Today by dandanhuanghuang


									                         AMERICAN EMBASSY, TOKYO
                              POLITICAL SECTION
                            INQUIRIES: 03-3224-5360
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                   Monday, August 14, 2000


(1) Hashimoto faction: With its future makeup undecided, relations among senior
faction members remains delicate; Nonaka, Aoki, Muraoka visit Okinawa together
to play up "solidarity"

(2) Interview with Foreign Minister Yohei Kono: Continuity is vital in carrying out
talks with North Korea; Too early for top-level talks; Eager to implement new plans
for Japan-Russia economic cooperation

(3) JCG to introduce large jets for non-refueling scouting in pirate-ridden seas

(4) Futenma alternative: Central, local governments to launch new panel later this
month; 4 bodies to be lined up for consultations over land reversion, but likely to
face rough going over construction method, site

(5) Editorial: SDF on its 50th anniversary should prepare for the new trend

(6) Research on the prime ministership; Part 2 – Influence on decision-making;
Weight of the economy; Whether the government sinks or swims depends on
economic recovery
ARTICLES:                                                 next generation of members remains unsettled, with
                                                          nearly 30 of the faction being junior Dietmembers
(1) Hashimoto faction: With its future                    now serving a first or second term. In addition,
makeup undecided, relations among senior                  under a collective leadership, relations among
faction members remains delicate; Nonaka,                 senior members tend to be delicate.
Aoki, Muraoka visit Okinawa together to
                                                                  Recently, the Hashimoto faction expressed
play up "solidarity"
                                                          its unhappiness regarding the government and ruling
                                                          camp having decided to voluntarily refrain from
YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpt)
                                                          holding large meetings at which the budget for next
August 11, 2000
                                                          fiscal year would be discussed. This exposed a
                                                          growing discord between the LDP leadership,
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Secretary General
                                                          including Nonaka, and senior members of the
Hiromu Nonaka, LDP Upper House Caucus
                                                          Hashimoto faction.
Secretary General Mikio Aoki and former chief
cabinet secretary Kanezo Muraoka -- senior
                                                                Under such circumstances, Nonaka, Aoki,
members of the Hashimoto faction – flew to
                                                          and Muraoka tried to demonstrate that the faction
Okinawa on the 10th to call at the Okinawa
                                                          was smoothly functioning by showing up in
prefectural office in Naha City. The three there
                                                          Okinawa as a group.
expressed their gratitude for the Okinawa
government's support for the G-8 Summit, taking
                                                                  Senior     factional     leaders,  including
along photographs of the late prime minister Keizo
                                                          Hashimoto, met on the night of the 8th with Mori
Obuchi and late chief cabinet secretary Seiroku
                                                          faction chief Jun'ichiro Koizumi and expressed their
Kajiyama. They thus demonstrated their unity,
                                                          support for the Mori Administration. The faction
responding to such rumors as Nonaka and Muraoka
                                                          continues its strategy of retaining political
being at odds with each other. However, internal
                                                          leadership by allying with the Mori and Eto-Kamei
moves to pick a successor to Prime Minister Mori
                                                          factions. On the other hand, it has toughened its
have already begun, and some say that the joint trip
                                                          stance of criticizing the Kato faction for proposing
by the three only reveals the perplexity that exists in
                                                          the recruiting of new members from the public, as
the Hashimoto faction, which has no strong LDP
                                                          well as for holding study group sessions with
presidential candidate.
                                                          lawmakers from the Minshuto (Democratic Party of
                                                          Japan). "It is necessary for the Hashimoto faction to
        The Hashimoto faction has lost it founder,
                                                          unite to check other factions," said one mid-level
former prime minister Takeshita, and its leader,
                                                          Hashimoto faction member.
Keizo Obuchi, in succession.          Following the
assumption of the Lower House speaker's post by
                                                                  However, there remains concern in the
Tamisuke Watanuki, former factional chairman,
                                                          faction that if the issue of selecting a successor to
former prime minister Hashimoto has become the
                                                          Prime Minister Mori comes out into the open,
new chairman. Since then, the faction has put all its
                                                          discord between Nonaka and Muraoka might flare
energy into maintaining its impetus. However,
                                                          up again.
lawmakers from other factions think that given the
complicated internal situation, "the Hashimoto
faction is already in pieces" (mid-level Kato faction

        Unstable factors existing within the
Hashimoto faction could lead to a loss of control by
the leadership. For example, the composition of the
(2) Interview with Foreign Minister Yohei                       "We need to objectively determine if the North is in
Kono: Continuity is vital in carrying out                       serious need of additional rice from a humanitarian
talks with North Korea; Too early for top-                      perspective. We have not been working premised
level talks; Eager to implement new plans for                   on sending rice unconditionally."
Japan-Russia economic cooperation
                                                                -- The South and North have agreed to link the
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Full)                                    Kyongui Line (between Seoul and Sinuiju). Is there
August 11, 2000                                                 any chance of Japan cooperating on such a project
                                                                to facilitate inter-Korean economic exchanges in
Foreign Minister Yohei Kono gave an interview to                tandem with Japan-North Korea talks?
the Nihon Keizai Shimbun yesterday.             With
normalization talks with North Korea scheduled to               "Extending assistance in tandem with talks with the
reopen in Tokyo on August 21, the Foreign Minister              North seems difficult. In my view, such should wait
in the interview revealed his intention to make every           until after diplomatic relations are established."
effort to maintain a dialogue with the North in order
to improve bilateral ties. At the same time, he was             -- Is it possible for top-level officials of Japan and
circumspect about Japan assisting economic                      North Korea to hold talks during the United Nations
exchanges between the South and North. He also                  Millennium Summit in September?
thought it too early to hold a top-level meeting
between the two countries. On Russia, he revealed               "I think it is too early for that."
a pessimistic view about an agreement on a peace
treaty before year's end. He added, however, that               -- How do you view the current situation on talks
Prime Minister Mori and himself would travel to                 with Russia for concluding a peace treaty?
Russia this year after the Japan-Russia summit
meeting in September if such would help the two                 "A number of Japan-Russia summit talks have
countries reach an accord. He was also enthusiastic             produced the Tokyo declaration and the
about mapping out a new economic cooperation                    Krasnoyarsk accord.        The former stipulates
plan.                                                           conclusion of a peace treaty after settling the
                                                                territorial issue. And the latter says that the two
-- How will Japan deal with the abduction problem               countries will devote their energies to signing a
and the North's missile program in talks with the               treaty by the end of 2000. In the summit talks in
North?                                                          September, Prime Minister Mori and President
                                                                Putin are expected to discuss the subject based in
"The lives and property of our citizens are                     principle on the Tokyo declaration. And that will be
paramount. We cannot of course downplay the                     most important.
[abduction] problem."
                                                                -- The environment surrounding the summit talks
-- Difficulties are foreseen. What is your immediate            seems severe.
                                                                "Prime Minister Mori and President Putin are not
"To push the problem as much as possible toward a               the ones who inked those agreements. It might take
settlement. It is also important to maintain a                  some time for them to fully understand them and
dialogue – hopefully, at a faster pace."                        move forward. At the same time, the two countries
                                                                have repeatedly confirmed that what had been
-- Extending additional rice assistance is now the              agreed upon would remain valid no matter who
focus of debate.                                                assumed office."

                                                        - 3 -
-- If Japan and Russia fail to reach an accord this             employ such aircraft for the purpose of stepping up
year, will they continue discussing the matter next             its search for missing Japanese ships on the high
year on?                                                        seas and engaging in patrol activities. The planned
                                                                jet model will not be equipped with weapons.
"We have inherited our predecessors' efforts and                China has been actively engaging in naval research
their accomplishments. As long as there is the                  in Japanese waters, so the JCG is planning to
Krasnoyarsk accord, it is our duty to make every                introduce such jet aircraft in order to spot and watch
effort until the end of 2000."                                  such research ships, as well as other foreign vessels
                                                                operating in Japanese waters. In addition, JCG
-- Is there any chance for Prime Minister Mori and              units are also want to keep an eye out for smugglers.
yourself to travel to Russia in or after September?             The JCG will earmark several billion yen in its
                                                                estimate of budget requests for next fiscal year. It
"We will spare no effort during the critical phase."            wants to introduce two jet aircraft if approved,
                                                                officials say.
-- How will economic cooperation proceed during
the summit talks in September?                                  (00081103im)

"People are considering various things, such as a
Mori-Putin plan. Pushing ahead with cooperation in
various fields is our basic policy line. So if there            (4) Futenma alternative: Central, local
are any good new plans, we would like to                        governments to launch new panel later this
implement them.                                                 month; 4 bodies to be lined up for
                                                                consultations over land reversion, but likely
-- The Government has rejected the idea of                      to face rough going over construction
concluding an interim treaty by putting the northern
                                                                method, site
islands issue on the back burner. Hasn't there been
any change in such a policy direction?
                                                                YOMIURI (Page 4) (Excerpt)
                                                                August 9, 2000
"No, there hasn't."
                                                                         The government is expected to set up a
                                                                consultative council with Okinawa Prefecture and
                                                                its local municipalities in late August to discuss the
                                                                basic planning of an alternate facility for the U.S.
                                                                Marine Corps' Futenma airfield along with its
(3) JCG to introduce large jets for non-                        functional relocation [to the northern coastal city of
refueling scouting in pirate-ridden seas                        Nago in Okinawa Prefecture]. There are four
                                                                tripartite consultative bodies related to Futenma,
ASAHI (Page 1) (Excerpt)                                        and three of them have already been launched. The
Eve., August 11, 2000                                           central and local governments will now be ready to
                                                                start the process of Futenma's actual reversion. But
        In response to pirate attacks in Southeast              it will still be difficult to consolidate local opinions
Asia, the Japan Coast Guard (JCG) [formerly                     on how and where to construct the Futenma
known as the Maritime Safety Agency] has decided                alternative facility. Moreover, there is a view in
to introduce long-range full-sized jet aircraft that            Okinawa that doubts whether Prime Minister Mori
can make a nonstop flight with no refueling as far as           and his cabinet really have the will to move ahead
the Strait of Malacca and Singapore, about 6,000                on the Futenma issue, and some believe it difficult
kilometers away from Japan. The JCG plans to                    to work out a basic plan within the year.
                                                        - 4 -
                                                                  election of its upper house. One of the ruling
        The new consultative panel is finally going               Liberal Democratic Party's Okinawa chapter leaders
to be set up in August. But in setting up the basic               says, "We can't touch base issues in an election
plan to replace Futenma airfield's heliport functions,            year."
a number of difficult issues have first to be
resolved.                                                                On the other hand, some in the LDP regard
                                                                  the second Mori cabinet team as question. That is
         The Futenma alternative is planned as a                  because Prime Minister Mori, Chief Cabinet
dual-use airport for U.S. military and civilian                   Secretary Nakagawa, and other cabinet ministers
aircraft. Regarding its portion for civilian aircraft's           have shown little concern for the Okinawa problem.
use, the Okinawa prefectural government will ask
the central government to install a maintenance                           In particular, the LDP's Hashimoto faction
service workshop for commercial aircraft as a                     takes pride in its involvement in Okinawa. The
potential element to trigger local economic                       faction are former Prime Minister Hashimoto, who
development.     This idea, however, will need                    decided to relocate Futenma airfield, the late former
coordination with the civil aviation industry and                 Prime Minister Obuchi, who decided to hold the G-
other businesses. Furthermore, one local business                 8 summit in Okinawa, and LDP Secretary General
leader is worried about the possible impact on the                Nonaka, who has strong connections with Okinawa
local environment because the planned heliport is                 Prefecture. A former cabinet minister from the
large, having an extensive runway exceeding 2,000                 Hashimoto faction says, "It is our faction that has
meters. Financing the construction projects to the                undertaken to resolve the Okinawa problem." The
tune of several hundred billion yen also is likely to             faction member added, "I can't feel any ardor in
be tough.                                                         Prime Minister Mori's way of addressing the
                                                                  problem." On August 10, the Hashimoto faction's
         How the construction site will be affected               Nonaka, LDP Upper House Secretary General
specifically depends on the method of construction.               Mikio Aoki, and former Chief Cabinet Secretary
Local opinion is now split on which of three                      Kanezo Muraoka will visit Okinawa. Concerning
prospective construction methods to choose:                       this move, one of the Mori faction leaders in the
reclaiming land from the sea; installing an offshore              LDP said, "That's the Hashimoto faction's
platform-type stage; and floating a pontoon-type                  demonstration to announce they will take the lead
facility at sea. Another idea that was vetted in June             on the Okinawa problem."
was to apply a mixture of the floating and
reclamation formulas.           However, Okinawa                  (00081003im)
Governor Keiichi Inamine's campaign pledge to
refuse a sea-based heliport remains an obstacle to
that idea.
                                                                  (5) Editorial: SDF on its 50th anniversary
       The     basic    planning of Futenma's                     should prepare for the new trend
replacement will likely be affected by the political
schedules of the Japanese and U.S. governments—                   ASAHI (Page 2) (Full)
and also by those of Okinawa Prefecture, Nago City,               August 11, 2000
and other local municipalities. The United States
willl hold a presidential election in November.                           Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of
Additionally, Naha City in Okinawa Prefecture is                  the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), or more accurately,
going to have a mayoral election, in which                        of their predecessor, the Police Reserve Force.
Governor Inamine is backing a conservative
candidate. Next summer, the Diet will hold an

                                                          - 5 -
       The Police Reserve Force soon became the                  Turkey, in order to engage in medical activities or
National Safety Force, which in turn was                         transport supplies.
reorganized in July 1954 in the midst of the cold
war into the current three self-defense forces –                         The SDF's role and activities have been
ground, air, and maritime.                                       broadened enormously to a level never imagined in
                                                                 the past. Seen from another angle, the SDF is now
       The first director general of the Defense                 desperately looking for a new direction to head for
Agency (JDA), Tokutaro Kimura, gave these                        in the post-cold war era. Their previous main
remarks in an interview: "For a sovereign state, it is           mission, "prevention of massive aggression by a
only natural for Japan to possess armed forces," and             foreign enemy," is becoming unrealistic.
"The purpose of the SDF is national defense, so
dispatching them abroad is impossible unless laws                        The Defense Agency has begun to draw up it
are amended."                                                    mid-term defense buildup program (jikibo) to cover
                                                                 the five years that start in fiscal 2001. This process
      However, looking back on a half-century of                 indispensably requires a frame of reference to make
the SDF, we realize anew how much the forces have                it possible to flexibly respond to changes that match
changed.                                                         the trend of the times.

       The SDF's equipment, centered mainly on                           Also, the program will likely include items
high-tech weapons, is now seen as one of the most                for consideration how to cope with "a ballistic-
advanced in the world. Already Japan's defense                   missile attack" and "a guerrilla attack by forces
expenditures have swelled to the largest scale after             other than a regular army." The 2000 Defense
the United States and the United Kingdom in                      White Paper, in fact, points out the Democratic
comparison with major nations (excluding Russia                  People's Republic of Korea's (North Korea) ballistic
and China whose data are not available), based on                missile development suspicions, as well as the
purchasing power parity calculated by the                        existence of that country's nearly 100,000-troop task
Organization for Economic Cooperation and                        force for guerrilla activities.
Development (OECD).
                                                                         However, now that some signs of easing
       In   1992,     when    the    International               tensions on the Korean Peninsula are becoming
Peacekeeping Cooperation Law went into effect,                   visible at long last with the recent inter-Korea
SDF troops were dispatched abroad for the first                  summit as the occasion, adopting a policy course of
time and participated in the United Nations                      bringing back the Korean Peninsula to the cold war
peacekeeping operations in Cambodia.                             is never acceptable. The theater missile defense
                                                                 (TMD) program, now in the joint development
      With the reaffirmation by Japan and the U.S.               phase between Japan and the U.S., arouses a strong
of the importance of the bilateral alliance, the                 sense of alarm among countries such as North
Government is now preparing the groundwork for                   Korea and China. It also has many technical and
the SDF to assist U.S. forces in case of an                      cost-aspect difficulties. If that is the case, Japan
"emergency in areas near Japan" -- a clause that is              should give up on the development.
ambiguous in scope and definition.
                                                                        The buildup plan will also include as
        SDF troops now may be mobilized not only                 challenges how to cope with "cyber-terrorism,"
to disaster-stricken areas at home but also to other             which, by invading computer networks, will deal a
countries that stricken with disaster, such as                   great blow to the military system. As for the
hurricane-damaged Honduras or earthquake-ravaged                 Revolution in Military Affairs (MRA), research on
                                                                 which is progressing in the U.S., there is the

                                                         - 6 -
likelihood of its bringing drastic changes to the                      The BOJ had been showing a strong desire
existing weaponry system, composition of forces                to lift its zero-interest-rate policy at the Policy
and combat concept itself.                                     Board meeting on monetary policy to be held on the
                                                               11th of July. However, the Okinawa Summit was
       The Government is now urged to have full                scheduled to be held soon after the meeting. What
debate in a serious manner also on SDF's armament              the Prime Minister had in mind while listening to
as well as on their reduction in force, while                  their explanations was that it would be intolerable if
envisioning the elements mentioned above.                      Japan's financial policy came under a barrage of
                                                               criticism at such an important stage. But he
(00081104ku)                                                   outwardly made only cautious remarks.

                                                                      While a war of nerves was going on between
                                                               the Prime Minister and the BOJ, the Sogo
NIHON KEIZAI (Page 2) (Excerpts)                               Department chain store problem all of a sudden
August 11, 2000                                                cropped up, making it necessary to put the "July
                                                               battle" over zero-interest-rate policy on the
(6) Research on the prime ministership; Part                   backburner. The "August battle" will reach a
2 – Influence on decision-making; Weight of                    climax at today's Policy Board meeting. Departing
the economy; Whether the government sinks                      from his usual cautious stance, the Prime Minister
or swims depends on economic recovery                          has now begun to drop words of expectations on the
                                                               continuation of the zero-interest-rate policy. He
        "No member of the Administration, however              was heard making such a positive statement that
close they are to him, can know why the President              "now is a critical time for the economy."
reached that particular decision." This remark,
made by someone who once served as U.S.                        "The Prime Minister has crossed the Rubicon"
president, precisely explains that a combination of
complex elements go into any one decision. What                        Some in the Government and the ruling
affects the thought process of a Japanese prime                camp take the view that "the Prime Minister has
minister when he exerts himself in making policy               crossed the Rubicon." He now clearly wants to see
decisions?                                                     the zero-interest-rate policy kept in place. As such,
                                                               if the BOJ comes up with a decision to end it,
Unanimous call for retaining zero-interest-rate                market confidence in the Prime Minister's
policy                                                         leadership would be dashed to the ground. It is
                                                               even anticipated that "the market would not respond
        On the evening of July 6 at a hotel near the           no matter what economic policies he proposes in the
Diet, Prime Minister Mori quietly listened to Eisuke           future" (market participant).
Sakakibara, former vice finance minister for
international financial affairs, setting forth his                     What has inspired the Prime Minister was a
argument against ending the zero-interest-rate                 big chorus in the ruling party and the Finance
policy. Sakakibara noted that lifting that policy              Ministry seeking to "place priority on the economy."
would bring down stock prices.             Nobutaka            "The Prime Minister is sensitive to the movements
Machimura, former prime ministerial aide, and                  of stock prices and economic growth rates" (senior
Heizo Takenaka, a professor at Keio University,                Economic Planning Agency official). The economy
who were also there, joined in each unfolding his              determines the fate of the Cabinet -- the Prime
pet argument.                                                  Minister has succeeded to a stance like this from
                                                               former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, who gave
                                                               first consideration to economic countermeasures.

                                                       - 7 -
                                                                          Finance Minister Kiichi Miyazawa, an
        In the fall of 1998 right after the                       "economic professional" acknowledged by both
inauguration of the Obuchi Administration, the                    himself and others, has a bitter memory. On August
average Nikkei stock price quickly fell below the                 18, 1992, when he was prime minister, the Nikkei
14,000 mark, following erratic discussion between                 average plunged to a record low of 14,309 yen
the ruling and opposition camps over financial                    following the collapse of the bubble economy. At
reconstruction-related laws and the infusion of                   that time Miyazawa was in Karuizawa on summer
public money into the Long-Term Credit Bank of                    vacation. Upon hearing the news, he came upon the
Japan. Many of high-ranking BOJ and Government                    idea of "closing the Tokyo Stock Exchange." He
officials feared that "a Japan-induced financial crisis           made contact only with BOJ Governor Mieno to
might occur."                                                     convey his proposal.

        Absenting himself from discussions between                        Since stock prices soon rebounded, the
the ruling and opposition blocs, which often                      market was not closed. However, Miyazawa's sense
continued into the early morning hours, Prime                     of crisis toward a "collapse of the bubble economy"
Minister Obuchi kept himself to the Kantei. He                    grew. Immediately after that, he hinted at injecting
jokingly said, "I wonder if (my administration) will              public money to reconstruct the financial system.
last three days or three months." He was left with                However, faced with fierce opposition from the
only one option, that is to say, to gulp down the                 business world, he had to withdraw the idea.
opposition camp's proposal for special public                     Because of this event, he was later stigmatized as
control (temporary nationalization) (of failed                    "having mishandled the collapse of the bubble
banking institutions).                                            economy."

        However, when the economy began to show                           Despite Prime Minister Mori's statement, the
a trend for a mild recovery, a support rate for his               stock and financial market on the 10th moved,
administration took an upward turn with its slogan                discounting the "lifting of the zero-interest-rate
"priority to the economy" being highly evaluated. A               policy." Aides to the Prime Minister were quick to
Government observer commented, "He hardly                         make a comment to protect him: "In every country,
listened to MOF, which planned to reconstruct state               the government and the central bank are
finances." This is the Ozawa-style clear-cut point of             independent of each other. Current movements in
view -- he acknowledged himself to be the "world's                the market do not indicate that the Prime Minister
no. 1 debtor."                                                    lacks leadership." Whether the Prime Minister's call
                                                                  was correct or not will be judged by whether the
Stigmatized as "having failed to properly handle                  economy takes an upward or downward turn
the collapsed bubble economy"                                     afterward.


                                                          - 8 -

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