INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 08/07/06

Published: Mon 7 Aug 2006 04:34 AM
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SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 08/07/06
Index:
1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule
4) Joint Yomiuri-Hankook Ilbo poll: 59 PERCENT of Japanese see ties
with ROK as worsened, up 24 points from last year's survey
5) Prime Minister Koizumi hints at paying homage at Yasukuni Shrine
in near future
6) Abe's secret visit to Yasukuni Shrine in April carefully planned
and executed
7) Foreign Minister Aso knew about Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe's
April visit to Yasukuni
8) Opposition camp blasts Abe for secret visit to Yasukuni Shrine
9) New Komeito fears that Abe flap may hurt the administration
10) Tojo's order limited Yasukuni to solely those killed during the
war
11) Emperor not only stopped visiting Yasukuni Shrine after Class-A
war criminals enshrined, he avoided ancillary war shrines across
country
12) LDP policy affairs council planning law that would place
Yasukuni Shrine under state jurisdiction
13) Foreign Minister Aso has plan to secularize Yasukuni Shrine
14) Survey of LDP lawmakers shows Abe already has lined up support
from almost majority for his bid to become next party president
15) LDP's Yamasaki may not run in the LDP presidential race after
all
16) Learning from lesson of Nagano election, LDP realizes has a lot
of homework to do if it hopes to capture the fickle unaffiliated
voter in next years' Upper House race
17) Government, Okinawa setting up consultative organ on Futenma
base relocation
18) Japan, US complete joint analysis of recent North Korean missile
launches
19) GSDF troops carrying out PKO on Golan Heights are on the edge of
the fighting between Israel, Hezbollah
Articles:
1) TOP HEADLINES
Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Sankei Shimbun:
Murai ousts Tanaka in Nagano gubernatorial race
Nihon Keizai:
44 PERCENT of 100 top executives see another year of economic
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growth
Akahata:
2006 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs in Hiroshima
wraps up; Time to rid the world of nuclear weapons
2) EDITORIALS
Asahi:
(1)Drastic reform of the Social Insurance Agency absolutely
necessary
(2)Bicycle traffic offenders should be fined
Mainichi:
(1)Postal reform committee members should fulfill responsibility
(2)Limits to mock change in government seen (by editorial committee
member Masao Yora)
Yomiuri:
(1)Adjust consumption tax, not income tax
(2)Nagano citizens sought solid reform
Nihon Keizai:
(1)Questioning policy issues for 2006 LDP presidential race:
(2)Leap of corporations and environmental consolidation urgent
Sankei:
(1)Hiroshima peace declaration fails to include warning against
North Korea's threat
(2)Decrease in ATM transfer amount: Exercise wisdom to maintain
convenience
Tokyo Shimbun:
(1)Surge in oil prices: The future situation cannot be taken
lightly
(2)Defense White Paper: Transparency in policies should be
heightened
Akahata:
Deregulatory Council Chairman Miyauchi wants own way too much
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, August 6
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 7, 2006
07:41:
Left the Hiroshima Prince Hotel.
08:00:
Attended a memorial service marking the 61st anniversary of the
atomic bombing, held at the Peace Memorial Park in Hiroshima.
09:49:
Met Upper House President Ogi at Hiroshima Air Port.
10:46:
Left Hiroshima Air Port aboard ANA 676.
11:57:
Arrived at Haneda Air Port.
12:28:
Arrived at his official residence.
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4) Poll: 60 PERCENT see Japan-ROK relations as worse, a leap of 24
points in a year
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 7, 2006
Nearly 60 PERCENT of the Japanese public think Japan-South Korea
relations are in bad shape, the Yomiuri Shimbun found from a joint
public opinion survey conducted in Japan and South Korea with the
Hankook Ilbo (Korea Times), a South Korean daily. The survey has
been conducted five times since 1995, but the figure this time is
the worst level ever.
The survey was conducted in Japan and South Korea from late June
through early July on a face-to-face basis.
In Japan, a total of 36 PERCENT answered that Japan-South Korea
relations are in good shape, down 24 percentage points from last
year's survey. Meanwhile, a total of 59 PERCENT think the two
countries' relations are in bad shape, up 24 points. In South Korea,
"good" totaled 12 PERCENT , with "bad" reaching 87 PERCENT . There
were no substantial changes in the proportions of positive and
negative figures.
In Japan, a total of 51 PERCENT answered they cannot trust South
Korea, up 17 points from last year, with a total of 43 PERCENT
saying they can trust South Korea, down 16 points. In South Korea, a
total of 11 PERCENT answered they can trust Japan, with a total of
89 PERCENT saying they cannot trust Japan.
In South Korea, anti-Japanese sentiments grew strong last year after
Shimane Prefecture cited an ordinance to establish a commemorative
day for Takeshima, a group of disputed islets called Dokdo in South
Korea. This year, the Japanese public appears to have grown
distrustful of South Korea for its public's negative sensitivities
over the Takeshima issue and the Yasukuni issue.
In the survey, Japanese and South Korean respondents were asked if
they thought the Takeshima issue could be resolved through
intergovernmental talks between the two countries. "Yes" totaled 30
PERCENT in Japan and 21 PERCENT in South Korea.
Respondents were also asked if they would not care about the prime
minister paying homage at Yasukuni Shrine. In Japan, "no" marked 60
PERCENT . In South Korea, however, "no" accounted for only 10
PERCENT .
In the meantime, North Korea still continues its nuclear development
programs. Respondents were asked if they felt a threat from that
country's nuclear development. In response to this question, "yes"
totaled 87 PERCENT in Japan and 59 PERCENT in South Korea. The
figures show an evident perception gap between the two nations.
5) Koizumi hints at Yasukuni visit before stepping down
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Slightly abridged)
August 7, 2006
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi indicated the possibility that he
would visit Yasukuni Shrine before stepping down from his post,
saying: "I can visit the shrine at any time, but I will decide on
the timing appropriately."
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Koizumi responded to questions from reporters in Hiroshima after
attending the annual memorial service to mark the US atomic bombing
of the city in World War II.
Taking issue with China and South Korea for refusing to hold summit
meetings with Tokyo, Koizumi said: "I have said I am ready to hold
meetings with China and South Korea at any time. It is not me doing
the rejecting."
6) Abe went in secrecy to pay homage at Yasukuni Shrine in April as
last resort; Visit was carefully planned and aimed at balancing
personal political belief and need to repair China, ROK relations
ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
August 5, 2006
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe secret visit to Yasukuni Shrine
in April has created a sensation domestically and abroad. It has
created a debate within the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in
connection with the upcoming LDP presidential election pitting Abe
supporters against anti-Abe forces. However, Prime Minister Koizumi
has expressed his understanding and strong support, calling Abe's
shrine visit a matter of "personal freedom." Why did Chief Cabinet
Secretary Abe, in stark contrast with Prime Minister Koizumi, pay
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homage at the shrine in secrecy? Why did this closely-held visit to
the shrine surface at this delicate time just prior to the
end-of-war anniversary on August 15?
Almost nobody noticed Abe visiting Yasukuni Shrine early in the
morning. It happened at 6:30 am on April 15, just after dawn. Abe's
staff notified Yasukuni Shrine just beforehand that Abe would soon
be arriving. Abe did not come by official car. He arrived at the
shrine accompanied by a policy secretary and two police escorts. He
went up to the main hall and paid homage to the dead. It was six
days before the great spring shrine festival, which Abe for some
time had brought up as one of the appropriate times for him to pay
homage at the shrine. That morning of the 15th, he was scheduled to
attend the Prime Minister's Cherry Blossom Viewing Party at Shinjuku
Gardens, so his being dressed in morning coat was not unusual. There
was less possibility of someone noticing that he had gone earlier to
the shrine to worship. That was probably Abe's calculation, for he
reportedly had decided in late March on the timing of the visit.
For Abe, who strongly desires to continue to pay homage at Yasukuni
Shrine, his method of secretly visiting it was a carefully planned
strategy designed to somehow balance his own personal political
beliefs and the need to improve relations with China and the
Republic of Korea, strained over the Yasukuni issue. One can say
that Abe, aware of the prime minister's power, decided to plot a
more pragmatic course.
There is a strong view in the group of junior LDP lawmakers who back
Abe that he should visit the shrine. In considering the LDP
presidential election, Abe, too, must be aware of such a political
force behind him. However, the prime minister's shrine visits have
been used as the reason by China and South Korea to cut off summit
meetings with Koizumi. For Abe, who is considering the rebuilding of
Asia diplomacy as one of the challenges of his administration, he
cannot walk in the same footsteps as Koizumi.
Aides of Abe have been haunted by this issue, one of them saying,
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"If he visits on August 15, there will be no way to avoid this issue
in the presidential race, but if he goes in October at the fall
festival, it would damage the launching of his administration. So by
doing it in April, there would seem to be little to worry about."
7) Aso knew of Abe's Yasukuni Shrine visit
ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 6, 2006
Commenting on Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's visit to Yasukuni
Shrine in April, Foreign Minister Taro Aso on August 5 told
reporters, "Since I have known of his visit to Yasukuni for a long
time, I have no special feelings about it." Regarding whether he
would visit the shrine or not, he stressed that he would "remain
cautious about the issue."
8) Opposition parties criticize Abe in unison
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpt)
August 5, 2006
Opposition parties have strongly criticized Chief Cabinet Secretary
Shinzo Abe for having visited Yasukuni Shrine.
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa told
reporters on Aug. 4 in Kyoto: "Japan has been unable to hold talks
with China and South Korea. If Mr. Abe becomes prime minister, the
same situation will continue." He indicated his view that if Abe
became prime minister, it would be difficult to improve Japan's
relations with Beijing and Seoul. He also posed a question about
Abe, who had not made public his homage at the Shinto shrine,
saying, "Since that's his belief, he should have made his actions
public."
9) New Komeito concerned about Abe government
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpt)
August 7, 2006
With the revelation of Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's visit to
Yasukuni Shrine in April, the New Komeito, the junior partner in the
ruing coalition led by the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has a
heightened sense of alarm toward an Abe government.
Although New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki has repeatedly called
on the prime minister, foreign minister, and chief cabinet secretary
to refrain from visiting the shrine, Abe did so after assuming his
current post, and he has set forth policies, including a change in
the government's interpretation of the exercise of the right to
collective self-defense, that are unacceptable for the New Komeito.
10) Wartime Prime Minister Hideki Tojo, according to secret document
toward end of war, rigidly set standard for enshrinement at Yasukuni
Shrine, limiting it to those who directly served and fought in
battle
TOKYO (Top play) (Excerpt)
August 6, 2006
It was learned as of yesterday that toward the end of World War II,
then Prime Minister Hideki Tojo (who was also Army Minister) in a
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secret Imperial Army document set the standard for enshrinement at
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Yasukuni Shrine, limiting it to those military personnel or civilian
employees of the military who had died "as a direct result of
serving in battle." Under the strict rules he set, it would be
impossible for those who did not die on the battlefield to be
enshrined. If the order from the wartime prime minister himself is
applied, Class-A war criminals now enshrined at Yasukuni who include
himself, would be excluded from consideration for such status.
11) Emperor Showa stopped visiting war-related Shinto shrines across
country after enshrinement of Class-A war criminals at Yasukuni
SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 7, 2006
After Class-A war criminals were enshrined at Yasukuni Shrine along
with the war dead in 1978, the Showa Emperor (Hirohito) also stopped
visiting ancillary Shinto shrines across the nation designated as
places of worship for those who died in the war (gokoku-jinja). The
Sankei Shimbun has obtained this information. An informed source
also revealed that before the current Emperor visited the Shinto
Shrine in Tochigi Prefecture (Utsunomiya City) in 1996, the Imperial
Household Agency had asked if the souls of Class-A war criminals
were enshrined there.
Until the mid-1970s, the Showa Emperor visited war-dead-related
Shinto shrines across the nation almost every year since 1957. In
May 1978, just before the souls of Class-A war criminals were
enshrined at Yasukuni, he visited the gokoku-jinja shrine in Kochi
Prefecture (Kochi city), but afterward, he ceased visiting such
shrines.
Showa Emperor made his final visit to Yasukuni Shrine in November
1975. The enshrinement of Class-A war criminals occurred three years
later, so many took the view that the late emperor's cessation of
visits to the shrine had nothing to do with the enshrinement of the
war criminals. Looking at his paying homage at gokoku-jinja shrines
across the nation, though, we can see that the enshrinement of
Class-A criminals was an apparent turning point.
The souls of Class-A war criminals are enshrined at gokoku-jinja
shrines in their respective hometowns. A memorandum written by then
Imperial Household Agency Grand Steward Tomohiko Tomita refers to
then Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsuoka and then Ambassador to Italy
Toshio Shiratori. Matsuoka and Shiratori are enshrined at the Shinto
gokoku-jinja shrine in Yamaguchi Prefecture (Yamaguchi City) and the
gokoku-jinja shrine in Chiba Prefecture (Chiba City), respectively.
The current Emperor visited a gokoku-jinja shrine in Saitama
Prefecture (Saitama City) in 1993, the first visit to such a
designated shrine by an emperor in 15 years. In 1996, he visited the
gokoku-jinja shrine in Tochigi Prefecture, but no souls of Class-A
war criminals are enshrined at either shrine.
According to persons related to the Tochigi shrine, there was direct
contact from the Imperial Household Agency to ask if Class-A war
criminals were enshrined or not. The emperor has not visited any
gokoku-jinja shrine for 10 years since then.
12) LDP Nakagawa eyes legislation to place Yasukuni Shrine under
state management
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NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
August 7, 2006
Liberal Democratic Party Policy Research Council Chairman Hidenao
Nakagawa indicated yesterday that the government would study
submitting a bill designed to turn Yasukuni Shrine, a religious
corporation, into a state-run war memorial. Speaking before
reporters, Nakagawa said in connection with growing calls for
removing Class-A war criminals from the shrine's enshrined soul
list: "The government might submit a related bill if the bereaved
families' group agrees to it."
Over the enshrinement of Class-A war criminals along with the war
dead, the Japan War-Bereaved Association decided just after the
general election last September to look into the matter. On a TV
program yesterday, Nakagawa stated: "(Bereaved families) seem to be
gradually coming to favor Yasukuni Shrine being changed into a
nonreligious corporation and placed under state control." Later, he
told reporters: "The LDP should discuss the issue with
representatives from the association."
The LDP submitted to the Diet session in 1969 a bill that aimed to
change Yasukuni into a nonreligious facility, but the bill was
killed in the face of objections from opposition parties. Former
Secretary General Makoto Koga, association chairman, and Foreign
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Minister Taro Aso have also come up with proposals. Nakagawa's
statement yesterday is likely to heat up the debate on the issue.
In reference to Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's refusal to
confirm his visit to Yasukuni Shrine in April, Nakagawa told the
reporters: "Since he paid homage in the capacity of a private
citizen, there is no need to mention it."
13) Foreign Minister Aso urges Yasukuni Shrine be made nonreligious
organization; Legislation to establish national facility
ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
Evening, August 5, 2006
Foreign Minister Aso, who has declared his candidacy for the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election in September, has
drafted a reform plan regarding Yasukuni Shrine. The details were
unveiled on August 5. The plan proposes a gradual step of first
calling on Yasukuni Shrine to disband itself as a religious
organization on a voluntary basis and making it a national memorial
facility after legally turning it into a nonreligious organization.
The sticking point is the Class-A war criminals that are honored at
Yasukuni Shrine along with the war dead. The Aso plan proposes that
the Diet make a decision, noting, "The Diet should decide through
debate whose souls should be consoled." Aso does not intend to visit
Yasukuni Shrine until these measures are realized.
The views of the candidates to succeed Prime Minister Koizumi on the
Yasukuni issue differ. While it was revealed that Chief Cabinet
Secretary Abe visited the shrine in April, Finance Minister Tanigaki
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has announced his intention not to visit Yasukuni if he becomes
prime minister. Chances are that if Prime Minister Koizumi visits
the shrine on August 15, Yasukuni will become an issue in the LDP
presidential race. The reform plan presented by Aso, who has been
viewed as close to Abe in terms of diplomatic policy, will likely
give impetus to the discussion on reforming Yasukuni
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The Aso plan, which he claims is his private view, stresses the need
to keep Yasukuni Shrine as far away from politics as possible and
keep it as a "(nonpolitical) place of worship for eternity." The set
of proposals also noted: "It may not be an exaggeration to say that
the government has privatized its business of consoling the souls of
the war dead. By doing so, it has left the business itself
unattended until it dies out in course of time." He thus indicated a
sense of crisis regarding the continuation of Yasukuni Shrine as
is.
As a measure to resolve this issue, the Aso plan calls on Yasukuni
Shrine to take procedures to become a nonreligious organization on a
voluntary basis, noting that it is necessary. It also pointed out:
"There are 52 Shinto shrines designated as places of worship for
those who died in the war throughout the nation. They are exactly
the same as Yasukuni Shrine in terms of the process of their
establishment, the nature of the facilities, and problems concerning
the present situation. It is, therefore, appropriate to deal with
Yasukuni Shrine along with those shrines as a package."
14) Survey: Over 190 LDP lawmakers, nearly half, support Abe for
presidency
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Abridged slightly)
August 6, 2006
In the wake of Finance Minister Sadakazu Tanigaki's official
announcement on August 5 of his candidacy for the September 20 LDP
presidential election (campaigning to formally kick off Sept. 8) and
former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda's announcement that he
will not run in the race, the Tokyo Shimbun conducted a survey of
the 403 LDP Diet members. The results showed that over 190 - close
to a majority of 202 - were determined to vote for Chief Cabinet
Secretary Shinzo Abe.
SIPDIS
The results were analyzed comprehensively based on interviews with
lawmakers and information obtained from party executives. Those who
supported a candidate other than Abe, Tanigaki, or Foreign Minister
Taro Aso were categorized as "other and undecided," because their
favorites may not run in the race. The Tokyo Shimbun conducted a
similar survey on July 21, as well.
In the previous survey, over 170 lawmakers said they would support
Abe.
Fukuda's withdrawal from the race has prompted the Mori faction, to
which Abe and Fukuda belong, to field Abe as its only candidate.
Support for Abe has also spread in the Niwa-Koga faction, the Ibuki
faction, and the Komura faction, which do not have their own
candidates.
Fukuda's withdrawal has also sparked calls in the Tsushima faction
to field Defense Agency chief Fukushiro Nukaga.
The Yamasaki faction was less eager to support Abe from the previous
poll due to former LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki's tight grip on
its members. Yamasaki is keeping the door open to his own
candidacy.
About 20 members - the requirement for official candidacy --
expressed their support each for Tanigaki and Aso, as in the
previous survey.
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15) Taku Yamasaki indicates he will not run in LDP presidential
race
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 5, 2006
Appearing on a Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) program on Aug. 4,
Taku Yamasaki, who heads a faction in the Liberal Democratic Party
(LDP), discussed the possibility of his running in the September LDP
presidential election:
"Since the result of the race is known, I don't want to join as a
minor league player. If I join the game, I would like to do so as a
good player as I have responsibility and pride. I will be cautious
about it."
Yamasaki's view apparently is that if there is no change in Chief
Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's advantage, he will not run in the
election.
Asked about when he would announce his decision, Yamasaki responded,
"I have said that I will make up mind after the mid-August Bon
holiday break."
16) LDP gives reserved support to Jin Murai, former Lower House
member of LDP in order to attract voters without any party
affiliation
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
August 7, 2006
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is relieved that Jin Murai, a
former Lower House lawmaker of the LDP, was returned in the
gubernatorial election in Nagano Prefecture. Though the LDP
Headquarters stopped short of giving an official endorsement to him,
it had been concerned that if incumbent Yasuo Tanaka, a harsh critic
of Prime Minister Koizumi's politics, won, it would spark momentum
in the opposition parties, particularly the Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ = Minshuto).
The LDP gave no more than a prefectural federation-level endorsement
to Murai, because the executive judged that in order to embrace
voters without any party affiliation it would be wise for the
candidate to constrain a party flavor. Behind the judgment are also
calculated motives to avoid responsibility in the event of Murai
losing the election despite overall backing from the LDP, following
failures in the by-election in the Lower House Chiba Constituency
No. 7 in April and the gubernatorial election in Shiga Prefecture in
July.
The two candidates locked in a neck-and-neck race until the final
stage of the campaign. The executive encouraged Murai, "Firmly fight
the rival candidate," but it never offered organized support.
Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe yesterday evening told reporters,
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"We judged that the party should not intervene in this election." He
thus underscored that the LDP's reserved support has proved
effective. However, dampening its joy over the victory in Nagano the
LDP found no effective approach to capture uncommitted voters in
looking ahead to next year's nationwide local elections and the
Upper House election.
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17) Government, Okinawa to establish consultative body later this
month to discuss specific Futenma relocation plans, new economic
stimulus measures
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 6, 2006
The central and the Okinawa prefectural governments have entered in
the final stage of negotiations to establish a consultative body
later this month to draw up plans for the relocation of the US
Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station, now located in Ginowan, and
incentives for municipalities that will accept the relocated
facilities. Atsushi Watanabe, head of the Defense Facilities
Administration's Facilities Department, will visit the prefecture on
Monday to exchange views with prefectural government officials on
the planned consultative body.
The basic plan for the realignment of US forces in Japan, endorsed
by the cabinet in May, calls for the establishment of a panel
comprising representatives from the central and Okinawa prefectural
governments and affected municipalities to discuss the relocation of
the air base to a coastal areas of Camp Schwab in Nago. The
prefectural government has been opposed to setting up the panel,
saying it has not endorsed the government's relocation plan.
But the prefecture has now changed its stance and convened on
Saturday a liaison council to discuss the issue with Nago and 11
other municipalities in the northern part of the prefecture. The
council will meet with agency officials on Monday.
Nago and the other municipalities affected by the relocation expect
measures for spurring economic growth, particularly because the 10
billion yen in annual funding for current projects will come to an
end this year. "The Okinawa prefectural government must take into
consideration the local population's desire for economic measures
when discussing the relocation issue with the central government," a
government source said. To facilitate the local government's
participation in the panel, the central government plans to place
priority on the drafting of new economic growth measures for the
northern part of the prefecture. The Futenma relocation issue will
likely become the greatest campaign issue in the Okinawa
gubernatorial election in November. To what extent Okinawa will
cooperate on mapping out plans for the alternative facility remains
to be seen.
18) All six North Korean Rodong and Scud missiles landed in targeted
sea zone, Japan, US conclude; They are accurate and operational
YOMIURI (Top play) (Excerpts)
August 6, 2006
Six of seven missiles that North Korea test-fired on July 5 fell
inside a sea zone that was put off-limits for ships in advance by
Pyongyang, the Japanese and US governments have concluded. Soon
after the launches, the government announced the six missiles, which
were Rodongs (with a range of 1,300 kilometers) and Scuds (300 to
500 kilometers) excluding a Taepodong-2 (6,000 kilometers), were
estimated to have hit points 400 to kilometers out to sea. But the
government later learned the six missiles likely splashed in an area
bout 50 kilometers in radius, as North Korea had calculated.
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A Defense Agency official said: "The targeting accuracy of the
Rodong and Scud missiles was high to a certain degree, and it proved
the missiles are operational."
North Korea set the restricted area - a triangle about 160
kilometers long on each side - in the Sea of Japan off the North
Korean coast between July 4 and 11, and notified concerned persons
in North Korea of the restricted zone.
According to Japanese and US analyses based on data from radar of
Aegis-equipped warships and other intelligence, the Rodong and Scud
missiles traveled about 300 to 400 kilometers northeast from a
missile base in Kitaeryong in the southeastern part of the country.
All the landing points were inside the designated zone and the
government believe they were within an area with a radius of about
50 kilometers. A senior Defense Agency official indicated it was
unknown whether the missiles accurately hit targeted points. "As we
don't know the target points that North Korea set, it's difficult to
make that judgment," the official said.
19) GSDF carrying out PKO on Golan Heights close to war zone where
Israel and Hezbollah are having it out; Danger of becoming wrapped
up in their fighting
AKAHATA (Page 2) (Abridged)
August 6, 2006
As the combat situation worsens in Lebanon between the Israeli
forces and Hezbollah, the Shiite faction's civilian militia in that
country, attention is turning to the impact of the fighting on the
peacekeeping operations (PKO) of the Ground Self-Defense Force
troops dispatched to the Golan Heights, an area of Syria which is
adjacent to Israel and Lebanon. Sources in the GSDF are worried that
Japanese troops might become wrapped up in the fighting.
The Golan Heights, where PKO is being carried out, spans across
eastern and western Syria. To the north is Lebanon, and to the south
is Israel. The Heights are on the very edge of the battle-zone next
door. On July 15, a rocked landed near the GSDF unit when they were
at a point over a dozen kilometers from the camp where they are
stationed. The rocket seems to have been launched by Hezbollah. The
incident, reported in the Yomiuri Shimbun on July 29, quoted one
person as saying, "Missiles and rockets are always flying back and
forth under our noses (at camp)."
PKO in the Golan Heights began after Israel and Syria called a halt
to their fighting in 1974, with both armies withdrawing from the
Heights when international observers arrived. Later, United Nations
Disengagement Observer Forces (UNDOF) was deployed as ADS or Active
Directory Service. The Japanese government from Feb. 1996 dispatched
a GSDF transport unit to UNDOF. Currently, there are 43 GSDF
personnel active in the unit. As logistical support for UNDOF, the
unit transports mostly daily necessity goods. In addition, two GSDF
officers are attached to UNDOF Headquarters.
In late August, the current unit is scheduled to be rotated out and
be replaced by the next unit in line to come. The United Nations
Peace Cooperation Headquarters reports that the route used to
transport goods extends into the area of northern Israel that is
being shelled by Hezbollah. In the 2006 Defense of Japan (White
Paper), issued by Defense Agency, fierce fighting has spread all
across the south part of Lebanon where Israeli troops continue
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large-scale strikes. The Defense Agency explains that currently it
is aware of the need to maintain the safety of the mission and that
activities in Lebanon and Israel are not now taking place. However,
GSDF troops on the Heights are becoming increasingly perplexed,
fearing that they could become wrapped up in the combat situation.
SCHIEFFER
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