Cablegate: A/S Campbell, Goj Officials Discuss the History Of


DE RUEHKO #2378/01 2880708
O 150708Z OCT 09

S E C R E T TOKYO 002378



E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/15/2029

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission James P. Zumwalt; Reasons 1.4 (B
) and (D)


1. (S) A State-DOD delegation led by EAP A/S Kurt Campbell
engaged October 12 with Parliamentary Vice-Minister of
Defense Akihisa Nagashima and officials from the Ministries
of Foreign Affairs and Defense on the historical background
on realignment of U.S. forces and plans to relocate Futenma
Air Station in Okinawa. Nagashima stated that Defense
Minister Kitazawa supported current Futenma Replacement
Facility (FRF) plans, and that bilateral cooperation on three
issues would help to achieve successful implementation of
current realignment plans: (1) noise abatement at Kadena Air
Base; (2) risk mitigation at MCAS Futenma; and, (3)
establishment of environmental standards for U.S. military
facilities in connection with the Status of Forces Agreement
(SOFA), to be based on an agreement not subject to U.S.
Congressional approval. Members of the U.S. delegation
countered Ministry of Defense (MOD) Bureau of Local
Cooperation Director General Motomi Inoue's suggestion that
U.S. Marines presence in Guam alone would provide sufficient
deterrence capability in the region, and the airstrips at Ie
and Shimoji islands might be a sufficient complement to
Kadena's two runways in a contingency. They stressed that
relying exclusively on Guam posed time, distance, and other
operational challenges for U.S. Marines to respond
expeditiously enough to fulfill U.S. treaty obligations.
They also underscored that the Chinese military build-up
since the 1995 formulation of FRF plans necessitated access
to at least three contingency runways. MOD Defense Policy
Bureau Director General Nobushige Takamizawa suggested that
the U.S. Government incorporate changes since 2006 on U.S.
capabilities, war plans, and increased coordination with the
Japan Self Defense Force when briefing on the continued
validity of realignment plans to Japanese government
officials and politicians. He also urged the U.S. Government
to cooperate with the Japanese government in explaining
realignment issues to the Japanese public.

2. (S) Takamizawa stressed in a lunch meeting subsequent to
the briefing (excluding Nagashima and others) that the U.S.
delegation ought not to take Nagashima's assessement of
current realignment plans at face value and cautioned against
premature demonstration of flexibility in adjusting the
realignment package to be more palatable to the DPJ
Government. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Director
General for North American Affairs Kazuyoshi Umemoto pointed
out that the DPJ Government had not yet finished crafting its
decision-making process for realignment issues, as
stakeholders such as Foreign Minister Okada, Okinawa State
Minister Maehara, and Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano were
each focusing on different angles. He also noted that DPJ
President Ozawa might possibly involve himself in the
realignment review process. Separately, in an October 13
breakfast meeting, the DCM, EAP/J Director Kevin Maher, OSD
Senior Country Director for Japan Suzanne Basalla, and
Embassy Tokyo POL-MIL Chief presented the same realignment
briefing to Executive Assistants to the Prime Minister
Tadakatsu Sano and Kanji Yamanouchi, stressing that the U.S.
Government shared Japanese concerns on aviation safety risks,
and would continue to demonstrate publicly a patient attitude
on realignment even as it conveyed strong messages to the
Japanese government in private on the implications on the
Alliance from changes to FRF plans. End Summary.

Presentation on Realignment/FRF

2. (C) On October 12, EAP A/S Kurt Campbell, EAP DAS David
Shear, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for
East Asia Michael Schiffer led a State-DOD delegation in
discussions with Parliamentary Vice-Minister Akihisa

Nagashima and a team of Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
and Ministry of Defense (MOD) officials on the history of
negotiations on plans to move Futenma Air Station in Okinawa
to the proposed Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) site at
Camp Schwab/Nago. A/S Campbell noted that the U.S.
delegation aimed to provide detailed background on the FRF in
support of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Government's
ongoing review of U.S. force posture realignment. He
elaborated that he had worked on Okinawa issues since the
mid-1990s and that, for the first time in that span,
prospects for significant progress had emerged. Reasons for
confidence included: (1) a strong consensus within the U.S.
Government and U.S. military; (2) Congressional budgetary
commitment to realignment plans; and, (3) support from local
elected leaders in Okinawa. A/S Campbell added that the DPJ
Government had the right to review details of realignment as
an integral component of the Alliance, and he offered the
U.S. Government's best judgment as to the way forward.
Vice-Minister Nagashima thanked the U.S. delegation and
expressed hope that both sides would seize the opportunity to
build a more robust relationship.

3. (S) The discussion shifted to an interagency-coordinated
presentation by OSD Senior Japan Country Director Suzanne
Basalla on the history behind FRF plans. Basalla's briefing
focused on the strategic context for U.S. force posture
realignment, ranging from commitments under the U.S.-Japan
Security Treaty through efforts to transform the Alliance
with the Defense Policy Review Initiative (DPRI). She
included an explanation as to the necessity of maintaining
U.S. Marine aviation capabilities in Japan and, in
particular, Okinawa. The presentation then turned to reasons
that the proposed consolidation of Marine and U.S. Air Force
air capabilities at Kadena Air Base (now favored by several
DPJ Government leaders) was unworkable, due to operational
and political factors. Basalla also reviewed the rationale
for the planned FRF's V-shaped runways. She concluded by
discussing the continuing validity of assumptions that
underlay the decision to locate the FRF at Camp Schwab on the
outskirts of Nago City.

Nagashima's Response: Three Items for a Realignment Package
--------------------------------------------- --------------

4. (S) Following Basalla's presentation, Vice-Minister
Nagashima noted that internal MOD assessments on FRF
resembled conclusions drawn by U.S. Government. He added
that Defense Minister Kitazawa was a ""realistic person who
was one of the strongest supporters"" of current FRF plans
among Ministers involved in the realignment review.
Nagashima added that he and Kitazawa had recently visited
Okinawa, where they learned of difficulties with proposals to
move the FRF either off-island or out of Japan. The
Vice-Minister explained that, whereas the DPJ Government had
not decided its direction on realignment, bilateral
cooperation on three issues would help to achieve current
realignment plans. These issues included: (1) noise
abatement at Kadena Air Base; (2) an ""out-of-the-box""
approach to risk mitigation at MCAS Futenma; and, (3) an
environmental package connected to the Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA). Nagashima observed that the Okinawan
people ""strongly desired"" progress on the third issue and
that the Hatoyama Administration had a significant
""environmental orientation."" He elaborated that Japan wished
to establish environmental standards for U.S. military
facilities that would be based on an agreement not subject to
U.S. Congressional approval. This agreement could use the
U.S.-Germany SOFA and the U.S.-ROK environmental protocol as
precedential models. Political events over the coming year
would also bear upon realignment, according to Nagashima. He
explained that the January 2010 Nago City mayor's election,
the July Upper House election, and the November Okinawa
Prefectural Governor's election would make clear ""what
Okinawans think on basing issues."" Of these three events,
the Nago City mayor's election would be critical. Nagashima

observed that the Japanese government would have to set a
clear direction on the Alliance, inclusive of the three
issues he mentioned, prior to the mayoral election in order
to realize current realignment plans.

5. (S) A/S Campbell and DASD Schiffer responded that the
U.S. Government, like the Japanese government, cared about
environmental stewardship and energy efficiency. A/S
Campbell pointed out that U.S. allies regarded the U.S.-Japan
SOFA as the gold standard among basing agreements, and he
counseled against moves to review simultaneously every aspect
of the Alliance. He added, however, that the U.S. side would
be able to demonstrate flexibility on the three issues raised
by Nagashima if Japan were to decide that this approach to
realignment were correct. He offered to take back to the
U.S. Government the Japanese recommendation to work together
on environmental issues, an area in which ""much good could be
achieved."" DASD Schiffer added that there were ways to
address environmental issues without SOFA revision. The
U.S.-ROK process for environmental assessments and base
returns, for example, stood outside the SOFA. He concluded
that the U.S. Government would be willing to explore similar
potential approaches with Japan and to be a good partner on
the environment.

Reasons to Stay in Okinawa

6. (C) Japanese citizens often debated the reasons that the
U.S. Marines remained in Okinawa, remarked Motomi Inoue,
Director General of the MOD Bureau of Local Cooperation.
Would not the U.S. Marine presence in Guam be sufficient to
maintain deterrent credibility in East Asia and to respond to
Taiwan contingencies, he asked hypothetically. Inoue noted
that a military helicopter pad was under construction at
Andersen Air Base in Guam, where, he believed, up to 60
rotary wing aircraft could redeploy temporarily. He
commented that this facility, plus high-speed naval vessels,
might enable the U.S. military to respond with sufficient
speed to regional emergencies. U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ)
Deputy Commander Major General John Toolan explained that the
Guam option presented time, distance, and other operational
challenges, using the example of disaster relief. Following
the recent Indonesian earthquake, U.S. Marine helicopters
based in Guam would have been unable to reach disaster-hit
areas, and helicopters placed on ships would have taken four
days to arrive, he noted. The Marines in Okinawa, however,
had been able to self-deploy to the disaster area.


7. (C) Inoue also posed hypothetically that, if the U.S.
military required three airfields in a contingency (a point
raised by A/S Campbell), airstrips at Ie and Shimoji islands
might be a sufficient complement to Kadena's two runways,
obviating the need for the FRF at Camp Schwab. MajGen Toolan
responded that the Japanese government was still assessing
the needs of the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF) regarding
airstrips, particularly in the context of China's military
build-up. Until the Japanese completed that assessment, the
U.S. side would have difficulty knowing the facilities that
would be available for use. EAP/J Maher observed that the
runways at Ie and Shimoji would not be sufficient on their
own, but would require the full complement of support
facilities, including for refueling and maintenance, to be
useable by U.S. forces. Japanese discussion of contingency
air fields often overlooks this requirement, he added. Naha
Consul General Greene noted that, as Japan worked through its
National Defense Program Guidelines (NDPG), it would be
important for both sides to de-conflict expectations on
Shimoji options.

9. (S) A contingency would dictate that all U.S.-controlled
airfields in Japan be used at maximum capacity, not just two

or three, remarked DASD Schiffer. He elaborated that there
might be contingencies related not just to Situations in
Areas Surrounding Japan (SIASJ), but also to the defense of
Japan itself. This possibility was clear in war plans that
the U.S. side had earlier provided to select Japanese
officials, and Schiffer offered to provide those briefs again
to appropriate counterparts. He also related this issue back
to realignment, noting that the redeployment of Marines in
their entirety to Guam would not give the U.S. military the
flexibility and speed necessary to meet its Security Treaty
obligations to Japan. MajGen Toolan added that the briefs
cited by DASD Schiffer required additional information from
the Japanese government, an issue that could be addressed
through improved bilateral planning.

10. (S) The dramatic increase in China's military
capabilities necessitated access to at least three runways in
a contingency, noted A/S Campbell. In the 1990s, it had been
possible to implement contingency plans for South Korea and
China using only two runways in Okinawa, Naha and Kadena.
The most significant change between 1995 (when the Special
Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) plans for the relocation
Futenma Air Base had been formulated) and 2009 was the
build-up of Chinese military assets, explained A/S Campbell.
This fact, which was now a driver of U.S. military
assessments for the region, was implicit in Basalla's
presentation and could not be discussed publicly for obvious
reasons, he added.

Incorporating Changes

11. (C) DG Takamizawa recommended that the U.S. briefing on
the FRF should incorporate changes since 2006 regarding U.S.
capabilities and war plans. New factors, such as the planned
deployment of MV-22 (Osprey) aircraft, high-speed vessels,
and increased military coordination with the Japanese side,
should be taken into account in explaining the continuing
validity of realignment plans. As a second point, he noted
that the DPJ Government placed a premium on
information-sharing and transparency. The understanding of
government officials and politicians is not enough, said
Takamizawa. The Japanese government also sought cooperation
from the U.S. Government in clarifying the contents of
realignment to the Japanese public.

MOD and MOFA Read-out on the Presentation

12. (S) In a private read-out over lunch immediately
following the FRF presentation, MOD DG Takamizawa cautioned
the U.S. side not to take excessive comfort in Nagashima's
assessment of current realignment plans. The Vice-Minster
had been much tougher in his questions on FRF during internal
MOD sessions, and he was aware that A/S Campbell had spoken
about realignment the previous evening with State Minister
for Okinawa Seiji Maehara (a proponent of Kadena
consolidation). Takamizawa added that the U.S. Government
should also refrain from demonstrating flexibility too soon
in the course of crafting an adjusted realignment package
palatable to the DPJ Government. On environmental issues,
for example, perceptions of U.S. Government flexibility could
invite local demands for the U.S. side to permit greater
access to bases and to shoulder mitigation costs for
environmental damage.

13. (S) MOFA DG Umemoto noted that the DPJ leadership was
still working out internally its process for deciding on
realignment. Foreign Minister Okada had been rigid in his
reservation on FRF, and Okinawa State Minister Maehara had
been aggressive in ministerial discussions (the latest
occurring on October 9), given his claim as an expert on
Okinawan issues. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure,
Transport, and Tourism (MLIT), which Maehara also led, would
be a significant player on the realignment review, though

less so in terms of budget outlays for Okinawa. According to
Umemoto, the role of Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano
in the ministerial discussion was also increasingly
significant, in light of his close relationship with Prime
Minister Hatoyama. Hirano, however, was not versed on
Okinawan affairs and appeared to be taking a more legalistic
view of the responsibilities shared by the ministries in
reaching a decision on realignment. Umemoto added that
although Foreign Minister Okada did not wish DPJ power-broker
Ichiro Ozawa to play a role on realignment, Ozawa was
pondering his possible involvement in the realignment review,
given the serious political implications of possible blunders
on FRF. Another important factor in the review was the
Social Democratic Party (SDP), whose influence in Okinawa
would suffer if FRF location issues were resolved. DG
Takamizawa added that Ozawa was the only person who could
persuade the SDP to change coalition agreements on Okinawa
and give the party something in return.

Briefing for Prime Minister's Office

14. (C) In an October 13 breakfast, OSD Senior Country
Director Basalla, EAP/J Director Maher, the DCM, and POL-MIL
Chief also presented the FRF briefing to Tadakatsu Sano and
Kanji Yamanouchi, both Executive Assistants to the Prime
Minister. Sano focused on the fact that land returns south
of Kadena as a part of realignment would reduce the area
controlled by U.S. military bases from 19 percent to 12
percent of Okinawa's total land area. He also noted that
although the majority of the Japanese public recognized the
strategic value of the Alliance, the immediate social
challenges and safety concerns faced by the Okinawan people
regarding the bases would weigh significantly on the DPJ
Government's realignment review. Sano argued that a more
immediate solution was required to prevent the possibility of
aviation accidents in urban areas, similar to the 2004 U.S.
military helicopter crash at an Okinawan university. Sano
added that there was ""aggravation"" at the perception created
by the Japanese media that the U.S. side had become
inflexible in realignment discussions. The U.S. participants
at the breakfast responded that the U.S. Government shared
Japanese concerns on aviation safety risks. DCM also
commented that U.S. officials would continue to express
patience in public about realignment, while relaying private
messages to the Japanese government about the serious
implications that changes to FRF plans would have for the

Participants to October 12 Briefing

15. (U)


A/S Kurt Campbell, EAP
DCM James Zumwalt, Embassy Tokyo
DAS David Shear, EAP
DASD for East Asia Michael Schiffer, OSD/APSA
MajGen John Toolan, Deputy Commander, USFJ
Japan Director Kevin Maher, EAP
POL M/C Robert Luke, Embassy Tokyo
Senior Country Director for Japan Suzanne Basalla, OSD/APSA
Consul General Raymond Greene, ConGen Naha
SA Mark Tesone, EAP
COL Jeffrey Wiltse, Director, J-5, USFJ
POL-MIL Chief Joseph Young, Embassy Tokyo (notetaker)


Akihisa NAGASHIMA, Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense, MOD
Nobushige TAKAMIZAWA, Director General of Defense Policy, MOD
Motomi INOUE, Director General of Bureau of Local

Cooperation, MOD
Kiyoshi SERIZAWA, Director, Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
Division, MOD
Takafumi FUJII, Director, Director, Okinawa Local
Cooperation, MOD
Taro YAMAOTO, Director, Strategic Planning Office, MOD

Participants to October 12 Lunch

16. (U)


A/S Kurt Campbell, EAP
DCM James Zumwalt, Embassy Tokyo
DAS David Shear, EAP
DASD for East Asia Michael Schiffer, OSD/APSA
Japan Director Kevin Maher, EAP
POL M/C Robert Luke, Embassy Tokyo (notetaker)
Senior Country Director for Japan Suzanne Basalla, OSD/APSA


Kazuyoshi UMEMOTO, Director General of North American
Affairs, MOFA
Nobushige TAKAMIZAWA, Director General of Defense Policy, MOD
Takehiro FUNAKOSHI, Director, Japan-U.S. Security Treaty
Division, MOFA
Kiyoshi SERIZAWA, Director, Japan-U.S. Defense Cooperation
Division, MOD
Hiroyuki NAMAZU, Director, Japan-U.S. SOFA Division, MOFA

Participants to October 13 Breakfast

17. (U)


DCM James Zumwalt, Embassy Tokyo
Japan Director Kevin Maher, EAP
Senior Country Director for Japan Suzanne Basalla, OSD/APSA
POL-MIL Chief Joseph Young, Embassy Tokyo (notetaker)


Tadakatsu Sano, Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister
Kanji Yamanouchi, Executive Assistant to the Prime Minister

18. (U) A/S Campbell has cleared this message.

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