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07TOKYO5193 2007-11-09 07:52:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo
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1. (C) Japan opposes restricting membership in the
Partnership for Democratic Governance, MOFA Aid Policy
Planning Division Principal Deputy Director Yukiko Okano told
Embassy Tokyo November 9. At the time of the October 1 PDG
planning meeting, membership was open to any country willing
to subscribe to the Declaration of Principles and Objectives,
and Japan opposes the introduction of new criteria. In
addition, Japanese officials have strong reservations about
the use of Freedom House or World Bank indices for screening
potential members, preferring that countries be evaluated for
membership on a case-by-case basis. Okano pointed out that
Japan is not ranked highly in either index. These
reservations also apply to screening possible recipients,
which should also be evaluated based on each country's unique
conditions, Okano stated.

2. (C) The PDG's priority should be to establish a success
story as quickly as possible, Okano continued. To accomplish
this objective, the PDG Advisory Unit should survey the "best
practices" of participant countries and use this information
to select an appropriate country for a program. The most
effective way to solicit this information from PDG countries
would be for the Steering Group or Advisory Committee to
provide each country with a written questionnaire rather than
rely upon the countries to generate a document from scratch,
Okano said.

3. (C) "It doesn't look good at all" for a Japanese
financial contribution to the PDG, noted Okano (Refs A-C),
suggesting that one possible source of funding for PDG
projects is the UN Democracy Fund.

3. (C) Japan does not object to Chile as a co-chair for the
Steering Group or to the United Kingdom's preference for
"observer" status in the PDG.