Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/04/09

DE RUEHKO #2774/01 3380812
P 040812Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) PM Hatoyama does not eliminate current Futenma relocation plan
as one option (Yomiuri)

(2) Fukushima to be elected for fourth term as SDP leader without a
vote (Yomiuri)

(3) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano indicates new
negotiation policy on Futenma relocation (Mainichi)

(4) DM Kitazawa to consider Futenma relocation sites other than
Henoko, to visit Guam next week (Mainichi)

(5) Editorial: Conclusion to Futenma issue postponed to next year;
Prime minister must provide clear prospects (Mainichi)

(6) Hatoyama administration to pay high price for deferring Futenma
relocation decision to 2010 (Tokyo Shimbun)

(7) Editorial: Japan must support the U.S.'s Afghan strategy

(8) Yokota base refuses to hand over suspects in rope incident in
Musashi-murayama City, Tokyo, last August (Akahata)

(9) Hotaru Nakama Ferschke: Japanese bride in U.S. facing difficulty
obtaining permanent residency status with her husband killed in
action a month after marriage (Okinawa Times)


(1) PM Hatoyama does not eliminate current Futenma relocation plan
as one option

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

In connection with the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air
Station in Okinawa, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said on the
morning of Dec. 4: "While the Japan-U.S. agreement is important, I
have been saying that (we need to look at) whether there are other
locations," admitting that he has issued orders to consider possible
relocation sites other than the coastal area of Camp Schwab (in
Henoko, Nago City), which is the designated relocation site under
the bilateral agreement. Meanwhile, he also told reporters in front
of his official residential quarters: "Needless to say, the current
relocation plan is still valid," stressing that he is not
eliminating this as an option.

With regard to the U.S. territory of Guam, which Hatoyama is
reportedly considering as a relocation site, he would only say: "I
was not the one who asked to consider (Guam). It is necessary to
consider whether this is suitable in terms of the deterrence (of the
U.S. forces)."

The government will convey the Prime Minister's policy to the
meeting of the cabinet- level working group of foreign affairs and
defense officials of Japan and the U.S. to be held at the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in the afternoon of Dec. 4. A bureaucratic
level meeting of the two governments was held at MOFA in the

TOKYO 00002774 002 OF 009

However, the U.S. side is certain to react strongly to deferring a
solution to next year.

In his news conference on the morning of Dec. 4, Defense Minister
Toshimi Kitazawa said "all options will be pursued." He also
revealed that he will visit Guam shortly. However, with regard to
the feasibility of alternative proposals, including relocation to
Guam, Kitazawa said: "We are groping in the dark completely." Asked
about the impact of this on the U.S. Forces Japan realignment
process, which is scheduled to be completed by 2014, he said: "We
may need to discuss the possibility of some changes that may occur,"
hinting at the possibility of delays.

With regard to the view that Futenma relocation is tied to the
relocation of U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said: "Will everything be stalled because
the Futenma plan did not work? Will it be possible not to delay the
Guam relocation? These are issues that will be included in the
re-examination process by Japan and the U.S.," indicating an
intention to discuss these issues with the U.S. side.

(2) Fukushima to be elected for fourth term as SDP leader without a

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

Mizuho Fukushima, 53 (state minister for consumer affairs), leader
of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), appeared certain to be elected
for a fourth term without a vote on Dec. 3. The official filing of
candidacy for the party's election is scheduled for Dec. 4. House of
Representatives member Kantoku Teruya (second district of Okinawa),
supported by some party members to run in the election, held a news
conference at the party headquarters in the late afternoon and
announced that he will not run.

Some party members have complained that Fukushima's efforts to push
for the relocation of the Futenma Air Station out of Okinawa or out
of Japan are not aggressive enough and have asked Teruya to run as
party leader. In light of this, Fukushima told a meeting of party
executives in the morning of Dec. 3 that if a decision is made to
accept the existing relocation plan, "The SDP and I will have to
make a grave decision," hinting at bolting from the coalition
government. Subsequently, Teruya said, "I was able to confirm the
party leader's strong determination", and announced that he will not
run in the election at a news conference.

The party leader's election is being held because Fukushima's term
is about to expire. The new leader, who will serve for a term of two
years, will be formally elected at a party convention on Jan. 23.

Mizuho Fukushima is a graduate of the Tokyo University's Faculty of
Law. She was first elected to the House of Councillors in 1998. She
is a lawyer and formally served as the SDP's secretary general. She
is serving her second term in the Upper House and was elected on the
proportional representation ticket. She is 53 years old.

(3) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano indicates new
negotiation policy on Futenma relocation


TOKYO 00002774 003 OF 009

12:37, December 4, 2009

Ai Yokota, Rumu Yamada

At a news conference on Dec. 4, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi
Hirano commented on the fact that the current plan to relocate the
U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) to the
coastal area of Camp Schwab (in Henoko, Nago City) is considered to
be tied to the relocation of U.S. Marines in Okinawa to Guam in one
package. He said: "Is it necessary for them to be linked? Will it
not be possible to separate them? We need to discuss this from
different angles. Will a deadlock in one means that everything else
will be invalidated?"

The 2006 Japan-U.S. agreement on U.S. Forces Japan realignment
provides for the construction of a Futenma replacement facility by
2014 and the relocation of 8,000 marines to Guam in a "package."
Hirano's remarks indicate a new policy of separating Futenma
relocation and the relocation of marines to Guam in negotiations
with the U.S.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama also discussed new relocation sites
for the Futenma base on the morning of Dec. 4. With regard to Guam,
which some Okinawans see as a possible relocation site, Hatoyama
said: "We need to study if Guam is an appropriate relocation site."
This indicates his position that if the Futenma base is moved to
Guam, the question of whether the level of deterrence in defense can
be maintained needs to be looked into carefully. He also said: "(The
current relocation plan) is still valid."

Hatoyama made the above remarks to reporters in front of his
official residential quarters.

(4) DM Kitazawa to consider Futenma relocation sites other than
Henoko, to visit Guam next week

11:37, December 4, 2009

Yasushi Sengoku

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa discussed the relocation site of
the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) at a
news conference held after the cabinet meeting on Dec. 4. He said:
"Public opinion in Okinawa is strongly in favor of relocation out of
the prefecture, so we will pursue all options," indicating that he
will begin to consider sites other than the location designated
under the current relocation plan. He also revealed that he will
visit Guam next week to inspect the relocation site of the U.S.
Marines in Okinawa.

Kitazawa also indicated that even if a decision based on the current
plan to relocate the Futenma base to the coastal area of Camp Schwab
(in Henoko, Nago City) will not be made this year, he will earmark
expenditures related to Futenma relocation in the FY2010 budget

(5) Editorial: Conclusion to Futenma issue postponed to next year;
Prime minister must provide clear prospects

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
December 4, 2009

TOKYO 00002774 004 OF 009

The Hatoyama cabinet has decided to postpone its decision on the
issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station (in
Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture) to next January or beyond. Despite the
growing trend to aim at a settlement before the end of the year in
line with the Japan-U.S. agreement to move Futenma to Nago's Henoko
district in the prefecture, the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which
calls for moving Futenma out of Okinawa or even out of Japan, hinted
at the possibility of leaving the ruling coalition. This led to the
conclusion that the SDP's departure from the coalition could hamper
the management of the administration.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which does not hold a majority
in the House of Councillors, apparently wants to prevent the SDP
from dropping out of the coalition, with next year's regular Diet
session approaching. But Futenma is one of the thorniest issues for
the administration. The administration should not simply postpone
its conclusion until next year. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama must
ensure that his administration will come up with a unified opinion,
and if the matter must be deferred to next year, he must provide
clear prospects for a solution to it.

Prime Minister Hatoyama has pledged to relocate Futenma "at least
outside Okinawa." Finding candidate sites in Okinawa other than the
Henoko district is also an option. If candidate sites are studied in
linkage with those options and a review of the modalities of U.S.
bases in Japan, as promised in the DPJ manifesto, it will require
fresh discussions with the United States and that will further delay
a settlement. But such discussions did not precede the government's
decision to postpone a conclusion until next year. The decision
simply comes from the political circumstances under the coalition

As was admitted by Hatoyama himself, the longer a decision is
delayed, the harder it will become to resolve the issue. The Henoko
relocation plan is the major campaign issue for the Nago mayoral
election to be held on Jan. 24. If the DPJ Okinawa chapter-backed
candidate in favor of moving Futenma outside Okinawa wins the
election, chances are that the relocation issue will go back to
square one. It will also be difficult for Okinawa Gov. Hirokazu
Nakaima, who has accepted the Henoko plan, to authorize the use of
the surface of public waters in defiance to popular will opposing
the relocation.

Even if ways to reduce noise at other U.S. bases, including Kadena
Air Base, are put in the package, the SDP is unlikely to change its
stance of opposing the Henoko plan. It remains to be seen if Nakaima
will stay receptive to the Henoko plan after the Upper House
election next summer toward the Okinawa gubernatorial election in

The problem is that Prime Minister Hatoyama lacks leadership. The
Prime Minister has kept avoiding presenting a clear direction by
just indicating that he will make a final decision, while pointing
out the sentiments of the people in Okinawa, the need to reduce the
burden, and the importance of the Japan-U.S. agreement. Prime
Minister Hatoyama is to blame for the turmoil of the relocation

Futenma No. 2 Elementary School, which is only a fence away from
Futenma Air Station, is suffering from noise of U.S. military
aircraft landing at and taking off from the base. The school is

TOKYO 00002774 005 OF 009

forced to conduct an evacuation drill every spring envisaging a U.S.
military plane crash on the school grounds. It is imperative and the
government's responsibility to relocate the air station from the
populated residential area, to dissolve such an abnormal situation,
and to ensure the safety of the residents near the base.

The abandonment of leadership by Prime Minister Hatoyama is
tantamount to helping the establishment of a permanent Futenma Air

(6) Hatoyama administration to pay high price for deferring Futenma
relocation decision to 2010

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
December 4, 2009

Kei Sato, Koki Miura

As of Dec. 3, it became certain that a solution to the issue of the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station will be put off
until next year, even though the U.S. side is demanding a solution
before the end of the year. While this decision was made based on
the need to maintain the coalition government with the Social
Democratic Party (SDP), which is strongly against reaching a
conclusion before the end of the year, the Futenma issue itself has
been left unresolved. The "price" to pay for deferring a decision to
next year is higher than what the Kantei (Prime Minister's Official
Residence) had in mind.

The Hatoyama administration was forced to make a choice between
showing deference to the U.S. side, which is demanding an early
solution to the Futenma issue, and accepting the position of the
SDP, which is calling for relocation out of Okinawa or out of Japan.
The Hatoyama administration finally decided to respect the SDP's
wishes after considerable wavering. This decision is based on the
judgment that "top priority needs to be given to the survival of the
coalition government," according to a senior government official.

However, postponing the decision until next year will have a serious
impact on the Japan-U.S. relationship, which is already showing
signs of deterioration. A senior U.S. government official asks: "Is
the new administration socialist?" The U.S. side has been
distrustful of the Hatoyama administration from the time of its
inauguration because it has been raising issues that are
disagreeable to the U.S., including calling for an equal
relationship with the U.S., a review of U.S. Forces Japan
realignment issues, and the concept of an East Asian community
excluding the United States.

The most serious problem is that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
agreed with U.S. President Barack Obama at their summit meeting in
November to settle the Futenma issue as soon as possible and even
said "trust me." The U.S. essentially believes that Futenma's
relocation to Henoko is an agreement between the two governments and
it is a matter of course that this should be implemented.

Yet, it has waited for the Japanese side to build a consensus and
has had a strong impression that a solution is forthcoming before
year's end based on its faith in the Prime Minister's words. The
Hatoyama administration's decision to defer the solution will be
perceived as utterly arbitrary.

TOKYO 00002774 006 OF 009

Furthermore, the postponement may lead to completely scrapping the
Japan-U.S. agreement on Henoko relocation due to the Nago mayoral
election in January. If an opponent to Henoko relocation wins in the
election, the implementation of the Japan-U.S. agreement will become
even more remote. As a result, not only will relations with the U.S.
be undermined, but the Futenma base will also remain where it is.

For this very reason, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and Defense
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, who were concerned about the impact on
the bilateral relationship, had insisted on arriving at a solution
before the end of the year.

A source on Japan-U.S. diplomacy says: "This is the worst possible
outcome. The U.S. side is already exasperated with the Hatoyama
administration as it is. The 'Japan passing' of the 1990s may

Japan and the U.S. have worked hand-in-hand on such issues as North
Korea's nuclear issue and global warming prevention. If the U.S.'s
trust in Japan diminishes as a result of the Futenma issue, this is
certain to affect diplomacy in general.

However, there have also been favorable evaluations of the Hatoyama
administration's handling of this matter without paying attention to
the U.S., which is different from the previous Liberal Democratic
Party administrations. One cabinet minister says: "The U.S. has no
business saying this and that at a time when the survival of the
administration of a country is at stake."

Nevertheless, there is no denying that by deferring the issue, the
Hatoyama administration will face even more formidable challenges.

(7) Editorial: Japan must support the U.S.'s Afghan strategy

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

U.S. President Barack Obama has unveiled a new strategy for
Afghanistan. It is intended to send about 30,000 more troops to that
country on one hand and to aim at withdrawing troops starting in
July 2011 on the other. The strategy specifying a certain period of
time for troop deployment and the intensive injection of funds in
the war is designed to speedily bring the situation under control
and to expedite the efforts to hand over authority to the Afghan

Whether this can help end the Afghan quagmire remains to be seen.
Nevertheless, if the chaotic situation in Afghanistan, a hotbed of
international terrorist groups like al Qaeda, is left as is, it
would pose a serious threat not only to the United States but also
to the security of the world. In that sense, the U.S.
administration's decision must be assessed positively for now.

"I do not make this decision lightly," the U.S. President said in
his speech. When Obama was sworn in as U.S. President, there were
32,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Their number has now grown to
68,000. With the planned deployment, the number will top 100,000. An
additional 30 billion dollars in defense spending will also be
necessary this year.

In the United States, there is a strong call for withdrawal from
Afghanistan. The President's approval rate has plummeted. Amid the

TOKYO 00002774 007 OF 009

economic downturn, the ever-growing cost of war is drawing fire.
From a military strategy viewpoint, some might say that the
presentation of the exit strategy of beginning withdrawing troops
starting in the summer of 2011 was a mistake. It can be said that
caught in the gap between security and public opinion, the President
has made the difficult decision.

In mapping out the new strategy, Obama used the previous Bush
administration's measures for Iraq as a reference. The
administration transferred authority to Iraq after restoring
security by sending additional troops for a short period of time.

In Afghanistan, there are more difficult problems than in Iraq. For
instance, it is difficult to get rid of the Taliban and their
sympathizers who also exist in Pakistan, Afghanistan's neighbor.
Although he has been re-elected, questions remain about the
governing ability of the administration of President Hamid Karzai,
who is reportedly involved in irregularities and corruption.

There is no guarantee that the new U.S. strategy will succeed. Even
so, eliminating international terrorism by restoring security in
Afghanistan is an important task for the international community.
There is no other option but to support the new U.S. strategy. In
order to move closer to the exit strategy, it is also vital to urge
the Karzai administration to stop irregularities and corruption and
to strengthen the Afghan government's independence and the ability
to maintain security.

Japan's commitment will also be called into question. The Hatoyama
administration has unveiled a civilian support package worth 5
billion dollars for Afghanistan. Japan's approach is being
criticized by some as checkbook diplomacy. The government needs to
consider additional aid measures -- such as the resumption of the
refueling mission in the Indian Ocean which is scheduled to end next
January -- that can give a boost to the new U.S. strategy.

(8) Yokota base refuses to hand over suspects in rope incident in
Musashi-murayama City, Tokyo, last August

AKAHATA (Page 15) (Excerpts)
December 4, 2009

In the incident this summer in which a female motorcyclist was
seriously injured from striking a rope strung across a street in
Musashi-murayama City in Tokyo, the Metropolitan Police Department
(MPD) has been unable to execute the warrants of arrest for the
suspects being charged with attempted murder. Akahata's
investigation revealed on Dec. 3 that the Yokota base (in Fussa
City) has refused to hand over the suspects, children of U.S.
military personnel stationed at the base.

Two of the four suspects live on Yokota base. Under the Japan-U.S.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), the permission of U.S. Forces
Japan (USFJ) is required for making arrests and searches on U.S.
military facilities and installations. The MPD has requested the
handover of the suspects.

However, the suspects were not handed over by Dec. 1, the deadline
of the arrest warrants.

Musashi-murayama city demanded an explanation from Yokota base on
the same day, but the answer given by Christopher Watt, Yokota base

TOKYO 00002774 008 OF 009

spokesman, was: "We have not received (from the Japanese side) a
formal request for the handover of custody and have not been shown
any warrants of arrest. We will cooperate under the terms of SOFA if
a request is received."

Musashi-murayama city also asked the MPD what is happening and tried
to confirm if warrants of arrests had indeed been obtained. The
reply it got was: "We cannot give you an answer."

Akahata asked Yokota base about the handover of the suspects and its
public relations section gave us the following answer on Dec. 2:

"There was an informal request from the Japanese police for the
handover of the suspects on Nov. 24. The base authorities responded
that according to their interpretation of SOFA provisions, this
could not be done. If we receive any future requests in the same
manner, we will respond in the same way."

The MPD says it will renew the arrest warrants and continue to ask
for the handover of the suspects. A member of the media who is
knowledgeable about police affairs points out:

"The USFJ's attitude of interpreting SOFA provisions to its own
advantage is unforgivable, but the Japanese side is also at fault.
It is strange that the police refuse to disclose information to the
local governments hosting military bases. A political decision by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the National Police Agency on the
execution of the arrest warrants might be behind this. This might be
in consideration of the Japan-U.S. talks on the 'relocation' of the
Futenma base in Okinawa."

The Tokyo Peace Committee issued a strong protest statement against
the Japanese and U.S. governments on Dec. 1: "We protest with
indignation the USFJ's violation of SOFA, its sheltering of
criminals on a military base, and its refusal to hand over the
suspects. Such incidents will always occur as long as there are
military bases. The victims are being sacrificed by the Japanese
government which tolerates the U.S. military bases. We demand a
drastic review of SOFA and the withdrawal of U.S. bases."

(9) Hotaru Nakama Ferschke: Japanese bride in U.S. facing difficulty
obtaining permanent residency status with her husband killed in
action a month after marriage

Okinawa Times (Page 35) (Almost full)
December 4, 2009

The sad news was delivered only a month after the couple submitted a
notification of marriage. The husband, a U.S. Marine, of Hotaru
Nakama Ferschke (26) from Ginowan Village, was killed in action in
Iraq. Hotaru now lives in Tennessee, U.S.A., with the parents of her
husband. She is bringing up her 11-month-old son Mikey there.
However, the immigration law denies her eligibility for obtaining
permanent residence status. Now she finds herself in a situation
where she will have to return to Japan next spring. An increasing
number of people support her. However, there are no prospects for
her to be able to obtain permanent residency status.

Hotaru in March 2007 met Michael, who was stationed in Okinawa at
the time, at a birthday party of their mutual friend. They then
started going out. He introduced her to his family in the U.S.

TOKYO 00002774 009 OF 009

Blessed with baby

Michael gave her an engagement ring in April 2008, saying, "Let's
marry, as I will return by all means." He left for Iraq two days

It was found a couple of week later that Hotaru was pregnant.
Overjoyed with her pregnancy, Michael said, "Let's marry right now."
They began the paper work to marry, though they were separated.
Hotaru submitted a notification of marriage on July 10. However,
Michael on August 10, a month after they submitted the notification,
was fatally shot in Iraq. He was 22 years old. "That's not true. I
don't believe it." Their new married life ended all of a sudden.
Hotaru vomited in a toilet.

Prevention of marriage of convenience

Michael's funeral service held in the U.S. was lavish. There was a
long line of mourners. Hotaru thought, "I want to raise Mikey in my
husband's hometown." Since she talked about it many times with
Michael, she had decided to live in the U.S. Although she was a
little anxious, locals who were fond of Michael encouraged her.

However, her plan bumped into an unexpected stumbling block. The
immigration law does not regard a marriage as finalized unless a
couple live together. Since Hotaru and Michael were apart, they did
not satisfy this requirement.

The case of Hotaru became an issue in the U.S. as well. A bill
intended to exempt Hotaru from the immigration law was submitted to
the Senate and the House of Representatives. However, whether the
bill will pass is unknown.

Hotaru has been staying in the U.S. on a tourist visa since February
this year. However, since there is no guarantee that she can live in
the U.S. as a permanent resident, she cannot afford to quit her job
in Japan - she is an employee of the U.S. military. She is expected
to return home when her child-care leave ends in January next year.
She said, "I do not give up on Mikey's account and in order to keep
the promise with my husband."


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