[Wikileaks]Japan: EAP ASSISTANT SECRETARY KURT CAMPBELL’S MEETING

Viewing cable 09TOKYO2197, EAP ASSISTANT SECRETARY KURT CAMPBELL’S MEETING

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
09TOKYO2197 2009-09-21 21:28 2011-05-04 00:00 SECRET Embassy Tokyo

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S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 TOKYO 002197

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/18/2019
TAGS: PREL PGOV JA PINR KS KN
SUBJECT: EAP ASSISTANT SECRETARY KURT CAMPBELL’S MEETING
WITH MOFA DG AKITAKA SAIKI

TOKYO 00002197 001.2 OF 003

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission James P. Zumwalt, Reasons 1.4 (b
) and (d)

¶1. (S) SUMMARY: Assistant Secretary of State (A/S) for
East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell met with
Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) Director General
(DG) of the Asian and Oceanian Affairs Bureau Akitaka Saiki
at the latter’s Tokyo office on September 18. DG Saiki
praised MOFA’s new leader, Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada,
but warned that the new administration’s threat to tame the
Japanese bureaucracy would end in failure. A/S Campbell and
DG Saiki discussed former President Bill Clinton’s mission to
Pyongyang to free two U.S. journalists, the current situation
regarding the Six Party Talks, the unresolved issue of North
Korea’s abduction of Japanese citizens, and the humanitarian
situation in North Korea. Saiki said he was disappointed in
regional architecture initiatives such as ASEAN and did not
understand why China decided not to participate in a
U.S.-Japan-PRC trilateral, but was optimistic about an
upcoming trilateral summit involving Japan, South Korea, and
China. Saiki concluded by speaking about U.S.-Japan and
U.S.-ROK relations under the new Democratic Party of Japan
(DPJ)-led government. END SUMMARY.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The New Administration and the Bureaucracy
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

¶2. (C) Speaking about the new DPJ government, DG Saiki said
he was glad to have Katsuya Okada heading the Foreign
Ministry, as he is “”very intellectual”” and “”understands the
issues.”” Saiki explained that Okada did not pose any
problems in his areas of responsibility–North Korea, South
Korea, and China. Although some bureaucrats were worried
about the DPJ government’s threat to diminish their power,
Saiki warned that if the DPJ tried to crush the pride of
professional bureaucrats, it would not succeed.

– – – – – – – –
Six Party Talks
– – – – – – – –

¶3. (S) Saiki expressed his appreciation for USG cooperation
and close consultation related to North Korean issues. The
DG mentioned that he had confirmed with Foreign Minister
Okada that UN sanctions on the DPRK should be maintained.
Saiki spoke about China’s nervousness about the North’s
recent behavior, its desire to avoid seeing instability or
collapse in the neighboring country, and its continuing
preference to see a divided Korean peninsula that provided a
geopolitical buffer. He then talked about the DPRK’s dislike
for the Six Party Talks (so much as to insist on avoiding the
word “”six”” and instead calling it “”multilateral”” talks) and
concluded that whether or not the North Koreans return to the
table would depend on U.S.-DPRK bilateral talks. Saiki
relayed that when he asked the North whether they preferred
to have one of the six parties removed from the framework,
the answer was no. A cosmetic change such as the addition of
Mongolia, which had expressed an interest in joining the Six
Party process, may be a possible way out of the current
stalemate, Saiki conjectured.

– – – – – – – – –
Abductions Issue
– – – – – – – – –

¶4. (S) Saiki lamented that the DPRK believes that 2002 was
“”a mistake””–referring to when North Korea admitted that it
had abducted Japanese citizens. The DG xxxxxxxxxxxx
explained that the fate of Megumi Yokota was the biggest
issue, since she was still relatively young (in her forties)
and the public was most sympathetic to her case. xxxxxxxxxxxx Saiki was

TOKYO 00002197 002.2 OF 003

concerned that the new minister in charge of abductions,
Hiroshi Nakai, was a hardliner. Saiki concluded by saying
the Japanese needed to sit down with the North Koreans to
decide how to make progress on the abductions issue, and that
the new Japanese government would be just as attentive as the
Liberal Democratic Party was to the problem.

– – – – – – – – – – –
Humanitarian Issues
– – – – – – – – – – –

¶5. (C) With a harvest coming up in one month, the North
faced a fertilizer problem and a drastic decrease in food
production, said Saiki. As a result, the black market was
very active. In this context and because of the effects of
UN Resolution 1874, DPRK leaders were only concerned with
themselves, according to Saiki.

– – – – – – – – – – – –
Regional Architecture
– – – – – – – – – – – –

¶6. (S) Saiki confessed that he was “”very disappointed”” with
initiatives such as ASEAN and ARF, where leaders tend to talk
about the same topics using the same talking points. Despite
the frustration stemming from the need to form a consensus on
all decisions between ten countries with “”unequal economies,””
Saiki stated that “”we must continue”” and cannot allow China
to dominate in Southeast Asia. At the same time, Saiki
admitted that ASEAN countries were calculating in their own
ways, and often played Japan and China against each other.
Saiki said that Indonesia was Japan’s most reliable partner
in ASEAN.

¶7. (C) He spoke more optimistically about the trilateral
summit planned for October 10 between Japan, China, and South
Korea. Saiki said that Japan wanted China to be more
responsible and transparent and hoped the upcoming trilateral
would help nudge it in that direction.

¶8. (C) On the possible trilateral dialogue between the
U.S., Japan, and China, Saiki wondered why the Chinese had
changed their minds and cancelled their participation at the
last minute. Campbell replied that despite the USG’s best
efforts to confirm Chinese participation, we received no
reply from China.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
U.S.-Japan Relations Under the DPJ Government
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

¶9. (S) Regarding DPJ leaders’ call for an “”equal
relationship”” with the U.S., Saiki confessed that he did not
know what was on the minds of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama
and FM Okada, as the bilateral relationship was already
equal. Saiki theorized that the DPJ, as an inexperienced
ruling party, felt the need to project an image of power and
confidence by showing it had Japan’s powerful bureaucrats
under control and was in charge of a new and bold foreign
policy that challenged the U.S. Saiki called this way of
thinking “”stupid”” and said “”they will learn.””

– – – – – – – – – –
Japan-ROK Relations
– – – – – – – – – –

¶10. (C) Saiki said the Lee Myung-bak government in South
Korea was good for Japan because it was forward-looking. He
pointed out that 2010 was a critical year for the two nations
because it marked the centennial anniversary of the Japanese
annexation of Korea. Saiki stated that historical issues
such as Takeshima-Dokdo may cause tension between Japan and
the ROK in the near future, with guidelines for teachers
regarding high school textbooks scheduled to be revised, and

TOKYO 00002197 003.2 OF 003

recommended that the U.S. not get involved. On the other
hand, ROK President Lee Myung-bak’s strong desire to have
Hatoyama visit Seoul on or around the date of the trilateral
summit between Japan, South Korea, and China, may strengthen
bilateral relations between the neighboring countries. Saiki
continued that the Foreign Minister supported such a visit,
but there was no reply as of yet from the Prime Minister’s
Office.

¶11. (U) Participants:
DG Saiki
Director Tarumi (Chinese and Mongolian Affairs)
Director Shimada (Northeast Asian Affairs)

A/S Campbell
DOD PDAS Derek Mitchell
DCM Jim Zumwalt
Japan Desk Director Kevin Maher
Tokyo POL M/C Rob Luke
Special Assistant Mark Tesone
Tokyo POL Andrew Ou (notetaker)

¶12. (C) This cable has been cleared by Assistant Secretary
Campbell.
ROOS

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