[Wikileaks/Japan] GOVERNOR FEELING PRESSURE ON FUTENMA MOVE

Viewing cable 07TOKYO5134, GOVERNOR FEELING PRESSURE ON FUTENMA MOVE

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
07TOKYO5134 2007-11-07 05:37 2011-05-04 00:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Tokyo

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PP RUEHFK RUEHKSO RUEHNH
DE RUEHKO #5134/01 3110537
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
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FM AMEMBASSY TOKYO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9319
INFO RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 9995
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 6051
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 4165
RUEHFK/AMCONSUL FUKUOKA 4260
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RUEHOK/AMCONSUL OSAKA KOBE 7927
RUEHKSO/AMCONSUL SAPPORO 4937
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6748
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RHMFISS/18WG CP KADENA AB JA
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR10THASG TORII STATION JA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUHBANB/CG FIRST MAW
RUHBABA/CG III MEF CAMP COURTNEY JA
RUHBANB/CG MCB CAMP BUTLER JA
RUHBBEA/CG THIRD FSSG CAMP KINSER JA
RUHBABA/CG THIRD MARDIV CAMP COURTNEY JA
RHHMMCA/COMFLEACT OKINAWA JA
RUHBANB/COMMARCORBASESJAPAN CAMP BUTLER JA
RUHPSAA/COMMARFORPAC
RHHMHBA/COMPACFLT PEARL HARBOR HI
RHOVVKG/COMSEVENTHFLT
RUESOK/FBIS OKINAWA JA
RUHBANB/NAVCRIMINVSERVRA OKINAWA JA
RUHBANB/OKINAWA AREA FLD OFC US FORCES JAPAN CP BUTLER JA
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHHMUNA/CDR USPACOM HONOLULU HI
RHEHAAA/NSC WASHDC
RHMFISS/USARPAC COMMAND CENTER FT SHAFTER HI
RHMFISS/HQ USFJ YOKOTA AB JA

C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 TOKYO 005134

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

MESSAGE SENT ON BEHALF OF AMCONSUL NAHA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 11/06/2017
TAGS: PREL MARR PGOV
SUBJECT: GOVERNOR FEELING PRESSURE ON FUTENMA MOVE

Classified By: Classified by Consul General Kevin K. Maher for Reason 1
.4 b, d.

¶1. (C) Consul General Maher was in Kanucha, the resort
development directly across the bay from the
Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) site at Camp Schwab,
November 1 and 2 to attend an “”Okinawa
Kariyushi Wear Fashion”” promotion co-chaired by former
Defense Minister Yuriko KOIKE. He took
the opportunity to meet for dinner with Kanucha Bay Resort
Company owner and Chairman Takeharu
SHIRAISHI and former Nago City Mayor Tetsuya HIGA. Higa is
the former mayor who agreed to
accept the original SACO plan for relocation of Futenma to
Camp Schwab, which is located in Nago
City. Higa is still influential in Nago. Shiraishi is a
close advisor and financial supporter of Okinawa
Governor Nakaima.

Nago Ready to Cave
—————————-

¶2. (C) Both Shiraishi and Higa made it clear that the Nago
side is ready to accept the current agreed
FRF plan, without the revisions that Governor Nakaima is
calling for. They are very concerned that
further lack of cooperation from the Governor puts the GOJ
realignment subsidies at risk for the next
Japan fiscal year, so it appears to us that the GOJ’s hard
line position on the budget is working.
Shiraishi also told Consul General that reports of Consul
General,s October 31 local press conference,
which noted that if the Governor were in fact to refuse to
permit the landfill work in 2009 then it would
mean an end to the whole realignment package, had “”sounded an
alarm”” in Nago. Current Nago Mayor
Shimabukuro would like the Governor to say he supports the
plan, but Shimabukuro is not yet willing to
show leadership by himself saying he supports the plan prior
to the Governor doing so. In short, they both
want the other to go first.

Governor Nakaima Close
———————————

¶3. (C) Shiraishi says he will travel to Tokyo with the
Governor November 6 in preparation for the November
7 “”FRF Consultative Committee”” meeting. Shiraishi told
Consul General that he is strongly advising the
Governor to cooperate with the GOJ on the FRF Environmental
Impact Assessment (EIA), as are others.
What the Governor needs, he said, are “”some pleasant words””
from the Government about fully taking
Okinawa views into account. Having said that, Shiraishi
noted that at the November 7 consultative meeting
both sides will again lay out their current positions. So we
can expect the Governor to take a hard line on the

TOKYO 00005134 002 OF 004

need for revision of the FRF plan (moving the runways 200
meters to the ocean), and can expect the GOJ to
repeat its position that the Governor should cooperate with
the already underway EIA, and that only if the EIA
demonstrates some scientific reason to adjust the runways
should that be done. But by the December
deadline for the Governor’s comments under the EIA
procedures, he said, the Governor will be cooperative in
officially stating his views on the assessment.

¶4. (C) COMMENT. Shiraishi’s views reflect what we have been
hearing elsewhere in Okinawa. The Governor is
increasingly isolated in his stubborn insistence that the GOJ
agree to revise the FRF plan prior to his cooperation
with the EIA procedures. His recent press statements show
that he is becoming more flexible in his verbiage, which
appears to us to be an attempt on his part to find a way out
of his unfortunate campaign promise that the FRF plan
must be revised in order for him to support it. In light of
this, it seems the GOJ’s best approach would be to continue
to take a hard line with the Governor. The U.S. line should
continue to be that we are expecting the realignment plan
to be implemented as agreed, without any revisions.

A One-Term Governor
——————————

¶5. (C) When Consul General asked Shiraishi about the
Governor’s health in light of his “”mild stroke”” in June,
Shiraishi
said he and all other LDP leaders in Okinawa are advising the
Governor he must not run for a second term in 2010. Even
if his health is not a problem at that time, he would be seen
as an aged and infirm candidate. The problem, Shiraishi
said,
is that at the moment the LDP leadership has no idea who
would be a good candidate. Their preference would be the
very
popular Lower House Diet Member Kozauro NISHIME (younger
brother of the recently defeated Upper House Dietmember,
and son of a former long-term and very popular Governor).
But Nishime has made it clear several times he is not
interested
in the position and prefers to remain in Tokyo as a
Dietmember. Shiraishi even went so far as to ask if the
Consulate General
could come up with a good suggestion for a candidate.

COMMENTS BY FORMER DEFENSE MINISTER KOIKE
——————————————— —————–

Former Vice Minister Moriya
————————————–

¶6. (C) Consul General also had lunch November 2 with former
Defense Minister Yuriko Koike at Kanucha. She explained that

TOKYO 00005134 003 OF 004

her feud with former Defense Vice Minister Moriya had
nothing to do with policy towards Okinawa, since she agreed
with his
hard-line approach, and they had worked Okinawa well together
playing “”good cop, bad cop.”” Their problem, she said, was
over
Moriya’s empire building and his refusal to recognize the
Minister as his boss. The final straw was Moriya’s scandal
involving the
Yamada Yoko company. There had been rumors of this for quite
a while, but while she was Minister it became clear this was
a
real problem, so she decided the time was ripe to remove him.
Koike told the Consul General it is certain that once the
Diet
finishes questioning Moriya, he will be arrested. The police
are just waiting for the Diet to finish with him, she said.

FRF
—–

¶7. (C) With respect to FRF, Koike said she also believes
Governor Nakaima will be cooperative with the EIA, although
it will take
another couple of rounds of Consultative Committee meetings.
However, she admitted that as Minister she had given the
Governor
an informal “”promise”” that after the EIA is completed, Tokyo
will agree to slide the runway 50 meters more towards the
ocean. But
this can only come after the EIA, because if the GOJ were to
agree to this now, the Governor would just ask for more. The
Consul
General explained to Koike our aversion to revising the plan
at all (the risk of breaking the consensus and making the
overall
realignment package impossible to implement). Consul General
asked her what happens if there were no scientific reasons
resulting from the EIA to justify any revision to the runway
relocation. She responded “”there will be a different
administration by 2009,
so it doesn’t matter what we’ve promised him.””

¶8. (C) COMMENT: It concerns us here if the Governor is
continuing to get this kind of informal wink on revising the
plan from the
current GOJ Cabinet. We had heard rumors that Koike had made
such a promise, and former Defense Minister Kyuma’s repeated
statements on flexibility to revise the plan also led the
Governor to believe he could demand revisions to the
realignment plan. Koike
told Consul General that Governor Nakaima and Chief Cabinet
Secretary Machimura have a good channel of communication

SIPDIS
through
former METI colleagues. Consul General,s recommendation is
that we continue to let Machimura know our view that this is
not the

TOKYO 00005134 004 OF 004

time to be showing Governor Nakaima any flexibility on
revising the FRF plan, although the GOJ does need to be
polite to him.
SCHIEFFER

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