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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - General Election in Japan

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #1999 2430727
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P 310727Z AUG 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7023
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 001999

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - GENERAL ELECTION IN JAPAN

1. LEAD STORIES: All Monday morning papers were dominated by
coverage of the DPJ's landslide victory in Sunday's general
election.

2. "DPJ Must Respond to People's Expectations" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri editorialized (8/31): "The election results should
be considered a reflection of Japanese voters' deep-seated desire
for a change of government despite their 'apprehension' about a DPJ
administration. However, the DPJ's victory in garnering more than
300 seats does not necessarily mean that voters have given the DPJ
carte blanche.... On the diplomatic and security fronts, the new
administration must not be allowed to trample on [Japan's]
international commitments. It must uphold the U.S.-Japan alliance
with diplomatic continuity in mind."

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3. "Political Parties Must Respond to Avalanche of People's Voices"
The liberal Asahi insisted in an editorial (8/31): "The DPJ should
have the courage to change its course if mistakes or shortcomings
are found in implementing its policies.... 'Prime Minister' Hatoyama
will attend the UN General Assembly session and the G20 financial
summit in late September. He should swiftly reveal the party's basic
policies - what aspects of Japan's diplomacy up until now will be
maintained and what elements will be altered - in order to provide
reassurance to the Japanese people and the international
community."

4. "DPJ Administration Must Protect National Interests by Taking
Pragmatic Line" The conservative Sankei argued (8/31): "It is not
desirable for major changes to occur in basic policies whenever a
change of power takes place. [Japan's] credibility abroad will be
lost if [the DPJ] wavers over basic diplomatic and security
policies.... [The DPJ administration] must preserve the continuity
of Japan's diplomatic and security policies based on the U.S.-Japan
alliance."

5. "Voters Place High Expectations on Hatoyama-led Administration in
Demand for Change" The business-oriented Nikkei claimed (8/31): "The
DPJ plans to forge a coalition government with the Social Democratic
Party (SDP) and People's New Party. Large gaps exist between the DPJ
and the SDP over foreign and security policies. The DPJ is urged not
to make easy compromises on the policy front in an attempt to
prioritize the formation of a coalition [with other parties]."

ROOS

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