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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - Asean Summit

VZCZCXRO9352
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2462 2990042
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 260042Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7049
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
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RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7085
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9441
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4336
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7597
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0903
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1554
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3062
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8211
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7736
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002462

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 - ASEAN SUMMIT

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Monday morning papers led with reports on the
DPJ victories in Sunday's Upper House bi-elections in Kanagawa and
Shizuoka Prefectures.
2. "Let's Cultivate Community Together" On the recent ASEAN summit
in Thailand, the liberal Asahi editorialized (10/26): "ASEAN takes
pride in the fact that it is the center of regional cooperation in
East Asia. Concerns have emerged [within ASEAN] that the focal point
of discussions on regional integration may shift to the northern
parts of East Asia following the launch of trilateral summit
meetings involving Japan, China, and South Korea last year. ASEAN is
also perplexed about the rivalry between Japan and China over who
should lead regional cooperation, as well as about [a new regional
group's] distance from the United States. Prime Minister Hatoyama
[in explaining his East Asian Community initiative] displayed his
approach of deepening intra-regional dialogue, including with
countries that have different values, in cooperation with ASEAN,
while calling for U.S. engagement. We hope his policy will lead to
the elimination of concerns held by ASEAN."

3. "East Asian Community without U.S. Inconceivable" The
business-oriented Nikkei argued in an editorial (10/26): "It was a
matter of course for Prime Minister Hatoyama to underscore the
necessity of U.S. involvement in an East Asian Community.
Coordination with the U.S. is indispensable for Japan to move
forward with the initiative.... The Obama administration has adopted
a policy of attaching importance to Southeast Asia. In July it
signed the Treaty of Amity, which is ASEAN's basic convention. The
first-ever summit between the U.S. and ASEAN will be held in
Singapore in November, with President Obama planning to participate.
The principles of the East Asian Community should be ones that help
accelerate democratization and policy transparency in East Asia.
Such a community that does not include the U.S. is inconceivable. We
suppose that many countries in Asia also subscribe to this view."

4. "Open Regionalism Should Be Promoted" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri insisted (10/26): "It can be said that Prime
Minister Hatoyama made clear his position of not excluding the U.S.
[from his East Asian Community initiative]. He stated during the
tripartite summit among Japan, China, and South Korea on October 10
that Japan has relied on the U.S. too much. This comment generated
the suspicion at home and abroad that his administration is shifting
its diplomatic focus from the U.S. to Asia. The prime minister's
statements [during the ASEAN summit] were aimed at promptly
addressing such concerns and easing the U.S.'s irritation with the
DPJ administration. The prime minister is advised to bear in mind
that U.S.-Japan coordination is a cornerstone when making remarks."

5. "Open Regionalism Should Be Promoted" The top-circulation,
moderate Yomiuri contended (10/26): "U.S. involvement is essential
in order to counter the growing influence of China in the economic
and military arenas in East Asia. Japanese diplomacy must be
conducted with this reality in mind. Neither ASEAN nor any
individual nation will subscribe to the Hatoyama initiative in the
absence of solid diplomatic principles."

ROOS

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