Search

 

Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 12/14/09

VZCZCXRO4770
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #2853/01 3480314
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 140314Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8175
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
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 0244
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 7893
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1704
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5027
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 8399
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2269
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8935
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8377

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 002853

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 12/14/09

INDEX:

(1) U.S. offers plan to ease burden on Okinawa premised on
implementation of existing Futenma relocation plan (Yomiuri)

(2) Prime Minister to request review of U.S. force realignment,
including Futenma relocation, in line with three-party agreement
(Yomiuri)

(3) U.S. urges Japan to reach conclusion on existing Futenma
relocation plan by Dec. 18 (Yomiuri)

(4) Shizuoka governor: I haven't heard anything about a plan to
relocate U.S. military training (Mainichi)

(5) PM Hatoyama: U.S. actually wants Futenma base to stay where it
is if the current relocation plan is not implemented (Nikkei)

(6) Japanese ambassador to U.S.: Prolongation of Futenma relocation
issue to impact bilateral relationship (Mainichi)

(7) Prime Minister considering making changes to Japan-U.S.
agreement (Nikkei)

(8) Ginowan mayor asks chief cabinet secretary to move Futenma
facility to Guam (Mainichi)

(9) U.S. refuses to meet PM Hatoyama's "special envoy" in early
December, demonstrating its tough stance toward his administration
(Sankei)

(10) Gov't planning nationwide PAC-3 deployment in stages; Futenma
relocation costs also earmarked (Yomiuri)

(11) PAC-3 functionality to be limited (Nikkei)

(12) Poll: Record 78 PERCENT feel friendly toward U.S. (Tokyo
Shimbun)

(13) Editorial: We hope that Ozawa-led delegation to China holds
discussions that will advance the national interest (Sankei)

(14) Ozawa concerned about China's arms buildup (Yomiuri)

(15) Premier eager to visit North Korea (Nikkei)

(16) Japan, Australia to conclude ACSA pact (Yomiuri)

(17) Prime Minister to hold talks with Shii on Dec. 14 (Nikkei)

(18) Original copy of "secret agreement" on Japan paying for
restoration of U.S. military bases during Okinawa's reversion no
longer exists (Mainichi)

(19) Government decides not to agree to simply extend Kyoto Protocol
(Yomiuri)

(20) Editorial: Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: Will he win the world's
support? (Tokyo Shimbun)

(21) Junior partners stir up coalition government (Asahi)


TOKYO 00002853 002 OF 012


ARTICLES:

(1) U.S. offers plan to ease burden on Okinawa premised on
implementation of existing Futenma relocation plan

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
December 12, 2009

The United States floated a proposal designed to ease the burden on
Okinawa Prefecture of hosting the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station on the condition that Japan implement the existing plan to
relocate Futenma to Nago in the prefecture. The U.S. proposal
includes a plan to add an environmental clause to the Japan-U.S.
Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), several government sources said
on Dec. 11. Washington's move apparently reflects its strong desire
to implement the existing relocation plan as soon as possible.
However, the Hatoyama administration has shown no intention of
accepting the U.S. proposal.

The environmental clause would authorize the Japanese government, as
well as local governments hosting U.S. military bases, to inspect
bases if environmental pollution occurred there. The United States
has signed similar agreements with Germany and South Korea, both of
which host U.S. bases. For many years, the Okinawa prefectural
government has called for adding an environmental clause to the
SOFA. However, Tokyo has never officially submitted such a request
to Washington, saying that the issue could be dealt with
sufficiently under the SOFA.

(2) Prime Minister to request review of U.S. force realignment,
including Futenma relocation, in line with three-party agreement

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
December 13, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has decided to ask the U.S. government
for a new forum to discuss the realignment of U.S. forces (in
Japan), including the planned relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. An agreement was reached on the
matter in a meeting on Dec. 11 of the heads of the three ruling
parties - Hatoyama, State Minister for Consumer Affairs Mizuho
Fukushima (head of the Social Democratic Party), and State Minister
for Financial Affairs Shizuka Kamei (representative of the People's
New Party). Early next week, the Prime Minister will announce the
plan along with a decision to postpone a conclusion on determining a
relocation site.

In September, the three ruling parties reached an accord to deal
with the U.S. force realignment "in the direction of reviewing it."
Based on this agreement, the Prime Minister has decided to ask the
United States to review the plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko in
Nago, on which Tokyo and Washington agreed in 2006, as well as the
U.S. force realignment roadmap, including whether or not the plan to
relocate U.S. Martine Corps to Guam can be accelerated.

(3) U.S. urges Japan to reach conclusion on existing Futenma
relocation plan by Dec. 18

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpt)
Evening, December 12, 2009

Satoshi Ogawa, Washington

TOKYO 00002853 003 OF 012

Mikio Shimoji, the policy research committee head of the People's
New Party, discussed the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corp'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture with U.S. Assistant
Secretary of State Kurt Campbell and others at the State Department
on Dec. 11. According to Shimoji, the U.S. side urged the Japanese
government to decide whether or not to accept the existing plan by
Dec. 18, citing the possible impact on the compilation of the fiscal
2011 budget. The U.S. side also mentioned the possibility of not
requesting funding for relocating 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam
in budget compilation in case Japan does not accept the existing
plan.

(4) Shizuoka governor: I haven't heard anything about a plan to
relocate U.S. military training

MAINICHI (Page 31) (Abridged slightly)
December 13, 2009

Masashi Okazaki

The United States has made a proposal to Japan on shifting a portion
of U.S. Marine Corps helicopter unit's training exercises, currently
conducted at Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture),
to Camp Fuji (in Gotemba, Shizuoka Prefecture). On Dec. 12, Shizuoka
Gov. Heita Kawakatsu reacted strongly to the U.S. proposal, saying,
"I haven't heard anything from the government."

"What is the government planning to do?" Kawakatsu said in an
interview in Numazu City in Shizuoka. "The government must first
determine its policy. What sort of plan is it going to draw up for
the national defense and security of Japan? I cannot accept the
proposal unless that becomes clear."

(5) PM Hatoyama: U.S. actually wants Futenma base to stay where it
is if the current relocation plan is not implemented

NIKKEI ONLINE (Full)
13:24, December 11, 2009

In connection with the issue of the relocation of the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama told reporters at
his office on the morning of Dec. 11: "I feel that the U.S.
actually thinks that no change will be best." It is believed that
this indicates his view that if the existing Japan-U.S. agreement to
relocate the Futenma base to the coastal area of Camp Schwab (in
Nago City) is not implemented, the U.S. actually wants Futenma to
stay where it is.

He also said: "The local residents near Futenma have lived with the
danger for many years. Considering there is also the problem of
noise, I think such a solution is unacceptable. We are in the
process of making our best effort to make sure that this will not
happen. We will make a maximum effort," indicating his intention to
work for the reduction of the burden on Okinawa.

(6) Japanese ambassador to U.S.: Prolongation of Futenma relocation
issue to impact bilateral relationship

MAINICHI ONLINE (Full)
11:27, December 11, 2009


TOKYO 00002853 004 OF 012


Yoso Furumoto in Washington

At a news conference on Dec. 10, Japanese Ambassador to the U.S.
Ichiro Fujisaki discussed the issue of the relocation of the U.S.
forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa). He said: "We
need to take the U.S. side's concerns seriously," indicating that
the situation is becoming serious with the postponement of the
Japanese side's decision on Futenma relocation.

Fujisaki also stated: "This issue is extremely important. It needs
to move forward as quickly as possible," pointing out that the
prolongation of the issue may have a serious impact on the
Japan-U.S. relationship.

(7) Prime Minister considering making changes to Japan-U.S.
agreement

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 12, 2009

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on the night of Dec. 11 expressed a
view that implementing the existing plan to relocate the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa to the coastal area of Camp
Schwab would be difficult. He said: "Things would be easy if the
Japanese government, along with the Japanese people, could say,
'Yes, let's implement the Japan-U.S. agreement.' But at present, we
are not at such a stage." He also indicated that he is considering
modifying the agreement.

(8) Ginowan mayor asks chief cabinet secretary to move Futenma
facility to Guam

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
December 12, 2009

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano met with Ginowan Mayor
Yoichi Iha to discuss the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
yesterday. In response to Iha's request that the Futenma facility be
moved to Guam, a U.S. territory, Hirano indicated that the
government would take measures to ensure the safety of the base
while the alternative site remains undecided, saying: "The dangers
of the base will be removed to meet the expectations of the Okinawan
people." Regarding the Guam idea, he simply said: "We will
thoroughly examine it."

In a press conference after the meeting, Iha remarked: "I felt that
the government might be considering the possibility of leaving the
Futenma airfield as is." Hirano denied this conjecture, saying: "I
told him that we must make efforts so as not to bring about a
worst-case scenario and I did not say that the Futenma facility
might be left unchanged."

The council of three ruling parties' lawmakers to discuss issues
related to U.S. military bases in Okinawa and other locations met
yesterday and agreed on the view that the Guam idea should be
studied. Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima visited Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa, and State Minister
for Okinawa, Northern Territories and Disaster Prevention Seiji
Maehara to make requests related to the fiscal 2010 budget.

(9) U.S. refuses to meet PM Hatoyama's "special envoy" in early

TOKYO 00002853 005 OF 012


December, demonstrating its tough stance toward his administration

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
December 12, 2009

Yoshihisa Komori in Washington

It was learned that Tama University President Jitsuro Terashima, who
is known to be a foreign policy adviser to Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama, went to Washington in early December for the purpose of
"clearing up the Obama administration's misunderstanding of Prime
Minister Hatoyama," but the Obama administration refused to have any
contact with him, demonstrating its tough stance toward the Hatoyama
administration.

An informed U.S. source close to the Obama administration revealed
on Dec. 10 that Terashima asked the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo for
assistance in November, saying that he "would like to visit
Washington to clear up the Obama administration's misunderstanding
of Prime Minister Hatoyama." However, the Embassy sent a
"recommendation" to Washington stating that it is not desirable for
incumbent officials of the Obama administration to meet Terashima,
on account of his anti-U.S. bias over the years and the present
confusion in the Japanese administration.

Terashima went to Washington for a few days in early December, but
according to the above source, "As far as we know, Mr. Terashima was
unable to meet any U.S. government officials." As a matter of fact,
although Terashima met with some 20 Japanese students and
researchers living in Washington for a long informal meeting and
engaged in other activities, he returned home without having any
substantial meeting with U.S. officials.

Terashima had advocated in the past the concepts of an "equal
Japan-U.S. alliance," "East Asian community," and "Japan's
positioning itself between the U.S. and China" before Hatoyama
embraced these ideas and is believed to be advising the Prime
Minister on foreign policy. It is said that U.S. officials involved
with Japan policy think that Hatoyama has moved away from the U.S.
and closer to China on such issues as the Japan-U.S. security
alliance and U.S. military bases in Japan due to Terashima's
influence.

(10) Gov't planning nationwide PAC-3 deployment in stages; Futenma
relocation costs also earmarked

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
December 12, 2009

The government yesterday held a cabinet ministerial meeting at the
prime minister's office to discuss Japan's defense buildup for
fiscal 2010 and worked out a draft basic course of action
incorporating plans to deploy the Patriot Advanced Capability 3
(PAC-3), a ground-to-air guided missile system, across the country
in stages and to earmark costs relating to the relocation of the
U.S. military's Futenma airfield in Okinawa Prefecture. The
government is expected to hold a cabinet ministerial meeting on
basic policies and a Security Council meeting next week to adopt the
basic course of action.

The PAC-3 is currently deployed to three of the Air Self-Defense
Force's six air defense missile groups. The Defense Ministry, in its

TOKYO 00002853 006 OF 012


initial budget estimate, made a request to extend the deployment of
PAC-3 batteries to all these six ASDF air-defense-missile groups
across the country. However, the government eyes cutting back on
spending. To this end, the relevant cabinet ministers agreed to
improve the PAC-3's key components including radar and the missile.


Meanwhile, the relocation of Futenma airfield is premised on the
current plan to realign the presence of U.S. forces in Japan. In
this regard, the cabinet ministers confirmed a plan to earmark costs
related to the Futenma relocation and costs related to the transfer
of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam from the perspective of
continuing consultations with the United States.

(11) PAC-3 functionality to be limited

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 12, 2009

The government yesterday held an informal meeting of cabinet
ministers to discuss Japan's defense buildup, in which they agreed
on the Defense Ministry's budget request to deploy the Patriot
Advanced Capability 3 (PAC-3), a ground-to-air guided missile
system, to three additional locations, but also concurred on
limiting the PAC-3's functionality.

(12) Poll: Record 78 PERCENT feel friendly toward U.S.

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
December 13, 2009

The Cabinet Office released yesterday findings from its public
opinion survey on foreign relations, in which the proportion of
those who feel friendly toward the United States reached 78.9
PERCENT , up 5.6 percentage points from the previous survey last
year. The figure is the highest ever since the survey started in
1978.

The proportion of those who think Japan-U.S. relations are in good
shape also rose 12.9 points to 81.8 PERCENT , rebounding from the
previous all-time low of 68.9 PERCENT in the last survey. This can
be taken as reflecting the public's favorable impression of U.S.
President Obama, who was sworn in this January and who advocated "a
world without nuclear weapons" and expressed his willingness to
visit the atomic-bombed cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

However, the survey was conducted in October. Its results therefore
do not reflect the recent sticky situation resulting from the issue
of relocating the U.S. military's Futenma airfield.

Meanwhile, the proportion of those who think Japan-China relations
are in good shape also rose 14.8 points to 38.5 PERCENT . In
addition, the proportion of those who feel friendly toward China
also rose 6.7 points to 38.5 PERCENT .

(13) Editorial: We hope that Ozawa-led delegation to China holds
discussions that will advance the national interest

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 10, 2009

The Democratic Party of Japan's delegation led by Secretary General

TOKYO 00002853 007 OF 012


(as honorary head) will leave for Beijing today. The delegation
consists of 143 lawmakers from the two Diet chambers and DPJ
supporters, totaling more than 600 members. Ozawa emphasizes in a
letter of invitation that (the purpose of their visit to China is)
to build a heart-to-heart relationship. He is expected to meet with
Chinese President Hu Jintao. For the purpose of deepening mutual
understanding between Tokyo and Beijing, their meeting should be
significant.

However, at a time when the Japan-U.S. relationship has been
strained over the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station, the impression that the large-scale Japanese delegation to
China gives the world does not necessarily serve Japan's national
interest.

The 143 Diet members will be divided into six groups. They
reportedly will separately visit a Chinese-government-affiliated
organization, military facility, economic technological development
zone, farm village, and other places. We hope that the delegation
members exchange in-depth views with the Chinese side, although they
will stay in Beijing only four days.

After spending one night in Beijing, Ozawa will fly to Seoul on the
11th to attend an informal dinner party hosted by President Lee
Myung Bak. We hope he takes a resolute attitude to protect Japan's
national interest.

China is now Japan's top trade partner and the country in which it
has its largest investment. The reality is that in order to get
through the financial crisis and global recession, Japan, the U.S.
and Europe have no other choice but to rely on the Chinese economy,
which is expected to grow by 8.5 percent this year.

However, since the delegation is led by the governing party, it
should give a thought to China's being a totalitarian country and to
the unsolved issues between Tokyo and Beijing.

Japan and China have agreed to develop gas fields in the East China
Sea. However, China recently completed unilaterally the construction
of a drilling facility in the Shirakaba gas field, in which Japan
had planned to invest money. The delegation should not forget that
behind China's attempt are Chinese military strength aimed at
securing energy resources -- especially China's drive to build a
blue-water navy.

The delegation includes about 80 House of Representatives members,
who were elected to the Diet for the first time in the August Lower
House election. There are many issues the delegation should discuss
with the Chinese side, such as the call for China to make its
military strength transparent and food safety measures in response
to a series of food-poisoning cases involving Chinese-made
dumplings. We want the delegation to make its China visit an
experience that will lead to the future.

There are complicated conflicts of interest that cannot be
controlled by the framework of Japan-China friendship. We hope that
the delegation serves as an aid to building a true friendship that
will not cover up or contain such conflicting interests.

(14) Ozawa concerned about China's arms buildup

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Almost full)

TOKYO 00002853 008 OF 012


December 9, 2009

Taishi Tajima, Seoul

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ozawa on Dec. 11
met with Chinese National Defense Minister Liang Guanglie in
Beijing. Referring to the annual increase in China's military
budget, he said, "I am very concerned about China's arms buildup."
He pointed out: "There is a 'China as a threat' argument in Japan.
If Japan builds up its arms to compete with China, the results will
not be good for either country." In response, Liang stressed his
nation's stance: "China will never seek hegemony. The purpose of the
Chinese military is to defend its great national borders and land."

(15) Premier eager to visit North Korea

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 9, 2009

On the possibility of taking a trip to North Korea with the aim of
finding a breakthrough in the issue of the abduction of Japanese
nationals by North Korea, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on Dec. 11
told the press corps: "When the need for me to visit North Korea
arises, I should lay my life on the line (for a settlement of the
issue) and go to that nation." He thus realized his eagerness to
visit that nation while in office. He, however, explained that it is
still too early to start considering a visit in concrete terms,
saying, "Now is obviously not the right time for such a visit."

(16) Japan, Australia to conclude ACSA pact

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged)
December 13, 2009

The Japanese and Australian governments have now decided to conclude
an acquisition and cross-servicing agreement, or ACSA for short, in
order for the Self-Defense Forces and Australian forces to help each
other with munitions and services when they are on such overseas
missions as United Nations peacekeeping operations and disaster
relief activities, officials said yesterday. Australian Prime
Minister Rudd is scheduled to arrive in Japan on Dec. 15 and meet
with Prime Minister Hatoyama, and they are expected to reach a
formal agreement to start negotiations on concluding an ACSA.

(17) Prime Minister to hold talks with Shii on Dec. 14

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 12, 2009

It has been decided that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will hold
talks with Japanese Communist Party Chairman Kazuo Shii in the Diet
building on Dec. 14. The party-head meeting was requested by Shii to
demand such things as the unconditional removal of the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station from Okinawa and employment measures.
During the administration led by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),
the prime minister used to hold talks with opposition party heads
around the time to compile the budget each year. Although the LDP
also requested talks for resolving the Futenma issue before the end
of the year, the prime minister's office rejected the request.

(18) Original copy of "secret agreement" on Japan paying for
restoration of U.S. military bases during Okinawa's reversion no

TOKYO 00002853 009 OF 012


longer exists

MAINICHI (Top play) (Abridged)
December 13, 2009

Yudai Nakazawa

It was learned on Dec. 12 that investigations by the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs (MOFA) failed to find the original document on the
alleged secret agreement on "Japan paying 4 million dollars on
behalf of the U.S. as the cost of restoring U.S. military bases to
their original state" in connection with Okinawa's reversion to
Japanese administration in 1972. Bunroku Yoshino, former director
general of MOFA's North American Affairs Bureau who signed this
document, has testified in court on the existence of this agreement
and that he filed the document. It is now highly likely that MOFA
destroyed this document at some point.

A source related to the experts' committee launched in November to
investigate the issue of secret agreements (chaired by Tokyo
University Professor Shinichi Kitaoka) told Mainichi Shimbun that
"the original copy of the document that was signed was not found."
On the other hand, the investigations found documents relating to
the negotiation process that show that Japan directly paid the 4
million dollars. The committee is still conducting a closer
examination of these documents, but it is highly likely that the
committee will conclude in the end that a secret agreement existed.
In that case, the conclusion is likely to be: "The secret agreement
existed but the document itself has been lost or destroyed."

(19) Government decides not to agree to simply extend Kyoto
Protocol

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
December 12, 2009

The government held a meeting of the ministerial committee on global
warming yesterday and decided on what position Japan should take at
the 15th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN
Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen.

Although the government has not disclosed the details of its
position because of the possible impact on negotiations, it has
apparently decided on such basic policies as not agreeing to simply
extend the Kyoto Protocol; calling for the entire world to cut
greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050 and for all industrialized
countries to cut emissions by 80 PERCENT ; establishing a new
framework that also involves developing countries; and setting the
precondition for Japan to implement its 25 PERCENT reduction goal
of all industrialized countries agreeing to set ambitious goals.

Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa, who will arrive in Copenhagen
on Dec. 12, emphasized in a press conference: "It is meaningless to
extend the Kyoto Protocol, which does not place emission-cut
obligations on the U.S. and China."

(20) Editorial: Obama's Nobel Peace Prize: Will he win the world's
support?

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 5) (Full)
December 12, 2009


TOKYO 00002853 010 OF 012


U.S. President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize amid
criticism that the award was premature. Was he able to win the
support of the international community with his speech where he
affirmed the concept of a "just war" and called for the building of
a new "just peace"?

Mr. Obama started his speech by citing the names of past recipients
of the Nobel Peace Prize and said: "My accomplishments are slight."
He made utmost efforts to show modesty in light of the negative
public opinion in the U.S., with nearly 70 percent of the people
thinking that he "does not deserve" the prize.

Mr. Obama has just announced the deployment of 30,000 additional
troops to Afghanistan. His speech reflected the mixed feelings
crisscrossing his mind at every turn. He said, for instance:
"Perhaps the most profound issue surrounding my receipt of this
prize is the fact that I am the Commander-in-Chief of the military
of a nation in the midst of two wars."

The keyword is "just war." Expounding on this theme that is deeply
rooted in the history of Europe and America, Mr. Obama confirmed the
history of the idealist philosophy in America and emphasized its
tradition of maintaining the international order through the use of
force. He stated that in the 60 years after World War II in
particular, the United States' overwhelming military power has been
responsible for stability in the international order.

Citing the old Nazi regime, the ethnic conflicts in the old
Yugoslavia after the Cold War, and other examples, Mr. Obama claimed
that, "The belief that peace is desirable is rarely enough to
achieve it." He asserted that war can be justified under certain
conditions for the maintenance and building of peace.

Fanatic resistance to such Western values is a factor behind the
terrorism of Islamic radicals. It is ironic that some conservative
politicians of the U.S. Republican Party praised Obama's speech, but
a simple return to past policies is unacceptable.

Mr. Obama proposed three ways to build a "just peace" as a goal in
the new era -namely: tough sanctions and pressure on forces
disrupting the international order, support and promotion of human
rights, and freedom from want - and appealed for unity.

Tangible progress in the major policies of eradication of nuclear
arms, dialogue with Islam, and global warming prevention is
indispensable for the effective achievement of the above goal. Yet,
have the U.S.'s efforts been adequate? A case in point is the delay
in the U.S.-Russia negotiations on the strategic arms reduction
treaty.

Mr. Obama became the President against the backdrop of
discrimination against black people, and he moved away from the
hitherto predominant unilateralism in U.S. foreign policy. We ask
that he reflect once again on the message of approval of this policy
of international cooperation contained in the decision of the Nobel
Prize committee members. It would be undesirable both for the U.S.
and for the international community for this great honor to become a
heavy burden.

(21) Junior partners stir up coalition government

ASAHI (Page 4) (Excerpts)

TOKYO 00002853 011 OF 012


December 11, 2009

The two junior coalition partners have caused problems for Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama at every juncture in the policymaking
process. With the aim of reaffirming unity among the three parties,
Hatoyama has made arrangements for a dinner with Social Democratic
Party (SDP) head Mizuho Fukushima (state minister for consumer
affairs, food safety, declining birthrate and gender equality) and
People's New Party (PNP) head Shizuka Kamei (state minister for
financial affairs and postal reform) today. As junior partners in a
coalition government, the smaller parties tend to resort to
brinkmanship tactics.

PNP invokes "veto right" on extra budget, SDP on Futenma issue

Asked by reporters yesterday about the reason for arranging the
dinner for the three coalition parties, Hatoyama replied: "Since
they have worked hard for the coalition government, I would like to
hold a dinner in recognition of their services."

In both Houses of the Diet, the coalition government holds a total
of 443 seats, with only 12 and eight held by the SDP and the PNP,
respectively. Despite this situation, Hatoyama has given
consideration to the junior coalition partners because he has been
at the mercy of the two parties since his administration was
launched.

Hatoyama was optimistic before his government was launched in
September. He came up with the idea of setting up a ministerial
panel to discuss basic policies, saying: "I would like to introduce
a system for the three party leaders to hold discussions and to make
policy decisions." The two parties have different policy principles
(from the Democratic Party of Japan's) so the prime minister aimed
to set up a system for keeping them under control by having them
hold talks with Deputy Prime Minister Naoto Kan.

The prime minister, however, later found that he was being
overoptimistic. Fukushima and Kamei have kept in touch with each
other by cellular phone and taken joint steps in ministerial talks.
In meetings of the Ministerial Committee on Basic Policies, they
have employed brinkmanship tactics, with the effective "veto right,"
as expressed by Kamei, in their hands.

On the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Okinawa Prefecture, SDP members have strongly opposed
moves in the cabinet to reach a conclusion by the end of the year.
In response to a request by Fukushima for his help, Kamei conveyed
the SDP's opposition to Hatoyama and then said: "It would be a good
idea to establish a team under the Ministerial Conference on Basic
Policies and slowly proceed with discussions." Meanwhile, Fukushima
hinted at leaving the coalition, using the expression "a grave
decision."

The government had compiled a second supplementary budget bill for
fiscal 2009 worth 2.7 trillion yen under the leadership of Kan, but
the SDP and the PNP insisted that the amount should be raised
further. On this issue, Kamei took a tough stance. He delayed the
compilation work by staying away from a meeting of the Ministerial
Committee on Basic Policies and succeeded in having the government
increase the amount in the end. Kan grumbled: "This government is
led neither by Ms. Fukushima nor by Mr. Kamei."


TOKYO 00002853 012 OF 012


The SDP again lashed out at the government over the Futenma issue
yesterday. The party is calling for the Futenma facility to be moved
to Guam, a U.S. territory. But when he visited Guam, Defense
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said that it would be difficult to
relocate the airfield there. In reaction, SDP Secretary General
Yasumasa Shigeno said in a press conference yesterday: "It can't be
possible to reach a conclusion during such a short visit."

Behind the two parties' strong attitude is the fact that although
the DPJ holds 308 seats in the House of Representatives, nearly
two-thirds of all the seats, it holds only 115 seats, seven fewer
than half of the seats in the House of Councillors. The majority is
only possible through the DPJ's alliance with the SDP and the PNP.

In reference to the disarray in the government over the second extra
budget, Hatoyama told reporters on the morning of Dec. 8: "As
expected, it is difficult to operate a coalition government." Kamei,
however, relentlessly said during a press conference after a cabinet
meeting the same day: "This is not a single-party DPJ government. No
matter how much (the prime minister) stamps his feet in frustration,
he can do nothing."

Outcome of brinkmanship tactics

Even so, the future of junior coalition partners that resort to
brinkmanship tactics is not bright.

The dominant view in the DPJ is that it would be impossible for the
SDP and the PNP to exert their influence after the Upper House
election next summer. Ozawa aims to win an outright majority in both
Houses of the Diet. In this case, even if it maintains the current
coalition regime, the DPJ will no longer be swayed by its junior
partners.

Kamei has been eager to form a third major party, eyeing the voters
who are dissatisfied with the two-party system. But he remains
unable to find like-minded lawmakers. Mid-ranking DPJ lawmakers view
Kamei's moves coolly, with one member remarking: "He is probably
aiming to turn the tide of the Upper House election in his favor by
ruining our efforts and cutting public support for the DPJ."

ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: India’s New COVID-19 Wave Is Spreading Like ‘Wildfire’, Warns UN Children’s Fund

7 May 2021 A new wave of COVID-19 infections is spreading like “wildfire” across India, leaving many youngsters destitute, the UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Friday. In the last 24 hours, India registered 3,915 coronavirus deaths and 414,188 ... More>>

UN: Decades Of Health Gains At Risk In Brazil Due To COVID-19

Although COVID-19 cases are declining in Brazil, the pandemic is putting decades of public health gains there at risk, the head of the World Health Organization ( WHO ) said on Friday. With global attention and support focused this week ... More>>

UN Report: Myanmar Approaching Point Of Economic Collapse

The turmoil following the military coup in Myanmar, coupled with the impact of COVID-19 could result in up to 25 million people – nearly half of the country’s population, living in poverty by early next year, a United Nations report said on Friday. That ... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs

Study: Cut Methane Emissions To Avert Global Temperature Rise

6 May 2021 Methane emissions caused by human activity can be reduced by up to 45 per cent this decade, thus helping to keep global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to a UN-backed ... More>>

UN: Learning From COVID-19, Forum To Highlight Critical Role Of Science, Technology And Innovation In Global Challenges

New York, 4 May —To build on the bold innovations in science, technology and innovations that produced life-saving solutions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the UN will bring together experts to highlight measures that can broaden the development and deployment ... More>>

What COVID-19 Has Taught Us: “Healthcare Can No Longer Exist Without Technology”

A grandmother in a village in the Gambia should have the same quality of life and access to healthcare they deserve as in New York or London. Photo: InnovaRx Global Health Start-up Works To Bridge Healthcare Gap In The Gambia By: Pavithra Rao As ... More>>