Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/24/09

DE RUEHKO #2697/01 3282336
P 242336Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A



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

(2) Hatoyama's miscalculation over Futenma issue; was Pandora's Box
opened? (Nikkei)

(3) Column: Abduction and nuclear issues: Is Japan's strategy
adequate? (Mainichi)

(4) Column: Hatoyama's and Okada's view of America (Mainichi)

(5) Avoid being at mercy of community concept and making
misjudgments (Sankei)

(6) Candidates' positions on Futenma relocation two months ahead of
Nago mayoral race that may affect the outcome of relocation issue
(Ryukyu Shimpo)

(7) Heads of local governments in Okinawa react coolly to foreign
minister's idea of integrating Futenma base into Kadena Air Base

(8) Editorial: Foreign Minister Okada must give up new base and
Futenma relocation in Okinawa (Akahata)

(9) Japan-U.S. Cultural Exchange Center opens at U.S. Yokosuka Base

(10) SDP finds itself on horns of dilemma (Yomiuri)

(11) Removal of children: Children's rights should be discussed
first (Asahi)


(1) Poll on Hatoyama cabinet, political parties

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
November 24, 2009, 2009

Questions & Answers
(T = total; P = previous; M = male; F = female)

Q: Do you support the Hatoyama cabinet?

Yes 64 (72) 67 61
No 21 (17) 18 23
Not interested 15 (10) 14 15

Q: (Only for those who answered "yes" to the above question) Why?

Because the prime minister is from the Democratic Party of Japan 4
(1) 4 3
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
4 (4) 3 6
Because something can be expected of the prime minister's policies
11 (16) 12 11
Because the nature of politics is likely to change 78 (78) 80 77

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Q: (Only for those who answered "no" to the above question) Why?

Because the prime minister is from the Democratic Party of Japan 4
(8) 1 (6)
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's leadership
16 (12) 14 18
Because nothing can be expected of the prime minister's policies 48
(57) 47 49
Because the nature of politics is unlikely to change 30 (21) 35 26

Q: Which political party do you support?

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) 39 (40) 43 35
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Jiminto) 15 (14) 15 14
New Komeito (NK) 3 (4) 3 4
Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 3 (4) 3 2
Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto) 1 (1) 1 1
People's New Party (PNP or Kokumin Shinto) 1 (0) 1 1
Your Party (YP or Minna no To) 2 (2) 2 1
Reform Club (RC or Kaikaku Kurabu) 0 0 0
New Party Nippon (NPN or Shinto Nippon) 0 (0) 0 0
Other political parties 0 (1) 0 0
None 33 (32) 30 36

Q: The Hatoyama cabinet intends to prioritize the policy measures
the DPJ pledged in its manifesto in compiling the budget for next
fiscal year. Pick the response that is closest to your opinion.

The Hatoyama cabinet should prioritize the manifesto 24 22 26
The Hatoyama cabinet should not stick to the manifesto 69 71 66

Q: The Government Revitalization Unit of the Hatoyama cabinet is now
screening budget requests from all ministries and agencies for next
fiscal year to determine whether to abolish or reduce funding for
them. Do you approve of this budget screening?

Yes 74 76 72
No 17 16 19

Q: The Hatoyama cabinet has appointed Mr. Jiro Saito, who was
administrative finance vice minister, as Japan Post's new president.
Do you approve of this appointment?

Yes 28 29 26
No 57 58 57

Q: On the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Okinawa Prefecture to the Henoko area of Nago City in the
same prefecture, Prime Minister Hatoyama expressed his opinion that
Futenma airfield should be moved out of Okinawa Prefecture or Japan
in his campaign for this summer's election for the House of
Representatives. What do you think the prime minister should do?

Negotiate with the U.S. to move Futenma airfield out of Okinawa
Prefecture or Japan 50 44 54
Look for another relocation site in Okinawa Prefecture 17 16 18

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Accept the current plan to relocate Futenma airfield to Henoko 22
31 15

Q: The DPJ and the New Komeito are considering presenting a bill to
the Diet allowing foreign nationals with permanent resident status
to vote in local elections. Do you approve of this suffrage

Yes 59 58 59
No 31 34 29

Q: Prime Minister Hatoyama's fund-managing body has falsified its
political fund reports. Do you place priority on this problem when
you rate the Hatoyama cabinet?

Yes 41 36 45
No 48 55 43

(Note) Figures shown in percentage, rounded off. "0" indicates that
the figure was below 0.5 PERCENT . "No answer" omitted. Figures in
parentheses denote the results of the last survey conducted Oct.

Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Nov. 21-22 over the
telephone across the nation on a computer-aided random digit
sampling (RDS) basis. A total of 1,581 households with one or more
eligible voters were sampled. Answers were obtained from 1,066
persons (67 PERCENT ).

(2) Hatoyama's miscalculation over Futenma issue; was Pandora's Box

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
November 23, 2009

By Yasuhiro Tase, guest columnist

Beginning with the invasion of Ryukyu (the old name for Okinawa) by
the Shimazu clan of Satsuma, Okinawa has undergone hardships in
succession, such as the battle of Okinawa and the control by the
U.S. At present, more than 70 PERCENT of the total area of U.S.
military facilities in Japan is concentrated in Okinawa. Okinawan
people wonder why only Okinawa has to be sacrificed. Meanwhile,
Yamatonchu (main islanders) understand their feelings but have been
seized by a sense of helplessness. I have an unforgettable memory
that reminds me of the existence of a difference in both sides'
feelings. In a speech in Okinawa in the year before the Okinawa
Summit in 2000, loud boos came from the audience when I made this

"I feel somewhat embarrassed by the slogan of the Okinawa Summit.
The slogan is 'let's direct the eyes of the world toward Okinawa and
the attention of Okinawa toward the world,' but the upcoming summit
is not held for the sake of Okinawa but for Japan, and the venue
happens to be Okinawa."

When the Okinawa issue, particularly, the base issue is involved,
the government's commitment to the Japan-U.S. alliance -- the
cornerstone of Japan's foreign policy -- and public feelings in
Okinawa conflict sharply. Due to this conflict, the issue of

TOKYO 00002697 004 OF 015

relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station has become
very serious. In addition, the change of government and the
continuation of foreign policy have made the issue complicated.

Prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's first visit to Japan, the
U.S. government appears to have made careful arrangements so as not
to give the Japanese people the impression that the U.S. was
highhanded. On the Futenma issue, in particular, the U.S. only
called for a swift conclusion. Despite such consideration on the
U.S. side, there reportedly was the following exchange of views, as
disclosed by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in the e-mail magazine of
his cabinet:

Prime Minister Hatoyama presented President Obama with one blue
rose, a variety developed by Japan, in hopes of conveying the
message that the impossible can be accomplished. In return, the
President presented the first edition of Profiles in Courage,
written by former President John F. Kennedy, to Hatoyama. When
considering the meaning of these two presents in connection with the
Futenma issue, we think these presents must carry heavy weight.

Afterward, the two leaders reportedly exchanged these words:

Hatoyama: "I want you to trust me."

Obama: "Of course, I trust you."

Through this conversation, I assume President Obama believed that
the Futenma facility will be moved to the waters off the Henoko
district as per the agreement between Japan and the U.S. If Hatoyama
had a different idea in mind, he should not have said, "Trust me."
But Hatoyama said the next day: "I do not regard the existing
Japan-U.S. agreement as a precondition." He might have sent a wrong
message to the President.

He might have opened Pandora's Box of Greek mythology. Anyhow,
Hatoyama wavers in his opinions. Although high public support for
his administration has covered the inconsistency, he seems to be
more inconsistent in his claims than former Prime Minister Taro Aso,
who was criticized for a lack of consistency in his remarks. I
wonder whether the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) made a wrong
conjecture on the Futenma issue.

In the U.S., its policy toward Iraq has changed as a result of the
Democratic Party taking over the reins of government from the
Republican Party. Focusing on this, the DPJ might have anticipated
that the U.S. would understand the new government's review of the
foreign policies taken by its predecessors. Prime Minister Hatoyama
seems to have judged it possible to make requests directly to the
President. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada also tried to make
arrangements to go to Washington in hopes of reaching an agreement
with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on his proposal for
integrating the Futenma facility into Kadena Air Base.

Hatoyama made a mistake from the beginning. In the House of
Representatives election campaign he pledged to move the Futenma
facilities outside the prefecture, but he had no specific
alternative site in mind. He considered foreign policy from the
position of standing against the Liberal Democratic Party, in the
same way as dealing with domestic issues, such as the attempt to
halt a dam-construction project.

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"People in Okinawa have harbored greater expectations through the
election campaign," Hatoyama said as if he were not involved in the
Futenma issue: He might be finding it difficult to suggest the
implementation of the initial coastal relocation plan because of
growing expectations among people in Okinawa for moving the facility
out of the prefecture.

Hatoyama has complicated the Futenma issue to the point of
destabilizing the Japan-U.S. alliance. I cannot figure out his
motives. With no prospects for a resolution in sight, time is

(3) Column: Abduction and nuclear issues: Is Japan's strategy

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
November 24, 2009

Hiroshi Fuse, commentary writer

Looking back on U.S. President Barack Obama's tour of Asia,
something in his speech in Tokyo on Nov. 14 bothers me. The
President said that the normalization of North Korea's relations
with its neighbors can only come if families of the Japanese
abductees receive a "full accounting." It is quite understandable
that he received a big round of applause for this.

However, the Japanese translation of this passage is a bit
questionable. Yomiuri Shimbun rendered this as "disclosure of all
information to the families," while Asahi Shimbun's translation was
"full disclosure of their whereabouts." While all the newspapers
seem to have worked very hard, what will eventually go down in
history are the two English words "full accounting."

Personally, I think this English expression is a bit weak and
ambiguous. One of the top political officials of the Ministry of
Defense from the Democratic Party of Japan also expressed the same
concern on TV. While we have no intention to find fault with the
President's statement, what happens if North Korea argues
arbitrarily that it has already given a "full accounting"? That
there would be no doubts about this on the Japanese side should have
been the test of the speech writer's caliber.

I hope I am just worrying too much. However, there are two reasons
for my anxiety. First, U.S. researchers and people close to the
government have recently stopped talking positively about the
outlook for resolving North Korea's nuclear issue.

As evidenced by the removal of North Korea from the list of state
sponsors of terrorism, the U.S. does not necessarily link the
abductions to terrorism. And what if it has also lost confidence on
resolving the nuclear issue? Is the phrase "full accounting" only
meant as lip service to placate Japan amid the dim prospects? Or is
it using this phrase to lower the hurdle on the abductions
surreptitiously? Careful analysis is needed on this question.

Second, at the Japan-South Korea editors' seminar in Seoul sponsored
by the Japan Newspaper Publishers and Editors Association and other
groups, I asked the South Koreans about their fear of North Korea's
nuclear weapons. A South Korean journalist who used to be a
correspondent in Tokyo retorted that if Japan attaches importance to
the threat of nuclear weapons, "why do the Japanese media report so

TOKYO 00002697 006 OF 015

extensively on the abduction issue?"

Whether the reporting is "extensive" or not is a matter of opinion,
but it seems that in South Korea, where nearly 500 of its citizens
have been abducted, the dominant view is that this issue should be
resolved through behind-the-scenes negotiations rather than at the
Six-Party Talks. Regardless of the Japanese government's efforts on
the abduction issue beneath the surface, it appears that the South
Korean media's opinion of Japan's stance is not flattering.

This lack of common purpose among Japan, the U.S. and South Korea on
the nuclear issue, as well as the abduction issue, bothers me. In
this situation, can any progress be made even if the Six-Party Talks
resume? Japan should not be satisfied with President Obama's Tokyo
speech alone; it should reexamine its strategy for resolving both

(4) Column: Hatoyama's and Okada's view of America

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 21, 2009

Takao Iwami

Former Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, who was involved in the most
important negotiations between Japan and the United States in the
postwar period, first stepped foot on American soil in the summer

He was a 19-year-old University of Tokyo student participating in a
conference of students from both countries. The voyage by ship took
him two weeks each way, and the conference took place at the
University of Southern California in Los Angeles. The bilateral
relationship was beginning to deteriorate at that time, but the
American participants kept saying:

"What Japan is saying is most reasonable. The U.S. is also at

This came as a great shock to Miyazawa.

He later said: "America is such a great nation. I thought that we
had no chance of winning if we fought these people."

Half a century later, during the Gulf War (1991), what was the view
of Miyazawa, an expert on America, of the Japan-U.S. relationship?

Miyazawa wrote:

"Today, 50 years after Pearl Harbor, while both Japan and the U.S.
claim that the bilateral relationship is most important, many
Americans think that Japan is more threatening than the Soviet Union
(the USSR disintegrated soon afterwards)." (Sengo Seiji no Shogen
(Testimony on Postwar Politics), Yomiuri Shimbun Publishing)

Do Americans still think that Japan is threatening? Japan's view of
its relations with the U.S. has been in flux since the change of
administration this year.

The U.S. is suspicious of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
administration under Hatoyama, which advocates a "close and equal
Japan-U.S. relationship." What is meant by "equal"? The issue of the

TOKYO 00002697 007 OF 015

relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station has become a
litmus test.

The statements of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada on the relocation issue often differ, and the two have
often been in discord. Their views of the United States intrigue

As in the case of Miyazawa, the impression of the first visit to the
U.S. is significant. Both Hatoyama and Okada studied in the U.S.

Hatoyama went to Stanford University after graduating from the
University of Tokyo. He graduated from Stanford with a doctorate in
1976. He became a politician 10 years later, and the political
figure he respects most is President John F. Kennedy.

However, Hatoyama has a harsh view of the U.S. In 2002, when he
first became DPJ president, he remarked at an interview:

"The politicians of the ruling party (Liberal Democratic Party) have
given up on drawing a conclusion against the wishes of the U.S. from
the very beginning. They are unable to raise the issue of the bases
in Okinawa or the issue of the Status of Forces Agreement.

"Therefore, the only solution is a change of administration. I think
the rebuilding of the Japan-U.S. relationship is the most necessary
structural reform.

"The U.S. is evading discussions on contingencies. We no longer have
a deep relationship in which Japan is guaranteed assistance under
the bilateral security treaty."

He advocated a review of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.

On the other hand, Okada was a visiting researcher at Harvard
University's Center for International Affairs for one year from
1985, 10 years after Hatoyama went to America. He was sent by the
former Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now the
Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry).

At Harvard, he witnessed Ronald Reagan's leadership of America as a
strong president. When the spaceship Challenger exploded right after
takeoff, killing the seven astronauts onboard in January 1986, it is
said that Okada was moved by the solidarity of the American people
and their trust in the president.

He wrote in his book published last year, "Seiken Kotai - Ko no Kuni
wo Kaeru (Change of Administration - The Transformation of This
Country)" (Kodansha):

"I realized the great potential of politics in America. At the same
time, I was disheartened by Japanese politics, which was plagued by
scandals and revolved around factional struggles.

"I strongly felt that something must be done about Japan's politics.
I returned home having made a choice that I had never thought I
would make before I went to America."

For Okada, America is the country that instilled in him the dream to
become a politician.

It appears that Hatoyama's view of the past Japan-U.S. relationship

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is one of "subservience" while Okada views America as a political
model. Such a difference in their perceptions of America has had a
subtle influence on the negotiations on Futenma relocation.

What would be Miyazawa's verdict if he were alive?

(5) Avoid being at mercy of community concept and making

SANKEI (Page 7) (Excerpts)
November 19, 2009

Takenori Inoki, Director General, International Research Center for
Japanese Studies

In late October, I attended the second international conference of
the Japanese Studies Association in Southeast Asia, held in Hanoi,
Vietnam. It was a two-day forum for humanities and social science
scholars on Japan from ASEAN countries to make presentations and
conduct panel discussions. The conference was truly international
with participants coming from even Australia, the United States,
Britain, and China.

Needless to say, Japan needs good scholars on other countries. By
the same token, for the future of Japan, it is essential to have a
large number of good scholars on Japan in the world, especially in
Asia. In that context, academic exchanges among scholars can be
described as the foundation of "good diplomacy.'

At this conference, many participants reported that it is essential
to assess Japan from a historical angle in an Asian context rather
than to confine Japanese studies on Japan in Japan - an idea that is
becoming the norm in the study of history. Nevertheless, "assessing
something from a historical angle" does not mean to find fault with
the past or dwell on the past. It must be based on the correct
understanding of the present toward the future. This conference also
reminded of Marc Bloch's words, "Misunderstanding of the present is
the inevitable consequence of ignorance of the past," which was
cited by my respected friend, Matao Miyamoto.

Rough road to the EU

There have been many comments on the concept of an East Asian
Community by lawmakers and media outlets. But they have rarely
discussed what it takes to realize this concept, such as the need to
have the correct understanding of history, what efforts must be
made, and in what time span.

Many are hoping to see Japan become a member of the envisaged
community in the region someday. But it is also necessary to recall
the rocky path that led to the European Union (EU). The history of
nearly 1,200 years from the Frankish King Charlemagne to the EU
Treaty in Maastricht shows that the road leading up to the European
Community was not smooth.

East Asian countries do not share the same basic values, and there
is a lack of mutual understanding even in the academic area. It is
too risky for such countries to jump at the East Asian Community
concept that will restrict national sovereignty. The problem
associated with the East Asian Community concept is that it is a
movement to apply restrictions to the use of violence by states,
i.e., wars, as a means of settling international conflicts. The

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concept involves complicated factors.

There was the beginning of the "nation-state" and there will be an
end to it. The question is when the end will come. For realizing the
concept, it is lawmakers' important duty to keep working with the
spirit of "endurance and accumulation." But they must avoid being at
the mercy of the idea and misjudging reality as a result.

I keenly felt at the conference in Vietnam that it is our important
duty to avoid adhering to Japan's narrow regional interests and its
traditions -- an act of folly that would force Japan into isolation
-- and to explore Japan's future position from a broad perspective,
including the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

(6) Candidates' positions on Futenma relocation two months ahead of
Nago mayoral race that may affect the outcome of relocation issue

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Abridged)
November 24, 2009

Nago - Only two months is left before the Nago mayoral election on
Jan. 24. This election is likely to be a one-on-one contest between
the ruling and opposition parties represented by incumbent mayor
Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, 63, who is running for a second term, and new
candidate Susumu Inamine, 64, a former chief of the city's education
board. The acceptance of the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma
Air Station to Nago is the main point of contention, and the outcome
of the election may affect the Japan-U.S. negotiations on this
issue. The citizens are also very interested in the candidates'
strategies for revitalizing the local communities and how they
propose to revive the sluggish economy and employment situation.

With regard to the Futenma issue, Shimabukuro reached basic
agreement with the Tokyo government on the plan to relocate Futenma
to the coastal area of Camp Schwab in 2006 under the Liberal
Democratic Party-New Komeito administration. However, amid the
indecision of the Hatoyama administration dominated by the
Democratic Party of Japan on this issue, Shimabukuro held a news
conference on Nov. 12 in which he indicated: "I would welcome an
alternative plan if the government would come up with one promptly."
He emphasized that Nago did not ask to host the Futenma replacement

Shimabukuro also asserted that "the debate has been exhausted over
three past elections," expressing his resentment at making this
issue the point of contention in the mayoral race again. At his
meeting with Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Nov. 15, he asked
that there be no more division among the citizens of Nago and that
the government take the responsibility to reach a conclusion at an
early date.

Inamine had limited himself at first to demanding a review of the
existing relocation plan on the grounds that "there are problems
with this plan because the process through which the plan came about
lacked transparency." However, on Nov. 6, after a support group
consisting mostly of reformist city assembly members was formed, he
said: "I will not allow the building of a new military base in
Henoko and Oura Bay," taking one step further to advocate relocation
out of Okinawa or out of Japan.

With Inamine coming out to oppose relocation to Henoko, Yasushi
Higa, who had planned to run in the election, has agreed to withdraw

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his candidacy. He signed a memorandum with Inamine on basic policies
on Nov. 18. This avoided a division in the opposition camp in the
election, and Inamine is now the common candidate for "striving to
build a new Nago City" and revitalizing the city administration.

(7) Heads of local governments in Okinawa react coolly to foreign
minister's idea of integrating Futenma base into Kadena Air Base

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 17, 2009

Teruhisa Mimori, Yoshichika Imoto

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada visited Okinawa for the first time
since assuming his post, in connection with the pending issue of
relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan
City, Okinawa Prefecture). Judging that that it would be difficult
to relocate the Futenma base outside the prefecture, which Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama advocated during the campaign for the latest
House of Representatives election, Okada is now looking into the
possibility of integrating the Futenma base into the U.S. Kadena Air
Base (in the town of Kadena). This has become his mantra. The heads
of local governments concerned gave the cold shoulder to Okada,
however. As a result, the gap in views between Okada and Okinawa
became evident. Meanwhile, Hatoyama has taken a stance of spending
more time to reach a conclusion, while placing importance on his
party's campaign pledge to move the Futenma base out of Okinawa.
Disarray is growing in the Hatoyama government.

In a meeting held at the Kadena Town Hall on the morning of Nov. 17,
Kadena Mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi told Okada that many aircraft
accidents had occurred at the Kadena Air Base. Okada explained that
the Futenma-Kadena merger plan "is one of the options (under

"It is not a problem of emotions," said Miyagi. "These accidents
actually occurred. I can't accept the merger option." He reacted
strongly to the merger idea, which could transfer the danger of
Futenma to the Kadena Air Base, where many accidents have occurred.

"How about the existing measures to ease the burden?" Miyagi asked
Okada, who said the idea was "based on the precondition of reducing
the burden on Kadena Town." The 1996 agreement on measures to reduce
noise have not been observed and the noise level has instead
increased even with the relocation of training activities of F-15
fighters based at the Kadena Air Base. "The government said many
times that it would ease the burden, but it has not been reduced,"
said Okinawa Mayor Mitsuko Toumon, who was also attending the
session. She said, "Not considering the base issue Okinawa's
problem, all Japanese people should think about it."

Miyagi told reporters after the meeting: "I judge that the merger
plan is off the table," because Okada said that a conclusion should
be reached within the year, remarking that the easing of Kadena's
burden is the premise (for Futenma relocation). Miyagi said, "I am
considering possible obstruction tactics" in case action is taken
for the Futenma-Kadena merger plan. He played up his strong
determination to oppose the merger plan.

Okada held an informal meeting the previous day with the
representatives of the prefectural assembly groups, excluding the
one comprised of members belonging to the opposition Liberal

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Democratic Party (LDP). During the meeting, one assembly member
asked Okada to look into the possibility of relocating Futenma out
of Okinawa, and another member stressed that the land reclamation of
Henoko Bay would be a typical example of useless public works
projects. Pointing out that the Futenma relocation and the transfer
of U.S. Marines to Guam is a package, Okada said, "If we start from
scratch looking for an appropriate relocation site, the process will
grind to a halt. We are being forced to make a tough decision,"
implying a direction toward relocation within Okinawa. The DPJ
Okinawa Chapter's policy chief Tadashi Uesato said, "We will support
the government by trusting Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, not
Foreign Minister Okada."

(8) Editorial: Foreign Minister Okada must give up new base and
Futenma relocation in Okinawa

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Full)
November 18, 2009

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada made his first official visit to
Okinawa Prefecture. During his visit there, Foreign Minister Okada
reiterated that he would like to reach a conclusion within the year
on the issue of constructing a new U.S. military base (as an
alternative for the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station) and the
issue of integrating the heliport functions of Futenma airfield into
the Kadena base in the prefecture. On the other hand, Foreign
Minister Okada said he "didn't promise to relocate Futenma airfield
outside Japan or Okinawa Prefecture." He also said, "I can't say we
have only to close down (the Futenma base)." These remarks brought
about a local backlash in the prefecture.

Okinawa Prefecture's local residents do not want a new base
constructed in the prefecture, nor do they want the Futenma base
relocated within the prefecture. Based on this fact, Foreign
Minister Okada should negotiate with the United States. Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama said, "I will take the wishes of people in
Okinawa Prefecture most seriously." Foreign Minister Okada's
attitude, as long as he does not change it, will remain inconsistent
with what Prime Minister Hatoyama said.

Futenma relocation within Okinawa unfeasible

Last weekend, Prime Minister Hatoyama met with U.S. President Obama.
On that occasion, the two leaders agreed to set up a ministerial
working group to consult on the Futenma base issue. President Obama
said he did so to carry out an "agreement" to build a new base.
Prime Minister Hatoyama said, "I think the agreement is important,
but if that's going to decide everything, we don't have to discuss
anything." The question is whether or not to reach a conclusion
within the year. In this regard, Foreign Minister Okada also said,
"It means that the working group will do so before the year is out
if possible, and it also implies something else."

Foreign Minister Okada is a Japanese member of the working group, as
is Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa. His reiterated remarks running
counter to the prime minister's explanation raises a question about
the Hatoyama government's basic stance on the matter.

In Okinawa Mr. Okada said that moving the Futenma base out of Japan
or Okinawa Prefecture is a "very narrow path." However, the local
population of Okinawa Prefecture desires the Futenma base to be
removed. This is a "narrow path," but the base can be moved

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elsewhere in Okinawa Prefecture. This is what he means to say. If
that is the case, we must say he does not see the realities. Such an
attitude is tantamount to trampling the local people's wishes under

The Futenma base occupies a vast expanse of land in a densely
populated area of Ginowan city. It is clear that the base must be
removed without a moment's delay for the safety and daily lives of
local residents. Mr. Okada is sticking to his idea of integrating
the Futenma base's heliport functions into the Kadena base. This
base merger will only exacerbate the suffering of the local people
from, among other things, the roar of fighter jets that is serious
even now. Obviously, his proposal of such a base integration is
unwelcome to local residents. In point of fact, Okinawa Prefecture's
base-hosting communities are opposed to moving the Futenma base
within the prefecture. They have not allowed government contractors
to drive piles anywhere in their municipalities since the government
unveiled its plan 13 years ago to build a new base.

What is required of the Japanese government is to negotiate with the
United States so as to remove the Futenma base as Okinawa
Prefecture's local residents demand. That is the responsibility of
Mr. Okada as foreign minister.

Far from negotiating with the United States for removing the Futenma
base, Mr. Okada said the ruling Democratic Party of Japan did not
pledge the Futenma relocation outside Japan or Okinawa Prefecture in
its manifesto. That is an outrageous 'so-what' attitude. It is DPJ
President Hatoyama who promised in the election campaign to move the
Futenma base out of Japan or Okinawa Prefecture. At the time, Mr.
Okada was DPJ secretary general. During the campaign, he did not
raise an objection to the DPJ president's remarks. Now he says it is
not a public pledge. That is extremely outrageous.

Japan should quit kowtowing to U.S.

After his Okinawa visit, Mr. Okada held a press conference, where he
said the government will negotiate with the United States on the
basis of what came out of the former government's negotiations with
the U.S. government. At the same time, he also said, "If the
agreement is called off, the transfer of Marines (from Okinawa to
Guam) and the return of the (Futenma) base will also be called off."
This remark is serious. U.S. Secretary of Defense Gates recently
came to Japan. On that occasion, he used exactly the same expression
and urged Japan to accept the construction of a new base. It was too
coercive and inconsiderate of him to say such a thing.

Japan will now have to make a fundamental changeover from the policy
of kowtowing to the United States, which lasted into the previous
coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and the New
Komeito. Prime Minister Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Okada are at a
moment of truth in their foreign policy.

(9) Japan-U.S. Cultural Exchange Center opens at U.S. Yokosuka Base

ASAHI (Kanagawa edition) (Page 31) (Full)
November 19, 2009

A Japan-U.S. Cultural Exchange Center opened on Nov. 18 at the U.S.
Yokosuka Naval Base, in Yokosuka City. Yokosuka residents can visit
the center freely. The opening of such a center is a prime challenge
for U.S. bases in Japan. The center is intended to deepen mutual

TOKYO 00002697 013 OF 015

understanding between the Japanese and Americans through activities
held there.

The center is located on the first floor of the three-story building
on the left side of the main entrance of the base. The center was
established in a remodeled room 50 square meters in area. The center
has a model of the destroyer used in the film Last Operations Under
the Orion, and a movie screen showing images of exchanges between
the base and Japan.

Yokosuka residents and tourists will be allowed to visit only the
center without a base pass. The U.S. side will hold regular events
and offer free English conversation classes in the center. The
center can be reserved by the public.

The center's first events, to be held on Nov. 20, are a talk on the
American holiday of Thanksgiving for Japanese one o'clock and an
origami class for Americans from 2:30. The center is open from
Monday through Thursday from 1:00 to 06:00 p.m. It is only open on
Friday by reservation.

(10) SDP finds itself on horns of dilemma

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 24, 2009

In connection with the relocation of U.S. Marine Corps Air Station
Futenma (Ginowan City) in Okinawa Prefecture, some members of the
Social Democratic Party (SDP), which has strongly insisted that the
Futenma base be relocated outside the prefecture or even out of
Japan, have begun voicing the hard-line argument that there will be
no choice for the party to withdraw from the coalition government if
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama tries to solve the relocation issue by
accepting the existing relocation plan. As it stands, the SDP
leadership is now facing difficulties in dealing with the issue.

Appearing on a Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) program on Nov. 21,
SDP head Mizuho Fukushima, currently state minister for consumer
affairs, strongly opposed the existing plan to relocate the Futenma
heliport functions to the coastal area of Camp Schwab, by saying:
"This is not the relocation of Marines, but a new military base at
sea. I don't think that building a new base will ease the burden on
the people of Okinawa." Also at an informal cabinet meeting on Nov.
20, Fukushima cited the names of specific relocation sites, saying,
"How about relocating the Futenma base to Guam or Iwo Jima?" She
urged the cabinet to make a decision on the issue. Worried about
possible criticism that there is discord in the cabinet, Fukushima
had refrained from voicing different opinions from other cabinet
members up until now. However, she appears to have judged that this
is a crucial juncture considering the present situation in which the
U.S. government is calling for an early implementation of the
existing relocation plan at a ministerial-level working group on the
Futenma issue comprising foreign and defense officials of Japan and
the United States, which was launched on Nov. 17.

Fukushima intends to ask Hatoyama to hold a meeting of the cabinet
committee on basic policy matters, which handles the Futenma issue.
She will also work upon the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) to set
up a consultative organ of the three ruling parties. SDP Secretary
General Yasumasa Shigeno and Sadao Fuchigami, a deputy party head,
are scheduled to visit Okinawa at the end of this month.

TOKYO 00002697 014 OF 015

There is growing alarm in the SDP that the party will lose its
political presence if the Futenma issue is resolved without changing
the existing plan. In their national convention in September, many
SDP local organizations took a cautious stance toward joining the
coalition government, with one member saying, "The SDP will be
brought over to the DPJ's side."

In the August House of Representatives election, the SDP won only
three single-seat constituencies. One of the three constituencies
the SDP won was the Okinawa No. 2 district, which includes Ginowan
City. Lower House member Kantoku Teruya, who represents this
district, told people close to him: "It is time to make a tough
decision. There will be no future for the SDP if it presents a
weak-kneed response."

There is a growing view in the SDP that if the party leaves the
ruling coalition, it will be able to retain its supporters. On the
other hand, some other members think that the party will be caught
in its own trap if it talks casually about withdrawing from the
coalition, and that priority should be placed on bringing results of
the participation in the government. Because the SDP will employ a
strategy of increasing its number of Diet seats in the House of
Councillors election next summer in cooperation with the DPJ, the
party leadership is now facing a dilemma.

(11) Removal of children: Children's rights should be discussed

ASAHI (Page 17) (Full)
November 20, 2009

Mikiko Otani, attorney

An American husband (of a Japanese woman) was arrested in September
in Fukuoka Prefecture for allegedly trying to take away their two
children whom the woman had brought back from the U.S. Because of
this incident, cases in which one of the parents in a broken
international marriage return home with a child (without the consent
of) the other are drawing attention. Japan is being criticized by
Europe and the U.S. because it has not yet ratified the Hague
Convention. The media often report this issue as a diplomatic one.
However, it should be discussed from the perspective of children's

The Hague Convention, adopted in 1980, stipulates that if the parent
of a child taken away by the other seeks the child's return, the
other country is obliged to return the child to his or her country
of residence. Eighty-one countries, mainly European countries and
the U.S., have ratified the Convention. The Convention on the Rights
of the Child protects children's right to see and visit their
divorced or separated mother or father. Signatory countries,
including Japan, are obliged to protect children from being removed
from either of their parents. For that reason, the UN Committee on
the Rights of the Child in 2004 urged Japan to ratify the Hague

According to a survey conducted in Britain, children whose relations
with their parents were cut off suddenly and unilaterally feel a
sense of mistrust in the parent who took them away. These children
are suffering a serious impact from their removal--- they find it
difficult to blend into a new life due to a language barrier. In
Europe and the U.S., there are cases in which a law court did not

TOKYO 00002697 015 OF 015

allow a child (of broken international marriage or separated
couples) to return to Japan, because Japan has not yet ratified the
Hague Convention. There are also cases in which a child who has been
taken away to a foreign country cannot see the other parent in
Japan. In order to spare children from suffering, a realistic
approach is to explore ways to settle this issue, while working
together with other countries.

As is often pointed out, violence and domestic violence are behind
the cross-border removal of children. In reality, since there are
many cases in which Japanese wives take away their child from their
European or American husbands, there is deep-rooted opposition in
Japan to ratifying the Hague Convention for reason of protecting
Japanese women and their children.

It is necessary to examine more specifically who will protect
women's rights in the event of Japan's ratifying the Convention.
Even in signatory countries, there are cases in which law courts did
not order the return of a child when his or her mother removed the
child from a situation of domestic violence. This should be of
reference when considering whether Japan should sign the Convention
or not. Nowadays international marriages, divorces and cross-border
residence of family members are common. How to coordinate the rights
of children, parents and women in the event of their parents'
separation or divorce is a challenge for all countries.

Japan should immediately ratify the Hague Convention and, while
learning from other countries' practices and experiences, establish
a domestic law. Viewing the Hague Convention from the perspective of
the best interests of children will encourage the 193 countries and
regions that have signed the Convention of the Rights of the Child
to tackle the issue. I would like to point out that it is essential
for the U.S., which is spearheading the promotion of the
ratification of the Hague Convention, to fall in step with the
world, by ratifying the Convention of the Rights of the Child.


© Scoop Media

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