Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/16/09

VZCZCXRO6719
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2163/01 2590644
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 160644Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6221
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 8812
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6473
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0288
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3835
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6990
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0986
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7645
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7261

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 05 TOKYO 002163

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 09/16/09

INDEX:
(1) U.S. Ambassador visits Yokosuka mayor: "You can call me
directly" (Asahi)

(2) Campbell to arrive in Japan tomorrow (Okinawa Times)

(3) Profiles of two of DPJ's three top officials (Asahi)

(4) Hatoyama decides to appoint Kamei as financial and postal
services minister rather than as defense minister out of concern for
friction with United States (Asahi)

(5) "Defense minister Kamei" ends an illusion; Priority given to
relations with U.S.? (Mainichi)

ARTICLES:

(1) U.S. Ambassador visits Yokosuka mayor: "You can call me
directly"

ASAHI (Page 32) (Full)
September 15, 2009

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John V. Roos paid a call on Yokosuka Mayor
Yuto Yoshida yesterday. In response to Yoshida's remark, "We would
like to develop our relationship with the U.S. Embassy," the
Ambassador said, "Please let me know if there is anything I can do.
You can call me directly."

At the outset of the meeting, the Ambassador said, "Congratulations
on your victory in the election. I was also involved in election
campaigning (on the side of Barack Obama) calling for 'change'."
Yoshida introduced himself by saying, "I am Yoshida. I used the word
'change' in my election campaign and won." His words softened the
tense atmosphere.

The mayor stated: "I expect the U.S. government also to take
measures to ensure safety, disclose information, and bring about
economic benefits from the base. I ask the U.S. to continue and
increase such efforts." The Ambassador replied: "I am fully aware of
the situation in Yokosuka." Reportedly, the Ambassador also gladly
consented to Yoshida's proposed visit to the U.S. Embassy.

(2) Campbell to arrive in Japan tomorrow

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 3) (Full)
September 16, 2009

The Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State Kurt Campbell (for East Asian and Pacific
affairs) will visit Japan Sept. 17-19. He is scheduled to meet
Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, Deputy Foreign
Minister Kenichiro Sasae, and other Japanese officials to exchange
views on Japan-U.S. relations under the incoming administration of
Yukio Hatoyama, who will be voted in as prime minister today.
Coordination is also underway for Campbell to meet with Katsuya
Okada, who has been tapped as foreign minister.

(3) Profiles of two of DPJ's three top officials

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
September 16, 2009

TOKYO 00002163 002 OF 005

Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa

Ichiro Ozawa, the greatest election strategist in the political
arena, who also served as secretary general of the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), has now taken command of the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) after ousting the LDP from the ruling camp. He
will be in charge of next year's House of Councillors election.

After leaving the LDP in 1993, Ozawa formed the Renewal Party, the
New Frontier Party, and the Liberal Party. He finally joined the
DPJ. When he served as DPJ president, Ozawa tried to find ways to
form a grand coalition with the LDP. He has personal ties with many
politicians, including lawmakers from the People's New Party (PNP)
and the Social Democratic Party (SDP). There is concern in the DPJ
that Ozawa will gain more influence as the number of people in his
group has increased. The illegal donation scandal involving
Nishimatsu Construction Co. is a cause for concern for Ozawa.

Ozawa set out to become a politician because he greatly admired the
last samurais in the last days of the Shogunate. He plays the game
of go two to three times a month at a go salon. He also enjoys
fishing and takes a walk every day for his health. He represents the
Lower House No. 4 district in Iwate Prefecture.

Deputy President Azuma Koshiishi, former elementary school teacher,
leads the DPJ caucus in the Upper House

Azuma Koshiishi's motto is "In order to build a country, fostering
human resources is vital." After teaching at elementary schools, he
served as chairman of Yamanashi Prefecture's Teachers Union. He was
elected for the first time to the House of Representatives Lower
House in 1990, where he served for two terms (until 1996) until he
lost reelection. He was elected for the first time to the House of
Councillors in 1998.

Koshiishi assumed the post of chairman of the DPJ caucus in the
Upper House in 2006. He led the opposition camp in the twisted
parliament (the two houses of the Diet being controlled by different
parties) situation. He is the leader of the DPJ group affiliated
with the former Japan Socialist Party. He is trusted by Secretary
General Ichiro Ozawa and has maintained close relations with the
Liberal Democratic Party. The Yamanashi Prefectural Board of
Education suspended some Yamanashi Prefecture Teachers Union members
from work as a punitive measure because they supported his
fund-raising campaign for the 2004 Upper House election. Since the
LDP has intensified its criticism of the Japan Teachers Union, there
is a possibility of an attack being launched on Koshiishi. He was
elected in the Upper House Yamanashi constituency.

(4) Hatoyama decides to appoint Kamei as financial and postal
services minister rather than as defense minister out of concern for
friction with United States

ASAHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
September 16, 2009

It had initially been expected that People's New Party leader
Shizuka Kamei would be appointed as defense minister, but he has
been informally named state minister for postal and financial
services instead. As soon as he learned of his post, Kamei announced
that he will launch a review of the postal privatization program, a

TOKYO 00002163 003 OF 005


symbol of the Koizumi reform drive. Armed with the power to oversee
the postal financial business, including Japan Post Bank Co., and
the mail delivery business, Kamei is likely to undertake a radical
reexamination of the program.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Yukio Hatoyama secretly
mulled over who should join his cabinet.

Reporter: Did you meet anyone?

Hatoyama: I can't recall.

The exchange took place on Sept. 13. Earlier, Hatoyama had stayed at
two Tokyo hotels for over two hours. He did not reveal (to the
press) who had visited him in his hotel rooms.

The switch in Kamei's post occurred under such circumstances.

Security policy is the Achilles' heel of the DPJ, which has internal
conflicts. What's more, there is a yawning gap between the DPJ and
the Social Democratic Party (SDP), with which the DPJ will form a
coalition. Hatoyama secretly planned to appoint Kamei as defense
minister in hope of leaving such a sticky matter (the gap with the
SDP) for the politically savvy Kamei to deal with.

The course of events changed on Sept. 14. On that day Hatoyama held
with Deputy President Ichiro Ozawa talks in which Hatoyama presented
the idea of naming Kamei as defense minister. But a decision was not
made out of concern in the party that Kamei's appointment might
irritate the U.S. government. Hatoyama was scheduled to dine with
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos that night.

In the July issue of the monthly magazine Gekkan Nippon Kamei is
reported as saying (to political analyst Keiichiro Nakamura):
"During my last trip to the United States (in May), I told the U.S.
side that the new administration (to be launched after a change of
government) will seek a fresh bilateral relationship. Unless you
assassinate Shizuka Kamei, the United States will not be able to
have things its way."

A report on Sept. 14 on "Defense Minister Kamei" prompted a former
U.S. government source to express concern that Kamei's appointment
will strain Japan's ties with the Obama administration. "I have to
go back and start all over again tomorrow," Hatoyama told his aides
on the night of Sept. 14 so as not to stumble in the relationship
with the United States -- a relationship regarded as the DPJ's
weakness.

Hatoyama ultimately decided to name Kamei minister in charge of
reexamining the postal privatization program, the PNP's starting
point. Obtaining a working majority in the House of Councillors
election next summer is the number one priority for the DPJ.

To do so, the DPJ needed a mechanism to secure the postal votes held
by the PNP. That plan coincided with Ozawa's wishes.

The aborted plan for defense minister has affected other candidates
for the new cabinet.

Hirohisa Fujii, who is likely to be named finance minister, was
initially eager to become the chief of the national strategy bureau,
who could serve as the chief strategist in compiling the state

TOKYO 00002163 004 OF 005


budget. Hatoyama apparently wants Fujii to serve as cabinet
watchdog.

In exchange for accepting the finance portfolio, Fujii asked that it
be separated from state minister for financial services, a post
concurrently held by Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano. Keeping fiscal
and monetary policymaking separate is the DPJ's policy. In line with
that policy, Hatoyama at one point considered the option of
appointing a private citizen as financial services minister, but in
the end gave the post to Kamei.

Last night Hatoyama called those who are going to join his cabinet.
"It is not true that I have decided to name (Kamei) defense
minister," Hatoyama later told the press corps.

(5) "Defense minister Kamei" ends an illusion; Priority given to
relations with U.S.?

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
September 16, 2009

A plan to appoint People's New Party President Shizuka Kamei to the
post of defense minister was floated on Sept. 14. However, the
proposal disappeared over night. It is believed that DPJ President
Hatoyama informally offered the post. However, Kamei on the 15th
denied that he received such an offer. From the beginning the PNP
has been seeking a post that enables it to be involved in reviewing
the ongoing postal services privatization process. The proposal to
pick Kamei as defense minister became the talk of Nagata-cho,
stirring surprise and concern. Kamei at a press conference held at
the party headquarters on the evening of the 15th left reporters
bewildered, saying, "I have not talked with Mr. Hatoyama, since I
told him, 'Please do as you wish. I will leave the matter to you to
work out.' I do not know what happened. I wonder if the U.S. was
frightened by the idea of my becoming defense minister."

Hatoyama's side was making arrangements for the possible appointment
of Kamei as defense minister as of the 14th. A person close to
Hatoyama averred, "The PNP will accept the offer, because unlike the
Social Democratic Party, it is a conservative party." The DPJ
presumably expected Kamei to play in the ruling coalition the role
of coordinator for diplomatic and security policies. In those areas
there is a wide gap between the DPJ and the SDP.

However, the defense minister is a key post responsible for pending
issues concerning the Japan-U.S. alliance, including the U.S. Forces
Japan realignment and the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling
operation in the Indian Ocean. Chairman Mikio Shimoji of the PNP
policy board is strongly calling for a revision of the plan to
relocate the US Marine Corp's Futenma Air Station from Ginowan City,
Okinawa Prefecture. Kamei himself is viewed as cautious about the
overseas dispatch of Self-Defense Forces personnel abroad. Voices of
concern that Japan-U.S. relations might worsen if Kamei took office
as defense minister perhaps grew louder in the DPJ, the Foreign
Ministry, and the Defense Ministry.

For that reason, according to a Hatoyama aide, impetus for Kamei's
appointment as defense minister suddenly lost steam. "The U.S. might
have reacted negatively," a party source conjectured.

A senior Defense Ministry official said with a relieved look: "The
Defense Ministry is the DPJ's Achilles' heel, because it is saddled

TOKYO 00002163 005 OF 005


with such issues as the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and
the realignment of U.S. Forces in Japan. I thought it would be
difficult (for the new administration) to deal with those issues,
even if it entrusts the task to Mr. Kamei."

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>