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Cablegate: Tokyo Media Reaction - President Obama's Nobel Peace Prize,

Published: Fri 11 Dec 2009 04:37 AM
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STATE FOR I/RF, PA/PR/FPC/W, IIP/G/EA, EAP/PD, R/MR,
EAP/J, EAP/P, PM;
USTR FOR PUBLIC AFFAIRS OFFICE;
TREASURY FOR OASIA/IMI;
SECDEF FOR OASD/PA;
CP BUTLER OKINAWA FOR AREA FIELD OFFICE;
PACOM HONOLULU FOR PUBLIC DIPLOMACY ADVISOR
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OIIP KMDR KPAO JA
SUBJECT: TOKYO MEDIA REACTION - PRESIDENT OBAMA'S NOBEL PEACE PRIZE,
IRAQ, AND NORTH KOREA
1. LEAD STORIES: All Friday morning papers gave prominent front-page
coverage to the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to President Obama in Oslo
on Thursday.
2. "President Obama's Distress over 'War and Peace'" On a speech
delivered by President Obama upon his acceptance of the Nobel Peace
Prize, the conservative Sankei wrote from Washington (12/11): "At
the beginning of his speech, President Obama touched upon a
political philosophy theme concerning the 'difficult relationship
between war and peace.' This reflects the distress of the U.S.
leader, who by receiving the prize has been tasked with the role of
'agent of peace.' As the leader in command of the war on terrorism,
President Obama declared that 'peace requires responsibility, and
peace entails sacrifice.' He thus made clear his responsibility for
implementing peace under U.S. leadership."
3. "President Torn between War and Non-Violence" A correspondent
with the liberal Asahi reported from Oslo: "The address illustrated
that President Obama is torn between the reality of the U.S.
fighting two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and the ideal of
non-violence. He tried to address the gap between the international
community, which has higher expectations for ideals that were set
forth by the President on the issues of arms control and global
warming, and the U.S. public, which reacted coolly to the peace
prize that was awarded in the absence of diplomatic
accomplishments."
4. "Strong Will and Security Called For" On a recent series of
terrorist bombings in Baghdad, the liberal Tokyo Shimbun
editorialized (12/11): "News about terrorist incidents spread across
the Middle East instantly. Anxiety and distrust have begun emerging
in Pakistan where a number of terrorist incidents have occurred
recently. If an impression of shortcomings brought on by the U.S.
military's withdrawal from urban areas becomes widespread, the
situation will be adversely affected not just in Iraq but also in
Afghanistan, where additional U.S. troops are set to be deployed.
Now is the time for the Iraqi government and the U.S. military to
step up their mutual coordination."
5. "North Korea Must Return to Six-Party Talks" An editorial in the
liberal Asahi insisted (12/11): "What is important right now at a
time when bilateral talks have just been resumed between the U.S.
and North Korea is to prevent North Korea from taking selfish
actions that will cause tensions to escalate. To that end, it is
important to stabilize the current trend toward dialogue and have
North Korea return to the Six-Party negotiating table. While the
prospects for U.S.-DPRK dialogue remain uncertain, the U.S., which
holds the key to North Korea's nuclear problem, and China, which
chairs the Six-Party Talks, should continue to try to persuade [the
DPRK to return to the multinational framework.]"
ROOS
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