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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/13/09

DE RUEHKO #2629/01 3170831
P 130831Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) Japanese, U.S. leaders to hold meeting tonight (Sankei)

(2) U.S. presidential visit serves as indicator to gauge degree of
importance U.S. attaches to Japan (Mainichi)

(3) What could happen after Obama's visit to Japan (Sankei)

(4) Discord in Japan-U.S. relationship (Part 1): Different views on
"equal alliance"; inadequate channels of communication (Yomiuri)

(5) Discord in Japan-U.S. relationship (Part 2): Increasing concerns
among neighboring countries; perception gap on cost of security

(6) Editorial: U.S. President Obama's visit to Japan - Situation of
uncertainty must be corrected (Sankei)

(7) Editorial: Afghan assistance; Japan should make bold efforts to
do whatever it can (Asahi)

(8) LDP coordinating Futenma relocation outside Okinawa (Okinawa

(9) Nago mayor to welcome alternative plan for Futenma relocation
(Okinawa Times)


(1) Japanese, U.S. leaders to hold meeting tonight

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
Evening, November 13, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in Japan this afternoon -
the first leg of his first tour of Asia since taking office. He will
meet with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at the Prime Minister's
Official Resident tonight. The two leaders will later hold a joint
press conference. They are expected to reaffirm the need for Japan
and the U.S. to strengthen cooperation on assistance for
Afghanistan, nuclear arms reduction, global warming and other global

High on the agenda in the summit meeting will be: (1) Japan-U.S.
relations; (2) Japan-U.S. cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region;
and (3) Japan-U.S. cooperation on global issues. They are also
expected to issue joint statements on a nuclear-free world, the
global environment, and on economic exchanges. Regarding global
warming countermeasures, Japan and the U.S. will include in the
statement their target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80
PERCENT by 2050 and their cooperation in developing energy
technologies related to environmental protection. The two countries
will not bring up the thorny issue of relocating the U.S. Military
Corps' Futenma Air Station in the summit meeting, but Defense
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa stated in a press conference after a
cabinet meeting this morning: "I expect the two leaders will confirm
the need to bring about an early settlement."

(2) U.S. presidential visit serves as indicator to gauge degree of
importance U.S. attaches to Japan

TOKYO 00002629 002 OF 013

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 13, 2009

Question: President Barak Obama will visit Japan. What does a U.S.
presidential visit to Japan mean?

Reporter: I think the significance of a visit to Japan by an
incumbent U.S. president has gradually changed with the times. In
November 1974, almost 30 years after World War II, President Gerald
Ford made the first U.S. presidential visit to Japan. This
presidential visit had a significant symbolic meaning.

This is because a visit to Japan by President Dwight Eisenhower was
planned in 1960, but the plan was cancelled immediately before the
presidential visit because demonstrations to protest the revision of
the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty were intensifying in Japan. As a
result, there was a long period of "one-way" visits in which
Japanese prime ministers went to Washington. Japanese people
sarcastically called the series of visits by prime ministers
"sankinkoutai," a practice which obligated lords to live in Edo and
each of their own feudal domains for a year during the Edo period.
It was believed that President Ford's Japan visit was the first step
to building a relationship of equality between Japan and the United

Question: How about after 1974?

Answer: Including the visit this time around by President Obama, the
number of U.S. presidential Japan visits totals 17. On average, a
U.S. presidential visit has taken place once every two years,
signifying that the "one-way" relationship is definitely over.

In the 1990s, comparisons between U.S. presidential visits to Japan
and to China, including the lengths of the president's stay in the
two countries, started to become a topic of our conversation. For
example, when President Clinton visited China in June 1998, he
stayed there for nine days. However, he did not even stop in Tokyo
on his way back to the United States. He visited Japan in November
of that year, but only stayed in Tokyo for two days. The U.S.'s
stance of placing priority on China was called "Japan-passing." Some
people view a U.S. presidential visit as an indicator to gauge which
countries the United States places the most emphasis.

Question: What did former U.S. presidents do during their Japan

Answer: In a meeting between a prime minister and a president,
discussion on security and economic issues and challenges for
bilateral cooperation is essential. In addition to a courtesy call
on the Emperor and speeches at the Diet and universities, many
former presidents had opportunities to enjoy Japanese traditional
culture and communicate with the Japanese people.

When President Clinton visited Japan for the first time to attend
the G-7 Summit in 1993, he watched an amateur baseball game at
Jingugaien where he stopped briefly while taking a walk. The players
were really surprised. President George Bush, who visited Japan in
February 2003, went to see yabusame (a type of Japanese archery). He
also went to a Japanese pub with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
One U.S. president came to Japan to attend the Emperor Showa's
funeral while another one visited Tokyo to attend Prime Minister
Keizo Obuchi's funeral.

TOKYO 00002629 003 OF 013

(3) What could happen after Obama's visit to Japan

SANKEI (Page 7) (Abridged slightly)
November 12, 2009

Kunihiko Miyake, visiting professor at Ritsumeikan University and
research director of the Canon Institute for Global Studies

President Barack Obama will finally arrive in Japan on Nov. 13 for
the first time since taking office. A "game of chicken" between
Japan and the United States over Futenma Air Station is likely to be
averted, at least for the time being. Everyone is hoping that
nothing will go wrong during the visit, and everyone concerned will
be holding their breath for the next two days. The "importance of
the bilateral alliance" and the "success of the presidential visit"
will be emphasized on the surface. But in my view the upcoming
presidential visit reveals a larger gap between rhetoric and reality
than I've seen for a long time. (The upcoming Japan-U.S. summit
meeting) is likely to focus on such issues as global warming and
support for Afghanistan, putting aside the realignment of U.S.
forces in Japan for the time being. It seems as if preventing the
President's Japan visit from ending in failure has become a goal in
and of itself.

Will the issue be settled after Obama's Japan visit ends safely?
This is unlikely. After the APEC summit, President Obama will
officially visit China and South Korea starting on Nov. 15. The
While House will probably conduct a careful review of the
President's East Asia tour after he returns home.

The upcoming tour will be a rare opportunity for President Obama,
who has been preoccupied with domestic affairs and the Afghan issue,
to consider how the United States should deal with Asia. China and
South Korea are certain to give President Obama hospitable
receptions in a bid to give the impression that they are important

President Hu Jintao, who already began his visit to Malaysia and
Singapore on Nov. 10, has started working on Southeast Asian
countries. China has been making thorough preparations for the
upcoming U.S.-China summit in Beijing.

What about Japan? The recent summit talks with Mekong countries went
over very well. But I hear that during a visit to Japan by U.S.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, China and North Korea were hardly
discussed, with the Okinawa issue taking the center stage. If these
issues of strategic importance have not been discussed fully between
the cabinet ministers of Japan and the United States prior to the
presidential visit, it will cause serious problems.

The biggest reason is that the Hatoyama cabinet is still in an
election mode rather than in a governing mode. The desire to win
next year's House of Councillors election to stabilize the
administration is understandable. But if foreign affairs are
neglected as a result of giving high priority to domestic affairs,
national interests will be undermined in the end.

Although the focus of the Futenma issue has already shifted to
whether it can be settled by the end of the year, the prospects are
nil. If (the cabinet) cannot decide on a matter now, can it make a
decision in several months' time? If a decision is postponed until

TOKYO 00002629 004 OF 013

next year, (the cabinet) might be tempted to delay its decision once
again on the grounds of internal circumstances at the time. If Japan
repeats such a thing even after next year's Upper House election,
"distrust in Japan" might result in a "review of Japan's role." If
Japan becomes undependable as an ally, the United States will have
to directly make deals with China and other countries. "Japan
passing" -- a trauma that has been around since (then National
Security Advisor) Henry Kissinger's visit to China (in 1971) --
might become a reality.

Even if Obama's Japan visit turns out to be a "resounding success,"
Japan-U.S. security relations that are already damaged will not be
restored easily. I do not mean to cry wolf, but the Hatoyama
administration should be prepared to start from scratch on its
policy toward the United States after Obama's visit.

I do not know who is putting ideas into the head of Prime Minister
Hatoyama, but no matter how you look at it, the Democratic Party of
Japan's foreign policy is void of a strategic viewpoint. Japan's
foreign policy of avoiding making decisions by attaching too much
importance to domestic affairs will sooner or later hit a dead end.
Advocating an "equal Japan-U.S. relationship," the Hatoyama
administration's desire to avoid making a decision on the Futenma
relocation issue in the form of yielding to U.S. pressure is
understandable to some extent. Nevertheless, the longer a decision
is delayed, the more momentum the image of giving in to foreign
pressure will gain. I hope to see Prime Minister Hatoyama make an
independent decision soon after Obama's visit, demonstrating
political courage.

(4) Discord in Japan-U.S. relationship (Part 1): Different views on
"equal alliance"; inadequate channels of communication

YOMIURI (Pages 1, 4) (Full)
November 12, 2009

Yoshikazu Shirakawa, Shinichi Murao, Chikara Shima, and Satoshi
Ogawa (Washington)

U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first visit to Japan
tomorrow, Nov. 13. Tokyo will be the first place the President
visits on his 8-day tour of Asia, but the Japan-U.S. alliance is in
flux at present. This is because the two countries do not have a
common understanding of the "equal Japan-U.S. relationship"
advocated by the Hatoyama administration.

Right now, the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station in
Okinawa has become what amounts to the top pending issue between
Japan and the United States. The two governments decided to create a
new cabinet-level working group on Nov. 10. This is the first
concrete step agreed upon by the Hatoyama and Obama administrations
to resolve the problem.

This proposal came from U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt
Campbell. It upholds the U.S. position that "the current plan is the
only option" while creating a venue for dialogue, and was a result
of the U.S. side's compromise in a attempt to come to a common
understanding with the Hatoyama administration on the notion of
"equality" that it advocates.

The two governments agreed in 2006 to move the Futenma base from its
current location in Ginowan City, Okinawa, to Nago City in northern

TOKYO 00002629 005 OF 013

Okinawa and to complete the relocation by 2014. However, the
position of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada is that this agreement has practically been "annulled"
with the change of administration. The U.S. side, which, according
to a State Department source, had thought "it is impossible for an
agreement between allies to be overturned; Japan is probably looking
for a middle ground," finally realized the seriousness of the
situation in mid-October, less than one month before the President's

The Japanese side had also misunderstood the U.S. side's basic
thinking. Hatoyama had reckoned that Afghan aid measures to replace
the refueling mission by the Maritime Self-Defense Force in the
Indian Ocean, which will be withdrawn in January, "are a much more
important issue for the President (than Futenma relocation)." It was
thought that presenting Afghan aid measures would allow postponing a
solution to the Futenma issue.

However, it goes without saying that the U.S. believes, according to
a senior Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, that "the Japan-U.S.
alliance is founded on the stable use of U.S. military bases in
Japan." That is the main reason why the alliance continued for 50
years after the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.
International contribution by the Self-Defense Forces started after
the end of the Cold War. There are also various constraints on this
contribution, such as restrictions on the use of weapons, which
makes it possible for other countries to fill in for Japan where
necessary. However, it is geopolitically difficult to find a
replacement for U.S. military bases in Japan.

A former senior U.S. Defense Department official said: "We do not
think a downgrading of Japan's capability and share of the cost
constitutes 'equality'." He added: "The image of an equal alliance
should be considered in terms of the balance between the
responsibilities and the benefits as an ally."

Hatoyama explained at the House of Representatives Budget Committee
on Nov. 2 that "equality" means asserting Japan's position. He said:
"I have long talked about (Japan and the U.S.) becoming equal
partners. It is a relationship in which Japan will convey its
opinion firmly to the U.S, even if its thinking is different from
the U.S.'s, in the process of reaching a conclusion."

How can the perception gap be narrowed from now on? Will the
President's first visit to Japan be an occasion for both sides to
seek ways to close the gap?

During a one-hour meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
Singapore on Nov. 11, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada suddenly
started to talk about history.

"During the Second World War, although 12,000 U.S. soldiers were
killed in Okinawa, some 100,000 civilians also died. That is the
reason why the people of Okinawa have different thoughts about the
Japanese government."

This was meant to explain the background to Hatoyama's statement on
"giving full consideration to the Okinawan people's feelings" on the
question of relocating the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station within
the prefecture to Nago City, but there was no reaction from
Secretary Clinton. A government source explained: "How can the U.S.
side respond? They think that after more than 10 years the

TOKYO 00002629 006 OF 013

relocation plan has won wide-spread acceptance among local people,
and Assistant Secretary Kurt Campbell, who works for Mrs. Clinton,
was at the center (of the relocation plan)."

Campbell has been deeply involved with the Futenma issue as deputy
assistant secretary of defense since the Hashimoto and Clinton
administrations agreed on the return of the Futenma base in 1996. In
a recent book, Campbell reveals that at the time of the turnover to
the Republican Bush administration in 2001, he "was very worried if
this extremely complicated Futenma issue could be smoothly handed
over to the next administration."

A senior Okinawa Prefectural Government official criticizes Hatoyama
as "irresponsible." He says: "No one likes military bases. It is
cruel to make the Nago citizens decide. They have accepted (the
relocation plan) reluctantly despite such sentiments." This was in
reaction to Hatoyama's statement that he will decide on the
relocation issue after looking at the outcome of the Nago mayoral
election in January. A factor behind Okinawa's discontent is that
there are no effective channels of communication between the
Hatoyama administration and Okinawa.

Likewise, the channels of communication between Japan and the U.S.
are inadequate. It was only on Nov. 10 that a formal decision was
made on creating a venue for finding a solution on the Futenma

When Campbell met Okada at MOFA on Nov. 5, the Japanese participants
could not believe their ears when Campbell suggested "creating a
high-level venue for exchange of views by a few participants."
Campbell had proposed creating a venue of dialogue on the Futenma
issue, on which the U.S. side had insisted strongly that the current
plan is the only option.

Okada responded immediately with: "Let's do it at the cabinet

For the Hatoyama administration, which upholds political leadership,
the proposal for direct consultations at a "high level," and not by
bureaucrats, was a timely offer. It was decided at the meeting that
a panel with Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, Clinton, and
Defense Secretary Robert Gates as official members will be announced
before the President's visit.

During Gates's visit to Japan on Oct. 20, the U.S. side had just
pressed Japan to implement the existing relocation plan, Gates
turning red in the face as he made this demand. Campbell's proposal
meant that the U.S. side had shifted from its strategy of applying
pressure with just two weeks before the Obama visit.

The U.S. side, which had been groping in the dark, also made some
gains with this proposal for a new forum.

The two governments also agreed to "resolve the issues relating to
this problem speedily." A senior MOFA official observes that, "At
least the Prime Minister's policy to take time to consider this
problem has been retracted. This is significant."

Solid channels of communication have not been built between the
Hatoyama administration, which works under the slogans of "political
leadership" and "equal Japan-U.S. relationship," and the Obama
administration. For now, bureaucrats on both sides act as

TOKYO 00002629 007 OF 013

intermediaries. Channels of communication with Okinawa have also yet
to be established.

(Part one of two-part series)

(5) Discord in Japan-U.S. relationship (Part 2): Increasing concerns
among neighboring countries; perception gap on cost of security

YOMIURI (Pages 1, 4) (Full)
November 13, 2009

Yoshikazu Shirakawa, Shinichi Murao, Chikara Shima, and Satoshi
Ogawa (Washington)

The morning of Nov. 9 was exceptionally warm for this time of the
year. The Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) escort ship "Ikazuchi"
set sail from Yokosuka base for refueling operations in the Indian
Ocean. Since the new special anti-terrorism measures law, the legal
authorization for the refueling mission, is expiring in January,
this will, in effect, be the last ship to participate in the
mission. Reflecting the Hatoyama's negative stance on the refueling
mission, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Defense Minister Toshimi
Kitazawa were not among those to see off the MSDF vessel.

Refueling operations for ships of the United States and other
countries started as a measure to support the war against terrorism
after the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the U.S. in 2001. Except for a
short interruption due to the opposition of the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ), the mission has continued for approximately eight
years. This mission has been rated highly internationally as Japan's
"manpower contribution," and the UN Security Council for three
consecutive years has adopted in October a resolution expressing

However, the DPJ, since its days in the opposition, has opposed this
mission, claiming that it does not contribute to aid for
Afghanistan. Hatoyama announced officially at the House of
Councillors Budget Committee on Nov. 10 that the refueling mission
will not be extended.

The Obama administration says it "understands Japan's decision."
However, at the U.S. Congress, even House of Representatives Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, a liberal opposed to sending additional troops to
Afghanistan, expressed displeasure at a news conference: "It is
regrettable because U.S. military involvement continues." This
reflected the mixed feelings about Japan.

The fact that Japan and the U.S. have suddenly begun to operate on
different wavelengths less than two months after the inauguration of
the new administration in Japan has also created a stir in other

During his meeting with a mid-ranking official of the DPJ in late
October, Australian Ambassador to Japan Murray McLean asked: "Is
everything okay? Tell me if there is anything I can do to help." He
expounded on the indispensability of a good Japan-U.S. relationship
for stability in Asia and the Pacific and conveyed the concerns of
Australia as a U.S. ally like Japan about the present situation.

South Korea, which is always sensitive about the activities of the
Self-Defense Forces (SDF), has also shown interest. The Oct. 24
issue of Chosun Ilbo carried a report praising the Japan-U.S.

TOKYO 00002629 008 OF 013

alliance: "The U.S. and the Liberal Democratic Party administration
agreed on the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment plans in
consideration of deterrence against China's expanding military power
and North Korea's missiles." It also notes that the U.S. military
bases in Okinawa "play the role of protecting South Korea,"
conveying concerns about the impact on security on the Korean

Even China, which is suspicious of the Japan-U.S. alliance, pays
great attention to the Hatoyama administration, which seeks to build
an "equal Japan-U.S. relationship." What is noteworthy in the tone
of Chinese media is that rather than hoping for "estrangement
between Japan and the U.S.," they are voicing a new concern:
"According to the international affairs newspaper Huanqiu Shibao,
"If the distance between Japan and the U.S. grows, this may lead to
a major shift toward Japan's development and reinforcement of its
own military capability. This is a situation that China would not
like to see."

If the Japan-U.S. alliance goes wobbly, this will have an immense
impact on East Asia. All eyes, both in Japan and overseas, are on
the meeting between Prime Minister Hatoyama and President Obama on
Nov. 13.

At the Defense Ministry's policy panel meeting held at the Diet on
the morning of Nov. 12 and attended by some 120 DPJ and other ruling
party Diet members and secretaries, many questioned the government's
process of screening FY2010 budget requests to identify wasteful

They objected to including the SDF's spending for equipment and
labor costs under Japan's share of the USFJ expenditures (the
so-called omoiyari yosan, or sympathy budget) in the items to be
screened, voicing the following opinions:

"If spending for defense capability buildup is cut only on the basis
of efficiency, it will be impossible to maintain the baseline
capability" and "Labor costs of base employees working for the USFJ
are not suitable for screening." Parliamentary Secretary for Defense
Akihisa Nagashima agreed: "The Defense Ministry's budget allocations
include many items that cannot be discussed within one hour. The top
political officials of the ministry recognize this."

Many ruling party officials have also questioned the Hatoyama
administration's "sense of the cost of security." This is also a
factor contributing to the discord between Japan and the U.S.

The best example is the relocation of the U.S. Forces' Futenma Air
Station. Okada is strongly suspicious of the plan to relocate the
Futenma base to the coastal area of Camp Schwab.

Okada has reportedly told his aides that one major reason for his
opposition to the current plan is that "the construction cost of the
replacement facility estimated at approximately 400 billion is too
much for a public work project. If Futenma is merged with the Kadena
Air Base, which the USFJ already uses, the cost can be cut
considerably." His perception is that the relocation cost is too
enormous as a public works project at a time when the whole
government is making vigorous efforts to cut fiscal spending. A
government official laments the lack of recognition that "the
Futenma issue is different from road construction."

TOKYO 00002629 009 OF 013

The confusion over the Futenma issue may come to affect Japan-U.S.
defense cooperation in the future.

Commanders of the USFJ and the SDF talk face to face or hold video
conferences using state-of-the-art communications systems at the
Bilateral Joint Operations Coordination Center (known as the BJOCC)
at the USFJ's Yokota base in Tokyo to maintain close communication.
This was another major item included in the bilateral agreement of
May 2006 setting the roadmap for Futenma relocation.

The BJOCC has not only been utilized during joint military
exercises; it facilitated effective exchange of information between
the two sides during North Korea's nuclear test and missile launches
this spring. In other words, it is the "latest symbol of Japan-U.S.
defense cooperation," according to a senior Defense Ministry

On Nov. 9, U.S. Navy Commander Ted Getschman, one of the commanding
officers at the BJOCC, stressed to Yomiuri Shimbun the importance of
the BJOCC: "Thanks to the BJOCC, we are now able to understand each
other's requests and responses more quickly and accurately. We have
shown the world that we are a strong alliance and team."

Japan and the U.S. are slated to build further joint operational
functions for missile defense and other projects based on the road
map. However, this may be affected if there is a setback in Futenma

Prime Minister Hatoyama and President Obama are expected to agree on
Nov. 13 to reengineer the future of the bilateral alliance and begin
discussions to deepen this alliance before the 50th anniversary of
the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty next year.

The discussions will focus on space development, cyber security,
climate change, and other new security issues facing the countries
of the world in the 21st Century. However, a senior Pentagon
official says: "We should first sort out the base issues, which bear
on the foundation of the alliance." If the East Asian situation
becomes unstable, Japan will not be able to shoulder the full cost.
The summit meeting on Nov. 13 will be significant not only to Japan
and the United States, but also to the Asia-Pacific region.

(Part 2 of two-part series)

(6) Editorial: U.S. President Obama's visit to Japan - Situation of
uncertainty must be corrected

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 13, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama will arrive in Japan and hold a meeting
with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama today.

The initial schedule was changed on short notice, and the President
will stay in Japan only for one night. But we should welcome Obama's
decision to visit Japan on the first leg of his first tour of Asia
as president. This decision probably reflects his stance of placing
emphasis on the Japan-U.S. alliance by defining it as "a cornerstone
of his policy toward the Asia-Pacific region."

Nonetheless, his first visit to Japan is unlikely to produce results
for the bilateral alliance. It is a worrying situation. Regarding

TOKYO 00002629 010 OF 013

the key pending issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station in Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture, a conclusion will
be put off due to the prime minister's "indecisiveness." The
government has decided to end the ongoing Maritime Self-Defense
Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean. In addition, the
government's new package of assistance measures for Afghanistan and
Pakistan in the public welfare area is also likely to exclude
manpower contributions in effect.

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada held a meeting with Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton in Singapore on Nov. 11. They agreed to make
efforts to resolve the Futenma issue as quickly as possible, but
Clinton urged Okada for Japan's swift decision, saying: "It would be
undesirable for the current situation of uncertainty to continue."

Clinton made this severe remark bearing in mind the fact that the
Hatoyama administration's straying off course over the Futenma issue
has made even U.S. military and Congress members, in addition to
Obama administration officials, distrustful of Japan-U.S. relations
as a whole.

Both sides have decided to refrain from delving too deeply into the
Futenma issue during the summit meeting this evening, based on
diplomatic considerations, and to underscore mutual agreement on
such themes as aid for Afghanistan, global warming, and nuclear
nonproliferation. But Japan has yet to decide on a deadline and
direction for resolving the issue through a new ministerial-level
Japan-U.S. panel.

The current plan agreed on between Japan and the U.S. three years
ago is the most realistic solution. Under this plan, the base burden
on the people in Okinawa will be reduced, and the deterrence of the
alliance will be retained. China and North Korea must be paying
close attention to this relocation plan. In order also to avoid the
alliance from losing its substance, Hatoyama should make a decision
as quickly as possible.

President Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech on U.S. policy
toward Asia. Although the President attaches great importance to the
speech in the tour of Asia, Hatoyama reportedly cannot attend this
event for scheduling reasons. The might reflecti the actual state of
Japan-U.S. relations, and it is extremely regrettable.

Hatoyama has said that he will propose that the two countries
comprehensively review their alliance, ahead of the 50th anniversary
of the revision of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty next year.
However, even if the two countries eagerly discuss an abstract
vision for the future, it will be as unstable as a house of cards if
they fail to solidify the foundation of the alliance. Prime Minister
Hatoyama should change his perception about how the bilateral
alliance should be management because it will affect the foundation
of Japan-U.S. relations.

(7) Editorial: Afghan assistance; Japan should make bold efforts to
do whatever it can

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 13, 2009

The Hatoyama administration has released its new Afghanistan
assistance measures. It has decided to disburse up to 5 billion
dollars or approximately 450 billion yen over the next five years to

TOKYO 00002629 011 OF 013

provide vocational training to former soldiers of the
anti-government Taliban militants and assistance to police

The security situation in Afghanistan is continuing to deteriorate.
The U.S. is mulling dispatching more soldiers. However, it will be
difficult to turn the situation around with military force alone. As
such, the Obama administration and various European countries are
pinning high hopes on Japan's assistance in the livelihood-related
sector bringing about the rebuilding of the nation.

Under the present circumstances, it will be difficult for Japan
carry out a full-fledged dispatch of personnel. The government's
decision to allocate substantial funds to its civilian assistance
measures makes sense.

During the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-New Komeito
administration, the government continued refueling the vessels of
multinational forces by dispatching Maritime Self-Defense Force
troops to the Indian Ocean. The Hatoyama administration intends to
terminate the mission in January next year. This is in accordance
with (the Democratic Party of Japan's) campaign pledge. Given the
fact that the demand for refueling is declining recently, this
measure is acceptable.

Some criticize this decision by the government, calling it
check-book diplomacy. Their logic is that since the refueling
mission is a contribution to the war on terror and has been highly
praised by the U.S., it makes no sense to withdraw the MSDF troops
from the Indian Ocean and think that Japan has contributed to the
international community with financial aid alone. Is their thinking
founded on the traumatic experiences such as the Gulf War 18 years
ago for which Japan extended a massive amount of money, and yet was
not appreciated?

However, this criticism is irrelevant. Japan should think about what
it can do and what it should do for Afghanistan on its own instead
of bending to foreign pressure. What Japan can do and should do is
probably to support the civilian sector as much as possible.

Japan has a track record of supporting the livelihood-related sector
in Afghanistan. It provided water and instructions on growing rice
in major cities before the USSR invaded the nation. This experience
has been passed on to projects carried out by the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Japan's assistance for Afghanistan based on a long-term perspective
will result in eradicating the breeding ground for terrorists. It
also signifies indirect support for the U.S., which is dispatching
troops to that nation. This is probably the background behind the
U.S. press secretary immediately issuing a statement welcoming
Japan's decision.

The financial aid of 5 billion dollars has not been decided on the
basis of specific projects to be undertaken. It cannot be denied
that the total amount was decided upon hastily in order to obtain
understanding from the U.S. for Japan's termination of its refueling
operation with President Obama's visit to Japan close at hand.

The government is responsible for mapping out a careful aid program
and keeping an eye on its implementation so that Japan's money will
not disappear in the Karzai administration, in which corruption is

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rampant. Since Japan plans to spend so much of the taxpayers' money,
we expect the government to provide a full account to the Japanese
taxpayers and communicate Japan's contribution measures to the
international community.

(8) LDP coordinating Futenma relocation outside Okinawa

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Abridged)
November 13, 2009

The Liberal Democratic Party's Okinawa prefectural chapter, now
looking into the possibility of reviewing the planned relocation of
the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station to the Henoko area of
Nago City, has begun moving in earnest to present a resolution to
the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly calling for the Hatoyama
administration and the U.S. government to relocate Futenma airfield
outside Okinawa Prefecture. After the Japan-U.S. summit set for
later today, the LDP chapter will discuss this policy changeover to
moving the Futenma base out of the prefecture. The LDP, as soon as
it decides on its course of action, will call on other parties and
floor groups in the prefectural assembly about Futenma relocation
outside the prefecture. The resolution will be moved to the assembly
during its upcoming November regular session opening on Nov. 26 and
is highly likely to be adopted at the outset of the session on the
opening day. This is the first time for the ruling and opposition
parties to adopt a resolution seeking to move the airfield out of
the prefecture. This could greatly sway Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu
Nakaima, who has accepted the Henoko relocation plan while taking
the position that Futenma airfield's relocation outside the
prefecture would be the best choice but its relocation within the
prefecture would be unavoidable.

The policy switchover was revealed by several LDP Okinawa
prefectural chapter executives.

Some in the LDP's Okinawa chapter insist that if the government does
not manifest its course of action, the LDP should review the current
plan to relocate Futenma airfield to Nago City's Henoko area and
should seek to move it out of Okinawa Prefecture. An executive of
the LDP chapter says the LDP will determine its own course of action
after the Japan-U.S. summit and will move in earnest to present a
resolution seeking to relocate Futenma airfield outside the

The New Komeito, also a ruling party in the Okinawa Prefectural
Assembly, is poised to join in to the LDP's move. The ruling and
opposition parties are expected to discuss the matter in a meeting
of the prefectural assembly's steering committee on Nov. 20 or on
other occasions.

Masatoshi Onaga, secretary general of the LDP's Okinawa Prefectural
Federation, expressed concern about the Futenma issue when he met
with LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Shigeru Ishiba at LDP
headquarters on Nov. 11. "If the government's policy is not
indicated at the summit meeting, the problem will be protracted and
as a result, the airfield could become a permanent fixture of
Futenma," Onaga said. "In order to remove the danger of Futenma
airfield, we will review the Henoko relocation plan and discuss the
option of relocating Futenma airfield outside Okinawa Prefecture,"
he added.

Ishiba will visit Okinawa Prefecture on Nov. 17 to consult with the

TOKYO 00002629 013 OF 013

LDP's local chapter.

(9) Nago mayor to welcome alternative plan for Futenma relocation

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 1) (Full)
November 13, 2009

The mayor of Nago city in Okinawa Prefecture, the planned relocation
site of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, held a press
conference yesterday at his city's municipal government office,
during which he urged the central government to clarify its policy
as soon as possible on the pending issue of relocating Futenma
airfield. "I will welcome an alternative plan that would remove the
danger of Futemma field, if it is proposed quickly," Nago Mayor
Yoshikazu Shimabukuro said. Meanwhile, Shimabukuro also indicated
that he would uphold his stance of accepting the relocation of
Futenma airfield to Nago, if the current plan, which is to lay down
a V-shaped pair of airstrips in a coastal area of Camp Schwab, is
changed to relocation off the coast of Henoko. "I'm not saying I
have changed my stance," he said.

"The nation should equally accept the burden of hosting bases,"
Shimabukuro said. "But," he added, "the city made a wrenching
decision to accept the new facility at the governor's request while
there is no possibility of dispersed relocation in the country."
With this explanation, Shimabukuro reiterated that Nago did not try
to attract the new base. He also said the best choice would be to
move the Futenma base out of Okinawa Prefecture.

Shimabukuro also explained why he released his comment at this
point, saying: "U.S. President Obama will visit Japan and the
Japan-U.S. summit will be held, so I wanted to show Nago city's
basic way of thinking to the two leaders and I hope the government
will indicate its policy soon. That's why." In addition, the mayor
criticized the Hatoyama administration, saying, "It's regrettable
that the government has yet to clarify its policy on the Futemma
relocation, just sounding as if to deride local residents who have
made a wrenching decision."


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