Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 11/30/09

DE RUEHKO #2734/01 3340807
P 300807Z NOV 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) Interview with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima on Futenma
relocation (Asahi)

(2) Editorial: Verification of "secret nuclear pact" should result
in enhanced nuclear deterrence (Sankei)

(3) Questioning of suspect on U.S. military base mulled in Okinawa
hit-and-run case to avoid making the case a political issue (Ryukyu

(4) Yomitan hit-and-run incident; U.S. military submits staff
sergeant's saliva; prefectural police to crosscheck saliva with
samples (Okinawa Times)

(5) Political Cartoon (Tokyo Shimbun)


(1) Interview with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima on Futenma

ASAHI (Page 17) (Full)
November 28, 2009

Interviewers: Masaaki Tonedachi, editorial staff member; Hirofumi
Goto, Naha General Bureau chief

The outlook for the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air
Station remains uncertain. With the Hatoyama administration
advocating a "review" of the current relocation plan, the people of
Okinawa are shifting their hope to relocation out of the prefecture,
but the cabinet ministers are making conflicting statements. What
does the governor, who has accepted the relocation of the Futenma
base within Okinawa so far, think of the administration's handling
of this issue?

Q: Public opinion in Okinawa is strongly in favor of relocation out
of the prefecture.

Nakaima: The prime minister of this country and the president of a
political party has talked about (relocation) out of the prefecture
or out of Japan. This is of great significance. No prime minister or
party president in the past has talked about something that was
impossible to achieve. I think the Okinawan people have come to have
strong expectations that this will indeed be realized.

Q: On the other hand, your position is that "while relocation out of
Okinawa is the best option, relocation within the prefecture is also
inevitable." We believe that you made a difficult decision based on
what you thought was feasible. Even the ruling parties in Okinawa
are demanding that you call for relocation out of the prefecture.
You seem to be standing alone.

Nakaima: Ha, ha, ha, you think so? I don't feel alone at all.
Honestly, I basically think that relocation out of Okinawa is best.
If the prime minister and the concerned cabinet ministers will work
toward that in good faith, and they present a concrete plan and road
map, I am prepared to change my stance anytime. However, to what
extent have they done on-site investigations and taken the local
situation into account? I have no idea. Looking for a relocation
site for a military base is different from looking for a house to

TOKYO 00002734 002 OF 007

rent. Even building a civilian airport in Narita was a big problem.
It is even a bigger problem to move the U.S. forces' military
machine from one site to another. It is much more difficult than you
imagine. This has to be handled with great care. It takes a lot of
time to get the residents in the proposed relocation site to say

If I begin to echo everybody's opinion and start clamoring for
relocation out of Okinawa, there will be only one option left. I
have worked for the removal of the danger posed by the Futenma base
(which is surrounded by residential areas) so far. A solution will
then face a hurdle and it will then be hard to say when a solution
can be found. We need to keep the option of relocation within

Q: However, in reality, don't you ever think that it will soon be
time to change tack and call for relocation out of Okinawa?

Nakaima: I think about that all the time. (Pointing to his throat)
the words are up to here. If I say it, I will probably feel good and
be relieved. Ruling party Diet members elected from Okinawa and even
many Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and New Komeito Prefectural
Assembly members belonging to the ruling camp supporting the
governor favor relocation out of the prefecture. I have a feeling
that the only people who are saying relocation within Okinawa is
inevitable have become me and Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro of Nago,
the proposed relocation site. However, I cannot possibly call for
relocation out of the prefecture in the absence of a concrete plan.
Although the relocation site in Nago faces problems in terms of the
environment and opposition from many people, the specifications have
been decided to a certain extent, so it is a concrete option.

Q: The specific incident that triggered the Futenma issue is the
1995 rape of a schoolgirl by U.S. marines. There was a public outcry
in Okinawa. You were then the president of Okinawa Electric Company.
What did you think when you learned of this incident from the news?

Nakaima: I also participated in the protest rally. I simply felt
that (the U.S. forces) should go home.

Q: If so, when did you come to the conclusion that the relocation of
Futenma within Okinawa is inevitable?

Nakaima: I don't remember clearly... Well, this is a question of
choice. I also think the Japan-U.S. security treaty is necessary. I
believe that the U.S. military presence is still needed for Japan's
defense and for stabilizing the security environment in Asia and the
Pacific. We should accept an appropriate level of U.S. military
presence. U.S. military bases do not only exist in Okinawa; there
are bases also in Tokyo, Kanagawa, Aomori and Yamaguchi. However,
the scale of U.S. bases in Okinawa is far beyond the tolerable
level. What I am saying is that this excessive burden should be
reduced. I have never demanded the elimination of all bases. I don't
remember ever negating all bases. My thinking remains unchanged.

Q: I see. What are your demands on the government with regard to the

Nakaima: Basically, I want the government to consult with Okinawa
and with the local communities before deciding on a policy. (I want
them to tell us:) This is our basic policy, this is what we want to
change, this is how our negotiations with the U.S. are going, and

TOKYO 00002734 003 OF 007

this is what the outcome is likely to be. If we are told only
shortly before the announcement or after a decision has been made,
it will be unacceptable to us.

Q: You are asking to be consulted in advance?

Nakaima: Of course. I learned from former Governor Keiichi Inamine
that (with regard to USFJ realignment) the government once
negotiated on the Henoko relocation plan with the U.S. side over
Okinawa's head. That was the time when Takemasa Moriya was the
administrative vice minister of the (then) Defense Agency. That will
not work. What I am saying is that employing such a method will only
result in extra time and effort required for coordination with the
local communities.

Q: Do you think the Democratic Party of Japan will negotiate
seriously with the U.S. government?

Nakaima: I think they at least have the aspiration. I sympathize
with the Hatoyama administration's attempt to embark on a general
clean-up of Japan and to work for a breakthrough. I also feel that
it is beginning to alter the previous unqualified pro-U.S. stance to
one that leans more toward Asia, without changing the cornerstone. I
have great expectations for certain aspects.

The Japan-U.S. cabinet level examination panel on the Futenma issue
will sort out the basic thinking. I still do not know what the
substance of this is, but I think they are proceeding based on the
spirit of the tri-party agreement reached before the start of the
administration. I appreciate such spirit and aspiration. I think
some Okinawan people also support such a stance.

However, the government is currently grappling with more issues than
it can possibly handle. For example, the government will review the
National Defense Program Guidelines (dealing with defense
capabilities in the next 10 years). But it is difficult to see its
basic thinking in dealing with defense issues without watching for a
certain period of time.

Q: We believe that in all Japan, Okinawa is the local government
that is forced to make choices and decisions on security issues most
frequently. This sometimes divides the local people.

Nakaima: That is true. However, the people of Okinawa do not think
in terms of the bases alone. We adopt a comprehensive approach in
interacting with the U.S. in particular. Many Okinawans have been
successful in Hawaii. After World War II, many young people went to
America to study, thinking that an American university is better
than a university in Tokyo. We are enraged by the terrible crimes
and accidents and rapes; that is quite natural. We sometimes
complain and argue heatedly. But overall, we have a feeling of
affinity toward America in a multifaceted way.

Q: May I ask you again? Don't you have any plan to change your
position that relocation within Okinawa is inevitable?

Nakaima: For now, my position remains unchanged. However, if
tomorrow, the prime minister makes a decision and states clearly
that the entire cabinet will work for relocation out of Okinawa and
asks us to help with this effort, I will change my position right
away. That is how I feel.

TOKYO 00002734 004 OF 007

Q: You are saying that since no concrete proposal has been presented
for relocation out of Okinawa, if you also join those people calling
for this, it will make a solution to the problem even more remote.
Therefore, not only will you not change your position, (you think)
you should not change your position.

Nakaima: (Laughs) You can read people's minds. That is half of what
I think. It will take a few years just to find another relocation
site. Another thing is how does the Japanese government compare with
the U.S. government? I have been governor for three years, but
during that period, there were seven defense ministers. This
situation makes the other side take Japan lightly. I directly tell
the U.S. forces to make constant operational improvements and
enhancements and implement the zero-defect campaign of no accidents
and no violations.

There is also the question of the outcome of the Nago mayoral
election in January and the gubernatorial race in November next
year. If opponents of relocation within Okinawa win in both
elections, things will get stuck.

Q: Will you run in the gubernatorial election next year?

Nakaima: I have not decided.

Q: It seems that the government may decide on Henoko relocation
before the end of the year. If that happens, what are your

Nakaima: Of course, I have certain conditions. First, the
replacement facility should be located farther into the sea. I have
cited some 300 conditions (in the governor's opinion on the
preparatory documents for environmental assessment). I hope all
these conditions are met. One of them is measuring noise. (The
replacement facility) should not be located too close (to the
residential areas). It needs to be moved farther offshore to leave
some margin.

The Futenma base is located right in the middle of an urban center.
Even if a decision is made on Henoko relocation, it will take a few
years to complete the new facility. I would like to see a reduction
in the operational level (of takeoffs and landings by helicopters)
in the meantime. For this purpose, the dispersal of helicopters
should take place even right now. This will reduce the risk
considerably. In reality, the helicopters have gone to Iraq or
Afghanistan and the local residents know right away that (the
Futenma airfield) is out of business even though it is supposedly in
operation when they notice there is less noise. If the above two
conditions are not met, I will not be able to grant the permit to
reclaim land (in Henoko).

Okinawa does not live by relying on the U.S. bases. On the contrary,
we want the bases to be returned at an early date. The bases are
located in the middle of the town, and returned land can easily be
utilized. Right now, Okinawa is full of energy. We hope for the
return of the bases south of Kadena while Okinawa is still full of
vitality so that we can utilize the land.

(2) Editorial: Verification of "secret nuclear pact" should result
in enhanced nuclear deterrence

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)

TOKYO 00002734 005 OF 007

November 30, 2009

A panel of experts tasked with verifying the Foreign Ministry's
investigation into the question of Japan-U.S. secret pacts,
including one on the introduction of nuclear weapons, in connection
with the three nonnuclear principles, met for the first time (on
Nov. 27). The panel plans to report its findings to Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada in January next year.

What is being verified is directly connected with the security of
Japan. A large part of the contents of the agreements has already
become clear. What is necessary for Japan now is to reinforce
extended deterrence (the nuclear umbrella) against new threats, such
as the North Korean nuclear weapons program, rather than to expend
energy to verify whether or not secret agreements exist. We want to
see in-depth discussions for the future of the Japan-U.S. alliance
rather than about its past.

The ongoing controversy was triggered by indications by a former
vice-foreign minister and others since last fall that Japan and the
United States had concluded at the time of the revision of their
bilateral security treaty in 1960 a secret pact that was designed to
exempt from prior consultations U.S. warships/aircraft carrying
nuclear weapons calling at Japanese ports and passing through
Japan's territorial waters.

Foreign Minister Okada ordered the Foreign Ministry to conduct a
thorough investigation, and he received a report that related
documents have been found. The panel was set up with the purpose of
verifying the Foreign Ministry's reports on four cases, including
the questions of introducing nuclear weapons into Okinawa and of
using U.S. bases in Japan in a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

"There might have been some demand for (the secret pact)," Okada
said. In order to make a series of verifications meaningful, it is
essential to present a clear direction after the verification.

The national security of Japan has relied heavily on the U.S.'s
nuclear umbrella under the security treaty with the United States.

Threats are increasing in Northeast Asia due to such factors as
North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs and China's
military buildup.

Japan has upheld the three nonnuclear principles (of not possessing,
producing, or permitting the introduction of nuclear weapons into
Japan). Of them, the Sankei Shimbun has repeatedly called for
reviewing the principle of not permitting the introduction of
nuclear weapons in the direction of allowing nuclear-armed U.S.
ships to call at Japanese ports/pass through Japan's territorial
waters. South Korea, too, reaffirmed the U.S. nuclear umbrella over
the country during the U.S.-ROK summit in June. The U.S. nuclear
deterrent remains indispensable for the security of Japan and South
Korea in the post-Cold War era as well.

Despite that, Okada has urged the United States to abandon the
preemptive use of nuclear weapons, while indicating that Japan might
step out from under the U.S. nuclear umbrella. Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama's statements have also been inconsistent, pointing to a
review of the three principles at one time and at legislating (the
three principles) at another time. Such is not a responsible

TOKYO 00002734 006 OF 007

As seen in Secretary of Defense Robert Gates's comment, "We hope
that care is taken not to have a negative impact on nuclear
deterrence and the bilateral relationship," the United States is
concerned about the situation. The government should put its efforts
into improving and increasing the deterrence of the alliance on the
occasion of the establishment of the experts' panel.

(3) Questioning of suspect on U.S. military base mulled in Okinawa
hit-and-run case to avoid making the case a political issue

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
November 29, 2009

The U.S. Army staff sergeant, 27, from Torii Station who has been
identified by the Okinawa Prefectural Police as the suspect in the
hit-and-run incident in Sobe, Yomitan Village, on Nov. 7, has
refused to present himself for questioning on a voluntary basis. It
was learned on Nov. 28 that in light of this, the Japanese and U.S.
governments are considering questioning him on a U.S. military
facility. Interrogation of the suspect on a U.S. military base is
unprecedented. In a similar case in Ginowan City in 2003,
questioning on a U.S. base was suggested for the three U.S. marines
charged with robbery resulting in bodily injury, but this was
rejected by the prefectural police on the grounds that this was an
issue bearing on national sovereignty.

According to informed sources, the proposal for on-base
interrogation was made as a compromise between the prefectural
police, which is continuing its investigation, and the suspect, who
is demanding the video recording of the interrogation and the
presence of lawyers. It is likely that this attempt to resolve the
stalemate in the investigation at an early date is being made to
prevent crimes and accidents involving U.S. military personnel from
turning into political issues, including triggering calls for the
revision of the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

Several senior Okinawa police officers said that they "have not been
informed at all" about the plan to conduct on-base interrogation. It
appears that senior-level coordination had taken place between the
two countries without the knowledge of the prefectural police.

According to an informed source on the Japanese side, the U.S.
forces have been cooperating fully with police investigations and
have also indicated approval of the proposal for on-base

(4) Yomitan hit-and-run incident; U.S. military submits staff
sergeant's saliva; prefectural police to crosscheck saliva with

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 31) (Excerpts)
November 27, 2009

Through Nov. 26, the Okinawa Prefectural Police collected saliva
from the 27-year-old staff sergeant based at the U.S. Army's Torii
Communications Station whom they determined is a suspect in the
hit-and-run incident that occurred in Sobe in the village of
Yomitan. The prefectural police intend to crosscheck the staff
sergeant's saliva with the clothes of Masakazu Hokama, 66, who was
killed in the incident, as well as with samples collected from the
site where Hokama's body was found, in order to determine whether

TOKYO 00002734 007 OF 007

the staff sergeant touched Mr. Hokama immediately after the
incident. Given the staff sergeant's refusal to appear for police
questioning since Nov. 14, the prefectural police are gathering hard
evidence to file charges against him for vehicular manslaughter and
a violation of the Road Traffic Law (violation of the duty to aid
the injured and a failure to inform the authorities of an

Lawyer asks for the view of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee

Obtaining a warrant on Nov. 23, the prefectural police asked a U.S.
military investigative body for the collection of saliva. The U.S.
military investigative body submitted the saliva to the Kadena
Police Station.

The lawyer representing the staff sergeant sent a letter of inquiry
dated Nov. 26 to the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee criminal cases
jurisdiction subcommittee asking for its opinion, saying, "Now that
it is clear that (the staff sergeant) was driving the vehicle when
the accident occurred, the prefectural police should have
immediately informed the U.S. military side of criminal charges. The
Japanese side will not be given custody of the staff sergeant until
he is indicted. We request the whole investigation process be taped
with a U.S. military judge advocate present and the production of
questions and answers in English."


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