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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Iran and "East Asian Community"

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2279 2730154
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 300154Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6528
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RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
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INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 6726
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9066
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RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7243
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0542
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1229
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3043
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7890
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7461
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002279

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 - IRAN AND "EAST ASIAN COMMUNITY"
INITIATIVE

1. LEAD STORIES: Front-page items on Wednesday morning included new
LDP President Tanigaki's appointment of key party officials.

2. "U.S. to Apply Pressure on Iran in Coordination with China,
Russia" Concerning planned talks tomorrow between Iran and the P5
plus Germany on Iran's uranium enrichment, the top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri wrote (9/30): "It is noteworthy that the Obama
administration, which plans to deal with Iran directly for the first
time, has been busy ensuring unity among the six members. Up until
now, China and Russia have been sympathetic toward Iran and this was
one reason for less than vigorous enforcement of sanctions in
general. The Obama administration, however, has made progress in
improving ties with China and Russia and built what White House
Press Secretary Gibbs dubbed the 'strongest international
coordination ever.' By using this unity as leverage, the U.S. is set
to initiate additional sanctions that Secretary of State Clinton
described at the UN Security Council as 'extremely harsh.' Strong
measures, including a ban on gasoline exports to Iran, are likely to
become a reality."

3. "Stronger Economic Coordination Needed to Lay Groundwork"
Concerning a recent agreement among the foreign ministers of Japan,
China, and South Korea about enhanced cooperation for the creation
of an 'East Asian Community,' the moderate Yomiuri editorialized
(9/30): "Foreign Minister Okada underscored his view of increasing
regional economic coordination and cooperation in individual areas
such as energy and environment based on the principle of 'open
regionalism'.... Nonetheless, skepticism and doubts [about the 'East
Asian Community' initiative] remain in the U.S. There is no doubt
that these concerns were generated by Prime Minister Hatoyama's
essay carried by a U.S. newspaper, in which he criticized U.S.-led
globalism and called for the creation of an Asian-wide common
currency. It does not make sense for Japan's proactive spearheading
of a campaign to create such a community to end up damaging its
alliance with the U.S. The prime minister and foreign minister
should continue their utmost efforts to explain [the initiative] in
order to dispel U.S. apprehensions."

3. "Outdated Concept Annoying" Conservative Sankei's Tokyo
correspondent Yuasa argued (9/30): "From the Obama administration's
standpoint, the way PM Hatoyama presented his [East Asian Community]
initiative was rude. While the premier did not mention the idea in
his summit with President Obama, he concluded his speech at the UN
next day by saying 'Japan is hoping for the emergence of an East
Asian Community.' Hatoyama audaciously did this while playing up
[the importance of] creating a 'relationship of personal trust' with
President Obama. No wonder that a high-ranking USG official relayed
Washington's opposition to the initiative to the Japanese side right
away."

ROOS

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