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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 01/21/10

DE RUEHKO #0125/01 0210135
P 210135Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A



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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Ozawa scandal:
3) Arrested Lower House member Ishikawa testifies he discussed
non-reporting of funds with other indicted Ozawa aide Okubo
4) DPJ Secretary General Ozawa likely to be questioned on land deal
on Jan. 23 (Mainichi)
5) Focus of Diet on what happens after Ozawa's questioning (Nikkei)

6) Ozawa says he will give explanation of his innocence in near
future (Nikkei)

Defense & security:
7) Defense Ministry reform team to be launched (Asahi)
8) City Council adopts resolution opposing relocation of Futenma
facility to Shimojishima (Yomiuri)
9) Govt. to dispatch additional 110 personnel for Haiti earthquake
relief (Nikkei)

10) LDP, New Komeito submit bill revising Political Party Public
Subsidy Act (Yomiuri)
11) Prime Minister's replies to questions in Diet session (Yomiuri)

12) LDP unified in opposition to enfranchising foreign residents

13) Eco car subsidy creates friction between Japan, U.S. (Yomiuri)

14) Govt. lifts ban on beef imports from two U.S. meat packers

15) DPJ lawmaker calls for review of press club system (Asahi)
16) YouTube clip of Sea Shepherd, whaling vessel collision stirs
international debate (Sankei)

Foreign relations:
17) Foreign Ministry spokesman rebuts Chinese criticism of plan to
build port infrastructure on Okinotori Island (Tokyo Shimbun)


Asahi, Mainichi, & Tokyo Shimbun:
Supreme Court rules providing city-owned land for free to Shinto
shrine unconstitutional

Ishikawa: I consulted with Okubo on not listing 400 million yen used
to purchase land in political fund report for 2004

Hitachi, Toshiba to increase production of storage devices for PCs

Ozawa: This kind of issue is a violation of legal formalities under
normal circumstances

TOKYO 00000125 002 OF 009

JCP Chairman Shii in BS Fuji program: Diet should fulfill
responsibility for shedding light on Ozawa scandal


(1) First anniversary of Obama administration: Concern about shaky
(2) Supreme Court's ruling that free city land for Shinto shrine is
unconstitutional is realistic and appropriate

(1) Supreme Court's decision that providing city-owned land at no
charge to Shinto shrine is unconstitutional is appropriate
(2) Obama administration should go back to its original spirit of

(1) DPJ must not misinterpret "landslide victory" in Lower House
(2) Supreme Court decision calls attention to principle of
separation of politics and religion

(1) DPJ's criticism of information leak from prosecutors to media
(2) Supreme Court placed priority on separation of politics and

(1) Concern about Supreme Court's ruling
(2) Major quake in Haiti: Japan must play up its presence through
medical contributions

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Supreme Court ruling of "unconstitutional" is new point of view
(2) Heavy particle radiotherapy for cancer: Fair placement of
facilities urged

(1) Management-Labor policy committee report: Victory of
corporations alone unallowable

3) Arrested Lower House member Ishikawa testifies he discussed
non-reporting of funds with other indicted Ozawa aide Okubo

YOMIURI (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
January 21, 2010

It was learned from an informed source that in connection with the
case involving a land purchase by Rikuzan-kai, the fund management
organization of Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa, House of Representatives member Tomohiro Ishikawa, 36, who
has been arrested, has testified to investigators of the Tokyo
District Prosecutors Office's Special Investigation Division that he
consulted with Ozawa's government-paid first secretary Takanori
Okubo, 48, (currently on trial) about not reporting the 400 million
yen used to purchase the land in Rikuzan-kai's political fund
accounting report for 2004. Ishikawa explained that he later
informed Ozawa of the plan not to report the 400 million yen and

TOKYO 00000125 003 OF 009

obtained his approval. The Special Investigation Division believes
that Ozawa, Ishikawa, and Okubo possibly conspired to falsify the
accounting report and is conducting investigations on this matter.

4) DPJ Secretary General Ozawa likely to be questioned on land deal
on January 23

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
January 21, 2010

The questioning of Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa by the Tokyo District Prosecutors Office's Special
Investigation Division (SID) in connection with the case involving a
land purchase by his fund management organization, the Rikuzan-kai
is likely to take place on Jan. 23. Ozawa has informed the SID of
his choice of date, and the SID has indicated that his preference
will be given top priority. The SID has apparently informed Ozawa
that "the questioning will take around four hours."

The SID is also looking into the possibility of questioning Ozawa's
wife. Ozawa has explained that the source of funds used in the land
purchase was "inheritance from his late father, plus savings
accumulated later, which were deposited with a trust bank under his
and his wife's names; and these funds were withdrawn around 10 years
ago and kept at home." Based on this explanation, the SID has
apparently decided that it will be necessary to question Ozawa's
wife. In response to this, Ozawa said he intends to explain
everything by himself.

5) Focus of Diet on what happens after Ozawa's questioning

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
January 21, 2010

The Diet completed its two days of interpellation on the financial
policy speech delivered by Deputy Prime Minister and Finance
Minister Naoto Kan. Substantial debate will begin at the House of
Representatives Budget Committee on Jan. 21. The focus will mostly
be on the violation of the Political Funds Control Law involving a
land deal by Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa's fund management organization, the Rikuzan-kai. Since Ozawa
will agree to be questioned by the prosecutors on a voluntary basis,
maneuvering between the ruling and opposition parties will unfold
with the political situation after Ozawa's questioning in mind.

Political schedule for January

Jan. 21 Interpellation at Lower House Budget Committee on second
2009 supplementary budget (until Jan. 22)
This weekend? Tokyo District Prosecutors Office's Special
Investigation Division questions Ozawa on a voluntary basis?
Jan. 25 Ruling parties to pass supplementary budget at Lower House
Budget Committee, as well as enact this budget at Lower House on the
same day
End of January? Enactment of supplementary budget
Policy speech by Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama

6) DPJ's Ozawa to "gain the people's understanding" on land deal
scandal "shortly"

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 21, 2010

TOKYO 00000125 004 OF 009

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa was
briefed by Azuma Koshiishi, chair of the DPJ caucus in the House of
Councillors, and other senior party officials on the situation in
the Diet and the Upper House election at his office in the Diet on
Jan. 20. He joined Koshiishi and others at a New Year's party of
senior DPJ officials in the Upper House in the evening, where he
said in a speech: "I have been causing you trouble. I will make
arrangements to gain the people's understanding shortly."

A senior party official indicated that what he probably meant by
"making arrangements to gain the people's understanding" was to
"prove his innocence by responding to the prosecutors'

When a Diet member elected from Nagasaki Prefecture thanked him for
attending the DPJ prefectural chapter's party, Ozawa said: "The
Nagasaki gubernatorial election next month is an important election.
The whole party should work hard in the campaign."

Ozawa left his residence in Tokyo in the morning. He apparently
spent time at his personal office in Tokyo before he went to the
Diet in the late afternoon.

7) Defense Ministry reform team to be launched

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
January 21, 2010

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa has decided to launch a new review
team this month to reform his ministry. The review team will work
out a reform plan by the end of fiscal 2010, aiming to ensure
civilian control through such steps as creating an enhanced system
that supports the ministry's political appointees in the top posts
of minister, senior vice minister, and parliamentary secretary.

Meanwhile, the now-opposition Liberal Democratic Party and its
one-time coalition partner, the New Komeito, had worked out a plan
to overhaul the Defense Ministry in the wake of a corruption scandal
involving former Administrative Defense Vice Minister Takemasa
Moriya. Their reform plan was to rectify the superiority of the
Defense Ministry's bureaucrats over the Self-Defense Forces' staff
officers at the ministry and integrate the SDF's staff officers and
the ministry's bureaucrats. However, their reform plan has been
called off.

Some lawmakers in the now-ruling Democratic Party of Japan say
intermingling the SDF's staff personnel with the Defense Ministry's
bureaucracy could result in letting the SDF, an armed entity, go out
of control. The review team will therefore look into strengthening
the ministry's current system in which the SDF's brass officers and
the ministry's bureaucrats work together to assist the minister,
senior vice minister, and parliamentary secretaries, who play a key
role under the initiative of politicians. In addition, the team will
also study measures to streamline the SDF's current defense buildup
planning divisions in the Ground, Maritime, and Air Self-Defense
Forces that are said to be wasteful in many ways.

8) Miyakojima assembly adopts petition against Futenma relocation to

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)

TOKYO 00000125 005 OF 009

January 21, 2010

The municipal assembly of Miyakojima City in Okinawa Prefecture
called a special session yesterday and unanimously adopted a
petition against the emerging alternative option of relocating the
U.S. military's Futenma airfield in the island prefecture to
Shimojishima, an island belonging to the city. There is an idea
being floated from within the ruling parties for considering
Shimojishima airport on the island as a new alternative site for the
heliport functions of Futenma airfield.

9) Government to send 110-member SDF medical team to Haiti

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 21, 2010

The government yesterday decided to send another emergency-relief
team consisting of medical and other personnel from the Self-Defense
Forces (SDF) to quake-devastated Haiti. Defense Minister Toshimi
Kitazawa ordered the deployment. The SDF medical team will leave
Narita Airport tonight for Florida, U.S.A. The team is expected to
start providing medical treatment and disease prevention measures as
early as the 24th in Leogane.

10) LDP, New Komeito present bill amending subsidies law to Diet

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged)
January 21, 2010

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the New Komeito yesterday
submitted to the House of Representatives a bill that would revise
the subsidies law to prevent parties that have decided to disband
from donating their party subsidies to other political
organizations. This move is intended to rattle the government by
throwing into relief the politics-and-money scandal involving
Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa.

The Liberal Party -- headed by Ozawa -- was officially disbanded in
September 2003. On the day of its dissolution, the Liberal Party
spent all of its party subsidies by making contributions to each of
the party legislators' political bodies and other means. The LDP and
the New Komeito have criticized the Liberal Party's action as an
attempt to avoid returning the money to state coffers. The bill
includes a measure to have the political organizations that received
subsidies from disbanded political parties voluntarily return the
money to state coffers.

11) Hatoyama's Diet replies

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Excerpts)
January 21, 2010

Land deal scandal involving Rikuzan-kai

Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa is one of the people who made it
possible to achieve a change of government. When Mr. Ozawa said to
me that he would "fight," I interpreted it to mean that he was
determined to prove his innocence. I agreed with Mr. Ozawa's resolve
to fight to reform Japanese politics. He naturally should make
efforts to that end as a politician. My earlier statement was not
intended to apply pressure to prosecutors and will have no effect
(on their investigation).

TOKYO 00000125 006 OF 009

Constitutional revision

This is not the right time for me to express my view. I do not think
I should consider this issue during my term of office.

Global warming

The government will employ every possible measure to attain Japan's
goal. We will give consideration to the burdens expected to be
imposed on the nation's industry and public after introducing
economic regulations. The government will work out specific measures
to be included in a global warming countermeasures bill.

Economic and fiscal management

The government and the Bank of Japan will work together to hammer
out powerful and comprehensive measures to contain deflation. The
government put together emergency economic measures last December,
with a focus on environmental protection. Also by coming up with
measures to overcome deflation, we will place the economy on a solid
recovery track. First of all, we will make utmost efforts to have
the fiscal 2009 second supplementary budget enacted at an early
date. The government has decided to cap the issue of government
bonds at about 44 trillion yen. This is not a small sum, but we have
maintained fiscal discipline in the midst of drastically decreasing
tax revenues. This is a result of our utmost efforts and ingenuity.

Futenma relocation issue

There are still destabilizing factors in the Asia-Pacific region.
The Japan-U.S. security arrangements are indispensable for Japan's
security, so the government will continue to firmly uphold them. In
order to deepen the Japan-U.S. alliance to adapt to the evolving
environment of the 21st century, I will come up with a conclusion by
May without fail.

Refueling mission in Indian Ocean (response given by Defense
Minister Kitazawa)

Through the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the
Indian Ocean, Japan was able to demonstrate the Self-Defense Force's
capabilities and advanced technology to the international community.
Japan will continue to contribute actively to UN peace cooperation
activities. We will consider a wide range of activities.

12) LDP plans to oppose bill granting permanent foreign residents
suffrage in local elections

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
January 21, 2010

A group of Diet members from the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP),
headed by former Administrative Reform Minister Seiichiro Murakami,
decided yesterday to oppose a bill that would grant suffrage in
local elections to permanent residents in Japan, which the
government and ruling parties are considering submitting to the
current Diet session. The group calls itself the "parliamentarians'
group calling for the cautious handling of a bill granting permanent
foreign residents suffrage." At the LDP's annual convention on Jan.
24, Policy Research Council Chairman Shigeru Ishiba intends to
express opposition to speedy deliberations on the bill, aiming at

TOKYO 00000125 007 OF 009

preventing the legislation from passing through the Diet during the
current session.

In yesterday's meeting, some lawmakers called for a study on banning
foreign residents from conducting campaign activities, with one
member saying, "Japan's elections should not be swayed by the views
of foreign residents."

13) Japan-U.S. friction over Japan's subsidy system for eco-friendly
vehicle buyers: U.S. vehicles eligible for system stand at only 700
units even after easing of conditions by Japan

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
January 21, 2010

The Japanese government had originally taken the stance that there
would be no problem with the new subsidy system, since imported cars
are also eligible, if they meet conditions, such as the fuel
efficiency standard set by Japan. As a matter of fact, 40 percent of
imported cars met the conditions for becoming eligible for subsidies
even before the revision of the system. However, no U.S. cars met
such conditions. A senior official of the Ministry of Economy, Trade
and Industry (METI) said, "We cannot comply with the U.S. request,
since it is trying to bulldoze its way through even though their
vehicles do not meet the conditions."

The government on the 19th released a measure to ease the
conditions, by enabling determination of whether imported cars are
eligible for the subsidy system or not on the basis of the fuel
efficiency value adopted in the country of origin, if the number of
imports is less than 2,000 units a year. The number of U.S. vehicles
exported to Japan by vehicle type is small. The government has
apparently given in to the U.S. request.

However, according to an estimate by METI, only 700 or so U.S.
vehicles will become eligible for the system as a result of the
revision. As such, it is hard to think that the U.S. side will
readily accept it. Hans Tempel, representative director and
president of Mercedes-Benz of Japan and chairman of the Board of
Japan Automobile Importers Association (JAIA) said, "The fixed-sum
subsidies are disadvantageous for imported cars, because many are
high-priced." Delicate maneuvering with various countries will
likely continue.

14) Japan lifts ban on beef imports from two U.S. plants

MAINICHI (Page 23) (Full)
January 21, 2010

The agriculture and health ministries on Jan. 20 lifted a ban on
beef imports from two U.S. plants. The ban was imposed after spinal
column, a specified risk material for BSE (bovine spongiform
encephalopathy), was discovered in their beef shipments to Japan in
July and Sept. 2009. The ministries lifted the ban because they "had
confirmed improvements in safety" at the two plants, Tyson's
Lexington plant in Nebraska and Creekstone's plant in Kansas.

15) Request for reviewing press club system

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
January 21, 2010

TOKYO 00000125 008 OF 009

Akio Fukuda (Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) member), representative
director of the Lower House Budget Committee, at a policy meeting of
the Internal Affairs Ministry, said, "The nature of the press club
system should be reexamined. Press clubs at government agencies have
been taken over by ministries and agencies. Reporters cannot write
proper articles there. Some attorneys say that the judicial press
club has been taken over by the Public Prosecutors' Office." NHK
management personnel also participated in the meeting. Fukuda
stated, "Internal Affairs Minister (Kazuhiro) Haraguchi is
criticizing press reports that say 'according to related sources.'
NHK is also broadcasting such reports. People believe those reports.
I would like you to make efforts so that accurate information and
facts can be conveyed to the people."

16) Heated debate on YouTube over video of collision between Ady Gil
and Shonan Maru

SANKEI (Page 15) (Slightly abridged)
January 21, 2010

A heated debate has been going on among Net users across the world
ever since a video of a collision in Antarctic waters between the
U.S. environmental protection group Sea Shepherd Conservation
Society's anti-whaling protest ship, and the Shonan Maru No. 2, the
patrol boat of a Japanese research whaling fleet, was uploaded on
the Internet. A large number of people have accessed the site, with
some expressing frank views critical of research whaling in conflict
with the positions of their governments and posting comments
reflecting their national character, while many others express
opinions critical of the steps taken by the Sea Shepherd.

Since Jan. 6, the day the collision occurred, many video pictures
and news videos, including one on the collision site taken by the
Institute of Cetacean Research, have been posted on the video
sharing site YouTube. As of Jan. 20, some videos had been played
over 920,000 times, and the site had received more than 9,500

Messages reflecting national character

The prevailing opinion after viewing the videos is that the Ady Gil
picked up speed and steered toward Shonan Maru No. 2 immediately
before the collision. There was much negative criticism even from
countries supportive of the Sea Shepherd, with a German visitor
noting: "The video clearly reveals the truth. What the Sea Shepherd
did was an act of terrorism." A viewer in Finland wrote: "Although I
am opposed to killing whales, I cannot support the Sea Shepherd's
action." A Japanese user posted a cynical comment: "Are whales more
important than humans?"

As seen in an American user's comment -- "Chinese eat cats, Koreans
eat dogs, Japanese eat whales, and I eat hamburgers: these are
culinary traditions" -- many are supportive of whaling itself as
part of food culture.

But the debate over the propriety of research whaling continues,
with an American writing, "Japan should admit that it is carrying
out research whaling for commercial purposes," and an Australian
noting, "Japan must not practice its whale-killing culture in our

The Japanese have rebutted these critics, saying: "Whaling is for

TOKYO 00000125 009 OF 009

research purposes. The Antarctic Ocean is not part of Australia's

Japan an easy target

Besides Japan, Iceland is conducting research whaling, and Norway is
commercially catching minke whales. Despite that, there have been
many attacks against Japanese vessels by the Sea Shepherd recently.
An Australian user calmly analyzed this fact and reached this
conclusion: "The Sea Shepherd probably wants to prove that they are
racists. Other countries are also actively conducting whaling. Japan
becomes an easy target because it is polite and withdraws without
fighting back."

Sankei Shimbun sent an e-mail to the Sea Shepherd asking for an
interview, but there had been no response as of Jan. 19.

17) Foreign Ministry rebuts China over island issue

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
January 21, 2010

Kazuo Kodama, a spokesman for the Foreign Ministry, held a press
conference yesterday, during which he offered a counterargument to
China over its opposition to the Japanese government's port
maintenance work at Japan's southernmost island of Okinotori. "Japan
has been controlling Okinotori Island effectively and has
established its entitlement and status as an island," Kodama said.

The Japanese government, in its budget for fiscal 2010, has
earmarked spending on projects to improve the ports and harbors of
Japan's outlying islands, including Okinotori Island.


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