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Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 02/12/10

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RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9752
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 000293

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CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.

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

SUBJECT: DAILY SUMMARY OF JAPANESE PRESS 02/12/10

INDEX:

(1) Cabinet adopts written reply saying U.S. has no obligation to
defend disputed Takeshima (Sankei)
(2) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano, DM Kitazawa negative on Tinian
as Futenma relocation site (Mainichi)
(3) Omura municipal assembly adopts unanimous resolution against
Futenma relocation (Yomiuri)
(4) Commentary: Disarray in Japan-U.S. alliance casts shadow over
Asia, Oceania (Sankei)
(5) Appointment of Edano as administrative reform minister: Will
political dynamics in DPJ change? (Nikkei)
(6) Private-sector economic diplomacy attaches importance to Asia
(Nikkei)

ARTICLES:

(1) Cabinet adopts written reply saying U.S. has no obligation to
defend disputed Takeshima

SANKEI ONLINE (Full)
13:25, February 12, 2010

At a cabinet meeting on the morning of Feb. 12, the government
adopted a written reply stating that under the present situation,
the U.S. has no obligation to defend Takeshima (Tokdo in Korean)
under the Japan-U.S. security treaty.

House of Councillors member Akiko Kamei (People's New Party)
submitted a written query asking: "Does the illegal occupation by
force of Takeshima amount to 'an armed attack on Japan' (under the
Japan-U.S. security treaty)?" The written reply points out: "At
present, Takeshima is not under Japan's effective administration,"
and explains that the U.S. only has the obligation to defend
"territories under Japanese administration subject to an armed
attack."

(2) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano, DM Kitazawa negative on Tinian
as Futenma relocation site

MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, February 12, 2010

Ai Yokota, Yasushi Sengoku

At a news conference on the morning of Feb. 12, Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hirofumi Hirano commented on the new proposal by the
Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party to relocate the
U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa) to
Tinian in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. He said:
"This proposal suddenly emerged as an option to be discussed. I have
no idea what the basis is of saying this is a good plan," indicating
a cautious stance.

Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa also stated on the same day: "With
the Prime Minister's strong desire to reach a solution by May, it
will be very difficult if new issues emerge, including the Tinian
proposal." He also expressed his reservations about the geographical
location of Tinian, saying it would not be possible to maintain the
U.S. forces' deterrence there.

(3) Omura municipal assembly adopts unanimous resolution against

TOKYO 00000293 002 OF 007


Futenma relocation

YOMIURI ONLINE (Full)
13:28, February 12, 2010

In connection with the issue of the relocation of the U.S. forces'
Futenma Air Station in Okinawa, the Omura city assembly in Nagasaki
Prefecture convened an ad hoc session on Feb. 12 and passed a
unanimous resolution opposing Futenma's relocation to the Maritime
Self-Defense Force's Omura base.

Even with regard to temporary stopovers of U.S. Marine helicopters
for exercises, Mayor Takashi Matsumoto indicated, "We are absolutely
opposed to conducting exercises here as well."

The resolution reads: "Even though the national government has not
decided officially on (Omura) as a candidate relocation site, we are
clarifying our position of refusing to accept the relocation in
order to dispel the anxiety of the citizens."

So far, Matsumoto had indicated that with regard to temporary
stopovers, he would "listen to the citizens' opinions if there is a
formal request from the government." He has now declared his
absolute rejection of any such proposal.

(4) Commentary: Disarray in Japan-U.S. alliance casts shadow over
Asia, Oceania

SANKEI (Top play, page 2) (Full)
February 12, 2010

Isao Yamamoto in Taipei, Hiroyuki Miyano in Singapore, and Keiko
Mizunuma in Seoul

Asia and Oceania have begun to voice concern about the disarray in
the Japan-U.S. alliance under the Yukio Hatoyama administration
triggered by the issue of the relocation of the U.S. forces' Futenma
Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa). This is because this region
keenly feels North Korea's threat, and even more strongly, China's
rise. The gloom prevailing over this region reflects the significant
role played by the Japan-U.S. alliance in checking North Korea and
China and in bringing about regional stability, a perspective that
is often absent from the Japanese consciousness.

South Korea's isolation

The Republic of Korea (ROK), which is in confrontation with North
Korea, has rather serious concerns about the disarray in the
Japan-U.S. relationship.

Professor Kim Ho Sop of Chung-Ang University wrote in a column in
the Munhwa Ilbo: "The weakening of the Japan-U.S. alliance means the
destabilization of the foundation of security that has been
established in Northeast Asia since the outbreak of the Korean War
in 1950." He pointed out: "With the weakening of the Japan-U.S.
alliance and closer relations between Japan and China, the ROK's
foreign policy should move in the direction of reconfirming the
strengthening of the U.S.-ROK alliance," thus expressing his anxiety
about closer Japan-China ties resulting in the ROK's isolation.

Professor Yun Dok Min of the ROK's Institute of Foreign Affairs and
National Security took a more dispassionate view. Citing the

TOKYO 00000293 003 OF 007


deterioration of relations with the U.S. under the previous Roh Moo
Hyun administration as example, Yun said: "Ultimately, the
foundation of the U.S.-ROK alliance was not affected, so there will
also be no fundamental change in the Japan-U.S. relationship." He,
however, expressed apprehension, saying "The security of Japan, the
U.S., and the ROK is linked. If the Japan-U.S. relationship is
destabilized, solidarity among the three countries in security will
also be weakened." Director Jin Chang-soo of the Japan Center of the
ROK's Sejong Institute said: "The issue of U.S. military bases in
Okinawa is not only an issue for Japan. It is an issue that affects
the security of East Asia. A good Japan-U.S. relationship is very
important for the neighboring countries. Instability in the
Japan-U.S. alliance will make countries in this region anxious. We
hope for a solution as soon as possible."

China's unification offensive

In the case of Taiwan, the threat, of course, comes from China. This
has remained unchanged even under the Ma Ying-jeou administration,
which has worked hard to improve relations with China. Taiwan is
exposed to China's unification offensive. It can even be said that
Japan-U.S.-Taiwan security cooperation has become much more
important for the purpose of Taiwan maintaining its status quo of de
facto independence.

China's fierce reaction to the Obama administration's announcement
of sale of weapons to Taiwan has aggravated the Taiwanese's sense of
alarm toward China. According to a survey by Taiwan's CommonWealth
magazine last December, in terms of China-Taiwan relations, a great
majority of respondents opted either for "maintenance of status quo"
(78 percent) or "immediate independence" (11 percent). Only 2
percent favored "immediate unification."

In light of such public opinions, President Ma Ying-jeou has also
stressed Taiwan's autonomy. In an interview with the Japanese media
in late 2009, he also said: "East Asia, including Taiwan, owes its
stability to the Japan-U.S. security treaty." He expressed serious
concern at the deterioration of Japan-U.S. relations.

Such concerns are shared across political party lines.

Aurthur Shu-fan Ding, researcher at the Institute of International
Relations of the National Chengchi University, argued: "China's
rapid military expansion and its policy toward Taiwan have remained
completely unchanged. The relaxation of tensions on both sides of
the Taiwan Strait (China and Taiwan) will not last for long. They
may possibly face off again. The Japan-U.S. alliance is of great
significance for maintaining the security of Taiwan and the
Asia-Pacific region."

Northern giant

The pro-independence forces in Taiwan have an even stronger sense of
crisis. Lo Chih-cheng, director of the new "Taiwan Thinktank" of the
opposition Democratic Progressive Party, expressed the following
opinion: "Japan-U.S.-Taiwan cooperation that has continued for 20
years under the Li Teng-hui and Chen Shui-bian administrations is
now being shaken by the Ma Ying-jeou administration's policy of
close relations with China and distancing itself from Japan and the
U.S. The balance of power in Asia and the Pacific is also beginning
to change with the Hatoyama administration's policy of closer
relations with China and equidistant diplomacy toward the U.S. and

TOKYO 00000293 004 OF 007


China. China is taking advantage of this situation to divide Japan,
the U.S., Taiwan, and the ROK. We should renew our unity."

In Southeast Asia and Oceania, China is seen as the "northern giant"
due to its expansion of its political and economic influence in the
region.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong notes that "the U.S.'s
presence in Asia and the Pacific is indispensable" for maintaining
balance with this giant. Nations in this region hope for an early
solution to the Futenma relocation issue so that the Japanese and
U.S. governments will not damage the alliance relationship over this
issue, thus resulting in adverse effects on regional security.

Professor Desmond Ball of the Strategic and Defence Studies Centre
of the Australian National University said: "Australia has serious
concerns about the expansion of China's military capability in the
West Pacific."

In its national defense white paper last year, the Rudd
administration of Australia pointed out China's growing military
presence in the region, indicating that Australia will also upgrade
its naval power. Ball said that, "U.S. military capability not only
neutralizes China's military capability, but also plays the role of
stabilizing the region," indicating that U.S. military presence is
also important for maintaining the military balance in the
Asia-Pacific region as a whole.

Even in the Philippines, which rejected a treaty to maintain U.S.
military bases in the early 1990s, a reassessment of the role of the
U.S. forces is taking place. Renato de Castro, chairman of the
International Studies Department, De La Salle University, observed
that, "The power of our neighbor (China) has made the U.S.'s
presence particularly important."

Listen to the voices of the leaders

Experts from many countries agree that "the Futenma relocation issue
has a considerable impact on overall U.S. strategy in Asia." (Ian
Storey, fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in
Singapore).

Associate Professor (of political science) Bridget Welsh of
Singapore Management University believes that in the event the U.S.
withdraws practically all its forces from Japan, "other Asian
countries will probably take in those troops, if only to minimize
the shock."

Welsh offered the following advice on the Hatoyama administration's
handling of the Futenma issue: "Japan is a U.S. ally, and that's why
there have been expectations for it to play a security role in
Southeast Asia. If it ceases to be a U.S. ally, Japan will not be
respected by the countries in the region and will be treated with
contempt. Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama should not treat the Futenma
issue as a bilateral problem. He should listen to the voices of the
leaders in this region."

(5) Appointment of Edano as administrative reform minister: Will
political dynamics in DPJ change?

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 10, 2010

TOKYO 00000293 005 OF 007

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's appointment of Yukio Edano, who is
critical of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General Ichiro
Ozawa, might change the political dynamics in the DPJ.

Edano belongs to Maehara group

Edano was elected to the Diet for the first time on the now defunct
Japan New Party's ticket. He was involved in the formation of the
DPJ in 1996. In the DPJ, he belongs to the Ryounkai group led by
Land, Infrastructure, and Transport Minister Seiji Maehara. State
Minister for National Strategy Yoshito Sengoku and House of
Representatives Financial Affairs Committee Chairman Koichiro Genba
are also members of the Maehara-led group. Edano and Maehara, as
well as Ozawa, were members of the ruling parties under the Morihiro
Hosokawa cabinet, but they later took different political paths
after the Hosokawa cabinet was dissolved.

Along with the DPJ group called Kaseikai, which is led by Senior
Vice Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda, the Maehara group has been
regarded as a DPJ force that distances itself from Ozawa.

Kozo Watanabe, former Lower House vice speaker, has called Edano,
Maehara, Sengoku, Noda, Genba, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, (and
Lower House Environment Committee Chairman Shinji Tarutoko) the
"seven magistrates" with expectation, comparing them to the seven
magistrates of the former Takeshita faction in the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP). The DPJ's seven magistrates have their own
reasons for distancing themselves from Ozawa. They have referred at
each juncture to Ozawa's responsibility for a violation of the
Political Funds Control Law (by his former and present secretaries).
Edano supported Okada in the DPJ presidential election last May
conducted after Ozawa had stepped down from the party's presidential
post due to the arrest and indictment of his first state-paid
secretary over having received illegal donations from Nishimatsu
Construction Company. Ozawa, however, backed then Secretary General
Hatoyama, diametrically opposing Okada.

With Edano assuming a portfolio, the Hatoyama cabinet now has three
Maehara group members, even though the groups distancing themselves
from Ozawa are a minority in the DPJ.

DPJ Upper House members support Ozawa

Meanwhile, Ozawa has received full support from the DPJ group
comprising former labor union members, including Upper House DPJ
Chairman Azuma Koshiishi, who also serves as deputy secretary
general, and DPJ Upper House Secretary General Yoshimitsu Takashima,
who concurrently serves as senior vice secretary general. Ozawa has
also obtained support from Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Kenji
Yamaoka and Lower House Steering Committee Chairman Takeaki
Matsumoto, who serve pivotal roles in managing Diet affairs. There
are many situations where the Social Democratic Party and People's
New Party, the DPJ's coalition partners, rely on Ozawa.

Ozawa has chosen Goshi Hosono, a member of the Maehara group, as the
chair of the Organization Committee, and let him handle the core
operation of the secretary general's office. He also has an
influence over many of the 143 lawmakers, who won their Diet seats
for the first time in last year's Lower House election.

The Hatoyama group includes Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano,

TOKYO 00000293 006 OF 007


Environment Minister Sakihito Ozawa, and other members. Deputy Prime
Minister and Finance Minister Naoto Kan has kept an equal distance
from Hatoyama and Ozawa

in a well-balanced manner. DPJ members are carefully watching
whether Edano's appointment will change the political dynamics in
the Hatoyama administration.

(6) Private-sector economic diplomacy attaches importance to Asia

NIKKEI (Page 3) (Abridged)
February 12, 2010

Major business groups in Japan, including Nippon Keidanren (Japan
Business Federation), are moving to strengthen cooperation with
companies in other parts of Asia. Keidanren is set to host the
first-ever business summit for the region on March 15 in which top
executives from major corporations will discuss cooperation in such
fields as the development of infrastructure and the promotion of
trade. The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry will also send a
mission to China in late March to seek cooperation with small and
mid-size firms in that country. Those events are intended to give
impetus to the development of Asia by promoting private-sector
economic diplomacy focused on the region.

Keidanren plans to bring together business groups from 11 countries
and regions, including China and India, for the first-ever business
summit in Asia to be held in Tokyo in March. Top corporate
executives from those countries/regions are expected to discuss such
matters as trade, investment, the development of infrastructure,
financial cooperation, the environment, and energy, and to issue a
joint statement.

Keidanren thinks that for the further growth of Asia, it is
indispensable for the region to grow into an end-user market, in
addition to playing a role as the world's factory. To that end, the
group hopes to share with Asian business leaders its view that
promoting free trade and innovation is essential.

Asia is expected to create huge demand for the construction of
infrastructure in the future. The meeting plans to confirm the
policy of improving such key infrastructure as transportation,
power, telecommunications, and water resources, with an eye on
India, the Mekong basin, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the
Philippines. The participants will exchange views on specific
measures to improve infrastructure, such as a scheme to use public
funds.

Keidanren intends to propose that an Asian business summit be held
regularly with the aim of stepping up cooperation with business
circles in other Asian countries. The reason is that economic
cooperation is indispensable for the survival of Japan, whose
economic growth heavily relies on foreign demand, according to
Keidanren Chairman Fujio Mitarai. Sumitomo Chemical Co. Chairman
Hiromasa Yonekura, who will replace Mitarai in May, also takes the
stance of attaching importance to Asia, maintaining that the
development of Asia will help accelerate the growth of Japan and the
entire world.

Meanwhile, Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Tadashi
Okamura plans to visit Beijing and Shanghai on March 21-26 along
with the leaders of regional chambers of commerce. It will be the

TOKYO 00000293 007 OF 007


group's first economic mission to China in 17 years. Plans call for
a meeting with some 200 business managers from the two countries.
The group will consider sending its mission to India and other
countries in the future.

The Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai) also
plans to host a meeting in Tokyo in October with business leaders
from members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations to
identify demand in the region. The group will inform the government
and other bodies of the meeting's conclusions and urge the
government to draw up specific measures that will allow Japan to tap
into Asia's growth.

ROOS

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