Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 01/05/10

DE RUEHKO #0015/01 0050319
P 050319Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A



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

Futenma relocation:
4) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano to visit Okinawa (Nikkei)
5) DPJ"s Yamaoka hints Futenma decision could come after May
6) Ishiba to visit Washington (Tokyo Shimbun)
7) Communist Party head Shii raps postponement of Futenma decision

Foreign relations:
8) Hatoyama says it's not yet the right time to visit North Korea
9) Japan, Turkey to cooperate in provision of aid to Afghanistan
10) Imai named Taiwan representative; exchange association announced

Secret accords:
11) MOFA internal investigation fails to uncover more documents
relating to secret Japan-U.S. accords (Nikkei)

12) JAL chooses Delta as partner with the aim of long-term growth
13) New Tourism Minister sets goal of 10 million foreign visitors
during his two-year term (Nikkei)

14) Regular Diet session to convene on Jan. 18; July 11 likely date
for Upper House election (Sankei)
15) Tanigaki demands cabinet resign en masse (Asahi)
16) Hatoyama eager to thoroughly establish political leadership
17) Police to begin questioning of major contractors about land
purchase by Ozawa's fund management group (Tokyo Shimbun)

Defense & security:
18) Police to build a case against service member involved in
hit-and-run incident resulting in death (Tokyo Shimbun)
19) Yomitan residents demand SOFA revisions (Tokyo Shimbun)
20) Govt. examining donation of patrol boat to Yemen (Yomiuri)



National health insurance association receives undisclosed state
subsidies totaling 22.9 billion yen

42 prefectures have no stockpiles of protective masks for asbestos

Government eyeing restrictions on parental rights to prevent child

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Honda to use local steel for car production in India

Hatoyama's first speech of the year: Passing budgets top priority

Tokyo Shimbun:
Prosecutors to question concerned general contractors' executives
over donation scandal involving Ozawa

In first party convention of year, Chairman Shii emphasizes need for
JCP to make large gains in Upper House election


(1) Rebuild system of political leadership
(2) Add more substance to new growth strategy

(1) 2010 as year of reconstruction - economy: Don't be defeated by
mental deflation

(1) Global economy still facing challenges

(1) Promote pension reform, with inauguration of new body as
(2) Security situation in Yemen deteriorating further

(1) Hatoyama's New Year's press conference: Demonstrate leadership
(2) New pension body: Restore confidence with customer-friendly

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Is dawn approaching for Japan?

(1) Japanese economy in 2010: Let's pave the way for sound

3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)

Prime Minister's schedule, January 4

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

09:02 Delivered New Year message at DPJ headquarters on first day of
work; met Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, Diet Affairs Committee
Chairman Kenji Yamaoka, DPJ Secretary General in the Upper House
Yoshimitsu Takashima, and Administration Committee Chairman Tenzo
10:00 Held New Year news conference at Prime Minister's Official
Residence; met National Strategy Minister Naoto Kan, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Koji
Matsui; joined by Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno
11:10 Left JR Tokyo Station on Nozomi-23 train, accompanied by State

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Minister for Abduction Issue Hiroshi Nakai, Administration Reform
Minister Yoshito Sengoku, and Prime Minister's assistants Yoshikatsu
Nakayama and Katsuya Ogawa
12:51 Arrived at JR Nagoya Station; met by Nagoya Mayor Takashi
Kawamura and JR Tokai Chairman Noriyuki Kasai
12:57 Met Kawamura and others at VIP room of Kintetsu Nagoya
13:10 Left Nagoya Station on Kintetsu limited express train
14:34 Arrived at Kintetsu Ujiyamada Station; met by Mie Governor
Akihiko Noro
14:53 Arrived at Ise Shrine in Ise City, Mie Prefecture; prayed at
Outer Shrine of Ise
15:34 Prayed at Inner Shrine of Ise
16:22 Received flowers from 7th Corps of Ise, Boy Scout Association
of Japan and 1st Corps of Mie Prefecture Girl Scout Association of
Japan in front of the office of the Board of Ise Grand Shrines
16:53 Left Ujiyamada Station on Kintetsu limited express train
18:16 Arrived at Kintetsu Nagoya Station
18:22 Met Kasai and others at VIP room of JR Nagoya Station
18:39 Left Nagoya Station on Nozomi-382 train
20:20 Arrived at JR Tokyo Station
20:37 Had dinner with Hirano at Japanese restaurant Yamazato in
Hotel Okura
23:06 Arrived at his official residential quarters

4) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano to visit Okinawa

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano will visit Okinawa
Prefecture on Jan. 8-10 to discuss the Issue of relocating the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. He is expected to visit U.S.
military bases and other places in the prefecture. At a Tokyo hotel
last evening, he exchanged views with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
on the relocation of the Futenma base and other issues. He said to
Hatoyama, "I would like you to let me handle" the Futenma issue.

5) Futenma conclusion might be postponed beyond May: DPJ's Yamaoka

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has said that he expects to reach a
conclusion on the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station in May. With regard to this, Kenji Yamaoka, chairman of
the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Diet Affairs Committee, said on
a BS Asahi program yesterday, "Taking more time to think about it
could also be a conclusion," indicating that there is a possibility
that the conclusion will be postponed.

6) Ishiba leaves for U.S.

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Ishiba will visit the U.S. from
Jan. 5 to 8. In Washington he will discuss the issue of Futenma
airfield relocation with the Obama administration's Assistant
Secretary of State Campbell (East Asian and Pacific Affairs) and
Assistant Secretary of Defense Gregson. In preparation for debate in
the regular Diet session he will reconfirm the Obama

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administration's recognition of the contribution to security of the
stationing of U.S. forces including Marines on Okinawa. He will be
accompanied by Policy Research Council Deputy Chairman Yoshimasa
Hayashi and Vice Deputy Chairman Yasutoshi Nishimura.

7) JCP Chairman Shii criticizes postponement of Futenma conclusion

AKAHATA (Page 4) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Chairman Kazuo Shii yesterday
delivered a speech at the New Year's opening of the party's organ,
Akahata, at party headquarters. During the speech, he said, "I would
like to make this year into an epoch-making year for forming a
majority group calling for abolishing the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty
by giving rise to a great national debate questioning the
appropriateness of the treaty. I also want to aim at removing the
military bases from Okinawa and Japan." With the House of
Councillors election this summer in mind, he clarified his party's
stance of opposing the Japan-U.S. alliance.

Shii criticized the Hatoyama administration for postponing a
conclusion on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Okinawa Prefecture until May. He said, "(The government)
keeps repeating its commotion and wavering. The people's anxiety
will not change no matter where (the base) is relocated."

8) Hatoyama: It is too early to visit North Korea

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama yesterday expressed his perception of
the issue of North Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals, by
saying, "I will consider visiting North Korea when the time is ripe
and when such a trip becomes truly necessary. The timing is not
right yet." He made this comment in response to questions by
reporters in Ise City, Mie Prefecture.

9) Okada, Turkey FM agree on cooperation in Afghan aid

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Kurashige, Ankara

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, now visiting Turkey, met with his
Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on the afternoon of Jan. 4,
local time. They agreed that the two countries should hold vice
minister-level talks on aid for Afghanistan and also should
cooperate in persuading Iran to discontinue its nuclear development

Okada briefed Davutoglu on Japan's decision to extend up to 5
billion dollars, or approximately 450 billion yen, mainly in
civilian aid to Afghanistan over five years. He then suggested that
Japan and Turkey should start discussing specific cooperative

Dvautoglu praised Japan's aid package, remarking it was the right
decision. He said that Turkey has dispatched 1,700 troops to the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. They

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affirmed the importance of assistance by the two countries in
improving the security situation in Afghanistan.

10) Imai appointed new de facto ambassador to Taiwan

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

The Interchange Association, Japan, the body in charge of Japan's
relations with Taiwan, appointed Tadashi Imai, 65, former Ministry
of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) ambassador to Okinawa, as the new chief of
its office in Taipei (with the rank of ambassador) on Jan. 4. Imai
joined MOFA in 1969. He was formerly an ambassador to Malaysia and
has served in other senior positions. His predecessor Masaki Saito's
remark in a speech last May that "the international status of Taiwan
is unresolved" became a political issue, forcing him to step down
from his post.

11) Documents on secret nuclear pact not found

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

It was learned yesterday that the Foreign Ministry's internal
investigation team has failed to find documents on the secret
Japan-U.S. agreement on nuclear introduction. There is a possibility
that the documents were discarded in the fear that they would be
discovered. The ministry's handling of documents will likely be
called into question.

With regard to the handover of the documents, former Administrative
Vice Minister Ryohei Murata clearly stated in an interview with the
Nihon Keizai Shimbun that he handed over to his successor a piece of
paper stipulating the contents of the secret pact. Also former
Ambassador to the Netherlands Kazuhiko Tojo, who served as director
general of the Treaties Bureau (currently the International Legal
Affairs Bureau), testified that he handed over five volumes of
documents regarding the secret pact to his successor when he was
bureau chief.

The ministry's internal investigation team has failed to find any of
the documents on which Murata and Togo testified.

The committee of experts, chaired by University of Tokyo Prof.
Shinichi Kitaoka, that was set up by Foreign Ministry Katsuya Okada
questioned Togo about the circumstances when the documents were
prepared, but it is still unknown when the documents were lost.

12) JAL to tie up with Delta Air Lines, attaching importance to mid-
to long-term growth

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Lead para.)
January 5, 2010

Japan Airlines (JAL) and the state-backed Enterprise Turnaround
Initiative Corporation of Japan will likely decide that the air
carrier will form a business and capital tie-up with Delta Air Lines
of the U.S. This is because they attach importance to a mid- to
long-term growth strategy in their envisioned scenario for
rebuilding JAL. Switching airline alliances to the SkyTeam, to which
Delta belongs, would enable the carrier to dramatically expand its
international flight network. In the meantime, American Airlines

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will likely be pressed to take a second look at its strategy for the
Japan-U.S. flight route, which could change the power distribution
of air carriers in Asia.

Once JAL and Delta Air Lines formally join hands, division of labor
will become possible between them with Delta mainly operating on the
Pacific route and Japan operating on the Asian routes. They will
thus be able to prioritize the distribution of management

As a result, the efficiency of their flight operations will be
enhanced. Flight routes from the U.S. to Asian destinations via
Japan will also increase. A related source said that Asia-bound U.S.
passengers as well as passengers from Japan will increase, offering
the potential for improved seat occupancy on JAL flights.

13) New Japan Tourism Agency commissioner in press conference:
"Foreign visitors should be increased to 10 million annually"

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Excerpt)
January 5, 2010

In his first press conference after assuming the post yesterday,
Japan Tourism Agency Commissioner Hiroshi Mizohata, 49, said: "I
hope that the number of foreign visitors to Japan will increase to
more than 10 million annually" during his term of office for two
years. The number of foreign visitors is estimated to have dropped
below 7 million in 2009. Focusing on the fact that 70 PERCENT of
foreign visitors visit major cities, the new commissioner indicated
that the agency will focus on preparing major cities to receive
foreign visitors. The agency will provide advice to municipal
governments in order to enhance their capabilities for attracting
foreign visitors.

14) Regular Diet session to be convened on the 18th: Upper House
election likely to be held on July 11

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 5, 2010

The government and the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) on Jan. 4
decided to convene the regular Diet session on the 18th. The session
will run for 150 days until June 16. Article 32 of the Public
Offices Election Law stipulates that an Upper House election be held
within 30 days after the Diet is adjourned. As such, it is now
likely that the summer Upper House election will be officially
announced on June 24 and held on July 11.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama on the morning of the 4th met with DPJ
Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa and Diet Affairs Committee Chairman
Kenji Yamaoka at the party headquarters and confirmed a policy of
convening the Diet session on the 18th. Yamaoka on the same day met
with Lower House Speaker Takahiro Yokomichi and Vice Speaker
Seishiro Eto separately in the Diet building and conveyed this
policy. The government and the DPJ plan to hold a meeting of the
Diet Affairs Committee chairmen of the ruling and opposition parties
on the 7th and decide on the timetable on the 8th, after obtaining
consensus from each party.

The government and the ruling parties during the upcoming regular
Diet session intend to have the Diet pass the fiscal 2009 second
extra budget in January and then do their utmost to realize the Diet

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passage of the fiscal 2010 budget bill within the current fiscal

15) LDP President Tanigaki to call for resignation en masse or Diet

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
January 5, 2010

Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) President Sadakazu Tanigaki on Jan. 4
visited Ise Shrine in Ise City, Mie Prefecture. He noted after the
visit, "We must pursue the politics and money issue so as to seek
the people's mandate through the resignation of the cabinet or the
dissolution (of the Lower House)." He thus indicated a stance of
pursuing the political funds issue involving Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama and Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa during the upcoming regular Diet session.

He said that the Upper House election in the summer will be a
crucial political battle. In the meantime, regarding the line
between victory and defeat, he steered clear of making any
categorical comment, by just saying, "We will do everything within
our power to achieve victory."

16) Hatoyama indicates resolve to establish system of political
leadership in policy speech

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
January 5, 2010

In his first press conference of the year yesterday, Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama said that the government would submit a bill to
establish a political leadership system to the upcoming ordinary
Diet session, which is scheduled to be convened on Jan. 18. He thus
indicated his eagerness to promulgate the policy of shifting
policymaking responsibility from bureaucrats to politicians.
Hatoyama hopes to display specific results prior to the House of
Councillors election this summer.

Gist of the bill to establish a political leadership system

Q Upgrade the National Policy Unit to a national policy bureau and
make it a legally endorsed organization.
Q Increase the number of senior vice ministers and parliamentary
secretaries. Establish the post of ministerial secretary.
Q Set up a cabinet personnel bureau to consolidate personnel matters
of senior officials at each government office under the leadership
of the cabinet.
Q Abolish the system of allowing bureaucrats to make Diet replies.
Q Set up hearing commissions to listen to opinions from bureaucrats
and experts in the Upper and Lower Houses.
Q Remove the status of government special assistant from the Cabinet
Legislation Bureau director general and prohibit the person in the
post from making Diet replies.

17) Public prosecutors to question general construction contractors
over their political funds donation to DPJ Secretary General Ozawa

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (lead para.)
January 5, 2010

In connection with the purchase of land in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo, by

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Rikuzan-kai, Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa's fund-management organization, the Tokyo District
Public Prosecutors Office appears to have decided to question
sources connected with several general construction contractors,
including a former executive of the Tohoku branch of Kajima
Corporation, a leading general construction contractor located in
Minato Ward, Tokyo, starting on Jan. 5. There are still unclear
aspects about the flow of funds for the purchase of the land in
question. Public prosecutors appear to have decided that it is
necessary to question sources related to general construction
contractors that have been donating political funds to Ozawa.

18) Papers on U.S. Army staff sergeant, suspect in fatal hit-and-run
incident in Yomitan, Okinawa, last November, sent to prosecutors

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 31) (Abridged)
January 5, 2010

In connection with the fatal hit-and-run incident in Yomitan
Village, Okinawa, the Okinawa Prefectural Police sent papers on
Clyde Gunn, 27, a member of the U.S. Army's special force Green
Berets at the Torii Communication Station (in Yomitan) to the
prosecutors on Jan. 4 on the charge of negligent driving resulting
in death for hitting a man fatally in Yomitan. Investigators will
continue to build a case against the suspect for violation of the
Road Traffic Law (hit-and-run) and a charge will be filed when
investigations are completed.

It is believed that the Okinawa police went ahead to indict Gunn for
negligent driving resulting in death, on which adequate evidences
have been gathered, in order to facilitate filing a charge of
hit-and-run at an early date. Investigations on the latter offense
have been stuck due to Gunn's refusal to make himself available for
questioning. With the first charge being filed, the deadlocked
investigation will now move forward. Gunn is expected to be handed
over to the Japanese authorities after indictment based on the
Japan-U.S. Status of Forces Agreement.

In light of the indictment, Gunn's lawyer said: "He will present
himself to the police as soon as Jan. 5, but we will continue to
demand the interrogation be videotaped." There is a possibility that
Gunn may refuse interrogation again.

According to the Okinawa police, after the incident occurred on Nov.
7, Gunn responded to questioning on a voluntary basis at first, but
refused to appear for questioning after Nov. 14, demanding
"videotaping" of the interrogation process. While he has told his
lawyer "I think I hit the man," he denied the hit-and-run charge,
saying: "I have been trained as an army medic and have the knowledge
and skills of lifesaving. It is impossible that I would have fled."

19) Okinawans demand SOFA revision in reaction to indictment of U.S.
Army staff sergeant in fatal hit-and-run incident in Yomitan last

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 31) (Full)
January 5, 2010

In light of the indictment without arrest of the U.S. Army staff
sergeant, the suspect in the fatal hit-and-run incident in Yomitan
Village, Okinawa, who had refused to appear for police questioning,
people in Okinawa pointed out the problem with the Japan-U.S. Status

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of Forces Agreement (SOFA) on Jan. 4 and demanded the revision of
the agreement.

Morihide Nakasone, 53, a company employee who lives in Yomitan,
observed that, "Both hair and blood were found on the staff
sergeant's car. If he were a Japanese, he would have been arrested
immediately, but he is able to get away because of SOFA." He pointed
to the fact that even though the U.S. forces urged the staff
sergeant to appear for questioning, he refused to do so, and
stressed the need to revise SOFA, asserting that, "Both the Japanese
and U.S. sides are fettered by SOFA."

Hiroji Yamashiro, 57, Okinawa Peace Movement Center's secretary
general, said: "The people of Okinawa constantly fear that if they
get involved in an accident with U.S. military personnel and these
people flee to the bases that will be the end of the matter. There
have been cases where people have let a matter drop without
receiving compensation. SOFA should be revised so that (U.S.
military personnel) are subject to the same judicial procedures (as

20) Japan mulling providing patrol boat to Yemen for anti-piracy

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
January 5, 2010

The government has begun to consider providing a 30-meter-class
patrol boat (costing approximately 1 billion yen) to Yemen, which is
located across (the Gulf of Aden) from Somalia, for anti-piracy
operations in waters off Somalia. It will use grants under official
development assistance (ODA) funds for this purpose in order to
enhance the law enforcement capability of the coast guard of Yemen,
which has a coastline of some 2,500 kilometers along the Gulf of
Aden and the Red Sea. Japan plans to hand over the patrol boat in
2012 at the earliest.

Since a patrol boat is classified as "weapon," the government will
ask Yemen to sign an official document pledging: (1) to limit the
use of the patrol boat to anti-piracy operations; and (2) not to
transfer the patrol boat to a third party without the Japanese
government's approval, in order to make this an exception to the
"three principles on arms exports," which prohibit the export of
weapons to a foreign country.


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