Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/27/09
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1968/01 2390045
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 270045Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5745
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8440
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6108
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 9917
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3520
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6621
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0648
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7311
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6937
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 13 TOKYO 001968
DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA
SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 08/27/09
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
4) Ambassador Roos pays courtesy call on Foreign Minister Nakasone,
says feels the important responsibility that goes with his position
5) Roos, Nakasone discuss full range of topics: roadmap for U.S.
force realignment, North Korea and China issues, Pakistan and Afghan
aid, and climate change (Yomiuri)
6) Foreign Ministry spokesman in press conference refuses to concede
on demand to disclose "secret nuclear pact" between U.S. and Japan
7) Foreign Ministry allows former director general to testify in
court case on the alleged secret nuclear agreement between U.S. and
8) DPJ President Hatoyama, after he becomes prime minister, will
give speech at UN on eliminating nuclear weapons, lining himself up
with President Obama (Sankei)
9) Asahi poll of voters in all 300 single-seat districts shows that
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) will drop to about 100 seats (Asahi)
10) DPJ's 3-staged schedule after election victory: New cabinet
before G-20 summit; politically-led bills during extra Diet, budget
compiled during regular Diet (Nikkei)
11) DPJ Secretary General Okada urges former farm minister Kano to
join the Hatoyama cabinet (Mainichi)
12) LDP having hard time picking likely candidates to succeed Prime
Minister (LDP President) Aso (Tokyo Shimbun)
13) DPJ plans the National Strategy Bureau to be the top cabinet
14) DPJ will let cabinet ministers appoint senior vice ministers for
each ministry (Sankei)
15) DPJ to greatly increase number of prime ministerial secretaries
16) Special Diet session to be convened on Sept. 15 (Sankei)
17) NPO survey of Japan-China relations indicates that "official
ties are hot but private sector ones are cool" (Mainichi)
18) LDP even if it holds on to its majority will not have the leeway
to pass a second supplementary budget this year (Nikkei)
19) Economy improving with the exception of Okinawa (Tokyo
20) (Corrected) Symposium on "Obama administration and Japan-U.S.
1) TOP HEADLINES
TOKYO 00001968 002 OF 013
DPJ may win 320 Lower House seats, LDP likely to drop to around 100
New-flu group infection continues to rise for fourth consecutive
DPJ plans to substantially increase number of secretaries to prime
Mitsukoshi eyes slashing 1,000 full-time jobs in FY 2009
"Prime minister Hatoyama" plans to call for elimination of nuclear
weapons in UN speech, resonating with President Obama
Metropolitan Police Department study group proposes volunteer
activities to rehabilitate shoplifters
Support for JCP on rise in ongoing Lower House election campaigning
(1) 2009 general election: New administration must swiftly begin
discussing consumption tax hike
(2) Child abuse increasing: Solid social system necessary
(1) Bernanke reappointed as Fed chairman
(2) Ex-NOVA president gets prison sentence: Consumers need solid
(1) New regulatory system needed for airwaves
(2) Bernanke reappointed to bring stability to market
(1) 2009 Lower House election: Political parties must clearly
present how they will reform tax system
(2) National review of Supreme Court justices must carry more
(1) Lower House election: Question of granting local voting rights
to permanent foreign residents requires more attention
(2) Japan-U.S. FTA: Issue of rice exports needs innovative ideas
(1) 2009 Lower House election: Ways to establish Japan-U.S.-China
relations must be discussed
(2) Police officer arrested over hit-and-run, suspected of driving
under influence of alcohol
(1) 2009 Lower House election: JCP is constructive opposition party
that can move politics forward
TOKYO 00001968 003 OF 013
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, August 26
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2009
08:28 Departed JR Tokyo Station on Hikari 505.
09:59 Arrived at JR Toyohashi Station in Toyohashi City, Aichi
Prefecture. Delivered speech in front of Toyohashi Station.
10:46 Left Toyohashi on Kodama 639. Met former Prime Minister Abe on
10:59 Arrived at JR Mikawa-Anjo Station in Anjo City.
11:55- Delivered speeches in Anjo and Okazaki cities.
12:50 Met his secretary at udon (Japanese noodles) shop.
14:31 Delivered speech in Tajimi City, Gifu Prefecture.
15:49 Visited LDP candidate's election office in Kakamigahara City,
16:32 Delivered speech in Gifu City.
18:21 Visited LDP candidate's election office in Hikone City, Shiga
19:21 Delivered speech in Kusatsu City, Shiga Prefecture.
19:58 Visited LDP candidate's election office in Otsu City.
21:09 Stayed at Rihgfa Royal Hotel in Osaka City.
4) New U.S. envoy pays courtesy call on foreign minister
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2009
Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone met with new U.S. Ambassador to
Japan Roos yesterday for about 25 minutes at the Foreign Ministry.
In the meeting, Nakasone stressed, "You enjoy the deep confidence of
President Obama as a bridge between Japan and the United States, so
it's good to have you here." Roos said, "I feel my special,
important responsibility for strengthening our alliance." The new
U.S. envoy also showed his willingness to cooperate in responding to
North Korea and dealing with such issues as climate change.
5) Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone meets Ambassador Roos
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2009
Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone met with U.S. Ambassador to Japan
John Roos at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 26. He told
Roos that Japan wants to "strengthen a multi-tiered Japan-U.S.
alliance and implement the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan
steadily based on the road map."
He further cited the situation in Asia and the Pacific, including
North Korea and China, aid for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and climate
change as areas for "promoting Japan-U.S. cooperation."
The Ambassador responded with: "Close Japan-U.S. collaboration is
indispensable for dealing with the North Korean situation. We also
would like to cooperate on global issues, such as climate change."
6) Foreign Ministry mum about its request to classify secret nuclear
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
TOKYO 00001968 004 OF 013
August 27, 2009
In connection with the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty revised in 1960,
the Japanese government asked the United States to classify its
archives related to their "secret deal" over nuclear introduction
into Japan. On this issue, Foreign Ministry Press Secretary Kazuo
Kodama met the press yesterday and said: "About give-and-take with
the U.S. government, we would like to abstain from answering
questions, including the one about whether there was such, in
consideration of our relationship of mutual trust with the U.S.
In the meantime, former Foreign Ministry American Affairs Bureau
Director General Bunroku Yoshino, who was involved in negotiations
with the U.S. government when the secret agreement was reached along
with the reversion of Okinawa, has now made up his mind to appear in
court to testify in a lawsuit instituted against the government for
information disclosure. In this regard, Nakasone went no further
than to say: "If there is a request from the court, then we will
respond to the case under laws, including the Code of Civil
Procedure (that requires the government's approval when its former
official is summoned to testify over professional secrets)."
7) Foreign Ministry to approve appearance of former bureau chief in
court over secret nuclear pact, with eye on change of government
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2009
The Foreign Ministry decided yesterday to approve of the appearance
of former American Bureau director general Bunroku Yoshino as a
witness in a suit calling for information disclosure over secret
documents considered to be exchanged between the governments of
Japan and the U.S. when Okinawa was returned to Japan. Yoshino was
in charge of negotiations with the U.S. government for Okinawa's
reversion. The ministry has judged there is no need to decline his
appearance in court, focusing on his submission of a written
statement acknowledging the existence of the secret agreement. It
has been decided that Yoshio will testify in court in December.
When a civil servant or a former civil servant appears in court,
approval of the ministry to which the person belongs or belonged to
is required under the Civil Proceedings Law. Observers conjecture
that the Foreign Ministry in making a judgment took into
consideration the Democratic Party of Japan's campaign pledge to
investigate the secret pact issue if the party takes over the reins
of government after the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election.
Writer Hisae Sawachi and other 24 persons instituted the lawsuit.
8) Hatoyama to make speech on nuclear arms elimination at UN if he
becomes prime minister, echoing President Obama's call
SANKEI (Top play) (Full)
August 27, 2009
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama decided on
August 26 that if he becomes prime minister, he will appeal to the
world to eliminate all nuclear weapons in his speech to the UN
General Assembly (UNGA) in New York in late September. The speech
will emphasize that this is "in consonance" with U.S. President
Barack Obama's call for "a world without nuclear weapons." It will
underscore the fact that the leaders of Japan, the only
TOKYO 00001968 005 OF 013
atomic-bombed nation, and the United States, the only country that
has ever used nuclear weapons, are working hand in hand for the
eradication of nuclear arms.
Hatoyama regards his speech at the general debate in the UN General
Assembly opening on September 23 as his diplomatic debut and has
begun drafting the speech. He will use such expressions as "take the
lead in the eradication of nuclear arms together with President
Obama," "coexistence with the earth environment," and "future of
human society." However, it would be interesting to see how he will
reconcile his speech on nuclear arms eradication with Japan's
defense policy since North Korea is proceeding with nuclear
armament, and U.S. nuclear deterrence remains the mainstay of
Hatoyama is making the speech on the elimination of nuclear weapons
at the UNGA to highlight the DPJ's pledge to build a "close and
equal Japan-U.S. relationship" in its manifesto (campaign pledges)
by working in parallel with President Obama. He has praised the
President's initiative repeatedly and said that, "Japan should keep
ahead of President Obama, who has made a speech on the eradication
of nuclear arms."
With a possible formation of a coalition government with the Social
Democratic Party in mind, Hatoyama may also want to use the nuclear
arms eradication speech to give impetus to such a coalition
Meanwhile, coordination is underway for Hatoyama to hold his first
summit meeting with President Obama on September 23 while he is in
During a discussion on the three non-nuclear principles on a TV
program on August 23, Hatoyama has stated that he would ask the
President to make a firm commitment not to introduce nuclear weapons
into Japan at the Japan-U.S. summit.
However, there is an opinion that "it would be difficult to demand
such a commitment at the first summit meeting which will also
confirm the strengthening of the bilateral alliance." (senior
Ministry of Foreign Affairs official). It is possible that serious
discussions on the nuclear umbrella will have to wait until the
President's visit to Japan, expected in November.
Hatoyama is also considering holding summit meetings with Chinese
President Hu Jintao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak.
9) DPJ may garner 320 seats, LDP plunging to around 100
ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
August 27, 2009
The campaign for the general election is now in full swing. The
Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based survey of voters on Aug.
22-25 in the nation's 300 single-seat constituencies to look into
the situation including findings from interviews with local voters.
According to its results, the Democratic Party of Japan has a strong
advantage across the nation. The DPJ is now likely to garner more
than 320 seats, which account for two thirds of the seats in the
House of Representatives and are needed to override the House of
Councillors' decision in a second vote. Meanwhile, the Liberal
Democratic Party is now certain to suffer a crushing defeat. The LDP
is expected to plunge, possibly down to around 100 seats. The New
TOKYO 00001968 006 OF 013
Komeito party is facing an uphill battle in single-seat
constituencies and will likely be at the level of 20 seats. The
Japanese Communist Party is almost at the same level as its
pre-election holding in proportional representation blocs. The
Social Democratic Party is performing well in single-seat
When the survey was conducted, nearly 40 PERCENT of voters in the
nation's single-seat constituencies and nearly 30 PERCENT in the
proportional representation blocs did not clarify their voting
attitudes. The situation could therefore change as the campaign
battle nears its final stages.
The DPJ has maintained the momentum in its campaign battle from an
early stage. In single-seat constituencies, the DPJ could jump to
more than 220 seats from its pre-election holding of 52 seats, and
is even likely to garner nearly 240 seats.
For proportional representation as well, the DPJ is likely to win
many more seats in all 11 blocs. Judging from the survey results,
the DPJ is expected to get 1-5 more seats in each of the nation's
proportional representation blocs, possibly reaching a total of 90
or more seats (61 in the last general election).
Meanwhile, the LDP is leading in only 18 single-seat constituencies
and leading slightly in only six constituencies. As it stands, the
LDP is now facing an tougher uphill battle than ever before.
10) DPJ plans to address tasks in three stages - special,
extraordinary and regular Diet sessions
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 27, 2009
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has started work to set the
Diet's schedule, assuming that it will be taking over the reins of
government after the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election. If a
change of government actually takes place, the party intends to hold
a special Diet session for a minimum period of time, placing just
the nomination of the prime minister and limited issues on the Diet
agenda. It will address such key issues as legislation to setting up
a scheme for politically-led government in an extraordinary Diet
session probably to be held in October. The party also hopes to
compile a fiscal 2010 budget bill simultaneously with a review of
the supplementary budget bill for this fiscal year, on the premise
of enacting the budget bill later this year. The DPJ intends to
tackle tasks in three stages: the special session, the extraordinary
session, and a regular session to be convened in January.
It is uncertain to what extent pending issues will be disposed of
during the four months until the end of the year.
DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has indicated his willingness to attend
the United Nations' annual General Assembly and a Group of 20 (G-20)
summit meeting (financial summit) in the U.S. in late September if
his party sizes political power. To do so, it is necessary to
complete the formation of his cabinet by Sept. 18.
The DPJ expects to end the special session promptly after the Diet
takes a vote on nomination of premier and choose Lower House speaker
and deputy speaker, as well as standing committee chairmen. The
party is willing to secure enough time to draw out bills to be
TOKYO 00001968 007 OF 013
submitted to the extraordinary Diet session possibly in October.
The DPJ plans to set up a national strategy bureau tasked with
budgetary compilation and an administrative renovation conference
tasked with looking into wasteful administrative works under a
government ordinance or the prime minister's instruction immediately
after the launch of a new government. The party intends to submit a
bill to grant authority to them in the extraordinary Diet session.
In the regular Diet session next year, the party intends to make
utmost efforts to enact the fiscal 2010 budget that would reflect
its policy imprint at an early date. Its campaign manifesto for the
upcoming election sets the total revenue source needed to finance
its own policy measures at 7.1 trillion yen. The party will have to
squeeze out the money by cancelling some measures in the extra
budget for this fiscal year or reducing their costs.
A senior officer of an economic government agency said: "It would be
rational and commonsense to compile a reduced supplementary budget
bill and a budget bill for next fiscal year simultaneously." If the
government submits the reduced extra budget bill in the
extraordinary Diet session in the fall, the compilation of the 2010
budget bill could be hindered and might not be completed this year.
Some party members suggest that the bill for a politicians-led
scheme also should not be discussed in the extraordinary session,
When the LDP lost power in 1993, the subsequent coalition government
convened a special session with the aim of ending it within a short
term. But the Liberal Democratic Party as an opposition party
launched an offensive and even a question-and-answer session and a
policy speech by the prime minister were carried out during this
session. As a result, the session lasted for about three weeks. Due
to such elements as diplomatic events and haggling among political
parties, the DPJ's Diet timetable is still very fluid.
11) Okada urges Kano to join cabinet under DPJ administration
MAINICHI (Page5) (Full)
August 27, 2009
Katsuya Okada, secretary general of the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ), meeting the press in Yamagata City yesterday, expressed hope
that Michihiko Kano, a former agriculture, forestry, and fisheries
minister who is running in the Yamagata 1st district, will join a
DPJ cabinet. Okada said, "When a DPJ administration is launched, I
want to see him play a central role in it." Kano has been Okada's
close friend since they left the Liberal Democratic Party.
12) LDP presidential race faces difficult challenges
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 27, 2009
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is now facing many challenges in
holding its presidential election in September, with it falling into
the opposition camp having become a real possibility. One of the
TOKYO 00001968 008 OF 013
reasons is because it seems that the LDP will not have enough time
to carry out a presidential race because of a special Diet session
in which the prime minister will be decided will takes place as
early as the week of Sept. 14. The LDP also will likely is perplexed
about how to carry out a vote of party members. Moreover, the party
is worried that those lawmakers expected to be successor candidates
to Prime Minister Taro Aso, are themselves facing uphill battles in
the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election.
Since Aso's term for the LDP president will expire Sept. 30, the
party will have to hold a leadership race regardless of the outcome
of the Lower House election.
An LDP presidential election provision stipulates that the party
must announce a schedule for a presidential election one month
before the term of the presidency expires. However, the LDP will
likely decide on an election date before September.
In addition, since the next prime minister is expected to attend the
UN General Assembly starting on Sept. 23, the special Diet session
will likely convene during the week of the 14th. If the LDP loses
the general election, it will be forced to elect as quickly as
possible a new president, for whom LDP Diet members vote in the
election to nominate the prime minister.
Many in the LDP don't know who will win the presidential election.
LDP members, including faction chiefs, Finance Minister Kaoru
Yosano, and former Defense Minister Yuriko Koike, who have their
eyes on the LDP presidency, are facing uphill battles in their own
If the LDP drops from its current 300 seats to around 100 as the
Tokyo Shimbun and other newspapers predict, it will likely be
difficult for the party to collect 20 recommendations necessary to
nominate a candidate for prime minister.
It is said that in order to hold an election of party members, it
takes one to two weeks for the process of making a list of
candidates. So, it will likely be difficult for the LDP to elect a
new president before the special Diet session convenes.
13) National strategy bureau: Chairman is to be characterized as
most important cabinet minister
MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
August 27, 2009
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has formulated an outline for a
national strategy bureau, which will directly report to the prime
minister in the event it takes the reins of government after the
Lower House election. The envisioned bureau will be responsible for
laying down the nation's basic policy lines and budget outlines. A
cabinet minister will serve as the chairman of the bureau on a
full-time basis. The chairman will be characterized as one of the
most important cabinet ministers. The membership of the national
strategy bureau will consist of 30 persons, including lawmakers,
experts from the private sector, and bureaucrats responsible for
various policies. Once the bureau is launched, the present advisory
organs reporting to the prime minister on various policies,
including the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, will be put to
a standstill. A drastic review of those organs, including the
possibility of abolishing them, will be conducted.
TOKYO 00001968 009 OF 013
The DPJ has explained that it will set up the national strategic
bureau in order to realize a complete revision of the budget under
the initiative of politicians, by taking a second look at the
existing budgets drafted, based on bureaucratic sectionalism. The
bureau will take the lead in the work of completely revising the
national budget totaling 207 trillion yen in order to secure funding
sources for the policies included in its manifesto, such as the
introduction of child allowance and toll-free highways, which will
cost 16.8 trillion yen in fiscal 2013.
Since it will take time to make the envisaged bureau an official
government organization through an amendment to the National
Government Organization Law, the DPJ will launch it at the first
cabinet meeting as an arbitrary organization reporting directly to
the prime minister. The chairman of the bureau will likely double as
the chairman of the party's policy research council so as to unify
the policy-setting functions of the government and the party. Since
the post is tasked with controlling key policies, the DPJ is looking
into positioning the chairman above other key cabinet ministers,
giving the person the status of deputy premiership.
Party executive members, such as President Hatoyama and Secretary
General Katsuya Okada confirmed the outline of the bureau on the
23rd when they held a staff meeting at the party headquarters.
The DPJ will hold another meeting to narrow down the plan after
seeing election results on the 30th. Candidates for key ministerial
posts such as Hatoyama, key party officials, the national strategy
bureau chairman, and the chief cabinet secretary will meet on the
same day at the earliest to get started on work related to the
transition of power.
14) Cabinet ministers to appoint senior vice ministers and
parliamentary secretaries under DPJ administration
SANKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 27, 2009
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided on August 26 that if it
takes over the administration, the cabinet ministers appointed by
the prime minister will be responsible for appointing their senior
vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries. The minister, senior
vice minister, and the parliamentary secretary will constitute the
three top political leaders in each ministry. This is meant to
enhance cooperation among the three top leaders in the ministries
and strengthen political leadership in the management of the
Under the Liberal Democratic Party administration, senior vice
ministers and parliamentary secretaries were normally appointed
based on the recommendation of the factions, which was mostly in
accordance with seniority. There had been persistent criticism about
the lack of communication between the ministers and senior vice
ministers and parliamentary secretaries. Therefore, the DPJ has
judged that appointing senior vice ministers and parliamentary
secretaries who understand the ministers' policy will be better for
political leadership in steering the administration. It has thus
decided to let the ministers appoint their senior vice ministers and
A senior DPJ official says that "cooperation among the minister,
TOKYO 00001968 010 OF 013
senior vice minister, and parliamentary secretary is important for
facing off with bureaucrats." President Yukio Hatoyama will decide
on his appointees for cabinet ministers before the special Diet
session is convened, and the ministers will appoint their senior
vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries subsequently.
However, if DPJ Diet members are appointed as ministers, it is
unlikely that they will appoint members of the Social Democratic
Party (SDP) or People's New Party (PNP) as senior vice ministers and
parliamentary secretaries, and the two parties are expected to react
strongly to this. On the other hand, if SDP or PNP members become
ministers, they are likely to appoint senior vice ministers and
parliamentary secretaries from their own party, which gives rise to
concerns that individual ministries may reflect political party
15) DPJ plans to substantially increase number of secretaries to
YOMIURI (Top play) (Abridged slightly)
August 27, 2009
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to
dramatically increase the number of secretaries to the prime
minister and appoint them from the private sector in order to
strengthen lawmakers' decision-making power if it wins the upcoming
House of Representatives election. The DPJ plans to have members of
its envisaged national strategy bureau, which will be placed
directly under the control of the prime minister, concurrently serve
as secretaries to the prime minister. The party may increase the
number of secretaries to the prime minister, which is currently set
at six, by more than 20.
The party aims to have the envisaged bureau formulate the framework
of budgets and basic diplomatic policies under the leadership of
lawmakers rather than top civil servants. The members will include
academics and people from the private sector who have expertise in
diplomacy, public finance, economics or other fields, DPJ Policy
Research Committee officials, bureaucrats, and about 10 lawmakers.
The party plans to also make members of the bureau secretaries to
the prime minister to emphasize that the organization is under his
Currently the prime minister has six secretaries: one responsible
for parliamentary affairs, and five responsible for administrative
affairs who come from government ministries. The DPJ plans to revise
a Cabinet Law ordinance stipulating the number of secretaries to the
prime minister at an early stage after launching the new cabinet.
Although the party hopes to have some lawmakers serve concurrently
as secretaries to the prime minister, the Diet Law stipulates that
lawmakers can only take public servant posts such as cabinet
ministers and senior vice ministers. As such, the party will
continue discussing the matter with an amendment to the law in
The party will also consider amending the National Government
Organization Law that stipulates the number of senior vice ministers
and parliamentary secretaries with the aim of realizing its promise
of having about 100 lawmakers participate in the operations of the
government, as is stipulated in its manifesto (campaign pledges),
and the National Civil Service Law to expand politically appointed
TOKYO 00001968 011 OF 013
The party also plans to provide cabinet members with the authority
to appoint senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries with
the aim of establishing a decision-making system at ministries and
agencies that is led by lawmakers.
Under the Liberal Democratic Party-led government, the party's
leadership coordinated the appointments of such posts, taking into
account the balance of power among the factions and the number of
terms each politician has served. In contrast, the DPJ plans to
enhance cabinet ministers' power so that lawmakers can display
If the party wins the Aug. 30 election, it will set up a transition
team the following day to accelerate its efforts to produce concrete
plans for the new government, including personnel lineups.
16) Coordination under way for convening special Diet session on
SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 27, 2009
Yesterday the government and ruling parties began making plans for
convening a special Diet session on Sept. 15 after the House of
Representatives election. Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President
Yukio Hatoyama has expressed his intention to attend the UN General
Assembly in late September if his party seizes power. The government
and ruling coalition have taken his intention into consideration.
Because the special Diet session is expected to be held for only
several days, the new prime minister will likely deliver a policy
speech in the fall.
Article 54 of the Constitution stipulates that a special Diet
session be held within 30 days after a general election. Even if the
DPJ takes the reins of government, Prime Minister Taro Aso will
decide when to convene a special session. However, a high-level
government official said, "If the DPJ takes power, Aso will have to
listen to the DPJ's views."
If the DPJ wins the election, Hatoyama plans to attend a summit
meeting (Sept. 22) of the Framework Convention on Climate Change of
the UN General Assembly, which will start on Sept. 15, and deliver a
speech on Sept. 24. He also plans to attend a G-20 financial summit,
which will take place in Pittsburgh on Sept. 25-26.
Therefore, the DPJ hopes to inaugurate a new cabinet as early as
Sept. 18, by setting a short period for the special Diet session,
which is expected to convene on Sept. 15 for elections to choose the
new prime minister and new Lower House speaker. The new prime
minister is expected to fly immediately to the United States,
putting off a policy speech to an extraordinary session. In addition
to his diplomatic schedule, he would work on compiling a bill to
freeze the supplementary budget for fiscal 2009, as well as
compiling a budget for fiscal 2002.
17) Relations between Japan and China - hot between governments but
cool between private sectors, according to NPO survey
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged slightly)
August 29, 2009
TOKYO 00001968 012 OF 013
Joji Uramatsu, Beijing
Japan-China relations have shifted from "cool in political circles
but hot in business circles" to "hot between governments but cool
between private sectors." Genron NPO, a Japanese non-profit
organization represented by Yasushi Kudo and the China Daily,
China's English newspaper, released the results of a Japan-China
joint opinion poll on August 26. The survey results reveal the new
image of Japan-China relations.
Concerning current Japan-China relations, the proportion of Chinese
respondents who answered "very good" or "more or less good" totaled
71 percent, up 17 points from the previous survey. Fifteen percent
of respondents, up 2 points, on the Japanese side gave the same
answers. To a question about the impression of the other country,
65.2 percent of Chinese respondents said "not good" or "somewhat
bad." The proportion f Japanese pollees who gave the same answered
totaled 73.2 percent, almost the same figure as that of last year.
Kudo said: "Compared with relations between the governments,
national sentiments have not improved yet. It is now clear that the
two countries need to strengthen exchanges between people."
The poll was conducted from May through June this year. Responses
were obtained from 1,000 people in Japan and 1,589 in Beijing,
Shanghai, Xian, etc., in China.
18) LDP has no leeway to compile second extra budget
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 27, 2009
In its campaign for the upcoming House of Representatives election,
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has pledged to launch work to compile
a second supplementary budget for this fiscal year if the ruling
camp secures a majority. The party has judged it necessary to come
up with more economic stimulus measures in order to further buoy up
the economy, which has begun looking up recently. Given that the LDP
is waging an uphill battle, however, party executives have been
fully occupied with speechmaking in the campaign. There is no leeway
now to work out specific measures for a second extra budget.
19) Economy improves all over nation with exception of Okinawa
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
August 27, 2009
According to regional economic movements in August, released by the
Cabinet Office on August 26, among 11 regions throughout the nation,
the economy in 10 regions with the exception of Okinawa has improved
from the previous survey report released in May. The production of
autos and electronic parts have picked up with economic stimulus
measures, such as a tax break for those who purchased a green
vehicle, producing effect. The pace of a decline in personal
consumption has also slowed.
This is the first broad-based upward turn in the economy since the
recovery in May 2000. The improvement underscored the government's
announcement in June that the economy had bottomed out.
The word "deteriorated" has disappeared from the description of
TOKYO 00001968 013 OF 013
economic conditions in 10 regions, with the exception of Okinawa.
The best assessment, "moves for recovery are visible," was given to
the regional economies of Tohoku, Chugoku, Shikoku and Kyushu. The
assessment of the state of the economy in the Hokkaido, Tokai and
Kinki regions was that "the decline has stopped," followed by "the
decline is beginning to stop" for the Kita-Kanto, Minami-Kanto and
The word "deteriorating" has been kept in place for Okinawa. The
spread of the new H1Ni strain has adversely affected the region's
mainstay tourism industry.
The Shikoku region saw the greatest improvement in the economy,
which was revised upward from the previous "deteriorating rapidly."
Mining and manufacturing production has improved in 10 regions,
except for Okinawa.
However, seven regions saw different results in the improvement of
personal consumption. Sales of clothing in the Minami-Kanto, Tokai
and Hokuriku regions were sluggish. The assessment that "sales are
gradually dropping" was kept in place.
20) (Corrected) Symposium on "Obama administration and Japan-U.S.
ASAHI (Page 37) (Full)
August 25, 2009
Following the appointment of high-level officials in charge of Asian
affairs at the State and Defense Departments, John Roos, the new
U.S. Ambassador to Japan, has taken up his post, rounding out the
Obama administration's Japan policy team. President Barack Obama is
expected to visit Japan in November. In order to look ahead at the
Japan-U.S. relationship under the Obama administration, the Asahi
Shimbun will invite to a symposium Daniel Okimoto, an expert in
Japanese politics and economy and a professor emeritus at Stanford
University, who has close ties to Roos.
Date and time: Sept. 17 (Thursday) 14:30 - 17:00
Place: Hamarikyu Asahi Hall in Tsukiji, Tokyo
Moderator: Yoichi Funabashi, chief editor of Asahi Shimbun
Application: Asahi com symposium page (http://www.asahi.com/sympo/)
Free of charge
Maximum capacity: 120 (simultaneous Japanese-English interpretation
Closing date: Sept. 4
If there are more applicants than seats, applicants will be chosen
by lottery. Applicants will be informed of the lottery results by