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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/12/08

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(1) Override vote today on refueling extension for another year;
Japan avoids breakaway from war on terror (Yomiuri)

(2) Editorial: Refueling mission; Mandate-given administration must
work out comprehensive assistance measures (Mainichi)

(3) Opposition parties in Okinawa assembly to approve expenses for
governor's planned U.S. visit (Okinawa Times)

(4) Former ASDF Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami speaks his mind; U.S.
forces must withdraw from Japan, Japan must discuss nuclear option
(Part 1) (Shukan Gendai)

(5) Physicians distancing themselves from the LDP a serious problem

(6) Poll on Aso cabinet, political parties (Yomiuri)



(9) Prime Minister's schedule, December 11 (Nikkei)


(1) Override vote today on refueling extension for another year;
Japan avoids breakaway from war on terror

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
December 12, 2008

International commitment

Today, the Diet is expected to pass a bill amending the new
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law for a one-year extension of the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian
Ocean. Government officials are relieved, but the United States
hopes Japan will do more in the war on terror. It is certain that
Japan will be urged to take even more difficult measures in the

In its meeting yesterday, the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee voted down the government-introduced bill
amending the new Antiterrorism Special Measures Law with a majority
of votes from the leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan
(Minshuto) and other opposition parties. The bill is expected to be
voted down in a plenary sitting this morning of the
opposition-controlled upper chamber as well. However, the ruling
coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New Komeito will
take a second vote on the legislation in a plenary sitting this
afternoon of the House of Representatives with a majority of
two-thirds to override the upper chamber's decision.

The government has positioned the MSDF's refueling mission as a
"minimum contribution," according to Foreign Minister Nakasone.
Japan has made a de facto international commitment to continue its
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean, and the refueling bill is
now expected to pass the Diet. "We're now spared the worst-case
scenario," a senior official of the Foreign Ministry said.

TOKYO 00003383 002 OF 016

One government source stressed: "If the international community
moves away, the Afghan government will go under. The war on terror
is a must to uphold Japan's alliance with the United States. Working
at sea is less dangerous than in Afghanistan. Besides, there are
great needs for fuel."

However, the MSDF's refueling (of U.S. and other foreign naval
vessels in the Indian Ocean) peaked at 184,400 kiloliters in 2002
and has since been decreasing from year to year. In 2008, the MSDF's
refueling totaled 10,940 kiloliters as of November. According to the
Defense Ministry's account, that is because there was a decrease in
the amount of fuel provided to U.S. naval forces that had many large
ships. However, a DPJ executive says the refueling role is over.

In Afghanistan, the International Security Assistance Force or ISAF
for short, which is made up of troops from 41 countries, has been
working to maintain public security and already has nearly 1,000
casualties. Japan sits out due to its constitutional constraints.
Actually, Japan's contributory role is now less important.

Meanwhile, Hisashi Tokunaga, a DPJ lawmaker seated in the House of
Councillors, attended a meeting of the House of Councillors Foreign
Affairs and Defense Committee yesterday and explained why his party
was opposed to the refueling bill. He stated before the committee:
"The United States and other countries are laying emphasis on their
activities on the military side, but such activities cannot improve
the war on terror. Even if Japan continues refueling, that will not
be a fundamental solution to the problem in Afghanistan."

DPJ Representative Ozawa has been insisting that it is
unconstitutional to back up activities that are not endorsed by a
United Nations resolution. The DPJ has yet to clarify what to do
about the MSDF's refueling activities if the party takes the reins
of government. However, a government source presumes that the DPJ
would call off the MSDF's refueling activities and recall the MSDF.

Last year, the DPJ presented a legislative measure of its own to the
Diet. The DPJ-proposed legislation featured a plan to send the
Self-Defense Forces to Afghanistan, where the SDF is to be tasked
with humanitarian and reconstruction assistance activities in
Afghanistan, such as road construction and medical support, if
militants and other armed groups there agree to stop their
conflicts. The DPJ-introduced bill was voted down. However, the DPJ,
if it takes the reins of government, will present the same bill to
the Diet again, according to Keiichiro Asao, who is defense minister
in the DPJ's shadow cabinet.

Obama administration

Having seen such a situation in Japan, the United States-which is at
the center of the war on terror-is growing frustrated

In late June, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Bobby
Wilkes visited Japan. On that occasion, the visiting Pentagon
official sounded out the Japanese government behind the scenes on
sending CH-47 heavy-lift helicopters to Afghanistan and sharing the
burden of costs amounting to nearly 2 trillion yen for such purposes
as training Afghan forces. In September, U.S. Secretary of Defense
Gates virtually named Japan for funding contributions, saying: "Some
of our allies have not sent out combat troops to Afghanistan. This
is a good chance for them to provide financial assistance to the

TOKYO 00003383 003 OF 016

Afghan forces."

In January next year, U.S. President-elect Obama will be sworn in.
Obama is believed to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and send
reinforcements to Afghanistan. One aide to Obama said, "We will
continue to ask Japan for assistance."

In June, Japan also sent a government fact-finding team to
Afghanistan. The government has earmarked costs in its fiscal 2009
budgetary estimate for such purposes as bulletproofing heavy-lift
helicopters in preparation for their deployment to Afghanistan.
However, the Diet was divided with the ruling bloc holding a
majority of the seats in its lower chamber and the opposition bloc
controlling its upper chamber to share legislative power. The then
prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, and his government were unable to make
the SDF dispatch decision. In September, Fukuda stepped down. The
Diet still remains unable to deepen its debate.

On Dec. 8, former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage,
who knows Japan well, met with DPJ Deputy President Katsuya Okada in
Washington. Armitage then told Okada, "'Boots on the ground' does
not only mean military boots." With this, Armitage asked Okada and
his party to consider sending civilians to Afghanistan in
cooperation with the government and ruling parties.

In Afghanistan, however, Kazuya Ito, a member of Peshawar-kai, which
is a nongovernmental organization, was shot to death in August. As
seen from this fact, that country is in a dangerous situation. The
Japanese Red Cross Society has sent a team of doctors and
pharmacists to the southern Afghan city of Kandahar. According to a
JRCS official, they are strictly prohibited from going out of their
hotel except for moving to and from a hospital. It is extremely
difficult for a large number of civilians to work in Afghanistan.

There is also an idea for Japan to send civilians to provincial
reconstruction teams (PRTs). However, one government official is
negative about this idea, saying: "They will have to work under the
protection of foreign troops. We can't take responsibility."

The United States is growing impatient. U.S. Ambassador to Japan
Schieffer wonders why Japan will not join the international
community's efforts to assist Afghanistan. "If Afghanistan becomes a
failed state and becomes a habitat for terrorists," Schieffer noted,
"every country will be exposed to danger."

Japan has outlaid a total of 1.45 billion dollars in humanitarian
and reconstruction assistance to Afghanistan since September 2001.
Japan has tackled such activities as disarming former soldiers,
helping them with social rehabilitation, disbanding illegal armed
groups, defusing landmines, and working against drugs. Another
possible option for Japan is to go ahead with additional funding
cooperation. However, one official is concerned about this option,
saying: "They will say, 'Again, Japan is trying to do nothing but
give money.' Japan will come under international fire."

The Foreign Ministry is going to hold specific consultations with
the incoming U.S. administration on Japan's possible contributions
in Afghanistan. The DPJ will also work out its Afghan policy around
the turn of the year, with an eye to the new U.S. administration's
debut. However, Japan, should it fail to set forth a sufficient
contributory plan, may have to make the "worst start" with the Obama
administration, according to a senior official of the Foreign

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(2) Editorial: Refueling mission; Mandate-given administration must
work out comprehensive assistance measures

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
December 12, 2008

A bill amending the New Antiterrorism Special Measures Law to extend
the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean, which expires in January, was voted down in a committee
meeting of the House of Councillors. The bill is expected to be
rejected in an Upper House plenary session today but later will be
enacted by the ruling coalition's two-thirds majority in the House
of Representatives.

We consider the refueling mission to be within the realm of choices
in waging the war on terror. But at the same time, the dispatching
of Self-Defense Force (SDF) troops overseas is a theme involving the
vary basis of our national security. Moreover, views over whether to
extend the refueling service have divided the Diet. Given these
factors, we have insisted on the need to ask for the public to take
a stand in an election on what assistance Japan should offer to
Afghanistan and what to do in the war on terror.

Prime Minister Taro Aso, however, decided to use the overriding vote
tactic, as the previous government did in January. We are unhappy
about this choice.

In addition, the bill requires on the cabinet's approval in adopting
an implementation plan that specifies the area covered by SDF
activities and their basic policy, as well as the size of a unit and
equipment there. There is no reference in the bill to "Diet
approval." This is apparently a strategy to deal with opposition
parties by skipping the many committees they control in the Upper

The commotion over a controversial historical essay written by
former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami
disclosed that civilian control over SDF ranking officers is not
properly functioning under the coalition government of the Liberal
Democratic Party and the New Komeito. Only when the Diet, which
reflects public opinion, is involved, can civilian control be
guaranteed from the start, but bill, not requiring such Diet
approval, is seriously defective.

Since January, the government used the overriding vote tactic three
times. The use of a revote is allowed under the Constitution, but
the current ruling camp's strength in the Lower House was formed in
a special election held after the Diet was dissolved over a feud in
connection with postal privatization. At that time, the issue of
extending the refueling operation was neither included in the LDP's
campaign pledges nor was it a point of contention, either. We have
to say that the revote tactic in that sense is politically

Deliberations on the bill in both Houses of the Diet were far from
those reflecting recent l changes in the environment in and around

The security situation in Afghanistan has been worsening, while
momentum is gathering in the Karzai government and the U.S.

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government for holding a dialogue with the moderate Taliban group,
the former governing force. With the change of government in
Pakistan, making an approach to that nation is becoming more
important. Japan should come up with comprehensive assistance
measures for Afghanistan, including aid in the military, public
welfare, and diplomatic areas. Japan is expected to play a major
role there.

In the U.S., the Obama administration will be launched next month.
President-elect Barack Obama, who has pledged to shift priority from
Iraq to Afghanistan, is expected to call on Japan to offer financial
cooperation and a personnel contribution to Afghanistan. How will
Japan respond, in such a case?

There should be limits to what the Aso administration can do now
that it is losing political ground. In order for Japan to map out
comprehensive assistance measures in the war on terror and to
Afghanistan, a government holding a mandate from the people must
first be established.

(3) Opposition parties in Okinawa assembly to approve expenses for
governor's planned U.S. visit

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Excerpts)
December 12, 2008

Six opposition parties in the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly approved
yesterday the prefectural government's revised plan on earmarking
expenses for Governor Hirokazu Nakaima's planned visit to the U.S.,
which was resubmitted to a regular meeting in November. A
supplementary budget bill, which includes the travel expenses, is
likely to be unanimously adopted on the final day of the session on
Dec. 19, through deliberations at the General Coordination and
Policy Planning Committee.

If the budget is approved, Nakaima will leave for the U.S. on Jan. 6
and present the prefecture's requests to those who are expected to
join the incoming Obama administration and U.S. Congress. He is
scheduled to stay in the U.S. for 10 days. In California, the
governor will take activities to bring U.S. firms into Okinawa.
About 9.1 million yen will be set aside for the governor's U.S.

(4) Former ASDF Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami speaks his mind; U.S.
forces must withdraw from Japan, Japan must discuss nuclear option
(Part 1)

SHUKAN GENDAI (Excerpts) (Pages 16-21)
December 20, 2008

I have been dismissed from the post of Air Self-Defense Force (ASDF)
chief of staff. Since I have acted based on my belief, I have no
intention of retracting my series of views. To begin with, I do not
understand why I have to be criticized. I said, "Japan was a good
country," and I was told, "You are fired."

The assertion of the Aso administration and the Liberal Democratic
Party was: "In the government's view, Japan was a bad country. You
should not have described Japan as a good country." I was forced to
leave public office because I praised my own country. Is there any
country in the world that is as absurd as Japan?

TOKYO 00003383 006 OF 016

As if to add insult to injury, not only the LDP but also the
Democratic Party of Japan fiercely criticized me. They pursued the
government's responsibility, saying, "Why did you make a person who
says Japan was a good country the ASDF chief of staff?" The DPJ
said: "A person who says Japan was a rotten country should become
the top SDF officer."

Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa wrote a book titled
Blueprint for a New Japan, aiming to turn Japan into a normal
country. His son was an SDF member, as well. I wonder what has
happened to him and his party.

After such a ridiculous argument, I was pressed to return my
retirement allowance. It annoyed me. After all, I selflessly worked
for the country for 41 years, including the National Defense Academy

One described the circumstances in which a top SDF officer is
allowed to make remarks freely as civilian control in danger. But I
have no intention of denying civilian control. I did not leak any
military secrets and I did not violate any rules. I simply stated my
view on history.

Despite that, lawmakers and media organizations labeled me as a
dangerous individual. I became the object of public anger and
ridicule and was fired. Freedom of expression is an important right
that is guaranteed in Article 21 of the Constitution. If people are
not allowed to discuss things freely, that is not a democracy. It's
the same as North Korea.

I am afraid that Japan might head in a direction that will tie its
hands tighter because of its masochistic view of history that is
gripping Japan today. I am concerned that unless someone stops it,
Japan might fall in the near future.

After the end of the war, the victorious nations, including the
United States, have pressed upon Japan the Tokyo Tribunal's view
that Japan's history until then had all been evil, prompting Japan
to lose its pride as a state. As a result, important traditional
Japanese cultures have been destroyed rapidly. A Japanese-version
Cultural Revolution is underway, so to speak. I believe this must be
stopped at all costs.

My view is not outlandish. I believe many Japanese people share my
view. Yahoo! News conducted an opinion survey on Nov. 4-11, asking:
"Is there any problem with the Tamogami statement?" Answers came
from 97,084 individuals. Of them, 44,269 people said, "There is no
problem," and 12,412 indicated, "There are hardly any problems." In
other words, 58 PERCENT of the total said, "There aren't any

Furthermore, on TV-Asahi's "Let's Discuss until Morning" program at
night on Nov. 28, a fierce discussion took place under the theme of
the Tamogami issue and the SDF. The program also solicited viewers'
opinions and 497 sent in their views. Of them, 303, or 61 PERCENT ,
said, "I can relate to the Tamogami statement." The Asahi Shimbun
has relentlessly attacked me, but over 60 PERCENT of the people
support me.

Of course, I believe a lot of SDF personnel that number 240,000
agree with my view at the bottom of their hearts. Lawmakers and
media organizations are alarmed at a possible coup. Such will never

TOKYO 00003383 007 OF 016

happen. In a democracy, it is not allowed to change society with
violence, and SDF personnel are perfectly aware of that.

In my essay, I deliberately took up a number of good things Japan
had done in the past. Until now, only bad deeds have been trumpeted,
so I argued against them that history is not that unilateral.

In fact, Japan was on the invaded side during that period. From
around the 15th century, white nations continued to invade colored
nations. Japan was not invaded until the last.

No one raises any questions today about such brutal history of white
nations' invasions of Asia. Only Japan's advance onto the Korean
Peninsula and Chinese mainland has been the subject of criticism.

White nations exploited Asia for many years, whereas Japan
endeavored for the development of Asia. For instance, Japan built
many schools in Manchuria, the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan. We left
behind significant improvements to the infrastructure that affects
everyday life -- roads, power plants, water supply, etc. Before the
war, there were nine imperial universities. We established Keijo
Imperial University, the sixth, in Seoul in 1924, and Taipei
Imperial University, the seventh, in Taipei in 1928. Osaka Imperial
University was eighth and Nagoya Imperial University was ninth. The
Japanese government built imperial universities in Korea and Taiwan
even before Osaka and Nagoya out of consideration for the colonies.
Such is totally inconceivable under control by white nations.

That is why leaders of Asian nations at times have expressed their
appreciation, saying that because Japan had fought with such
countries as the United States and Britain, they have now become
able to talk to them as equals.

Clash with Chinese Lt. Gen. over historical issues

I have repeatedly expressed such a view. I have introduced it in my
contribution to an SDF journal and discussed it in my speeches, as

In addition to within the SDF, I have openly expressed my stock
argument toward China. In June 2004, I visited Beijing as the leader
of a Joint Staff College training team. During the visit, I had an
opportunity to interview for about 30 minutes Lt. Gen. Fan
Changlong, the No. 2 officer of the Chinese People's Liberation Army
general staff section. For the first 10 minutes, Lt. Gen. Fan
eloquently criticized the Imperial Japanese Army's brutal acts.

Feeling such was unbearable, I cut in: "I do not think the Japanese
Army did bad things toward China. Assaults and murder occur even in
peacetime." A portrait of President Ziang Zemin was on the wall, so
I also told Lt. Gen. Fan that President Ziang was unpopular in Japan
because during his visit to Japan in 1998, he extensively traveled
in the country and criticized Japan by touching on its
responsibility for past events.

I did not plan to dampen the previous venue of exchanges by
broaching the historical issue during my courtesy call on the
Chinese military leader. But at that time, the other side first just
talked on and on about the history issue, so I could not just bowed
my head and come back, saying, "You are right."

Because Japan has turned a deaf ear to such an argument, China

TOKYO 00003383 008 OF 016

brazenly keeps beating a dead horse. I don't think that is good for
the future of relations between the countries.

In any case, my rebuttal seemed quite upset the Chinese side. Many
Chinese officers did not show up at the party we hosted at the
Beijing Hotel before leaving China. They all said, "Something came
up." The visit to China planned for the following year was called

Incidentally, the debated between Lt. Gen. Fan and me was officially
reported to Tokyo in detail via a cable from the Japanese Embassy in
Beijing. The Foreign Ministry, the Defense Ministry, the Prime
Minister's Office, and everyone else became aware of the event, but
I was not punished in any way. That was not all. Some in the Defense
Ministry even praised me for what I did.

My view has always been the same and consistent. I don't understand
why I have to be beaten up this time around.

Japan forced to purchase U.S.-made equipment for prices twice as

Now, I am going to discuss what I think about the United States.

It has already been 63 years since the end of war, but Japan, as a
defeated nation, still acts in accordance with the wishes of the
United States. National defense is a prime example of that.

The Cold War ended over a dozen years ago, but the United States
still plays a main role in the defense of Japan. There are many U.S.
bases in Japan and U.S. troops are stationed there.

And the SDF purchases major defense equipment from the United
States. It can hardly be said that they are sold at fair prices.
From my experience, I can honestly say that Japan has been ripped
off quite a bit. There is a possibility that Japan has bought
aircrafts of the same model at prices higher than those to other
countries. In other words, the United States has siphoned off
Japanese taxpayers' money unfairly.

As far as the ASDF is concerned, it has purchased the F-104 (400
million yen apiece), F-4 (2 billion yen), F-15 (10 billion yen), and
F-22 (50 billion yen; U.S. Congress has yet to approve) in
chronological order. The price jumped five times every time new
model came along. The United States also overcharged for a variety
of other weapons, sometimes twice higher.

At one time, the ASDF had a plan to procure air-to-air missiles for
its fighters. Washington begrudged selling the kind of missiles
Japan wanted. As a result, a Japanese maker independently developed
similar missiles, and Washington all of a sudden expressed its
willingness to sell the kind of missiles to Tokyo for prices much
cheaper than those produced domestically.

In 2000, when I was serving as the deputy chief of staff for
logistics, the ASDF had a plan to introduce the Link-16, the latest
model of the strategic data link system, to the Patriot
(ground-to-air missile system). Japan needed to purchase its
terminal equipment from the United States. In the process of
negotiations, the United States raised the price of a set of
terminal equipment from 100 million yen to over 200 million yen.

TOKYO 00003383 009 OF 016

I lodged a protest with a senior U.S. Air Force Department official,
who happened to be in Japan around that time. Three weeks after his
return to the United States, the price dropped to the original
level. The United States has taken advantage of Japan's weak

In the world of equipment, there is something called the black box,
which must be unfamiliar to civilians. It signifies the technical
information not disclosed to Japan when procuring equipment from the
United States.

Software codes correspond to the black box. Such black boxes are on
the rise. Preventing the outflow of technology is Washington's
official position. I think that is its public stance; its true
intention is to siphon money from Japan.

That is because if a glitch occurs in a part concerning the black
box, only the United States would be able to fix it. Weapons also
require maintenance, and for that, Japan has to place orders to U.S.
corporations semi-permanently. Simply put, the more the black box
grows, the more the United States can rake in money.

Reason why the abduction issue has not bee resolved

I am not anti-American; I like the United States. To begin with, a
state pursues its national interests. It is natural for the United
States to make every effort to sell its products to other countries,
including its allies.

The problem lies in Japan. Japanese people are too good-natured.
They are good-natured and masochistic. I believe such a country is
rare in the world.

A good country cannot be a victor in the international political
scene. The world is filled with black-hearted people. Good people
are destined to be used by black-hearted people.

For example, why has the issue of Japanese nationals abducted by the
North not been resolved? Let's say many U.S. citizens were abducted
by the North. Would the North take the cold and overbearing attitude
toward the United States, in the same way with Japan?

I can say this with confident that if it was with the United States,
the abduction issue would have been resolved a long ago. That is
because America's military power is a threat to the North. With just
a hint at an air strike by the United States, the North is certain
to respond to a call for talks.

Japan's attitude is poles apart from that of the United States.
Japan's hands are tied because of its own constitution prohibiting
the use of force. This encourages the North to use the abduction
issue to apply pressure on Japan.

Japan has created a national army enormously lacking in attack
capability in the name of an exclusively defense-oriented policy of
the postwar period. In order to conduct decent talks with the North,
Japan needs at least to deploy air-to-ground missiles and
ship-to-ground missiles to strike enemy territories.

Japan has become such a good-natured country in the postwar period
solely because of America's Japan policy. Japan has been transformed
into a country convenient for the United States.

TOKYO 00003383 010 OF 016

As was just discussed, Japan is now under the protection of
America's great military power, but we must keep in mind that the
United States take action based on its own national interests. For
instance, if the United States finds it more beneficial to team up
with China, it would abandon Japan overnight.

During my stay in the United States this summer, I asked a
high-ranking U.S. military officer: "If Japan and China clash over
the Senkaku Islands, would the United States attack China as Japan's

As expected, the officer offered an ambiguous answer.

If China continues to build up its military buildup at the current
pace, the Chinese ministry would surpass the SDF in five to ten
years. The military gains strength in promotion to the money spent
on it.

The alliance with the United States allows Japan to be under
America's umbrella and to be on America's coattails in the
international political scene, so I think the alliance with that
country is useful to Japan. Even so, I believe a country should be
defended by its own people. In other words, we need to strengthen
the SDF and U.S. force in Japan must leave the country gradually. I
believe that's the way Japan should be. Without the withdrawal of
the U.S. military, Japan cannot be called a truly independent

(5) Physicians distancing themselves from the LDP a serious problem

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
December 12, 2008

Senior members of medical associations in such major cities as
Sendai, Chiba, Nagoya and Fukuoka met on Nov. 15 at a hotel in Chiba

A questionnaire result was distributed to each participant in the
meeting. Many participants were amazed by the result. One member
said: "So many members have distanced themselves from the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP)!"

One of the questions was whether to support the LDP in order to
realize policy measures the Japan Medical Association proposes. In
responding, only nine percent said that they would support the
ruling LDP, while 20 percent said that they would back the
opposition parties so that a change in government would occur.

A total of 2,362 doctors of regional medical associations in major
cities responded to the questionnaire. Nakahiko Hakuno, chairman of
the Chiba City Medical Association which conducted the
questionnaire, said:

"We had supported the LDP unconditionally. However, medical
institutions are in a serious condition due to the policy the LDP
implemented in the past few years. The figures show our sense of

Under the Japan Medical Association (membership of 165,000), there
are approximately 900 local medical associations comprised of
physicians. The JMA has fielded its representatives as candidates

TOKYO 00003383 011 OF 016

for an upper house election every time, and it is one of the strong
support organizations for the LDP.

One direct reason for the JMA having decided to distant itself from
the LDP is that the administration of then Prime Minister Junichiro
Koizumi decided in 2006 on a policy of reducing natural increase in
social security spending by 220 billon yen annually. The JMA has
sought the withdrawal of the spending cut policy for the reason that
the policy has caused the collapse of medical institutions.

Although the JMA has still supported the LDP, some local medical
associations are now distancing themselves from the LDP. The Ibaraki
Medical Association's political organization intends to recommend
candidates on the official ticket of the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ) in all the seven electoral districts in the prefecture.
Ibaraki Medical Association Chairman Katsumasa Haranaka criticized
the LDP, saying:

"The LDP does not function well because in that party there are many
lawmakers who succeeded to Diet seats held by their parents and
grandparents. Since second-generation politicians just take over the
stable electoral turf held by their parents or grandparents, they
will not become politicians who can control the bureaucracy. The LDP
should change, but it no longer has power to reform itself."

Prime Minister Aso has taken a positive stance to a review of the
spending-cut policy since he assumed office last September.
Believing that Aso was considering also a review of the policy of
curbing social security expenditures, persons connected to medical
associations held high hopes for Aso. However, Aso made a gaffe (on
Nov. 19): "There are many doctors who lack common sense."

On Nov. 29, in a general meeting of the Niigata City Medical
Association, in the face of LDP Lower House member, who were invited
to the meeting, Chairman Kenichi Okawa severely criticized the Aso
administration: "Prime Minister Aso's policy flip flops and the
spate of gaffes are regrettable."

Aso's slip of the tongue added fuel to the fire.

A person closed to Aso said ostensibly calmly: "The JMA does not
have many votes. So the impact on the election will be small."
However, as seen in the result of the Chiba City Medical
Association's questionnaire, the outlook is that if many local
medical associations support the DPJ in an election, an impact on
the election will not be that small.

Hakuno said:

"Since we conducted the anonymous survey, physicians responded
genuinely. The support rate for the opposition party was twice
higher than that for the LDP. This means that physicians are
seriously angry."

(6) Poll on Aso cabinet, political parties

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
December 8, 2008

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage)

TOKYO 00003383 012 OF 016

Q: Do you support the Aso cabinet?

Yes 20.9
No 66.7
Other answers (O/A) 1.4
No answer (N/A) 11.0

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the foregoing question)
Pick only one from among the following reasons for your approval of
the Aso cabinet.

Something can be expected of its policy measures 23.5
The prime minister has leadership 11.7
There's something stable about the prime minister 9.7
His cabinet's lineup is good 10.3
Because it's a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New
Komeito 35.2
O/A 4.4
N/A 5.1

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the foregoing question) Pick
only one from among the following reasons for your disapproval of
the Aso cabinet.

Nothing can be expected of its policy measures 31.5
The prime minister lacks leadership 29.2
There's nothing stable about the prime minister 25.0
His cabinet's lineup is not good 1.4
Because it's a coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and New
Komeito 10.3
O/A 1.1
N/A 1.6

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 27.2
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 28.2
New Komeito (NK) 3.3
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.4
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.4
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) ---
Reform Club (RC or Kaikaku Kurabu) ---
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) ---
Other political parties ---
None 33.6
N/A 2.9

Q: Which one do you think is more appropriate for prime minister
between Prime Minister Aso and DPJ President Ichiro Ozawa?

Prime Minister Aso 28.8
DPJ President Ozawa 36.4
N/A 34.7

Q: Do you think the Aso cabinet is dealing exactly with the current
economic situation?

Yes 9.6
No 82.5
N/A 8.0

Q: Regarding a second supplementary budget for an additional package

TOKYO 00003383 013 OF 016

of economic stimulus measures, the government and ruling parties
will not present it to the Diet during its current session. This is
because it will take time to prepare this extra budget and for some
other reasons, according to their account. Instead, they will
present it to the Diet when its ordinary session opens early in the
new year. Do you think this is appropriate?

Yes 19.6
No 66.5
N/A 13.9

Q: The government plans to hand out cash benefits totaling 2
trillion yen. Do you appreciate this?

Appreciate very much 7.5
Appreciate somewhat 15.9
Don't appreciate very much 26.7
Don't appreciate at all 45.3
N/A 4.5

Q: Do you appreciate the DPJ's response during the current Diet

Appreciate very much 6.6
Appreciate somewhat 21.6
Don't appreciate very much 34.3
Don't appreciate at all 24.9
N/A 12.6

Q: Do you think Prime Minister Aso's recent questionable remarks and
gaffes will affect his political management?

Affect very much 46.4
Affect somewhat 30.6
Don't affect very much 15.2
Don't affect at all 4.4
N/A 3.4

Q: When would you like the House of Representatives to be dissolved
for a general election?

Right away 21.7
Early in the new year 36.0
Around the spring of next year 22.4
Sometime before the current membership's expiry in September 14.3
N/A 5.6

Q: If an election were to be held now for the House of
Representatives, which political party would you like to vote for in
your proportional representation bloc?

LDP 24.2
DPJ 40.2
NK 3.5
JCP 4.3
SDP 1.1
PNP 0.3
RC ---
NPN 0.1
Other political parties 0.1
Undecided 20.5
N/A 5.6

TOKYO 00003383 014 OF 016

Q: What form of government would you like to see after the next
election for the House of Representatives?

LDP-led coalition government 12.2
DPJ-led coalition government 20.8
LDP-DPJ grand coalition government 25.4
Government under new framework after political realignment 32.9
O/A 0.2
N/A 8.4

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Dec. 5-7 across the
nation on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Households with one or more eligible voters totaled 1,819. Valid
answers were obtained from 1,091 persons (60.0 PERCENT ).

(Note) In some cases, the total percentage does not become 100
PERCENT due to rounding.


Ruling parties refuse to follow prime minister's order to specify
"consumption tax hike in three years" in midterm program

Tax reform outline to be decided on today; Corporate tax to be
lowered to 18 PERCENT

Stimulus package to amount to 40 trillion yen

Government mulls framework to buy 2 trillion yen in commercial

January-November period marks record number of indiscriminate

Tokyo Shimbun:
Timeframe for consumption tax hike not to be specified

JCP Chairman Shii: Workers' counterattack began


(1) Law to strengthen banking sector: Small firms needs more funds
(2) Court clerk scandal: Trust in courts undermined

(1) Refueling mission: Comprehensive support necessary under
mandate-backed administration
(2) Tobacco tax hike shelved

(1) Six-party talks: North Korea's defiant attitude must not be
(2) Plan to cut social security costs has already failed

TOKYO 00003383 015 OF 016

(1) Credit crunch must be stopped
(2) Tough challenges for 30-year-old reform policy of China

(1) Employment and Human Resources Development Organization of Japan
must be abolished
(2) Utilize financial function strengthening law for resolving
credit crunch

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Tax reform: Where is financial source for social security?
(2) Japan-China-South Korea summit: Financial crisis requires joint

(1) Refueling extension legislation too reckless

(9) Prime Minister's schedule, December 11

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 12, 2008

Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Konoike.

Met China's People's Daily President Zhang Yannong.

Met Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign
Countries Deputy Chairman Li Ziaolin, joined by Upper House member
Katsuhito Asano. Met later with ROK-Japan Parliamentary League
Chairman Lee Sang Duk, attended by Japan-ROK Parliamentary League
Chairman Yosano.

Met with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Uruma.

Attended Upper House Financial Committee session.

Met at Kantei with Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani, followed by
LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Hori and Chief Cabinet
Secretary Kawamura. Hori remained.

Met with Yosano. Met later with Deputy Foreign Minister Sasae, Vice
Finance Minister for International Affairs Shinohara and METI Trade
Policy Bureau chief Okada, joined by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary

Met with Finance Minister Nakagawa, Vice Finance Minister Sugimoto
and Financial Services Agency Director General Sato. Met later with
Indonesian Regional Representative Council Chairman Ginandjar,
followed by Filipino Foreign Minister Romulo.

Dined with former Prime Minister Abe, Administrative Reform Minister
Amari and Election Strategy Council Deputy Chairman Suga, later

TOKYO 00003383 016 OF 016

joined by Finance Minister Nakagawa.

Returned to his official residence in Kamiyama-cho.


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