Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/18/09
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2662/01 3220135
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180135Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7630
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//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9819
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7472
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1283
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4654
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 7980
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1891
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8567
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8037
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 002662
DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA
SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11/18/09
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
4) Japan and U.S. agree to seek early resolution to Futenma issue
5) Japan-U.S. working group; few options, goal of a decision within
the year (Nikkei)
6) U.S. warns of a slash in funding for relocating Marines to Guam
7) Budget Screening Team eyes GX rocket engine (Yomiuri)
8) Parties coalesce around single mayoral candidate opposed to
relocation of airfield to Nago (Sankei)
9) U.S. presses for airfield relocation according to existing plan
10) Prime Minister says Futenma working group's decision will carry
11) Foreign Minister discloses "two plus two" format for
consultations on deepening Japan-U.S. alliance (Asahi)
12) Chinese Foreign Minister to visit Japan tomorrow (Mainichi)
13) Infrastructure Minister Maehara instructs Prime Minister in
foreign policy (Asahi)
1) TOP HEADLINES
Government project screening produces savings of 1 trillion yen
First half of government project screening produces 1.4 trillion yen
in savings; 33 projects scrapped
Japan, U.S. agree on "early solution" for Futenma relocation at
first meeting of working group
U.S., China to build "strategic trust," collaborate for world
First round of government project screening ends after five days;
"results" given top priority
First half of government project screening ends, reducing budget
requests by 470 billion yen, 900 billion yen in hidden funds to be
returned to treasury
Problems with government project screening: Advocates of
deregulation included in team members; labor and medical services
TOKYO 00002662 002 OF 009
will be undermined
(1) U.S.-China summit: Deepening and limitations of the age of the
(2) Regional autonomy: Dispel ambiguity promptly
(1) U.S. policy on China: Responsibility to ask China to assume
(2) Government project screening: Sense of familiarity toward budget
(1) Futenma working group: Reach a solution by year's end to dispel
distrust in Japan
(2) Obama's first visit to China: Can a new era be built by giving
priority to pragmatic interests?
(1) Carelessness of remarks resulting in loss of trust in Prime
(2) U.S., China should also fulfill responsibility on environment
(1) Doing away with party leaders' debate runs counter to Diet
(2) Economic stimulus measures: Avoid a double-dip recession by all
(1) U.S.-China summit: Make G-2 cooperation an opportunity for
(2) Regional autonomy: Implement bold transfer of tax revenues
(1) Foreign minister's visit to Okinawa: Give up on building new
base and relocation within Okinawa
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, November 17
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 18, 2009
07:52 Attended a ministerial committee meeting on budget
compilation, followed by a cabinet meeting in the Diet building.
09:02 Arrived at the Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei).
10:29 Attended the unveiling ceremony for the Regional Autonomy
Strategic Council held at Nihon Jitensha Kaikan in Akasaka. Internal
Affairs and Communications Minister Haraguchi and others were also
10:43 Arrived at the Kantei.
13:03 Attended a Lower House plenary session.
15:55 Met DPJ Upper House Secretary General Takashima,
Administration Committee Chair Okumura, Advisor Nakayama, and
16:13 Arrived at the Kantei.
18:07 Attended a Tokyo Shiraoi-kai meeting held at Zenkoku Choson
TOKYO 00002662 003 OF 009
Kaikan in Nagatacho.
18:36 Met Foreign Minister Okada at the Kantei.
19:33 Returned to his official residential quarters.
20:12 Dined with his wife, Miyuki, at a Japanese restaurant in TS
Kyowa Rokubankan in Akasaka.
21:44 Arrived at his official residential quarters.
4) Japan, U.S. agree on "early solution" for Futenma relocation at
first working group meeting
YOMIURI (Top play) (Full)
November 18, 2009
The first meeting of the cabinet-level working group of ministers in
charge of foreign affairs and defense on the relocation of the U.S.
forces' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa was held at the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs on Nov. 17. The two sides agreed to reexamine the
process that led to the current plan to relocate the Futenma base to
Camp Schwab in Nago City in order to work for a solution "as soon as
possible." They also agreed to hold consultations of senior
bureaucrats in addition to the cabinet-level talks.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama gave the following comments on the
working group on the evening of Nov. 17: "If the discussions between
Japan and the U.S. come to one conclusion, I think it will be
necessary to accept that as the most important decision," indicating
that he will respect the conclusion reached by the working group. He
made the above remarks to reporters at the Prime Minister's Official
Discussing the Nago mayoral election in January, Hatoyama stressed:
"I have not said that we will not come up with a conclusion until
the outcome of the election (is known). We will have to make a
decision at an appropriate time. The national government needs to
take that responsibility."
With regard to the working group, while the U.S. considers this to
be a forum for implementing the agreement reached between the two
governments in May 2006, Hatoyama has indicated that the Futenma
relocation plan will be discussed from scratch. In this connection,
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada sought clarification at the beginning
of the working group meeting on Nov. 17 that the process of
reexamination will not be premised on the current relocation plan.
The U.S. side agreed, but Assistant Secretary of Defense Wallace
Gregson reiterated the U.S. position that "the current plan is the
only feasible option." Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa told
reporters after the meeting that, "The Foreign Minister and I
believe that we need to come up with some sort of conclusion before
the end of the year."
5) Japan-U.S. high-level working group meeting on Futenma; looking
for settlement before year's end
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 18, 2009
At a meeting of a Japan-U.S. working group to discuss the relocation
of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City,
Okinawa Prefecture, the U.S. side once again called for the
implementation of the existing plan, further narrowing options
available to the Japanese government. The Ministry of Foreign
Affairs (MOFA) and the Defense Ministry, the U.S.'s interlocutors in
TOKYO 00002662 004 OF 009
the talks, are trying to find a scenario for the settlement of the
issue before year's end. However, with cabinet members differing in
their views on the issue, both ministries are having difficulties,
caught between the U.S. and the prime minister. Emerging from the
working group meeting, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa stressed,
"The foreign minister and I share the perception that we must reach
a certain degree of closure by the end of the year, which is what
'expeditiously' means." The U.S. side brought up Congress in
discussing the Futenma issue. Likewise, the Japanese side is
wrestling with its own issues. These are tied to domestic affairs.
One is the compilation of the fiscal 2010 budget. The government is
scheduled to draft the budget in late December. Unless the Futenma
issue is settled before that timeframe at the latest, the government
would find it impossible to allocate funds for planned policies.
Another issue is the Nago City mayoral election in January next
year, in which the Futenma issue is expected to become the most
contentious issue. Nago City has decided to accept the relocation
plan. However, its decision could become uncertain, depending on the
outcome of the election. Many government officials and ruling party
members are of the opinion that it is the state that must settle the
issue, and yet it would unfortunately seem to have relegated the
task to the decision of the citizens of Nago City, as the foreign
minister put it. It is hard to fathom the prime minister's
Dec. 7-18 The 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the
Climate Change (COP15 in Copenhagen)
Mid-December thorough late December The government is expected to
adopt guidelines for revised fiscal 2010 tax code and the draft
January The regular session of the Diet is to be convened.
15 Law related to the
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean expires.
24 Nago City mayoral
March - April Passage of the fiscal 2010 budget and related laws?
July (as planned) Upper House election
November Okinawa gubernatorial election
6) U.S. warns Japan of possible reduction in funds for Guam
relocation; presses Japan for settlement before year's end
YOMIURI (Page 3) (Full)
November 18, 2009
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, meeting the press corps after
the first meeting (yesterday of the Japan-U.S. cabinet-level working
group on the relocation of Futenma Air Station), said: "We share the
belief that this matter must be resolved expeditiously." The U.S.
side intends to press Japan for an early decision, taking the
position that in order to implement the plan to relocate Futenma to
the coastal area of Camp Schwab without fail, it will be essential
to reach a conclusion before year's end.
"Although the U.S government supports the planned Guam relocation
and is working very hard, if the unstable situation (regarding the
Futenma relocation issue) continues, we cannot rule out the
possibility that the reaction of the U.S. Congress will change."
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Schiffer made this
TOKYO 00002662 005 OF 009
statement during the working group meeting to warn Japan that if the
current situation persists, the U.S. Congress might not endorse the
budget for relocating the U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa to Guam.
The U.S. Congress is currently deliberating on a fiscal 2010 budget
bill regarding the construction of military facilities on Guam that
are required for relocating 8,000 U.S. Marine Corps from Okinawa. A
Senate committee has voted for a budget bill designed to slash 211
million dollars, or about 70 percent of the 300 million dollars
sought by the U.S. administration.
The Senate is expected to take a vote on the bill in a plenary
session as early as this week. A unified final bill will be produced
possibly by mid-December through talks at a joint committee of the
two chambers and other forums.
According to a source familiar with Japan-U.S. relations, when the
establishment of a working group was being considered by the U.S.
government, the Defense Department insisted on confirming the
following with the Japanese side so that the working group would not
be used (by Japan) to postpone a settlement until next year: (1)
options other than the existing plan are unthinkable for the U.S.
government, and (2) a conclusion must be reached swiftly by the end
of the year.
The Defense Department is particularly alarmed that if an opponent
of the relocation plan wins the mayoral election of Nago, the
relocation site for Futenma, next January, the existing relocation
plan might not be implemented, according to an expert on Japan in
7) Details of government project screening procedures
Government panel deems GX rocket project unnecessary but will look
into development of engine
YOMIURI (Page 10) (Excerpts)
November 18, 2009
Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, independent administrative
(1) GX rocket (5.8 billion yen) requested by the Education, Culture,
Sports and S&T Ministry
Finance Ministry: Already 70 billion yen has been spent on the GX
rocket development project, and another 80 to 140 billion yen will
be needed in the future.
Screening team member: The GX rocket is a commercial rocket, but it
might be difficult to sell (overseas). In this sense, the project
itself is meaningless.
Screening team member: Unless the rocket is developed, the project
will become meaningless. I wonder if the development of the engine
alone will bring about commercial benefits.
Education Ministry: There are many cases in which a rocket is
developed for use with superior engine.
Screening team member: If you believe the project has potential, you
should encourage private firms to invest in it and conduct testing.
TOKYO 00002662 006 OF 009
Education Ministry: There is no private firm eager to invest in the
project at the present time.
Give up earmarking necessary funds and scrap the GX rocket
development project. Continue looking into whether the development
of its engine should be continued.
(2) H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV), satellite launch (34.944 billion
yen) requested by the Education Ministry
Screening team member: Is it possible to change the international
pledges made for Japan-U.S. or multinational projects?
Education Ministry: The U.S. has produced satellites, while Japan
has manufactured measuring equipment. If Japan stops producing the
equipment, the project itself will have to be altered.
Screening team member: The explanation "whether benefits will be
brought about" made by a budget examiner of the Finance Ministry is
not proper to use for science. It should contribute to human beings.
Cut the requested amounts for the HTV project and the project for
satellite launches by about 10 PERCENT each.
A project involving competitive funds and the research and
development of a nuclear power system (5.555 billion yen), and
another project for the development of measuring instruments and the
development of advanced measuring equipment analysis technology and
equipment (5.51 billion yen) requested by the Education Ministry
Screening team member: If one case costs several million yen, it
would be acceptable to pursue the dream, but since each case costs
over 100 million yen, it is necessary to consider it in terms of its
potential feasibility and from a strategic viewpoint.
Cut the requested amounts for the R&D of a nuclear power system by
about 20 PERCENT and for the development of measuring equipment by
10 to 20 PERCENT .
8) Groups opposing Futenma relocation plan decide on single
candidate for Nago mayoral election
SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
November 18, 2009
A mayoral election will be held in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture, in
January 2010. In the election, whether to accept the relocation of
U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma to Nago will be a major
campaign issue. A group supporting candidate Susumu Inamine, 64,
former chairman of the city's board of education, whom the
Democratic Party of Japan and Social Democratic Party have decided
to recommend, and another group backing candidate Yasushi Higa, 65,
a part-time university lecturer, whom the Japanese Communist Party
intends to recommend, agreed yesterday evening to join forces in
TOKYO 00002662 007 OF 009
backing Inamine. When they announced their candidacies for the
mayoral election, both Inamine and Higa expressed their opposition
to the existing plan to relocate the Futenma base to Nago.
9) U.S. stands by current Futenma relocation plan at first meeting
of working group
NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
November 18, 2009
The Japanese and U.S. governments held the first meeting of the
working group on the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air
Station in Ginowan City, Okinawa, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
on Nov. 17. The U.S. reiterated its demand to relocate the Futenma
base under the current plan of moving the base to the coastal area
of Camp Schwab (in Nago City). It pressed for a solution on the
Futenma issue before the end of the year to be in time for the
budget deliberations at the U.S. Congress. The Japanese side also
agreed to reach a solution promptly.
Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa,
and other officials attended the meeting from the Japanese side,
while U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos, Assistant Secretary of
Defense Wallace Gregson, and others participated from the U.S. side.
The meeting lasted for 45 minutes. Okada pointed out that the
working group "will engage in an examination process of the Futenma
issue, and it is important to reach a solution quickly." He conveyed
to the U.S. officials that he understands President Barack Obama's
position on implementing the current relocation plan.
Gregson argued that "the current plan is the only feasible option,
and this is the view of the entire U.S. government." Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Schiffer said: "If
uncertainty continues in the Futenma issue, the possibility of
Congress changing its response cannot be ruled out. Please keep this
in mind." He thus indicated that if a conclusion is deferred beyond
the end of the year, this will inevitably have an impact on the
entire U.S. Forces Japan realignment package.
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters on the evening of Nov.
17: "If the discussions between Japan and the U.S. come to one
conclusion, it goes without saying that we need to accept that as
the most important decision," indicating he will respect the
conclusion reached by the working group. This was in response to
questions from reporters at the Prime Minister's Official
10) Hatoyama to give weight to working group's conclusion on Futenma
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 18, 2009
The Japanese and U.S. governments held at the Foreign Ministry
yesterday the first meeting of their ministerial-level working group
to consult on the pending issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. In the meeting,
the two governments agreed to resolve the issue promptly. Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama indicated his intention yesterday to attach
importance to the working group's conclusion that is expected to be
reached by the end of the year. "Once Japan and the United States
reach a conclusion after consultations, I must accept that as the
TOKYO 00002662 008 OF 009
decision with the most weight," Hatoyama said.
The working group meeting was held with the participation of
Japanese and U.S. government officials, including Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, U.S. Ambassador to
Japan Roos, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense Gregson, and Deputy
Assistant Secretary of Defense Schiffer. Okada explained the results
of his recent visit to Okinawa and asked the U.S. participants about
such matters as his proposal to integrate the heliport functions of
Futenma airfield into the U.S. Kadena Air Base. In response, Gregson
sought to implement the current plan to relocate the Futenma base to
the Henoko area of the island prefecture's northern coastal city of
Nago. "The current plan is the only feasible option and it's the
U.S. government's idea," Gregson stressed.
In addition, Schiffer, referring to the planned transfer of 8,000
U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam in a package with the Futenma
relocation, indicated that a deferred conclusion would make it
difficult for the U.S. government to take budget action for the
relocation of Okinawa-based Marines to Guam. "If the unstable
situation continues, we cannot rule out the possibility of a
different response from the U.S. Congress," Schiffer said.
Meanwhile, Hatoyama and U.S. President Obama differ on how to
characterize the working group. In this regard, the two governments
confirmed that they will accelerate their verification of an
alternative facility for Futenma airfield.
11) Deepening Japan-U.S. alliance on agenda for foreign, defense
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 18, 2009
Japan and the United States agreed in a recent summit meeting of
Prime Minister Hatoyama and President Obama to enter upon a new
process of consultations in order for the two countries to deepen
their alliance. In this regard, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada,
meeting the press yesterday, indicated that the process will take
the form of the Security Consultative Committee (SCC), or a
'two-plus-two' ministerial, involving foreign and defense ministers
from the Japanese and U.S. governments.
12) Chinese foreign minister to visit Japan tomorrow
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 18, 2009
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit Japan on Nov. 19-22
and hold talks with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on the 19th. This
schedule was decided on the 17th. Okada revealed this at a press
conference yesterday. The two foreign ministers are expected to
exchange views on such issues as the dispute over exploration rights
for gas fields in the East China Sea. Okada also stated at the press
conference that a visit to Japan by Vice President Xi Jinping "will
be a topic that will be discussed in the upcoming foreign
ministerial meeting." Okada and Yang will discuss the possibility of
a visit to Japan by Xi before the end of the year.
13) Transport Minister Maehara gives lessons on foreign, security
issues to Hatoyama
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
TOKYO 00002662 009 OF 009
November 18, 2009
During a House of Representatives plenary session yesterday, there
was a scene in which Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and
Tourism Seiji Maehara, who sat next to Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama, "gave lessons" on foreign and security issues to him.
Maehara made notes on the back of his material, and Hatoyama was
leaning forward to hear his explanation.
Maehara wrote down such items as "the Status of Forces Agreement"
and "redefinition of the Japan-U.S. Security Arrangements (50th
anniversary next year)." He used an upward arrow to indicate that
Japan is pressuring the U.S. and a downward arrow to indicate that
the U.S. is pressuring Japan. He put an upward arrow for the U.S.
force realignment issue (the relocation of the Futenma Air Station)
and a downward arrow for Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Hatoyama
administration has strayed slightly off course over the U.S. force
realignment issue. Maehara seems to have lent a helping hand to