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Cablegate: Mofa ""Alliance Hands"" Express Frustration at Dpj

VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKO #2875/01 3500732
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 160732Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8247
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA PRIORITY
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEHKO/USDAO TOKYO JA PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USFJ PRIORITY

S E C R E T TOKYO 002875

NOFORN
SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/J
DOD FOR OSD/APSA -
GREGSON/MITCHELL/SCHIFFER/HILL/BASALLA/HAMM
PACOM FOR J00/J01/J5
USFJ FOR J00/J01/J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/14/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR JA
SUBJECT: MOFA ""ALLIANCE HANDS"" EXPRESS FRUSTRATION AT DPJ
GOVERNMENT'S HANDLING OF ""SECRET AGREEMENTS,"" FRF

Classified By: James P. Zumwalt, Deputy Chief of Mission; reasons 1.4 (
b/d)

-------
SUMMARY
-------

1. (S) Former U.S-Japan Alliance managers from the Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) summoned back back to Tokyo to
participate in the ministry's team investigating the
so-called ""secret agreements"" on nuclear weapons being
carried into Japan on U.S. Navy vessels, expressed
considerable frustration at the Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ) government's handling of Alliance issues during a
December 10 meeting with poloffs. The officials did not have
a good sense of the direction the DPJ government would take
on USN operations in Japan in the long-term, but noted that
in the near-term they would not be affected. They criticized
strongly the Hatoyama government's approach on the issue of
the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) and urged the U.S.
Government to express its discontent publicly. They also
cautioned that the Hatoyama government's approach to Alliance
issues might indicate a trend that was not favorable to the
Alliance, which raised concern as the most senior government
bureaucrats were cut out of the decision-making process in
the new government. END SUMMARY.

2. (C) Poloffs met December 10 with Japanese Permanent
Mission to the UN Political Counselor Yutaka Arima
(PROTECT)(former Principal Deputy Director, MOFA Japan-U.S.
Security Treaty Division), former Japan-U.S. SOFA Division
Principal Deputy Director Takashi Ariyoshi (PROTECT), and
former Japan-U.S. SOFA Division Deputy Director Fukahori
(PROTECT) to discuss a number of current Alliance issues
under the Hatoyama government.

------------------
""SECRET AGREEMENT""
------------------

3. (S) Ariyoshi noted that the MOFA ""secret agreements"" team
had finished its search for relevant documents and awaited
the ""Wise Men's"" expert panel (comprising Tokyo University
Professor Shinichi Kitaoka and five other academics) to
finish their review of the findings. The next step after the
review is the drafting of a report, which will be authored by
MOFA Minister's Secretariat Deputy Director General Kitano,
Ariyoshi said. When asked whether the process would impact
the additional deployment to Japan of two USN minesweeper
vessels in the coming weeks, Ariyoshi responded that the
report would not be completed until January or later and
would not likely affect USN operations in the interim. He
was reticent to predict, however, what longer-term impact the
review could have on USN operations here, saying he had ""no
idea"" which direction the current leadership would take.

4. (S) Arima, who was called back to MOFA from his current
posting at the Japanese Permanent Mission to the UN (like
Ariyoshi, who was called back from his posting at the OECD in
Paris) to participate in the MOFA team searching through
document files, questioned the usefulness of the project,
terming it ""a waste of time."" He commented that the U.S.
Government's approach of responding to public inquiries that
the declassified documents ""speak for themselves"" was the
logical way to respond to queries on the matter.

-------------------------------------
CURRENT POLITICAL ENVIRONMENT AND FRF
-------------------------------------

5. (C) All three MOFA officials expressed, in varying
degrees, their displeasure toward the Hatoyama government's
handling and politicization of the Futenma Replacement
Facility (FRF). Arima lamented that the issue had
essentially tied both governments' hands to the point where

other important, strategic bilateral initiatives for
strengthening the Alliance have slowed or are not moving
forward. They stressed that the USG ought not to be overly
accommodating to the DPJ government on FRF or risk being
misunderstood and appear willing to make concessions to the
agreed roadmap. Ariyoshi asserted that the USG ought to, in
some form, express its discontent toward the GOJ publicly.
The MOFA contacts also concurred that even the most senior
government bureaucrats were essentially cut out of the
decision-making process and were unable to coordinate with
the USG on public messaging to counter inaccurate depictions
of both governments' positions and discussions.

6. (C) At the same time, while pressuring the GOJ to resolve
the issue quickly might be effective, it also risked negative
public backlash against the United States that would play
directly into the hands of anti-Alliance factions among
coalition parties and the left-wing elements of the DPJ.
Fukahori pointed out that various elements of the DPJ
government's approach might not make sense individually,
unless viewed within the context of anti-Alliance objectives.
A trend emerged from such perspective if the ""dots were
connected,"" albeit one completely adverse to the interests of
the Alliance, Fukahori said. This, he noted, was a concern,
as the vast majority of the Japanese public did not
understand security issues and the importance to Japan's
security of moving forward with FRF.

-------------------
COMMENT and CONTEXT
-------------------

7. (S/NF) The remarks by all three MOFA officials are
striking, both in terms of their degree of candor, as well as
the frustration shown toward their political leaders. Past
anecdotal indications of frustrations from other MOFA and MOD
contacts notwithstanding, this is a rare example in which
experienced ""Alliance hands"" in the Japanese government
express such clear concerns about the possible impact of the
FRF and ""secret agreement"" discussions on the U.S.-Japan
Alliance. All three interlocutors, who sought out the
meeting to convey their views, share extensive, recent
experience working on security-related matters in MOFA and
are close contacts of the Embassy. Arima, in particular, has
long been a key source of information and insight for the
Embassy and is someone who views the United States in a very
positive light. The son of a former MOFA North American
Affairs Bureau Director General, Arima spent formative years
in the DC area, speaks near-native English, and is a clear
rising star among his peers at MOFA. That he stated
repeatedly the DPJ members ""just didn't get it"" on security
matters speaks volumes about how some talented career
diplomats at MOFA view the Hatoyama Cabinet.
ROOS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
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