Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/12/10

DE RUEHKO #0286/01 0430757
P 120757Z FEB 10




E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

3) Governor says N. Marianas can accept Futenma facility (Asahi)
4) Guam governor against relocation of Futenma facility to island
5) SDP says Guam still a candidate site (Nikkei)
6) S. Korea interested in Futenma issue (Yomiuri)
7) Nagashima says Kadenda integration plan remains option (Sankei)

8) Ruling party Futenma working group fails to reach final decision
9) Okinawa Prefectural Assembly to adopt resolution opposing
relocation of Futenma facility to Henoko (Yomiuri)

Foreign relations:
10) Okada says annexation injured Korean ethnic pride (Tokyo
11) Request from Nakasone for U.S. cover-up of Lockheed scandal
discovered (Asahi)
12) SDF officer: Saying "trust me" is insufficient as a basis for
maintaining alliance (Mainichi)

13) Ishikawa submits resignation from party (Yomiuri)

14) Maehara asks U.S. envoy for "calm response" regarding Toyota
15) Toyota president to visit U.S. (Mainichi)
16) Toyota president's U.S. trip unlikely to cool down criticism
17) National debt a record 871 trillion yen (Nikkei)

18) JAXA says suspension of American manned space exploration would
have limited impact (Mainichi)



Municipalities struggle to secure budgets for welfare benefits

Second grade boy with gender identity disorder allowed to change
gender at elementary school in Saitama Prefecture

Toyota to announce all recognized vehicle defects

Government increases road construction budget for certain
prefectures at DPJ's request

Shadow of strained Japan-U.S. alliance: Concern prevails in

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Tokyo Shimbun:
Okada: Japan-Korea annexation injured the ethnic pride of South
Korean people


(1) Winter Olympics open: Support also global warming prevention
(2) Iran's suspected development of nuclear arms: Unity of UN
Security Council put to test

(1) Diet member Ishikawa leaves party: Fulfill responsibility to
give explanation as a Diet member
(2) Winter Olympics open: Spectacle of beauty and skill

(1) Diet member Ishikawa leaves party: Secretary General Ozawa bears
serious supervisory responsibility
(2) Ukraine: Preserve the legacy of "Orange Revolution"

(1) Revision of medical fees shows limitations of new Central Social
Insurance Medical Council
(2) Build a new century of Japan-ROK relations

(1) Diet member Ishikawa: Issue cannot be settled by leaving party
(2) Winter Olympics open: Waiting for good news about Japanese

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Winter Olympics: Enjoy the great variety of attractions
(2) Iran's nuclear development: Dangerous gamble that will aggravate
its isolation


3) Northern Marianas governor willing to accept Futenma relocation
on condition of U.S. government approval

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 11, 2010

Hirotaka Yamaguchi in Saipan

Social Democratic Party (SDP) policy chief Tomoko Abe, People's New
Party (PNP) policy chief Mikio Shimoji, and other ruling party
officials visited Saipan in the U.S. territory of the Commonwealth
of the Northern Mariana Islands on Feb. 10 and met with Governor
Benigno Fitial. The governor expressed his willingness to accept the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City,
Okinawa) to the Northern Marianas. However, he also said that the
U.S. government's approval will be required, so the realization of
the relocation is expected to be difficult.

The meeting was open to reporters. Fitial said: "I would like to
affirm our willingness to accept the military base as the consensus
of the people of the Northern Mariana Islands. I think this will
benefit the local people." He also said: "We cannot do anything

TOKYO 00000286 003 OF 010

without the U.S. government's assistance and support." He said at an
interview after the meeting: "We are willing to take over all the
functions of the Futenma base in the future." Shimoji also told
reporters after the meeting: "We would like to call on the
government to have the courage to negotiate with the U.S.

The Northern Marianas are located to the north of the U.S. territory
of Guam, which the SDP cites as an option for Futenma's relocation.
Unlike Guam, there are no U.S. military bases on the main island of
Saipan, which only has an airport for civilian aircraft. A senior
U.S. government official gave the following comments on Feb. 10:
"The structure of U.S. forces is an issue of national security that
should be decided by the government. The U.S. government continues
to believe that the realignment road map is the best solution." On
the other hand, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano stated at
his news conference: "We have never considered this option. This is
not included in the overall study." Even the PNP considers
relocation to Saipan to be a possibility for the future, but it
supports Futenma's integration with Kadena Air Base as the most
promising relocation plan.

Abe and Shimoji later joined Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa
Matsuno, who was visiting Guam. The three will visit U.S. military
facilities in Guam on Feb. 11.

4) Guam governor rejects Futenma relocation

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
February 12, 2010

Hirotaka Yamaguchi in Guam

Felix Camacho, governor of the U.S. territory of Guam, met with
senior officials of the Japanese government and ruling parties and
expressed his rejection of the proposal to relocate the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) to Guam. He said: "It
would exceed our capacity to host U.S. forces, and it would be
difficult for us to take on more military bases. The building of
social infrastructure is lagging behind the rapid increase in

Speaker Judith Won Pat of the Guam Legislature also said in an
interview with Asahi Shimbun and other media outlets on the evening
of Feb. 10 that: "We cannot accept any more U.S. forces.
Preparations to host U.S. troops have already damaged the
environment seriously, and we have no intention to expropriate more

Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno, Social Democratic
Party (SDP) policy chief Tomoko Abe, People's New Party (PNP) policy
chief Mikio Shimoji, and other members of the Okinawa base issues
examination committee participated in the meeting with the governor.
The SDP will propose Futenma's relocation to the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's Omura base (in Omura City, Nagasaki
Prefecture), while the PNP will suggest integration with Kadena Air
Base and other plans to the committee on Feb. 17.

5) SDP will not eliminate Guam as Futenma relocation option

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 12, 2010

TOKYO 00000286 004 OF 010

Members of the government and ruling parties' Okinawa base issues
examination committee, which is studying alternative relocation
sites for the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station, returned from their
inspection tour of military bases in the U.S. territory of Guam on
Feb. 11. Social Democratic Party (SDP) policy chief Tomoko Abe told
reporters at Narita airport that "the SDP will not eliminate Guam as
an option." People's New Party (PNP) policy chief Mikio Shimoji
said, "We should take very seriously (Guam's) position that it will
be difficult to accept more U.S. Marines."

6) Futenma issue also a matter of great concern to South Korea

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
February 12, 2010

Chiharu Mori, Seoul

South Korean Foreign and Trade Minister Yu Myung Hwan, in a press
conference on Feb. 11, announced that his country has a strong
interest in progress on the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, an outstanding issue between Japan
and the United States. Yu said, "Our country is watching the matter
with great concern."

The Futenma issue was not officially taken up at the Japan-ROK
foreign ministerial meeting held on Feb. 11. However, Foreign
Minister Yu said, "U.S. Forces Japan and U.S. Forces South Korea are
playing a central role in ensuring peace and stability in Northeast
Asia," adding that his country expects that Japan and the United
States will settle the matter amicably.

Foreign Minister Yu's statement arises from the perception that the
U.S. Marines in Okinawa are playing a crucial role in restraining
North Korea.

In an operational plan compiled by the United States and South
Korea, the U.S. Marines in Okinawa are positioned as reinforcements
in time of a contingency on the Korean Peninsula.

7) Parliamentary Secretary of Defense Nagashima says integration
with Kadena Air Base is one Futenma relocation option

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
February 12, 2010

Parliamentary Secretary of Defense Akihisa Nagashima discussed the
relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City,
Okinawa) during a BS Fuji TV program on the evening of Feb. 11. He
said: "People living near the U.S. forces' Kadena Air Base
(straddling the towns of Kadena and Chatan and Okinawa City) are
troubled by the noise. If overall noise can be reduced, Futenma's
integration with the Kadena base will be an option."

Regarding the plan to relocate the Futenma base to the coastal area
of Camp Schwab (in Nago City) agreed between Japan and the U.S.,
Nagashima said: "It is necessary to find a way not to destroy the
maritime environment," indicating a negative view on resolving the
Futenma issue based on the Japan-U.S. agreement.

8) Futenma panel to shun finalizing relocation site

TOKYO 00000286 005 OF 010

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 11, 2010

The Committee on Okinawa Base Issues, a panel made up of government
and ruling coalition officials involving Social Democratic Party and
People's New Party lawmakers, will present several options to the
government for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station in Okinawa Prefecture without narrowing down the number of
relocation sites to one, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano
said in a press conference yesterday. The panel will forgo its final
coordination on the question of where to relocate Futenma airfield,
thereby leaving the decision to government and ruling coalition

"We will listen to opinions (from the SDP and the PNP in the
committee), and the government will consider this issue on its own
and reach a conclusion," Hirano said. However, he also indicated
that the government will make a final decision in a cabinet
ministerial meeting on basic policies. "Once the government reaches
a conclusion, a decision will be made in a cabinet ministerial
meeting," Hirano said.

The cabinet ministerial meeting's regular members are Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister Naoto Kan, State Minister for Postal
Reform and Financial Services Shizuka Kamei (PNP president), State
Minister for Consumer Affairs and Declining Birthrate Mizuho
Fukushima (SDP president), and Hirano. The government, with approval
obtained at a cabinet ministerial meeting, will make a cabinet
decision by the end of May on where to relocate the Futenma airfield

9) Okinawa prefectural assembly to adopt resolution against Futenma
relocation to Henoko

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Abridged)
February 11, 2010

The ruling and opposition parties in the Okinawa prefectural
assembly began coordination yesterday to unanimously adopt a
resolution and petition opposing the planned relocation of the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from its current location in
Okinawa Prefecture to a coastal area of Camp Schwab, a U.S. military
base located in the Henoko area of the island prefecture's northern
coastal city of Nago. If the resolution is adopted, Gov. Hirokazu
Nakaima, who has accepted the current Futenma relocation plan, will
likely be in a fix.

The Democratic Party of Japan, the Social Democratic Party, and the
Japanese Communist Party, which are on the opposition bench in the
prefectural assembly, held a meeting of their representatives
yesterday in the prefectural assembly and concurred on passing a
resolution and petition calling for the government to close down and
remove Futenma airfield at an early date.

The Liberal Democratic Party, which is the largest of all the
parties and groups in the prefectural assembly, used to be in favor
of the current relocation plan. However, the LDP, in response to the
Hatoyama administration's decision to review the current plan, has
changed its policy course to call for the Futenma airfield facility
to be moved out of Okinawa Prefecture or Japan. The LDP is now
positive about adopting the resolution and petition.

TOKYO 00000286 006 OF 010


10) Foreign Minister Okada: Japan's annexation of Korea injured
South Korean people's ethnic pride

TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Full)
February 12, 2010

Eiji Tsukiyama, Seoul

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada held talks yesterday in Seoul with
his South Korean counterpart Yu Myung-hwan on such issues as the
relationship of the two countries this year that marks a century
since the conclusion of the Japan-Korea Annexation Treaty, as well
as North Korean issues. The talks took place at the Foreign Affairs
and Trade Ministry. At a joint press conference with Yu after their
talks, Okada stated on the Japan's annexation of Korea: "The people
of South Korea (sic) were deprived of their country and their ethnic
pride was deeply hurt." He clearly stated that Japan will build a
future-oriented friendly relationship with South Korea, without
forgetting the suffering of the South Korean people.

Okada said, "I am proud to be Japanese. So I understand the feelings
of people who were deprived of their country." He also said, "We
must not forget the feelings of the people in the country that was
annexed and those who suffered due to the annexation."

In their talks, the two foreign ministers agreed to work toward
entering a new phase this year. As part of their efforts to step up
exchanges between the two countries in the private sector, the
ministers also agreed to resume the activities of the Japan-South
Korea Cultural Exchange Council comprising experts from the two

Yu expressed his hope that a bill granting local-level suffrage to
permanent foreign residents in Japan will be enacted. In response,
Okada said, "The government is currently considering it," seeking
Yu's understanding.

The South Korean government has called for the realization of a
visit to Seoul by the Emperor this year, which marks a century since
Japan's annexation of the Korean Peninsula. Okada, however, stated
at the press conference: "We will consider it very carefully."

With regard to North Korean issues, Okada and Yu agreed in their
talks on the importance of a comprehensive resolution of the nuclear
and missile issues, as well as humanitarian issues, including North
Korea's abductions of Japanese nationals. They reaffirmed the
importance of North Korea's first implementing measures to
denuclearize itself, as well as close cooperation among the counties
concerned including the United States, in order to resume the
Six-Party Talks.

11) Document indicating that Nakasone asked U.S. to hush up Lockheed
scandal discovered in U.S.

ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
February 12, 2010

A document written in February 1976, shortly after the Lockheed
scandal came to light, indicating that then Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP) Secretary General Yasuhiro Nakasone made a request of the U.S.

TOKYO 00000286 007 OF 010

government, saying, "I hope it will hush up the matter," was found
in the United States. The reason was because should the names of
high-ranking Japanese officials who had received kickback money be
made public, "it would mean the complete defeat of the LDP at the
polls, possibly leading to the breakdown of the U.S.-Japan security
framework." Although then Prime Minister Takeo Miki declared he
would make an effort to get to the truth of the matter, the document
indicates that there was a behind-the-scenes move to bring the
curtain down early on the scandal.

The document in question is a copy of a cable dated February 20,
1976, sent to the Department of State by then U.S. Ambassador to
Japan James Hodgson. The document, kept at the Gerald R. Ford
Presidential Library, part of the National Archives and Records
Administration, was declassified in Aug. 2008.

The Lockheed scandal was revealed to the U.S. Congress on February
4, 1976. The names of the senior Japanese officials who had received
kickback money from Lockheed Corp. were not disclosed. Both the
ruling and opposition camps demanded that the government find out
the truth. Prime Minister Miki decided on Feb. 18 to ask the U.S.
government for the provision of all materials, including the names
of the high-ranking officials.

According to the document, Nakasone, making contact that night with
a person connected to the U.S. Embassy, asked the person to convey
from him as LDP secretary general a message to the U.S. government.
Nakasone also described Miki's policy as an "agonizing policy" and
said: "If the names of the high-ranking officials are disclosed now,
it will throw Japanese politics into turmoil. It is best to delay
the announcement to the extent possible."

12) "Trust me" not good enough to maintain alliance: GSDF official

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
February 11, 2010

A Ground Self-Defense Force official gave a directive in a ceremony
held yesterday at the GSDF's Ojojigahara range in Miyagi Prefecture
to start joint training exercises there with U.S. Army troops, in
which he indicated that language alone is insufficient to maintain
an alliance.

"An alliance cannot be maintained by diplomacy or political
rhetoric, nor can it be maintained by only saying "trust me," said
GSDF Col. Takeshi Nakazawa, commander of the GSDF 6th Division 44th
Infantry Regiment, which is garrisoned in the city of Fukushima.

Last November, when Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and U.S. President
Obama met, Hatoyama said "trust me" when referring to the issue of
relocating the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from its
current location in Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture. As it stands, the
remark made by a GSDF officer could create a stir.

Nakazawa commented through a GSDF spokesman: "I wasn't quoting or
criticizing the prime minister, who is the commander in chief of the
Self-Defense Forces."


13) Ishikawa tenders resignation to DPJ

TOKYO 00000286 008 OF 010

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Abridged)
February 12, 2010

Tomohiro Ishikawa, a Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) House of
Representatives member (elected in the Hokkaido No. 11 electoral
district), yesterday tendered his resignation from the party to
Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa through a proxy to take
responsibility for his indictment for violating the Political Funds
Control Law in connection with a land purchase by Ozawa's fund
management body, Rikuzankai. The DPJ will formally approve his
resignation on Feb. 15 at a meeting of its Standing Officers

Yesterday Ozawa indicated to reporters that the DPJ will not issue
any penalty to Ishikawa.


14) Transport minister asks for cool-headed response at meeting with
U.S. Ambassador to Japan

ASAHI (Page 10) (Full)
February 11, 2010

In connection with large-scale Toyota recalls (free of charge),
Transport Minister Seiji Maehara on Feb. 10 met with U.S. Ambassador
to Japan John Roos at the transport ministry. During the meeting,
Maehara called on the U.S. government to respond in a cool-headed
manner, noting, "A matter like this should not pose an impediment on
the open markets of the two countries."

In view of the growing criticism of Toyota Motors in the U.S.
Congress having an impact on the company's new car sales, Maehara
proposed holding a meeting with the aim of allaying the situation.
According to the transport ministry, Roos replied, "There may be
harsh views in the U.S., but Toyota will continue to be a company
with high name value if it fulfills its responsibilities."

Emerging from the meeting, Roos told the press corps: "This is the
matter of safety. It will not affect the strength of Japan-U.S.
relations either directly or indirectly." He thus indicated his view
that the matter will not become a pending diplomatic issue.

The issue of Toyota's recalls is making headlines in the U.S. The
U.S. Congress is also moving into full gear in its moves to pursue
Toyota. The company's new car sales in January dropped sharply. In
addition, Toyota has recalled its flagship model Prius as well.
Toyota is now in a situation of being unable to avoid damage to its
sales. Referring to Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda, who will
visit the U.S. shortly, Maehara during the meeting said, "I believe
he will explain the situation to the U.S. Congress and Secretary of
Transportation Ray LaHood."

15) Toyota president to meet with Secretary LaHood

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 11, 2010

It was disclosed that Toyota President Akio Toyoda, who will visit
the U.S. on account of a series of recalls of defective vehicles,
will meet with U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood. Toyoda had been

TOKYO 00000286 009 OF 010

scheduled to visit the U.S. on the 10th, but his flight was
cancelled owing to the blizzard that struck the Washington D.C.
area. He is presently readjusting his schedule.

16) Toyota recall: It may be difficult to allay the situation, even
if the president visits the U.S.

YOMIURI (Page 11) (Full)
February 12, 2010

It has been decided that Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda will
visit the U.S. and announce his determination to ensure thorough
information disclosure. However, the U.S. criticism of Toyoda as
having been late in responding to the recalls of a massive number of
Toyota cars is strong. Many take the view that it would be difficult
to allay the situation even if he visits the U.S.

Akihiro Okada, Washington, Taro Koyano, New York

Toyoda will likely meet with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and
heavyweights in the U.S. Congress, and offer an apology for the
confusion. He will also seek understanding for his company's
measures to deal with the issue.

However, Congressman Darrell Issa (Republican), a prominent member
of the U.S. House of Representatives, released a statement on Feb.
10 that read, "If Toyota's President visits the U.S. and Toyota
dealerships, we would like to invite him to attend a public hearing
and a congressional meeting." He thus asked Toyoda to attend a
public hearing hosted by the House Committee on Oversight and
Government Reform.

Toyota Motors indicated a negative stance on the idea of President
Toyoda attending the public hearing, noting that for now, President
Yoshimi Inaba of Toyota North America is the one who has been
invited to the public hearing. The judgment is that the president
will be put in a very difficult situation if he is pushed into a
corner at a public hearing, where he is expected to face harsh

However, a Toyota executive said that the president is eager to
attend the public hearing. Much attention is being focused on what
Toyoda decides to do.

17) National debt totals 871 trillion yen, or 6.83 million yen per

NIKKEI (Page 1) (Abridged)
February 11, 2010

The outstanding balance of Japan's central government debts -
government bonds and loans payable - totaled a record high of
871.5104 trillion yen at the end of 2009, the Finance Ministry said
on Feb. 10. The figure is an increase of 24.8199 trillion yen from
the end of 2008. The total translates into roughly 6.83 million yen
per capita. If the financial condition continues to deteriorate,
pressure is likely to be applied for an increase in long-term
interest rates.

The Finance Ministry projects that the national debt will swell to
900 trillion yen at the end of fiscal 2009 and to 973 trillion yen
at the end of fiscal 2010.

TOKYO 00000286 010 OF 010

The increase in the balance was largely attributable to the
additional issuance of government bonds to shore up the economy
under the previous administration of Prime Minister Taro Aso.

Standard & Poor's, a U.S. rating agency, lowered the outlook on
Japanese government bonds from stable to negative in January. The
Japanese government plans to come up with a mid-term target by June
for restoring fiscal health. Whether it will be able to come up with
a convincing target remains to be seen.


18) Discontinuation of manned space exploration program by U.S.:
"Its impact will be limited," says JAXA president

MAINICHI (Page 3) (Full)
February 11, 2010

Referring to the discontinuation of a manned space exploration
program by the U.S., Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency President
Keiji Tachikawa at a press conference indicated his view, noting,
"Its impact on Japan will not be so great." On Feb. 1, President
Obama announced the discontinuation of a manned space exploration
program called the "Constellation Program" due to severe fiscal
conditions and the trend of public opinion.

This was the first press conference held by the JAXA president since
the U.S. decided to halt the program. Tachikawa noted: "The National
Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) may cease to take the
lead in manned space exploration. Our challenge lies in what form
Japan should take in declaring its participation in the development
of manned space exploration."


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