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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/28/09

DE RUEHKO #1983/01 2392354
P 272354Z AUG 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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

Election predictions:
4) Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) heading for a landslide victory
in Yomiuri survey of local voter attitudes (Yomiuri)
5) DPJ holding its momentum in Mainichi poll, with 44 PERCENT of
voters favoring that party in the proportional races and 33 PERCENT
wanting Hatoyama as prime minister (Mainichi)
6) Asahi poll indicates turnout rate may be higher than previous
election (Asahi)
7) Kyodo poll finds support rate for DPJ in proportional races
double that for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) (Tokyo Shimbun)

Nikkei survey reveals that nearly 70 PERCENT of electorate have
made up their minds on their voting choices (Nikkei)

Campaign in last stage:
8) New Komeito campaigning fiercely, worried it may fall together
with its coalition partner, the LDP (Nikkei)
9) DPJ's Ichiro Ozawa may end up with 120 lawmakers in his "faction"
after the Lower House election (Sankei)
10) Commentator Jitsuro Terashima to be prime minister's secretary
and advisor when friend Hatoyama is in office (Sankei)

11) DPJ to postpone final compilation of the National Defense
Program Guidelines, creating havoc in the budget compilation process

12) "Prime Minister" Hatoyama to make his diplomatic debut later
next month (Tokyo Shimbun)

13) No one from Japan to attend the Rome meeting of G-8 hosts
(Tokyo Shimbun)

14) Japanese automakers embark on new North American strategy,
involving a shaving off of tie-ups with U.S. makers (Tokyo Shimbun)

15) Opinion polls in Japan, China: 73 PERCENT of Japanese
respondents have negative impressions of China, reflecting distrust
in food safety (Yomiuri)




High court rules apartment rental contract renewal fee is "invalid,"
saying purpose is unclear

Poll: DPJ keeps momentum in last phase of election campaigning,
getting 44 PERCENT of proportional representation votes

Poll: DPJ maintains momentum toward landslide victory in Lower House

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Banks flock to government bonds as demand for funds falters; Balance
stood at 111 trillion yen -- highest level -- at end of June

Restrictions on talking and cell phones a key to good performance in
national achievement tests

Tokyo Shimbun:
DPJ to launch administration transition team possibly on Aug. 31 to
name designate cabinet ministers in advance

Party unity essential for victory in Lower House election


(1) 2009 general election: Developing human resources an investment
for tomorrow
(2) South-North dialogue: Progress on nuclear issue essential

(1) National achievement tests: Country needs more effective means
(2) Put an end to theatrical campaigning as voters have changed

(1) Vaccine is not the only weapon against new flu
(2) National review of Supreme Court justices an important

(1) 2009 Lower House election: Education left unaddressed
(2) Solid results expected from UN nuclear disarmament conference in

(1) Skewed distribution of doctors must be corrected
(2) National achievement exams a stimulus to students

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) 2009 Lower House election: Something missing from education
(2) Consumer Agency opens on Sept. 1

(1) JCP as high bulwark against consumption tax hike

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, August 27

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 28, 2009

09:01 Left Rihga Royal Hotel in Osaka.
09:43- Delivered speeches in Kishiwada, Matsubara, and Kyoto.
12:59 Met Upper House member Satoshi Ninoyu at JR Kyoto Station.
13:16 Left JR Kyoto Station on Nozomi 22.
15:14 Arrived at JR Shin-Yokohama Station.
15:42- Delivered speeches in Yokohama, Atsugi, and Sagamihara.

TOKYO 00001983 003 OF 012

19:59 Arrived at his official residence.

4) Poll: DPJ retains overwhelming lead; LDP mounting late spurt in
closely contested districts

YOMIURI (Top Play) (Full)
August 28, 2009

The latest survey by the Yomiuri Shimbun showed that the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) could win more than 300 seats in the Aug. 30
House of Representatives election, pointing to the strong
possibility of a change of government. The survey was conducted on
Aug. 25-27 in 200 of the nation's 300 single-seat constituencies -
mainly closely contested constituencies or those drawing public
attention in the final phase of the campaign. Liberal Democratic
Party candidates have closed the gap with DPJ candidates in some
districts, but the LDP has failed to put the brakes on the DPJ's
momentum. Even so, more than 20 PERCENT of the electorate has yet
to reveal which party they intend to vote for in the single-seat
constituencies; therefore the situation remains fluid.

The previous survey, conducted on Aug. 18-20, at the start of the
campaign, indicated that the DPJ might win more than 300 seats in
single-seat constituencies and in the proportional representation
segment. The survey also showed that the LDP could suffer a drastic
decrease in seats and that the New Komeito will have difficulty
securing the number of seats it held before the election. The latest
survey, conducted by phone, of voters in the 200 constituencies was
intended to assess voting patterns in the final phase (of the
election campaign). Those surveyed were chosen at random by

A comparison of the previous and latest survey results in the 200
constituencies shows that (1) the number of candidates likely to win
or enjoying an advantage remains almost unchanged in both the LDP
and the DPJ; and (2) the number of constituencies in which several
candidates are neck and neck increased from 53 to 67. In many of
these closely contested districts, LDP candidates who had lagged
behind their DPJ rivals have caught up with them. The survey results
disclose that the LDP is mounting a late spurt.

Meanwhile, the New Komeito, which had been fighting an uphill
battle, has recovered some ground in the final phase (of the
campaign). In Osaka No.3 Constituency and Hyogo No.2 Constituency
the party's candidates have closed the gap with their respective
rivals who had been in the lead in the previous survey.

The DPJ, which has been advocating a change of government, has
expanded its support base in many constituencies and across
generations. Former LDP prime ministers and DPJ-backed woman
candidates have been engaged in close contests In Ishikawa No. 2
Constituency and Gunma No. 4 Constituency. Close contests are also
being fought in the Aomori No. 3 Constituency, Ibaraki No. 2
Constituency, Kanagawa No. 2 Constituency, Kyoto No. 5 Constituency,
and Kochi No. 2 Constituency. A number of former LDP cabinet
ministers are running in these constituencies.

5) Poll: DPJ maintains momentum

MAINICHI (Top play) (Abridged)
August 28, 2009

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Ahead of Aug. 30's general election for the House of
Representatives, the Mainichi Shimbun conducted a nationwide public
opinion survey. In the survey, respondents were asked which
political party they would vote for in their proportional
representation blocs. In this public preference of political parties
for proportional representation, the Democratic Party of Japan was
markedly higher than the Liberal Democratic Party, with the DPJ
scoring 44 PERCENT and the LDP at 21 PERCENT . In the breakdown of
public support for political parties, the DPJ stood at 39 PERCENT ,
renewing its previous all-time high of 36 PERCENT in the last
survey taken in July. The LDP was at 20 PERCENT , about half of the
DPJ's support rate. An earlier ad hoc survey conducted by the
Mainichi Shimbun on Aug. 19-21 showed that the DPJ could garner more
than 320 seats, two thirds of the 480 seats in the Diet's lower
chamber. However, the election campaign is now on the last stretch,
with the DPJ maintaining its momentum.

In the survey, respondents were also asked which political party's
candidate they would vote for in their single-seat constituencies.
To this question, 46 PERCENT chose the DPJ's candidate, with 23
PERCENT preferring the LDP's.

In the public preference of other political parties for proportional
representation, the New Komeito party was at 7 PERCENT , the
Japanese Communist Party at 5 PERCENT , the Your Party at 2 PERCENT
, the Social Democratic Party at 1 PERCENT , the People's New Party
at 1 PERCENT , and the New Party Nippon at 1 PERCENT .

The Aso cabinet's support rate was 20 PERCENT , showing a slight
increase of 3 points. However, it still remains low. The nonsupport
rate was 60 PERCENT , down 7 points.

6) Voter turnout likely to top figure for last election

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 28, 2009

The campaign for the House of Representatives election is in full
swing. The Asahi Shimbun conducted a pre-election survey on Aug.
22-25 to look into the situation of campaign battles and also polled
the nation's electorate. In this pre-election poll, respondents were
asked if they would vote in the election. To this question, a total
of 81 PERCENT answered "yes, definitely." The figure is higher than
that (78 PERCENT ) in a pre-election poll taken before the last
general election held in 2005 for the House of Representatives.
Judging from these findings, the voter turnout in the upcoming
election is highly likely to exceed that (67.51 PERCENT ) for the
2005 election and is even likely to reach 70 PERCENT .

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the
Liberal Democratic Party stood at 22 PERCENT , with the Democratic
Party of Japan at 29 PERCENT , the New Komeito at 3 PERCENT , the
Japanese Communist Party at 2 PERCENT , and the Social Democratic
Party at 1 PERCENT .

7) Poll: DPJ outpaces LDP in public support

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 28, 2009

Ahead of the upcoming election for the House of Representatives,
Kyodo News conducted a telephone-based nationwide public opinion

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survey on Aug. 26-27 to look into public trends. In the survey,
respondents were asked which political party they would vote for in
their proportional representation blocs. In this public preference
of political parties, the Democratic Party of Japan scored 35.9
PERCENT , up 3.3 points from the last survey taken Aug. 15-16. The
Liberal Democratic Party was at 17.9 PERCENT , up 1.4 points.
However, the DPJ's public support rating is about twice as high as
the LDP's and is substantially leading the LDP. Meanwhile, a total
of 30.9 PERCENT have not yet decided on which political party to
vote for in their proportional representation blocs.

In single-seat constituencies, 36.0 PERCENT answered that they
would vote for the DPJ's candidate, up 1.9 points from the last
survey, with 22.6 PERCENT choosing the LDP's candidate, up 3.8

Asked about the desirable form of government, 40 PERCENT opted for
a "DPJ-led coalition government," leveling off from the last survey.
An "LDP-led coalition government" was at 20.2 PERCENT , up 2.0
points. An "LDP-DPJ grand coalition government" was at 14.3 PERCENT
(11.9 PERCENT in the last survey), and a "new framework through
political realignment" at 13.8 PERCENT (17.3 PERCENT in the last

In the public preference of other political parties for proportional
representation, the New Komeito party was at 5.2 PERCENT (4.9
PERCENT in the last survey), the Japanese Communist Party at 3.9
PERCENT (3.8 PERCENT in the last survey), the Social Democratic
Party at 2.2 PERCENT (1.1 PERCENT in the last survey), the
People's New Party at 0.3 PERCENT (0.9 PERCENT in the last
survey), the Your Party at 1.0 PERCENT (0.7 PERCENT in the last
survey), the Reform Club at 0.1 PERCENT (0 PERCENT in the last
survey), and the New Party Nippon at 0.1 PERCENT (0.2 PERCENT in
the last survey).

8) Poll: Nearly 70 PERCENT have decided on candidate, party

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 28, 2009

With the House of Representatives election just around the corner,
the Nihon Keizai Shimbun conducted an online poll of voters on Aug.
25-27. In this pre-election poll, a total of 65 PERCENT said they
have now chosen a candidate to vote for in their single-seat
constituencies, up 16 PERCENT from the last online poll taken two
weeks ago. For proportional representation as well, the figure rose
11 points to 66 PERCENT . With the election approaching, more voters
have now decided on their voting attitudes. Respondents were also
asked if they would vote in the election. To this question, "yes"
rose 7 points to 80 PERCENT . Including those who "intend to do so,"
the total figure reached 93 PERCENT .

In the public preference of political parties to vote for in
single-seat constituencies, the Democratic Party of Japan scored 52
PERCENT , up 5 points from the last online poll. The Liberal
Democratic Party was at 18 PERCENT , down 2 points. For proportional
representation, the DPJ marked 45 PERCENT , up 1 point from the last
time, and the LDP at 16 PERCENT , up 2 points. There is almost no
change in the DPJ's lead.

The poll was conducted by Nikkei Research on the internet, with a
total of 3,500 persons chosen from among male and female voters,

TOKYO 00001983 006 OF 012

aged 20 and over, across the nation. The response rate was 34.5
PERCENT in the first pre-election online poll, 34.1 PERCENT in the
second online poll, 31.3 PERCENT in the third poll, and 32.4
PERCENT in the latest one.

9) Tailwind for the DPJ means headwind for the LDP: New Komeito
scrambling to avoid sinking with LDP, small parties struggling to
project their uniqueness

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
August 28, 2009

Amid predictions that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will win a
landslide victory single-handedly in the House of Representatives
election, parties other than the DPJ and the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) are faced with the problem of adjusting their strategies
to cope with the post-election situation. There is now a possibility
that the New Komeito, which took advantage of its position as the
third largest party to become a member of the ruling coalition, may
review its cooperative relationship with the LDP after the election.
On the other hand, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the other
small parties, while eager to ride on the wind of the "change of
administration," are struggling to project their unique aspects.

So far, under the situation of neither the LDP nor the DPJ having a
sole majority in the House of Councillors, the New Komeito has been
able to hold the casting vote for key bills. It also has been able
to realize as a ruling party its social welfare policy, the party's
main focus. However, if the LDP loses power, it will no longer be
able to enjoy such a benefit.

New Komeito leader Akihiro Ota, commenting on post-election
cooperation with the LDP, has stated openly, "The concept of a
coalition of opposition parties has never existed in Japanese
politics," hinting at a possible review of the party's relations
with the LDP. As a change of administration is fast becoming a real
possibility, there is an opinion in the religious sect Soka Gakkai,
the party's main support group, that if the ruling parties lose the
election, it would be wise to keep its distance from the LDP.

All of the New Komeito's eight candidates in single-seat
constituencies are fighting an uphill battle against DPJ candidates.
Senior party officials are now concerned about being dragged into
the headwind blowing against the LDP and going down with it.

The New Komeito is also having a tough time in its bid to win more
proportional representation seats. A mid-ranking Diet member
confided: "Many people are thinking of voting for the DPJ just this
once. The response to our campaign is not good."

The prediction of a landslide victory for the DPJ is also affecting
the campaign strategy of the SDP and the People's New Party (PNP),
with which the DPJ is planning to form a coalition after the
election. Since the DPJ does not hold a majority in the Upper House,
President Yukio Hatoyama has already announced the party's intention
to form a coalition with these two parties. Therefore, their
strategy has been based on "holding the casting vote." However, if
the DPJ comes to control a two-thirds majority in the Lower House,
which will enable it to pass with a second vote bills rejected by
the Upper House, the SDP's and the PNP's strategy will be

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The SDP is in a dilemma because if it does not project any sense of
uniqueness. "Proportional representation votes may all go to the
DPJ," said a senior SDP official, but if the party projects its
uniqueness too strongly, the DPJ may react negatively.

In a stump speech in Akihabara, Tokyo on August 26, "Your Party"
leader Yoshimi Watanabe said: "We have no problem at all with a DPJ
victory. If we are asked to join the government, we will consider
the offer positively." He conveyed to his audience his closeness to
the DPJ, as it heads toward an overwhelming victory.

However, he, too, is making every effort to avoid being
overshadowed. Watanabe did not forget to criticize the DPJ's policy
on toll free expressways as a "pork barrel" in his speech.

10) DPJ's "Ozawa faction" likely to have 120 Diet members

SANKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
August 28, 2009

If the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) wins about 300 seats in the
Aug. 30 House of Representatives election, the number of a group led
by Deputy President Ichiro Ozawa will likely become 120 members from
the two Diet chambers. The media have reported that the DPJ would
overwhelmingly win the election. Influence of Ozawa, who is in
charge of the party's election strategy, is certain to become
stronger in the DPJ. Ozawa appears to be increasing his forcefulness
taking advantage of his group's numerical power after the DPJ wins
the election. Some in the DPJ are concerned about a possible "dual
power structure."

The Ozawa group had about 50 members when the Lower House was
dissolved. The group was made up of "Isshin-kai," a group of junior
Lower House members, and Upper House members. If the "Isshin-kai
club" consisting of about 50 former Diet members and new-face
candidates is added, the Ozawa group will have about 100 members. In
addition, about 20 candidates, who were filed by Ozawa, are running
in only the proportional representation segment of the ballot. If
the DPJ secures more than 300 seats, the number of the Ozawa group
will exceed 120.

Meanwhile, the group-led by President Yukio Hatoyama is expected to
have 60 members and Deputy President Naoto Kan-led group will likely
have 40 to 50 members.

The main reason for the Ozawa group's expansion of power is because
Ozawa made an effort to pick out new-face candidates and support
them in raising election funds and securing support from
corporations and organizations. Ozawa has provided election funds
focusing on candidates affiliated with the Ozawa group, who are
running in key single-seat districts.

Ozawa thinks of himself as a former Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka's
fair-haired boy, and others also regard him that way. The emergence
of the Ozawa group made up of one-third of the DPJ Lower House
members is reminiscent of the former Tanaka faction in the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), which enjoyed its influence over the LDP.

However, Ozawa criticized "group activities" in the party while he
was heading the former New Frontier Party, by stressing the need for
a unanimous party arrangement when internal conflict with members
affiliated with the New Komeito intensified. Therefore, there is a

TOKYO 00001983 008 OF 012

possibility that Ozawa will come under criticism if he activates
moves in the party, with a junior member saying: "If such happens,
his words and deeds will contradict what he said when he headed the
New Frontier Party."

11) Uesugi, Terashima may be picked secretary or assistant to a
Prime Minister Hatoyama

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
August 28, 2009

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama generally
decided yesterday to pick freelance journalist Takashi Uesugi,
former state-paid secretary to former Internal Affairs and
Communications Minister Kunio Hatoyama, younger brother of Yukio
Hatoyama, for either the post of secretary to the prime minister in
charge of publicity or the post of assistant if the DPJ takes over
the reins of government (in the Aug. 30 House of Representatives
election). Hatoyama also plans to appoint Jitsuro Terashima,
president of Tama University and chairman of the Japan Research
Institute, as secretary or assistant to the prime minister in charge
of foreign policy. The question is whether his plans will be
approved by DPJ members. Hatoyama reportedly intends to have them
concurrently serve as members of a National Strategy Bureau, which
will be set up under the direct control of the prime minister.

At present a total of six secretaries to the prime minister are made
up of a Diet member's secretary for political affairs and five from
such ministries as the finance and foreign ministries who are in
charge of administrative affairs. Hatoyama intends to revise the
cabinet secretariat organization law, which stipulates the number of
secretaries, in order to increase the number of secretaries from the
private sector, when he picks Uesugi or Terashima a secretary to the
prime minister. The Cabinet Law revised in 2001 stipulates that five
secretaries at the most should be picked. There were many cases in
which the successive prime ministers picked Diet members and private
sector persons in favor of their political visions.

The reason for Hatoyama wishing to appoint Uesugi and Terashima is
that "they understand well Hatoyama's views and they enjoy the
confidence of Hatoyama" (person close to Hatoyama). Because the
National Strategy Bureau will be responsible for formulating the
framework of domestic politics, Hatoyama aims to have his own views
reflected in national policies by letting them serve in the two

Sugiyama told the Sankei Shimbun: "I don't know whether I will
accept if I receive an offer." The Japanese Research Institute said:
"Terashima is now traveling abroad on business." Uesugi worked at
the Tokyo branch of New York Times after having served as a
secretary to Kunio Hatoyama. After that, he has been working as a
freelance journalist on political affairs. Terashima once worked at
Mitsui and Co. Ltd. He advocates the establishment of an equal
Japan-U.S. relationship and a multilateral security organization in

12) DPJ to delay issuance of National Defense Program Guidelines

SANKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
August 28, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to postpone

TOKYO 00001983 009 OF 012

the compilation of the National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG),
which the current administration planned for the year-end, until
next year or later, if it takes over the reins of government after
the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election. The DPJ, which plans
to produce a new NDPG after fundamentally reviewing the current
revision plan, has found it difficult to finish its studies before
the end of the year. With the Defense Ministry has already begun
compiling a budget for fiscal 2010 based on the NDPG's revision by
the end of the year, the move will produce havoc in the ministry.

On Aug. 4 the Council on Security and Defense Capabilities (chaired
by Tokyo Power Company Chairman Tsunehisa Katumata) presented to
Prime Minister Taro Aso a report recommending the use of the right
to collective self-defense. Based on this, the government planned to
have the cabinet adopt at the end of the year the (revised) NDPG and
the Midterm Defense Buildup Program specifying the major defense
equipment for the next five years (FY2010-2014).

But a cautious stance still prevails in the DPJ about that report,
and President Yukio Hatoyama has announced a plan to review the
report after taking power.

The council produced its report in about six months. DPJ Vice
President Seiji Maehara said, "We will select a new lineup for the
council to produce a new report." The NDPG to be formulated by the
DPJ is likely to be fundamentally different in content and to take

There is a view in the DPJ that the revision can be put off until
the end of next March because the current NDPG will be good until
the end of fiscal 2009. But a revision next March will be too late
to reflect its results in year-end budget compilation. For this
reason, a plan to delay the revision for one year is prevalent.

Further, the DPJ, which includes members from the former Japan
Socialist Party as well as a group of conservatives, has yet to
produce a unified view on the specific capabilities of the
Self-Defense Forces (SDF). Complications are also expected in
coordination of views with the Social Democratic Party, the DPJ's
possible coalition partner which calls for a reduction in the SDF.

The DPJ also vows in its manifesto (election pledges) to revise the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement and review the U.S. force
realignment plan. The DPJ intends to conduct its NDPG formulation
work while keeping an eye on the level of progress on the U.S.
government's effort to produce the new Quadrennial Defense Review
(QDR) early next year.

If the NDPG revision is put off for one year, the fiscal 2010 budget
will have to be compiled by, for instance, altering the Midterm
Defense Buildup Program which expires at the end of fiscal 2009. As
such, it will be difficult to compile a bold budget.

13) "Prime Minister Hatoyama" to make diplomatic debut in late
September; MOFA coordinating schedule on assumption of change of

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 28, 2009

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has drawn up the schedule for
summit diplomacy after the House of Representatives election on

TOKYO 00001983 010 OF 012

August 27. The prime minister will attend a series of international
conferences, including the "UN High-level Event on Climate Change"
at the UN headquarters in New York on September 22. Coordination is
underway to hold Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio
Hatoyama's first summit meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on
September 23 if he becomes the prime minister. Summits with the
leaders of China and South Korea are also being arranged. These
meetings will be Hatoyama's diplomatic debut.

After the high-level event on climate change on September 22, the UN
General Assembly (UNGA) begins its general debate on September 23.
The G-20 financial summit in Pittsburgh follows on September 24-25.

MOFA has begun the coordination process on the assumption that the
new prime minister will attend these meetings. He will depart Japan
on September 21 to attend the climate change conference on the
morning of September 22.

President Obama is expected to deliver the opening speech at this
meeting. If Hatoyama participates in this event as Japan's prime
minister, this will be an opportunity to showcase Japan-U.S.
cooperation on global warming prevention.

In his speech for the UNGA general debate, Hatoyama will emphasize
his support for Obama's initiative for "a world without nuclear
weapons" and publicize Japan's efforts toward the eradication of
nuclear arms, including its adherence to the three non-nuclear

The key question about Hatoyama's summit meeting with Obama is how
far he will go in mentioning steps toward an "equal Japan-U.S.
relationship" - which is included in the DPJ's campaign pledges -
including the revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement
(SOFA) and a review of U.S. military bases in Japan. Arrangements
are also being made for meetings with PRC President Hu Jintao and
South Korean President Lee Myung Bak.

A senior MOFA official says: "This will be a full schedule including
important summitry on such issues as the earth environment,
security, and the world economy. Naturally, we will have to make
preparations on the assumption that whoever becomes the prime
minister will attend these meetings."

14) Japan might be absent from G-8 meeting of House of
Representatives chairmen

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
August 28, 2009

The 8th conference of Group of Eight (G-8) House of Representatives
chairmen (chairmen's summit) will be held in Rome, Italy, in
mid-September. In Japan, however, since a general election will be
held on Aug. 30, a new Lower House speaker and a vice speaker will
not have been selected yet. A special Diet session to pick a new
speaker is unlikely to be held until then.

According to the Lower House Secretariat, the chairmen's summit will
be held on Sept. 12-13. The previous speaker or vice speaker will
not attend the meeting, so if the special session is held in
mid-September or later, Japan will be absent from the summit.

15) Japanese and U.S. auto makers increasingly dissolving their

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business tie-ups: Need for Japanese makers to have new strategy for
North American market

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 8) (Full)
August 28, 2009

Following the global slump in auto sales, Japanese and U.S.
automakers are increasingly dissolving their business tie-ups.
Nissan Motors on August 26 announced that it had called off its
business tie-up with Chrysler. They had previously signed an
original equipment manufacturing (OEM) agreement. Toyota Motors will
also end auto manufacturing at NUMMI, a joint venture company with
General Motors, by the end of 2009. Japanese automakers are now
pressed to take a second look at their strategy to the North
American market.

Nissan Motors had planned to provide compact cars to Chrysler and
procure pickup trucks from that company. However, after filing for
bankruptcy, Chrysler has been reconsidering its tie-up with Nissan,
because it has decided to aim to restore the finances through a
tie-up with Fiat, a leading Italian automaker, which has its forte
in compact cars.

Regarding pick-ups, Nissan is looking into a future approach,
including finding another supplier or continuing the manufacturing
of its own products, noting that since pickups are a key commercial
product, they will not cut off the supply of such vehicles.

GM had formed capital tie-ups with Isuzu Motors, Suzuki Motor
Corporation and Fuji Heavy Industries by 2000. It presumably
intended to enhance its competitiveness, by expanding business scale
to meet the booming North American market.

However, it dissolved all such business tie-ups by 2008, after it
slipped into the red.

It still has a cooperative relationship with Suzuki for the
technical development of next-generation vehicles, such as hybrid

16) Opinion polls in Japan, China: 73 PERCENT of Japanese
respondents have negative impressions of China, reflecting distrust
in food safety

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Abridged)
August 28, 2009

(Saeki, Beijing)

Genron NPO of Japan and the China Daily, an English-language Chinese
newspaper, each conducted opinion polls in their respective
countries in May and June. The Genron NPO survey results show that
many Japanese still have negative impressions of China because of
the Chinese government's responses to such issues as food safety,
epitomized by food poisoning caused by tainted Chinese dumplings.

Asked their impression of China, 62.7 PERCENT of the 1,000
respondents in the survey in Japan said that it was somewhat not
good. Adding those who said it was not good, the percentage surges
to 73.2 PERCENT . As the reason for their negative impression, 81
PERCENT cited the Chinese government's responses to food safety and
other issues. Meanwhile, the survey results in China show that more

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than 60 PERCENT of the 1,589 respondents have a negative impression
of Japan, with the largest number of respondents citing Japan's past
aggression against China as the major reason.

As for problems that have hindered forging closer bilateral
relations, 46.2 PERCENT of Japanese respondents cited the safety of
Chinese products, and 49.2 PERCENT of Chinese surveyed mentioned
territorial issues. Those who expressed anxiety about the safety of
Chinese food accounted for 94.8 PERCENT and 69.9 PERCENT of
Japanese and Chinese respondents respectively. Asked about the
results of bilateral summit meetings, more than 40 PERCENT of
respondents both in Japan and China said that simply increasing the
number of meetings was of no value.


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