Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 01/04/10

DE RUEHKO #0009/01 0040801
P 040801Z JAN 10




E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) PM Hatoyama pledges to resolve Futenma relocation issue within
several months at New Year press conference (Nikkei)

(2) Mayor of Omura City, Nagasaki, willing to consider accepting
Futenma relocation if asked (Ryukyu Shimpo)

(3) 50th anniversary of revision of Japan-U.S. Security Treaty:
Potential danger of Japan-U.S. alliance losing substance (Sankei)

(4) Hatoyama administration lacks resolve to pursue "equal
Japan-U.S. relationship," review of security treaty (Nikkei)

(5) Hatoyama Kantei with no political calendar (Nikkei)

(6) Chinese ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai to be named vice foreign
minister in charge of Six-Party Talks (Sankei)


(1) PM Hatoyama pledges to resolve Futenma relocation issue within
several months at New Year press conference

10:31, January 4, 2010

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama commented on the issue of the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City,
Okinawa) at his New Year press conference on the morning of Jan. 4.
He said: "I have no intention to waste time aimlessly. I promise to
set a firm deadline and come up with a conclusion acceptable both to
the people of Okinawa and to the United States within several
months." With regard to the Japan-U.S. relationship, he stated: "We
will build a relationship under which both sides enhance their
mutual trust while saying what they need to say."

Hatoyama expressed his view on foreign policy in general by saying:
"While regarding the Japan-U.S. alliance as the cornerstone, we
would like to develop the concept of the East Asian community in the
coming year."

(2) Mayor of Omura City, Nagasaki, willing to consider accepting
Futenma relocation if asked

RYUKYU SHIMPO (Page 1) (Full)
January 3, 2010

Ikue Nakaima

In connection with the issue of the relocation of the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station, Mayor Takashi Matsumoto of Omura City, Nagasaki
Prefecture stated at an interview on Dec. 31: "I will not turn a
deaf ear to the issue of Futenma relocation right from the start."
During an interview with Ryukyu Shimpo, he indicated that if asked
by the government, he would consider the relocation of the Futenma
base to the Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) base in Omura City.

A number of weekly magazines have reported that the government has
begun to consider the Omura air base as a possible Futenma
relocation site. Commenting on such reports, Matusmoto said: "This
came as a complete surprise. Even after the media reporting, we have
not received any explanation from the government. I checked with

TOKYO 00000009 002 OF 007

Diet members, but they denied such reports, saying they have not
heard anything to that effect." He indicated that the city is taking
a wait-and-see attitude for now.

The MSDF's Omura air base is located at the land-based portion of
the Nagasaki Airport, which is an offshore facility. Helicopters
carried on MSDF destroyers are based there and it is only 70
kilometers from the U.S. forces' Sasebo base.

Matsumoto said: "The U.S. military bases are concentrated
excessively in Okinawa. Personally, I think the excessive burden on
Okinawa should be dispersed to the Japanese mainland," indicating
his understanding for the need to reduce the burden on Okinawa.

However, with regard to the possibility of Omura City volunteering
to serve as Futenma's relocation site, Matsumoto indicated a
cautious stance. He said: "This has not been discussed at the city
assembly or the city government. While personally, I think we should
all share Okinawa's burden, the leader's opinion is one aspect, but
there are also public opinion and the city assembly. The city is not
in a position to present its view right now."

(3) 50th anniversary of revision of Japan-U.S. Security Treaty:
Potential danger of Japan-U.S. alliance losing substance

SANKEI (Page 11) (Full)
January 1, 2010

Takashi Arimoto, Washington

The meaning of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty will likely be tested
this year, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the revision of
the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty following a fierce anti-security
treaty struggle. Issuing a new security declaration advocating the
building of a new Japan-U.S. relationship of cooperation, coinciding
with U.S. President Obama's visit to Japan in November, will lead to
a strengthened alliance. However, since there are no prospects for
settling the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma airfield (Ginowan City,
Okinawa Prefecture) relocation issue, the mood for issuing a new
declaration is not intensifying at all. Depending on the Hatoyama
administration's approach, the bilateral alliance could actually be
in danger of losing its substance instead of being deepened.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has expressed his intention to decide
on a relocation site for the Futenma airfield by May. He will
apparently aim at directly conveying his thinking by holding talks
with President Obama on the sidelines of the Global Nuclear Security
Summit or the G-8 Summit to be held in Canada in June this year.

The U.S. government has been calling on the Japanese side to accept
the present plan to relocate the Futenma facilities to the coastal
area of Camp Schwab in Nago City, Okinawa Prefecture. Provided that
the Japanese side seeks to change the existing plan, the U.S. will
be pressed to decide whether to turn it down or accept it.

Larry Nicksh, an expert at the U.S. Congressional Research Service,
stressed: "In view of the significance of the Japan-U.S. alliance
relationship, the Futenma relocation issue should not be a matter of
winning or losing. It is necessary for the U.S., if the present plan
is accepted, or the Japanese side, if a new relocation site is
adopted, to compensate the host municipality in some way or other."

TOKYO 00000009 003 OF 007

The U.S. side is becoming increasingly skeptical about Prime
Minister Hatoyama, who is continuing to waver over the Futenma
issue, with the Washington Post dubbing him a "mercurial leader."

Stanford University Professor Emeritus Daniel Okimoto, who is close
to U.S. Ambassador to Japan Roos, expressed concern by saying:
"While it is desirable for the U.S. and Japan to reaffirm the
importance of the bilateral alliance and jointly consider bilateral
security arrangements for the next quarter century in view of the
50th anniversary, the relationship of trust is being gradually
undermined (over the Futenma issue)."

At the G-8 Summit last November, the prime minister proposed to the
President the launching of government-to-government talks with the
aim of deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance in the run-up to the 50th
anniversary. If a new security declaration is to be drafted, it will
be done when the President visits Japan to attend the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum meeting. However, no prospects for
launching such talks are in sight.

Sheila Smith, a senior fellow for the Council on Foreign Relations,
who is close to the Obama administration, insisted that (the two
countries) should not insist on issuing a new declaration, saying,
as if gauging the delicate atmosphere between Japan and the U.S.,
"The 50th anniversary does not signify that a new document is

The Hatoyama administration advocates an equal Japan-U.S. alliance.
However, there appears to be no indication that it is aiming to
change the unilateral nature of the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty in
which Japan has no obligation to defend the U.S. Senior research
fellow James Przystup at the Institute for National Strategic
Studies (INSS) sounded a note of warning against Japan's passive
stance, saying: "It is possible to continue with the present
Japan-U.S. security. However, that would be far removed from the
ideal of strengthening the alliance."

(4) Hatoyama administration lacks resolve to pursue "equal
Japan-U.S. relationship," review of security treaty

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
January 3, 2010

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) was all quiet on the
afternoon of Dec. 29, but Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Ichiro
Fujisaki paid a visit to Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada at the
minister's office. Fujisaki told Okada that "the U.S. side's
response is very harsh" and conveyed the U.S. position that it will
not accept any relocation site for the U.S. forces' Futenma Air
Station other than the coastal area of Camp Schwab, as previously
agreed upon by the two countries. Okada nodded.

Eight days earlier, on the day U.S. government offices were shut
down due to the snow storm, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
had summoned Fujisaki. The purpose of the meeting was to protest
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's statement after his meeting with
Secretary Clinton in Copenhagen that the U.S. side "indicated its
understanding" of efforts to select a new relocation site.

Gap on Futenma issue

Japan has notified the U.S. it will reach a solution on the Futenma

TOKYO 00000009 004 OF 007

issue by May, but the U.S. side is not satisfied. The existing
relocation plan took Japan and the U.S.10 years to negotiate, and it
has been accepted by Okinawa. Yet, the Japanese government
overturned this agreement.

The U.S. side, which took an easygoing attitude at first, is now
distrustful of Japan. President Barack Obama refused to meet
Hatoyama in Copenhagen. The U.S. side has also been unenthusiastic
about a visit by Okada in mid-January, which he has been
coordinating for. The rift between Japan and the U.S. has become
evident 100 days after the inauguration of the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) administration.

There had been signs of what was coming. When the DPJ included in
its manifesto (campaign pledges) for the House of Representatives
election last year the pursuit of a "close and equal Japan-U.S.
relationship," a senior MOFA official was concerned that "this
resembles the old Japan Socialist Party, which negated the
Japan-U.S. security treaty." After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the
Japanese government has promoted cooperation with the U.S. on such
issues as counterterrorism and North Korea under the slogan of "a
Japan-U.S. alliance in the world." This policy will face a

Hatoyama harbors a special affection for the word "equal." His
grandfather, former Prime Minister Ichiro Hatoyama, once advocated
independent defense in opposition to former Prime Minister Shigeru
Yoshida, who signed the security treaty. In 1996, when Hatoyama, who
often boasts, "I have my grandfather's DNA in me," was preparing to
launch the DPJ, he advocated a "Japan-U.S. alliance without the
permanent stationing of troops."

After becoming prime minister, Hatoyama took one step further at the
Japan-China-ROK summit in Beijing last October. He said: "(Japan)
has tended to be too reliant on the U.S." This reflected the true
intent of Hatoyama, who has criticized the Liberal Democratic Party
administration for being subservient to the U.S. in foreign policy.

However, does Hatoyama have a strategy that includes a review of the
Japan-U.S. security treaty? The treaty stipulates that the U.S. has
the obligation to defend Japan in a contingency, while Japan has to
provide military bases for the U.S. forces in the country. If this
balance is disrupted, Japan's defense cost will skyrocket and a
debate on constitutional revision will be necessary.

A close aide of the Prime Minister states unequivocally: "Hatoyama
lacks the resolve to review the Japan-U.S. security treaty."
National Defense College Professor Emeritus Masamori Sase notes:
"There are four levels in the concept of 'equality': actual
capability, qualification, pride, and state of mind, and the DPJ
administration's idea of equality is at the level of state of mind.
This is unmistakably self-centered."

The Hatoyama administration's view of China is also convoluted. DPJ
Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa visited China in December with a
delegation consisting of some 140 Diet members and met President Hu
Jintao. The government approved a meeting of Xi Jinping, regarded as
the likely successor to Hu, with the Emperor as an "exception."
However, it has shown no signs of taking action on pending issues
such as the gas fields in East China Sea.

China increasing its influence

TOKYO 00000009 005 OF 007

The concept of an East Asian community proposed by Hatoyama at his
first meeting with Hu is also left hanging. China remains cautious:
"We must take a long-term point of view," according to Xi. A Chinese
government source says that "(China) is trying to determine if the
concept is limited to the Hatoyama administration and if this will
continue under a DPJ administration."

A senior Ministry of Defense official points out that "if there is a
decline in the U.S. forces' deterrence in the area around Japan,
China will be the one to take advantage of this vacuum." After the
U.S. forces completed their withdrawal from the Philippines in 1994,
China has increased its influence in the South China Sea.

The Japan-U.S. discord over the Futenma issue also has the potential
of tipping the military balance in East Asia. This year marks the
50th anniversary of the revision of the Japan-U.S. security treaty.
China and the other Asian countries are closely watching where an
"equal Japan-U.S. relationship" is heading.

(5) Hatoyama Kantei with no political calendar

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

An online search of all the Nikkei articles for last year containing
the words "Yukio Hatoyama" produced 2,700 articles. This figure was
followed by about 2,200 articles on Taro Aso, who held the post of
prime minister until September of last year.

The number of articles related to Hatoyama shows that the hero in
Japanese politics last year was Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, who
realized a full-scale change of government. The number of articles
on Ichiro Ozawa was about 1,300, which came in third.

The Hatoyama administration was launched after the Democratic Party
of Japan won an overwhelming victory in the August House of
Representatives election, but the popularity of the administration
is already on the decline, mainly because Hatoyama has failed to
exert leadership.

A lawmaker who worked with Hatoyama in the now defunct New Party
Sakigake (Pioneers) made the following comment:

"Mr. Hatoyama persistently acted in accordance with circumstances
(when he was a member of Sakigake). Although he can deal with
situations, he cannot set up situations. It is like a surfer being
unable to create waves. If this is his political style, he should
change his style, but if this is part of his personality, there's no

The chaotic situation over the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa was caused by the prime
minister's flip-flops. He said, "An agreement among the ruling
parties in disregard of the intentions of the U.S. is
inconceivable," but the ruling parties have started working-level
talks on new relocation sites for the Futenma facility. As long as
the prime minister remains unable to issue specific instructions,
the talks may never reach a conclusion.

Power relationships in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have made
it difficult for Hatoyama to make a decision. In the process of

TOKYO 00000009 006 OF 007

compiling the fiscal 2010 budget, Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa
succeeded in dealing with thorny issues by presenting requests that
are essential for the party, thus playing up his political presence.
It is becoming clearer that the Hatoyama cabinet cannot decide on
anything without listening to Ozawa's views.

The DPJ proposed unifying the policymaking process under the
leadership of the cabinet in its policy manifesto for the previous
House of Representatives election. Since the most powerful figure is
outside the cabinet, however, this pledge has become has become a
dead letter. To implement the campaign pledge, it will probably be
necessary for the administration to have Ozawa join the cabinet as a
minister without a portfolio while keeping him in the post of
secretary general.

Ozawa, who is fully responsible for developing election strategies
and managing Diet affairs, has also taken the initiative in
developing the political schedule.

The biggest event in domestic politics this year will be the House
of Councillors election in the summer. The election is likely to be
held on Sunday in July -- the 11th, the 18th, or the 25th. By
counting backwards from the voting date, a decision will be made on
when to convene the next regular Diet session. This matter is also
in Ozawa's hands.

Former Prime Minister Noboru Takeshita, who was well versed in
political agendas, reportedly handled the Takeshita calendar. In the
current political world, only Ozawa is capable of drawing up the
political calendar. The head of the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei) remains unable to draw up a schedule and appears
unlikely even to be shown the Ozawa calendar readily.

A political calendar that is carefully worked out tends to be upset
by politics-and-money scandals. Prime Minister Takeshita was driven
to resignation after a regular Diet session fell into chaos over the
Recruit Corp.'s political bribery case.

Later last year, the first trial was held for Ozawa's first
state-funded secretary, who was arrested in violation of the
Political Funds Control Law, and the prime minister's former first
state-funded secretary was indicted without arrest. Prosecutors are
questioning DPJ lawmaker Tomohiro Ishikawa, a former secretary to
Ozawa, over the failure of Ozawa's political fund management
organization to report money used to purchase land in Tokyo.

Former chief cabinet secretary Hiromu Nonaka, who was a political
enemy of Ozawa, stated: "Mr. Ozawa might be feeling irritated. He
has indicated his eagerness to assume the premiership, and this
might be showing up in his attempts to intimidate prosecutors." With
politics-and-money scandals involving senior officials in the
administration cropping up in one after another, the next regular
Diet session could be thrown into confusion. We do not feel
refreshed even when we look at the calendar for the new year.

(6) Chinese ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai to be named vice foreign
minister in charge of Six-Party Talks

12:32, January 4, 2010

Toshu Noguchi in Beijing

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China's state-run Xinhua News Agency reported on Jan. 4 that the
Chinese government will appoint Ambassador to Japan Cui Tiankai as
vice minister of foreign affairs. Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei,
who chairs the Six-Party Talks on North Korea's nuclear issue, will
step down from his post.

Coordination is underway to appoint Ambassador to South Korea Cheng
Yonghua as Cui's successor.

Cheng once studied at the Soka University in Japan. He served at the
Chinese embassy in Japan for six years from 1977. He is proficient
in Japanese and has established many personal connections in Japan.
He formerly served as the deputy director general of the Chinese
Foreign Ministry's Asian Affairs Department and minister at the
embassy in Tokyo. He became ambassador to Malaysia in 2006 and
ambassador to South Korea in 2008.

As the successor to Vice Minister Wu, Cui is expected to take charge
of the Six-Party Talks.


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