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06TOKYO1170 2006-03-06 01:28:00 UNCLASSIFIED Embassy Tokyo
Cable title:  

JAPANESE MORNING PRESS HIGHLIGHTS 03/06/06-2

Tags:   OIIP KMDR KPAO PGOV PINR ECON ELAB JA 
pdf how-to read a cable
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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
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RHEHAAA/THE WHITE HOUSE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEAWJA/USDOJ WASHDC PRIORITY
RULSDMK/USDOT WASHDC PRIORITY
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RHHMUNA/HQ USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHMFIUU/HQ PACAF HICKAM AFB HI//CC/PA//
RHMFIUU/COMUSJAPAN YOKOTA AB JA//J5/JO21//
RUYNAAC/COMNAVFORJAPAN YOKOSUKA JA
RUAYJAA/COMPATWING ONE KAMI SEYA JA
RUEHNH/AMCONSUL NAHA 7593
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4961
RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 8074
RUEHNAG/AMCONSUL NAGOYA 4998
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 6150
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 0955
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 7147
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 9142
					  UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 001170 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

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 03/06/06-2

Index:

11) Iwakuni referendum, announced yesterday, to query populace
on accepting carrier-jets from Atsugi
12) Though government is watching Iwakuni referendum, results
may not affect the USFJ realignment process
13) New radar at Aomori base designed to deal with North Korean
ballistic missiles

Foreign policy issues:
14) Aiming at checking China, Japan forging security ties with
India, starting with joint drill in Indian Ocean
15) Former chief cabinet secretary Fukuda calls for repairing
ties with China and South Korea
16) Japan's UN reform proposal would make Russia, China pay a
fair share of UN budget

17) Poll shows record 65% favoring constitutional revision

18) New Komeito readying for Upper House election by sweeping
change of top party posts

Minshuto in turmoil:
19) New Minshuto Diet affairs chair Watanabe sets off storm of
denials by suggesting early election of party president
20) As Minshuto mulls early election of party head, names of
Hatoyama, Ozawa being floated already as Maehara replacement

Articles:

11) Iwakuni announces referendum on transfer of US carrier-borne
aircraft

ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2006

Iwakuni City, Yamaguchi Prefecture, announced yesterday that a
referendum will take place on March 12 to query local residents
as to whether they would accept a plan to relocate US carrier-
borne aircraft to a US military base in the city. Iwakuni will be
the first city to hold a vote on the planned realignment of US
forces in Japan. If a majority of citizens oppose the plan, it
would have an impact on coordination work between the central
government and host communities prior to Japan-US work to issue a
final report at the end of March. If turnout is under 50%, the
poll will become invalid and there will be no vote-counting.

Iwakuni Mayor Katsusuke Ihara said in a press conference
yesterday: "On the premise that a majority of citizens would
support the plan, I will ask (the central government) to
alleviate noise pollution. If a majority oppose, I will seek the
relocation plan be withdrawn." The US and Japan included in their
interim report on US forces realignment out last October a plan
to transfer 57 US carrier-borne planes from the Atsugi base in
Kanagawa Prefecture to the Iwakuni base.

According to Iwakuni, the number of eligible voters is 84,823 (as
of March 4), including 59 foreigners with permanent residence
status.

12) Government watching moves in Iwakuni carefully prior to
referendum but determined to implement plan regardless of outcome

TOKYO 00001170 002 OF 007



ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2006

The city of Iwakuni will hold a referendum on March 12 to ask
citizens whether they will accept a plan to relocate US carrier-
borne aircraft to a US military base in the city. The central
government has said that the outcome will not affect the ongoing
talks on the realignment of US forces in Japan, but it will watch
the results carefully. Japan and the US have agreed to issue a
final report at the end of March. Prior to this, the government
hopes to settle the thorniest issue of relocating the US Marine
Corps' Futenma Air Station in Okinawa Prefecture and also to
accelerate negotiations with other relevant local communities.
But no prospects are in sight for an end to the impasse on
Futenma due to opposition from local communities. Given the
situation, the government wants to avoid highlighting more local
objections.

The interim report on realignment adopted by the Japanese and US
governments last October proposed such measures as strengthened
collaboration between headquarters and joint use of military
bases as part of efforts to improve the capability of the Japan-
US alliance.

Japan and the US have already come up with plans (1) to transfer
Futenma Air Station from Ginowan City to a coastal area of Nago
City; and (2) to set up a joint operations headquarters to be
formed by reorganizing the US Army 1st Corps Headquarters and a
GSDF quick reaction unit headquarters at Camp Zama, Kanagawa
Prefecture. The planned relocation of carrier-borne aircraft now
stationed at the US Atsugi base to Iwakuni reportedly is intended
to secure the forward deployment of the US forces over the long
run.

Regarding the planned referendum, Defense Agency Director-General
Nukaga said in a press conference on March 3: "We will watch the
response of the citizens to the realignment plan."

As Nukaga said: "We must do what must be done." However, the
government is determined to realize the relocation plan
regardless of the results of the referendum. Chief Cabinet
Secretary Abe indicated in a press briefing on March 3 that the

SIPDIS
government would continue efforts to persuade local communities
to accept the plan, saying: "We would like to make efforts to
persuade them to endorse the plan in accordance with the
agreement reached between Japan and the US."

But no progress has been made in the work to solicit agreement
from base-hosting local governments across the nation. The
government takes the view that a settlement of the Futenma
relocation issue will give an impetus to negotiations with other
local communities. But local opposition remains strong.

The government does not want to see a majority of Iwakuni
citizens vote against the plan. It is paying attention to moves
in the city.

13) New radar at Aomori base designed to deal with North Korean
ballistic missiles, governor informed

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Abridged)

TOKYO 00001170 003 OF 007


March 4, 2006

A senior official of the Defense Facilities Administration Agency
(DFAA) on March 3 met with Aomori Governor Shingo Mimura at the
prefectural headquarters and informed him that the Japanese and
United States governments had agreed to the deployment of the US
military's state-of-the-art X-Band radar to the Air Self-Defense
Force's (ASDF) Shariki Detachment base in Tsugaru City in Aomori
Prefecture. The two governments are coordinating a possible
deployment of the radar in FY2006, when Japan's missile defense
(MD) system is introduced. However, Governor Mimura stated, "I
cannot go along with anything that strengthens the base's
functions. We would like to respond to the move cautiously and
deliberately."

The X-Band radar is the US' latest type, developed for use in
intercepting ballistic missiles by sending out X-band radio-
waves, which can detect the difference between armed ballistic
missiles and decoy missiles. Since the Shariki base faces the
Japan Sea, the target of the new radar system would be incoming
missiles from North Korea.

14) Japan to establish closer ties with India on security front,
envisioning joint military drills in Indian Ocean, aims to
counter China

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
March 6, 2006

The government yesterday decided to step up cooperation with
India in the security area ahead of Defense Minister Mukherjee's
visit to Japan slated for March 20. This decision is also
intended to counter the increasing military power of China by
strengthening political and security cooperation between Japan
and India in addition to their economic cooperation, where the
two nations have been actively engaged in negotiations on
concluding an economic partnership agreement (EPA).

Defense Minister Mukherjee will make his first visit to Japan.
During his stay in Japan, he will meet and exchange views with
Japanese leaders, including Foreign Minister Taro Aso and Defense
Agency Director-General Fukushiro Nukaga.

Japan and India have already set in motion a reciprocal visit
program involving defense and coast guard senior working-level
officials and are advancing cooperation in such areas as
combating piracy and search and rescue efforts. In the Japan-
India security dialogue in February, the two nations agreed to
enhance political exchanges, given "the need to drastically
strengthen security and defense exchanges," according to a source
involved in negotiations.

Japan has focused its efforts on leading India to participate in
the Proliferation Security Initiative (PSI), which is aimed at
preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
India is reportedly considering participating in the PSI as an
observer. During the series of talks, Japan intends to urge India
to swiftly take part. If India participates, Japan will be able
to conduct, for instance, joint maritime drills in the Indian
Ocean, through which the sea-lanes linking Japan to the Middle
East pass. India's participation would be of significance in
terms of energy security, as well.

TOKYO 00001170 004 OF 007



With the United States improving its ties with India, as
evidenced by the recent visit to India by President Bush, Japan
is now aiming to counter China by emphasizing the strengthened
ties among Japan, the US, and India in the areas of politics, the
economy, security, and defense.

15) Fukuda: Repairing relations with China, South Korea important

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
March 6, 2006

Former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda of the Liberal
Democratic Party late yesterday delivered a speech in Date City,
Fukushima Prefecture, in which he indicated that improving
relations with other nations, including China and South Korea, is
important, saying: "East Asia will continue to grow. Exchanges
with Asian nations will become the source of Japan's economic
growth, won't they?"

Speaking of the bill to revise the Imperial House Law, the
submission of which the government has decided to delay, Fukuda
stated: "Quick action is necessary, otherwise the continuity of
the imperial family could be in jeopardy. The bill may be
introduced (in the Diet) earlier than expected."

16) Share of UN expenses; Japan to propose floor for permanent
members; Increase in Chinese, Russian shares eyed

MAINICHI (Page
1) (Full)
March 1, 2006

The government yesterday decided to propose a floor for the
shares of permanent UN Security Council (UNSC) members during
upcoming talks to review their contributions to the UN regular
budget (administrative expenses). The aim is to constrain Japan's
share by adopting a system that takes into account the position
and responsibility of permanent UNSC members, as well as their
economic potential, in assessing dues. However, such a proposal
will most likely incur opposition from China and Russia, whose
share will likely rise as a result. Coordination of views will
likely be difficult.

Talks to reevaluate UN members' shares for the period from fiscal
2007 through fiscal 2009 are scheduled to resume at the fifth
committee of the UN General Assembly and be adopted by the end of
this year. Japan is the second largest contributor, paying for
19.5% of the budget. It intends to claim that it is unfair that
its share exceeds the combined 15.3% paid by four UNSC member
nations - Britain, France, China, and Russia. Japan hopes to add
as criteria in making the calculations the position and
responsibility of permanent UNSC members, along with their
current economic potential, based on gross national income (GNI).

The current ceiling of 22% is applied only to the US, and the
floor of 0.001% is applied to 49 developing countries with a weak
economy. Japan intends to propose adopting a floor for permanent
UNSC members at a meeting of the 5th Committee starting on Mar. 3
with the argument being that "in view of the fact that permanent
members are in the position of making decisions on key issues,
they should bear a due fiscal burden," as a senior Foreign
Ministry official put it.

TOKYO 00001170 005 OF 007



A specific floor would be determined later, but the level is
bound to exceed China's 2.1% and Russia's 1.1 % . Whether the
Japanese plan can be adopted is not clear, but the senior MOFA
official noted, "It is important for Japan to make its position
clear."
17) Poll: Record 65% favor constitutional revision, 27% against

MAINICHI (Top play) (Abridged)
March 5, 2006

The Mainichi Shimbun found from its recent nationwide public
opinion survey that 65% of the Japanese public are in favor of
revising Japan's postwar constitution, with 27% opposing
constitutional revision. In the survey, a total of 80% took a
positive view of its role, saying it has helped Japan maintain
its postwar peace and improve its public lives.

The survey this time was conducted Feb. 10-11 by telephone. In
the past, the Mainichi Shimbun has also asked similar questions
in its face-to-face surveys, as well as telephone-based surveys,
with a set of "yes" and "no" options plus "I don't know." The
proportion of those in favor of constitutional revision was 20%
to 40% in surveys conducted from 1982 to 2004. In the following
three surveys from April 2004, respondents were asked to pick
"yes" or "no" only. In those surveys, "yes" accounted for about
60%. The results of previous polls and the one taken this time
cannot be simply compared due to different polling methodologies.
In the latest survey, however, the pro-revision figure marked an
all-time high.

Among male respondents, "yes" accounted for 67%, with "no" at
26%, and among female respondents, "yes" reached 64%, with "no"
at 27%. In the breakdown of respondents into age brackets, "yes"
was comparatively high, ranging from 67% to 72%, among those in
their 20s to 40s; over 60% among those in their 50s and 60s; and
47% among those aged 70 and over. Broken down into political
party supporters, "yes" accounted for about 80% among those in
support of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and among those in
support of the New Komeito party, a coalition partner of the LDP,
with about 60% among those in support of the leading opposition
Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ or Minshuto). However, "no" topped
50% among those in support of the Japanese Communist Party and
the Social Democratic Party (SDP or Shaminto).

In the survey this time, respondents were also asked if they
thought Japan's postwar constitution has helped with Japan's
maintenance of its postwar peace and with Japan's improvement of
its people's livelihood. In response to this question, "yes"
totaled 80%, broken down into "very much" at 26% and "somewhat"
at 54%. In the breakdown of negative answers, "not very much"
accounted for 14%, with "not at all" at only 2%. Positive answers
accounted for 83% among LDP supporters, with 75% among DPJ
supporters.

18) New Komeito to reshuffle top party lineup; Kanzaki-Fuyushiba
management structure to end in October

NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)
March 5, 2006

The expectation is that New Komeito leader Takenori Kanzaki, 62,

TOKYO 00001170 006 OF 007


will not run in the party presidential race in October and that
Secretary General Tetsuzo Fuyushiba, 69, will step down from his

SIPDIS
post. The current leadership, which has formed a coalition with
the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), has gained influence over the
party by supporting the LDP in elections. At the same time,
however, they produced little positive results, since the party's
political presence decreased as the LDP made great strides in the
elections. With an eye on the upcoming House of Councillors
election slated for next summer, the New Komeito will engage in
full-scale coordination on a plan to put together a new
leadership lineup, while dealing with such difficult problems as
expanding the party's strength and playing up its own political
identity.

In a meeting on March 3 of its House of Representatives members,
Kanzaki suddenly stated: "The LDP's presidential race and other
matters will soon be talked about. The personnel changes of our
party also will be the subject of much conversation in various
circles."

The Kanzaki-Fuyushiba leadership will celebrate its eighth
anniversary in the fall. The two leaders have made efforts to
expand relations with the LDP since the New Komeito joined the
government of Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi in October 1999.
However, out of strong concern about the result of next summer's
Upper House election, they have decided to put an end to the
present executive lineup.

The LDP won a landslide victory in last September's Lower House
election, in which Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi asked voters
their views on his postal-privatization bills. The New Komeito,
however, lost three seats even though it gained some votes. The
party was unable to secure 10 million votes, the party's target.
The party has the solid voting support of the religious sect Soka
Gakkai, New Komeito's backer. However unless it broadens its
support to attract other voters, it cannot expect to boost its
strength, particularly since there are moves toward a two-party
system.

The LDP increased its number of seats in last year's Lower House
election. As a result, the political presence of the New Komeito
has rapidly declined. The LDP has asserted its views over the
Komeito's in many negotiations between the two parties.

19) Minshuto's Maehara, Hatoyama deny Watanabe's prospect for
early party presidential race

YOMIURI (Page 1) (Full)
March 6, 2006

Appearing on a Fuji TV program yesterday, Kozo Watanabe, the new
Diet Affairs Committee chairman of the main opposition party
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan) speculated that the party's
leadership election, now planned for September, could be carried
out earlier than the planned. "Depending on the situation, it
might be carried out sometime after the regular Diet session
ends," he said.

However, Minshuto President Seiji Maehara told reporters in the
city of Yonago, Tottori Prefecture, "I would like to do my best
until September when my term of office expires." He denied the
possibility of quitting his job before September. Secretary

TOKYO 00001170 007 OF 007


General Yukio Hatoyama also said in a speech in the city of
Mombetsu, Hokkaido, "We will not move up the planned schedule. We
will hold the presidential election in September."

Asked reporters about his real intention on a possible early
Minshuto leadership race, Watanabe responded:

"Since Minshuto is on the verge of collapse, I don't want to see
unnecessary competition in the party. Basically, Mr. Maehara has
to serve in the post (until September). During the ongoing
regular Diet session, we will fulfill the responsibility of the
largest opposition party under the leadership of Mr. Maehara."

20) Minshuto leadership race: Watanabe says, "Mr. Hatoyama is
most likely;" "It's time for Mr. Ozawa," Hatoyama says

YOMIURI (Page 2) (Full)
March 6, 2006

Top officials of the largest opposition party Minshuto
(Democratic Party of Japan) yesterday made remarks about
prospective candidates in the party's presidential election. Diet
Affairs Committee Chairman Kozo Watanabe said on a TV program
that Secretary General Yukio Hatoyama would be the "most likely"
candidate. Hatoyama, however, stated, "Former Vice President
Ichiro Ozawa is one of the likely candidates."

Referring to requirements for a presidential candidate, Watanabe
pointed out: "We will absolutely not pick those maneuvering for
the presidential post. We will pick a person cooperating for the
reconstruction of the party." As to the possibility of reelection
of Maehara, he said, "There is a possibility. The question is
whether he will make an effort or not." Regarding Ozawa, "If he
remains calm and does not plot to remove Maehara from the post,
party members might call on Mr. Ozawa to serve in the
presidential post," Watanabe said. Asked about the possibility of
former party head Naoto Kan, "If he took the Diet affair chief
post (replacing Yoshihiko Noda), Mr. Kan will certainly be able
to become the next president. But (the possibility is low)." He
said there was no possibility of he himself becoming president.

Yukio Hatoyama said in a speech in the city of Mombetsu,
Hokkaido, "The time for Mr. Ozawa to become party head is
gradually approaching." In a press meeting after the speech,
Hatoyama stated, "It is good that three candidates will run for
the leadership race. I have heard that (Mr. Ozawa) denied (any
desire for the post)."

Asked about whether he would run in the election, Hatoyama
responded, "I have no intention to do so. I am perplexed with
(Watanabe's prospect that Hatoyama is the most likely
candidate)."

SCHIEFFER