Celebrating 25 Years of Scoop
Special: Up To 25% Off Scoop Pro Learn More



Cablegate: A/S Campbell's September 18 Meeting with Vice

DE RUEHKO #2277/01 2772349
O 042349Z OCT 09

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 002277


E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2019

TOKYO 00002277 001.2 OF 009

Classified By: DCM James P. Zumwalt per reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) Summary: In a September 18 meeting with Vice Foreign
Minister Mitoji Yabunaka, Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell
stressed the importance of close U.S.-Japan consultations as
the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) settled into its role as
the ruling party. Close high-level U.S.-Japan engagement
during this time will ensure the success of both President
Obama's November visit to Japan as well as next year's 50th
anniversary of the U.S.-Japan security alliance. A/S Campbell
stressed the U.S was committed to maintaining smooth
U.S-Japan relations.

2. (C) Summary, cont'd: Touching on Foreign Minister Okada's
plan to investigate the so-called ""secret"" nuclear agreement
between the U.S. and Japan, A/S Campbell reiterated that the
U.S. had released all relevant documents and did not plan to
comment further. He cautioned that focusing on the issue
could have operational implications for U.S. forces. Turning
to regional issues, A/S Campbell said that the purpose of any
U.S.-DPRK bilateral meeting would be to facilitate North
Korea's return to the Six Party Talks. That said, the U.S.
will continue to implement UNSCR 1874 and was encouraged by
other countries' enforcement actions. The U.S. planned to
begin a more active engagement with Burma and would look for
Japan's support in maintaining pressure on the regime, A/S
Campbell said. Keeping in mind the President's November
visit, A/S Campbell said it was essential that Japan's new
government be willing to make new commitments (e.g.,
cooperation on Iran, Afghanistan/Pakistan) even as the new
government reconsiders past policies. Yabunaka agreed that
the U.S. and Japan must remain focused on the bigger picture,
suggesting that areas such as climate change would provide
new opportunities for cooperation. End Summary.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

Managing Japan's Transition

3. (C) Focusing on Japan's political transition with new
Prime Minister Hatoyama and the former opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) taking power, A/S Campbell said the U.S.
would publicly demonstrate its confidence in the new
government and express strong support during Japan's
political transition. Publicly, the U.S. would express
support for the tenets of the DPJ platform (e.g., a more
independent Japanese foreign policy, strong relations with
China). At the same time, the U.S. would be intensely
focused on reading signals from the new administration. He
added that over next several weeks, the U.S. would be engaged
in a series of high-level interactions with Japan, including
the President's meeting with PM Hatoyama on the margins of
UNGA, and the upcoming visits to Japan by Deputy Secretary
Steinberg, Secretary of Defense Gates, and Assistant
Secretary of Defense Gregson. These sessions are aimed at
listening to the views of the new administration and
providing our own feedback. Above all, these intensive
consultations during this time of unprecedented political
change in Japan aim to ensure that President Obama's November
visit to Japan is a success and that the stage is properly
set for next year's 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Japan
security alliance.

4. (C) A/S Campbell continued that during this transition
period, the U.S. fully expected to hear a wide range of views
expressed by different DPJ voices as well as the media on a
host of bilateral and international issues. In addition,
numerous DPJ visitors to Washington have presumed to speak
for the DPJ. A/C Campbell said he had no doubt that the
U.S-Japan relationship would be taxed by some of the
proposals that the DPJ had put forth but that the burden of
managing these challenges successfully would fall on career
diplomats and that all must rise to the occasion.

5. (C) VFM Yabunaka agreed that the current transition was a
critical moment that must be managed carefully. He observed
that while Japan is unquestionably one of the leading
economic and political powers in the world, domestically
there is a sense in some quarters that Japan has not been
treated equally and as such, the DPJ had found political
traction on this issue. When President Obama and PM Hatoyama
meet in New York, Yabunaka said it would be important that
that the two leaders reaffirm the basic foundations of the
U.S.-Japan relationship (e.g., Japan as the ""cornerstone"" of
U.S. policy in Asia) while also being able to deal with
potentially thorny bilateral issues. It was important, he
added, to build the confidence of both the Prime Minister and

TOKYO 00002277 002.2 OF 009

the Foreign Minister.

Nuclear History

6. (C) Turning to Foreign Minister Okada's interest in
investigating the so-called ""secret"" agreements between the
U.S. and Japan, A/S Campbell said that the U.S. had already
released the relevant documents through Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) requests and that there would be
little the U.S. could add to what was already available
publicly. While MOFA would conduct its own document search,
A/S Campbell said it would be best if the U.S. did not
comment. He stressed that the U.S. did not want this issue
to create a situation that would require the U.S. to respond
in a way unhelpful to the alliance. Yabunaka said that
Okada had expressed confidence in MOFA by allowing it to
conduct the document search rather than bring in a third
party. Although an outside group would review the documents
later, it was a positive sign that MOFA would be involved, he
said. Reviewing the historical issues was simply a matter of
analysis, Yabunaka said the true challenge would be the
implications for the present and those would have to be
carefully managed.

North Korea

7. (C) A/S Campbell reviewed Ambassadors Bosworth and Kim's
recent consultations with Japan, China, South Korea, and
Russia regarding North Korea and the Six Party Talks, saying
there was general consensus that any diplomacy with North
Korea must be seen in the context of the Six Party Talks and
reaffirm that a nuclear North Korea is unacceptable. That
said, A/S Campbell noted interlocutors expressed concerns
about what could be achieved with North Korea. If
Ambassadors Bosworth and Kim would meet bilaterally with
North Korean officials, these meetings would be focused on
urging North Korea to return to the Six Party Talks. In
addition, the U.S. remained committed to full and transparent
implementation of UNSCR 1874, A/S Campbell said, noting that
some countries were taking action to implement the
resolution. Yabunaka expressed appreciation for continued
close coordination on North Korea, particularly on UNSCR
1874, and expressed GOJ support for the U.S. approach.


8. (C) On Burma, A/S Campbell said the U.S. would begin to
engage more with the regime there, while also maintaining
sanctions. In adopting this new approach, the U.S. had
concluded that the previous isolation strategy had failed and
that the U.S needed to ""get into the game."" Coincident with
North Korea having recently lost some of its Middle East
clients owing to the impact of UNSCR 1874, North Korea-Burma
military cooperation had increased. In this regard, the U.S.
needed Japan's assistance in maintaining pressure on Burma,
he said.


9. (C) A successful visit to Japan by President Obama this
fall was essential, A/S Campbell stressed. The U.S.
understood that the new government represented a departure
from the previous government in many respects. Nimble
diplomacy by both sides would be necessary. For example, the
U.S. would be seeking further Japanese cooperation on Iran
and a possible new commitment on development assistance to
Afghanistan and Pakistan. In this context, it was important
that the GOJ be responsive and not simply be saying ""no.""

10. (C) Yabunaka agreed that the U.S. and Japan must stay
focused on the ""big picture"" and not get too immersed in the
minor details of individual bilateral issues. He noted that
PM Hatoyama had proposed a 25 percent reduction in greenhouse
gas emissions below 1990 levels and that policy presumably
would move forward. Since U.S. and Japanese climate change
technology was the most advanced in the world, this could
present an opportunity for cooperation. With respect to
Afghanistan, Yabunaka was non-committal, but said the GOJ

TOKYO 00002277 003.2 OF 009

would do what it could.

11. (U) Assistant Secretary Campbell cleared this cable.

TOKYO 00002277 004 OF 009

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Foreign Minister Okada, meeting the press yesterday, clarified his
intention to prompt cabinet ministers to consult on the issue of
relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan,
Okinawa Prefecture.

""The question is how we should address this issue in the cabinet,""
Okada said. ""I will discuss this matter with the chief cabinet
secretary, and then I'd like to reach a decision as early as

7) Defense Minister Kitazawa eyes review of Futenma and Marines

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
September 30, 2009

At a news conference yesterday, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa
referred to the review of the plan to relocate the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. He also indicated the need to
review the stationing of the U.S. Marines in Okinawa. ""We would like
to thoroughly look into whether there were any other alternative
options,"" he said, ""including the reasons why the U.S. Marines have
hunkered down in Okinawa until now.""

Meanwhile, in a news conference yesterday Foreign Minister Katsuya
Okada described Kitazawa's plan to discuss the relocation issue with
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and himself before the end of the week
as ""too early."" Okada expressed a plan to discuss the matter with
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano first. Okada also complained
about Kitazawa's statement expressing difficulty moving (Futenma)
out of the prefecture or outside the country.

8) Japan, ROK foreign ministers agree on strengthening cooperation
in dealing with North Korea

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met with South Korean Minister of
Foreign Affairs and Trade Yu Myung-hwan at the Foreign Ministry's
Iikura Guest House in Tokyo on the evening of September 29. The two
ministers agreed on strengthening cooperation in dealing with North
Korea's development of nuclear arms. They also affirmed that North
Korea should be persuaded to return to the Six-Party Talks at an
early date. This meeting was meant to lay the groundwork for the
next Japan-ROK summit meeting. It is believed that they also fixed
the schedule of the summit.

Regarding the situation in North Korea, Okada said, ""We would like
to ascertain if (North Korea) is indeed taking concrete action and
move cautiously,"" indicating that Japan will closely watch the
DPRK's next moves for the time being. Yu agreed with him. At an
earlier news conference, Yu pointed out that ""there might be some
developments in U.S.-DPRK talks,"" but added ""we have no intention to
make the first move.""

Yu said the purpose of his meeting with Okada was ""to build a
personal relationship of trust."" The two ministers did not go into
details of specific issues, but there were clearly several issues on
which their governments' positions differ.

TOKYO 00002277 005 OF 009

9) EU seeks MSDF protection of UN World Food Programme ships in
Somalia, may become Japan's contribution after end of refueling

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Abridged)
September 30, 2009

Shigeru Handa, editorial staff member

It was learned that the Ministry of Defense (MOD), which currently
deploys escort ships in waters off Somalia for anti-piracy
operations, received a request from the European Union (EU) in July
for the protection of UN World Food Programme (WFP) ships. There is
now a proposal to use escort ships to protect WFP ships after they
are withdrawn from the Indian Ocean when the authorization of the
refueling mission expires in January 2010.

The Maritime Self-Defense Forces (MSDF) has been asked by the EU to
cooperate in anti-piracy operations. A third contingent consisting
of two escort ships will depart Japan in October. The MSDF is now
increasingly seen as the mainstay in the anti-piracy mission.

Before the recent House of Representatives election, the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) had asserted that anti-piracy operations should
be the duty of the Japan Coast Guard (JCG). However, it eventually
backed off from this position, stating in its election manifesto
that anti-piracy operations ""will be implemented through appropriate
procedures."" After taking office, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa
voiced his support for the continuation of the MSDF's anti-piracy
mission because ""this is being appreciated internationally.""

While the EU request came before Kitazawa became defense minister,
senior MSDF officers believe that ""it will be easy to obtain the new
administration's approval"" on cooperation with the WFP humanitarian

Actually, the MSDF has drafted meticulous anti-piracy plans ""geared
toward the new administration."" One of them makes use of the P-3C
surveillance aircraft.

It had anticipated that ""patrol planes will be acceptable to the DPJ
administration since they merely spot pirate ships and provide
information, and this does not involve the use of weapons,"" and so
P-3Cs were dispatched under the previous administration.

Germany, France, and Spain have dispatched one patrol plane each to
Somalia. While the MSDF is the last to send such aircraft, it now
has the highest number with two in operation. The P-3Cs also
complement the operations of the U.S. forces, which have no aircraft
to spare for reconnaissance in the inland areas of Africa for
anti-piracy purposes. This actually serves the dual purpose of both
supporting the U.S. and making international contributions.

If anti-piracy plans are left in the hands of the SDF, they will
obviously come up with proposals they favor. Unless policy is made
across the vertical boundaries of the MOD and the Ministry of Land,
Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), it will not be
possible to use the JCG for anti-piracy operations. Even the Liberal
Democratic Party admitted that the JCG should be primarily
responsible for this task.

TOKYO 00002277 006 OF 009

10) Foreign minister: Introduction of unified currency in East Asian
Community difficult

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada indicated yesterday that it would be
difficult to introduce a unified currency in the envisioned East
Asian Community, as the European Community (EU) has done. This
concept is designed to promote economic cooperation and prepare a
unified security system in the region. Okada said in a press
conference: ""It is impossible for countries with different political
systems to share a single currency and restrict their sovereignty.""

11) Iranian ambassador refutes Okada statement on new uranium
enrichment plant

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Iranian Ambassador to Japan Seyed Abbas Araghchi yesterday released
a report refuting Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada's earlier comment
on Iran's new uranium enrichment facility. On Sept. 26, Okada
expressed his regret over the revelation that Iran constructed a new
facility to enrich uranium ""without reporting it to the
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).""

In the report intended for the Japanese media, Araghchi emphasized
that it is required under the IAEA Convention for a report to be
made to the IAEA six months before nuclear-related materials are
brought into the plant. He insisted that the construction of the new
site does not constitute a breach of the Convention, noting that
""basically, no centrifuges or nuclear-related materials have been
brought in"" to the facility.

12) Coordination underway for extra Diet session to run about one

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 30, 2009

The government yesterday began coordination with the ruling parties
on a plan to convene an extraordinary session of the Diet after
Upper House by-elections on Oct. 25. The length of the term of the
session will likely about one month until Dec. 4. The government
intends to pass such bills as one to abolish the health insurance
system for people aged 75 and older, as well as another to abolish
the Services and Supports for Persons with Disabilities Law. Those
bills were included in the manifestos (campaign pledges) of the
three ruling parties - the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the
Social Democratic Party, and the People's New Party.

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno on Sept. 29 sounded
out DPJ Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji Yamaoka on when to
convene the extra session. Taking Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's
diplomatic schedule into consideration, the government is now
coordinating a plan to convene the session after the Upper House
by-elections. Placing priority on the compilation of the budget for
fiscal 2010 by the end of the year, the government plans to minimize
the number of bills to be enacted during the extra session.

13) Oshima picked as new LDP secretary general

TOKYO 00002277 007 OF 009

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Sadakazu Tanigaki, 64,
appointed former LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori
Oshima, 63, as the LDP's new secretary general; former Policy
Research Council Deputy Chairman Ryotaro Tanose, 65, as chairman of
the party's General Council; and former agriculture minister Shigeru
Ishiba, 52, as chairman of the party's Policy Research Council.
Tanigaki offered no executive post to the Machimura faction, the
largest in the LDP, implying his stance of eliminating factional
influence. His appointments reflected consideration for intraparty
balance and dispersing rewards.

Oshima served as chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee after the
2007 House of Councillors election in which the Upper House fell
into then opposition hands, while the House of Representatives was
controlled by the then ruling coalition. Although he belongs to the
Koumura faction, he does not bear the stamp of factional politics.
He has close relations with Nobutaka Machimura, Toshihiro Nikai, and
Bunmei Ibuki, who head their own factions.

Tanose, an aide to former LDP Secretary General Taku Yamasaki, was
in charge of Tanigaki's campaign for the latest presidential
election. Ishiba had announced his support for Tanigaki in the

Tanigaki picked his confidant, former health minister Jiro Kawasaki,
61, as chairman of the Diet Affairs Committee. Upper House Chairman
Hidehisa Otsuji, 68, will be retained in his post.

The post of Election Strategy Council chairman, now vacant, will be
downgraded to Election Strategy Bureau chief.
Three new LDP executives

Secretary General
Tadamori Oshima (63)
Lowe House Aomori No. 3 district, 9th term (Komura faction)

General Council Chairman
Ryotaro Tanose (65)
Lower House Nara No. 4 district, 6th term (Yamasaki faction)

Policy Research Council Chairman
Shigeru Ishiba (52)
Lower House Tottori No. 1 district, 8th term (Nukaga faction)

14) U.S. made contact with DPJ before the general election

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
September 30, 2009

Haruko Kagenishi

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada revealed in a news conference
yesterday that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) sent its staffers
to the United States in mid-August, before the (Aug. 30) general
election, and exchanged views (with the U.S. side) in response to an
informal request from the U.S. government. Okada explained that he
thinks the U.S. side made the request in anticipation of a change of
government (in Japan). He expressed the view that the U.S.

TOKYO 00002277 008 OF 009

government was in a hurry to make contact with the DPJ prior to the
change of government.

A Policy Research Committee executive responsible for foreign policy
was dispatched to the United States. He was accompanied by Okada's
policy secretary. They stayed in the United States for about one
week. Okada stopped short of revealing whom they met in the United

15) Transport minister eyes development of Japan's own manned

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Land, Infrastructure, Transport, & Tourism Minister Seiji Maehara,
who is also in charge of space development, indicated yesterday that
the ministry would study plans to develop a manned rocket. He said:
""Japan also should develop its capability to launch manned
spacecraft on its own."" It was the first time for a minister in
charge of space development to refer to development of Japan's own
manned spacecraft.

When astronaut Koichi Wakata visited Maehara, he said: ""In order for
Japan to contribute to the world, Japan should have the capability
to launch manned spacecraft independently and have manned
spacecraft."" In response, Maehara made the above remark. The
transport minister further said: ""How can we launch a manned rocket?
Now we have a major goal.""

The government's panel on exploration of the moon plans to compile a
report on the propriety of manned space activity probably by June of
next year.

16) MOFA opens press conference to all media companies: Foreign
Ministry immediately put this decision into practice

MAINICHI (Page 26) (Full)
September 30, 2009

At a press conference on Sept. 29 Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada
said that he had decided in principle to open Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MOFA) press conferences to all media companies. He
translated this idea into action, starting with one held on the same
day. As a result, it was attended by some 30 foreign correspondents
who do not belong to the Japan National Press Club.

Okada had made a similar announcement at a press conference on the
18th. However, he has been putting off implementing the plan in
order to consult with the Press Club. He said, ""It's been a while
since I held the previous conference (on the 18th). I have
personally decided to open my press conferences to all media
companies."" Eligible for this scheme are members of The Japan
Newspaper Publishers & Editors Association, The National Association
of Commercial Broadcasters in Japan, The Japan Magazine Publishers
Association, The Internet News Association of Japan, The Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan, and holders of a foreign
correspondents' registration certificate, free lancers and so on.
Those who want to attend MOFA press conferences need to register in
advance on the MOFA website.

17) Internal affairs and communications minister to look into

TOKYO 00002277 009 OF 009

telecommunications policy, including reorganization of NTT: Working
committee to be set up next month

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Full)
September 30, 2009

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Haraguchi told
reporters after a cabinet meeting on Sept. 29 that he would launch a
working committee tasked with looking into the current information
and telecommunications policies, including a possibility of
reorganizing the NTT Group. The envisaged panel, to be launched in
October, will directly report to the minister. It will consist of
experts from the private sector. Key issues it will deal with will
include the introduction of competition rules that cater to changes
in the environment surrounding the information and
telecommunications industry, including the dissemination of cell
phones and the Internet, and how to strengthen Japan's international

In June 2006 the government and ruling parties in power agreed to
resume discussion on the reorganization of the NTT Group in 2010 or
beyond. Haraguchi announced a policy of setting up a new venue for a
revision of the issue, nullifying the previous government's

Haraguchi on the 29th indicated his intention to look into the
matter in a broad-based manner, including a revision of the
organization of NTT and an overview of the competition policy before
the power transfer, saying, ""I have no intention of designating any
specific areas as sacred areas.""


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
World Headlines


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.