Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 07/05/06

Published: Wed 5 Jul 2006 08:05 AM
DE RUEHKO #3732/01 1860805
P 050805Z JUL 06
E.O. 12958: N/A
(1) Japan, US unite against DPRK, aim to refer missile launch to
UNSC and work together to impose economic sanctions against
(2) Main points from a statement by the chief cabinet secretary on
North Korea's missiles launches and a press conference by the
defense chief
(3) Government to ban entry of Mangyongbong-92 into Japanese ports
for six months, limit personnel exchanges
(4) Multilayered relationship with US indispensable for post-Koizumi
(5) Editorial: Japan, US urged to establish relationship going
beyond reliance on "friendship"
(6) Ozawa-Hu meeting: China clearly distinguishes Japanese
politicians understanding China's stance over Yasukuni issue from
(7) Editorial: US-India nuclear agreement; Prime Minister should not
consent to it
(1) Japan, US unite against DPRK, aim to refer missile launch to
UNSC and work together to impose economic sanctions against
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
Eve., July 5, 2006
The Japanese government has taken North Korea's launching of
ballistic missiles this time as an extremely deplorable act that is
a threat to Japan's security. Tokyo intends to work in closer
cooperation with the US government to step up pressure on North
Korea swiftly. The challenge facing Japan ahead of referring the
matter to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is how to get
cooperation from China and Russia, which are both friendly with
North Korea.
Main points of the measures for the Japanese government to take
against DPRK
1. Measures against North Korea
(1) Japan calls for a moratorium on North Korea's missile-launching
and demands that North Korea return to the six-party talks on its
nuclear programs quickly and unconditionally.
(2) Japan prohibits the North Korean ship Man Gyong Bong from
calling at Japanese ports.
(3) Japan basically bans re-entries into Japan by North Korean
officials and North Korean ship crews.
(4) Japan bans re-entries into Japan by North Korean officials
residing in Japan who are now in North Korea.
(5) Japan cancels plans for Japanese government officials to visit
North Korea and ask the Japanese public to refrain from traveling to
North Korea.
(6) Japan bans charter flights from North Korea to Japan.
(7) Japan applies more strict export controls on products relating
TOKYO 00003732 002 OF 009
to North Korea's missiles and nuclear programs.
(8) Japan rigorously applies laws to illegal acts.
(9) Japan considers more punitive measures while watching the moves
of North Korea.
2. Cooperation with other countries
(1) Japan works in closer cooperation with the United States.
(2) Japan works on the United Nations Security Council to take
proper steps.
(3) Japan makes coordination and exchanges views with other
countries at such fora as the six-party talks on North Korea's
nuclear programs and the Group of Eight industrialized nations
summit conference.
(2) Main points from a statement by the chief cabinet secretary on
North Korea's missiles launches and a press conference by the
defense chief
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
Evening, July 5, 2006
A statement by Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe
1. North Korea launched a number of ballistic missiles or some types
of projectiles in the early hours of July 5. The government is
making every effort to take actions in response.
2. From the viewpoints of the nonproliferation of weapons of mass
destruction, Japan's security, and the peace and stability of the
international community, it was grave that North Korea conducted the
launches despite prior warnings by countries concerned, including
Japan. The launches conflict with a joint statement issued by the
members of the six-party talks (proclaiming the peace and stability
of Northeast Asia). Japan will sternly protest North Korea and
express regret. Japan will strongly urge North Korea to take action
by abiding by the missile-launch moratorium (specified in the
Japan-DPRK Pyongyang Declaration) and return to the six-party talks
swiftly and unconditionally.
3. Japan will take stern actions and speedily decide on measures
according to law.
4. The international community must harshly condemn the launches.
Japan will continue to coordinate closely with countries concerned,
including the United States, Japan's ally, to get the United Nations
Security Council deal with the matter appropriately.
At a press conference
Question: Is there a possibility that the North will launch more
Abe: We cannot rule out that possibility.
Question: Is Japan going to invoke economic sanctions against North
Abe: Of course, we have such an option in mind. We will consider any
sanctions Japan can take against the North.
Question: How do you find the effectiveness of the Japan-DPRK
Pyongyang Declaration?
TOKYO 00003732 003 OF 009
Abe: (The missile launches are) a violation of the declaration.
Question: How do you think the upcoming G-8 summit will deal with
the matter?
Abe: There is every reason for the summit to address the issue.
Main points from a press conference by Defense Agency Director
General Fukushiro Nukaga
Nukaga: As a result of studying intelligence comprehensively, we
believe the first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth missiles were
launched from the southeastern part of North Korea. The third one
was launched from the Taepodong area. We also believe that the
first, second, fourth, fifth, and sixth missiles were Scud or Rodong
missiles, and the third a Taepodong.
Question: Was it a Taepodong-2?
Nukaga: We believe it was a Taepodong-2.
Question: It flew only a short distance.
Nukaga: It might have failed on its own.
Question: Has the Taepodong-2 missile on the launch pad gone?
Nukaga: We have yet to confirm it.
Question: Are there any chances for the North to launch additional
Nukaga: Intelligence gathering is underway. We are still confirming
such likelihood.
Question: Did you expect for the North to launch more than one
ballistic missile?
Nukaga: In the process of gathering intelligence, we did not think
specifically about how the North would launch a Scud, Rodong, or
Taepodong. However, we had anticipated every possible situation.
(3) Government to ban entry of Mangyongbong-92 into Japanese ports
for six months, limit personnel exchanges
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
Evening, July 5, 2006
The Japanese government severely protested to North Korea through
the North Korean Embassy in Beijing this morning against its missile
launches, claiming: "The missile launches directly affect our
nation's security and violate the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang
Declaration (that calls for extending the missile-launch
moratorium)." The North Korean embassy replied: "We will report it
to our home government." Japan-North Korea relations have already
been cooled down over abduction and other issues, but the bilateral
relations will unavoidably be stranded further. The future of the
six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear development problem is also
In a meeting of its Security Council this afternoon, the government
decided to take nine sanction measures, including those to: (1) ban
TOKYO 00003732 004 OF 009
North Korean officials from entering Japan; (2) prohibit North
Korean officials now in Japan from re-entering Japan after heading
to North Korea; (3) have Japanese public servants refrain from
traveling to North Korea for the time being; and (4) ban the entry
of chartered flights from North Korea into Japan; in addition to
barring the North Korean ferry Mangyongbong-92 for six months.
The port entry ban is based on the specified vessels' port-entry
prohibition law. To invoke the law, a cabinet decision is necessary.
The government has received a cabinet approval prior to the Security
Council meeting.
The government has also such options as halting the remittance of
money from Japan to North Korea and suspending trade activities,
based on the revised Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law.
But it has decided not to take these measures this time. The
government intends to take additional steps while carefully watching
Pyongyang's moves.
The government set up a taskforce in the Prime Minister's office at
4:00 a.m. and held two meetings of the Security Council. Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed the participants in the
meetings to "give accurate information to the public."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe issued a statement criticizing North
Korea's actions as a violation of the Japan-North Korea Pyongyang
Declaration, international law, as well as the joint statement
issued by the six-party talks.
(4) Multilayered relationship with US indispensable for post-Koizumi
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
July 1, 2006
With the adoption of a joint statement called the Japan-US Alliance
of the New Century by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and US
President George W. Bush, the Japan-US relationship has now entered
a new age. The future course of bilateral relations depends on how
far Tokyo and Washington will be able to expand the scope of
cooperative ties.
On June 29, the two leaders met in the Oval Office at the White
House. They had to leave there soon for another meeting in the next
large room. But Bush was reluctant to get out of the room with
Koizumi. So was Koizumi. They went on with their conversation.
Koizumi does not like to take anything written for him to read. He
prefers doing ad-lib. Prior to the first Koizumi-Bush meeting in
June 2001, an administrative official suggested Koizumi not play a
catch because it would be dangerous if he missed a catch. But he did
not listen to the advice and started paying a catch with Bush. He
did not have any scenario for the recent meeting with Bush. The two
leaders, who have good chemistry, concurred on dealing with the
international situation that was changed by the 9/11 terrorist
attacks on the US. The Ground Self-Defense Force troops he
dispatched to Iraq are now about to return home safely. Such a turn
of fortune's wheel and luck led to strengthening the Japan-US
Bush weighed cooperation in the war on terror. Koizumi decided to
have a Maritime Self-Defense Force fleet continue refueling US naval
vessels operating in the Indian Ocean and keep an Air Self-Defense
TOKYO 00003732 005 OF 009
Force squadron in the Middle East. This decision has heightened
Japan's presence.
From the standpoint of attaching importance to its relations with
the United States, Koizumi immediately decided to support
Washington's war on terrorists. He, however, did not build a
honeymoon-like friendship with Bush by only offering cooperation.
Koizumi told a senior Foreign Ministry official last fall: "Don't
you think we will be able to withdraw the SDF from its backup
mission for Afghanistan?" The official said to Koizumi: "Since the
SDF mission to the Indian Ocean is participation in international
antiterrorism measures, the international community highly values
Japan's participation." Koizumi was then quoted as saying, "If so, I
will pull the GSDF out of Iraq during my tenure as prime minister."
Before the opening of the Iraq war, Koizumi explained behind the
scenes the need for a resolution by the United Nations, saying, "The
United Nations has authority. It is important to respect the
authority of the UN." Bush then questioned Koizumi, "Does it mean
legitimacy?" Koizumi quickly answered, "That's right."
Koizumi even refused the president's request for a teleconference.
When making international decisions, Bush reportedly said to the
leaders of other countries, however, "Would you wait for a second. I
will inform Koizumi of this by phone." Based on accumulated frank
exchanges, Bush extended the unprecedented red carpet treatment to
Koizumi, but it's not a result of Japan's solely tilting toward the
United States.
Concern about lack of Japan experts
In the first term of the Bush administration, there were
communication channels between Japanese and US officials, in
addition to the relationship of trust between the two leaders. With
then Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and other US
governments officials, communication channels between the White
House and the Prime Minister's office, between the State Department
and the Foreign Ministry, between the Defense Department and the
Defense Agency, worked well.
In the second term of the Bush administration, however, Deputy
Secretary of State Zoellick would not meet with Japanese government
officials. Therefore, vice minister-level talks were discontinued
and it seems that only one communication channel between Koizumi and
Bush remains.
On June 28, Koizumi and Japanese officials arrived at the Blair
House, the president's guesthouse. They were filled with deep
emotion, wondering if there was any other Japanese prime minister
who stayed at the Blair House three times and if there will be any
other Japanese premier in the future to do so. They felt slight
concern that whether the post-Koizumi government would be able to
build a good relationship with Bush.
US government officials who supported the friendly ties between
Koizumi and Bush have already left the Bush administration.
Bilateral economic issues have yet to be completely resolved.
In an attempt to get through the greatly changing international
situation, Japan has no realistic choice but to strengthen the
alliance with the United States. Japan, therefore, needs to build a
multilayered relationship between Japanese and US government
officials, not just the friendship between the two leaders.
TOKYO 00003732 006 OF 009
(5) Editorial: Japan, US urged to establish relationship going
beyond reliance on "friendship"
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
July 1, 2006
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi visited the US and met with United
States President George W. Bush at the White House. In their
meeting, the two leaders confirmed the achievements the two
countries have produced through bilateral cooperation. They also
issued a joint document titled: "The Japan-US Alliance of the New
The summit between Koizumi and Bush marked the 13th, following the
one in Kyoto last November. This was the first official visit by a
Japanese prime minister in seven years since Prime Minister Keizo
Obuchi went there and the last official US visit for Koizumi prior
to leaving office in September. The two leaders aimed to put the
finishing touches to the bilateral relations over the past five
years and to pave the way for the current favorable bilateral
relations to be maintained even after Koizumi steps down.
Koizumi and Bush issued the first joint document since they released
in their first meeting in June 2001 the joint statement highlighting
"the unshakable alliance partnership." In the joint document this
time, the two leaders used the expression that "the Japan-US
alliance under a global context." This expression was used in the
Koizumi-Bush meeting held at Bush's private residence in Texas in
May 2003 but was included in a document for the first time.
The change of the wording expressing Japan-US relations from
"unshakable alliance" into "alliance under a global context"
reflects major changes in the international community, like the
terrorist attacks on the US in September 2001 and the subsequent US
war on terror, North Korea's nuclear ambitions, as well as China's
military build-up.
Given an increasing number of elements destabilizing the region, the
role of rocksolid ties between Japan and the US, based on their
security arrangement, is becoming more essential to maintain peace
and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Prime Minister Koizumi, on
the strength of his close personal ties with Bush, succeeded in
solidifying the relations between Japan and the US over the past
five years. His contribution merits appreciation.
Prime Minister Koizumi, though, failed to utilize the favorable
relations with the US in carrying out international politics, as
represented by Japan's failure to acquire a permanent seat on the
United Nations Security Council (UNSC). In addition to China's
adamant opposition, Washington's cool response was decisive,
resulting in exposing the limit of Koizumi diplomacy lacing a
comprehensive strategy while relying only on the personal ties
established between the two leaders.
The stagnation in his policy toward East Asia offset the
achievements Koizumi produced in relations with the US. North Korea
reportedly is preparing to launch a long-range Taepodong-2 missile.
In negotiations on the abduction issue, too, there has been no
progress made. Despite such circumstances, Japan remains unable to
hold summit meetings with China and South Korea. This situation is
quite irritating. As long as Japan continues unusual relations with
its neighbors, Japan will be placed at a disadvantage in Asia and
TOKYO 00003732 007 OF 009
the US will not benefit, either.
The joint document specified Japan-US relations as "one of the most
accomplished bilateral relationships in history." It also advocated
the advancement of universal values such as freedom, human rights,
and democracy, as well as the war on terrorism. The document also
highlighted the "Japan-US alliance under a global context" based on
such common interests as the promotion of market mechanisms.
It is natural for the two countries to expand cooperation in wider
areas, including natural disasters, bird flu, and energy
development, but the problem is cooperation between the US forces in
Japan and the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) after realignment plans are
implemented. Under this context, the issue of creating a permanent
law for SDF missions overseas is likely to float up in the future.
But Koizumi is about to step down as prime minister without
explaining about such key issues, leaving such heavy challenges to
his successor.
(6) Ozawa-Hu meeting: China clearly distinguishes Japanese
politicians understanding China's stance over Yasukuni issue from
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
July 5, 2006
Chinese President Hu Jintao has refused to meet Prime Minister
Junichiro Koizumi because of his visits to Yasukuni Shrine, but he
met Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa on
July 4. The dominant view in the government is that the meeting was
intended to apply pressure on Japanese officials who are supportive
of Prime Minister Koizumi and his visits to Yasukuni Shrine. Some
are reacting to China's stance of distinguishing politicians
understanding China's position from others. Meanwhile, some
officials are paying attention to the fact that President Hu
sidestepped the Yasukuni issue in the meeting with Ozawa.
Asked for his comment on the view dominant in the government that
the Chinese president's meeting with Ozawa was intended to put
pressure on Prime Minister Koizumi, the prime minister told
reporters last night, expressing displeasure: "I do not think so.
There is no need for me to be shaken up."
President Hu has refused to meet with Koizumi since April last year,
citing his visits to Yasukuni Shrine as the main reason. When former
Minshuto head Seiji Maehara, who defined China as a threat, visited
China, Hu also refused to meet him.
Meanwhile, President Hu met with representatives from seven
Japan-China friendship groups, including former Prime Minister
Hashimoto, when they traveled to China this March. This time, too,
Hu invited to China Ozawa and other senior Minshuto members critical
of the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni Shrine. The
Chinese president thus has apparently sorted out Japanese
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe criticized the Chinese
president's stance, remarking: "Holding a summit is important for
the two countries. Under matured relations, both sides, if they find
perception differences existing between them, should recognize the
other side's position."
The contents of the president's remarks, though, have slightly
TOKYO 00003732 008 OF 009
changed recently. In a meeting with incoming Ambassador to China
Yuji Miyamoto, Hu indicated his eagerness to visit Japan, saying: "I
hope that conditions will be arranged and I will be able to visit
your country at a proper time," without referring to the Yasukuni
issue. Hu also sidestepped the Yasukuni issue in the meeting with
Ozawa. A senior Foreign Ministry official commented: "President Hu
is exploring ways to set down the load called Yasukuni issue and to
improve the strained relations with Japan."
In a meeting with Liberal Democratic Party's Commission on the
Constitution Chairman Hajime Funada, Chinese Foreign Vice Minister
Wu Tawei made a remark that approved visits to Yasukuni Shrine by
politicians other than the prime minister, the chief cabinet
secretary, and the foreign minister. Some observers analyze the
remark as a breaking ball directed at a successor to Koizumi, with
an eye to the upcoming LDP presidential election.
Abe, the most likely candidate as successor to Prime Minister
Koizumi, said in a press conference yesterday: "The freedom of
religion and the freedom of offering condolences to those who lost
their lives for the state must not be violated."
The government and the ruling coalition are also critical of Ozawa
for his meeting with Chinese President Hu. Ozawa told Hu in their
meeting: "Relations among Japan, the US, and China must be an
isosceles triangle." Foreign Minister Taro Aso reacted fiercely to
this remark yesterday: "Japan and the US share universal values. A
triangle is inconceivable." Abe also emphatically said: "Japan-China
relations are important, but the two countries are not allies."
(7) Editorial: US-India nuclear agreement; Prime Minister should not
consent to it
ASAHI (Page 3) (Full)
June 28, 2006
Prime Minister Koizumi has left Japan for his last visit to the US
as prime minister. In talks with President Bush, the two leaders
will likely praise the honeymoon period between the two countries,
which they have enjoyed over the past five years. However, a knotty
issue has emerged. That is a nuclear agreement signed between the US
and India this March.
India carried out a nuclear test in 1998, openly challenging the
efforts of the international community to prevent nuclear
proliferation. It did not join the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty
(NPT), criticizing it as an unfair treaty.
However, the Bush administration has agreed to cooperate with India
for its utilization of nuclear energy, by providing nuclear fuel and
technology. The US is now calling on European nations and Japan to
endorse this agreement. It is said that President Bush himself will
likely call for Japan's cooperation on this agreement during the
upcoming summit.
This is apparently a double standard. The NPT authorizes the
possession of nuclear arms only be the US, Russia, Britain, France
and Asia. Other countries are allowed to use nuclear energy and
receive international cooperation instead of possessing nuclear
arms. If only India is made an exception to this rule, the
non-proliferation framework will have another major inconsistency.
The US administration's logic is: India is a democratic country.
TOKYO 00003732 009 OF 009
There is no concern that nation will sell nuclear technology to
other countries. If it tries to meet its sharply increasing demand
for energy resources with oil, the supply and demand of oil in the
world could be thrown into chaos. That is the reason why the US
should assist India for its use of atomic energy.
Then, what will the US do, if Pakistan, which carried out a nuclear
test in the same year, seeks similar treatment? The international
community is now working hard on Iran, which has said it would join
in the NPT and undergo international inspection, to abandon its
nuclear development program. It is out of the question to allow such
an overt double standard.
The US-India nuclear agreement is bound to have a negative impact on
the six-party talks designed to have North Korea abandon its nuclear
development program. If the US says that it is all right to provide
nuclear cooperation to a democratic country, then it could encourage
Japanese and South Korean advocates of their countries arming
themselves with nuclear weapons.
International cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy
should be promoted, based on a non-nuclear principle. It is
impermissible to break the major non-proliferation principle with
such an agreement. The prime minister should clearly notify
President Bush of this position of Japan.
The US Congress is also concurred about the double standard. There
is no prospect for revising a related law, a procedure needed in
order to implement the agreement.
The strategic importance of this agreement for India, which has a
population of 1.1 billion and whose economy is rapidly developing,
is understandable. India is now the largest recipient of Japan's
assistance. Interest in its market is also growing. It is an
indispensable player for the stability and development of Asia.
However, it is consistent for Japan to maintain the
non-proliferation stance, while strengthening ties with that nation.
Japan should work on India to abandon its nuclear arms, while
talking about Asia for its future coexistence.
Japan, the only atomic-bombed country, cannot participate in a move
to cause a major setback of the NPT regime.
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media