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2006-03-12 23:00:00
Embassy Tokyo
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DE RUEHKO #1300/01 0712300
P 122300Z MAR 06




E.O. 12958: N/A


(1) LDP presidential race 2006 (Part 2): Nationalism in Japan,
China, South Korea a challenge to Koizumi's successor; Internet
rife with criticism, aspersions

(2) Mori faction's presidential candidate -- Abe or Fukuda?
Generational change may occur; Faction pressed to steer difficult

(3) Interview with former Minshuto head Katsuya Okada: Not a good
idea for party leader to easily take responsibility

(4) Interview with Hiraku Tomizawa, former GSDF chief of staff,
on significance of SDF Iraq deployment: Don't be satisfied only
with results from dispatch

(5) Interview with Yukio Okamoto, president of think tank, on
significance of SDF Iraq deployment: Japan should continue
contributions for people's livelihood even after withdrawal

(6) Interview with Bunroku Yoshino, former Foreign Ministry
American Bureau chief, on the secret Okinawa pact


(1) LDP presidential race 2006 (Part 2): Nationalism in Japan,
China, South Korea a challenge to Koizumi's successor; Internet
rife with criticism, aspersions

ASAHI (Page 4) (Abridged slightly)
March 10, 2006

On March 8, 2-Channel, the popular Internet bulletin board (blog)
was filled with messages critical of Japan's "weak-kneed" policy
toward China. For instance, messages read: "Japan was completely
defeated; soundly walloped"; "What is Japan doing? Japan needs to
get going, otherwise China will drill everything out," and "Let's
go to war! I'm serious!"

Those messages followed media reports that in recent talks with

Japan, China had proposed the joint development of gas fields
including areas surrounding the Senkaku Islands, known as Diaoyu
in China, over which both Japan and China have claimed

Criticism is relentlessly directed at individuals, as well.

Every time a senior Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker touches on
Prime Minister Koizumi's visits to Yasukuni Shrine on television,
he receives a large number of e-mails from the general public.
Last June, the lawmaker visited China as a member of an LDP
delegation. As of the end of February, his website received a
total of 107 e-mails, mostly anonymous, including the following:

"The prime minister should continue visiting Yasukuni Shrine.
Taking a resolute stand toward China serves the interests of

"Yasukuni is a Japanese domestic matter, and other countries must
not interfere with it. Japan must not kowtow to China."

The city of Sakaiminato, Tottori Prefecture, known as the

TOKYO 00001300 002 OF 011

unloading port for North Korean crabs, has also received angry e-

A total of 50 messages were posted in several weeks last October
on the bulletin board on the official website run by the
Sakaiminato Tourist Association. One of them accused the city of
providing funds to North Korea. Another message read, "North
Korean ships often visit out port, and they might abduct Japanese

The association closed its bulletin board in mid-October. Similar
messages posted on the bulletin board run by the Sakaiminato
Chamber of Commerce and Industry also led to its closure. Since
concluding a friendship agreement in 1992, Sakaiminato sent
delegations to North Korea's Wonsan, but that tradition ended
with the September 2002 Japan-North Korea summit talks.

A city official lamented:

"For the sake of the local economy, we cannot suspend trade with
North altogether. Then again, a resumption of exchanges with the
North would give rise to public criticism."

Prime Minister Koizumi has repeatedly said that paying tribute to
the war dead and renewing one's resolve never to wage war again
is a matter of the heart. He did not stop visiting Yasukuni
Shrine despite strong protests from China and South Korea,
declaring, "Yasukuni is no longer an effective diplomatic card."

An LDP member who won a Lower House seat for the first time in
last year's general election also noted: "Japan has been reticent
and unassertive. Its' good for Japanese lawmakers to speak their

An anti-Korean manga comic book titled Kenkanryu 2 ("Hating the
Korea boom-2") that went on sale Feb. 22 has become the
bestseller on the Internet bookstore Amazon. The manga book
condemns Tokyo's position toward Takeshima, known as Tokdo in
South Korea, as weak-kneed. According to the publisher Shinyusha,
Kenkanryu 1, which went on sale last July, and 2 sold 650,000
copies as of Feb. 28.

Kenkanryu 2 was released Feb. 22, the first "Takeshima Day" set
by Shimane Prefecture. At a rally held in Matsue, a certain
prefectural assemblyman charged that Japan has been shelving the
Takeshima issue. He said:

"A guilt-ridden Japan has not revealed its mind throughout the
postwar period. It is important to say what must be said and make
efforts to deepen mutual understanding without fearing

His words brought to mind the Feb. 8 Lower House Budget Committee
session. In response to Social Democratic Party lawmaker Kiyomi
Tsujimoto's question on Yasukuni Shrine, Koizumi retorted:


"Ms. Tsujimoto, are you saying that in order to visit the shrine,
we need the consent of China and South Korea and that we cannot
do so because China is against it?"

Koizumi stuck to his guns. At the same time, it seems impossible
to restrain the national sentiments of Japan and China.

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According to an opinion poll released by the Cabinet Office in
December, the answer "I do not feel friendly toward China" marked
the highest level ever. Meanwhile, radical messages on anti-Japan
websites are believed to have triggered massive anti-Japan
demonstrations in China.

Koizumi did not fan anti-Japan sentiment.

During his visit to China in October 2001, Koizumi visited the
Anti-Japan Aggression War Memorial Hall on the side of Lu Gou
Bridge. He later said, "I felt sincere regret and deep sympathy
to the people of China." Although Koizumi avoided offering a
prayer at Yasukuni's inner shrine last October, his
"consideration" has not borne fruit.

In the Jan. 24 Lower House plenary session, Koizumi declared, "I
will advance exchanges at all levels so that Japan-China
relations will not be affected by narrow-minded nationalism."

But reciprocal visits by top leaders of Japan and China are
unlikely until after Prime Minister Koizumi steps down in

Nationalism must be controlled

By Kengo Sakajiri

Speaking to the press Mar. 8, LDP Policy Research Council
Chairman Hidenao Nakagawa underscored the significance of a Japan-
China Ruling Party Exchange Council meeting held in late
February, saying, "An agreement was reached for Japan and China
to work hard to prevent parochial nationalism. It's a great
achievement." Nakagawa specifically meant the control of

Exchanging self-centered views will not help open the door for
Asia policy. Politics is responsible to control extreme

On Mar. 4, I listened to a speech delivered in Mito by former
Prime Minister Yasuhiko Nakasone, who said:

"Nationalism is emerging in all parts of the world. China is
using anti-Japan nationalism to strengthen its solitarily. In
Japan, Yasukuni-centered nationalism is gaining ground."

Growing nationalism worries even Nakasone, a leading
constitutional revisionist who once officially visited Yasukuni
Shrine himself.

Nakasone also said, "World leaders today must have the wisdom to
discuss matters in a way to keep nationalism under control."

Growing nationalist will soon test the wisdom of the successor to

(2) Mori faction's presidential candidate -- Abe or Fukuda?
Generational change may occur; Faction pressed to steer difficult

SANKEI (Page 5) (Full)
March 10, 2006

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All eyes are now focusing on moves in the Liberal Democratic
Party's (LDP) Mori faction, which has two possible candidates --
current and former chief cabinet secretaries Shinzo Abe and Yasuo
Fukuda -- for the LDP presidential election in September, which
will choose a successor to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. The
prevailing view in the LDP is that the moves of Abe, who is most
popular with the public, and of veteran lawmaker Fukuda will
determine the trend of the party leadership race. The Mori
faction is now being pressed to steer a difficult course in
choosing a candidate.

Former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori joined meetings of young
lawmakers belonging to his faction each and every day in
February. On the night of the 15th at a Chinese restaurant in
Tokyo, he participated in a meeting of members of the two Diet
chambers, who are now serving in their first term in the Diet. He
told the junior lawmakers, "Our faction alone can do nothing
about the presidential race."

Junior and mid-level lawmakers in the LDP have called on Abe to
become the next LDP president and prime minister. Veteran
legislators, however, prefer the 69-year-old Fukuda to the 51-
year-old Abe. There are mixed motives among generations. Given
the situation, Mori is desperately trying to put a cap on the
leadership race.

Mori seemed to think Fukuda is most suitable to serve in the
party's presidential post. Mori seems to assume there would be
less internal friction if Fukuda served in the post before Abe.
He has told faction members favoring Abe that it would be better
for the faction to field Abe in a later leadership race. He
predicts that bitter fight will take place in next year's Upper
House election, even if the LDP wins the election, it won't be
able to secure a single-handed majority of the Upper House.
Therefore, a competent candidate is not necessary. He has kept in
line with Mikio Aoki, the chairman of the LDP Upper House caucus,
who places top priority on organizational reform.

However, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has implied he hopes it
will be Abe. Among the Lower House members of the Mori faction,
13 members, including Fukuda, were elected more then six times to
the Diet, while 47, including Abe, were elected five times or
less. If Mori's group can take the lead in choosing a candidate
for the presidential race, it will be able to keep influence over
the party. Should a rift appears in the faction, its influence
may weaken.

Mori once considered having Fukuda head the faction. If the
faction picks Abe as a presidential candidate, it will then
choose Fukuda as its head, saving his face. If Abe does not run
in the race, the faction will field Fukuda in the race. However
since Fukuda turned town such an offer, Mori's scenario hit a
roadblock. Since then Mori has refrained from making comments
favoring either one of the two.

The Mori faction, however, is beginning to lose all restraint. In
a general meeting of the faction on March 9, Mori openly
criticized LDP Policy Research Council Chairman Hidenao Nakagawa,
who proposed an idea of selling housing for government workers as
a pillar of the squeezing of government-owned assets. Nakagawa
then rebutted: "We should implement administrative reforms before
debating a consumption tax hike." A gulf was seen between
Nakagawa, who tends to support Abe, and Mori.

TOKYO 00001300 005 OF 011

On the night of Feb. 13, Fukuda showed up at a small Japanese
restaurant in Shinbashi, Tokyo, where nearly 11 Mori faction
lawmakers, who were elected for the first time to the Diet the
same year as Fukuda. One of the participants said to Fukuda, "You
are now a famous face from the political world." Fukuda, however,
made no response without expression. But he has recently held
meetings with other faction members. Another participant said:
"Mr. Fukuda is full of drive. I appear to be considering the
possibility that he will run in the presidential race." Former
LDP Vice President Taku Yamasaki sent out positive signals to
Fukuda, noting, "I feel sympathy for Mr. Fukuda's views."

A group composed of lawmakers who were elected for the first time
to the Diet when they were 50 years old or over plans to pick
Fukuda as its head and start activities as early as this month.

Those supporting Fukuda have distanced themselves from the
Koizumi government. LDP forces critical of Koizumi's foreign
policy prefer Fukuda, who puts much faith in Asia diplomacy
rather than Abe, who is a hawk. Fukuda has, however, no intention
of starting to slander Koizumi.

Meanwhile, although Abe has devoted himself to the job of
government's spokesman, he has recently strengthened his own
views on such issues as a revision of the Imperial House Law and
Japan's perceptions of its historical past. His supporters are
now growing in the Tsushima and Niwa-Koga factions.

"If Mr. Koizumi and Mr. Mori discuss the issue, its direction
will be decided," said Aoki in late January. He then added, "Both
(the prime minister and Mori) have made remarks even though they
know each other's feelings." Koizumi put on a grin at Aoki's
remark as if to say the two have shared the same view. There is
no guarantee whether Fukuda will be elected as president of the
LDP as Mori planned since the Mori faction is losing its

(3) Interview with former Minshuto head Katsuya Okada: Not a good
idea for party leader to easily take responsibility

YOMIURI (Page 4) (Full)
March 9, 2006

Questioner: Why do you think the e-mail fiasco happened?

Okada: I think there were such reasons as the personal problems
of lawmaker Hisayasu Nagata himself and (bullish) remarks by
executive members. Those reasons created as serious situation for
Minshuto (Democratic Party of Japan).

Questioner: Do you think it was problem that a decision was made
by a few executives and President Seiji Maehara's bullish remarks
made the situation worse?

Okada: Making a decision by limited persons is inevitable. The
more the number is increased, the greater chance information will
be leaked. However, it is important to deal organizationally with
matters. That point was lacking this time. Mr. Maehara's judgment
that time was not good at all. However, we cannot blame him in a
unilateral way. There are things that only a party in charge
knows. I think since the executive had various pieces of
information, they might have mixed up desire and reality.

TOKYO 00001300 006 OF 011

Questioner: Some party members are still calling on Mr. Maehara
to take responsibility.

Okada: I think the executives should refrain from commenting on
the next presidential race because we are trying to do our best
in unison. It is the bad nature of this party to always make the
party head take responsibility whenever a bad thing happens. What
is important is to offer an apology and take next action. Unless
we create circumstance under which the leader can fulfill
initiatives, the party will go down.

Questioner: The dominant view in the party is that Mr. Nagata
should give up his Diet seat.

Okada: Although he took hasty action, he did so during Diet
deliberations. We should be cautious about snatching the title
from a Diet member. It is true that he played a role that other
persons did not want. I think he remains someone the party should
treat as precious.

Questioner: Because of the e-mail uproar, Minshuto has lost
public confidence.

Okada: It is true that our party suffered serious damage. We have
no choice but to fulfill our responsibility inside and outside
the Diet in order to regain public trust. Our responsibility is
to carry out heated debate in the Diet. I want Mr. Maehara to
have a debate with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in the Diet
as early as possible. The party should field a candidate for a
Lower House by-election for the Chiba No. 7 constituency and
fight the election in unison. We should carry out a thorough
investigation into the e-mail issue in order to come to a
conclusion as quickly as possible.

(4) Interview with Hiraku Tomizawa, former GSDF chief of staff,
on significance of SDF Iraq deployment: Don't be satisfied only
with results from dispatch

ASAHI (Page 15) (Excerpts)
March 10, 2006

There has not been a single casualty among the Self-Defense Force
(SDF) troops dispatched to Iraq. In humanitarian and
reconstruction assistance being offered based on the Iraq
Humanitarian Reconstruction Support Special Measures Law, Ground
Self-Defense Force (GSDF) members stationed in Samawah have
steadily performed their assigned tasks, including supplying
water, repairing public facilities, and giving medical guidance.
The GSDF units there have also employed about 1,000 local
residents a day. In security assistance, the Air Self-Defense
Force (ASDF) has engaged in transport operations, winning high
marks from other participating countries.

SDF troops are not allowed to engage in security-maintaining
operations overseas that would entail the use of armed force. In
addition, Japan's standards on weapon use are stricter than any
other countries'. Under such legal restrictions, the SDF have
carried out splendid services in a combat area in corporation
with the Foreign Ministry. Their activities should be highly

Such services should not be seen only from the context of support

TOKYO 00001300 007 OF 011

for the US. Japan's personnel assistance in addition to financial
aid, will contribute to boosting its international position and
also its influence, as well as to ensuring the security of trade-
oriented Japan.

Nonetheless, I do not want the government to make the case of the
SDF Iraq dispatch as a precedent for its international
contributions. Besides Iraq, there are many more countries filled
with destabilizing elements across the world. It is fully
conceivable that Japan would have to participate in
rehabilitation assistance in even more dangerous countries in the
future. On such occasions, if the government entrusts everything
only to the SDF without altering relevant laws or its
interpretation of the laws, Japan will find it impossible to
offer satisfactory personnel contributions.

When I was GSDF chief of staff, GSDF troops were dispatched to
the Congo (formerly Zaire) on the mission of rescuing Rwandan
refugees. I was surprised at that plan because I had never
thought of sending our units to the interior of Africa. Now the
world is becoming smaller and smaller. If reconstruction
assistance is need, making a delay response will no longer be

Fortunately, Japan has had the valuable experience of working as
a member of the multinational force in Iraq. The members of the
multinational force determine responsible missions for each
nation and construct everything on their own while acquiring
other countries' assistance. This process is quite different from
that of United Nations' peacekeeping operations (PKO). I think
opportunities for such type of activities will increase in the
future, so I hope (the SDF) will try to find better ways of
contributions while making use of the assets it has gained in

On the question of whether to withdraw SDF troops from Iraq, it
would be desirable to keep them in the nation a little longer,
given that the security situation in Iraq remains bleak. But if
the British and Australian troops, which are responsible for
maintaining local security, withdraw, it will become impossible
for only the SDF to stay behind.

I hear that the government is considering the possibility of
leaving senior liaison officers of GSDF in Iraq and continuing
ASDF activities. I expect this plan will be translate into action
without fail. If all troops joining in the multilateral force are
pulled out, Japan's influence and amount of information will
unavoidably decrease sharply. In order to use best the results it
attained so far, it is important for Japan to continue to offer
possible personnel contributions also in the future.

For the time being, there will be no other means for Japan but to
watch the security situation in Iraq carefully while continuing
assistance based mainly on the official development assistance
(ODA) program. Once the security situation there improves, Japan
will be able to offer civilian aid. If the situation becomes
worse, Japan should look into a dispatch of SDF troops again. To
do so, it would be undesirable to give the impression that SDF
troops flied back.

I want to see the government leave the judgment on the best
timing for SDF withdrawal to the commander in Iraq and map out
every possible security measure, for instance, continued hiring

TOKYO 00001300 008 OF 011

of local residents and promising to come back in times of
emergency. These commitments are extremely important for Japan to
continue to be involved in Iraq on its own initiative.

(5) Interview with Yukio Okamoto, president of think tank, on
significance of SDF Iraq deployment: Japan should continue
contributions for people's livelihood even after withdrawal

ASAHI (Page 15) (Full)
March 10, 2006

The major significance of the dispatch of Self-Defense Force
(SDF) troops to Iraq is that Japan has shared a due level of risk
in order to ensure the security of the world.

In other words, should Iraq become a destroyed nation, the nation
would become a base for terrorists to launch attacks. In such a
case, an unfathomable threat will be inevitably posed to the
world. As part of antiterrorism efforts, it is important to
stabilize Iraq as soon as possible.

On the occasion of the Gulf war, Japan offered as much as 13
billion dollars, but the international community evaluation of
Japan was that "Japan avoided risk by providing only money."
Learning from this bitter lesson, the government came to the
conclusion that Japan must bear a due level of risk by the sweat
of its brow.

Many persons opposed the dispatch of SDF troops to Iraq, but the
main reason for their opposition was that Iraq was dangerous. SDF
personnel have received training to protect themselves. If a
decision had been made not to allow SDF personnel to go to Iraq
for the reason of their risk, diplomatic groups and NGOs
naturally should have been sent back to Japan. In such a case,
any Japanese would not have been allowed to go to Iraq. I think
Prime Minister Koizumi made a bold decision.

The Iraqi people also had strong expectations for Japan's
assistance. By carrying out humanitarian and reconstruction
activities in Al Muthanna Province, such as repairing schools and
medical institutions, supplying water, and offering power
generation equipment, I think that Japan achieved invaluable
results in relations with local residents.

Of course, relations with the US have also constituted a major
element. Despite strong criticism of the US in the international
community, Britain, Australia and Japan persistently showed a
willingness to support the US. Their relations with the US are
the closest ever. Now that Japan might fall in a state of drift
in the international community, Japan has been held fast by Japan-
US relations. The relations have served as the anchor. In this
sense, too, the decision was proper.

If SDF troops complete their mission without any trouble, it may
be no exaggeration to define their achievements as the greatest
results in Japan's diplomacy in the postwar era.

There are endless needs on the Iraqi side for reconstruction
assistance, so it might be ideal, in a sense, for SDF troops to
continue to stay until Iraq becomes a completely stabilized

Even so, it is necessary to give consideration to ethnic

TOKYO 00001300 009 OF 011

sentiments in neighboring countries. Some persons in such
countries have reacted to the stationing of foreign troops in
their brother country Iraq. When considering this, it might be
undesirable only for Japan to take outstanding action. It may be
reasonable for Ground Self-Defense Force troops to pull out of
Iraq with England and Australia.

The US rushed too quickly to form a political framework. Before
doing that, the US should have made utmost efforts to stabilize
the people's livelihood. Japan is expected to make up for what is
lacking in US policy toward Iraq. It is essential for Japan to
continue to send the message that "Japan will continuously be
supportive of Iraq" even after SDF troops withdraw from that
nation. Unfortunately, it is impossible to send Japanese citizens
to Iraq under its current security situation. However, there must
be ways to assist Iraq in cooperation with its neighbors and by
offering our knowledge and funds. For instance, Japan has
implemented a project under which Japan sends some hundreds of
Iraqi doctors and nurses to Cairo University in Egypt with
Japan's funds to receive retraining with modern medical
technology and equipment. This project has been greatly
appreciated among local people. Based on such experiences, Japan
should offer contributions to stabilize the people's livelihood.

(6) Interview with Bunroku Yoshino, former Foreign Ministry
American Bureau chief, on the secret Okinawa pact

ASAHI (Page 37) (Abridged slightly)
March 8, 2006

The following is a gist of an Oral History interview with former
Foreign Ministry American Bureau chief Bunroku Yoshino, 87, by
the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies:

Interviewer: You were chief of the American Bureau in 1971. What
were your duties?

Yoshino: I was chiefly responsible to finalize a couple of items
for the planned Okinawa pact to get them approved by the Diet.

One of the most memorable events is that Japan was supposed to
have Okinawa back without paying compensation, and we all
believed in such a deal. (Prime Minister Eisaku) Sato also
publicly spoke about it.

The biggest obstacle was the Voice of America. America was
sending out messages to all parts of the world via the VOA
Okinawa station.

The problem was enormous costs required for relocating facilities
and the like, and the US Treasury Department said, "We are not
going to foot the bill anymore. Let Japan pay for it."

But word had been spread that the US would return Okinawa to
Japan for free, so Japan was not prepared to make payment.

I believe the Finance Ministry held talks one day with the US
Embassy, in which the US said, "OK, we need this much money."
Japan was now in trouble. How could Japan conclude an agreement
that included such terms? Needless to say, the government
couldn't disburse funds without Diet approval.

Interviewer: So the (US) Treasury Department did discuss money

TOKYO 00001300 010 OF 011

with the Finance Ministry. Anything else?

Yoshino: The US Embassy in Tokyo at first didn't discuss money
with us, but because talks with Finance Ministry officials
cropped up, they showed us the price tag. And we tried very hard
to keep it a secret.

But what was discussed between Japan and the US -- something like
cables to the Japanese Embassy in Washington -- was leaked to

I believe it was around March 1972, lawmaker (Takahiro) Yokomichi
grilled me: "The Japanese government did all those things behind
the scenes. You also said, 'There was no secret deal. The US
would return Okinawa to Japan unconditionally.' How do you
explain that?"

In November or December 1971, the Treaties Bureau chief and I had
answered questions in turns, saying, "Japan will not have to pay
for Okinawa, and there is no secret deal."

I also said, "Such a cable does not exist, and we didn't discuss
such things."

And Mr. Yokomichi read a cable before me and said, "Did you hear
what I just read?" So I said, "I can't tell if the cable Mr.
Yokomichi has is authentic or not. Let us compare it with the
cable we wrote."

Then I hurried back to the Foreign Ministry and checked out the
cable sent out by the ministry. The cable carried the signatures
of the drafter and division director, and I though that the cable
Mr. Yokomichi just read had probably leaked from the Foreign
Ministry. But I still denied it.

Several hours later, I received a call from the personnel
division director, who said, "Deputy Director General (Takeshi)
Yasukawa said he was going to quit to take responsibility because
it become clear that his secretary had leaked the cable."

Around that time, there was a political reporter named (Takichi)
Nishiyama at the Mainichi Shimbun. I thought he was a rather good
reporter. But he was having an affair with (Yasukawa's secretary)
and he got the cable from her.

I immediately called on Mr. (Susumu) Nikaido and (Noboru)
Takeshita of the Liberal Democratic Party and told them, "We are
in trouble."

But they said to me nonchalantly: "Mr. Yoshino, you are too
naive. Foreign Ministry cables have been leaking from long
before." I said "No way!" to myself. But the fact was that cables
had been leaking by the same method.

Speaking of those days, after asking for the return of Okinawa,
Mr. Sato explained: "Japan will have Okinawa back without paying
compensation. There is no better deal than this." In my view,
such an explanation was bad. The US said that it would return
Okinawa and seek nothing in return, but that country was strapped
for money back then. Japan tried to settle the matter
artificially and that was the problem.

When it comes to returning bases, Japan and the US use every

TOKYO 00001300 011 OF 011

bargaining chip available, and I think there was every reason for
America to use such a bargaining chip in those days. At a time
like this when antidumping duties usually follow growing imports
from Japan, it's hard to imagine that the US would return Okinawa

The US returned Okinawa to Japan, but there are still many US
bases on the island. The matter is closely associated with the
security of Japan. Things are not that simple.

Interviewer: What about the Nishiyama incident?

Yoshino: Newspapers had all been critical of the Foreign Ministry
until the incident came to light. Their tone has now completely
changed, and that helped me.

The Criminal Affairs Bureau asked me to testify. I replied: "I
cannot disclose anything because talks are still underway. I must
think of the credibility of Japan, and if I disclose anything,
Japan will not be able to continue talks with the US. Therefore,
everything is secret, and therefore, I will deny things even at
the Diet, telling lies."

Interviewer: And that's what you did at the Diet.

Yoshino: I denied things too strongly. I should have said, "I
cannot discuss anything that is connected with the bilateral
talks." Instead, I flatly denied everything, and that has raised
some questions.