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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Formation of New Government In

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RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3019
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7665
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7281
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002173

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 - FORMATION OF NEW GOVERNMENT IN
JAPAN

1. LEAD STORIES: All Thursday morning papers gave top play to the
launch on Wednesday of a DPJ-led government in coalition with the
Social Democratic Party and People's New Party following the
election of DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama as prime minister.

2. "Foundation of U.S.-Japan Relations Should Be Maintained" The
moderate Yomiuri stated in an editorial (9/17): "Concerning the
MSDF's refueling operation in the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister
Hatoyama has said that he will not simply extend it after it expires
next January. He should seek ways to continue the operation by
considering measures other than 'simply' extending it. Regarding
U.S. force realignment, including Futenma relocation, the steady
implementation of the U.S.-Japan agreement is the fastest way to
reduce the burden on local municipalities, including Okinawa."

3. "New Administration Should Eliminate Concerns about Its Policy
toward U.S." The business-oriented Nikkei editorialized (9/17):
"With the Hatoyama administration, there is concern about relations
with the U.S. Prime Minister Hatoyama plans to hold his first
meeting with President Obama during his upcoming visit to the U.S.
The DPJ does not plan to extend Japan's refueling operation in the
Indian Ocean, which is set to expire next January, but the USG is
asking Japan to reconsider. Concerning U.S. force realignment,
including Futenma relocation, there are also differences of opinion
between the U.S., which calls for the implementation of the
agreement made between the two governments, and the new
administration. The prime minister said in his inaugural speech that
building a relationship of trust with the President is the first
step. Actions to maintain the robust U.S.-Japan alliance are
indispensable in order to achieve that goal."

4. "Priority Should Be Placed on National Interests" The
conservative Sankei argued in an editorial (9/17): "We cannot help
feeling concerned about the Hatoyama administration's diplomatic and
security policy. Will the new administration be able to respond
realistically and flexibly while maintaining an alliance with the
Social Democratic Party, which considers the SDF to be
unconstitutional?... Concern also remains about Foreign Minister
Okada. While stating that the U.S.-Japan alliance is the cornerstone
[of Japan's diplomacy], he stresses an 'equal partnership' with the
U.S. His statement contains no specific vision that explains exactly
what his idea means. The foreign minister has expressed his
intention to call on the U.S. to adopt a policy of no first use of
nuclear weapons. We should not forget that Japan's peace and
security are being protected by the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Diplomacy
that just plays around with words could undermine the U.S.-Japan
alliance. Prime Minister Hatoyama should take a pragmatic approach
and exercise his leadership in order to dispel such concerns.... We
urge him to reconsider whether it is appropriate to halt the
refueling operation in the Indian Ocean even though the U.S. has
expressed hope for its continuation."


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