Search

 

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/09/10

VZCZCXRO9342
PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNAG RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #0259/01 0400212
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 090212Z FEB 10 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9295
INFO RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHAAA/WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC PRIORITY
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 1084
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 8745
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 2561
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 5778
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 9239
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3009
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9690
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9053

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 09 TOKYO 000259

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 02/09/10

INDEX:

TODAY'S FEATURES
1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Futenma issue:
3) Inamine takes office; "would like to trust PM" (Yomiuri)

Foreign relations:
4) Hatoyama meets with Palestinian President Abbas (Yomiuri)
5) Hatoyama eager to resolve Northern Territories dispute (Asahi)

6) Japan to give $35 million in humanitarian aid to Somalia (Asahi)

7) Japan also fails to win order for nuclear power plant in Vietnam
(Nikkei)

Economy:
8) JAL to announce today tie-up with American (Nikkei)
9) MOF report says economy has reached the limit of reliance on U.S.
(Nikkei)
10) Toyota president mulling U.S. trip (Mainichi)

Politics:
11) Ozawa reiterates intention to remain in post (Asahi)
12) Hatoyama: Ozawa gave a sufficient explanation (Yomiuri)
13) Tamura's defection gives DPJ a majority in Upper House (Asahi)

14) Postal reform bill draft calls for 3-company system (Yomiuri)

15) Diet debate (Nikkei)
16) DPJ eyes SDF vote (Mainichi)
17) Hatoyama eager to enact bill amending Political Funds Control
Law; New Komeito also discussing amendment (Nikkei)

Opinion:
18) Sankei: FNN poll: Cabinet disapproval rating shoots up to 46.1
PERCENT , tops approval rating for first time (Sankei) 10

ARTICLES:

1) TOP HEADLINES

Asahi:
Ozawa renews his resolve to stay on as DPJ secretary general

Mainichi & Sankei:
Kirin, Suntory drop merger plan due to gap in corporate cultures

Yomiuri:
Advisory panel to justice minister decides to recommend abolishing
statutes of limitations in murder cases

Nikkei:
Japan loses nuclear power plant project in Vietnam to Russia

Tokyo Shimbun:
Koito Industries falsifies data on passenger-plane seats

Akahata:
JCP Chairman Shii urges measures friendly to workers, small

TOKYO 00000259 002 OF 009


businesses

2) EDITORIALS

Asahi:
(1) Asashoryu controversy: What do we learn from this?
(2) Role of G-7: Play a pivotal role in restructuring the financial
order

Mainichi:
(1) Abolition, extension of statute of limitations: Dispel concerns,
face reality
(2) Aborted merger of beverage companies: We pin hopes on their next
strategy

Yomiuri:
(1) New G-7 takes off: Importance remains unchanged even as an
unofficial framework
(2) Yokohama incident: Judiciary finally corrects its own mistake

Nikkei:
(1) Aborted Kirin-Suntory merger regrettable
(2) Sign the treaty on "child abduction" promptly

Sankei:
(1) Recall issue: Now is the time to show Toyota's real strength

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Toyota Motor: Implement top class crisis management
(2) Review of postal services: Burden on the people is unacceptable

Akahata:
(1) Budget Committee general interpellation: Shift from "monopoly"
by big business is the answer
FUTENMA ISSUE

3) New Nago mayor to persist in opposition to Henoko relocation

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

The newly elected mayor of Nago City in Okinawa Prefecture, Susumu
Inamine, who won the city's recent mayoral race running on a
platform of opposition to the planned relocation of the U.S.
military's Futenma airfield facility to his city, assumed its
mayorship yesterday. "I will persist in my opinion with conviction,"
Inamine said in yesterday's press conference, stressing his
intention to raise an all-out objection to the current plan to
relocate the Futenma facility to a coastal area of Camp Schwab, a
U.S. military base located in the city's Henoko area. The new mayor
thus expressed his view against the relocation of the Futenma
facility to Henoko.

Inamine said in the press conference: "I don't think Prime Minister
Hatoyama will come around to Henoko. I want to believe him." The
ruling Democratic Party of Japan, in its manifesto for last year's
House of Representatives election, vowed to review the current
Futenma relocation plan. In this regard, Inamine added: "The people
of Okinawa Prefecture have such great expectations. The party made a
promise, so I want them to carry it out at an early date."

FOREIGN RELATIONS

TOKYO 00000259 003 OF 009

4) Hatoyama holds talks with Abbas

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

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama held talks yesterday with Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
(Kantei). During the talks, Hatoyama indicated that Japan will help
build a Palestinian nation in cooperation with Indonesia and other
East Asian countries. Hatoyama and Abbas agreed to implement the
"Japanese-Palestinian work program," which includes the dispatch of
a Japanese fact-finding team, in order to realize a Palestinian
state with a self-sufficient economy in the future.

5) Hatoyama eager to solve Northern Territories dispute

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

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama stated on Feb. 7 at a national rally
in Tokyo calling for the return of the four Russia-held islands off
Hokkaido: "Resolving the issue of the Northern Territories is my
biggest wish after the change of government," expressing a keen
eagerness for an early settlement of the territorial dispute with
Russia.

6) Japan to provide 3 billion yen to Somalia

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

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met yesterday with the Somali
transitional government's Foreign Minister Ali. During the meeting,
Okada told Ali that Japan will provide Somalia with a total of
approximately 35 million dollars (approximately 3 billion yen) as
support for police and humanitarian assistance. Okada said,
"Bringing peace to Somalia is indispensable for eradicating pirates
and preventing terrorism from spreading," indicating that Japan will
actively support the country.

According the Japanese Foreign Ministry, Ali is the first Somali
minister to visit Japan since the transitional government was
launched in 2005.

7) Japan loses nuclear plant project in Vietnam to Russia

NIKKEI (Top Play)
February 9, 2010

Yoichi Iwamoto, Hanoi

The Vietnamese government has decided to award a contract for the
first phase (to construct two reactors) of a project to build
Southeast Asia's first nuclear power plant to Russia's state-run
nuclear power company, Rosatom. Russia won the contract by
reportedly offering a package deal including military cooperation.
Although a Japanese team composed of private firms and the
government was aiming to win the order, Japan suffered its second
setback. At the end of last year, Japanese firms lost to South
Korean firms in a battle to land a nuclear power plant project in
Abu Dhabi. The team will step up its efforts to win a contract for

TOKYO 00000259 004 OF 009


the second phase (two reactors) of the project.


ECONOMY

8) JAL to announce its decision to maintain alliance with American
Airlines today

NIKKEI (Page 11) (Full)
February 9, 2010

Japan Airlines, which has filed for court-protected rehabilitation,
has been holding talks with two U.S. carriers for a possible
business alliance. On Feb. 9, the carrier will formally announce its
decision to choose American Airlines, a member of the Oneworld
airline alliance that JAL also belongs to, as a business partner.
Both carriers intend to apply for antitrust immunity (ATI) status
under the U.S. Antitrust Act with the Department of Transportation
as early as this week. American Airlines and Delta Air Lines have
been competing to become JAL's business partner. The battle between
the two U.S. carriers will end with JAL deciding to maintain and
strengthen its alliance with American Airlines.

JAL and American Airlines plan to effectively integrate their
passenger flight businesses between the U.S. and Japan as early as
October if they can obtain ATI status. The integration will enable
them to streamline their businesses, including enhancing seat
occupancy rates, by adjusting duplicate routes as well as landing
and departure schedules. American Airlines will also be able to
consolidate its sales branches in Japan by letting JAL handle
negotiations with Japanese travel agencies.

JAL will also strengthen ties with British Airways of Britain and
Qantas Airways of Australia, both of which also belong to Oneworld.
JAL will consider consolidating flights between Japan and Britain by
applying for ATI with the European Union (EU). With Australia, JAL
will look into launching code-sharing operations by low-cost
carriers between Japan and Australia.

During the tie-up talks with the U.S. carriers, the Ministry of
Transport and JAL had first judged that forming an alliance with
Delta would boost JAL's profits more substantially. However, it was
also pointed out that their applications for ATI status might not be
granted, because the two carriers' combined share in the flights on
the Pacific route would top 60 percent.

In addition to such concerns, Kazuo Inamori, who took office as
chairman of JAL on the 1st, placed priority on the longtime
relationship between JAL and American Airlines. If JAL switched to
Delta-led alliance, it would take time to adjust various systems,
which could cause JAL to suffer temporary confusion and a drop in
profits. JAL is aiming to reconstruct its management within three
years under the Enterprise Turnaround Initiative Corporation of
Japan (ETIC), which serves as the carrier's bankruptcy
administrator.

9) Current account surplus in 2009 shrinks to half of its peak,
showing limits of "relying on the U.S."

NIKKEI (Page 5) (Full)
February 9, 2010


TOKYO 00000259 005 OF 009


Preliminary figures on balance of international payments for 2009
issued by the Ministry of Finance on Feb. 8 show that Japan's
current account surplus has dropped to half of its peak in 2007. In
addition to the low trade surplus, the income account surplus, which
reflects returns from investments, suffered a record decline. The
contraction in current account surplus reflects the stagnation in
the world economy that has relied on the U.S.'s economic growth.

"Overconsumption" in the U.S. was behind the growth in exports from
Japan and the East Asian countries and the resulting expansion in
the current account surplus in the 2000s (2000-2009). The U.S.
borrowed money from Japan and Asia to import various goods. On the
other hand, Japan and the East Asian countries exported highly
profitable products to the U.S. and reinvested such profits in the
U.S.

Japan's current account surplus is now back at the 2002 level,
before the world experienced an economic boom. Ryutaro Kono, (chief
economist) of BNP Paribas Securities, points out that "the
adjustment of the world economic disequilibrium has run its course,
but it will still take time for the economy in the Western countries
to make a full-fledged recovery." He believes that a full-fledged
recovery of exports to advanced countries will take more time.

The income account surplus in 2009, which reflects the profits made
by investors, has dropped substantially from 2008. Profits from
securities investments have deteriorated due to low interest rates
worldwide and a strong yen. In addition, the business performance of
overseas subsidiaries of Japanese companies was also poor, resulting
in a decline in "direct investment profits." The income account
surplus overtook the trade surplus in 2005, clearly showing that
Japan earns more from investments. For this reason, the contraction
in the income account surplus may have an adverse effect on overall
national income.

10) Toyota recall: President mulling visiting U.S.

MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpt)
February 9, 2010

It has been learned that Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda is
considering visiting the U.S. in order to allay the situation caused
by a series of voluntary repairs and recalls of Toyota vehicles
there.

Toyoda held a press conference on Feb. 5 for the first time since
the problem was revealed. However, there is no sign of criticism
dying down in the U.S. because his explanation lacked specifics. He
will make a final decision on visiting the U.S. after a public
hearing at the U.S. House of Representatives.

POLITICS

11) Ozawa renews resolve to stay on as secretary general

ASAHI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
February 9, 2010

Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ozawa returned to his
party duties and began energetically taking action yesterday.
Eliciting a pledge from Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama to approve his
remaining in office as secretary general, Ozawa declared in a press

TOKYO 00000259 006 OF 009


conference his innocence in the land-deal case, in which his former
secretary and others were indicted. He also indicated his eagerness
to hold a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama during the Golden
Week holidays. He intends to pour his energy into fulfilling his
duties as party secretary general while carefully watching the
trends in the public's perception of him, at present severe.

In his first regular press conference last evening after prosecutors
decided not to bring charges against him, Ozawa said: "I will begin
with a statement," and then expressed a apology while carefully
choosing his words: "I apologize for causing you anxiety."

Ozawa went on to say: "A fair and impartial investigation by
prosecutors showed I had not received any illicit money." In
response to the comment that his explanation was insufficient, Ozawa
said: "Since I provided sufficient explanations to prosecutors
during two rounds of questioning, I think I have nothing else to
explain." He indicated no need for a further explanation now that he
was not criminally charged. In the press conference, he refrained
from criticizing prosecutors, though he virtually declared victory
over them.

12) Hatoyama: Ozawa has fulfilled accountability

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 9, 2010

In reply to a question at a House of Representatives Budget
Committee session yesterday about a violation of the Political Funds
Control Law involving Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa's fund management body, Rikuzankai, Prime Minister
Yukio Hatoyama said, "Mr. Ozawa has fulfilled his accountability as
the occasion demanded," indicating his view that Ozawa has to a
degree fulfilled his accountability.

Hatoyama also pointed out: "Mr. Ozawa has responded to questioning
by prosecutors and he has also responded to reporters' questions as
they arose. He did not run away."

13) DPJ-affiliated floor group to hold majority of Upper House
without SDP due to Tamura's accession to DPJ

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

House of Councillors member Kotaro Tamura, who has left the Liberal
Democratic Party, conveyed his intention to join the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) to DPJ Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa at DPJ
headquarters on Feb. 8. As a result, the DPJ-affiliated floor group
that includes New Ryokufu-kai, the People's New Party (PNP), and the
New Party Nippon will now hold 121 seats of the 242 seats in the
Upper House. This means the group will gain a majority of the Upper
House, excluding its president who does not take part in votes in
principle. In other words, the Hatoyama administration will be able
to maintain control of the Upper House even if the Social Democratic
Party leaves the administration.

"Mr. Ozawa encouraged me to conduct solid discussions to help
improve the DPJ," Tamura said at a press conference. Although the
Tottori electoral district represented by Tamura will be up for
election this summer, the DPJ will field him in the proportional
representation segment to avoid competition with another DPJ

TOKYO 00000259 007 OF 009


candidate.

With Tamura joining the party, the DPJ now holds 115 seats in the
Upper House (excluding Upper House President Satsuki Eda). The
number of members in the DPJ-affiliated floor group is now 121 - a
majority of the chamber - including the PNP's five seats and one
independent.

To the ruling coalition, the presence of the SDP has been vital
because the SDP has made it possible for the ruling collation to
maintain a majority of the Upper House owning to the SDP's five
seats.

"A change in the majority might be important, but we will continue
to pursue what we think is right regardless of this factor," SDP
leader Mizuho Fukushima said to the press corps yesterday.

14) Draft bill to realign Japan Post group into three companies;
government capital ratio not specified

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

The government announced on Feb. 8 its draft "postal reform bill" to
be submitted to the current Diet session. The bill proposes to
realign the Japan Post (JP) group, currently consisting of five
companies, into three companies. While the bill does not specify the
ratio of government capital and the limit of deposits, the general
impression is that of strong government involvement. A consensus
will be built within the government and the ruling parties, with an
aim of passing a cabinet resolution on the bill in March.

The draft bill defines the Japan Post group as a "private company
that plays a strong public welfare role." It decrees that all three
JP services (mail delivery, banking, and insurance) are to be
offered uniformly across the country. The cost for providing such
services will be covered by the government through tax reductions or
exemptions and other measures. The "social and local contribution
fund," which is used to fund unprofitable operations under the
current postal privatization laws, will be abolished.

A new holding company that will be formed by merging the current JP
Holdings Company, the JP Service Company, and the JP Network Company
will be designated as a special corporation to be governed by a
special law, while the JP Bank and JP Insurance Company under the
new holding company will be private financial institutions governed
by the Banking Law and the Insurance Law. The JP Bank and JP
Insurance will be able to launch new businesses at their own
discretion.

The draft bill only says that the government's capital ratio in the
holding company and the holding company's capital ratio in JP Bank
and JP Insurance are "to be determined." However, it points out that
the government's capital ratio in the holding company should be
decided based on two factors: ability to take defensive measures
against hostile takeovers and ability to reflect its will in JP's
management.

15) Main question and answers from Feb. 8 House of Representatives
Budget Committee session; environment minister calls for greater
efforts by the United States


TOKYO 00000259 008 OF 009


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

Battle against global warming

Nobutaka Machimura (of the Liberal Democratic Party): Do you think
the United States and China's greenhouse-gas-emission-reduction
targets are ambitious figures?

Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa: With international talks still
going on, the government has not yet announced its unified view.
Although we would like to see the United States raise its target a
little more, we highly evaluate the fact that the country has come
up with a long-term goal to be met by 2050. China's emissions will
continue to grow, so the country needs to indicate when its
emissions will peak (emissions will drop).

16) DPJ eyes SDF vote

MAINICHI (Page 5) (Abridged)
February 9, 2010

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan is now planning to field a
retiree of the Self-Defense Forces in this summer's House of
Councillors election for proportional representation. The SDF,
estimated to have 200,000 votes across the nation, used to be a
sizable bloc for the now-opposition Liberal Democratic Party. In
November 2009, the LDP decided to run Takashi Uto, an Air
Self-Defense Force retiree, as a candidate on its ticket. If the DPJ
decides to run an SDF retiree as a candidate, the SDF voting bloc
will be divided. This move could also spur industrial organizations
to distance themselves from the LDP.

17) Hatoyama eager to enact bill amending Political Funds Control
Law; New Komeito also discussing amendment

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 9, 2010

The government has decided to amend the Political Funds Control Law
to prohibit politicians from receiving any donations from companies
and organizations. In this connection, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
said yesterday: "It is necessary to deal with problems related to
political funds more strictly. Priority should be given to each
political party's judgments. If possible, it would be preferable to
finalize an amendment during the current Diet session." In replying
to questions from reporters at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence, he indicated his eagerness to enact an amended bill
during the ongoing Diet session.

Hatoyama pointed out: "I hear that the New Komeito is also preparing
a new bill. A positive conclusion should be reached based on
discussions conducted within political parties." In reference to a
lawmaker's responsibility in the event that his or her accounting
manager is involved in illegal activities, the prime minister
emphasized: "That is exactly what the New Komeito is calling for."

The New Komeito has proposed a bill stipulating that if a lawmaker's
accounting manager engages in illegal activities, the lawmaker would
be punished for appointing or failing to supervise the accountant
and that the lawmaker's civil rights (right to vote and right to
hold office) would be suspended.

TOKYO 00000259 009 OF 009

OPINION

18) Poll: Cabinet disapproval rating shoots up to 46.1 PERCENT ,
tops approval rating for 1st time

SANKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
February 9, 2010

The disapproval rating for Prime Minister Hatoyama and his cabinet
rose 5.8 percentage points from last month to 46.1 PERCENT in the
latest joint public opinion survey conducted by the Sankei Shimbun
and Fuji News Network (FNN) on Feb. 6-7. Meanwhile, the support rate
for the Hatoyama cabinet was 42.8 PERCENT . The Hatoyama cabinet's
support rate topped its nonsupport rate for the first time. Asked
about ruling Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa, a total of 70.3 PERCENT said he should resign from his party
post even though the prosecutors have dropped the case on his
political fund management organization's unreported land purchase.
The figure remained at over 70 PERCENT from the last survey,
indicating the public's harsh criticism of the Hatoyama cabinet and
Ozawa.

In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the DPJ
stood at 32.9 PERCENT , with the leading opposition Liberal
Democratic Party at 18.2 PERCENT . In the popularity ranking of
political parties for this summer's House of Councillors election as
well, the survey posted a substantial gap between the DPJ and the
LDP, respectively at 37.0 PERCENT and 23.2 PERCENT .

ROOS

© 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...
More>>


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>>