|06TOKYO1170||2006-03-06 01:28:00||UNCLASSIFIED||Embassy Tokyo|
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UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 TOKYO 001170
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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