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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/05/09

DE RUEHKO #2553/01 3092305
P 052305Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) U.S. cannot afford to let Futenma relocation plan go off the
rails; regrets its initial flexible stance that "gave too much hope"
to Japan (Tokyo Shimbun)

(2) Okinawa poll: 57 PERCENT want local referendum on Futenma
relocation (Mainichi)

(3) Agitated public opinion on Futenma relocation (Part 2): Nago
mayoral election to reveal citizens' "true sentiments"? (Mainichi)

(4) Interview with Daniel Okimoto, emeritus professor at Stanfold
University: Japan, U.S. should promote public-private cooperation in
environmental technology area (Nikkei)

(5) Poll on Hatoyama cabinet, political parties (Tokyo Shimbun)


(1) U.S. cannot afford to let Futenma relocation plan go off the
rails; regrets its initial flexible stance that "gave too much hope"
to Japan

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Abridged slightly)
November 5, 2009

Nakahiro Iwata, Washington

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada was hoping to hold a Japan-U.S.
foreign ministerial to search for a breakthrough in the deadlocked
issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station (in
Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture) ahead of President Barack Obama's visit
to Japan on Nov. 12. If the current situation persisted, there would
be almost no chance for the Futenma issue to move forward. This
article examines the circumstances of the United States, which is
determined to implement the existing plan to build a replacement
facility on the coastal area of Camp Schwab (in Nago), adhering to
the intergovernmental agreement.

U.S. "welcomes" Japan's aid

The White House National Security Council (NSC) held a high-level
inter-agency meeting on Oct. 29-30 to conduct in-depth discussions
on policy toward Japan. According to a diplomatic source, it was
agreed upon at the meeting to give the go ahead to Okada's plan to
visit to the U.S., and the decision was conveyed directly to the
Japanese government. However, this expression of "welcome" was based
on expectations for Japan's aid programs for Afghanistan, according
to the diplomatic source.

The White House, the State Department, and the Defense Department
were in agreement on the relocation of Futenma, a priority issue. On
Oct. 20 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pressed Okada for the
swift implementation of the existing plan, offering no room for

Okada proposed the idea of integrating Futenma Air Station with
Kadena Air Base. Gates seems to have indicated that there is no
leeway for studying the idea, pointing out difficulty operating
Kadena's aircraft and the Martine Corps' helicopters from Futenma
side by side.

TOKYO 00002553 002 OF 009

A strategic mistake by U.S.

The U.S. government thinks that it might have given the Hatoyama
administration too much hope. Washington's strong backlash comes
from such a "strategic mistake," according to a source familiar with
Japan-U.S. relations.

Immediately after the Hatoyama administration was launched,
Assistant Secretary of State (for East Asian and Pacific Affairs)
Kurt Campbell showed his understanding, saying, "It will take
several months for the new Japanese administration to become fully
functional. We have to be patient." Clinton, too, indicated that any
administration has the right to change policies. During a Japan-U.S.
foreign ministerial held in New York in late-September, Clinton
demonstrated a flexible stance and a willingness to respond to a
call for talks, while indicating that the existing agreement is the
basic premise.

During his stay in Japan, Gates took a stern attitude, saying,
"Without the Futenma relocation, there will be no relocation to Guam
or return of land in Okinawa." The statement was partly intended to
correct the initial misleading stance.

Shadow of Afghanistan

The Japan-U.S. agreement reached in May 2006 stipulates, "The
individual realignment initiatives form a coherent package." The
realignment of U.S. forces in Japan is part of the ongoing post-cold
war global transformation of U.S. forces. The United States fears
that if the Futenma relocation is stalled, the entire plan will be
wrecked, like a line of dominoes falling down.

The war in Afghanistan, which claimed the lives of 56 U.S. service
members in October, the highest number on record, is casting a
shadow over the Futenma issue. "Finding himself under pressure to
make a critical decision on sending additional troops to
Afghanistan, President Obama cannot afford to think about issuing an
order on the Futenma relocation that would hamper the capability of
the U.S. military," former NSC Senior Asian Director Michael Green

U.S. force realignment and the plan to send additional troops are
directly linked to military spending. For this reason, the President
cannot afford to antagonize Congress.

The Department of Defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2010
(October 2009 - September 2010) includes some 378 million dollars
(approximately 34 billion yen) for relocating 8,000 Marines from
Okinawa to Guam, among other plans. If the Futenma relocation does
not move forward and Congress does not approve the budget bill, the
relocation plan will be called off.

The U.S. government's policy course is not to be overly concerned
about settling the matter before the President visits Japan and to
avoid delving deeper into the topic during the upcoming summit
talks. Nevertheless, the clock is ticking for the Democratic Party
of Japan administration.

(2) Okinawa poll: 57 PERCENT want local referendum on Futenma

TOKYO 00002553 003 OF 009

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 3, 2009

In a recent public opinion survey jointly conducted in Okinawa
Prefecture by the Mainichi Shimbun and the Ryukyu Shimpo, 70 PERCENT
of respondents called for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, to be moved out of Okinawa
Prefecture or out of Japan. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama takes this
survey result seriously. "This is what shows the voice of Okinawa
Prefecture's people," Hatoyama said. On the other hand, he also
touched on the fact that Japan and the United States reached an
intergovernmental agreement on the Futenma relocation when the
now-opposition Liberal Democratic Party was in office as the
governing party. "The agreement between Japan and the United States
is also of crucial importance," Hatoyama said. As seen from this
remark, Hatoyama is apparently wavering in his thinking on the
matter. He has shown a stance of attaching importance to public
opinion in Okinawa Prefecture. The question is how he will pave the
way to resolve the Futenma issue. His government, however, has yet
to determine its course of action for the issue.

"As a matter of fact, many of the people in Okinawa Prefecture want
the government to negotiate (with the U.S.) to move Futenma airfield
out of Okinawa Prefecture or out of Japan," Hatoyama told reporters
yesterday evening at his office. Meanwhile, he also referred to the
current plan to relocate Futenma airfield to a coastal area of Camp
Schwab in the Henoko area of the island prefecture's northern
coastal city of Nago. "I can see local people feeling that the
Futenma relocation to Henoko might be acceptable if the construction
site is moved several tens of meters," Hatoyama added, with regard
to Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima's call for the relocation site's
offshore move. "I will give an answer from among the various
options," he reiterated.

On Oct. 16, Hatoyama told reporters that he will attach importance
to popular opinion in Okinawa Prefecture. "We will need to reach a
conclusion sometime between Nago City's mayoral election (in January
next year) and Okinawa Prefecture's gubernatorial election (in
November next year)," he said. In the survey, respondents were also
asked what they thought would be the best way to explore popular
opinion in Okinawa Prefecture. To this question, however, 57 PERCENT
of the respondents pointed out the need for Okinawa Prefecture to
hold a "local referendum" on the Futenma issue. Among other answers,
Okinawa Prefecture's gubernatorial election ranked second at 13
PERCENT , with the election for the House of Councillors (in July
next year) at 7 PERCENT and Nago City's mayoral election at 6
PERCENT . Hatoyama has shown his stance of factoring in the outcome
of Nago's mayoral election. However, most respondents nixed his
wait-and-see attitude.

Commentary: Poll results show high expectations for premier

The survey results show the high expectations of Okinawa
Prefecture's people for Prime Minister Hatoyama, who advocated
relocating Futenma airfield outside Okinawa Prefecture or Japan in
his campaign for this summer's election for the House of
Representatives. The survey results cannot be simply compared with
those in the past, but in light of past data the local population
strongly tends to call for Futenma airfield to be moved out of
Okinawa Prefecture. Prime Minister Hatoyama should take the local
people's expectations seriously.

TOKYO 00002553 004 OF 009

In 1996, the Japanese and U.S. governments agreed to relocate
Futenma airfield away from its current location. In 1998, former
Okinawa Gov. Keiichi Inamine, who accepted Futenma relocation within
Okinawa Prefecture, won the gubernatorial election. As a result, the
move for Futenma relocation accelerated. At the time, the government
decided to install a sea-based alternative facility within the
offing of Nago City's Henoko area to take over the heliport
functions of Futenma airfield. In a Mainichi Shimbun poll conducted
in November 1999, respondents were asked if they would accept
Futenma relocation within Okinawa Prefecture. In response to this
question, local public opinion was split, with 45.7 PERCENT
answering "yes" and 44.1 PERCENT saying "no."

However, Futenma relocation made no headway. In 2005, the Japanese
and U.S. governments put out an interim report on the realignment of
U.S. forces in Japan. In the report, the relocation site for Futenma
airfield's alternative facility was changed to a coastal area of
Camp Schwab, which is closer to local communities than the initially
planned Henoko offshore site. This modified relocation plan was the
biggest point at issue in the November 2006 gubernatorial election.
In a public opinion survey conducted in Okinawa Prefecture at that
time, the proportion of those who want the Futenma base to be moved
out of Okinawa Prefecture or abroad reached 60 PERCENT .

Eventually, Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima, who accepted Futenma relocation
to another place within Okinawa Prefecture, won the gubernatorial
race. This outcome, however, reflected the actual circumstances of
Okinawa, where the wishes of local people for base realignments or
reductions and for state-budgeted economic development measures were
complicatedly entangled, but the then government would not change
its firm stance of relocating the Futenma base to Henoko.

This time around, a political party that is calling for Futenma
airfield to be moved out of Okinawa Prefecture has become the
governing party for the first time. Okinawa is now free from the
fetters of Futenma relocation within the prefecture. The latest
survey was conducted under these circumstances. It may safely be
said that the results show the local population's feelings.

(3) Agitated public opinion on Futenma relocation (Part 2): Nago
mayoral election to reveal citizens' "true sentiments"?

MAINICHI (Page 24) (Full)
November 5, 2009

Teruhisa Mimori, Yoshichika Imoto

Nago Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, 63, replied angrily to reporters
trying to ask him questions in front of the Umusa community hall in
Nago City, Okinawa on the evening of Oct. 31: "The question is what
the national government wants to do. The government is taking the
wrong approach by seeking our opinion." Shimabukuro was invited as a
guest to a gathering to honor senior citizens.

Just 30 minutes before, in front of the community hall's entrance,
former Nago education board chairman Susumu Inamine, 64, was shaking
hands with people arriving for the gathering. Both Shimabukuro and
Inamine have announced their candidacy in the Nago mayoral election
that will take place on January 24, 2010. Shimabukuro, who accepts
the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan
City) to Henoko in Nago City and is supported by the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito, almost bumped into Inamine,

TOKYO 00002553 005 OF 009

who advocates the relocation of the Futenma base out of Okinawa and
whom the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has decided to support. The
election campaign has effectively been launched.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama keeps saying he will "make a final
decision based on the Okinawan people's sentiments" and has cited
the Nago election as a barometer of popular will. Shimabukuro's
remark that the government is "taking the wrong approach" reflected
his frustration with the Hatoyama administration's indecision on the
relocation issue. If a decision is deferred to after the mayoral
election, this will be the fourth mayoral race to gauge the popular
will on the relocation issue.

The Tokyo government pressured Nago with a package of economic
development measures tied to Futenma relocation. Economic measures
for northern Okinawa were linked to the plan for Futenma's
relocation to waters off Henoko while special U.S. Forces Japan
(USFJ) realignment subsidies were linked to the plan to relocate to
the coastal area (of Henoko), which is closer to residential
districts. Nago has a population of 60,000. It is a key city in the
northern part of the main island of Okinawa, but its development has
lagged behind southern and central Okinawa. Ten percent or
approximately 2.7 billion yen (in FY07) of the city's revenues is
related to U.S. bases, so coexistence with the bases is the city's
basic stance. That is also the reason why the city has accepted the
coastal area relocation plan, whose conditions are less favorable
than the offshore plan. On the other hand, the repeated
carrot-and-stick tactics have sharply divided public opinion, and
the local people have mixed feelings.

The political map of the mayoral race, in which Yasushi Higa, 65, a
part-time university instructor endorsed by the Japanese Communist
Party will run in addition to Shimabukuro and Inamine, is also

Inamine is a conservative who served as treasurer and education
board chairman under the late Mayor Tateo Kishimoto, who accepted
Futenma relocation. He is backed by conservative municipal assembly
members who are dissatisfied with Shimabukuro's administration of
the city. When he announced his candidacy in late September, his
position on Futenma relocation was ambiguous: "Relocation out of
Okinawa is the best option, but I will seek a review of the current

In mid-October, Inamine began to talk about "demanding relocation
out of the prefecture." This was at a time the DPJ and the Social
Democratic Party (SDP) decided not to field a common candidate of
the ruling parties and began to approach Inamine to offer their
support. On Oct. 31, the DPJ Okinawa chapter decided to endorse
Inamine, while the SDP is also contemplating doing the same. The
three-way split of the candidates - one supported by the LDP and New
Komeito, one supported by both conservatives and reformists, and one
supported by reformists - is similar to the last election in 2006.

However, the decisive difference is that this election is taking
place after the change of administration in Tokyo. Reformist Okinawa
Prefectural Assembly member Yoshikazu Tamaki (elected from Nago),
who supports Inamine, says: "Past mayoral elections were held under
an administration that was forcing the Henoko relocation plan on
Nago. This time, such pressure is gone." He reckons that Hatoyama's
own words have opened Pandora's Box, so the citizens will now
express their true sentiments. A housewife, 60, who came to the

TOKYO 00002553 006 OF 009

Umusa community hall for the gathering to honor the elderly, said
she cannot make up her mind. "My relatives are in the construction
business, so I have voted for the candidate favoring the relocation
plan in consideration of the city's economic development. But deep
in my heart, I don't like the military bases. However, is relocation
out of Okinawa or out of Japan really possible? For now I am still
thinking it over."

What is the best way to gauge popular opinion in Okinawa on Futenma
relocation? In a recent joint public opinion poll conducted by
Mainichi Shimbun and Ryukyu Shimpo in Okinawa, 57 percent of
respondents answered "a referendum," 13 percent cited the
gubernatorial election, while only 6 percent said the Nago mayoral
election. Popular opinion on the relocation issue should not be
gauged through elections of local leaders. That seems to be the
popular opinion in Okinawa.

(End of two-part series)

(4) Interview with Daniel Okimoto, emeritus professor at Stanfold
University: Japan, U.S. should promote public-private cooperation in
environmental technology area

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Full)
November 5, 2009

Ahead of the planned visit to Japan by U.S. President Obama, what
kind of vision is the U.S. going to formulate for its relations with
Japan? The Nikkei interviewed U.S. Stanford University Emeritus
Professor Daniel Okimoto. He has given policy advice on Japan to
Ambassador John Roos, who assumed the post as a close friend of the

-- What do you expect of the Japan-U.S. relationship?

Okimoto: The U.S. and Japan are the world's largest and second
largest economic powers, so their economic cooperation is expected
to generate great opportunities. But their cooperation is now
limited to such areas as trade, intellectual property rights,
capital transfer, and foreign exchange transactions. The two
countries should also cooperate in eco-technology, for example, in
generating renewable energy, building next-generation
power-transmission cables, computerizing the means of transport, and
saving energy in office buildings. The administration of President
Barack Obama sees these areas as new opportunities for economic

-- Do you think it is possible for Japan and the U.S. to share roles
in the environment field?

Okimoto: Japan and the U.S. can take the initiative in various
technical areas. Japan is strong in battery-related fields, so its
technologies can be used in manufacturing electric cars, trains, and
other means of transport. The U.S. is good at next-generation
power-transmission cables and renewable energy. If the two
countries' private firms work together, a wide range of
possibilities will be created.

-- Does Ambassador Roos take a similar view about Japan-U.S.
cooperation in the environmental technology area?

Okimoto: The Ambassador takes a very positive view. He has extensive

TOKYO 00002553 007 OF 009

ties to people in this area. Ultimately, the private sector should
take the initiative, but the two governments can make arrangements
or establish a wise men's forum for companies to meet and discuss,
or can set up a task force to draft policies, discuss problems
related to regulations, and work out technological standards.

-- Will atomic power generation and the transfer of Bullet
Train-related technologies also be areas of cooperation between
Japan and the U.S.?

Okimoto: Of course, atomic power generation is categorized as clean
technology. There is no reason for the Obama administration to
refrain from promoting cooperation in this area. Bullet
train-related technologies naturally will be included in the list of
areas for bilateral cooperation. In areas besides the environment,
the list will include biotechnology and programs to conquer cancers
and to contain new strains of infectious diseases.

-- Looking at the present Japan-U.S. relationship, a rosy future
seems unlikely for the bilateral relationship.

Okimoto: In the 1960s, the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty was revised.
In the 1980s, the Japan-U.S. relationship was in a period of
"Japan-bashing." In the 1990s, the bubble economy collapsed, and the
Japanese economy was beset by deflation. In the context of
Japan-U.S. relations, these events were important turning points,
and the relationship is also at a critical crossroads at present.
The global economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. The
instability of the political situation tends to bring about
political change. The change of government in Japan can be cited as
one example of this trend. Even so, I do not think that the measures
taken by the government led by the Democratic Party of Japan with
the aim of soliciting public support, such as child allowance and
free high school education, will contribute to resolving problems.

-- How do you view the Hatoyama administration's stance toward the

Okimoto: The key is whether it will become possible for Japan and
the U.S. to maintain a "new balance" in the next two years, but
seeing the present situation, I have to take a pessimistic view. I
am worried about the present situation in which the focus of
attention is only on such issues as Japan's refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean, the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station, and secret nuclear accords. Japan and the U.S. should try
to build a relationship of trust as soon as possible.

The Obama administration has been saddled with other problems, for
instance, those related to Iraq and Afghanistan. If the Japan-U.S.
alliance turns into a "troublesome issue," the President will come
under fire at home, and eventually his discretionary power over
issues related to Japan will, in my opinion, become circumscribed.

(5) Poll on Hatoyama cabinet, political parties

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 2, 2009

Questions & Answers
(Figures are percentages. Parentheses denote the results of the last
survey conducted Sept. 16-17.)

TOKYO 00002553 008 OF 009

Q: Do you support the Hatoyama cabinet?

Yes 61.8 (72.0)
No 22.9 (13.1)
Don't know (D/K) + no answer (N/A) 15.3 (14.9)

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the previous question)
What's the primary reason for your approval of the Hatoyama cabinet?
Pick only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is trustworthy 11.5 (12.1)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Democratic Party of Japan,
Social Democratic Party, and People's New Party 6.7 (7.4)
The prime minister has leadership ability 4.3 (3.1)
Something can be expected of its economic policies 15.1 (16.4)
Something can be expected of its foreign policy 1.5 (3.1)
Something can be expected of its political reforms 29.6 (29.2)
Something can be expected of its tax reforms 3.6 (3.4)
Something can be expected of its administrative reforms 11.6 (10.2)
There's no other appropriate person (for prime minister) 14.4
Other answers (O/A) 0.7 (0.8)
D/K+N/A 1.0 (2.6)

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the first question) What's
the primary reason for your disapproval of the Hatoyama cabinet?
Pick only one from among those listed below.

The prime minister is untrustworthy 12.8 (16.5)
Because it's a coalition cabinet of the Democratic Party of Japan,
Social Democratic Party, and People's New Party 16.7 (19.7)
The prime minister lacks leadership ability 5.0 (5.7)
Nothing can be expected of its economic policies 25.3 (35.0)
Nothing can be expected of its foreign policy 4.5 (4.9)
Nothing can be expected of its political reforms 16.4 (3.8)
Nothing can be expected of its tax reforms 7.0 (2.7)
Nothing can be expected of its administrative reforms 2.0 (3.1)
Don't like the prime minister's personal character 7.6 (5.8)
O/A 0.5 (0.9)
D/K+N/A 2.2 (1.9)

Q: Which political party do you support?

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 43.4 (47.6)
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Jiminto) 21.1 (18.8)
New Komeito (NK) 3.4 (3.7)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2.7 (3.1)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1.9 (1.8)
Your Party (YP or Minna no To) 1.3 (1.4)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0.5 (0.4)
Reform Club (RC or Kaikaku Kurabu) ---
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0.4 (---)
Other political parties, groups 0.1 (---)
None 24.5 (21.6)
D/K+N/A 0.7 (1.6)

Q: Mr. Sadakazu Tanigaki has become LDP president. Do you have high
expectations for LDP President Tanigaki?

Yes 37.0
No 53.4
D/K+N/A 9.6

TOKYO 00002553 009 OF 009

Q: The Hatoyama cabinet is a tripartite coalition government of the
DPJ, SDP, and PNP. Do you think the coalition government has been
working well?

Yes 19.6
No 69.8
D/K+N/A 10.6

Q: What form of government would you like to see after next summer's
election for the House of Councillors?

The DPJ's single-party government 38.8
The current tripartite coalition government 24.5
The DPJ's coalition government with other political parties 22.0
O/A 1.7
D/K+N/A 13.0

(Note) Total percentage is over 100 PERCENT for multiple-choice

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted across the nation on
Oct. 31 and Nov. 1 by Kyodo News Service on a computer-aided random
digit dialing (RDD) basis. Among randomly generated telephone
numbers, those actually for household use with one or more eligible
voters totaled 1,476. Answers were obtained from 1,025 persons.


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