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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/11/09

DE RUEHKO #2114/01 2540654
P 110654Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) U.S. seeks Japan's continued refueling mission in Indian Ocean -
a source of trouble for Hatoyama diplomacy (Nikkei)

(2) Eight years after 9/11; Japan should also participate in war on
terror (Sankei)

(3) Eight years after 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S.; Beyond war on
terrorism (Asahi)

(4) Editorial: Don't make the Afghan war the "Obama War" (Tokyo

(5) Editorial: Coalition agreement questionable for Japan-U.S.
alliance (Sankei)

(6) Final coordination underway for Japan-China-ROK summit (Yomiuri)

(7) Okinawa calls on U.S. military, other organizations to reduce
base noise (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(8) Nago mayor, citizens complain survey of noise levels near
Futenma relocation site conducted through demo flights did not
reflect reality (Okinawa Times)

(9) Aircraft noise increased at 10 places around Kadena Air Base in
Fiscal 2008 (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(10) H2B rocket launch successful, Japanese space development enters
new phase (Asahi)


(1) U.S. seeks Japan's continued refueling mission in Indian Ocean -
a source of trouble for Hatoyama diplomacy

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
September 11, 2009

Ahead of the establishment next week of a coalition government led
by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) a source of conflict has
already emerged between Japan and the United States. The U.S.
government has revealed a plan to ask the DPJ to reconsider its
policy of terminating the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean after it expires next January. The DPJ
intends to expedite its efforts to find new assistance measures
replacing the refueling mission. Nevertheless, given the harsh
security situation in Afghanistan, options are limited for the new

A U.S. Defense Department spokesman has urged Japan to continue its
refueling activities beyond next January. Last night a DPJ executive
explained the spokesman's comment this way: "The message is nothing
new. The U.S. government probably cannot change what it has said in
the past."

The DPJ did not specify its stance on the refueling mission in its
manifesto (campaign pledges). President Yukio Hatoyama has announced
that the incoming administration will not extend the refueling
mission once it expires. The DPJ intends to adhere to this policy
even if the United States calls for an extension.

TOKYO 00002114 002 OF 010

At the same time, the party is aware that the deterioration of
relations with the United States might damage the stability of the
(DPJ-led) administration. The party is exploring ways of continuing
to contribute to the war against terrorism by coming up with new
steps, such as civilian support, although the refueling mission will
be terminated next January.

Anti-government Taliban militants are regaining strength, and the
security situation in Afghanistan is rapidly deteriorating. What
Japan can do to assist Afghanistan is limited. In 2008 the DPJ came
up with a set of assistance measures including an approach to end
disputes (in Afghanistan) and humanitarian and reconstruction
support. The measures were criticized by the government and the
ruling coalition as impractical.

The DPJ is certain to lose more options once it forms a coalition
government with the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which opposes the
overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF). When the party
was led by Ichiro Ozawa, the DPJ advocated joining the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. The SDP is likely
to oppose this idea as well.

Reportedly the DPJ does not plan to dispatch SDF troops to
Afghanistan. Many also think that it is difficult to dispatch
civilian assistance teams in view of the security situation in
Afghanistan. If the involvement of the SDF becomes a topic of
discussion, it could cause trouble for the DPJ-led coalition

(2) Eight years after 9/11; Japan should also participate in war on

SANKEI (Page 2) (Editorial)
September 11, 2009

Today marks the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the U.S.
in 2001. The attacks killed about 3,000 people, including 24
Japanese nationals. Let us offer a silent prayer to those victims,
honoring the memory of the tragedy.

U.S. President Barack Obama faces the anniversary under an
unprecedentedly severe situation. Elements of Al-Qaeda, an
international terrorist group responsible for the attacks on the
U.S., are still hiding in Afghanistan. In this country, an
increasing number of troops of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty
Organization) force, including the U.S., and civilians have been
injured or killed. There has been no remarkable progress in
improvement of the security situation and reconstruction efforts

A presidential election was held In Afghanistan in late August, and
the tallying of the votes cast is going on. Since (the UN-backed
watchdog) has invalidated more than 2,000 votes, the Afghan
government is having difficulty ensuring the validity of the

In an airstrike on Sept. 4 by the NATO force targeting Talban
militants, scores of civilians were also killed accidentally. Such
incidents have strained relations between the Afghan people and the
NATO force.

TOKYO 00002114 003 OF 010

Immediately after the 9/11 attacks took place eight years ago, an
overwhelming number of Americans supported the war on terrorism in
Afghanistan. Recently, however, many Americans have been critical of
even the government's decision to increase troops in Afghanistan. In
an opinion poll conducted by CNN, 57 PERCENT of respondents voiced
opposition against the (NATO force's) military operation in

Keeping in mind the fact that terrorist acts have continually taken
place around the world also since 9/11, we should recognize anew
that Afghanistan is the forefront of the war on terror. Taliban
elements have crossed the border and have also engaged in terrorist
attacks in Pakistan, a nuclear power. It is vital to maintain
stability in this region, including Pakistan, for the sake of world

By including measures to assist public welfare in his comprehensive
strategy toward Afghanistan out this March, President Obama
indicated a willingness to change the strategy heretofore used to
combat terrorism. Obama, though, has clearly said that the military
campaign in Afghanistan is a "necessary war." For his new strategy
to succeed, it is vital for the U.S. to ensure unity in the
international community and to obtain cooperation from other
countries, especially its allies.

Japan has provided aid in public welfare in Afghanistan, including
dispatching civilians to help reconstruct schools and hospitals, as
well as giving advice on rice farming. The Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean has been evaluated as
Japan's most distinguished contribution. Eyeing the launch of a new
government led by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Sept. 16,
the Pentagon spokesman said: "We are hopeful that there will be
continuity (in the strength of the alliance between the two

A new coalition government should be aware that Japan's continued
refueling mission will lead to preventing terrorism in Japan and
other countries. The DPJ has said that it would end the mission next
January, when the law authorizing the mission expires. But the party
should make a policy switch to continue this mission, bearing the
actual situation in Afghanistan in mind.

(3) Eight years after 9/11 terrorist attacks on U.S.; Beyond war on

ASAHI (Page 3) (Editorial)
September 11, 2009

We recall then President Bush's tense look on TV screens. Hijacked
airplanes plowed into the World Trade Center Building in New York
and into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on September 11, 2009,
claiming the lives of more than 3,000.

Bush swore that he would take vengeance on the terrorists, saying on
TV, "This is an act of war." He declared war on international

Bush's war, which started with an attack on Afghanistan, led to a
strike on Iraq. U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq alone have by far
exceeded the number of victims claimed in the 9/11 terrorist
attacks. Iraq has lost a vast greater number of civilians to war.

TOKYO 00002114 004 OF 010

This year President Obama succeeded Bush, who continued to describe
the war against terrorism as a just cause. The key word of the new
administration is reconciliation with Islam. The war on terrorism
has thus been replaced with confrontation against militant

This is a change brought about by lessons learned from the
devastating destruction, sacrifice, sorrow and anger visited by war
over eight years. It is a switch from the previous policy line of
simply categorizing people as terrorists or allies, and pummeling
with overwhelming military power those determined to be terrorists.

New strategies, such as getting to the root of nondemocratic
politics, injustice, poverty and sagging economies, elements that
are encouraging support for extremists, and building confidence with
people with different cultures and religions through dialogue, are
discernable in President Obama's policy stance.

The world welcomed this direction from Obama. In Japan, too, a
change of government from the LDP, which supported the Bush-style
war on terrorism, to the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which
opposed the Iraq War, will take place. The moment has arrived for
Japan to establish a proactive foreign policy and a mechanism to
provide support that are different from those of the LDP era.

However, the war cannot be easily ended once it was started.
President Obama, who advocates dialogue, is now facing this grim
fact. He is dispatching additional troops to Afghanistan, deeming
the war in that nation to be a necessary one. However, the situation
is gradually deteriorating.

The Taliban militants, who had been driven out of the
administration, have regained strength. The Afghan government's
ability to govern is questionable. Casualties are sharply increasing
among troops dispatched by various European countries. A large
number of civilians have become collateral damage during bombings.
Since skepticism about continuing to station troops in Afghanistan
is growing in many countries, Britain and Germany have proposed
holding an international conference with the aim of restoring

Concern about Afghanistan becoming a second Vietnam is beginning to
be heard in and outside the U.S. -- the U.S. had to pull out of
Vietnam, failing to achieve stability even though it repeatedly
reinforced troops.

How to rebuild Afghanistan is one of the most difficult challenges
facing the world. What is clear, however, is that it is impossible
to find a way to subdue Islamic extremism without deepening dialogue
with Islamic societies.

(4) Editorial: Don't make the Afghan war the "Obama War"

TOKYO (Page 5) (Full)
September 11, 2009

Tomorrow will mark the eighth anniversary of the September 11
terrorist attacks on the United States. A matter of grave concern
for the Obama Administration is the resolution of the Afghan war,
which bears a relation to (preventing) the spread of nuclear weapons
to terrorists. The Obama administration should not turn the former
administration's negative legacy into the "Obama War."

TOKYO 00002114 005 OF 010

Two airliners crashed into the World Trade Center Twin Towers,
killing about 3,000 people, including 24 Japanese, at one fell
swoop. The attack was carried out by the Islamic fundamentalist
group Al-Qaeda. We still remember the horror of the terrorist
attacks. Although Ground Zero is now being redeveloped, family
members and victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks still bear
emotional scars.

If the Iraq war symbolizes "Bush's war," the Afghan war is a
touchstone for the Obama administration -- a touchstone of how to
exit from the war and cope with terrorism.

Ever since his presidential campaign, Obama has advocated a
nation-building policy that attaches priority to the civilian
sector, while denying resolution by military strength alone. "The
true terrorist threat facing America comes from Afghanistan," he

Since assuming office Obama has consistently called for dialogue
with Islam. His strategy has been to reach out to moderate Muslim
groups. His speeches in Turkey and Egypt were meant to clarify
differences between his administration and George Bush's and to aim
for moral advantage.

Obama appointed General Stanley McChrystal, who led the Joint
Special Operations Command, as the head of the International
Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), which commands a
North Atlantic Treaty Organization unit. He dispatched more U.S.
troops. He has not wavered from the goal of defeating terrorism.

There will be many difficulties on the path to bringing stability to
Afghanistan. The Taliban, which has vowed jihad against superpowers,
is growing in strength. Battles in many Afghan regions have been
intensifying. The toll of victims is rising. Early this month a NATO
air strike killed many civilians in the province of Kundu.

In his speech to veterans last month Obama said the war in
Afghanistan "is an indispensable war." It was an expression of alarm
at the increasing power of the Taliban, which has strong influence
in Pakistan, a country with a nuclear arsenal.

There are signs of change under the new Afghan government. The
outcome of the presidential election - votes are still being tallied
-- is the key to the future of Afghanistan. McChrystal visited Kundu
immediately after the (collateral damage) incident and released a
statement apologizing for the strike. Reportedly he achieved a
degree of understanding from local people. Obama's policy of
dialogue has received high marks from moderate Muslims.

The keys to Obama's exit strategy are to marginalize radical
terrorist networks and to have Afghanistan engage in nation-building
of its volition. The international community's cooperation is
indispensable for preventing the Afghan war from becoming a quagmire
like the Viet Nam.

(5) Editorial: Coalition agreement questionable for Japan-U.S.

SANKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
September 10, 2009

TOKYO 00002114 006 OF 010

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and its two allies, the Social
Democratic Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP), have now
finally agreed to form a tripartite coalition government.

The three parties' agreement incorporated their common pledges they
made public in the run-up to the recent general election for the
House of Representatives. For example, one of their common public
pledges is to leave the consumption tax rate unchanged at 5 PERCENT
. Concerning Japan's foreign and security policies, their agreement
incorporated the idea of building "a close, equal relationship
between Japan and the United States" and the idea of reviewing the
presence of U.S. military bases in Japan.

The coalition government must protect Japan's peace, security, and
prosperity. So Japan's alliance with the United States must not be

The agreement reached this time held down an anti-U.S. imprint as a
result of giving first consideration to the establishment of a
coalition government. Even so, we wonder if the new coalition
government will be able to maintain the alliance in a facilitative

Meanwhile, their coalition agreement did not directly refer to the
policy of ending the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission
in the Indian Ocean. Instead, the three parties agreed to "remove a
hotbed of terrorism" and "study measures to assist Afghanistan,
based on its actual circumstances." Their agreement did not specify
any alternative plans. However, this can be taken to imply that
Japan will not break away from the war on terror at once.

DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama has indicated that he would examine the
current government's antiterror policy when meeting with U.S.
President Obama. However, he should present a specific plan that can
build a relationship of mutual trust.

In the process of holding policy talks, the SDP proposed
incorporating its stance of reviewing the planned relocation of the
U.S. military's Futenma airfield, while the DPJ wanted to use
abstract wording. In the end, their policy talks reached an
agreement to "move in the direction of reviewing" the presence of
U.S. military bases as well as the realignment of U.S. forces in
Japan. However, it would not be realistic to upset the results of
negotiations held between Japan and the United States for years.

In addition, the three parties also agreed to propose revising the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement concerning the status of U.S.
military personnel in Japan, including jurisdiction over them.
However, we wanted the three parties to recognize the international
situation, in which Japan and the United States should maintain and
strengthen their bilateral alliance.

(6) Final coordination underway for Japan-China-ROK summit

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 11, 2009

Satoshi Saeki, Beijing

It has been learned that the Chinese, Japanese, and South Korean
governments are in the final stage of coordinating a schedule for
the planned summit meeting in China of their top leaders, with an

TOKYO 00002114 007 OF 010

eye toward holding it on Oct. 10. A foreign ministerial is expected
to take place on Sept. 28 in Shanghai as a preparatory session,
according to sources in Beijing on Sept. 10.

Reportedly there is a possibility that the venue for the summit will
be changed from the planned location of Tianjin to Beijing.
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama, who will
be voted in as the new prime minister on Sept. 16, will visit China
to hold talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean
President Lee Myung Bak, in addition to Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Hatoyama and the Chinese leaders will confirm that they plan to
further develop the Japan-China relationship. DPJ Secretary General
Katsuya Okada, who will be appointed as foreign minister, will
attend the foreign ministerial meeting.

The Chinese government sent Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, a Japan
expert, to Tokyo on Sept. 7. Wu met with Hatoyama during his visit.
According to sources familiar with Japan-China relations, Liu
Hongcai, deputy chief of the Chinese Communist Party's International
Department, an expert on Japan, will also visit Japan next week. The
Chinese government is now demonstrating a policy of attaching
importance to its relations with Japan.

(7) Okinawa calls on U.S. military, other organizations to reduce
base noise

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Full) (Page 31)
September 11, 2009

Kenji Chinen, director general of Okinawa Prefecture's cultural and
environmental affairs department, and Munehide Taira, the
prefecture's base disaster prevention coordinator, yesterday visited
the U.S. Forces' Okinawa Area Coordinator Office, the U.S. Consulate
General in Okinawa, the Defense Ministry's Okinawa Bureau, the
Foreign Ministry's Okinawa office, and the Air Self-Defense Force's
(ASDF) Naha base. The two Okinawa government officials asked them to
reduce noise at U.S. Kadena Air Base, the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station, and Naha Airport.

Citing the aircraft noise-restriction measures, which regulate
flights from 10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m., Okinawa's request letter for
Kadena Air Base and the Futenma Air Station pointed out that no
clear effects have been seen. The request also indicated exercises
conducted by non-Okinawa base aircraft and noise in such densely
populated areas as Naha City as problems. Okinawa prefecture called
for 1) noise reduction, 2) strict implementation of the aircraft
noise-restriction measures, 3) reporting on how the measures are
being implemented to the prefecture and municipalities around the

At the Foreign Ministry's Okinawa office, Kazuhiro Kuno, deputy head
of the office, said: "We will continue to ask (the U.S. side) to
avoid taking off in the early morning when aircraft that are
provisionally deployed in Kadena Air Base return to the U.S."

According to Okinawa prefecture, U.S. Forces' Okinawa Area
Coordinator Kevin Bishop (colonel), who responded (to Chinen and
Taira), reportedly said: "We are aware that there is concern about
noise (in local areas). So we will continue to make efforts to
operate below the accepted noise level based on the (noise
restriction measures)."

TOKYO 00002114 008 OF 010

(8) Nago mayor, citizens complain survey of noise levels near
Futenma relocation site conducted through demo flights did not
reflect reality

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 27) (Excerpts)
September 11, 2009

Northern Okinawa - Two U.S. military helicopters flew over the
planned runways and helipads in waters off Henoko. The demo flights
that took place in Nago City and Ginoza Village on September 10 were
a survey that the local community had been demanding for a long
time. However, the flight routes consisted mostly of air space over
the site of Futenma's replacement facility off the coast selected by
the national government. The aircraft did not fly over civilian
areas or between military facilities, so the noise level was lower
than what the residential areas experience on a daily basis during
exercises. Nago Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro noted that, "Noise was
observed in the nearby areas," indicating that the government's plan
will have a serious impact on the local community. Many citizens
pointed out that the survey was insufficient and "did not reflect

Shimabukuro and city officials observed the helicopters from the
rooftop of a public apartment building in Henoko which overlooks the
Henoko seashore. He gave the following comments to reporters after
the survey ended: "Hovering produced noise exceeding 80 decibels in
nearby residential areas. It was noisy. I felt that this will be a
big problem for local residents."

More than 20 Nago City lawmakers and other officials gathered at the
"Tower of Peace" around 1 kilometer from the planned runway site.
After observing the helicopters hovering over the proposed helipad
sites, Kenyu Shimabukuro, Nago City Assembly chairman who lives in
Henoko, said that this is "absolutely unacceptable." He added that:
"I was able to get an image of how close they are flying. Right now,
helicopters fly over land on a daily basis. It will be difficult to
assess noise with the demo flights alone."

Ginoza Village Mayor Hajime Azuma and about 20 local residents
watched the demo flights from, the rooftop of the Second Server Farm
in the Matsuda district. Azuma observed that, "The noise level is
lower than that during normal exercises. This data will not be

(9) Aircraft noise increased at 10 places around Kadena Air Base in
Fiscal 2008

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 29) (Full)
September 8, 2009

The Okinawa prefectural government's culture and environment office
revealed on Sept. 7 the results of an aircraft noise level
measurement in fiscal 2008. According to the results, the WECPN
(weighted equivalent continuous perceived level, an indicator of
aircraft noise) exceeded environmental standards in nine (the same
number as in fiscal 2007) of the 15 measurement stations around
Kadena Air Base and three (the same number as in fiscal 2007) of the
nine measurement stations around Futenma Air Station. Instances of
noise generation at ten stations around Kadena Air Base exceeded the
number in fiscal 2007. At Kadena instances of noise between 10:00
p.m. and 7:00 a.m., when the number of flights is limited under the
aircraft-noise-control- measures law, increased to 400.7 from 222.0

TOKYO 00002114 009 OF 010

(monthly averages) in fiscal 2007, a record number since 1996, when
the Japanese and U.S. government agreed on the measurement law.

Okinawa government to ask U.S. military to reduce aircraft noise

The Okinawa prefectural government will ask five places, including
the (Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Ministry's) Naha Airport
office, on Sept. 8 and the U.S. bases in Okinawa on the 10th, to
reduce noise levels, on the grounds the noise seriously affects the
daily lives of residents of communities around the bases.

Instances of noise generation increased substantially at Yara A
station, to 79.1 from 60.3 in fiscal 2007; at Yara B station, to
110.2 from 91.2 in 2007; and at Kamisei station, to 104.9 from 97.3
in 2007. The largest noise level was 118.7 decibels (dB) recorded at
Sunabe station.

The WECPNL exceeded the environmental standard at nine stations,
such as 89 in Sunabe (environmental standard of 75), and 82 in Yara
B (70). At four stations the noise levels in 2008 topped those in
2007. Instances of predawn noise surpassed figures for fiscal 2007
at three of the four stations. For example, the figure at Yara A
station was 101.4 times compared with 82.2 times in 2007.

Around Futenma Air Station aircraft noise increased at only one
station. Even in eight stations where instances of noise decreased,
the biggest decrease was at the Kamiojana station, to 56.4 instances
in 2008 from 63.9 instances in 2007, a decrease of 7.5. There was no
drastic decrease in noise levels. The highest intensity was 120.7
decibels at Kamiojana. The WECPNL was exceeded at three stations,
including Kamiojana, where it was 83, compared with the
environmental standard of 70. The WECPNL topped the environmental
standard at one of the three stations around Naha Airport.

Kenji Chinen, chief of the Culture and Environment Office, said: "I
don't think aircraft noise was reduced. Overall, such noise
increased. It is difficult to identify reasons for the increase. We
will tenaciously call for reduction (of noise)." Referring to the
fact that predawn instances of noise doubled in stations around
Kadena Air Base, he said, "I have heard from Kadena Town that engine
tune-ups have increased. Since there is a road between the town
office, where noise is measured, and the base, vehicle noise may
contribute to the noise level, (but) we don't have any details."

(10) H2B rocket launch successful, Japanese space development enters
new phase

ASAHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
Evening, September 11, 2009

The domestically produced rocket H2B No. 1, carrying Japan's first
unmanned spaceship HTV transporting supplies for the International
Space Station (ISS), was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center
in Kagoshima Prefecture at 02:01:46 a.m. on September 11. The Japan
Aerospace Exploration Agency confirmed after 15 minutes that the HTV
had successfully entered the intended orbit.

While the ultimate success of this project can only be determined
after the HTV docks at the ISS, the successful launch means that
Japan has taken an important step toward a stronger international
presence in space development.

TOKYO 00002114 010 OF 010

The rights to use the ISS for the participants of the project - the
U.S., Europe, Russia, Canada, and Japan - are determined by the
level of contribution. An agreement stipulating that Japan will
provide the ISS with 6 tons of supplies was reached previously. Even
though Japan's possession of its own transfer vehicle does not mean
that its rights to use the ISS will be increased, there will be
equipment that only the HTV can transport since the Space Shuttle
will be retired next year. NASA operations chief Bill Gerstenmaier,
who was present at the post-launch news conference, said that "the
HTV will play a central role in the ISS's operations."

Japan also envisions developing the HTV into a manned spaceship in
the future. Therefore, data collection is also a goal in this
mission. Japan's space development has entered a new phase following
Koichi Wakata's long-term stay at the ISS and the completion of the
"Kibo" laboratory.


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