Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 10/11/06

Published: Wed 11 Oct 2006 02:15 AM
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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule
North Korea nuclear fallout:
4) Kyodo poll: 83% support additional sanctions against North Korea
for nuclear caper; 90% see test as "threat"
5) Asahi poll: 44% feel strong threat from North Korea, but 62%
prefer "dialogue" over "sanctions"
6) China, angry at North Korea, to go along with UNSC sanctions,
worried also about proliferation also in Middle East, among
7) Ruling and opposition camps in Diet unanimous in condemning North
Korea for nuclear test
8) Text of Diet resolution denouncing North Korea for nuclear
9) - Government mulling complete ban of all North Korean ships
entering Japanese ports
10) Prime Minister Abe tells Diet that Japan will not possess
nuclear weapons
11) North Korea nuclear caper was a test of new Abe administration's
crisis management capability
12) Senior JDA officer: No other choice for Japan but to cooperate
with US to face the North Korea threat
13) Environment Ministry sees no rise in radiation emission after
North Korea nuclear test
14) JDA tells Diet that North Korea does not have the capability yet
of mounting nuclear warheads on its missiles
15) Coordination starts for visit to Japan by China's President Hu
Jintao in Jan.
16) Abe in Diet: What I said about history in the past was my
personal opinion
17) New Komeito, parent religious body Soka Gakkai in meeting agree
not to allow Japan the use of the right of collective self-defense
Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nihon Keizai, Sankei & Tokyo Shimbun:
China implies acceptance of sanctions against North Korea for its
nuclear test
International protests against North Korea's nuclear test; Emergency
meeting now going on at UNSC
N. Korea's nuclear test: We strongly protest reckless act
North Korea turns the world against it
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N. Korea's nuclear test: A dangerous new nuclear age
Nihon Keizai:
Force North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons with harsh
N. Korea's nuclear test: Now is not the time to let this stand
Tokyo Shimbun:
N. Korea's nuclear test: Challenge to peace and stability
N. Korea's nuclear test: Unified response by international community
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, October 9
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2006
Left the Diao Yu Guest House in Beijing. Left Beijing Airport by
government plane. Arrived in Seoul, South Korea. Laid a wreath at
the national cemetery.
Luncheon at the prime minister's residence hosted by Prime Minister
Han Myeong Sook
Met with President Roh Moo Hyun at the Blue House.
Press conference with Japanese and foreign reporters. Dinner meeting
at the Blue House hosted by Roh Moo Hyun. Telephone conference with
US President Bush at the Japanese Embassy. Left Seoul by government
Arrived at Haneda Airport.
Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Shiozaki, Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretaries Shimomura, Suzuki, and Matoba, and special advisors to
the prime minister Koike and Seko.
October 10
Arrived at private residence in Tomigaya
Cabinet meeting in the Diet. Foreign Minister Aso remains. Then met
with State Minister for Economic and Fiscal Policy Ota. Shiozaki was
present. Then met with State Minister for Innovation Takaichi.
Entered his name in the register book to report his return home at
the Imperial Palace.
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Arrived at the Prime Minister's Official Residence.
Met with Shimomura and Suzuki.
Lower House Budget Committee meeting.
Lower House plenary session.
Met with Cabinet Intelligence Director Mitani.
Dined with his secretary at a Chinese restaurant at Akasaka Prince
Arrived at private residence in Tomigaya.
4) Poll: 83% support additional sanctions
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Abridged)
October 11, 2006
In the wake of North Korea's proclamation of its nuclear test on
Oct. 9, Kyodo News Service conducted a telephone-based spot
nationwide public opinion survey. In the survey, respondents were
asked if Japan should toughen its economic sanctions against North
Korea. In response to this question, total of 83.4% answered "yes,"
with 13.1% saying "no." In a previous survey taken right after North
Korea fired ballistic missile in July, "yes" accounted for 80.7%.
Even compared with this figure, the proportion of "yes" answers in
the latest survey was high. This shows that the public wants the
government to take strong countermeasures against North Korea.
When asked if they felt a threat from North Korea's underground
nuclear test, a total of 92.0% answered "yes," broken down into
55.9% saying "greatly" and 36.1% "somewhat." As seen from these
figures, the general public was seriously taking the situation. In
an earlier survey taken in January 2003 right after North Korea's
declaration of its breakaway from the Nuclear Nonproliferation
Treaty (NPT) regime, "yes" accounted for a total of 88.4%. The
proportion of "yes" answers in the latest time has increased from
that figure.
Meanwhile, 5.6% said "not very much," with 2.2% saying "not at
Talks between Japan and North Korea to normalize diplomatic
relations have been stalled since the Koizumi cabinet came into
office. When asked if Japan should hurry to normalize its diplomatic
relations with North Korea, negative answers outnumbered affirmative
ones, with 36.6% saying "yes" and 25.7% "no."
Polling methodology: The survey was conducted Oct. 10 on a random
digit-dialing (RDD) basis. Among those randomly generated telephone
numbers, those actually for household use with one or more eligible
voters totaled 873. Answers were obtained from 603 persons.
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5) Poll: 62% want sanctions over dialogue
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
October 11, 2006
In the wake of Japan's recent summit talks with China and South
Korea and North Korea's proclamation of its nuclear test, the Asahi
Shimbun conducted a telephone-based spot nationwide public opinion
survey. In the survey, respondents were asked if they strongly felt
a threat from North Korea due to its nuclear test. In response to
this question, 44% answered "yes." The figure topped the 38% in a
previous survey taken after North Korea's firing of missiles in
July. When asked if the international community should weigh
sanctions against North Korea rather than pursue dialogue with that
country, "yes" accounted for 62%. Meanwhile, 83% gave high marks to
the Japan-China and Japan-South Korea summit talks. The rate of
public support for the Abe cabinet was 63%, leveling off from the
last time.
This time, respondents were again asked if they felt a threat from
North Korea. In response, 44% said "strongly," with 38% saying
"somewhat." In this July's survey after North Korea's firing of
missiles into the Sea of Japan, "strongly" accounted for 38% and
"somewhat" 39%. As seen from these figures, there was an increase to
a certain extent in the public awareness of a threat from North
The United Nations Security Council is now beginning to discuss a
sanctions resolution. In the survey, respondents were asked if the
international community should weigh dialogue or should otherwise
weigh sanctions. In response, 62% chose "sanctions," with 26%
preferring "dialogue." Among men, "sanctions" accounted for 66%.
This figure topped 59% among women.
In the recent summit talks with China and South Korea, China called
for Prime Minister Abe to resolve the history issue, and Abe stated
that he would not say whether he would visit Yasukuni Shrine or not.
Instead, Abe answered that he would like to deal with the problem in
an "appropriate" manner. In the survey, respondents were asked if
they supported that response, with 52% saying "yes" and 33% "no."
Among those supporting the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, the
proportion of "yes" answers topped 60%. Even among those with no
particular party affiliation, the proportion was nearly 50%.
However, it was a little over 30% among those supporting the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) and 20% among those
supporting the New Komeito party, an LDP-allied coalition party.
Asked if the recent visits of Abe to China and South Korea would
improve Japan's diplomatic relations with these two neighbors, 57%
answered "yes" with China and 56% also "yes" with South Korea. In
the breakdown of these two figures, the proportion of men topped
that of women.
The rate of public support for the Abe cabinet was 63%. To the
question of asking if Abe is a prime minister with ability, however,
"yes" accounted for only 18%, with 56% saying he is falling behind
in his popularity. The approval rating for former Prime Minister
Koizumi and his cabinet was 78% right after coming into office, and
it increased to 84% in a survey taken a month later. In that survey,
37% saw Koizumi as a prime minister of ability, with 47% saying he
was falling behind in his popularity.
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In the breakdown of public support for political parties, the LDP
stood at 42%, with the DPJ marking 14%.
6) China open to sanctions against North Korea; UNSC discussion
focused mainly on nuclear blast
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Top play) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2006
Yasunori Ishikawa, New York
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) yesterday morning (last
night, Japan time) began discussing the draft resolution presented
by Japan and the United States for imposing sanctions on North
Korea. Asked later in the day by reporters about the draft
resolution, which includes harsh measures like a total ban on
imports from North Korea, a freeze on financial assets, and
inspections of ships, Chinese Ambassador to the UN Wang Guanya
revealed China would accept some sanctions, telling reporters:
"Punitive measures are necessary, but they must be appropriate."
In the UNSC, working-level discussions, as well as consultations
among ambassadors from the permanent UNSC member nations plus Japan,
were restarted. Ambassador Wang, asked yesterday by a Tokyo Shimbun
reporter, stated China could not accept the draft resolution
sponsored by Japan and the US without modification, noting:
"Appropriate sanctions mean that sanctions should be limited to the
nuclear test and missile launches."
North Korea cleverly uses the international community's acquiescence
to nuclear deterrent; Fear of proliferation of nuclear weapons into
Middle East, terrorists
Yuji Yamamoto, Seoul
Following its announcement that it conducted a nuclear test, North
Korea has now joined the ranks of the nuclear powers. This
development has become a matter of fresh concern about proliferation
of nuclear weapons and related materials.
Pakistan, which has ethnic and religious divisions with India,
conducted a nuclear test in defiance of international objections.
Israel, which has fought four wars with Arab nations, has allegedly
armed itself with nuclear weapons. The international community
appears to have acquiesced to nuclear deterrence in the belief that
in order to prevent a new regional dispute from taking place,
possession of nuclear weapons is unavoidable.
Cleverly using this international community's attitude, Pyongyang
had proclaimed: "We are under America's nuclear threat. In order to
defend our own security, we will pursue nuclear development." It has
now proclaimed it conducted a nuclear test. The international
community fears that Iran, which is going ahead with uranium
enrichment, and North Korea will join hands. If that happens, a new
source of trouble will emerge in the Middle East. In addition,
should nuclear technology be transferred to an international
terrorist group, a second or third terrorist attack could be brought
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Northeast Asia has now become even more volatile. Under the
six-party framework, Japan, the US, China, South Korea, and Russia
offered plans to help North Korea rebuild its economy in return for
giving up its nuclear programs, but it has now become impossible to
resume the six-party talks because of the North's announcement of
its nuclear test.
The five countries share the view that they will be hard on North
Korea, but when it comes to sanctions, their responses differ. China
and South Korea are unlikely to cut off all aid to the North out of
fear of an outflow of refugees from that country.
7) Ruling, opposition parties unanimously condemn North Korea; Word
"sanctions" not included in Lower House resolution
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Slightly Abridged)
October 11, 2006
Following North Korea's announcement that it conducted an
underground nuclear test, ruling and opposition parties yesterday
criticized that nation and called on the government to make a
resolute response. However, the word "sanctions" was left out from a
Lower House resolution condemning the North, with the Social
Democratic Party (SDP) insisting that military sanctions should not
be included, though the draft readied by the opposition parties
included a mention.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) yesterday afternoon held a
meeting of the North Korea Nuclear Test Countermeasures Headquarters
(NKNTCH), chaired by Secretary General Nakagawa, at the party
headquarters. Nakagawa during the meeting slammed Pyongyang, "If a
nuclear test was actually carried out, it is a challenge and threat
that is unacceptable for peace in the international community and
Japan." Former Deputy LDP President Taku Yamasaki, chairman of the
security research council of the NKNTCH, released a statement
saying, "Japan should seek self-reflection, an apology, and a
nuclear policy change from the North in cooperation with the
international community."
A number of LDP members called on the government to take stern
measures, with former Foreign Minister Machimura noting, "The United
Nations Security Council (UNSC) must make a harsh decision based on
the Chapter 7 of the UN Charter," and former Foreign Minister Komura
saying, "Japan should consider adopting further sanctions, such as
financial sanctions and restrictions on the movements of goods."
The Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) yesterday evening also held
a meeting of its North Korea Nuclear Test Countermeasures
Headquarters, chaired by deputy head Kan, in the Diet. Kan
underscored the need for the ruling and opposition parties to deal
with this issue in concert. He noted: "Our nation is indeed at a
crisis. We want to make every possible effort to tackle this issue
in order to prevent the North from making itself a nuclear state.
Japanese Communist Party Executive Committee Chairperson Shii also
criticized Pyongyang: "North Korea has defied the unanimous will of
the international community. It should be criticized harshly." SDP
Chairman Fukushima also told reporters, "The SDP is absolutely
against nuclear testing. We strongly protest the nuclear test by the
8) Gist of Lower House resolution condemning North Korea
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YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
October 11, 2006
The following is the gist of a resolution protesting the nuclear
test by North Korea and demanding it abandon all its nuclear weapons
and programs:
There is no room for North Korea to justify the nuclear test it
carried out this time, whatever reasons it might cite. Our country
cannot accept such a reckless, outrageous act.
The Lower House is against nuclear testing by any country in light
of the fact that Japan is the only country that experienced nuclear
bombings, in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. We lodge a stern protest
against the nuclear test carried out by North Korea. We also
strongly call on it to abandon all its nuclear weapons and
The government should convey our country's resolute determination to
North Korea and urge it to return to the six-party talks at an early
date without preconditions and abandon all its nuclear weapons and
programs. It should also carry out diplomacy, making a united front
with the international community, including measures based on the
United Nation Charter's Chapter 7 in cooperation with concerned
countries, and search for a peaceful settlement.
9) Government considering additional sanctions, including total ban
on port calls by North Korean vessels
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
October 11, 2006
Following North Korea's announcement that it carried out a nuclear
test, the Japanese government is considering as a main feature of
its own sanctions adopting a total ban on port calls by North Korean
vessels in compliance with the Law Banning Port Calls by Specified
Vessels. It is also mulling extensively increasing organizations and
individuals subject to financial sanctions, now imposed on 15
organizations, including a North Korea trading house, and one
individual. It also wants to restrict imports of agricultural
products and ban entry of personnel into Japan with the exception of
North Korean government officials. However, the government plans to
implement these measures along with the international community,
apart from sanctions it plans to implement independently.
When the North test-fired ballistic missiles this July, the
government banned port calls by the cargo-passenger ship Man Gyong
Bong for six months. However, some say that since other cargo ships
continue to make port calls, the efficacy of such a measure has been
limited. For this reason, the government intends to extend the ban
on port calls by the Man Gyong Bong, as well as to target other
vessels so as to ensure the efficacy of the measure.
The government is also considering banning port calls by vessels of
third countries that come via North Korean ports. However, whether
it will invoke such a measure is now an open question because of
such factors as relations with China.
10) Prime Minister Abe: Japan will not possess nuclear weapons;
Lower House passes resolution condemning North Korea
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NIHON KEIZAI (Page 1) (Full)
October 11, 2006
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe clearly stated yesterday at a House of
Representatives Budget Committee meeting: "Possessing nuclear
weapons is not an option for Japan. I want to make sure that there
will be no change in the three nonnuclear principles." Abe was
replying to a question by Junji Higashi, vice representative of the
New Komeito, as to whether the idea going nuclear might surface in
Japan in the wake of North Korea's nuclear test.
The United States and other countries are now concerned that Japan
might choose to arm itself with nuclear weapons if the security
environment of East Asia changes from the North's nuclear test. Abe
appears to have made the reply to erase such international concern.
The Lower House unanimously adopted at its plenary session yesterday
a resolution condemning North Korea's nuclear test, demanding that
it immediately abandon all weapons and its nuclear arms program. The
resolution says that Japan absolutely cannot tolerate a reckless
outrage. It calls on the Japanese government to aim for a peaceful
settlement, including sanctions on the North.
Abe then stated: "Following the resolution, our country will take
stricter measures after determining the facts." He stressed that
Japan would do its utmost in cooperation with other nations to have
the United Nations Security Council adopt a harsh resolution. The
House of Councillors is expected to adopt a similar resolution at
its plenary session today.
11) North Korea's nuclear explosion a test of the crisis-management
capability of new Abe administration; Careful preparations and swift
initial response, but weakness in ability to gather intelligence
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpt)
October 11, 2006
With North Korea's announcement of a nuclear test, the crisis
management capability of the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo
Abe has been immediately been put to the test soon after its
inauguration. The emergency situation occurred while the Prime
Minister was in the midst of official visits to China and South
Korea, but starting with the announcement by North Korea on Oct. 3
that it would be making a nuclear test, simulations of response
measures were carefully made under the lead of the Prime Minister's
Official Residence (Kantei), so the first reaction (when the test
occurred) was swift. On the other hand, the weakness of the Japanese
government's ability to collect intelligence on its own, such as
whether to confirm that a test actually had taken place, was again
12) North Korea's N-test could lead to contingency for Japan: Senior
JDA officer: Japan has no other choice but to follow US
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 30) (Full)
October 11, 2006
Following North Korea's announcement that it conducted an
underground nuclear test, senior members of the Defense Agency and
the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) are apprehensive, with one saying:
"Should North Korea already possess nuclear weapons, it would be a
serious threat to the world's security." Another officer said: "The
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nuclear test might lead to a contingency for Japan."
The weight of the plutonium-type atomic bomb that the United States
dropped on Nagasaki was about four tons. Although it is impossible
to load such a heavy bomb on the ballistic missiles possessed by
North Korea, there are other transport means available.
A senior SDF member commented:
"A senior US military officer told me that it would be possible for
the North to transport such nuclear weapons by private aircraft or
fishing boats in preparation for using them. The US, which dropped
atomic bombs on Japan using a B-29 bomber, should fully understand
the logic of the side that uses nuclear weapons, so its sense of
alarm must be strong."
In a meeting of the United Nations Security Council on Oct. 9, Japan
and the US presented a draft resolution calling for stricter
sanctions against North Korea, including the inspection of ships
coming in and from North Korea. However, the act of ordering ships
navigating on the high seas to stop for inspection is viewed as
illegal, so a revision of the Law of the Sea would become
The SDF is allowed to voluntarily inspect ships only when the
situation is recognized as an emergency in areas surrounding Japan
on the basis of the Law on Situations in Areas Surrounding Japan
enacted in 1999 in view of cooperation between Japan and the US.
Even if the situation is recognized as an emergency, though, it will
be necessary to obtain approval from the country to which the vessel
in question belongs. Given this, many observers believe the
ship-inspection measure will be ineffective.
In the case of offering rear-area support, like the ongoing fueling
services in the Indian Ocean based on the Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law, as well, invoking the Law on Situations in Areas
Surrounding Japan is imperative. In addition, a revision of the said
law will become necessary if the SDF provides assistance to naval
vessels other than those of the US military.
Even if the US carries out ship inspections, it would be
questionable if the situation comes under the category of "a
situation that may lead to a military strike directly on Japan if
the situation is left unheeded," a condition for Japan to invoke the
law. A senior official said: "If there is no combat, obtaining an OK
will be difficult. Preparing new legislation would be faster."
Another senior SDF member categorically said, "Japan will have no
option but to follow the US lead."
This official laid out a worst-case scenario:
"(If Japan takes military action in line with the US,) North Korea
might launch a ballistic missile against Japan. The North would then
begin an attack on Japan using special forces, and a huge number of
refugees could eventually flow into the nation. Such a situation
would indisputably be a contingency for Japan, and the people would
be need to be prepared for this."
13) No change in radiation levels across nation
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Abridged)
October 11, 2006
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There was no change in the amount of atmospheric radiation measured
across the nation as compared with that before North Korea's
proclamation of its recent nuclear test, the Ministry of Education,
Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced yesterday.
In addition, no radioactive substances were detected from dust
gathered by Air Self-Defense Force aircraft at an altitude of 3 km
in the skies over Hokkaido, Kyushu, and other regions on the evening
of Oct. 9.
The government, in a meeting of its radiation countermeasures
liaison council yesterday afternoon, confirmed that it would
continue its intensive measurements for about 7-10 days in order to
monitor effects on public health and the environment.
Radiation levels were measured across the nation by the governments
of all prefectures and by the Environment Ministry at its 12
facilities. In addition, the Japan Chemical Analysis Center in Chiba
City also measured radiation. They compared their respective
readouts during the 24 hours from 9 a.m., Oct. 8, before North
Korea's proclamation of its nuclear test, with those during the 24
hours from 9 a.m., Oct. 9.
14) JDA director general: North Korea has yet to develop technology
to load nuclear warhead onto missiles
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2006
In a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee
yesterday, Defense Agency Director General Fumio Kyuma took a
negative view about the possibility that North Korea has the
technology necessary to load a nuclear warhead onto its ballistic
missiles. He said: "In order to reduce the size (of a nuclear
warhead enough to be loaded onto a missile), a considerable level of
technology is necessary. At the present stage, we have not received
any intelligence indicating that (North Korea) has already achieved
the skills necessary for that." Kyuma was replying to a question by
Social Democratic Party member Nobuto Hosaka.
15) Coordination underway for visit to Japan by Chinese President Hu
in January
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
October 11, 2006
The expectation is that the governments of Japan and China will
start coordination on a plan for separate visits to Japan by Chinese
President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao next January,
several government sources revealed yesterday.
During his meeting with President Hu on Oct. 8, Prime Minister
Shinzo Abe invited the two Chinese leaders to visit Japan as early
as possible. Both Hu and Wen reportedly are positive about accepting
the offer.
It would be the first time for a Chinese president to visit Japan
since then President Jiang Zemin came to Japan in 1998.
16) Prime Minister Abe: My past remarks on history "personal views"
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
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October 11, 2006
In reply to a question about his past remarks on his historical
perception of the war, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated in a
formal document adopted by his cabinet yesterday that the government
is not in a position to respond to the question. He did not clarify
his views besides his announcement that he would follow the 1995
Murayama Statement.
Social Democratic Party House of Representatives member Kiyomi
Tsujimoto posed the question. Citing Abe's past remarks carried in
magazines that the postwar history textbooks have taught a
masochistic view of history, Tsujimoto questioned him in a strong
tone, arguing: "You said that politicians should not display their
historical views. If so, on what basis you have said that history
textbooks are questionable?"
Abe in the formal document evaded most questions, saying, "I made
remarks as an individual politician." Regarding the issue of prime
ministerial visits to Yasukuni Shrine, he responded that the purpose
of visiting the shrine is to express respects to those who fought
for the nation. The grounds for the response were murky.
17) New Komeito, Soka Gakkai confirm stance of not allowing use of
right to collective self-defense
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
October 11, 2006
The Liaison Council of the New Komeito and the Soka Gakkai, a
support religious group for the party, held a meeting at party
headquarters yesterday, in which the representatives confirmed the
stance of not allowing Japan the use of the right to collective
self-defense as the government's view of the Constitution.
The council met after a hiatus of about one year. Participating in
the meeting yesterday were Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa, Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio Urushibara and others from the
party, and Vice President Mitsuharu Harada and others from the
religious group.
A representative from the Soka Gakkai referred to a national
referendum bill governing procedures for revising the Constitution
and made this request: "Constitutional issues will affect the future
of the nation. The government should clarify the points of
contention and give a satisfactory explanation in a sincere manner."
Some also called for measures to deal with such issues as an
increased financial burden on the public and widening social
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