NAPSNet Daily Report 10 September, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 10 September, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, September 10, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-10-september-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. US Dalai Lama Visitation
2. US Air Force Minuteman III Missile Tests
3. PRC-Canada Peacekeeping Expertise
4. US-DPRK Human Trafficking Sanctions
5. Japan Domestic Economy
6. Taiwan on WHO SARS Death Toll
II. Japan 1. LDP Presidential Election
2. Japan Constitutional Revision
III. CanKor E-Clipping Service 1. Issue #132

I. United States

1. US Dalai Lama Visitation

Agence France-Presse (“CHINA IRKED AS DALAI LAMA MEETS POWELL AHEAD OF EXPECTED BUSH TALKS,” 09/10/03) reported that the PRC accused the US of allowing the Dalai Lama to conduct “separatist” activity on its soil, after the Tibetan spiritual leader met Secretary of State Colin Powell. Powell welcomed the Dalai Lama to a half-hour meeting at the State Department a day before his visitor’s expected encounter at the White House with President George W. Bush. As he emerged from the building, the Dalai Lama said he had a “very good” meeting with Powell, which he described as “a reunion since I know him already.” But he declined to go into details on the talks also involving the State Department’s coordinator for Tibetan issues Paula Dobriansky and Assistant Secretary of State for Asia and Pacific Affairs James Kelly. The US side also declined to divulge details of the encounter. But an official said Washington viewed Tibet as a part of the greater PRC, and was not encouraging separatism in the area. But the Bush administration’s decision to meet the Dalai Lama drew an immediate protest from the PRC embassy in Washington. “The US government has repeatedly acknowledged that the US will not support Tibetan independence,” Sun Weide, an embassy spokesman told AFP. Therefore, Sun said, Washington should not allow the Dalai Lama to conduct “separatist activity on US soil.” “We have made representations to the US side,” Sun said. The Tibetan government in exile argues that it is not seeking independence but greater autonomy from Beijing, and the Dalai Lama argues that dialogue is the only way of solving the issue. The Dalai Lama is expected to meet Bush on Wednesday, though White House officials have declined to confirm the meeting is on the president’s schedule.

Agence France-Presse (“DALAI LAMA MEETS WITH LAWMAKERS AT US CONGRESS,” 09/10/03) reported Tibet’s spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, met with lawmakers in Congress Tuesday, amid continued disapproval by China of his US visit. The Dalai Lama, a frequent visitor to the US, visited the US legislature to mark the 20th anniversary of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus, where he was the guest of honor. “What a wonderful honor for all of us to breathe the same air as his holiness the Dalai Lama,” said Representative Nancy Pelosi of California, the leader of the minority Democrats in the House of Representatives. “In 40 years of exile, his holiness has used his position and leadership to promote wisdom, compassion, and non-violence as a solution not only to the present crisis in Tibet, but to other long-running conflicts around the world.” The Human Rights Caucus groups members of Congress with a strong interest in addressing issues pertaining to religious, ethnic, or political oppression around the world. Pelosi said that Tibet itself was one key area of interest among lawmakers in the Human Rights Caucus. “The survival of the Tibetan identity is an issue of legitimate US and international concern,” she said. “The solution ultimately depends on China’s recognition of the value to its own interests in fostering internal stability and international respectability.”

2. US Air Force Minuteman III Missile Tests

The Associated Press (“AIR FORCE TESTS MINUTEMAN III MISSILE,” Vandenberg Air Force Base, 09/10/03) reported that the Air Force launched an unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile early Wednesday, officials said. The Boeing Co.-made missile was launched from this central California base at 4:31 a.m. on a 4,800-mile trip across the Pacific Ocean, said base spokesman Lloyd Conley. The Air Force routinely test-launches the nearly 60-foot missiles to assess their performance and reliability. The Air Force has about 500 nuclear warhead-tipped Minuteman III missiles in its arsenal, in silos in Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

Missile fact sheet: http://www.af.mil/news/factsheets/LGM_30_Minuteman_III.html

3. PRC-Canada Peacekeeping Expertise

Reuters (“CHINA LOOKS TO CANADA FOR PEACEKEEPING EXPERTISE,” Ottawa, 09/10/03) reported that the PRC, which has only rarely been involved in international peacekeeping operations, is turning to Canada, a veteran in the field, for its expertise, Canadian Defense Minister John McCallum said on Wednesday. McCallum told reporters by telephone from Beijing, where he had met PRC Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan, that a PRC delegation would visit Canada to discuss peacekeeping and may also look in on Canadian forces in the field. “The PRC were very positive about coming to discuss peacekeeping,” he said. “I think it’s quite likely that one thing will lead to another. They may also visit us on one of our operations at some point, and who knows what will happen from there.” In the first decade after joining the United Nations in 1971, the PRC opposed peacekeeping operations and contributed no money or resources. It gradually became more amenable to certain operations and since 1989 it has sent dozens of military observers and civilian police on U.N. missions. It was not until 1992-93 that it first sent troops on a peacekeeping mission, a contingent of 800 engineers to Cambodia. It then agreed to send an army engineering unit and medical team to the Democratic Republic of Congo early this year. “They’re aware of our reputation,” McCallum said. “We in Canada like to export and share our expertise and experience in peacekeeping.”

4. US-DPRK Human Trafficking Sanctions

Agence France-Presse (“US TAKES NEW SWIPE AT NORTH KOREA, MYANMAR, CUBA,” Washington, 09/10/03) reported that the US took a new swipe at the DPRK, Myanmar and Cuba, saddling them with a fresh tier of sanctions — to punish what it said was a lack of effort in combating the modern day slave trade. The three states, which rarely escape the US doghouse, fell foul of a US survey on human trafficking, and the largely symbolic measures will bar them from any US military, educational or cultural aid. But Bush gave a pass to Liberia and Sudan, which also failed to meet the standards set by US law but were deemed worthy of special treatment, the White House said. A further 10 states rebuked in the State Department’s 2003 Trafficking in Persons report issued in June escaped sanctions after taking what the White House said was “quick action” to address US concerns. The “continuing failure” of Myanmar, Cuba and the DPRK to deal responsibly with human trafficking gave Bush no option but to sanction them, said White House press spokesman Scott McClellan in a statement.

5. Japan Domestic Economy

Agence France-Presse (“JAPAN’S GDP GROWTH REVISED UP TO STRONG 1.0 PERCENT IN APRIL-JUNE,” Tokyo, 09/10/03) reported that Japan’s economy grew a revised 1.0 percent in the three months to June from the previous quarter, much stronger than the earlier estimated 0.6 percent, the government said. On an annualized basis, gross domestic product (GDP) was revised up to a strong 3.9 percent from the previous estimate of 2.3 percent, outstripping a revised 3.1 percent growth in the US in the same quarter. This confirmed the world’s second largest economy “gained a little more steam after continuing a gradual recovery,” said Tatsuya Torikoshi, senior economist at Daiwa Institute of Research. Strong capital-spending data last week had led economists to expect an upward revision. The revised GDP data were “roughly in line with expectations” although the headline figure was a shade higher than expected, Torikoshi said. The GDP grew 1.0 percent in the April-June period after 0.6 percent rises at the end of last year and the January-March quarter this year. The government also raised April-June capital spending to a quarterly rise of 4.7 percent from the earlier estimated rise of 1.3 percent. Personal consumption was adjusted to show a rise of 0.4 percent against 0.3 percent growth previously estimated.

6. Taiwan on WHO SARS Death Toll

Agence France-Presse (“TAIWAN PROTESTS WHO SARS DEATH TOLL, ASKS FOR CHANGE,” 09/10/03) reported that Taiwan insists that only 71 people had died from SARS on the island and has urged the World Health Organisation (WHO) to change its toll of 180 deaths. The discrepancy arose because WHO had included in its list people who had contracted SARS but died from something else, Taiwan’s Center for Disease Control (CDC) deputy director general Shih Wen-yi said. But Taiwan had included in its toll only those who had died directly because of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), he said. Shih said the CDC had repeatedly pointed out the discrepancy in the tolls to WHO but did not receive any response. “This is not fair to Taiwan,” Shih said. WHO says SARS killed 180 people out of 665 infections in Taiwan before the island was classified as free from the disease on July 5, when the WHO declared the outbreak contained worldwide. Taiwan’s health authorities Tuesday ordered temperature checks for all arrivals from Singapore after the city state confirmed it had a new case of SARS, its first in months. The checks are to be carried out by the arrivals themselves for 10 days after they come to Taiwan, authorities said.

II. Japan

1. LDP Presidential Election

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, “LDP’S HASHIMOTO FACTION TORN APART OVER ELECTION,” 09/03/03) reported that the largest faction of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) could not heal a critical rift, with the group failing to field an official candidate for the party’s Sept. 20 leadership poll. Though faction elders approved former transport minister Takao Fujii’s plan to run, he is not expected to receive backing from all of the group’s 100 members. The faction will effectively allow its members to vote for whomever they like in the party’s presidential election, according to faction sources. This is the first time the faction, led by former Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, has been divided over who to support in a party leadership vote. The schism in the Hashimoto faction is expected to greatly increase Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s chances of being re-elected party chief. Strife within the Hashimoto faction was already clear. House of Councilors heavyweight Mikio Aoki had indicated that Upper House faction members “could take a difference course of action” if Lower House members tried to field a joint candidate, according to the sources. Aoki is expected to support the re-election of Koizumi to take advantage of his high popularity as the party prepares for an Upper House election next summer. But, these Upper House members also rely on vested interests that have been targeted by the prime minister’s reform initiatives.

The Japan Times (Reiji Yoshida, “KAMEI AIMS TO UNSEAT KOIZUMI,” 09/04/03) reported that former LDP policy chief Shizuka Kamei officially declared on Sept. 3 that he will run in the Sept. 20 party presidential election, seeking to unseat Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi. Kamei, the outspoken coleader of a 59-member intraparty faction within the Liberal Democratic Party, promised to pursue an economic policy diametrically opposed to Koizumi’s. He is advocating a fiscal spending package worth tens of trillions of yen in an effort to boost demand. He called for a total stimulus package worth between 30 trillion yen and 50 trillion yen. He also said he would increase the size of the policy-related government budget by 5 percent to 10 percent annually for three years, beginning in fiscal 2004. Kamei’s calls for aggressive fiscal spending echo the views of many LDP lawmakers, particularly those elected from ailing rural constituencies with dwindling populations. But Kamei, often depicted by the media as symbolizing the party’s old pork-barrel politics, is believed to be unpopular among urban voters. It is thought that Kamei is trying to prevent Koizumi from winning a majority in the first-round of voting on Sept. 20, forcing a runoff in which anti-Koizumi candidates can consolidate their support. “It is only natural for anti-Koizumi candidates to take joint action” in a runoff, Kamei told the reporters.

2. Japan Constitutional Revision

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “KOIZUMI TELLS LDP TO MAKE BLUEPRINT FOR CHANGES TO CONSTITUTION BY 2005,” 08/26/03) reported that Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi instructed his Liberal Democratic Party to map out a blueprint for amending the Constitution by November 2005, when the party will mark the 50th anniversary of its founding. “The founding spirit of the LDP was to establish Japan’s own Constitution,” Koizumi told reporters in the evening. “After 50 years, it’s about time for the LDP to consider how to amend the Constitution and come up with an idea to raise national debate on the issue.” Koizumi conveyed the idea to LDP Secretary General Taku Yamasaki at the Prime Minister’s Official Residence earlier in the day, while Yamasaki was explaining to Koizumi that the party is compiling a book on its 50-year history. Some LDP members have called for changing the Constitution and making Japan a “normal nation” with military forces. The Diet has a study group on the issue. “It’s good to consider (revising) the whole Constitution, and not just Article 9,” Koizumi said. The prime minister said he would not include the idea in his policy pledges for the LDP’s presidential election on Sept. 20.

The Japan Times (“LDP’S YAMASAKI ADVOCATES CONSTITUTION-VOTE BILL,” 08/27/03) reported that a top-ranking lawmaker from the Liberal Democratic Party said he favors submitting a bill to the Diet as early as next year that would enable a public referendum to amend the Constitution. Taku Yamasaki, secretary general of the LDP, said a bill that would stipulate procedures for such a vote “would likely be submitted to the Diet either during next year’s regular Diet session or during a regular session in 2005.” Yamasaki’s comments came one day after Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who is also LDP chief, instructed the party to map out a blueprint for amending the Constitution by November 2005. Yamasaki told reporters the instruction from the prime minister was conveyed to top LDP executives Mitsuo Horiuchi, who is executive council chairman, and policy affairs chief Taro Aso. He said they both expressed support for the idea. Article 96 of the postwar Constitution says, “Amendments to this Constitution shall be initiated by the Diet, through a concurring vote of two-thirds or more of all the members of each House and shall thereupon be submitted to the people for ratification, which shall require the affirmative vote of a majority of all votes cast thereon, at a special referendum or at such election as the Diet shall specify.” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda, however, was more cautious on the matter. He said Koizumi only instructed the party to spend sufficient time studying a Constitutional amendment. “It’s not that (amending the Constitution) will be on the formal policy agenda of the Koizumi administration,” Fukuda told a regular news conference. Koizumi himself also indicated that amending the Constitution will be an issue to be taken up by the government only after he leaves office. Still, Koizumi cited several key issues that he said will be the focal points of possible Constitutional amendments, including recognizing the Self-Defense Forces as a full-fledged military force. “Are Self-Defense Forces really not military forces?” he asked reporters. “It’s nonsense to say that the SDF do not have military capabilities.” Koizumi also said Article 89, which bans the use of public money for private charitable or educational purposes, should be changed.

III. CanKor E-Clipping Service

1. Issue #132

Confusion reigned in media reports at the conclusion of the six-party talks in Beijing. A summary statement offered by Chinese hosts highlights four points agreed to by all parties. If these points have indeed been agreed by both the USA and the DPRK, they represent subtle but significant movement from the pre-conference positions of both sides, establishing the minimal conditions necessary for the talks to proceed to the next round. Missing from the four points is an agreement on the timing and location of the next round of negotiations, reportedly due to the reluctance of the DPRK delegate to commit. The homepage of the ROK government website features an article summarizing each participating country’s response to the talks. CanKor has added links to original statements and press briefings by relevant foreign ministries. For its part, the DPRK clarifies what it describes as “weird misinformation” circulating in the Western press regarding its attitude both during and after the Beijing talks. An article in the KNCA claims that the US aim was to bring the talks to the point of rupture “by raising unilateral demands unacceptable to the DPRK, thereby making the DPRK responsible for the failure of the talks. This week’s FOCUS is devoted to CanKor’s biannual Summary of Events related to the DPRK.

The NAPSNet Daily Report aims to serve as a forum for dialogue and exchange among peace and security specialists. Conventions for readers and a list of acronyms and abbreviations are available to all recipients. For descriptions of the world wide web sites used to gather information for this report, or for more information on web sites with related information, see the collection of other NAPSNet resources.
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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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