Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 01/08/10

DE RUEHKO #0051/01 0080805
P 080805Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) U.S. to demand "strong support for USFJ" at foreign ministerial
meeting in Hawaii (Yomiuri)

(2) "Seiron" column: U.S. should be patient with regard to
strengthening the Japan-U.S. relationship (Sankei)

(3) Editorial: V-shaped runway plan for Futenma relocation: Do not
create future sources of trouble through deception (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(4) Political Scene: Miscalculation - part 1: Prime minister loses
"loyal retainer" (Yomiuri)

(5) Sea Shepherd boat collision: Japan may consider applying
antipiracy law (Mainichi)

(6) Editorial: Japan urged to take resolute measures against illegal
acts of obstruction to research whaling (Sankei)

(Corrected copy): Hirano denies possibility of visit to Nanjing by
Hatoyama (Sankei)


(1) U.S. to demand "strong support for USFJ" at foreign ministerial
meeting in Hawaii

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, January 8, 2010

Satoshi Ogawa in Washington

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell held a news
conference in Washington on Jan. 7 and announced formally that
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Foreign Minister
Katsuya Okada in Hawaii on Jan. 12.

At the meeting, Clinton and Okada will agree to launch talks on
deepening the bilateral alliance on the occasion of the 50th
anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.
Campbell also indicated that Clinton will ask the Japanese
government to provide "strong support" for the U.S. Marines in
Okinawa and U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ).

Campbell pointed out that "the security alliance is the core of the
Japan-U.S. relationship." He said: "The U.S. would like the Japanese
government to provide strong support for robust troops in Okinawa,
particularly for the presence of the Marines," demanding progress in
the issue of the relocation of the USFJ's Futenma Air Station. He
added, "Security issues are important in an Asia characterized by
complexity and undergoing major changes. The U.S. wants a very clear
declaration (from the Japanese side) of its intent to continue close
cooperation with the U.S." He indicated that the U.S. will confirm
this in the talks on deepening the alliance.

Campbell also stated: "The Japan-U.S. alliance provides the basis
for economic development in Asia. Today, when the U.S. talks with
its Asian friends, the first topic that comes up is: 'We want Japan
and the U.S. to maintain a strong relationship'." He disclosed that
Asian countries have expressed their concern about the present state
of the Japan-U.S. relationship to the U.S. directly.

TOKYO 00000051 002 OF 009

The foreign ministerial meeting is also expected to cover a broad
range of other issues, including North Korea, China, and climate

(2) "Seiron" column: U.S. should be patient with regard to
strengthening the Japan-U.S. relationship

SANKEI (Page 7) (Full)
January 8, 2010

Hisahiko Okazaki, former ambassador to Thailand

Complete lack of mutual understanding

The relationship of trust between Japan and the United States is in
the worst state ever.

The U.S. President refused to see the Japanese Prime Minister when
he asked to meet him to give an explanation. On the other hand, when
the Prime Minister said he had obtained (the U.S.'s) understanding
through his conversation with the Secretary of State, the Secretary
summoned the Japanese ambassador to the U.S. for the sole purpose of
telling him that she had not indicated her approval.

The "Nixon shock" comes to mind if you look for past examples of
such a degree of lack of mutual understanding. At their summit
meeting in 1969, President Richard Nixon made a commitment to return
Okinawa to Japan, while Prime Minister Eisaku Sato pledged voluntary
regulation of textile exports to the U.S. The official version of
this story is that this was a mistranslation of a pledge to "take
appropriate measures," but what I heard from an insider at that time
is that a participant in the meeting had been worried, thinking: Is
it okay to say that much? The remarks made at that meeting were
indeed strong expressions comparable to Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama's words "trust me" at the summit meeting last autumn.

Subsequently, the U.S. side repeatedly conveyed its demand for the
fulfillment of the pledge, but the Japanese side simply continued
with inconclusive negotiations. In 1971, the U.S.-China
rapprochement took place over the head of Japan, and when the double
shock of ending the gold standard for the dollar came, an informed
U.S. source said this was a penalty for Japan's breach of trust.

Prospects for present case uncertain

This came as an extremely serious blow. The ending of the gold
standard for the dollar brought about the most serious economic
recession in Japan in the postwar period. In addition, the China
issue inflicted irreparable damage on the process of Japan-U.S.
coordination on policy toward Beijing. Japan and the U.S. had been
solidly united as allies, but this started a situation where the two
countries share no common policy toward China -- a situation that
still continues. This has even affected domestic politics in Japan.

At that time, I had a discussion with Ambassador to the U.S.
Nobuhiko Ushiba in Washington about why this situation came about.
We realized that there had not been a single Japan-U.S. summit
meeting since the pledges were made in 1969, except for a brief
meeting during the UN General Assembly in 1970. Both Ambassador
Ushiba and I lamented then that if the two leaders had met, Japan
might have detected signs of a subtle policy change in the U.S.
government, and the Nixon shock could have been avoided.

TOKYO 00000051 003 OF 009

However, judging from the present-day Japan-U.S. relationship, the
U.S. side might have taken the attitude that there was no need to
hold any summit meeting unless Japan was ready to make a pledge to
regulate textile exports voluntarily.

With the current level of lack of communication between Japan and
the U.S., two issues worry me: the economy and policy toward China,
similar to the situation at the time of the Nixon shock. In
addition, there is also the question of the U.S. military bases.

I am unable to conceive a scenario for the immediate future, and
even prospects for the near future are uncertain. Such was also the
situation in 1970-71.

Drawing an analogy between the situation then and the present
Japan-U.S. crisis, if the dollar and the Chinese yuan pegged to it
cause a sharp appreciation of the yen, it will deal a serious blow
to the Japanese economy, even though such a scenario is still
unthinkable at present.

The issue of U.S. military bases is even more serious. There are
still leftist forces in Japan that have been working to weaken the
Japan-U.S. alliance after the Cold War. If the military solidarity
between Japan and the U.S. is weakened, they will not be concerned,
but will instead press for further weakening of the alliance, in the
name "reducing the burden." This could result in irreparable damage
to the Japan-U.S. alliance.

It is quite easy to prevent this from happening: the Hatoyama
administration should fulfill its international commitment.

Time for restoration will come

However, what I would like to appeal for now is patience on the part
of the United States.

Even if the Futenma relocation issue is not resolved, the status quo
will continue, meaning the U.S. has nothing to lose. In the 15 years
since the agreement to return the Futenma base, there has been only
one accident, which resulted in no casualties. Even if an accident
did occur, the U.S. side would not be responsible; the Japanese
side, which has delayed a solution, would be to blame.

The rise of China poses the most serious challenge to the security
of East Asia in the future, and even to the security of the world.
No matter what countermeasures are contemplated to deal with China's
rise, the Japan-U.S. alliance is too valuable an asset to lose.

On the other hand, the Japan-U.S. alliance is slowly approaching its
ideal shape, although the process has been taking an excruciatingly
long time. A solution to such issues as the right of collective
self-defense will be in sight once the next conservative
administration comes to power. Mr. Hatoyama's proposal for
constitutional revision drafted when he was in the opposition
regarded the exercise of the right of collective self-defense not as
a constitutional issue, but as a matter for the government to
On a subconscious level the people have come to firmly believe in
giving importance to the Japan-U.S. alliance. The relationship of
trust between the armed forces and government offices of the two
countries has never been better.

TOKYO 00000051 004 OF 009

The U.S. was patient with the Republic of Korea (ROK) during the
five years of the previous Roh Moo-hyun administration. (South
Koreans may scold me for such a characterization, for while the
Hatoyama cabinet terminated the refueling mission in the Indian
Ocean, the ROK sent troops to Afghanistan). The realists in the ROK,
who were ostracized at that time, are now back in power, giving
their support to the U.S.-ROK alliance.

The relationship of trust between Japan and the United States will
eventually be restored, and the time will come when the alliance
relationship will be strengthened. Until then, I hope the U.S. side
will be patient.

(3) Editorial: V-shaped runway plan for Futenma relocation: Do not
create future sources of trouble through deception

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
January 8, 2010

The government admitted officially for the first time on Jan. 6 that
the Okinawa Prefectural Government never accepted the current
"V-shaped runway plan" for the relocation of the Futenma Air Station
to the Henoko cape in Nago City, which was agreed upon by Japan and
the U.S. under the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-New Komeito
administration, and which Okinawa supposedly agreed to.

The legitimacy of the existing Henoko relocation plan being promoted
by the Japanese and U.S. governments has become very questionable.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. It is necessary to conduct a
thorough examination of the Futenma relocation plan which the
previous LDP-New Komeito administration had pushed for arbitrarily,
if only for the sake of building a Japan-U.S. relationship
unblemished by lies and deception.

The "V-shaped plan" consists of building two additional V-shaped
runways in the plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko in order
to prevent noise by avoiding residential areas in the flight

Nago City reached an agreement with the government on this plan in
July 2006, but then Governor Keiichi Inamine refused to give his

However, the Ministry of Defense and the government claim that "the
Okinawa government has also indicated its acceptance" (according to
then Director General Fushiro Nukaga of the Defense Agency) based on
the "basic confirmation" document exchanged with Okinawa. In
February 2007, Defense Minister Fumio Kyuma also told the United
States that, "Fortunately, Okinawa basically agrees (to the plan)."

However, Governor Inamine has consistently denied that Okinawa
officially agreed to the plan by saying that although he signed the
"basic confirmation," he "did not agree."

The question boils down to what this "basic confirmation" document
was supposed to signify. Governor Inamine's perception was that this
was different from an agreement. On the other hand, the government
has consistently argued that the basic confirmation on the agreement
reached between the national government and Nago City was equivalent
to an "agreement," and therefore, "Okinawa also agreed."

TOKYO 00000051 005 OF 009

The rejection of the current relocation plan is an important
question in the relocation issue, which has resulted in an outcry
that it will bring about the deterioration of the Japan-U.S.
alliance or the Japan-U.S. relationship. Yet, the government has
dealt with this issue by leaving the question of the local
authorities' agreement ambiguous. This is outrageous.

Governor Inamine cannot also avoid being held responsible for
signing a "basic confirmation" that could be misunderstood as an

Even if he signed the document in a desperate effort to evade the
difficult situation of the government's insistent demands for him to
sign an agreement, this act that ran counter to popular will and was
later taken advantage of by the government is unforgivable.

Misunderstanding and deception will only end up causing problems in
the future and leading to tragedy. This situation has already
created confusion in the Japan-U.S. relationship. The government
should stop its deception and the Okinawa Prefectural Government
should refrain from making statements and taking actions that could
give rise to misunderstanding.

(4) Political Scene: Miscalculation - part 1: Prime minister loses
"loyal retainer"

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
January 8, 2010

Former Finance Minister Hirohisa Fujii conveyed his decision to step
down to Prime Minister Hatoyama on Jan. 5. With Hatoyama indicating
his intention to ask him to remain in the post, it appeared that it
would take time to settle this issue. However, Hatoyama gave up his
intention to persuade Fujii to stay in office.

Hatoyama on the morning of the 6th told Chief Cabinet Secretary
Hirano: "If we allow this situation to drag on, a view that the feud
between the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ozawa
and Fujii has led to Fujii's resignation would spread. I must act

Hatoyama conveyed this to Hirano on the morning of the 6th and
started selecting a successor to Fujii.

Fujii was previously one of close aides to Ozawa. They acted
together since they were Liberal Democratic Party members and
entered the DPJ in 2003. However, their relations began fraying from
around the time when Fujii served as secretary general, when Katsuya
Okawa (now foreign minister) was the leader of the DPJ. Their
confrontation became decisive when Fujii broached the possibility of
Ozawa quitting as DPJ leader over the illegal political funds
donation scandal involving Nishimatsu Construction Co.

Hatoyama by all means wanted to stave off a situation in which
Fujii's resignation became a serious problem involving the
influence-wielding Ozawa.

When it became certain that Hatoyama administration would come into
being, following the landslide victory of the DPJ, Fujii presented a
plan for a cabinet line-up to Hatoyama. The plan called for Fujii's
serving as state minister for national policy in charge of overall

TOKYO 00000051 006 OF 009

affairs beside the prime minster, while having Okada as finance
minister and Kan as foreign minister.

However, it was impossible to appoint Fujii, who was at odds with
Ozawa, to a central role. Hatoyama offered Fujii the finance
ministerial post. Fujii reluctantly accepted it.

Fujii devoted all his energy to the compilation of the budget. When
the budget compilation process was reaching the final stage, there
occurred an incident that hurt his pride. On Dec. 16 Ozawa visited
the Prime Minister's official residence (Kantei) and submitted the
party's priority requests to Hatoyama and Fujii.

With a microphone in his hand, Ozawa, while looking at Fujii, made a
harsh remark, "The budget has not been written at the initiative of
politicians." Ozawa's decision was to maintain the provisional gas
tax rate. Fujii had replied in the Diet, "It is only natural to
scrap the provisional tax rates." Fujii lost his face because of
this incident.

Fujii, on the evening of the 25th, when the budget was adopted at a
cabinet meeting, was drinking with senior Finance Ministry
officials. He repeatedly said to them, "Thank you," while shaking
hands with them. Some pointed out, "Mr. Fujii perhaps resigned
because he burned out after the completion of a difficult job."

Ozawa's influence was felt during the process of picking a successor
to Fujii as well.

Hatoyama at noon of the 6th met with State Minister for National
Policy Kan (at the time) at the Kantei. Kan said, "It is better to
decide on a successor to Mr. Fujii today." He proposed promoting
Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda. Hatoyama hinted at shifting
State Minister for Government Revitalization to the finance
ministerial post. He did not mention Kan's name. However, Hatoyama
four hours later telephoned Kan and asked him to serve as finance
minister. Kan accepted the offer. What happened during those four

A senior DPJ official close to Ozawa on the evening of the 6th told
the press corps: "Mr. Kan was the only person to fill the finance
minister post." This source said Sengoku and Noda are not suitable
for the post, since they are on bad terms with Ozawa. According to a
source connected with the DPJ, these views heard in the party were
conveyed to the Kantei, even before Hatoyama made the decision to
pick Kan.

Whenever he met Hatoyama, Fujii always said to him, "I will do as
the prime minister says." Now Hatoyama's loyal retainer is gone.
Both Foreign Minister Okada and Transport Minister Maehara, who are
keeping Ozawa at arm's length, have also lost Fujii, who served as a
shield against Ozawa.

A lawmaker close to Ozawa said with satisfaction on the 7th: "Now
that Mr. Kan has been installed in the finance minister post, it has
become impossible for him to map out a policy strategy with an eye
to his succeeding Hatoyama as prime minister. The Hatoyama-Ozawa
structure has been further solidified."

(5) Sea Shepherd boat collision: Japan may consider applying
antipiracy law

TOKYO 00000051 007 OF 009

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2010

The collision between a Japanese whaling ship and a protest boat
operated by the Sea Shepherd anti-whaling group has created
controversy at home and abroad. At a press conference on Jan. 7,
Akira Gunji, senior vice minister of the Ministry of Agriculture,
Forestry and Fisheries, strongly criticized the Sea Shepherd side,
noting that the anti-whaling group was to blame for the incident. He
revealed that his ministry has asked countries concerned to
strengthen controls. He also indicated the possibility of Japan
looking into applying the antipiracy law in case the protests
expand. Meanwhile, Australia, at which Sea Shepherd vessels call,
has been having a hard time coping with the intensifying public
protests against whaling.

Government lodges complaint with Australia, New Zealand

Referring at a press conference to Sea Shepherd's anti-whaling
activities, Gunji said: "These are dangerous acts threatening our
country's shipping and the lives of crew members. We will never
allow such activities." He clarified that the government had lodged
a complaint through diplomatic channels to New Zealand, where the
protest boat is registered, and Australia, where it calls.

Japanese Ambassador Toshihiro Takahashi complained to the New
Zealand government, noting that "the collision occurred because of
the protest boat's activities to disrupt the Japanese whaling
vessel's operations and that Japan cannot allow activities
threatening the safety of crew members and the ship."

When asked by reporters about views calling for the government to
designate Sea Shepherd as a pirate organization, Gunji responded by
saying, "We need to hold discussions with the Foreign Ministry and
other organizations. If Sea Shepherd continues to threaten the lives
of crew members and property of Japanese ships, that will constitute
a situation in which we will have to consult with other agencies."

The antipiracy law was established last June to crack down on
pirates off Somalia. If the law is applied, the Japan Coast Guard
and Self-Defense Forces (SDF) will be able to wield administrative
authority, including the use of weapons even on the high seas.
According to an informed source, Shigeru Ishiba, former agriculture
minister, when he was in office, urged application of the law to Sea
Shepherd, but cautious views in the the government at the time put
discussion of his proposal on the back burner.

A senior Fisheries Agency official said: "We are desperate for any
help....I wonder if Japanese patrol vessels and other boats can deal
with small-sized high-speed power boats." A senior Foreign Ministry
official as well was negative to the idea, saying, "In view of the
contents of the law (stipulating that robbing someone of money and
valuables is piracy), it has been decided that Sea Shepherd is not
subject to the law."

Australia caught between public opinion and Japan

The governments of Australia and New Zealand announced on Jan. 7
that they have ordered their own coast guards to investigate the
collision incident this time around.

The two nations, which both oppose whaling, are near waters where

TOKYO 00000051 008 OF 009

research whaling is conducted and have played important roles in
activities of Sea Shepherd. In particular, Australia has become the
base for Sea Shepherd's protest vessels. It is noticeable that
Australian media have released reports based on the Sea Shepherd
side's assertion that the Japanese ship deliberately rammed its

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard said at a press conference
yesterday, "It was miracle that no one was killed," and mentioned
again the possibility of Australia taking the research whaling
problem to the International Court.

During the campaign for the 2007 general election, the Australian
Labor Party, led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, stressed firm
opposition to research whaling in order to distinguish itself from
the ruling party. Backed by antiwhaling public opinion, the party
won the election. Even after the danger of Sea Shepherd's act of
sabotage has become obvious, it is difficult for the party to make a
stern response. With a general election taking place this year, the
Labor Party-led government will likely be forced to make a difficult
decision, as it is caught between anti-whaling public sentiment,
which apparently will flare up again, and relations with Japan.

Meanwhile, Sea Shepherd has carried out a publicity strategy of
playing up the image of being a hero fighting for whales even in the
teeth of an attack against it by Japan. The antiwhaling group has
underscored the damage to its protest boat and declared that it will
continue disrupting Japan's research whaling. It apparently aims to
collect funding through U.S. and European media.

Citing Australians being included in the protest boat's crew
members, Sea Shepherd is calling for the deployment of Australian
naval vessels. While rocking the Australian government by appealing
to public opinion, it apparently intends to intensify confrontation
between Japan and anti-whaling countries.

(6) Editorial: Japan urged to take resolute measures against illegal
acts of obstruction to research whaling

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 8, 2010

The Japanese whaling fleet vessel Shonan Maru No.2 and the
anti-whaling group Sea Shepherd Conservation Society's high-tech
stealth boat Ady Gil collided in the Southern Ocean.

The Sea Shepherd side has claimed that the Japanese ship suddenly
collided with the boat when it was not underway. However, the
anti-whaling group's protest boats have carried out obstructive acts
repeatedly. In addition to approaching dangerously close to or
cutting in front of Japanese whaling vessels, the boats have thrown
bottles containing chemical irritants at the ships and aimed laser
beams toward the crew that can lead to loss of vision if they are
directed at the eyes. It is apparent that their persistent
obstructive acts caused the collision.

They are free to advocate the need to protect the environment and
call for banning anti-whaling activities. But this incident goes
beyond the question of whether or not research whaling activities
should be conducted. Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano lodged
a stern complaint with the government of New Zealand, where the Ady
Gil is registered. Simply lodging a complaint is not enough. Japan

TOKYO 00000051 009 OF 009

should hammer out resolute measures to counter violent acts, which
can be called anti-whaling terrorism.

Why are the activists not arrested on suspicion of forcible
obstruction of business? Research whaling is a legal activity
endorsed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC). But the
anti-whaling group has repeatedly carried out dangerous acts against
Japanese research vessels, such as ramming the ships with protest
boats and throwing ropes into their screws. There was even a case in
which anti-whalers illegally climbed aboard a Japanese ship.

When violent activities by anti-whalers occurred in the past, the
Japanese government lodged protests with the Netherlands, where some
of the Sea Shepherd boats are registered, and Australia, where the
group bases its operations. The government also urged these
countries to take preventive steps. But these countries, which are
opposed to whaling, have not developed any effective

Anti-whalers' violent activities could become life-threatening to
the crews. We wonder why Japan has not taken resolute

The government takes the view that it is impossible under the
current relevant laws for Japanese authorities to arrest and capture
suspects on foreign ships on the open sea. The antipiracy law, which
was enacted last year, makes it possible to arrest pirates under
such conditions, but the law does not apply to violent cases
involving Sea Shepherd based on the view that its members are not
categorized as pirates.

Taking advantage of Japan's stance of not taking countermeasures,
the anti-whaling group committed this violent act. Japan should
emphasize in the international community that anti-whaling terrorism
is tantamount to piracy.

In sovereign nations, people who conduct illegal activities by using
force are arrested and punished as a matter of course. A nation that
cannot do that is not regarded as a sovereign one.

We cannot continue to allow Japanese whaling fleet vessels to
navigate the seas defenselessly.

(Corrected copy): Hirano denies possibility of visit to Nanjing by

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
January 8, 2010

Several news agencies have reported that the Chinese government has
unofficially proposed a visit to Nanjing by Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama and a tour of Hiroshima by Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Concerning these reports, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano
said at a press conference yesterday: "I am aware of the reports,
but I don't believe there is any truth to them." In reference to the
possibility of Hatoyama visiting Nanjing, he remarked: "At present,
we are not considering that possibility at all."


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