Cablegate: Daily Summary of Japanese Press 08/29/08

Published: Fri 29 Aug 2008 07:52 AM
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(1) DPJ President Ozawa busy with preparations for Lower House
election (Asahi)
(2) Prologue of political realignment (Part 1): Secession of DPJ
members to deal blow to Ozawa's strategy of taking over political
helm (Yomiuri)
(3) LDP National Vision Project Headquarters: Former Secretary
General Nakagawa steps up his offensive, playing up his
determination to continue reform (Mainichi)
(4) High hurdles lie ahead for plan to establish consumer agency
(5) Cabinet Office makes budget request totaling 300.8 billion yen,
up 18 PERCENT , for development of Okinawa (Mainichi)
(6) U.S. government documents dated 1971 specify Japan-U.S.
agreement not allowing Japan to monitor air within 50 meters of
visiting nuclear-powered submarine (Okinawa Times)
(7) Environment ministry's proposal for integrated market for
trading for carbon emissions credits obtained in various ways,
including assistance to developing countries, use of biofuels
(8) Prime Minister's schedule, August 28 (Nikkei)
(1) DPJ President Ozawa busy with preparations for Lower House
ASAHI (Page 4) (Slightly abridged)
August 28, 2008
It has now become certain that Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
President Ichiro Ozawa will be reelected for his third term
uncontested. Ozawa is now busy with preparations for the next House
of Representatives election. He plans to start in early September
the first selection of the party's candidates to run in the Lower
House election. He has no intention to hesitate to replace
candidates who are unlikely to win the race. He will focus on
shaking up the New Komeito, which is key to the dissolution of the
Lower House, as well as on cooperating with non-Liberal Democratic
Party forces.
Ozawa stressed in a rally hosted by Rengo (Japan Trade Union
Confederation) on the night of Aug. 26 in Tokyo:
"The DPJ gives top priority to the daily lives of people and to
putting an end to the wasteful use of tax money. However, the
LDP-New Komeito coalition attaches importance to the protection of
bureaucrats and politicians and favors tax hikes. So, political
change is the only way for Rengo to realize its goals."
Ozawa then sought Rengo's support for political change.
Ozawa ordered the party to conduct a survey on Aug. 24 and Aug. 31
to assess the situations of nationwide constituencies. Soon after
TOKYO 00002378 002 OF 009
Ozawa receives the results of the survey in early September, the DPJ
will start screening unofficial candidates.
The DPJ has already informally picked 245 candidates. Ozawa has set
the goal of winning at least 150 of the 300 district seats. He plans
to use funds mainly for contests in the single-seat constituencies.
He has ostensibly said that he never said that he would replace
candidates, but he has told his aides that the number of the
candidates should be narrowed down to 200.
Ozawa will resume his nationwide stumping tour in late September. He
said: "The party will provide physical and financial support to its
candidates." A person close to Ozawa explains what he meant: "It
means that he will not make any campaign speeches for candidates who
have no chance to win."
DPJ Vice President Hajime Ishi was surprised at Ozawa's remark: "I
don't mind running in Tetsuzo Fuyushiba's Hyogo No. 8 constituency."
Ozawa made this remark on Aug. 13, when Ishii pointed out that the
New Komeito had gained power in the ruling camp.
Ishii then responded, noting: "It would be better for you to run for
the election in Tokyo." He said this because Ozawa had implied his
candidacy for the Tokyo No. 12 constituency.
Ozawa wants to threaten the New Komeito by the rumor that he may run
in the district of a senior New Komeito member in order to have the
party reconsider its election cooperation with the LDP. Ozawa
appears to be aiming at shaking up the New Komeito, which is worried
about the next Lower House election.
Ozawa's effort to forge election cooperation with non-LDP forces is
to come down the homestretch. Ozawa has already obtained through
Upper House member Yoshihiro Kawakami a list of 12 independent
candidates who may follow Takeo Hiranuma if he forms a new party.
Most of the 12 are the so-called postal rebels who lost Lower House
seats. Ozawa is considering the possibility of election cooperation
with about four of the 12. Like Hiranuma, Kawakami left the LDP
after voting against the government's postal privatization program
at the Diet. Kawakami then won his current Upper House seat backed
by the DPJ in last summer's election. Kawakami met on Aug. 22 with
former Kochi Prefecture Gov. Daijiro Hashimoto, who has decided to
run in a national election.
Ozawa has launched full-scale election cooperation with other
opposition parties: the Social Democratic Party, the People's New
Party, and the New Party Japan. He is putting in his final efforts
in building a framework that will result in the ruling camp losing
its majority in the Lower House.
Asked by reporters about election cooperation, Ozawa explained: "We
agree on the stance that the LDP-New Komeito coalition government is
not working for the good of the public." He then stressed: "It means
that we will bring about a political change by cooperating with any
party that takes such a political stand."
(2) Prologue of political realignment (Part 1): Secession of DPJ
members to deal blow to Ozawa's strategy of taking over political
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
August 29, 2008
TOKYO 00002378 003 OF 009
Receiving the information that three House of Councillors members
from the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) -- Hideo Watanabe, Yasuhiro
Oe and Yumiko Himei -- will leave the DPJ to form a new party,
Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Toshihiro Nikai, a member of
the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), now visiting Singapore,
was feeling good ahead of an economic ministerial with his ASEAN
Nikai, ostensibly assuming a poker face, said: "It's irrelevant to
me. They may have made that decision on their own." However, he told
his aides: "This is the first wave. The second one has been
prepared." Watanabe and other lawmakers left the DPJ to create a new
party at the time when President Ichiro Ozawa was certain to be
reelected for his third term without going through an election. This
is part of the LDP's "maneuvering" since it was defeated in last
year's Upper House election.
The LDP's strategy is that if the party wins the Lower House in a
close race, it will immediately work on the DPJ's Upper House
members to get them to bolt their party, and that the party to be
created by Watanabe and other members would become a party to
attract lawmakers who leave the DPJ. Nikai has fulfilled the
initiative in carrying out this strategy. Nikai was a former aide to
Ozawa. He and Ozawa formed the Conservative Party (Hoshuto) in
The five members are not enough to put an end to the politically
divided Diet situation. If the LDP succeeds again in having more DPJ
Upper House members withdraw from the party, it would gain advantage
over the largest opposition party in the Lower House election.
Therefore, attention is now on whether there will be a second wave.
Ozawa yesterday formally informed Kan and other executives of his
intention to run in the presidential election.
The Upper House majority of the Upper House seats are 122. The
number of the DPJ Upper House members will decrease from 120 to 117.
Unless the DPJ asks for cooperation from the Japanese Communist
Party and the SDP, it won't be able to secure a majority of the
Upper House. The People's New Party, with which the DPJ forms a
parliamentary group, necessarily takes a concerted action with the
DPJ. The JCP has seven Upper House members; the SDP, five; and the
PNP, four.
There will be no change in the political situation that the JPC and
SDJ hold a casting vote, even if the DPJ wins in the Lower House
race, launching an "Ozawa administration."
Whether the Japanese political situation will become increasingly
chaotic or political realignment will start.
Watanabe described the creation of a new party by only five members:
"It is a question how a small move we took will spread."
(3) LDP National Vision Project Headquarters: Former Secretary
General Nakagawa steps up his offensive, playing up his
determination to continue reform
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 29, 2008
TOKYO 00002378 004 OF 009
The National Vision Project Headquarters (NVPH) of the Liberal
Democratic Party (LDP), chaired by Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda, held
a meeting on August 28 at the party headquarters for the first time
since the shuffle of the cabinet and the leadership of the LDP on
August 1. Former Secretary General Hidenao Nakagawa, who is acting
chairman, the top post in essence, has selected as vice chairmen
those who advocate continuing the reform drive and once served as
cabinet ministers, such as former State Minister for Administrative
Reform Yoshimi Watanabe and former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa
Shiozaki. In the shuffle of the LDP leadership, lawmakers who want
to take a second look at Prime Minister Koizumi's reform policy were
appointed to key posts, such as Taro Aso becoming LDP secretary
general. Nakagawa, however, was snubbed. Nakagawa intends to use the
NVPH as a stronghold for going on offensive.
Nakagawa in a speech indicated a policy of mapping out a mid- to
long-term vision that reflects the party's manifesto for the next
Lower House election. He said: "The world is making headway. I want
to map out a vision that aims at implementing reform, seizing the
current situation as a good opportunity." The proposed vision will
likely include such policies as economic, fiscal and political
The meeting was joined by about 70 persons. Watanabe underscored,
"We must send a message conveying our resolve to continue the reform
In accordance with the established practice, Nakagawa had to appoint
some members of the party leadership to the NVPH's executive posts,
such as Aso as acting chairman, and Policy Research Council Chairman
Kosuke Hori, a postal rebel who was reinstated to the LDP, as vice
chairman. However, he has increased the number of vice chairmen from
6 to 27 and filled the increased seats with reformists. He appointed
former Secretary General Tsutomu Takebe, who is linked to former
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, former Defense Minister Yuriko
Koike and former special advisor to the prime minister Tatsuya Ito,
who is close to Nakagawa, to the post.
Nakagawa plans to draft a mid- to long-term vision possibly by
November. Koike took office as chair of the newly established a mid-
to long-term vision compilation committee. He also appointed 52
so-called Koizumi children who were elected as Lower House member as
vice chairman of the panel. There are 130 vice chairmen in all.
Nakagawa takes the view that it would be impossible to obtain
support from voters without any party affiliation in urban areas in
the next Lower House election, unless the party contests the next
election under the banner of reform. However, his stance is likely
to cause discord with the leadership, which is negative toward the
reform policy.
(4) High hurdles lie ahead for plan to establish consumer agency
ASAHI (Page 4) (Full)
August 29, 2008
A plan to create a consumer agency, one of Prime Minister Fukuda's
key agenda items, has reached a crucial juncture. The government is
ready to submit to the upcoming extraordinary Diet session a related
bill next fiscal year in accordance with its pledge, but the
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) is poised to rattle the government
TOKYO 00002378 005 OF 009
by preparing a counterproposal. If talks on revising the
government's bill are broken off, the government will have no choice
but to take a revote in the House of Representatives. But the New
Komeito is opposed to using revote. In negotiations on the consumer
agency bill, like in those on the bill extending the New
Antiterrorism Special Measures Law, the government may face the risk
of losing political strength.
Coordination with DPJ difficult
Speaking before reporters at his official residence yesterday, Prime
Minister Fukuda emphasized the need to find common ground with the
DPJ, saying:
"We will form an organization that is helpful for consumers and the
people. I believe that the opposition camp also has a similar idea
to ours. We would like to cooperate on what both camps can do."
He thinks it would be possible to reach an agreement with the DPJ,
because the main opposition is also calling for strengthening
governance to benefit consumers in stressing the need to give
priority to the people's daily lives.
But the government bill and the DPJ counterproposal are
fundamentally different in terms of "philosophy" regarding systemic
The government bill proposes establishing the consumer agency in the
Cabinet Office and suggests that the agency give advice to the
competent authorities regarding punishment on vicious companies and
other matters. It also proposes that the new agency should be
responsible for the areas that have no competent authorities.
In contrast, the DPJ counterproposal proposes installing officers
responsible for protecting consumer rights outside the Cabinet
Office, based on the view that if the agency is set up in the
Cabinet Office, its discretion might be used. Under the DPJ bill,
such officers would be appointed by the government from the private
sector and would recommend government agencies and local governments
concerned on how to respond to complaints from consumers.
The two camps have also different views about what liaison centers
for consumers should be. Under the government's bill, local
governments' consumer affairs centers would be networked and the
government would offer financial support. The DPJ plan proposes
integrating the consumer affairs centers into national organizations
and giving the status of part-time public servant to advisors.
State Minister for Consumer Administration Noda emphasized that she
cannot budge an inch on the plan to establish the consumer agency in
the Cabinet Office. Regarding the status of local advisors, as well,
Noda indicated a negative view about the DPJ proposal. She told
reporters after returning from an on-site inspection of the Shiga
Prefecture Consumer Affairs Center:
"If advisors are given the status of public servant, disagreements
might break out between advisors and local public service employees.
Although the government will offer as much assistance as possible,
it will be undesirable if the government have the whip hand over the
consumer affairs centers."
DPJ's Research Council on Human Rights and Consumers Vice Chairman
TOKYO 00002378 006 OF 009
Yukio Edano stressed: "It will be more effective to carry out
surveillance, mediation, and conciliation from outside." Council
Chairman Yoshito Sengoku also criticized the government's bill,
remarking: "What about the right, status, and post of an advisor?
The Fukuda concept does not refer to distributing money, authority,
and personnel there."
New Komeito cautious about revote tactic
In discussing consumer administration in the upcoming extraordinary
Diet session, the DPJ intends to first take up the fact that the
Japanese government did not go public with information about food
poisoning cases in China involving pesticide-tainted dumplings. The
main opposition will pursue the prime minister's responsibility,
claiming: "The Fukuda cabinet's stance is far from giving
consideration to consumers." The party then intends to watch the
government's response and public opinion and then decide whether it
should reject the government bill or urge the government to
significantly revise its bill in line with the DPJ counterproposal.
If the DPJ refuses to respond to their call for talks on amending
the government bill or if the talks end in failure, there will be no
choice but for the government and the ruling coalition to take a
Lower House revote to force through the government bill. A senior
government officer insisted: "The consumer agency must be urgently
established. We should not be hesitant about resorting to the revote
But the New Komeito remains negative about the revote tactic in
dealing with not only the antiterrorism bill but also the consumer
agency bill. The junior coalition partner, which aims at dissolving
the Lower House late this year or early next year, fears that the
voters would see such an approach as authoritarian management of the
Diet. A senior New Komeito member flatly said: "We would like very
much to respond to the prime minister's feeling, but we do not think
that the bill is worth enough to be forced through."
If the government's priority agenda is fatally dashed, the prime
minister will unavoidably lose his grip on the party, causing a
political gridlock. An aide to the prime minister was overheard even
saying that if the DPJ presented a counterproposal, the government
would totally accept it.
(5) Cabinet Office makes budget request totaling 300.8 billion yen,
up 18 PERCENT , for development of Okinawa
MAINICHI (Page 5) (Full)
August 28, 2008
The Cabinet Office on August 27 compiled Okinawa-related budget
requests for fiscal 2009. It has request a total of 10 billion yen
as usual for measures to develop northern Okinawa to finance the
relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma Air Station in Ginowan
City. For the establishment of the Okinawa Institute of Science and
Technology in fiscal 2012, it requested 14.87 billion yen. The total
amount comes to 308.06 billion yen, up 17.9 PERCENT , compared with
the original request for fiscal 2008.
As measures to develop northern Okinawa, 10 billion yen have been
earmarked for 12 municipalities in the region, including Nago City,
starting in fiscal 2000. In the past, the implementation of the
fiscal 2007 budget was put on hold on the basis that talks by
TOKYO 00002378 007 OF 009
affected municipalities on the relocation of Futenma functions were
not going smoothly.
As a tax code-related measure, the Cabinet Office will seek the
continuance of a special measure to cut the gas tax by 7 yen per
liter after the reallocation of special road funds for other uses,
as well.
(6) U.S. government documents dated 1971 specify Japan-U.S.
agreement not allowing Japan to monitor air within 50 meters of
visiting nuclear-powered submarine
OKINAWA TIMES (Page 2) (Full)
August 29, 2008
It was learned yesterday that the U.S. government has documents
showing that the governments of Japan and the United States had
agreed in late 1971 that Japan would remain over 50 meters away when
monitoring radiation in the air of U.S. nuclear-powered vessels
making port calls in Japan. An official of the Ministry of
Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) that
monitors radiation levels around U.S. nuclear-powered vessels has
denied the existence of such an agreement, saying: "Monitoring has
been conducted within a 50-meter perimeter of U.S. vessels. I have
never heard of such an agreement."
MEXT does not know existence of documents
Several such official documents exist. Shoji Niihara, a researcher
of the history of Japan-U.S. relations, found them at the U.S.
National Archives and Records Administration in 2007.
The content of the Japan-U.S. agreement is mentioned in documents
dated November 10 and December 10, 1971 that are kept as secret oral
records strictly for internal use only. They note that Japan is not
to measure air quality within 50 meters of a U.S. Navy vessel, that
Japan is not to activate even a radiation measuring device aboard a
boat within 50 meters of a U.S. vessel, and that the Japanese
government has the right to monitor air within 50 meters of a U.S.
nuclear-powered vessel in order to confirm that it is not at risk of
causing radioactive contamination. The documents are marked "secret"
in English and "Strictly secret for an indefinite period of time" in
According to a document written in 1971 by (Stephen P. Dawkins), a
Department of State East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau officer in
charge of Japanese affairs, Japan began seeking information on
radiation of U.S. vessels after an abnormally high level of
radiation was detected near a U.S. vessel in Yokosuka Port in 1969.
The U.S. side asked Japan not to measure air within a 50-meter
perimeter, saying that because Japan's measuring device is so
sensitive that measurement near U.S. vessels would end up revealing
classified data on the nuclear propulsion plant. The document notes
that the oral agreement was reached between working-level officials
of Japan and the United States on August 28, 1971.
Masato Kino, chief of the MEXT Disaster Prevention and Environment
Office said: "I have never heard that such an agreement exists or
that provisions were altered later on. There has been no order to
that effect to the Japan Coast Guard that conducts boat-based
monitoring." He also indicated that his ministry has received a
TOKYO 00002378 008 OF 009
reply from the Foreign Ministry noting that it does not know the
existence of the documents.
Niihara said: "The documents were produced back in 1971. I don't
know the current situation. Questions remain about the government's
responses to the latest leak of radiation from a nuclear-powered
submarine and to the fire aboard a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.
The government should offer a convincing explanation and disclose
(7) Environment ministry's proposal for integrated market for
trading for carbon emissions credits obtained in various ways,
including assistance to developing countries, use of biofuels
MAINICHI (Page 2) (Full)
August 29, 2008
The outline of the Environment Ministry-sponsored integrated
domestic market for trading for greenhouse gas emissions credits,
slated to be implemented on a trial basis in October, was revealed
on August 28. A major feature of the package is a focus on enabling
companies to trade in the integrated market greenhouse gas emissions
credits they have obtained through the use of recyclable energies,
such as biofuels, or through taking part in various carbon emissions
reduction projects under the Kyoto Protocol, as well as under a
domestic emissions-trading system, under which emissions quotas are
set for leading companies. The aim is to encourage companies to take
part in emissions-rights trading, using carbon emissions credits
obtained through various systems.
Prime Minister Fukuda in June announce a plan to open the integrated
domestic market on a trial basis
According to the Environment Ministry, the following three kinds of
carbon emissions credits can be traded on the integrated market: (1)
emissions credits obtained under the domestic carbon emissions
trading system; (2) emissions credits obtained based on the Kyoto
Protocol, such as by taking on clean development mechanism (CDM)
projects designed to help developing countries reduce carbon
emissions and (3) highly trustworthy domestic carbon emissions
credits obtained through the use of photovoltaic generation,
biofuels and recyclable energies, such as, forestry biomass, and the
carbon off-set system and emissions reduction projects carried out
by small and medium-size businesses. In all those three cases, if
carbon emissions were cut more than the targeted level, the balance
between the targeted amount and the actual amount of emissions will
be granted as emissions credits.
Of those three trading types, target carbon emissions quotas will be
set for companies participating under the domestic emissions trading
system. Companies that have attained their goal through such efforts
as energy saving, will be allowed to sell surplus quotas for
greenhouse gas emissions to companies that have failed to do so.
In achieving their goals, companies can use emissions credits
obtained under the Kyoto Protocol and highly trustworthy domestic
emissions credits. The integrated market will broker such trading.
According to the Environment Ministry's proposal, related government
ministries and agencies will establish a target approval committee
and a system monitoring committee to ensure smooth operations of
various systems. A third-party verification organization will verify
TOKYO 00002378 009 OF 009
individual transactions.
The Environment Ministry hopes to see as many companies as possible
join the system.
(8) Prime Minister's schedule, August 28
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
August 29, 2008
Met Nisshin Food President Ando at the Kantei. Followed by Special
Advisor Ito.
Met Chief Cabinet Secretary Machimura.
Met Yuzaburo Mogi, Japanese side's chairman of the Japan-South Korea
Forum, South Korean side's Chairman Kong, and others.
Met Foreign Ministry Global Issues Bureau Director General. Later
met Cabinet Office Vice Minister Yamamoto, and Decoration Bureau
Director General Fukushima. Yamamoto stayed behind.
Met Japan Finance Cooperation for Small and Medium Enterprise
President Yasui. Followed by Consul General in Manaus Shibazaki.
Met Foreign Ministry Vice Minister Yabunaka, Deputy Foreign Minister
Sasae, and Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Director
Met at his official residence with incumbent and former defense
minister Hayashi and Ishiba, members of the Defense Ministry Reform
Conference, including National Defense Academy President Makoto
Iokibe, Vice Defense Minister Masuda, and others. Iokibe stayed
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