[Wikileaks/Japan] MANAGING ALLIANCE ISSUES: A/S CAMPBELL’S

Viewing cable 09TOKYO2369, MANAGING ALLIANCE ISSUES: A/S CAMPBELL’S

Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TOKYO2369 2009-10-15 00:53 2011-05-04 00:00 SECRET Embassy Tokyo

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DEPARTMENT FOR EAP/J
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PACOM FOR J00/J01/J5
USFJ FOR J00/J01/J5

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/13/2029
TAGS: PREL PGOV MARR JA
SUBJECT: MANAGING ALLIANCE ISSUES: A/S CAMPBELL’S
DISCUSSION WITH STATE MINISTER FOR OKINAWA MAEHARA

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission James P. Zumwalt; Reasons 1.4 (B
) and (D)

¶1. (S) Summary: EAP A/S Kurt Campbell urged Minister of
Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) and State
Minister for Okinawa Seiji Maehara to inform Prime Minister
Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Okada that the Democratic Party
of Japan (DPJ) Government’s attempts to review every aspect
of U.S.-Japan Alliance issues at once would undermine the
Alliance and that the Japanese government should focus rather
on one or two issues on which both governments could
coordinate their approaches. He stressed that U.S. patience
would wear thin if the DPJ Government continued to make
multiple suggestions to review and adjust extant Alliance
arrangements and underscored the need for a positive visit to
Japan by the President as an important part of reaffirming
the Alliance. Maehara side-stepped on Alliance issues,
deferring to Foreign Minister Okada on substantive Japanese
government feedback. He focused instead on local sentiments
in Okinawa on realignment issues, stressing the need to
counterbalance deterrence capabilities in Okinawa with the
goal of reduced burdens on the local communities. He pointed
to Okinawan local politics as a potential source of
complications as the January election for Nago City Mayor
portended a show-down between the incumbent Mayor, a
proponent of Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) plans, and an
opponent who opposed FRF. U.S. plans to bring MV-22 aircraft
to Camp Schwab would also influence the local communities’
receptivity to FRF plans. The Social Democratic Party (SDP),
which remained potent in Okinawa, continued to oppose
off-shore construction plans for the FRF’s V-shaped runways.
A/S Campbell and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for
East Asia Michael Schiffer highlighted the importance of
Japan’s Indian Ocean refueling mission in support of
Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), stressing that Japan should
regard support for Afghanistan and Pakistan from a
multilateral standpoint, rather than from an Alliance
context. End Summary.

Managing Relations
——————

¶2. (C) The U.S. Government recognized that the Democratic
Party of Japan (DPJ) Government wished to examine adjustments
in relations, particularly regarding the U.S.-Japan Alliance,
visiting EAP A/S Kurt Campbell told Seiji Maehara, Minister
of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) and
State Minister for Okinawa in an October 11 discussion. A/S
Campbell noted, however, that attempts to “”put every issue on
the table at once”” would undermine the Alliance and cast
doubt on the ability of both sides to fulfill security
commitments. He asked Maehara to inform Prime Minister
Hatoyama and Foreign Minister Okada to focus on one or two
issues in the immediate term that both governments could
address in a choreographed manner. A/S Campbell observed
that the U.S. Government, to date, had not publicly responded
with respect to multiple Japanese government suggestions for
review and adjustment of Alliance arrangements, but should
the current trend continue, U.S. patience would wear thin and
pressure would build to criticize DPJ Government proposals.
“”We need a positive visit by President Obama as part of the
process of reaffirming the relationship,”” A/S Campbell added.

Realignment Read-out
——————–

¶3. (S) Maehara said he welcomed A/S Campbell’s views and
would try his best to digest the information. He deferred,
however, to Foreign Minster Okada as having the lead on
Alliance-related issues. He cited the challenges faced by
the Okinawa Prefecture, which had the lowest average income
and highest unemployment rate among Japan’s prefectures.
Okinawa was also the only prefecture to have experienced a
ground battle in World War II, a campaign that caused great
loss of life. Maehara continued that Okinawans would feel

indignant if they believed that they were being bought off on
base issues. By the same token, he believed it was telling
that he was planning to reduce the MLIT budget by
one-seventh, but no budgetary cuts were scheduled for
Okinawa. The goal of reducing burdens on Okinawa residents
therefore had to counterbalance the U.S. objective of
maintaining deterrence against China and North Korea with the
U.S. military presence in the prefecture, Maehara asserted.

¶4. (S) A/S Campbell noted that support for realignment and
plans for the Futenma Replacement Facility (FRF) among
Okinawa’s mayors was unprecedented, and he asked for
Maehara’s read on the prefecture’s local political situation.
Maehara pointed out that the Nago City election in January
would be key regarding prospects for successful
implementation of realignment initiatives. Incumbent Mayor
Yoshikazu Shimabukuro, who favored FRF plans, was running
against FRF opponent Susumu Inamine, who enjoyed the support
of the wife of former Mayor Tateo Kishimoto. Shimabukuro’s
defeat, explained Maehara, would imply the loss of local
political support for FRF. He added that U.S. plans to
introduce MV-22 (“”Osprey””) aircraft into Camp Schwab would
also impact the acceptability of FRF plans among local
residents, due to noise concerns and the fact that the
current environmental impact survey (EIS) did not include
consideration of the deployment of MV-22 aircraft. (Note:
Separately, DG Takamizawa told A/S Campbell that the EIS
process did not require the inclusion of future aircraft.
End Note.) Maehara continued that the Social Democratic Party
(SDP), which remained strong in Okinawa, continued to oppose
off-shore construction plans for the FRF’s V-shaped runways.
The fact that Prime Minister Hatoyama’s campaign pledge to
favor out-of-Okinawa options for the FRF merited special
editions of all local Okinawan newspapers should show the
U.S. Government the depth of local feelings about
realignment, Maehara observed. He concluded by asking for
more information on FRF plans, particularly proposals on
MV-22 aircraft and their airfield requirements.

¶5. (C) A/S Campbell committed to provide Maehara and senior
DPJ Government leaders any information they might require in
the course of their realignment review. Such briefings
should be conducted privately, he added. A/S Campbell also
noted that he wished to begin a dialogue on Okinawa that
reached beyond base issues, to include greater opportunities
for bilateral business and trade as well as educational
exchanges.

Indian Ocean Refueling
———————-

¶6. (S) A/S Campbell described Japan’s Indian Ocean refueling
mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) as a
symbol of Japan’s engagement on a critical multilateral
issue. He pointed out that the refueling operation had
benefited U.S. allies more than the United States itself,
though the U.S. Navy had highly valued the assistance.
During and following the Japanese election, the U.S.
Government had listened respectfully to DPJ calls to end
refueling. While Defense Minister Kitazawa had been more
categorical in his insistence on ending the mission, Foreign
Minister Okada had appeared more flexible and had visited
Afghanistan in recent days to look at other options for
assistance, remarked A/S Campbell. He asserted that the
announcement of a Japanese commitment to a mission supporting
Afghanistan and Pakistan during President Obama’s upcoming
visit would give bilateral relations a “”boost of confidence.””
Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (DASD) for East Asia
Michael Schiffer, who also took part in the discussion, added
that Japan should not see Af/Pak contributions solely in the
context of the Alliance, but rather in a multilateral
context. He said Japan’s contributions should be
commensurate with its role in the world.

China

—–

¶7. (S) A/S Campbell noted Japanese public perceptions that
U.S. foreign policy seemed to focus more on China, Iraq, and
Afghanistan than Japan. U.S. and Japanese officials,
however, had met nearly every week since the Japanese Lower
House elections and had thus established a pattern for close
interaction. A/S Campbell noted that the U.S. Government
hoped to avoid any perception of a gap between the United
States and Japan, particularly vis-a-vis China. The United
States and Japan needed to work with China, but the reality
was that both governments were in a relentless competition
with the PRC. A strong U.S.-Japan relationship would give
both sides the confidence and flexibility needed to address
such development.

¶8. (U) A/S Campbell has cleared this message.
ROOS

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