Cablegate: Hatoyama Confidante On Upcoming Hatoyama

DE RUEHKO #2061/01 2510626
O 080626Z SEP 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002061


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/08/2019

TOKYO 00002061 001.2 OF 002

Classified By: DCM James P. Zumwalt per 1.4 (b/d)


1. (C) Ruling DPJ Diet member and Yukio Hatoyama confidante
Yorihisa Matsuno told Embassy Tokyo September 4 that the
presumptive next Prime Minister's ""first priority"" will be to
establish a close relationship with the United States and
President Obama. To that end, Hatoyama had already turned
down an invitation to visit China, arguing that ""I need to
visit the United States first,"" Matsuno relayed. Matsuno
also discussed Afghanistan and the Indian Ocean refueling
mission and described Hatoyama's dislike of the Socialists,
the possible domestic function of the National Strategy
Bureau, the prominent role of Ichiro Ozawa as DPJ Secretary
General and the low chances that the Hatoyama administration
will make a bilateral issue of the so-called ""secret nuclear
pact"" from 40 years ago. End Summary.

Close U.S. Relationship is First Priority

2. (C) DPJ Diet member and Hatoyama confidante Yorihisa
Matsuno told Embassy Tokyo Poloff September 4 that DPJ
President Hatoyama is ""very pro-U.S.,"" but that his view on
the United States and U.S.-Japan relationship had been skewed
in the recent op-ed piece that ran in the New York Times.
Matsuno said that under Hatoyama, the DPJ government's ""first
priority"" will be to build a close relationship with the
United States and President Obama, followed by achieving the
promises related to domestic matters the party made in its
manifesto, such as increasing the child allowance.

3. (C) Hatoyama understands well the importance of the United
States to Japan, Matsuno continued. For example, China
recently already offered Hatoyama an invitation to visit
before Hatoyama's trip to the United States, but Hatoyama
declined. Matsuno relayed that Hatoyama told him that
""President Obama has to be the first foreign leader I meet.""
Hatoyama is truly looking forward to meeting President Obama
in the U.S., Matsuno said. Matsuno was also very happy to
see that Hatoyama and Ambassador Roos ""hit it off"" during
their September 3 meeting. Matsuno assessed that Hatoyama
should have a direct channel to the Ambassador because the
quickest way for Hatoyama to understand U.S. thinking is to
communicate directly with the Ambassador.

Afghanistan and Refueling Mission

4. (C) On Afghanistan and the refueling issue, Matsuno
explained that the DPJ first needs to understand ""what the
United States wants and needs."" Matsuno argued that U.S.
desiderata for Afghan reconstruction ""must have changed"" from
the Bush administration to the Obama administration.
Furthermore, while it is important to understand the needs of
Afghanistan and Pakistan, the DPJ still needs to understand
what the United States would have Japan do, Matsuno
explained. He further emphasized that humanitarian
assistance, rather than military assistance involving Japan's
Self-Defense Forces, would be easier for the DPJ
administration to pursue, considering its likely coalition
relationship with Socialists. In any case, the Hatoyama
administration will need to understand U.S. ""needs"" first,
and then discuss how the two countries can cooperate.

Relationship with the Socialists

5. (C) On the DPJ's relationship with the Social Democratic
Party (SDP), Matsuno clearly stated that Hatoyama ""wants to
get rid of any SDP presence in a coalition government as soon
as possible."" He believes that the SDP's influence in the
coalition government would be very limited, as it only has
seven seats in the Lower House. While true that the DPJ
needs the SDP in the Upper House in order to have a majority
there, ""once the DPJ gets a majority in the Upper House, the
relationship with the SDP is over,"" Matsuno stressed. For
now, the SDP will need to voice loudly its policy positions
in order to ""prove that it is still alive,"" but that does not
mean the party will have significant influence on government
management and policy decisions, Matsuno explained.

TOKYO 00002061 002.2 OF 002

National Strategy Bureau

6. (C) Matsuno said that the focus of the DPJ-proposed
National Strategy Bureau will be on domestic issues. The new
organization, to be headed by Deputy Prime Minister (and
seasoned bureaucrat basher) Naoto Kan, will cover some
foreign and national security policy issues, but these will
be limited and ""most of the attention will be paid to
domestic-focused ministries and their budgets and personnel""
Matsuno said.

DPJ Secretary General Ozawa

7. (C) Matsuno said frankly that there were pros and cons to
appointing former DPJ Party President Ichiro Ozawa as
Secretary General. However, it is undeniable that Ozawa
alone succeeded in getting 150 new DPJ members elected. The
DPJ needs these members to be re-elected next time around,
and Ozawa is the only person capable of doing this. He is
also the only politician able to ""keep in line"" such a large
group of first-termers.

""Secret Agreement"" and Three Non-Nuclear Principles
--------------------------------------------- ------

8. (C) On the issue of the so-called ""secret agreement"" (from
40 years ago) between the United States and Japan to allow
ships with nuclear weapons to pass through Japanese straits
and enter ports, Matsuno said the DPJ's intention is ""not to
make this an issue with the United States."" The DPJ
understands that the USG has already disclosed the relevant
information and publicly stated that the documents speak for
themselves. ""The problem is MOFA,"" Matsuno said. MOFA has
tried to hide the existence of the agreement, and therefore
the DPJ has to pursue this. ""It is not about the United
States,"" he stressed.

9. (C) On the possibility of legislating Japan's three
non-nuclear principles (no production, possession or
introduction), Matsuno said he was personally against it.
Obviously, as President Obama said, our ultimate goal should
be the elimination of nuclear weapons. That said, Matsuno
predicted that the legislation of the three principles ""will
not happen anytime soon."" The DPJ is realistic about this,
he added.

Bio Note

10. (C) Matsuno is a 4th term Diet member from Kumamoto 1st
district. His father, Raizo Matsuno, was former Prime
Minister Shigeru Yoshida's secretary and served as Labor
Minister, Defense Agency head, and Agriculture Minister in
the Kishi and Sato Cabinets, and had senior party jobs in the
Miki Cabinet. Matsuno Jr. started his political career as a
staffer in the New Frontier Party, then became a secretary to
former PM Morihiro Hosokawa. Matsuno succeeded Hosokawa in
his district and was first elected in 2000. Because
Matsuno's father and Hatoyama's grandfather and father were
close politically, Matsuno and Hatoyama are themselves close.
Matsuno is considered one of a small handful Diet members
who have Hatoyama's ear on political and policy issues.

© Scoop Media

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