Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 09/12/06

Published: Tue 12 Sep 2006 05:12 AM
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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule
4) Abe holds firm with 70 percent of the party votes secure in his
bid for the LDP presidency: Yomiuri poll
5) But internal LDP survey shows Abe has less than half of votes
lined up in his presidential bid
6) Abe wants constitutional revision within five years 4
7) Three LDP presidential candidates debate Japan's right of
collective self-defense, with each citing need to study the issue
8) While LDP presidential candidates Abe, Aso back Iraq war and
policy, Tanigaki draws line, stresses negative results of war
9) Abe stresses that it was not a mistake to have used armed force
against Iraq
10) Prime Minister Koizumi, still in Finland, makes statement
backing Abe's "second chance" program
11) New Komeito's Fuyushiba to be in the new cabinet following LDP
12) Ichiro Ozawa, running unopposed, declares candidacy for
presidency of Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan)
13) Text of Ozawa's policy statement to the press
14) Senior agricultural vice minister visits Taiwan, meets Pres.
15) Japan, ROK agree to start joint surveys next month in waters
around disputed Takeshima isles
16) Crooked company Mitsutoyo may have exported illegal goods to the
United States, as well
17) Prime minister, foreign minister will both skip the UN General
Assembly opening
Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry to seek 10 billion yen
in fines from bridge builders for rigging bids
Mainichi & Sankei:
US marks fifth anniversary of 9/11
Poll: More than 70 percent of eligible LDP lawmakers support Abe in
presidential race
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Nihon Keizai:
Internet TV broadcasts to set unified standard for Net distribution
of digital TV programs
Tokyo Shimbun:
Abe pledges to revise Constitution in five years
International Conference of Asian Political Parties winds up after
adopting declaration calling for permanent peace, prosperity
(1)LDP presidential debate heating up: Tanigaki merits appreciation
for enthusiasm
(2)Thorough earthquake-resistance measures needed for nuclear power
(1)Anti-drunk-driving campaign: Introduce tougher measures
(2)LDP presidential election: Focus in economic and fiscal policy
should be on how to reduce debts
(1)Fully study right to collective self-defense
(2)Reelection of Minshuto head Ozawa: Active policy debate needed
Nihon Keizai:
(1)Discussion on small government still insufficient
(2)Further debate needed on labor agreement between Japan, the
(1)LDP presidential election: Specific arguments, explanations are
not still enough
(2)UNGA: Japan should continue to insist on reform
Tokyo Shimbun:
(1)Substance lacking in debate among candidates for LDP presidential
(2)Specific results should be presented at ASEM
(1)Drastic cuts in tax on large firms: Take the scalpel to vested
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, September 9, 10 & 11
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
Sept. 9 (Local time)
Arrived at Scandic Continental Hotel at Helsinki, Finland, and
stayed there.
Sept. 10
Attended a summit meeting at Helsinki Fair Center of Asian
participants in the ASEM Summit Conference.
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Visited the underground shelter in Helsinki.
Attended the opening ceremony of the ASEM Summit Conference held at
Helsinki Fair Center.
Had the photo-taking occasion. Attended the 1st meeting.
Met with Spanish President Zapatero.
Joined a working dinner held at the presidential office.
Arrived at Sandic Continental Hotel and stayed there.
Sept. 11
Met with Vietnamese Dung. Attended the 2nd meeting.
Had a working lunch.
Attended the 3rd and 4th meetings, and the closing ceremony.
Held a press conference with Japanese and foreign reporters at
Scandic Continental Hotel.
4) Poll: Abe gets support from over 70 percent in LDP race
YOMIURI (Top play) (Abridged)
September 12, 2006
Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe is now certain to garner 288 votes or
more than 70 percent of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's 403
lawmakers in the party's presidential election slated for Sept. 20,
the Yomiuri Shimbun found yesterday from its recent poll. In
addition, more than 60 percent of the LDP's nonparliamentary members
across the nation support Abe, according to findings from another
Yomiuri Shimbun poll conducted over the telephone. Based on this
finding, Abe is expected to win more than 75 percent of the party's
300 nonparliamentary votes. Consequently, Abe is sure to take office
with an overwhelming victory in the first ballot scheduled for Sept.
20. Two other running candidates, Foreign Minister Aso and Finance
Minister Tanigaki, are even in the race with parliamentary and
nonparliamentary votes expected for them. Their duel for second
place is now heating up in an aim to keep up their intraparty clouts
after the election.
The trends of support among the LDP's lawmakers are based on
interviews with them in person or with their staffs. In the party,
Abe ensured support from 288 lawmakers or 71.5 percent, Aso from 44
lawmakers or 10.9 percent, and Tanigaki from 42 lawmakers or 10.4
percent. There were 29 undecided lawmakers.
Abe is an LDP lawmaker from the 86-member Mori faction. Aso is from
the 11-member Kono faction, and Tanigaki chairs his own 15-member
faction. The three are endorsed by all of their respective factions.
Among four other factions, the 15-member Nikai faction will cast all
of its votes for Abe. The Niwa-Koga faction has a total of 50
members, and about 10 of them are standing behind Aso or Tanigaki.
In addition, some of the 32-member Ibuki faction and the 15-member
Komura faction will back either Aso or Tanigaki.
The Tsushima faction, which has 75 lawmakers, will independently
cast its votes, with more than 40 of them having made up their minds
to vote for Abe and with about 10 each supporting either Aso or
Tanigaki. However, many of the Tsushima faction, including those
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holding seats in the House of Councillors, remain undecided.
Accordingly, there is room for each of the three candidates to gain
more support from within the Tsushima faction.
The 36-member Yamasaki faction will also independently cast its
votes, with more than 20 of them having clarified their support for
Abe. In the Yamasaki faction, however, more than 10 lawmakers are
backing Tanigaki.
The LDP also has 68 unaffiliated lawmakers, and about 50 of them
support Abe. However, Aso has ensured support from more than 10 of
those unaffiliated lawmakers.
In the meantime, the LDP's nonparliamentary members were surveyed
over the telephone on Sept. 8-10. Answers were obtained from 717 of
the party's local bloc members across the nation. In this survey,
62.8 percent supported Abe, up 6.3 percentage points from a previous
survey taken in June. Aso stood at 13.7 percent, up 11.4 points, and
Tanigaki at 13.5 percent, up 11.7 points.
5) Abe having unexpected trouble extending support? Fewer than 50
percent of LDP members have clearly expressed support
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
The Joint Election Campaign Headquarters (JECH led by Hakuo
Yanagisawa), which supports Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe in the
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential race, has calculated the
votes of party members. The tally found that those who have replied
that they definitely support Abe stood at less than 50 percent. The
dominant view is that Abe will garner more than 70 percent of votes
both from lawmakers and party members. However, support for him
among party members appears to be flat at the present stage.
JECH survey
According to several senior JECH members, the Abe camp carried out a
telephone survey of approximately 1.07 million LDP members. It
solicited support for Abe from about 774,000 members over the phone
as of Sept. 10. Of that number, approximately 377,000 clearly
expressed their support for Abe, about 49 percent of all members.
The JECH intends to continue its efforts to secure further support
for Abe, with executive director Toshiaki Amari noting, "We must
work harder so that support for Abe will grow more than the expected
6) Abe reveals during LDP presidential debate his intention to
revise Constitution within five years
MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
September 12, 2006
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, Finance Minister Sadakazu
Tanigaki, and Foreign Minister Taro Aso, who have declared their
candidacy for the Liberal Democratic Party's presidential election,
yesterday attended an LDP presidential debate hosted by the Japan
National Press Club. Abe revealed his intention of aiming for
constitutional revision within five years, noting: "I must consider
a time span of five years or so. Frontloading that timeline will
also be an option." Regarding a visit to Yasukuni Shrine, Abe
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indicated that he would not characterize any possible future visits
as "official ones," saying, "Even if I visit the shrine, I will not
do so in an official capacity."
7) 3 LDP candidates suggest need to study collective defense
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Excerpt)
September 12, 2006
Three candidates running in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party's
presidential election-Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe, Finance Minister
Tanigaki, and Foreign Minister Aso-held an open debate yesterday at
the Japan National Press Club at Uchisaiwaicho, Tokyo.
In the debate, the three touched on Japan's self-imposed
prohibitions against the right of collective self-defense in
conformity with the government's constitutional interpretation.
"Japan will have to make efforts to ensure equality in the Japan-US
alliance," Abe said. "I wonder if we're not allowed even to make
efforts to discuss or study what has been prohibited so far," Abe
added. Aso also said, "We should think of making it possible for
Japan to exercise the right of collective self-defense under
appropriate conditions." Meanwhile, Tanigaki has been taking the
position that the Constitution should be amended in order for Japan
to be allowed to participate in collective defense. He said, "I
won't rule out the necessity of discussing and studying this
matter." With these remarks, the three candidates admitted to the
necessity of going ahead with case studies for Japan's possible
participation in collective defense.
8) LDP presidential debate: "Iraq war has left major source of
trouble in future," Tanigaki says; Abe, Aso stress their position of
supporting US
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
An open Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential debate held
yesterday, the fifth anniversary of 9/11, took up the Iraq war.
Abe supported the US strike on Iraq, noting: "The US made a mistake
in terms of intelligence. However, its use of force was right. Iraq
was given an opportunity to prove that it had no weapons of mass
destruction (WMD), but it did not."
Abe maintained that the Japanese government's decision to support
the US was also correct, saying, "Japan supported the US with the UN
resolution seeking the abolition of WMD and cooperation for
inspections from Iraq and the Japan-US alliance in mind. There was a
rational reason for the decision."
Foreign Minister Aso aligned himself with Abe, saying, "We must not
forget that Iraq had ignored UN resolutions for 12 years." He also
pointed out, "If the Bush administration made any mistake, it would
be in falling short of thoroughly working out a postwar occupation
Finance Minister Tanigaki drew a distinction with Abe and Aso,
saying, "With the benefit of hindsight, the US has left open a major
source of trouble in the future in terms of its failure to prove the
presence of WMD."
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9) Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe: Was not a mistake to use force
against Iraq
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
September 12, 2006
At a panel discussion yesterday at the Japan National Press Club,
Chief Cabinet Secretary Abe, Finance Minister Tanigaki, and Foreign
Minister Aso made clear their evaluations of the Iraq war. On the
question of the United States' inability to come up with the
evidence that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and had
links to Al Qaeda, Abe stated: "The United States might have made
some mistake in gathering and analyzing information, but it was not
a mistake to use force against (Iraq). It was rational to suspect
Iraq (might have possessed weapons of mass destruction)." Following
Abe, Aso stated, "When it comes to US policies to control and occupy
Iraq after the war, the finale was weak." He added, however: "The
country held an open election and properly elected
In contrast, Tanigaki stated: "The failure to come up with evidence
showing the existence of weapons of mass destruction became a source
of trouble in the future."
10) Prime Minister Koizumi voices support for ensuring that people
get a second chance
SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
Ruhi Ahiru, Helsinki
At a press briefing on the night of Sept. 11 (early Sept. 12, Japan
time), Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi implied that he would give
strong backing to Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe's idea of
helping those who have failed to try again, saying: "Japan has among
the lowest social disparities in the world. Japan needs to create a
system that will give those who fail a chance to try again."
Asked about the selection of cabinet members and the Liberal
Democratic Party executives by the new prime minister, Koizumi
reiterated: "After listening to views from a number of people, the
new prime minister must choose them himself."
On the question of the nation's strained relations with China and
South Korea, Koizumi said, "In dealing with North Korean issues, we
have worked together, and we will continue to do so," but he added:
"It's not me who has insisted that no summit meeting be held because
both sides are in disagreement on one subject. Which side do you
think is wrong?" He thus again criticized China and South Korea,
both of which have refused to meet with Koizumi because of his
visits to Yasukuni Shrine.
11) Fuyushiba to join new cabinet; Abe to accept New Komeito's
MAINICHI (Page 1) (Full)
September 12, 2006
The New Komeito has decided to recommend Secretary General Tetsuzo
Fuyushiba as a successor to outgoing Land, Infrastructure and
Transport Minister Kazuo Kitagawa in a new cabinet to be launched
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after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential race. Kitagawa
has informally been appointed to take office as secretary general.
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe, who is certain to be elected as
the next prime minister, will likely accept the recommendation.
Fuyushiba has spearheaded coordination within the ruling camp along
with party head Takenori Kanzaki, who is to step down at the party
convention on Sept. 30. Since a new lineup led by Acting Secretary
General Akihiro Ota will start after the convention, the New Komeito
has made this decision in hopes of Fuyushiba, who has a solid
channel with the LDP, acting as a coordinator in the coalition. The
New Komeito is assuming Fuyushiba will be given a key portfolio,
such as minister of internal affairs and communications or minister
or land, infrastructure and transport.
12) Ozawa announces candidacy for Minshuto presidential race;
reelection certain
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa, holding
a press conference yesterday, officially announced his candidacy for
the party presidential election (to be officially announced today)
and unveiled his basic visions and policies. Ozawa's reelection will
become certain this afternoon, as no other candidates are expected
to join the race.
Criticizing the LDP for what he called "the politics of
demagoguery," Ozawa declared that he would pursue "the politics of
common sense" based on the ideals of coexistence and fairness. Ozawa
played up his adversarial stance against Chief Cabinet Secretary
Shinzo Abe, who is certain to become the next prime minister.
Elimination of disparity was set as top priority.
Ozawa also explained that the consumption tax rate could be kept at
5 percent for the time being by turning the consumption tax into a
welfare tax and implementing drastic administrative reforms, such as
abolishing subsidies.
13) Ozawa's basic principles and policies
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
September 12, 2006
The following are the main points of Minshuto (Democratic Party of
Japan) President Ichiro Ozawa's basic principles and policies
Basic principles
Transform Japan into a fair country that is based on logic.
Correcting social disparities will be the top priority for Minshuto
politics. Japan is at heightened risk due to a rise of extreme and
biased "demagogic politics." Turn Japan into a normal country by
conducting "common-sense politics."
Educational reform
Establish a Japan basic education law. The state will be held
responsible for compulsory education. Expand the period of
compulsory education to begin at age 5 and continue through middle
and high school and provide preschool education free of charge.
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Correcting disparities
Provide childrearing allowances to families with children and
parental allowances to families with elderly parents living with
them. Promote a shift from nonpermanent employment to permanent
employment and establish a basic rule of providing equal wages to
permanent and nonpermanent workers. Apply the rule of free
competition to the management and lifelong employment to
non-supervisory workers. Integrate pension programs into one
composed of a consumption tax-financed part (60,000 yen a month) and
an income-based portion. Maintain the current level of the burden
for insurance premiums. Convert the consumption tax into a welfare
tax. Put a cap on pension benefits to high-income earners.
Food safety and ensuring peace of mind
Establish a food self-sufficiency system to produce comestibles that
can meet the necessary minimum calories. Establish an individual
income compensation system to pay to growers the differences between
the production costs and the market prices of key farm products.
Abolish separate subsidies and provide local governments with
subsidies in a lump sum. Integrate municipalities into about 300
basic local governments.
Diplomacy and national security
Conclude a free trade agreement with the United States at an early
date to establish a true Japan-US alliance. Make every effort to
build relations of trust with Asian countries, including China and
South Korea. Japan is allowed to exercise its individual or
collective self-defense right only when it is faced with imminent
and unjust aggression. The country will not use force in other
cases. Actively participate in UN-centered peace operations in
compliance with UN requests.
Political reform
Bureaucrats are not allowed to join Diet deliberations. Abolish the
council of administrative vice-ministers and let the council of
senior vice-ministers to undertake coordination in the government.
Speedily correct flaws in the legal system to prevent extralegal
14) Senior vice agricultural minister visited Taiwan in August and
held talks with President Chen and others
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
September 12, 2006
Toshinao Ishii, Taipei
Senior Vice Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Mitsuhiro
Miyakoshi visited Taiwan in August and held talks with President
Chen Shui-bian, Minister of the Council of Agriculture Su Jia-chyuan
chuan, and others, sources familiar with Japan-Taiwan relations
revealed yesterday. The Miyakoshi side explained that it was a
private visit. The Japanese government has voluntarily restricted
visits to Taiwan by senior government officials since Tokyo severed
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diplomatic ties to Taipei in 1972. It was unprecedented for an
incumbent senior vice minister to visit Taiwan to hold talks with
Taiwanese leaders.
Miyakoshi made a three-day visit to Taiwan in mid-August. "He
visited Taiwan not as senior vice minister but as a private citizen
to see his friends and others in Taiwan," an official with the
Miyakoshi office explained. Japan and Taiwan have been at odds over
marine interests in waters around the Senkaku Islands, known as
Tiaoyutai in Taiwan, in the East China Sea. Miyakoshi exchanged
views with Su and others in his private capacity, according to a
Taiwan source.
In the past, a senior vice minister for economy and trade made a
personal visit to Taiwan to attend the funeral of a Taipei Economy
and Cultural Office representative. But no senior Japanese official
has held talks with Taiwan leaders.
15) Japan, ROK agree to conduct joint radiation survey in six spots
around Takeshima/Dokdo next month
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
September 12, 2006
The Japanese and South Korean governments yesterday announced that
they agreed to conduct sometime in October a joint radiation survey
in six spots, including the waters around Takeshima, a group of
islets claimed by both countries.
The joint survey will be carried out in three points of the water
area where the exclusive economic zones (EEZs) claimed by both
countries overlap, as well as in three points within Japan's EEZ.
Japan has conducted the survey of the three points of the overlapped
EEZs since 1994. As for the three spots within Japan's EEZ, South
Korea insisted, "They need to be surveyed now." Responding to this
request, those three locations have now been added to the joint
Japanese and South Korean research ships will jointly survey each
location and exchange data obtained in the survey. Both countries'
researchers will get aboard each research ship.
Japan's Administrative Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi told the
press yesterday: "We're not saying we will continue the joint survey
next year or after. We'd like to speed up the process of
negotiations on the demarcation of the EEZs, as well as on a
temporary framework that includes a prior notification system."
The two countries jointly conducted a radiation survey in 1994 and
1995, and since 1996, Japan has conducted the survey independently.
This year, too, Japan had a plan to conduct a similar survey
independently, but the plan met with objections from South Korea
because the waters around Takeshima were included in the planned
survey. So both sides continued negotiations.
16) Mitutoyo also suspected of nuclear trafficking to US; US to
exchange information with Japan on missing instruments
SANKEI (Page 31) (Excerpts)
September 12, 2006
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In connection with Mitutoyo's illegal exports (to China and Thailand
discovered this February), the company is now suspected of also
illegally exporting to its subsidiary in the US under a package
export-permission system over the last decade more than 40 percent
of the about 4,000 three-dimensional instruments that could be used
in producing nuclear weapons. According to the Metropolitan Police
Board's Public Safety Department, many of the instruments are
missing. Fearing that the equipment might have made its way to
countries suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction (WMD),
the US has asked Japan for the state of progress in its
investigation into the case. Japanese police intend to exchange
information with US authorities.
Under the package permission system, case-by-case screening is
exempted with the aim of lightening the burden on corporations. The
system is applied on the conditions that the instruments are not
precision instruments and that their export destinations are not
countries suspected of developing WMD. Exporters are required to
renew the permission once every three years.
Mitutoyo started exporting the three-dimentional instruments in full
swing in 1995 and received package permission from the Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MITI) in February 1996.
According to the Public Safety Department, over the past decade,
Mitutoyo exported about 10,000 instruments, and about 4,000 units,
about 40 percent of the total, were found to have been illegally
exported. Of the about 10,000 units, the company shipped
approximately 4,000 units to its subsidiary in the US. The
department suspects that though at least 40 percent of them, or more
than 1,600 units were high-precision equipment, the company exported
them under the package-permission system.
According to a senior police officer, some of the instruments
brought into the US have been found missing, so US investigation
authorities fear that the equipment might have been sent to
countries suspected of developing WMD via third countries.
17) Prime Minister, Foreign Minister to skip UN general assembly
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
September 12, 2006
It is now likely that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Foreign
Minister Taro Aso will both skip delivering a speech at the 61st
United Nations General Assembly in New York starting on Sept. 19.
The reason is that the Liberal Democratic Party presidential
election and party executive and cabinet appointments are scheduled
for Sept. 20. It is only three times since Japan joined the UN in
1956 that neither a Japanese prime minister nor a foreign minister
gave a speech at an annual UN assembly, including a case in which
the Showa Emperor fell sick in 1988 and another case in which the
assembly was delayed to November due to the terrorist attacks on the
US on Sept. 11, coinciding with the extraordinary Diet session.
In the case of Aso, if he leaves Japan on the morning of the 21st,
he would be able to make it. But he is reluctant to do so, citing
his candidacy. Even if he is defeated in the election, there is the
possibility of his being appointed for a key party executive or
cabinet post, so attending the UN assembly seems difficult.
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