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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Thailand Airport

VZCZCXRO3475
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3281 3370139
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 020139Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9137
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
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
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 1211
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3572
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9216
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1782
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5001
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6620
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2637
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2616
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2746
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003281

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 - THAILAND AIRPORT
CLOSURE AND INTER-KOREAN RELATIONS

1. LEAD STORIES: Most papers gave top play to the 27.3
percent drop in auto sales in Japan in November from a
year earlier. The papers also front-paged
President-elect Obama's appointment on Monday of Sen.
Hilary Clinton as secretary of state.

2. "Reconciliation Necessary for 'Land of Smiles'" The
conservative Sankei editorialized (12/2): "An
antigovernment group's prolonged seizure of an airport
in Bangkok will deal a severe blow to tourism in
Thailand. Although the incident illustrates the current
political situation in the nation, the seizure will
have a great impact on the larger Asian economy given
the unprecedented financial crisis. The problem should
be immediately resolved."

3. "South Korea Should Not Alter Its Policy Toward
North Korea" The business-oriented Nikkei stated in an
editorial (12/2): "North Korea adopted tough measures
against South Korea by strictly limiting exchanges
between the two countries. Although the move appears to
be aimed at pressuring the Lee Myung-bak
administration, which is reviewing Seoul's Sunshine
Policy toward Pyongyang, the ROK government should
neither overreact to Pyongyang's move nor easily alter
its policy toward North Korea.... Some observers are of
the opinion that North Korea is trying to cause splits
among the U.S., Japan, and South Korea ahead of the
launch of the Obama administration.... Deterioration of
North-South relations would be a worrisome factor on
the Korean Peninsula. We hope the ROK government will
swiftly analyze the political situation in the North
while maintaining its principle of not giving support
to Pyongyang until it abandons its nuclear arms."

SCHIEFFER

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