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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - U.S.-Japan Relations

VZCZCXRO2204
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2827 3440755
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 100755Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8125
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI//N541// PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA// PRIORITY
RUHBANB/OKINAWA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA PRIORITY
RHMFIUU/USFJ PRIORITY
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7862
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 0213
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4998
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8368
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1673
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2237
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3112
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8903
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8348
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS TOKYO 002827

SIPDIS

STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR, EAP/J, EAP/P,
PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - U.S.-JAPAN RELATIONS

1. LEAD STORIES: Front-page stories this morning included the
indictment of a secretary to a senior opposition LDP lawmaker on
charges related to illicit political donations from a general
contractor.

2. "Do Not Turn Futenma Issue into Bilateral Crisis" The liberal
Asahi editorialized (12/10): "The problem lies in the absence of
honest communications [between the U.S. and Japan] from the
standpoint of how to maintain deterrence by the U.S. military in
Japan and how Japan will share the necessary costs. The argument
that the bilateral alliance will fall apart over this issue is
shortsighted. However, it is regrettable that the current stalemate
is being confounded due to the lack of communication."

3. "Efforts to Build Confidence Should Be Continued" The liberal
Tokyo Shimbun argued (12/10): "The suspension of the working group
on Futenma, as well as the postponement of a bilateral discussion
process on a broader alliance, will not result in an immediate
deterioration of U.S.-Japan relations.... According to press
reports, Ambassador Roos blew up at Foreign Minister Okada and
Defense Minister Kitazawa over the Hatoyama administration's refusal
to implement the existing U.S.-Japan accord [on Futenma]. Mr. Okada
has denied that the Ambassador was furious. However, if he had taken
a high-handed attitude reminiscent of the era of U.S. occupation of
Japan, it would have just inflamed anti-American sentiment among
Japanese. The U.S. should refrain from taking such a stance."

4. "PM's 'Betrayal of Trust' to Blame for Futenma Delay" The
conservative Sankei insisted (12/10): "PM Hatoyama, while saying
that the [U.S.-Japan] 'alliance is a pillar' [of Japanese
diplomacy], bears an extremely grave responsibility because he has
undermined the relationship of trust with the U.S. and put the
bilateral alliance at risk only three months after his inauguration.
He should immediately settle the matter in line with the existing
accord and repair the bilateral alliance.... The international
community's confidence in Japan will be lost if the administration
takes a stance of prioritizing the maintenance of the coalition
government over national security."

5. "Decision Needed to Avert Crisis in Alliance" The
top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri wrote (12/10): "Prime Minister
Hatoyama's judgment to place foremost priority on maintaining the
coalition government is causing a crisis in the U.S.-Japan alliance.
If the situation remains unresolved, the entire U.S.-Japan
relationship will be gravely affected, not just in the security
arena but also in the political and economic fields.... A unilateral
decision [by Japan] to give up on reaching a conclusion by the end
of the year for domestic reasons, despite confirming in the November
summit the intention to reach an expeditious decision, would make
collaborative efforts impossible in U.S.-Japan relations, which are
built upon mutual trust. The GOJ must seriously consider the
profound consequences that would occur as a result of a decision to
put off a decision until next year."
ROOS

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