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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/03/09

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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0065
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1525
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RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8222
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2119
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8787
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8241

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 002766

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 12/03/09

INDEX:

(1) Interview with Ambassador Roos on Futenma relocation: U.S. sets
no deadline (Okinawa Times)

(2) Interview with Ambassador Roos: President Obama believes that
the current plan is the best option (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(3) PM Hatoyama tells FM Okada, DM Kitazawa no Futenma decision
before year's end (Yomiuri)

(4) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano indicates deferring
Futenma decision to next year unavoidable (Nikkei)

(5) Does postponement of Futenma decision reflect DPJ Secretary
General Ozawa's wish to give priority to the coalition ahead of
Upper House election? (Nikkei)

(6) SDP leader hints at breaking away from ruling coalition if
decision made to relocate Futenma base to Henoko (Yomiuri)

(7) Editorial: Japan should reexamine alliance cooperation (Sankei)


ARTICLES:

(1) Interview with Ambassador Roos on Futenma relocation: U.S. sets
no deadline

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 3) (Full)
December 3, 2009

In connection with the efforts being made by the ministries of
defense and foreign affairs to arrive at a solution to the issue of
the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station, U.S.
Ambassador to Japan John Roos stated on Dec. 2 that "the U.S.
government has never set a deadline." On the other hand, he
stressed: "The Japanese government is undertaking an examination
process. It is important that it comes to a conclusion as
expeditiously as possible."

The Ambassador did not directly touch on the fact that Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama has not given up on relocation out of
Okinawa or out of Japan, but he said: "The Obama administration has
also undertaken an examination and confirmed that the current plan
is the best and most viable option."

To the question whether the Obama administration considered
relocating the Futenma base out of Okinawa or out of Japan in its
examination process, Roos would only say: "The realignment road map
was agreed upon after spending more than 10 years. A decision was
made based on this long history."

Interview

Interviewer: Shin Yoshida, political and economic reporter

Q: This is your first visit to Okinawa. What do you think of the
burden imposed by the U.S. forces on Okinawa?

Roos: I visited the Peace Memorial Museum and came to know the
history of the suffering brought about by war. This made a very

TOKYO 00002766 002 OF 008


powerful impression. I have renewed my belief that the maintenance
of peace and regional stability is very important.

Along with fulfilling our role under the Japan-U.S. security treaty,
it is also important to reduce the burden on the people of Okinawa.
The President has pledged to take measures without fail. The
realignment road map was drawn up for this purpose.

Q: As a member of the Japan-U.S. cabinet level working group, how do
you assess the prospects of reaching a solution?

Roos: The Ambassador to Japan is a member of the U.S. government. I
think it is very important to come to a conclusion expeditiously
about matters that have been agreed upon between the U.S. and Japan.
We are still in the middle of this process, but I am optimistic
about reaching a conclusion speedily.

After the change of administration in the U.S., we also reached a
conclusion through our own process that the implementation of the
road map as soon as possible is the best and most viable option. I
think the Japanese government will also reach a conclusion through
the working group process.

Q: Did the U.S. examination process include the options of
relocation out of Okinawa or out of Japan?

Roos: The road map is an agreement that was reached after spending
more than 10 years. During the examination process a decision was
made based on this long history.

Q: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has not given up on relocation out
of Okinawa.

Roos: The Prime Minister and the Japanese government are still going
through the process. I am not in a position to comment. However, the
most important thing is that the Japanese government is emphasizing
the fact that the Japan-U.S. security treaty and the bilateral
relationship are important as the linchpin of regional peace and
stability. All parties agree that it is important to reach a
conclusion expeditiously based on an equal relationship between the
two countries.

Q: The Prime Minister has not said that he will make a decision
before the end of 2009. What do you think of the timing for making a
decision?

Roos: The U.S. government has never set a deadline. The important
thing is that we move quickly to reach a conclusion. The Japanese
government will make a decision at its own discretion through this
process.

Q: Ambassador, you visited Hiroshima and mentioned that President
Obama may visit Hiroshima. Is there any possibility of a
presidential visit to Okinawa?

Roos: What I can say is that it would be an honor for the President
to visit Hiroshima during his term of office. The same goes for
Okinawa. This is a matter for the President to decide. He will be in
Japan again for the APEC Summit next year. The White House makes the
decisions on scheduling.

(2) Interview with Ambassador Roos: President Obama believes that

TOKYO 00002766 003 OF 008


the current plan is the best option

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Pages 1, 2) (Full)
December 3, 2009

Michiyo Yonamine

U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos gave an interview to Ryukyu
Shimpo at the official residence of the U.S. Consul General in
Ginowan City on the afternoon of Dec. 2. Discussing the relocation
of the Futenma Air Station, the Ambassador said: "President Obama
believes that the package we have discussed is the best option. He
emphasized that when he came to Japan (in November)," relating that
President Barack Obama favors the construction of a replacement
facility in Henoko, Nago City, as agreed upon by the two countries.
He attached importance to the examination process by the Japan-U.S.
working group and said: "I am optimistic about reaching a conclusion
expeditiously."

Roos is known to be a close friend of President Obama.

With regard to the U.S. position, Roos emphasized: "We have always
thought from the very beginning that the current plan is the best
and only viable option." He mentioned that the Obama administration
examined the U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ) realignment plans after its
inauguration and reaffirmed their importance. He said: "The new
administration in Japan is going through a similar process," showing
his understanding of the new administration's decision.

When asked if the conclusion of the cabinet-level working group is
bound to be the current relocation plan, he said "no."

Regarding the need to station U.S. forces in Okinawa, Roos stressed
that "it is very important to have military bases in Okinawa for
Japan's defense and for peace and stability in the Asian region."

In relation to Futenma relocation, Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto has
remarked that if presented with proposals from the national
government, the utilization of the Kansai and Kobe airports should
be considered and has indicated that he is amenable to the entire
Kansai region debating this option. Commenting on this, Roos
reiterated that "the road map is the only realistic option,"
negating options other than the current plan.

Roos made his first visit to Okinawa on Nov. 30 and met with
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima and other Okinawan officials. He inspected
the Futenma base, the Henoko area and Kadena Air Base aboard a
helicopter and also visited the Cornerstone of Peace memorial, the
Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, and other sites. He
returned to Tokyo on the evening of Dec. 2.

Following is the interview with Ambassador Roos:

Q: How is work at the Japan-U.S. working group going?

Roos: The Obama administration examined the USFJ realignment plans
after its inauguration and reaffirmed their importance. I understand
that the new administration in Japan is undertaking a similar
process. The working group is engaged in this examination process
right now so I cannot reveal the details, but I am optimistic that
it will reach a conclusion expeditiously.


TOKYO 00002766 004 OF 008


Q: What sort of solution would you like to see?

Roos:The U.S. has always thought from the very beginning that the
current plan is the best and most viable option.

Q: If people who believe that the current plan is the best option
are conducting the examination in the working group, the answer is
predetermined, and there is criticism that this is an exercise in
"fabricating an alibi."

Roos: The Japanese and U.S. governments are working together under a
good relationship. I don't agree with your assertion.

Q: If a decision is made to relocate according to the existing plan,
will you accept moving (the runways) farther offshore?

Roos: I will refrain from speculating on minor modifications. The
important thing is to resolve this issue through the examination
process. I am confident that this will be done.

Q: Why are the U.S. Marines concentrated in Okinawa? Is there any
possibility of moving them elsewhere?

Roos: Okinawa occupies a very important strategic position in Asia.
Under the Japan-U.S. security treaty, Japan's defense is important,
and the maintenance of peace and security in Asia is very
important.

Q: Osaka Governor Toru Hashimoto has said that he is amenable to
discussing the possibility of accepting the Futenma base and the
exercises conducted there at Kansai Airport.

Roos: The road map is the best and only viable option.

Q: Have you discussed the Futenma issue with President Obama? Did he
give you any instructions?

Roos: He believes that the (USFJ realignment) package is the best
option. He emphasized this point when he came to Japan.

Q: What is your impression of Okinawa on your first visit?

Roos: I would like to visit Okinawa frequently from now on.

(Interviewer: Michiyo Yonamine)

(3) PM Hatoyama tells FM Okada, DM Kitazawa no Futenma decision
before year's end

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
Evening, December 3, 2009

It was learned on Dec. 3 that in connection with the relocation of
the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
told Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense Minister Toshimi
Kitazawa that "priority must be given to the coalition," informing
them that he had, in effect, given up on making a decision before
the end of the year. This is because the Social Democratic Party has
begun to take a tougher stance in opposing the existing plan to
relocate Futenma to the coastal area of Camp Schwab based on the
Japan-U.S. agreement and has hinted at leaving the coalition.
Hatoyama indicated that he is giving top priority to the stability

TOKYO 00002766 005 OF 008


of the coalition government.

The U.S., which is demanding a solution based on the current
relocation plan before the end of the year, is certain to react
strongly to this, and this development will inevitably deal a
serious blow to the Japan-U.S. relationship.

According to an informed source, Hatoyama and Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano met Okada and Kitazawa at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence to discuss the Futenma issue on Dec.
1. Hatoyama said during the meeting: "Priority must be given to the
coalition. Is it necessary to rush a decision before the end of the
year?"

Okada and Kitazawa explained that the foreign affairs and defense
officials of both countries have been stepping up the coordination
process to aim at a solution before the end of the year. They tried
to persuade Hatoyama that "the Japan-U.S. relationship will be
undermined if this is put off until next year." However, it appears
that Okada and Kitazawa failed to convince the Prime Minister,
although he did approve of earmarking relocation-related
expenditures in the FY2010 budget bill.

(4) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano indicates deferring
Futenma decision to next year unavoidable

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, December 3, 2009

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano discussed the timing for
making a decision on the relocation site for the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station and related issues at a news conference in the
morning of Dec. 3. He said: "This is an important issue. The
schedule is too tight (for making a decision before year end)." He
also stated: "I have never said that a decision will be made before
the end of 2009, although I did say as soon as possible. I
understand that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama thinks the same way,"
indicating that deferring a solution to next year will be
unavoidable.

Hirano pointed out: "If we need time to arrive at a conclusion on
measures to reduce the burden on Okinawa and to find a solution
based on an agreement among the three ruling parties, then we will
have to spend time on it." He also emphasized that "the Japan-U.S.
relationship is not so flimsy that if we fail on this issue,
everything will go up in smoke." At a meeting with a group of
Democratic Party of Japan Diet members close to Hatoyama at noon on
the same day, the Prime Minister's assistant Yoshikatsu Nakayama
also explained that "it will be difficult to reach a conclusion by
year end."

Hatoyama told reporters at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
in the morning that he had "thought all along that it would not be
easy (to make a decision before year end). The Okinawan people want
to see the early removal of the danger (affecting the residents in
areas near the Futenma base)." He also said: "While the Okinawans
think that a new military base is unacceptable, an agreement reached
between Japan and the U.S. should also be taken seriously."

(5) Does postponement of Futenma decision reflect DPJ Secretary
General Ozawa's wish to give priority to the coalition ahead of
Upper House election?

TOKYO 00002766 006 OF 008

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 3, 2009

The reason behind the likely postponement of a decision on the
relocation site of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa
is the growing gap between the U.S. side, which strongly demands an
early solution based on the current relocation plan, and public
opinion in Okinawa, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and other
groups which have strong expectations for Futenma's relocation out
of the prefecture. It is believed that the stance of Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, who gives top
priority to the House of Councillors election next summer, also
plays a role.

A bureaucratic level meeting of the working group on Futenma
relocation is scheduled for Dec. 4. The Japanese side is amenable to
upgrading this to the ministerial level depending on the progress
made, but in reality, there is a wide gap with the U.S. position.

The Japanese side is looking into the possibility of dispersing the
U.S. forces' exercises and other ways to lighten the burden imposed
by U.S. bases on the local communities, as well as the revision of
the Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement every three years and
other proposals. However, the U.S. side insists on giving top
priority to settling the issue based on the Japan-U.S. agreement to
relocate the Futenma base to the coastal area of Camp Schwab before
the end of 2009. It is unlikely that a middle ground can be found.

Meanwhile, with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama having hinted
previously at the relocation of Futenma out of Okinawa, there has
been a surge in expectations in the prefecture, thus raising higher
the hurdle of the issue of the relocation site. The SDP, which
consistently advocates relocation out of Okinawa, has also
maneuvered in response to this situation. It is voicing strong
criticism, saying, "the Prime Minister once asserted that (Futenma)
should at least be relocated out of Okinawa."

With the glaring gap in the positions of the two sides, there have
been active moves in the government and the ruling parties to make a
fresh start in the coordination process. It appears that Azuma
Koshiishi, chair of the DPJ caucus in the Upper House, took the lead
to lobby for deferring a decision because the SDP's opinion cannot
be ignored in a situation where the DPJ does not control a majority
in the Upper House. This is based on the judgment that a rift in the
coalition framework is unacceptable at this point.

A junior DPJ Upper House member points out that "Mr. Koshiishi
probably conveyed Mr. Ozawa's stance to the defense minister." He
thus explains that the trend toward reaching a solution on the
Futenma issue before year end changed drastically at a certain
point. There is an opinion that the turning point was a single
sentence uttered by Ozawa: "Is the current Futenma relocation plan
really appropriate?"

Hatoyama told reporters on Dec. 2: "With regard to when (a decision
will be made), I am saying as soon as possible. I am not in a
position yet to say when." He added, "We are not at the stage where
I have made serious consultations with the SDP. However, I would
like to attach importance to the coalition government."

(6) SDP leader hints at breaking away from ruling coalition if

TOKYO 00002766 007 OF 008


decision made to relocate Futenma base to Henoko

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, December 3, 2009

(The following is the gist of Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader
Mizuho Fukushima's remarks on the relocation of Futenma Air Station
the at the party's executive meeting on the morning of Dec. 3.)

The SDP is making every effort to prevent Futenma's relocation
(within Okinawa) and to avert the construction of an offshore
military base in the coastal area of Henoko (in Nago City, Okinawa)
in particular.

There are news reports that the Prime Minister will not make a
decision (on the relocation issue) by the end of the year. The tide
is changing gradually. The issue of peace, the Okinawa issues, and
preventing the construction of an offshore military base in waters
off Henoko are very important for the party. These are issues that
bear on the very foundation of our party. If the cabinet makes a
decision to construct an offshore base in Henoko, the party and I
will have to make a grave decision.

Let us work hard to realize the provision in the coalition agreement
on dealing with the U.S. Forces Japan realignment plans for reducing
the burden on the Okinawan people "in the direction of a review"
that the party made vigorous efforts to have included in that
agreement.

(7) Editorial: Japan should reexamine alliance cooperation

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 3, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a new Afghan strategy
centering on a plan to send about 30,000 additional troops to the
country and an exit strategy. He also strongly called for the
cooperation and unity of the international community, saying that
the security of the United States, its allies, and the world is at
stake.

The success or failure of the new strategy is likely to affect the
global war on terrorism as well. It must not be allowed to fail.
Despite the critical situation in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama is trying to end the refueling mission in the Indian Ocean
early next year and to make up for it by offering alternative
assistance measures. This is not an appropriate step for a U.S. ally
to take. The government must earnestly discuss once again how to
participate in (the Afghan effort) on the occasion of the
announcement of the new strategy.

It is the United States' second decision to send additional troops
since March. The President has decided for the first time to
increase the size of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan to 100,000
based on the assessment that the situation in the country is more
serious than expected and it will be impossible to maintain the
status quo.

The new strategy is designed to expedite efforts to make densely
populated areas safer and to train Afghanistan's security forces. In
order to drive away the international terrorist group al Qaeda that
carries out activities transcending the border tribal areas and the

TOKYO 00002766 008 OF 008


armed fundamentalist Islamic group Taliban, the strategy also
specifies the need to work closely with Pakistan and to secure
nuclear materials. A new support system aimed at performance and
results will also be introduced to eliminate corruption.

It can be said that the key to the new strategy consisting of three
pillars -- the military, civilian support, and cooperation with
Pakistan -- is speed and efficiency. The cost of sending troops is
projected at 30 billion dollars (2.6 trillion yen) for the initial
year alone. Given deep-seated war-weariness in the United States,
the President had to present an exit strategy to begin withdrawing
troops in a year and a half.

To President Obama, the new strategy is also a gamble with the fate
of the nation. It can be said that the cooperation of and
participation by the international community, including U.S. allies,
is indispensable for making this strategy a success and laying a
foundation of stability and peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Despite that, the Hatoyama administration has decided to terminate
the refueling mission that has been conducted as part of the war
against terrorism, disappointing the Afghan government, the United
States and European countries. Last month, the government came up
with a 5-billion-dollar alternative support package for Afghanistan
and a 1-billion-dollar package for Pakistan. Although the figures
are huge, a large portion of them is grand aid. There is a lack of
security measures, which are essential in order to implement support
measures and verify the level of achievement in the two countries.

It is a problem that of all major U.S. allies, Japan alone has
eliminated the Self-Defense Forces' participation from its options.
Ahead of announcing his new strategy, President Obama called the top
leaders of major powers, such as European countries and China, to
inform them of the strategy in person. Japan was not included in the
list of his telephone calls. This reflects the current state of the
Japan-U.S. alliance.

Prime Minister Hatoyama should reexamine the modalities of alliance
cooperation and joint international activities, including the
continuation of the refueling mission.

ROOS

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