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Cablegate: Codel Webb Hears Japanese Views On Alliance And

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DE RUEHKO #0336/01 0530140
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 220140Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9516
INFO RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA IMMEDIATE 8927
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA IMMEDIATE 5927
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA IMMEDIATE 1259
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE IMMEDIATE 2745
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO IMMEDIATE 9413
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUALSFJ/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA IMMEDIATE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI IMMEDIATE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC IMMEDIATE
RUEHKO/USDAO TOKYO JA IMMEDIATE
RHMFIUU/USFJ IMMEDIATE
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 3167
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 9848
RUEHMO/AMEMBASSY MOSCOW 3186
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 000336

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR EAP/EP AND EAP/J

E.O.12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV CASC KOCI MARR JA CH BM
SUBJECT: CODEL WEBB HEARS JAPANESE VIEWS ON ALLIANCE AND
REALIGNMENT

REF: TOKYO 0188

TOKYO 00000336 001.2 OF 003


1. (SBU) SUMMARY: Senator Webb listened to Japanese views on the
importance of the U.S.-Japan Alliance and the Futenma relocation
issue during meetings with GOJ officials February 15 in Tokyo.
Foreign Minister Okada, Defense Minister Kitazawa, Cabinet and
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) officials all affirmed that Japan's
relationship with the United States remained fundamental and
important for the Japanese Government. Although the primary purpose
of the visit was to solicit Japanese views, Senator Webb suggested
both countries should emphasize the many benefits the Alliance has
brought to the region in terms of regional stability and economic
growth. FM Okada and DM Kitazawa reiterated Prime Minister
Hatoyama's pledge to reach a resolution to the Futenma Marine Air
Station relocation issue by May this year (Reftel). Senator Webb
also raised the child abduction issue with FM Okada and discussed
the Japanese economy with the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan
(ACCJ). END SUMMARY.

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Foreign Minister Okada Meeting
------------------------------

2. (SBU) The U.S.-Japan relationship is the most important
relationship to the United States, Senator Webb told Foreign
Minister Okada, who responded that the U.S.-Japan Alliance should
continue to play a strong role in the Asia-Pacific region. During
the February 15 meeting, which the Ambassador joined, Senator Webb
and FM Okada exchanged views on China. Senator Webb noted that
China's growing economic power could lead to gains in other areas
and that the United States and Japan need to stand united in dealing
with China. On Burma, Senator Webb stated he advocates increased
dialogue and business connections with Burma. FM Okada expressed
appreciation for U.S. policy shifts on Burma and overall increased
engagement with Southeast Asia. Regarding the situation over the
Marine Corps Air Station at Futenma FM, Okada reiterated Japan's
commitment to reach a solution by the end of May 2010.

3. (SBU) Senator Webb told FM Okada that parental child abduction
and the inability of U.S. left behind parents to see their children
are very important to him and the United States. While noting that
he does not at this point intend to raise the issue in the U.S.
Senate, Senator Webb expressed hope that Japan would find a way to
solve this issue. FM Okada said he fully acknowledges the
importance of the issue, especially as Secretary Clinton raises it
at every meeting with him. Regarding acceding to the Hague
Convention, FM Okada reported that there are discussions in the
Japanese Government on how to move forward and overcoming the
challenges presented by the differences between Japanese domestic
legislation and the Convention. Accession to treaties in general
does not happen quickly, however, and consideration needs to be
given to what can be done about the existing cases. If parents are
having difficulty in meeting their children, FM Okada said, the
Japanese Government needs to make efforts to help fix the
situation.

State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Fukuyama Meeting
--------------------------------------------- -------

4. (SBU) State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Tetsuro Fukuyama agreed
with Senator Webb's assertion that the U.S.-Japan alliance was the
most important relationship for each country, in a separate February
15 meeting that the DCM joined. Fukuyama added that Prime Minister
Hatoyama wants to contribute as much as possible in Afghanistan and
Iraq. Senator Webb said that after 9/11, with the U.S. focused on
Iraq, it had lost focus on the most important region -- Asia -- and
he has been speaking about the need to refocus on this area. In
response to a question about the Senate's priorities, Senator Webb
suggested infrastructure and financial regulation should be the
first order of business. Regarding climate change, Senator Webb
expressed doubts about the high costs and potential waste inherent
in cap and trade programs, and doubted cap and trade legislation

TOKYO 00000336 002.2 OF 003


would pass in the Senate. He explained a bill he introduced with
Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to double U.S. nuclear power
production within 20 years and to launch five "Mini-Manhattan
projects" to promote clean energy technologies, highlighting its
simplicity and low cost. Fukuyama agreed with the need to expand
the market for nuclear and renewable energy, but believes cap and
trade -- while imperfect -- is also an important element for Japan.
Turning to Overseas Development Assistance, Senator Webb noted
Japan's increased aid to the Mekong River Delta and the importance
of protecting riparian rights in the region. Fukuyama said Japan
brought together a number of Southeast Asian heads of state last
fall in Tokyo and intends to build on this dialogue.

Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Yabunaka Meeting
--------------------------------------------- -----

5. (SBU) Mitoji Yabunaka, Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs,
remarked to Senator Webb during a February 15 meeting that he is
very comfortable with U.S.-Japan working relationship. He also
expressed a strong desire to see both countries take advantage of
this year's 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Mutual
Cooperation and Security Treaty to promote the many benefits the
treaty has engendered. Senator Webb concurred that the U.S. -Japan
relationship is a resilient one, and will only grow stronger in the
future.

Defense Minister Kitazawa Meeting
---------------------------------

6. (SBU) Although there have been difficult moments recently and
there are concerns in some quarters about the direction of U.S.
Japan security relations since the change of government in Japan,
there is much reason to believe that a stronger alliance will be the
final result, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa told Senator Webb
during their meeting on February 15. While it will be difficult to
reconcile the complex issues associated with FRF, Kitazawa believes
that this will be done eventually, and pointed to Prime Minister
Hatoyama's oft-stated desire to reach a conclusion on the Futenma
issue by May of this year. DM Kitazawa also took the opportunity to
stress to Senator Webb the need to build bridges between Congress
and members of the ruling coalition through parliamentary exchange,
noting that many members of the DPJ are young and lacking in
substantial international affairs experience. Senator Webb noted
that the U.S. must recognize the burden placed upon Okinawa, and do
what it can to alleviate the situation there, while stressing that
both countries benefit from the security arrangement. Senator Webb
also suggested that both countries should emphasize the many
benefits the Alliance has brought to the region in terms of regional
stability and economic growth.

DPJ Diet Affairs Chairman Yamaoka Meeting
-----------------------------------------

7. (SBU) During a February 15 meeting with Senator Webb, DPJ Diet
Affairs Chairman and Ozawa confidant Kenji Yamaoka affirmed that
Japan's relationship with the United States remained fundamental and
important for the Japanese Government. Yamaoka said that when it
came to national security, the United States was the only country on
which Japan could fully rely. Regarding the Futenma Relocation
Facility issue, Yamaoka informed Senator Webb of his intention to
speak with leaders of the ruling coalition partners about seeking a
way forward. He also assured Senator Webb that the Japanese
Government will consult closely with the United States as it moves
forward.

8. (SBU) Senator Webb relayed to Yamaoka the importance of the
continued U.S. military presence to maintain the stability and
prosperity of the Asia/Pacific region. Senator Webb added that
China has been strategically marking its claims to islands
surrounding Japan and it was important for the United States to show
its consistent presence in the region. If not, the Chinese

TOKYO 00000336 003.2 OF 003


Government may perceive that U.S.-Japan bilateral relations were
weak, and will continue to increase its military influence in the
region. Yamaoka noted his agreement, adding that although
Japan-China economic relations have deepened, China's military
build-up remained an area of concern. He added that in his past
conversations with Chinese leaders, he always made it clear that
strengthening of Japan-China relations will in no way change
U.S.-Japan relations. Senator Webb remarked that although it was
important to maintain a healthy relationship with China, the United
States and Japan should not allow China to divide the two countries.
Yamaoka agreed and assured Senator Webb that he will make sure
China will not divide the United States and Japan.

American Chamber of Commerce in Japan Meeting
---------------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Senator Webb had a productive one-hour meeting with ACCJ
members over lunch on February 15. ACCJ leadership acknowledged the
importance for business of the bilateral security relationship being
on an even keel and highlighted its desire for a robust economic
dialogue focused on structural reform; continued reform of Japan
Post; engagement on trade issues to boost exports, increase FDI and
solidify US leadership in Asia; and progress on regulatory reform
issues multilaterally through hosting the Asia-Pacific Economic
Cooperation (APEC). During free discussion, Senator Webb heard ACCJ
members' views about the political situation in Japan, about how to
increase foreign direct investment (FDI) in Japan, and the need for
hard political decisions on both sides of the Pacific concerning
economic policy issues. Regarding trade, members urged U.S.
engagement on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and ratification of the
United States-Korea Free Trade Agreement.

10. (U) The CODEL cleared this cable.

ROOS

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