Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 09/29/09
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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 09/29/09
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
4) Govt. to redraft budget from scratch (Nikkei)
5) Tanigaki elected LDP president; Oshima strong candidate for party
secretary general (Sankei)
6) Tanigaki elected LDP president; Sonoda mentioned as candidate for
party secretary general (Yomiuri)
Trilateral Ministerial in Shanghai
7) Japanese, Chinese, and Korean foreign ministers agree to
cooperate for creation of East Asia Community (Nikkei)
8) Japanese, Chinese, and Korean foreign ministers agree on holding
summit meeting of heads of state next month (Yomiuri)
9) Gist of trilateral ministerial (Yomiuri)
10) At FM talks China attempts to use East Asia Community concept to
decouple Japan and U.S. (Sankei)
11) MOD Kitazawa speeds up preparations for talks with U.S. Minister
of Defense (Asahi)
12) North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister offers to discuss abduction
issue bilaterally with Japan (Tokyo Shimbun)
Defense & Security
13) Environmental Assessment Council requests Ministry of Defense
redo preparatory document (Akahata)
1) TOP HEADLINES
Asahi & Tokyo Shimbun:
Government to accept new budget requests for fiscal year 2010 until
Mainichi & Yomiuri:
Tanigaki elected new LDP president
Government to adopt today new basic policy for FY2010 budget
compilation, to accept new budget requests until Oct. 15
New LDP President Tanigaki: LDP will establish "administrative
JCP Chairman Shii offers flowers at monument in Semipalatinsk
(1) Tanigaki-led LDP must reform itself in serious manner
(2) Minister Kamei should reconsider plan for moratorium bill
(1) New LDP President Tanigaki also needs to introduce change
(2) JAL reconstruction - Time to break free of shackles
TOKYO 00002271 002 OF 008
(1) Tanigaki must initiate LDP's transformation
(2) German center-right coalition will continue nuclear power plant
(1) Hatoyama administration should listen to concern in markets
(2) New LDP President Tanigaki should set objectives for returning
the party to power
(1) New LDP President Tanigaki should demonstrate how he will renew
(2) German general election: Japan should pay attention to
(1) New LDP President Tanigaki should change his party
(2) Yen's appreciation, weak stock prices: Fujii statement is
"correct," but ...
(1) LDP picks new president - No future for backward-looking
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, September 28
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 29, 2009
09:25 Signed his name as the prime minister in the book at the
Hitachi Palace. Afterward signed in at the Imperial Palace to report
his return. Signed his name as the prime minister in the book at the
10:15 Had an audience with the Crown Prince at the Togu Palace.
Afterward signed his name at the Akishino Palace, Prince Tomohito's
Palace, Mikasa Palace, and Takamado Palace.
11:10 Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno at the Kantei,
followed by Lower House member Keishu Tanaka.
14:55 Met State Minister for Administrative Reform Sengoku in the
presence of Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsui.
15:44 Met Cabinet Office Parliamentary Secretary Tamura.
16:29 Met Finance Minister Fujii, Senior Vice Finance Minister
Minezaki and Parliamentary Secretary Furumoto.
17:01 Attended a government and ruling coalition party heads
meeting, followed by a basic policy cabinet ministers committee
18:09 Attended a party commemorating the late political commentator
Ryuichiro Hosokawa held at a restaurant in the Japan Press Center
Bldg. In Uchi-saiwaicho.
18:50 Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano.
20:32 Returned to his private residence.
4) Government to endorse basic budget-compilation policy today,
redraft state budget from scratch
NIKKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
September 29, 2009
TOKYO 00002271 003 OF 008
The government will endorse a basic budget-compilation policy for
fiscal 2010 at a cabinet meeting today. It will abolish the previous
Aso administration's guidelines for budget requests and accept fresh
requests from government agencies until Oct. 15. The government will
try to generate funds by eliminating wasteful spending to pay for
the livelihood-support measures proposed in the Democratic Party of
Japan's manifesto for the last House of Representatives election.
The government intends to freeze part of the fiscal 2009
supplementary budget and review the current single-fiscal-year
system in an effort to underscore policy changes.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held a meeting at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence yesterday of a cabinet committee on basic
policies attended by the leaders of the three ruling parties and
others. Hatoyama also held the first meeting attended by the party
leaders and officials at the secretary-general level to discuss
guidelines for budget compilation.
In the meetings, Hatoyama instructed participants to (1) scrap the
Aso cabinet's budgetary request guidelines; (2) compile the fiscal
2010 budget by the end of the year; and (3) conduct a zero-based
review of the existing state budget. The prime minister emphasized:
"To implement the new measures proposed in the manifesto, the
government will redraft the budget and find new fiscal sources."
Participating in the cabinet committee on meeting on basic policies
were Hatoyama; Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is also national
strategy minister; Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano; Social
Democratic Party President Mizuho Fukushima, state minister for
consumer affairs, food safety, declining birthrate, and gender
equality; People's New Party President Shizuka Kamei, state minister
for financial affairs and postal reform; and Finance Minister
Hirohisa Fujii. The government plans to hold committee meetings
Instructions by Hatoyama on fiscal 2010 budget compilation
Q Compile the fiscal 2010 budget by the end of the year.
Q Eliminate wasteful spending.
Q Scrap the current guidelines for budget requests.
Q Have government agencies present by Oct. 15 their new requests
made in accordance with the requirements presented in the DPJ
manifesto and in the agreement reached to form the coalition
government of the three political parties.
Q Find new fiscal sources to fund new policy measures listed in the
manifesto through budget overhaul.
Q Conduct a zero-based review of the order of priorities in the
current state budget.
5) Newly elected LDP President Tanigaki: LDP will set up
"administrative concept council;" Oshima a likely candidate for
SANKEI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
September 29, 2009
The opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday held a
presidential election at party headquarters. Former Finance Minister
Sadakazu Tanigaki, 64, was elected the 24th LDP president, beating
his two younger contenders - former Senior Vice Justice Minister
Taro Kono, 46, and former Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign
Affairs Yasutoshi Nishimura, 46. Tanigaki garnered 300, or a
TOKYO 00002271 004 OF 008
majority, of the 499 valid votes cast by (199) party lawmakers and
(300) local chapters in the nation's 47 prefectures. Kono secured
144 votes and Nishimura captured 54 votes. Today Tanigaki will pick
three top officers, including secretary general. At a press
conference, Tanigaki revealed his intention to set up an
"administrative concept council" (tentative name), at which the LDP
will discuss how it should revitalize itself, and a "shadow
6) Tanigaki elected new LDP president, Sonoda emerges as candidate
for secretary general
YOMIURI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
September 29, 2009
Yesterday the opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held its
presidential election, in which former Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki, 64, was elected as the 24th LDP president, defeating two
other candidates - former Senior Vice Justice Minister Taro Kono,
46, and former Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Yasutoshi
Nishimura, 46. At yesterday's first balloting, Tanigaki secured 60
PERCENT of all the votes cast by party Diet members and local
chapters in the nation's 47 prefectures. His term in office will run
until the end of September 2012. Tanigaki will decide today the
lineup of new LDP executives. Former Policy Research Council Deputy
Chairman Hiroyuki Sonoda is emerging as a candidate for secretary
7) Japanese, Chinese and South Korean foreign ministers agree to
cooperate on concept of East Asia Community
NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
September 29, 2009
(Nahoko Yamauchi, Shanghai)
The foreign ministers of Japan, China and South Korea met in
Shanghai on Sept. 28 and agreed to cooperate in realizing the
concept of an East Asia Community. They shared the view that North
Korea's nuclear development will constitute a threat to the peace
and stability of Northeast Asia. Based on this view, they decided to
call on North Korea to quickly return to the Six-Party Talks.
The trilateral foreign ministerial was aimed at laying the
groundwork for the planned summit meeting of the three countries set
for Oct. 10. In the meeting, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said,
"With the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone (of its security),
Japan will proactively promote Asian diplomacy while promoting the
concept of an East Asia Community." Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi and South Korean Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Yu
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has proposed the concept of an East
Asia Community, in which common security and currency systems would
be introduced. The foreign ministers did not discuss specifics of
the concept in the meeting.
Okada called on China to make a greater effort in arms reduction.
His Chinese counterpart replied, "China has promised to forgo the
first-strike option." The Chinese foreign minister added, "We
welcome the start of bilateral moves toward arms reduction by the
U.S. and Russia."
TOKYO 00002271 005 OF 008
In a meeting of the Japanese and Chinese foreign ministers held
prior to the trilateral meeting, Okada expressed concern about
China's independent development of the Shirakaba gas field.
8) Japan, China, ROK foreign ministers agree to hold trilateral
summit on October 10
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 29, 2009
Takanori Kato, Yukiko Ishikawa (Shanghai)
The foreign ministers of Japan, China, and the Republic of Korea
(ROK) met at a hotel in Shanghai on the afternoon of September 28
and reached an official agreement on holding the second
Japan-PRC-ROK summit in Beijing on October 10. They also agreed on
promoting an "East Asian community" and other forms of regional
cooperation among Asian countries.
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Chinese Foreign Minister Yang
Jiechi, and ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan
participated in this meeting.
Okada briefed his counterparts on the Hatoyama administration's
foreign policy at the beginning of the meeting. He said that: "Japan
aims at building an East Asian community while regarding the
Japan-U.S. relationship as the linchpin of its policy. We would like
to promote regional cooperation in East Asia in collaboration with
China and the ROK," conveying the new administration's emphasis on
Okada sought the two foreign ministers cooperation in realizing the
East Asian community, saying: "We would like to cooperate step by
step." On the other hand, China and the ROK reportedly indicated
their intention to promote regional cooperation under the ASEAN-
plus-three (Japan, the PRC, and the ROK) framework. Okada told
reporters after the meeting that, "They basically gave their
Meanwhile, Okada also voiced his support for U.S. President Barack
Obama's advocacy of a "world without nuclear weapons" at the meeting
and asked that China make efforts toward nuclear disarmament. Yang
replied that China will "work on this positively."
9) Gist of Japan-PRC-ROK foreign ministerial talks on September 28
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
September 29, 2009
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada: Japan aims at building an East Asian
community in the long-term while keeping the Japan-U.S. alliance as
the linchpin of its policy. It is important to strengthen
cooperation with China and the Republic of Korea (ROK).
PRC Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi: I agree.
ROK Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan: We would
like to promote regional cooperation further.
TOKYO 00002271 006 OF 008
North Korean issue
Okada: North Korea's development of nuclear weapons is unacceptable.
We would like to resolve the abduction, nuclear, and missile issues
and settle the issues of the unfortunate past.
Yu: It is necessary to continue to impose the sanctions based on UN
Security Council resolutions. Our position is to pursue dialogue in
Yang: The Six-Party Talks is a realistic and effective channel. We
need to place more importance on this framework. We hope for an
appropriate solution to the abduction issue.
Nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation
Okada: We support a world without nuclear weapons. We hope for more
transparency and further efforts toward nuclear disarmament from
Yang: China has pledged no-first-use (of nuclear arms). We will make
the necessary efforts.
Okada: We will cooperate with the 15th Conference of the Parties to
the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15).
Yang: Let us work under the principle of common but differentiated
Three foreign ministers: The Japan-PRC-ROK summit will be held in
Beijing on October 10. The next trilateral foreign ministerial
meeting will be held in the ROK next year.
10) Japan-China-ROK foreign ministerial; China attacks Okada in bid
to drive wedge between Japan and United States over East Asia
SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
September 29, 2009
Ken Kasahara, Shanghai
During his first visit to China as foreign minister, Katsuya Okada,
together with his Chinese and South Korean counterparts, confirmed
close cooperation in promoting the East Asia community concept.
Okada emphasized that the concept is not designed to exclude the
United States, Japan's ally. However, the Chinese side poured cold
water on the Okada proposal, claiming that China has consistently
advocated the East Asian Community concept, apparently in an effort
to get the upper hand. The more the Hatoyama administration
advocates this concept, the greater is the distrust of the United
States and the harder China tries to drive a wedge between Japan and
"(The two countries) basically supported the idea apart from the
question of whether or not to use the phrase 'East Asia Community
concept,'" Okada said after a series of talks, playing up the
results of the ministerial.
TOKYO 00002271 007 OF 008
Okada has indicated that Japan will serve as a "connector" between
Asia and the United States. True to his words, at the
Japan-China-South Korea foreign ministerial Okada emphasized a plan
to promote the East Asia Community concept while maintaining the
Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone (of Japan's security). A
senior Japanese government official repeatedly indicated that the
U.S. should not be alarmed, saying, "The concept will include such
countries as India and Australia and is not designed to exclude the
Nevertheless, there is no doubt that Beijing regards the launch of
the Hatoyama administration as a golden opportunity to win Japan
over to the Chinese side, according to a senior Foreign Ministry
official. In the series of talks, Okada also referred to the
development of gas fields in the East China Sea, the Chinese-made
frozen dumplings incident, human rights in Tibet, and China's
nuclear disarmament. Nevertheless, there was the impression that the
talks proceeded at China's pace. (Okada) was not able to dispel the
concern that Japan might be outmaneuvered by shrewd Chinese
11) Kitazawa making preparations for meeting with Pentagon chief
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
September 29, 2009
Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa held a meeting yesterday with
Senior Vice Defense Minister Kazuya Shimba and parliamentary
secretaries for defense. During the meeting, Kitazawa confirmed that
he would make preparations for a meeting with U.S. Secretary of
Defense Gates, who will visit Japan late next month. The two defense
leaders are expected to discuss such issues as the realignment of
U.S. forces in Japan and Japan's assistance to Afghanistan. Kitazawa
will accelerate preparations for his meeting with Gates.
Coordination is now underway for Gates to visit Japan Oct. 20-21.
12) North Korean vice foreign minister positive on resumption of
Japan-DPRK talks on abduction, other issues
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
September 29, 2009
New York, Kyodo - It was learned on September 28 that North Korean
Vice Foreign Minister Pak Kil Yon, who is in the United States to
attend the UN General Assembly, stated at a meeting with UN
Secretary General Ban Ki Moon that issues with Japan, including the
abduction issue, "should be handled through bilateral talks,"
indicating a positive attitude on resuming Japan-DPRK talks. This
was revealed by a diplomatic source at the United Nations. Pak also
reportedly reiterated that North Korea will not return to the
It is believed that this is the first time that North Korea has
indicated the possibility of resuming talks with Japan at a UN
diplomatic venue. During an interview with Kyodo News on September
11, DPRK envoy for normalization talks with Japan Song Il Ho hinted
at the DPRK's willingness to resume bilateral talks.
Pak is scheduled to deliver a speech at the UN General Assembly's
General Debate on the afternoon of September 28 (morning of
September 29, Japan time).
TOKYO 00002271 008 OF 008
13) Okinawa environmental assessment council urges Defense Bureau to
conduct reexamination on plan to build new U.S. base
AKAHATA (Page 1) (Full)
September 29, 2009
Okinawa's Environmental Impact Assessment Council (chaired by Seiko
Tsukayama), tasked with deliberating on the environmental impact
assessment preparatory documents for the planned construction of a
new U.S. base in the Henoko district in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture,
held its eighth meeting in Ginowan on Sept. 28 and discussed its
draft report to the prefectural government. In response to the
Okinawa Defense Bureau's preparatory documents, which concluded that
overall there will be only a "minor impact on the environment," the
draft council report is designed to effectively urge the bureau to
return its preparatory documents to square one, while indicating
some critical comments on specific factors, according to Chairman
In the meeting, some citizens in the audience and council members
complained a draft report that does not seek reexamination is
insufficient. The text was revised to read, "a necessary
examination, projection, and evaluation will be carried out once
The Defense Bureau's preparatory documents say that impact on the
environment must be avoided/reduced "within the scope feasible by
contractors." In reaction to those documents, the council report
includes a phrase indicating that the option of halting the
construction of the new base will not be excluded, reading, "In the
event the environmental impact cannot be fully reduced, the options
for halting the project, changing the site, and reducing the project
in size will not be excluded."
The draft council report also harshly criticizes the preparatory
documents, saying that as seen in a lack of multi-year surveys of
dugons, the environment assessment plan was produced without
sufficiently addressing the governor's views and that the
conclusion, projection, and evaluation of the survey specified in
the preparatory documents were far from sufficient.
The council plans to produce its final report before the end of the