wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07TOKYO5268 2007-11-16 08:17:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo
Cable title:  

JAPAN WATCHING CLOSELY SITUATION IN PAKISTAN

Tags:   PREL EAID PGOV MOPS PK JA 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. (C) SUMMARY: Japan was caught by surprise by Pakistan's
declaration of a state of emergency only days after Foreign
Minister Koumura announced significant increases in ODA to
that country. As a result, he was forced to announce Japan
will "reconsider" this decision in light of recent events.
MOFA officials deny that the decision to plus up aid was
linked in any way to Japan's cessation of Operation Enduring
Freedom (OEF) refueling operations, but was rather made to
carry through on a commitment made by former Prime Minister
Abe to President Bush to help do more for Pakistan. Japan is
concerned by the imposition of a state of emergency and is
urging that it be lifted. Despite Koumura's second
statement, no decision has been taken to cut any existing aid
to Pakistan, as Japan recognizes Pakistan's key role as a
frontier state in the war on terror and a country which has,
until recently, been making progress on the democracy front.
END SUMMARY.



--------------------------

-
INCREASE IN AID TO PAKISTAN ANNOUNCED, THEN...


--------------------------

-



2. (C) Foreign Minister Koumura told a Japanese House of
Representative committee October 31 that Japan was
considering a large increase in economic assistance to
Pakistan. Three days later, President Musharraf declared a
state of emergency, which, according to MOFA Southwest Asia
Division Principal Deputy Director Masaki Ishikawa, took
Tokyo by surprise. Japan had heard rumors of the impending
order, but apparently concluded that Musharraf would back
down at the last minute, as he had last September. The
imposition of a state of emergency put FM Koumura on the
spot, and he subsequently announced November 13 that Japan
would reconsider its aid to Pakistan if the democratization
process were to deteriorate further.



3. (C) Press reports that the reasons for the announced
increase in aid to Pakistan were to offset the withdrawal of
Maritime Self Defense refueling vessels from OEF were untrue,
according to MOFA International Cooperation Bureau Deputy
Director Hitomi Sato. His remark was echoed by Ishikawa, who
told Embassy Political Officer that the decision to increase
aid to Pakistan was made to fulfill a commitment Prime
Minister Abe had made to President Bush to help do more to
support Pakistan. Ishikawa explained that Japan views
Pakistan as a "frontier state" in the international war on
terror and as a country that until recently has been making
positive progress on the democratization front. (NOTE: For
more than six months, MOFA and USAID have been working
together with the Pakistan Government to prepare for upcoming
elections, having procured ballot boxes, working on voter
education campaigns with NGOs and local groups, and providing
technical assistance to the numerous political parties
involved. END NOTE.)



--------------------------


JAPAN DISAPPOINTED BY STATE OF EMERGENCY


--------------------------





4. (C) Tokyo views the imposition of a state of emergency as
a troubling step backwards, said Ishikawa, and is publicly
urging Pakistan to lift it immediately and to return the
country on the path to democracy. However, said Ishikawa,
Japan is not explicitly calling for the release of detainees,
because it believes that to do so would seem to be too much
interference in Pakistan's domestic and security affairs.
Ishikawa confided that personally he believes many of the

TOKYO 00005268 002 OF 002


judges detained were, in fact, engaging in partisan political
activities rather than simply adjudicating the law on an
objective basis. In addition, some within MOFA find
Pakistan's reason for detaining Benizir Bhutto - to protect
her from terrorists - as plausible.



--------------------------


NO DECISION TO CUT AID


--------------------------





5. (C) Despite Japan's concern about recent events in
Pakistan, no firm decision has been made to cut or withhold
aid. Rather, Japan will withhold the additional aid funding
it had earmarked "for awhile" to monitor developments, MOFA
Director General for International Cooperation Koro Bessho
told Embassy Tokyo EMIN. In addition, MOFA First Country
Assistance Planning Director Honsei told AIDCOUNS that, in
any case, existing ODA funds for Pakistan will not be cut.
It is only the future "significant" increase in funds that FM
Koumura mentioned that will be reconsidered if the situation
does not improve. Ishikawa confirmed this, pointing out that
regardless of what happens, Japan recognizes Pakistan's
critical strategic position in the war on terror and will not
cut existing humanitarian programs that directly benefit the
poor and impoverished. He also noted that despite FM
Koumura's public statement about "reconsidering" assistance,
no formal message has been delivered to the Pakistanis
threatening a cut in aid.



--------------------------


STILL ANTICIPATING ELECTIONS


--------------------------





6. (C) At the same time it is calling for Pakistan to rescind
the state of emergency, Japan is still preparing for the
upcoming elections. Press reports announced today that MOFA
is planning to deploy a team of election observers when
elections do take place. The monitoring team will likely be
made up of a dozen or so MOFA officials who will augment
Japanese Embassy staff members already posted in Islamabad.



7. (C) In another bit of discouraging news for Japanese
assistance to Pakistan, press reports today also indicate
that a girls school in Adina which was built by the Japanese
International Cooperation Agency was the victim of a bomb
attack which damaged its walls and windows. The school had
recently received threatening letters from the Taliban
concerning the attire worn by the girls and instructing
parents to stop sending their daughters to the school. The
press reports made no mention of any injuries.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





8. (C) Japan seems poised to continue to provide support to
Pakistan, but is deeply troubled by the recent turn of
events. It will continue to monitor the situation and
decisions to increase funding might suffer should conditions
worsen. Even so, it is likely humanitarian aid programs will
continue unhindered.


DONOVAN