NAPSNet Daily Report 07 May, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 07 May, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, May 07, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-07-may-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US DPRK Nuclear Plant Surveillance
2. US DPRK Diplomatic Strategy
3. DPRK Nuclear Exportation Threats
4. PRC-Japan St. Petersburg Summit
5. ROK-DPRK Diplomatic Relations
6. Japan on DPRK Diplomacy
7. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks
8. Japan-PRC Relations
9. PRC-US Espionage Love Case
10. SARS WHO Taiwan Recognition
11. PRC SARS Struggle
12. PRC SARS Reform?
13. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart
14. PRC Domestic Economy
15. Japan-US Okinawa Bomb Drills Cancellation
II. Japan 1. Japan Constitution Revision
2. Japan Military Emergency Legislation
3. Hiroshima Mayor on Iraq War
4. Japanese Photographer Bomb Explosion
III. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #124

I. United States

1. US DPRK Nuclear Plant Surveillance

Reuters (Randall Mikkelsen, “US SEES ACTIVITY INCREASE AT NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR PLANT,” Washington, 05/07/03) reported that US intelligence analysts have detected slight “increases of activity” around a DPRK nuclear plant but have made no “hard conclusions” on whether the country is reprocessing nuclear fuel for potential weapons use, US officials said on Wednesday. “It’s fair to say the experts have come to no hard conclusions,” White House spokesman Ari Fleischer told reporters. Another US official told Reuters that intelligence analysts had detected within the last week “some slight increases of activity” around the Yongbyon plant. “There was another indicator that briefly suggested that something might be going on, but that indicator stopped happening as well,” the official said, declining to be specific. “Is there some slight indication that something might be happening? Yes. Is it probable that they have started up entirely? No,” the official said. The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that within the previous 48 hours intelligence analysts had seen increasing signs that the DPRK had begun reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods to produce plutonium, which can be used in nuclear weapons. The State Department said last week that the DPRK confirmed it possessed nuclear weapons and was reprocessing fuel rods, which the US has not independently confirmed.

2. US DPRK Diplomatic Strategy

The Washington Post (Glenn Kessler, “PLAN FOR NORTH KOREA WILL MIX DIPLOMACY AND PRESSURE,” 05/07/03) reported that the Bush administration plans to adjust its policy toward the DPRK by adopting a two-track approach that would combine new talks with pressure on the communist state by targeting its illegal drug and counterfeiting trade and possibly its missile sales, US and Asian officials said yesterday. The emerging consensus, which will be refined today at a meeting of President Bush’s top foreign policy advisers, would bridge a gap that has emerged within the administration since the DPRK declared it possesses nuclear weapons at talks last month between US, DPRK and PRC representatives in the PRC. Administration officials have sought to resolve their policy differences, which pit those pushing for confrontation with the Pyongyang government against those advocating further talks, in advance of next week’s visit to Washington by the ROK’s new president, Roh Moo Hyun. Adding to the sense of urgency, US sources said yesterday, intelligence analysts within the past 48 hours have seen increasing signs that the DPRK has begun reprocessing 8,000 spent fuel rods to provide plutonium for weapons. In its developing posture toward North Korea, the administration plans to insist that any new talks include Japan and South Korea in addition to China, officials said. They also will hold out the prospect of a policy that, as two officials put it, would “tighten the screws” against the DPRK’s lucrative illicit trade practices. The continued talks were sought by the State Department, while increasing pressure on Pyongyang was a key objective of the Defense Department and other administration advocates of a tougher approach. “We signed up for the hard side in order to get the soft side,” said one official who favored further discussions. “Some people only want the hard side.”

3. DPRK Nuclear Exportation Threats

Agence France-Presse (“NORTH KOREA THREATENED TO EXPORT NUKES DURING TALKS WITH US: REPORT,” Washington, 05/07/03) reported that the DPRK threatened to export its nuclear weapons, make more of them, or conduct tests during three-way talks last month in Beijing with the US, says a report. The threats were made by Pyongyang’s negotiator Li Gun during an “aside session” with US Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly, officials familiar with the closed-door talks told the Washington Times. “This was clearly a threat,” one official said. The comments on the DPRK’s alleged nuclear export threat could confirm a New York Times report Sunday that said the US administration had shifted its policy with the DPRK, focusing more on stopping it from exporting nuclear material than on halting its weapons programs. A White House spokesman on Monday denied there was any change in US policy toward the DPRK. “Our position remains the same, that the US…is concerned about North Korea possessing nuclear weapons and transferring nuclear material to others,” Scott McClellan told reporters. Li, one US official told The Washington Times, said in his meeting with Kelly that the DPRK would “export nuclear weapons, add to its current arsenal or test a nuclear device.” The DPRK’s decision, the DPRK foreign ministry official reportedly said, depends on how the US responds to its overtures. Kelly, the US officials said, rejected the threat as unacceptable as a means to resolve the nuclear crisis. Li also told Kelly that North Korea’s nuclear weapons were so large that it would be difficult to dismantle them, according to the US officials quoted by The Washington Times.

4. PRC-Japan St. Petersburg Summit

Reuters (“JAPAN, CHINA TO HOLD ST PETERSBURG SUMMIT -MEDIA,” Tokyo, 05/07/03) reported that the leaders of Japan and the PRC are aiming to hold a summit meeting in St Petersburg at the end of this month, Japanese media said on Wednesday, flagging a move that could help improve relations between the Asian neighbors. Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and PRC President Hu Jintao are likely to meet on the sidelines of festivities marking the 300th anniversary of the Russian city to be attended by world leaders, public broadcaster NHK said. Koizumi is due to be in the city on May 30 and 31. The summit would be the first since Hu took office in March and may pave the way for an official visit to the PRC by Koizumi, which has been put off since last year following the prime minister’s visit to a controversial Japanese war shrine. Top Japanese government spokesman Yasuo Fukuda told a regular news conference that no decision had been reached on a summit.

5. ROK-DPRK Diplomatic Relations

BBC News (“NORTH KOREA URGED TO MAKE FIRST MOVE,” 05/07/03) reported that the ROK has urged the DPRK to make the first move in its stand-off with the US. ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan said that the DPRK could not expect the security guarantee and economic aid it wants from the US unless it gives up its nuclear weapons program first. “North Korea’s policy makers should think whether it is acceptable to ask for compensation for violating international rules, especially after changes in the international situation following the September 11 terrorist attacks,” Yoon said. Yoon noted that the DPRK needed to “give a boon to those in the US who support dialogue (to resolve the crisis).”

6. Japan on DPRK Diplomacy

The Associated Press (Kenji Hall, “JAPAN CHIEF URGES TOUGH NORTH KOREA APPROACH,” Tokyo, 05/07/03) reported that the chief of Japan’s Defense Agency called for a tougher approach to North the DPRK on Wednesday, vowing that his nation would not be “blackmailed” by the DPRK. The comments by Shigeru Ishiba drew enthusiastic applause from thousands of people at an annual rally for Japanese citizens abducted by the DPRK. “We won’t be threatened by terrorism. We won’t be blackmailed,” Ishiba said. Ishiba has urged Japan to strengthen its defense, pointing to the DPRK’s suspected nuclear weapons program and development of long-range missiles. Ishiba’s remarks drew loud applause from the 5,500 people who packed a conference hall to hear him speak. It was the largest gathering since the annual rallies began in 1999, and thousands of people, who stood in line for hours, were turned away at the door, organizers said.

7. ROK on DPRK Nuclear Talks

The Associated Press (Jae-Suk Yoo, “SOUTH KOREANS REACT TO NORTH KOREA NUCLEAR TALKS,” Seoul, 05/07/03) reported that when the DPRK met last month with the US over a nuclear crisis, the ROK’s exclusion from the talks reminded many of the DPRK’s once-favored bit of propaganda: that the ROK is a US colony. “I think Seoul is partly to blame (for its exclusion) as it had acted in the past like, in Pyongyang’s words, a US colony,” said 28-year-old Kim Yong-hyun, a graduate student at Seoul National University. “Pyongyang thinks Seoul will accept any deal it makes with Washington.” Kim’s remarks reflect widespread frustration here that crucial decisions on the Korean Peninsula have often been made by outsiders, mostly superpowers. The DPRK has exacerbated such feelings by insisting on dealing only with the US and regarding the ROK as a US puppet. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun has tried to dampen frustrations over the ROK’s lack of representation in the Beijing talks. “Whether we participate or not is not important, but how our interests are realized and reflected is important,” Roh said during a televised debate on South Korea’s MBC TV. ROK Foreign Minister Yoon Young-kwan urged North Korea on Wednesday to abandon brinksmanship and make a “bold initiative.” It is not clear when the next round of nuclear talks will be held.

8. Japan-PRC Relations

The Associated Press (“JAPAN’S KOIZUMI MAY MEET CHINA’S LEADER,” Tokyo, 05/07/03) reported that Japan’s prime minister may hold his first meeting with the PRC’s new leader to discuss the DPRK’s nuclear program after he meets with President Bush later this month. Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi may hold a summit with PRC President Hu Jintao if they both attend the 300th anniversary of St. Petersburg, Russia, on May 31, Japan’s public television NHK reported Wednesday. Yu Kameoka, a spokesman for the prime minister, said Wednesday that Koizumi may attend the St. Petersburg gathering but there were no confirmed plans to meet with the PRC leader. The Bush administration has said talks on the elimination of the DPRK’s nuclear weapons programs should include the PRC and Japan, as well as the ROK and Russia. If Koizumi cannot meet with Hu on May 31 in Russia, the two countries will seek another opportunity during the June 1-3 summit in Evian, France, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported. Since he took office in March, Hu has met with Japan’s opposition leaders but not the prime minister – an apparent protest of Koizumi’s visits to a Tokyo war shrine, Kyodo News said.

9. PRC-US Espionage Love Case

The Washington Post (Dan Eggen, “HANDLING OF SECRETS IN SPY CASES DEBATED FEAR OF DISCLOSURES AFFECTS PURSUIT OF ALLEGED DOUBLE AGENT,” 05/07/03) reported that the prosecution of an alleged PRC spy and her alleged FBI lover has sparked a strenuous debate among US law enforcement and intelligence officials over how to protect classified information while pursuing the charges in the case, according to people familiar with the deliberations. The fear of divulging government secrets is one of the key factors driving the internal government debate over how to handle the cases of Katrina Leung, the alleged spy, and James J. Smith, a former FBI agent. Lawyers on both sides said both are expected to be indicted this week by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. Federal prosecutors allege that Leung, 49, was a “double agent” who pilfered classified material from Smith, 59, and gave it to the People’s Republic of China. Smith is accused of gross negligence for allegedly allowing Leung access to the material. The defendants, both of whom are married to others, had a 20-year sexual affair, court documents contend. Another former FBI counterintelligence agent, William Cleveland Jr., is also alleged to have had a sexual relationship with Leung, but he has not been charged with any wrongdoing. Authorities in Los Angeles and Washington have refused to comment on what charges may be included in this week’s indictments, and the possibilities are complicated by an unusual amount of control over the case by senior Justice Department and FBI officials in Washington. Debra Yang, the US attorney in Los Angeles, indicated last month that more charges were possible, but she declined to discuss any specifics. The FBI has said in court documents that the case casts doubt on every major PRC counterintelligence investigation in the past 20 years.

10. SARS WHO Taiwan Recognition

LA Times (Barbara Demick, “SARS BRINGS TAIWAN RECOGNITION OF SORTS,” Taipei, Taiwan, 05/07/03) reported that the United Nations’ World Health Organization dispatched its first official delegation to Taiwan in more than 30 years. The two-person team of epidemiologists arrived in this capital Monday, as Taiwan was becoming the latest focus of worldwide concern about the spread of the disease. The island now has 120 cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome and has had 11 deaths. Health officials believe the disease has not yet reached its peak here, as it apparently has in Hong Kong and Vietnam. “Unfortunately, it is only because of the SARS epidemic that they remembered there is a country named Taiwan. But still, we are glad that they came,” Taiwan’s health minister, Twu Shiing-jer, said in an interview. The historic occasion was marked with little fanfare. Taiwanese officials would not release the names of the two WHO officials, where they were staying or details of their itinerary, fearing that publicity would lead to charges that the government was exploiting the occasion politically. And the victory was only partial in that the epidemiologists are not scheduled to meet with any Taiwanese government officials during the visit. “It is a little strange that they are coming to help and they won’t meet with the health minister. But I understand their situation, and we don’t want to cause them any discomfort,” Twu said. The U.N. kicked out Taiwan in 1971, when the PRC became a member. It has been taboo ever since for U.N. officials to visit here or for Taiwanese to participate officially in U.N. conferences.

11. PRC SARS Struggle

BBC News (“CHINA ADMITS SARS STRUGGLE,” 05/07/03) reported that the PRC’s rural health care system is totally incapable of dealing with a major SARS outbreak in the countryside, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has acknowledged. In a frank assessment of the country’s rural health care system, he said facilities are weak, technical capabilities inadequate and epidemic surveillance systems unsound. But the warning may have come too late. The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, in Beijing, says there are now worrying signs that the SARS epidemic in the capital has begun spreading to surrounding provinces. He says Wen is finally saying in public what many health care specialists have been saying in private for weeks. The SARS outbreak now engulfing Beijing is bad, but if it spreads to the PRC’s vast and poor rural hinterland it will be much worse. Our correspondent says that in many parts of rural China the health care system has simply collapsed and there are growing signs that the battle to keep SARS from spreading there is already being lost. “We have a lot of doctors, a lot of hospitals – the problem is we don’t have enough hospitals and doctors specializing in this field,” said Hu Yonghua, director of Beijing University’s school of public health. “In the coming days, we can expect the number of deaths to increase because of health workers’ lack of experience.” Hu estimates that only a “very small number” of the 32,000 registered doctors and 34,000 registered nurses in Beijing are trained to handle infectious diseases and severe respiratory problems.

12. PRC SARS Reform?

Reuters (Benjamin Kang Lim, “CHINA’S NEW TRANSPARENCY UNLIKELY TO SPAWN REFORMS,” Beijing, 05/07/03) carried an analytical article that opined: the PRC’s dramatic decision to report openly on the deadly SARS epidemic, followed quickly by its unprecedented disclosure of a submarine disaster, has spawned hopes that the country may be poised for more radical reforms. In the same way the Chernobyl nuclear disaster 17 years ago drove reform of the Communist system and fueled the eventual collapse of the Soviet Union, some analysts say SARS presents the PRC’s new leadership with a challenge that could stir change. Beijing’s sudden openness on the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) after weeks of covering up its extent has raised questions as to how far Communist Party chief Hu Jintao and his leadership colleagues will go. Will China move toward more openness on its other hushed-up health epidemic, AIDS? Will it reassess the bloody crackdown on democracy protesters on Tiananmen Square in 1989? PRC and foreign analysts say such significant steps are unlikely. The media have been unleashed to cover disasters, but movement toward a truly free press remains remote, and a shift toward Western-style democracy out of the question, they said. “The openness is merely to preserve the Communist Party’s rule,” said a PRC political analyst. After widespread criticism at home and abroad for covering up SARS, the PRC sacked the Beijing mayor and health minister and set the media loose to inform its 1.3 billion people about government action on the ballooning outbreak and how to avoid SARS. Unlike the evolving AIDS crisis, SARS emerged swiftly to pose a sudden threat on several fronts. Tourism, hotels, and restaurant business dried up. Air travel is down. Deals cut at the flagship trade fair in Guangzhou dropped to a 15-year low. SARS also poses a challenge to poorly equipped medical facilities in the countryside — a key focal point for Hu and Premier Wen Jiabao, who have championed poor farmers. Panic over SARS, playing out in scattered riots by villagers afraid of catching it, could undermine social stability. “There is, up to now, little evidence to suggest the PRC have come clean.”

13. Japan Nuclear Reactor Restart

The Japan Times (“TEPCO RESTARTS NUCLEAR REACTOR,” Niigata, 05/07/03) and BBC News (“JAPAN RESTARTS NUCLEAR REACTOR,” 05/07/03) reported that Tokyo’s main power company has restarted one of its 17 nuclear reactors which were closed down last month for safety checks. Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (Tepco) No 6 reactor at the Kashiwazaki-Kariwa nuclear power plant in Niigata prefecture will slowly raise its output over the next few days, company spokesman Hidenori Yatobo said. Niigata Governor, Ikuo Hirayama, who was involved in the decision to restart the reactor, said “the results of the checks revealed no major problems.” Tepco was ordered to shut down its nuclear facilities for a full safety inspection after admitting last year it had covered up maintenance problems and obstructed government inspections. Japan’s nuclear industry has been hit by a series of accidents and safety scandals in recent years – including the country’s worst ever nuclear accident in 1999, when two people were killed because of lax safety standards. It is not yet known when the other 16 reactors will be restarted. But Tepco and government officials have pushed for an early resumption, warning that at least 10 nuclear reactors are needed to meet customer demands this summer, when air conditioner use peaks in Japan’s humid season. An extended shutdown during the summer months could mean the first blackouts in two decades for the Japanese capital. In the meantime, the capital is relying on fossil fuels to make up some of the shortfall.

14. PRC Domestic Economy

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA TO BUILD 50 NEW AIRPORTS IN NEXT FIVE YEARS,” Beijing, 05/07/03) reported that the PRC is planning to build 50 new airports over the next five years to serve the burgeoning domestic air travel market, state press said. Construction has been fuelled by estimates that feeder traffic from regional jets is forecast to grow 12 percent annually in the PRC over the next decade, the China Daily reported Wednesday, without giving further details. The PRC will need hundreds of small regional jets of up to 100 seats to meet demand, the newspaper said. Leading the charge is the Shanghai Aviation Industrial (Group) Corp. (SAIGC) which will begin developing China’s first civilian turbo jet later this year. “We will start producing the first batch of components in Shanghai this year,” spokesman Zhou Jinsheng said. The new jets are scheduled to enter service by the end of 2006. The China Daily said the company plans to assemble 300 aircraft in the next two decades with the help of GE of the US which has been invited to develop engines to power the ARJ21 jets. The PRC currently buys all its civilian aircraft from Airbus and Boeing, with smaller jets imported from Canada and Brazil.

15. Japan-US Okinawa Bomb Drills Cancellation

The Japan Times (“US CANCELS OKINAWA BOMB DRILLS,” Naha, Okinawa Pref., 05/07/03) reported that the US Navy notified the Okinawa Prefectural Government on Wednesday it has canceled nearby underwater explosives drills in the East China Sea and in the Sea of Japan near Nagasaki Prefecture, officials said. According to the Japan Coast Guard, the US Navy had given advance notification to Japanese authorities it would conduct the drills Wednesday in six locations, including the exclusive economic zone 300 km west of the main island of Okinawa. The US Navy headquarters in Japan did not give the Foreign Ministry a reason for the cancellation, and the ministry said it has asked for details through diplomatic channels. After receiving notice of the drills, the Fisheries Agency urged the US military to cancel them out of fear they would have a serious impact on fishing operations, while the local fisheries industry reacted sharply to the plan. The navy had planned to conduct the drills through Monday in three locations in open waters in the EEZ, the Tsushima Strait in the Sea of Japan near Nagasaki, the Taiwan Strait and waters west of Cheju Island in South Korea, the coast guard said. The Nagasaki Prefectural Government received notification of the drills from the Fisheries Agency on Tuesday night by fax, local government officials said.

II. Japan

1. Japan Constitution Revision

Mainichi Daily News (“LDP PANEL PROPOSES RADICAL CHANGES TO CONSTITUTION,” 05/03/03) reported that Japan should become a nation headed by the Emperor and armed with an army, navy and air force that can use force on an international stage, according to a report on a Constitution revising plan compiled by a ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) panel. The radical report, a copy of which was obtained by the Mainichi, also proposes to give the Japanese prime minister powers to invoke a national emergency order, which is reminiscent of martial law under the old Imperial Constitution. The report compiled by the LDP’s Research Commission on the Constitution listed 47 proposals to revise Japan’s war-renouncing Constitution. It states that the “protection of public properties” and the “defense of the nation” are duties of all Japanese people. Although advocating the reinstatement of the Emperor as the head of state, the report was at pains to emphasize that sovereign power resides with the people. On Security, the report recommended that Japan’s right to self-defense should be clearly stipulated in the revised Constitution alongside with the right of collective self-defense. “Japan strives to take a leading role in forming international order based on the principle of justice. Actions include the use of force as part of an operation of an established international body,” the report read. Since many of the proposals are rather controversial, the report urged changes in rules to give Diet powers to revise the Constitution without the need of a referendum. At the moment, a revision proposal requires supporting votes from two-thirds of all the members of each of the Diet’s two chambers before it can go to a referendum. A majority vote in a referendum is needed to change the Constitution. The report recommended that the requirement for a revision should be relaxed to a two-thirds majority by “more than two-thirds of members from each of the Diet’s two chambers.” The LDP Research Council on the Constitution intends to draw up a revision draft before the end of the year but the nationalistic elements of the proposal are certain to draw criticism from within the governing party.

The Japan Times (“FORMER LEADERS BACK COLLECTIVE SELF-DEFENSE,” 05/04/03) reported that former prime ministers Yasuhiro Nakasone and Kiichi Miyazawa claimed Saturday that Japan is able to engage in collective defense under its current war-renouncing Constitution, a position that runs counter to the official government stance. “All Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi needs to do is to say that it can be done,” Nakasone said in an NHK program marking the 56th anniversary of the implementation of Japan’s Constitution. Urging Koizumi’s Cabinet to change its policy, Nakasone said it is “silly” that Japan would be unable to act in the event a problem arises with the DPRK, for example, and a US aircraft carrier deployed in the Sea of Japan is attacked. Miyazawa said on the same program that exercising the right to use military force to defend an ally is “natural from anyone’s perspective,” but noted that it should be limited to areas near Japan. Taro Nakayama, chairman of the House of Representatives Research Commission on the Constitution, said the direction of a final report to be prepared by the end of next year will follow a “natural course.” Yoshito Sengoku, a lawmaker of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) in charge of Constitution-related matters, emphasized the need to review the Constitution and come up with a new constitutional concept. “There is strong argument from within the party that there is a need to give the Self-Defense Forces a constitutional status,” Sengoku said. Akihiro Ota, deputy secretary general of New Komeito, said his party believes that additional clauses — such as one ensuring the right to protect one’s environment — can be added to the Constitution while retaining Article 9, which renounces war as a means of settling international disputes. From the smaller opposition parties, Hideyo Fudesaka of the Japanese Communist Party and Masako Owaki of the Social Democratic Party expressed support for maintaining the current Constitution, arguing that Article 9 must be protected.

The Japan Times (“PARTIES CALL FOR CONSTITUTION DEBATE AMID GLOBAL TURMOIL,” 05/04/03) reported that major political parties issued statements Saturday marking the 56th anniversary of the implementation of Japan’s Constitution, with most of them calling for further debate of the nation’s basic law in light of current events and the state of world affairs. In its statement, the Liberal Democratic Party, led by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, said future discussions should focus on Article 9, given the tensions in Northeast Asia and changes in Japan’s contribution to international affairs. New Komeito, one of the LDP’s two coalition partners, said Japan should consider making an active contribution to international affairs as a country with a pacifist Constitution. The nation should consider the matter in light of today’s global situation and avoid either hastily revising the Constitution or rigidly refusing to change it, the party said. The other coalition partner, the New Conservative Party, also talked about reviewing the present charter, given the ambiguity over the issue of collective defense in relation to the Constitution. Most opposition parties were close to the ruling parties’ position as far as the need for discussions is concerned. The main opposition Democratic Party of Japan said it will push for further debate on the Constitution. The Liberal Party said it is resolved to creating a new constitution, pointing out that Japan is confronted with problems that were not anticipated when the constitution was drawn up. The Japanese Communist Party, however, called on the public to retain the current Constitution, noting that many Japanese voiced their opposition to the US-led war against Iraq. The Social Democratic Party said it is also resolved to protecting the Constitution.

2. Japan Military Emergency Legislation

The Asahi Shimbun (“DPJ OFFERS ITS OWN EMERGENCY BILLS,” 05/02/03) reported that two bills on military emergency proposed by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) will be presented to a Lower House special committee on Tuesday. One bill is for a basic law to deal with emergencies, while the other is an amendment to a bill already proposed by the government to deal with a military attack on Japan. Although officials of the government have made clear their desire to win passage of their package of three bills dealing with emergency situations in the current Diet session, there remains doubt as to the extent to which the coalition will compromise on the proposals by the DPJ. The DPJ basic law proposal defines as emergencies not only military attacks and other war situations, but also natural disasters and terrorist attacks. Unlike the government proposal, the DPJ bill spells out provisions to protect the basic rights of citizens during such emergencies. For example, freedom of the press and expression will be protected and citizens can only be called on to cooperate on a voluntary basis. The DPJ bill also gives the Diet a stronger voice in dealing with emergencies. While the government bill only asks that the Diet give approval after the Cabinet has set out a plan to deal with military attacks, the DPJ proposal requires prior approval by the Diet. The Diet would also be given the authority to suspend military actions. The DPJ bill also calls for the establishment of a so-called crisis management agency within the Cabinet. In its bill amending the government’s bill to deal with military attacks, the DPJ proposal requires the government to state the reason it recognizes a situation as a military attack and that the public be kept informed about military attacks at appropriate times. National security issues have often led to arguments within the DPJ, reflecting the past party affiliations of Diet members. The conservative elements of the DPJ, led by a group formed around former party head Yukio Hatoyama, are calling for approval of the government proposal since it would be better than nothing. Although Hatoyama’s group agreed to win revisions from the ruling coalition, it also said it would do its best to win approval of a bill to deal with emergencies. On the other hand, DPJ members who used to belong to the former Social Democratic Party have come out in opposition to the government proposal although they did not oppose the compilation of the DPJ proposal itself.

3. Hiroshima Mayor on Iraq War

Kyodo (“HIROSHIMA MAYOR SLAMS U.S. OVER WAR,” Hiroshima, 05/03/03) reported that Hiroshima Mayor Tadatoshi Akiba denounced last Friday the use of depleted uranium weapons in Iraq by the US military and said the US government must prove the country was hiding weapons of mass destruction prior to its invasion. “People in Hiroshima and the world over have wished for an end to the military action (in Iraq), but it is deeply regretful that (the United States) used depleted uranium weapons and Iraqi citizens suffered greatly,” Akiba said in a statement. “From here on, the US needs to fulfill its duty to reveal to the international community the existence of the weapons of mass destruction and dispose of them,” he said. “The US attack on Iraq, ignoring the international community, cannot be tolerated.”

4. Japanese Photographer Bomb Explosion

Mainichi Daily News (“MAINICHI PHOTOGRAPHER DETAINED OVER EXPLOSION AT JORDAN AIRPORT,” 05/02/03) reported that a Mainichi Shimbun photographer was detained after a metal object he had picked up in Iraq as a “souvenir” exploded at an international airport in the Jordanian capital of Amman on last Thursday, killing a security guard and injuring three other people. Jordan’s security authorities took Hiroki Gomi, 36, a photographer at the Mainichi Newspapers Co. Tokyo headquarters, into custody and are questioning him over the blast. A senior Mainichi board member apologized for the incident. The explosive was one of numerous bell-shaped metal objects Gomi found scattered around a car abandoned along a road in Iraq on April 11 while traveling from Amman to Baghdad, according to Japanese diplomat Tatsuya Tajima in Jordan. When the airport security guard asked him about a metal object in his bag, Gomi picked it up and told the guard that he had found it. The guard confiscated it and was examining it about five meters away from Gomi when it suddenly went off.

Mainichi Daily News (“MAINICHI PHOTOGRAPHER FACES JORDAN MILITARY TRIBUNAL,” 05/04/03) reported that Mainichi Shimbun photojournalist Hiroki Gomi has been summoned before a Jordanian military tribunal over the explosion at an international airport in Amman, which killed a security official and injured three more people. Jordanian Information Minister Mohammad Adwan told AFP that Gomi was taken before the prosecutor of the State Security Court, which deals with cases related to security issues. Prosecutors are yet to decide what to charge him with, Adwan said, but it is likely that the 36-year-old Mainichi photographer will be charged with illegal possession of an explosive or manslaughter. Meanwhile, King Abdullah II of Jordan visited the survivors of the incident at the King Hussein Medical Centre on Friday.

Mainichi Daily News (“PHOTOGRAPHER UNAWARE OF EXPLOSIVE,” Amman, 05/05/03) reported that photographer Hiroki Gomi was unaware that the bell-shaped device he was carrying was a live explosive that would cause the death of a Jordanian policeman, he said during talks with a visiting Mainichi executive. During a meeting carried out in English with Mainichi Deputy Managing Editor Yoshiaki Ito on Sunday, Gomi said that he thought the device was an exploded bomb. He then revealed that he and a Jordanian assistant had carried the device around for 20 days since picking it up in Iraq and even played catch with it. Ito said that Gomi was crying throughout the interview, repeatedly expressing his regret over picking up the device. The 36-year-old photographer then denied reports that he had taken antiquities and carpets from Iraq. On the same day, Japanese Ambassador to Jordan Koichi Obata offered his condolences when he visited the bereaved family of Ali Al-Sarhan in his hometown of Maghayyir Al Sarhan.

Mainichi Daily News (“PROSECUTOR QUESTIONS MAINICHI MAN IN JORDAN,” Amman, 05/06/03) reported that a Jordanian prosecutor questioned Mainichi photographer Hiroki Gomi on Monday before charging him over the explosion of a bomb that killed a security guard at an international airport in Amman. Yoshiaki Ito, deputy managing editor of the Mainichi Shimbun Tokyo head office, visited Mohammad Adwan, Jordan’s information minister, on Monday and offered a formal apology for the explosion. Ito then handed the minister a letter of apology addressed to King Abdullah II of Jordan, signed by Mainichi President Akira Saito. The Mainichi also put an apology in two major Jordanian newspapers Tuesday.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #124

This issue of CanKor covers two events relevant to the DPRK that were held in Toronto, Canada last week. The Canada-DPR Korea Association held its first Annual General Meeting on 30 April. CanKor presents the activities report as presented by the Association Chair, former Senator Lois Wilson. Included also is an excerpt of General Secretary Erich Weingartner’s review of challenges faced by the Association at its launch one year ago, and the extent to which these have been met to date. The Japan Forum 2003, organized by the Japan Society, featured a luncheon and discussion at the Fairmount Royal York on 28 April. The programme sponsors were the Consulate General of Japan in Toronto, the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in Toronto, the Canada-DPR Korea Association and the Canada-Korea Society. Leon V. Sigal, Director of the Northeast Asia Cooperative Security Project at the Social Science Research Council in New York presented a paper entitled “North Korea is no Iraq,” reproduced in this issue with the author’s permission.

For more information, please visit: http://www.cankor.ca

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Produced by the Nautilus Institute for Security and Sustainable Development in partnership with:

Ilmin Internationl Relations Institute
BK21 The Education and Research Corps for East Asian Studies
Department of Political Science, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Center for American Studies,
Fudan University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

International Peace Research Institute (PRIME),
Meiji Gakuin University, Tokyo, Japan

Monash Asia Institute,
Monash University, Clayton, Australia

Brandon Yu: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Timothy L. Savage: napsnet@nautilus.org
Berkeley, California, United States

Kim Young-soo: yskim328@hotmail.com
Seoul, Republic of Korea

Hibiki Yamaguchi: hibikiy84@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Saiko Iwata: saiko@akira.ne.jp
Tokyo, Japan

Hiroya Takagi: hiroya_takagi@hotmail.com
Tokyo, Japan

Peter Razvin: icipu@online.ru
Moscow, Russian Federation

Wu Chunsi: cswu@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

Dingli Shen: dlshen@fudan.ac.cn
Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

John McKay: John.McKay@adm.monash.edu.au
Clayton, Australia

 


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