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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/23/09

DE RUEHKO #2226/01 2660651
P 230651Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Editorial: Climate change summit; Expectations on U.S.
displaying leadership (Mainichi)

(2) Prime minister announces 25 percent emissions cut with political
leadership in mind: Priority placed on sending messages, instead of
coming up with specific measures (Nikkei)

(3) Editorial: Foreign ministerial talks mark shift from blind
obedience to equality (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(4) Editorial: Scrapping of Eastern European MD plan; Also move
forward with U.S., Russian nuclear disarmament (Tokyo Shimbun)

(5) Editorial: Eastern European MD and nuclear arms: Implement bold
"Obama disarmament" (Mainichi)

(6) Editorial: Eastern Europe MD plan to be terminated; Will it help
improve U.S.-Russia relations? (Yomiuri)

(7) Japanese government has yet to disclose radiation-monitoring
report of U.S. nuclear vessels (Akahata)

(8) Nago mayor worried about rough sailing in USFJ realignment talks
after Okada-Clinton meeting (Okinawa Times)

(9) Editorial: The U.S. and China should not sow the seeds of
protectionism (Nikkei)


(1) Editorial: Climate change summit; Expectations on U.S.
displaying leadership

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
September 22, 2009

The international paradigm concerning measures to curb global
warming has completely changed from a year ago.

The Bush administration had been negative toward taking measures (to
curb global warming). However, the Obama administration, which
succeeded it, has displayed a positive stance. In Japan, too, Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama of the newly launched Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) administration has categorically pledged to cut
greenhouse gas emissions to 25 percent below the 1990 level by

The high-level meeting on climate change hosted by the UN (the
climate change summit) is to be held in New York on the 22nd with
the participation of both President Obama and Prime Minister
Hatoyama. The conference is the Hatoyama administration's debut in
environmental diplomacy.

The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate
Change Convention (COP15) is to establish a framework to replace the
Kyoto Protocol, set to expire in 2012. Although industrialized
countries and developing countries have held talks on emission cuts,
they have been unable to bridge their differences. The degree to
which they can reach agreement is of concern.

TOKYO 00002226 002 OF 010

Against this background the Hatoyama administration has announced a
target of slashing emissions to 25 percent below the 1990 level.
Some domestic industry circles strongly oppose the plan, while
foreign countries have lauded it. We want the Hatoyama
administration to proactively use the attention paid by the
international community in promoting international talks.

The U.S. and China are the world's largest emitters of greenhouse
gases, responsible for 40 percent of the globe's carbon dioxide
emissions. So the prevention of climate change depends upon them.

In June of this year the House of Representatives in the U.S.
Congress adopted by a narrow margin the American Clean Energy and
Security Act authored by Congressmen Waxman and Markey. The
legislation stipulates a 20 percent cut in U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions below the 2005 level by 2020. This is a step further than
Obama's previous goal.

The bill incorporates an emissions trading system to realize
emission cuts. It mandates the power industry to use recyclable
energy sources such as sunlight and wind power for 15 percent of its
energy needs by 2020. Obama aims to create jobs in the recyclable
energy-industry, which he hopes will spur economic growth.

The U.S. and China have continued to take a stance of not cutting
emissions before the other does. Whether the bill will be adopted by
the Senate is unclear. However, we hope Obama takes the initiative
on the matter.

Prime Minister Hatoyama has premised the 25 percent target on all
key emitters agreeing to adopt ambitious goals. We want him to draw
up a strategy to get not only the U.S. and China but also major
emerging countries, such as India and Brazil, to participate in the
initiative proactively. It is necessary to devise a mechanism for
allowing (industrialized countries) to help developing countries in
their efforts to cut emissions and count the results as part of
their own cuts.

(2) Prime minister announces 25 percent emissions cut with political
leadership in mind: Priority placed on sending messages, instead of
coming up with specific measures

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 23, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at the high-level meeting on climate
change hosted by the UN (climate change summit) announced Japan's
mid-term goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by
2020, compared with the 1990 level. It was the first message to
impress on audiences both at home and abroad that a power transfer
has taken place in Japan. In his speech, Hatoyama displayed his
strong awareness of political initiative, a switch from the previous
diplomatic style based on bureaucrat-led coordination of views that
has continued for a long period of time. The strict mid-term goal
will present a high barrier when the government coordinates its
views with industrial circles and major countries, such as the U.S.
and China.

Prime minister's speech added to agenda just in time

When the prime minister began to mention the mid-term goal in the
speech given at the UN Headquarters, the audience applauded him. The

TOKYO 00002226 003 OF 010

international community responded coolly to the previous Aso
administration's 15 percent cut in comparison with the 2005 level.
All the more for that reason, a government negotiator proudly said,
"Japan has never had a goal that attracted attention like this."

In stark contrast to former Prime Minister Taro Aso, who announced
the mid-term goal that was set based on the preparations made by the
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Environment Ministry
over a period of one year, Hatoyama insisted that politicians should
take the initiative. The prime minister's speeches given on the 7th
and the 22nd are believed to have been prepared by lawmakers, such
as Senior Vice Foreign Minister Tesoro Fukuyama, who are well versed
in the global warming issue. Bureaucrats' participation in the
cabinet ministerial meeting held at the Kantei on the 20 was greatly

The summit program at first did not include a slot on its agenda for
the Japanese prime minister to make a speech. However, a senior
Foreign Ministry official and Ambassador to the UN Yukio Takasu
directly asked Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to let Japan's new
prime minister deliver a speech. Hatoyama was ultimately given a
slot among the 12 speakers just a few days before the meeting.

Speaking of the meaning of the new goal, a negotiator said, "That
goal will enable Japan to use a hard-line approach in international
talks on specific items." It means that the nation with a higher
goal figure can take the initiative when talks on a framework to
curb global warming to be adopted in 2013 (post-Kyoto Protocol) move
into full swing and an emissions trading system and international
rules for assistance to developing countries are set, according the
same source.

Cornerstone of new administration

However, since priority has been placed on sending messages,
coordination of views with business circles such as the Japan
Business Federation (Nippon Keidanren), whose opposition to the
strict goal is increasing, has not yet begun. There are also signs
of friction in the ruling camp, because a policy agreement with the
Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP) was
reached on Sept. 9 to review the government's mid-term goal, but the
specific figures had not been determined yet. The SDP is against the
construction of nuclear power plants. Some say that it will be
impossible to cut emissions substantially without nuclear power

The Hatoyama administration's political style is to send policy
messages first before looking into specific measures, as can be seen
by the halting of the implementation of the fiscal 2009
supplementary budget or the discontinuation of the construction of
dams. This style can is evident in other areas as well. Whether it
will succeed in curbing global warming will prove to be a decisive
test for the new administration.

(3) Editorial: Foreign ministerial talks mark shift from blind
obedience to equality

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Full)
September 23, 2009

The Japanese and U.S. governments are standing at a new starting
line for reviewing the agreement on U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ)

TOKYO 00002226 004 OF 010

realignment, including the relocation of the Futenma Air Station to
Henoko in Nago City. We hope for a shift from blind obedience to the
United States to an equal Japan-U.S. relationship founded on the
people's trust.

At the Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks, U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton stated that implementation of the existing agreement
is the basis for USFJ realignment, but Foreign Minister Katsuya
Okada said the Japanese administration disagrees with parts of it.
The two sides reaffirmed their positions and agreed to continue

While no significant progress was made at the meeting, we can detect
signs of change from the two governments' previous positions of
obstinately rejecting any modification in the plan for building a
Futenma replacement facility.

Previous foreign ministers have mostly avoided friction with the
U.S. on security issues. For this reason, the significance of Mr.
Okada's conveying his "objection" to even parts of the realignment
plan directly to Ms. Clinton should not be underestimated.

Ms. Clinton said at the meeting that "the Japan-U.S. alliance is a
cornerstone of U.S. foreign policy and is indispensable for the
security and prosperity of Asia and the Pacific" and indicated
willingness to discuss all alliance-related issues. "We would like
to build a deeper and more sustainable Japan-U.S. relationship,"
responded Mr. Okada.

Most Japanese would probably accept the idea that the Japan-U.S.
relationship is the linchpin (of Japanese foreign policy). However,
this is no reason for overemphasizing the military aspect of the
alliance or neglecting international cooperation.

The attitude of blind obedience to the U.S. -- as evidenced by
former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's statement "the better the
Japan-U.S. relationship is, the better Japan will be able to build
good relations with China, South Korea, and other countries in the
world" -- will not do. We hope that the new Japanese and U.S.
administrations will adopt policies that strike a balance between
the bilateral relationship and international cooperation.

Policies that cater only to U.S. wishes and defy the popular will
are doomed to be short lived. This is exemplified by the Futenma
issue, which has virtually foundered after an agreement was reached
in 1996 to return this base. Policies sans popular support will
remain castles in the air no matter how beautifully they are
packaged. We hope that the new administrations in both countries
will keep this in mind.

The history of Japan-U.S. negotiations since the end of World War II
suggests that in discussions on building a new closer bilateral
relationship there will arise demands for Japan to exercise the
right of collective self-defense, which is prohibited by the

However, if the constitutional constraints of one's own country are
neglected, Japan cannot claim to be a pacifist country under the
rule of law. The Hatoyama administration should not be distracted by
the advocates of hawkish propositions and should stand firm on its
position that Japan's role is to make up for deficiencies on the
U.S. side within the bounds of the Constitution. Now is the time to

TOKYO 00002226 005 OF 010

aim for a deeper Japan-U.S. relationship and a new form of security
alliance embraced by the people.

(4) Editorial: Scrapping of Eastern European MD plan; Also move
forward with U.S., Russian nuclear disarmament

TOKYO SHIMBUN (page 5) (Full)
September 19, 2009

The United States has announced the scrapping of its plan to deploy
a missile defense (MD) system in Eastern Europe. A source of
conflict with Russia has been removed. We hope that the two
countries take advantage of this situation to further promote
cooperative bilateral diplomacy and to spur the reduction of
strategic nuclear arms and other aspects of disarmament.

U.S. President Barack Obama has said that the focus of MD deployment
in Eastern Europe is Iran, not Russia. This can be seen as an
attempt to alleviate Russian concerns about the deployment and seek
its cooperation in resolving the Iranian nuclear issue.

The MD deployment plan was a project of the previous Bush
administration. On the grounds that the development and deployment
of long-range missiles by Iran would
threaten European countries, the administration formulated a plan to
deploy for defense purposes a ground-based interception missile in
Poland and to build a radar facility in the Czech Republic by 2012.

Russia, which is adjacent to Eastern Europe, reacted strongly to the
deployment of American missiles under its nose and regarded the
deployment as a measure to apply pressure against it under the
pretext of an Iranian threat. In the summer of 2008, the
U.S.-Russian confrontation became serious enough to term the "New
Cold War."

In relation to scrapping the MD plan, the U.S. Department of Defense
explains that the Iranian threat consists mainly of mid- and
short-range missiles and that there will be a change in strategy to
deal with this threat by deploying MD systems aboard ships at sea.

The Obama administration is implementing a change from power-based
diplomacy. As a first step, the U.S. and Russia have agreed to work
for a new agreement to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty I
(START I) expiring at the end of 2009.

In July the two countries agreed on a substantial reduction in the
number of warheads and delivery systems. With this U.S. announcement
to scrap the MD plan, prospects have become brighter for the two
countries to reach an agreement in their nuclear disarmament talks
by the year end.

President Obama will participate in the high-level meeting of the UN
Security Council (UNSC) on September 24 and work for the passage of
a resolution calling for the realization of a "world without nuclear
weapons." The two nuclear superpowers, the U.S. and Russia, should
demonstrate their readiness to take the lead in disarmament at this

There are also causes for concern. For instance, Russia may take the
U.S. concession as a golden opportunity to expand its influence in
Eastern Europe. We call on Russia to exercise restraint to avoid yet
another confrontational situation.

TOKYO 00002226 006 OF 010

With regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, Russia once assisted with
the construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in Iran and
provided fuel for its reactor. It is reportedly opposed to the UNSC
resolution imposing sanctions on Iran.

The Obama administration is expected to ask Russia to take part in
the "international encirclement" to stop Iran's development of
nuclear arms in return for scrapping the MD plan in Eastern Europe.
This will be a litmus test for the new era of cooperative diplomacy
by the U.S. and Russia.

(5) Editorial: Eastern European MD and nuclear arms: Implement bold
"Obama disarmament"

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
September 20, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a bold review of the
missile defense (MD) plan in Eastern Europe, which has been a cause
of dispute between the U.S. and Russia. This is probably part of the
process of nuclear disarmament through cooperation between the two
countries. President Obama will chair a high-level meeting of the UN
Security Council on September 24 and is expected to present new
proposals for achieving a "world without nuclear weapons." We remain
hopeful about what "Obama disarmament" will be able to achieve.

The MD system in Eastern Europe, a project promoted by the previous
Bush administration, calls for the construction of a missile
interception base and radar facility in the former Soviet satellites
of Poland and the Czech Republic primarily for the purpose of
intercepting Iranian missiles. The Bush administration signed
agreements with Poland and the Czech Republic on building these
facilities, and NATO also approved the MD plan.

While some countries might be unhappy about the plan's
discontinuation, we commend the Obama administration's decision.

Apart from the question of the technical feasibility of intercepting
missiles, the plan raises the basic question of the soundness of the
hypothesis of an Iranian missile attack against Europe. While the
U.S. and Israel are suspicious of Iran, many European countries have
friendly relations with it.

On the other hand, Russia has opposed the MD plan in Eastern
European on the grounds that it is actually meant to intercept
Russian missiles, and Moscow has announced it will suspend
implementation of the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty
relating to the military balance with NATO. The Eastern European MD
has been a disruptive factor in U.S.-Russian nuclear disarmament. It
is hard to understand why this program, of doubtful effectiveness
and necessity, has been allowed to heighten tensions between the two

The Obama administration has changed the Eastern European MD
system's interception targets from long- to mid- and short-range
missiles, emphasizing its non-hostile posture toward Russia. This is
probably meant to promote U.S.-Russian cooperation in dealing with
Iran, but we would like the United States to think about where the
real threat lies.

It is not absolutely clear whether Iran is indeed developing nuclear

TOKYO 00002226 007 OF 010

weapons, while it is obvious that North Korea, which has conducted
several nuclear tests and missile launches, is the more serious and
realer threat. We must learn a lesson from the Bush administration's
failure to prevent the DPRK's development of nuclear arms because it
had exhausted its energy in the Iraq War.

Arms management, nuclear disarmament, and the strengthening of the
international nuclear non-proliferation regime will be the main
topics on President Obama's agenda for the meeting on September 24.
Although his policy is not to discuss the nuclear issues of specific
countries, the world will never be safe if the U.S. and Russia,
which possess 90 percent of the world's nuclear arms, do not move
forward with nuclear disarmament and North Korea and similar
countries do not relinquish their nuclear weapons.

We hope that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Japan's representative
at this meeting, will send a clear message on the predicament of
Japan - the only atomic-bombed nation in the world - which is now
exposed to a new nuclear threat, and present his vision for a "world
without nuclear weapons."

(6) Editorial: Eastern Europe MD plan to be terminated; Will it help
improve U.S.-Russia relations?

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
September 21, 2009

President Barack Obama has announced that his administration will
end a plan to build a missile defense (MD) system in Eastern Europe.
It will be a major shift in the United States' missile defense
strategy in Europe.

The MD plan, which began under the former Bush administration, is
designed to deploy interceptors in Poland and to build a radar base
in the Czech Republic in anticipation of a threat from Iran's
long-range ballistic missiles.

Naturally President Obama's decision has pleased Russia, which has
opposed America's plan to deploy the missile defense shield in
Eastern Europe, a region Russia regards within its sphere of
influence. Moscow has been calling vocally for a halt to the plan,
suspecting that its real aim is to contain Russia's nuclear

Needless to say, the Obama administration did not make the decision
in deference to Russia's concern. The decision derived from a shift
in the United States' perception of the threat from Iran.

The President underlined the need to deal with the threat from
Iran's improved short- and mid-range missiles rather than from its
yet-to-be-developed long-range missiles, announcing that the United
States will pursue a new MD program.

The Obama administration will aim for the development by 2020 of a
new MD system that can cover all Europe. The administration
reportedly plans to deploy sea-based SM-3 interceptor missiles in
2011 and improved ground-based interceptor missiles around 2015.

The plan to build a defense scheme that is swift and effective by
deploying the proven systems sounds reasonable.

Nevertheless, European countries, which have been exposed to the

TOKYO 00002226 008 OF 010

threat from Russia, are being shaken by (President Obama's
announcement). They have contributed to regional security as members
of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the post
Cold-War era. They now fear that the United States might forsake
them in spite of that.

Some in the United States are critical of (President Obama's
decision), calling it a betrayal of U.S. allies.

Apparently in a bid to dispel such concerns, President Obama
declared that the United States will take a joint defense step by
exercising the right of collective defense in response to an armed
attack on any NATO member.

President Obama probably hopes that his decision will help improve
relations with Russia at the same time. Russia's cooperation is
indispensable in pursuing nuclear disarmament and imposing tougher
sanctions on Iran, which has not stopped enriching (uranium). The
question is whether Russia will make concessions as the United
States expects.

The United States has shifted the focus of its missile defense
strategy in Europe to short- to mid-range ballistic missiles. That
is exactly what Japan and the United States are doing in dealing
with the threat from North Korea.

Arming itself with nuclear weapons, North Korea is targeting Japan
with its Nodong mid-range missiles. Japan and the United States must
improve the operation of the MD system.

(7) Japanese government has yet to disclose radiation-monitoring
report of U.S. nuclear vessels

AKAHATA (Page 1) (Full)
September 23, 2009

The Japanese government told the Yokosuka Municipal Government in
2006, just ahead of the controversial arrival of nuclear-powered
aircraft carrier USS George Washington at U.S. Yokosuka Navy Base in
Kanagawa Prefecture, that it was possible to release the U.S.
military's data on the results of its environmental monitoring. But
the data has yet to be publicized more than three years after the
government made this announcement.

The U.S. military has conducted a quarterly environmental impact
assessment every year since 1964 to check whether or not radiation
is detected at Yokosuka port, Sasebo port in Nagasaki, and
Nakagusuku port in Okinawa, which U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft
carriers visit.

In the fact sheet that the U.S. submitted to Japan in April 2006
regarding the safety of U.S. nuclear-powered warships, it is noted
that "the U.S. has presented in its report to the Japanese
government every year the results of its examination of materials
collected from the Japanese ports."

The U.S. says in its reports that no harmful effects on the human
body or marine organisms have been found in the assessments.

In a written inquiry submitted to the central government on May 8,
2006, the Yokohama government asked whether it can obtain copies of
the quarterly reports and if it cannot, whether an explanation will

TOKYO 00002226 009 OF 010

be provided. In response, the Japanese government clearly said in
its letter dated June 12: "Publicizing them is possible."

To a question posed by the Akahata, however, an official of the
Foreign Ministry's Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement Office
replied: "We are carrying out coordination with the U.S. side on the
possibility of publicizing the reports," indicating that publicizing
the reports is still impossible.

Then prime minister Taro Aso handed an official letter to former
Yokosuka mayor Ryoichi Kabaya noting: "I am convinced that the
safety of U.S. nuclear-powered vessels has been ensured." Kabaya
replied: "I understand the government's position on the safety of
the vessels." Since then, the Japanese government has approved the
deployment of nuclear aircraft carriers.

(8) Nago mayor worried about rough sailing in USFJ realignment talks
after Okada-Clinton meeting

OKINAWA TIMES (page 23) (Excerpts)
September 23, 2009

Nago, Ginowan - Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada indicated at his
meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on September 21
(in the early hours of September 22, Japan time) his intention to
enter negotiations on issues relating to U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ)
realignment. While Clinton did not respond specifically to this,
both concerns about prolonged negotiations and expectations on the
relocation of the Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa have been
expressed in Nago City, where the proposed replacement facility for
the Futenma base is located, and in Ginowan City, where the Futenma
base is currently located.

Nago mayor Yoshikazu Shimbukuro mentioned the contents of the
Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks and commented positively on
"this sign of the new administration's diplomatic posture of
actively conveying its thinking." With regard to Futenma relocation,
he said: "It is necessary to examine foreign policy and defense
issues carefully. Relocation out of Okinawa will be difficult in
reality, so the negotiations may experience rough sailing."

He added: "Nago will watch the Japanese and U.S. governments' next
steps closely in dealing with this."

Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha gave a positive assessment to the
Okada-Clinton talks. He said, "The fact that the intention to
discuss USFJ realignment, including the return of the Futenma base,
has been confirmed between the two countries will be the first step
in an early solution to the base issues."

"The return of Futenma was agreed upon in 1996 during the Clinton
administration but this issue is still unresolved and remains to be
a pending problem all these years." He added: "The U.S. government
must also be aware of the seriousness of the problem. In any case,
this will be the start of the realignment of U.S. military bases,
including Futenma."

(9) Editorial: The U.S. and China should not sow the seeds of

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 21, 2009

TOKYO 00002226 010 OF 010

Tension is high between the U.S. and China over trade issues.
President Obama has imposed safeguard tariffs (emergency import
restrictions) on Chinese-made tires and the Chinese government has
indicated that it will take retaliatory measures. If the two
countries carry on with their tough stances, this may trigger a
worldwide chain reaction of protectionism.

The dispute over tires is not structural trade friction arising from
a head-on clash of national interests between the two countries. The
United Steelworkers were the ones who demanded the import
regulation, and even the U.S. tire manufacturers are against the
safeguard tariffs.

President Obama's decision is probably the result of his taking heed
of the forces in the U.S. Congress close to the labor unions. It is
understandable that he is being solicitous to the unions because
deliberations in Congress on medical insurance reform are currently
deadlocked. However, bending trade policy due to domestic
considerations may bring about harmful effects on a global scale.

It is worrying that other governments in the world may lean toward
trade control following the U.S. example. Various forms of import
restrictions have already been put in place since the Lehman shock
last fall as emergency measures.

China claims that the Obama administration's action was unjustified
and has taken its case to the WTO. While the safeguard tariffs may
not actually violate the WTO agreement, they certainly reflect a
strong protectionist tendency.

If the Obama administration is seen to be negative toward free
trade, similar trade restrictions may become rampant in the world.
This will inevitably cause the multilateral trade talks (the Doha
Round), whose resumption was just agreed upon in early September, to
lose momentum again.

The Chinese government is threatening to impose import restrictions
on U.S.-produced chicken and automobiles as a retaliatory measure.
Behind this is the lobbying of domestic industries apprehensive
about the economic outlook. China seems to want to show a tough
stance toward the U.S. for now.

It is unacceptable for the two trading giants, the U.S. and China to
sow the seeds of protectionism in the world because of their
political circumstances at home. The world leaders, including the
leaders of the U.S. and China, have just declared their
determination to prevent the rise of protectionism at the G-20
summit in Washington last April.

The U.S. and China should reconfirm their will to stand by free
trade at the financial summit in Pittsburgh this week and resolve
this minor friction over tires at an early date. The flame should be
extinguished while it is still small before protectionism comes to
engulf the world.


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