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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 12 TOKYO 003146
DEPT FOR E, P, EB, EAP/J, EAP/P, EAP/PD, PA;
WHITE HOUSE/NSC/NEC; JUSTICE FOR STU CHEMTOB IN ANTI-TRUST DIVISION;
TREASURY/OASIA/IMI/JAPAN; DEPT PASS USTR/PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
SECDEF FOR JCS-J-5/JAPAN,
DASD/ISA/EAPR/JAPAN; DEPT PASS ELECTRONICALLY TO USDA
FAS/ITP FOR SCHROETER; PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR;
CINCPAC FLT/PA/ COMNAVFORJAPAN/PA.
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA
SUBJECT: JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 11/14/08
1) Top headlines
3) Prime Minister's daily schedule (Nikkei)
4) Prime Minister Aso to propose at the financial summit in
Washington a doubling of IMF funding (Nikkei)
5) In effort to keep his administration afloat, Aso plans to show
the public his diplomatic and economic skills at the financial
6) Japan, China, South Korea and ASEAN agree to expand dollar-swap
Defense and security affairs:
7) Prime Minister Aso calls former ASDF chief Tamogami's historical
essay "extremely inappropriate" (Sankei)
8) Aso under questioning in the Diet says civilian control of the
SDF working as seen in the immediate dismissal of Tamogami (Asahi)
9) Following the Tamogami incident, Defense Ministry considering
revision of the teaching of history to SDF troops (Nikkei)
10) ASDF head of training facility secretly dismissed for sexual
11) Government and ruling parties agree that Diet dissolution this
fiscal year will be difficult (Yomiuri)
12) Second supplementary budget will have to wait until early next
year and the regular Diet session to be submitted (Tokyo Shimbun)
13) The Democratic Party of Japan is in a battle mode as Diet
schedule slides (Tokyo Shimbun)
14) LDP factions agree that there is no reason to extend the current
extra Diet session (Tokyo Shimbun)
15) Manufacturers' restructuring efforts in October resulted in the
10,000 job losses (Tokyo Shimbun)
16) Japan Coast Guard puts off the placing of personnel on research
whaling ships, seeing such as ineffective (Mainichi)
1) TOP HEADLINES
Local governments rely on municipal bonds to fund retirement
benefits for baby boomers; 44 prefectures' debts total 420 billion
ASDF officer sacked over sexual harassment
Government to reinforce measures against soil contamination
Aso at financial summit to push for dollar as key currency, more IMF
TOKYO 00003146 002 OF 012
With debts 10 times GDP, Iceland on verge of collapse
Financial summit tomorrow to share risks with rising countries
Rally held in Tokyo to rid government of bad policies in order to
eliminate poverty, protect jobs, improving livelihood
(1) Organ transplants overseas: Actual state of brokers must be
(2) Cartels rampant: Legal revision urgent to tighten penalties
(1) Prime Minister Aso's failure to dissolve Lower House dissolution
(2) Local agencies require step beyond integration
(1) Relax rules to allow more organ transplants
(2) Arrest of Chen Shui-bian a stain on Taiwan's democratic
(1) International antimonopoly law must be applied strictly and
(2) Put an end to growing crimes by elderly
(1) North Korea nuclear verification: Rejection of sampling must not
(2) Crack down on cartels natural
(1) Low long will the fuel surcharge system be in place?
(2) Steel cartel impermissible
(1) Tamogami scandal: Command and supervision called into question
3) Prime Minister's Official Residence (Kantei)
Prime Minister's schedule, November 13
NIKKEI (Page 2) (Full)
November 14, 2008
Met at Kantei with Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Konoike.
Parliamentary Defense Secretary Kishi and Upper House member
Attended Upper House Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee session.
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Met with DPJ Upper House member Yukihisa Fujita.
Met at Kantei with Upper House member Katsuhito Asano.
Met with Special Advisor Yamaguchi, followed by Deputy Foreign
Ministers Sasae and Kono, Economic Affairs Bureau chief Otabe and
Finance Ministry International Bureau chief Tamaki, joined by Deputy
Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsumoto and Assistant Deputy Chief Cabinet
Secretary Hayashi. Sasae and Kono remained.
Met with Cabinet Secretariat Counsellors Gyoten and Ueno, attended
by Matsumoto and Hayashi.
Met with New Komeito Deputy Chief Representative Hamayotsu and
Women's Committee Chairperson Matsu. Met later with Cabinet
Intelligence Director Mitani.
Met with Vice Foreign Minister Yabunaka. Attended Overseas Economic
Cooperation Council meeting. Met later with METI Minister Nikai.
Met with Matsumoto.
Departed for Washington to attend G-20 financial summit on
4) Financial summit: Prime minister to call for effort to maintain
dollar's status as key currency, more IMF funds; Market oversight,
regulations involving emerging countries as well
NIKKEI (Top Play) (Excerpts)
November 14, 2008
The emergency summit to discuss measures to stabilize the financial
market and the global economy will start in Washington on the
evening of November 14 (morning of the 15th, Japan time). Prime
Minister Taro Aso will make comprehensive proposals featuring
increased funding for the IMF. He will also call for maintaining the
dollar's status as the key global currency in order to protect the
international currency system. He intends to urge the early disposal
of bad loans, based on lessons Japan learned from the collapse of
its asset-inflated bubble economy. He will indicate Japan's stance
of proactively making a contribution to overcome the crisis.
Gist of proposals to be made by prime minister
? Remove bad loans from balance sheets
? Inject public money into financial institutions
? Propose that the U.S. and other countries constrain excessive
consumption and that Japan switch its economy to domestic-demand-led
? Increased funding for the IMF. Japan will disburse up to 100
billion dollars drawn from foreign currency reserves until that
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proposal is realized.
? Strengthen the IMF's market surveillance and early warning
? Expand the financial stabilization forum to add emerging countries
? Currency officials join the work of standardizing accounting
systems of various countries. Consider regulating credit-rating
? Make efforts to maintain the dollar's status as the key global
? Promote economic cooperation within East Asia
5) Aso eager to appeal foreign, economic policy credentials at
financial summit Nov. 14-15, aiming to keep political base afloat
SANKEI (Page 3) (Excerpts)
November 14, 2008
Prime Minister Taro Aso left Haneda Airport for Washington by
government plane yesterday to attend the Group of 20 financial
summit on Nov. 14-15. Aso will announce his own "initiative"
designed to deal successfully with the ongoing global financial
crisis. With the Aso initiative, he aims to play up Japan's presence
and his own leadership at the summit. Critics have pointed out that
Aso is losing his grip on power due to his decision to delay the
dissolution of the House of Representatives and the calling of a
snap election. Under such a situation, he aims to put the management
of his administration back on track by his summit achievements.
Speaking before reporters at the Prime Minister's Official Residence
last night, the prime minister stressed that he had held discussions
with state leaders on how to overcome the financial crisis at the
recent Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and by phone. He said:
"They place high hopes on Japan. I would like to speak of Japan's
experience and provide other countries with useful knowledge. As
long as the financial crisis persists, its effect on the real
economy will become more serious. We must get over the crisis."
Since he assumed office in September, Aso has shown an eagerness to
play a leading role in dealing with the U.S.-triggered financial
crisis. An aide to Aso said: "Japan's economy remains relatively
stable. In addition, Japan dealt successfully with its own financial
crisis by moving ahead with the disposal of nonperforming bank
loans. These factors have given the prime minister a sense of
confidence. In Aso's view, since Japan has experienced the so-called
"lost decade," it has responsibility and qualifications (to take the
lead in tackling the financial crisis)." Such confidence is
represented by Japan's plan. Aso will announce in the summit a
pledge of 100 billion dollars (approximately 9.6 trillion yen) to
the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The prime minister is determined to make utmost efforts to buoy up
the economy, emphasizing he gives priority to achieving policies
over dissolving the Diet. Now that uncertainty is looming over the
domestic economy and people's livelihoods, Aso finds it impossible
to dissolve the House of Representatives until public support for
his cabinet and the stock market turn around. Such circumstances
have encouraged him to buckle down to the task of boosting the
economy. As long as the prime minister remains unable to change the
TOKYO 00003146 005 OF 012
situation through foreign policy and other efforts, he will never be
able to find the right timing for dissolving the Lower House.
A mid-ranking member of the Liberal Democratic Party said: "The
upcoming summit is a perfect opportunity for us to change the
political situation," but the environment surrounding Japan is
severe. Europe is about to grab the initiative in dealing with the
financial crisis away from Japan, and Japan does not have as much
influence as before. All the more because Japan is the sole
industrialized nation in Asia among the G-20 countries, Japan may be
pressed to play a difficult role, finding itself caught in the
crossfire between the U.S. and Europe, as well as between
industrialized countries and emerging countries.
6) Japan, China, South Korea, ASEAN eye expanding amount of dollar
ASAHI (Page 1) (Full)
November 14, 2008
The governments of ASEAN member nations, Japan, China and South
Korea (ASEAN plus 3) have decided to increase the total amount of
the swap agreement, which allows them to swap dollars in the event
of a financial crisis. The plan is to further increase the amount
from the 80 trillion dollars (approximately 8 trillion yen) set in
May, to strengthen the system in readiness of a possible spillover
of the financial crisis into Asia.
Prime Minister Aso will propose at the financial summit promoting
the dollar supply mechanism in the region. He will indicate a stance
of tackling for currency stabilization in the Asian region.
Under the plan, the total amount of the 2000 Chiang Mai Initiative,
under which ASEAN member nations, Japan, China and South Korea
forged bilateral currency swap deals, will be boosted. They will aim
to reach an agreement at the ASEAN plus 3 summit meeting to be held
in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The total amount of the pact is now is 58 billion dollars
(approximately 5.8 trillion yen). Last May, the Asian countries
agreed to increase the amount to more than 80 billion dollars and
decided that the ratio of the swap pact between Japan, China and
South Korea be set at 80 PERCENT and such for ASEAN be set at 20
PERCENT . However, the financial crisis has become serious since
September. In Asia, South Korea's won plunged. Currency officials of
Japan, China and South Korea have already begun talks to boost the
amount of their swap deals. Finance ministers of the three countries
are expected to hold talks in Washington on November 14.
7) Tamogami essay extremely inappropriate: Aso
SANKEI (Page 5) (Abridged)
November 14, 2008
The House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met
yesterday and held intensive deliberations focusing on civilian
control of the Self-Defense Forces, with Prime Minister Taro Aso
In the committee meeting, Aso criticized former Air Self-Defense
Force Chief of Staff Toshio Tamogami's making public his essay
differing from the government's view as "extremely inappropriate."
TOKYO 00003146 006 OF 012
He stated: "Not only those in the Self-Defense Forces, all of us
have freedom of speech. However, it's only natural that there are
restrictions to what we can say from our respective positions. If
they don't want such restrictions, they should not be in the
service." With this, Aso stressed that the SDF brass should follow
the government's view in what they say.
In the past, Tamogami contributed a similar essay to an in-house
journal published mainly for the Self-Defense Forces. Asked about
this fact, Aso stated: "The situation has been overlooked for years.
That's a problem." There was also a question stating that civilian
control has been malfunctioning. Aso rebutted this criticism,
stating: "You suggest there will be a coup at once. That's a leap of
logic. Civilian control worked perfectly. That's why he was
8) Aso evades questions about ex-ASDF top official
ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged)
November 14, 2008
Following up on former Air Self-Defense Force Chief of Staff Toshio
Tamogami's publication of a controversial essay that conflicts with
the government's view, the House of Councillors Foreign Affairs and
Defense Committee met yesterday to hold intensive deliberations over
civilian control. Prime Minister Aso stressed before the committee,
"Civilian control worked perfectly, so we were able to dismiss him
right away." Aso did not seem to have a strong sense of crisis about
In the committee meeting, Yukihisa Fujita, representing the leading
opposition Democratic Party of Japan (Minshuto), took the floor and
noted that four years ago Tamogami had contributed another
essay-which conflicted with Japan's exclusively defense-oriented
policy-to a magazine published mainly for the Self-Defense Forces.
"This proves that civilian control does not work at all," Fujita
stated, criticizing the prime minister and the government for their
lack of a sense of crisis.
Aso admitted: "Such a situation has been overlooked for years.
That's a problem." However, Aso dodged Fujita's pursuit by saying
that civilian control functioned with the dismissal of Tamogami. The
committee recently summoned Tamogami to testify as an unsworn
witness. After that, Tamogami said the Murayama statement is "a tool
for suppressing speech." Asked about this, Aso only stated: "That's
what he said after he resigned. One may say that's control over
freedom of speech, and many will start to say this and that, so I
can't say anything careless."
9) Defense Ministry considering review of history education for SDF
ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
November 14, 2008
In the wake of the dismissal of Air Self-Defense Force Chief of
Staff Toshio Tamogami over his controversial essay in which he
contended that it was a false charge that Japan was an aggressor,
the Defense Ministry yesterday began to consider a review of history
education for the Self-Defense Forces personnel, including senior
SDF officers. During recent deliberations in the ongoing Diet
session, concern was expressed over the contents of Tamogami's
TOKYO 00003146 007 OF 012
lectures on views of the state and history, which he had done as
president of the SDF Joint Staff College. With this in mind, the
ministry will select lecturers from outside of the SDF and check the
contents of lectures.
10) ASDF brass officer dismissed for sexual harassment
MAINICHI (Top play) (Full)
November 14, 2008
Air Self-Defense Force 1st Technical School Commandant Maj. Gen.
Kesayoshi Miyashita, 55, was dismissed in September from his post at
the school in Hamamatsu City on suspicion of sexually harassing a
woman assigned there, according to sources. Usually, personnel
changes in the commandant's post have been announced. This time,
however, the personnel change was not made public. The suspicion of
sexual harassment has been under wraps within the ASDF for
investigative reasons. In July, a USB thumb drive was found to have
been stolen in the Ground Self-Defense Force, as the Mainichi
Shimbun reported. Now, the ASDF has covered up a scandal.
The dismissal occurred on Sept. 18. No one has yet to be appointed
to head the 1st Technical School as the successor to Miyashita. The
school's deputy commandant is still acting as its commandant.
According to informed sources, the woman complained of Miyashita's
sexual harassment around September. The ASDF Air Staff Office began
looking into the case. The Defense Ministry, which has personnel
authority for appointments to school commandant and other staff
posts in the Self-Defense Forces, judged that it was inappropriate
to retain Miyashita in the commandant post, so the Defense Ministry
transferred him to the Air Staff Office. "It's true that there was
sexual harassment from the school commandant," a senior official of
the Defense Ministry told the Mainichi Shimbun.
Miyashita graduated from the National Defense Academy. In his ASDF
career, Miyashita has filled the posts of Air Staff Office
Maintenance Division director and Air Support Command Logistics
Department director general. He was appointed to the post of 1st
Technical School commandant on Sept. 1, 2007. On that occasion, he
was transferred from the post of Northern Air Defense Force
Headquarters chief of staff. In addition, the Defense Ministry
promoted him from the rank of colonel to the rank of major general.
The rank of major general in the ASDF is a key position equivalent
to the director general of a department in the Air Staff Office,
ranking next to lieutenant general-the highest rank in the ASDF that
has about 47,000 members. The 1st Technical School is a specialized
educational institution for learning the maintenance of aircraft and
aircraft-related equipment like guided weapons.
"I am now under investigation, so I can't say anything. Sexual
harassment all depends on how a woman interprets it," Miyashita said
The Air Staff Office public relations division commented: "Generally
speaking, in the case of scandals, we make a decision after
investigation regarding whether to make public the scandals. This is
not a kind of cover-up. The woman says she does not want this to be
made public. This is also one of the reasons why this case has not
been made public. However, we do not think the commandant's post
being vacant for a long time is desirable."
TOKYO 00003146 008 OF 012
11) Lower House dissolution before end of March difficult;
Government, ruling coalition will not extend current Diet session
YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
November 14, 2008
The government and ruling parties decided yesterday not to extend
the term of the current extraordinary Diet session, which will run
until Nov. 30. They intend to submit to a regular session that will
be convened in January a second fiscal 2008 supplementary budget
bill that includes a cash-benefits payments plan, and a bill
amending the Special Account Law, which is related to the second
supplementary budget. The prevailing view in the ruling coalition is
that the chance for dissolution of the House of Representatives and
a snap election is slipping away. This is because there is a
possibility that cash payments would not be ready to disburse until
March or later.
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Election Strategy Council Chairman
Koga said in a meeting of his faction yesterday:
"At one time a strong dissolution wind was blowing, but it has now
become a gentle breeze. It will be important for you to carry out
political campaigning in your electoral districts in December. But I
also want you to make efforts (to reform the tax system and compile
The government and ruling coalition have judged that it would be
wise for them to concentrate on compiling the state budget for next
fiscal year and on diplomatic issues. The Diet will be out of
session in December, since the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and
other opposition parties have stepped up their stance of blocking
the government's cash-benefits payment plan. The ruling camp is
looking into the possibility of convening the regular session in
early January, earlier than usual.
A senior LDP official last night told reporters: "The current
session will end on November 30."
The ruling coalition has predicted that a bill amending the New
Antiterrorism Law and a bill revising the Financial Functions
Strengthening Law will be enacted before the end of November. As it
stands, the government and ruling camp decided not to extend the
ongoing session. The ruling camp is considering a minor extension of
the current session, assuming that the DPJ might delay deliberations
on the financial bill.
12) Second supplementary budget to be submitted to Diet early next
year; No extension of current Diet session
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 1) (Full)
November 14, 2008
The government and ruling coalition began yesterday coordination to
submit a second supplementary budget for fiscal 2008 to an ordinary
Diet session to be convened next January, without extending the
current extraordinary session, which will end on Nov. 30. Prime
Minister Taro Aso will make a final decision next week.
Aso planned to submit the second supplementary budget bill, which
would back a second economic stimulus package, including cash
benefit payments worth 2 trillion yen, to the ongoing session and to
TOKYO 00003146 009 OF 012
get it through the Diet.
The work of compiling a second supplementary budget will take until
late this month. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ)
intends to put up a do-or-die resistance, including a delay of
deliberations. Under such circumstance, many in the ruling coalition
predicted that it would be difficult to enact the supplementary
budget bill even if the current session was extended.
In December the government and ruling camp will have to concentrate
on the compilation of a stated budget for fiscal 2009 and a debate
on tax system reform. Views were erupted in the government and
ruling camp that turmoil in the Diet by extending the Diet session
and submitting a second supplementary budget should be prevented.
In consideration of those circumstances, Aso has strengthened its
judgment that it would be better to delay the submission of a second
supplementary budget to the next ordinary session. A person close to
Aso said yesterday: "At present, the possibility of postponement is
99 PERCENT ."
13) Postponement of second supplementary budget likely to tamp down
DPJ's readiness for showdown
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Excerpts)
November 14, 2008
By Yuji Nishikawa
The government and the ruling coalition have begun coordinating
views for giving up on a plan to submit a second supplementary
budget to the current Diet session, and the major opposition
Democratic Party of Japan has consequently lost a chance to bring
down its fist. The party was prepared to put up do-or-die resistance
following the prime minister's decision to push back dissolving the
Lower House. But now that a critical phase is over, the atmosphere
in the Diet is one of running out the clock. With DPJ President
Ichiro Ozawa remaining reluctant to hold a party-head debate, the
current session is likely to end without drama.
DPJ Deputy President Naoto Kan in a press conference yesterday
criticized Prime Minister Aso's political stance, saying: "He is
clinging to the prime minister's post and power without implementing
policies or carrying out an election. Everything is based on a clear
explanation by the prime minister about that fact."
The DPJ's logic is that if the government decides to give up on
plans to submit a supplementary budget to ensure the fixed-sum
payout program to the current Diet session and to extend the Diet
session, that would conflict with the prime minister's declaration
prioritizing policy over a Lower House dissolution.
DPJ Upper House Caucus Chairman Azuma Koshiishi has indicated that
his party will continue to attack the government and the ruling bloc
even after the current session at out-of-session meetings and other
occasions, saying, "There will be plenty of venues to grill them."
But without an extension of the Diet session, such venues will be
The remaining venue for a showdown would be a party-head debate
between Prime Minister Aso and DPJ President Ozawa. But Azuma
commented: "The question is if there are themes appropriate for a
TOKYO 00003146 010 OF 012
party-head debate. Mr. Ozawa is reluctant to have such a debate
unless there is a sound reason." There are no prospects for a
party-head debate due to Ozawa's circumstances.
14) LDP factions see no need to extend Diet session
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 2) (Full)
November 14, 2008
Many factions in the Liberal Democratic Party held their general
meetings yesterday. In those sessions, member after member voiced
their support for a policy course to give up on a plan to submit a
fiscal 2008 second supplementary budget to the current Diet session
and end the session, as planned, without extending it.
In the Machimura faction meeting, former Secretary General Hidenao
Nakagawa said emphatically: "The Diet session should be brought to a
close as planned. It is important to make thorough preparations
between the end of the year and the beginning of the New Year to
make a restart in the New Year."
At the Koga faction meeting, Diet Affairs Committee Principal Deputy
Chairman Yoshitaka Murata reported: "At present, things are underway
based on the plan to close the Diet on Nov. 30."
Former Secretary General Bunmei Ibuki indicated to the faction he
heads that it would be inadvisable to extend the session, saying:
"Unless the DPJ cooperates (in deliberations), it is best to bring
the session to a close without extending it."
The prevailing view in the party is that the supplementary budget
should be presented at the beginning of the next regular Diet
session. Upper House Diet Affairs Committee Principal Deputy
Chairman Masashi Waki said: "(Given no prospects for enactment), it
is meaningless to submit it only for form's sake. We should present
it at the outset of the regular Diet session (next year)."
15) Ten thousand workers lost jobs in a month: Corporate downsizing
in manufacturing sector serious in October
TOKYO SHIMBUN (Page 3) (Full)
November 14, 2008
Tokyo Shimbun learned on November 13 that more than ten thousand
workers lost their jobs in October as a result of major industrial
restructuring in the manufacturing sector. The Ministry of Health,
Labor and Welfare (MHLW) reported the data the same day to the Upper
House Committee on Welfare and Labor. Though detailed monthly
figures are not available, the MHLW noted that an increasing number
of workers are losing jobs as a result of corporate downsizing in
the manufacturing sector. The statistics endorsed that a recession
in the wake of the global financial crisis is having a serious
impact on employment as well.
Given the breakdown, 18 cases involving large-scale dismissals of
dispatched workers, contract-based workers and temporary workers
took place in the form of discontinuation of the renewal of
contracts and dismissal before the expiration of contracts,
resulting in the severance of a total of 4,940 workers. In 35 cases
with each involving the dismissal of more than 100 permanent and
temporary workers, a total of approximately 6,300 workers lost
TOKYO 00003146 011 OF 012
Those figures are tallies of figures labor departments throughout
the nation reported to the MHLW, after they confirmed the dismissals
of large numbers of workers. According to the MHLW, in October 14
prefectures reported on the dismissals of dispatched workers and
contract-based workers on such a scale and 17 prefectures on the
dismissals of regular and part-time workers.
16) JCG officials not to board whaling ships this fiscal year
MAINICHI (Page 25) (Full)
November 14, 2008
The Fisheries Agency has decided not to ask the Japan Coast Guard
(JCG) to assign patrol officials to vessels bound for the Southern
Ocean for research whaling. JCG officials boarded whaling ships last
fiscal year for the first time at the request of the Fisheries
Agency. The aim was to contain acts of obstruction by such
anti-whaling groups as the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society (SS) of
the U.S. The JCG officials produced some achievements in this
mission, including the recording of illegal acts by Sea Shepherd,
but they failed to prevent acts of obstruction themselves. The
Fisheries Agency and the JCG are considering alternative preventive
According to informed sources, this fiscal year's research vessels
are ready to set sail shortly. The JCG has already picked officials
to be dispatched to the research vessels, but the Fisheries Agency
has decided not to make a request.
The Fisheries Agency has entrusted research whaling in the Southern
Ocean to the Institute of Cetacean Research. In fiscal 2007, six
vessels left ports on Nov. 12 and 18. It was the second time that
JCG officials traveled aboard ships other than patrol ones outside
Japanese territorial waters, following the case of the plutonium
transport ship Akatsuki-maru in 1992.
SS members obstructed whaling operations of Japanese whalers by
throwing bottles of fluid chemicals and boarding the ship. As a
result, the ships caught only 60 PERCENT of the targeted number
regarding minke whales and no fin whales. Photos of a JCG official
throwing a warning ball were distributed across the world.
A person concerned said: "The aim of anti-whaling groups is to
demonstrate their presence. It is feared that such groups may use
the boarding of JCG officials to deteriorate the image of whaling."
Another observer commented: "It was found through the experience we
had last year that even if JCG members board ships, there will not
necessarily be the effect to prevent acts of obstruction."
No ships to be dispatched by Greenpeace this fiscal year
A representative from Greenpeace, an international organization to
protect the environment, held a press conference in Tokyo yesterday
and said that the group will not dispatch ships aimed to watch
whaling operations in the Southern Ocean this fiscal year. Wakao
Hanaoka, representing Greenpeace, indicated that the group would
pour its energy into activities in the nation, saying: "In our past
activities of protect, we collected enough evidence, including many
photos, that (whaling activities) have destroyed the environment."
Greenpeace have caused much trouble, obstructing whaling activities
by ships dispatched to watch Japanese whaling.
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