Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/22/09

VZCZCXRO6471
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2434/01 2942353
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 212353Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6972
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9376
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7021
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0839
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4288
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7533
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1502
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8160
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7688

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 002434

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 10/22/09

INDEX:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Secretary Gates visit:
3) Defense Secretary Gates asks for decision on Futenma no later
than U.S. President's visit to Japan (Yomiuri)
4) Okinawa worried about collapse of U.S. forces realignment plan
(Mainichi)
5) Gates warns Kitazawa to be careful that investigation of secret
accords doesn't have adverse effect on bilateral alliance (Tokyo
Shimbun)

U.S.-Japan relationship:
6) Ozawa tells Ambassador Roos the DPJ administration will speak
frankly about issues to U.S. (Nikkei)
7) U.S. and Japan also far apart on Afghan aid question (Nikkei)

Other base issue:
8) F-35B fighters to be deployed at Iwakuni from 2015; concerns
about increase in noise level (Akahata)

Foreign relations:
9) FM Okada hints at loosening rules governing SDP participation in
PKO (Mainichi)
10) Prime Minister departs for Thailand tomorrow (Nikkei)

Special Diet session:
11) Bill on North Korean ship inspections to be submitted to special
Diet session (Nikkei)
12) LDP sets up panel to review DPJ election pledges (Nikkei)
13) Hatoyama and coalition party heads discuss content of his
upcoming policy speech to Diet (Mainichi)
14) Special Diet session set to run for 36 days (Nikkei)

Economy:
15) Transport minister as Finance Minister to provide public funds
for JAL bailout (Nikkei)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Newly appointed Japan Post president Saito denies having
ex-bureaucrat's mentality in news conference

Mainichi:
Court to examine as witness defense counsel-endorsed expert in
Ashikaga case retrial

Yomiuri:
Gates calls for settlement of Futenma issue by time President Obama
visits Japan

Nikkei:
Itochu to take stake in Uny, help expand China retail operations

Sankei:
State budget in danger (Part 1): Budget compilation without
guidelines results in expansion

TOKYO 00002434 002 OF 008

Tokyo Shimbun:
Government to install new Japan Post management

Akahata:
Financial support for high school education must not be reduced in
exchange for revival of subsidies to single-parent families

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) New Japan Post president: Public-sector-to-private-sector trend
must go on
(2) New government must finalize its Futenma relocation policy

Mainichi:
(1) Ashikaga case retrial: Court must examine evidence and offer
apology
(2) Appointment of new Japan Post president contradicts policy of
shifting power away from bureaucrats

Yomiuri:
(1) U.S. defense secretary's visit: Futenma issue must not be put
off
(2) Appointment of ex-finance ministry official as next Japan Post
president unexpected

Nikkei:
(1) Concerns raised about "security friction" that might endanger
Japan-U.S. alliance
(2) Appointment of ex vice-minister not in line with policy of
ending bureaucratic control

Sankei:
(1) New Japan Post president: Appointment runs counter to policy of
reducing power of bureaucrats
(2) Gates-Kitazawa meeting: Japan must take note of warning to
bilateral alliance

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Futenma relocation: Government must explore all options
(2) Ashikaga case retrial an occasion to end false accusations

Akahata:
(1) Okinawa new base talks: Respond straightforwardly to wishes of
people of Okinawa

3) Gates calls for settlement of Futenma issue before President
Obama's visit to Japan

YOMIURI (Top play) (Abridged slightly)
October 22, 2009

During his talks with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Oct. 20,
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged the Japanese government
to reach a conclusion on the question of relocating the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station by the time President Barack Obama visits
Japan on Nov. 12-13, according to a concerned source. In response,
Okada simply said, "We will work hard to reach a conclusion as soon
as possible." The talks went nowhere.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also held talks with Secretary Gates

TOKYO 00002434 003 OF 008


on Oct. 21. After his talks with Gates, the Prime Minister indicated
to the press corps at the Prime Minister's official Residence
(Kantei) that he had told Gates it would be difficult to implement
the existing relocation plan at an early date. Hatoyama said: "There
is a gap between two factors: our campaign pledge for the last Lower
House election (to review the existing plan) and the Japan-U.S.
agreement. It will take some time to come up with an answer. I asked
for his understanding." Hatoyama has demonstrated a policy of
postponing a government decision until after the mayoral election
next January for the city of Nago, which is the relocation site for
Futenma Air Station. "(Even after my talks with Gates), I (still)
basically think so," said Hatoyama.

Now that Gates and others' efforts on Oct. 20-21 to iron out
differences in views with Japan have effectively ended in failure,
the U.S. side is highly alarmed about a possible negative impact on
President Obama's Japan visit. The Japan-U.S. relationship is
becoming strained.

According to a person involved in the situation, Gates presented a
deadline during his talks with Okada, urging the Japanese government
to settle the Futenma issue by the time President Obama visits Japan
in November. Washington has thus far taken a wait-and-see attitude
with one official saying, "The deadline is up to Japan to decide."
But observing the Japanese government's earnest efforts to review
the existing plan, as seen in its proposal for consolidating Futenma
functions with Kadena Air Base, Washington seems to have decided to
convey its firm intentions to Tokyo.

A sense of alarm is growing in the U.S. government, with one
official saying, "We cannot afford to come under criticism from
within the United States after President Obama's visit to Japan."

4) Okinawa fears collapse of USFJ realignment plans after Secretary
Gates's remarks on Futenma relocation

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2009

Teruhisa Mimori

In reaction to the statement made by U.S. Secretary of Defense
Robert Gates at a joint news conference with Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa that "there can be no Guam relocation without a
Futenma replacement facility," Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima
said on Oct. 21: "The Marines' relocation to Guam should be
implemented without fail."

Nakaima has so far rated highly the plans to relocate U.S. Marines
in Okinawa to Guam and the return of six military facilities south
of Kadena Air Base under the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment
package agreed upon by Japan and the United States, saying that
"this will be a new engine for Okinawa's economic development." He
has consistently stood firm on his position of conditional
acceptance of the plan to relocate the Futenma base to the coastal
of Camp Schwab based on the reasoning that, "While relocation out of
Okinawa is the best option, realistically, relocation within Okinawa
is inevitable," out of his concern that the realignment process
might collapse.

Meanwhile, a senior Okinawa official demonstrated a wait-and-see
approach to the Hatoyama administration's response, stating: "It is

TOKYO 00002434 004 OF 008


a matter of course for the U.S., which does not the realignment
process to be delayed, to emphasize the original package. Instead,
the question now is whether the Japan government will tackle the
issue of Futenma relocation with the readiness to wreck the
realignment plan if warranted."

5) Defense Secretary Gates cautions Japan on investigations into
alleged secret agreements on introducing nuclear arms, Okinawa
reversion

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2009

At his meeting with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on Oct. 21,
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates touched on the ongoing
investigations by Japan into the secret agreement between the two
countries on bringing nuclear arms into the Japan and on Okinawa's
reversion to Japanese administration. He said, "We hope that care is
taken not to have a negative impact on nuclear deterrence (provided
by the U.S.) and the bilateral relationship," cautioning Japan. In
response Kitazawa said, "We will take care that the secret agreement
issue will not become a negative factor with respect to the
Japan-U.S. alliance and will continue to disclose information."

6) Ozawa in meeting with U.S. Ambassador Roos: "DPJ administration
will speak candidly"

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2009

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa met
with U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos at party headquarters
yesterday. They shared the view that Japan and the U.S. should
further expand ties. Ozawa said: "I am responsible for party
affairs, so I cannot comment on government affairs," but he
emphasized: "I think the DPJ government should say what it needs to
say to the U.S. in a candid manner on every issue." The Ambassador
praised Ozawa by saying, "You are the most influential politician in
Japan." The Ambassador also said: "I would like to make efforts to
establish a relationship of mutual trust. It is important to deepen
Japan-U.S. relations."

7) Gap between Japan, U.S. emerges on Afghan aid; U.S.
"disappointed" with lack of progress in security issues

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
October 22, 2009

Itaru Oishi, Washington

The Obama administration of the United States is increasingly
frustrated with Japan's failure to take a clear stance on
contribution to the war against terrorism in Afghanistan and U.S.
Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment. While the U.S. intends to avoid a
situation where the two sides would lock horns during President
Barack Obama's visit to Japan in November from the standpoint of
giving importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance, the White House's
tendency for "Japan passing" is likely to increase since pro-China
officials occupy the key posts in the administration.

Ahead of his visit to Japan, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates
reportedly told the Japanese government that "we will not ask

TOKYO 00002434 005 OF 008


anything from anybody." This is because it was thought that being
seen as applying pressure on Japan will be counterproductive for the
Hatoyama administration's process of domestic coordination.

However, about one month since the Japan-U.S. summit, which side
stepped security issues, the U.S., which had hoped for some
progress, is now openly showing its disappointment because "there
has practically been no response," according to a U.S. Democratic
Party source. After his meetings, Gates indicated his displeasure
particularly with Japan's bringing up once again the proposal to
merge the Futenma Air Station with Kadena Air Base, a plan that had
been discussed many times in the past but was unacceptable to the
USFJ.

More than the issue of USFJ realignment, the U.S. side had had even
higher hopes on Afghan aid proposals. The Obama administration is
currently drafting a new policy toward Afghanistan that will include
economic aid. One purpose of Gates's trip to Asia is to draw
positive contributions from Japan and South Korea to help facilitate
the decision-making process for the new Afghan policy. He was
disappointed on the very first leg of the trip.

8) F-35B to be deployed to Iwakuni

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 22, 2009

The U.S. Marine Corps plans to deploy 16 F-35B fighter jets to its
Iwakuni base in Yamaguchi Prefecture, beginning in the fall of 2015.
This plan became known from the USMC's recently released aircraft
procurement plan for fiscal 2010. The F-35B is a next-generation
state-of-the-art fighter jet model.

The F-35B, a follow-on model to the USMC's AV-8B and FA-18, will
replace the older aircraft at the base. The AV-8B is a vertical
takeoff and landing (VTOL) jet and the FA-18 a fighter attack jet.
The F-35B is a stealth plane, which, according to the U.S.
Department of Defense, is outfitted with "the world's most powerful
turbofan engine." This engine enables the F-35B to fly at supersonic
speed and make short takeoffs and vertical landings (STOVL).

F-35B deployment to the Iwakuni base will further strengthen the
base's functions in line with the shift of (Atsugi-based)
carrier-borne fighter jets to Iwakuni -- part of the Pentagon's
roadmap for realigning U.S. forces in Japan. Furthermore, it is
feared the F-35B deployment will increase the impact of the base on
the surrounding community by raising the level of aircraft noise.

9) Okada studying easing five PKO rules

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
October 22, 2009

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada gave a speech in Tokyo yesterday. In
it, he indicated that he has ordered a study on revising the
Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) Cooperation Law authorizing the
dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) to UN peacekeeping
operations. Okada said, "There are five PKO principles under
constitutional restrictions. I think we should review them within
the framework of the Constitution."

His order is aimed at avoiding Japan being regarded by the

TOKYO 00002434 006 OF 008


international community as reluctant to dispatch the SDF overseas
due to the government's decision to halt the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.

The five PKO principles regarding SDF participation in PKO
operations are stipulated in the PKO Cooperation Law. They are: (1)
there must be a cease-fire agreement; (2) warring parties must
accept Japan's participation; (3) (the SDF) must maintain a neutral
position; (4) if the basic principle is not fulfilled, SDF troops
can be withdrawn; and (5) the use of weapons is limited to a minimum
for defending lives.

10) Prime Minister Hatoyama to leave for Thailand tomorrow

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2009

The government decided yesterday on the diplomatic schedule for
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who will attend the summit of the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Thailand.
According to the schedule, Hatoyama will attend the summit of ASEAN
and Japan, China, and South Korea on the afternoon of Oct. 24 and
the East Asia Summit on the morning of the 25th. He will seek
understanding for his East Asian Community concept from other Asian
countries. He is expected to return to Japan on the evening of the
25th.

11) Government to submit ship inspection legislation with no mention
of SDF to extra Diet to deal with North Korea

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 22, 2009

The government decided yesterday to submit to the next extraordinary
Diet session to be convened on Oct. 26 a special measures bill to
facilitate cargo inspections on ships traveling to and from North
Korea. The bill stipulates that ship inspections will be carried out
by the Japan Coast Guard (JCG), not by the Self-Defense Forces
(SDF), reflecting the government's consideration paid to the Social
Democratic Party (SDP). Giving priority to the compilation of the
fiscal 2010 budget by the end of the year, the government had
initially planned not to submit the ship inspection legislation to
the upcoming extra Diet session. Reversing this policy direction,
the government will now aim for the early enactment of the ship
inspection legislation. The SDP will discuss the matter today.

The previous coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party
and New Komeito submitted ship inspection legislation to the earlier
regular Diet session in line with a UN Security Council sanctions
resolution following North Korea's nuclear test in May. The
legislation went down the drain due to the dissolution of the House
of Representatives.

The scrapped bill contained a provision saying, "In the event there
are special circumstances preventing the JCG from dealing with the
situation independently, the (SDF) will take security and other
necessary steps." This provision will be eliminated from the new
legislation.

12) LDP to examine DPJ campaign pledges in preparation for Diet
debate


TOKYO 00002434 007 OF 008


NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 223, 2009

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held at party headquarters
yesterday the first meeting of its committee tasked with drafting
the party's policies and strategy in preparation for Diet debate.
The committee decided to set up a manifesto examination committee to
analyze problems in the Democratic Party of Japan's (DPJ) policies.
The party is accelerating its preparations for debate with the
administration of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at the extraordinary
Diet session to be convened on Oct. 26.

The manifesto examination committee, which will be composed of
senior members of the Policy Research Council, including chairman
Shigeru Ishiba, will hold its first meeting on the 22nd. In the
meeting yesterday, Ishiba referred to the fact that the Hatoyama
cabinet has refused to have its three key parliamentary executives
participate in a sectional meeting of the LDP and openly revealed
feelings of rivalry toward the DPJ, remarking: "If they continue to
refuse to attend the meeting, we will not reply (to questions asked
by bureaucrats to LDP lawmakers)." The committee decided to ask
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano to have the three key
parliamentary executives attend the sectional meeting.

13) Cabinet ministers discuss Prime Minister Hatoyama's policy
speech to be delivered on Oct. 26

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
October 22, 2009

Yesterday the ministerial committee on basic policies held at the
Prime Minister's Office a meeting in which participants, including
the heads of the three ruling parties, discussed a policy speech
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will deliver at the extraordinary Diet
session to be convened on Oct. 26. Under the coalition government of
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito, no such session
was held. With the first Diet session after the change of government
drawing closer, Hatoyama proposed the session in consideration of
the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP).

Yesterday's meeting was attended by Hatoyama; Naoto Kan, deputy
prime minister and state minister for national strategy; Mizuho
Fukushima, SDP chairperson and state minister for consumer affairs
and declining birthrate; Shizuka Kamei, PNP leader and state
minister for financial affairs and postal reform; Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano; and other officials. Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Koji Matsui read aloud the draft policy speech and
participants exchanged views.

During the discussions, Fukushima and PNP policy chief Mikio Shimoji
(House of Representatives member elected in the Okinawa No. 1
district) urged the use of stronger language regarding the
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan in consideration of Okinawa
residents. However, Hirano said, "The Prime Minister will take your
views into consideration and make a decision on his own."

14) Extra Diet session to run for 36 days

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 22, 2009

The House of Representatives Steering Committee yesterday decided in

TOKYO 00002434 008 OF 008


its board meeting to hold the extraordinary Diet session, which will
be convened on Oct. 26, for 36 days until Nov. 30. Party
representatives' interpellation with respect to Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama's policy speech will be carried out on Oct. 28 and 29. In
yesterday's meeting the Democratic Party of Japan and the People's
New Party confirmed that they will forgo questioning.

15) Transport minister to ask finance minister for public support
for JAL

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
October 22, 2009

Construction and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara will ask Finance
Minister Hirohisa Fujii within this week to come up with measures to
help rebuild Japan Airlines, including the use of public funds.
(Based on a revised reconstruction plan drafted by the task force
under the construction minister,) the government will offer 550
billion yen in financial aid, with 300 billion yen in public aid and
private investment added to 250 billion yen generated through debt
waiver and debt-for equity swap. The money will cover the struggling
airline's excessive debt.

Task force's revised JAL reconstruction plan (the figures in
parentheses are those in the draft plan)

Financial aid
Q 300 billion yen (150 billion yen) in increased capital, including
public funds
Q 220 billion yen (250 billion yen) through debt waiver
Q 30 billion yen (50 billion yen) through debt-for-equity swap

Loans from financial institutions
Q 200 billion yen (180 billion yen) in emergency loans
Q 150 billion yen (150 billion yen) in syndicate loans

Business restructuring plan
Q 50 to 70 billion yen in operating profits for fiscal 2014
Q 1,200 billion yen in sales for fiscal 2014
Q Reduction in the number of employees by nearly 9,000 (about
9,000)

Reduction in pension-related liabilities
Q Addition of a lump-sum pension-payment measure to the draft
(reduction in the deficit in the reserve fund from the original 330
billion yen to 100 billion yen).

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

OECD: COVID-19 Crisis Puts Migration And Progress On Integration At Risk, Says

Watch the live webcast of the press conference Migration flows have increased over the past decade and some progress has been made to improve the integration of immigrants in the host countries. But some of these gains may be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic ... More>>


Pacific Media Watch: How Pacific Environmental Defenders Are Coping With The Covid Pandemic

SPECIAL REPORT: By Sri Krishnamurthi of Pacific Media Watch Pacific Climate Warriors - creative action to trigger better responses to climate crisis. Image: ... More>>

Reporters Without Borders: Julian Assange’s Extradition Hearing Marred By Barriers To Open Justice

After monitoring four weeks of evidence in the US extradition proceedings against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates concern regarding the targeting of Assange for his contributions to journalism, and calls ... More>>

OHCHR: Stranded Migrants Need Safe And Dignified Return – UN Migrant Workers Committee

The UN Committee on Migrant Workers has today called on governments to take immediate action to address the inhumane conditions of migrant workers who are stranded in detention camps and ensure they can have an orderly, safe and dignified return to ... More>>