Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 02/03/10

DE RUEHKO #0217/01 0340812
P 030812Z FEB 10




E.O. 12958: N/A



(1) Hatoyama becoming frustrated, might be losing composure over
Ozawa problem (Nikkei)

(2) Another political group of DPJ Secretary General Ozawa being
investigated for failing to report 1.6 billion yen in political
funds accounting (Asahi)

(3) Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno says ruling party team's
trip to Guam is not for studying alternative Futenma relocation site

(4) "Close Up 2010" column: U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review reflects
strong sense of alarm toward China (Mainichi)

(5) Government to draw up IT strategy under the leadership of
politicians with an emphasis on medical care and education (Asahi)

(Corrected copy) Parents and children after divorce; joint custody
is the norm in Europe and United States (Yomiuri)


(1) Hatoyama becoming frustrated, might be losing composure over
Ozawa problem

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

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's frustration is mounting prior to the
expiration of the legal detention period of House of Representatives
member Tomohiro Ishikawa, a former secretary to Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa. Ishikawa was arrested on
charges of violating the Political Funds Control Law. The prime
minister has argued back with harsh words against statements by
cabinet ministers and senior vice ministers. If Ozawa, who has
backed Hatoyama, is pressed to step down from his party post due to
such remarks, the administration will inevitably lose political
ground. Some observers believe that this situation is causing
Hatoyama to lose his composure.

"That is not an answer," Hatoyama said in rebuttal to Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada's remarks indicating the possibility of the
continued use of the U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station
yesterday. In a press conference, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi
Hirano, a close aide to Hatoyama, also spoke in rough tones: "What
will become of the efforts by people who are earnestly exploring
other options?"

Difficulty in keeping Ozawa at a distance

Senior Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda stated earlier that it
would be difficult to offer the full amount of child allowances
starting in fiscal 2011 (as pledged in the DPJ's manifesto for the
last general election). In reaction to this statement, Hatoyama
openly showed his displeasure, saying: "He should not talk about the

Okada was a rival candidate against Hatoyama in the DPJ presidential
election last year, and Noda is a leader of the group of members who
distance themselves from Ozawa. Paying little attention to the

TOKYO 00000217 002 OF 009

existence of differences in views among cabinet members, Hatoyama
has said: "I will make a final decision" on many occasions. However,
he can no longer take such a confident attitude. Behind his
frustration might be his awareness of the difficulty in keeping
Ozawa at a distance.

Hatoyama told reporters yesterday morning: "Given what Secretary
General Ozawa has achieved up to now, I hope he will lead the
campaigning (for the House of Councillors election this summer).
This remark can be taken to mean that he would keep Ozawa in his
post if he is not held criminally accountable. In the evening,
however, he said: "What I can say now is that since it is the
secretary general who leads the Upper House election campaign, (Mr.
Ozawa) naturally should lead the campaign."

Party members close to Ozawa have said that Mr. Hatoyama was able to
become prime minister thanks to Mr. Ozawa's efforts. Hatoyama has
also been grilled by the opposition camp over a falsified donation
scandal in the ongoing Diet session every day. If Ozawa takes
responsibility for the politics-and-money scandal, the prime
minister might be pressured to take responsibility for appointing
Ozawa as secretary general.

Detention period of Ozawa's secretary to expire tomorrow

Confrontation between anti-Ozawa and pro-Ozawa forces in the DPJ
could intensify over a successor to Ozawa and other issues. Among
the anti-Ozawa members, Kozo Watanabe lost the post of supreme
advisor after the general election last year, while Yoshito Sengoku
and Seiji Maehara were awarded with key ministerial posts - the post
of state minister for government revitalization council for Sengoku
and the post of public servant system reform and land,
infrastructure, transport and tourism minister for Maehara.

Even if Ozawa retains his post, it is unlikely that new prospects
will open up. The two top leaders in the government have both been
saddled with politics-and-money scandals. The opposition camp can
use this abnormal situation as ammunition for an attack in the
run-up to the Upper House election.

Lawmaker Ishikawa's legal detention period is to expire on Feb. 4,
but the DPJ has yet to determine what punishment he will receive. A
senior party member said: "If lawmaker Ishikawa's indictment is
found to be linked to Mr. Ozawa, it will be difficult to prompt
Ishikawa to leave the party or resign as a Diet member." Another
party member said: "It is Mr. Ozawa who will make the decision."

If Ishikawa resigns before March 15, a by-election will be held on
April 25. A person close to the prime minister was overheard saying:
"If the DPJ is defeated in the by-election, calls might grow for the
prime minister to resign before the Upper House election."

(2) Another political group of DPJ Secretary General Ozawa being
investigated for failing to report 1.6 billion yen in political
funds accounting

ASAHI (Page 31) (Abridged)
February 3, 2010

It was learned that "Kaikaku Forum 21," a political group affiliated
with Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa,
has failed to report massive transfers of funds in and out of its

TOKYO 00000217 003 OF 009

bank account in its political funds accounting report. Approximately
1.5 billion yen was deposited into this account in 2004 and over 100
million yen was withdrawn in 2005, but neither of those transactions
was recorded in the accounting reports.

Furthermore, over 300 million yen was withdrawn from the bank
account shortly before the general election last year. It is
possible that all these cash transfers were used for election
campaigns. A fresh case of dubious political funds has surfaced in
an Ozawa-linked political group.

It appears that the Special Investigation Division of the Tokyo
District Prosecutors Office, which is investigating the land deal
involving Ozawa's fund management organization Rikuzan-kai, is also
aware of these fund transfers. It is also investigating funds
managed by Forum 21 in order to clarify the whole picture of Ozawa's
political funds.

Forum 21 has not responded to Asahi Shimbun's queries.

(3) Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno says ruling party team's
trip to Guam is not for studying alternative Futenma relocation

12:01, February 3, 2010

At a news conference on the morning of Feb. 3, Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno discussed the relocation of the U.S.
forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) and said that
with regard to the decision of the government and ruling parties'
Okinawa base issues examination committee to go on an inspection
tour of the U.S. territory of Guam, "the government regards the
purpose of the trip as an inspection of the relocation site for the
U.S. Marines under the U.S. Forces Japan realignment road map." He
thus indicated that Guam is not being considered as an alternative
relocation site (of the Futenma base).

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has stated in late December that Guam
is "unlikely" as a relocation site "in consideration of
(maintaining) deterrence." A senior government official also pointed
out on Feb. 2 that "in terms of (the U.S. forces') presence or
deterrence, (relocation to Guam) would be difficult in reality."

(4) "Close Up 2010" column: U.S. Quadrennial Defense Review reflects
strong sense of alarm toward China

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
February 3, 2010

The Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR) released by the Obama
administration on Feb. 1 reflects a strong sense of alarm at the
rise in China's military capability and reemphasizes the importance
of the Japan-U.S. alliance in East Asia. However, Japan and the U.S.
are currently unable to find a solution to the issue of the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa. Both
sides have no desire to see any further deterioration of the
bilateral relationship and are searching for a point of agreement in
order to deepen the alliance further.

Japan-U.S. alliance as deterrent

TOKYO 00000217 004 OF 009

By Yoso Furumoto in Washington

At a news conference on Feb. 1, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert
Gates touched on China's criticism of the U.S.'s sale of weapons to
Taiwan and announcement of the suspension of U.S.-China military
exchanges. He said: "If there is stagnation in the bilateral
relationship, we hope it will be temporary," calling on China not to
make the situation even more serious. However, the QDR indicates
that the U.S. has a growing sense of alarm toward China as a
"potential adversary."

The QDR points out that China's building of aircraft carriers and
offensive submarines "raises questions about its long-term motives."
The U.S. is particularly concerned about its advanced cyber attack
capability and offensive capability in space. The U.S. military
command systems will be paralyzed if the use of artificial
satellites and the Internet is disrupted, rendering high-tech
weapons practically useless.

China reacted sensitively to this. Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma
Zhaoxu refuted on Feb. 2 the QDR's questioning of China's military
transparency and other issues, stating: "Making irresponsible
remarks on (China's) legitimate and normal national defense
construction amounts to interference in internal affairs." He called
for a "stop to such irresponsible remarks."

Meanwhile, there is virtually no doubt that the Chinese armed forces
regard the U.S. as its hypothetical adversary. China conducted a
successful experiment on shooting down a satellite with a ballistic
missile in January 2007. It also announced technical experiments on
a land-based missile interception system last month. Experts see
this as aiming at incapacitating the Japan-U.S. missile defense (MD)

In this situation, the United States' Asia policy centered on the
Japan-U.S. security alliance attaches even greater practical
importance to deterring the expansion of China's power with a strong
Japan-U.S. alliance. There is no denying that the pending Futenma
relocation issue between the two countries now carries relatively
less weight for the U.S. side.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama supported the U.S. position on the
evening of Feb. 2, stating: "China's neighbors need to watch the
increase in its military spending. We would like to demand greater
transparency." Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa also said on the
same day: "We share the perception on the lack of transparency (of
China's military expansion)," stressing that Japan and the U.S. are
on the same page on this issue.

The harsh view of Japan in the U.S. is beginning to change.

In an editorial on Jan. 28, The New York Times criticized the U.S.
government's tough stance on the Futenma issue and asserted that
"the Obama administration should show flexibility."

The visit to China last December by some 140 Diet members led by
Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa, which gave
rise to concerns that "Japan is moving closer to China," has
actually led to a growing opinion that "destabilizing the Japan-U.S.
alliance over the Futenma issue should be avoided."

Secretary Gates reiterated the importance of the bilateral alliance

TOKYO 00000217 005 OF 009

on Feb. 1 and stressed that "our keyword is patience." He indicated
that the U.S. will wait for Japan to decide on Futenma's relocation

Futenma remains a sticking point

By Yasushi Sengoku, Takenori Noguchi

While the Japan-U.S. alliance is increasing in importance, the
deepening of this alliance depends on progress in the Futenma

At the Japan-U.S. Security Subcommittee (SSC) meeting held at the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on the morning of Feb. 2,
Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell reminded the Japanese
side once again that "the current relocation plan is the only
feasible option." After the discussions that lasted two hours,
Campbell told reporters, "We are willing to discuss (other) options
with Japan," but he added that the current plan "is the result of
discussions between the two governments over many years," stressing
the meaning and importance of this plan.

The SSC meeting marked the official start of the governmental talks
on deepening the alliance agreed upon at the meeting between Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in
Hawaii in January. In addition to Campbell, Assistant Secretary of
Defense Wallace Gregson participated on the U.S. side. The Japanese
side was represented by MOFA North American Affairs Bureau Director
General Kazuyoshi Umemoto, Defense Policy Bureau Director General
Nobushige Takamiszwa (of the Ministry of Defense), and other

Before the meeting, the Japanese side said, "We will not discuss the
Futenma issue. We will propose a review of the Japan-U.S. Status of
Forces Agreement and host nation support for the U.S. forces
(omoiyari yosan or sympathy budget)," (according to a senior MOFA

However, when the meeting was actually held, the Japanese side had
to explain that the options for selecting a relocation site for the
Futenma base have become even more restricted with the victory of an
opponent to Futenma relocation in the recent Nago City mayoral
election in Okinawa. Moreover, the two sides were only able to
confirm the procedures for the all-important talks on deepening the
alliance, agreeing to "conduct the talks with the aim of confirming
a common understanding of the regional security environment in Asia
and the Pacific."

The Nago election, where the relocation opponent won over the
candidate who accepts the relocation with a slim margin of only
1,600 votes, has turned into heavy pressure on the process of
selecting a relocation site. At a news conference on Feb. 2, Okada
gave the following interpretation of Campbell's remark on
"discussing the options": "At the very least, Japan should come up
with a solid plan. I don't think the U.S. intends to join Japan in
the search for (a relocation site)."

(5) Government to draw up IT strategy under the leadership of
politicians with an emphasis on medical care and education

ASAHI (Page 5) (Abridged slightly)
February 3, 2010

TOKYO 00000217 006 OF 009

Sawa Okabayashi

An outline of the government's new information technology (IT)
strategy to be compiled for the first time under the administration
of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) has become clear. The
strategy focuses on the use of IT in medical care, education, and
other areas in which Japan is said to be lagging behind other
industrialized countries. The DPJ plans to incorporate those areas
in its manifesto for this summer's House of Councillors election.
The government will also aim at the flexible allocation of funds
under the initiative of lawmakers, reorganizing the existing IT
Strategy Headquarters into a new body.

According to the draft strategy the Asahi Shimbun has obtained, the
government will support the effort to send itemized statements for
medical expenses via the Internet, in addition to expanding the
telemedicine program. The government will also allocate budgets for
Internet-assisted classes and the IT training program on a priority
basis. The draft is designed to promote the use of IT in a wide
range of administrative areas, such as the introduction of a
taxpayer identification number system and the use of the Internet
for election campaigns. The government intends to finalize a
strategy that incorporates those steps in April.

The government will reorganize later this month the existing IT
Strategy Headquarters, launched during the cabinet of Prime Minister
Yoshiro Mori, into a new body headed by Prime Minster Yukio
Hatoyama. Under the existing system, IT strategies have differed
from ministry to ministry, priorities have not been clear due to the
please-everyone policies, and cooperation between ministries has
been insufficient. At the new headquarters, lawmakers will draw up
policies themselves. Mid- to long-term policies will be sent to the
government agencies.

The new headquarters will set up a planning committee to finalize
the new strategy based on this draft plan. Education, Science, and
Technology Minister Tatsuko Kawabata, who is responsible for
information technology, will head the committee, which will be
composed mainly of senior vice ministers and parliamentary
secretaries of the Cabinet Office, the Internal Affairs and
Communications Ministry, and the Economy, Trade and Industry
Ministry. Senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries of
relevant ministries will join the committee when cooperation is
necessary. The government plans to place a task force of experts
under the planning committee to deal with problems flexibly.

Draft outline of the government's new IT strategy

< Medial care >
Q Make medical and health information accessible to anyone at any
location in the country.
Q Implement an online system for medical institutions' work of
issuing statements of medical expenses for health insurance purposes
to increase efficiency.

< Education >
Q Promote e-learning that is secure and safe.
Q Develop and recruit IT-savvy personnel.

< Environment >
Q Promote smart grid technology.

TOKYO 00000217 007 OF 009

Q Use IT to promote energy-efficient eco-friendly housing.

< Administrative services >
Q Implement a taxpayer identification number system by using
resident identification numbers.
Q Integrate cards issued by public institutions.

< Government >
Q Conduct election campaigns that use the Internet.
Q Promote the use of IT at the Diet.

< Creation of new businesses >
Q Significantly expand the digital contents market.
Q Promote cloud computing.

(Corrected copy) Parents and children after divorce; joint custody
is the norm in Europe and United States

YOMIURI (Pages 16 and 17) (Full)
January 26, 2010

Many people attribute problems concerning children after divorce to
Japan's sole custody system in which the custody of a child is given
to one parent at the time of divorce under the civil law.

In reality, the parent with custody has such rights and duties as
providing education and managing property, whereas the parent
without custody can do almost nothing. In arbitration and judicial
proceedings, the custody of a child is given to the mother 90
percent of the time.

With no provision on child visitation rights in the civil law,
visitations are affected substantially by the wishes of the parent
with custody. If the parent living with the child fiercely refuses
to let the other parent see the child during arbitration or judicial
proceedings, it will be difficult to realize visitation. Even if
visitation is allowed, the frequency of visits will be low, such as
once a month. Furthermore, even if the parent with custody ignores a
decision on visitation, the other parent has no power to forcibly
carry out visitation.

"It strongly reflects the family system since the Meiji period
(1868-1912)," Masayuki Tanamura, a professor at Waseda University,
explained about the Japanese custody system. "Custody is regarded as
a parent's right to control a child. A battle occurs over who should
have that right."

Meanwhile, in European countries and the United States, joint
custody in which the two parents continue to raise their children
even after divorce has become the norm following an increase in
divorces from the 1970s though the 1990s.

"Child visitation rights are granted to both parents even after
divorce," Takao Tanase, a lawyer and a Chuo University professor,
explained. "Parents see their children quite frequently, visiting
with them for a period of three days and two nights, for instance."

In many cases, international marriages involving Japanese nationals
that end in divorce can lead to serious conflicts due to such
differences in custody systems. The number of international
marriages that end in divorce is on the rise. In 2008, a record
number of 18,774 international marriages ended in divorce.

TOKYO 00000217 008 OF 009

Recently there have been cases in which Japanese nationals living
abroad have returned to Japan with their children after their
international marriages ended in divorce and have not returned to
the country in which they used to live. These cases have now
escalated into a problem of international proportions. Broken down
by country, there are 73 such cases involving the United States, 36
cases involving Canada, 33 cases involving the UK, and 35 cases
involving France, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child
Abduction exists to deal with cross-border child abduction. The
convention stipulates that if a child is taken to another country
unilaterally, the child must be returned to the original country if
there is a complaint from the parent from whom the child was taken.
Member countries are obliged to provide cooperation in returning the
children. The United States and many European countries are
signatories to the convention, but Japan is not. The United States
and European countries are urging Japan to accede to the

"Problems between husband and wife must be considered separately
from the relationship between parent and child," Tanase said. "The
law must be improved premised on parental visits in principle except
for cases in which harm, such as abuse, is inflicted on a child by a
parent living in a separate location. Divorce is no longer unusual
in Japan, so it is important to accept the idea of divorced parents
jointly raising their child."

Parents and children after divorce; (Part 1): Arbitration and
judicial proceedings for parental visitation mark three-fold
increase over 10 years; parents without custody can do nothing,
struggling to see children

Today, a couple divorces in Japan every two minutes. An increasing
number of parents are asking the courts for child visitation rights
after divorce. Cross-border child abductions following international
marriages that end in divorce are becoming a problem. At a time when
the nature of families and values are becoming increasingly diverse,
we interviewed divorced parents who are struggling to see their
children - a problem that is difficult to resolve under the existing

A woman we will call "Ms. A," 51, a temporary employee residing in
Tokyo, has been living apart from her son, 15, since her former
husband moved out with him five years ago.

Over the last five years, she has only been allowed to see her son
twice for a total of 95 minutes. Moreover, those meetings took place
at a family court in the presence of examiners. Even so, she could
not stop shedding tears from the moment she saw her son.

"My son, who was learning piano, held his palm against mine to
compare their sizes. Watching him speak with his eyes fixed on mine,
I sensed that we were connected by a strong bond."

Driven by her desire to see her son, she filed a request with the
court in July 2007 for arbitration seeking child visitation rights.
"But my ex-husband was reluctant to let me see my son, citing that
he was moving up to the next grade and onto high school."

But trial visitations were conducted for the two of them to see how

TOKYO 00000217 009 OF 009

the system would work by allowing them to spend short periods of
time together in the court building with the aim of examining the
method for implementing the program in the process of the
arbitration. The first visitation took place in March, 2008, for 50
minutes and the second one in April, 2009, for 45 minutes. For the
second visitation, her son brought a video game he could not play
with his mother during the fist session.

"He remembered what had occurred a year earlier."

A reconciliatory plan of visitation once every two months was
discussed in the arbitration, but the two parties failed to reach an
agreement, and the case moved onto judicial proceedings in which a
judge makes a decision. "I'm worried sick that I might not be able
to see my son for the rest of my life."

(The rest of the article is the same as the original)


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


CNS: Will India's 1 Billion Vaccination-dose-milestone Be Catalytic For Vaccinating All?

On 21 October 2021, India crossed its milestone of administering over 1 billion (100 crores) doses within 278 days since it began the vaccination rollout (on 16th January 2021)... More>>

UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>