Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 06/28/07

Published: Thu 28 Jun 2007 01:06 AM
DE RUEHKO #2929/01 1790106
P 280106Z JUN 07
E.O. 12958: N/A
1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule
Reactions to comfort-women resolution:
4) Prime Minister Abe will not respond to House committee's passage
of comfort-women resolution
5) Abe calls the House resolution just one among many
6) Parliamentary group who ran Post ad calls the House panel's
adoption of the comfort-women resolution: "a major crack in the
Japan-US relationship"
7) Opposition blasts Prime Minister Abe for handling of
comfort-women issue
8) Passage of comfort-women resolution by House panel is result of
pressure from anti-Japan group connected with China: Sankei's Komori
9) House leadership gave consideration to Japan be softening
somewhat the language in the draft resolution on comfort-women issue
10) With four-party talks set, Tokyo concerned that Japan is being
cut out of the peace process on the Korean Peninsula
11) In meeting with Russia, Japan to express willingness to provide
technology for building a bullet-train line in Siberia
Political agenda:
12) Pension legislation set to pass the Diet today
13) Civil service reform bill that would contain amakudari (golden
parachutes for retired senior officials) planned for passage by the
Diet this week
14) All night session of the Diet expected in order to pass
important bills
15) Ex-Peruvian president Fujimori agrees to run for an Upper House
seat in July
16) LDP's Koichi Kato, raising the liberal flag, launches criticism
of Abe's policies
CRT-based televisions now have nowhere to go with China refusing to
import: Not allowed to dump due to recycle law
Fake sale of Chongryon head office: Former Public Security
Intelligence Agency received receipts totaling 484 million yen;
Evidence to false deal?
Bullet-train system technology to be transferred to Russia for
Siberian railways: Japan, Russia to hold talks; Taskforce to be set
up in fall
Nihon Keizai:
Patent Agency to raise patent fees up to 40 % ; Corporate burden to
be reduced next year
Harmful China-made toothpaste sold at 100-yen stores as well: 1.3
TOKYO 00002929 002 OF 010
million tubes shipped; Nine companies recalled products
Tokyo Shimbun:
Indoor hot spas: only eight facilities out of 56 equipped with gas
detectors, according to Tokyo Metropolitan Government survey
Missing pension premium payment records: JCP revealed emergency
settlement bill
(1) Comfort women resolution: Prime minister must be aware of the
seriousness of the matter
(2) Deputy Tokyo Governor Inose: Can he say no to the governor?
(1) SIA reform plan: Stop to reconsider
(2) Comfort women resolution: There is a problem with Abe diplomacy
as well
(1) Comfort women resolution: Address the root of the US Congress'
(2) Scholarship system for high school baseball players: Reform the
Nihon Keizai:
(1) Democratization still a challenge in Hong Kong 10 years after
reversion to China
(2) Do not leave tragedy in Sudan unheeded
(1) Comfort women resolution: Dispel misunderstandings by presenting
(2) Scholarship system for high school baseball players: Flexible
response needed
Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) Adoption of comfort women resolution should not be made thorny
issue between Japan and US
(2) Scholarship system for high school baseball players: Return to
starting point
(1) Adoption of comfort women resolution reflects harsh criticism
toward the Yasukuni faction that defends past war of aggression
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, June 27
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2007
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Suzuki. Attended
party to encaurage medical doctors who will be dispatched to regions
with shortage of doctors.
TOKYO 00002929 003 OF 010
Met with incoming GSDF Eastern Army Headquarters Commanding General
Izumi and others, followed by TSE Chairman Taizo Nishimuro and
President Jun Saito.
Met with Narita International Airport Co. President Shozaburo
Morinaka, joined by Japan Business Federation Chairman Mitarai.
Met with Senior Vice Cabinet Minister Hayashi.
Talk with personality Terry Ito for the radio program recorded at
Nippon Broadcasting System in Yurakucho.
Met at Kantei with Mainichi Shimbun President Kitamura, followed by
TV Tokyo Chairman Kasuya and President Shimada.
Met with Special Advisor to the Cabinet Office Kurokawa, followed by
Internal Affairs Minister Suga.
Handed LDP candidates for Upper House race at party headquarters,
attended by Secretary General Nakagawa and LDP Upper House Chairman
Aoki. Nakagawa and Aoki remained in the office.
Arrived at Kantei.
Returned to his official residence.
4) Abe sees no need to respond to passage of "comfort women"
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2007
Concerning a US House of Representatives committee's passage of a
resolution on the "comfort women" issue, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe
told reporters at his office yesterday that he explained his view
when he visited the United States (in April). With this, Abe
indicated that there is no need to respond again. However, some
lawmakers see the US Congress's move this time as ascribable to
remarks made by Abe himself and lawmakers close to him. In addition,
some have questioned the Foreign Ministry's response.
"The Japanese government has to repeat its explanation," New Komeito
Secretary General Kazuo Kitagawa told reporters yesterday. However,
Kitagawa also noted, "We should abstain from saying anything that
could cause misunderstanding of the (Japanese government's) stance."
So saying, he criticized opinion leaders and lawmakers close to Abe
for their advertisement in a US newspaper that denied the
now-defunct military's forcing of comfort women to brothels.
Takeaki Matsumoto, policy chief of the leading opposition Democratic
Party of Japan (Minshuto), criticized Abe, saying: "The prime
minister has sent various messages, but his failure to communicate
TOKYO 00002929 004 OF 010
with the US Congress has brought about such a result. He's
responsible for this." Akira Koike, chairman of the Japanese
Communist Party's policy board, noted: "It's the failure of Yasukuni
diplomacy that defends a war of aggression."
Lawmakers close to Abe believe that the resolution's passage is
attributable to the Foreign Ministry's response. Nariaki Nakayama,
who heads a group of Diet members that thinks about Japan's future
and history education, stressed: "Japan's diplomatic efforts have
not been successful. We must make our case." One of the
advertisement's sponsors, Takeo Hiranuma, seated in the House of
Representatives, released a statement suggesting the need for Japan
and the United States to study history together.
5) Prime minister: Comfort women resolution is one of many adopted
in US Congress
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 28, 2008
Regarding the resolution on the so-called comfort women adopted by
the United States House of Representatives Foreign Affairs
Committee, Prime Minister Abe said last night: "I have no intention
of making any comment on a resolution adopted by the US Congress. I
already expressed my own view about that issue when I visited the
US." He added: "A considerable number of resolutions have been
passed by the US Congress. This is just one of them." He was
responding to questions by reporters at his official residence.
When one reporter asked -- "All of many resolutions adopted in the
US Congress are considerably important, aren't they?" -- the prime
minister with an unpleasant look just replied, ""That is your view,
isn't it," and he took no further questions.
6) Suprapartisan group of lawmakers releases statement stating: US
comfort women resolution will create major fissure in Japan, US
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 28, 2007
In reaction to the United States House of Representatives Foreign
Affairs Committee's adoption of a resolution on the wartime
comfort-women issue, a suprapartisan group of about 50 lawmakers
released a statement yesterday that stressed: "The resolution
denouncing Japan based on an erroneous perception of the facts will
create a serious crack in the Japan-US relationship, and cast a pall
over future relations." The group, headed by former Minister of
Economy, Trade and Industry Takeo Hiranuma, is composed of members
mainly of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Democratic Party of
Japan (Minshuto). (TN: Hiranuma was one of the sponsors of the
Washington Post advertisement, The Facts, that rejected the factual
contents of the House resolution.)
The statement further noted: "One proponent said the resolution was
based on the 1993 statement by then Chief Cabinet Secretary Yohei
Kono." The Kono statement admitted the Japanese military's
involvement in setting up brothels and coercion of young women into
sexual slavery. Pointing out: "It is necessary to look into why the
Kono statement was issued," the statement suggests that Japan should
propose: (1) establishing a Japan-US joint history study group on
the comfort women issue; and (2) studying why the Kono statement was
TOKYO 00002929 005 OF 010
7) Opposition parties criticize Abe over "comfort women" resolution
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
June 28, 2007
Opposition parties yesterday criticized Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in
connection with the adoption of the "comfort women" resolution by
the US House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) policy chief Takeaki Matsumoto
said in a press conference: "I have much to say about the contents
of the resolution, but the adoption resulted from a failure to
communicate between the prime minister and the US Congress. The
prime minister will be held responsible." Japanese Communist Party
policy chief Akira Koike took this view: "The adoption spells out
the failure of the 'Yasukuni faction' diplomacy trying to justify a
war of aggression. Lending an ear to this voice, the government must
clearly express an apology and remorse over the comfort women
issue." Social Democratic Party head Mizuho Fukushima said: "The Abe
cabinet must squarely face up to this fact."
8) Existence of pressure from Chinese-affiliated anti-Japanese
organizations behind passage of "comfort women" resolution at US
House committee
SANKEI (Page 7) (Abridged)
June 28, 2007
Yoshihisa Komori, Washington
The US House Committee on Foreign Affairs (chaired by Tom Lantos)
yesterday passed a "comfort women" resolution denouncing Japan.
Lying behind this passage was strong pressure on Chairman Lantos
from Chinese-affiliated anti-Japanese organizations, which
reportedly had threatened to back another candidate in the next
election if he failed to swiftly move to take a vote on the
This information came as a news story carried on June 14 by the Bay
City News, a San Francisco-based local press agency focusing on news
reports on mid-California. This story was carried by other local
According to that news story, senior members of the Global Alliance
for Preserving the History of WWII in Asia (ALPHA), a US-based
Chinese body persistently denouncing Japan over historical issues,
along with senior members of other Chinese-affiliated organizations
in the US, gathered together at a Chinese restaurant in California
and discussed ways to promote the passage of the comfort-women
resolution introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep.
Michael Honda and other lawmakers. According to what ALPHA Vice
President Ignatius Ding said, senior ALPHA members indicated at the
gathering that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Lantos were being
evasive (about taking a vote on the resolution). Referring
particularly to Lantos, they asserted that although he was viewed as
a pro-human rights lawmaker, "He is unwilling to respond to our call
to support the resolution and looks down on voters and
Asian-American society."
These remarks came at a time when veteran Japanese-American Sen.
TOKYO 00002929 006 OF 010
Daniel Inouye asked Lantos and others not to deliberate on the
resolution and also when they softened their approach toward the
resolution in response to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's statement made
during his US visit that "I feel sympathy" for former comfort
According to the news report by Bay City News, senior ALPHA members,
who have made political contributions to both Democratic and
Republican legislators, expressed concern that if no action were
taken, they would simply end up being used as political donors and
being left unattended. Ding said, "If they were unable to have good
communications with Chairman Lantos, whose electoral district is
made up of 33 % of Asian-Americans, he could be replaced by a
newcomer," implying that in the 2008 election they could put up
their own candidate instead of backing Lantos.
Ding stated: "We've been totally embarrassed recently by the staff
of the Lantos office for their treatment of us. We are already
examining several persons, including a fully-qualified
Asian-American woman who could be a good rival, as our own
The Lantos office, when asked on June 26 about the news report on
these moves by Ding and others, said: "The new development has
already changed the situation."
9) Comfort women resolution: House leaders give consideration Japan
in language
YOMIURI (Page 7) (Full)
June 28, 2007
WASHINGTON-The US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee
has now passed a resolution demanding an apology from Japan over the
so-called comfort women issue. US House of Representatives Speaker
Pelosi (Democrat), who holds the key to its being passed by the full
House, has expressed her support for the resolution. The House of
Representatives is now likely to adopt the resolution for the first
time in its full session in July. Pelosi and other floor leaders in
the US Congress, though, have shown consideration for Japan by
trying to minimize the ill effects on Japan-US relations. But an
increasing number of lawmakers pressed by their supporters are
endorsing the resolution. It could become a potential source of
trouble between Japan and the United States in the future.
House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom
Lantos and Senior Director Ros-Lehtinen from the Republican Party
proposed an amendment to the resolution before its June 26 passage,
underscoring the importance of "the Japan-US alliance based on
common interests and values." This is apparently intended to prevent
a congressional image of "Japan bashing." In her statement after the
resolution was adopted, Pelosi also showed consideration to a
certain extent, saying Japan has been displaying leadership on
humanitarian and other issues but that it needs to make still
greater efforts.
However, nearly 20 lawmakers, who stated their views before the
committee in its June 26 meeting, set forth severe opinions. Jewish
lawmakers, including Lantos, and Rep. David Scott, who is black,
respectively referring to the Holocaust and to slavery in the United
States, noted that Japan "would become free (of this issue" by
issuing an apology." Rep. Sheila Lee, a female lawmaker, pointed to
TOKYO 00002929 007 OF 010
"the tragedy of women now being victimized on the battlefield." With
this, she criticized Japan while putting the comfort women issue in
the same category with present-day war crimes.
Rep. Ron Paul, who voted against the resolution, insisted on the
necessity of discussing the United States' own problems, such as the
issue of human rights for terrorist suspects held at the US
Guantanamo base in Cuba. However, he did not defend Japan on the
comfort women issue.
10) Japan alarmed at four-party North Korea peace framework
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 28, 2007
A plan announced by US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill
to establish a framework of four countries -- the United States,
China, South Korea, and North Korea -- to discuss a process for
bringing lasting peace to the Korean Peninsula will exclude Russia
and Japan, the other two members of the six-party framework. This
move has sparked a sense of alarm in Tokyo about discussions moving
forward without Japan.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, appearing on a radio program yesterday,
expressed his displeasure, noting, "Ostracizing Japan will not help
North Korea to be accepted by the international community." Abe
underlined the need to push ahead with discussions under the current
six-party framework.
Hill, who is chief US delegate to the six-party talks, said in a
press conference on June 25:
"I would like to see a Korean Peninsula peace process framework
composed of parties directly concerned set in motion, once the
disabling of the nuclear facility begins. The United States, China
and the two Koreas are our definition of the discussion members.
That would be anybody's definition."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki also raised an objection
on June 26: "A four-party framework has not yet been defined." Abe
also said in a strong tone yesterday: "They (North Korea) are trying
to use all sorts of tactics to isolate Japan. We must not fall into
their plans."
The six-party agreement reached in February on North Korea's initial
steps for nuclear dismantlement also specified "joint efforts for
the peace and stability of Northeast Asia by the six countries"
along with the establishment of a peace process framework. But the
relationship between the two bodies is an item for future
discussion, according to a senior Foreign Ministry official.
With Washington shifting its policy line toward a dialogue with
Pyongyang, Tokyo is concerned that the six-party framework is
turning into a mere shell. Shiozaki apparently underlined the need
for the North to implement the initial steps first in a bid to
derail the four-party plan.
11) Bullet-train system technology to be transferred to Russia for
Siberian railways: Japan, Russia to hold talks; Taskforce to be set
up in fall
YOMIURI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
TOKYO 00002929 008 OF 010
June 28, 2007
The government yesterday revealed that it would start talks with
Russia on assistance for that nation's plan to consolidate a
Siberian railway network, which stretches approximately 9,300 meters
between Vladivostok and Moscow, using Japan's bullet-train system. A
taskforce composed of both countries' government officials and
companies will be established possibly this fall for discussion on
concrete measures. The Japanese government intends to sell Japan's
railway technology to Russia, whose economy is growing rapidly, in
the hope of expanding business opportunities. It also wants to make
strengthened relationship of cooperation with Russia with rich
energy resources, such as oil and natural gas, lead to stable energy
The Russian government is set to map out possibly this September a
railway system consolidation plan with 2030 as the goal year. The
modernization of the Siberian railway, the longest in the world,
will form the core of the plan. The Russian government last year
informally sounded out Japan for cooperation on the plan, noting
that it wants to consider the possibility of introducing Japan's
railway technology, such as its bullet-train system.
In response, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (MET) has
sought cooperation from domestic vehicle manufacturers. The
government also plans to assist Russia with its comprehensive
development program, such as developing industrial sites along the
Siberian railway. Senior METI officials will visit Russia in early
July to meet with Russian Railways President Yakunin and senior
government officials for preliminary research. Tokyo and Moscow are
expected to look into the feasibility of cooperation in terms of
vehicle technology and railway operation technology.
The specific consolidation plan for the Siberian railway has yet to
be revealed. The plan appears to be partially laying new railway
tracks for the introduction of the bullet-train system.
12) Ruling coalition to take vote on pension bill today; Vote on
civil service reform bill at Upper House committee to be skipped
MAINICHI (Page 1) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2007
The ruling coalition yesterday proposed to the opposition camp
taking a vote today at an Upper House committee session bills
related to reform of the Social Insurance Agency, including one to
remove the five-year statute of limitations on pension claims, and
bills amending the National Civil Service Law. Although the
opposition rejected the proposal, the ruling parties intend to pass
the SIA reform bills on the authority of chairman of the Committee
on Health, Labor and Welfare. Chances are that since the chairman of
the Committee on the Cabinet Office, a member of the main opposition
party Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) is unlikely to take a
vote on the bills amending the civil service law, the ruling camp
will take a vote on the legislation tomorrow at an Upper House
plenary session, skipping a vote at the committee. The ruling
coalition intends to pass those key bills this week. The opposition
plans to submit to the Lower House a no-confidence motion against
the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe if the pension bills are
passed. As it stands, the fierce battle between the ruling and
opposition camps will enter a final stage.
TOKYO 00002929 009 OF 010
13) Ruling camp poised to pass civil service reform bill this week
ASAHI (Page 1) (Slightly abridged)
June 28, 2007
The House of Councillors' Cabinet Committee resumed deliberations on
a bill amending the National Civil Service Law yesterday. The ruling
parties are resolved to have the bill passed within this week. Even
if Chairman Masashi Fujiwara (Democratic Party of Japan or Minshuto)
refuses to take a vote on the bill, the ruling camp intends to
submit the bill to an Upper House plenary session without a vote
taken. On bills related to reform of the Social Insurance Agency and
a pension bill, the ruling parties will step up efforts to have them
put to vote in a meeting of the Upper House Health, Labor and
Welfare Committee today and enacted in a plenary session tomorrow.
The opposition camp is poised to put up resistance by submitting a
no-confidence motion against the cabinet.
Prime Minister Abe said yesterday: "We have fully discussed these
three bills. We extended the Diet session and took more time for
discussing them. They must be put to vote in the end."
The Upper House Cabinet Committee decided to hold a six-hour
question-and-answer session today on the civil service reform bill.
At the Upper House Health, Labor and Welfare Committee, as well, the
ruling and opposition parties agreed to hold an interpellation
session on the SIA bill and the pension bill for six hours the same
day, but the opposition camp is against voting on them. The ruling
bloc is willing to take a vote as soon as the deliberations wind
14) Key bills likely clear Diet tomorrow
SANKEI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
June 28, 2007
The ruling and opposition camps will likely face off against each
other on June 29-30 over whether to take a vote on important bills.
The ruling parties plan to pass all together such key bills as bills
related to reform of the Social Insurance Agency and a bill to
remove the statute of limitations on pension claims; bills amending
the National Civil Service Law; and a bill revising the Political
Funds Control Law at a plenary session today of the House of
Councillors. The opposition camp, however, intends to lock horns
with the ruling bloc by submitting a no-confidence motion against
the cabinet of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, with the possibility of
the session lasting all night. The opposition has stepped up its
attack on the government and ruling coalition over the residential
tax hike implemented in June. With the July 29 Upper House election
in mind, a tug-of-war has intensified between the ruling and
opposition camps.
In a meeting of their Diet Affairs Committee chairmen, Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) --
opposition parties -- agreed on June 27 that they would thoroughly
fight against the government and ruling bloc. The two parties plan
to holds today a meeting of the party heads, including the
representative of the People's New Party.
The three parties will confirm that they will submit to the House of
Representatives a no-confidence motion against the cabinet if the
SIA reform bills are put to a vote at an Upper House plenary session
TOKYO 00002929 010 OF 010
tomorrow, and they will submit to the Upper House no-confidence
motions against Prime Minister Abe and Health, Labor and Welfare
Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa. The opposition apparently aims to impress
on the public the forcible tactics of the government and ruling
coalition, looking ahead to the Upper House election next month.
15) Ex-Peruvian President Fujimori to run in Upper House election
SANKEI (Page 2) (Full)
June 28, 2007
Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, 68, who remains under
house arrest in Chile, made up his mind to run in Japan's House of
Councillors election next month, accepting an offer by the People's
New Party. This was revealed yesterday by a source close to
Fujimori. Fujimori is expected to announce his candidacy as early as
this morning, Japan time. According to the source, the PNP is
considering filing him as a candidate for the proportional
representation segment. It is the first time for a former head of
state of a foreign country to run in a Japanese national election.
Since Fujimori has Japanese citizenship, it is possible for him to
run even though he is under house arrest in a foreign country.
Reportedly there would be no legal problems even if he did not
attend any Diet sessions after being elected.
16) Kato, raising the liberal flag, criticizes Abe's policy line in
new book
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
June 28, 2007
Koichi Kato, a former secretary general of the Liberal Democratic
Party, has written a book titled, Strong Liberal (Tsuyoi riberaru).
published by Bungeishunju on June 26. The book criticizes the
advocacy of the policy line of "market fundamentalism"
(shijou-genrishugi) by former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Kato sees such a policy as the cause of
expanded social and income disparities in Japan. Defining a liberal
as someone who "cares for others," Kato, in raising the flag for his
cause, writes that liberalism "can develop into a political force
that will be accepted by those people seeking peace of mind."
Kato in a press conference on June 26 said:
"Showing voters that not all LDP lawmakers advocate market
fundamentalism will help bring good results to the upcoming House of
Councillors elections. There are factions and individuals who think
that (the prime minister) does not have to resign even if the party
suffers a serious setback in an election. But that's a matter of
their integrity."
He was cynically describing Machimura faction leaders (Abe's
faction) who rule out the prime minister assuming responsibility (if
the party loses the election).
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media