Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/28/09

VZCZCXRO1888
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2487/01 3002321
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 272321Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7101
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 9476
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7120
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 0938
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4368
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7632
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1591
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8248
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 7765

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 002487

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 10/28/09

INDEX:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

MSDF ship collision:
4) MSDF destroyer collides with ROK-registered container ship in
Kanmon Strait (Mainichi)
5) Senior GOJ official: "Korean ship was obligated to maneuver to
avoid collision" (Tokyo Shimbun)
6) LDP to submit ship inspection bill (Nikkei)

Futenma flip-flop:
7) Defense Minister accepts relocation of Futenma facility to Henoko
(Yomiuri)
8) Foreign Minister Okada mulls U.S. visit to discuss Futenma issue
(Sankei)
9) Defense Minister accepts relocation to Henoko; Prime Minister
says a decision should not be rushed (Yomiuri)
10) Aide to PM says U.S.'s real design is to acquire a
state-of-the-art base to replace Futenma facility (Akahata)

Anti-piracy mission:
11) Defense Minister considering shift of MSDF ships from Indian
Ocean to Somalia offing (Yomiuri)
12) Suggestion to use MSDF ships for refueling off Somalia
criticized by cabinet and SDP (Asahi)
13) Prime Minister says it would be difficult to shift MSDF ships to
Somalia offing (Yomiuri)

Politics:
14) Hatoyama moves into Prime Minister's Official Residence
(Nikkei)

Trade:
15) Japan and Australia agree to accelerate negotiations for
conclusion of EPA (Nikkei)

Foreign relations:
16) U.S. announces Nuclear Security Summit preparatory meeting to be
held in Japan in December (Mainichi)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri & Tokyo Shimbun
Destroyer, South Korean freighter collide in Kanmon Strait and catch
fire; three injured

Nikkei:
Government may scale back tax breaks for households with high school
or university students: Upper limit also likely to be set for
employment income deduction

Sankei:
Foreign Minister Okada considering visiting U.S. before President
visits Japan

Akahata:
U.S. military's real reason for agreeing to relocate Futenma Air

TOKYO 00002487 002 OF 008


Station was to build most advanced military base, according to
former aide to prime minister

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Change in makeup of Central Social Insurance Medical Council
should lead to fundamental reform of medical services
(2) Review of statute of limitation system: Precondition is to adopt
measures to prevent false accusation

Mainichi:
(1) Central Social Insurance Medical Council excludes Japan Medical
Association from committee: This should provide opportunity to
rebuild medical service system
(2) Presidential election in Afghanistan: We would like to see fair
election this time

Yomiuri:
(1) Change in makeup of Central Social Insurance Medical Council:
Japan Medical Council pressed to change
(2) Use of isolated islands: Use them as bases for securing maritime
interests

Nikkei:
(1) Can Central Social Insurance Medical Council transform itself
into patient-oriented entity?
(2) Urgent need to scrap inheritance discrimination

Sankei:
(1) Exclusion of Japan Medical Association from Central Social
Insurance Medical Council should lead to rebuilding of medical
service system
(2) Abduction issue: Japan, U.S., South Korea should cooperate for
former North Korean Workers Party secretary Hwang's visit to Japan

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Change in makeup of Central Social Insurance Medical Council
should reflect a variety of opinions
(2) Emissions rights trading: Rush to design domestic market

Akahata:
(1) ASEAN urged to increase presence as community

3) Prime Minister's schedule, Oct. 27

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 28, 2009

09:07 Attended a meeting of the abduction issue taskforce at the
Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei), followed by a cabinet
meeting.
10:57 Made an informal representation at the Imperial Palace.
12:59 Met at the Kantei with gymnasts, including Kohei Uchimura.
14:00 Met Upper House member Yoshihiro Kawakami, followed by
Chishima and Habomai inlanders' league president Toshio Koizumi and
others. Later met Vice Economy, Trade and Industry Minister
Matsushita, Parliamentary Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Kira,
and Parliamentary Secretary for Finance Ogushi.
15:39 Met Upper House member Masamitsu Oishi.
16:04 Met Cabinet Office Vice Minister Furukawa.
18:53 Met Finance Minister Okada and Deputy Foreign Minister Otabe.

TOKYO 00002487 003 OF 008


21:17 Arrived at his private residence.

4) MSDF destroyer collides with South Korean-registered ship and
catches fire in Kanmon Strait

MAINICHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 28, 2009

The Maritime Self-Defense Force destroyer Kurama (Captain Masatoshi
Kashihara, 5,200 tons), sailing west, collided with the South
Korean-registered container ship Carina Star (7,401 tons), sailing
east, and caught fire around 7:56 p.m. on Oct. 27 in the Kanmon
Strait between Moji Ward, Kitakyushu City, and Shimonoseki City,
Yamaguchi Prefecture. Although the fire on the container ship was
extinguished shortly afterward, fire fighting on the Kurama
continued until early this morning. The 7th Regional Japan Coast
Guard Headquarters will carefully investigate the cause of the
collision especially with regard to whether there was professional
negligence.

Of the Kurama's 297 crewmembers, three on lookout reportedly
sustained minor injuries but none of the 16 container ship
crewmembers (12 South Koreans and four Myanmese (Burmese)) suffered
injuries.

The accident occurred on the east side of the Kanmonkyo Bridge, with
the Kurama's bow striking the container ship's starboard bow. The
Kurama's bow was badly damaged, and the area beside the storage room
for paint drums and other materials burst into flames. A hole was
opened in the container ship's bow, and its cargo caught fire. The
Kurama's ammunition storeroom did not catch fire.

Defense minister apologizes

At the Defense Ministry on the evening of Oct. 27 Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa held a news conference at which he offered an
apology, saying, "It is truly regrettable that we caused concern and
inconvenience." Kitazawa has sent Senior Vice-Defense Minister
Kazuya Shimba to assess the situation.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ordered Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hirofumi Hirano and others to swiftly collect information on the
night of Oct. 27. The government has set up an information liaison
office at the Crisis Management Center in the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei).

5) "South Korean ship was obligated to avert the collision,"
according to senior government source

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
October 28, 2009

The Maritime Self-Defense Force's destroyer Kurama and a South
Korean container ship collided last night. A government source
indicated that the responsibility for the incident rested with the
South Korean ship, the Carina Star, saying: "The South Korean ship
was reportedly obligated to avert the incident." He also said:
"There was concern about the possibility of an incident because the
temperature in the ammunition chamber climbed," indicating that
there was a danger of the ammunition chamber catching fire.

6) LDP to submit cargo inspection bill today at current Diet

TOKYO 00002487 004 OF 008


session

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 28, 2009

The main opposition Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) General Council
yesterday agreed to submit a bill to facilitate cargo inspections of
ships heading to and from North Korea during the ongoing
extraordinary session of the Diet. The LDP is now asking opposition
parties such as the New Komeito and Your Party to jointly submit the
bill. It intends to submit the bill on Oct. 28 after receiving
answers from the other opposition parties.

7) Defense chief accepts Henoko plan for Futenma relocation

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Abridged)
Eve., October 27, 2009

Defense Minister Kitazawa has clarified his intention to accept the
current plan to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station
in Okinawa Prefecture to a coastal area of Camp Schwab, a U.S.
military base located at Henoko in the island prefecture's northern
coastal city of Nago. The plan is based on an intergovernmental
agreement reached between Japan and the United States. The ruling
Democratic Party of Japan, in its manifesto for this summer's
election for the House of Representatives, pledged to move Futenma
airfield out of Japan or Okinawa Prefecture. "Some people may think
the plan does not match our election manifesto at all," Kitazawa
told a press conference today. "But," he added, "that's wrong."

8) Foreign Minister Okada mulls visiting U.S. before President
visits Japan

SANKEI (Top play) (Lead para.)
October 28, 2009

It was learned on Oct. 27 that Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada is
mulling a visit to the U.S. before President Obama arrives in Japan
on Nov. 12. Coordination is now under way for him to go to the U.S.
on Nov. 6, according to a government source. The date was chosen
taking into account the ongoing extraordinary Diet session schedule.
The aim of his visit is to coordinate the two countries' views on
the pending issue of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station
relocation beforehand so that the confrontation between the two
countries will not intensify during the presidential visit. Okada
already visited the U.S. in late September right after taking
office. It is very unusual (for any cabinet minister) to visit the
U.S. twice in the space of only about one month.

9) Defense minister accepts Futenma relocation to Henoko; overruled
immediately by PM Hatoyama

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
October 28, 2009

Disarray between the prime minister and the concerned ministers over
foreign and security policy continues in the Hatoyama cabinet. While
Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa indicated on Oct. 27 his
acceptance of the current plan to relocate the U.S. Marines' Futenma
Air Station in Ginowan City, Okinawa, to the coastal area of Camp
Schwab in Henoko, Nago City, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada both rejected this plan.

TOKYO 00002487 005 OF 008

Hatoyama gave his comments on Kitazawa's statement accepting the
Henoko relocation plan to reporters on the evening of Oct. 27. He
said: "I do not necessarily share his view." He touched on the fact
that the Democratic Party of Japan has been advocating the
relocation of the Futenma base out of Okinawa or out of Japan and
emphasized that this was a case of the defense minister jumping the
gun. Hatoyama told reporters that, "I would like to spend time
considering various options before reaching a conclusion."

Kitazawa told a news conference on the morning of Oct. 27 that the
reason he accepts the Henoko relocation plan is because: "There are
significant elements of relocation out of Okinawa or out of Japan
even under the existing plan. It is wrong to think that this does
not match our campaign pledge." He appeared to be trying to
spearhead the argument that the plan does not contradict the DPJ's
manifesto (campaign pledges) for the recent House of Representatives
election, but this was overruled by the Prime Minister immediately.

Meanwhile, Okada also discussed Kitazawa's argument at a news
conference on the afternoon of Oct. 27. He pointed out that "it is a
bit illogical" and indicated that he will continue to look at the
plan to merge the Futenma base with the U.S. forces' Kadena Air Base
in Okinawa.

Commenting on the discrepancy between the statements of the Prime
Minister and cabinet ministers at a news conference in the late
afternoon of Oct. 27, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano voiced
his complaint by saying: "The statements were made before the
government has made a final decision. The ministers in charge should
be more careful."

10) Former prime minister's aide testifies that USFJ real purpose
for Futenma relocation is to build state-of-the-art military base

AKAHATA (Top play) (Full)
October 28, 2009

A former close aide to the prime minister testified on Oct. 27 that
the purpose of the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) in "relocating" the
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa and building a new base in Henoko,
Nago City, is not to reduce noise, aircraft crashes, and other
damage brought about by the base, but because the USFJ "wanted a
state-of-the-art military base."

A former close aide to the prime minister in the 1990s who was also
a senior government official gave the above testimony on condition
of anonymity. This official had been tasked by the Liberal
Democratic Party government with handling Okinawa issues since the
1970s. In the 1990s, he served as the intermediary between the Tokyo
government and Okinawa as the prime minister's close aide.

It is believed that this former official was deeply involved with
the 1996 agreement on the return of the Futenma base and the
formulation of concrete plans for the "offshore heliport" and
economic development measures for Okinawa in return for accepting a
new military base.

This official said: "What the U.S. Marines really wanted was to get
rid of the outdated Futenma base equipped with obsolete radars and
get an upgraded military base equipped with state-of-the-art
technology." He said that he heard about this wish to "modernize"

TOKYO 00002487 006 OF 008


the USFJ directly from the commander of the Futenma base.

The above official pointed out that the USFJ gave top priority to
the installation of the most advanced radars and demanded only the
minimum required space for the helicopters' takeoffs and landings
with regard to runways. He explained that runways capable of
takeoffs and landings by fixed-wing aircraft were actually demanded
by the Japanese side, since spending more for the construction work
would benefit the local communities.

He also revealed that the prototype of the current plan to build two
V-shaped runways is a "blueprint" of the U.S. military industry
during the Vietnam War.

11) Defense chief mulls shifting MSDF tanker from Indian Ocean to
Somalia

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Eve., October 27, 2009

Defense Minister Kitazawa has clarified that he is looking into the
possibility of transferring a Maritime Self-Defense Force supply
ship, currently engaged in refueling activities in the Indian Ocean,
to the offing of Somalia in Africa after withdrawing the vessel when
the current special measures law expires in January next year.
Kitazawa said it is "fully conceivable" for the MSDF to refuel
foreign naval vessels participating in antipiracy activities.

However, in order for the MSDF to refuel foreign naval vessels
operating against pirates, the government would have to amend the
existing antipiracy law. Moreover, refueling foreign naval vessels,
unlike the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean as an anti-terror
measure, would not be a measure for direct aid to Afghanistan.

12) Defense minister's suggestion on having MSDF engage in refueling
mission off Somalia draws objections from Cabinet, SDP

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
October 28, 2009

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa suggested on Oct. 27 a plan to
have the Maritime Self-Defense Force's vessels engage in a refueling
mission to support antipiracy operations off Somalia after their
current mission in the Indian Ocean ends. His suggestion has drawn
objections from the (Democratic Party of Japan's) coalition partner
of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). This is because the defense
minister announced the plan without laying the groundwork for it.
Even Prime Minister Yuko Hatoyama ruled out the plan last night,
saying, "I don't have such an option in mind."

The Hatoyama administration has repeatedly indicated that it will
not simply extend the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. It is
certain that the MSDF will be withdrawn from the Indian Ocean next
January. The Defense Minister has been looking for SDF activities in
Afghanistan to replace the refueling mission. But due to the
deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan, activities in the
waters off Somalia have been suggested. Kitazawa indicated in the
news conference that the use of technology and experience acquired
in the Indian Ocean will make things easier for the Defense Ministry
to deal with the matter.

Meanwhile, SDP Secretary General Yasumasa Shigeno harshly criticized

TOKYO 00002487 007 OF 008


Kitazawa's statement, saying, "It was an extremely careless remark.
The SDF's duty is limited to defending our country. Why is he so
eager to do a favor for the United States? The matter should be
handled by the Japan Coast Guard."

13) Transferring supply vessel used for refueling activity in Indian
Ocean to waters off Somalia would be "difficult"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
October 28, 2009

Defense Minister Kitazawa at a press briefing on Oct. 27 announced a
plan to look into the possibility of transferring the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's supply vessel used for refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean to waters off Somalia for an anti-piracy operation.
However, it would be difficult to realize such a plan at an early
date, because it requires an amendment to the Anti-Piracy Law, which
serves as the basis for dispatching MSDF Force vessels to the Indian
Ocean. Prime Minister Hatoyama on the evening of the same day
indicated a negative view to reporters: "There are legal
arrangements that must be made. The vessels cannot be moved easily.
I do not have such a plan in mind now."

14) Prime Minister Hatoyama to move into his official residential
quarters today

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
October 28, 2009

Today Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will move into his official
residential quarters adjacent to the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei). Up until now, he had been commuting 30 to 40
minutes by car from his private residence in Denenchofu to the
Kantei. With regard to the reason for moving today in his official
residence, Hatoyama said, "Because full-fledged debate will start on
Oct. 28 (at the extraordinary Diet session)."

15) Japanese, Australian trade ministers agree to promote EPA
negotiations

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
October 28, 2009

The trade and economic ministers of Japan and Australia held their
first meeting in Tokyo yesterday. Minister of Economy, Trade and
Industry Masayuki Naoshima and Minister for Trade Simon Crean agreed
to expedite negotiations on concluding an economic partnership
agreement (EPA). Regarding global warming, they confirmed the need
to urge the major greenhouse gas emitters to agree on an ambitious
reduction target so that an accord can be reached at the 15th
session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change (COP15) to be held in Copenhagen in
December.

Naoshima and Crean also shared the view that government-level
involvement is necessary for the new round of World Trade
Organization's (WTO) trade talks (Doha Round) to come to a
settlement in 2010. The governments of Japan and Australia will hold
trade and economic ministerial meetings on a regular basis.

16) U.S. announces plan to hold in Japan in December preparatory
meeting for Nuclear Security Summit

TOKYO 00002487 008 OF 008

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 28, 2009

Thomas D'Agostino, head of the U.S. Energy Department's National
Nuclear Security Administration, announced in an interview with
media outlets in Tokyo yesterday that a preparatory meeting for the
Nuclear Security Summit to be held in Washington next April by U.S.
President Barack Obama will be held in Japan in December.

The Nuclear Security Summit is a forum for discussing the
international management of nuclear-related materials according to
the principle of nuclear nonproliferation. D'Agostino said: "The
preparatory meeting will provide a good opportunity for Japan to
demonstrate to the world its high expertise and long-time
achievements in the peaceful use of nuclear power." According to the
Foreign Ministry, themes and other details for the summit will be
discussed at the preparatory meeting. The venue for the Japanese
meeting has not yet been decided. Preparatory meetings may be held
in several countries.

President Obama proposed holding a nuclear security summit in a
speech in Prague in April. At the summit state leaders will discuss
a plan to build a system designed to prevent nuclear-related
materials from being delivered to nonnuclear states and terrorists
and from being used to make weapons.

D'Agostino is visiting Japan to attend an international conference
on nuclear safeguards (inspections) in Tokai-mura, Ibaraki
Prefecture.

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

NGO Coalition On Human Rights: Call For A Stop To Police Brutality In Fiji

A viral video has circulated online showing two police officers utilising disproportionate and excessive force in detaining the suspect, an individual half their size. In the video it shows the man’s head being pressed down on the ground, his arms being ... More>>

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: Economic Recovery Under Threat Amid Surging COVID Cases And Lagging Vaccination In Poorer Countries

New York, 11 May — While the global growth outlook has improved, led by robust rebound in China and the United States, surging COVID-19 infections and inadequate vaccination progress in many countries threaten a broad-based recovery of the world ... More>>

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>