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Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/05/10

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DE RUEHKO #0232/01 0360116
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 050116Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
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INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
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RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC//J5//
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/USFJ //J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/CTF 72
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 1035
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8694
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2510
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5735
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9190
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 2966
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9647
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9014

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 08 TOKYO 000232

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA

SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 02/05/10

INDEX:

1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Futenma:
3) PM: I'm determined to make a decision by May (Sankei)

Foreign relations:
4) Okada asks New Zealand to investigate Sea Shepherd's harassment
of research whaling ship (Yomiuri)

Defense & security:
5) LDP submits bill for resumption of MSDF refueling mission
(Nikkei)
6) "Yuai boat" to set sail in May (Tokyo Shimbun)

Politics:
7) Ozawa not indicted (Asahi)
8) DPJ should use Ozawa affair as a chance to make a clean start
(Asahi)
9) DPJ members voice opposition to allotments for children of
foreign workers (Nikkei)
10) Diet debate (Yomiuri)
11) Yamasaki: I won't quit LDP (Tokyo Shimbun)

Economy:
12) BOJ sees protracted deflation (Asahi)
13) METI expands eco subsidy to include 43 models (Mainichi)
14) PM wants quick response to accelerator trouble in order to
regain trust (Tokyo Shimbun)

Articles:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Ozawa not to be indicted, will not resign as secretary general

Mainichi:
Asashoryu retires over assault incident

Yomiuri:
Ozawa not to be indicted; Diet member Ishikawa, two others indicted

Nikkei:
Toyota's Prius to be recalled in Japan, U.S.

Sankei:
Yokozuna Asashoryu retires over assault incident

Tokyo Shimbun:
Ozawa not to be indicted; Diet member Ishikawa, two others indicted

Akahata:
Three close aides of Ozawa indicted; Ozawa not indicted for
"insufficient evidence"

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Non-indictment of Ozawa: He can't possibly keep his job

TOKYO 00000232 002 OF 008

Mainichi:
(1) Non-indictment of Ozawa: He cannot evade political
responsibility
(2) Asashoryu's retirement: Sumo Association, his stable master must
do serious soul-searching
Yomiuri:
(1) Non-indictment of Ozawa: He cannot evade serious political
responsibility

Nikkei:
(1) Ozawa has very grave responsibility even if not indicted
(2) Prosecutors should give "rigorous and fair" explanation

Sankei:
(1) Non-indictment of Secretary General Ozawa: We question his
political responsibility

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Non-indictment of Ozawa over Rikuzan-kai affair: The people's
suspicions have not been dispelled

Akahata:
(1) Non-indictment of Ozawa: Critical stage for Diet to find out the
truth

3) Hatoyama: Understand my determination for Futenma relocation

SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
February 5, 2010

The House of Councillors Audit Committee met yesterday for
interpellations over government reports on the settlement of
accounts for fiscal 2008, with Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and all
his cabinet ministers attending. In a question-and-answer session,
Hatoyama was asked about the pending issue of relocating the U.S.
military's Futenma airfield facility from its current location in
Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. In his reply, Hatoyama reiterated his
determination to pick a relocation site, saying: "If I don't make a
decision by the end of May, it would mean that I'm unable to make a
decision as a politician. I would like you to understand my
determination to do so."

"I thought that I should reach a conclusion before the election for
the House of Councillors in July or August," Hatoyama explained when
asked why he made up his mind to reach a conclusion at the end of
May. "It's not a solution to leave the Futenma facility intact at
its current location," he added, "and there's no need to think about
what to do if and when it's impossible to relocate the Futenma
facility." Hatoyama thus ruled out the option of continuing to use
the Futenma airfield.

4) Foreign minister asks for cooperation in investigation into act
of obstruction to research whaling

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

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada on Feb. 4 met with New Zealand
Minister of Trade and Minister Responsible for International Climate
Change Negotiations Tim Groser at the Foreign Ministry. Okada during
the meeting asked for cooperation in Japan's investigation into a

TOKYO 00000232 003 OF 008


case in which a small high-speed vessel belonging to Sea Shepherd, a
U.S. anti-whaling group, collided with Japan's patrol ship in an
attempt to obstruct its research whaling fleet. Groser replied, "I
am against violent protest activities. I would like to cooperate in
the investigation."

5) LDP submits bill for resumption of MSDF refueling mission

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 5, 2010

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and the Japan Renaissance Party
yesterday jointly submitted to the House of Councillors a bill that
would resume the Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in
the Indian Ocean. The bill sets the period of the mission at two
years and endorses an extension of the mission.

6) Defense Ministry to dispatch MSDF transport ship in May on
humanitarian assistance mission under "Yuai boat" program

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
February 5, 2010

In a press conference yesterday, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa
announced that the ministry will send a Maritime Self-Defense
Force's (MSDF) transport ship in late May to join the "Pacific
Partnership" U.S. Pacific Fleet humanitarian civic assistance
mission in the Asia-Pacific region. This dispatch will be the first
step in the "Yuai boat" program advocated by Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama to make use of SDF vessels to provide aid for victims of
natural disasters.

The team will visit Vietnam and Cambodia for about two months from
May 23 through July 15.

7) Ozawa not indicted, will not resign as DPJ secretary general

ASAHI (Top play) (Abridged)
February 5, 2010

The Special Investigation Division of the Tokyo District Prosecutors
Office indicted on Feb. 4 House of Representatives member Tomohiro
Ishikawa, 36, and two others in connection with a land deal
involving Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa's fund management organization, Rikuzan-kai on charges of
violation of the Political Funds Control Law (false reporting).
Ozawa was not indicted due to insufficient evidence of his
involvement with this affair. He announced on the evening of the
same day his intention to continue to serve as secretary general but
said that he "feels responsible" for the indictment of Ishikawa and
the two others.

The other two suspects are Ozawa's government-funded first secretary
and former bookkeeper Takanori Okubo, 48, and former secretary
Mitsutomo Ikeda, 32.

8) Commentary on non-indictment of DPJ Secretary General Ozawa over
land deal scandal: Make this an opportunity for a fresh start for
the government

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 5, 2010

TOKYO 00000232 004 OF 008

Katsuyuki Yakushiji, political editor

The decision not to indict Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary
General Ichiro Ozawa must have come as a surprise to many people.
The newspapers and TV stations reported prominently on Ozawa's
political funds day in and day out, so there had been keen interest
in the progress of the investigations of the Tokyo District
Prosecutors Office's Special Investigation Division.

The reason Ozawa was not indicted is insufficient evidence. While
legally, this case has been settled, it leaves a sense that
something is not quite right.

First, the indictment of three former secretaries of Ozawa is
unusual. This clearly reflects the character of Ozawa's office and
cannot be explained away by claiming "I left everything in the hands
of the secretaries."

Our investigations have also shown that there are other inexplicable
facts. Why is it that Ozawa's fund management organizations own more
than 10 properties? What happened to the funds of the Liberal Party
headed by Ozawa after it was dissolved? Such questions have remained
unanswered.

Japan cannot claim to be a normal democratic country if a politician
involved with enormous amounts of mysterious funds serves as the
secretary general of the ruling party and controls its national
administration.

An even more serious problem is that the DPJ has betrayed the
people's expectations on the change of administration in such a
short time.

Both Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Ozawa are plagued by money
scandals. The political leadership is frantically dealing with
scandals and has not been able to tackle important domestic and
foreign policy issues. Policy debate has been sidetracked in the
Diet. Such unproductive politics have dominated the scene for a long
time.

The people's hopes have turned into despair and anguish. Next they
may well become resentment, distrust, and apathy if this situation
remains unchanged.

The Prime Minister has said that he wants "Mr. Ozawa to take charge
of the House of Councillors election." Does he intend to let his
party continue to be incapable of cleansing itself or speaking up?
What is needed now is to reset the administration.

The DPJ achieved a change of administration thanks to Ozawa's power.
However, what the people want is transparent and just politics; not
politics controlled by Ozawa, who is following in the footsteps of
the Liberal Democratic Party.

The DPJ should not betray the people any longer.

9) Objections to foreign workers receiving child allowances

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
February 5, 2010


TOKYO 00000232 005 OF 008


Objections have been raised in the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
with regard to who should receive child allowances. The bill
approved by the cabinet stipulates that allowances will be paid to
all residents in Japan, so they will be paid even to foreigners
working in nursing homes and other foreign workers who do not have
Japanese citizenship. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and
Welfare (MHLW), even if the children of these foreigners do not live
in Japan, allowances will basically be paid for each of the children
if they have registries or other documents from their home country
showing the number of children.

The DPJ received a briefing from the MHLW at an informal meeting on
Feb. 4. Diet members who participated in the meeting voiced the
following objections: "Paying out allowances to foreigners living in
Japan who are unlikely to contribute to Japan's social security in
the future runs counter to the purpose of the bill" and "This will
merely result in the outflow of tax money overseas."

The MHLW explained, "Under the existing child benefits law, on which
the child allowance bill is based, benefits are paid to foreign
workers in Japan." This was refuted by the Diet members, who argued
that the purpose of the child allowance bill, which is "to support
the healthy growth of children who will be responsible for society
in the next generation," is fundamentally different from the child
benefits law.

10) Question and answers from Feb. 4 House of Councillors Audit
Committee session

YOMIURI (Page 10) (Full)
February 5, 2010

The following is the gist of major questions and answers exchanged
in an Upper House Audit Committee session on Feb. 4. Questioners
were Mitsuyoshi Yanagisawa, Masayoshi Nataniya, and Shinkun Haku
(all Democratic Party of Japan members); Kazuya Maruyama, Junzo
Yamamoto, and Nobuo Kishi (all Liberal Democratic Party members);
Kiyohiro Araki and Masayoshi Hamada (both New Komeito members);
Sohei Nihi (Japanese Communist Party); and Seiji Mataichi (Social
Democratic Party).

& Rikuzan-kai scandal

Maruyama: DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa should take
responsibility (over the scandal involving his fund management
organization, Rikuzan-kai).

Prime Minister Hatoyama: I believe what Secretary General Ozawa
says, and I will watch developments calmly for now. That is natural
both as a peer and as a human.

Maruyama: Can't you urge Mr. Ozawa to decide to resign?

Prime Minister: Media (organizations) seem to be trying to create a
certain image between Secretary General Ozawa and myself. I say
things firmly to Mr. Ozawa when I need to. The image (that I cannot
say things to Mr. Ozawa) is false. I will monitor things calmly.

Yamamoto: You said, "I want Mr. Ozawa to be in charge of in the
coming Upper House election." That could be taken as pressure on the
prosecutors.


TOKYO 00000232 006 OF 008


Prime Minister: As DPJ president, I haven't announced my intention
to make any changes to the party leadership, including Secretary
General Ozawa. Mr. Ozawa is currently serving as secretary general,
and I simply said, "I am planning to go ahead with the Upper House
election under the current situation." It's not pressure on the
prosecutors or anything of the sort.

& Futenma relocation issue

Yamamoto: Foreign Minister Okada, your have referred to the
possibility of the continued use of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma
Air Station.

Foreign Minister Okada: I made that statement based on the belief
that (Futenma Air Station) must not remain in its current location.
We will put all the options on the table, including the Japan-U.S.
agreement (to relocate the base to Nago, Okinawa Prefecture), and
discuss the possibilities.

Yamamoto: Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano, you said, "There is no
reason to take the results of the Nago mayoral election into
account."

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano: The phase "take into account" has
been used often lately. The misunderstanding can be cleared up if
the media properly reports on what I said before and after that
sentence. We are aware of course that the results of the mayoral
election reflect the popular will.

Kishi: The Prime Minister should also comment on the results of the
Nago mayoral election.

Prime Minister: The Nago mayoral election reflects the popular will,
and it was also the popular will that elected Mr. Nakaima as
governor. LDP candidates were defeated by DPJ, People's New Party,
and SDP candidates in the House of Representatives election last
summer. That was also the popular will. Needless to say, we must
lend our ears to the popular will. I will take responsibility in the
end.

& Abduction issue

Haku: I want to hear about your determination to resolve the issue
of abductions of Japanese nationals by North Korea.

Prime Minister: The government will make utmost efforts to bring all
the victims back to Japan. Collecting information and cooperation
with the countries concerned are essential.

Haku: Is it possible that there were accomplices in Japan?

National Public Safety Commission Chairman Nakai: My view is that
there is such a possibility. I cannot say whether individual cases
have been investigated.

Haku: Japan should take in persecuted North Korean defectors
flexibly.

Nakai: The North Korea human rights law is designed to help Japanese
nationals and their descendents among the North Korean defectors. I
want to eliminate this framework in cooperation with other
government agencies.

TOKYO 00000232 007 OF 008

& Nuclear abolition

Hamada: I want to see Japan spearhead the drive to eliminate nuclear
weapons.

Prime Minister: (Before the UN General Assembly last September), I
announced my determination to take the initiative in the campaign to
eliminate nuclear weapons on behalf of Japan, the only country to
have been attacked with atomic bombs, driven by our moral
responsibility. That determination has not changed.

11) Taku Yamasaki decides to stay in LDP

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
February 5, 2010

Former vice president Taku Yamasaki, 73, of the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) had suggested that he would leave the party if the party
refused to endorse him as a party candidate for the proportional
representation segment in this summer's House of Councillors
election. But he revealed yesterday he would stay in the LDP,
remarking: "LDP President Sadakazu Tanigaki asked me to cooperate in
reconstructing the party based on my experience. I took his words
seriously."

Tanigaki has offered Yamasaki such posts as director of the Forward
Policy Study Unit. Yamasaki is expected to accept this offer.

12) BOJ Policy Board member thinks deflationary trend will continue

ASAHI (Page 11) (Full)
February 5, 2010

Seiji Nakamura, a member of the Policy Board of the Bank of Japan,
gave in Fukuoka City on Feb 4 a speech in which he expressed the
view that the current deflationary trend could become protracted. He
said: "With the outlook that the economic turnaround will continue
to be slow, demand, which is poor compared with supply, will not
recover soon. As such, it is difficult to think that the downward
pressure on prices will abate in the short term."

Referring to the government's deteriorating fiscal position,
Nakamura at a press conference held on the same day said: "A rise in
interest rates owing to the risk premium on government bonds would
be a serious matter. Unless the government addresses (fiscal
reconstruction) before the market reacts, the situation will become
messy." In reference to the "medium-term fiscal frame" now being
drafted by the government, Nakamura said: "Unless such issues as
what to do for the future of Japan, including a welfare policy, are
taken into account, the public will not accept the initiative."

13) List of vehicles eligible for subsidy program expanded to
include 43 imported models

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

The Ministry of Trade, Economy and Industry (METI) released the
names of 43 models from 15 brands of imported cars that have been
added to the list of vehicles eligible for the program, following a
review of the subsidy system for purchases of eco-friendly cars. The

TOKYO 00000232 008 OF 008


U.S. government and Congress had been asking for the inclusion of
more U.S. vehicles in the list. However, only eight U.S. models from
five brands, such as Cadillac and Hummer, will qualify for the
program. The remaining 35 were all European vehicles. The U.S. is
not satisfied with the outcome. However, METI Minister Masayuki
Naoshima on the 4th announced that the government has no intention
of further increasing the number of vehicles eligible for the
program.

Following the Japanese government's announcement, U.S. Trade
Representative Kirk released a statement, which read, "I am
disappointed at Japan's announcement that limits the number of
vehicle models." He is determined to work on the Japanese government
to take a second look at the application of the program.

14) Hatoyama calls for Toyota's prompt action to regain trust

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 9) (Full)
February 5, 2010

Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Masayuki Naoshima called on
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei) yesterday and reported on the issue of Toyota
Motor Corp's massive recall over defective accelerator pedals.
According to Naoshima, he visited the Kantei at the request of
Hatoyama and reported on the details of the explanation Toyota Vice
President Shinichi Sasaki provided to him on the 3rd.

In response, Hatoyama said: "I hope the company will take prompt
action to regain and secure the users' trust," based on the
awareness that it took too long for Toyota decide on the recall,
according to Naoshima.

ROOS

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