Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press (2) 02/08/10

DE RUEHKO #0255/01 0390820
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E.O. 12958: N/A



(18) Ozawa to make announcement on political future at news
conference later today (Nikkei)
(19) PM Hatoyama says Secretary General Ozawa "responsible" for
Rikuzan-kai scandal; senior DPJ official Edano mentions need for him
to resign (Yomiuri)
(20) Poll: 69 PERCENT urge Ozawa to quit; Hatoyama cabinet's
support falls below 50 PERCENT (Mainichi)
(21) 80 PERCENT of DPJ's local execs back Ozawa (Asahi)
(22) Foreign Minister Okada spins his wheels over Futenma
relocation; Hatoyama gives consideration to SDP, but rift within
government remains wide (Sankei)
(23) Interviews with U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee' senior
ruling and opposition members regarding Japan-U.S. security
arrangements (Nikkei)
(24) Government should study the Omura relocation plan (Mainichi)
(25) Outcome of Nago mayoral election and Futenma issue: Abide by
Japan-U.S. agreement on Futenma relocation (Mainichi)
(26) U.S. pinning hopes on Ozawa's political power in resolving
Futenma issue (Nikkei)
(27) Bob Barker swipes Yushin Maru; Sea Shepherd resumes harassment
activities (Sankei)
(28) Gov't poll: 85 PERCENT approve of death penalty (Asahi)


(18) Ozawa to make announcement on political future at news
conference later today

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
Evening, February 8, 2010

Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa will make
an announcement on whether he will resign and the responsibility of
House of Representatives member Tomorhiro Ishikawa, who was arrested
in connection with a land purchase by Ozawa's fund management
organization, the Rikuzan-kai, at his regular news conference in the
late afternoon of Feb. 8. Earlier, Ozawa met with Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama at noontime at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence for about 13 minutes. After the meeting, Ozawa refused to
tell reporters what the meeting was about and said, "I will tell you
at the regular news conference."

(19) PM Hatoyama says Secretary General Ozawa "responsible" for
Rikuzan-kai scandal; senior DPJ official Edano mentions need for him
to resign

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, February 8, 2010

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama discussed Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa's responsibility for the
violation of the Political Funds Control Law by his fund management
organization at the House of Representatives Budget Committee on the
morning of Feb. 8. He said: "I think he feels responsible for the
arrest of his secretaries. Naturally, I think he bears some

During a stump speech in Saitama City on the morning of Feb. 8,
Yukio Edano, former DPJ Policy Research Committee chairman, said:
"Mr. Ozawa needs to disclose everything personally in order to

TOKYO 00000255 002 OF 009

regain the people's trust. If he is unable to do so, he needs to
settle this issue, including by resigning," thus demanding that
Ozawa resign if he fails to win the people's understanding.

In light of public opinion polls by Yomiuri Shimbun and other media
organizations showing that over 70 percent of respondents demand
Ozawa's resignation as secretary general, Edano pointed out: "These
are undeniable objective figures showing that the majority of the
people are unconvinced by Mr. Ozawa's explanation."

(20) Poll: 69 PERCENT urge Ozawa to quit; Hatoyama cabinet's
support falls below 50 PERCENT

MAINICHI (Top play) (Abridged)
February 7, 2010

The Mainichi Shimbun conducted a spot nationwide public opinion
survey on Feb. 5-6, following the prosecutors' decision on Feb. 4 to
drop the case of ruling Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa over his fund management organization's land purchase.
In the survey, 69 PERCENT said Ozawa should resign from his party
post, while 28 PERCENT said there is no need for him to resign. The
rate of public support for the Hatoyama cabinet was 49 PERCENT ,
almost flat from the 50 PERCENT rating of the last survey conducted
Jan. 30-31. However, the Hatoyama cabinet's support rate fell below
the 50 PERCENT mark for the first time since its launch last

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the DPJ
stood at 34 PERCENT , up 4 percentage points from the last survey.
The party's popularity reached 45 PERCENT in a survey conducted
right after the change of government in September 2009. After that,
it continued to decline in the following surveys. In the latest
survey, however, its downward trend was halted. Meanwhile, the
leading opposition Liberal Democratic Party dropped 2 points to 14
PERCENT . The Your Party rose 2 points to 6 PERCENT , outstripping
the New Komeito (5 PERCENT ) for the first time since it was founded
in August 2009. The figures apparently show that the LDP has been
unable to gain the support of people who are critical of the DPJ,
and that some of them picked the Your Party instead.

(21) 80 PERCENT of DPJ's local execs back Ozawa

ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
February 6, 2010

The Asahi Shimbun interviewed the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's
local chapter executives in the nation's 47 prefectures, following
the indictment of three of DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa's
former secretaries, including Tomohiro Ishikawa, who is currently a
DPJ lawmaker seated in the House of Representatives, on the charge
of violating the Political Funds Control Law. Asked about Ozawa, 38
DPJ local chapters, including the ones in Tokyo and Hokkaido,
answered that there is "no need for him to resign from his party
post." When it comes to Ishikawa, however, 16 chapters, including
the one in Tokyo, answered that he "should leave the party." Asked
if they thought the case would affect this summer's election for the
House of Councillors, 32 chapters answered "yes."

The survey was conducted Feb. 4-5 by querying each DPJ local
chapter's secretary general in principle. Asked about Ozawa, only
the DPJ chapter in Niigata Prefecture answered that he "should

TOKYO 00000255 003 OF 009

resign as DPJ secretary general." Those in the prefectures of
Fukushima, Ibaraki, Gumma, Saitama, Kyoto, Yamaguchi, Tokushima, and
Nagasaki withheld their answers. The party's local chapters were
split over Ozawa's explanation, with 23 chapters saying it was
"sufficient" and 16 saying it was "insufficient."

These DPJ local leaders were also asked to what extent they thought
the case would affect this summer's House of Councillors election.
In response to this question, 7 DPJ local chapters, including the
one in Tokyo, answered that the case would "greatly" affect the
election and 25 chapters said it would "somewhat" affect the
election, for a total of about 70 PERCENT . However, when asked if
they thought the DPJ needs Ozawa to win the election, 38 chapters,
including Tokyo and Hokkaido, answered "yes." Asked about Ishikawa,
the DPJ chapter in Gifu Prefecture answered that he "should resign
from the Diet."

(22) Foreign Minister Okada spins his wheels over Futenma
relocation; Hatoyama gives consideration to SDP, but rift within
government remains wide

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

Hiroyuki Kano

In connection with the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa Prefecture), Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama said on Feb. 3 at a plenary session of the
House of Councillors: "We must prevent the Futenma airfield from
remaining in its current location. We have been discussing the issue
based on our determination not to revert back to the starting
point," stressing that he aims to move the Futenma functions to a
different location. He was apparently giving consideration to the
Social Democratic Party (SDP), which reacted strongly to Foreign
Minister Katsuya Okada's comment implying the possibility of the
U.S. military's continued use of the Futenma airfield at its current
location. An examination of the true intention behind Okada's
comment reveals that there is still a deep rift within the
government with regard to national security.

"I went too far in my remarks," Okada said on the morning of Feb. 2
when asked by Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano about the
comment he made at a press conference on Feb. 1 that "if there is no
relocation site, the Futenma airfield might remain in its current

However, Okada also said at a press conference on the night of Feb.
2: "In the worst-case scenario, the Futenma airfield could remain in
its present location." Although Okada has not accepted the continued
use of the Futenma base at its current location, he has repeatedly
brought up this worst-case scenario. This is because he feels a
sense of crisis.

In their committee to look into the Futenma relocation issue, the
government and ruling parties have been looking for a new relocation
site to replace the existing plan to move the Futenma base to the
coastal area of Camp Schwab in the Henoko district, Nago City.
However, the SDP has insisted that the Futenma base be moved to Guam
even though many in the ruling camp predict that it would be
difficult to do so. As such, the prospects for the ruling coalition
reaching a conclusion appear to be slim.

TOKYO 00000255 004 OF 009

Okada's efforts to shift debate in the ruling camp toward a more
realistic plan ended in failure to satisfy the SDP. Tokushin
Yamauchi, an SDP Upper House member from Okinawa, grilled Hatoyama
at the Upper House plenary session on Feb. 3. He said: "(Okada's
comment) is the same idea as the view that would allow the U.S.
bases to remain in Okinawa. His backward-looking view ridicules the
Okinawan people and will not alleviate the fears of Ginowan

Despite Yamauchi's harsh criticism of Okada, Hatoyama did not
actively back up his foreign minister.

In the past, Okada was criticized for proposing the integration of
the Futenma base with Kadena Air Base in Okinawa. Now he has created
further confusion through his recent comment.

At a press conference on Feb. 3, Liberal Democratic Party Policy
Research Council Chairman Shigeru Ishiba criticized the Hatoyama
administration for not building consensus, saying, "Mr. Okada says
that the continued use of the Futenma base in its current location
is included (in the options), while the Prime Minister says there is
no such option. It is problematic that there are different views in
the cabinet."

(23) Interviews with U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee' senior
ruling and opposition members regarding Japan-U.S. security

NIKKEI (Page 8) (Full)
February 6, 2010

How does the U.S. Congress view the Japan-U.S. security
arrangements, which have been undermined over issues such as the
relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station? The Nikkei
interviewed the two top ruling and opposition members of the
subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific under the House Foreign Affairs

Eni Faleomavaega (Chairman of the subcommittee, Democrat): Asian
countries worried about discord between Japan and U.S. over base

U.S.-Japan relations are a cornerstone of the U.S.'s policy toward
Asia both on the security and economic fronts. The presence of the
U.S. forces has contributed to maintaining stability in the region.
The ongoing discord between Japan and the U.S. over security issues
has become a cause for concern for Asian countries, as well.

Okinawa is a crucial location for U.S. national interests, but the
Japanese government and the Okinawan people should fully discuss
whether the presence of the U.S. forces should continue in the
future. The U.S. military withdrew from the Philippines in the 1990s
in response to the will of its residents. The U.S. now regards Guam,
a U.S. territory, as its defense line in the Pacific.

President Barack Obama established the so-called Group of Two (G-2)
framework with China during his visit there last year. It is
imperative for the U.S. and China, two major economic powers, to
work together in dealing with climate change and other international
challenges, so I would like to take such progress positively.

TOKYO 00000255 005 OF 009

Japan and China, which have been at loggerheads throughout history,
have also begun to join hands. More than 100 lawmakers visited
China, and the Chinese vice president met with the Japanese Emperor.
These are epoch-making events. It is necessary to keep a watchful
eye on future developments in Japan-China relations. I think these
developments are also desirable for the U.S.

Some Japanese leaders are worried about the possibility that Japan
might be alienated by the U.S. and China, but it is inconceivable
that both countries will forget the world's second largest economic
power with a population of 120 million.

It will not be easy to establish a new security framework in Asia,
due to such questions as which country should take the lead, which
countries should actually do the work, and which countries should
bear the necessary costs. The Southeast Asian Treaty Organization
(SEATO) was set up in the past, but it did not function properly.

Various opinions have been voiced both in Japan and the U.S.
concerning a possible visit by President Obama to the atom-bombed
cities in Japan. Japan is the one that started the war. If the U.S.
had not dropped the atomic bombs, the war would have lasted longer
and resulted in more deaths among Americans and Japanese people.

Meanwhile, India and Pakistan are now nuclear powers, and North
Korea and Iran have also embarked on that route. If President Obama
visits Hiroshima, it will be evidence of his belief that all nuclear
weapons must be removed from the international community.

Donald Manzullo, (lead Republican in the subcommittee): Presence of
U.S. forces in Okinawa indispensable

Japan and the U.S. are bound by strong ties. We would like to
maintain them. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama must have the same
desire. With respect to the Futenma relocation issue, a bilateral
agreement carries heavy weight. If the plan to transfer Marines in
Okinawa to Guam is altered, the two countries will need to spend
massive amounts of money. The presence of U.S. forces in Okinawa is
vital for Japan's security. A hardliner might become the next
president of China. Japan and the U.S. have adopted western styles,
but China has its own style and a short-sighted viewpoint.

Japan and the U.S. should discuss (the future options for Japan's
international contributions) more thoroughly. Japan is eager to
cooperate in disaster relief operations and has carried out
humanitarian activities that more than offset the lack of its
military contributions. The U.S. president should not visit
Hiroshima regardless of the purpose of the visit.

(24) Government should study the Omura relocation plan

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

Ukeru Magosaki, former director general of the International
Information Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In the recent Nago mayoral election in which the relocation of the
U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station was the central issue, Susumu
Inamine, who opposes the relocation, was elected. The results of the
election carry great significance. The Futenma relocation plan was
mainly determined according to its position in the U.S.'s overall

TOKYO 00000255 006 OF 009

strategy and the wishes of the people of Okinawa. The planned
relocation to Nago was complicated by the election results. If the
government decides in May to move the base to Nago in spite of the
election results, the anti-base movement in Okinawa will be
energized, having a negative impact on Japan-U.S. security
arrangements in the mid- term and long term.

The people have concerns about the Hatoyama administration's
response to the Futenma issue. They are concerned about the
deterioration in relations between Japan and the United States. U.S.
officials, including Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, applied
tremendous pressure on Japan. In response, the Japanese media
reported that the Futenma issue would undermine Japan-U.S.
relations. It is natural for the people to have concerns. But should

An administration led by the Democratic Party of Japan has been
launched, as the party achieved an overwhelming victory in the last
general election, advocating change. That means a reexamination of
the policy of the 50 years of the Liberal Democratic Party era.
Needless to say, this review includes diplomacy and the Futenma
issue. Such a shift is in line with the rules of a democracy. Under
the Obama administration the United States, too, shifted its stance
on the Iraq war. The United States has also altered the deployment
of missile defense facilities in Eastern European countries. The
examination of the appropriateness of policy naturally takes
precedence over an international pledge.

Military bases overseas are indispensable for U.S. strategy.
According to the Department of Defense's Property Replacement Value
(PRV), Japan and Germany are the most important, with each
accounting for 30 percent of the value of U.S. bases in the world.
Limited to large bases, the value of the bases in Japan is three
times that in Germany. Incidentally, the value of Futenma Air
Station is less than one-twentieth of the value of all the U.S.
bases in Japan. In terms of the burden born by each host nation,
Japan's share is over 50 percent of the total in the world. In other
words, Japan's share is about three times that of Germany, 20 times
that of the UK, and 1.6 times that of the North Atlantic Treaty
Organization. Setting aside the propriety of Japan's burden, can the
issue of Futenma Air Station, which in terms of value accounts for
less than one-twentieth of all the U.S. bases in Japan, degrade the
Japan-U.S. security relationship? No it can't. Recognition of this
is important in conducting talks between Japan and the United

On Jan. 7, The New York Times carried an op-ed by Harvard University
Prof. Joseph Nye, a U.S. security policy authority, in which he
wrote: "Some in Washington want to play hardball with the new
Japanese government. But that would be unwise. If the United States
undercuts the new Japanese government and creates resentment among
the Japanese public, then a victory on Futenma could prove

On Jan. 5, I attended a meeting of the National Vision Research
Council, the Prime Minister's advisory panel. There, as the chair of
the foreign and security affairs subcommittee, I proposed a plan to
relocate Futenma Air Station to the Maritime Self-Defense Force's
Omura base and the Ground Self-Defense Force's Camp Ainoura in
Nagasaki Prefecture. The main reason is that for the U.S. military
the Omura base is better situated than the Futenma base because of
its proximity to the U.S. Naval Base at Sasebo. The largest obstacle

TOKYO 00000255 007 OF 009

to this plan is the reluctance of Nagasaki Prefecture's people to
accept it. But the government must not keep forcing Okinawans to
bear a heavy burden. Tokyo must seriously look into whether there is
a way this plan could be made acceptable to the people of Nagasaki.

(25) Outcome of Nago mayoral election and Futenma issue: Abide by
Japan-U.S. agreement on Futenma relocation

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

By Satoshi Morimoto, professor at Takushoku University Graduate

With the outcome of the latest Nago mayoral election, it has become
almost impossible for the Japanese government to implement the 2006
Japan-U.S. agreement to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station to waters off Henoko in Nago City. Even if the government
searches for a new candidate site for the Futenma airfield based on
an agreement among the three ruling parties, it will not be easy to
find a location that satisfies the U.S. military and for which the
local residents will accept the new base. To resolve the Futenma
issue, there probably is no other means but for Prime Minister Yukio
Hatoyama to be willing to sacrifice the coalition by deciding to
implement the existing plan after first visiting Okinawa to persuade
the people there to accept it. If that is not possible, we will have
to wait for the next government's wise decision. If both of these
options are out of the question, the Marines will continue to stay
at the Futenma base, and the responsibility for the outcome will
rest with the Hatoyama administration.

The governments of Japan and the U.S. agreed to construct an
alternative facility off Henoko in a move to realize the return of
the Futenma base to Japan. The Nago municipal government also agreed
to host the new base. We must not forget that there were people,
including former Nago mayor Takeo Kishimoto, who put their own
political careers on the line by accepting the plan. The Hatoyama
administration, however, put off making a decision on the current
relocation plan and eventually created uncertainty on the return of
Futenma. This is what gave rise to the result of the Nago mayoral
election. Hatoyama has said: "The Futenma facility should be moved
out of the nation or at least out of the prefecture." But he has
little understanding of the seriousness of China's threat and the
importance of the presence of U.S. forces in Japan as a deterrent.

There are numerous challenges facing the Obama administration, but
in its relations with Japan, the administration has placed top
priority on the planned realignment of U.S. forces in Japan. The
deadlock over Futenma relocation issue will inevitably disrupt force
realignment in Asia, including the plan to transfer Marines to Guam.
Given this, the U.S. has been greatly disappointed at Hatoyama's
decision to put off a making a decision. It is a serious matter that
the Hatoyama administration's stance has created a major rift
between the two countries. Between Japan and the U.S., the level of
officials engaging in bilateral talks on key policies and exchanging
information recently has drastically dropped compared with the level
of past negotiations. This trend is also expected to spill over into
bilateral economic and business relations sooner or later.

Furthermore, Democratic Party of Japan Secretary Ichiro Ozawa has
likened relations among Japan, the U.S., and China to "an
equilateral triangle," and the Hatoyama administration seems to be

TOKYO 00000255 008 OF 009

moving away from the U.S. and approaching China. These approaches
have made the U.S. apprehensive. This stance would be acceptable if
Japan were prepared to build up its defense capability to the extent
of enabling it to independently cope with a crisis in Northeast Asia
without depending on U.S. assistance. But if Japan allows the
Japan-U.S. alliance to be undermined without boosting its defense
capability, its national interests will be seriously damaged. China
has been shifting the military balance between China and Taiwan in
its favor and also plans to deploy by 2020 three aircraft carriers
for enhancing its capability to defend the second island chain
including Okinawa (China's defense line extending from Izu and the
Ogasawara Islands to Guam, Saipan, and Papua New Guinea). Okinawa
will become more important from a strategic point of view in the

Some commentators suggest that the Obama administration should not
pressure the Hatoyama administration over the Futenma issue and
instead should make more efforts to build a strategic bilateral
relationship. But this advice is wrong. The Obama administration is
calling on the Japanese government to deliver on its promise with
the U.S. government on the Futenma issue, so it is not proper to say
that it is pressuring Japan. In Northeast Asia, which contains a
number of destabilizing factors, if the Japan-U.S. alliance is
damaged, Japan will not be able to maintain its stability. The
policy course the Hatoyama administration has taken is leading Japan
into the wrong direction.

(26) U.S. pinning hopes on Ozawa's political power in resolving
Futenma issue

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
February 6, 2010

The U.S. government is also aiming to make use of Democratic Party
of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa's political influence to
bring about a solution to the deadlocked issue of relocating the
U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station. Some observers speculate
that Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama decided to put off making a
decision despite his earlier eagerness to resolve the issue by the
end of last year probably because the prime minister discerned
Ozawa's feelings on the matter. The U.S. has looked for a chance to
contact Ozawa.

On the U.S. government side, there is also the ulterior motive of
trying to counter China's moves. In an effort to bring Japan, whose
tilt toward China has been conspicuous, back to the U.S., America
requires a visit by a delegation on a scale of the 100-plus-strong
Ozawa-led delegation of lawmakers to China last year. Reflecting the
government's intention, Campbell called for a visit not by Ozawa
alone but by an Ozawa-led group.

(27) Bob Barker swipes Yushin Maru; Sea Shepherd resumes harassment

SANKEI (Page 27) (Full)
February 7, 2010

Protest vessels of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a U.S.
group calling itself an environmental protection group, have
repeatedly harassed the Japanese research whaling fleet's
activities. The Fisheries Agency announced on Feb. 6 that the Sea
Shepherd's protest vessels resumed harassment of the Japanese fleet

TOKYO 00000255 009 OF 009

and that its protest vessel swiped the Japanese harpoon vessel,
Yushin Maru No. 3. The Japanese vessel suffered no serious damage
and no crew members were injured.

According to the Fisheries Agency, the Sea Shepherd's protest vessel
Bob Barker, which was tracking the Nisshin Maru, the mother ship of
the Japanese whaling fleet conducting research whaling in the
Southern Ocean, began shining laser beams at the Japanese vessel at
around 3:00 a.m. on Feb. 6, Japan time. The laser beams could have
blinded the crewmembers if they struck their eyes.

In addition to shining the laser beams, the Bob Barker repeatedly
drew closer to the Nisshin Maru in an attempt to obstruct its
activities, and the Nisshin Maru sprayed the Bob Barker with water
to prevent its approach. The Shonan Maru No. 2, a patrol ship to
prevent the Sea Shepherd's protest activities, was sailing astern
the Nisshin Maru on high alert.

The Bob Barker drew close to the Yushin Maru No. 3 at around 1:00
p.m., Feb. 6, Japan time, so that the Japanese vessel would be
within range of bottles of a harmful liquid thrown by its crew. The
Yushin Maru maneuvered to avoid a collision, but the vessel Bob
Barker swiped the Yushin Maru's port stern. Only the Yushin Maru's
railing was dented, and no one was injured.

The Bob Barker's crew threw many bottles at the Japanese vessels.
According to the Institute of Cetacean Research, most of the bottles
fell into the sea, but about 10 landed on the deck of the Shonan

"The Sea Shepherd's obstructive activities are dangerous,
threatening the lives of Japanese crewmembers and the property of
the Japanese vessels," an official of the Fisheries Agency said,
adding, "Such activities are impermissible."

On Jan. 6, the Sea Shepherd's protest boat, the Ady Gil, collided
with the Shonan Maru No. 2 while conducting protest activities. The
Ady Gil's bow was damaged.

(28) Gov't poll: 85 PERCENT approve of death penalty

ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
February 7, 2010

The Cabinet Office conducted a public opinion survey last year to
probe the public's awareness of capital punishment, in which the
proportion of those who approve of death punishment as "unavoidable"
reached an all-time high of 85.6 PERCENT . The Cabinet Office
released the survey results yesterday. The same question has been
asked in each survey conducted every five years since 1994, and the
percentage that approved of the death penalty increased in every
survey. The survey results show that people sympathize with the
resentment of crime victims or feel uneasy about the idea that
abolishing the death penalty might lead to an increase in the number
of heinous crimes.

The survey was conducted nationwide from late November through early
December last year on a face-to-face basis, with a total of 3,000
persons chosen from among men and women aged 20 and over. Valid
answers were obtained from 1,944 persons (64.8 PERCENT ).


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