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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Thailand and Big Three

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #3307 3390445
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 040445Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9196
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC 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 1252
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 3613
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 9255
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 1823
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 5043
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 6660
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 2640
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 2656
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 2781
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 003307

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 AND BIG THREE
RESCUE

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Thursday morning papers gave top
play to the cabinet's approval on Wednesday of a basic
policy for compiling the fiscal 2009 budget.

2. "Way to Stabilize Political Situation Needs to Be
Found" The moderate Yomiuri editorialized (12/4):
"...The recent turmoil in Thailand has dealt a severe
blow to the nation's economy, including tourism. It is
estimated that the nation's economic growth for next
year will drop to 1.9 percent from the 4.8 percent of
last year, given the economic slowdown in the U.S. and
Europe. If this kind of political turmoil happens again
in the future, the image of Thailand will decline and
the some 7,000 foreign businesses operating there,
including Japanese firms, may begin to consider
leaving. Thailand should look for a way to avoid any
chaos."

3. "Are Big Three Restructuring Plans Sufficient?" The
business-oriented Nikkei stated in an editorial (12/4):
"...If we take a close look at the restructuring plans
proposed by the Big Three U.S. automakers, some of the
plans appear insufficient despite bold steps, such as
GM's proposed reduction of its sales networks....
Although government support for the Big Three might be
necessary to overcome the current financial crisis, it
should be a one-time measure. Insufficient
restructuring plans could require additional government
support and could undermine the competitiveness of the
U.S. auto industry and prompt other nations to protect
their own. This is why we call on the Big Three to come
up with convincing restructuring programs."

SCHIEFFER

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