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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 12/29/09

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P 292254Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 002935

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: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 12/29/09

INDEX:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)

Futenma issue:
4) Prime Minister says no Futenma accord can ignore U.S. views
(Nikkei)
5) Gist of prime minister's comments (Nikkei)
6) Three ruling parties to propose in January candidate sites for
Futenma facility relocation (Yomiuri)

Defense & security:
7) Kyodo poll: Governors reluctant to accept U.S. forces' facilities
(Tokyo Shimbun)
8) Marines to begin repair of Futenma runways (Yomiuri)

Politics:
9) High court rules vote disparity of 2 is unconstitutional
(Yomiuri)
10) PM indicates acceptance of high court's verdict (Nikkei)

Economy:
11) Japan, India accelerate EPA negotiations (Nikkei)
12) Govt. sets target for nominal annual GDP growth of 3 PERCENT
(Tokyo Shimbun)

Foreign relations:
13) Japanese and Russian foreign ministers agree to speed up
negotiations on territorial issue (Nikkei)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Prime Minister's policy group fails to submit accounting report on
political funds

Mainichi:
Pre-pandemic vaccines for 10 million people expired

Yomiuri:
Fund for land purchase by Ozawa's fund management body: 400 million
yen in time deposit a camouflage?

Nikkei:
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Asahi Glass, other major companies
enter market for solar energy generation

Sankei:
All projects subsidized by Agency for Natural Resources and Energy
had only one applicant

Tokyo Shimbun:
300 enter Tokyo's "temp workers' village" on first day, relieved to
be able to spend New Year's holidays under a roof

Akahata:
"Government's temp workers' village" launched; 200 inhabitants able
to spend year-end, New Year's holidays there in Tokyo

TOKYO 00002935 002 OF 007

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Futenma relocation: Make serious efforts to look for relocation
site outside of Okinawa
(2) Unconstitutional verdict on allocation of Diet seats: Take
urgent steps to rectify "special single-seat districts"

Mainichi:
(1) Vote disparity unconstitutional: Diet has serious issue to deal
with
(2) Start of Futenma panel deliberations: Go back to the starting
point of relocation

Yomiuri:
(1) Prime Minister's visit to India: Strengthen relations with new
major power
(2) Vote disparity in Lower House: Correcting disparity to less than
two times an urgent issue

Nikkei:
(1) Can the government bring an end to the "two lost decades"?

Sankei:
(1) Constitutional revision: Don't stop at Prime Minister's
statement
(2) Investigation of Diet member Ishikawa: Mr. Ozawa should provide
explanation on land scandal

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Sharp decline in support rating: Diet session in January will be
crucial
(2) Revision of medical fees: What is required to prevent
disintegration of medical services?

Akahata:
(1) Learn lesson from termination of employment of temporary
workers

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, December 28

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

(Local time)
Morning Held talks with Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani
at the Hotel Taj Mahal.
Afternoon Held talks with Tata Group Chairman Ratan Tata.
Afterwards met Indian business leaders, including Confederation of
Indian Industry President-designate Bhartia.
Noon Ate lunch at the Leela Hotel in Mumbai.
Afternoon Left Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on a
government plane. Arrived at Palam Air Base in Delhi. Held talks at
the Oberoi Hotel in the city with representatives of Japanese
companies doing business in India. Afterward met PCC Chairman
Pacahuri. Talked with the press corps traveling with him.
Night Held talks with Sonia Gandhi, chief of India's ruling
Congress party, at her private residence. Attended an informal
dinner party held by Prime Minister Singh at his official

TOKYO 00002935 003 OF 007


residence.

4) PM Hatoyama says "U.S. wishes cannot be ignored" in Futenma
relocation decision

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Full)
December 29, 2009

Kimihiko Takahata in New Delhi

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who is on a visit to India, held an
informal meeting with reporters accompanying him on the trip on Dec.
28. Discussing the issue of the relocation of the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, he said: "It is not possible to come
up with an agreement among the ruling parties that ignores the
U.S.'s wishes. I have expressed my thoughts on Guam (relocation)
with that in mind." He also indicated that next May is the deadline
for deciding the relocation site, including reaching an agreement
between Japan and the U.S.

This statement by the Prime Minister indicates his stance of giving
consideration to the U.S. side's wishes, including ruling out Guam
as a possible relocation site.

Hatoyama also said that he will "respect" the conclusion reached by
the "Okinawa base issue examination committee" (chaired by Chief
Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano) of the government and the ruling
parties, which held its first meeting on the same day. He indicated
that, "We will look at all the possibilities and come up with the
best solution for the Japan-U.S. alliance and national security,"
reiterating that he will be the one to make the final decision on
the relocation site.

5) Gist of PM Hatoyama's remarks on Futenma relocation in New Delhi
on December 28

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

The following is the gist of remarks made by Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama to reporters accompanying him on his visit to India:

Futenma relocation issue

We will look into all the possibilities at the meetings (of the
Okinawa base issue examination committee of the government and the
ruling parties) and come up with a solution that is best for the
Japan-U.S. alliance and national security. Needless to say, I will
respect the conclusion reached (by the committee).

It is not possible to come up with an agreement among the ruling
parties that ignores the U.S.'s wishes. I have expressed my thoughts
on Guam (relocation) with that in mind. With Japan and the U.S.
setting a schedule until next May, the government will make its
final decision during this period. Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa's
position (said to be negative about the existing relocation plan) is
no more and no less than what his statements indicate. He gives
consideration to Okinawa.

I have always been consistent in my statements. Even though I have
not been wavering at all, (my statements) are interpreted as
wavering. Since I must not cause any misunderstanding, I should not

TOKYO 00002935 004 OF 007


say much until the new relocation site is decided.

6) Futenma relocation panel agrees to submit proposals on relocation
site within January

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

The government and the ruling parties held the first meeting of
their "Okinawa base issue examination committee" at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence (Kantei) on Dec. 28. The participants
agreed to submit proposals on the relocation site within January for
serious consideration. They also confirmed that they will aim at
reaching a conclusion by next May. However, there is still a strong
opinion that it will be difficult to find a relocation site other
than the coastal area of Camp Schwab under the existing relocation
plan. The coordination process is expected to be tough.

The committee is chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano,
and Senior Vice Foreign Minister Koichi Takemasa and Senior Vice
Defense Minister Kazuya Shimba represented the government side,
while Social Democratic Party policy chief Tomoko Abe, People's New
Party policy chief Mikio Shimoji, and others attended from the
ruling parties. The committee will hold meetings once every week to
10 days. They also agreed to invite experts as necessary.

In a related development, Democratic Party of Japan Secretary
General Ichiro Ozawa stated at a meeting with New Party Daichi
member of the House of Representatives Muneo Suzuki at the Diet on
Dec. 28: "We will wait for the Kantei's decision, but we must listen
to the voice of Okinawa's people. It is better not to build a
military base in that beautiful sea."

7) Survey of governors: none express willingness to accept U.S.
military facilities and training

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
December 29, 2009

Kyodo News Service conducted an opinion survey of the governors of
46 prefectures excluding Okinawa on the reduction in the base burden
on Okinawa which hosts 74 percent of the U.S. military facilities in
Japan. None of the governors surveyed said that they would "totally
accept" or "accept when certain conditions are met" military
training and facilities. The governors of 29 prefectures responded
that the central government has exclusive authority over security
policy and that the responsibility for national security rests
exclusively with the central government.

Fifteen governors said it is necessary to reduce the burden on
Okinawa. On the relocation of the U.S. Martine Corps' Futenma Air
Station, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has indicated that he plans
to look for possible relocation sites other than the coastal area of
Camp Schwab in the Henoko district in the city of Nago, the site
agreed upon between Japan and the United States. The survey has
exposed the difficulty of moving U.S. military training and
facilities out of Okinawa.

The survey was conducted from early December through mid-December.
Replies, written or oral, were received from all 46 governors,
though some refused to answer all the questions.


TOKYO 00002935 005 OF 007


The governors of prefectures such as Hokkaido, Kanagawa, and Saga --
most of which host U.S. military facilities or training -- said that
the burden on Okinawa must be lessened. The governors of only three
prefectures -- Shizuoka, Oita, and Miyazaki -- clearly said that
prefectures other than Okinawa should accept U.S. military
facilities and training. The governors of Aomori and elsewhere
pointed out the realignment and reduction of bases as a specific
step to reduce the burden.

The governors of five prefectures -- Toyama, Tottori, Tokushima,
Ehime, and Kochi -- explicitly said that it would be "quite
difficult" or "impossible" to accept new U.S. military facilities
and training, citing a lack of appropriate sites.

8) U.S. Marines to repair runway on Futenma base, cannot wait for
replacement facility to be built

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

The U.S. Marines in Okinawa announced on Dec. 28 that repair work on
the runway of the Futenma Air Station in Ginowan City will start
from Jan. 10. The construction work will take about three months,
and aircraft, including air tankers but excluding helicopters, will
be moved to the Kadena Air Base (straddling the towns of Kadena and
Chatan and Okinawa City) temporarily. The U.S. government has
already notified the Japanese government that if the implementation
of Futenma's relocation is delayed, repair work that the U.S. has
postponed so far will take place. The announcement indicates
construction work will be executed as planned. Concerns spread in
Okinawa on Dec. 28 that the Futenma base may remain indefinitely.

In response to Yomiuri Shimbun's query, the Marines' public affairs
office said that the construction work is part of routine
maintenance, but added: "We have postponed the work in anticipation
of the return of Futenma (in 2014), but the construction of the
replacement facility will take much longer than expected, so we
cannot wait any longer."

With regard to Futenma's relocation, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
has indicated his intention to choose a new relocation site other
than Henoko in Nago City under the current relocation plan and the
U.S. government has reacted strongly to this. Routine maintenance of
the runway also took place in 2005, but there is an opinion in the
Japanese government that undertaking repair work at this time "may
be a move hinting at the indefinite retention of the Futenma base."
Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha expressed his concern on Dec. 28: "It will
be a problem if this is linked to the entrenchment of the Futenma
base."

9) Osaka High Court rules for first time that vote disparity
exceeding two in single-seat constituencies unconstitutional

YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpt)
Evening, December 28, 2009

The Osaka High Court earlier today handed down a ruling on a lawsuit
filed by a man of Mino, Osaka Prefecture, demanding the prefectural
election committee nullify the results of the Aug. 30 Lower House
election, saying that the disparity in the value of votes cast in
single-seat constituencies that reached 2.3-to-1 was
unconstitutional. Presiding Judge Kitaru Narita declared that the

TOKYO 00002935 006 OF 007


Aug. vote was unconstitutional, saying, "Under the Constitution, the
legislative branch is not allowed to leave the current situation
uncorrected where the disparity in the weight of one vote exceeds
two." But the judge rejected the plaintiff's demand to annul the
vote on the grounds that revoking the election result would
seriously harm the public interest and would not serve the public
welfare.

10) Prime Minister takes seriously the court's decision that vote
disparity is unconstitutional

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

Kimihiko Takahata, New Delhi

The Osaka High Court ruled on Dec. 28 that the vote disparity in the
August House of Councillors was unconstitutional. Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama made the following comment on the court's ruling
during an informal meeting with reporters accompanying him on his
trip (to India): "We must take seriously the court's decision that
ruled (the vote disparity) unconstitutional." On the government's
response, the Prime Minister simply said: "I must say that we should
be cautious in taking the next step."

Representing the government/ruling coalition, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said to the press corps: "It is a matter
that concerns the foundation of the election system. I would like to
see the parties and floor groups thoroughly discuss the matter."
Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Kazuhiro Haraguchi
indicated that he takes the ruling seriously. Liberal Democratic
Party Secretary General Tadamori Oshima also said: "Our party must
conduct active discussions based on the high court's decision."

11) Hatoyama: Japan, India need to expedite EPA talks

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

MUMBAI-Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, now visiting India, met
yesterday at a Mumbai hotel with Hari Bhartia, president-elect of
the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), and other local business
leaders. Hatoyama suggested the need for Japan and India to
accelerate talks for an economic partnership agreement (EPA) between
the two countries. "It's important to build a relationship of mutual
trust in order for Japan and India to develop our bilateral
relationship," Hatoyama said.

12) Gov't eyes 3 PERCENT growth for GDP

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Abridged)
December 29, 2009

The government yesterday entered into the final phase of
coordination to target an annualized growth rate of 3 PERCENT for
Japan's nominal gross domestic product (GDP) in its basic course of
action for "growth strategy," which shows measures for Japan to
attain economic growth up to 2020. The growth strategy will uphold a
numerical benchmark to boost the nation's GDP in nominal terms from
the current estimate of approximately 500 trillion yen to 650
trillion yen in 2020.


TOKYO 00002935 007 OF 007


The government will adopt the growth strategy in a cabinet meeting
tomorrow and Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama will announce it.

The government currently sets the nominal growth rate of Japan's GDP
at 0.4 PERCENT for fiscal 2010. Given this setting, the annualized
3 PERCENT growth rate is a high target. However, it will increase
GDP in nominal terms that reflect price fluctuations, aiming to
attain "economic growth that people can actually feel in their daily
lives," a policy course prioritized by the ruling Democratic Party
of Japan. Meanwhile, for GDP in real terms, the government is aiming
for a growth rate of 2 PERCENT , which excludes price fluctuations.

13) Japanese, Russian foreign ministers agree to accelerate
negotiations on territorial dispute

NIKKEI SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
December 29, 2009

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Dec. 28 held with Russian Foreign
Minister Lavrov the first regular consultative meeting on the
Northern Territories dispute. The two ministers agreed that
resolution of the dispute is absolutely imperative for the
development of Japan-Russian relations and that negotiations at the
minister level should be accelerated. They exchanged opinions about
the "out-of-the-box approach" advocated by Russia, but made no
concrete progress.

Foreign Minister Okada explained the Hatoyama administration's
comparison of politics and economics to "two wheels of one cart."
"The absence of visible progress is a problem," he pointed out
apropos the territorial dispute. "The foreign ministers must
endeavor such that their countries' leaders can achieve concrete
progress," he said.

Foreign Minister Lavrov said, "We have absolutely no intention to
deliberately delay a solution." But he added: "A solution must be
grounded in international law and postwar reality."

At the post-ministerial press conference Foreign Minister Lavrov
commented on the "out-of-the-box approach," only saying, "At the
present stage I can't disclose the details."

ROOS

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