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

DE RUEHKO #2088/01 2522128
P 092128Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Sankei-FNN poll on Aso cabinet, political parties, election
results (Sankei)

(2) U.S. Ambassador to Japan visits Kanagawa governor and Yokohama
mayor (Kanagawa Shimbun)

(3) Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa meets U.S. Ambassador Roos, requests
meetings to review SOFA during November trip to U.S. (Nikkei)

(4) In meeting with U.S. Ambassador Roos, Kanagawa governor proposes
a forum for discussion of "environment accord" (Asahi)

(5) Hatoyama article elicits positive reaction? Hopes for change in
interaction with U.S. (Tokyo Shimbun)

(6) Letter to the Editor - Concerned about possible effects of
American newspaper's criticism (Asahi)

(7) Specifics about national strategy bureau not in sight: SDP, PNP
have questions about bureau's authority, role-sharing (Tokyo

(8) Editorial: North Korea's nuclear weapons: 'Intimidation' will
mean continuation of sanctions (Tokyo Shimbun)


(1) Sankei-FNN poll on Aso cabinet, political parties, election

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
September 8, 2009

Questions & Answers

(Note) Figures are percentages. Figures in parentheses are
percentages in the previous Sankei-FNN survey, conducted Aug.

Q: Do you support the Aso cabinet?

Yes 14.9 (22.2)
No 76.4 (67.9)
Don't know (D/K), etc. 8.7 (9.9)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 39.7 (36.0)
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 18.5 (26.1)
New Komeito (NK) 5.0 (4.9)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3.9 (2.4)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2.5 (1.5)
Your Party (YP or Minna no To) 3.6 (1.9)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.6 (0.4)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.3 (0.1)
Other political parties 0.9 (0.8)
None 24.4 (24.4)
D/K, etc. 0.6 (1.4)

Q: DPJ President Hatoyama is expected to become the next prime

TOKYO 00002088 002 OF 009

minister. Do you have high expectations for him?

Yes 63.8
No 31.6
D/K, etc. 4.6

Q: Do you think the number of seats the LDP won in the recent
election for the House of Representatives is too small?

Yes 48.9
No 45.9
D/K, etc. 5.2

Q: Do you think Mr. Hatoyama and Mr. Ozawa have fulfilled their
public accountability on their political donation issues?

Yes 15.0
No 76.3
D/K, etc. 8.7

Q: What do you think is the primary reason for the DPJ's victory in
the election?

High expectations for DPJ President Hatoyama 6.3
High expectations for individual candidates' political stances 5.6
High expectations for the DPJ's manifesto 29.2
Criticism of the ruling parties' policies or political stances 52.8
D/K, etc. 6.1

Q: What do you think is the primary reason for the LDP's defeat in
the election?

Judgments or words of Prime Minister Aso 29.5
Judgments or words of Prime Minister Aso's predecessors 19.5
Individual candidates' political stances 10.3
Rating for the LDP's performance 28.9
The LDP's manifesto of public pledges 6.4
D/K, etc. 5.3

Q: Do you think the LDP should have elected its new president before
voting to elect the prime minister?

Yes 55.1
No 28.4
D/K, etc. 16.5

Q: Do you think the LDP should push for a generational change?

Yes 85.1
No 9.2
D/K, etc. 5.7

Q: Do you think the LDP will come back to run the government?

Yes 68.1
No 18.9
D/K, etc. 13.0

Q: Who do you think would be most appropriate now as Japan's prime
minister among the following politicians in the ruling and
opposition parties?

TOKYO 00002088 003 OF 009

Taro Aso 1.6 (4.5)
Shigeru Ishiba 5.5 (3.1)
Nobuteru Ishihara 4.9 (4.9)
Koichi Kato 1.0 (---)
Sadakazu Tanigaki 1.6 (---)
Kunio Hatoyama 3.0 (---)
Yoshimasa Hayashi 0.3 (---)
Yoichi Masuzoe 13.1 (16.5)
Other LDP lawmakers 2.2 (---)
Katsuya Okada 8.4 (7.9)
Ichiro Ozawa 5.2 (5.5)
Naoto Kan 2.6 (3.9)
Yukio Hatoyama 22.6 (13.3)
Other lawmakers 3.6 (---)
None 19.8 (17.7)
D/K, etc. 4.6 (3.5)

Q: What kind of government would you like to see now?

DPJ's single-party government 18.6
DPJ-led coalition government 35.1
DPJ-LDP grand coalition government 38.1
D/K, etc. 8.2

Q: Would you like the ruling or opposition parties to win next
year's election for the House of Councillors?

DPJ and other new ruling parties 59.1
LDP and other new opposition parties 33.0
D/K, etc. 7.9

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Sept. 5-6 by the
Sankei Shimbun and Fuji News Network (FNN) over the telephone on a
computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis. For the survey, a
total of 1,000 persons were sampled from among men and women, aged
20 and over, across the nation.

(2) U.S. Ambassador to Japan visits Kanagawa governor and Yokohama

September 8, 2009

Taiki Mano, Ayano Endo

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos visited the Kanagawa prefectural
government building and the Yokohama city government building on
September 7. He held separate meetings with Governor Shigefumi
Matsuzawa and Mayor Fumiko Hayashi, exchanging views with them on
issues relating to U.S. military bases in Japan and the APEC meeting
to be held in Yokohama next year. According to the Kanagawa
prefectural government, this is the first time that Ambassador Roos
has met with Japanese local government leaders since he arrived in
Japan in August.

During his meeting with the Ambassador at the prefectural government
building, Governor Matsuzawa said: "I will be visiting the U.S. with
Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima in November to meet with senior
officials of the Departments of State and Defense. I would like to
propose the conclusion of special environmental agreements for U.S.
military bases." Roos responded, "President Obama also has a strong
interest in the environment. Let me study this issue carefully,"

TOKYO 00002088 004 OF 009

demonstrating a positive stance.

The Ambassador reportedly said to the governor, "You used to be a
Democratic Party of Japan Diet member. I look forward to your advice
on Japan-U.S. relations and security issues under the DPJ

Roos met Mayor Hayashi at the Yokohama city government building and
talked about the importance of social participation by women and
APEC. Hayashi told him that "we will be ready with warm hospitality
from all Yokohama citizens and thorough security measures through
cooperation with the relevant authorities" for APEC.

The ambassador reported said that the mayor should contact him if
she has any requests regarding military base issues and economic

(3) Kanagawa Governor Matsuzawa meets U.S. Ambassador Roos, requests
meetings to review SOFA during November trip to U.S.

NIKKEI (Page 2) (2009)
September 8, 2009

Kanagawa Governor Shigefumi Matsuzawa met U.S. Ambassador to Japan
John Roos, who arrived in Japan in August, on September 7. He asked
for meetings with members of the U.S. Congress and senior Department
of Defense officials in order to request a review of the Japan-U.S.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) during his visit to the U.S. in
November. The Ambassador replied that he will work positively to
arrange for the meetings.

Matsuzawa serves as the chair of the liaison council of governors of
prefectures hosting U.S. military bases. He asked Roos about the
possibility of holding an annual "liaison meeting" between the
liaison council and the Japanese and U.S. governments. He also
reiterated his proposal on concluding special agreements for
environmental conservation on U.S. bases between the two countries.

Ambassador Roos also met Yokoyama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi on the same
day. The mayor requested the early return of U.S. military
facilities in the city and exchanged views with Roos on the APEC
summit to be held in Yokohama next year.

(4) In meeting with U.S. Ambassador Roos, Kanagawa governor proposes
a forum for discussion of "environment accord"

ASAHI, Kanagawa Edition (Page 29) (Full)
September 8, 2009

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, who arrived at his post in
August, met on Sept. 7 with Kanagawa Prefecture Gov. Shigefumi
Matsuzawa. The two informally exchanged views on such issues as the
Japan-U.S. relationship and the U.S. base issue.

After the meeting, the Ambassador said, "We had a productive
discussion for building amicable bilateral ties." According to
Matsuzawa, who responded to interview requests, he asked Roos to set
up a forum for discussion of the conclusion of an "environment
special agreement," which would specify local governments'
involvement should the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement be
revised and in case contaminants are discovered at U.S. military
facilities in Japan.

TOKYO 00002088 005 OF 009

In the meeting, Matsuzawa also proposed the continuation of the
liaison council on the bases issue. Roos reportedly took a positive
stance toward the governor's proposals.

According to Matsuzawa, Roos, referring to the Democratic Party of
Japan's taking over the reins of government following its landslide
victory in the Aug. 30 House of Representatives election, asked him
how the DPJ administration will handle issues bearing on Japan-U.S.

The Ambassador also met with Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi. The two
reportedly discussed the base issue and economic cooperation between
Yokohama and U.S. cities. "Yokohama hopes to build close relations
with the United States through the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo," Hayashi

(5) Hatoyama article elicits positive reaction? Hopes for change in
interaction with U.S.

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 24) (Full)
September 5, 2009

An article by Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio
Hatoyama was reprinted in part by a U.S. newspaper, and this has
given rise to a controversy on his alleged "breaking away from the
U.S." While this affair has quieted down since his teleconference
with U.S. President Barack Obama and meeting with U.S. Ambassador
John Roos, there has also been some positive reaction by people
opining that "there is nothing wrong with expressing one's opinion
in diplomacy." Some people are hoping for change in "diplomatic tone
deaf" Japan.

The article in question appeared in the online edition of The New
York Times on August 27. The original in Japanese was contributed by
Hatoyama to the September edition of the monthly magazine Voice.
Excerpts from this article were translated into English and
reprinted. Significant portions of the original were excerpted, and
the controversy came about after the Japanese media reported the
reaction of the U.S. media and other concerned parties.

This article includes such passages as "If we look back on the
changes in Japanese society since the end of the Cold War... the
global economy has damaged traditional economic activities and
destroyed local communities" and "Another national goal that emerges
from the concept of fraternity is the creation of an East Asian
community. Passages of this sort have been interpreted as an
indication of Japan's "breaking away from the U.S."

However, it is doubtful if the Obama administration considers the
article to be a criticism, since the Obama administration itself was
born from the criticism of neo-liberalism and America itself is
pursuing multilateralism rather than U.S. unilateralism.

In any case, some American experts on Japan are baffled by the fuss
over this article. Professor Ronni Alexander of Kobe University's
Graduate School of International Cooperation Studies says, "The mass
media made too much of a fuss. President Obama probably thinks that
some criticism is inevitable. It is common practice to voice various
opinions in political debate."

The new DPJ administration is likely to have difficulty grappling

TOKYO 00002088 006 OF 009

with such issues as the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air
Station in its relations with the U.S. However, Alexander points out
that "the Japanese are not good at 'negating somebody's opinion but
not negating that person.' They are unable to conduct constructive
discussions out of fear of criticism. America is a society where you
have to argue loudly on a daily basis. I think Japan overreacted in
this case."

Yuji Kitamaru, a journalist based in New York, thinks that on the
contrary, the Obama administration probably welcomes the Hatoyama
article. This is because the U.S. Democratic Party emphasizes human
rights and the environment, so it "values just causes and ideals
rather than getting things done surreptitiously."

"To think that the Obama administration regarded the Hatoyama
article as offensive and impudent is off the mark," he says.
"Diplomacy is based on discussions, so criticism and argument are
inevitable. The Obama administration, which knows little about Mr.
Hatoyama and the DPJ, probably welcomes the article as a good sign
since he first tossed the ball in the game of catch it desires to
play with Japan."

Kitamaru also points out an issue with the Japanese side: "Diplomacy
under the old Liberal Democratic Party administration consisting
mostly of heeding the United States' wishes has given rise to the
problem of the secret nuclear agreement. The U.S. has also been
troubled by the gap between tatemae (public stance) and honne (true

What should the DPJ administration do, then, to realize a "close and
equal Japan-U.S. alliance relationship"? Kitamaru argues that Japan
should clarify what it can and cannot do as a sovereign country and
present concrete proposals.

He further explains that "this means that Japan should assert its
position on what it can do for the elimination of nuclear arms, and
on the Afghan issue (tell the U.S. that) while it cannot continue
the refueling mission or deploy the Self-Defense Forces, here are
the things it can do in terms of civilian support. A true partner
should not follow the U.S. blindly, but should work together with
the U.S. What is needed is aggressive diplomacy."

(6) Letter to the Editor - Concerned about possible effects of
American newspaper's criticism

ASAHI (Page8) (Abridged slightly)
September 6, 2009

The Sept. 1 editorial of the Washington Post reportedly described
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama as an
"inexperienced politician," while indicating that "it is too
dangerous for Japan to seek a rupture with the United States" given
the nuclear threat from North Korea. (TN: The editorial actually
says: "The threat of a nuclear North Korea makes Japan's
neighborhood too dangerous, we think, for the government in Tokyo to
seek a rupture with Washington or for the Obama administration to
let one develop.")

To begin with, why are the North Korean missiles directed at the
Japanese archipelago? North Korea and the United States still
continue to confront each other across the 38th parallel.
Technically the Korean War is not over yet, just in a ceasefire, so

TOKYO 00002088 007 OF 009

the large numbers of U.S. bases in Japan and South Korea are
front-line bases against North Korea. That is probably why the
missiles are directed at Japan.

The Washington Post editorial writer can evaluate the representative
of the incoming (Japanese) administration any way he likes.
Nevertheless, the respected American newspaper's editorial that
seems to be designed to apply pressure on Japan has connotations of
rousing up nationalism, and that, too, bothers me.

The presence of North Korea has been convenient for some lately. The
view of regarding North Korea as a threat helps defuse criticism of
U.S. bases (in Japan). The argument is also indispensable for
upgrading the equipment of the Self-Defense Forces. The (North
Korean threat) argument is now treated just like a banner for the
public good. I want to see the argument lose its magical power

-- Harumi Kimura, 65, unemployed
Hachioji, Tokyo

(7) Specifics about national strategy bureau not in sight: SDP, PNP
have questions about bureau's authority, role-sharing

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 9, 2009

Although coalition talks among the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ),
the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP)
are entering the final stage, specifics about the national strategy
bureau, which will be the showcase of the new administration, have
yet to be revealed. Some question whether the DPJ has really worked
out the specifics of the bureau, although it advocated the bureau's
establishment in its manifesto for the Lower House election.

A senior SDP official on Sept. 8 complained about the document, a
single sheet of paper, describing the national strategy bureau plan
provided by a senior DPJ official. "From this document I can get no
idea of what it's about," the official said.

The document included a diagram of the relationships between the
prime minister, each cabinet member, and the national strategy
bureau under the new administration. This was a reply to a request
from the SDP and the PNP for a briefing on the national strategy
bureau. The two parties are worried that their presence in the
planned coalition government might by eclipsed.

The document reportedly did not include any details, such as its
composition, size, or specific duties.

What has been revealed until now about the national strategy bureau
is that (1) it directly reports to the prime minister and is to
consist of lawmakers and party personnel; (2) it is to draft a
national vision for a new era and map out a budget framework under
the initiative of politicians; and (3) DPJ Deputy Chairman Naoto Kan
will take office as minister in charge.

Key points, such as role-sharing with the administrative renewal
council and the cabinet ministerial committee to be newly
established separately from the national strategy bureau, its
authority over government agencies, and whether it will be
responsible for foreign affairs and security, remain unclear.

TOKYO 00002088 008 OF 009

Government agencies are eager to know specifics about the envisaged
bureau, because it is drawing much interest as a mechanism to enable
politicians instead of bureaucrats to take the initiative in
establishing ways to allocate tax revenues. However, details of
actual duties assigned to the bureau are not in sight.

This is not due to the DPJ concealing specifics but due to its being
unable to envisage a full-fledged image of the bureau. A senior DPJ
member involved in the work of launching the bureau said, "We have
an image, but the form of the bureau cannot be set before the
overall picture of the administration is decided." This official
explained that the work of deciding the details, such as how many of
the five special advisors to the prime minister to assign to the
bureau, etc., cannot be done unless the blueprint of the government
as a whole is set. This situation will likely continue for some time
to come.

In the meantime, in order to give the bureau a legal basis, it is
necessary to pass legislation during the extraordinary Diet session
to be convened in the fall. Since this cannot be done in time for
the start of the new administration, the DPJ is now examining the
idea of launching it as a national strategy office, whose status
would be stipulated by government ordinance.

(8) Editorial: North Korea's nuclear weapons: 'Intimidation' will
mean continuation of sanctions

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 5) (Full)
September 7, 2009

(The following translation was provided by the Open Source Center;
it is filed as product number JPP20090907017001.)

We thought (North Korea) was actively seeking dialogue, but now it
is unfolding tactics to stir things up. Seemingly, North Korea is
calling for the removal of economic sanctions imposed on it by a UN
Security Council resolution. But (what the DPRK is doing now) will
rather bring adverse results. The DPRK has no choice but to move
toward giving up its nuclear weapons.

"We have reached the final stage after successfully conducting
uranium enrichment tests." "The extracted plutonium is being turned
into weapons."

North Korean representatives to the United Nations sent to the UN
Security Council chairman a letter complaining about the economic
sanctions. At the same time, North Korea highlighted its hard-line
stance, saying, "We will have to take other hard-line measures if
the United Nations continues to impose sanctions."

It was the first time North Korea had officially announced its
success in uranium enrichment tests. The credibility of the
announcement is uncertain, but North Korea's nuclear development
runs counter to a UNSC resolution regarding a nuclear test conducted
in May. It is extremely regrettable.

North Korea should understand that the economic sanctions will
continue until it gives up its nuclear weapons. It should end the
threat tactics and other adversarial attempts using nuclear

The aim of the letter is to lift the economic sanctions and to seek

TOKYO 00002088 009 OF 009

dialogue with the United States. It may also be aimed at keeping the
movement of Stephen Bosworth -- the US special representative for
North Korean policy, who is on a round of visits to China, South
Korea, and Japan for the resumption of the six-party talks -- in

By any measure North Korea has been busy on the diplomatic front. It
has sought dialogue by inviting former U.S. President Clinton, a
representative of a South Korean conglomerate, and Chinese Vice
Foreign Minister Wu Dawei to Pyongyang.

North Korea's neighboring countries are of the view that "it is not
a fundamental change but a tactical move," according to South Korean
Unification Minister Hyun In-taek. The United States has imposed an
additional sanction against North Korean financial institutions. We
have information that China is also practicing strict control over
financial dealings -- buying and selling of the US dollar, in

North Korea might have sent the letter while feeling frustration
from such moves. But it is also proof that the economic sanctions
are steadily having an effect.

North Korea is trying to restore its economy by promoting the
"150-Day Battle," which will soon end, and General Secretary Kim
Jong Il, who is in ill health, is faced with the issue of hereditary
transfer of power. In both cases, the future is uncertain.

North Korea's various tactics are also aimed at creating discord
among neighboring countries, who are virtually keeping in step with
each other over the issue of making North Korea give up its nuclear
weapons. We should not make light of communications among ourselves.

Incidentally, Japan is in the midst of regime transition. The
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which will take the helm of
government, agrees that North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons
or missiles is absolutely unacceptable. The DPJ treats North Korea's
abduction of Japanese citizens as a priority issue.

For the DPJ government it is crucial that there be a smooth handover
of policy agenda from the previous administration. At the same time,
the DPJ must pay extra attention -- after carrying out coordination
with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs -- to assure that cooperation
with neighboring countries leaves nothing to be desired.


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