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Cablegate: Assistant Secretary Campbell's Meeting with Dpj

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 002269

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/20/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV JA PINR
SUBJECT: ASSISTANT SECRETARY CAMPBELL'S MEETING WITH DPJ
DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER NAOTO KAN

TOKYO 00002269 001.2 OF 003


Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission James P. Zumwalt, Reasons 1.4 (b
) and (d)

1. (S) SUMMARY: Assistant Secretary of State for East
Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell met with Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for National Strategy Bureau, Economic
and Science and Technology Policy Naoto Kan in Tokyo on
September 18. The officials spoke about the historic nature
of the DPJ's recent victory and ascension to power, the
definition of an ""equal relationship"" between the U.S. and
Japan, security issues related to Okinawa, and upcoming
high-level USG visits to Japan. END SUMMARY.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Historic Changes, Convincing the Public
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2. (C) Assistant Secretary of State (A/S) for East Asian
and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell met with Deputy Prime
Minister and Minister for National Strategy Bureau, Economic
and Science and Technology Policy Naoto Kan over breakfast at
a Tokyo hotel on September 18. Principal Deputy Assistant
Secretary of Defense (PDAS) Derek Mitchell also participated
in the hour-long meeting. Minister Kan started by pointing
out that there were two historic changes taking place now in
Japanese politics. The first being the change of ruling
party from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the second being the
change from bureaucrat-led governance to that by politicians.
Kan said that one big challenge for politicians now was
explaining to the Japanese people why they were taking
certain actions and creating certain policies. Especially
challenging would be actions and policies related to national
security, in which the public traditionally has little
interest. In particular, because Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama already spoke publicly about relocating Futenma
outside of Okinawa, this was something that would pose a
challenge for DPJ politicians who needed to build popular
support.

3. (C) Kan said that a challenge for his National Strategy
Bureau (NSB) would be to explain not only its policies, but
also Japan's national security strategies in the global
context, to the Japanese people. The Minister continued that
this would be a real challenge because the Japanese public
was fundamentally uninterested in developments overseas.
NOTE: Kan mentioned that his college professor of
international relations, Yosuke Nagai, in a book called ""the
Price of Peace,"" wrote about President John F. Kennedy's
ability to skillfully explain to the American people why
missiles in Cuba were a threat to Americans. Because of
this, Kan said, Kennedy was able to mobilize public support
for his response to the Cuban missile crisis. Kan said that
Professor Nagai taught him that there is always a price for
peace and security. END NOTE.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
An Equal Relationship, Okinawa
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

4. (S) A/S Campbell advised that while the DPJ worked to
bring about such historic changes, it keep in mind some
lessons from the recent past. One such lesson was to not
only take bold actions, but also take responsibility for
those actions. Trying to justify unpopular actions by
blaming foreign pressure was not helpful in building a strong
and equal relationship between the U.S. and Japan, Campbell
said. Such a tactic may be politically expedient, but
ultimately leaves a bad impression with the Japanese public,
the A/S continued. Another lesson the DPJ could learn from
the recent history of bilateral relations was that Japan's
tendency to let the U.S. take the initiative on security
matters then simply responding was not indicative of an equal
relationship. Campbell stated that the U.S. also desires an
equal relationship, but that a change in Japanese behavior
was necessary. He said the DPJ victory represented a
historic opportunity to bring about change in the
relationship, and called on the two governments to work
together to strengthen the alliance.

5. (C) Campbell said that the Futenma issue was extremely
important, and pointed out that the maintenance of a strong
U.S. military presence in Asia during these difficult times
was critical. The A/S pointed out that U.S. troops in Japan
were important for the Japanese as well, and implored Kan to
move carefully on the Futenma issue. PDAS Mitchell mentioned
that he had spoken about the Futenma issue, which was very
sensitive, with the DPJ's Parliamentary Vice Foreign Minister
Akihisa Nagashima (whom Kan had earlier commented would be a
pragmatic and influential player in the new Ministry of
Defense). Mitchell stated that he was willing to discuss
with the DPJ side the USG's rationale for the realignment
plan, but asked the DPJ to be open-minded and work together
with the U.S. government as partners.

6. (C) Kan said that he completely agreed that blaming
foreign pressure was not good for Japan-U.S. relations in the
long-term, and admitted that Japan bears some responsibility
in this issue. For example, the LDP would give the Okinawan
people hope on issues of concern to them, then blame the U.S.
after making decisions together with the USG. Kan professed
that he did not have any specific good ideas on how to
resolve the Futenma dilemma, and instead pointed out a
contradiction-that although the U.S. military presence in
Japan is important, Okinawa was a special place (a place
where a ground war took place, as well as a place that
experienced a long period of U.S. occupation after the war)
with special relations with the Japanese central government.
Because of the strong possibilities of fissures in the
relationship between Okinawa and Tokyo, Kan said he needed to
think more about how to reconcile this contradiction. Kan
revealed that at the time of former U.S. Secretary of Defense
Donald Rumsfeld's decision to move troops from the front
lines to the rear in places like Korea, he had thought the
U.S. could do something similar in Japan to reduce the burden
on Okinawa by transferring troops to Guam. However, Kan
continued, the overall situation has changed.

7. (C) According to Kan, his National Strategy Bureau will
not be a decisive policy maker on security issues. Instead,
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, who Kan said was a very
powerful, competent, and eager politician, would take the
lead on the U.S.-Japan security alliance. Kan explained that
he himself might get involved if directed to by the Prime
Minister.

8. (S) Campbell said that because President Obama's
November visit to Japan was a historic opportunity, both
sides needed to decide quickly how to translate these
security-related discussions into the bilateral process. The
A/S pointed out that presently, there were several DPJ
officials making contrasting statements on security issues
that were not well coordinated. The U.S. will not respond to
such statements, Campbell stated, but hopes there will be a
more disciplined policy process to deal effectively and
constructively with different issues, including refueling,
nuclear issues (such as the ""secret agreement""), and Okinawa
issues. He then asked Kan to help impose discipline on
bilateral interaction. PDAS Mitchell added that Secretary of
Defense Robert Gates would be coming to Japan in mid-October
and will be interested in discussing these alliance issues as
well as Afghanistan-Pakistan.

9. (C) Kan said that the Japanese government also would
like President Obama's visit to be a success, and that Prime
Minister Hatoyama must now explain Japan's security
environment to the Japanese people and convince them of the
challenging problems facing the nation. Kan assured Campbell
that he would to his utmost to assist Hatoyama in this task,
but pointed out the limited amount of time before President
Obama's arrival.

10. (U) Participants:
Naoto Kan
A/S Campbell
PDAS Mitchell
DCM James Zumwalt
Yumiko Miyazaki (interpreter)

11. (U) Assistant Secretary of State Campbell and Principal
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Mitchell have cleared
this cable.
ROOS

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