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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 12/08/09

DE RUEHKO #2798/01 3422348
P 082348Z DEC 09




E.O. 12958: N/A


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Futenma issue:
1) Hatoyama to inform Obama of delay on Futenma decision on the
sidelines of COP15 summit (Yomiuri)
2) Kitazawa to visit Guam this week (Sankei)
3) Terashima calls for early settlement of Futenma issue (Asahi)

Secret accords:
4) Okada says Japan will coordinate with U.S. before results of
blue-ribbon panel's investigation are released (Nikkei)
5) Japan covered cost of returning land to original state in return
for America's keeping secret accord on Okinawa a secret (Asahi)

6) Japan fails to outline a strategy for COP15 (Nikkei)

7) Ozawa: solidarity of coalition important (Asahi)
8) Futenma and extra stimulus measures rattle the coalition
9) Bill eliminating vice ministers to be submitted to regular Diet
session (Mainichi)
10) Ozawa agrees with Pope's opinion (Sankei)

Foreign relations:
11) World Bank President and Japanese leaders agree to coordinate on
Asian aid (Asahi)
12) Hatoyama says Japan will move forward with East Asian Community
initiative based on a strengthened Japan-U.S. alliance (Nikkei)
13) Ozawa-led DPJ delegation leaves for China on Dec. 10 (Mainichi)

14) Final touches being put on 7.2-trillion-yen stimulus package
15) Taiwanese President eager for FTA among Japan, U.S., Europe, and
Asia (Nikkei)
16) Japan-U.S. civil air talks begin (Asahi)

17) Yomiuri poll: 45 PERCENT think Japan-China relations are good;
up 9 points (Yomiuri)



PM Hatoyama to tell President Obama Futenma decision deferred at
COP15 meeting

YOMIURI (Top play) (Abridged)
December 8, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters at the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei) on Dec. 7 that he intends to firm up his
policy on dealing with the question of the relocation of the U.S.
forces' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa by the time of the summit
level meeting of the 15th Conference of Parties to the U.N.
Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP15) on Dec. 17-18. The
dominant view in the government and the ruling parties is that the
Prime Minister's policy will not specify the relocation site and

TOKYO 00002798 002 OF 009

will postpone a conclusion in consideration of the Social Democratic
Party and others who insist on relocation out of Okinawa or out of
Japan. It is believed that Hatoyama has judged that in order to
settle the confusion over the Futenma issue, it is necessary to
decide on the government's official policy before year end and
notify the U.S. formally.

Hatoyama also said: "It would be good if I can meet President Obama.
Until then, I will explain the government's thinking clearly and
seek his understanding," indicating his desire to meet with
President Obama, who will also attend the COP15 summit meeting, and
convey the Futenma policy to him directly.

However, with regard to whether the relocation site will be
specified, Hatoyama refrained from answering the question, saying:
"I am not necessarily saying (that I will specify the relocation

Hatoyama met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, and
Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism Seiji
Maehara on this issue at the Kantei on Dec. 7. Okada also met with
U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos at the Ministry of Foreign
Affairs on the same day.

Since Kitazawa is making a trip to Guam in the afternoon of Dec. 8,
Hatoyama will hold another meeting with the four cabinet members to
confirm the policy of deferring a conclusion before Kitazawa's

2) Defense chief to visit Guam this week

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa will visit Guam this week to take
a look at the U.S. military bases there. Japan and the United States
have reached an intergovernmental agreement on a "roadmap" to
realign U.S. forces in Japan. Based on this agreement, the United
States will transfer about 8,000 U.S. Marines from Okinawa
Prefecture to Guam. These troops will be redeployed to air and naval
bases on Guam, and Kitazawa would like to take a look at these

"I want to look at things like geographical features and U.S.
military deployments there," Kitazawa said in a press conference
yesterday. The Social Democratic Party, one of the ruling Democratic
Party of Japan's two coalition partners, has been calling for the
government to consider Guam to take over the heliport functions of
the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa
Prefecture. Kitazawa is therefore likely to explore whether it would
be possible to move the Okinawa-based Marines to Guam.

3) Interview with Jitsuro Terashima, Prime Minister Hatoyama's
foreign policy adviser - Redesigning Japan-U.S. relationship
necessary for settling Futenma issue

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Keiichi Kaneko

TOKYO 00002798 003 OF 009

Jitsuro Terashima, chairman of the Japan Research Institute, gave an
interview to the Asahi Shimbun. Terashima is a long-time friend of
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and is also known as his foreign
policy adviser.

-- Prime Minister Hatoyama is flip-flopping on the issue of
relocating Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan, Okinawa).

Terashima: In mid-November, Prime Minister Hatoyama reached a
general agreement with President Obama to discuss the Japan-U.S.
security arrangements from a broad perspective in the future. Japan
and the United States will discuss a strategic dialogue for one
year. It is vital to confirm that the two countries will put the
future bilateral alliance and the Status of Forces Agreement on the
table (for discussion). It is essential to reach a conclusion to the
Futenma issue as soon as possible premised on the determination of
its framework and the timetable. This issue will not end even if
Futenma Air Station is moved to the Henoko district in Nago or
outside the prefecture.

-- What does that mean?

Terashima: Even if the air station is moved to the site promised by
the previous administration, it is clear the matter must be resolved
in the process of reviewing the modalities of U.S. bases in Japan
over the next 10, 20, 30 years.

The Prime Minister must say, "What we must push ahead now is a
redesign of the overall Japan-U.S. relationship." There will be no
settlement to the Futenma issue unless a clear goal is presented.

Bases must be reduced after conducting thorough discussions on the
purpose and the modalities of each base, as was done by Germany.
Even if the U.S. military withdraws its forward-deployed troops to
the Hawaii-Guam line, there is the approach of Japan and the United
States jointly maintaining an emergency dispatch force, with Japan
shouldering the cost.

-- Do you understand the Prime Minister's feelings?

Terashima: Being a member of an administration that must deal with
postwar Japan, he is aware of the problems that must be resolved.
There are people who don't question the presence of foreign forces
in Japan. But they must possess strong critical minds.

-- It is a problem that the Prime Minister cannot explain things.

Terashima: It is true that his ability to offer a convincing
explanation of the Japan-U.S. alliance is being questioned by people
in various positions. He must also convince the Social Democratic
Party from the long-term perspective. If he does not and abruptly
announces acceptance of relocation to Henoko, people will be

4) Foreign Ministry to hold discussion with U.S. before disclosing
results of secret nuclear accord examination

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Appearing on an NHK program yesterday, Foreign Minister Katsuya
Okada referred to the results of an examination on a secret nuclear

TOKYO 00002798 004 OF 009

agreement between Japan and the United States, which the Foreign
Ministry plans to announce as early as January next year. He said,
"It is not good to shock the U.S. by suddenly announcing the
results," indicating that he will coordinate views with the U.S.
side before disclosing the results of the examination, which has
been conducted by a committee of experts (which is an advisory panel
Okada has set up in the ministry).

5) Former MOF official testifies on involvement in secret agreement
on Okinawa's reversion to Japanese administration

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
December 8, 2009

Shunichi Kawabata, Norio Yatsu

In connection with Japan's alleged payment in secret of the cost of
restoring U.S. military base land to its original state that the
U.S. was obliged to pay for at the time of Okinawa's reversion to
Japanese administration, Hajime Morita, 75, who was involved in this
matter at the Ministry of Finance (MOF) at that time, gave an
interview to Asahi Shimbun in which he said that he was notified by
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) and approved of the payment.
He said he was also involved in calculating the amount.

Although a previous testimony by Bunroku Yoshino, 91, former
director general of MOFA's North American Affairs Bureau, had
revealed the "secret agreement" on the payment of restoration cost
and the amount paid, the coordination process within the Japanese
government over the calculation of the amount had not been
disclosed. Morita's testimony not only supports Yoshino's testimony
from the MOF side, but also clarifies the details of the process.

Morita became a House of Representatives member subsequently and
served as transport minister. In 1970-71, before Okinawa's
reversion, he was assistant to the chief of the MOF's Legal
Division. He consulted with senior officials of MOFA's Treaties
Bureau seven or eight times to study the legality of Japan's payment
of the restoration cost. The Legal Division was responsible for
checking if budget allocations complied with legal provisions.

6) COP15: Japan unable to formulate strategy

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
December 8, 2009

Japan is aiming to reach a political agreement on the formulation of
a new protocol (at the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties
to the Climate Change (COP15)). It will take the position of
opposing a proposal to extend the current Kyoto Protocol. The
government plans to adopt a strategy for the COP15 talks at a
ministerial committee meeting to be held on Dec. 11 to discuss the
global warming issue. However, it has yet to set a policy course for
reaching a consensus at COP15.

Japan's goal of cutting domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 25
percent is premised on industrialized countries agreeing on an
ambitious target.

However, since discord between industrialized countries and emerging
and developing countries remains deep-rooted, it will difficult to
reach a consensus on the direction of formulating a new protocol.

TOKYO 00002798 005 OF 009

For this reason, some in the administration are beginning to take
the view that a proposal for formulating a protocol as well as a
separate framework might be acceptable as a second-best option,
provided that the U.S. and China set their reduction targets high.
In that case, it is unclear whether Japan will stick to the goal of
achieving a 25 percent reduction.

Industrial circles are worried about this indecisiveness of the
government. Sources related to the steel and power industries are
concerned that Japan might fail to learn the lessons of the Kyoto
Protocol (in which a heavier burden was imposed on Japan in
comparison with other countries) or that Japan's industrial
competitiveness will decline, undermining national interests.

7) Ozawa places priority on coalition unity in dealing with Futenma

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Ichiro Ozawa, secretary general of the ruling Democratic Party of
Japan, has indicated that it is important for the DPJ and its two
coalition partners, the People's New Party and the Social Democratic
Party, to pull together in dealing with the pending issue of
relocating the U.S. military's Futenma airfield in Okinawa
Prefecture. The SDP has been calling for the Futenma airfield to be
moved out of Okinawa Prefecture or Japan. "I was one of the members
that formed the new administration and I'm in charge of party
affairs, so I think we will have to work together as partners to
make the government better," Ozawa said in a press conference

8) SDP, PNP shaking the administration; Prime Minister fails to
display leadership regarding Futenma and additional stimulus issues

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
December 8, 2009

In the process of deciding additional pump-priming measures, the
instability of the ruling coalition administration, which is at the
mercy of (the Democratic Party of Japan's) junior partners which
hold the deciding vote, has now become clear. Pressed hard by the
People's New Party (PNP) which is calling for a greater
supplementary budget, the DPJ has been forced to increase the
issuance of government bonds, making a major compromise. On the
question of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Station as
well, the government has postponed its conclusion in deference to
the Social Democratic Party (SDP), which has been persistently
insisting on moving the air station outside Okinawa or even out of
Japan. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's leadership is being

On Dec. 4, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano called on PNP
head Shizuka Kamei at his office in Tokyo's Yotsuya district and
promised that the government will make efforts to increase the size
of the supplementary budget. Hirano later ordered Cabinet Office
Senior Vice-Minister Motohisa Furukawa to work things out while
respecting the three-party framework.

In the process of mapping out economic stimulus measures, there have
been no signs that the Prime Minister demonstrated his leadership.

TOKYO 00002798 006 OF 009

In the recent Japan-U.S. working group meeting on the Futenma
relocation issue, the government also informed the U.S. side of its
decision to postpone a conclusion to next year partly in
consideration of the SDP. The Hatoyama administration is likely to
continue facing the risk of problems associated with the coalition

9) Sengoku eyes abolishment of administrative vice ministerial post
in reform of public servant system

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
December 8, 2009

State Minister for Government Revitalization Unit Yoshito Sengoku
(for reforming the Public Servant System) indicated yesterday that
he would consider abolishing the administrative vice ministerial
post in each government agency in the reform of the public servant
system. He said in responding to questions by reporters at the
Cabinet Office: "(No private firm) has the post of chief
administrative official in addition to the presidency and the post
of top manager for personnel affairs."

Sengoku said that he aimed to create a system to enable the cabinet
ministers, senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries to
make instructions direct to career bureau director general-level
officials. He added: "We have decided to submit at an early date
related bills necessary for such reform plans to the next ordinary
Diet session (next year)."

10) DPJ's Ozawa: What Pope said is true

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Isamu Koshiishi, chairman of the National Christian Council Japan
(NCC), called on Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa yesterday at party headquarters and presented a letter
of complaint that said, "We cannot overlook Mr. Ozawa's remarks in
November that Christianity is an exclusive and self-righteous
religion. We want him to know that Christianity is a religion of
love." Referring to his past comment, Ozawa, at a press conference
after that, said, "I have heard that the (Catholic) Pope said that
Western civilization reached an impasse because Western countries
pursued simple rationalism, a machine civilization, and a material
civilization without correctly understanding the true meaning of
Christianity. I agree with what he said."

11) World Bank governor, Finance Minister agree to work together in
assisting Asia

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
December 8, 2009

World Bank Governor Robert Zoellick on Dec. 7 met with Finance
Minister Hirohisa Fujii at the Finance Ministry. They agreed to
deepen cooperation for economic assistance to Asian nations.
Zoellick, who arrived in Japan on the 6th, also met with Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada and
discussed the Hatoyama administration's measures to assist
developing countries.

TOKYO 00002798 007 OF 009

12) Prime Minister Hatoyama: Strengthening Japan-U.S. alliance is

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 8, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama met yesterday with members of the
Japan-U.S.-India strategic dialogue, which is composed of experts
from the three countries, at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
(Kantei). Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage
handed to Hatoyama a set of suggestions, which stipulates their
concern about Japan's rapidly increasing fiscal deficit, as well as
the significance of antiterrorism measures in Afghanistan and
Pakistan. Hatoyama told them, "I will make an effort to stabilize
politics, the economy and security in Asia, while promoting my East
Asian Community initiative based on the policy of strengthening the
Japan-U.S. alliance."

13) DPJ delegation to China to leave for Beijing on Dec. 10

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
December 8, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) announced yesterday that a
delegation to China led by Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa will visit
Beijing for four days from Dec. 10. The delegation will be composed
of 143 DPJ lawmakers and about 630 people supporting the DPJ.
Coordination is now underway for Ozawa to meet with Chinese
President Hu Jintao on Dec. 10. Ozawa will then visit Seoul on the
11th to attend a dinner party hosted by South Korea President Lee
Myung Bak on the evening of Dec. 12. He will return to Tokyo on the

14) Final coordination continuing on 7.2 trillion yen for economic
stimulus package

NIKKEI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
December 8, 2009

The government and the ruling coalition continued final coordination
yesterday to complete an emergency economic package to be
incorporated in the second supplementary budget for fiscal 2009. The
government presented a plan to scale up actual fiscal spending in
the economic package by 100 billion yen to 7.2 trillion yen. The
People's New Party (PNP), which is calling for at least 8 trillion
yen in spending, put a decision on hold yesterday. PNP President
Shizuka Kamei plans to attend a meeting of the Ministerial
Conference on Basic Policies this morning. The government hopes to
adopt the package in a cabinet meeting today.

15) Taiwanese President eager to conclude FTAs with Japan, U.S.,
Europe, and Asia

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Excerpts)
December 8, 2009

Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou gave an interview on Dec. 7 to
several Japanese media organizations. The president during the
interview indicated his intention to aim at signing free trade
agreements with Japan, the U.S., and European and Asian countries
after concluding an economic cooperation framework agreement (ECFA),
which is equivalent to the FTA, with China.

TOKYO 00002798 008 OF 009

At the outset of the interview, Ma underscored his eagerness to
strengthen ties with Japan. He countered reports made by some
Japanese media organizations last May when he took office that he
was anti-Japanese, noting, "Relations between Taiwan and Japan have
moved forward since I took office." He thus indicated his stance of
aiming at strengthening ties with Japan and the U.S. as well,
instead of focusing exclusively on China.

The Democratic Progressive Party in the opposition camp has
criticized the envisaged ECFA as lacking transparency. This
criticism was one factor contributing to the ruling Nationalist
Party or Kuomintang losing seats in local elections on Dec. 5.

In response to the criticism, Ma pointed out the importance of trade
with China, including the fact that Taiwan's exports to China
(including Hong Kong) account for 40 percent of the total amount of
its exports. While noting that FTAs with China or with members of
the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would put Taiwan
at a disadvantage, Ma reaffirmed his intention to work toward
signing an ECFA with China, saying, "Improving economic relations
with China is unavoidable."

Concerning the key issue of purchasing weapons from the U.S., Ma
revealed the outlook that the U.S. government would reach a new
decision to sell weapons to Taiwan. However, regarding purchases of
modified F16 fighter jets, he said that he could not say anything
definite at the present stage.

16) Japan-U.S. aviation talks start

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
December 8, 2009

The governments of Japan and the U.S. started bilateral aviation
talks in Washington on Dec. 7 to discuss such issues as further
opening trans-pacific air service, aiming to agree on concluding a
pact. The issue of distributing increased departure and arrival
slots at Haneda and Narita airports will also be discussed.

The 5th round of talks, which started in October of last year, will
continue until Dec. 10. The talks have been joined by Land,
Infrastructure, Transport & Tourism Ministry Deputy Vice Minister
Keiji Takiguchi and others from the Japanese side and Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State John Byerly and others from the U.S.

The governments of the two countries have decided flight routes and
other details, based on the International Civil Aviation Convention.
However, a pact, if concluded, will make it possible for Japanese
and U.S. airlines to decide such details without any restrictions in
principle. In this case, it will become possible for Delta Air
Lines, United Air Lines, and FedEx Corp of the U.S., and Japan
Airlines, All Nippon airways, and Nippon Cargo Airlines of Japan to
operate without any restrictions. This means that all Japanese and
U.S. airlines will be subjected to the liberalization of operations
between the two countries.

As a result, the Japanese and U.S. authorities are likely to place
joint operations by the airlines companies outside the reach of
their respective antitrust acts. If a pact is concluded, since
companies of Japan and the U.S. will be allowed to coordinate such

TOKYO 00002798 009 OF 009

details as prices and arrival and departure times, they will be able
to become more competitive and provide convenient services for
travelers. Such moves have prompted European and U.S. airline
companies to lower their fares.

Departures and arrivals slots will be increased at Narita next March
and at Haneda next October. How to allocate these increased slots is
also expected to be discussed in the talks.

17) Poll: 45 PERCENT in Japan, 50 PERCENT in China see Japan-China
ties as "good"

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
December 8, 2009

The Yomiuri Shimbun and Liaowang Dongfang Zhoukang (Oriental Outlook
Weekly), a weekly magazine published by China's New China News
Agency, conducted a joint public opinion survey of the Japanese and
Chinese public, in which respondents were asked about the current
status of bilateral relations between Japan and China. In Japan, 45
PERCENT answered that Japan-China relations are in "good" shape,
while 47 PERCENT said they are "bad." In China, "good" accounted
for 50 PERCENT , with "bad" at 43 PERCENT . As seen from these
figures, the Japanese public's view of bilateral ties was severer
than the Chinese public's. In Japan, however, "good" increased 9
percentage points from 36 PERCENT last year, reaching the highest
ever since 2006 when the two countries' relations were going from
bad to worse with the Koizumi cabinet in office. The increase can be
taken as reflecting the fact that there were no issues for the two
countries to clash over.

In Japan, respondents were also asked if they thought China is
trustworthy. To this question, "yes" accounted for 28 PERCENT (19
PERCENT last year), with "no" at 69 PERCENT (78 PERCENT last
year). The figures show that the Japanese public's view of China has
changed for the better. In China, respondents were also asked if
they thought Japan is trustworthy. In response, 34 PERCENT answered
"yes," with 63 PERCENT saying "no."

In the survey, respondents were also asked about economic relations.
"When comparing China and the United States, which country do you
think will be more important to Japan?" To this question, 46 PERCENT
in Japan picked China, while 28 PERCENT chose the United States.
In China, respondents were likewise asked to choose between Japan
and the United States. In response, 52 PERCENT picked the United
States, with 6 PERCENT choosing Japan.


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