NAPSNet Daily Report 11 April, 2003

Recommended Citation

"NAPSNet Daily Report 11 April, 2003", NAPSNet Daily Report, April 11, 2003, https://nautilus.org/napsnet/napsnet-daily-report/napsnet-daily-report-11-april-2003/

 
CONTENTS

I. United States

1. DPRK War Readiness
2. PRC-US Espionage
3. ROK Stealth Warship
4. PRC and US on Iraq and DPRK
5. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Inspections
6. DPRK Black Market Exports
7. ROK New US Ambassador Appointment
8. ROK-US Relations on DPRK and Iraq
9. DPRK-PRC Nuclear Relations
10. Russia on DPRK Economic Sanctions
11. SARS as Mutant Cold Virus
12. PRC Executions
13. US on UN PRC Human Rights Resolution
14. Japan Environment Tax
II. Japan 1. Japan’s Role in Iraq War
2. Japan’s ODA Policy
3. US Bases in Okinawa
4. Japan’s New Military Plane
5. Japanese Logistic Support for US
6. Japan-PRC Relations
7. Japan’s Role in Iraq
8. Japan’s Position on DPRK’s Withdrawal from NPT

I. United States

1. DPRK War Readiness

BBC News (“NORTH KOREA ‘READY FOR WAR,'” 04/11/03) reported that DPRK leader, Kim Jong-il, has reportedly made a highly symbolic visit to an air force base, hours after the fall of Baghdad. Kim told pilots that he was glad to see them ready to “beat back enemies whenever they challenge”, official radio reported. Kim’s visit came as a senior DPRK diplomat said the outcome of the war in Iraq had made his country determined to defend itself against a possible US attack. The ROK and Russia both made fresh moves on Friday to guard against the crisis on the Korean peninsula escalating further. The ROK launched a stealth warship capable of electronic spying on the DPRK, while a senior Russian diplomat said Moscow needed to consider extra defence measures. We are forced to think about preventive measures to defend our national interests… in case of a serious conflict in the region Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Alexander Losyukov, and the DPRK’s deputy ambassador at the UN, Han Song-ryol warned a seminar in the US on Thursday that “the result of the Iraq war gives [North Korea] a kind of determination and the will to take assured measures to defend its territory against possible US attacks.” Han added that the US could “expect many positive steps from North Korea in resolving nuclear problems” if it accepted its offer for bilateral talks.

2. PRC-US Espionage

The Washington Post (Rene Sanchez, “SPY SUSPECT LED AN ACTIVE, PROMINENT LIFE,” Los Angeles, 04/11/03) and BBC News (“FBI WOMAN ‘SPIED FOR CHINA,'” 04/11/03) reported that a Chinese-American woman who worked for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has been accused of spying for Beijing. Katrina Leung has been charged with passing on classified nations security information to the PRC, allegedly obtained from her lover and FBI “handler”, James Smith. Smith has also been charged with gross negligence after allegedly allowing her access to secret documents during “debriefing” sessions at her home. Correspondents say that the scandal could prove a great embarrassment to the FBI and the Republican party, with whom Leung – a Los Angeles socialite – had close links. Leung was arrested on April 9, 2003 and charged with “obtaining a classified national security document for the purposes of aiding a foreign nation.” She has claimed that she is innocent, but has been denied bail. At the same time, Smith, a former FBI special agent, was charged with gross negligence but given bail. Authorities said that Leung was recruited to work for the FBI in the 1980s and began an affair with Smith. According to the prosecution’s affidavit, she was paid $1.7m over 20 years by the FBI, and operated under a number of aliases, including “parlor maid.” But during this time, the prosecution alleged, she was also working as a double agent for the PRC government. Prosecutors said that they found classified documents at Leung’s home, including a secret 1997 memorandum about PRC fugitives. The affidavit also said that the FBI secretly searched her luggage when she left for a trip to the PRC in November 2002 and found six photographs of former and current FBI agents. When she returned from the trip, her luggage was covertly searched again, and the photos were no longer there. It was alleged that Smith came to Leung’s San Marino home, which she shares with her husband and son, for “debriefing sessions”. During the times of his visit, she was able to copy documents from his briefcase which she then passed on to PRC agents. Smith was alerted to her duplicity by another FBI agent with whom she allegedly also had an affair, but he continued to see her. A statement by the FBI Director, Robert S Mueller, said the day of the arrests was “a sad day for the FBI.”

3. ROK Stealth Warship

The Associated Press (Daniel Cooney, “SOUTH KOREA LAUNCHES STEALTH WARSHIP,” Seoul, 04/11/03) reported that the ROK launched a stealth warship capable of spying electronically on the DPRK on Friday while the communist state’s leader told pilots at an air force base he was satisfied with their readiness to “beat back the enemy.” Both developments underscored tensions on the Korean Peninsula stemming from the DPRK’s alleged development of nuclear weapons and efforts by the South’s main ally, the US, to get the DPRK to scrap the program. ROK President Roh Moo-hyun attended the launch of the radar-evading warship, officials said. The vessel is named “Moonmu the Great,” after an ancient king who unified the Korean Peninsula more than 2,000 years ago. The 450-foot-long ship is equipped for electronic monitoring as well as anti-ship and anti-submarine warfare, navy officials said. It is South Korea’s most advanced warship with a top speed of 29 knots. It carries 300 personnel. The officials said ROK already has an unspecified number of stealth warships. “‘Moonmu the Great’ symbolizes South Korea’s defense technology and its will for independent defense,” Roh said at the launch in the southern port city of Ulsan.

4. PRC and US on Iraq and DPRK

Reuters (“CHINA’S AND US DISCUSS IRAQ, NORTH KOREA,” Shanghai, 04/11/03) reported that PRC Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing held a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Colin Powell Friday to discuss Iraq and North Korea (news – web sites), the official Xinhua news agency said. They talked about bilateral ties, postwar reconstruction of Iraq and the need for a peaceful solution to the nuclear dispute with North Korea through dialogue, Xinhua said without elaborating. On Thursday, the PRC said the United Nations should play the leading role in Iraq’s reconstruction and hoped the world body would draw up plans soon. The PRC, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, opposed the war on Iraq and called for an end to the fighting soon after it began three weeks ago, but it has avoided taking a front-line role in the opposition camp. In Friday’s phone call, Li and Powell agreed it was important to strengthen bilateral communication and coordination to deal with rapid changes in international issues, Xinhua said.

5. Russia on DPRK Nuclear Inspections

Agence France-Presse (“RUSSIAN DEFENCE CHIEF URGES NORTH KOREA TO TAKE BACK NUCLEAR INSPECTORS,” Tokyo, 04/11/03) reported that Russian Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov made a fresh plea that the DPRK allow international nuclear inspectors back into its territory as part of diplomatic efforts to solve the Korean nuclear crisis. The suggestion was made Friday when Ivanov called on Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on the first day of his three-day visit here, the Japanese foreign ministry said. Ivanov and Koizumi agreed that the Korean nuclear stand-off should be solved only by “diplomatic and political means,” ministry officials said, amid international worries that the DPRK could become the focus of armed conflict after Iraq. “The situation in North Korea is causing security concerns to the US, Japan, ROK and Russia,” Ivanov was quoted as telling Koizumi in the 35-minute meeting at the prime minister’s official residence. He said that it would be important for a team of inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to return to “control North Korea’s (nuclear) program,” according to the officials. “The DPRK problem can be solved through diplomatic and political means and Russia is prepared to inform North Korea of this position,” Ivanov was quoted as saying.

6. DPRK Black Market Exports

The Associated Press (Daniel Cooney, “MANY NORTH KOREA EXPORTS GO TO BLACK MARKET,” Seoul, 04/11/03) reported that from drugs to missiles and counterfeit cash, the DPRK has carved out a lucrative export business in black-market goods even as most of its economy languishes amid a deepening nuclear crisis. The shady workings of the DPRK’s economy are gaining importance as the US presses the U.N. Security Council to address the DPRK’s alleged nuclear weapons program – a discussion that could eventually lead to economic sanctions. The DPRK’s gross national income dropped from $22.3 billion in 1995 to $15.7 billion in 2001, mainly because of mismanagement, floods and severe droughts. Western countries are worried that financial woes have made the DPRK more desperate, and some analysts say its nuclear brinkmanship is aimed at blackmailing other nations for more aid. “North Korea’s economy has hit the floor,” said Scott Snyder, the South Korea representative for the Asia Foundation. Against this grim backdrop, however, sales of weapons and illicit goods have remained a reliable source of cash. The DPRK reaped about $560 million from missile sales in 2001, the US military estimates. Last week, the US imposed sanctions on a DPRK company, Changgwang Sinyong Corp., for selling missiles to Pakistan. A shipment of DPRK Scud missiles bound for Yemen was briefly stopped in December in the Arabian Sea. Another prime source of funds is allegedly the export of illicit drugs. Police in Japan say they believe the DPRK supplies a significant chunk of its multibillion narcotics business. US officials say the DPRK is also world class counterfeiters of US currency, especially the US $100 bill. “The DPRKs know their economy is in a crisis and they need to change,” said Yoon Deok-ryong, an economist at the state-run Korea Institute for International Economic Policy. “And in small ways they already are becoming more capitalist oriented.” He said that on a trip to Pyongyang three weeks ago he was surprised to find airport officials charging him 300 won, about $2.10 at the official exchange rate, to enter the airport’s VIP lounge. In the past, it had been free.

7. ROK New US Ambassador Appointment

The Associated Press (“SOUTH KOREA NAMES NEW AMBASSADOR TO US,” Seoul, 04/11/03) reported that the ROK has named a former foreign minister as its new ambassador to the US, officials said Friday. Han Sung-joo, 62, served as the country’s top diplomat from 1993 to 1994. The US-educated politics professor is currently the acting president of the prestigious Korea University in Seoul. Han will replace Yang Sung-chul, a former lawmaker, who has been in the post since 2000.

8. ROK-US Relations on DPRK and Iraq

The Washington Post (Doug Struck “SOUTH KOREAN STRESSES ALLIANCE, DISMISSES DIFFERENCES WITH US,” Seoul, 04/11/03)reported that the ROK’s new president, Roh Moo Hyun, said today he believes North Korea is “petrified” by the American success in overthrowing Saddam Hussein in Iraq, but he disputed the contention of some US officials that North Korea already has a nuclear weapon. The former human rights lawyer said in an interview that despite concerns in Washington that he wants to chart a course of independence during a nuclear weapons crisis with the DPRK, “there will be no change in the fact that the US will remain our closest and most important ally.” Roh spoke with Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham and Post reporters at the presidential offices known as the Blue House, a day after announcing that he will make his first visit to the US next month and meet with President Bush. Six weeks into his presidency, Roh outlined hopes that the trip will allay suspicions within the Bush administration over his past criticisms of US policy and help the two allies pursue a common strategy in dealing with the DPRK, which has said that the US intends to attack it after the Iraq war is finished. Roh insisted that there were in fact few differences between his government’s policy toward the DPRK and that of the US, which has demanded that the DPRK agree to scrap its nuclear program before talks can begin. The ROK president said Bush’s decision to wage war in Iraq was “well-made.” And he defended his own decision to send about 700 noncombatant ROK troops to Iraq, despite overwhelming public opposition to the war, casting it as a way to cement the strategic alliance with the US.

9. DPRK-PRC Nuclear Relations

Agence France-Presse (“KIM JONG-IL VISITED CHINA, WON NUCLEAR CRISIS BACKING – REPORT,” Seoul, 04/11/03) reported that DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il paid a secret visit to the PRC last month, shortly after the start of the war in Iraq, according to a US-based global intelligence consultancy citing Russian intelligence sources. During his visit, the reclusive Kim met new PRC President Hu Jintao, who said China would not “stand idle” if relations deteriorated further between Pyongyang and Washington, according to Strategic Forecasts. The visit occurred during a 50-day period which ended last week and during which Kim, 61, disappeared from public view in Pyongyang, the report said. The DPRK is engaged in a standoff with the US over its atomic weapons ambitions, with the US demanding the DPRK scrap its nuclear program before it enters into dialogue. ROK officials said they were unable to confirm the visit, which Strategic Forecasts said succeeded in healing a rift between Pyongyang and Beijing over Beijing’s detention in October of Yang Bin, a Chinese citizen chosen by the DPRK to head a proposed new economic zone at Sinuiju on the border with the PRC.

10. Russia on DPRK Economic Sanctions

Reuters (“RUSSIA SAYS IT COULD BACK SANCTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA,” Moscow, 04/11/03) reported that a top Russian official said on Friday Moscow would review its long-standing policy of opposing international sanctions against the DPRK if Pyongyang developed nuclear weapons. “We will oppose this approach as long as our DPRK colleagues maintain common sense,” Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov as saying. “But Russia will have to seriously consider its position, as the appearance of nuclear weapons in North Korea and the possibility of its using them close to our borders goes categorically against Russia’s national interests.” Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said in Seoul on Thursday that North Korea might ignore any U.N. decision on its suspected nuclear weapons program. Losyukov, who in January headed Russia’s only mission to Pyongyang since the nuclear row broke out last October, said such an arms program would leave Moscow in a diplomatic conundrum. “If the issue in North Korea becomes one of nuclear weapons development and, worse, of the possibility of using them, this puts us before a very serious choice,” he said.

11. SARS as Mutant Cold Virus

BBC News (“SARS ‘IS MUTANT COLD VIRUS,'” 04/11/03) reported that the mystery virus which has claimed the lives of more than 100 people around the world is a mutant form of the common cold, say experts. Tests on samples taken from patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) suggest it is a new type of corona virus, which normally causes the common cold. It has so far infected at least 3,000 people worldwide and killed 106, according to the World Health Organization. Scientists have suggested the virus, for which there is no known cure, is here to stay and may never be eradicated in some regions. International scientists These latest tests – the most authoritative yet – were carried out by a team of international scientists from eight countries, including Germany and the US. SARS: PROBABLE CASES AND DEATHS PRC 1,290 cases (55 deaths) Hong Kong 970 (27) Singapore 126 (9) Vietnam 62 (4) Canada 97 (10) Thailand 7 (2) Malaysia 3 (2) Source: WHO (0600 GMT Friday) Note: The WHO only records cases and deaths it believes are “probable” SARS – figures from national health authorities may vary. Their analysis has found that it is not consistent with any other known virus. Genetic tests showed it was “only distantly related” to known corona viruses. Preliminary results suggest it has never before been seen in some countries, including the US.

CNN News (Jaime FlorCruz, “CHINA IN DAMAGE CONTROL OVER SARS,” Beijing, 04/11/03) reported that public relations damage-control is underway in Beijing as health officials brief the press on the SARS virus. On Thursday, the PRC’s Vice Minister of Health, Ma Xiaowei, addressed concerns about the SARS epidemic at a news conference. “In containing SARS epidemic, we follow the principle of early detection and early reporting,” said Ma. Even state-run TV stations covered the briefings live—a stark change from the news blackout Beijing imposed soon after SARS was first reported five months ago. The health vice-minister said more than fifty people have died of SARS in the PRC, including four in Beijing. A retired PRC surgeon, however, has accused health officials of under-reporting, claiming that at least ten people, not four, had died in the capital. The PRC has come under criticism for failing to report early and truthfully on SARS. But the problem is systemic. Officials in the PRC often cover up bad news or water down negative statistics for fear of losing face or, worse, losing their jobs. Without a free press, and a transparent system, it is difficult to get the full, true picture when a crisis like SARS occurs. In the 1990s, when the AIDS epidemic first hit the PRC it took five years for Beijing to officially acknowledge the crisis. This time, fear of SARS is choking the PRC’s airline, hotel and tourism industries — as travelers avoid PRC destinations. The clumsy handling of the SARS crisis has tarnished the PRC’s image and taxed people’s trust. “I think the Chinese government has been criticized by the WHO and by a number of other people for its lack of transparent and credible and timely reporting on this issue,” Chris Murk, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in the PRC, told CNN. “I certainly hope that this will be an impetus to improve Chinese reporting of health crises and other kinds of things,” says Murck. The PRC has promised more money for disease control research — another small but important step in the right direction.

12. PRC Executions

The Associated Press (Erica Bulman, “GROUP SAYS 1,500 WERE EXECUTED IN 2002,” Geneva, 04/11/03) reported that the PRC executed more people than any other country in 2001 – two-thirds of the known world total of 1,500 – and many of those cases violated international law, the human rights group Amnesty International said Friday. The group also said the US was the only country that executed offenders who were under 18 when they committed their crimes. Three such offenders were executed in Texas last year. The US executed 71 people last year, up from 66 in 2001, the report said. “This blight on our country’s human rights record belies our claim to be an international human rights defender,” said William F. Schulz, executive director of Amnesty International USA. Amnesty International released its annual report in Geneva to coincide with the meeting of the 53-nation Human Rights Commission – the top U.N. human rights body. The group opposes the death penalty in all cases. At least 1,526 people were executed in 31 countries last year, the group said. The PRC accounted for at least 1,060 of those, followed by Iran with 113, the London-based agency said. However, the true number in both countries was believed to be much higher. “Many cases were in blatant violation of international standards on the application of the death penalty,” Amnesty International said.

13. US on UN PRC Human Rights Resolution

The Associated Press (George Gedda “US WON’T PROPOSE RESOLUTION ON CHINA,” Washington, 04/11/03) reported that in a departure, the US has decided against introducing a resolution criticizing rights abuses in the PRC at the annual meeting of the U.N. Human Rights Commission, a State Department official said Friday. The decision comes two weeks after the annual State Department human rights report had cited continuing abuses in the PRC. The official, asking not to be identified, said progress is being made on protection of human rights in the PRC. The Bush administration will press for more progress despite setbacks, the official added. Among them it mentioned “instances of extrajudicial killings, torture and mistreatment of prisoners, forced confessions, arbitrary arrest and detention, lengthy incommunicado detention and denial of due process.” At the same time, the report credited the PRC government with some positive steps, including the release of a number of prominent dissidents and the granting of permission for senior representatives of the Dalai Lama to visit the country.

The Associated Press (Curt Anderson, “SECOND EX-FBI AGENT RESIGNS FROM LAB,” Washington, 04/11/03) reported that a second former FBI agent who acknowledged an affair with a suspected PRC double agent has resigned his sensitive security post at a California nuclear weapons lab, law enforcement officials said Friday. William Cleveland Jr. worked in the PRC counterintelligence before taking a job at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He resigned Thursday as chief of security, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity. Livermore spokeswoman Lynda Seaver did not immediately respond to a message left early Friday morning. Livermore, operated by the University of California, is one of the nation’s major labs dealing with nuclear weapons development and also does sensitive work in biomedicine, energy and environmental science. Cleveland’s job required a US security clearance and gave him access to classified information, according to court documents. Cleveland is one of two former FBI counterintelligence agents who acknowledged lengthy affairs with the alleged double agent, Katrina Leung. Leung is being held without bond on charges of passing secrets to the People’s Republic of China while also an intelligence “asset” on the FBI payroll.

14. Japan Environment Tax

The Japan Times (“ENVIRONMENT TAX EYED FOR ’05 DEBUT,” 04/11/03) reported that the Environment Ministry will levy an environment tax even if the 1997 Kyoto Protocol on global warming does not take effect on time, according to Vice Environment Minister Masaharu Nakagawa. “We must make efforts to curb global warming even if the protocol does not come into effect next year,” Nakagawa said. The ministry plans to introduce the environment tax in fiscal 2005 if necessary to carry out the nation’s commitments under the protocol. Japan is required to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 6 percent from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. The pact is expected to become effective before the end of this year, but some authorities have voiced concern over Russia’s delay in approving the ratification process. The pact, adopted in the city of Kyoto, will enter into force 90 days after Russia’s ratification — having being ratified by 55 states representing 55 percent of industrialized countries’ carbon dioxide emissions in 1990.

II. Japan

1. Japan’s Role in Iraq War

The Japan Times (Hiroko Nakata, “DETAILS OF IRAQ’S RECONSTRUCTION SEEN UNLIKELY TO BE BROACHED AT G-7 MEET,” 04/09/03) reported that when finance chiefs and central bankers from major industrialized countries meet in Washington later this week, they probably won’t discuss specifics of the rebuilding of Iraq, senior Japanese officials said Tuesday. The Group of Seven nations will probably agree on the necessity of international cooperation to rebuild the war-ravaged nation, but detailed discussion will have to wait until an international consensus is reached on who will take the leading role in Iraq’s reconstruction, the officials said. The official said it is also uncertain whether Japanese Finance Minister Masajuro Shiokawa and US Treasury Secretary John Snow will discuss Iraq during their bilateral meeting, expected to be held on the sidelines of the G-7 meeting. Analysts meanwhile believe the participants will give little time to currency and oil prices, as volatility in crude oil markets and US dollar exchange rates has subsided in line with the growing sense that the war is nearing an end.

The Japan Times (Kanako Takahara, “$100 MILLION IN IRAQ AID PLEDGED,” 04/10/03) reported that Japan unveiled Wednesday a framework for humanitarian aid to Iraq that sets a limit of $100 million on financial support for international organizations. The government immediately allocated $25 million worth of assistance to the World Food Program, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and UNICEF. The government will give the World Food Program $11.5 million so it can buy 7,000 tons of pulses and 10,000 tons of rice from Japan. Japan will also extend $8 million to the ICRC and $5 million to UNICEF to cover costs for medical supplies, food, and water facilities repairs. With the $5 million emergency aid package for three international organizations unveiled last month, Japan’s total aid now comes to $30 million. Foreign Minister Kawaguchi said the government will decide how to allocate the remaining $70 million after considering the situation in Iraq. Last month, the United Nations asked members for an additional $2.2 billion in humanitarian assistance for Iraq. As $1.4 billion in aid has already been pledged by other nations, Japan decided to cap its own contribution at $100 million, Kawaguchi said.

The Japan Times (“JAPAN TO STAFF ORHA,” 04/10/03) reported that the Japanese Foreign Ministry is considering sending members of its staff to the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance (ORHA), a US Defense Department body that the US government plans to put in charge of postwar Iraq, according to senior ministry officials. The US plans to invite officials from the coalition and other countries that supported the war to staff the ORHA, although the Defense Department is expected to play the leading role in its operations. “Japan is in contact with ORHA officials in Kuwait through the Japanese Embassy there,” said Foreign Minister Yoriko Kawaguchi, hinting that the two countries are discussing Japan’s role. When Kawaguchi meets her British counterpart, Jack Straw, in London on Friday, she is expected to ask about the details of a summit between US President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, including the role of the ORHA and the interim authority, the officials said.

The Asahi Shimbun (“WHEN IS UNCLEAR, BUT ABE SEES ROLE FOR SDF IN POSTWAR IRAQ,” 04/11/03) reported that the Self-Defense Forces (SDF) could play a valuable role in rebuilding postwar Iraq, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe said in an exclusive interview with The Asahi Shimbun Wednesday, particularly if it involved destroying weapons of mass destruction. It is disposal know-how that dates back to the years after World War II, when the Ground-Self Defense Force was used to locate and collect chemical weapons left behind in China by the former Imperial Japanese Army. The GSDF maintains special teams that are capable of locating, analyzing and decontaminating chemical weapons. Although new legislation would have to be passed before the GSDF could be dispatched to Iraq, SDF personnel with specialized skills could be sent as members of international organizations. But with the war barely over, Abe expressed the need for caution about the timing of an SDF dispatch. “We have to take into consideration the extent to which the fighting has been contained and to what extent public order has been restored,” Abe said.

2. Japan’s ODA Policy

The Asahi Shimbun (“JAPAN TO TOUGHEN AID STANCE IN ASIA,” 04/08/03) reported that with its ODA budget shrinking, Japan has decided to shift from its traditional request-based system for development aid in Asia to one based more on its national interests. This month, officials involved with official development assistance will meet delegates from Indonesia, China, India, Vietnam and the Philippines to rework the terms of future development projects. In the past, Japan has responded to requests from recipient countries when planning projects. Under the new “consultative” system, however, Japan would make its hopes for projects known before accepting requests. Officials are hoping more persuasive use of Japan’s ODA card will help the stagnating domestic economy. With regard to Indonesia, ODA officials will emphasize Japanese business interests in building electric power facilities, roads and ports, while trying to push measures to smooth foreign investment, such as improving customs procedures, officials say. Delegates plan to urge similar measures in Vietnam, such as scrapping import barriers on motorcycle parts. With regard to the Philippines and India, officials may actually threaten a reduction in ODA unless investment conditions are improved. Japanese officials are also looking to pressure China to resolve environmental issues such as yellow sand, which blows from Chinese deserts into Japan. They also want China to implement education and training programs.

The Asahi Shimbun (“MORE ODA TO REGIONS SHATTERED BY CONFLICT,” 04/09/03) reported that Japan remains firmly committed to providing aid to war-torn regions worldwide despite budget restrictions and declining revenues, according to a report released Tuesday. The report — the 2002 Foreign Ministry white paper on overseas development assistance (ODA) — says Japan will focus its aid for the “consolidation of peace and nation building” in areas like Afghanistan and East Timor and, when appropriate, postwar Iraq. The report also mentions Sri Lanka, Aceh province in Indonesia and the Philippines as candidates for a strategy of post-conflict “peace-building.” The white paper also attempts to defend the government’s oft-criticized continuing aid to China, a seemingly unlikely ODA recipient. The report says further aid to the emerging economic giant will be limited to projects involving the environment.

3. US Bases in Okinawa

Kyodo (“RARE MOLLUSKS FOUND AT U.S. MILITARY-CIVILIAN AIRPORT SITE,” Naha, 04/08/03) reported that seven types of mollusks never before found in Japan have been discovered off the coast of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, at the site of a planned joint US military-civilian airport, according to a recently released report. Compiled by a team headed by Taiji Kurozumi, senior researcher at the Natural History Museum and Institute in Chiba Prefecture, the report may prompt stronger calls to preserve wildlife at the site in the Henoko district, where endangered Dugong have also been seen. The research team says there may be more than 1,000 types of mollusks in the area. Kurozumi said he wants an evaluation to be made on how the airport will affect the mollusks in Henoko.

4. Japan’s New Military Plane

The Asahi Shimbun (“MILITARY PLANE PROJECT TARGETS PASSENGER JET SPINOFF,” 04/08/03) reported that Japan’s aerospace industry is set for a new lease on life in the form of a project to develop the next generation of patrol and transport planes for the Self-Defense Forces (SDF), government sources said. And civil aviation spinoffs may not be far behind. An industry group led by Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd. is designing the transport aircraft code-named CX for the Air SDF and the PX patrol plane for the Maritime SDF. The two aircraft are to enter service in four years. The aircraft will replace the C-1 tactical transport plane and the P-3C maritime patrol aircraft, respectively. The two existing types begin to reach the end of their service lives in fiscal 2010. The project, which is part of the national defense program the government outlined in 1995, represents the first opportunity in three decades for Japanese industry to develop large aircraft. The project dates back to 1999, when government officials began discussing the idea of cutting costs by using common major components to build two separate types of aircraft for different roles.

5. Japanese Logistic Support for US

Kyodo (“AEGIS SHIP HEADS FOR INDIAN OCEAN,” Sasebo, 04/11/03) reported that a Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) destroyer with the advanced Aegis air-defense system left for the Indian Ocean on Thursday as part of Japan’s support for US-led counter-terrorism military operations mainly in Afghanistan. The 7,250-ton Kongou left Sasebo base in Nagasaki Prefecture together with the 4,550-ton destroyer Ariake and 8,150-ton support vessel Hamanasu in line with a special antiterrorism law enacted in 2001. The Kongou, the Ariake and the Hamanasu, carrying a total of 580 crew members, will replace the Kirishima, another Aegis destroyer, and two other vessels, government officials said.

6. Japan-PRC Relations

The Japan Times (“DPJ’S KAN TO MEET WITH HU IN BEIJING,” 04/09/03) reported that the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) President Naoto Kan will meet with Chinese President Hu Jintao on April 16 in Beijing, an executive lawmaker of the party said Tuesday. The meeting was arranged as the PRC continues to give the cold shoulder to Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi over his repeated visits to Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine. “It will be meaningful to meet the new Chinese leader,” the DPJ lawmaker said after party executives met and approved the trip. Kan’s meeting with Hu would coincide with a regular Diet question-and-answer session between Koizumi and political leaders, meaning Kan will miss an opportunity to go face to face with the prime minister. But the DPJ later managed to get other opposition parties to agree to call for delaying the question-and-answer session until April 23. The tripartite ruling coalition headed by Koizumi’s Liberal Democratic Party is expected to accept the postponement.

7. Japan’s Role in Iraq

The Japan Times (Junko Takahashi, “JAPAN LOOKS FOR CONSENSUS ON ‘RESPONSIBLE CONTRIBUTION’ TO IRAQ,” 04/11/03) reported that Japan will make a “responsible contribution” to the reconstruction of postwar Iraq, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said Thursday, responding to the effective collapse of President Saddam Hussein’s regime the previous day. However, Japan’s government has not reached a consensus on the extent of Japan’s involvement, awaiting news of the UN’s role in rebuilding the war-torn country. Government leaders meanwhile expressed relief that the war seems to be nearing an end. Regarding reconstruction of Iraq, Fukuda said finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of Seven major nations may “broadly” discuss the reconstruction of Iraq during their two-day meeting in Washington that begins Friday. “Japan will make a responsible contribution (to the reconstruction) as the second biggest economy in the world,” Fukuda said. On Wednesday, the government believes the UN must play the UN must play a central role. “Until the UN role is determined, there won’t be much we can do,” one senior administration official said. “There will be no legal basis for us to do reconstruction work in Iraq if a military occupation countries there.” Japan’s role in such circumstances would be limited to making financial contributions to cover humanitarian assistance through the UN, the officials said. Although US has reportedly asked Japan to send officials to ask as foreign advisers to a US-led interim authority in postwar Iraq, Japan remains cautious about responding. “we are not sure what form the interim authority will take and to what extent the UN will be involved,” another senior official said. “We cannot decide at this stage whether to send someone to the interim authority.” Top leaders in the government emphasized the importance of how Japan should be involved with the US Defense Department’s Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance and with Iraqi Interim Authority.

8. Japan’s Position on DPRK’s Withdrawal from NPT

The Japan Times (Kanako Takahara, “JAPAN SHUNS TALK OF PYONGYANG LEAVING NPT,” 04/11/03) reported that as a three-month waiting period DPRK had to observe to officially withdraw from the NPT ended Thursday, Japan refused to acknowledge the validity of its nuclear ambitions. But it was also trying to walk a fine line and keep from provoking a government that boasts of its nuclear ambitions. “We do not think there is an international consensus that (DPRK) left the treaty,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuo Fukuda said. Under the provisions of the NPT, signatory nations wishing to leave the pact are required to notify the UN Security Council and all the other signatories of their intention three months in advance. But some countries say DPRK has not notified the other signatories, as required, and thus has not officially withdrawn. A senior Foreign Ministry official said nothing will change after Thursday, an apparent attempt to keep the legal debate over its withdrawal from further stoking the North. While international community is currently leaning toward a soft political solution, the soft approach itself is controversial, as some say allowing DPRK to freely leave the treaty without any condemnation from the international community could cast doubt on the efficacy of the treaty.

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.
We invite you to reply to today’s report, and we welcome commentary or papers for distribution to the network.

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

 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.