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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/27/09

DE RUEHKO #2721/01 3340027
P 300027Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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(1) LDP Okinawa chapter fails to reach decision to demand relocation
of Futenma base out of Okinawa (Okinawa Times)

(2) U.S. military base land: Defense ministry pays contract renewal
cooperation fees to landowners every 20 years; 3.6 billion yen to be
paid in fiscal 2012 (Tokyo Shimbun)

(3) National Public Safety Commission chairman not to seek custody
of U.S. soldier before indictment in Okinawa hit-and-run case
(Ryukyu Shimpo)

(4) Budget screening team calls for deep cuts in funds for
diplomatic establishments overseas (Mainichi)

(5) Review of "sympathy budget" may trigger new dispute with U.S.,
with fierce reaction from base workers union in Okinawa (Asahi)

(6) Budget-screening panel plunges scalpel into Foreign Ministry
budget (Asahi)

(7) Finance Ministry also questioned over Defense Ministry's
outsourcing practices on eighth day of budget screenings (Asahi)

(8) Foreign minister Okada alarmed at possible cut in total sum of
ODA budget (Asahi)

(9) Warrant of arrest issued to divorced Japanese woman by
Australian authorities for "kidnapping" her children (Asahi)


(1) LDP Okinawa chapter fails to reach decision to demand relocation
of Futenma base out of Okinawa

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
November 27, 2009

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Okinawa chapter held at the
Prefectural Assembly building on Nov. 26 a general meeting of its
Assembly members to discuss the Okinawa chapter's position on the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station. While a majority
demanded the Hatoyama administration relocate the Futenma facility
out of the prefecture, there was also the opinion that the group
should persist in its policy hitherto, in order to realize the early
removal of the danger posed by the Futenma base. No consensus was
reached at the meeting.

Okinawa chapter Vice Chairman Tetsuji Shingaki and Secretary General
Masatoshi Onaga will meet with Nago Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro on
the morning of Nov. 27 and hold a general meeting of LDP Assembly
members again in the afternoon of the same day to decide on a
policy. Assembly members elected from Nago, the proposed relocation
site under the current plan, and Ginowan, the site of the Futenma
base, are cautious about relocation out of Okinawa, making it
difficult to reach a consensus.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima continues to maintain his position that
"while relocation out of Okinawa is the best option, relocation
within Okinawa is inevitable as the realistic option." Furthermore,
municipal assembly members and supporters of Shimabukuro in Nago,

TOKYO 00002721 002 OF 010

where a mayoral election will be held in January, call for careful
handling of this issue in light of the impact on the election. At
the meeting on Nov. 26, there was an opinion that Nakaima and
Shimabukuro need to coordinate their policy. Onaga said: "Some
Assembly members asked that a conclusion be reached through careful
discussions. We are in the final stage of drawing a conclusion."

(2) U.S. military base land: Defense ministry pays contract renewal
cooperation fees to landowners every 20 years; 3.6 billion yen to be
paid in fiscal 2012

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
November 26, 2007

It has been learned that the Defense Ministry pays 100,000 yen to
each landowner who provides their land for the use of the U.S.
military as a contract renewal cooperation fee every 20 years. The
ministry is expected to pay 7.2 million yen to 72 landowners in
fiscal 2010. The amount to be paid in fiscal 2012 will jump to
approximately 3.6 billion yen. This will likely stir up a
controversy at the Government Revitalization Unit (GRU).

Of the U.S. military land in Okinawa, 81 square kilometers is
private land owned by 40,500 landowners. The Defense Ministry renews
land lease contracts with them every 20 years, in principle, based
on the Civil Code. The ministry paid 100,000 yen to each landowner
as a contract renewal cooperation fee when it renewed contracts last

It paid that amount once in around 1992, 20 years after the
reversion of Okinawa to Japan in 1972. The renewal this time is the
second time. The number of landowners whose contracts are to be
renewed in fiscal 2010 is only 72 and the number for fiscal 2011 is
only 50. But the number for fiscal 2012 is 36,000. The amount to be
paid to them will jump to approximately 3.6 billion yen.

No such money has ever been paid to landowners who refused to sign
such a contract or the 6,500 landowners who provide their land to
U.S. military troops stationed on the mainland.

As reasons for paying such money only to landowners in Okinawa, the
Defense Ministry Facilities Administration Division's land
acquisition office explained that the payment is to reward the
hardships the landowners underwent during the 40 years following the
end of the Second World War, when their land was confiscated by the
U.S. military, and the base-hosting burden they are bearing at

The number of contracted landowners has increased proportionately to
the increase in the divisions of lots. The number of landlords whose
contracts are to be renewed this time has increased by about 7,000.
As a result, contract renewal cooperation fees will increase by 700
million yen. The amount of future payments is also expected to rise

(3) National Public Safety Commission chairman not to seek custody
of U.S. soldier before indictment in Okinawa hit-and-run case

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
November 26, 2009

Tokyo - At the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on

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Nov. 25, Chairman Hiroshi Nakai of the National Public Safety
Commission commented on the U.S. Army staff sergeant who has refused
to present himself for questioning in the hit-and-run incident in
Yomitan Village. He said: "We have not reached a stage where it has
become impossible (for interrogation to take place as the
prefectural police requested)." He indicated that in light of the
U.S. forces' cooperative attitude, it is premature to demand custody
of the suspect before indictment at this point. This was in response
to a question from Taro Kono (Liberal Democratic Party).

After the incident occurred, government officials have expressed the
opinion that "it seems that the question of transfer of custody
before indictment will not be an issue" (Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hirofumi Hirano). However, the suspect has refused to present
himself for questioning for over 10 days and the government still
insists on dealing with this case within the bounds of the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

From his previous experience as senior vice minister of foreign
affairs, Kono pointed out that refraining from demanding the
transfer of custody before indictment is premised on the Japanese
side's unimpeded questioning of the suspect. He asserted that this
condition has not been met in the present case. Tetsuji Nakamura,
parliamentary secretary of justice, responded that, "We are
summoning him. We have not reached a stage where the condition is
not being met." Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada also stated: "With
regard to the question of whether a demand for transfer of custody
will be made if the condition (that conducting the questioning is
possible) is not met, this is not necessarily a case where the
reverse is always true," indicating his position that this case does
not require a demand for transfer of custody.

Nakai said: "We will proceed with the investigation in two ways: Ask
the U.S. forces to make further efforts to persuade him to appear
for questioning and gather various evidence to prove that there is
no doubt (that the staff sergeant is the culprit) even if the
suspect does not confess, since he has already admitted to driving
the car (in the hit-and-run incident)." He explained that
investigations are taking place with the aim of building a case even
if the suspect is not available for interrogation. He said that
refusal to appear for questioning is a "very unusual situation."
"This is probably because lawyers were appointed on Nov. 14 (when he
began to refuse to appear for questioning)."

(4) Budget screening team calls for deep cuts in funds for
diplomatic establishments overseas

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 26, 2009

Takashi Sudo

In its second day, Nov. 25, of the second round of budget
screenings, the Government Revitalization Unit scrutinized such
fields as education, diplomacy, science, and technology.

Diplomatic establishments abroad were also reviewed.

China has far more diplomatic establishments than Japan in Africa
and other areas. There are 166 Chinese embassies across the world
compared to Japan's 133. In Africa alone, China has 48 embassies,
which far surpasses Japan's 28. China is aiming to increase its

TOKYO 00002721 004 OF 010

influence in resource-rich African countries. Japan and China are
now engaged in a fierce battle, with Tokyo also sending
businessmen-turned-ambassadors to Africa.

But on Nov. 25 panel members did not debate such issues, but focused
on staff compensation and swimming pools, tennis courts, and other
facilities at ambassadors' residences. Foreign Ministry officials
explained that the monthly salary for an embassy worker in
Washington who has been with the ministry for 15 years includes
basic pay of 470,000 yen plus an overseas allowance of 510,000 yen.
They also maintained that the amount is not especially high, citing
the fact that among members of the Organization for Economic
Cooperation and Development Japan ranks 18th in pay for staff at
diplomatic establishments in Washington. Nevertheless, the
cost-cutting panel concluded that various allowances for staff at
diplomatic establishments overseas should be slashed.

(5) Review of "sympathy budget" may trigger new dispute with U.S.,
with fierce reaction from base workers union in Okinawa

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 27, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters yesterday: "Although
the sympathy budget itself is a political budget agreement between
Japan and the U.S., it is necessary to examine whether the current
labor costs are proper." He thus emphasized the significance of
having Japan's host nation support (HNS; the so-called omoiyari
yosan or "sympathy budget") open to review for possible cutbacks.
The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has called for reducing the
nation's HNS budget ever since it was an opposition party.

In its report titled "Okinawa vision" compiled in 2008, the DPJ
specified that the host nation support budget should be trimmed, on
the grounds that the current burden-sharing has not been fully
reexamined. In the Diet the same year, the party opposed a plan to
conclude a special agreement with the U.S. to extend HNS for another
three years. The reasons included that operators of pleasure boats,
animal handlers, and other recreation staff are among the base
workers whose salaries Japan pays, and the non-transparency of
utility and facility-maintenance expenditures.

But the DPJ has assumed the reins of government. If it continues to
call for cutbacks in HNS, that will inevitably spark a new dispute
with the U.S.

About 75 PERCENT of all U.S. military bases in Japan are
concentrated in Okinawa Prefecture. There are 9,000 Japanese base
workers in Okinawa. Of them, about 6,500 are members of the Okinawa
Branch Headquarters of the All Japan Garrison Forces Labor Union
(Zenchuro). Their distrust in the Hatoyama cabinet is now growing
because of its proposal to cut base worker salaries. Okinawa Branch
Headquarters Chairman Eizo Yonaha commented: "The government, while
placing a heavy base burden on Okinawa, is calling for cutting base
worker salaries. If that is the case, the base burden should be
equally shared across the nation."

The DPJ had secured no seats in single-seat constituencies in
Okinawa Prefecture before the general election in August, but the
party won two seats in the election owing to support from Zenchuro.
A union member grumbled, upon seeing base worker salaries targeted
for review: "I wonder why we supported the DPJ. ... The party

TOKYO 00002721 005 OF 010

betrayed us."

This issue also will unavoidably affect Japan-U.S. relations. For
the U.S., Japan's HNS is a test case to see if Japan intends to
continue the Japan-U.S. alliance.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated when he visited Japan
in October: "The defense umbrella (provided by the U.S.) has
protected Japan for nearly 50 years. This has made it possible for
Japan to contain its defense budget to 1 PERCENT of its gross
domestic product." His assertion can be interpreted to mean that
since Japan's defense spending has been minimized due to the
Japan-U.S. alliance and the presence of U.S. military bases, it is
natural for Japan to pay the costs of stationing U.S. military bases
in Japan.

Japan and the U.S. have been at odds over the issue of relocating
the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. Against this background,
if the government decides to slash the HNS budget, there will be
additional friction between the two countries. Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa is skeptical of reviewing HNS. He said on Nov. 13:
"If HNS is included among areas for review, Japan could fail to send
an accurate message at home and abroad."

(6) Budget-screening panel plunges scalpel into Foreign Ministry

ASAHI (Page 3) (Abridged)
November 25, 2009

The Foreign Ministry's budget is no longer a sacred cow. The
Government Revitalization Unit cut deep into the Foreign Ministry's
budget in its screening session yesterday. It is difficult to
evaluate the propriety of foreign affairs budgetary allocations
based only on cost-benefit analysis. The screening process has
disclosed that the ministry possesses a sense of cost far different
from the average person's. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada also
intends to examine how to handle the issue.

On the first day of the second round of the budget request screening
process resumed after a lapse of one week, the unit plunged a
scalpel into Foreign Ministry projects including those related to
international conferences, international cooperation, and grant

About 20,000 staff members, including trainees, in the Japan
International Cooperation Agency (JICA; President Sadako Ogata), an
independent administrative institute under the Foreign Ministry,
make overseas business trips annually. Their traveling expenses took
center stage in the budget screening.

A screening team member from the private sector snapped: "There is
no private company that uses business-class tickets these days.
Ordinary people travel economy class or on cheaper air tickets."
JICA rules mandate that Japan Overseas Cooperation volunteers or
non-governmental organization members fly economy class, executive
members of foundations and specialists travel business class, and
the president and the vice president travel first class. It has been
found that JICA prepares business- or first-class full-fare tickets
for more than 75 PERCENT of all overseas business trips.

Last year "the project team to eliminate wasteful spending" set up

TOKYO 00002721 006 OF 010

by the Liberal Democratic Party, a ruling party at that time,
addressed the problem of JICA's high travel expenses. A responsible
official of the Foreign Ministry explained "the results" produced by
using discount tickets for some travel in accordance with the LDP's
advice and emphasized: "It should be possible to reduce travel
outlays by 700 million yen from now."

Sumiko Kosemura, a screening team member who also attended the LDP
screening process last year, claimed: "I pointed out last year 'it
will be possible for JICA to reduce travel spending by 4 billion yen
if it makes use of discount tickets,' but the amount has not
decreased at all."

The problem of high wages paid by JICA was another topic during the
session. The JICA president's annual income reaches 22.16 million
yen, and the average salary of its staff is at the highest level
among all independent administrative agencies. The Laspeyres index
of JICA staff's average salary, with public servants' average salary
set at 100, is 133. A Foreign Ministry official emphasized their
duties' distinctiveness, remarking: "JICA members are frequently
transferred. Some are even assigned to places to which Japanese
company employees do not go." A screening team member pointed out:
"JICA should compare its salaries with those of similar institutes."
JICA has not made an international comparison.

The Foreign Ministry also came under fire. Japan will host an
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum summit meeting next
year. The government agencies concerned had requested a total of
19.1 billion yen on Aug. 30 during the days of the Aso
administration. They reduced the amount to 17.2 billion yen in their
requests on Oct. 15 under the Hatoyama administration and then
further to 16.6 billion yen before the start of the screening

According to their explanations, they managed to cut the amount by
reducing accommodation fees for state leaders and cabinet ministers
in negotiations with hotels. A screening team member gave the
ministry instructions in negotiating: "You took the wrong approach
to price negotiations. You lost in negotiations the moment you asked
hotels their prices."

In the screening process, the corporations that have offered
lucrative post-retirement posts for bureaucrats also drew attention.
The Japan Institution of International Affairs, in which senior
Foreign Ministry officials have secured post-retirement posts for
many years, have received state subsidies for 50 years since fiscal
1960. The ministry has requested 420 million yen for fiscal 2010.
The screening team called for a halt to subsidies for the
corporation, with one member remarking: "It is unclear whether the
institutions are privately owned corporations or state organs.

(7) Finance Ministry also questioned over Defense Ministry's
outsourcing practices on eighth day of budget screenings

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
November 27, 2009

Keigo Narusawa

On Nov. 26, the eighth day of budget screenings by the Government
Revitalization Unit, Democratic Party of Japan House of Councillors
member Renho locked horns with the Finance Ministry's budget

TOKYO 00002721 007 OF 010

examiner even though they were supposed to agree to cut budgets.

The third working group focused on a plan to increase the number of
Self-Defense Force personnel. The Defense Ministry sought an
additional 3,500 personnel (costing some 7.2 billion yen), citing
the need to improve and increase the frontline personnel responsible
for measures against terrorism and North Korea, while playing up the
ministry's restructuring efforts including the outsourcing of its
food services and clerical work to private companies.

A screening team member and the Finance Ministry's budget examiner
made clear, however, that the outsourcing to the private sector has
not helped the Defense Ministry reduce its costs. Parliamentary
Secretary of Defense Akihisa Nagashima promised to properly review
the ministry's outsourcing practices. "The approach presented by the
parliamentary secretary will probably bring no change to the current
situation," the budget examiner said, painting a gloomy picture.

This prompted Renho to criticize the Finance Ministry in defense of
Nagashima, asking: "Why has the Finance Ministry allowed (the
Defense Ministry to continue with its costly outsourcing practices)
for all these years?" Sensing an unfavorable situation, the budget
examiner replied, "We didn't realize it until last year."

(8) Foreign minister Okada alarmed at possible cut in total sum of
ODA budget

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
November 25, 2009

In a press conference yesterday, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada
said: "The various comments made from an unprecedented point of view
provide me with very useful information." He welcomed the results
produced in the screening process on Nov. 24 in general, although he
refrained from mentioning any specific projects.

Even so, the Foreign Ministry cannot easily make concessions on the
government's official development assistance (ODA) budget, which is
an essential tool for Japan's diplomacy. But the Government
Revitalization Unit called for reducing one-third of the nation's
grant aid to construct such facilities as hospitals and schools and
using the reduced portion for soft infrastructure support. This
policy direction could lead to reducing the total sum of the ODA

The Foreign Ministry's International Cooperation Bureau Director
General Masato Kidera told reporters after the screening session:
"There is a great demand for facilities. ... I don't think anyone
suggested in the session that aid for constructing facilities should
be stopped. I would like to think about what should be done on a
priority basis."

Okada also took precautions in the press conference yesterday,
saying: "If the total sum of the ODA is affected, it will turn into
a policy debate." Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama pledged in his
speech at the UN General Assembly in September: "We will strengthen
our aid for developing countries in terms of both quality and
quantity." Bearing this pledge in mind, Okada asserted: "This major
policy pledge made by Prime Minister Hatoyama cannot be easily

(9) Warrant of arrest issued to divorced Japanese woman by

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Australian authorities for "kidnapping" her children

ASAHI (Page 33) (Full)
November 24, 2009

Mariko Sugiyama

A 36-year-old Japanese woman living in Osaka has been on the wanted
list for nine months on charges of kidnapping.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for her in Australia for
returning to Japan with her two daughters, aged 10 and 5, without
her ex-husband's consent. However, she will not be arrested because
Japan has different laws. Nobody knows that she is on the wanted

There have been numerous cases of Japanese women returning home from
their countries of residence with their children after their
international marriages have failed. According to Ministry of
Foreign Affairs statistics, there were 168 such cases involving
women returning from the U.S., the UK, Canada, and France as of
October. In September, an American ex-husband who attempted to take
back his children forcibly after his Japanese ex-wife brought them
back from the U.S. was arrested by the Fukuoka Prefectural Police.

We contacted this woman who returned from Australia in our attempt
to find out why such cases continue to occur. She met us at a coffee
shop in the JR Shin-Osaka station and told us with a sigh: "I had no
other choice but to leave everything behind and flee." She began to
tell us her story.

She went to Australia under the working holiday scheme in 1995. She
could hardly speak any English but men often asked her out. One of
the men who approached her most enthusiastically was her

"He said to me every day: 'You're so beautiful.' And to be honest, I
was infatuated with the idea of an international marriage at that

She married when she was 22 and started working at an American
company. The couple took out a loan of 20 million yen to buy a
house. They also had a child.

However, the husband gradually stopped bringing money home. The wife
resumed working three months after delivering the baby and was
paying for everything from the mortgage to the husband's spending

"I had been thinking about a divorce all along, but about four years
ago, I found out from documents in the computer that my husband was
suing banks and insurance companies left and right, and I was
terrified. We had 20 million yen in debt, so I finally made up my

Two years ago, the procedures for a judicial divorce were completed,
and the court ruled that the children would live with her. However,
unlike under Japanese civil law, which gives parental rights to only
one parent, both parents shared parental rights.

The ex-husband began to call her and send her e-mails about the
children frequently after the woman remarried. He said things like

TOKYO 00002721 009 OF 010

"their hair is cut too short" or "let them take ballet lessons
instead of karate lessons."

In January 2008, the ex-husband filed a court case making 14
demands, including having the children live with either parent every
other week and permission for him to travel with the children for
three weeks during the spring break.

A psychologist appointed by the court to interview the children
reported that the elder daughter strongly refused to see her father.
However, even after the woman won the case, the man appealed. The
legal expenses totaled 16 million yen.

"I was under intense psychological stress. My hands trembled when I
used a knife for cooking. I thought if I died, I would be free from
that man."

In late 2008, her mother in Japan called her to inform her that her
father was dying. She came to her senses and decided to return home
with the children.

Last January, she boarded the plane with just one suitcase
containing a few clothes. As the cabin door closed, tears welled up
in her eyes. She thought: "I will finally be able to live a normal

In Japan, where there is a strong tendency not to interfere in civil
affairs, it is very rare for a warrant of arrest to be issued for a
parent who takes his or her children out of the country. However, in
Australia, which basically adopts the principle of joint parental
authority, it is not even possible to move from one town to another
without the other parent's consent.

One week after the woman's unauthorized return to Japan, the court
granted sole parental authority to the ex-husband. The verdict says
that "a warrant of arrest will be issued unless the children are
returned to Australia in 21 days." She told the lawyer who contacted
her that she had no intention to do so.

She was prepared to be put on the wanted list.

Last September, the ex-husband filed a case with a Japanese family
court to seek a ruling allowing visitation rights with the children.
He claimed that "(his daughters) would gain a lot from seeing their
father and it is unacceptable for them to be separated from their
father forcibly and illegally based on the mother's wishes."

Western countries have been increasing their pressure on Japan for
not signing the Hague Convention, which stipulates that children who
have been taken to another country by their parents should be
returned to their original country of residence.

This woman, who now lives with her present husband and her children,
thinks that it is ideal for children to maintain contact with both
parents after a divorce. However, Japanese wives like her who
returned with their children even if they had to violate foreign
laws to do so probably had no other choice.

She says: "If Japan signs the Hague Convention, it should also take
measures to help Japanese citizens and children who are in distress

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Her children were born in Australia. However, this woman, who is on
the wanted list, can never visit this country again.


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