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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 12/01/09

DE RUEHKO #2740/01 3350133
P 010133Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

Futenma facility relocation:
4) Foreign Minister to visit Okinawa (Yomiuri)
5) Osaka Governor: Examine Kansai International Airport as an
alternative site for Futenma airfield (Mainichi)
6) Okada meets with PACOM Commander Willard (Asahi)
7) Prime Minister and Okinawa Governor hold meeting; no resolution
of Futenma issue; will maintain close contact with each other
8) Futenma issue: U.S. wants conclusion within the year; SDP calls
for relocation outside Okinawa (Asahi)
9) SDP leader Fukushima says she would oppose Futenma working
group's proposing relocation according to existing plan (Tokyo

Defense & security:
10) U.S. service member suspected of involvement in hit-and-run
accident refuses to undergo police questioning (Asahi)
11) Government/DPJ to postpone submission of cargo-inspection bill
12) Hirano comments on plan to dispatch SDF personnel to Sudan PKO

13) Ninth day of screening of budget requests: MOD items (Asahi)
14) Second supplementary budget earmarks outlay of 1 trillion yen
for small- and medium-sized businesses (Nikkei)
15) Fake political contribution scandal: Prime Minister says he
will provide explanation after the conclusion of the investigation



Asahi & Sankei:
60,000 violent acts by students at elementary, middle, high schools
reported in fiscal 2008; 70 PERCENT increase in three years

Government to "constantly" check for wasteful spending

Hatoyama's office asked his mother to provide funds after his third
election as DPJ head in 2002

Government to allocate one trillion yen to assist small businesses
in second extra budget

Tokyo Shimbun:
Companies offering jobs to retired bureaucrats earn profits by
reselling car inspection forms

Bill providing aid to hepatitis sufferers enacted in Diet

TOKYO 00002740 002 OF 009


(1) Distribution of leaflets: Supreme Court's guilty verdict
(2) Environment tax: It's time for prime minister to make decision

(1) Extension of Diet session by only four days appalling
(2) Additional economic measures: National Strategy Minister Kan
must demonstrate skills

(1) Take every possible measure to prevent economy from
deteriorating further

(1) Current situation in Diet disappointing
(2) China urged to raise value of yuan

(1) Come up with consistent policy for dealing with rising yen,
falling stocks
(2) Extension of Diet session by four days: Hatoyama's attempt to
put end to false donation statements regrettable

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Hatoyama might be aiming to cover up donation scandal through
modest Diet extension
(2) Guilty verdict in leaflet-distribution case might lead to
restricting freedom of expression

(1) Verdict in leaflet distribution case by "guardian of the
Constitution" comes under heavy fire

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, November 30

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 1, 2009

07:37 Met Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno at the
Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
09:16 Meeting with Matsuno, followed by meeting with Okinawa
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima
11:03 Met International Prize for Biology awardee Dr. Winslow Briggs
and wife at the Japan Academy in Ueno Park, with Education Minister
Tatsuo Kawabata present. Later attended a meeting with the Emperor
and Empress, followed by an award ceremony for International Prize
for Biology
13:03 House of Councillors plenary session, followed by a meeting
with hepatitis patient group. Health Minister Akira Nagatsuma was
also present
14:01 House of Councillors plenary session
16:23 Met with National Strategy Minister Naoto Kan, Finance
Minister Hirohisa Fujii, Senior Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko
Noda, and others at the Kantei. Later met Foreign Minister Katsuya
Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa
17:48 Met Sergey Naryshkin, chief of the Russian presidential

TOKYO 00002740 003 OF 009

18:18 Met State Minister for Administrative Reform Yoshito Sengoku
and Hideki Kato, secretary general of the Government Revitalization
Unit (GRU). Later attended GRU meeting
20:36 Met Kan, Fujii, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano,
Sengoku, and others. Kan and Hirano stayed behind
21:39 Arrived at his official residential quarters

4) Okada to visit Okinawa

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
December 1, 2009

Foreign Minister Okada plans to visit Okinawa Prefecture on a
two-day schedule from Dec. 4 to exchange views with local residents
on the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station. Later this week, before his Okinawa visit, Japan and the
United States will also hold a second meeting of their
intergovernmental working group involving their foreign and defense

While in Okinawa Okada will exchange views with the local community
in the island prefecture's northern coastal city of Nago, where the
Futenma base is currently planned to be relocated, and also in the
prefecture's southern city of Itoman. There are no U.S. military
bases in Itoman, but Okada will visit there since the ruling
Democratic Party of Japan won a seat there in this summer's general
election for the House of Representatives.

5) Hashimoto mulls accepting Futenma relocation to Kansai airport

ASAHI (Page 11) (Full)
Eve., November 30, 2009

On the pending issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Osaka Gov. Toru
Hashimoto has indicated that he would consider Kansai International
Airport as a candidate site to take over the heliport functions of
the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. "If there is a formal
proposal from the government, then I'd like to consider it basically
in the direction of accepting (discussions)," Hashimoto told
reporters this morning. "This is my personal view," he said, adding
that there has been no formal request from the government yet.
However, Hashimoto also implied that he would consider the using
Kansai International Airport for military aircraft and utilizing
Kobe Airport as well, while giving thought to hosting some of the
Futenma-based aircraft's training missions as a measure to reduce
aircraft noise at the Kadena base.

The Futenma problem is now in its final stage, and Hashimoto's offer
to accept Futenma relocation to Kansai International Airport will
likely have repercussions.

6) Okada meets U.S. military's top brass, hopes to settle Futenma
issue within the year

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
December 1, 2009

Foreign Minister Okada met yesterday at the Foreign Ministry with
U.S. Pacific Command (PACOM) Commander Willard. In the meeting,
Okada, referring to the pending issue of relocating the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture, said he "would

TOKYO 00002740 004 OF 009

like to settle the problem before the year is out if possible."

7) Prospects for solution to Futenma relocation issue still
uncertain after PM Hatoyama's meeting with Okinawa governor

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
December 1, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held formal talks with Okinawa
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima on the relocation of the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa on Nov. 30, thus beginning his
personal involvement in coordinating this issue. However, prospects
for finding a middle ground between public opinion in Okinawa
seeking the relocation of the Futenma base out of the prefecture or
out of Japan and the U.S. side, which is demanding a solution
according to the existing relocation plan, remain uncertain.

Hatoyama told reporters that he promised the governor that he will
be consulted again before a final decision is made. He said: "I
informed (the governor) that I will maintain close contact and make
a decision that will reduce the burden on the Okinawan people as
much as possible."

He also told Nakaima that he will wait for the conclusion of the
Japan-U.S. cabinet level working group consisting of the foreign and
defense ministers before making his decision.

Ahead of the meeting on Nov. 30, Hatoyama also had an unofficial
meeting with Nakaima at his official residential quarters on Nov.
27. It is believed that he wanted to get a sense of whether it is
possible to make a decision based on the current plan to relocate
Futenma to the coastal area of Camp Schwab (in Nago City) before the
end of the year.

The U.S. government has consistently asserted that there can be no
option other than the existing plan agreed upon by the two
governments in May 2006. U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos visited
Okinawa for the first time after assuming his post on Nov. 30 and
had a meeting with Nakaima. Roos stressed that the current plan is
the "best and most viable option."

Meanwhile, Nakaima will find himself in a very difficult position if
the incumbent mayor of Nago, who has accepted the current relocation
plan, loses the mayoral election in January. While he merely asked
Hatoyama for assistance to "remove the danger posed by the Futenma
base as soon as possible" at his meeting with the Prime Minister, a
senior Okinawa Prefectural Government official explained that this
was meant to ask him to "make a decision based on the existing plan
as soon as possible."

Active maneuvering is also taking place within the government. After
his meeting with Nakaima, Hatoyama met Foreign Minister Katsuya
Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei). Okada had told Admiral Robert Willard,
commander of U.S. Pacific Command, at an earlier meeting at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs that "we will do our best to reach a
solution before the end of the year."

However, Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Mizuho Fukushima
stated unequivocally at the Ministerial Committee on Basic Policies
meeting held at the Kantei in the late afternoon that if a decision
based on the existing relocation plan is made, she will "oppose this

TOKYO 00002740 005 OF 009

firmly." She demanded the creation of a working group on Futenma
relocation under the Ministerial Committee. People's New Party
leader Shizuka Kamei supported her. If Hatoyama makes a decision
based on the current plan before the end of 2009, there is the view,
according to a top political appointee in a ministry, "that the SDP
will play the leave-the-coalition card, which might destabilize the
administration's political base.

8) U.S. to seek settlement of Futenma before year's end; Okinawa,
SDP call for moving Futenma out of prefecture

ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
December 1, 2009

The issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station
(in Ginowan, Okinawa) will reach a critical stage before the end of
the year. A Japan-U.S. cabinet-level working group will come to some
sort of conclusion after winding up its verification work as early
as mid-December. There is practically no chance of the U.S. side
accepting Japan's call to fundamentally review the bilateral
agreement to move the air station to the Henoko district in Nago in
the prefecture.

What decision will Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama make? There are
calls for a settlement by mid-December when the U.S. Congress will
enter the Christmas recess. A delay in a decision is likely to
adversely affect U.S. congressional deliberations on the budget that
includes funds related to the realignment of U.S. forces, inevitably
taking a toll on Japan-U.S. relations. But if the Prime Minister
accepts the Henoko plan, he will be criticized for breaking his
promise to move the air station at least out of the prefecture.

Hatoyama met with Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu Nakaima at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) yesterday. "The people of
Okinawa have been shouldering a heavy burden," Hatoyama said to
Nakaima, who has expressed a willingness to accept the Henoko plan
conditionally. "Since the new administration was launched, the
sentiments of the people of Okinawa have been shifting to
(relocating the air station) outside the prefecture." Hatoyama thus
admitted that the "sentiments of the people of Okinawa" - an element
he values highly - are now leaning toward moving the Futenma
functions out of the prefecture.

Contrary to what Hatoyama has been saying, discussion is underway in
the cabinet premised on the existing Henoko relocation plan.

Yesterday evening, a three-person meeting was held at the Kantei
among Hatoyama, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, and Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa. They are believed to have discussed strategies for
reaching a settlement. Arrangements are being made for senior
foreign and defense ministry officials to visit the United States
again this week to finalize new measures to reduce the burden with
the U.S. side.

If Hatoyama decides to accept the Henoko plan, the Social Democratic
Party (SDP), which opposes relocating Futenma to a site within
Okinawa, might opt for leaving the coalition administration. This
might further complicate the Futenma issue, for which the Japanese
government, Okinawa, and the U.S. government must be in agreement to
being with.

9) Fukushima: SDP opposes current Futenma relocation plan

TOKYO 00002740 006 OF 009

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
December 1, 2009

In a meeting of the Ministerial Committee on Basic Policies
yesterday, Social Democratic Party (SDP) President Mizuho Fukushima
voiced her opposition to the current plan to relocate the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City, Okinawa
Prefecture, to a coastal area of U.S. Camp Schwab in Nago City.

Fukushima said: "After the ministerial-level Japan-U.S. panel
reaches a conclusion (on the existing plan), even if the conclusion
is brought to the Ministerial Committee on Basic Policies, we will
definitely oppose it." She then proposed setting up a working group
under the ministerial committee, remarking: "Proper discussions have
not been conducted in the cabinet on such options as relocating the
Futenma facility outside the prefecture or the nation. Including
these options, we should discuss various plans in a serious

Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan replied: "We will actively take this
proposal into consideration," but the government is likely to have
difficulty in coordinating views within the coalition.

10) U.S. serviceman believed to be involved in hit-and-run incident
refusing to appear for questioning by Okinawa Prefectural Police -
unexpected situation under SOFA

ASAHI (Page 12) (Abridged slightly)
Evening, November 30, 2009

Atsushi Matsukawa, Kumiko Yamane

A 27-year-old staff sergeant of the U.S. Army in Okinawa, who is
believed to be involved in a hit-and-run incident that occurred in
the village of Yomitan, Okinawa, on Nov. 7, has been refusing to
appear for questioning by the prefectural police on a voluntary
basis, an unusual situation. Under the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces
Agreement (SOFA), Japanese law enforcement authorities are in
principle not allowed to arrest a U.S. service member in the custody
of the U.S side on the premise of the U.S. military's full
cooperation in investigations. If a request is rejected, Japanese
law enforcement cannot even question a suspect. The case this time
has exposed an unexpected loophole.

The prefectural police have asked the U.S. military for its
cooperation regarding the incident. Identifying the staff sergeant
as a suspect, a U.S. military investigative body has placed him
under its supervision.

The prefectural police interviewed the staff sergeant as a potential
suspect for three days from Nov. 11 on a voluntary basis. But the
staff sergeant has been refusing to appear for questioning on a
voluntary basis since Nov. 14. Japanese investigative authorities
planned to send papers on him to the public prosecutors' office
after conducting questioning and then to have his custody handed
over to the Japanese side after the prosecutors' office indicted him
in accordance with the framework of the SOFA. This plan has now
fallen through.

In the past, one U.S. military serviceman, a potential suspect,
abruptly returned to the United States while the prefectural

TOKYO 00002740 007 OF 009

police's investigation was underway. In recent years, there have
been no major problems in investigative cooperation with the U.S.
military. "Investigations have gone well because questioning always
went smoothly on a voluntary basis," an investigator said. "The
disruption of the investigation results from a fundamental problem
with the SOFA."

Representing the staff sergeant, attorney Toshimitsu Takaesu
explained that the U.S. serviceman has been refusing to appear for
police questioning because he was labeled as and treated like a

11) Government to postpone cargo inspection bill until next Diet

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
December 1, 2009

Among the government-sponsored bills submitted to the current Diet
session, the government and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
decided yesterday to put on hold a cargo inspection bill and a bill
to maintain social insurance hospitals and koseinenkin (welfare)
hospitals across the nation. They intend to enact the bills during
the next ordinary Diet session. Following a decision made to extend
the ongoing Diet session, senior members of the DPJ's Diet affairs
committees in both houses of the Diet decided to postpone the bill
until the next session, and the government gave its approval.

The cargo inspection bill is aimed at allowing the Japan Coast Guard
and custom houses to inspect cargo on vessels heading to and from
North Korea if they suspect the vessels are carrying goods under
embargo. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) has submitted
a countermeasure to the House of Representatives to enable the
Maritime Self-Defense Force to be mobilized to handle situations
that demand capabilities that the coast guard cannot offer. A senior
DPJ member said: "We will conduct thorough deliberations on the
matter with the LDP."

12) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano admits that government is looking
into SDF dispatch to UNMIS

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
December 1, 2009

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano admitted yesterday that the
government is looking into the possibility of dispatching a Self
Defense Forces (SDF) unit with several hundred members to the United
Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) to take part in UN peacekeeping
operations. He stated at a press conference yesterday: "We are
discussing measures, including what kind of cooperation Japan can

13) Screening of budgetary requests to identify wasteful projects --
nine days of a battle of words

ASAHI (Page 15) (Excerpt)
December 1, 2009

Defense Ministry
Requests turned down or put on hold

Request for an increase in Self-Defense Forces (SDF) personnel 7.2

TOKYO 00002740 008 OF 009

billion yen Budgetary earmarking put on hold. Whether the demand
exists or not is unclear.
International peace cooperation center 2.7 billion yen Training can
be provided without building new facilities.

Consolidated or curtailed projects

More efficient budget for SDF personnel's salaries by hiring younger
people 2.1367 trillion yen To be reviewed, including the possibility
of a budgetary cut. The matter requires discussion by the
Requests related to the salary levels of employees of U.S. forces
stationed in Japan and omoiyari yosan ("sympathy budget" or
host-nation financial support) for the stationing of U.S. forces in
Japan. 123.3 billion yen To be reviewed. Give consideration to
regional balance.
Costs of rent, development, and repairs of information systems 85.3
billion yen 20-30 PERCENT cut. Review the order-placing system.
Costs of equipment, clothes, firearm, and ammunition. 47.9 billion
yen To be reviewed, including the possibility of a budgetary cut.
Reduce costs by employing an improved order-placement system.
Measures to deal with areas in the vicinity of SDF bases and
subsidies for the consolidation and adjustments of areas in the
vicinity of specified defense facilities 28.3 billion yen To be
reviewed. Consider a method which base-hosting municipalities find
Public relations and recruitment activities of SDF 3.1 billion yen
Budgetary cut. Narrow down to more effective projects.
Hold down costs at the stage of selecting equipment No mention of
the amount of request To be reviewed. Cut costs, by using imported

Accepted as requested

Procurement of equipment 865.5 billion yen Requires political
Level of rents for defense facilities 119 billion yen Obtain
understanding of financial difficulties from landowners.
Measures for areas in the vicinity of SDF bases and soundproofing of
residential houses 36.2 billion yen Project with high priority.

14) One trillion yen to be disbursed as financial assistance to
small- and medium-sized businesses

NIKKEI (Top play) (Excerpts)
December 1, 2009

The government on Nov. 30 adopted a general framework for additional
economic pump-priming measures to be included in the fiscal 2009
second extra budget. It also intends to spend roughly 900 billion
yen for measures to combat global warming, expanding the budget from
the originally estimated 2.7 trillion yen. As a measure to assist
small- and medium-size businesses, it will disburse 1 trillion yen.
It will also step up credit guarantees by 6 trillion yen and
emergency loans by 4 trillion yen. It is also expected to come up
with measures with immediate effects to undergird the economy. As a
result, the initiative will likely exceed 10 trillion yen.

Outline of additional pump-priming measures

Small-and medium-sized businesses
Secure 1 trillion yen for actual fiscal spending (from the general

TOKYO 00002740 009 OF 009

account). Credit guarantees are to be stepped up by 6 trillion yen
to a total of 36 trillion yen. Business areas eligible for a credit
guarantee are to be expanded to cover nursing-care and other areas.
The loan framework is to be stepped up by 4 trillion yen.
Employment Make an all-out effort to maintain and create jobs. Ease
requirements for receiving employment adjustment subsidies. To
finance this policy, a total of 500 billion yen to be earmarked in
the second extra budget and the fiscal 2010 principal budget.
Strengthen assistance for job seekers' livelihoods and for
job-seeking activities by students who will graduate next year.
Environment Secure a total of 900 billion yen as measures to curb
global warming. Main measures include supporting the dissemination
of electric cars, creation of a housing-version of an eco-point
system, and a subsidy for the purchase of an eco-car.

15) Prime Minister Hatoyama on fake donations: I will explain after
the whole truth is disclosed; no intention to resign

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
December 1, 2009

During a House of Councillors plenary session yesterday, Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama stated: "I will wait for a judicial
judgment, and on the basis of the results I want to fulfill my duty
as prime minister," indicating that he has no intention to step down
from his post at this point. Hatoyama was replying to a question
from Tsukasa Akimoto of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) about how
he will take responsibility for the issue of fake political

Hatoyama again expressed an apology for the alleged illegal
contribution issue, saying: "I apologize from the bottom of my
heart. I deeply regret my ignorance of the matter." He then said,
"After the whole truth of the matter is disclosed, I will explain to
the public based on the result," stressing that he will explain
about the matter when the investigation concludes.


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