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Iwao Uruma, who is
from the National Police Agency, to conduct thoroughgoing
investigations and tighten security. He was going to a hotel bar
after that. However, one of Aso's aides advised him to go home
because there were victims. Yesterday morning, Aso gave up taking
his everyday walk around his private residence as he was asked by
security police.

The ruling and opposition parties voiced anger at the incidents. The
ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, the New
Komeito, held a meeting of their secretaries general and Diet
affairs committee chairmen. One in the meeting said, "It's
absolutely unforgivable." Another said, "If pension officials were
targeted, it's terrorism that challenges democracy, and this is a
serious problem."

Nothing is still clear about what lies behind the incidents. "I want
our party's former Health and Welfare Minister Tsutomu Sakaguchi to
take care as well," New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Yoshio Urushibara therefore said, asking the police authorities to
tighten security for former health and welfare ministers.

In the meantime, the Health, Welfare and Labor Ministry has advised
its former ministers in written form to be careful. In the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), there were also
worried voices suggesting the need to tighten security for DPJ Vice
President Naoto Kan, who once served as welfare minister when the
Hashimoto cabinet was in office.

One LDP lawmaker, once in the post of health, welfare and labor
minister, was threatened over the telephone two months ago. This
lawmakers said, "Those engaged in health and welfare administration
can incur someone's hatred at any time, so we have to be careful."
Another LDP lawmaker, who has also experienced the health and

TOKYO 00003202 009 OF 009

welfare portfolio, said: "It's probably terrorism. I told my wife
not to answer home delivery."

There is also an LDP lawmaker who was a parliamentary vice health
and welfare minister and worked with former Vice Health and Welfare
Minister Takehiko Yamaguchi, who was fatally stabbed. This LDP
lawmaker said: "I'm really sorry. There were two incidents, so I
can't think the incidents happened to occur. We must find why."

Meanwhile, former Health and Welfare Minister Yuji Tsushima in the
LDP said, "If dissatisfaction exploded because of criticism that
almost cannot appreciate the Health and Welfare Ministry's job, and
if that led to the unreasonable conduct, it's regrettable." He
added: "People in the Diet says, 'That is bad, this is bad.' So the
Diet is to blame. The news media creates such a tendency, so I want
them to think about it."

The LDP will hold a meeting of its special committee on public
security today to receive a report from the National Police Agency.
At the same time, the LDP is also expected to discuss preventive
measures and security for former health and welfare ministers and
lawmakers related to health, welfare, and labor administration.


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