Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/21/09

DE RUEHKO #1931/01 2330035
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E.O. 12958: N/A


1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

U.S.-Japan relations:
4) Coordination for summit meeting between President Obama and
Japan's prime minister on Sept. 23 at the United Nations General
Assembly (Mainichi)
5) Ambassador Roos arrives early in Japan to set the stage for
post-Lower House election bilateral diplomacy (Nikkei)
6) Roos meets with Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka (Sankei)
7) Two aides picked for Ambassador Roos (Okinawa Times)

8)Afghan presidential election: Unclear what Japan's new
administration intends to do to help Afghan reconstruction (Asahi)

Opinion polls:
9) Nikkei poll: Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) heading for a
landslide victory of over 300 seats in the upcoming Lower House
election (Nikkei) 7
10) Yomiuri poll also gives DPJ a 300 seat victory, with 89% of the
electorate expressing interest in the upcoming election (Yomiuri)
11) Asahi poll: With 54% of the electorate "greatly interested" in
the upcoming election, the same level as in the 2005 election,
turnout rate likely to be high (Asahi) 8

Election campaign:
12) Small parties worried that they will be ignored if the DPJ wins
a solid majority in the upcoming Lower House election (Yomiuri)
13) Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura of the LDP calls the
DPJ's politics "socialism" (Mainichi)
14) DPJ's Maehara in election campaign speech faults the LDP for
being too close to America, says his party will balance ties
15) Japanese Communist Party Chairman Shii in speech tells Japan to
"learn from the U.S." (Mainichi)
16) Finance Minister Yosano denies hospitalization rumor (Sankei)

17)Japan Coast Guard decides to include 3.2 billion yen in next
fiscal budget request for large-scale patrol vessels needed for
overseas dispatch (Tokyo Shimbun)
18)Government plans to invest in overseas agro-businesses as a means
of guaranteeing food security (Yomiuri)



Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry to decide how to allocate
new-flu vaccine

Pregnant women, babies, medical staff to be given priority for
new-flu vaccine

DPJ posed to win over 300 seats

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DPJ posed to take more than 300 seats in landslide victory

University examination center: Breakthrough on "audio questions"

Tokyo Shimbun:
Poll by labor ministry: Workers aged 60 or older account for 10% of
entire workers in 2008

JCP boosts presence as constructive opposition party


(1) New-type of flu: Prepare for pandemic
(2) 2009 general election: Political parties should persuade voters
to take "pain" caused by anti-global warming measures

(1) Inter-city baseball tournaments: Hardfought contests expected
(2) Law preventing election activities considered?

(1) Political parties must grapple with declining birthrate
(2) Rocky path lies ahead for Hitachi

(1) 2009 general election: Political parties must compete on global
warming issue
(2) Collapse of Tomei Expressway a warning for disaster damage

(1) Vision for maintaining Japan-U.S. alliance should be presented
(2) Strategy of prompting autonomous growth urged

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Small GDP increase: Future of Japanese economy not optimistic
(2) Disaster-resistant highways must be built

(1) Independent diplomacy is linchpin of peace

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 20

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2009

Departed from Haneda Airport on ANA 3771.

Arrived at Kagoshima Airport.

Delivered a stump speech in front of Kirishima City Hall.

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Delivered a stump speech in front of a supermarket in Kagoshima

Dined with his secretaries and others at a Japanese restaurant.

Delivered a stump speech in front of JR Kagoshima Central Station.

Departed from the station on Tsubame 50.

Arrived at JR Sendai Station. Delivered a stump speech in front the

Departed from the station on Tsubame 14.

Arrived at JR Yatsushiro Station.

Departed from the station on Tsubame 14.

Arrived at JR Kumamoto Station.

Departed from the station on Ariake 24.

Arrived at JR Tamana Station.

Delivered a stump speech at a park in Tamana City, Kumamoto.

Delivered a stump speech at an exhibition hall in Mashiki Town in

Departed from Kumamoto Airport on JAL 1816.

Arrived at Haneda Airport.

Arrived at his official residence.


4) Coordination underway for Japan-U.S. summit meeting in U.S.,
focusing on Sept. 23

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2009

The governments of Japan and the U.S. have begun coordinating a
summit meeting between the prime minister and the U.S. President for
late September, focusing on Sept. 23. A high-level event on climate

TOKYO 00001931 004 OF 011

change is set for Sept. 22 in New York, and leaders will come to
give speeches on Sept. 24 at the annual United Nations General
Assembly (UNGA). If the current coalition is unseated in the Aug. 30
House of Representatives election, it will be the first summit
meeting with the U.S. under a Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)

Prime Minister Taro Aso took part in the UN assembly last year. DPJ
President Yukio Hatoyama has indicated his eagerness to attend UNGA
if he becomes the premier. On the assumption of Hatoyama visiting
the U.S., the two governments are pushing ahead with arrangements.

Arrangements are being made for President Barack Obama to visit
Japan before or after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
summit meeting in Singapore on Nov. 14-15. But the two governments
have judged it necessary for their leaders to meet before Obama's
first visit to Japan.

5) Ambassador Roos arrives early to assume duties, anticipating
post-election bilateral diplomacy

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
August 21, 2009

U.S. diplomacy toward Japan was launched on Aug. 20 in anticipation
of the political situation after the House of Representatives
election. Newly appointed U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos visited
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) soon after presenting his
credentials in order to convey the Obama administration's stance of
attaching importance to Japan. With a change of administration
increasingly becoming a real possibility in Japan, coordination
between the two countries on such tough issues as U.S. military
bases and the war on terror undoubtedly will be a challenge. The new
Japanese administration will be under pressure to respond quickly.

Receiving a courtesy call from Roos, Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji
Yabunaka was all smiles. He extended the Japanese government's
welcome repeatedly and told the Ambassador: "This is the first time
(that an ambassador) has presented his credentials to the Emperor
only one day after arriving."

Unusual speed

Normally, the U.S. ambassador to Japan would present his credentials
two or three days after arriving in Japan, at the earliest. It is
unusual to do so after only one day. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo
Kawamura, who was present at Roos's presentation of his credentials
at the Imperial Palace, told him, "President Obama has sent the
person he trusts the most." Kawamura wanted to convey Japan's sense
of expectation immediately to Roos, who is close to President Obama,
in order to promote smooth relations with the U.S. administration.
However, it has been the U.S. side that has taken proactive steps.

It is unusual for an American ambassador to arrive in Japan less
than two weeks after being confirmed by the Senate. A senior MOFA
official explained, "This is because the Ambassador wants to begin
to perform his duties as soon as possible in anticipation of the
situation after the election." The presentation of credentials on
August 20 was a result of coordination efforts by MOFA with the
Imperial Household Agency on scheduling at the United States'

TOKYO 00001931 005 OF 011

Possibility of a Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) administration
taken into account

The new ambassador is scheduled to make a courtesy call on Prime
Minister Taro Aso on August 25, but a source connected to Japan-U.S.
relations noted, "The key meeting will be the one with DPJ President
Yukio Hatoyama." The foreign policy of a DPJ administration is an
unknown factor for the U.S., and the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo has been
inquiring discreetly with the DPJ about a meeting between Roos and
Hatoyama at an early date.

While the DPJ has begun to grope for a more pragmatic foreign policy
line lately, Washington remains concerned about what that policy
will be after the Lower House election. It is obviously eager to lay
the groundwork as quickly as possible.

However, the DPJ wants to postpone the meeting between Hatoyama and
Roos until a certain time after the election. This is because if
differences emerge between them at this point, there will be growing
concerns about bilateral relations in the future.

Regardless of whether there will be a change of administration,
pending issues between Japan and the U.S. will come to a head in
September. The refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and nuclear
deterrence in light of the situation on the Korean peninsula may be
included in the agenda of the Japan-U.S. summit expected to take
place on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly and the G-20
financial summit in late September. Coordination with the local
authorities on Futenma relocation in Okinawa will also enter the
final phase. Japan-U.S. diplomacy will be put to the test

Roos told Yabunaka at their meeting, "President Obama told me
clearly that I will have a major role to play," conveying his great
enthusiasm for diplomacy with Japan.

6) New U.S. Ambassador to Japan Roos meets Vice Foreign Minister

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 21, 2009

New U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos met Administrative Vice
Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka at the Foreign Ministry yesterday
morning, a day after his arrival in Japan. Roos said: "Before
leaving for Japan, I met President Barack Obama, and we confirmed
the importance of strengthening Japan-U.S. relations." Taking up
Roos's schedule of being received by Emperor Akihito to present his
credentials within 24 hours of his arrival, Yabunaka said: "This
shows how close our relations are."

The new ambassador began his official duties after he presented his
credential to the Emperor.

7) New U.S. Ambassador to Japan Roos to appoint former Department of
Defense official, State Department official as assistants

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 21) (Full)
August 21, 2009

It was learned on August 20 that the new U.S. ambassador to Japan,
John Roos, who has just arrived will appoint a former Department of

TOKYO 00001931 006 OF 011

Defense Japan desk chief and another official as his assistants.
These appointees are expected to advice the Ambassador, who is a
lawyer specializing in corporate M&A (mergers and acquisitions) and
who has no experience at all in military affairs and security.

The above was revealed by a source on Japan-U.S. relations.

The appointees for the ambassador's assistants are Suzanne Basalla,
former Department of Defense senior country director for Japan, and
Department of State official Matt Ford.

Basalla formerly served in the U.S. Navy and is an expert on Japan
who has studied at the Keio University. She was involved with U.S.
Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment, setting common strategic goals to
strengthen the Japan-U.S. alliance, and the discussions on reviewing
the roles and duties of the Self-Defense Forces and the USFJ, among
other things.

8) Presidential election takes place in tense Afghanistan

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2009

In Afghanistan, a presidential election was carried out on Aug. 20
and vote-counting started nationwide. The Aug. 20 poll, the second
in the country since the Taliban regime collapsed in 2001, is a
critical barometer for forecasting Afghanistan's future. Polling
stations were not even set up in the south where terrorist attacks
occurred and the Taliban's grip is strong. The legitimacy of the new
administration to be launched after the election might be called
into question. The United States and Japan, which have been
supporting Afghanistan, will likely find it difficult to deal with
the situation.

A challenge for Japan's new administration

Kei Ukai, Nao Fujina

The Japanese government is expecting that the Aug. 20 election will
result in a strong and highly popular administration in Afghanistan.
The Japanese special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, who visited
Kabul in late July, told major candidates, such as Hamid Karzai,
that it is important to carry out the presidential election in a
fair manner and establish a legitimate government as a result.

This reflects the Foreign Ministry's view of the current situation
in Afghanistan that the dividend on its investment has been small.
Japan has provided 1.79 billion dollars (169.1 billion yen) in aid
to Afghanistan since 2001 - the third largest after the United
States and Britain. Corruption is rampant in Afghanistan and if the
security situation deteriorates further, Japan's aid might be for

The new Japanese administration to be established after the Aug. 30
election will have to deal with the current situation facing the new
Afghan administration. With the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
marching toward taking the reins of government, how the new Japanese
administration will handle the question of support for Afghanistan
as a symbol of the war on terrorism is attracting much attention.

One of the focuses is the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean. DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has

TOKYO 00001931 007 OF 011

indicated that he is not considering simply extending the mission
beyond the law's expiry next January. At the same time, in
consideration of Japan's relationship with Untied States, he has
underlined the need to provide assistance that would be please the
Afghan people.

But realizing a counterproposal is not easy. The party is looking
for ways to hold an international conference on peace in Afghanistan
under a DPJ administration.


9) Poll: DPJ likely to win overwhelming victory

NIKKEI (Top play) (Abridged)
August 21, 2009

Ahead of the 45th general election set to be held Aug. 30 for the
House of Representatives, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun conducted a
nationwide public opinion survey to probe the situation. The Diet's
lower chamber has a total of 480 seats. The Democratic Party of
Japan has now locked on a majority (241 seats) and is likely to
garner more than 300 seats. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic Party
is slightly under 100 seats and is likely to lose more than half of
its pre-election 300 seats. Chances are strong that the DPJ will
take the reins of government with its overwhelming victory.

The survey targeted a total of about 210,000 voters across the
nation, and valid answers were obtained from about 110,000 voters.
Face-to-face interviews were also held with voters to find out
public trends. However, 24% in 300 single-seat constituencies and
17% in proportional representation blocs for 180 seats remain
undecided. Given this fact, there are still fluid factors.

The DPJ is now almost certain to garner nearly 200 seats in
single-seat constituencies. Furthermore, the DPJ is likely to gain
40 more seats or so. The DPJ is leading not only in big cities but
also in rural districts. For proportional representation, the DPJ is
certain to get 90 seats. The DPJ has almost secured a total of about
290 seats in single-seat constituencies and in proportional
representation blocs.

The LDP is shaky. In single-seat constituencies, the LDP is certain
to garner slightly under 30 seats and is likely to get a little over
20 seats. In nearly 40 single-seat districts, the LDP could gain
additional seats but is facing an uphill battle against the DPJ. For
proportional representation, the LDP is now certain to garner more
than 40 seats but has yet to reach 50 seats. On the whole, the LDP
is certain to garner about 70 seats. Even when including seats that
the LDP is likely to win, the total number will be slightly under
100. Even if the LDP wins all uphill battles, its total holding will
remain on the 130 range.

10) Poll: DPJ likely to garner over 300 seats

YOMIURI (Top play) (Abridged)
August 21, 2009

Ahead of the 45th general election set to be held Aug. 30 for the
House of Representatives, the Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a public
opinion survey over a period of three days from Aug. 18 through Aug.
20 to probe the situation in the initial phase of campaign battles.

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For the survey, a total of 110,000 persons were chosen from among
the nation's voting population. The Democratic Party of Japan is
overwhelming the Liberal Democratic Party both in single-seat
constituencies and in proportional representation blocs. The DPJ is
now certain to secure a majority of the seats and is even likely to
garner more than 300 seats. The LDP is falling behind the DPJ not
only in urban districts but also in traditionally conservative rural
districts. The LDP is expected to sustain a sharp decrease in its
pre-election holding of 300 seats. The New Komeito is facing an
uphill battle while being unable to lock on its pre-election holding
of seats. Meanwhile, undecided voters still account for 20% or so
both in single-seat constituencies and in proportional
representation blocs. The situation could change toward the final

89% interested in election

In the survey, a total of 89% answered that they were interested in
the upcoming general election for the Diet's lower chamber, broken
down into 59% saying they are "very interested" and 30% saying they
are "somewhat interested." The figure is an all-time high under the
current single-seat constituency and proportional representation
system that was introduced in 1996.

Those "interested" in the general election accounted for 60% in
1996. However, their proportion increased to 71% in 2000 and to 76%
in 2003. The last general election was held in 2005, and the focus
of that election was on the question of whether to privatize
state-run postal services. At that time, the figure jumped to 86%.
This time, the figure is even higher, clearly indicating that the
upcoming general election is drawing extremely high public

11) Poll: 54% "very interested" in general election

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 21, 2009

Ahead of Aug. 30's general election for the House of
Representatives, the Asahi Shimbun conducted a public opinion survey
on Aug. 18-19 along with a survey that probed the situation in the
initial stages of campaign battles. In the survey, 54% of
respondents answered that they were "very interested" in the
upcoming election. This figure is on a par with the one that was
shown in a survey conducted when the House of Representatives was
dissolved over the privatization of state-run postal services and
the public showed high interest in that election. The figure shown
this time can be taken as reflecting the public's high interest.
"Somewhat interested" accounted for 37% (38% in the 2005 survey),
and "not interested" at 9% (7% in the 2005 survey).

In the survey, respondents were asked which political party they
would vote for in their proportional representation blocs. Among
those "very interested" in the upcoming general election, 24% of
those who answered this question chose the Liberal Democratic Party,
while 57% of them opted for the Democratic Party of Japan. In the
2005 survey, 47% chose the LDP, with 33% preferring the DPJ.

In the meantime, respondents were also asked if they thought Japan's
politics would "move in a good direction" if there is a change of
government. To this question, 24% answered "yes," with 56% saying it
would "remain unchanged" and 8% saying it would "move in a bad

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direction." Even among those who said they would vote for the DPJ in
their proportional representation blocs, "good direction" accounted
for 41%, with "remain unchanged" at 46%.


12) New Komeito, small opposition parties wary about DPJ's sweeping
the board in upcoming general election

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2009

A senior New Komeito member yesterday expressed a sense of alarm,

"While all eyes are now being focused on which the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) or Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) voters
will choose the party that they feel should hold the political helm,
the New Komeito is gradually being positioned as one of other
parties. So, we will make our policy appeal to voters in public
debates and other occasions."

Although the New Komeito aims to retain its Lower House seats by
intense cooperation with the LDP, it has been suffering an adverse
wind. It plans to boost its campaigning in the final stage, counting
on wins similar to those in the July Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly

Small opposition parties are worried that attention is being focused
on only the DPJ taking over the reins of government. While giving
priority to retaining its proportional representation seats, the
Social Democratic Party (SDP) intends to highlight differences
between it and the DPJ.

A senior People's New Party member said: "I see a favorable
political wind blowing only for the DPJ." The likelihood of a DPJ
victory is not preventing SDP and PNP candidates, whom the DPJ are
supporting, from giving up fielding its own candidates in certain

The DPJ plans to form a coalition government in cooperation of the
SDP and PNP regardless of how many seats it wins. This is because it
does not hold a single-party majority in the House of Councillors.
"If the DPJ wins big, it will not give much consideration to voices
of the SDP and PNP" (senior member).

13) Ex-Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura says DPJ is

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 21, 2009

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura's remarks at a
meeting in Aoba Ward, Sendai City: "I think it (the Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ)) is essentially a socialist political party. The
party's members obey everything the Japan Teachers' Union says and
will spend money recklessly they has the money. They do not think
about investing for the future. Japan will sink if we hand the
administration over to such an irresponsible party."

14) DPJ Vice President Maehara calls for assertiveness in dealing
with U.S.

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MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 21, 2009

Remarks by Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Vice President Seiji
Maehara during a stump speech in Yokohama City: "Prime Minister Taro
Aso says that the DPJ's foreign and security policy is incoherent,
but the foreign policy of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)
consists only of soliciting America's wishes. The DPJ will get along
with the United States and will establish policies that enable Japan
to assert itself firmly for its national interests when warranted."

15) JCP Chairman Shii calls for learning from the U.S.

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 21, 2009

Remarks by Chairman Kazuo Shii of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP)
during a stump speech in Sapporo City: "The Obama administration has
increased taxes on big companies and rich people by 120 trillion
yen. It is using this money to fund tax cuts for the common folks
and to rebuild the health insurance system. Isn't that impressive?
We should also learn from the good things that America does."

16) Yosano denies rumor that he is hospitalized

SANKEI (Page 20) (Excerpts)
August 21, 2009

Kaoru Yosano, a candidate on the Liberal Democratic Party's ticket
running for the Tokyo No. 1 district in the House of Representatives
election, felt lightheaded on Aug. 18 when the official campaign for
the Aug. 30 general election kicked off. On Aug. 20, Yosana held an
emergency press conference at his election office in Yotsuya,
Shinjuku Ward, in order to quash the rumor that he had been
hospitalized. He said that he had been put on an IV at a hospital
after the ceremony at the start of the official campaigning that
day. He then stressed that he is giving stumping speeches since

Yosano held the press meeting because his office was receiving many
inquiries about the rumor about his hospitalization.

17) JCG to request 32 billion yen for building large patrol vessel

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 21, 2009

The Japan Coast Guard (JCG) decided has decided to include 32
billion yen for the construction of a large ocean-going patrol
vessel in its fiscal 2010 budgetary request to be submitted to the
Finance Ministry on Aug. 31. The JCG gave up dispatching its patrol
boat Shikishima to waters off Somalia on an antipiracy mission,
saying the vessel is unfit for long-term activities. As a result,
Self-Defense Force vessels have been dispatched. The construction of
a large ocean-going vessel will enable the JCG to carry out
long-term activities.

The Shikishima (6,500 ton, 150 meters) is equipped with 35-mm and
20-mm multiple-launch systems and carries two high-speed boats and
two helicopters. The vessel is designed to allow its crew to
continue their operations even if it is attacked with rockets by

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pirates. It was commissioned in 1992 for escorting vessels carrying

The vessel the JCP is going to request will be on the
Shikishima-class, which is one of the largest in the world. The
vessel will be constructed in four years.

The JCG originally had not planned to build a Shikishima-class
vessel because of the need to give high priority to the question of
its old vessels.

But the JCG has shifted its policy direction after its passive
stance of not requesting an extra budget for building an ocean-going
patrol vessel fit for an antipiracy mission had been grilled at the

The JCG presented the following factors for the need to building the
new vessel: (1) an increase in escorts of vessels carrying MOX, or
plutonium-uranium mixed oxide fuel, that started in May this year;
(2) expanded oceanic areas requiring security due to greater
continental shelves with abundant marine resources; and (3)
increasing and improving security in remote territorial waters, such
as the Senkaku and Okinotori islands.

18) Government's guidelines on investment in overseas agriculture
for food security seeks "transparency in contracts"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 21, 2009

The government conference on August 20 on promotion of investment in
overseas agriculture released guidelines for overseas investment for
promoting food security. The guidelines set action principles for
investment by private-sector firms in overseas agriculture.

Besides the need for investors to take into consideration the food
situation in the recipient countries and sustainable agricultural
production, the guidelines seek (1) transparency in contracts, (2)
compliance with the law, and (3) consideration for residents and the

There is growing criticism of investments as "plundering of
farmland" mainly in developing countries. With such criticism in
mind, at the international conference on investment in agriculture
to be held in the U.S. in September the government will call on the
global community to formulate similar action principles.

The guidelines incorporate promotion of appropriate investment in
agriculture in the belief this contributes to enhancing food
security. The government will set up a comprehensive support office
in the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry
and Fisheries. The guidelines also suggest that the government
should assist companies by using public financial institutions, such
as the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), and its
official development assistance (ODA) program.


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