JPRI Japan/Pacific Rim Media Report: February 1, 2011

In This Week’s Report

1.  Asian Visitors to Japan Peak in 2010 Despite Diplomatic Problems
2.  U.S. Defense Secretary Gates Conciliatory on Recent Trip to Japan
3.  U.S. and Japanese Hold Joint Military Exercises in Kyushu
4.  Japan, China Compete for African Telecommunications Markets
5.  Japan and United States Exhorted to Control Debt 
6.  Comprehensive ID System planned for 2015
7.  Opinion: Chinese Study Japanese Media and Conclude Japanese are “Nervous”

1.  Asian Visitors to Japan Peak in 2010 Despite Diplomatic Problems
The Daily Yomiuri (“Foreign visitors reached record 8.61 mil. in 2011,” 28 January 2011) reported that the 2.44 million South Korean, 1.41 million Chinese, 1.27 million Taiwanese visitors contributed to the overall record 8.61 million foreign visitors to Japan in 2010.  Nonetheless, diplomatic wrangling with China likely prevented reaching the Japan Tourism Agency’s goals of attracting 10 million visitors. 
 ex http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110126005264.htm

2.  U.S. Defense Secretary Gates Conciliatory on Recent Trip to Japan
Asia Times (Kosuke Takahashi, “Gates changes stripes on Okinawa,” 15 January 2011) reported that U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates was very conciliatory towards the Japanese government and Okinawans during his most recent visit to Japan.  Last year Gates held firm to the 2006 bilateral pact to move heliport functions to coastal Camp Schwab in Nago City by 2014. This time around Gates stated “the U.S. administration would defer to Tokyo in solving the long-standing dispute.”  
ex http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Japan/MA15Dh01.html

3.  U.S. and Japanese Hold Joint Military Exercises in Kyushu
Japan Today (“6,000 Japanese, U.S. troops hold major war games in Kyushu” 28 January 2011) reported that U.S. and Japanese troops held the largest annual joint military exercise in which, “simulations of ballistic missile attacks, special forces warfare and an invasion of Japan’s southernmost main island” were carried out. 
ex http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/japanese-u-s-troops-hold-major-war-games-in-kyushu

4.  Japan, China Compete for African Telecommunications Markets
IDG News (Michael Malakata, “Japan, China battle for African telecom investments,” 24 January 2011) reported that leaders from both Japan and China have recently visited various African nations to offer investments in telecommunications.  Chinese Vice Premier Hui Liang Yu advocated China’s role in, “development and improvement of mobile phones, fixed-line communication and the broadcasting industry,” and Japanese Vice Minister Morita Takashi offered investments in “e-commerce, tele-education and e-governance in addition to mobile-phone communication.”  
ex http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=4643DFBA-1A64-6A71-CE68CEF794F56C23

5.  Japan and United States Exhorted to Control Debt  
Reuters (TOKYO/WASHINGTON, Tetsushi Kajimoto and Lesley Wroughton, “U.S., Japan told time running out to deal with debt,” 28 January 2011) reported on the effects of Japan’s and the United States’ budget troubles on the world economy.  Even though Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan has proposed tax reform, the opposition and inner-party splits are not wholly on board.  The article states that although the U.S. situation is not good, Japan is in a much worse position.  The authors conclude that, “the latest warnings about the colossal liabilities piled up by the two countries raised fears of rising borrowing costs that could hamper attempts to restore fiscal discipline and consolidate a fragile recovery.”  [Nonetheless] that there is no immediate crisis looming due to “the reaction of bond markets” in both respective countries.  
ex
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/28/idINIndia-54472820110128

6.  Comprehensive ID System planned for 2015
The Daily Yomiuri (Hiroshi Arimitsu, “Natl ID system eyed for 2015 / Multiple-use cards would provide easy access to tax, social security info,” 30 January 2011) reported that the government plans to implement an IC (integrated circuit) ID card system in 2015 that would “function as health insurance cards, nursing-care insurance cards and pension books.” The objective is to mitigate welfare abuses, reduce paperwork, and making it easier and faster to balance premium payments and social security service expenses.  The article noted that a third party organization will monitor and keep the private data secure and limit businesses access to private information.  A bill will be submitted to the Diet in the fall of 2011.  
ex http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/national/T110129003408.htm?from=rss&ref=dyolwsj

7.  Opinion: Chinese Study Japanese Media and Conclude Japanese are “Nervous”
Global Times (Cai Chengping, “Japanese media shows mixed feelings on Sino-US ties,” 28 January 2011) provided a survey of Japanese sentiments, as expressed through the mass media, regarding Chinese President Hu Jintao’s recent visit to Washington D.C.  According to this article, analysis of editorials from major Japanese newspapers uncovers two major themes. First, “consistently highlighting the deep contradictions between the US and China, hoping that Sino-US relations will not become too close.” Second, “trusting that Sino-US cooperation will let China become a ‘responsible great power’ on US-Japanese terms.”  The article added that some in Japan are “nervous of the possibility of China eclipsing Japan entirely,” and wish for China to pulled down by “the fetters of poverty and underdevelopment.”  It closeD with a call for China to reach out to “nervous Japan” and help create a “stable triangular relationship.”  
ex http://opinion.globaltimes.cn/commentary/2011-01/617828_2.html


The JPRI Japan-Pacific Rim Media Report is compiled and edited in cooperation with the
Master of Arts in Asia Pacific Studies (MAPS) Program at the University of San Francisco.

Editor: Chiho Sawada

Editorial Associates: Kristine Anthony, Joshua Del Pino, Yulia Protasova, Eric Santiago, Jonathan Schmitt, Dai Sun


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