Cablegate: Japanese Morning Press Highlights 11/05/07

Published: Mon 5 Nov 2007 01:28 AM
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1) Top headlines
2) Editorials
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
Grand coalition fiasco:
4) Ozawa to resign as head of Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) over
grand-coalition failure, sees DPJ rejection of proposal as no
confidence motion (Mainichi)
5) Ozawa, not Prime Minister Fukuda, was the one who first proposed
a grand coalition between the LDP and DPJ: Chief Cabinet Secretary
Machimura (Sankei)
6) Ozawa denies press reports that he first proposed a grand
coalition (Yomiuri)
7) Possibility that previous DPJ head Okada may return to succeed
Ozawa as party president (Asahi)
8) Talks about grand coalition went as far as portioning out party
strength in new cabinet: LDP 10, DPJ 6, and New Komeito one
9) Ozawa caper creates major stir in the ruling coalition (Sankei)
10) Asahi poll shows 48 PERCENT of public against grand coalition
of the major parties; 43 PERCENT also say the MSDF Indian-Ocean
mission is "not necessary" (Asahi)
11) Ozawa, Fukuda had reached agreement in their grand-coalition
talks about SDF dispatch issue, suggesting possible change in
government principles (Nikkei)
12) With collapse of coalition talks, LDP fears return of DPJ's old
intransigent pose in the Diet debate on MSDF refueling mission
Defense and security affairs:
13) Ruling coalition to give top priority now to passing the new
antiterrorism bill (Yomiuri)
14) Ending of grand coalition scheme also punctures brewing
cooperation between LDP, DPJ on permanent overseas dispatch law
15) Diet to be extended 3 to 4 weeks to allow time for debate on new
antiterrorism bill (Tokyo Shimbun)
16) Okinawa governor presents proposal to Okinawa State Minister
Kishida to revise the government's plan to relocate Futenma Air
Station (Yomiuri)
17) Local governments react sharply to government's linking USJF
realignment-related subsidies to results of planned changes
18) Yokota Air Base: Gov. Ishihara asks for extension of talks on
joint use if cannot obtain agreement within time frame (Tokyo
19) Government in host-nation support negotiations with US wants to
cut pay and allowances of Japanese employed on USFJ bases and
facilities (Mainichi)
Visit of Assistant Secretary Hill:
20) Assistant Secretary Hill: Progress on abduction will go into US
consideration of removing North Korea from list of states sponsoring
terrorism (Yomiuri)
21) Hill confident that Yodogo hijackers will be returned by North
Korea to Japan (Yomiuri)
22) US wants North Korea to issue a declaration that it is not
involved with terrorism in order for name to be removed from
terror-sponsor list (Asahi)
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23) Japan considering joining effort to disable nuclear facilities
in North Korea (Asahi)
Political merry-go-round:
24) Former defense chiefs Nukaga, Kyuma took exorbitant "carfare"
payments from crooked defense contractor when attending
corporation's event (Asahi)
25) Justice Minister Hatoyama again makes odd statement, this time
to local constituents, saying that "terrorists are wandering around
Japan; I know" (Mainichi)
Asahi, Mainichi, Yomiuri, Nikkei, Sankei, Tokyo Shimbun & Akahata:
DPJ President Ozawa expresses his intention to resign as president,
noting his party's rejection to form a grand coalition government is
taken to mean no-confidence motion against him
(1) DPJ President Ozawa's announcement of intention to resign:
Wasn't he serious about a change of government?
(1) DPJ President Ozawa's announcement of intention to resign:
Closed-door negotiations and his runaway-like approach gave rise to
(2) Measures for crime victims: Fair relief measures essential
(1) DPJ President Ozawa's announcement of intention to resign:
Forming a grand coalition government still necessary
(1) DPJ thrown into confusion with its President Ozawa's
announcement of intention to resign
(2) We worried about growing tensions in Pakistan
(1) DPJ President Ozawa's announcement of intention to resign: Do
not close door for policy talks
(2) Simulation of inland earthquake in Osaka: Need to make houses
more earthquake-resistant
Tokyo Shimbun:
(1) DPJ President Ozawa to resign: Blunder of "closed-door talks"
(2) US presidential election: True value of superpower will be
(1) Mislabeled food products: Administrative officials must prevent
spread of public distrust
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 3
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 4, 2007
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Attended a ceremony for recipients to be decorated by the Emperor
with a cultural medal at Imperial Palace.
Arrived at residential quarters in Kantei.
Met with Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.
Arrived at his private residence in Nozawa.
Prime Minister's schedule, Nov. 4
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 5, 2007
Stayed all the day at his private residence in Nozawa.
4) DPJ head Ozawa reveals his decision to step down for causing
commotion with grand coalition proposal: "Tantamount to a
no-confidence vote by party executives," he says at press briefing
MAINICHI (Top Play) (Slightly abridged)
November 5, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
during a hastily held press conference yesterday afternoon expressed
his decision to step down to take responsibility for the commotion
caused by his party head talks with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda.
Citing the refusal of coalition talks with the Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) by party executives, he said, "This was tantamount to a
no-confidence vote by party executives." Secretary General Yukio
Hatoyama and other executives are now trying to dissuade Ozawa from
resigning. They will discuss how to deal with the situation at an
executive meeting today. However, it appears difficult to persuade
him to change his mind. Vice President Katsuya Okada has been
suggested as a possible successor to Ozawa. There is also a
possibility of Deputy President Naoto Kan temporarily taking the
president's duty. Ozawa's announcement has dealt a major blow to the
DPJ, which aims at taking the reins of government because of the
prospect that the matter could develop into a split of the party,
depending on Ozawa's movements.
Ozawa during the press conference noted, "I have decided to resign
as party head, taking responsibility for causing a political
commotion over the establishment of a coalition government.
Referring to the party head talks with Fukuda, he stressed the
meaning of holding such talks, noting that they agreed on the
following two points: (1) the overseas dispatch of Self-Defense
Force (SDF) troops should be limited to participation in the United
Nation's (UN) activities approved at the UN Security Council (UNSC)
or based on a resolution adopted at the General Assembly; and (2) he
would not insist on his opposition to passage of the new antiterror
special measures legislation, if a grand coalition government could
be realized.
He then categorically said that under the present situation, it
would be difficult for the DPJ to snatch power from the LDP in the
next Lower House election, noting, "The DPJ lacks capability in
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various aspects. The public has kept questioning whether the DPJ
really has the capability to run the government. The situation
remains very harsh for the DPJ to shoot to power in the next Lower
House election." He clarified his position that it would be
desirable for the DPJ to form a grand coalition with the LDP,
saying, "I have judged that taking part in the administration and
chalking up a track record of government administration would be a
shortcut for the DPJ to realize its own administration."
Regarding details on why he has decided to resign, he said, "I
decided to tender my resignation on the 3rd after the talks with the
prime minister." Asked about a possibility of leaving the DPJ, he
simply said, "I have never said I would leave the party." He thus
indicated his intention to continue activities in the run-up to the
next Lower House election after resignation.
Ozawa said that he would leave his future course up to the party
leadership and peer lawmakers to decide. However, a cautious view is
still prevalent in the party regarding participation in coalition
talks. A group close to Kan yesterday evening reconfirmed a position
that a grand coalition with the LDP cannot be approved. Okada,
former party head, who has been keeping himself at arm's length with
Ozawa, will likely be named as Ozawa's successor. However, some take
a cautious view toward the idea of holding a party presidential
election while the Diet is in secession.
5) Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura suggests that Ozawa was the one
who proposed grand coalition
SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
November 5, 2007
Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka Machimura yesterday took a positive
view about recent media reports saying that Democratic Party of
Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa was the one who had proposed during a
meeting with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda on Nov. 2 the idea of a
grand coalition between the Liberal Democratic Party and the DPJ.
Appearing on an NHK TV program, Machimura said: "LDP Secretary
General Bunmei Ibuki said in a press conference that for
formality's sake our side it was decided to have our side present
the coalition proposal. What he said is probably true."
In reference to discussion between the two leaders on whether to
establish a permanent law governing the Self-Defense Force's (SDF)
overseas missions, Machimura said: "I heard from the prime minister
that they had discussed a plan in which they would first agree on
the need of the Maritime Self-Defense Force's continued refueling
mission in the Indian Ocean on the premise that it would take time
to push ahead with discussion on permanent legislation and then
decide to resume the operation (until a new law is established)."
Asked about prospects for dissolution of the House of
Representatives for a snap election, Machimura emphasized: "He (the
prime minister) does not have such an idea even in the back of his
6) Ozawa criticizes media reports for being "totally groundless"
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
November 5, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa stated in a press
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conference yesterday on a series of media reports on a coalition
between his party and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP): "It
is totally groundless that I proposed the meetings (with Prime
Minister Yasuo Fukuda, LDP president) and an LDP-DPJ coalition."
He then stressed:
"I think most media organizations are thoughtlessly reporting
information provided by the government and LDP. I find it impossible
to deny that they are playing a part in manipulating public opinion.
These reports are defamatory and slanderous, and intended to
eliminate me politically and deal a fatal blow to the DPJ's image.
I'm furious and object very strongly to these reports."
7) DPJ members see it difficult to dissuade Ozawa from stepping
down; some recommend Okada as successor
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
November 5, 2007
In response to Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa's
decision to tender his resignation as party head, executive members,
including Secretary General Hatoyama, agreed in a meeting held
urgently in Tokyo yesterday to dissuade Ozawa from stepping down.
The main opposition party will hold an executive meeting today and
ask him to stay on.
It is inconceivable that a majority in the executive meeting will
accept a proposal to form a grand coalition with the Liberal
Democratic Party. Based on this view, Hatoyama and other executive
members are expected to try to ask Ozawa to retain his post by
emphasizing that although there was a disagreement between Mr. Ozawa
and other executive members, it did not mean confidence was placed
in him. Vice President Katsuya Okada, who has kept himself aloof
from Ozawa, also said in an interview with Asahi Shimbun last night:
"We should try to persuade him to stay on, premised that a grand
coalition will never be realized." But it is unlikely that Ozawa
will respond to a request they will make while refusing the
coalition idea, so many DPJ members take the view that the DPJ
executives will have to accept Ozawa's resignation in the end.
The dominant view in the DPJ is that the party should continue to
aim at grabbing political power in the next general election while
maintaining its confrontational stance with the Fukuda
administration. Reflecting such voices, many junior and mid-ranking
members, as well as those from the former Japan Socialist Party
recommend Okada as Ozawa's successor. Some members, though, out of
fear that lawmakers close to Ozawa might leave the party if Okada
becomes party head, expect Naoto Kan, who has kept close relations
with Ozawa as party deputy president, to head the party.
The resignation of Ozawa, who moved toward the idea of forming a
grand coalition, could lead to breaking up the main opposition party
and eventually to reorganizing the political world. That is because
there are moves behind the scenes for dissolving the current state
of the reversal of strengths between the ruling and opposition
parties. In the meeting between Prime Minister Fukuda and Ozawa on
Nov. 2, Fukuda proposed resolving the state and Ozawa agreed to him.
Should 17 opposition members in the Upper House move into the ruling
camp, the state of reversal of strengths in the Upper House will be
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In a press conference yesterday, Ozawa said: "I have not said I
would leave the party," but some lawmakers in the government and the
Liberal Democratic Party have begun to move to prompt a breakup of
the DPJ and form a coalition with the main opposition party. Even
so, some ruling party members have still a strong sense of alarm
toward Ozawa's political approach, remembering that Ozawa walked
away from the coalition with the LDP and the New Komeito when he was
heading the former Jiyuto (Liberal Party). It therefore is unlikely
that the political world will be reorganized immediately.
8) DPJ President Ozawa agrees once to become deputy prime minister,
with cabinet apportionment: LDP 10; DPJ 6; and New Komeito 1
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
November 5, 2007
Ichiro Ozawa, president of the main opposition Democratic Party (DPJ
or Minshuto), agreed with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, president of
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to become deputy prime
minister without portfolio should the DPJ joined the ruling
coalition, it was learned yesterday. The two party leaders discussed
in their meeting the idea of forming a grand coalition between the
DPJ and the ruling LDP-New Komeito coalition. They also agreed to
allocate 10 of the 17 cabinet minister posts to the LDP, six to the
DPJ and one to the New Komeito.
According to connected sources, Fukuda suggested to Ozawa assuming
the deputy prime minister's post and providing the DPJ with two
other minister posts -- minister of land, infrastructure and
transport, and minister of health, labor and welfare. The Cabinet
Law does not specify the definition of the deputy prime minister's
portfolio. It has been the practice that ministers appointed in
advance as acting prime ministers served as deputy prime minister.
The Fukuda government has appointed five ministers as acting prime
minister. It seems that Fukuda planned to give Ozawa the highest
post of the five acting prime minister posts.
Fukuda and Ozawa also discussed having private-sector persons take
part in a consultative organ, which the LDP and DPJ would set up to
deliberate policies.
9) DPJ President Ozawa's resignation announcement creating stir also
in government, ruling coalition
SANKEI (Page 3) (Slightly abridged)
November 5, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan President Ichiro Ozawa's announcement to
step down his post created a major stir in the government and ruling
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party' (LDP) Secretary General Bunmei
Ibuki made this comment: "(Mr. Ozawa) may be disappointed at the
fact that his patriotic sentiment was not understood." LDP Election
Committee Chairman Makoto Koga said: "I was surprised. I hoped he
would hang on there a little longer." Chief Cabinet Secretary
Nobutaka Machimura stated: "The government has no choice but to
watch developments. Such an unexpected situation has occurred."
LDP Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Tadamori Oshima, who was
instructed by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda to arrange a meeting with
Ozawa, said: "I had no idea that Mr. though hard that much." Yoshimi
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Watanabe, state minister for administrative reform, made a cynical
comment: "I was surprised. He seems to be playing a game. We have
said that we will change a pinch to a chance. The DPJ changed a
chance to a pinch."
Defense Minister Shigeru Ishiba stated:
"Mr. Ozawa might have believed many party members would follow his
determination (on a grand coalition). He made the decision that it
was meaningless to remain in the presidential post since he won't be
able to realize what he should do as a politician. That's the Ozawa
New Komeito Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Yoshio Urushibara said:
"I was very surprised. Those who voted for the DPJ with expectation
in the Upper House election probably are probably shocked greatly."
10) Poll: 48 PERCENT don't support coalition proposal, 53 PERCENT
support DPJ's rejection
ASAHI (Page 1) (Abridged)
November 5, 2007
The Asahi Shimbun conducted a telephone-based nationwide public
opinion survey on Nov. 3-4, in which respondents were asked if they
supported Prime Minister Fukuda's proposal in his one-one-one
meeting with Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) President Ozawa to
hold talks for a coalition government. In response to this question,
36 PERCENT answered "yes," with 48 PERCENT saying "no."
Respondents were also asked if they supported the DPJ's rejection of
the proposal. To this question, 53 PERCENT answered "yes," with 29
PERCENT saying "no." As seen from these figures, the public remains
negative about a coalition of the LDP and the DPJ.
Due to the Antiterrorism Special Measures Law's expiry, Japan has
now called off the Maritime Self-Defense Forces' activities that
backed up US and other foreign squadrons in the Indian Ocean. In the
survey, respondents were asked if they thought Japan should resume
MSDF activities there. To this question, public opinion was split,
with 43 PERCENT saying "yes" and 41 PERCENT saying "no." In the
last survey conducted Oct. 13-13 before the MSDF halted its
activities in the Indian Ocean, respondents were asked if they
supported the government's plan to continue the MSDF's activities
there. To this question, 39 PERCENT answered "yes," with 44 PERCENT
saying "no." In the previous survey, negative answers somewhat
outnumbered affirmative ones.
Meanwhile, the government has now introduced a new special
legislative measure to the Diet in order for Japan to resume its
refueling activities in the Indian Ocean. Respondents were asked if
they supported this new legislation. In response, 35 PERCENT
answered "yes," with 43 PERCENT saying "no." In the survey right
before the bill was presented to the Diet, 28 PERCENT answered
"yes," with 48 PERCENT saying "no." In the survey this time, the
proportion of affirmative answers increased somewhat. However,
negative answers still outnumbered affirmative ones.
The Fukuda cabinet's approval rating for was 45 PERCENT (47 PERCENT
in the last survey), and its disapproval rating was 34 PERCENT (30
PERCENT in the last survey). In the breakdown of public support for
political parties, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party stood at 31
PERCENT (32 PERCENT in the last survey), with the leading
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opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto) at 24 PERCENT (24
PERCENT in the last survey).
11) Agreement reached with prime minister on SDF dispatch, says
Ozawa; Government may change its constitutional interpretation;
Handling of use of force in focus
NIKKEI (Page 3) (Full)
November 5, 2007
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa
indicated in his press conference yesterday that an agreement had
been reached in his talks with Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda that the
overseas dispatch of the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) should be limited
to activities based on UN resolutions. If the "agreement" was true
and if it includes the use of armed force, as was indicated by
Ozawa, that would mean a fundamental change in the government's
constitutional interpretation that activities involving the use of
force are unconstitutional and are not allowed. The matter, which
might escalate into a basic shift in security policy, as Ozawa put
it, is likely to provoke controversy in the government and ruling
For instance, regarding Ozawa's call for taking part in the
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, the
government has insisted that under the Constitution, Japan is not
allowed to join it, let alone the part involving the use of force.
The "agreement" might be taken as having paved the way for
Nevertheless, it is insufficient to determine from Ozawa's press
conference alone the scope of "international peacekeeping
operations" envisaged by the "agreement."
Ozawa's stock argument is that Japan is allowed to dispatch the SDF
for activities even involving the use of force as long as there is
UN endorsement. However, it is unclear whether the "agreement"
includes even activities involving the use of force or is limited to
civilian assistance, such as disarmament and food aid. Was the
agreement actually reached? What are the contents of the agreement?
Attention is focused on how the prime minister is going to explain
this today.
12) LDP to call for continued talks on new refueling legislation;
Concerned about returning to confrontational policy course
NIKKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
November 5, 2007
In the wake of the announcement by Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or
Minshuto) President Ichiro Ozawa that he would resign as party head
for promoting the formation of a grand coalition with the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), the government and ruling coalition are
becoming increasingly concerned that the growing mood for dialogue
over Diet business would wane, and that the DPJ's confrontational
stance would return. The reason is because there has been no change
in the situation of it being difficult for the government and ruling
coalition to pass important bills without the support of the DPJ,
which controls the House of Councillors. They intend to continue
urging the DPJ to hold talks, while watching developments in the
selection of Ozawa's successor.
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LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki in Kyoto yesterday expressed
consideration for Ozawa's feeling, saying, "Mr. Ozawa must have been
disappointed because his patriotism was misunderstood." Ibuki also
said about a response to the new refueling legislation, "I would
like to see (the DPJ) continue sitting at the negotiating table in
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura are studying the option of extending the current Diet
session, scheduled to end on Nov. 10, by about a month until early
December. They also plan to have the new refueling bill pass through
the House of Representatives by the Nov. 16 Japan-US summit to begin
Upper House deliberations after Fukuda's return home. However,
prospects are unclear whether the DPJ will swiftly vote it down or
prolong the deliberations until the current Diet session expires.
If the DPJ continued to oppose the bill until the last, the DLP
would have to take a second vote in the Lower House. General Council
Chairman Toshiaki Nikai said to reporters last night, "When we must
make a decision, we must make a decision." Will the LDP resort to a
second vote? The prime minister's decision is tied to how to set the
timing for Lower House dissolution for a snap general election.
13) Ozawa's announcement of resignation to return leadership in Diet
to ruling coalition
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 5, 2007
With Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Ozawa's announcement
of his intention to resign as party head, it is expected that the
leadership in managing Diet affairs will be returned to the ruling
coalition. The ruling camp is willing to address on a priority basis
the task of enacting a new antiterrorism bill authorizing the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling mission in the Indian Ocean.
The government and the ruling bloc intend to have the new bill
passed in the House of Representatives and extend the current Diet
session by about one month for deliberations on the bill in the
House of Councillors. Future responses are likely to be discussed in
a Liberal Democratic Party executive meeting today and on other
A growing number of ruling party members are now positive about the
idea of bringing back the bill into the Lower House to ram it
through by a two-thirds vote if the bill is voted down in the Upper
House. Before Ozawa's resignation announcement, the ruling camp had
anticipated that the DPJ would try to prevent the ruling camp from
using a revote in the Lower House by adopting a censure motion
against Prime Minister Fukuda in the Upper House. They now take the
view that the DPJ can no longer afford to resort to this approach.
Some expect the main opposition party will soften its tough stance,
but a senior LDP Upper House member said that the resignation of
Ozawa who tried to grope for a grand coalition with the LDP would
prompt the DPJ to strengthen its confrontational stance.
As for the timing for dissolution of the Lower House, bullish views
have begun to be heard among ruling party members. An LDP source
said: "Under the current situation, the DPJ should not desire for
Lower House dissolution by the end of the year. The government and
the ruling bloc are gradually gaining a free hand." The prime
minister seems to be willing to face a Lower House election after
the government accumulates achievements. A senior LDP member
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commented: "The next Lower House election is moving away. The New
Komeito is also hoping to delay the election."
14) Fukuda, Ozawa explore common ground for SDF dispatch with
permanent law
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 3, 2007
Prime Minister and ruling Liberal Democratic Party President Yasuo
Fukuda's recent one-on-one talks with Ichiro Ozawa, president of the
leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), brought
about an uproar over their idea of forming a big coalition between
their parties. This uproar was touched off by their discussion on
the advisability of creating a permanent law that allows Japan to
send the Self-Defense Forces overseas. The Antiterrorism Special
Measures Law expired on Nov. 1, and the government called off the
Maritime Self-Defense Force's refueling activities in the Indian
Ocean. Fukuda and Ozawa sought to resolve the situation through
their talks over a coalition in order for Japan to take even more
proactive measures in its international contributions. The two
thought out that idea as a last resort.
Ozawa, when he met with Fukuda Nov. 2, suggested the need for Japan
to have a permanent law for its overseas dispatches of SDF members,
according to an informed source. The source quoted Ozawa as telling
Fukuda, "If we are going to discuss a permanent law in our talks for
a coalition, we will not oppose the new antiterror legislation and
will cooperate for its passage."
Fukuda is also in a position to agree on the idea of enacting a
permanent law. Fukuda and Ozawa once suspended their talks. Fukuda
told LDP Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki and other LDP executives
that he needed time to work out something legal. Fukuda then
returned to his office.
The coalition talks collapsed. At the same time, the LDP and the DPJ
have also lost a chance to discuss the idea of creating a permanent
law. They are again in chaos over the new antiterror legislation.
15) Extraordinary Diet session to be extended by 3-4 weeks:
Government, ruling parties decide to secure time to deliberate on
refueling operations issue
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
November 5, 2007
The government and the ruling parties on Nov. 3 decided to extend
the current extraordinary Diet session, which is to end on Nov. 10.
Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda and Chief Cabinet Secretary Nobutaka
Machimura at yesterday noon met at the Prime Minister's Official
Residence (Kantei) and agreed on the thinking that it would be
necessary to secure sufficient time for the Upper House to
deliberate on the new anti-terrorism special measures legislation
aimed for a resumption of refueling operations in the Indian Ocean.
They judged that it would be unavoidable to extend the Diet
Regarding the scope of the extension, coordination will be
undertaken with focus on 3-4 weeks. However, following Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto) President Ozawa's refusal to hold
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coalition talks proposed by the prime minister, the political
situation is in turmoil. The situation is so chaotic that it is hard
to see how the Diet situation will develop.
As such, the prime minister plans to meet with Liberal Democratic
Party (LDP) leadership members, including Secretary General Bunmei
Ibuki, to discuss how to handle the new legislation and make a final
decision on the scope of the extension of the Diet session.
Regarding the new legislation, the ruling camp has already proposed
to the opposition camp at a meeting of the Lower House
Anti-terrorism Special Committee that the legislation be adopted at
a committee meeting on the 7th.
The ruling camp had intended to adopt the legislation at a Lower
House plenary session on the 8th and send it to the Upper House, but
the opposition camp is also opposing the adoption of the bill at the
Committee on the 7th. Whether the bill clears the Lower House by the
10th before the extraordinary Diet session ends is, therefore,
The prime minister and Machimura met for about two hours and
conferred on future measures, following the result of the two-day
party head talks.
16) Nakaima to ask for changes to government plan regarding Futenma
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 5, 2007
State Minister for Okinawa Fumio Kishida held a meeting with Okinawa
Governor Hirokazu Nakaima in Naha yesterday and exchanged views on
the planned relocation of the US Martine Corps' Futenma Air Station
(from Ginowan) to the coastline of Camp Schwab (in Nago) and other
In the meeting, Governor Nakaima indicated that in the Futenma
relocation consultative council meeting to be held on Nov. 7 between
the central and Okinawa governments that he would ask for making
changes to the government's plan to move the planned V-shaped pair
of runways further out to sea.
17) Subsidy system raises question about effectiveness of promoting
of US force realignment; Some municipalities reacting strongly to
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
November 5, 2007
The Defense Ministry's designation late last month of municipalities
to receive subsidies for bearing greater burdens due to the
realignment of US forces in Japan (USFJ) has elicited voices of
doubts about effectiveness for pushing ahead with the realignment.
The ministry did not designate six municipalities, including Nago
which is opposed to the plan to relocate Futenma Air Station. The US
force realignment is drawing especially strong fire from those
The realignment subsidy program is based on the USFJ realignment
promotion special measures law, enacted in May. Under this program,
municipalities that will host new bases or other facilities as a
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result of the realignment are subject to government subsidies. The
system is designed to provide subsidies in proportion to cooperation
and the level of progress on realignment projects. It is also
designed to prevent municipalities from receiving subsidies for free
and to implement plans steadily.
The ministry has designated 33 municipalities, including Hokkaido's
Chitose, which has accepted the relocation of the US military's F-15
fighter training unit.
At the same time, the ministry has excluded six municipalities,
including Nago in Okinawa, Iwakuni in Yamaguchi which is opposed to
accepting the US carrier-borne aircraft unit, and Zama in Kanagawa
Prefecture which is refusing to accept the relocation of US Army 1st
Corps headquarters to Camp Zama. Those municipalities are reacting
strongly to the ministry's step, with a senior Iwakuni official
saying, "It is not appropriate to push ahead with programs by using
carrots and sticks."
18) Talks on military-civilian joint use of Yokota base fail to come
up with conclusion before deadline; Tokyo Gov. Ishihara: "We'll
extend the time for discussion"
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
November 3, 2007
The discussion between the Japanese and US governments on the
conditions for the joint use of the Yokota base (located in Tokyo's
Fussa City and other areas) had failed to reach a conclusion by the
end of October deadline. This was revealed by Tokyo Governor
Shintaro Ishihara on Nov. 2.
Gov. Ishihara explained: "Many questions are left to be sorted out,
so we have no other choice but to extend the time for discussion. We
have been highly disappointed by ideas presented by the United
States. We need to refute their ideas, but the deadline came before
we could do so."
The leaders of Japan and the US in their summit meeting in May 2003
agreed to "discuss the feasibility" of the military-civilian joint
use of the Yokota base. Following this agreement, the road map for
Japan and the US to implement the realignment of the US Forces Japan
specified the establishment of a Japan-US consultative organ to
discuss the question of the joint use of the base. The discussion
began in October 2006. The road map says "the discussion should wind
up in 12 months."
19) Gov't negotiates to cut pay for USFJ workers
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 3, 2007
The government negotiated with representatives from the All Japan
Garrison Forces Labor Union (Zenchuro) yesterday at the Defense
Ministry to cut pay and allowances for Japanese employees working at
US military bases in Japan along with revising a special agreement
on Japan's host nation support ("omoiyari yosan" or literally
"sympathy budget") for the stationing of US forces in Japan. The
special agreement is to expire in March next year. The government
plans to cut down on wages for Japanese workers at US military bases
for the first time. The government proposed four points, such as
abolishing the current system of paying differentials with wages for
TOKYO 00005106 013 OF 016
national public service personnel. However, Zenchuro refused to
accept all the proposals. The union is expected to go on a strike
for the first time in 16 years since 1991.
There are now about 25,000 Japanese employees working at US military
bases across the country. In June this year, an advisory panel for
the finance minister recommended the government to reduce their
wages on the grounds that there has been an increase in the number
of Japanese employees working at US military bases while there has
been a decrease in the number of US servicemen in Japan. In response
to this recommendation, the government is planning to cut their
wages. The government will presumably face rough going in its
negotiations with Zenchuro and is expected to take time throughout
this month for a settlement. USFJ is opposed to the Japanese
government's planned pay cuts for its Japanese employees. This issue
remains a matter of concern prior to Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's
visit to the United States in mid-November.
The four points proposed by the government are to: 1) abolish 10
PERCENT differentials added to base pay for Japanese employees
working at US military bases as compared with that for national
public service personnel; 2) abolish language allowances; 3) lower
retirement allowances to the level of those for national public
service personnel; and 4) abolish extra wage increases. All these
measures, if implemented entirely, will lead to a cutback of
approximately 10 billion yen. The sympathy budget totals
approximately 217 billion yen for the current fiscal year.
20) US Assistant Secretary of State Hill expresses "confidence in
resolving the issue of sending Japanese hijackers back home"
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 4, 2007
At a press briefing on Nov. 3 at the Japan National Press Club, US
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief delegate to
the six-party talks to discuss North Korea's nuclear issue, revealed
that the United States and North Korea had been discussing the
question of whether to send the Japan Airlines' Yodo-go hijackers
back to Japan in a related move to consider removing North Korea
from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. Hill indicated
confidence in resolving the question of sending the hijackers back
to Japan, saying, "We'll be able to produce a satisfactory result."
Although Hill did not mention any specifics of the discussion, there
seems to have been a certain degree of positive response from North
Korea to the question of sending the hijackers to Japan.
North Korea has harbored the Yodo-go hijackers in the country. This
issue, as well as the abduction issue, has been one of the reasons
the US Department of State in its annual report designates North
Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. But Hill noted that "It was
unclear" whether resolving the Yodo-go issue would be a legal
requirement to remove the North from the list of state sponsors of
terrorism. Hill did not make it clear, either, that resolving the
abduction issue was a legal requirement.
Reportedly, North Korea has insisted that it be delisted by the end
of the year. In this regard, Hill indicated that a legal advisor to
the Department of State would soon give, through diplomatic channels
of the US Mission to the United Nations in New York, an account of
the legal requirements on the delisting of North Korea. Speaking of
the procedures for delisting North Korea, Hill said that North Korea
TOKYO 00005106 014 OF 016
needed to meet the legal requirements and issue a statement saying
that it would not give support to terrorists.
21) US Assistant Secretary of State Hill: US takes into account
progress on abduction issue when delisting DPRK as state sponsor of
YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
November 3, 2007
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the US chief
negotiator in the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue,
arrived in Japan on Nov. 2 and met with his Japanese counterpart in
the six-party talks, Kenichiro Sasae, director-general of the Asian
and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in
the ministry. In the session, Hill indicated that the United States
would take into consideration progress on the abduction issue when
delisting North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism and revealed
that during the Oct. 31 US-DPRK talks in Beijing, the US urged North
Korea to take action to move the abduction issue forward.
A group of US experts is expected to set in motion possibly this
weekend the work of disabling nuclear facilities in Yongbyon, North
Korea. In this regard, Sasae told Hill that Japan, too, was
considering sending a group of its nuclear experts to the North.
22) US conditioning removal of North Korea's name from list of
states sponsoring terrorism on DPRK issuing statement that it is not
involved with terrorists (Asahi)
ASAHI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 5, 2007
Assistant Secretary of State Hill, who is the chief US delegate to
the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue, revealed that
efforts had begun to denuclearize that country with the sending
today of a team of US experts to render the DPRK's nuclear reactors
and the like unusable. In addition, he stated that in removing North
Korea from the list of states sponsoring terrorism, Pyongyang would
have to issue a statement that the country is not involved with
terrorists. On the other hand, North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister
Kim Kye Gwan on Nov. 3 strongly criticized Japan for opposing the
removal of his country's name from the terror list, saying, "It is a
foolish act."
Hill, speaking at the Japan National Press Club, referred to having
approached North Korea through what he called "the New York channel"
on the issue of removing the DPRK from the terror list. He said,
"North Korea has to issue some kind of statement," indicating that
one condition would be a declaration that it was not involved in
23) Japan mulling participating in work of disabling DPRK's nuclear
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
November 3, 2007
US Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, the chief delegate
to the six-party talks on North Korea's nuclear issue, arrived in
Japan on Nov. 2 and met with Japan's chief delegate, Kenichiro
Sasae, director-general of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau of
TOKYO 00005106 015 OF 016
the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Both officials discussed how
to bring the six-party talks forward. After the session, Sasae met
the press and said of the disablement process for North Korea's
nuclear facilities: "The process is now led by the United States,
but Japan is considering taking part in it."
According to high-level MOFA officials, coordination is underway in
the government to send a small number of experts to the disablement
process. On the costs of disabling nuclear facilities, for instance,
the cost of taking out the fuel rod from the nuclear reactor, Japan
is considering bearing a part of such, with a senior MOFA official
saying: "Such costs will not be handed to North Korea, so we are
considering paying a portion of them."
Hill and Sasae also discussed the question of whether the US would
delist North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism. Hill told Sasae
that during the US-DPRK talks held in Beijing, the US had stressed
the need for North Korea to move its relations with Japan forward.
Later in the day, Hill told reporters that "We will shortly take out
the fuel rod from the nuclear reactor" as part of the disablement.
24) Former Yamada Yoko executive director Miyazaki admits to paying
"carfare" to Nukaga and Kyuma for attending wedding reception
ASAHI (Page 39) (Excerpts)
November 3, 2007
It was learned from a related source that Motonobu Miyazaki (69),
former executive director of Yamada Yoko, a trading house
specializing in military procurement, and president of Nihon Mirise
since 2005, admitted during a voluntary questioning by the Tokyo
District Public Prosecutors Office that he had paid 1 million yen
each to former Defense Agency Director General and now Finance
Minister Fukushiro Nukaga and former Defense Minister Akio Kyuma as
"carfare" for attending a wedding reception he invited.
Nukaga said that his wife attended the reception on his behalf, but
she never received 1 million yen. Kyuma is now hospitalized. A
staffer of his office said that it was not possible to confirm the
According to more than one related source, including a source
connected with Yamada Yoko, a wedding ceremony of a family member of
the owner of Yamada Yoko took place at a Tokyo hotel around November
2005. The wife of Nukaga and Kyuma himself allegedly attended the
According to explanations given by a related source to Asahi
Shimbun, Miyazaki, then executive director of Yamada Yoko,
reportedly told investigators during the voluntary questioning that
he paid 1 million each to Nukaga and Kyuma for carfare to attend the
wedding reception.
25) Justice Minister says in his home constituency: "Terrorists are
wandering about Japan"
MAINICHI (Page 29) (Full)
November 4, 2007
Justice Minister Kunio Hatoyama in a speech in his home
constituency, Kurume City, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Nov. 3 said:
TOKYO 00005106 016 OF 016
"Terrorists are wandering about Japan." Earlier on Oct. 29, Hatoyama
made this controversial remark in a speech at the Foreign
Correspondents' Club of Japan: "A friend of a friend is a member of
al Qaeda." At the time, Hatoyama was cautioned by Chief Cabinet
Secretary Nobutaka Machimura.
During Kurume City's festival, Hatoyama said in his speech: "When I
reveal the facts, the media make a fuss. Our country must be
protected from terrorists. Horrible terrorists are wandering about
freely here in Japan. I know that for a fact, so I am revealing it
to you."
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