Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/04/10

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E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Defense & security:
3) Japanese Communist Party calls for unconditional return of
Futenma airfield (Akahata)
4) Gov't/ruling coalition team to visit Guam Feb. 10-11 (Mainichi)
5) Return of "Kadena RAPCON" next month becomes uncertain (Tokyo

6) METI to promote environmental industry (Asahi)
7) Japan adds 8 U.S. car models to list for eco-car program

Foreign relations:
8) Okada meets with Japanese members of Japan-China friendship
association (Nikkei)

9) Household emission cuts to account for a maximum of 31 PERCENT
of mid-term goal for greenhouse gas reductions (Asahi)

10) Prime Minister's replies in Feb. 3 question-and-answer session
at House of Councillors (Yomiuri)
11) Decision not to indict Ozawa for failure to report 400 million
yen today, to continue to serve as secretary general (Asahi)
12) Civil service reform bill to allow reassignment of senior
officials at prime minister's request, facilitate demotion of vice
ministers (Mainichi)
13) National Referendum Law not to allow voting from age 18 due to
insufficient time to complete legal changes (Tokyo Shimbun)
14) DPJ to expand involvement in policymaking of parliamentarians
outside government (Asahi)
15) PM calls for bill to establish organization to monitor human
rights (Nikkei)
16) DPJ to review manifest for Upper House election (Asahi)
17) Coordination on JP Bank makes little headway (Yomiuri)
18) Kamei calls for diverse JP Bank funding including U.S. Treasury
notes (Asahi)
19) Tanigaki in Chuo Koron: DPJ are foreign policy amateurs (Asahi)



Decision not to indict Ozawa for failure to report 400 million yen
today, to continue to serve as secretary general

Civil service reform bill to allow reassignment of senior officials
at prime minister's request, facilitate demotion of vice ministers

Ozawa not to be indicted in Rikuzan-kai scandal due to insufficient
proof of conspiracy

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Mitsubishi Corporation, JGC, Ebara to collaborate in water treatment

Ozawa not to be indicted over failure to report 400 million yen in
political fund accounting

Tokyo Shimbun:
National Referendum Law not to allow voting from age 18 due to
insufficient time to complete legal changes

General Secretary Ichita makes representative interpellation, calls
for changing politics that threatens lives


(1) Toll free expressways: Unacceptable even on a small scale
(2) Bullet train power outage: Heighten conscientiousness on safety

(1) Toll free expressways: Can this be considered a social
(2) Child rearing vision: Make serious efforts to unify
administration of kindergartens and day care centers

(1) Representative interpellations at both houses of the Diet: The
Ozawa issue overshadows policy debate
(2) Toll free expressways: Tax money can be spent elsewhere

(1) Too many question marks in experiment on toll free expressways
(2) U.S. defense strategy presses for deepening Japan-U.S. alliance

(1) Secretary General Ozawa: Impose a punishment acceptable to the
(2) Sumo Association reform: Breaking away from old ways is urgent

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Complaints about Prius: Top priority is to find out the cause
(2) Toll free expressways: Can this really be a "social

(1) Representative interpellations at both houses of the Diet: Lives
cannot be protected in this manner

3) JCP calls for unconditional removal of Futenma air base in both

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

In a Diet session, Japanese Communist Party (JCP) Chairman Shii
called for the unconditional withdrawal of the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, touching on the historical
significance of the outcome of the Nago mayoral election. In the

TOKYO 00000223 003 OF 010

election, the candidate opposed to the existing relocation plan was
elected. Shii's call had the power to overwhelm the House.

Shii said: "The Okinawan people have been living in fear of U.S.
soldiers and possible accidents, and have been exposed to danger.
The government should stop imposing such suffering on the Okinawan
people under the pretext of deterrence. ... Marines are not needed
in Okinawa and in Japan."

Defining the conditional return of the base as "an irresponsible and
servile approach," Secretariat Head Ichida also criticized the
argument for the continued presence of the base in the context of

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said: "It is impossible
from a realistic point of view" to remove the base without
condition, indicating the stance of sticking to the idea of
returning the base conditionally, without providing any reason.
Hatoyama also said: "The presence of Marines has worked effectively
to deter enemies from invading Japan" and masked the fact that the
Marine Corps is "an invasive force" as "an assault unit."

4) Guam visit set for Feb. 10-11

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
February 4, 2010

The "Okinawa Base Issues Review Committee," a panel of the
government and the ruling parties to discuss where to relocate the
U.S. military's Futenma airfield facility from its current location
in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, met yesterday and decided to visit
Guam on Feb. 10-11. During their visit to Guam, panel members will
visit Andersen Air Force Base and will also observe joint training
to be conducted around that time by the Air Self-Defense Force and
U.S. forces.

"They will visit there to see the airbase and its environs since
8,000 troops will be moved (from the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa in
the process of realigning the U.S. military presence in Japan),"
Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano told a press conference
yesterday when asked about the purpose of the panel's planned visit
to Guam. Hirano thus indicated that the panel's Guam visit is not
premised on regarding Guam as a candidate location for the Futenma
relocation. The panel will start full-fledged discussions after
returning home from its Guam visit.

5) Next month's return of Okinawa air control uncertain

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
February 4, 2010

The U.S. Kadena Air Base's radar approach control or RAPCON for
short, a system controlling the air traffic of airspace over
Okinawa's main island and its environs, is expected to be off the
agenda for a meeting today of the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee due to
the United States' own circumstances. The bilateral committee was
expected to make a formal decision on returning RAPCON to Japan on
March 11. "This might be revenge for the Futenma issue," a Japanese
government official noted.

Japan and the United States concurred in 2004 on transferring RAPCON
within a timeframe of about three years. However, its return has

TOKYO 00000223 004 OF 010

been delayed and the two countries agreed over again in January 2008
to transfer RAPCON this March.

Late last year, the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the U.S.
Department of Defense instructed the headquarters of U.S. Forces
Japan through the commander-in-chief of the U.S. Pacific Command to
coordinate with its Japanese counterparts on the procedures for the
return of RAPCON. Thereafter, USFJ Commander Rice reported on the
progress of coordination. However, there was no response from the
Pentagon by yesterday, according to sources.

The Foreign Ministry and the Land, Infrastructure and Transport
Ministry have requested the U.S. Department of Defense and USFJ
headquarters proceed to transfer RAPCON. However, USFJ headquarters
said there was no instruction from the Pentagon. As it stands, the
outlook for procedures remains unclear.

The Kadena base's return of RAPCON has been set for March 11, a day
when the aeronautical information publication is to be revised in an
internationally unified 28-day cycle. However, its return will be
further delayed should the Japan-U.S. Joint Committee fail to agree
by mid-February on its return.

6) METI to introduce subsidy program to attract eco-friendly
businesses from abroad

ASAHI (Page 5) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has decided to
set up a new government-funded system to offer subsidies and
low-interest loans with the aim of wooing environmentally-friendly
businesses from overseas. Anticipating high growth in the
environment industry, the U.S. and European countries have already
stepped up their efforts to bring in foreign firms by providing
subsidies. The new program is also intended to prevent an outflow of
Japanese companies.

The government earmarked approximately 30 billion yen in subsidies
for the new program in the second supplementary budget for fiscal
2009. For investment in plants and equipment to create low-carbon
products in an effort to prevent global warming, up to 5 billion yen
will be subsidized for each investment case. Lithium batteries for
electric cars and light-emitting diodes (LED) are included among the
low-carbon products. The condition for receiving subsidies that the
output of targeted products at a new plant is boosted to over 1.5
times more than the total amount of domestic shipments (in fiscal
2008) of the product. It is unprecedented for the government to
offer subsidies for corporate capital investment.

7) Expanded eco-car subsidy program to cover eight U.S. models

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Full)
February 4, 2010

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) on Feb. 3
announced 43 imported car models that have been included in the
government's eco-car subsidy program as a result of its easing the
conditions for the program. Of the 43 models, European cars account
for 35 models from 10 brands. Only eight models from five U.S.
brands, such as Cadillac and Hummer have been included despite
strong requests from the U.S. government. No U.S. cars were eligible

TOKYO 00000223 005 OF 010

for the program before the introduction of the eased measures. Japan
imported 800 units of those eight models in 2009. The government
eased the conditions for the program on Jan. 19, after taking
criticism from the U.S. Under the eased conditions, vehicles whose
fuel efficiency was measured in the country of origin are also
eligible for the subsidy program if the measurement is done using
the prescribed method.

8) Foreign Minister Okada: In-depth talks necessary for Japan-China

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 4, 2010

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met yesterday with the Japanese
members of the New Japan-China Friendship 21st Century Committee
comprised of experts from Japan and China. During the meeting, Okada
said, "It would be good for you to hold in-depth discussion" in
order to deepen the friendship between the two countries. After
replacing the panel members, the new committee will hold its first
meeting in Beijing on Feb. 7.

9) Environment Ministry's draft calls for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions from households by up to 31 PERCENT to attain 25 PERCENT
-cut goal

ASAHI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

The Environment Ministry yesterday revealed a draft roadmap intended
to be used as a guide to attain the nation's mid-term goal of
reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 25 PERCENT from 1990 levels
(by 30 PERCENT from 2005 levels) by 2020. The government plans to
finalize the roadmap in March. Of the 25 PERCENT , the draft notes
that emissions should be cut by 15 PERCENT to 25 PERCENT through
domestic measures. In the household section, from which emissions
have been increasing, METI calls for reducing emissions by 18
PERCENT to 31 PERCENT from 1990 levels or by 40 PERCENT to 49
PERCENT from 2005 levels.

Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa presented the draft plan in a
meeting yesterday of a senior vice minister-level study team tasked
with working out measures to contain global warming. The ministry
drafted the plan based on the estimates made by the National
Institute for Environmental Studies.

10) Prime Minister's replies in Feb. 3 question-and-answer session
at House of Councillors

YOMIURI (Page 13) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

Major points of the Prime Minister's replies:
Q Continued use of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station must
be avoided.
Q Efforts will be made to submit to the Diet a bill to set up a
human rights relief organization.

& Futenma relocation issue

The outcome of the mayoral election in Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, is
a manifestation of popular will. In view of the dangerous situation

TOKYO 00000223 006 OF 010

at Futenma Air Station, a relocation site must be found as soon as
possible. We must prevent the base from remaining in the current
location permanently. Alleviating the burden is a desperate wish of
the people in Okinawa. I will determine where to relocate the
Futenma base by the end of May, seeking the understanding of
municipal governments and the United States. Returning Futenma
without a replacement facility is impossible in reality.

& Japan-U.S.-China relations

The United States and Japan are allies that share basic values. The
Japan-U.S. alliance is a cornerstone for Japan to enhance its
cooperative relations with other Asian countries, including China. I
do not subscribe to the idea of striking a balance between the
Japan-U.S. relationship and the Japan-China relationship.

& Human rights relief organization

There seems to be no end to human rights problems, including
discrimination, in Japan, and there are many victims. We will make
efforts to present to the Diet at an early date a bill intended to
set up a human rights relief organization independent from the

& Economic and fiscal management

From a long-term perspective, we will turn Japan from a centrally
governed state to a state of local autonomy. Efforts helping local
areas to have independent revenue sources will help the country
create a path to restoring fiscal health. An economic recovery will
create jobs for small and medium-sized enterprises. We will extend
support for research and development and the development of markets,
giving a boost to small and medium-sized companies that are eager to
develop new businesses.

& Postal reform

Convenience for the people really matters. We will make utmost
efforts to make the post office more cherished than ever before.

11) Prosecutors to decide not to indict DPJ Secretary General Ozawa
today; Ozawa to continue to serve as secretary general

ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
February 4, 2010

The Special Investigation Division (SID) of the Tokyo District
Prosecutors Office has officially decided not to indict Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa in connection
with the land deal involving his political fund management
organization Rikuzan-kai. The SID had been considering dropping the
case against Ozawa due to insufficient evidence. It will now make
the final decision after consulting with top prosecutors. Meanwhile,
when asked on Feb. 3 about his response if Ozawa is not indicted,
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said: "I would like him to work as
secretary general," indicating his intention for Ozawa to keep his
job. This was in response to questions from reporters at the Prime
Minister's Official Residence.

Reporters asked Hatoyama: "Will Secretary General Ozawa keep his
job?" Hatoyama replied: "I am not thinking of any personnel changes
right now," indicating that he will not replace the secretary

TOKYO 00000223 007 OF 010

general. To the question: "Do you want Secretary General Ozawa to
take charge of the House of Councillors election?" He stated
emphatically: "Of course, definitely."

12) National Public Service Act amendment bill to allow reassignment
of senior bureaucrats at prime minister's request, facilitate
demotion of vice ministers

MAINCHI (Top play) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

Yoshitaka Koyama

The contents of the draft bill to amend the National Public Service
Act became known on Feb. 3. The bill will have a provision stating
that the prime minister can ask cabinet ministers to reassign
officials at the rank of department directors general and above "for
the purpose of implementing the cabinet's important policies." It
will codify a mechanism to allow the intent of the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei) to be reflected directly in the
appointment of senior bureaucrats. Furthermore, administrative vice
ministers will be regarded as the same rank as bureau directors
general, thus facilitating their demotion. All of these steps allow
for flexibility in reassigning bureaucrats, in order to promote
policymaking led by politicians or by the Kantei. The draft bill
thus reveals the outline of the "new personnel system for senior
bureaucrats" included in the (Democratic Party of Japan's) manifesto
for the last House of Representatives election.

The draft bill states: "When the prime minister or the chief cabinet
secretary judges that it is necessary to appoint appropriate
officials for the implementation of important policies of the
cabinet, he can consult the appointing officers (ministers, for
instance) on the appointment or dismissal of senior bureaucrats." On
the other hand, the appointing officers are asked to "consult with
the prime minister and the chief cabinet secretary in advance" when
appointing or dismissing senior bureaucrats.

The bill also stipulates that vice ministers "are regarded as of the
same grade" as bureau directors general in the government's
organizational structure. They are exempted from the provision of
the National Public Service Act that demotion is only possible in
cases of "failure to meet performance standards."

13) National Referendum Law not to allow voting from age 18

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Lead paragraph)
February 3, 2010

The government gave up on Feb. 3 on allowing citizens from age 18 to
vote under the National Referendum Law that stipulates the
procedures for constitutional revision that will take effect on May
18 and decided to allow voting only from age 20 for the time being.
This is because it has become evident that the there will not be
sufficient time to amend the Public Office Election Law to extend
voting rights to 18-year-olds and other civil laws to lower the
legal age to 18, which are required to allow voting by citizens from
age 18 under the Referendum Law.

14) DPJ decides to expand non-government lawmakers' involvement in
decision-making processes

TOKYO 00000223 008 OF 010

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
February 4, 2010

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) plans to significantly increase
non-government lawmakers' involvement in decision-making processes.
The plan is to decide on the core members for each ministry's policy
council composed of the lawmakers holding the three top posts and
part of the Diet and party executives, to let them discuss priority
issues, and to let the DPJ deputy secretaries general coordinate
views on mid- and long-term policy issues with the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei). This will be a fundamental shift from
the Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa-led policy of the government's
unified control of policies.

According to the items confirmed at the Feb. 1 DPJ executive meeting
that Ozawa also attended, the core members of each ministry's policy
council will be composed of directors of the concerned committees of
the two houses of the Diet, executives of the Diet affairs
committee, officers of the Upper House policy council, and others,
in addition to the parliamentarians holding the top three posts. The
three deputy secretaries general will coordinate views with the
Kantei on long-term strategies and major national policy issues,
such as the environment and the National Defense Program

Regarding deliberations on legislation, the party has also decided
to accept requests from concerned organizations at workshops to be
held by each committee in the Diet.

15) Hatoyama promises to submit quickly bill setting up human rights
monitoring body

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 4, 2010

In response to Democratic Party of Japan member Toru Matsuoka's
question about the possibility of the government establishing an
independent organization to monitor human rights in order to prevent
human-rights-related violations and discrimination, Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama said yesterday at a plenary session of the House of
Councillors: "It is a very important idea. I promise you to make
efforts so that we will be able to submit a bill (aimed at the
establishment of such a panel) as quickly as possible."

16) DPJ to review manifesto (campaign pledges)

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 4, 2010

Shinichi Sekine

In preparation for the House of Councillors election this summer,
the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) decided yesterday to
review its manifesto (campaign pledges) for last year's House of
Representatives election. The focus will be on whether to provide
the full amount of child allowances from 2011 and whether to abolish
the current provisional rates for gasoline and other road-related
taxes. The DPJ will draw up a new manifesto as well as a roadmap for
the next four years.

The taskforce team, set up in mid-January, will look into its
manifesto for the Upper House election. Considering that the party

TOKYO 00000223 009 OF 010

will come under criticism from the public if it just modifies its
manifesto, one senior party member said, "We will come up with new
policy measures." Specific measures for "a new form of public
sector," which Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama advocated in his policy
speech, will likely become the main topic for consideration.

Asked about this development in the DPJ at a press conference
yesterday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano said: "The
manifesto for the Upper House election campaign should be handled
mainly by the party. If their move is related to policies, the
government should be involved in it. But with regard to election
affairs, the party should be in charge."

17) Coordination of views on review of upper limit of savings at
Japan Post Bank making little headway

YOMIURI (Page 9) (Excerpts)
February 4, 2010

Coordination of views on a review of the postal service
privatization plan is facing difficulty. While the government and
the ruling camp are calling for scrapping the upper limit of savings
at Japan Post Bank, the major focus of the review, the financial
services industry is calling on the government to maintain the
present conditions. State Minister for Postal Reform Kamei intends
to submit a postal reform draft bill (tentative name) as early as
early next week. However, it is unclear whether the bill will
include specifics.

The upper limit of savings at Japan Post Bank is 10 million yen at
present. The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), the Social Democratic
Party (SDP) and the People's New Party (PNP) have agreed on a policy
of easing the upper limit.

The DPJ is looking into scrapping the limit entirely so as to
enhance the freedom of the management of the bank. The SDP and the
PNP want to raise the level of the limit from the current 10 million
yen to 30 million yen. On Feb. 3, the PNP on indicated a stance of
compromising on the DPJ's plan, discussing the possibility of
abolishing the savings limit.

On the other hand, the financial services industry remains opposed
to the idea of raising the upper limit. Their stance is that if the
upper limit is raised while government involvement in the bank is
left intact, it would squeeze the operations of private banks.

The government wants to enhance the freedom of financial services by
Japan Post Bank, by such means as scrapping the upper limit of
savings at Japan Post Bank, based on the assessment that expanding
profits from financial services would be indispensable to secure the
cost of mandating Japan Post's three businesses - Japan Post
Service, Japan Post Bank and Japan Post Insurance - to offer uniform
services throughout the nation.

However, many observers are concerned about the idea of raising or
scrapping the upper limit. Since Japan Post Bank lacks experience in
managing its funds in areas other than in government bonds, it may
not be able to invest its increased funds successfully. Should that
happen, the increased burden of interest payments could squeeze its
profits. Moreover, there is even a possibility of the bank incurring
massive losses as a result of failing to make profits in its

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18) Japan Post Bank should invest its funds in U.S. Treasury bonds,
state minister for financial affairs and postal reform says

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

State Minister for Financial Affairs and Postal Reform Shizuka Kamei
on Feb. 3 indicated his view that Japan Post Bank of the Japan Post
Group should purchase U.S. Treasury bonds or corporate debentures to
diversify its fund management. Kamei's stance is that the
destinations for investment by Japan Post Bank should be expanded,
as the Bank's funds will likely increase in view of the ongoing
deliberations on raising the upper limit of postal savings as part
of the efforts to review the postal privatization plan.

Concerning a review of the postal privatization plan, Kamei told the
press corps, "Japan Post Bank is now fettered by many regulations in
its operations. I will reform it so that it will match with
reality." Noting that the outstanding savings balance at Japan Post
Bank, which stood at roughly 180 trillion yen as of the end of
December last year, will likely increase, Kamei said, "I think
investment in areas other than Japanese government bonds, such as
U.S. Treasury bonds, will increase a little more."

Japan Bank invested roughly 180 trillion yen in securities as of the
end of December last year. Nearly 90 percent of its funds have been
invested in Japanese government bonds. The Bank has purchased very
few U.S. Treasury bonds. Investment in corporate debentures stands
at only about 12 trillion yen.

19) LDP's Tanigaki criticizes "DPJ's amateurish diplomacy"

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 4, 2010

Liberal Democratic Party President Sadakazu Tanigaki has written an
essay highlighting the stance of attaching importance to the
Japan-U.S. alliance. The essay is apparently intended to heighten
the LDP's position as the largest opposition party by presenting a
counterproposal to the current administration, which is wavering
over the issue of the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station.

The essay will appear in the monthly magazine Chuokoron that will go
on sale on Feb. 10.

In his essay titled "Amateurish diplomacy by the Democratic Party of
Japan," Tanigaki criticizes the Hatoyama administration's diplomacy,
writing, "The administration is trying to keep a distance from the
United States while moving closer to China to strike a balance. This
is amateur diplomacy that lacks understanding of national security."
He also writes about the Futenma issue: "Moving the base outside
Japan is impractical in that it will end up reducing deterrence.
Moving the base out of Okinawa is also simplistic. It is tantamount
to toying with the sentiments of the people in Okinawa. The existing
Japan-U.S. agreement is the best option."


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