Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 01/12/10

DE RUEHKO #0070/01 0120810
P 120810Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) PNP's Shimoji calls for Futenma solution in February, DM
Kitazawa says Futenma issue should be resolved as soon as possible

(2) Editorial: Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks: Break away from
reliance on "foreign pressure" (Okinawa Times)

(3) Nago mayoral election report (Part 1): Anti-base group is
forgetting economic assistance (Sankei)

(4) Japan should not evade debate on immigration policy (Asahi)

(5) Editorial: LDP should clearly express opposition to suffrage for
foreigners (Sankei)

(6) Child abduction and international divorce (Part 1): Differing
child custody systems - barriers created by not signing the Hague
Convention; people who reclaim their children are regarded as
kidnappers (Tokyo Shimbun)


(1) PNP's Shimoji calls for Futenma solution in February, DM
Kitazawa says Futenma issue should be resolved as soon as possible

NIKKEI Evening (Page 2) (Full)
January 12, 2010

People's New Party (PNP) policy chief Mikio Shimoji met with Defense
Minister Toshimi Kitazawa on the morning of Jan. 12. Discussing the
issue of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station, he told Kitazawa:
"The three ruling coalition parties will submit their proposals on
the relocation site by the end of January. The government should
decide on a policy in February and proceed with negotiations with
the U.S." Kitazawa responded: "This issue should be resolved as soon
as possible." The two officials agreed that the relocation issue
should be settled after the enactment of the FY2010 budget.

(2) Editorial: Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial talks: Break away from
reliance on "foreign pressure"

OKINAWA TIMES (Page 5) (Full)
January 12, 2010

A Japan-U.S. foreign ministerial meeting will be held in Hawaii
tomorrow. Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada will brief Secretary of
State Hillary Clinton on the issue of the relocation of the U.S.
forces' Futenma Air Station and the two ministers will confirm their
intent to continue close consultations.

Foreign Minister Okada has said, "There will be nothing new," so he
is likely to convey once again the three ruling parties' plan to
decide on a relocation site by May. This foreign ministerial meeting
will be a perfunctory one aimed at keeping up the appearances of the
Japan-U.S. relationship, which has been strained since the change of
administration. It is probably also meant to indicate that
discussions will continue.

Secretary Clinton is scheduled to visit Asian and Pacific countries
until Jan. 19. She will be announcing the U.S.'s Asia and Pacific
policy during her stopover in Hawaii. This foreign ministerial

TOKYO 00000070 002 OF 008

meeting that has been included in her itinerary is also a ceremony
to mark the start of talks on the deepening of the Japan-U.S.
alliance on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the revision of
the bilateral security treaty.

(Japan and the U.S.) should not turn away from the issues that need
to be rectified, such as the base issues in Okinawa, and should aim
for future-oriented talks that will make the alliance the
cornerstone of peace and stability in Asia and the Pacific.

However, the U.S. government continues to claim that the current
plan to relocate the Futenma base to Henoko in Nago City is the
"best" option. When facing a difficult issue, Japanese diplomacy has
the habit of taking advantage of "foreign pressure." We would like
to watch closely to see whether this tactic is used in Hawaii.

It can also be expected that if the U.S. Secretary of State
indicates that it would be difficult to revise the current
relocation plan, the media will report this without comment, thus
manipulating public opinion into thinking "it won't work, after
all." Here, it is essential to look into "why" (revising the
relocation plan will not work).

Mr. Joseph Nye, who was assistant secretary of defense under the
Clinton administration, contributed an article to The New York Times
on Jan. 7 in which he wrote that, "If (Japan and the U.S.) become
too obsessed with one issue, they may lose sight of the
all-important bilateral alliance." Mr. Nye was involved with the
negotiations on Futenma's return in 1996.

He gave the advice that a high-handed approach, such as U.S.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' attitude during his visit to
Japan last October of dismissing the search for a relocation site
other than Henoko as "counterproductive," will only force the new
administration into a corner and will not produce any positive

Mr. Nye's analysis was that even if the U.S. government pushes for
the current relocation plan stubbornly and Japan uses foreign
pressure to suppress public opinion, the result will only be a
"Pyrrhic victory" (a victory in which the gains are far less than
the cost).

The article opened with: "Seen from Tokyo, America's relationship
with Japan faces a crisis." This seems to mean that Japan is making
a great fuss about nothing.

The demand of the previous Inamine administration in Okinawa for a
15-year limit to the use of the Futenma replacement facility was
also suppressed by using "foreign pressure." At the summit meeting
in 2001, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori mentioned Okinawa's demand as
if it was hearsay, and President George Bush's response was:
"Setting a time limit is inappropriate." The President's rejection
made it possible for the Japanese government to provide a
satisfactory explanation to the domestic audience.

Such a passive approach went unchallenged under the previous

Unless the basic principle of civilian control, that the armed
forces should obey the political authorities, is not reaffirmed,
there will be no way to resolve the base issues. The deepening of

TOKYO 00000070 003 OF 008

the alliance will also be only in form and not in substance.

(3) Nago mayoral election report (Part 1): Anti-base group is
forgetting economic assistance

SANKEI (Page 3) (Full)
January 11, 2010

Masashi Miyamoto

About 13 years have passed since Nago City emerged as a relocation
site for U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma (in Ginowan City,
Okinawa Prefecture). The Nago mayoral election on Jan. 24 will be
the city's fourth poll to ask residents whether to accept the
government plan to relocate the Futenma base to the city. Candidates
favoring the government plan won the past three elections, but the
outcome of the upcoming election will likely have a great impact on
the Hatoyama administration's review of the existing relocation
plan. The feelings of Nago residents, who will be forced to make a
decision, are complicated.

Nago City, located in the northern part of Okinawa Prefecture, has a
population of about 60,000. Since 1996, when the Henoko district in
the city emerged as the relocation site for the Futenma heliport
facility, residents have been split into two groups: one in favor of
the plan, the other against it.

The government injected a total of 60 billion yen in economic
measures to promote the north of Okinawa for eight years from 2000
through 2008 in return for Nago City's acceptance of the relocation
plan. As a result, Henoko and other place succeeded in attracting
Okinawa National College of Technology and a call center. A
seven-story industry support center building was erected in the
center of the city. The emotional strains among Nago residents had
been gradually reduced because the city succeeded in inviting
industries to an information and financial special regulatory zone,
providing about 950 jobs.

However, the city's residents were divided again because the
Hatoyama administration advocated a review of the existing Futenma
relocation plan. Many residents are fed up with the Futenma issue.
They have gotten weary of mayoral elections focusing on the base

Nago residents have an "allergy to U.S. bases." Yet, they have made
preparations psychologically and physically to accept the Futenma
relocation plan. It could be said that their concern that their
efforts might come to naught in the upcoming election exceed their
allergy to U.S. bases.

"We cannot help accepting the base because Henoko has been picked
(as the relocation site for Futenma). There is no problem because
the acceptance of the relocation plan will better promote the
region," said a 65-year old restaurant owner, expressing anxiety
about an election to put the plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko to
the test again.

"If incumbent Mayor Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, who favors the existing
plan, is reelected, the Hatoyama government won't be able to say
anything. In case Susumu Inamine, the former head of the board of
education, wins the election, those who have opposed the plan to
relocate Futenma to Henoko will be left out, because economic

TOKYO 00000070 004 OF 008

assistance will be discontinued," the restaurant owner said.

90 PERCENT of residents accept existing relocation plan

Nago residents have strong hopes that if the city accepts the
relocation plan, jobs and consumption will increase. If the base is
built in Henoko, located about 8 kilometers from Nago proper, noise
from it will not affect the city. However, the city's main shopping
street is noticeably quiet. According to a private research firm,
more than 20 construction firms have gone bankrupt in the city since
2006. As a result, the city has no choice but to accept the plan.

A 58-year-old self-employed worker stressed: "Some forget that we
have received economic assistance from the government in return for
our acceptance of its plan to relocate Futenma to Henoko. We are
required to overcome the economic slump. Nothing can be resolved by
only opposing U.S. bases." That Henoko resident appears to be taking
the Futenma relocation seriously.

One city council member clearly said: "In the Henoko district, there
are growing calls for the government to decide on the Futenma
relocation as quickly as possible. It is only natural for Henoko
residents to feel that way because the city accepted the plan after
spending 13 years to consider it."

Yasuhide Miyagi, 54, chairman of a volunteer group for the promotion
of a replacement facility in the Henoko district, composed of the
commerce and industry association in the city and about 40
volunteers, said: "About 90 percent of the residents favor the
acceptance of the plan conditioned on compensation and improvement
of infrastructure. Okinawa, which has no basic industries, has no
other choice but to rely on the base industry."

He continued: "Forces preventing the relocation plan are opposing it
on ideological grounds alone. Although they have cited environmental
protection, including dugongs, I haven't met anyone who said, 'I saw
a dugong.' "

(4) Japan should not evade debate on immigration policy

ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
January 9, 2010

Son Won Sok, part-time instructor at Chuo University

The Republic of Korea (ROK) has already replaced the in-service
trainee system modeled on the Japanese system and introduced in the
early 1990s.

Discussions were held because of violations of human rights and
because illegal employment became a social problem. These
discussions led in 2003 to the introduction of an employment permit
system for officially accepting unskilled workers.

Furthermore, with the rapid increase in international marriages,
especially among farmers and fishermen, since 2000 and the growing
diversification of foreigners living in the ROK, the right of
suffrage was granted to permanent foreign residents in 2005. In
2007, the "basic law on the treatment of foreign residents in the
ROK," upholding the concepts of "social integration" and
"coexistence," was enacted. This law stipulates the national and
local governments' responsibility to strive for and foster the

TOKYO 00000070 005 OF 008

prevention of discrimination, respect for human rights, and so
forth, and to educate the people about such issues.

Specifically, there is a program to provide 450 hours of free
language and cultural lessons for foreigners, and people who have
successfully completed this program are given preferential treatment
when they apply for permanent residency or ROK citizenship.

This shift in immigration policy owes much to the 10 years of
liberal administration under Kim Dae Jung and Roh Moo Hyun and the
questions raised and actions taken by citizens' groups, which grew
in force through the democratization movement.

At present, the government has indicated a plan to adopt a dual
citizenship policy for the purpose of attracting highly skilled

The foreign population in Japan is less than 2 percent, which is
comparable to the ROK, but Japan emphasizes the notion of
"controlling" foreigners. It has evaded a frank debate on whether
foreign workers are needed and has resorted to taking in foreigners
of Japanese descent or trainees through the back door. The same goes
for the nurse trainees under EPAs (Economic Partnership

Japan also lags in social integration. If nothing is done about this
situation, there will be an increase in children raised in a foreign
culture who have little education and can't find work or can only
find unstable jobs at the bottom of the social pyramid. This is
certainly not what Japan desires.

Diversity is a good thing. Japan has a history of adopting foreign
things in the process of its development since the Meiji Era
(1868-1912). The political, labor, and industrial sectors should
address this problem as their own rather than running away from it.

(5) Editorial: LDP should clearly express opposition to suffrage for

SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 11, 2010

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa have indicated eagerness to submit to
the upcoming Diet session a bill to give the right to vote in local
elections to permanent foreign residents in Japan. Whether to grant
the right to foreigners is a serious matter that could undermine the
nation's sovereignty.

In his first press conference this year, Hatoyama said: "Once the
government completes coordination with the ruling camp, it will
submit a bill granting suffrage to foreigners to the Diet." Ozawa
said in a speech in South Korea late last year: "The government
should sponsor the bill as a clear expression of its stance on the
matter. It will become a reality at the ordinary Diet session." On
Jan. 9, a senior DPJ member also referred to the likelihood that the
bill will be enacted in the upcoming Diet session.

Within the ruling camp, however, People's New Party President
Shizuka Kamei, state minister for financial affairs and postal
reform, said on a radio program: "I will not support the bill
(during a cabinet meeting), so the government will not be able to

TOKYO 00000070 006 OF 008

submit it to the Diet." So the situation remains fluid. However,
calls for suffrage for foreigners are growing among South Korean
government officials and South Korean residents in Japan who belong
to the Korean Residents Union in Japan (mindan), which supported the
DPJ in the House of Representatives election last summer. So the
fate of the bill is still open to conjecture.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), the largest opposition party,
appears to be slow to react. At the end of last year, the "true
conservative policy study group," composed mainly of LDP
conservative lawmakers, submitted a resolution opposing suffrage for
foreign residents. More calls against it should be issued from
within the LDP.

Meanwhile, Chiba, Ishikawa, Kumamoto and other prefectural
assemblies have in succession adopted position documents against
granting suffrage for foreigners. There are many prefectural
assemblies that once supported the idea but have begun to express
opposition to it. Such moves are considered to reflect a sense of
alarm over the Hatoyama administration's attempt to ram through a
suffrage bill.

It is fully conceivable that the granting of the right to vote in
elections to foreigners violates Article 15 of the Constitution,
which stipulates that "the people have the inalienable right to
choose their public officials and to dismiss them." In a ruling in
1995, the Supreme Court judged that if legal steps were taken,
granting the right to vote in elections to foreign residents was not
unconstitutional. But since that opinion was part of the subtext of
the ruling, it has no legal binding power. The principal text
specified that foreign residents were not regarded as "citizens"
under Article 93 of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, Hatoyama indicated that the governments of Japan and
South Korea are eyeing a Japan-South Korea joint security
declaration, saying: "This idea emerged amid growing momentum for
cooperation between Japan and South Korea." It is important for
Japan and South Korea to cooperate in the security area, but this is
a separate matter from the issue of suffrage for South Koreans in

LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki said in his inaugural speech in
September of last year: "We should be cautious" about granting
foreign residents the right to vote in elections. The LDP president
should take the lead and clarify the party's opposition to suffrage
for foreigners in order also to revitalize the LDP as a real
conservative political party.

(6) Child abduction and international divorce (Part 1): Differing
child custody systems - barriers created by not signing the Hague
Convention; people who reclaim their children are regarded as

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 27) (Full)
January 10, 2010

Naoko Sato

In the summer of 2006, a 14-year-old girl went to an airport in the
southeastern state of North Carolina to see her mother off. Shortly
before parting, the girl tried to run toward her mother, Miho
Watanabe, 49, crying out, "I'm going back to Japan with you!" But

TOKYO 00000070 007 OF 008

the daughter was blocked by force by Watanabe's American ex-husband.
Watanabe has not been able to see her daughter ever since.

Watanabe became acquainted with her future husband, an American
service member, in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, and they tied the knot
in 1989. The husband soon began inflicting violence on Watanabe.
They moved to the United States to try to start over, but the
husband continued to beat her, and he was eventually arrested on
suspicion of assault. Watanabe and her daughter returned to Japan in
1995 after staying at a shelter temporarily.

She divorced her husband after returning to Japan. After a while,
her ex-husband started begging to let him see his daughter. Giving
in to his persistence, Watanabe put her daughter, who was a junior
high school student at the time, on a plane to the United States
alone with a return ticket in the summer of 2005.

Her ex-husband met his daughter at the airport, and that was the
last Watanabe heard from him. He had moved and his whereabouts were
unknown. Watanabe asked for a search to be conducted through the
Foreign Ministry, but she could not find any leads.

About a year later, Watanabe received a surprise call from her
daughter. She said, "I'm living with my dad right now." She was
attending a local junior high school while living with her father.
"Dad wouldn't let me call you."

Watanabe hurriedly flew to the United States to bring back her
daughter. In the United States, the ex-husband said to Watanabe: "If
you take my daughter back to Japan, you will become a kidnapper."

Having filed for divorce in Japan where one parent gets sole child
custody, Watanabe thought she had custody of her child. But in the
United States, where joint custody is granted to both parents after
divorce, her ex-husband had designated himself as a parent with sole
custody either during the divorce proceedings or at some other

The purpose of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of
International Child Abduction is to prevent international parental
child abduction after international marriages end in divorce. The
United States is a signatory to the convention, but Japan is not.
This situation does not allow the mutual recognition of divorce
proceedings that are conducted in member countries.

If Watanabe returns to Japan with her daughter without the consent
of her former husband, she will be put on the wanted persons list by
U.S. authorities as a kidnapper. If that happens, she will not be
able to travel back to the United States. "It was a mistake to let
my daughter visit the United States." Watanabe had no other option
but to return to Japan alone with a heavy heart.

A Spanish man came to Japan to visit his eight-year-old son whom his
former Japanese wife had taken back to her home country. The man
became a criminal after he came to Japan.

Last June, Jose Calcio (TN: phonetic), 51, a company employee
residing in Madrid, visited his ex-wife's house in Saitama
Prefecture. He was not able to see his son, so he wrote the
following message on the wall of the house across the street with
red spray paint: "Your papa has come to see you. Do not forget your

TOKYO 00000070 008 OF 008

He was arrested by police on charges of property destruction, and
released after paying a fine of 120,000 yen. At the police station,
he was forced to sign a document pledging not to visit Japan again
because his ex-wife had filed a request with the police not to allow
him to go near her house.

He returned to Spain and visited Japan again last November. The only
thing he could do was go near the house of his ex-wife. "I might get
caught by just walking near her house," Calcio said with tears in
his eyes. "I might not be able to see my son ever again."

Parental child abduction transcending national borders could occur
immediately after an international marriage has failed. The United
States and European countries, which are signatories to the Hague
Convention, are vocally calling for Japan to accede to the
convention. This series of articles studies the propriety of
acceding to the convention through the suffering of parents who have
been separated from their children.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: Bachelet Alarmed By Number Of Palestinian Children Killed In Latest Escalation

UN Human Rights Chief Michelle Bachelet today expressed alarm at the high number of Palestinians, including children, killed and injured in the occupied Palestinian territory this year, including in intense hostilities between Israel and Palestinian armed groups in Gaza last weekend... More>>

Save The Children: One Year Under Taliban Rule, Girls Are More Isolated, Hungry, Sad: New Report
One year since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, an economic crisis, crippling drought and new restrictions have shattered girls’ lives, excluding them from society and leaving them hungry...

Palestinian Ministry of Health: Developments In The Health Situation During The Israeli Aggression On The Cities & Governorates Of The Gaza Strip
For the second day in a row, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip continues by targeting overcrowded residential areas and neighborhoods, as the death toll rose to 13 citizens, including a 5-year-old girl and a 23-year-old woman... More>>

Somalia: ‘We Cannot Wait For Famine To Be Declared; We Must Act Now’
Rising acute food insecurity in Somalia has caused more than 900,000 people to flee their homes in search of humanitarian assistance since January last year, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has warned... More>>

UN: American West Faces Water And Power Shortages Due To Climate Crisis
Two of the largest reservoirs in the United States are at dangerously low levels due to the climate crisis and overconsumption of water, which could affect water and electricity supply for millions in six western states and Mexico, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) warned on Tuesday... More>>

Singapore: UN Experts Call For Immediate Moratorium On Executions For Drug Offences

UN experts* today condemned the execution of Nazeri Bin Lajim, a 64-year-old Malay Singaporean national convicted of drug offenses and urged the Government of Singapore to halt plans to execute individuals on death row for drug related charges... More>>