Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 02/18/10

DE RUEHKO #0315/01 0490252
P 180252Z FEB 10




E.O. 12958: N/A



1) Top headlines
2) Editorials

Futenma relocation:
3) Plan for relocation to land area of Camp Schwab in the spotlight
4) Govt./ruling panel officially postpones announcing concrete
proposals for Futenma relocation sites (Yomiuri)
5) Hirano to revisit Okinawa (Asahi)

General Stalder's visit:
6) Stalder: Any plan must be on par with or better than existing one
7) General lays down four conditions for relocation of Futenma
facility (Yomiuri)

Foreign relations:
8) A/S Campbell: U.S. prepared to deal with different possibilities
concerning Futenma issue (Sankei)
9) Foreign Minister Okada: "There will still be a Japan-U.S.
alliance 50 years later" (Akahata)
10) Japan, Australia to issue joint statement on nuclear policy

11) Diet debate; Hatoyama and Tanigaki spar over Futenma issue
12) Ruling parties secure majority in Upper House (Asahi)
13) Hatoyama to urge Ozawa to explain to Diet (Sankei)
14) Ruling parties still debating ratio of govt. investment in
postal business (Nikkei)
15) State Minister for Abduction Issue Nakai calls for relaxation of
rules for accepting North Korean refugees (Sankei)

16) Toyota head will not appear at Congressional hearing (Yomiuri)



First party head debate focuses on politics-and-money scandals:
Prime minister fends off criticism; Tanigaki baffled

Prime minister humble over money-and-politics scandals at first
party leaders' debate

Toyota Motors president will not attend U.S. public hearing

Nippon Oil to increase bio-gasoline output in fiscal 2010

Prime Minister Hatoyama to urge Ozawa to explain to Diet

Tokyo Shimbun:
First party head debate since change in government: Prime minister

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in favor of setting up consultative body on money-and-politics

Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii proposes to Prime Minister
Hatoyama recompilation of budget for political change


(1) Party leaders should hold more frequent debates, employing
greater ingenuity
(2) Flexible discussion needed on parental right to protect

(1) Consider extending time for party head talks
(2) Confusion over Futenma issue serious

(1) More thorough debates needed over politics-and-money scandals
(2) Greek crisis: Measures urged to regain confidence in euro

(1) Hatoyama only repeated "apology" in party head talks
(2) Develop perfect countermeasures to new strains of influenza,
based on lessons

(1) Donation scandal involving school union: Teachers should take
neutral political position
(2) Summoning of sworn witnesses necessary

Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) First party head talks: Leaders should debate national policies
(2) Greek crisis teaches Japan the importance of independent

(1) Pour energy into "removing," not "relocating," U.S. military

3) Futenma relocation to Camp Schwab's inland area "most realistic"

SANKEI (Page 4) (Full)
February 18, 2010

In connection with the pending issue of relocating the U.S. Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station from its current location in Ginowan,
Okinawa Prefecture, the idea of relocating this Futenma airfield
facility to the inland area of Camp Schwab, a U.S. military base
located in the Henoko area of the island prefecture's northern
coastal city of Nago, began to be spotlighted yesterday. Prime
Minister Yukio Hatoyama has now added this idea to the list of the
possible plans to be considered. In the meantime, the People's New
Party, one of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan's two coalition
partners, has also called for Futenma airfield to be relocated to
the inland area of Camp Schwab. The government and the ruling
parties will likely focus their discussions on this inland
relocation idea for Futenma airfield, with the aim of settling the
issue this May. "This is the most realistic idea," a government
official said.

TOKYO 00000315 003 OF 009

The PNP yesterday approved the idea of relocating the heliport
functions of Futenma airfield to the inland area of Camp Schwab, in
addition to the option of integrating the functionality of Futenma
airfield into the U.S. Kadena Air Base, which straddles the town of
Kadena and other municipalities in the prefecture. The U.S.
government has been calling for the current Henoko coastal
relocation plan to be implemented. Meanwhile, there are calls also
from within the Japanese government for considering the inland
relocation idea, which is close to the current plan. For one thing,
there will be no need to reclaim land from the sea in laying down a
runway and there will be less impact on the environment. In
addition, the idea of relocation to the inland area of Camp Schwab
is to build a new tarmac on the premises of a currently existing
U.S. military facility, so government officials believe that this
idea would face little opposition.

In addition, Tomoko Abe, policy chief of the Social Democratic
Party, which is the other coalition partner of the DPJ, also
complained about SDP President Mizuho Fukushima for her criticism of
the inland relocation idea. "It's not appropriate to say anything
critical outside the Okinawa Base Issues Review Committee (of the
government and the ruling coalition)," Abe said yesterday. She also
strongly implied that her party would not preclude the inland
relocation plan. "We want Futenma airfield to be relocated outside
Okinawa Prefecture," Abe said. "But," she added, "if committee
members criticize each other outside the committee, then the purpose
of the committee will become unclear."

However, Nago Mayor Susumu Inamine expressed strong reservations
about the idea of relocation to Camp Schwab's inland area when he
met yesterday with Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and other
government officials. Moreover, when the now-opposition Liberal
Democratic Party was in office, the U.S. government opposed the

4) U.S. Marine Corps official sets four conditions for Futenma

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)
February 18, 2010

A U.S. military official has indicated that a set of four conditions
should be satisfied when considering where to relocate the U.S.
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station from its current location in
Okinawa Prefecture. "To maintain our bilateral alliance (between
Japan and the United States, we need operational efficiency so we
can train our troops and continue deployment," visiting U.S. Marine
Corps Forces Pacific Commanding General Keith Stalder told the
Yomiuri Shimbun in an interview in Tokyo. The Marine commander
pointed to the importance of Okinawa's strategic location and
clearly ruled out the option of relocating Futenma airfield to Guam,
which the Social Democratic Party, one of the ruling Democratic
Party of Japan's two coalition partners, is considering. "Guam
cannot replace Okinawa," he asserted.

Stalder cited the following four conditions for an alternative site
for Futenma relocation: 1) ensuring the efficiency of operations; 2)
local interests; 3) safety; and 4) a permanent solution instead of a
temporary one. He avoided assessing the various relocation plans
that are being floated in the Hatoyama government. However, the
commander apparently expressed reservations about complicating

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operations by merging the Futenma operations with Kadena Air Base
and separating the Marine Corps' ground troops and heliborne

5) Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano to revisit Okinawa

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 18, 2010

Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano will visit Okinawa on Feb.
19-20. He will visit the branch office of the "Okinawa Liaison
Office," newly established in the Cabinet Secretariat, and exchange
views with branch office staff on Okinawa economic rehabilitation
measures and how the base issue should be dealt with. He is expected
to meet with Okinawa Governor Hirokazu Nakaima on Feb. 20.

6) U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Commander: Any possible plan
must be equal to or better than the existing plan

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 18, 2010

Yoichi Kato, senior writer

U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific Commander Lt. Gen. Keith Stalder
gave an interview to the Asahi Shimbun at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo
on Feb. 17. On where to relocate the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air
Station, the commander said, "No matter what the plan is, it needs
to be equal to or better than the existing plan."

He made clear that even if the Hatoyama administration proposes a
new relocation site, the United States has no intention to
compromise under any conditions that are inferior to the existing
plan to relocate the base to the offing of Henoko in Nago City.

The commander pointed out that the existing plan "will bring
tremendous benefits to the people in Okinawa," such as the return of
a large area of land to Japan, the integration of bases, and
reduction in noise. Commander Stalder said, "It is necessary to
understand this point," in reference to the Japanese government and
the ruling parties' work of looking into possible relocation sites.
He did not show a closed-minded stance in which other plans are out
of the question.

7) Futenma relocation plans drawing objections from all candidate
sites; some doubtful about settling matter by May

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpts)
February 18, 2010

The government and the ruling parties formally decided at a meeting
on Feb. 17 of the Okinawa base issues examination committee to
postpone the presentation of specific plans for the relation of the
U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan, Okinawa
Prefecture. Behind this move, there are growing objections from the
local governments at candidate sites. There are no prospects in
sight of Japan obtaining the consent of the United States. Given the
situation, a growing number of people are doubtful that Prime
Minster Hatoyama can settle the matter by the end of May in a way
that is acceptable to the three concerned parties - the ruling
parties, local governments, and the United States - as he pledged.

TOKYO 00000315 005 OF 009

New Nago Mayor Susumi Inamine visited Tokyo on Feb. 17 to introduce
himself as the new mayor. During his stay in Tokyo, he attended a
general meeting of the People's New Party (PNP) which advocates a
plan to relocate Futenma to the inland area of Camp Schwab. During
the session, Inamine said 'no' to the land-based relocation plan,
remarking, "I won the election promising the citizens that I will
not allow a new base to be build either at sea or on land. I would
like you to give consideration to not increasing the burden any

The PNP is also advocating a plan to integrate Futenma with Kadena
Air Base. "The plan is likely to increase the danger of accidents
and noise, and being in a position to protect the citizens, I cannot
approve it," Kadena Mayor Tokujitsu Miyagi said to the press corps
in Naha on Feb. 17.

"It is an extremely realistic plan," PNP Representative Shizuka
Kamei said proudly at a press conference on the same day. But local
barriers are high.

The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is looking for ways to relocate
Futenma to Maritime Self-Defense Force Air Station Omura (in the
city of Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture) or to Saga Airport (in the city
of Saga). Various places other than Okinawa have been mentioned.
Some are concerned that the relocation issue might "spill over" into
other areas.

In a press conference on Feb. 16, Saga Gov. Yasushi Furukawa
expressed strong displeasure with the Saga Airport plan, saying, "Is
(the government) really thinking about the matter realistically?
It's not clear how the base will be relocated." The SDP Saga chapter
is also strongly opposed to the plan.

The government and the ruling parties are planning for now to narrow
down the candidate sites behind the scenes without presenting any
concrete plans, while making efforts to allay the local backlash.

Meanwhile, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirano in a press conference on
the evening of Feb. 17 reiterated the government's plan to settle
the matter by the end of May in a way that can satisfy all the
conditions. He said: "Needless to say, we must obtain the
understanding of the local residents, the understanding of the
United States, and maintain the relationship among the three
(ruling) parties in the government, so we will move forward

8) Assistant Secretary of State Campbell says U.S. ready to "address
various possibilities" in Futenma relocation issue

SANKEI (Page 1) (Full)
February 18, 2010

Rui Sasaki in Washington

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell gave an interview to
Sankei Shimbun on Feb. 16. Discussing the issue of the relocation of
the U.S. forces' Futenma Air Station (in Ginowan City, Okinawa), he
reiterated that the current plan to build a replacement facility in
the coastal area of Camp Schwab in Henoko, Nago City is the best
option. He added that "the U.S. is ready to address various
possibilities," indicating that the U.S. is willing to discuss
options other than the current relocation plan.

TOKYO 00000315 006 OF 009

Regarding proposals in the Japanese government and the ruling
parties to relocate the Futenma base to Guam or Saipan, Campbell
said: "The present Henoko relocation plan is the best option. We do
not want to see a situation where the U.S. forces are simply
relocated from Okinawa without considering the impact on the
security of the region and of Japan." He also emphasized that (the
U.S.) attaches great importance to reducing the burden on the people
of Okinawa.

He added, "The U.S. is ready to address various possibilities with
the Japanese government," but pointed out, "We have studied many
other solutions not just for months, but for years," indicating that
he is confident that the U.S. will be able to demonstrate the
problems and disadvantages of options other than the current plan.
Regarding the view that the Japan-U.S. relationship is deteriorating
over the Futenma issue, Campbell said: "I don't think so." He said,
"We have faith in Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, and we believe that
he will find a good solution."

With regard to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa, Campbell touched on his meeting with Ozawa during his
visit to Japan earlier this month. He said, "Mr. Ozawa said he will
not discuss specific policy issues between Japan and the U.S." and
instead, they exchanged views on Japan's role in the international
community, China, and overall Japan-U.S. relations. Campbell stated,
"I found (Mr. Ozawa) to have interesting and strategic views."

However, with regard to the base relocation issue, Campbell said: "I
have no first-hand knowledge of Mr. Ozawa's opinion. I don't know
what he thinks. I am aware that Mr. Ozawa is reputed to play an
important role in Japanese politics."

Although Campbell said that he will make every effort to facilitate
a high-level exchange of views if Ozawa and a delegation of DPJ Diet
members visit the U.S., he indicated that a meeting between Ozawa
and President Barack Obama "is for the White House, and not the
State Department, to decide on."

9) Okada stresses need to "maintain Japan-U.S. alliance 50 years
from now"

AKAHATA (Page 2) (Full)
February 18, 2010

Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada yesterday emphasized the need for
Japan to maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance semipermanently. Speaking
in a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Okada said:
"We would like to consider what Japan can do to deepen the alliance
to make it sustainable for another 30 to 50 years." He made this
remark in replying to a question by New Komeito member Masao

Taking up statements by Okada on alleged secret nuclear pacts and in
magazines, Akamatsu said: "You seem to be confounding the issue of
whether it is proper to keep the current Japan-U.S. alliance for the
medium to long term with problems the nation now faces."

Okada replied: "I have not confounded the two matters. I do not
think that the Japan-U.S. alliance will be abolished or become less
influential in the future as a result of relations with Asian
countries becoming more important for Japan."

TOKYO 00000315 007 OF 009

10) Japan, Australia to issue joint statement on nuclear policy

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 18, 2010

The governments of Japan and Australia yesterday undertook
coordination with an eye to adopting a joint statement on nuclear
policy. The main points of the statement would be nuclear
disarmament and nonproliferation, as well as the peaceful use of
nuclear energy. At the earliest, the two governments will reach an
agreement at a meeting of their foreign ministers on Feb. 21 and
issue the joint statement.

11) PM Hatoyama says at party leaders' debate: Decision on Futenma
relocation will be made by May

NIKKEI (page 5) (Excerpts)
February 18, 2010

(Gist of exchanges at party leaders' debate at the Diet on Feb. 17)

Natsuo Yamaguchi, New Komeito leader: The Futenma relocation issue
has gone astray and the refueling mission (of the Maritime
Self-Defense Force) in the Indian Ocean has been terminated. The
Japan-U.S. relationship can hardly be said to be in good condition.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama: I am strongly determined to resolve
the Futenma issue properly. A decision will definitely be made by

12) DPJ-led floor group gains majority, with PNP exceeding SDP in
number of seats

ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
February 18, 2010

House of Councillors member Gotaro Yoshimura, who left the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), officially joined the People's New Party
(PNP) and assumed the post of party vice president yesterday. The
number of Upper House members belonging to the PNP is now six,
exceeding the five of the Social Democratic Party (SDP). The ruling
parties' floor group filed Yoshimura's membership with the Upper
House on the same day. The group consists of the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ), the Shin-Ryokufukai, the PNP, and the New Party

The DPJ has now gained 122 seats, a majority needed to control the
Upper House. The DPJ-led government will be able to pass bills in
the chamber without the support of the SDP.

Seats in the Upper House are 122 for the floor group, 82 for the LDP
and Reform Club, 21 for the New Komeito, 7 for the Japanese
Communist Party, and 5 for the SDP and Goken Rengo (Association for
Pro-constitution) with independents controlling 5.

13) Prime Minister Hatoyama to urge Ozawa to explain to Diet

SANKEI (Top play) (Lead para.)
February 18, 2010

The first party head debate since the change in government in

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September last year was held on Feb. 17 (at a joint meeting of the
Committees of Fundamental National Policies of both chambers of the
Diet). Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and Liberal Democratic Party
President Sadakazu Tanigaki and New Komeito leader Natsuo Yamaguchi
exchanged views on such issues as politics-and-money scandals.
Tanigaki pursued three major political fund scandals involving Prime
Minister Hatoyama, Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General
Ichiro Ozawa, and the Hokkaido Teachers' Union. In response,
Hatoyama revealed his readiness to urge Ozawa to give an explanation
to the Diet.

14) Ruling party members still at odds over government stake in
Japan Post Group

NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
February 18, 2010

The government and the ruling parties held a policy meeting to take
a second look at the postal reform plan. Views of ruling party
members on the ratio of government subscription to the Japan Post
Group are still split between "more than one-third" and "more than a
half." Since the degree of government involvement in the company is
directly related to the degree of freedom allowed in its management,
the ruling party members are finding it difficult to find a
settlement line.

The main opinions voiced at past meetings of the policy council
included the view that the government should possess more than half
of Japan Post's shares from the perspective of the company's
responsibility for offering administrative services. On the other
hand, some lawmakers took the position that one-third would be
acceptable in order to scrap the limit to postal savings and
insurance and allow the company to launch new businesses.

15) Government to ease requirements for North Korean refugees to be
accepted in Japan: Nakai

SANKEI (Page 4) (Full)
February 18, 2010

Hiroshi Nakai, chairman of the National Public Safety Commission and
state minister for the abduction issue, held in the Diet building
yesterday a meeting of the policy council for the issue of North
Korea's abductions of Japanese. Referring in the meeting to the
North Korean Human Rights Law, which stipulates support for North
Korean refugees, Nakai said: "We want to ease the requirements for
North Korean refugees to be accepted in Japan because there are
North Korean refugees who want to settle in our country," disclosing
that the government has started examining the law with the aim of
amending it. At the same time, the council confirmed that a
lawmaker-initiated bill amending the Law for Abductees' Support,
which will extend by five years the provision of financial
compensation to repatriated abductees, will be submitted to the
Diet. Under the current law, the term of the provision of assistance
will expire in March. A nonpartisan parliamentary group will conduct
coordination on the legislation.

16) Toyota Motors president not to attend U.S. public hearing

YOMIURI (Top play) (Lead para.)
February 18, 2010

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Toyota Motors President Akio Toyoda on Feb. 17 held a press
conference at the Toyota head office in Tokyo. Toyoda said that at
present he has no plans to attend a public hearing in the U.S.
Congress. He said, "I will support the company at the head office."
He added, however: "I will give thought to attending if requested by
Congress." Future moves of the U.S. Congress are of intense
interest. As part of efforts to prevent a recurrence of troubles,
Toyoda revealed his company's policy of installing a system that
gives priority to the brake when the driver simultaneously steps on
the brake and accelerator in all models Toyota manufactures
throughout the world.


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