Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/10/09

DE RUEHKO #2607/01 3152301
P 112301Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Poll on Hatoyama cabinet, political parties (Yomiuri)

(2) Japan, U.S. adrift (Part 1): Bilateral alliance at crossroads;
Futenma relocation issue out of control; "winter period," "danger
zone"; distrust in Japan will continue (Mainichi)

(3) Hatoyama administration is not considering Japan's defense

(4) Two deadlines for Hatoyama administration regarding Futenma
relocation (Asahi)

(5) Aomori Prefecture, Tsugaru City protest U.S. Army "civilian
employee's" fatal DUI incident (Too Nippo)

(6) U.S. Army staff sergeant detained in fatal hit-and-run incident
in Okinawa (Yomiuri)

(7) Interview with PRC expert on U.S. affairs Shi Yinhong:
Instability of Hatoyama administration undesirable (Nikkei)

(8) Mounting pressure on Japan to sign Hague Convention: Some
Japanese listed as wanted on suspicion of abducting their own
children (Daily Tohoku)

(9) Political Cartoon (Akahata)


(1) Poll on Hatoyama cabinet, political parties

YOMIURI (Page 8) (Full)
November 10, 2009

Questions & Answers
(Figures shown in percentage)

Q: Do you support the Hatoyama cabinet?

Yes 63
No 27
Other answers (O/A) 5
No answer (N/A) 5

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the foregoing question)
Pick only one from among the following reasons for your approval of
the Hatoyama cabinet.

Something can be expected of its policy measures 29
The prime minister is aiming to make policy decisions at the
initiative of politicians 21
The prime minister has leadership ability 6
There's something stable about the prime minister 5
His cabinet's lineup is good 6
Because it's a non-Liberal Democratic Party government 31
O/A 0
N/A 2

Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the foregoing question) Pick
only one from among the following reasons for your disapproval of

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the Hatoyama cabinet.

Nothing can be expected of its policy measures 34
Nothing can be expected of its policy decisions made at the
initiative of politicians 16
The prime minister lacks leadership ability 13
There's nothing stable about the prime minister 11
His cabinet's lineup is not good 10
Because it's a non-Liberal Democratic Party government 12
O/A 1
N/A 2

Q: Which political party do you support now? Pick only one.

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 13
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Jiminto) 19
New Komeito (NK) 3
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 2
Your Party (YP or Minna no To) 1
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) ---
Reform Club (RC or Kaikaku Kurabu) ---
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0
Other political parties 0
None 28
N/A 1

Q: The Hatoyama cabinet is a tripartite coalition government of the
DPJ, SDP, and PNP. Do you approve of this combination of political
parties in office?

Yes 31
No 56
N/A 12

Q: Do you think the Hatoyama cabinet has been able to make policy
decisions based on its political initiative without depending on

Yes 28
No 55
N/A 17

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's policy of providing
child allowance handouts?

Yes 56
No 39
N/A 5

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's policy of making the
expressways toll-free in principle?

Yes 21
No 73
N/A 6

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's policy of ending the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean
by next January when the current antiterror law expires?

Yes 47

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No 34
N/A 19

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's policy of reducing
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions by 25 PERCENT from 1990 levels by

Yes 75
No 16
N/A 9

Q: Do you think the policies incorporated in the DPJ's manifesto for
this summer's election for the House of Representatives should be
implemented even if the issuance of deficit-covering government
bonds has to be increased, or do you think some of these policies
should be forgone so as not to increase the issuance of government

All of the policies should be implemented 8
Some of the policies should be foregone 85
N/A 7

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's policy of overhauling
the Koizumi cabinet's postal privatization?

Yes 54
No 33
N/A 13

Q: Do you approve of the appointment of former Administrative Vice
Finance Minister Jiro Saito as Japan Post's new president?

Yes 27
No 52
N/A 21

Q: What do you think about the pending issue of relocating the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture?

It would be better to relocate the airfield in line with the
agreement reached between the Japanese and U.S. governments 31
It would be better to slightly modify the relocation plan 32
It would be better to overhaul the relocation plan 19
N/A 17

Q: The government has plans to bail Japan Airlines out of financial
trouble and turn it around. Do you agree with this?

Yes 41
No 50
N/A 9

Q: Do you think Prime Minister Hatoyama has fulfilled his
accountability on his own politics-and-money problems, such as his
fund-managing body's falsification of reports on political

Yes 19
No 73
N/A 9

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Nov. 6-8 across the

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nation on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Households with one or more eligible voters totaled 1,753. Valid
answers were obtained from 1,074 persons (61 PERCENT ).

(Note) In some cases, the total percentage does not add up to 100
PERCENT due to rounding.

(2) Japan, U.S. adrift (Part 1): Bilateral alliance at crossroads;
Futenma relocation issue out of control; "winter period," "danger
zone"; distrust in Japan will continue

MAINICHI (Top play) (Abridged slightly)
November 10, 2009

Takashi Sudo, Yu Takayama

"It is serious enough to be reported to the U.S. President. How
could he make such a statement without consulting with us? We want
to hear his true intention."

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell expressed his anger
this way upon meeting with Senior Vice-Foreign Minister Koichi
Takemasa at a Tokyo hotel on the morning of Oct. 12.

Two days earlier, a Japan-China-South Korea summit was held in
Beijing. At the outset of the meeting, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
said: "Japan has been relying excessively on the United States. We
want to create policy that places more emphasis on Asia."

This statement, which drew a smile from Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao,
reached the United States in no time, amplifying Washington's
concern and frustration with the Hatoyama administration's stance to
move away from the United States.

Hatoyama held his first summit meeting with President Barack Obama
in New York on Sept. 23, in which both played up a policy direction
to build a relationship of trust, shelving specific issues.

That was just a month and half ago. Today, Japan-U.S. relations are
said to be in a "winter period" or a "danger zone."

The discord between Japan and the United States is ascribable to the
Hatoyama administration's decision to end the Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean and the East Asian
community concept advocated by Hatoyama. But the biggest cause is
the Hatoyama administration's disunity regarding the relocation of
the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan, Okinawa

The Prime Minister intends to postpone a settlement to the issue
until after the Nago mayoral election next January with a view to
moving the air station out of Okinawa, as was pledged during the
latest House of Representatives election. Meanwhile, Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada is exploring ways to integrate Futenma with
Kadena Air Base (in the town of Kadena within the prefecture) in a
bid to settle the matter before the end of the year. On the other
hand, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa is eager to reach a decision
to relocate the base to the coastal area of Camp Schwab (in Henoko
in the city of Nago).

Although the three leaders remain wide apart regarding Futenma, no
one has volunteered to serve as a mediator. "They should stick to

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their respective views to allow the Prime Minister to make a final
decision," a person close to the Prime Minister said. "If Japan
listens to what the United States says just because their
relationship is somewhat tense, Tokyo will not be able to break away
from its subservient attitude to Washington."

It is clear that there is the calculation to allow the Prime
Minister to use the discord in the cabinet to demonstrate his
political leadership and to make it a stepping stone to an equal
Japan-U.S. alliance by putting an end to Japan's diplomacy of
blindly following the United States.

Shortly after the launch of the Hatoyama administration, Campbell
demonstrated the stance of watching the new Japanese administration
without applying pressure to it, underlining the need for patience.
He is being criticized for taking the wrong step at the initial
stage and finds himself in the hot seat within the government.
Meanwhile, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates strongly pressured
Tokyo to implement the current Futenma relocation plan as agreed
upon during his visit to Japan on Oct. 20-21. But his approach drew
a backlash from Japan, with a source familiar with Japan-U.S.
relations saying, "He acted like an occupation forces' commander.
The screw popped out as it was tightened too much."

The governments of Japan and the United States intend to reaffirm a
policy direction to strengthen the bilateral alliance by avoiding
in-depth talks on the Futenma issue during the upcoming
Hatoyama-Obama meeting. That shows a sense of crisis. The bilateral
alliance is at a crossroads.

Bruce Klingner, a former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) official
and currently a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, a
conservative think tank, pointed out some similarities between the
Hatoyama administration and the former South Korean administration
led by President Roh Moo Hyun, who dampened U.S.-ROK relations,
putting weight on anti-U.S. groups. "The Obama administration would
remain distrustful of Japan even after the Futenma issue is
settled," Klingner said. "This is very similar to the relations
between the United States and South Korea during the former Roh Moo
Hyun administration."

(3) Hatoyama administration is not considering Japan's defense

SANKEI (Page 8) (Full)
November 7, 2009

By Yoshihisa Komori, Washington

Thoughtless remarks made in a casual manner (by senior government
officials) are rattling the Japan-U.S. alliance. The prime minister
and cabinet ministers, even while defining the Japan-U.S. alliance
as the cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy, have also said that
the government will review the alliance. They have indicated they
will distance themselves from the U.S. and step up efforts to build
a framework for collective security in Asia. Particularly on the
issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in
Okinawa, contradictory remarks are cropping up every day, like a
lunch special that changes from day to day.

Refraining from negatively reacting to the Hatoyama administration's
inconsistent policy toward and betrayal of Japan-U.S. security
arrangements, the U.S. government of President Barack Obama had

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ostensibly tried to maintain good relations with Japan. But
Washington now appears to have altered its approach and decided to
frankly express its dissatisfaction and disagreement with Japan.
Despite this, the Obama administration has indicated acceptance of
Japan's proposal for sidestepping the Futenma issue during the
Japan-U.S. summit meeting to be held during President Obama's visit
to Japan. Public support for the Obama administration has been on
the decline, and the administration has been in a quandary over
health insurance reform. Under such circumstances, the
administration probably wants to avoid the criticism that it made
Japan-U.S. relations even worse.

On the U.S. side, persons in both the public and private sectors
involved in the Japan-U.S. alliance complain that the Hatoyama
administration seems not to be giving consideration to Japan's

I asked National Defense University Professor Jim Przystup, who has
been involved in the Japan-U.S. alliance for as many as 30 years,
and James Auer, director of the Center for U.S.-Japan Studies and
Cooperation at the Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies,
for their views about the Hatoyama administration's approach toward
the bilateral alliance.

Przystup addressed Japan-U.S. security issues as a member of the
U.S. House Committee on Foreign Relations in the 1970s and was also
responsible for Japanese affairs at the state and defense
departments under successive U.S. administrations. He said:

"Statements by the Hatoyama administration about the Japan-U.S.
alliance remind us of the god with multiple heads in India. We don't
know which remarks we should believe. ... The Obama administration
initially gave the new Japanese government the wrong message -- that
the U.S. will allow Japan to say anything it wants to say. In this
respect, the Obama administration is also to blame. However, in the
history of the Japan-U.S. alliance I have never seen such deep
confusion. ... The Hatoyama administration has addressed the
Japan-U.S. alliance in relation to the environment or at most,
politics. But it seems oblivious of the key element - security and
military affairs."

The Japan-U.S. alliance certainly contains political, diplomatic and
environmental components, but its core component is military
affairs. The Hatoyama administration has acted as if the core
element did not exist, according to analysis by Przystup. In other
words, the Hatoyama administration has ignored the main purpose of
alliance -- the defense of Japan.

After serving as director of Japan Desk at the Defense Department in
the 1970s and 1980s, Auer has continued exchanging views with people
in the Japanese defense establishment. He pointed out: "The Hatoyama
administration seems to have no awareness of the need to protect
Japan's security, although doing so is the government's
responsibility." In reference to the Futenma issue, Auer emphasized:
"The administration has discussed only details and has not
considered why U.S. military bases exist in Japan. There is no doubt
the new administration 'cannot see the forest for the trees'."

Auer also refuted the Democratic Party of Japan's assertion that
"Japan has blindly followed the U.S.: "If Japan truly followed what
U.S. said, the Self-Defense Forces and defense spending would be

TOKYO 00002607 007 OF 012

more than double their current levels. Japan would have allowed the
SDF to exercise the right to collective self-defense and stationed
combat forces in Afghanistan."

The two American commentators stressed the need to maintain the
Japan-U.S. alliance from the viewpoint of U.S. national interests,
but they have taken a friendly stance toward Japan, that is, a
stance of focusing on Japan's good points. It is unprecedented for
such observers to lash out at Japan to this degree.

Against this background, Governor of Kanagawa Prefecture Shigefumi
Matsuzawa visited Washington to discuss issues related to U.S.
military bases in Japan and delivered a speech on Nov. 5. His words
were encouraging. Although Matsuzawa supports DPJ policies, he
stated in the speech: "The Japan-U.S. alliance is indispensable not
only for Japan's national security but also for the stability of the
Asia-Pacific region. In particular, when taking into consideration
such threats as North Korea's nuclear and missile development and
China's maritime expansion, we realize the importance of the
presence of U.S. military bases in Okinawa." The governor, while
stressing the need to reduce the burden imposed on Okinawa,
emphasized that the Japan-U.S. alliance is the sole way to ensure
Japan's national security."

(4) Two deadlines for Hatoyama administration regarding Futenma

ASAHI (Page 15) (Full)
November 7, 2009

Foreign and security affairs both in Japan and the United are all
talking about a certain paper. The paper concludes with the
following statement:

"(The Hatoyama administration) openly brought up delicate issues,
such as an investigation into the 'secret pacts,' (a revision) of
the Status of Forces Agreement, and (a reduction in) host nation
support, several weeks before President Barack Obama's first visit
to Japan. This is almost tantamount to telling the President not to
come to Japan."

The article was written by Ralph Cossa, executive director of the
Pacific Forum, a think tank in Hawaii, and his colleagues.

Cossa, who serves as the U.S. side's chair for Japan-U.S. security
seminars held annually by the Forum, the Foreign Ministry, and other
organizations, is well-versed in Japanese and security affairs. The
Foreign Ministry puts great faith in him. That is why his bold
criticism of the Hatoyama administration is drawing attention. U.S.
Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow Sheila Smith, also known
as a Japan expert, is also harsh toward the Hatoyama administration,
describing its policy toward the United States as "Washington

The U.S. government cannot conceal its confusion either. During his
stay in Japan, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates strongly pressed
Tokyo to implement the existing Futenma relocation plan as agreed
upon, but that did not prove to be successful. On Nov. 5, Assistant
Secretary of State Kurt Campbell visited Japan. But the best he
could do was to confirm the policy direction to put off difficult
issues until after President Obama's visit next week.

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Some in Washington are becoming increasingly critical of the Japan
experts who have been called for practicing "patience." Criticism of
the Hatoyama administration is likely to increase.

Of all the challenges facing the management of the bilateral
alliance, some think the Futenma issue is the most serious, citing
two deadlines.

One is the budget. The U.S. Congress is now deliberating on the
fiscal 2010 budget bill. Unless Japan carries out the realignment of
U.S. forces in Japan, including the relocation of Futenma Air
Station, as agreed upon, the U.S. Congress might not approve the
cost of relocating the U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, and the
entire agreement might be derailed as a result. The end of the year
is the de facto deadline. "If the agreement is derailed, putting it
back on track will difficult," said Robin Sakoda, a former director
of the Department of Defense Office of Japanese Affairs.

The other deadline is based on the political situation in Okinawa.
Since the Hatoyama administration has shown a stance of exploring
other options, such as moving Futenma out of Okinawa and integrating
Futenma with Kadena Air Base, Nago's resolve to accept the envisaged
replacement facility has begun to weaken. A rally by Okinawa
residents protesting the idea of relocating Futenma within the
prefecture is scheduled to take place this weekend in Ginowan, which
currently hosts Futenma Air Station. If the incumbent in favor of
relocating Futenma to the Henoko district is defeated in the Nago
mayoral election next January, such a trend will become more
pronounced. Even if the government decides that there is no other
option besides the Henoko plan, the situation will not return to
what it was.

"The Hatoyama administration probably plans to examine (other
options) by keeping (the Henoko plan) in the refrigerator, but (the
Henoko plan) will spoil during that time," noted former White House
National Security Council Senior Asian Director Michael Green.

Regardless of the decision it makes, the Hatoyama administration
must act swiftly in coming to a conclusion.

(5) Aomori Prefecture, Tsugaru City protest U.S. Army "civilian
employee's" fatal DUI incident

TOO NIPPO (Page 24) (Full)
November 6, 2009

In connection with the incident in which a civilian employee of the
U.S. Army's Shariki Communications Site, 48, driving under the
influence of alcohol (DUI), crashed into the railing of a bridge and
died on Oct. 30 in Nakadomari-machi, Tsugaru City, the city and
Aomori Prefecture on Nov. 5 handed a letter of protest to Captain
Kirby J. Atwell, representative of the military base, and strongly
demanded that U.S. military personnel abide by Japanese laws.

According to the Tsugaru City government, general affairs chief
Arihiko Yamamoto went to the Communications Site and handed a letter
signed by Mayor Hiroyoshi Fukushima to Capt. Atwell. Atwell
apologized and said: "This incident is for us, too, truly
regrettable. It has become a big obstacle." He added: "We will
revise our traffic safety program and conduct regular training in
order not to forget the lesson learned from this incident."

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Aomori Prefecture also presented a letter to Shingo Masuda, chief of
the Tohoku Defense Bureau, through the Misawa Defense Office, asking
him to lodge a protest with U.S. forces.

(6) U.S. Army staff sergeant detained in fatal hit-and-run incident
in Okinawa

YOMIURI (Page 17) (Excerpts)
Evening, November 10, 2009

In connection with the fatal hit-and-run incident that occurred in
Sobe, Yomitan Village, Okinawa Prefecture, U.S. Forces Okinawa
detained a U.S. Army staff sergeant in his 20s who owns the car
impounded by the Okinawa police on suspicion of being involved in
this incident.

In light of this, the Okinawa police have searched the staff
sergeant's off-base apartment in Nagahama, Yomitan on suspicion of
violating the Road Traffic Law (hit-and-run) and negligent driving
resulting in death.

The police will seek cooperation from the U.S. forces in the
investigation of this case and plan to question the staff sergeant
directly on a voluntary basis.

The staff sergeant's car was brought to a garage in Kadena Town,
some 5 kilometers from the scene of the accident, for repairs on
Nov. 7, with the windshield broken and hair stuck to the car. This
was later impounded by the Okinawa police. U.S. Forces Okinawa began
questioning him on a voluntary basis inside the military base on
Nov. 9.

The U.S. forces also began conducting searches in the U.S. Army's
Torii Station (in Yomitan), where the staff sergeant works, from the
morning of Nov. 10.

James Woodard, commander of U.S. Army Okinawa, visited the Yomitan
village government office on the morning of Nov. 10 to meet Mayor
Keizo Yasuda. He explained that, "We have detained the army officer
who drove the car. We will do our best if there is a formal request
from the Japanese side for the handover of custody (before
indictment)." Yasuda told him that he strongly demands the early
turnover of custody.

Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the U.S.
forces will consider favorably any request for the handover of
custody of the suspect detained by the U.S. side before indictment
in cases involving murder, rape, and other heinous crimes. So far,
the turnover of custody has taken place in five cases. However, the
Okinawa police reckon that it will be difficult to make a request
for turnover of custody in a hit-and-run case.

The government is increasingly concerned that "heightened
anti-military base sentiments in the local communities may affect
the Japan-U.S. summit meeting on Nov. 13," according to a senior
Ministry of Foreign Affairs official. It is stepping up efforts to
collect information through government offices in Okinawa. Defense
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa stated at a news conference that, "Since
this is an outrageous incident, I can imagine the feelings of the
Okinawan people to a certain extent," indicating that this will
inevitably affect the question of the relocation of the U.S.
Marines' Futenma Air Station.

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However, commenting on whether the government will demand the
handover of custody of the suspect, if he is found to be a U.S.
soldier, before indictment in accordance with SOFA, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said: "My feeling is that the question of
handover will not come up, since (pre-indictment turnover of
custody) applies only to serious crimes, such as murder."

(7) Interview with PRC expert on U.S. affairs Shi Yinhong:
Instability of Hatoyama administration undesirable

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
November 10, 2009

Interview with Shi Yinhong, director of Research Center of American
Affairs, Renmin University of China, by China Bureau chief Taku

Shinada: What do you think of the current state of Japan-U.S.

Shi: Japan has followed the U.S. on everything in foreign policy
until now. The administration has begun to assert itself a little
bit, so the U.S. is beginning to have doubts about Japan. However,
increasing Japan's independence is in line with Japan's popular will
and national pride. I welcome such a posture. Japan will also be
recognized (by other countries) as a country that has its own

The Yukio Hatoyama administration has stated repeatedly that the
Japan-U.S. alliance is the linchpin of Japan's foreign policy. That
is the administration's true sentiment, so the U.S. is worrying too

Shinada: What is the Chinese government's position?

Shi: China has not commented on the Japan-U.S. relationship (for the
past few decades). The PRC government knows that the Japan-U.S.
alliance will continue. While it is not in favor of this alliance,
it accepts it as a fait accompli. It will probably not make any
public comments in this case.

No impact on economy

Shinada: Won't the strained Japan-U.S. relationship have any
influence on Asia and China?

Shi: A serious weakening of the political base of Prime Minister
Hatoyama and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) caused by setbacks
in diplomacy toward the United States is probably not a scenario
that the Chinese government would like to see. Compared to the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) administration, the DPJ
administration places more importance on friendly relations with
China. A weakening of the Hatoyama administration would not be
desirable for China.

Furthermore, if the Japan-U.S. issues drag on, the Hatoyama
administration will have to devote time to dealing with them. Then,
it will not have time to strengthen relations with China and promote
multilateral cooperation in Asia. I hope that Prime Minister
Hatoyama will make an official visit to China and senior Chinese
leaders will visit Japan at an early date.

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Right now, while there is trade friction between China and the U.S.,
there is no such friction between Japan and the U.S., unlike in the
1980s and 1990s. Discord in Japan-U.S. diplomacy will not affect
bilateral economic relations or have a major impact on the world

Shinada: You are saying there won't be any major change in the
Japan-U.S. relationship?

Shi: It is impossible for Japan to destroy the Japan-U.S. alliance.
The forming of this alliance is a major event in postwar history.
There is nothing in this world that can shake that alliance.

I think if the Hatoyama administration handles the issues capably,
the U.S. will accept Japan's position in the end. Germany and the UK
are also speaking up in dealing with the U.S. This is normal. I
think the U.S. will accept Japan's position since it also relies on

The present strain in the Japan-U.S. relationship reflects the
United States' superpower mentality, while Japan's consciousness as
a major power is inadequate. The U.S. does not treat Japan as an

Shinada: Are you concerned that Japan may move toward building up
its own military capability?

Shi: If the same thing happened under the LDP's Koizumi or Abe
administration, I would suspect a possible buildup of Japan's
defense capability, but there is no need to have such concerns under
the present DPJ administration.

Asia diplomacy welcomed

Shinada: Two months have passed since the inauguration of the
Hatoyama administration.

Shi: I think the Chinese government welcomes that the Hatoyama
administration is trying to improve relations with Asian countries
and promote multilateral cooperation in East Asia.

Shinada: What do you think of the concept of an East Asian community
proposed by Prime Minister Hatoyama?

Shi: Some Japanese politicians assert that the U.S., India,
Australia, and other countries should be included in the community.
However, the East Asian community should consist of East Asian
countries. The U.S. should not become a full member; it can become
an observer. It is also unnecessary for India to become an official
member. This is the same as the logic for Russia, Egypt, Algeria,
and other countries not becoming members of the European Union (EU).
If half of the UN members become members, I don't think this is in
line with the wishes of the people of the East Asian countries.

China has no intention to play a leadership role in East Asia. I
think a system of collective leadership (by the leaders of various
countries) will emerge in East Asia in the future. China will not be
able to catch up with Japanese and U.S. technology even in 50 or 100
years. Militarily, it will not be able to catch up with the U.S.
even in 50 or 100 years. The theory of the China threat is off the

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(8) Mounting pressure on Japan to sign Hague Convention: Some
Japanese listed as wanted on suspicion of abducting their own

Daily Tohoku (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
November 8, 2009

The Hague Convention is designed to deal with cross-border removal
of a child by one of the parents without the consent of the other.
Japan has not yet signed the Convention. Troubles involving Japanese
have increased proportionately with the increase in international
marriages. There have been some cases that have developed into
criminal cases. Pressure on Japan to sign the Convention is

According to the U.S., Britain, France and Canada, the number of
cases in which a Japanese parent returned home with a child without
the consent of their ex-spouse totaled about 160 in May this year.
Some have even been listed as wanted on suspicion of abduction. In
October, 10 countries, including the four countries mentioned above,
called on Justice Minister Keiko Chiba to have Japan sign the
Convention. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada said, "I would like to
give positive consideration to the matter."

In Japan, too, the American ex-husband of a Japanese woman in
September in Fukuoka tried to take away their two children whom the
woman had brought back from the U.S. He was arrested on suspicion of
abducting minors. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and
Welfare, approximately 37,000 international marriages were
registered last year. This number, which accounts for 5.1 percent of
all marriages, is nearly six times the number registered 30 years
ago. Divorces among such couples have also doubled over the past 10

Against this background, attention is being focused on the fact that
there also seem to be many cases in which foreign husbands or wives
of Japanese nationals have taken their children away from Japan.
Kentaro Masudo, 46, the representative of the International Family
Union Support Center, pointed out, "There must be cases that have
not been brought to light. It would be advantageous for Japan to
sign the Convention." However, a source familiar with this issue is
against Japan signing the Convention, noting that 80-90 percent of
Japanese women who return home with their children are victims of
domestic violence.

The Hague Convention is a treaty designed to deal with cases in
which a parent takes a child away from their ex-spouse without their
consent. It was adopted in 1980 and came into force in 1983. In the
event the parent whose child has been taken away by the other seeks
the return of the child, the other country is obliged to locate the
whereabouts the child and return him or her to his or her country of
residence. The purpose of the Convention is to return the child to
his or her former environment in order to determine the custody of
the child. The number of signatory countries - mainly European
countries and the U.S. -- stood at 81 in May. Among the Group of
Seven industrialized countries, Japan is the only country that has
yet to sign the Convention.


© Scoop Media

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