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

VZCZCXRO8328
PP RUEHFK
DE RUEHKO #2877/01 3502333
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 162333Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8251
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 7955
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 1767
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2329
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3118
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 8994
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 8432
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 TOKYO 002877

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
ROW OVER FUTENMA RELOCATION

1. LEAD STORIES: Most Wednesday morning papers front-
paged press remarks on Tuesday by Prime Minister
Hatoyama, who said that he would like to spend several
months looking for a new site for the Futenma
Replacement Facility (FRF).

2. "Apprehension Mounting over Hatoyama Diplomacy" On
the GOJ policy of postponing its decision on Futenma
relocation until next year, the liberal Asahi
editorialized (12/9): "It is a matter of course for the
prime minister to take advantage of the historic change
of administration to try to reduce the excessive
security burden on Okinawa, which has lasted more than
60 years. Nevertheless, the Hatoyama administration
must make efforts to take the proper procedures,
develop such ideas into realistic policies, and gain
the trust and consent of the U.S., which is Japan's
ally. Taking ambiguous attitudes by saying 'please be
patient,' or 'the Henoko plan is still an option,'
while neglecting to carry out those steps would damage
the alliance and run the risk of undermining Japan's
security. The prime minister should be aware that the
prospects of achieving a breakthrough in line with the
GOJ policy are quite dim. The prime minister must first
rebuild mutual trust with the U.S., which will be the
foundation for renegotiation."

3. "It Is Wrong To Put off Decision without Prospects"
The top-circulation, moderate Yomiuri asserted in an
editorial (12/9): "If Japan puts forward an idea of
moving MCAS Futenma out of Okinawa, the collaborative
efforts made by the U.S. and Japan for the past 13
years will be reduced to nothing. The agreed-upon
relocation plan will go back to square one. Was the
prime minister aware of the profound consequences of
this decision when he made it? ... The problem is that
there will be no prospects [for a breakthrough] even if
a decision on the location of the FRF is delayed until
next year. No realistic candidate sites will be found
in locations other than Okinawa."

4. "Avoid Making Futenma into Permanent Fixture" The
liberal Mainichi wrote (12/9): "In the event that a
government-to-government accord is scrapped, the party
that calls for a review is obligated to put forward an
idea that will be satisfactory to the other party. The
Social Democratic Party, which strongly insists on
moving Futenma out of Okinawa, as well as the prime
minister, who attaches importance to maintaining the
coalition government, should acknowledge this point.
The Futenma issue must not be allowed to become a flash
point that rocks the entire U.S.-Japan alliance. The
prime minister, who underscores that the U.S.-Japan
alliance is a pillar of Japanese foreign policy,
probably does not want this to happen. The Hatoyama
administration needs to use every channel of
communication available to urge the U.S. to come to the
negotiating table."

5. "GOJ Should Shift Focus to Moving Futenma out of
Okinawa" The liberal Tokyo Shimbun argued (12/9): "It
is high time for the GOJ to make full-fledged efforts
to look into the options for moving Futenma out of
Okinawa, as the Japanese people, the Okinawan people in
particular, entrusted the DPJ with this task in the
August general election. Public trust in politics will
be lost if putting off a decision until next year ends

TOKYO 00002877 002 OF 002


up buying time for setting up a situation in which
there are no options other than accepting the
relocation of MCAS Futenma somewhere else in Okinawa."

6. "Crisis in U.S.-Japan Alliance Deepening Due to
Delayed Decision on Futenma" An editorial in the
business-oriented Nikkei claimed (12/9): "We are
concerned that actions taken by the Hatoyama
administration contradict its statements on the U.S.-
Japan alliance as a central pillar, render the alliance
irrelevant, and demonstrate Japan's shift toward
China.... The diplomatic line taken by the Hatoyama
administration, over which DPJ Secretary General Ozawa
wields influence, is viewed as Japan's shift from the
U.S. to China. This will cause anxiety to spread among
countries in Southeast Asia, which have mixed feelings
about rising China."

ROOS

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