Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/14/09

DE RUEHKO #1851/01 2260100
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E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Ambassador Roos arriving at Tokyo post next week: Charge? Zumwalt

Defense and security:
2) U.S. government's strategic report, Nuclear Posture Review,
stresses credibility of "nuclear umbrella" over Japan and other
allies, centered on extended deterrence (Sankei)
3) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to present at extraordinary Diet
session new version of ship-search bill targeting North Korea that
was scrapped in last session (Sankei)
4) Okinawa residents stage protest rally five years after
Futenma-based helicopter crash into university campus (Akahata)

DPJ and Yasukuni:
5) DPJ plans to set up panel of experts to make recommendations
about the creation of a national war memorial (Sankei)
6) Views of Yasukuni Shrine differ in the DPJ, which is proposing to
create a secular war-dead memorial to replace the controversial
shrine visits (Nikkei)
7) South Korea welcomes DPJ President Hatoyama's plan for a national
war-dead memorial (Nikkei)

Election campaign:
8) Prime Minister Aso, DPJ President Hatoyama debate on TV money and
politics, secret nuclear pact (Yomiuri)
9) Internet poll: 59% see policy debate is lacking in the current
election campaign (Nikkei)

10) Positive economic growth now likely after five quarters (Nikkei)


1) New U.S. Ambassador Roos will arrive at his post as early as next
week: Charg Zumwalt

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2009

James Zumwalt, charg d'affaires ad interim at the U.S. Embassy in
Tokyo, met some Japanese reporters yesterday at his official
residence and told them that new U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos
will arrive at his post as early as next week. Charg Zumwalt
pointed out that building a stable U.S.-Japan relationship with the
new Japanese government to be inaugurated after the upcoming House
of Representatives election would be an immediate goal for the new
ambassador and that he would further promote bilateral exchanges in
such areas as environmental protection and energy conservation
technology, the development of venture markets, and education.


2) U.S. Nuclear Posture Review stresses reliability of "nuclear
umbrella," focuses on expanded deterrence

SANKEI (Page 8) (Full)
August 14, 2009

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

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This newspaper learned on August 13 that the U.S. government is
designating "expanded deterrence," including the "nuclear umbrella"
for Japan and other allies, as the "core element" of its nuclear
policy in its Nuclear Posture Review (NPR), a report which outlines
U.S. nuclear strategy. It is believed that this is meant to
emphasize the reliability of the "nuclear umbrella" with growing
concerns in Japan about North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons.
In the wake of President Barack Obama's speech in Prague in April,
the U.S. is aiming at effective nuclear deterrence as it works for a
reduction of the role of nuclear arms.

The NPR is a blueprint of nuclear policy in the next five to ten
years. It is being drafted by the Department of Defense and other
offices and will be submitted to Congress before the end of the

According to internal documents of the Defense Department obtained
by Sankei Shimbun, "expanded deterrence" is defined as "fulfilling
our treaty obligations (to our allies)," stressing that this will
also prevent allies under the "nuclear umbrella" from developing
nuclear arms, thus "contributing to the goal of nuclear

The report explains that President Obama's Prague speech is regarded
as the "basis of the review," and that America will "continue to
study how to make the long-term goal of a world without nuclear
weapons compatible (with expanded deterrence)." The report stresses
that while reducing the role of nuclear arms and cutting the
stockpile of nuclear warheads, "safe, reliable, and effective
nuclear deterrence will also be maintained."

Comparing the new NPR with the two reviews conducted under the
Clinton administration (1994) and Bush administration (2002),
Elizabeth Turpen, senior researcher at the U.S. think tank Henry L.
Stimson Center, points out that in the new NPR, "the U.S. government
is listening to its allies carefully for the first time." She
explains that this is due to doubts expressed on the reliability of
the "nuclear umbrella."

3) Changing tack, DPJ will now submit cargo inspection law targeting
North Korea to extraordinary Diet session

SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
August 14, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided on August 13 to
re-submit the special measures law on cargo inspection on North
Korea-related ships, which was scrapped at the previous Diet
session, to the extraordinary Diet session this fall if it takes
over the administration after the House of Representatives election.
In order to enable the implementation of the law immediately after
enactment, it has begun coordination with the government on an
ordinance listing the items subject to cargo inspection.
Coordination is underway for the bill to have provisions practically
similar to the scrapped bill submitted by the government to the
previous Diet, and the new bill is likely to pass with the support
of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.

The DPJ had refused to deliberate the cargo inspection bill at the
House of Councillors during the previous Diet session because it
gave priority to political maneuvering over policies, submitting and
passing a motion of censure on Prime Minister Taro Aso at the Upper

TOKYO 00001851 003 OF 008

House. This caused the bill to be scrapped. However, once it takes
over the reins of government, it expects to be asked by the U.S. and
other countries to participate in cargo inspections. Thus, the DPJ
has judged that legislation is necessary as soon as possible.

The DPJ has also included cargo inspection in its manifesto
(campaign pledges) for the Lower House election. According to
several senior party officials, the DPJ leadership has agreed on
submitting the bill to the extraordinary Diet session. Discussions
with government officials on the provisions of the bill and the
ordinance are being held with President Yukio Hatoyama's approval.

While there had been a suggestion in the DPJ to also amend the ship
inspection operations law on ship inspections by the Self-Defense
Forces, the enactment of the cargo inspection special measures law
will be given priority for now, since a comprehensive review of the
ship inspection law will take time, and this may delay Japan's
participation in international cargo inspections.

Okinawa International University holds protest meeting to mark fifth
anniversary of helicopter crash, demands immediate return of Futenma

4) AKAHATA (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 14, 2009

The Okinawa International University (president, Moritake Tomikawa)
held a protest meeting on August 13 to mark the fifth anniversary of
the crash of a U.S. military helicopter on the campus at the site of
the crash in front of the university's administration building. This
was the first official protest meeting organized by the university.
Some 200 faculty and staff members and students attended the
meeting. President Tomikawa read out a statement and professors and
students made speeches to express their opinion. They demanded an
immediate stop to flights by aircraft using the Futenma base and the
closure of this base as soon as possible from the Japanese and U.S.

Tomikawa stated that it is "extremely regrettable" that U.S.
military aircraft continue to fly over the university even after the
accident, and the problem has not been resolved at all. He also
said: "No matter how they justify these flights with theories of
international politics and national security, such flights
threatening the peace and quiet of the university, and even people's
lives are unacceptable."

An exhibit of photos and video footages of the "shocking and
horrible sight" of the crash is being held at the university's
library from August 13-15. A symposium on how to remove the danger
posed by the Futenma base, organized by the city of Ginowan, will
also be held on August 15.


5) DPJ to promote plan to build national war memorial

SANKEI (Top Play) (Slightly abridged)
August 14, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to promote a
plan to build a national war memorial to replace Yasukuni Shrine if
the party takes over the reins of government in the upcoming House

TOKYO 00001851 004 OF 008

of Representatives election. The party, after launching the
administration, intends to set up an expert panel within the
government and start preparations for the plan, based on
recommendations by the panel. The Social Democratic Party (SDP),
with which the DPJ is willing to form a coalition, also decided
yesterday to formulate a construction plan. A number of Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) members remain negative about such a plan.
The construction plan is likely to become a new campaign issue for
the Lower House election.

In a press conference at party headquarters yesterday, DPJ Secretary
General Katsuya Okada said the party will pursue a plan to build a
new facility, remarking: "A place to memorialize those who died for
the sake of their country and the people is necessary." He further
said that the party will determine what facility should be built,
reflecting experts' views.

In reference to the fact that he serves as president of the
incorporated foundation that manages Chidorigafuchi National
Cemetery, Okada also indicated his willingness to expand the
cemetery, remarking: "I have half a mind to make use of

The DPJ specified in its policy index released in July: "The party
will work on building a new non-religious national memorial
facility." But its manifesto (policy platform) for the Lower House
election did not refer to this idea. On Aug. 12, however, President
Yukio Hatoyama expressed his eagerness to create a new memorial
facility, saying that if the party assumes power, "we would like to
promote the plan of building a national memorial facility where
everyone can pay homage without feeling uncomfortable." The
statement by Okada yesterday pushed this plan a step forward.

Meanwhile, SDP executives met yesterday and decided to formulate a
construction plan for the memorial facility within four years.
Deputy Secretary General Nobuto Hosaka in a press conference praised
Hatoyama's statement.

The plan to construct a memorial facility was included in a report
of recommendations issued in 2002 by a private panel to then Chief
Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, based on the criticism of then Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi's annual visits to Yasukuni Shrine. But
LDP members were critical of this idea, citing such reasons as
"wasteful spending of taxpayers' money" and "the idea is to
undermine the status of Yasukuni Shrine." The government has put off
appropriating research expenses for this plan.

6) Argument calling for building national memorial for the war dead:
Long-standing thorny issue; Difficulties expected before settlement

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2009

With the anniversary of the end of the war close at hand on August
15, what should be done about Yasukuni Shrine and the notion of
creating a (secular) national memorial for the war dead are
beginning to reemerge as a political issue. This is because
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama has said
that he would consider creating a memorial for the war dead to
replace Yasukuni Shrine, if his party takes the reins of government
in the Lower House election on the 30th. The plan has appeared and
then disappeared many times during past administrations, intertwined

TOKYO 00001851 005 OF 008

with Japan's diplomacy to Asia. Many difficulties are expected
before the problem, including Yasukuni, is settled.

Hatoyama underscores stance of attaching importance to Asia

Referring to whether he will visit Yasukuni Shrine if he becomes
prime minister, Hatoyama during a press conference on the 11th said:
"I myself have no intention of visiting the shrine. I would also
like ministers of my cabinet to refrain from visiting it." He
stressed that he would honor the Murayama statement, issued by then
Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama in 1995. Hatoyama's stance
indicated an attaching of importance to Asia.

Creating a national war memorial has been Hatoyama's pet argument.
As to why he wants to see such built, he said on the 12th: "Class-A
war criminals are enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine. The Emperor does not
visit the shrine. I believe this is painful for him."

However, what to do about Yasukuni Shrine and the establishment of a
war-dead memorial are tough issues that past administrations tackled
but failed to resolve. A senior official said, "This is not an issue
that can be settled easily even with a change of administration."

History of fortune of argument calling for building national

When Hiromu Nonaka was chief cabinet secretary during the Obuchi
administration, he proposed turning Yasukuni Shrine into a special
public corporation to dilute its religious connection. He also
wanted to enshrine Class-a War criminals elsewhere. He tried to
shape concrete measures, launching an informal council to discuss
Yasukuni Shrine within the Liberal Democratic Party. However, the
initiative was in effect put on the backburner when many party
members and the Japan War-Bereaved Association opposing it.

In 2002 during the Koizumi administration, then chief cabinet
secretary Yasuo Fukuda's personal discussion council compiled a
report noting the necessity of building a memorial for the war dead
that will replace Yasukuni Shrine. Koizumi pledged to build such a
memorial. However, as he himself visited the shrine, China and South
Korea reacted negatively, hampering the discussion. When the Fukuda
administration was launched in 2007, the plan appeared to make
headway. However, meeting opposition from within the party, even the
earmarking of a budget for a survey of such a facility was put on

Prime Minister Aso cautious

A senior Cabinet Office official pointed out, "Since building such a
memorial would cost an enormous amount of money, there is a problem
about the priority order." Prime Minister Taro Aso is also cautious
about the idea of building a memorial.

In 2006, when he was a foreign minister, the prime minister released
his private proposal for shifting the status of Yasukuni Shrine
shifting to a non-religious public corporation from its current
status as a religious organization. Since then, he is just
continuing make statements, based on this private plan.

Creating a secular memorial will not ensure the settlement of the
Yasukuni issue. DPJ Secretary General Katsuya Okada during a press
conference on the 13th said: "The nation should have a proper

TOKYO 00001851 006 OF 008

memorial (for the war dead). However, there may appear prime
ministers in the future who want to visit Yasukuni Shrine. (The
memorial) should be looked into separately from the Yasukuni

There exist differences in stances among DPJ members with some
visiting Yasukuni Shrine on the anniversary of the end of the War.
During the Koizumi administration, there was a case in which (South
Korea) had high expectations of the prime minister. But the ROK felt
greatly let down when Koizumi visited Yasukuni Shrine, and the
bilateral relationship suffered for it.

7) South Korea welcomes Japan building national memorial for war

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2009

Shimao Ojima, Seoul

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Hatoyama has announced his
intention to look into building a new national memorial for the war
dead if his party takes the reins of government. South Korea has
taken this announcement favorably. Responding to a question asked by
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, the ruling Grand National Party press
secretary on August 13 welcomed the announcement, saying, "A
settlement of one sensitive issue concerning Japan and South Korea
will contribute to further deepening bilateral relations." The Maeli
Business Newspaper on the 14th reported, "The announcement can be
taken as a change in the direction of Japan's foreign policy to
attaching importance to Asia."

The Chinese government is taking a stance of closely watching how
the discussion will develop, including to what extent the
alternative facility can replace the role of Yasukuni Shrine, based
on its position of opposing the Japanese prime minister visiting
Yasukuni Shrine, where Class-A criminals are enshrined. Tsinghua
University Professor Liu Jingyong said, "I cannot evaluate the
statement, since I do not know its details."


8) Sparks fly between Aso and Hatoyama in TV debate program

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2009

Prime Minister Taro Aso, president of the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama, New
Komeito leader Akihiro Ota, Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Chairman
Kazuo Shii, Social Democratic Party (SDP) Chairperson Mizuho
Fukushima, and People's New Party (PNP) leader Tamisuke Watanuki
appeared on a TBS program yesterday evening. They held a debate
prior to the forthcoming House of Representatives election.

Referring to the allegations that the Japanese and U.S. governments
signed a secret agreement that Japan would give a tacit approval to
port calls by U.S. warships carrying nuclear weapons, Hatoyama said:
"When we form a new government, we would like to conduct a thorough
investigation and open the results to the public." He also expressed
a positive view about setting up a joint consultative panel of the
ruling and opposition parties to discuss pension-system reform.

TOKYO 00001851 007 OF 008

Aso criticized the issue of Hatoyama's fund-management
organization's false reports on political funds, saying: "Just
correcting the reports is not acceptable. You should hold your
secretary accountable." Hatoyama responded: "I fired the secretary.
I think I have fulfilled my responsibility but if that is
insufficient, I will continue to do make efforts." Referring also to
the DPJ's pledge to review the interpretation of the right of the
use of collective self-defense, Aso stressed:

"We should not forget the fact that North Korea is a neighboring
country. Considering the case of warships of the United States, our
ally, being attacked, it is important for Japan to create a
situation under which the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) can defend those

9) Internet survey on Lower House election: 59% of surveyed say
policy debate insufficient

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 14, 2009

The Nihon Keizai Shimbun yesterday conducted its third Internet poll
on the upcoming House of Representatives election. Of those who
answered in the previous poll held on July 28-30 that they had not
yet decided which party to cast their votes for, 10 percent of
respondents this time said they would vote for the Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ), while seven percent said that they would vote for
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP). Of the respondents who said in
the previous poll that they would vote for the LDP, five percent
switched to the DPJ in the latest poll, while only one percent of
the respondents who had said they would vote for the DPJ changed to
the LDP. Although there is no change in the situation that the DPJ
is leading over the LDP in the polls, the transfer of voters from
the LDP to the DPJ has slowed down.

Of the pollees who said in the previous poll that they had not
decided on which candidate they would vote in the electoral district
races, 16 percent of respondents in the latest poll said they would
vote for the DPJ, while 7 percent said the LDP. Only one percent of
the respondents who had said in the previous poll that they would
vote for the LDP said in the third poll that they would vote for the
DPJ, while two percent of the respondents who had said that they
would vote for the DPJ answered that they would vote for the LDP.

More than 90 percent said that they would definitely vote or plan to
vote. Forty-nine percent, up two percentage points from the previous
poll, said that they had decided on which candidate in the district
races to vote. Only two percent thought that policy debate was
sufficient, while 35 percent thought that policy debate was
conducted to some extent, up nine percentage points from the
previous poll. The percentage of respondents who said policy debate
was insufficient decreased 10 percentage points to 59 percent.

The survey was conducted over the Internet by Nikkei Research on
1,095 male and female voters. The response rate was 34.5 percent in
the first poll, 34.1 percent in the second one, and 31.3 percent in
the third one.

10) GDP in April-June quarter seen growing for first time in five
quarters, but domestic demand remains weak

TOKYO 00001851 008 OF 008

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
August 14, 2009

The nation's gross domestic product (GDP) in the April-July period
is likely to grow for the first time in five quarters, according to
estimates to be released by the Cabinet Office on Aug. 17. The
economy is estimated to grow at an annualized rate of 3.4% in real
terms from the previous quarter, according to the average estimate
of 28 private-sector research institutions. Yet, there is concern
that future growth could slow down again.

QUICK Corp. conducted the survey as part of its macro-economic
predictions. The government's stimulus measures and foreign demand
drove up the growth rate. The institutions estimate increases of
0.8% in consumer spending as environment-friendly appliances and
other products, 9.8% in public investment, and 9.1% in exports,
which reflected increased shipments to China.

Domestic demand, however, is seen as down for the fifth straight
quarter due to the continued tumble of residential investment and
capital investment. The Japanese economy was buoyed up by the
increased government spending in various countries, but it has yet
to be back on a self-sustaining recovery track. Many observers
anticipate economic growth may slow down again in the July-September
quarter and beyond.

Meantime, no end is in sight to the current loose monetary policy
taken by the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to deal with the economic crisis.
BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa commented: "The central government
will take policy maneuver while bearing a possible economic tumble
in mind for the time being." Overnight index swaps (OIS) imply the
BOJ's policy rate will be at the mid-0.1% level one year from now.
This figure is virtually the same as the current level of 0.1%.

In the U.S., as well, an official of the Federal Reserve Bank (FRB)
said: "It is likely to be justified that the bank will keep its
policy rate at an unprecedented low level for a long period." Europe
is also likely to maintain the current policy rate for the time
being. The economies of Japan, the U.S. and Europe are emerging from
their worst period, but they are still saddled with serious problems
such as unemployment, so it is difficult to imagine a return to a
growth pattern. Bringing to an end those measures taken to cope with
the economic crisis is not likely to be easy.


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