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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/17/09

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2657/01 3210821
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 170821Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7620
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9813
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7466
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1277
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4648
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7974
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1885
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8561
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8031

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 TOKYO 002657

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 11/17/09

INDEX:

(1) Poll: Hatoyama cabinet, political parties (Asahi)

(2) Obama's Tokyo speech: President should flesh out concrete image
of "Pacific nation" (Tokyo Shimbun)

(3) "Seiron" column: Global warming diplomacy reflects national
interest calculations (Sankei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Poll: Hatoyama cabinet, political parties

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged)
November 17, 2009

Questions & Answers
(Figures are percentages, rounded off. Bracketed figures denote
proportions to all respondents. Figures in parentheses denote the
results of the last survey, conducted Oct. 11-12.)

Q: Do you support the Hatoyama cabinet?

Yes 62 (65)
No 21 (16)

Q: Why? (One reason only. Left column for those marking "yes" on
previous question, and right for those marking "no.")

The prime minister is Mr. Hatoyama 5(3) 4(1)
It's a DPJ-led cabinet 26(16) 20(4)
Policy 46(29) 46(10)
Action 18(11) 26(5)

Q: Which political party do you support now?

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 46 (46)
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 14 (15)
New Komeito (NK) 3 (3)
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 2 (2)
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (1)
Your Party (YP or Minna no To) 0 (1)
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 0 (0)
Reform Club (RC or Kaikaku Kurabu) 0 (--)
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0)
Other political parties 0 (0)
None 28 (29)
No answer (N/A) + don't know (D/K) 6 (4)

Q: Do you think the DPJ should carry out policy measures listed in
its manifesto released for this summer's general election for the
House of Representatives, or do you think the DPJ may review them
flexibly?

Carry out policy measures 16
Review them flexibly 77

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's economic and employment
measures?

Yes 37

TOKYO 00002657 002 OF 006


No 38

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's defense policy?

Yes 36
No 36

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's pension and healthcare
policies?

Yes 48
No 28

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's efforts for reducing
government waste?

Yes 76
No 14

Q: Do you approve of the Hatoyama cabinet's efforts for changing
politics that have depended on bureaucrats?

Yes 69
No 18


Q: Concerning the Hatoyama cabinet, there is the criticism that the
prime minister has flip-flopped and his cabinet ministers have been
divided over important issues. Is this criticism on the mark?

Yes 61
No 27

Q: The Hatoyama cabinet has decided to review the privatization of
state-run postal services. Do you approve of postal privatization?

Yes 49
No 33

Q: The president of Japan Post has changed from Mr. Yoshifumi
Nishikawa in the private sector to Mr. Jiro Saito, who was
administrative finance vice minister. Do you think this is
contradictory to the Hatoyama cabinet's advocacy of doing away with
bureaucratic control and prohibiting the amakudari ("descent from
heaven") practice of retired bureaucrats moving into public
corporations or private businesses?

Yes 59
No 30

Q: We would like to ask you about the issue of relocating the U.S.
military's Futenma airfield in Okinawa Prefecture. Japan, before its
change of government, reached an intergovernmental agreement with
the U.S. to relocate Futenma airfield to Okinawa Prefecture's Nago
city. Do you think it would be better to honor this agreement, or do
you think it would be better to review the agreement and renegotiate
with the U.S.?

Honor the agreement 28
Review it and renegotiate with the U.S. 54

TOKYO 00002657 003 OF 006


Q: The Hatoyama cabinet has decided to extend 450 billion yen in
civilian aid to Afghanistan in lieu of discontinuing the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. Do
you approve of this?

Yes 38
No 41

Q: Prime Minister Hatoyama's fund-managing body has filed political
fund reports with contributions from fictitious individuals. Mr.
Hatoyama gave an explanation. Were you convinced by his
explanation?

Yes 19
No 68

Q: Do you approve of using taxpayers' money to bail out Japan
Airlines?

Yes 40
No 46

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Nov. 14-15 over the
telephone on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis.
Respondents were chosen from among the nation's voting population on
a three-stage random-sampling basis. Households with one or more
eligible voters totaled 3,598. Valid answers were obtained from
2,153 persons (60 PERCENT ).

(2) Obama's Tokyo speech: President should flesh out concrete image
of "Pacific nation"

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 5) (Editorial)
November 15, 2009

Although U.S. President Barack Obama, in his speech on Asia, did not
talk about such grand ideals as the elimination of nuclear weapons
and dialogue with the Islamic world, we felt his strong
determination to involve the United States in Asia. We would like
him to flesh out a concrete image of the United States as an
"Asia-Pacific nation."

"I am glad that I was able to come to Japan again," said President
Obama. He began his speech by recounting his experience of visiting
Kamakura as a boy. That was very much like Mr. Obama; it is typical
of him to link his personal experiences to global issues when making
a speech.

In his Prague speech, the President called for the elimination of
nuclear arms. He called for dialogue with the Islamic world in his
speech in Cairo. He linked both speeches to the journey in search of
his own identity.

However, the President's speech in Tokyo was slightly different from
his previous ones. He did not present a grand vision; rather he
offered realistic topics. He noted that United States has been
estranged from this region in recent years; in reality, all sorts of
multinational negotiation frameworks, including the ASEAN
(Association of Southeast Asian Nations) Plus Three (Japan, China,
and South Korea), were formed while the U.S. was comparatively
uninvolved in the region.


TOKYO 00002657 004 OF 006


Besides economic cooperation, the other main topics of his speech
were the role of China and nuclear proliferation, as well as North
Korea and Myanmar (Burma).

Regarding China, which has gained in international influence, the
President said: "I welcome China's growing role on the international
stage. I have no intention of containing China." On the other hand,
he expressed the view that the alliance with Japan, which shares
democratic values with the United States, is the basis of regional
stability, while stressing the importance of human rights, freedom
of speech, and free elections. The President showed maximum
consideration to Japan, relations with which are now strained over
the base issue.

On the elimination of nuclear weapons, the President underscored
that the United States as a nuclear power will promote negotiations
on nuclear disarmament, while saying that so long as nuclear weapons
exist, the United States will guarantee the security of its allies
through nuclear deterrence. We hope that the President will make
further efforts for nuclear disarmament with Russia.

President Obama took a stance of starting direct negotiations with
North Korea, which has stepped up the development of nuclear
weapons, and with Myanmar, where human rights are a serious issue,
by offering a fresh path to encourage them to participate in the
international community.

The President announced that the United States is a Pacific nation,
while saying, "Asia and the United States are joined by the Pacific
Ocean." As the first Pacific president, born in Hawaii and raised in
Indonesia, he promised to exercise leadership.

To what degree will President Obama be able to draw an overall
picture of a Pacific nation in the two years before he hosts the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit? That is his
immediate challenge.

(3) "Seiron" column: Global warming diplomacy reflects national
interest calculations

SANKEI (Page 7) (Full)
November 17, 2009

Shohei Yonemoto, professor at Center for Advanced Science and
Technology, University of Tokyo

Policy issues for a "new Japan"

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama made a speech at the UN climate change
summit shortly after he formed his cabinet and announced that Japan
will aim at reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent from
1990 levels by 2020. While this speech on the 25 percent reduction
won international acclaim, it has caused widespread confusion
domestically, and the reaction has been negative. There is even an
opinion that the new prime minister sacrificed national interests in
his attempt to gain international popularity. However, such an
opinion is based on misunderstandings about the significance of both
the change of administration and of the global warming issue.

Prime Minister Hatoyama further declared the birth of a "new Japan"
at the General Debate of the UN General Assembly and discussed five
foreign policy issues for the new administration: response to the

TOKYO 00002657 005 OF 006


world economic crisis, global warming, nuclear disarmament, aid for
poverty reduction, and building an East Asian community. He stated
at the beginning of his speech: "Since the Second World War, Japan
has not experienced a change of government through an election. The
relationship of tension between the politicians and the bureaucrats
disappeared. As a result, there is no denying that Japan's foreign
policy was somewhat deprived of vitality."

In other words, the new government has learned a lesson from the bad
example of past administrations, under which politicians merely told
bureaucrats to come up with ideas. It is now changing the
government's distance from the bureaucracy, regarding it simply as a
machine for policy implementation, which is on par with other
advanced countries.

EU taking the lead in the emissions reduction game

With regard to the issue of global warming, some consider the 25
percent reduction commitment as a repeat of the nightmare of the
Kyoto Protocol. Bureaucrats often say that Japan was tricked by
clever EU (European Union) diplomacy under the Kyoto Protocol.
However, it could have been easily predicted even then that there
would be a sharp reduction in CO2 emissions in the post-Cold War
period through the 1990s due to the collapse of the economies of the
old socialist countries and a shift to energy prices of the West,
and that this would have been fully expected especially by 1997. It
was quite natural that the EU, which was saddled with providing
enormous aid to Eastern Europe and which was aware of the situation,
would take advantage of this situation in global warming
negotiations. What should be criticized is the incompetence of the
Ministry of International Trade and Industry and the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs at that time, which were insensitive to the radical
changes taking place after the Cold War and failed to gather the
necessary information to protect Japan's national interests.

The global warming negotiations are at a standstill at present. The
Hatoyama speech declared in public what is effectively the toughest
possible reduction target for Japan, with the full awareness that
the 1990 base year is to Japan's disadvantage and that Japanese
society's energy efficiency is already very high. This is perceived
as an awesome message internationally. In the first place, the
nebulous issue of global warming only became an issue in
international politics due to the need to find a new threat to fill
the tension gap left by the rapid receding of the threat of nuclear
war after the end of the Cold War. The realm of international
politics is essentially an arena for the clash of national interests
backed by military power. For this very reason, this is also the
venue for the exchange of idealistic disarmament proposals.

The same is true for global warming negotiations. The proclamation
of an idealistic reduction target that is regarded as unattainable
domestically also serves to put pressure on other countries by
taking the moral higher ground. The EU has been the one leading this
game. However, if Japan, which is likely to work doggedly toward
achieving its reduction target, enters the scene as an active player
and appears likely to demand that other countries also achieve a
comparable level of energy efficiency, this may turn into diplomatic
pressure. Furthermore, since Japan proposes to provide aid to the
developing countries under the Hatoyama Initiative, but is not
disclosing what proportion of the 25 percent reduction will be
accounted for by such aid, other nations will always have to pay
attention to Japan.

TOKYO 00002657 006 OF 006

Litmus test for the new administration's Asian diplomacy

It is noteworthy that Japan, which has completed its first cycle of
investments in energy conservation and which has the technology, and
China, which has become the top CO2 emitter in the world and which
is grappling with the classic pollution issues, are located on
either side of the East China Sea. What kind of political framework
can the world's two most asymmetrical countries build by wrapping
calculations of naked national interest inside the doctrine of
fraternity (yuai)? The answer to this question is one litmus test of
new administration's Asian diplomacy.

The reason why there is strong resistance at home is that the target
was set by completely ignoring the conventional policymaking method
of adding up figures on feasible emission reduction provided by the
bureaucrats. However, (it must be remembered that) Japan became the
most energy efficient country in the world as a result of the oil
shock rather than through a rational decision.

This is because Japan has a keen sense of "national crisis" since
the achievement of its rapid economic growth was founded on cheap
oil from the Middle East. Other advanced countries cut back on all
investments as a result of the worldwide recession, so they faced
the deterioration of the environment as they entered the 1980s. On
the other hand, Japan became the factory of the world, accumulating
foreign currency reserves in the process until the Plaza Agreement
of 1985.

Unfortunately, human beings have the habit of mobilizing all their
technologies when they sense a major threat. A typical example of
this is the nuclear arms race during the Cold War era. The role of
politics at present is to propose a set of values as well as
generate a sense of urgency. A debate on reducing CO2 emissions has
been rekindled in Japan, and that, precisely, is the purpose of
announcing the 25 percent reduction target. It appears that the new
administration is benefitting from the services of unexpectedly
capable advisers.

ROOS

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