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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - U.S.-Japan Summit in New York

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2234 2672137
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 242137Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6409
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
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RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6628
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 8967
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 3944
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7145
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0443
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1129
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3036
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7789
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7377
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002234

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 - U.S.-JAPAN SUMMIT IN NEW YORK

1. All media outlets gave top coverage to the Hatoyama-Obama
summit, remarking the two leaders reaffirmed a commitment to
strengthening the bilateral alliance. Both print and broadcast media
noted the President and Prime Minister did not discuss controversial
issues facing the bilateral alliance such as revision of the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement, review of the realignment of
U.S. forces in Japan, and the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. The media commented that
instead the two leaders focused on broad areas of agreement such as
the need to work closely to overcome the global economic crisis, the
need to address North Korea's nuclear program through the framework
of the Six-Party Talks, and the need to cooperate to achieve a
nuclear-free world.

2. According to the limited newspaper coverage, Hatoyama was anxious
to put specific policy items on the backburner and to dispel an
image of being anti-American. The papers also noted the U.S. did not
press Japan out of deference to the new government. Editorials and
analytical articles on the bilateral summit did not make the morning
papers because it was held at a late hour, from around 22:30 Japan
Standard Time.

3. Morning and noon television programs included commentary from
correspondents in the U.S. A Nippon Television (NTV) correspondent
commented from New York that although Hatoyama expressed in the
summit his intention to come up with civilian assistance for Afghan
reconstruction by November, when President Obama is expected to
visit Japan, little time remains for the prime minister to develop
alternatives that satisfy both the U.S. and the Japanese public.
TV-Asahi said that the U.S. side deliberately staged a friendly
atmosphere in light of the caution growing within the U.S. against
Hatoyama's intention to "review" U.S.-Japan relations. In a
telephone interview with Fuji-TV's infotainment program "Tokudane!,"
foreign affairs journalist Ryuichi Teshima said that Hatoyama
exercised political leadership and used his own words at the summit,
as opposed to what has been common in the past when the summit
meetings have followed scenarios written by foreign ministry
officials. Teshima said that the summit can be called a "revolution"
in that regard.

4. While media outlets gave the summit favorable coverage, they
noted the Hatoyama administration will have to formulate concrete
plans for an alternative contribution to Afghanistan and a plan for
the relocation for the Futenma facility before President Obama's
expected visit in November. In its morning news program Nippon Hoso
Kyokai (NHK) commented Hatoyama's diplomatic skills will be put to
the test when pending issues are put on the negotiating table.

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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