Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Guam, Okinawa and Wikileaks

I heard months ago that Guam had some mentions in Wikileaks, but was never actually able to look into it beyond seeing Guam on the index. Thankfully, the Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun has saved me the trouble of searching for Wikileaks for some of the juicier Guam mentions. These revelations are pretty significant, they reveal some major problems with the buildup, the plans and even the the reason why there was an early mention of a billion dollar road being built on Guam, that was quickly and quietly swept under the carpet and never mentioned again. We'll see what kind of impact that have locally, and see what sort of response JGPO and others can come up with to try and counter the Wikileaks revelations.

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EDITORIAL: Leaked Documents Reveal Shocking Japan-U.S. Diplomacy

2011/05/06

WikiLeaks has published vast troves of internal and confidential government documents that normally would have been kept inaccessible to the public for a certain, usually long, period, such as 25 years, before being released after careful screening.

The anti-secrecy website has disclosed shocking facts about the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and American diplomacy through the releases of classified government documents by whistleblowers. Now, the wave has hit Japanese diplomacy.

The Asahi Shimbun has obtained nearly 7,000 U.S. diplomatic cables from the site, which shed light on the unknown side of diplomacy between Japan and the United States mainly between 2006 and early 2010.

This is the period from the final days of the Liberal Democratic Party's rule to the era of the first Democratic Party of Japan administration led by then Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama.

The Hatoyama administration pledged to relocate U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma out of Okinawa Prefecture at the least.

Between late 2009 and early 2010, however, the Hatoyama administration secretly told Washington that Japan would go along with the 2006 bilateral agreement to move the base to a northern location in the same prefecture if no viable alternative to the existing plan was found. It was half a year before Hatoyama publicly said he had decided to break his promise to relocate the base outside Okinawa.

There are certainly some elements in diplomatic negotiations that should be kept secret from the public.

But the Hatoyama administration's lying about its basic policy concerning the Futenma issue amounts to an unpardonable betrayal of the people.

After the DPJ government assumed office, senior bureaucrats at the Foreign and Defense Ministries gave the United States some advice that could undermine the DPJ administration's efforts to solve the Futenma problem, such as Washington should not show flexibility (over the issue) too early.

If bureaucrats have objections to the government's policy, they should express their opinions to their own country's administration.

These foreign and defense ministry officials showed a gross misunderstanding of their roles when they tried to influence the new government's actions by communicating secretly with the negotiation partner.

But questionable diplomatic actions are not the exclusive preserve of the DPJ government.

Concerning the cost of transferring thousands of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam, the previous government of the LDP-New Komeito coalition agreed with the U.S. administration to pad related expenses as a gimmick to make Japan's share of the financial burden look smaller than it actually was.

These cables, not intended for immediate publication, contain many facts about behind-the-scenes goings-on in the bilateral diplomacy.

Since they reflect U.S. interpretations of what actually happened, the documents may be silent about things the U.S. administration might find inconvenient.

But reading through these documents without reading too much into specific words and phrases throws into sharp relief some serious problems with Japanese diplomacy.

What emerged from the documents is a deplorable spectacle of Japanese politicians and bureaucrats making haphazard responses to the situation in order to protect existing policies or their own interests.

Their actions showed no sign that they were thinking consistently from the viewpoint of what was in the best interest of the Japanese people.

If there is any one thread running through their actions, it is consideration of the need to keep Japan's relations with the United States on good terms.
In addition, Japanese actors who were distrustful of each other talked fairly candidly about what was going on within the Japanese government to American officials. That's shocking rather than surprising.

If this distressing picture is a true picture of the state of our country's diplomacy, we need to start our efforts to rebuild it by confronting this reality.
What do the DPJ government, Japanese diplomats and the LDP really think about Japan's diplomacy as revealed by these cables? Their answers to this question should be seen as a starting point to debate.
--The Asahi Shimbun, May 5, 2011

http://www.asahi.com/english/TKY201105050102.html

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THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES (1): DPJ Government Never Committed to Futenma Alternatives

2011/05/04
Editor's Note:

The following special package of articles is based on classified data The Asahi Shimbun obtained from WikiLeaks. The Asahi Shimbun has confirmed the credibility of the diplomatic cables and decided to publish these articles based on those documents according to the journalistic principles explained in a concluding article by Yoichi Nishimura, managing editor of the newspaper.
* * *

Despite the pledges and formal studies of the Democratic Party of Japan, Japanese government officials were never committed to relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma outside of Okinawa Prefecture.

Between late 2009 and early 2010, a number of high-ranking officials of the Yukio Hatoyama administration told their U.S. counterparts that Japan would seek alternatives to the 2006 agreement to relocate Futenma to the Henoko district of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture. But they also secretly said that, in the end, Japan would go along with the 2006 agreement if the United States rejected the proposed alternatives.

When he led the DPJ in the months ahead of the 2009 Lower House election that led to a historic change of government, Hatoyama repeatedly said Futenma would be relocated outside of Okinawa Prefecture, at the least.

And after he became prime minister in autumn 2009, Hatoyama stressed he would take public sentiment in Okinawa into consideration in deciding where to relocate the Futenma station from Ginowan.

In November 2009, the two governments set up a working group consisting of Cabinet ministers to look into the Futenma relocation issue. Efforts started to seek a resolution by the end of 2009.

But the Social Democratic Party, a coalition partner, was a major barrier to any new agreement. In December 2009, SDP leader Mizuho Fukushima threatened to leave the coalition if the 2006 agreement was adhered to or if Futenma remained in Okinawa Prefecture.

However, no viable alternative to the 2006 agreement was found. DPJ officials decided that SDP cooperation would be indispensable for maintaining the coalition and passing the budget. So they decided to abandon the initial plan to resolve the Futenma issue by the end of 2009 and planned to keep seeking alternatives, including sites outside of Okinawa Prefecture.

Diplomatic cables from this period show that despite the DPJ's formal efforts to find a new candidate site for Futenma, the United States from an early stage thought the Hatoyama administration would go along with the 2006 agreement as long as the United States continued to reject any alternatives.

On Dec. 9, 2009, Seiji Maehara, who then served concurrently as land minister and state minister in charge of Okinawa, met with U.S. Ambassador John Roos at the ambassador's official residence.

On Dec. 10, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo dispatched a cable that was classified "secret" and for American eyes only.

The cable said, "Five DPJ Cabinet members (Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirofumi Hirano, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada, Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa and Maehara) met on the evening of December 8 and agreed that they could not accept moving forward with the Futenma Relocation Facility (FRF) because of opposition from the DPJ's coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party."

According to the document, Maehara explained to Roos that Japan would seek a number of alternatives that might be acceptable to both the United States and the Okinawa people.

But the cable shows that Maehara also said, "If the U.S. does not agree to any alternative to the existing FRF plan, the DPJ would be prepared to go ahead with the current relocation plan and let the coalition break up if necessary after Golden Week (April 29 to May 5 in 2010)."

Roos also pointed to problems on the U.S. side, in particular, criticism from the U.S. Congress.

The cable has Roos talking about "a problem with Hatoyama telling (U.S. President Barack Obama) to trust him but not following through."
A cable from the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo dated Dec. 9, 2009, and classified as "confidential" relays the contents of a meeting between the deputy chief of mission and other embassy officials with Kenji Yamaoka, then DPJ Diet Affairs Committee chairman. The cable describes Yamaoka as a "close confidante" of then DPJ Secretary-General Ichiro Ozawa.

Explaining the importance of maintaining the coalition, the cable has Yamaoka saying, "If the United States continues to apply pressure, ... the situation could further deteriorate." As for abandoning the goal of reaching an agreement by the end of 2009, Yamaoka told the embassy officials, "A decision had already been made."

The statements by Maehara and Yamaoka to U.S. officials were signals to the United States to understand that the political dynamics necessary to maintain the coalition had pushed back a decision on Futenma.

They were apparently trying to assure Washington that a decision would be made on the 2006 agreement if the DPJ won the Upper House election set in 2010, enabling it to dissolve the coalition.

Despite such assurances, the Hatoyama administration continued to waver.

On Dec. 21, 2009, then Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka had a lunch meeting with Roos. Their discussion was included in a cable classified as "secret."

Yabunaka referred to the Dec. 17 meeting in Copenhagen between Hatoyama and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The cable has Yabunaka saying, "Prime Minister Hatoyama confirmed to the secretary in Copenhagen that if the (Japan) review of the FRF alternatives to Henoko did not yield viable proposals, (Japan) would return to the 2006 FRF agreement."

Immediately after his meeting with Clinton, Hatoyama told reporters accompanying him: "It would be very dangerous to force through (the 2006 agreement). We have begun efforts to think about new alternatives."

However, the cable has Yabunaka referring to those media reports as "inaccurate."

From January 2010, various alternatives for the Futenma relocation emerged, further delaying the government's decision to accept the 2006 agreement.

On Jan. 26, then Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Yorihisa Matsuno met with embassy officials. A cable classified as "confidential" and titled, "Hatoyama confidante on Futenma, Nago election," described Matsuno as "Hinting at current Kantei (Prime Minister's Office) thinking."

Matsuno is further quoted as saying, "Hatoyama and the Okinawa Working Group will have to consider 'for form's sake' Futenma options outside of Okinawa, but the only realistic options are to move Futenma to Camp Schwab or another 'existing facility.'"

The cable also has Matsuno saying, "The Camp Schwab landfill option was 'dead.'"

Matsuno's remarks reflect the views of those close to Hatoyama to seek an alternative, including a land-based facility at Camp Schwab, to the 2006 agreement, while at the same time realizing they would have to break the campaign promise to relocate Futenma outside of Okinawa.

In the end, none of the proposed alternatives bore fruit.
In May 2010, the Hatoyama Cabinet approved the 2006 agreement to relocate Futenma to an offshore site near Henoko in Nago, where the U.S. Marines' Camp Schwab is located. That led to the SDP bolting the coalition and was one factor behind the subsequent resignation of Hatoyama as prime minister, along with suspicious donations he received.

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THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES (2): U.S. Used 'China Card' to Thwart Futenma Alternatives
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

2011/05/04
The United States was using bases in Okinawa to prepare for a potential military engagement with China, which negated Japanese proposed alternatives on relocating the U.S. Futenma air station, diplomatic cables showed.

Specifically, comments attributed to U.S. officials showed that a key reason for following the 2006 agreement to relocate Futenma within the prefecture was the tactical need to prepare for a possible military contingency arising from China's growing military presence in the region.

In September 2009, the Democratic Party of Japan formed a Cabinet under Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama in a coalition with the Social Democratic Party and the People's New Party based on a policy agreement that included a review of the realignment of the U.S. military in Japan.

Less than a month later, on Oct. 5, Raymond Greene, the U.S. consul general in Okinawa, sent a diplomatic cable classified as "confidential."

The cable quotes senior Japanese officials as saying, "He (then Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada) is confident the U.S. government will instead accept the merger of Futenma MCAS and Kadena Air Base, while continuing to implement the relocation of 8,000 Marines from Okinawa to Guam."

The proposal referred to in the cable would have been an alternative to the 2006 agreement to relocate the U.S. Marines Air Station Futenma from Ginowan in Okinawa Prefecture to the Henoko district of Nago, also in the prefecture.

The alternative proposed to merge Futenma functions at Kadena and, as a supplementary measure, to transfer some training exercises to outlying Okinawa islands, such as the auxiliary air field on Iejima island or at Shimojishima airport located on the Miyakojima island chain.

In addition to Okada, Seiji Maehara, who then served concurrently as land minister and state minister in charge of Okinawa, was said to have supported the proposal to merge Futenma functions at Kadena.

But the cable from Greene shows the United States was concerned about such a move.

"(The DPJ government) will likely focus on our level of flexibility on Kadena and willingness to delink the FRF from other elements of the realignment package," the cable says. "Maintaining clear linkages will significantly raise the political bar for the DPJ government to make any changes to the existing plan."

On Oct. 15, 2009, the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo sent a "secret" cable to the U.S. State Department, the National Security Council at the White House, the U.S. Defense Department, the U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Japan.

The cable was a report by a joint delegation of U.S. State and Defense departments officials led by Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell that visited Japan.

On Oct. 11 and 12, the delegation discussed U.S. military realignment in Japan in meetings with high-ranking Defense Ministry officials, including Akihisa Nagashima, then parliamentary vice minister of defense, and Foreign Ministry officials, such as Kazuyoshi Umemoto, director-general of the North American Affairs Bureau.

During those discussions, a senior Defense Ministry official asked the U.S. delegation a hypothetical question: Would the U.S. military be able to respond to military contingencies if U.S. Marines were moved completely to Guam and training exercises were held on Iejima and Shimojishima as a supplementary measure to merging Futenma functions at Kadena?

The question was considered representative of the new DPJ government's thinking.

A number of U.S. officials said such a proposal would be insufficient.

Maj. Gen. John Toolan, who came up through the Marines and served as deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan, is quoted as saying, "The Guam option presented time, distance and other operational challenges."

He cited as an example disaster relief measures taken the previous week following the earthquake on Sumatra, Indonesia.

The cable quotes Toolan as saying: "U.S. Marine helicopters based in Guam would have been unable to reach disaster-hit areas, and helicopters placed on ships would have taken four days to arrive. ... The Marines in Okinawa, however, had been able to self-deploy to the disaster area."

The cable also has Toolan saying: "The Japanese government was still assessing the needs of the Japan Self-Defense Forces regarding airstrips, particularly in the context of China's military buildup. Until the Japanese completed that assessment, the U.S. side would have difficulty knowing the facilities that would be available for use."

Toolan's comment referred to the possibility that the U.S. military might not have exclusive usage of Shimojishima airport because of the possibility that the Self-Defense Forces would use it as a joint military-civilian facility.

Another participant in the meeting, Kevin Maher, then director of Japan affairs at the State Department, is quoted as saying, "The runways at Ie and Shimoji would not be sufficient on their own, but would require the full complement of support facilities, including for refueling and maintenance."

Campbell used the "China threat" card in making his case for the U.S. position.

The cable quotes Campbell as saying: "The dramatic increase in China's military capabilities necessitated access to at least three runways in a contingency. ... In the 1990s, it had been possible to implement contingency plans for South Korea and China using only two runways in Okinawa, Naha and Kadena. The most significant change between 1995 (when the Special Action Committee on Okinawa (SACO) plans for the relocation (of) Futenma air base had been formulated) and 2009 was the buildup of Chinese military assets."

Because Kadena Air Base already has two runways of its own, Campbell likely meant that there was a need for three facilities. Campbell was involved in compiling the final report for SACO as deputy assistant secretary of defense. He likely emphasized the major differences in the international environment in an attempt to contain the re-emergence of the proposal to merge functions at Kadena.

Neither the Japanese nor U.S. governments have formally explained the need for the U.S. military to use bases on Okinawa, except for as a deterrent amid unstable regional conditions, including the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the strengthening of China's military capabilities.

While there has been a long-held view that the U.S. military on Okinawa was meant not only to respond to a contingency on the Korean Peninsula, but also with an eye toward China's military power, including possible fighting over Taiwan, U.S. government officials do not ordinarily refer to China by name in discussions with other governments.

For that reason, Campbell also said, according to the cable, "This (buildup of Chinese military assets) was now a driver of U.S. military assessments for the region, ... and could not be discussed publicly for obvious reasons."

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THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES (3): Numbers Inflated in Marine Relocation Plan to Increase Political Impact
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

2011/05/04

Due to political considerations, the plan to relocate thousands of U.S. Marines from Okinawa Prefecture to Guam under a 2006 agreement included doctored figures related to Japan's financial burden and troop levels.

Such manipulation, uncovered in an Asahi Shimbun analysis of about 7,000 Japan-related diplomatic cables obtained from WikiLeaks, could affect the issue of relocating the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma. The move of Marines to Guam is supposed to be conducted in conjunction with the Futenma relocation.

Japan and the United States in May 2006 compiled a road map for realigning U.S. military personnel stationed in Japan. Under the plan, a provisional agreement was reached in December 2008 on the move to Guam that included the financial burden on each nation.

A diplomatic cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to the U.S. State Department that provided details on the negotiations explained that Japan's share was made to appear smaller with the inclusion of an unnecessary project costing $1 billion (81 billion yen) to construct a military road by the United States.

The cable also explained that the numbers of those to be moved to Guam was inflated to 8,000 Marines and 9,000 family members to "optimize political value" (of the agreement).

A diplomatic cable said that in 2006, there were "on the order of 13,000" Marines based in Okinawa. Okinawa prefectural government officials argued that the actual number was 12,000 and criticized the figure included in the relocation road map as an exaggeration.

Although the issue was taken up in the Diet, the government at the time refused to confirm the actual number of personnel to be moved. The cables back up Okinawa's doubts about the figures.

The Democratic Party of Japan-led government was not the first to make secret promises on the Futenma relocation issue that differed from official statements. Such discrepancies can be found in cables from the era of the coalition government between the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito.

The Japan-U.S. road map compiled in May 2006 included figures that differed from reality due to political considerations made by both governments.

The figures include not only the number of U.S. Marines based in Okinawa, but also the number of family members there, as well as the overall financial burden for moving Marines to Guam.

A series of cables dated Dec. 19, 2008, and classified "confidential" were sent by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others. They include the contents of a tentative agreement reached at working-level talks on moving Marines to Guam that defined the financial burdens to be borne by the two governments.

The documents show some of the hidden background in the road map for military realignment.

One example relates to $1 billion set aside to construct military roads, part of the approximately $4.1 billion to be borne by the United States. That figure represents about 40 percent of the total cost of $10.2 billion to relocate the Marines.

Two of the cables explain the road construction expenses were included during "negotiations on cost-sharing as a way to increase the overall cost estimate (i.e., the denominator) and thereby reduce the share of total costs borne by Japan."

The cables also show that the road was not necessary for the completion of the move.

During negotiations for the road map, a central focal point was the burden to be borne by Japan. The United States initially asked that Japan contribute 75 percent of the total, but the two sides eventually agreed on 59 percent. However, if the road construction cost is excluded from the U.S. contribution, Japan's burden increases to about 66 percent.

During talks for a formal agreement, U.S. negotiators said the road was not absolutely necessary and asked that the reference be deleted as a way to avoid an international obligation to build the military road.

The cables also show that the figures of 8,000 Marines and 9,000 family members to be moved to Guam from Okinawa were upper limits included as a budgetary measure.

"The two sides knew that these numbers differed significantly from actual Marines and dependents assigned to units in Okinawa," one of the cables says.

The cable goes on to say the "numbers were deliberately maximized to optimize political value in Japan."

Other wording in the cable states that while the road map agreement said 9,000 family members would be moved, the number was actually smaller in Okinawa. The United States proposed using the term "associated dependents" to leave open the possibility that family members not currently living in Okinawa could be included.

However, Japanese officials did not agree to that proposal.

Such differences were never made public.

Soon after Barack Obama became president, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visited Japan in February 2009 and signed the agreement on the move of Marines to Guam with then Foreign Minister Hirofumi Nakasone.

At that time, the Japanese bureaucrats and the U.S. government wanted to create a legal framework that would require the immediate implementation of the Futenma relocation plan if the DPJ took over control of government following a Lower House election expected that year.

A "secret" cable sent by the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo to Clinton that provided an explanation before her visit to Japan said, "Japanese officials believe the agreement and the allotment of over $900 million in realignment funding during the next fiscal year will buttress Japan's commitment to the May 1, 2006, Alliance Transformation Agreement even if there is a change in government here."
At that point, the move of Marines to Guam and the construction of a Futenma replacement facility that would serve as a precondition had already become part of an indivisible package.

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THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES (4): LDP Ministers Made Secret Promises to Okinawa Governor on Futenma

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

2011/05/04

Although the United States was adamant against revising the 2006 agreement on relocating the Futenma air station, Japanese officials secretly promised the Okinawa governor that the runway at the new site would change.

Those promises were made during the coalition government of the Liberal Democratic Party and New Komeito, according to diplomatic cables.

The main component of the agreement reached in May 2006 was to build two runways aligned in a V-shape along the coast near the U.S. Marines' Camp Schwab in the Henoko district of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, to serve as the relocation facility for the Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

However, Okinawa prefectural government officials felt the Japanese and U.S. governments had gone over their heads in agreeing on the runway plan.

They wanted the runways to be move further offshore out of consideration for the environment and noise pollution for local communities.

Hirokazu Nakaima won his first term as Okinawa governor in November 2006. Although he was a conservative, he thought there was a need to revise the agreement.

The United States insisted that the 2006 agreement could not be revised because it was made through a complicated negotiating process. Even the slightest change was liable to return the talks to square one.

Diplomatic cables issued in 2007 show Cabinet ministers from the LDP expressing sympathy toward Nakaima's calls for a revision while U.S. officials were raising concerns about making a concession.

A "confidential" cable dated March 12, 2007, and submitted to the U.S. State Department from Kevin Maher, then consul general in Okinawa, said: "(Then Defense Minister Fumio) Kyuma then argued strongly that we need a fifty-meter revision in the FRF (Futenma Replacement Facility) plan in order to get Gov. Nakaima to agree to cooperate with the environmental impact assessment. I responded that we do not, and that to show any flexibility on this point is a mistake and a misreading of the situation in Okinawa."

Kyuma was forced to resign as defense minister in July 2007 after he said the U.S. atomic bombings in World War II could not be helped. Replacing Kyuma was Yuriko Koike, who served as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's special adviser on national security issues.

However, Koike was also forced to step down two months later after a confrontation with Vice Defense Minister Takemasa Moriya over personnel decisions.

No longer defense minister, Koike nevertheless visited Okinawa in November 2007 and met with Maher at the Kanucha resort across the bay from Camp Schwab.

A cable classified as "confidential" and written by an official at the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo in place of Maher mentions a secret promise Koike had made with Nakaima.

The cable said, Koike "admitted that as minister she had given the governor an informal 'promise' that after the EIA (environmental impact assessment) is completed, Tokyo will agree to slide the runway 50 meters more toward the ocean."

According to the cable, Maher told Koike that the United States had an "aversion to revising the plan at all," asking her, "What happens if there were no scientific reasons resulting from the EIA to justify any revision to the runway relocation?"

The cable said Koike responded, "There will be a different administration by 2009, so it doesn't matter what we've promised him."

The cable, likely based on a report by Maher, concludes with the comment, "It concerns us here if the governor is continuing to get this kind of informal wink on revising the plan from the current (Japanese) Cabinet."

The cable suggested that Japanese government officials be informed by U.S. officials about "our view that this is not the time to be showing Governor Nakaima any flexibility on revising the FRF plan."

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THE TRUTH BEHIND JAPAN-U.S. TIES (6): Japanese Bureaucrats Also Critical of DPJ Government

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

2011/05/04

Central government bureaucrats did little to hide their concerns and criticism of the inexperienced government led by the Democratic Party of Japan in talks with U.S. government officials on the Japan-U.S. issues.

The officials in the Foreign and Defense ministries, who were more comfortable following precedents set in foreign policy, were also unclear on what the DPJ might do to the planned relocation of the U.S. Marines Air Station Futenma and other issues related to the Japan-U.S. alliance.

Akitaka Saiki, then director-general of the Foreign Ministry's Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau, met with Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell on Sept. 18, soon after Yukio Hatoyama created his first DPJ-led Cabinet.

"Regarding DPJ leaders' call for an 'equal relationship' with the U.S., Saiki confessed that he did not know what was on the mind of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama ... as the bilateral relationship was already equal," according to a diplomatic cable describing the meeting.

Saiki was also quoted as saying that the DPJ government "felt the need to project an image of power and confidence by showing it had Japan's powerful bureaucrats under control."

Saiki called such efforts "stupid," and said the DPJ "will learn," according to the cable.

Vice Foreign Minister Mitoji Yabunaka also met Campbell on the same day and told him, according to a cable, "Domestically, there is a sense in some quarters that Japan has not been treated equally, and as such, the DPJ had found political traction on this issue."

Japanese bureaucrats were particularly concerned about what would happen with the Futenma relocation issue.
On Oct. 12, 2009, a U.S. delegation led by Campbell and consisting of State and Defense department officials met with Akihisa Nagashima, then parliamentary vice minister of defense, and other Japanese officials to discuss the Futenma issue.

A diplomatic cable records what Nobushige Takamizawa, director-general of the Defense Ministry's Defense Policy Bureau, said at an informal working lunch, which Nagashima did not attend.

"The U.S. government should also refrain from demonstrating flexibility too soon in the course of crafting an adjusted realignment package palatable to the DPJ government," Takamizawa is quoted as telling his U.S. counterparts.

Lower-level bureaucrats were also quite open in expressing their concerns about the DPJ government.

On Dec. 10, 2009, an official at the U.S. Embassy in charge of political affairs met with three Foreign Ministry officials, including one who had worked at Japan's permanent mission to the United Nations.

In a cable dated Dec. 16, the Foreign Ministry officials expressed "their displeasure toward the Hatoyama government's handling and politicization of the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF)" issue.

The officials were also quoted as saying the United States "ought not to be overly accommodating to the DPJ government on FRF or risk being misunderstood and appear willing to make concessions to the agreed road map."

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