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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - North Korea, President

VZCZCXRO3425
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2683 3240456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 200456Z NOV 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7692
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7521
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 9870
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4697
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8029
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1332
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 1936
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3087
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8612
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8077
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002683

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - NORTH KOREA, PRESIDENT
OBAMA'S TRIP TO EAST ASIA, AND AFGHANISTAN

1. LEAD STORIES: All Friday morning papers gave front-
page coverage to the Lower House passage early Friday
morning of legislation allowing small- and medium-sized
companies to defer loan payments to banks.

2. "U.S. to Press Denuclearization in Comprehensive
Manner" On President Obama's announcement regarding
Special Representative Bosworth's planned trip to North
Korea in early December, the moderate Yomiuri wrote
(11/20): "In previous talks, North Korea has raised the
stakes repeatedly in order to obtain incentives. While
President Obama declared that a similar mistake will
not be repeated, it will not be easy for the U.S. to
formulate a roadmap for the resumption of the Six-Party
Talks without allowing North Korea to set the pace."

3. "'China Shift' Apparent" On the conclusion of
President Obama's East Asian tour, the top circulation,
moderate Yomiuri stated (11/20): "By broadcasting
closer relations with China in order to deal with
'issues of global implications in this century,' the
President during his trip highlighted the reality that
the focus of U.S. diplomacy toward Asia is shifting
from Japan and South Korea to China.... The U.S.'s
posture of expecting China to take greater
responsibility in the security arena could be taken as
Washington's endorsement of China's arms expansion and
its maritime strategy, and runs the risk of triggering
tensions between China and its Asian neighbors."

4. "President Stops Short of Addressing Issues at Hand"
The business-oriented Nikkei claimed in a report from
Seoul (11/20): "Reflecting on the fact that the former
Bush administration was too preoccupied with the war on
terrorism to pay sufficient attention to Asia, the
President during his trip to Asia achieved his goal of
demonstrating U.S. presence in the region. However, the
President avoided in-depth discussions and instead
played it safe in talks held in Japan, China, and South
Korea in order to put priority on enhancing the mood of
friendship. The U.S. reaction to the presidential tour
has been rather cool, and it has been described as
'neither a failure nor a success.'"

5. "Eradication of Corruption, Cabinet Formation Hold
Key" On the launch of the second Karzai administration,
a correspondent for the conservative Sankei reported
from Kabul (11/20): "It is becoming clear that
improvement of the administration's mechanisms that
have allowed corruption and fraud is the 'condition'
[for President Karzai] to receive support from the
international community - support which is key to the
restoration of security and stability in Afghanistan.
During his inauguration address, President Karzai went
to great lengths to speak about measures against
corruption and fraud, and underscored his readiness to
respond to the international community's concerns. It
is necessary for the president to move swiftly to take
effective measures."


ROOS

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