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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 09/24/09

DE RUEHKO #2236/01 2672140
P 242140Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Japan-U.S. summit: PM Hatoyama gives priority to building trust;
Two leaders agree on "lofty ideals" on global warming, nuclear
non-proliferation (Yomiuri)

(2) Summit meeting: Japan, U.S. keep pace on stimulus measures

(3) New York University Professor Lincoln: "Prime Minister Hatoyama
is not anti-American" (Nikkei)

(4) Editorial: Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks - Taking action
is best way to build relationship of trust (Sankei)

(5) Editorial: Make use of Hatoyama speech to move negotiations on
global warming forward (Nikkei)


(1) Japan-U.S. summit: PM Hatoyama gives priority to building trust;
Two leaders agree on "lofty ideals" on global warming, nuclear

YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
September 24, 2009

Takushi Murao, political reporter (New York)

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held his first Japan-U.S. summit
meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama on the morning of September
23 (evening of September 23, Japan time). He gave priority to
building a personal relationship of trust with the President and
deferred discussions about the review of existing policies and the
specific pending issues championed by the new Hatoyama

Personal relationship of trust

Hatoyama was all smiles after his meeting with Obama. He told
reporters: "It was a very warm atmosphere. I am very pleased." He
had given top priority to building a personal relationship of trust
with the President in this meeting and appeared to have a sense of

At this first meeting between the two leaders, which lasted around
35 minutes including time allotted for picture taking, they
reportedly "talked about their ideals and spoke enthusiastically
about accepting challenges and working together," according to a
participant in the meeting. The meeting also became an occasion for
these two leaders, who both realized a change of government in their
countries, to express their support for each other.

Hatoyama said, "The wave of change that you initiated also reached
Japan, and we were inspired by your courage." Obama replied, "That
was good."

A large number of senior U.S. government officials, including
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were also present at the
meeting. This was perceived by the Japanese side as "an indication
of the U.S. side's enthusiasm about the summit," according to a
source accompanying the Prime Minister.

TOKYO 00002236 002 OF 007

Hatoyama told Obama at the meeting that his cabinet will also
"attach importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone,"
emphasizing the importance of the Japan-U.S. relationship
repeatedly. This is because he wanted to clear up the
misunderstanding arising from his article carried by a U.S. paper in
August and his advocacy of an "East Asian community," which had been
interpreted as a sign of "breaking away from the U.S." or "leaning
toward China." Neither side touched on issues that were sensitive to
the U.S., such as the idea of an "equal Japan-U.S. relationship"
that was championed by Hatoyama during the House of Representatives
election or the "secret agreement" on introducing nuclear arms into

Lofty ideals

The two leaders talked about their "lofty ideals" and agreed on
Japan-U.S. cooperation in dealing with climate change and other
global issues. With regard to climate change, Hatoyama reiterated
Japan's new mid-term target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by
25 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.

Obama paid tribute to the Prime Minister's announcement of this
ambitious target, saying, "I am grateful for your bold statement."

Hatoyama also told him that he intends to make efforts to persuade
people who have reservations about the target at home. He noted
that: "Certain people in the industrial sector in Japan still have a
problem (with this target). It is necessary to find a political

The two leaders also confirmed the commitment of Japan and the
United States to cooperate in supporting the 15th Conference of
Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15)
to be held by the end of 2009.

In addition, Hatoyama commented on Obama's speech in April calling
for a "world without nuclear weapons." "I was deeply moved," said
Hatoyama. "Let us take the lead on this," conveying Japan's
determination to also play a leading role in the elimination of
nuclear weapons.

With regard to Afghan aid, an important issue for the U.S., Hatoyama
said, "Japan will get actively involved with all possible forms of
reconstruction aid as its own cause." This conveyed Japan's
intention to come up with alternative aid proposals on the
assumption that it will not continue the refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean after next January.

In response, the President said, "That's very good."

USFJ realignment, refueling mission, other pending issues deferred

Meanwhile, the two leaders did not go into detailed discussions on
the pending issues between the Hatoyama administration and the U.S.

The President said, "We will have a long relationship, so let's
resolve the issues one by one," indicating his approach of devoting
time to discussing them.

The Hatoyama administration has declared that the top three foreign

TOKYO 00002236 003 OF 007

policy issues in the first 100 days of the administration are:
climate change, aid to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and U.S. Forces
Japan (USFJ) realignment. Japan may need to take a stand on all
these issues before the end of the year.

North Korea

With regard to the North Korea issues, about which Japan has a
strong interest, the two leaders agreed to cooperate in resolving
the nuclear issue. Hatoyama also said: "We also have the abduction
issue. Therefore, in addition to the policy of dialogue and
cooperation, we also need to take a tough stance when necessary." He
sought the United States' understanding on the UN Security Council
resolutions on sanctions against North Korea. This was meant to
caution the Obama administration against adopting a conciliatory
policy toward the DPRK over Japan's head.

President Obama said he is "looking forward" to his visit to Japan
in November. The two leaders agreed to start preparations for this

The Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs wanted to make this
Japan-U.S. summit a success in order to facilitate a smooth visit
for President Obama in mid-November. It is also planning to invite
the President as a state guest on the occasion of the 50th
anniversary of the revision of the bilateral security treaty and
issue a "New Japan-U.S. Joint Communique" (tentative name) next

So far, the two leaders have worked hard to showcase a "honeymoon"
between the two countries. Their diplomatic skills will now be put
to test.

(2) Summit meeting: Japan, U.S. keep pace on stimulus measures

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
September 24, 2009

Kotaro Hidaka, Takashi Okuma, New York

The Japanese and U.S. leaders at a summit on September 23 vowed that
both countries will strictly implement economic measures in order to
overcome the current financial crisis and put the global economy on
a sustainable growth track. The meeting, however, did not touch on
specific policy challenges. Consequently, such issues as measures to
curb global warming or narrow subtle differences in the views of the
two countries about Prime Minister Hatoyama's East Asian Community
Initiative, which takes the adoption of a common Asian currency into
account, are still on the future agenda.

Discussion stops short of bringing up measures to curb global
warming, East Asian Community

Concerning the global economy, the two leaders agreed at the meeting
to work together to surmount the ongoing economic crisis. Until now,
Hatoyama has been showing a stance of aiming for domestic
demand-driven economic growth, by laying down measures to spur
household budget consumption first.

Meanwhile, in the U.S., it will likely take time for personal
consumption, which has served as the driving force of its economy,
to pick up because employment anxieties and excessive debts are

TOKYO 00002236 004 OF 007

acting as an impediment. Obama intends to cover the global shortage
in demand by increasing domestic demand in current account surplus
countries, such as China and Japan. Playing up Japan-U.S.
cooperation has been indispensable to that end as well.

However, when it comes to individual economic policies, there
remains a subtle gap in the two countries' cooperative stances.

Cooperation on measures to curb global warming is still a challenge.
At the meeting Hatoyama explained Japan's mid-term goal of cutting
greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2020 from the 1990 level
based on the premise that major countries will adopt an effective
emissions reduction framework. Hatoyama and Obama agreed that the
two countries will cooperate in the run-up to the 15th session of
the Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention to be
held in December.

However, a bill being considered in the U.S. stipulates an emissions
cut by between 17 percent and 20 percent from the 2005 level, which
is the same level as the goal adopted by the previous Aso
administration in Japan. Deputy Assistant to the President Jason
Furman stopped short of making a clear statement on the matter. He
simply said to reporters that "Japan's goal is Japan's problem." The
situation does not yet warrant an observation about the summit
setting a direction for Japan and the U.S. to adjust their views for
cooperation on curbing global warming.

An essay by Hatoyama was carried by a U.S. daily before he visited
the U.S. The U.S. media criticized his essay at first, claiming that
it rejected U.S.-led globalization. Concern also remains that his
proposal for a common Asian currency proposal will lead to the
division of the world economy into blocs.

Since then, Hatoyama has been underscoring his stance of attaching
importance to the U.S. This was evident when he talked with Obama on
the phone. It appears that the initial gap is becoming narrower.
However, the two leaders went no further than vowing to work
together toward settling issues concerning the Asia-Pacific region.

The delicate distance between the two leaders will affect market
trends. With the Hatoyama essay taken as a message of his distancing
himself from the U.S., a strong yen trend has picked up steam on the
foreign exchange market. At the bilateral summit in February, then
prime minister Taro Aso and Obama agreed to maintain their faith in
the dollar. The summit is over now, but skepticism remains about
whether both countries can reconfirm their confidence in the

(3) New York University Professor Lincoln: "Prime Minister Hatoyama
is not anti-American"

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
September 23, 2009

With Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's visit to the U.S., an
increasing number of Americans are paying attention to the change of
government in Japan. The Nikkei interviewed New York University
Professor Edward Lincoln, special advisor to a former U.S.
ambassador to Japan and an expert on Japan-U.S. economic issues, to
ask about his expectations for the Hatoyama administration and what
tasks it should address.

TOKYO 00002236 005 OF 007

-- How do you interpret the change of government in Japan?

Lincoln: The change of government through an election in Japan is a
very interesting event. The Hosokawa administration was launched in
1993 as a result of the Liberal Democratic Party's collapse and not
through an election. I think this is a healthy development for
democracy in Japan.

-- Reading his article contributed to an American newspaper, some
people seem to have labeled Prime Minister Hatoyama as

Lincoln: On economic issues, Mr. Hatoyama cited (in the article) the
failure of U.S.-led capitalism, but the failure is also being
debated in the U.S. The ongoing financial crisis is a result of the
failure of U.S. regulations and oversight. The U.S. government is
now making efforts to reconstruct such systems.

Regarding security issues as well, Prime Minister Hatoyama and the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have criticized mainly the Japanese
government's strong support of the Bush administration's policies
toward Iraq and other countries since 2001. I am opposed to the war
against Iraq as are many Americans, and I agree with the DPJ's view.
Prime Minister Hatoyama might be anti-Bush, but I don't think he is
anti-American. I don't think that (the inauguration of the Hatoyama
administration) will be a major problem in Japan-U.S. relations.

-- The new administration has come up with a positive mid-term
target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Lincoln: The DPJ has presented a more positive target (than the
Liberal Democratic Party). The question is how the party will
achieve this target. It is important for Japan to take part in
international discussions. Japan has left quarreling with Europe to
the U.S. and simply accepted the results of those arguments. The
change in Japan's environment policy will put effective pressure on
the U.S.

(4) Editorial: Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks - Taking action
is best way to build relationship of trust

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

A Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial meeting was held in New York
between Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, now visiting the United
States, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In their first
meeting, the two top diplomats agreed that Tokyo and Washington will
continue to place priority on the bilateral alliance under the
Hatoyama administration.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and President Barack Obama have
already reaffirmed the importance of the Japan-U.S. alliance. We
welcome that Okada and Clinton demonstrated the significance of the
bilateral relations to audiences at home and abroad.

However, Japan and the United States are out of step on such
specific issues as the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and
assistance to Afghanistan and Pakistan. Okada and Hatoyama should
give considerable thought to strengthening the bilateral alliance in
a realistic manner, as well as to expanding Japan's international

TOKYO 00002236 006 OF 007

The talks were the first opportunity for Okada to meet with Clinton
after becoming foreign minister. Clinton said, "The Japan-U.S.
alliance is a cornerstone of the U.S. foreign policy and is
indispensable to the security and prosperity of the Asia-Pacific
region." Okada then responded, "I would like to build a deeper,
sustainable bilateral relationship." It can be said that the two
leaders took positive approaches.

Okada cited climate change, support for Afghanistan and Pakistan,
and the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan as the key issues that
the new government will tackle in the coming 100 days. It makes
sense that Okada did not bring up the issue of the alleged secret
agreement on nuclear introduction. It is only natural that the U.S.
government takes the position that Japan should not link the issue
of the secret pact with contemporary issues because the secret pact
is a domestic issue for Japan from the Cold War era.

Okada told Clinton, "The Hatoyama government has no intention of
normalizing relations with North Korea unless the North's nuclear
and missile threats, as well as the abduction issue, are resolved."
He clearly expressed that the Hatoyama government will follow the
former Japanese government's policy toward Pyongyang. Okada and
Clinton took a realistic approach on the agreement that verifiable
and complete denuclearization is necessary for dismantling the
North's nuclear programs. Since some Hatoyama administration members
are believed to be pro-Pyongyang politicians, the Japanese and U.S.
governments should be especially careful in terms of information
sharing and security control regarding North Korea.

Although Okada gave a positive assessment of his meeting with
Clinton by saying he "got off to a good start," it will be difficult
to resolve the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan and the Afghan
assistance issue. The U.S. side has said that if Japan formally
proposes a review of the realignment plan, including the relocation
of Futenma Air Station, it will hold discussions. However, it has
maintained its position that the existing plan is the best one.
Unless the Hatoyama administration presents a concrete framework for
civilian assistance to Afghanistan, there will be no progress on the
Afghan issue.

On Sept. 23, Hatoyama will hold talks with Obama. Hatoyama plans to
first build a relationship of trust with Obama, but the fastest way
for Hatoyama to build a relationship of trust is to take action in
resolving pending issues. He should do his best to strengthen and
deepen the bilateral alliance with Japan's national interests in

(5) Editorial: Make use of Hatoyama speech to move negotiations on
global warming forward

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 24, 2009

In the United Nation's climate change summit, Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama announced Japan's midterm target of reducing greenhouse gas
emissions by 25 PERCENT from 1990 levels by 2020.

The summit was held with the December deadline drawing nearer for
forming a new international framework to fight global warming
following the 2012 expiration of the Kyoto Protocol. Chinese
President Hu Jintao and U.S. President Barack Obama delivered

TOKYO 00002236 007 OF 007

speeches earlier than Hatoyama. Their speeches indicated many
difficulties lie ahead before an agreement is reached.

President Hu repeatedly used expressions indicating that developing
countries should not be obligated to reduce greenhouse gases
emissions. President Obama only emphasized a change in the U.S.
approach to global warming. The U.S. and China have emitted 40
PERCENT of the total amount of gases discharged across the world.
In this sense, the speeches by these countries' leaders were

Meanwhile, the Hatoyama speech, in a sense, played the role of
adding momentum to the negotiations on global warming.

The Hatoyama Initiative is premised on "all major countries'
agreeing on an ambitious target." To minimize the adverse effect of
global warming, it is imperative for all major emitters to cooperate
in reducing greenhouse gas emissions for which they are respectively
responsible, based on the principle that major emitters should
fulfill "common but different levels of responsibility."

The U.S. and China are required to take a step forward to bring
about an agreement. We expect the Hatoyama administration to play
the role of persuading major emitters and speeding up the
negotiations on this issue that will affect the environment of the
earth in the future.

The Hatoyama Initiative designed to offer support for developing
countries in fighting global warming could become a catalyst
prompting all countries to take part in efforts to tackle global
warming. In the UN summit Hatoyama presented only principles for the
initiative. He is urged to work out specifics, such as the scale of
funds and ways of offering technological support, and present them
to each country at an early date.

Prime Minister Hatoyama is now pressed to form a domestic consensus.
Critics say the new midterm target is too high, focusing on the
previous administration's estimate that a household may have to
shoulder an additional burden of about 360,000 yen annually. A study
group under the Aso administration worked out this figure.

Some people point out that the numerical figure was worked out by
adding necessary costs, based on the current industrial structure
and without taking into consideration the possibility of new
industries created through technological innovation. Once the
government comes up with a clear goal, companies should be able to
confidently invest in technical development and plant and equipment
in related areas.

In order to win public support for its international promise, it is
necessary to make the people aware that the challenge of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions will create new markets and eventually
contribute to buoying up the economy. If only an increase in the
public burden is focused on in discussion, the discussion will be
way off-base. We hope that the government will hammer out a national
strategy that will impose an equitable and minimal burden on the
people and enable sustainable economic growth.


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