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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/31/09

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1998/01 2430656
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 310656Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5856
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//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8534
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6199
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0012
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3597
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6715
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0729
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7392
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7014

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 001998

SIPDIS

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: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 08/31/09

INDEX:

(1) Attention focused on "equal Japan-U.S. alliance" in DPJ foreign
policy; priority might be given to Asia (Mainichi)

(2) New era is about to start in Japan following general election
(Mainichi)

(3) Ozawa likely to be in charge of DPJ strategy for next year's
Upper House election, Okada expected to remain as secretary general
(Mainichi)

(4) LDP's support base collapses, floating voters back DPJ (Sankei)


(5) Exit poll: 30 PERCENT of LDP supporters vote for DPJ, 60
PERCENT of floating votes cast for DPJ (Mainichi)

(6) LDP, New Komeito's Fall (Part 1): Flabbergasted, speechless,
feeling of despair in the air; further confusion in LDP possible
after Aso; New Komeito leader, secretary general's resignation
inevitable (Sankei)

(7) TOP HEADLINES

(8) EDITORIALS

ARTICLES:

(1) Attention focused on "equal Japan-U.S. alliance" in DPJ foreign
policy; priority might be given to Asia

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
August 31, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which will assume political
power shortly, included in its policy manifesto for the House of
Representatives election "an equal Japan-U.S. alliance" as a
catchphrase for its foreign policy. President Yukio Hatoyama has
proposed building an East Asia joint community, a concept
prioritizing relations between Japan, China and South Korea. The
party, however, has presented no roadmaps for these proposals.

The DPJ has changed its initial policy stance regarding the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean as
assistance in the war on terror; host-nation support; U.S. force
realignment including the transfer of the Futenma Air Station; and
the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). These are issues
that necessarily have an impact on the fundamental Japan-U.S.
alliance.

The DPJ in its manifesto removed the wording "suspension of the
refueling mission" and toned down the wording calling for a review
of the SOFA. "It would not be wise for the party to have friction
with the U.S. right after taking political power and to allow
internal politics to be affected by it," commented a senior member
of the party's Policy Research Council. However, arrangements are
being made for a meeting between Hatoyama and U.S. President Barack
Obama when Hatoyama visits the U.S. in late September and for the
first visit to Japan by Obama in November. The DPJ must make its
position clear prior to these diplomatic events.


TOKYO 00001998 002 OF 009


Besides the East Asia community concept, Hatoyama has also proposed
introducing a common currency in Asia. These proposals apparently
reflect his attention to China on account of its rapid growth on
both economic and military fronts. Former DPJ president Ichiro Ozawa
has visited China and met President Hu Jintao. China has also
favorably taken to the DPJ, which has said that the prime minister
will not worship at Yasukuni Shrine if the party takes over the
reins of government.

(2) New era is about to start in Japan following general election

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 31, 2009

By Hiroto Kosuge, political news editor

A number of veteran lawmakers with records of achievement were
defeated by first-time candidates backed by the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) in yesterday's Lower House election. Even a former prime
minister failed to win election. This situation is indisputably
"revolutionary," as described by DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) enjoyed a landslide victory in
the Lower House election four years ago whose main issue was postal
reform. During the period between the two elections, however, the
problem of a gap in income with the risk of creating widespread
homelessness became more serious, and the public began to be
critical of the ruling parties for their policies.

In a crucial moment when the government had to address the downside
of reform, two prime ministers relinquished their duties mid-term in
succession. Some critics pointed out that the government is no
longer capable of governing.

It would be more accurate, however, to conclude that the LDP had to
postpone the general election until just before the expiration of
the lawmakers' terms of office not because Prime Minister Taro Aso
was indecisive but because the LDP was unable to face the people for
its inability to complete its structural reforms.

Meanwhile, the DPJ won an overwhelming victory in the House of
Councillors election in 2007. The main opposition party succeeded,
if only briefly, in turning its proposals for suspending the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean
and bringing down the prices of gasoline into reality. The party
showed that changes could occur even in basic policies and steadily
pushed ahead with preparations for a change of government.

Aso underscored his government's conservative credentials and
demonstrated its past achievements. "It may not be what it once was,
but it is still first-class." This saying used to be applied to the
LDP, but people now see the LDP as "rotten."

Judging that the nation could no longer bear leadership passing from
one person to another in the LDP, voters opted for a full-scale
change of government. Among the industrialized countries Japan had
been the only one that heretofore had not changed regime.

The new administration is tasked with building a new type of
government and carrying out the policy measures in its manifesto.

The DPJ must maintain unity in the party under executive members'

TOKYO 00001998 003 OF 009


determination to carry out reform plans. The key to its success lies
in this point.

Defects caused by the party's being a hodge-podge of groups have
been left unsettled. In addition, the party now includes a number of
new faces who do not know the ways of the Diet. It will not be easy
to manage the party under such a situation.

Now that the party has achieved its goal of seizing political power,
there is a request for Ichiro Ozawa, who greatly contributed to the
party's victory. He will surely increase his clout over the party,
against the backdrop of the new Ozawa group including new Ozawa
children (Ozawa-backed first-time candidates) born in the election
yesterday. But Ozawa should devote himself to promoting reforms to
the last, instead of trying to exert his influence over them.

The new administration will unavoidably have a difficult time in the
face of resistance from bureaucrats and those who are expected to
lose their vested rights. If the DPJ just pays lip service to
change, with an eye to the Upper House election next year, its
pledges will prove hollow.

The voters cast ballots for a switch in power with full knowledge of
the possible risks of a regime change. It therefore might be
necessary for the people to watch the debut of the new
administration patiently from a long-term perspective.

(3) Ozawa likely to be in charge of DPJ strategy for next year's
Upper House election, Okada expected to remain as secretary general

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
August 31, 2009

Hisae Ueno

The Democratic Party of Japan has begun making preparations for the
transfer of power. With an eye on next year's House of Councillors
election, Deputy President Ichiro Ozawa is likely to remain chief
election strategist without joining a DPJ cabinet.

Also aiming to launch a Hatoyama administration in mid-September,
the DPJ will urge on Aug. 31 or later the Social Democratic Party
(SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP) join talks on forming a
coalition government.

When the DPJ became certain to garner over 300 seats before dawn on
Aug. 31, DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama held a press conference at a
vote-counting center in Tokyo's Roppongi district. Hatoyama
indicated that the top three party executives will continue to play
the main roles in launching a DPJ administration. This means the
current DPJ leadership, including Secretary General Katsuya Okada,
will hold talks with the Aso cabinet for the transfer of power.

The DPJ had originally considered forming a transition team composed
of party executives and prospective key cabinet ministers. But at
the news conference, Hatoyama ruled out the idea of appointing some
cabinet ministers first, indicating that he will name his cabinet
ministers all at once after he is elected prime minister.

Hatoyama also indicated during an NHK program last night that he
will allow Ozawa to keep his current post with an eye on next year's
Upper House election. If Ozawa takes charge of the DPJ's campaign

TOKYO 00001998 004 OF 009


for the Upper House election following yesterday's Lower House
election, his influence in the party is certain to increase. Okada
also explicitly said on an NHK program last night that Ozawa will
not fill a cabinet post.

(4) LDP's support base collapses, floating voters back DPJ

SANKEI (Page 4) (Abridged)
August 31, 2009

The Sankei Shimbun yesterday conducted an exit poll of voters who
voted in the election this time for the House of Representatives to
ask the name of a candidate and the name of a political party they
voted for. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) gathered support from
more than 50 PERCENT of floating or unaffiliated voters who do not
support any particular political party, a major factor of the DPJ's
great strides. The DPJ made inroads also into the population of
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) supporters and won support from
nearly 30 PERCENT of LDP supporters. Among LDP supporters, however,
those who voted for the LDP accounted for 50 PERCENT or so. It may
safely be said that voters dissatisfied with the LDP government
voted for the DPJ.

Among floating voters, 51.6 PERCENT voted for the DPJ in their
proportional representation blocs.

At the time of the last election for the House of Representatives in
2005, the DPJ gathered support from 38.2 PERCENT of floating voters
for proportional representation, with the LDP at 32.6 PERCENT .
Among floating voters, the DPJ topped all other parties. Even so,
the DPJ was utterly defeated with a total of 113 seats while the LDP
garnered 296 seats.

After that, at the time of the election for the House of Councillors
in 2007, the DPJ garnered votes from 51.2 PERCENT of floating
voters. The DPJ then garnered a substantially large number of seats
and became the largest part in the Diet's upper chamber. This time
as well, the DPJ gathered support from more floating voters than in
the election for the House of Councillors. The DPJ campaigned for a
"change of government." This simple catchphrase seems to have
penetrated the public.

In addition, the DPJ also garnered votes from 81.6 PERCENT of its
supporters, up 4.0 points from 77.6 PERCENT in the last election.
As seen from this figure, the DPJ consolidated its support base.
Even in single-seat constituencies where the Japanese Communist
Party (JCP) fielded candidates, 22.1 PERCENT of JCP supporters cast
their votes for DPJ candidates. This shows that the DPJ was strong
enough to gather wide-ranging support.

Meanwhile, the LDP won a landslide victory in the last election for
the House of Representatives in 2005, focusing on the privatization
of state-run postal services. In the election this time, the LDP's
support from floating voters for proportional representation
remained low at 15.6 PERCENT . This figure is 17.0 points lower than
that in the last election. This means that the LDP's support from
floating voters fell to almost a half. This time around, the
tailwind blew for the DPJ unlike four years ago.

Seriously enough, the LDP failed to lock on votes from its
supporters. The LDP garnered votes from 53.7 PERCENT of its
supporters. This means that almost half of LDP supporters cast their

TOKYO 00001998 005 OF 009


votes for other parties. Among them, those who support the LDP but
voted for the DPJ accounted for 29.4 PERCENT . This fact clearly
shows that the LDP's support base has collapsed.

A similar trend was seen in the nation's single-seat constituencies.
Among LDP supporters, 59.8 PERCENT voted for LDP candidates, while
30.9 PERCENT cast their votes for the DPJ.

The LDP has so far formed a coalition government with the New
Komeito party for 10 years. In the election campaign this time,
however, their cooperation was eclipsed.

Among New Komeito supporters, 67.7 PERCENT on average in the
nation's 300 single-seat constituencies voted for LDP candidates.
This figure decreased from the last election (72.3 PERCENT ).
Meanwhile, 16.6 PERCENT of New Komeito supporters cast their votes
for DPJ candidates, up from 11.5 PERCENT in the last election. Even
New Komeito supporters voted for the DPJ.

Meanwhile, among LDP supporters, those who voted for the New Komeito
in their proportional representation blocs accounted for only 6.1
PERCENT . In past elections for the House of Representatives under
the LDP-Komeito coalition, LDP candidates used to campaign for the
New Komeito in proportional representation blocs. However, the LDP
was expected to sustain a disastrous defeat in history in the
election this time. So it seems that LDP supporters could not afford
to cast their votes for the New Komeito in their proportional
representation blocs.

(5) Exit poll: 30 PERCENT of LDP supporters vote for DPJ, 60
PERCENT of floating votes cast for DPJ

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 31, 2009

The Mainichi Shimbun yesterday conducted an exit poll of about
280,000 voters at polling stations throughout the country who cast
their votes in the general election for the House of
Representatives. In the exit poll, voters were asked which political
party's candidate and which political party they voted for. Among
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) supporters, 60 PERCENT answered that
they voted for the LDP's candidate in their single-seat
constituencies. However, 31 PERCENT of them gave the name of a
candidate who ran from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ). Also in
the nation's proportional representation blocs, 29 PERCENT of LDP
supporters answered that they voted for the DPJ. It may safely be
said that LDP supporters' dissatisfaction with the LDP helped the
DPJ achieve a change of government.

Among those who voted in the general election, 36 PERCENT supported
the LDP, 28 PERCENT the DPJ, 5 PERCENT the New Komeito, 4 PERCENT
the Japanese Communist Party, and 2 PERCENT the Social Democratic
Party. Those who answered "none," or floating voters with no
particular party affiliation, accounted for 23 PERCENT .

LDP supporters cast their votes for DPJ candidates in the nation's
single-seat constituencies. Among DPJ supporters, however, 84
PERCENT answered that they cast their votes for the DPJ. Among New
Komeito party supporters, 68 PERCENT gave the name of an LDP
candidate, but 17 PERCENT gave the name of a DPJ candidate. Among
floating or unaffiliated voters, 59 PERCENT voted for the DPJ's
candidate, with 23 PERCENT casting their votes for the LDP's

TOKYO 00001998 006 OF 009


candidate. This time around, the DPJ outdistanced the LDP among
floating voters.

Among LDP supporters, 54 PERCENT answered that they cast their
votes for the LDP in their proportional representation blocs, with
29 PERCENT saying they voted for the DPJ. This clearly shows that
LDP supporters distanced themselves from the LDP in the nation's
proportional representation blocs as well. Among DPJ supporters, 82
PERCENT answered that they voted for the DPJ in their proportional
representation blocs. Among floating or unaffiliated voters, 52
PERCENT voted for the DPJ and 16 PERCENT for the LDP. The gap was
wider than that of an exit poll during the 2005 election for the
House of Representatives (38 PERCENT for the DPJ, 32 PERCENT for
the LDP).

(6) LDP, New Komeito's Fall (Part 1): Flabbergasted, speechless,
feeling of despair in the air; further confusion in LDP possible
after Aso; New Komeito leader, secretary general's resignation
inevitable

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 31, 2009

Fumito Ishibashi

Four years after its record victory in the election over postal
privatization, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has now fallen on
hard times. Former Prime Minister Koizumi's promise to "destroy the
LDP" was fulfilled after eight years. This crushing defeat has
rendered the party's leadership flabbergasted, and it appears that
they will take time to start moving toward the regeneration of the
party. The giant party that had practically monopolized political
administration over a half a century has crumbled phenomenally.

Prime Minister Taro Aso appeared at the press room on the fourth
floor of the LDP headquarters at 10:14 p.m. "We must seriously
accept the people's verdict and start anew based on a reflection of
what happened," he said. "All the candidates did everything in their
power, and I strongly feel my own inadequacy that led to this
outcome. I am really sad that economic recovery is still half
accomplished... (ellipsis in original)"

"The next president should be selected promptly through a
presidential election," he said, announcing his resignation. "From
now I would like to contribute to the regeneration of the party as a
member."

He appeared to be surprisingly relieved. He analyzed the defeat as
follows: "We were unable to dispel the long years of distrust and
discontent against the LDP." However, when asked if his postponement
of the dissolution of the Diet last fall was an underlying cause of
the debacle, he disagreed: "Faced with an economic crisis, it was
not wrong to give priority to policies over political maneuvering,"
he said. "The economic measures we implemented for the people's
livelihood were absolutely right."

"Is this reality?"

An eerie silence prevailed at the LDP headquarters during the
daytime on August 30. A whiteboard listing the names of the LDP's
official candidates hung on the wall of the press room. Hardly any
Diet members were in the room; only the party's employees were busy

TOKYO 00001998 007 OF 009


going in and out. In the afternoon, after the results of the media
outlets' exit polls became known, the atmosphere became even more
ominous.

At 7:00 p.m. Secretary General Hiroyuki Hosoda arrived at the party
headquarters wearing a grim expression. He told reporters, "I have
nothing to say until the results are known," and then hurried into
his office. Forty-five minutes later, Hosoda secretly left the party
headquarters through the backdoor. He went to the prime minister's
official living quarters to convey his desire to resign.

Voting ended at 8:00 p.m. but the only person who appeared at the
press room was Election Strategy Council Vice Chairman Yoshihide
Suga. When the TV stations reported that exit polls showed that the
LDP had suffered a crushing defeat, Suga was flabbergasted: "I had
thought that this would not be possible, but is this reality? It
seems that an invisible force has shaken things up. Were we too much
removed from the viewpoint of the people?"

Hosoda returned to the party headquarters from the prime minister's
official quarters some time past 8:30 p.m. He entered the press room
with a stern expression and began to put away the red ribbons on the
whiteboard where election results were shown. He was greeted by
brief and scattered applause from party officials, but then the room
once again became as quiet as a wake.

The situation was similar for New Komeito, the LDP's coalition
partner for 10 years. A somber mood prevailed at the party
headquarters in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, the location of its election
center.

Party leader Akihiro Ota gave the following analysis of why the
party lost: "The achievements of our party were not fully conveyed
to the voters. I would like to thank the party members and
supporters and members of the Soka Gakkai who supported us amid the
adverse wind."

Ota is not the only senior New Komeito official who failed to get
elected. Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa and former Secretary
General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, likewise, lost. The party has suffered
its worst defeat in history, winning far fewer than the 31 seats it
held before the election. While Ota says that the party will "value
its long years of a relationship of trust with the LDP," Deputy
Secretary General Yosuke Takagi indicated the relationship with the
new administration will be on an "issue-by-issue basis" in order to
realize the party's own policies. Since a "coalition of opposition
parties" is improbable, the honeymoon between the LDP and New
Komeito is no longer possible.

When Ota, following an appearance on a TV program, was told by
reporters that he lost his Diet seat, he listlessly said "oh," and
nothing more. Tears welled up in his eyes.

Potential for disintegration

Many former prime ministers, former secretaries general, faction
leaders, and other LDP heavyweights lost their Diet seats. The party
has now fallen into a state where even prospects for its managing
itself are unclear, much less setting a course for the its
regeneration.

The prime minister has announced his resignation as party president,

TOKYO 00001998 008 OF 009


but with his term of office expiring by the end of September, the
LDP is in no position to hold a major presidential election. If it
is unable to hold an election before the special Diet session is
convened, it is fully possible that LDP Diet members will have to
vote for Aso, who has announced his resignation as party president,
for prime minister. There is as yet no obvious successor to Aso,
while there is persistent serious conflict between the liberals and
the conservatives in the party. If the presidential election results
in confusion, this may potentially cause the LDP's disintegration.

Will the LDP be able to unite as an opposition party to confront the
new administration? When the prime minister, who is now a "defeated
general," was asked about the path to the LDP's regeneration, he
replied: "The LDP is a conservative political party. We will
preserve what needs to be preserved and change what needs to be
changed. Protecting the family, the local community, and the country
- conservatism is the foundation on which Japan is built. We must
take this to heart."

Will the LDP be able to make a new start as a conservative party?
The party is at a crossroads.

(7) and (8) are corrected copies from today's Morning Highlights

(7) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
DPJ wins 308 seats, change of administration: Hatoyama to become
prime minister

Mainichi:
DPJ wins 308 seats, captures political power; PM Hatoyama to be
elected at Lower House; First full-fledged change of administration
in history

Yomiuri:
DPJ wins 308 seats, change of administration; LDP wins only 119
seats, suffers historic defeat

Nikkei:
DPJ wins 308 seats, change of administration; Hatoyama cabinet to be
formed mid-September; LDP suffers historic defeat

Sankei:
The day that changed history: DPJ wins landslide history; LDP
suffers crushing defeat

Tokyo Shimbun:
DPJ wins 308 seats, change of administration; LDP wins only 119
seats, suffering unprecedented defeat

Akahata:
LDP, New Komeito suffer historic defeat; People pronounce their
verdict

(8) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Landslide victory for DPJ, change of administration: Respond to
the overwhelming popular will

Mainichi:

TOKYO 00001998 009 OF 009


(1) The people changed Japan: A change of administration in the
spirit of the Meiji Restoration

Yomiuri:
(1) DPJ administration now a reality: Meet the expectations for
change and shoulder the heavy responsibility

Nikkei:
(1) The people bet on a DPJ administration under Hatoyama

Sankei:
(1) DPJ administration: Protect national interest with a pragmatic
line; conservative revival is LDP's path to survival

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) The wheel of history turned: DPJ wins landslide victory; LDP
defeated

Akahata:
(1) Historic verdict: the LDP-New Komeito administration forced to
step down

ROOS

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